Hello, dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! Awhile back I was talking with a sister-in-Christ who was concerned with a specific well known figure posting videos that clearly idolized America. It reminded me of something I learned a long time ago, which led to this episode. This was one of those topics that I had to drag my brother bee Patrick from Cave to the Cross into, because it’s too much fun not to! I am seriously so thankful for him joining me, and giving me so much of his time, to discuss what boils down to a mixing of Christianity with nationalism. The premise for today’s episode is the idea that George Washington created a covenant with God for America. We also discuss Jonathan Cahn’s The Harbinger, a great deal of philosophy, and theology. Below is a list of resources mentioned during the discussion, as well as a timestamped outline.Below is a list of resources mentioned during the discussion, as well as a timestamped outline. Also, if you didn’t get a chance to see last weeks MEGA list, I’m going to link to it here. Big news, y’all, Tulips & Honey Hub now officially has it’s own app! You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as Podbean, Amazon Music, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and in video form on YouTube. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
TS 00:05:15 – Tell us about your podcast and what’s coming up!
TS 00:08:30 – Who all have you interviewed?
TS 00:14:30 – What book are you currently working through and what’s coming up next?
TS 00:20:10 – Are there any books you guys won’t touch?
TS 00:26:15 – How did you get into philosophy and why is it so important?
TS 00:32:45 – Challenging Patrick to segue from philosophy into today’s topic Muahaha
TS 00:38:15 – Did GW make a covenant with God?
TS 00:45:00 – Can we be thankful to be in a specific country?
TS 01:10:00 – What is the best way to help families/friends who are caught up in books like The Harbinger?
TS 01:20:00 – Point #1 Exegesis
TS 01:26:10 – Point #2 Nothing in context has to do with future events.
TS 01:27:45 – Point #3 How is this different than other false prophecies?
TS 01:31:20 – Point #4 Can it be applied to anything else?
TS 01:38:30 – How will you handle the rebuke from God on the day of judgement due to your sinful indulgence of pineapple pizza?
Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! Recently I had the privilege of interviewing Dave Jenkins regarding his recent book The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy & What to Do about It. Dave graciously spent time discussing the current trend of illiteracy within the professing church, as well as covering the importance of study, church history, his testimony, and a lot more! This book is a fantastic read, I enjoyed the style as well as the mixture of historical and theological points, and recommend it to all ages.
Below is a timestamped outline of today’s episode, as well as the links to find the book and the author. Also, if you didn’t get a chance to see last weeks MEGA list, I’m going to link to it here. Big news, y’all, Tulips & Honey Hub now officially has it’s own app! You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as Podbean, Amazon Music, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and in video form on YouTube. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
TS 00:01:30 – Dave Jenkin’s testimony
TS 00:08:20 – Why did you become an author?
TS 00:10:20 – How did you get to know Costi Hinn?
TS 00:13:45 – Why is it important for believers to understand Church history?
TS 00:16:40 – Who is your favorite theologian that you’ve quoted?
While waiting in the E.R. my youngest brother says to me, “Tami, I’m dying.” This was already understood by the whole family but he had never said those words before. After a few seconds, I broke the silence with, “Well, we are all dying, none of us get out of this life alive.” I know that probably sounded insensitive but it was true. But I also desperately wanted my brother to think deep and hard about the statements we were both making. I then asked him if he got right with God and repented of his sins. Our conversation pretty much fizzled out after he said, “Yes, I did. “ I so needed him to understand that he did need to repent for the sin in his life, he wasn’t innocent, none of us are. The conversation was awkward, to say the least, but awkward was the word of the day it seemed. You could cut the air with a knife it was so obvious I was offending him. He was in constant pain and organs were failing, I had to try and wake him up before it was too late.
You see, according to my brother he was saved and didn’t need to worry about his judgment day because just a few years earlier he was in a church that had an altar call in which the person next to him said, “Do you want to go to the front?” The look on his face said, no way, as he just stood there silently watching it all but the person was so persistent, they took him by the arm and lead him to the front of the church. He seemed to go reluctantly so as not to call attention to himself but they shouldn’t have done that to him, it needed to be his choice, not theirs. Besides, I didn’t agree with the whole alter call farce in the first place. https://www.gotquestions.org/altar-calls.html
My brother followed through, repeated a sentence, and they said he was saved. He walked away that day believing that was all it took. My brother continued in the same old ways he did before and I never did see a change in him in the years that followed. He never expressed a desire to even talk about God or what the Scripture said. In fact, he hated it whenever I did, which was all the time. Many times, he would humor me and listen briefly until he became exhausted with it and changed the subject. He claimed he didn’t need to talk about Jesus anymore because he was saved. One time he said, “Tami, I know Jesus, stop worrying about me” but I replied, “Satan knows Jesus, but that means nothing.” Anyone can claim they know Jesus but do they really? Just because they go to church, just because they pray at a meal or talk about Him means nothing. It’s not just knowing of Jesus that makes someone a Christian but desiring to know about Jesus and living our lives for Him that brings about change in us and gives us hope for our eternity. My brother didn’t live a life that reflected Jesus or salvation. I say this because God says in Matthew 7:16-20~ “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”
This means we can know a person by how they live, what kind of character they have; do they live as a Christian and show evidence of salvation? This can give us an idea of their spiritual life and if they truly are living as a person that is saved. Any one of us could look at a friend or loved one and judge by how they live if they know ‘OF’ Jesus or really ‘KNOW’ and love Jesus. If your best friend never goes to church and has a record of cheating and lying, then just because they say they know Jesus and are a Christian means nothing. At the same time, this doesn’t mean that when that person dies, they can’t turn to Christ in the very last hour of their life and be forgiven and saved, as the thief on the cross did. Luke 23:39-43 talks of a thief nailed to a cross for his crimes and as he hung next to Jesus he repented and acknowledged Jesus as his Lord. Jesus tells us he went to paradise with Him. Remember salvation isn’t based on how perfect you are but on our faith in Jesus as the perfect sacrifice. The thief was lost one moment, found the next, what a celebration!
Just as the thief got a chance to know Jesus, in John 9 a blind man also gets to know Jesus. When Jesus meets the blind man, He explains that the man was born blind so that God’s works might be displayed in him, and then Jesus heals him. The Pharisees brag to the blind man that God speaks to Moses and they are disciples of Moses but Jesus is a sinner and they don’t know where he comes from. The blind man says in John 9:31, 33, “You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” In John 9: 35-38 Jesus asks the blind man if he believes in the Son of Man and the man asks, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him? Jesus said to him, You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you. He said, Lord, I believe, and he worshiped him. The Pharisees ask Jesus, Are we also blind? But Jesus answers, If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.”
It’s important to understand that the blind man comes to know who Jesus truly is because he was given the gift to understand and comprehend through his sight. After Jesus heals him, he realizes that Jesus was from God and proclaims his ignorance of who Jesus is and his need to see spiritually so he could worship Him. The Pharisees on the other hand had the gift of sight but were spiritually blind because they had the opportunity to see the truth. They claimed to know God yet wrongfully accuses Jesus of being a sinner and not from God. They willingly remained in sin and rejected the truth to not believe in Jesus, making them guilty.
Now, I do not think Jesus is saying that blind people don’t have the ability to know Him, because they do. They can hear the stories of Jesus in the Scripture today and be presented with the Gospel but back then Jesus was making a point that the blind man didn’t have the same opportunities as the Pharisees. He couldn’t read, no one shared with him the knowledge of who Jesus was, he couldn’t ‘see’ the works of God’s creation to be without excuse as explained in Romans 1:19-20 but that people can be guilty of sin when they have opportunities to know the truth as the Pharisees did but then reject it.
We can read more on the meaning of that verse here, “Barnes’ Notes on the Bible~ “If ye were blind – If you were really blind and had no opportunities of learning the truth. If you were truly ignorant and were willing to confess it and to come to me for instruction. No sin – You would not be guilty. Sin is measured by the capacities or ability of people, and by their opportunities of knowing the truth. If people had no ability to do the will of God, they could incur no blame. If they have all proper ability, and no disposition, God holds them to be guilty. This passage teaches conclusively: 1) that people are not condemned for what they cannot do. 2) That the reason why they are condemned is that they are not disposed to receive the truth. 3) That pride and self-confidence are the sources of condemnation. 4) That if people are condemned, they, and not God, will be to blame. We see – We have knowledge of the law of God. This they had pretended when they professed to understand the law respecting the Sabbath better than Jesus, and had condemned him for healing on that day. Your sin remaineth – You are guilty, and your sin is unpardoned. People’s sins will always be unpardoned while they are proud and self-sufficient, and confident of their own wisdom. If they will come with humble hearts and confess their ignorance, God will forgive, enlighten, and guide them in the path to heaven.”
Saying we know Jesus just doesn’t mean much if we turn from Him in our lives as the Pharisees did. The criminal and blind man came to faith but the ones that were seen as a religious sect that accepted the Old Testament as inspired by God didn’t. When I talk about the thief, the blind man, and the Pharisees these were men that didn’t know Jesus and when presented with the truth, they were all given the opportunity to believe in Jesus. So, what about people that don’t have the ability to understand the truth when presented to them such as babies and the mentally disabled? What happens to them at death.
In 2 Samuel 12:22-23, we read about the death of David’s infant son, “He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
This shows that David had found comfort knowing he will see his child again but only by going to the same place his child went. We can only assume he believes the child is in heaven. He was in such sorrow while the child lay sick but after his child passed away David appears to have peace about where he believes his child to be and he stops fasting, cleans up, worships, and eats. David knows about God’s mercy and grace and believes the Lord will show his mercy and grace on his child and they will be together in heaven someday.
It’s always heartbreaking when a baby passes but looking at the story of David can bring us comfort as well. It’s common for people to wonder where babies go when they die or even the mentally disabled. How can we know for certain? Babies, and mentally disabled don’t know any better and don’t understand even what a sinner is, or why they need to repent, and even more so, know who Jesus is. You could explain the gospel to them a dozen times and they would never have the ability to understand it. That’s the difference, the blind man was given the opportunity to know the truth and he understood it yet with babies and mentally disabled they can’t comprehend the truth even if they were presented with the opportunity. Scriptures don’t specifically talk about where babies or the mentally disabled go after death. The only thing we have to go on to gain any knowledge from is within the Scripture’s accounts that speak of those that have died and by knowing the character of God such as in the story of the thief, the blind man, and David. Unfortunately, some faiths add to or take away from Scriptures to fit their own man-made beliefs such as infant baptism. Baptism is biblical but infant baptism is not. Some believe infants should be baptized so if they die, they go to heaven. Biblically, baptism doesn’t save babies or anyone, instead, it is a profession of faith, and a baby can’t profess faith in Jesus not to mention, Jesus wasn’t even baptized till he was an adult, which should tell us something. Baptism illustrates Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection and is done publicly of one’s own choice in a desire to express their love for Christ in the washing away of sins and believing the old life has died and a new life begins. It represents the dying of our flesh by fully being submerged in water (just as people that die are completely buried in the ground and not just sprinkled with a handful of dirt). Then when we rise from the water, we are a new person through Christ and have the hope of resurrection and eternal life. A new believer often shows evidence of their salvation by the desires for a biblical baptism. A lost person normally wouldn’t desire that at all. So, basically, baptism is pointless to a baby or someone that is mentally disabled because they are not capable of understanding the meaning behind it.
Matthew 18:1–6, and Matthew 19:13–15, are comforting examples of how God loves children and says for believers to be like children. He speaks of them being the greatest in the kingdom and that the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. I think of all the small children and infants that have died through abuse, abortion, and sicknesses and are in heaven now. God’s character is shown through such gentle words that bring much peace.
The reality of how short life is becomes painfully clear when a child dies. Life is short no matter what because the moment we are born we start to die, some faster than others. Job 14:1~“Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble.” Compared to eternal life it is but a blink which is why God commands us to share the gospel to help people know the Lord and find salvation before they die. Once a person dies there are no more chances to get right with the Lord. Although God does the saving and ordained us before birth to be sealed for salvation, we are still called by God to point people back to Christ and His Word and share the gospel. We will never know the true outcome of anyone we share the gospel with but we just need to be obedient, reach out to the lost, and speak the truth.
Unlike the thief on the cross spending his life as a criminal yet becoming heaven-bound in his last moments with Christ, there are people that live their whole life as Christians doing good works on a daily basis yet will be Hell-bound without Christ. The word ‘Christian’ is a title that anyone can claim and anyone can fake but one thing’s for certain, they can never deceive the Lord. Anyone can say they read the Bible and know Jesus, remember, Satan knows Jesus! The question we need to ask is, does the Lord know us? Well, of course, our Lord knows everyone, but that’s not what I’m getting at. If you don’t have faith in Jesus and desire to seek after truth, even though you defiantly have the opportunity to you won’t know the Father’s will and instead, you will believe in things not of God. Then He will declare to you He NEVER knew you. Matthew 7:21-23~“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”
This is stating that they are not identified as true believers. They believe in a different god, a different Jesus. They may seem like a good Christian when they brag about doing good deeds like prophesying, casting out demons, and doing many good works in the name of God but that will not get them into Heaven because God sees right through them and knows their hearts.
When a person dies, no number of good deeds spoken at their funeral will get them into Heaven either. In fact, normally people speak about the deceased as a good person who’s in Heaven with Jesus now and suggest they are no longer suffering. I can only assume people say these things because they don’t know what else to say and they desire to comfort those in pain. There isn’t anything bad in what they say except biblically it’s misleading because we don’t know where they are. Sure, in some cases, there are people who do go to Heaven but not everyone. When people die, they ARE with Jesus but for the purpose of being judged, Hebrews 9:27~ ”And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after thatcomes judgment,”Revelation 20:11–15tells us that the dead stand before the throne and are judged according to what they had done and if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Matthew 7:13–14 speaks of the difficulty in going to Heaven and says it’s a narrow gate and only a few will find it but many will go to the wide gate that will lead to Hell. Doesn’t seem like very good odds. When anyone dies, they are judged; they stand face to face with God but will they remain in His presence or be cast out? I’d like to challenge you that for every funeral you go to, remember these verses. This should cause you great concern for the lost. It shouldn’t be easy to assume everyone you know is Heaven bound because the truth is more people will go to Hell. This is why the saying, they aren’t suffering anymore, isn’t true for everyone either. For those that are condemned to Hell, it is a place of torment and pain. In the Bible, even the rich man in Hell wanted to warn his family about it but couldn’t. One of the more disturbing phrases I’ve heard at funerals is, “they are looking down on you” or “they are watching over you.” For many, this also means the dead are active or invested in the lives of the living somehow. Unexplained activity is often blamed on dead loved ones suggesting the dead are ghosts. Ghosts are not real, but demons are and they are not to be messed with. Turn to the Lord, ask for forgiveness, and pray, for He is the only one they fear. Just as people believe the dead watch over them, some believe Saints in Heaven are a bit different because they are seen as holy and will come to watch over us if we pray to them. They have been credited with helping people find lost articles and even selling houses, none of which is biblical.
After someone dies, they do not remain on earth or come back from Heaven or Hell because in 2 Corinthians 5:8, the Bible tells us that when we are absent from the body, we are present with the Lord. Hebrews 9:27 says man dies once then judged. Revelation 20:11–15 tells us the dead are judged and if they are not in the book of life they are thrown into the lake of fire.
So, it’s apparent that the only one that watches over us is our Lord. Psalm 121:7-8~ The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. It is also written in 1 John 5:18 that Jesus holds us securely, and the evil one cannot touch us. Jeremiah 1:19 says the Lord rescues. Psalm 3:5 says the LORD was watching over His children. Psalm 31:23 says “the LORD preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full.” If God is watching over us, then why would we want anyone else doing that? What makes us think our loved ones in Heaven want to watch over us when they are in a place that is so wonderful? I’m thinking I wouldn’t waste my time watching over anyone on Earth when I have all the wonders of Heaven to explore. Those in Hell wouldn’t be able to either or care because sadly they are suffering. Nowhere in Scriptures do we read the dead in Heaven or Hell are able or even unable to watch over us. But we can be sure that if they are watching us, they will be in complete agreement with the Lord’s dealings on earth. Those in Heaven are changed to have perfect understanding and complete peace with God’s will. There is a time where those in Heaven will follow Christ into battle and witness the wrath of God taking place as He kills and destroys everyone who’s evil.
My heart ached so badly when my brother died because all I knew of him was his fruits and they were not good fruits. Sure, there were times he was kind and had ways of bringing laughter to people but again being nice doesn’t get you to Heaven, it’s having faith in Jesus and being transformed in the mind and heart through salvation. You hate sin and desire to live a righteous life. The only thing I can hope for is that my brother had a ‘thief on the cross’ moment that was truly genuine and humble just before he died. God shows us an act of love in giving us the ability to repent and be forgiven but only while we live.
1 John 2:2~“He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” God provides THE way to the Father through Jesus; we can’t find Him in any other way. God is also so merciful to forgive but we mustn’t forget that God is also just, which means our sins must be punished. In order for us to escape punishment, Jesus must cover us with His blood and if we deny that gift then we pay for our sins apart from Jesus. Someday God will come calling for us all and you will either stand guilty before the throne of God or you will stand covered by the blood of Jesus and forgiven.
Everyone’s days are numbered and no one knows when God has appointed us to take our last breath. But think for a moment when we do, what is going to be the last thing we leave behind? What will be the last words from our lips? Are we going to leave something that honors God or will shame God? What will people say about you?
I know I deserve hell because I’m a wretched person but I am also grateful and thankful that God called me to be saved and Jesus has covered my sins and I will someday be in the presence of God for eternity. Not because of any good deeds I did or because I’m a swell person-I’m not. I can only brag that Jesus was the reason I was saved, changed, and forgiven at all. I don’t deserve any credit or a “Well done good and faithful servant”.
Do you have the assurance of salvation? “1 John 5:11–13, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life”. Who is it that has the Son? It is those who have believed in Him (John 1:12). If you have Jesus, you have life. Not temporary life, but eternal.”
Above is an article written by Tami Dykes, Gina and Tami write Through the Narrow here at Tulips & Honey Hub. They’ll be posting articles every other Tuesday. Both are published authors, you can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here. We’re blessed to have them apart of our team, and pray their writing will be as edifying to you as it is to us. – Lauren Hereford
Sharing the Gospel is the command of the Lord, the joy and duty of a Christian and often times where believers struggle most in their walk with Christ. Either we labor too long in trying to reach the obstinate mockers and become gravely discouraged or we find ourselves around the rankest of sinners and immediately tuck and run for the nearest exit. Mission abort.
It’s the undiscerning pearl “casters” vs. the fainting pearl “clutchers”.
We can be either one at any given time. I know I have! These are not identities I believe a Christian has continually. There are moments, maybe many, where we tend to fall in one or the other category depending on the situation.
Why am I talking about pearls?
Pearls are mentioned a few times in Scripture, usually used metaphorically in communicating the value of the Word and Kingdom of God (see Job 28:18, Matthew 7:6, 13:45-46.)
Pearls were the most valuable gem obtainable at that time. If you had pearls, you had a fortune. They were THE symbol of great wealth. They were the rare diamonds of the time. Their beauty and, most importantly, what it took to acquire them attributed to their high value.
A pearl diver in ancient times would risk a lot to get them. Dr. John MacArthur explains,
“Basically, what they did was tie rocks to their body and then jump off the side of the little boat and go to the bottom amidst all the monsters of the deep that they would know little about, and the sharks and whatever else, and they would scour the bottom in the mud trying to come up with those oysters, holding one long deep-drawn breath, and fearing lest they go too deep and burst and die. And they would come up with these treasures.
And when once discovered, a pearl that was of perfection and beauty would be worth literally an unnamed price, incredibly valuable. So valuable are they that the Talmud says, “Pearls are beyond price.””
So who are the spiritual swine this verse is talking about exactly and why not share the Gospel with them? Aren’t we to share Christ with all the world? (Mark 16:15, John 17:18)
“Swine” doesn’t refer to all unbelievers but only to unbelievers who are particularly disrespectful, resistant to and hostile towards the Gospel. These are pig-headed people; existing proudly in their muck and having no concern over what is truly valuable. They will treat it with contempt and attack.
Remember the command for the disciples in Matthew 10:14 to “shake the dust off your feet”?
“And whoever does not receive you nor listen to your words, as you leave that house or city, shake the dust off your feet.”
It was the swine-like unbelievers had to leave behind. These people did not see any value in the truth nor would they pay any cost for it (Luke 14:28). They were the spiritual “swine” that mock and reject the truth of God.
We even read about Jesus Himself refusing to “cast pearls to the swine”. In Matthew 21:27 when the chief priests and elders questioned Christ’s authority it ended with Him saying, “Neither am I telling you by what authority I do these things.”
Matthew 27:12-14 says, “And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He did not offer any answer. Then Pilate *said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they are testifying against You?” And still He did not answer him in regard to even a single charge, so the governor was greatly amazed.
“And the disciples came up and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” And Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.” Matthew 13:10-11
Sadly for them, the conversation was over and the door was shut. There was nothing more to say. Their rejection of what was most precious brought upon His rejection of them.
This doesn’t mean we know for sure one who seems to be a swine will never become a sheep. We don’t have the ability to see as God sees. Yet, if they are being swine at the time we must dust off and move on. We must trust God to use any seeds already planted and prayerfully walk on as we leave them with His warning for their soul. We take our pearls elsewhere and trust the Lord with it all. Our hands are clean and He is glorified.
We admire the passion of the pearl caster to share Truth. The Gospel is paramount in our Christian life. It is the power of God for salvation. We are to go into the world and give the Good News. After all, how can one know Jesus without hearing about Him? As Romans 10:14 says, “How then are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed? How are they to believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher?”
This is true. However, God wants us to know caution must be exercised regarding the pointless and exhausting chucking of what is most valuable to those who refuse to receive it. The Kingdom is a priceless treasure, never to be treated with contempt. The value of this “pearl” is incomprehensible.
God says in Matthew 13:45, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold everything that he had and bought it.”
The wise understand and appreciate the value of it. They know it’s worth their livelihood, even their own life. Some who look like possible swine from a glance may be the very ones who appreciate the Truth the most.Clutching Your Pearls
Jesus did not keep priceless pearls from the lepers, prostitutes, swindlers, and the like. He was ridiculed for His compassion for the drudge of society. He saw them, He called them out of their filth and they responded in faith. He is the Healer of those who know they need healing. When the Good News was cast to them they received it with great joy.
Pearl “clutchers”, or perhaps one could refer to them as “Jonah-ites”, can have the tendency to cling tightly to their precious pearls as they look upon the sinfulness of this world in horror. Perhaps a particular sinner, the most repulsive and intimidating kind, has the Christian clutching and running rather than sharing and trusting. They quickly retreat in the opposite direction without allowing the Word of God to be cast at all.
The “clutchers” do well to hang on to the Word of God. They cling to it with love, especially during times of distress and difficulty. To them it is precious but at times forget it’s not just for them. Again we are to go into the world to reach the lost for Christ (John 17:18). We can’t be picking and choosing who gets to hear it according to outward appearance, biases or fears.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God does not see as man sees, since man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
We don’t want to be like Jonah, running away from the people who need to hear it and are actually willing to receive it. We don’t want to be more concerned about our earthly comfort than one’s eternal torment. Don’t be Jonah in the sense of retreating to your shelter without a care for the souls of your least favorite sinners. Jonah was more concerned about a withered shade plant for himself than the possible torment of a large group of people.
“Then the Lord said, “You had compassion on the plant, for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. Should I not also have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 people, who do not know the difference between their right hand and their left, as well as many animals?” Jonah 4:10-11
As Christ has compassion, so should we. And not only compassion but courage and confidence in the Word and work of God.
“Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.” John 6:68
The priceless pearl of the eternal kingdom of God is worth whatever cost we may need to pay here. There is a sacrifice to having the finest of pearls and perhaps great cost in our attempts to share them with the world. One thing is for sure, we have nothing without what is most precious. No one does.
“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them mere rubbish, so that I may gain Christ,” Philippians 3:8
Let us strive to not mishandle, dishonor, or hoard the Pearl of great value!
Above is an article written by Gina Cook, Gina and Tami write Through the Narrow here at Tulips & Honey Hub. They’ll be posting articles every other Tuesday. Both are published authors, you can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here. We’re blessed to have them apart of our team, and pray their writing will be as edifying to you as it is to us. – Lauren Hereford
How did the church go from 1st century Apostolic teaching all the way to completely rejecting the Gospel? Let’s see where things went wrong and what we can learn from them today.
Hello, dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! I’m very excited to be dropping a new episode on the podcast today. As Reformation Day fast approaches I thought it would be helpful to look back through Church History at the moments that led to the need for reform. How did the church go from 1st century Apostolic teaching all the way to completely rejecting the Gospel? Let’s see where things went wrong and what we can learn from them today.
Don’t forget to stick around for the fun blooper real at the end, and check out the links I’ve added in the timestamped outline below. Also, if you didn’t get a chance to see last weeks MEGA list, I’m going to link to it here. Great news, y’all, Tulips & Honey Hub is now officially available on Amazon’s new Podcasting app! You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and in video form on Youtube. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Years ago I was invited to attend a “salvation party” for a young lady who had just made a profession of faith in Christ. I’ll call her “Anne”. It was the first time I had heard of such a party. Out of profound curiosity and my heart for Anne, I went. We gathered at a local restaurant, with cake and gifts in tow.
I noticed the people most excited were the ones throwing the party, the ones who had witnessed to her. Anne sat appearing unsure and distant.
One could think she was just an introvert who didn’t like the fuss of a party, or that it was a bit too silly for her taste- I would have agreed with her. Perhaps she was thinking what I was thinking….is she…. saved? I silently prayed for her and tossed around in my head the question, “how did anyone really know she was saved when she was saved a few days ago?” I mean, salvation is worthy of celebration, don’t get me wrong, yet she had just come to faith and from what I was hearing and seeing from her there was no fruit, no evidence, and most noticeably, no joy.
Sadly, a brief amount of time later, she fully returned to her old lifestyle with limited interest of anything Christian. I would gather with the ladies who had been ministering to Anne and would hear concerns of how she was hard to get a hold of, not desiring to go to church, any church, and no longer interested to meet with them for Bible study. It all seemed to be too much for Anne.
I may not have been entirely surprised but my heart hurt. After the gentle urging from those who had been discipling her and celebrating her salvation, she withdrew further and pushed every single Christian out of her life. It was growing apparent that her salvation wasn’t true. I can imagine the embarrassment she might have felt- leading these people to believe she was saved, having a party and investing so much time in her, being told she shouldn’t question her salvation, being embraced and encouraged as a Christian, not having those convictions herself and not being able to honestly walk the walk– I would imagine she just wanted to run and hide.
I decided to bring it up with the few that encouraged her salvation party and asked why they were so sure Anne was saved. They quickly responded with, “she said she believed in Jesus!” “She asked for forgiveness!” “She was remorseful and sincere!”
But did she really WANT Jesus? Was it true repentance? Did they convince her or was she convicted?
I believe it’s important to clarify that we don’t have to doubt a profession of faith from someone and tell them we cant believe it until they start showing consistent fruit. That’s not supported in Scripture. The problem is the premature celebrations and confident declarations of what has happened in someone else’s heart, especially when not looking at the glaring inconsistencies in their behavior. We prayerfully hope for the genuineness of their faith while discipling them, loving them and reminding them to examine themselves.
“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” 2 Corinthians 13:5
In Scripture, we read about people being saved, and with fervor for the Lord and His Word, they follow Him. They desire to know His Word, to know Him, and obey Him. We also read false followers can look the part at first but then drop the half-hearted desire to follow Christ as soon as the road gets a little bumpy or when the world lures them back into the cesspool of empty pleasures and promises.
“These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. In a similar way, these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” Mark 4:15-19
I remember telling those who loudly proclaimed of Anne’s salvation, no one should have to be convinced this hard to follow Christ and to read his Word if they are truly saved. No true Christian will bolt and hide from anything truly Christian. No true Christian will have to be taken by the hand and pulled into church.
Even though the lady lacked good fruit, they still refused for a while to believe that they may have been presumptuous. “Perhaps”, they said, “she needs to just be encouraged more in her salvation.” Sadly, they already did that to her when they shouldn’t have. Now she was running harder away from Christ.
A few years later, I saw “Anne” standing up in front of a church to give her testimony and to be baptized. It seemed those ladies had been able to reach her again and “encourage” her. I hoped perhaps she had finally come to faith and repentance. Yet as soon as she opened her mouth, my heart sank. I noticed in her testimony she seemed to be looking for Jesus and a feeling of salvation in her baptism. Not sure how this passed the test of the leadership when they met with her prior, that’s another story for another day. And just like before, she vanished shortly after. The ladies tried again to encourage her in her salvation. She was being pulled by Christians, without being led by the Holy Spirit.
Sadly this lady wasn’t the first person I saw being prematurely lauded as a Christian. In a Bible study I had been a part of for years, a new lady came in and listened to the Gospel. She cried as it was presented to her. The study leader decided to lead her in the sinners prayer, doing the “repeat after me” thing.
The lady repeated the prayer with such emotion that it moved me, I must admit but after the prayer, the leader declared she was now saved. The way it was said was off-putting. “Welcome to the family!” He exclaimed.
She was overjoyed. After a few times of coming back to the study, we noticed the joy soon faded and she quickly darted fast and far away from anything truly Christian. My heart sank as the months/years went by and she seemingly sprinted harder from the Lord.
I wish those two women were the only false conversions I’ve witnessed over the years. It’s heartbreaking to see one profess then slip away, yet it’s even more heartbreaking to see it being encouraged by Christians who should know better. They seem so eager to see these precious souls saved and to share with the world all about it that they fail to realize they may have encouraged a false convert to believe something that wasn’t true.
You’ll find in most evangelical churches every single child in a particular family are baptized. Like clockwork, each of their children around the age of five wanted Jesus. First off, what small child in church doesn’t say that? You are likely not to find one. The parents continually remind them that they are Christian and to take communion despite very little, if any, fruit. Then in their teen years they are given emotional highs in youth programs and camps and being told those highs, those tears, are the work of God in their hearts. Christ is this super amazing cool Lord. Three weeks later or so, no more highs and no more interest in Christ. It saddens me to see the leadership getting in front of the church shortly after these kids make an emotionally driven profession and proclaiming they are in Christ, HAULLELUIA!
Such exuberant and immediate declarations without a stitch of real fruit.
One church leader used passages such as Acts 2:40-42 to explain why they believe we are to immediately celebrate professions and declare them saved:
“And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
Actually, that passage makes my point exactly. Notice the phrase, “Continually devoting”.
A Christian will drop the world and follow Christ. The will devote themselves to Him. They will not have to be forced to worship the Lord, to care about His Word, to gather with other believers or to desire to live for Him. They will be devoted to the truth. They will desire to be baptized out of obedience. They will devote to the Gospel. Sure, they will need from other Christians direction, clarity, and encouragement to know better how to live for Christ, but they will be willing and ready.
It’s also important to note what was going on at the beginning of the Church age, with Apostles uniquely moved by the Holy Spirit, isn’t exactly how it’s going to look, or necessarily should look, in the Church today.
If a person knows the Gospel, seems to really desire to follow and obey Him and wants to baptized, that’s wonderful. They should be baptized under the leadership of a sound church and be spurred on to good works.
There is no way we can read the heart of any person, we are not God (1 Kings 8:39 and Acts 15:8) but there is fruit that should show, especially in time. There needs to be fruit of a changed life, changed perspective on sin, changed relationship goals, changed motives…etc. When the people in Scripture came to true faith, they devoted themselves to the ways of Christ. They didn’t need to be continually convinced and coerced to follow Him. The fervor to serve Him was evident. They picked up their cross. They grew in love and good works. They had hope and joy.
So why do some church leaders feel compelled to decree and declare a professor’s salvation? Why, when some of these professing Christians show no real fruit or when giving warning signs, christians around them sweep it under the rug and dismiss them, excusing it without question or discussion?
Some pastors seem to hear the supposed salvation successes and frequent baptisms in other churches, as well as, reading passages such as the one above and believe that is what they are supposed to be experiencing in their own ministry. Perhaps it stems from not seeing people saved and transformed so instead of trusting God and just being faithful with the preaching of the Word, they want to force the round peg in the square hole. They want Acts 2:41-42 to be their experience so bad that they neglect to remember the obvious – salvation comes when the Lord chooses it to. It’s all to be done in His timing and in His way.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;” Ephesians 2:8.
“for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.” 1 Thessalonians 1:5.
Some leaders are weak in their own faith and begin to wonder where God is when the land seems barren. They are desperate to see movement, to see life. Many times they fabricate conversions without even knowing it.
With that all said, we have to remember we can’t always know if someone is a false convert. Judas Iscariot fooled the other eleven (John 13:21-22), Simon fooled Philip for a time with his deep interest and desiring to be baptized (Acts 8:9-24).
Matthew 13:28-30 explains that it can be impossible to tell the difference. Tares look almost identical to the wheat until the head matures. That’s the devil’s scheme – to plant tares in the Church and grow discord.
The most sufficient way to protect against tares is Truth. The whole, hard, sufficient, and unwavering Truth. Be diligent, discerning, and dogmatic. Truth reveals hearts.
“Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, “For this reason, I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father. As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. John 6:60-68
The tares will not count the cost, will not stick around to follow Christ into the difficult places.
“They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.” 1 John 2:19.
We don’t get to declare the hearts of those who make a profession. We aren’t to be their conviction. Their salvation is between them and the Lord. We encourage what the Scripture says about salvation, we urge them to go to Lord in repentance and faith and we trust the Lord to save whomever He saves. And fruit matters. Simply professing means nothing, especially when there is no cost.
If we play the role of persuader and declarer we may very well encourage tares to ignore the constant nagging in their conscience that there is a problem with their relationship with the Lord. The embarrassment of admitting the truth to all those who celebrated their salvation in a “rebirthday party” could prove to be their biggest stumbling block.
Have joy in someone’s profession of faith but know only the Lord can see the heart. Everyone must work out their salvation.
Above is an article written by Gina Cook, Gina and Tami write Through the Narrow here at Tulips & Honey Hub. They’ll be posting articles every other Tuesday. Both are published authors, you can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here. We’re blessed to have them apart of our team, and pray their writing will be as edifying to you as it is to us. – Lauren Hereford
These past few months I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned some things about myself through quarantine, recovery from COVID-19, and watching what little news I could tolerate about all societal chaos. I realized more and more that resting is necessary. Spiritually resting in the Lord’s power and Word, of course, mentally resting from the onslaught of opinions and “news”, emotionally resting from the concerns and burdens we just love to bear and physically resting before we sicken ourselves unnecessarily.
As much as I have learned about my own issues with resting, especially spiritually, there is something else I’ve learned, something alarming I’ve noticed. It’s the unrestrained, restless behavior of many of my professing sisters (brothers too). Triggered and tossed about publicly, professing sisters are showcasing one of the reasons why we need to listen to God on verses such as these:
“Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools. Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.” Ecclesiastes 7:9-10
I get it, things are troubling. We long for former days. The stakes seem high now, the question marks are bigger and the lies are more abundant. Pandemics are scary. The world is increasingly hostile towards the ways of God and His people, more hostile towards any solid and wholesome way of life- more hostile towards anything decent. It can make us restless and distracted.
These days, as a Christian, I tend to look at my social media feed with one eye open. It’s tough to read. As I feel my blood boil or angst start to set in, I’m often reminded of this:
“Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5-7
I also think of these verses:
Philippians 2:14-16: “Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.”
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8.
Before having the “rona” I admit I felt the anxiety of a deadly virus and also the confusion and doubt about whether or not it’s really that deadly. As everyone knows, the news is more confusing than it is clarifying. Although unsure of what to think, we sanitized, wore masks, and prayed they worked. Being we live with my in-laws my teenage daughter took leave from her public job so that she wouldn’t get the virus and bring it home to them. My husband and I stayed home. Our church shut its doors and did sermons online. We were dedicated to trying to keep the virus out of our home.
Then we got it.
How? Who really knows for sure? The important thing is-God is in control, we are ok now, and we are grateful. We did what we could, sensibly, and trusted the Lord through it all. Trusting and resting in the Lord and His will is everything. It’s the calm in the middle of the storm and the sure footing on solid rock.
It’s easy to tell when one is fixated on the world and all that it broadcasts, when the world is influencing them to lose their peace. Emotional rants, desperate pleas, frantic responses, fear-filled warnings, angry emoji’s on repeat, bowing to the world, name-calling, expressing with cuss words, guilt-tripping, focusing on temporary freedoms and comforts, making non-Christian people be either your enemy or a savior depending on their political position or beliefs on wearing masks and isolating.. and then the frequent ALL CAPS.
There is a healthy amount of rest and ease we should seek. We need to chill without becoming complacent or unconcerned. We should call out sin and warn others of false teachings and dangerous movements but we can’t do any good being anxious or fearful, belligerent or insulting in the process. There is far too much emotional manipulation from the world, we don’t need to join that party.
I understand the temptation. For us Christians, there may be times ….
When our comforts are yanked from us or threatened, we cry for their return and preservation.
When the rebellious hearts of this world mock blessings, we get angry.
When the lost of this world step on our flowers, we grumble and point.
When the foolish spew unrelenting mendacities around us, we drown them in truth until they plead for mercy.
When the haters of this world want to revile and slander us, we are offended and we return the favor fiercely.
We may ask, “Why is this happening? Where’s justice? What about our rights? How can we continue on?”
What we should be asking is…what rights or comforts do we need now in order to live for eternity? Is my main focus supposed to be on health and national/personal freedom? Praying for those things is good and acceptable, focusing onand getting our hope from them – that’s a major problem.
My late grandfather used to say, “I only have the right to be thankful.” I’m not sure he was even a believer but I do know his little phrase packs a biblical punch. Do we really have the right to anything else? Think about it. Do we understand who we actually are and what we really deserve? Have you taken a close look at your own sinfulness?
Paul got it. “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24)
Jesus instructed the disciples, “So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’” (Luke 17:10)
Who has convinced you of anything otherwise?
Remember what the Lord said in Matthew 5:38-44? ““You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”
Is that only after you ridicule and slander them first? NO
I’m seeing Christian leaders stoke the fire of emotion, slowly turning the focus away from the Gospel and putting it on political wars, societal and cultural restructuring, making the church more sensitive to the world’s cries, or the rights we “just can’t afford to lose”.
The disciples of Jesus yearned for Him to put an end to the corruption and persecution in their society. They believed He would set things right at that time, politically. Christ said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” He didn’t overturn the governments. He focused rather on saving and bringing souls home to His heavenly kingdom. That’s what He came for.
People surrounded Him constantly to be healed. He in His grace healed several. Yet He didn’t take away all sicknesses or even most of them. It was never really about those things. He kept the focus where the focus must be.
“Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:36-37.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”” Matthew 28: 19-20.
The more people hear the Gospel, the more people will be saved. When people are saved their hearts are changed and they proclaim the Gospel to others. Hope and joy are found. Peace with God is given. Lifestyles and families are impacted. Love and respect is practiced and seen. Most importantly, the Lord is glorified.
We read the Word and we are reminded we are to be unlike the world, to show the love of Christ, to die to self, to focus on Him and His promises and commands and that we are owed nothing from the Lord. We have been given such blessing beyond measure, all undeserved.
So why are many of my professing sisters having toddler fits all over social media as if they deserve blessing; as if they have rights to have what they want? Why are they making many lost people look more held-together then they are? Is it because, maybe, this world is where their hope really lies? Is it because church leaders are leading them on to think such nonsense is the work of the Lord? Do they understand what the Lord really wants?
If the Lord chooses not to answer our prayers or give us worldly comforts and freedoms, are we good with that? Can you rest in His wisdom? Can you look at the bigger eternal picture?
Sisters, let’s move on with the Gospel. This world has no hope without the Gospel. The work and the Word of the Lord change the hearts of people, not us, and definitely not our fits or anxiety.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2.
“If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? Romans 8:31b-33a
No one wants or should desire persecution or for freedom to end, yet to focus on those things as if Christ can’t be glorified or served in persecuted and oppressive situations is foolishness. Look at the world in Biblical times, when persecution, disease and death were daily sorrows. The Church still grew. God was glorified more and the people still found something to rejoice about. Can we still have joy in serving the Lord today?
And what do we do differently if every comfort in this world goes away? Nothing.
Love God. Share the Word. Pray. Love others more than yourself, even your enemies.
As a mother of five, when my little children threw fits, became hysterical, refused to listen, screamed to have something, or became grumpy and snarky….discipline or a nap were in order. They needed to think about what they were actually doing. They needed to rest and collect themselves before they found themselves in more trouble.
My Christian sisters, be an adult, a mature adult. Grow in Christ and realize when you need to rest in His ways more and concern yourself with what concerns Him, not what you think concerns Him. Study the Word to know. Be thankful and have joy in your salvation. Don’t grumble over the sins of others, share the Gospel instead. Remember, the lost can’t have rest as we can. They need salvation. That should be more than enough to motivate us with the Gospel.
““THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION
AND SAID, ‘THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART,
AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS’;
AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH,
‘THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.’” (Hebrews 3:10-11)
If you can’t rest in the sovereignty of God, get a grip, be salt and light in a dark world and pick your battles wisely, then get off of social media, stop watching the world, surround yourself with more sound fellowship and teaching, and please get on your knees and in the Word.
And maybe take a nap? Just not too long. There is much work to be done for the Lord.
Above is an article written by Gina Cook, Gina and Tami write Through the Narrow here at Tulips & Honey Hub. They’ll be posting articles every other Tuesday. Both are published authors, you can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here. We’re blessed to have them apart of our team, and pray their writing will be as edifying to you as it is to us. – Lauren Hereford
Christians have been lied to about the devil and Hell.
We have been told over and over that Hell is Satan’s dwelling place. He lives there and just comes around to bother us sometimes or sends his demons to mess with us. It has been suggested that the devil spends time with those that are in Hell tormenting them and allowing demons to torment them as well.
The link below is from the movie “War Room”, and we see where the wife (played by Priscilla Shirer) decides she’s had enough of the devil and goes after him. She becomes mad enough about the devil messing things up in her life that she gives the devil a firm scolding and yells at him for a good while.
She starts out with her explaining to him, “I don’t know where you are, devil, but I know you can hear me.” Well, the devil is not omnipresent and he cannot be everywhere at once as God can. I don’t know about you but to me, that seems like a frightening thought to think about, out of all the places on earth the devil chooses to be to cause destruction, he chooses you and your house to do it. Yikes!
But because he can only be in one place in time how does she know she is talking to him and that he hears her? Her assumption makes her believe that he is there and can hear her and yet she goes about scolding him as if she’s an authority to him and he might just be standing in shock that she’s on to him now. She says, “You have played with my mind and had your way long enough. No more. You are done. Jesus is the Lord of this house and that means there is no place for you here anymore.” thinking it’s something he wouldn’t know unless she announces it and now that she has he can’t play those games anymore and has to leave. She seems to think that Christians stand in some devil proof zone and they are promised no more demonic attacks or problems. The problems aren’t the same after salvation, but they are still going to come. The devil still tempts and causes deception in the lives of both the lost and saved; this is why we need to stand on the Word of God. We do not become free from the devil’s lies and destruction the minute we are saved. In fact, we can expect it just as much as a Christian, just as Job was targeted by the devil.
She then appears to chase him out of her house as she storms outside. She continues to remind him that he can’t have her marriage, daughter, or husband. We learn quickly, “when reading the Word” that marriage was designed by God and God does have set rules for the husband and set rules for the wife. God gives clear instructions on how we are to be in a marriage and the devil seeks to divide the husband and wife and destroy the marriage. Christian marriages are not off-limits to the devil.
The devil can cause trouble with anyone, and anything the devil does is always known by God. God can choose to allowed or not allowed the devil to play with people but it’s always for His own glory and purpose. At the same time we see it is God that can provide the protection and keep the devil at bay if He sees fit, just as it was done for Job in Job 1:10~ “Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land”.
In the movie the lady character tells the devil he is done (although, in reality, the devil will never be done or stop till our Lord throws him into the lake of fire) and she storms back into the house only to come back out a few seconds later to talk more to the devil. Here was where I’m like, “Serious, she’s gonna keep talking to him.” She comes back out and says, “And another thing…” like the devil is still standing outside all wide-eyed and in shock. Just so you all know, the devil couldn’t care less what you have to say or that you’re mad at him.
She ends up telling the devil to “Go back to Hell where he belongs”. The problem with that is the devil didn’t come from Hell as if it was his personal apartment where he lives and besides, it contradicts the Word of God.
That’s a very unbiblical teaching and a most ridiculous belief about the devil and Hell that there is. As I’ve mentioned the devil does not live in Hell or control it how he wishes. Instead, the devil is going to be the one tormented in Hell, not in charge of it, because it is God that is in charge of Hell.
What we learn from Scriptures is that God created Hell and it’s only God that has the AUTHORITY to put Satan in Hell, not us. In Matthew 25:41 and 2 Peter 2:4, God says that Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. It’s God that cast demons into Hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment.
Scriptures also, say that the demons cry out in fear of the Lord and do not want Him to torment them. Matthew 8:29~ And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?”
Luke 12:5~But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!
Matthew 10:28 says, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Proverbs 14:27~ The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.
That tells me that we should fear God because He is the Authority overall.
But common sense says that even if it’s true that Christians can command and send the devil to Hell then who is letting him out or how is he getting out? If people all over the world are practicing this and they believe they are sending the devil “back” to Hell then he is being sent there over and over by different people all the time. Not to mention that most people will say, “In Jesus’ name.” So does this mean saying “in the name of Jesus” isn’t strong enough to keep the devil in Hell?
It says in 1 Peter 5:8 “the devil prowls around seeking someone to devour”. In Job 1:7 it tells us when God asked where the devil was and he told God he was going to and fro on the earth and walking up and down on it. This devil isn’t in Hell seeking to devour people; he’s on earth seeking to devour people.
Another thing that should be obvious is we should never address the devil ever! Why do people insist on talking to the devil when things go wrong? Because they were taught to do that. It’s not biblical and so very dangerous.
Addressing Satan is the worst thing you can do and yelling at him does nothing.
But ask yourself, “Why in the world would I want to address the enemy of God anyway or any demon for that matter?” That’s just giving the devil what he wants, YOUR attention!! Your attention is off of God and on him and now he is robbing you of your time spent with God. Think about it, something goes wrong and we start talking to the devil about how mad we are or how hurt we are and how he is not going to have control anymore. Does this make sense? Your time could be spent praying to God and asking Him for help but instead, it’s spent yelling at the devil.
God tells us in James 4:7-8 to “submit to God and resist the devil“.
We all need to be in prayer for all things but when we are addressing Satan then you have stopped your prayer and turned your back on God to talk with Satan. This movie teaches people they can address Satan and that’s wrong.
In the part of the movie where the wife (played by Priscilla Shirer) losses her cool and starts getting upset and yells at the devil and it appears that she is chasing him outside, I want to know, how does she know she got him outside? How does she know that her yelling did anything? But the worst part is that anyone would be talking to God one day and then the next start talking to Satan? Seems to me that would be an insult to God. Think about that, we pray to our Lord for many things. We go to God for help, to praise Him, to thank Him but one day you feel you are being spiritually attacked so instead of going to God (who has the power to help you and protect you) we start talking to the devil instead like we are his parent and he’s in trouble. Why? He doesn’t care what we think. He isn’t going to all the sudden become remorseful and sad because we yelled at him. The devil isn’t going to be afraid of you and apologize for upsetting you. He is getting exactly what he wants, your attention off of God, and getting you all stressed and angry. We shouldn’t address the devil at all, ever. We only need to address God.
Satan is very active and he does prowl around and he will until the 1000 year reign of Christ where an angel (the warrior archangel Michael) binds him and he will be thrown into the bottomless pit as said in Revelation 20:1–3~ “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, which is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him so that he might not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be released for a little while.”
The word archangel means “angel of the highest rank.” Michael binds the devil, not a human. The archangel Michael has spiritual combat with the devil during the millennial reign of Christ. The Bible also speaks of Michael protecting people as well, in Daniel 12:1 so if we are so tough that we think we can bind Satan and kick him out of our house on our own, why would God need angels protecting us, ministering to us and guiding us?
That we humans are weaker than angels and below them in power and knowledge. (2 Peter 2:11, Jude 1:9) so there is no way we can take on Satan and his demons and there is no way he stands in fear of us. That’s just pride-fullness.
Binding Satan is not within our power. Scriptures say in Acts 19:13-16~ “Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.”
This from Got Questions:
“Jesus had earlier given His apostles specific authority over demons (Mark 3:15). Paul, as an apostle, had received that authority as well (see 2 Corinthians 12:12).”
“..Demons recognize valid authority, and they fear God (see James 2:19). It’s important to note that the authority over demons belongs only to Jesus (see Luke 8:28, 31) and to those to whom Jesus gave it. The demon in Acts 19 says that it knows Jesus and Paul (one of Jesus’ chosen apostles). It refused to recognize any other authority in Ephesus. The demon’s question “who are you?” is chilling in its implications to the seven sons of Sceva and their total lack of authority.”
This is what God wants us to do instead in Eph 6: 10-18~ Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. …13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you maybe able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand firm.
James 4:7-8 says “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
That being said, there was one part in the move I agree with and that was when the old woman named Miss Clara says to the wife, “Do your fighting in prayer.” That’s exactly what we need to do. Not address the devil but address God in prayer. Not yell at the devil but run to God in prayer. Not send the devil back to Hell but bring God into it and let God fight the battle. We can’t!
Turning away from God to speak to the devil just because you feel you are strong enough and more powerful than the devil is unbiblical. Just because someone told you that you could do that because you are a Christian is a lie. God is the only one that can fight the devil and protect you. Just stay with God and don’t waste your time talking to the devil.
We all need to stop talking to him, stop yelling at him, stop commanding him to go back to Hell, and don’t give him any more of your time.
Today, dear ones, we’re very excited to have the privilege of holding our first ever live panel discussion on Tulips & Honey! Joining us this afternoon to discuss church and evangelism during social distancing is Justin Peters, Susan Heck, Dawain Atkinson, Doreen Virtue, and Phil Johnson! We’re so honored to have each of these dear brothers and sisters-in-Christ joining us. If you follow us on Facebook, you’ll be able to watch live and ask questions there. If you prefer Youtube, you can head straight to the event by following the link below. Be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss any future events. Next Monday we’ll be dropping an episode interviewing our brothers-in-Christ from the RazaReforma Podcast, it was such a blessing to hear their testimony and see how God led them to where they are today. If you missed it, this past Tuesday The Aquila and Priscilla Hour released an episode about Pragmatism in the church and today The Chuck and Lo Show dropped an interview with Be A Berean’s Michael Coughlin. Don’t miss Emma’s newest episode tomorrow continuing in her series on glorifying God over on Always, Only.
For our MEGA List today we had some help from our wonderful Humblebee’s that sent us great recommendations. Starting with Jan who recommended this homemakers Facebook group here. Luke Schmeltzer, host of Steady Anchor Podcast, recommended the free Ligonier series which will be available all summer, as well as these resources here. He’s also just released a new episode titled “Christ and Corona” which I highly recommend. As I mentioned above, Michael Coughlin is joining Chuck and Lo today, but you can also find him on his blog, or hear him refuting atheists on his podcast here. Our honorary BrotherBee, Patrick Studabaker, from Cave To The Cross Apologetics has a great video editing and website design business, a talent he uses to not only bring us great content on his own podcast, but also to bless churches. If that is something you have a need of, or you just want to support our brother-in-Christ, check it out Manos Media LLC. If you’ve tuned in to the latest Aquila and Pricila Hour you heard Emily and Zack discussing a helpful article by Tim Challies, which she recommended and you can find here. I also want to slip in a shout out to her and Zack for creating a brand new website which you can find here! Doesn’t it look great? Well done y’all! Last recommendation was added by Becca herself! She found a devotional on the Youversion app created by one of our BrotherBee’s, Joel, who has been so very encouraging to us from the start! Fear in the Time of Coronavirus is available here. Thank you to all our listeners who sent us these helpful links, you’re all such a blessing to us! I hope you’re all able to tune in today at 1:30 CST for the live panel, please pray that all goes well with technology! As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Our brother-in-Christ, Patrick Studebaker from Cave to the Cross Apologetics, joined us for a cross over episode! We talk about discernment, warning about false teachers, and responding to criticism. We detailed the difference between slander, and discernment, and walk through Scriptural definitions of heresy and blasphemy. It was such a blessing to have our brother explain righteous judgement Biblically, as well. We all hope that you’ll be edified by this episode, and encouraged if you’ve ever been rebuked for sharing truth. Below is a time stamped outline, that we hope will be helpful for anyone who wants to skip through the episode to certain points. Don’t miss the blooper reel, waiting as ever, at the end like a cherry on top! You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and in video form on Youtube. We also now have a Patreon page, which you can find here https://www.patreon.com/Tulipshoneyhub. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Intro – Cross over with A Cave to the Cross Apologetics: Patrick Studebaker
Slander (etymologically a doublet of “scandal,” from OFr. esclandre, Latin scandalum, “stumblingblock”) is an accusation maliciously uttered, with the purpose or effect of damaging the reputation of another.
As a rule it is a false charge (compare Matthew 5:11); but it may be a truth circulated insidiously and with a hostile purpose (e.g. Daniel 3:8, “brought accusation against,” where Septuagint has diaballo, “slander”; Luke 16:1, the same Greek word).
Warnings, condemnations and complaints in reference to this sin are very frequent, both in the Old Testament and New Testament. Mischievous “tale-bearing” or “whispering” is condemned (Leviticus 19:16; Ezekiel 22:9).
Elsewhere, however, in the New Testament it has a different meaning attached to it. Paul ranks “heresies” with crimes and seditions ( Galatians 5:20 ).
This word also denotes divisions or schisms in the church ( 1 Corinthians 11:19 ). In Titus 3:10 a “heretical person” is one who follows his own self-willed “questions,” and who is to be avoided.
Heresies thus came to signify self-chosen doctrines not emanating from God ( 2 Peter 2:1 ).
Blasphemy TS 01:05:00
The Old Testament At least five different Hebrew verbs are translated “blaspheme” in English translations.
Translators choose “blaspheme” when, for instance, the verbs “curse” (qalal [l;l’q]), “revile” (gadap [@;d”G]), or “despise” (herep) are used with God as the object.
No special verb is reserved for cursing or insults directed at God.
However, to curse or insult God is an especially grave sin. It can be done by word or by deed. There is little distinction between the sinner who deliberately abuses the name of the Lord ( Le 24:10-16 ), and the one who deliberately flouts his commandments ( Nu 15:30-31 ).
For both, the death penalty is prescribed.
Similarly, the prayer of the Levites in Nehemiah 9 calls “awful blasphemies” all that Israelites did when they made the golden calf (9:18).
David’s flagrant sin with Bathsheba may be called a blasphemy ( 2 Sa 12:14 ), but a more likely translation is that David has “made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt” (NIV).
Instead of testifying by lifestyle to the character of the Lord, David’s action confirms the blasphemous belief of the nations that the Lord is no different from any other national god.