Saturday, August 30, 2014

THE INFLUENCE OF OTHERS

If we haven’t that within us which is above us, we will soon yield to that which is around us.  

Without the grace of God which comes to us through the cleansing power of regeneration and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we will submit to the unrighteous influence of other people.
It is human nature to desire to be included in some family/group of people who approve of who we are and accepts us as we are.  The cleansing power of sanctification is necessary to possess sufficient grace to resist all temptations to conform to unrighteous influences.

Proverbs 24:1-2, Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.  For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.
When you are around sinners, their conduct and conversation will try to influence you to be like them.  They will want you to participate in their sins.  They will want you to approve of them, give them ‘affirmation’.  They will want you to consent to what they are doing.     

1 Corinthians 5:9-11,  I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators.
10 Yet not altogether with the fornicator of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of this world.
11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator,   

We are in the world but not of the world.  Although we are in the presence of sinners, we do not talk like they do: neither do we act like they do.  As children of God, we obey our Lord Jesus Christ and keep his commandments.  We do this by the grace he gives to us.  We are examples of righteousness.  We choose to do what is right, regardless of what others do.

Romans 14:1-23
1 Him that is weak in the faith receive all of you, but not to doubtful disputations.

It is required that we be longsuffering with sinners while we maintain our holiness and purity.  We must not consent to their sin while we endeavor to teach them and show them a better way.  With wisdom, grace and love we must first teach, instruct and correct before we chastise and judge.

2 For one believes that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eats herbs.

Which person is strongest, he who eats only herbs or he which eats all things.  The one who eats herbs only may be in bondage to dietary laws.  The one who eats all things knows that what goes in to the belly is not that which defiles a man.  That which comes out of the mouth and heart is what defiled a man.  We also teach temperance in our feasting.

3 Let not him that eats despise him that eats not; and let not him which eats not judge him that eats: for God has received him.
4 Who are you that judge another man's servant? to his own master he stands or falls. Yea, he shall be held up: for God is able to make him stand.
5 One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
6 He that regards the day, regards it unto the Lord; and he that regards not the day, to the Lord he does not regard it. He that eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he that eats not, to the Lord he eats not, and gives God thanks.
7 For none of us lives to himself, and no man dies to himself.
8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.
9 In order to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
10 But why do you judge your brother? or why do you set at nothing your brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

It is very important that we learn the significant difference between teaching and condemning.  In teaching there is love.  In condemning there is wrath.  Condemning is necessary when teaching, instructing, correcting and warning has failed to be accepted by the disobedient. 
11 For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
13 Let us not therefore judge one another anymore: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteems anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
15 But if your brother be grieved with your food, now walk you not charitably.  Destroy not him with your food, for whom Christ died.
16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
17 For the kingdom of God is not food and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
18 For he that in these things serves Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
20 For food destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eats with offence.
21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby your brother stumbles, or is offended, or is made weak.
22 Have you faith? have it to yourself before God. Happy is he that condemns not himself in that thing which he allows.
23 And he that doubts is damned if he eat, because he eats not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

The apostle Paul is teaching us to be sensitive to each other’s beliefs without being in bondage to each other’s personal opinions or each other’s unscriptural rules.  It is very easy to be influenced by someone’s dietary rules and personal opinions which seem to have some support of the scriptures.

There are many ways in which another person may purposefully or even unintentionally influence you.  Consider these conditions and how they may influence you.

Others may influence you by:

Offending

Praising/flattering

Intimidating

Lying/deceiving

Attracting you by smiles, eyes, body language

Also, there will come into your life certain conditions such as: Sickness, Success, and Failures.  You will choose how these conditions will influence the decisions you make.

Will God excuse you if you choose to do wrong because someone or some circumstance influences you to do wrong?

 

Monday, August 25, 2014

THE SIN OF HOMOSEXUALITY


It is time once again to remind people of the sin of homosexual behavior.  There are many people who have not studied the Word of God to fully understand God’s attitude toward the abominable act which the Holy Scriptures refer to as effeminate, abuser of themselves with mankind and a loss of natural affection.  Under the Old Testament law any person committing a homosexual act was put to death.

LEVITICUS 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

This was God’s attitude under the Old Testament, and we shall see that His attitude has not changed with the New Testament covenant.  The people of this wicked world have changed their judgment, but God has not changed His judgment.

Article 125 Uniform Code of Military Justice  “(a) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense. (b) Any person found guilty of sodomy shall by punished as a court-martial may direct.”

The people of America have allowed wicked people to set aside this law and this crime against nature.  True Christians will continue to condemn this sin and all other sins which separate a person from God.  Every sin in the Old Testament which was worthy of capital punishment is still an immoral sin today and will separate the guilty person from God.

First Corinthians 6:9-10, Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived: neither fornicator, nor idolaters, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

It is good that a woman be feminine, as she should be.  It is not good for a person who is not a female to be effeminate, having qualities which are only suitable for a woman.   When two people of the same sex engage in sexual acts they are abusing themselves.

If there could be any genetic pre-disposition toward homosexual behavior, we still have God’s judgment against it.  God is able to heal and deliver any person from any condition which He condemns.  There are numerous testimonies of people who have repented of all their sins and enjoyed a spiritual and physical deliverance from this unrighteous behavior. 

Genesis 19:1-5, And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and all of you shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.  And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.  But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to you this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

The wicked men of Sodom wanted to ‘know’ these two men as a man ‘knows’ a woman.  Because of their conduct, the sin of homosexual acts became known as ‘sodomy’.  For thousands of years this abominable act has been condemned; however, in our current society people have yielded to the demands of the wicked to advance their perverted conduct.

Second Timothy 3:1-7 This know also, that in the last days dangerous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, rebellious, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

It is natural for a man to desire a woman for his wife.  It is un-natural for a man to desire another man.  It is natural for a woman to desire a man for her husband.  It is un-natural for a woman to desire another woman. 

Romans 1:26-28, For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ have mostly avoided speaking on this subject because the shame of it is so great.  However, ignorance of God’s Word makes it necessary to teach people that God’s wrath is against those who commit homosexual acts.  No person can be a Christian and have fellowship with God when they are engaged in a homosexual relationship.  As with many other sins, which separate sinners from God, this behavior must be repented of and turned away from in order to have salvation.

Deuteronomy 23:17-18 There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel . You shall not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD your God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD your God.

In this scripture, a dog is used as a symbol and an euphemism for a male prostitute or homosexual. 

Regardless of what your sin or bondage may be, the grace of God that brings salvation is able to deliver you from every evil thing.  I invite you to believe in the power of God to set men and women free from all their sins.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

THE CHURCH OF GOD

Acts 20:28, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

Jesus Christ purchased the church of God with His own blood.  Jesus Christ is the Head of the church.  The government of the church rest upon His shoulders.  He is the Bridegroom and the church is His Bride.  He is the Shepherd and we are His flock.  He is the Vine and we are the Branches.  Jesus Christ only has one Bride, one flock, one church.

The word “church” is the English translation of the Greek word “ekklesia” which means “called out”.  Jesus has called us out of sin and false religion and requires us to separate ourselves unto him.  When you get married you vow to “keep myself unto him/her so long as we both shall live.”  When you repent and forsake all your sins, you become part of the Bride of Christ.  He is the Author of true religion and He requires you to forsake all other religions and keep yourself only unto Him for the rest of your life.  Satan has formed many false religions to hinder and prevent people from finding the true religion and the true Church of God.

The true church of God is the visible and invisible body of all true Christians.  The visible body is seen in a congregation of saints who live holy and identify themselves by the name “Church of God.”  The invisible body is inclusived of all those individuals who have truly repented of their sins and live holy but may not be part of a local congregation identified by the name “Church of God.” 

The Church of God has, in her normal state, under her divine head, certain essential characteristics which make her exclusively the church, the whole and not a part.    The church is not a sect.  It is not a denomination.  It is not limited to a group, a certain fellowship or specific geographical location. 



The church has and must have the following characteristics:
1.)  Possession of divine spiritual life.  If the church does not possess this she is not Christ’s body and therefore not the church.  She must know the Spirit of God.  This divine spiritual life teaches the scriptural process of salvation, by which people may obtain a real deliverance from sin and have the Holy Spirit as a witness to their salvation.
2.) Disposition to obey all scripture and to let the Spirit have his way and rule.  This constitutes her safety in matters of doctrine and government.  The truth only, and obedience thereto, is its motto; and it recognizes the rule of the Holy Spirit in the organization and government of the church.
3.) An attitude receptive to any further truth and light.  This humble attitude safeguards against dogmatism and a spirit of infallibility and intolerance, against interpreting Christianity in the light of traditions and old ideas.  It does not assume to possess all the truth, but stands committed thereto, holding an open door to the entrance of any further light and truth.
4.) Acknowledgment of good wherever found and the placing of no barrier that would exclude any who might be Christians.  This makes salvation, a holy life, and a Christian spirit the only test of fellowship, and disapproves all human standards of church membership and fellowship.  The spirit of the movement is to acknowledge good wherever found and to regard no door into the church other than salvation and no test of fellowship other than true Christianity possessed within the heart. 

We repeat that these constitute the scriptural standard of the church and characterize her in her unity and integrity.  It is by lacking in one or more of these essentials that a sect is a sect. 
(Note:  the foregoing thoughts were selected and edited from Brother A.L. Byers book “The Birth of a Reformation, 1921.”

I have heard these principles taught by ministers of the church of God since I was a young child.  However, it seems that there has been a great disconnect between having the knowledge of these principles and having the experience of which they speak.  I am confident that this sad condition is part of the effect of the Evening Time silence and apostasy.  We must earnestly seek the Lord that we may see the restoration of glory of God upon the church of God. 

It has been eighty-four long years since the church began its downward slide into silence and apostasy.  Every decade has brought strife and division among God’s people.  Many ministers have formed groups and fellowships under the guise of protecting the church from heresy and heretics. 

Satan successfully convinced some that it was necessary for them to judge their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, lest some wolves in sheep’s clothing creep into the congregation.  Based upon the foundation of their personal understanding, those who agreed with them were accepted and those who disagreed with them were rejected.  This method of administration, where ministers judge one another without Holy Ghost guidance, is the establishment of a sect. 

It is important that you and I validate these four characteristics which Bro. Byers has identified in the true Church of God.  Do I and the congregation with which I fellowship exhibit these four characteristics in our attitude, conduct and administration?  Let us examine these four items more closely.

1.) Possession of divine spiritual life.  If the church does not possess this she is not Christ’s body and therefore not the church.  She must know the Spirit of God.  This divine spiritual life teaches the scriptural process of salvation, by which people may obtain a real deliverance from sin and have the Holy Spirit as a witness to their salvation.

What is the proof that we possess this divine spiritual life?  The proof is in what we believe; and, in what fruit our faith produces.  Divine spiritual life comes from the Father through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  Jesus Christ came into this world in the flesh to set an example of this divine spiritual life.  He is our example.  Our divine spiritual life will look like and be like the divine spiritual life which He manifested.

1 John 4:15-21
15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19 We love him, because he first loved us.
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
What does it mean to “love your brother?” 
When the Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, what fruit does it produce?  What characteristics will be visibly observable to those who are watching? 
The fruit of the Spirit will be evident in the daily conduct of the child of God.
Judgment, righteousness and mercy will be evident in the administrations of the church.
A strong burden for the salvation of souls will prevail among the ministers and saints.

1 John 3:1-10
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
Bro. Byers wrote: “Possession of divine spiritual life.  If the church does not possess this she is not Christ’s body and therefore not the church.”  This divine spiritual life stands in strong contrast to the human judgments and operations of those who are lacking this divine spiritual life.  The minister and congregation which operates without this Holy Ghost anointing is operating outside of the will of God.  Except God awaken, they will descend into sectism.

2.) Disposition to obey all scripture and to let the Spirit have his way and rule.  This constitutes her safety in matters of doctrine and government.  The truth only, and obedience thereto, is its motto; and it recognizes the rule of the Holy Spirit in the organization and government of the church.

Romans 6:11-18
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
Obedience from the heart is one of the essential keys to a victorious Christian life.  Faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the other key.  That person who will humble himself in faithful obedience to the Holy Spirit will inherit the kingdom of God and all of the inheritance which God has promised. 
The desires of the flesh, its comfort and satisfaction, will war against your faith and obedience.
Satan will provide you with many temptations to turn your heart away from faithful obedience.
Your closest friends and family, may tempt you draw back from a full consecration to God.

2 Corinthians 10:3-6
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
Whereas you once disobeyed God, now you must seek revenge against Satan by giving your full obedience to the commandments of Christ. 

Hebrews 5:9
9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
Only those who obey Christ have eternal salvation. 

3.) An attitude receptive to any further truth and light.  This humble attitude safeguards against dogmatism and a spirit of infallibility and intolerance, against interpreting Christianity in the light of traditions and old ideas.  It does not assume to possess all the truth, but stands committed thereto, holding an open door to the entrance of any further light and truth.

1 John 1:5-10
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Fellowship is based on each child of God walking in the light which he receives from Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.  You can not have fellowship with the body if you are disobedient to the Head of the Body. 

If any person says that they have not sinned, they are a liar.  For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  If any person claims to be a child of God and continues to commit sin, he also is a liar, because you can not be a child of Satan and a child of God at the same time.  Whomever you obey, he is your father.  Either you obey Christ in righteousness or you obey Satan in unrighteousness.
 
4.) Acknowledgment of good wherever found and the placing of no barrier that would exclude any who might be Christians.  This makes salvation, a holy life, and a Christian spirit the only test of fellowship, and disapproves all human standards of church membership and fellowship.  The spirit of the movement is to acknowledge good wherever found and to regard no door into the church other than salvation and no test of fellowship other than true Christianity possessed within the heart. 

1 Timothy 6:2-5
Verse 2b: These things teach and exhort.
3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

Surmising is to be suspicious.  Suspicion is the negative opposite of confidence. 
WEBSTER: SUSPICION: 1 a : imagination or apprehension of something wrong or hurtful without proof or on slight evidence.
SEC: Evil:  NT:4190 poneros (pon-ay-ros'); from a derivative of NT:4192; hurtful, i.e. evil (properly, in effect or influence, and thus differing from NT:2556, which refers rather to essential character, as well as from NT:4550, which indicates degeneracy from original virtue); figuratively, calamitous; also (passively) ill, i.e. diseased; but especially (morally) culpable, i.e. derelict, vicious, facinorous; neuter (singular) mischief, malice, or (plural) guilt; masculine (singular) the devil, or (plural) sinners: KJV - bad, evil, grievous, harm, lewd, malicious, wicked (-ness). See also NT:4191.

Evil surmising is the fruit of a disagreement where Holy Spirit guidance is replaced by human reasoning.  Human reasoning is a playground for the devil to work.  He will take disagreements and turn them into doubts and suspicions which evolve into evil surmising.  Evil surmising destroys relationships and divides loved ones from each other. 

Galatians 6:1-5
1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

Ephesians 4:1-3
1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

The church has and must have the following characteristics:
1.)  Possession of divine spiritual life. 
2.) Disposition to obey all scripture and to let the Spirit have his way and rule. 
3.) An attitude receptive to any further truth and light. 
4.) Acknowledgment of good wherever found and the placing of no barrier that would exclude any who might be Christians. 

The church of God is not the same as a congregation.
The church of God is not a sect or a denomination.
The church of God is not limited to a particular group or fellowship.
The church of God is not ruled by a man or a group of men.

A congregation may have hypocrites in it, but the church of God does not.
A congregation may be ruled by a man, but the church of God is not.
A congregation may be religious, but not be Christian.
The membership of a congregation may be controlled by men, but the members of the church of God are all holy and live without sin in this present world. 

The only scriptural difference between the church of God and the Kingdom of God is that the church of God in particular refers to the children of God who are alive in this time world.  Whereas, the Kingdom of God includes both those who are yet alive in this world and all those who have died in the faith. 

Acts 20:28  “to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
1 Corinthians 1:2  “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth,”
1 Corinthians 10:32  “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:”
1 Corinthians 11:22  “or despise ye the church of God”
1 Corinthians 15:9  “because I persecuted the church of God.”
2 Corinthians 1:1 “unto the church of God which is at Corinth”
Galatians 1:13  “I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:”

1 Timothy 3:5 “how shall he take care of the church of God?”

Saturday, August 9, 2014

THE VALUE OF A VISION

Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

Solomon tells us that a vision is vital to our life.  Without a vision, we die.  If God is with us, He will reveal Himself to us.  The vision of which we desire to study is a “revelation” of God by the Holy Spirit.  This vision is the Word of Truth which is divinely inspired.  The Hebrew word chazown (khaw-zone') is translated into the English word “oracle.”  An oracle is a person through whom God has spoken.  The ministers and saints of God who speak under divine inspiration are true oracles.  Their words will be righteous and just. The fruit of the Spirit which is the evidence of the Holy Spirit will be evident in their conversations.  If they speak prophetically, their words will come to pass. 

Deuteronomy 13:1-5
1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4 Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

If you know that someone has spoken words which are not true, you do not need to fear their authority or judgment in that matter.  It is your responsibility to walk in the light of truth which the Lord has revealed to you. 

It is true that God wants His people to receive instructions from His ministers, pastors and teachers.  However, it is also true that God will give you His Holy Spirit to teach you all things.  Holiness is the standard with which we must judge all things.  There is no room in the Kingdom of God for bad attitudes, evil motives, vulgar or hateful words. 

Deuteronomy 18:18-22
18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?
22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

The word “presumptuously” means to speak with pride and arrogance.  The word arrogance refers to that person who has a spirit of over-bearing self-worth and importance.  He lacks humility and is not easily entreated.  He is proud in heart and exalts himself above being corrected.  A true man of God may in some point be mistaken; however, he is easily entreated and easily instructed.  A proud man will not tolerate someone who disagrees with his beliefs. 

We have learned much from the Lord, but we have not learned it all. 

2 Chronicles 16:7-10
7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the Lord thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.
8 Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the Lord, he delivered them into thine hand.
9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.
10 Then Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in a prison house; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. And Asa oppressed some of the people the same time.

What was the foolishness of Asa?  He was not faithful to the vision and knowledge of God’s will to protect Israel.  Instead of trusting God, he trusted in the king of Syria to deliver him.

Psalms 145:9-13
9 The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
10 All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee.
11 They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;
12 To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.
13 Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.

It is our duty to speak of the glory of the Kingdom of God.  The Lord has commanded us to let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify God.  Can God use your life to give others a vision of the glory of holiness? 

Proverbs 1:23, “Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.”

Because God loves you, He will reprove you when you are wrong.  If you have sinned by disobedience, you must repent and seek God’s forgiveness.  If you have erred through a lack of knowledge, you must turn to the Lord when He reproves you.  His reproof is a revelation of the correction you need in your life.  If you refuse His reproof, you will be guilty of disobedience.  This disobedience separates you from God. 

God will give us a vision of truth by giving to us the light of truth.  We must walk in that light.  The vision of truth is that mental insight which comes from the Holy Spirit.  You receive this vision of truth when you pray, when you study the Bible and when you listen to the words of a true man of God.  The vision is from God.  It does not originate within a man’s mind.  No man can know God or His will except it be revealed to him by the Holy Spirit. 

Ephesians 6:18-20
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

The mystery of the gospel is this:  Jesus Christ will deliver you from the bondage of all your sins, if you will believe and obey.  The understanding of this great salvation, this great deliverance, is the mental insight which the Holy Spirit will cause you to see and know with your heart and mind. When God gives you a little vision of the truth, you must walk in that light.  Too many people are waiting on God to give them some great big revelation and vision of truth.  They are neglecting the small visions of truth which God has already given to them. 

Colossians 1:25-29
25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Can God use you to cause others to have a vision of holiness? 
Do your actions and words cause people to see Jesus?

If the grace of God is not shinning through you, causing others to receive a vision of truth, you ought to come to Jesus and repent of living your way.  Let Jesus give you a vision of what He wants to do in your life.