Media Sphere Promotes Another False Jesus

One of Proclaim 16’s “premiere supporters” has plans to release a new movie in the springtime. The story line depicts a “young messiah named Jesus” coming into his own, so to speak, performing miracles.

The Young Messiah (link)

“Discover the Savior when He was a child.”

When the mystery of Jesus’s divinity begins to unfold in His early years, He turns to His parents for answers. But Mary and Joseph, in an effort to protect their child, are afraid to reveal all they know. How do you explain the ways of the world to its Creator? How do you teach the Teacher? How do you help the Savior who came to save you?

The trailer begins with “Mary” speaking, “Listen well, for I am only going to tell the story once.” We see her sitting under a tree with a young boy, as she continues. “One morning my room filled with light and it spoke to me. It said from my womb would come a son, you, named ‘Jesus'”.

But is that the true context of the conversation according to the bible? Was Mary hearing only from a light that filled her room?

Luke 1:26And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Mary was talking to an angel, not to “it”, a light. So from the beginning the movie is playing down the important details of scripture. Jesus is the Son of God, born of a virgin, Mary who would conceive by the “overshadowing” of the Holy Spirit. A miracle in itself!

For with God nothing shall be impossible!

The truth is we don’t know much regarding the childhood of Jesus. The first time He comes on the scene after His birth and the mention of his circumcision, is told in Luke 2 when His parents, Joseph and Mary, lost track of him.

41Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. 42And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. 43And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. 44But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. 45And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. 46And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 47And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. 48And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 49And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? 50And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 51And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

In verse 50 it said they didn’t understand. Jesus knew things they did not, could not because it had not yet been revealed! Referring back to the quote questioning how they would explain…I don’t believe for a moment that they had to explain anything to Jesus. After all, He came to earth as a man, but He was still God. While I understand the concept is hard to grasp from a human mindset, we are called to believe. God will give us understanding. And on that note, it is apparent the writer does not know about the God he is supposedly revealing to the world. From the onset of the movie he denies the a great miracle, the one of the virgin birth of Christ and how it came to be!

We are living in a time where false signs and miracles are being sought after more and more. And we know the time is coming with the Antichrist will operate through them in ways we have not yet seen. They will be so astonishing that many will be blinded to the truth. I am added this blurb because we need to understand the difference between a wow factor and a real miracle. Jesus came moving in signs and wonders, performing miracles because He is God. For this movie to downplay the importance of the timing of His miracles and His ministry, and to imply they were happening during a time they were not is to deny who Christ truly is and why He came. We all know that God does things in His time and for His reasons. Jesus did not operate in miracles until His time. And it was during His first miracle, the wedding at Cana in John 2 when He reminded His mother of that very thing – the importance of timing!

Since at this point we only have a movie trailer and not a full movie to review, I found a link here  which details the movie story line.  The author does a very good job… contradicting himself. I have to say it is a very well written and emotional description of what is nothing more than a very dangerous practice – filling in where the bible is silent. I believe that our Lord in all of His wisdom had a reason for His silence. To speak in an area that He did not is another step into Gnosticism, or the need to understand things that we have no real way of knowing.

I’ll pull quotes. 🙂

Biopic of Jesus as a child becoming aware of his identity as the Son of God.

I saw an early screening of The Young Messiah that is set to release in March.
Written by Betsy and Cyrus Nowrasteh, and directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh.

I’m the guy who wrote the critique of the Noah script by Aronofsky that went viral and exposed its anti-Biblical agenda. I’m not a fundamentalist, but I represent and understand a significant huge proportion of the contemporary Christian viewing public who are totally okay with creative license when it comes to Bible movies, AS LONG AS YOU DON’T SUBVERT THE ORIGINAL MESSAGE. That’s what Noah did, and that’s what Exodus did. They subverted the Biblical narrative with their own paganism and atheism. And that is why they failed in terms of audience potential (along with just being plainly bad movies). Biblical fidelity is not about petty details, but about the meaning.

Remember his words – AS LONG AS YOU DON’T SUBVERT THE ORIGINAL MESSAGE

I looked up the word subvert just for kicks. It means to undermine power and authority of an established system. Oh.

I am here to say that the new film coming out in March, The Young Messiah, is NOT one of those films. The Young Messiah is a great movie, well told, and very faithful to the spirit of the Gospel of what it may have been like for the young seven-year old Jesus to come of age as the Son of God.

What it may have been like…may have been like…

It is adapted from Anne Rice’s Catholic novel, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt

If you aren’t aware Anne Rice was once famous for her vampire novels, then supposedly came to Christ and wrote a book on his younger years. So, where did she get her ideas from?

Remember, we aren’t subverting…

And while there are obviously some fictional miracle scenes, they are entirely within the parameters of possibility and don’t contradict Scripture. This is doctrinally safe imagination.

Fictional miracle scenes, fictional, meaning untrue..

Exactly what is doctrinally safe imagination?

Its’ subverting.

You see why I am shaking my head. I will let you read the rest of the article on your own.

Revelation 22:18 For I testify to every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book: 19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

I know many people believe that scripture applies to the book of Revelation only. But consider that Jesus Christ is referred to as the Word in John 1, how can we agree it doctrinally safe to proclaim events not written about Him?

No. I am not ok with this movie. It is not an avenue to gain biblical understanding even though there is some truth to it. But, without that mixture the lie wouldn’t be palatable.

Pray for the wisdom of others.

 

Christians, Or Not…

And the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch. The word Christian is only used three times in the New Testament. First, here in Acts 11:26 and again in 26:28, and later in 1 Peter 4:16.

Today, many claim to be Christians, regardless of what they believe or who they believe in, or even how they live. Here in America it seems a person can be considered a Christian just by claiming to be so. The word “Christian” is plastered all over the place, again as if stamping a program or teaching or song with that name makes it so. Today we even have teachers claiming people can be Muslim or Hindu and be Christian too. Some of us really don’t read even the most simplest words of our bibles, do we?

We, the redeemed in Christ seem to follow right along with these people, not questioning their behavior or beliefs, we simply accept what they claim as the truth and jump in beside them supporting them, working their programs, buying their music and training how to’s.  We do this with blindness – chosen blindness. How many times have you heard, “I don’t wanna judge”? Oh, really?

So, in thinking of some things I have witnessed this past year I started to realize there had to be a definitive. And there is. Jesus, our Messiah, never called His disciples “Christians”.  This is actually a term given to the disciples by unbelievers, or as the bible refers to them, “Gentiles”. But, the Lord called them followers, friends, disciples. One thing sets true disciples apart from all the rest. That one thing is still true today in the eyes of the Lord. It is a qualifier much overlooked and because it has been so overlooked our society has become confused in what a Christian, or a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ really is.

It is quite simple, really. In John 14:15 Jesus said “If you love me keep my commandments”.  Again in 15:14 Jesus said “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you”.  He said “If anyone loves Me he will keep My word” in John 14:23, and yet, in verse 24 Jesus explains “He who does not love Me does not keep My words”.

Yeah, consider those words for a moment because there is great truth within them. After all, they are the words of the one who died for us so that we could be called by His name. These are His standards, not mine.

To continue, in 1 John 5:2-3 we are told by the author “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

There’s really no getting around it, is there? If we love Jesus we do what His word tells us to do because we love Him. Those who come at us with other words or other ways claiming THE gospel; a new message by way of visitation cuz God’s doin’ a new thing; a new way to be a Christian cuz times and society have changed and so too must we; those who claim to love yet hurt others, the unrepentant, the unforgiving, the unloving…they cannot be called by His name. They are not His disciples because they do not love Him, they have not kept His words, and this is by their own choice.

Hmm…I told you it was simple.

Taking a Different Direction

As you have noticed, I am taking my blog in a different direction, and it is time. I have done quite a bit of exposing false teachings but I no longer want to chase around every crazy move that is made by these guys! Believe me there will be many more to come, and there may come a day when I need to go back to doing that. And you know, the things they say, the things they do, not one is original. They all regurgitate the same half eaten garbage and spout the same silly, self-made, prophetic words over and again. They have numbers for this and reasons for that. The most important thing they lack is the truth. It is quite exhausting. It is emotional. It takes more energy and patience than I am willing to continue to spend.

I’ve learned quite a bit, as I only set out to expose what I knew to be false. I never dreamed it would have taken me as far as it did. Much of my learning has come from my readers, those who have taken the time to better explain things to me, those who have prayed, other like-minded bloggers I have gotten to know. And so I will never take the credit for this journey. We have all shared in the road and most importantly we have benefited greatly from the Lord’s wisdom in those words. In the process I have learned much more about the precious word of God than what I came in with.  It only stands to reason, because how else would any of us be able to determine a false teaching from a true one? Iron does sharpen iron, even if you’re a woman.

It is sad to see Christianity peddled off as some do as you please, happy moment in time. It is not that way in the real world. Wake up America!  The happy go-to of “once saved, always saved” has gotten so far out of hand that it seems it no longer matters what we say or do as long as we say that one prayer. I wouldn’t be so comfy cozy in that idea. It may pack churches but it may not pack heaven.

Our God is a jealous God and He is not afraid to say so.  He doesn’t want us mixing in with unbelievers because when we do we become tainted with their beliefs and their practices. When that happened in the past, He sent a flood to wipe them out. All perished, except for a few true believers.  On another occasion when a golden calf was erected, He ordered its designers and worshipers killed that very night, only a small number stood by Him and lived. Why? Is He a mean God, bent on death and destruction? No. He is not. But He will have a pure following and He will go to great lengths to get one. Enter Jesus.

In Christ we are free from the bondage of sin, we are free from all the nutty laws that were designed to keep us in line through the control of evil men. We are forgiven of our sin through Him and stand pure before the Father. Somehow, the forgiveness we have been granted in Christ through the love of the Father God has been twisted into a kind of free for all, as we are being taught our worship methods no longer matter. But they do.

Our actions matter. How we live our lives and how we treat others matters a great deal. It matters to God how we handle His word, how we proceed in worship, and the actions we take after that initial repentance. There is much more to living the life of a Christian than speaking a simple one time prayer. To think otherwise borders on Universalism beliefs in that we will all make it to heaven. Not so. Our actions always portray our hearts and we need be careful that we don’t take that beautiful mercy and grace so freely given to us for granted.  We are called to make disciples and we do well to remember the need for ongoing repentance. That fear of God thing we so often hear about, is a good thing. It keeps us in line with all that is holy, all that is pure, all that is of God.

Jesus did pose the question if we love Him why will we not do what He has asked.

So, why?

_____________

Genesis 6:16-20

16 You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.

Exodus 20:1-6

 1 And God spoke all these words, saying:
2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Exodus 32:23-29

23 For they said to me, ‘Make us gods that shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ 24 And I said to them, ‘Whoever has any gold, let them break it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I cast it into the fire, and this calf came out.”
25 Now when Moses saw that the people were unrestrained (for Aaron had not restrained them, to their shame among their enemies), 26 then Moses stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, “Whoever is on the LORD’s side—come to me!” And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. 27 And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘Let every man put his sword on his side, and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.’” 28 So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day. 29 Then Moses said, “Consecrate yourselves today to the LORD, that He may bestow on you a blessing this day, for every man has opposed his son and his brother.”

Matthew 10:31-33

32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

Romans 6:3-6

3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

John 14:15

15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.

Mary Did You Know

Song written by Mark Lowery, video provided by “revjoecool”

Christ’s Birth Announced to Mary (from Luke 1)

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
29 But when she saw him,she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”
38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

The Song of Mary

46 And Mary said:

“ My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
54 He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
55 As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”

Glory in the Highest (Luke 2)

8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold,an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “ Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”

16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

*****

No, Jesus was not born on December 25, but that most precious event has been remembered, celebrated and revered on that day for generations. We, who know the Lord know this day is not about getting “stuff”,  just as it is not about a tree or tinsel or even the tons of fudge we will consume. No, it is about the Messiah – God coming to His people in the form of a man – Immanuel- to save sinners to eternal life. For anyone who calls on the name of Christ will be saved. It is to Him we revere and honor on this day, to Him we bow.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Acts 13:48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

Romans 10:8-10  But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”(that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

It is my prayer that you celebrate the birth of Christ and that the power and might of His love changes you forever. For He is mighty with the power to save. Blessed be His name Immanuel, and blessed be the day the Most High God visited His people in the flesh.

Merry Christmas

Bill Johnson Falsely Teaches Scripture

This is a clip sent to me by Heralding Truth who asked that I share it with as many possible. The best way for me to do that is to take it from the comment section where he posted it and put it as its own article. It’s pretty easy to catch the false teaching here! I wonder about those who claim we are healed, esp those who wear eyeglasses and undergo medical treatment.

Jesus healed all to prove that He was indeed sent by God. Jesus was not borne again; He was raised from the dead to prove again that He is God and that He has power over life and death! Context and understanding come from the teaching of scripture in its entirety, not from something that sounds good at the moment!

Out of the False Prophetic – A Short Testimony

Recently I had a woman contact me who I had given a “prophetic” word to a couple of years ago while at a women’s conference. We have been e-mailing back and forth since that day she contacted me, and I have been giving her some information to show her why the spirit that I had been operating under was not that of the Holy Spirit.

Our God does indeed work miracles today because this woman is able to see the truth. I am so grateful that the Lord is bringing her out of the false teaching and am very encouraged by this news. I know I have talked with many others here who at one point or another were also involved. Some of you I have talked with on the phone and through e-mailing. It has been an honor to help you, to hear your stories and to share in your lives.  And in return I have been helped by many of you through your experiences, your faith and your wisdom – and your prayers! Blessed be the name of the Lord. For it is only through Him that we are able to find the truth!

I know so many of us have been affected and even altered spiritually because of all the false teaching from Word of Faith, Bethel, the supernatural and the false prophetic and the many teachers and prophets who bring these heresies. We continue to see our God in His great mercy and love work in our lives and in the lives of those we pray for. This truly is the justice of the Lord! And so we continue to wage war against these lies of the enemy remaining confident that our Lord will see us through to the very end and we will stand with Him on that day. Please continue to pray for the deceived as well as the lost. There is hope – here is the testimony! Thank you Jesus! And thanks to all of you who take the risk to speak the truth the Lord has sown into your hearts and the truth of His word. We have this evidence that each of us had a part in this great testimony –  and there will be more.  BELIEVE it. 🙂

I am reminded of these verses – 1 Corinthians 3:7-9  So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9 For we are Gods’ fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.

Thank you for upholding the One who died for your sins – the one and only true Messiah Jesus Christ!

The Message distorts John 3:16-17

I just found this very important article from Suspicious Berean. I’ve been wanting to put up some info on The Message but haven’t gotten around to it yet. But here’s a good starting place. It is not a “simplified” version of the word of God! It is written heresy by a man -Eugene Peterson -who is NOT a Christian. The proof of that is in the message of The Message itself.

The Message distorts John 3:16-17

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:16-17, KJV

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. John 3:16-17, The Message

Some Bereans, such as Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon at The Berean Call, have commented about how Eugene Peterson in The Message alters the meaning of John 3:17. “That the world through him might be saved” is changed to “put the world right again,” which makes Jesus Christ sound more a social reformer than a saviour.

However, it’s also worth taking a look at what Mr. Peterson does to John 3:16. This is perhaps the most beloved verse in the Bible, and one that directly led me to put my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as my saviour. The word rendered as “everlasting” in the King James Version and “eternal” in most modern versions is the Greek word aionios. According to An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words by W.E. Vine (1940), “…it is used of persons and things which are in their nature endless…” Which is to say, “everlasting” or “eternal” are correct renderings of the word. However, The Message changes “everlasting life” to “a whole and lasting life.” “Whole and lasting” sounds a lot less impressive to me than “everlasting” or “eternal.” It sounds as though Mr. Peterson is more interested in promoting a better life on Earth than in preparing people for eternity.

The reader will also note the absence of the word “begotten” from verse 16. I haven’t time to reprint it here, but Mr. Vine’s dictionary has a lengthy explanation of the phrase “only begotten,” which is the Greek word monogenes. The phrase is unique to the writings of John, and is found five times (John 1:14; 1:18; 3:16; 3:18; and I John 4:9), always in reference to Christ as the Son of God. I’ve already posted on The Message’s refusal to use the phrases “Lord Jesus” and “Lord Jesus Christ,” and I don’t understand how such a perverse paraphrase can be seriously regarded as a “Bible.”

Stir up the Gift of God

Mike Ratliff at Possessing the Treasure does some very good work. Here’s some I found last night – 🙂 Be Blessed!

Stir Up the Gift of God

April 12, 2010 — Mike Ratliff

by Mike Ratliff

13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:13-16 ESV)

The way the gospel is presented in our time is backward. It is focused incorrectly. Instead of focusing on what God has done for us who have nothing in and of ourselves to warrant it; the way the gospel is given ever since I can remember is to attempt to make it appealing as if people should decide to try Jesus for 30 or 60 days to see if He makes a difference. What a joke! What blasphemy! To be honest, the closer I get to the front lines in serving my Lord, the more our enemy attacks me. The more I suffer. The more problems I have. However, I do not serve my Lord to get away from that stuff. I serve Him for His glory and my Lord went to the Cross for me so how can I seek the easy way out here and now?

If a person wants Jesus for personal gain then they are seeking another Jesus, not the one I know. The one I know has given me something far more valuable than anything this world has to offer. I have eternal life in Him and no matter how bad the circumstances or attacks from our enemy or medical conditions I must bear in this life, I know that my part until it is over is to stir up the gift of God given to me by Him in order for me to serve Him to edify the Body of Christ and bring Him glory. Therefore, I open the Word of God and teach as He directs.

3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:3-7 ESV)

3 Χάριν ἔχω τῷ Θεῷ, ᾧ λατρεύω ἀπὸ προγόνων ἐν καθαρᾷ συνειδήσει, ὡς ἀδιάλειπτον ἔχω τὴν περὶ σοῦ μνείαν ἐν ταῖς δεήσεσί μου νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας, 4 ἐπιποθῶν σε ἰδεῖν, μεμνημένος σου τῶν δακρύων, ἵνα χαρᾶς πληρωθῶ, 5 ὑπόμνησιν λαμβάνων τῆς ἐν σοὶ ἀνυποκρίτου πίστεως, ἥτις ἐνῴκησε πρῶτον ἐν τῇ μάμμῃ σου Λωΐδι καὶ τῇ μητρί σου Εὐνίκῃ, πέπεισμαι δὲ ὅτι καὶ ἐν σοί. 6 δι᾿ ἣν αἰτίαν ἀναμιμνῄσκω σε ἀναζωπυρεῖν τὸ χάρισμα τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὅ ἐστιν ἐν σοὶ διὰ τῆς ἐπιθέσεως τῶν χειρῶν μου· 7 οὐ γὰρ ἔδωκεν ἡμῖν ὁ Θεὸς πνεῦμα δειλίας, ἀλλὰ δυνάμεως καὶ ἀγάπης καὶ σωφρονισμοῦ.  (2 Timothy 1:3-7 GNT)

Paul tells Timothy that he thanks God for him and his sincere faith, which was also evident in his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. Because Paul was confident in the sincerity of Timothy’s faith, in v6, he reminds him ἀναζωπυρεῖν  “to fire again to life” τὸ χάρισμα τοῦ Θεου “the gift of the God” ὅ ἐστιν ἐν σοὶ διὰ τῆς ἐπιθέσεως τῶν χειρῶν μου· “which is in you through the setting on of the hands of me.” For a summary of this event read 1 Timothy 4:13-16, which I placed at the top of this post.  Paul is urging Timothy to do what? The word ἀναζωπυρεῖν refers “to keeping the fires alive.” Timothy had received spiritual gifts to serve the Body of Christ. Paul is concerned here with Timothy’s gifts of preaching, teaching, and evangelizing. All believers are stewards of the God-given gifts given to them. It is sinful to let them fall into disuse.

In v7 Paul gives us a hint of why Timothy may have been not using his gifts as he should have been. The word Paul used here that is translated as “fear,” δειλίας, can also be translated “timidity” or “cowardice.” It denotes a cowardly, shameful fear caused by a weak, selfish character. Timothy could have become more timid as the threat of Roman persecution escalated. Also, the Ephesian church resented Timothy’s leadership. This coupled with the many attacks from false teachers could have overwhelmed him. Paul is telling Timothy here that if he is withdrawing in fear then this “Spirit of δειλίας” is not from God. Instead, God has given us the πνεῦμα δυνάμεως καὶ ἀγάπης καὶ σωφρονισμου, the spirit of power and of love and of sober mind (self-control).

Instead of being fearful, we have all the spiritual resources we need for every trial and threat. This does not mean we will not have problems, attacks, or threats, but that we will have the right resources from Him to meet them. The Love here, ἀγάπης, centers on pleasing God and seeking what is best for others before one’s self. The mind-set σωφρονισμου is actually the opposite of fear and cowardice. The spirit of fear causes disorder and confusion. This spirit does the opposite. Why? It focuses on the sovereign nature and perfect purposes of our eternal God. Why is this important? When we more fully understand the sovereignty of God and surrender to it in more and more of our lives, the more godly wisdom and confidence in every situation we will have because we will be fully in line with Him and His will instead of being tossed in every direction by our circumstances.

How do we fan into flames the gift given to us by God that He gave us to enable us to serve the Body of Christ and bring Him glory? We must reject the πνεῦμα δειλίας, the spirit of fear, while embracing the πνεῦμα δυνάμεως καὶ ἀγάπης καὶ σωφρονισμου, the spirit of power and of love and of sober mind. We reject what is not from God and embrace that that we know is from God. This is huge. I suffer from a seizure disorder. Its worsening has coincided almost exactly with God’s elevation of this ministry. I have had several seizures since this condition returned in September last year. In fact, I had one just a week ago. I became spiritually fearful. I was bold when I wrote and taught, but the rest of the time I was not doing so well. I saw a picture of myself holding my grandson last week. It was about three days after the seizure. I looked haunted or worried. What has changed? I had a long talk with my brother about spiritual things. We talked about the spirit of fear and what this does to the boldness of those in ministry. I discovered that my physical symptoms had actually gotten worse. I felt awful. I felt all bound up. He, my wife, my daughter, my son-in-law, and my mother all laid hands on me last week and prayed for the spirit of fear to be gone. My brother did pray for my healing, that I would have no more seizures. That would be awesome, but I am celebrating the fact that the joy of Lord is most certainly back. I am no longer all bound up. The spirit of fear is gone. The boldness I have now is now also accompanied by a joy that is profound. The gift given to me by God has been fanned into flames!

8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. (2 Timothy 1:8-12 ESV)

The more God uses us in the Kingdom, the more we will be partakers in the suffering for the gospel by the power of God. This is just the way it is. Notice that our salvation and our calling are for God’s purposes not ours nor are they according to our works. When we have this mindset, we can endure anything.

Soli Deo Gloria!