I echo the words of Paul in Galatians 4:16, “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”
“I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.” [2 John 1:4]
The acceptance and practice of the truth bring a unique joy into people’s life such that they never remain the same again. The truth always comes through a medium to which only a handful have always warmed as in the case of John the baptist in his mother’s womb.
“And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost” [Luke 1:41].
It’s amazing that in speaking the truth, it does make people angry and offended, some start calling us heretics and antichrists. Is this new? No, not at all.
Jesus was called Belzebub, Paul was called a plague and profane person – why? Because they refused tradition and religion, but spoke only the truth.
How saddened is God because of His people’s level of ignorance and the willingness to remain in the same?
He says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” [Hosea 4:6]
There are two very strong words we must take seriously in that verse: Ignorance and Knowledge.
Webster’s English Dictionary defines ignorance as “a lack of knowledge, understanding, or education,” and also “the state of being ignorant. It is also defined as “the state of being uninformed.”
Google dictionary defines knowledge as “facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject”. Or “awareness or familiarity gained by experience”.
Often times, I have noted that people can remain in ignorance because of laziness, arrogance and pride. They refuse to search the Scriptures as Jesus commanded and when they hear the truth, they feel condemned by it and often respond out of anger and frustration.
Unfortunately, when people behave this way, they do not know that they are resisting the Spirit of God. They are slaves to the spirit of religion.
They have restricted and defined the boundaries for which God must talk or walk with them. They have caged the Word of God and each time the Word of God tries to turn things around and liberate them from this spirit, they exercise their flesh and resist Him.
Another major thing I have noted about those who are sent by God to share the truth is that they are usually hated and only a small percentage try to reason with them. Take Jeremiah, Jesus and Paul in their generations, what they tried to share were not generally accepted.
The truth must come to the Bride of Christ to cleanse her of the deception that has perpetuated through the Adamic nature in Man. It is Truth that will set her free from this fallen nature. Philosophy or academics cannot help her.
“That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” [Ephesians 5:27]
On the other hand, the truly spiritual man, walking with the Lord has willingly yielded himself to Christ thereby allowing His Spirit to dictate the tune of their walk, which is the result of liberating truth.
Every person comes into the world with a blank template. Over time, the pages of the template get written with knowledge and experiences.
Paul said, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” [Romans 10:14]
We come to God through the knowledge of Christ after hearing the Gospel preached. We hear. We know. We believe. We accept. We become children of God. It is a knowledge that starts the process.
Even believers who started well in Christ in Galatia started resenting Paul because he told them the truth as they refused to grow up from being kindergartens.
I would like to draw our attentions to Chapter 1, where Jesus gave the interpretation of what John was seeing to John. John saw three things:
#1. “seven golden candlesticks”.
#2. “in Jesus’ right hand seven stars”.
#3. “out of Jesus’ mouth went a sharp two-edged sword”.
Jesus knew John lacked the understanding of the vision he was seeing, but immediately He opened his understanding to what these things are.
“The book of Revelation is a spiritual book of spiritual truths and spiritual experiences addressed to a spiritual people which can be perceived and received only by the spirit!”
Paul revealed what the sharp two-edged sword was, that is, the Word of God. So Jesus never bothered to talk about that, but He talked about the other two in verse 20.
#1. seven golden candlesticks = seven churches.
#2. in Jesus’ right hand seven stars = angels of the seven churches.
Knowing fully well that there is no private interpretation of the Scriptures. The Scripture is full of types, parables, codes and strange language. These are only for the spiritual at varying levels of development.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” [John 10:28]
One question you and I should be asking ourselves that we seem to overlook is: “How did Paul discern these things and wrote about them?”
Paul told us that the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. When Jesus walked the earth He never told His disciples that the Sword of the Spirit was the Word of God, and if He did, we never saw it in any of their writings.
Paul told us about Melchizedek. How did he know? Jesus said we must be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect, but the disciples could not handle that truth. So Jesus stopped there. Paul expanded on that teaching in Romans 8 and Hebrews 6. And so many other teachings.
Paul taught about the union of Christ and His Bride and linked it with the union between a man and his wife. Why do we never ask: How was this? Where did he get these things from? The devil? Christ? How?
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” [2 Peter 1:3]
We must remember that God has GIVEN unto the Church all things that pertain unto life and godliness.
Yes, the River is there for all and Jesus comes, crying out, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” [John 7:37]
It is for ANY MAN who is thirsty. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” [Matthew 5:6]
Paul shared some insight. He kept the saints in remembrance of the necessity to read and study the scriptures. To Timothy, he said, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” [2 Timothy 2:15]
Paul himself was studious. “The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.” [2 Timothy 4:13]
Paul knew, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” [John 16:13]
Jesus had laid the foundation upon which Paul was building, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” [John 5:39]
Paul himself said, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” [1 Corinthians 3:11-13]
How much of what you know right now can you allow to be tested by the fire of criticism from people? If it is tested, what shall remain ashes or precious metal?
Many always forget that the Word of God has been tested by fire. In fact, there are two types of gold in the Bible. The gold of man and the gold of God.
James the apostle said, “Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.” [James 5:3]
The gold of man, which speaks of self-righteousness, with time gets rusty and cankered. The other is the gold of God, of which Jesus Christ spoke thus: “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich;” [Revelation 3:18]
“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” [Psalm 12:6]
We should have a great respect for the apostle Paul. We should admire his courage, honesty, the strength of faith, and a deep testimony. I truly love his deep insights and find them equally applicable to the Church today. He was a true witness of the resurrected Christ.
Paul said, “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” [Galatians 1:11–12]
God is not partial. Like the song Jim Reeves sang, “It is no secret what God can do, what He’s done for others, He’ll do for you…” If He did it for Paul, why not you and me?
Moses spoke of God, “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe.” (Deuteronomy 10:17)
Peter the apostle said, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:” [Acts 10:34]
Paul testified of this about the nature of God, “For there is no respect of persons with God.” [Romans 2:11]
James the Apostle also witnessed, “My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.” [James 2:1]
Remember, Jesus said, “But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” [Matthew 18:16]
In 1 Corinthians 2:14 Paul wrote, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
As you take time to study, the time will come when you will be as confused as the Ethiopian Eunuch who wrestled with Isaiah 53 and just could not fathom it. But God in His infinite mercies will send a Philip who will ask you, “Understandest thou what thou readest?” (Acts 8:40).
Understandest thou what thou readest?”
I remember growing up as a young believer and I would hear pastors/preachers preach from 2 John 1:1, “The elder unto the elect lady and her children….”, and they would go on eulogise about an elderly lady in that church to whom John was writing. I lived in that understanding, which clouded my knowledge of other scriptures; it shackled me from the truth!
Oh, most of those preachers meant well, but they were wrong! The Elect Lady was simply the Bride of Christ in waiting or should I say the saints of God in the Church. How do we know this? The context and two specific verses.
2Jn 1:13 “The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.”
3 John 1. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
Who is the ELECT sister? Is it not the local assembly of saints in another location? Then how did YOUR children became MY children?
John was simply referring to “that” assembly and “this” assembly.
The bottom line is that is that if you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the Land as God promised; it has never been for just Paul or the apostles of old alone, but anyone who is open for the tabernacle of the Lord to dwell with him.
We have to remember that God will not give what is holy to dogs nor cast His precious pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6). This is His nature and He will not go against His own nature.
You only have one chance and one opportunity to fulfil the divine destiny to which God has called you to in this life. The Spirit of God is available to help (1 Corinthians 2:13).
You can either choose to believe that God has a great plan and a great purpose for your life, and that He will give you just as much time and attention to be able to fulfill that divine destiny as He would anyone else – or you can choose to believe that our God is not who the Bible says He is.
If you believe that the Holy Bible is truly the inspired and infallible Word of God – then you have to believe what the above 4 verses are trying to tell you. God cannot lie, and neither can His Word!
This revelation is money in your bank if you can receive it, believe in it, get established in it, and act upon it in this life.
David, in his time, “tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,” that future world is now upon us, even the Kingdom of Christ and His God.
If you can establish your mind on this revelation to become a major foundational truth in your walk with the Lord, God can then take full control of your life and remove all obstacles, barriers, and hindrances of tradition and religion that will keep you from experiencing the full experience in the realm of His perfect will for your life, where an incredible adventure awaits you.
Now that you realise that God is no respecter of persons, you can begin to eat from where Paul, Lazarus, Mary, the apostles and all the saints of old ate from – the Table of the Lord.
This is what Jesus has to say, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” [John 6:45]
Paul came and shared with us, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” [1 Corinthians 15:51-52]
Unfortunately, the vast majority of the Church is still struggling to understand what “the last trump” is and what it means to “be changed”. After 2000 years? It is sad. Very sad.
In Matthew 16:17, we read this, “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”
Who is going to be able to hear the teachings of the Spirit? The one who spends time with Him. It is as simple as that, God is not partial.
“Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.” [Proverbs 8:34 emphasis mine] It is the soul that waits and watches that will also hear.
As you begin to get understanding and enter into maturity in understanding the truth of God’s Word and awareness of His plan for His people, the potential of pride will be there, too. “Knowledge puffeth up, but charity (love) edifieth.” [1 Corinthians 8:1 emphasis mine]
It must be added, however, that with every revealed mystery of Scriptures is a responsibility. That responsibility is humility. Not everyone will receive the good Word of the Lord with joy like John the Baptist.
Apart from some who would leap at the entrance of the Word like John the Baptist, there are three other categories of your hearers. Some will hear and do nothing about what they heard.
God has prewarned that some will refuse to listen. “But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.” [Zechariah 7:11]
There will always be a Jannes and Jambres, an Alexander or Diotrephes who prefer to resist the truth and wallow in ignorance like the five foolish virgins who refused to make adequate preparations.
At such times, what would be your response? Call fire and brimstone down upon the hearers for rejecting the Word, like the sons of thunder tried to do? (Luke 9:54)
Or run away as Moses did when they rejected, pushed him aside and said to him, “Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?” [Acts 7:27]
The choice is yours. But as Jesus said, “What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.” [Mat 10:27]
“Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” [Matthew 5:15]
You owe it to God and the love of the Body of Christ to share the truth with His people. He has taken the time to invest in you and you cannot shut up because of rejection or persecution.
We are to remain humble amidst of negative and ignorant criticisms. But above all, we are to be patient and remain in love through prayer for the ignorant who reject the truth.
I conclude with the words of Peter, “For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” [2 Peter 1:11]