Some things God has been quickening and confirming to me the past couple of weeks:
The Lord told Maria, a friend of mine, to watch how she handled His jewel in reference to me after I got out of the hospital. I looked up the meaning of jewel and it meant someone who feared and reverenced the Lord. God has confirmed this to me several times. An old friend I haven’t talked to in 10 or 11 years sent me poetry about the different jewels mentioned in the bible. This gentleman writes poetry, childrenâs books and Christian books. He felt led to send me what he had written about jewels. Then I had an online friend in Lancaster, PA e-mail me a beautiful story about the glory of the Son and His jewels. God was confirming over and over again, that He considers me to be one of His jewels. The jewels are those who talk about the Lord and it is recorded in a book. Being a jewel cross references over to the word “Peculiar People”.
While I sat in church several weeks ago and the âapostleâ taught on the five fold ministry, I had the Holy Spirit just grieving inside of me and the scripture kept coming up about God hating the deeds of the Nicolations because they lorded their authority over others. Several days later, a woman I never heard of, e-mailed me asking if I could send her ANY information I had on the Nicolation’s. I had written about them in my book as it relates to ministries today. Then I was e-mailed by someone else who said that he was looking for his own web site and stumbled across mine. This manâs ministry is called Latter Rain Ministryâ as well. He said that he had been reading the material on my site and said that it was just what the Lord had been showing him and he wanted to link my web site with his and many other top ministries, like Billy Graham’s. We are seeing eye to eye in these end times. I visited his site and the Lord kept leading me to the section on âNicolationsâ. I read it and printed it out and have enclosed it for anyoneâs review.
Every believer has authority and the keys to the kingdom, not just those in leadership.
The scripture goes on to say that whatsoever you permit (loose), will be permitted and whatsoever you stop (bind) will be bound. This scripture refers to sin and deception. We as Christians have authority to allow sin and deception to continue as we turn a blind eye, or we can bind or stop it by confronting it. We are to be a light and salt. The salt was put on the sacrificial offerings before it was burned. The more salt that was on the meat, the less it was consumed. The unconsumed meat became food for the priests of that day. The more we are salt by confronting sin and deception, the less people are consumed by the fires of hell. Whatsoever we allow on earth, God will allow. We as Christians can confront sin like abortion, or heresies being taught from the pulpit from deceived and well intentioned people. These heretics are walking in the flesh or teaching a doctrine of demons. The keys to the kingdom were delivered to the disciples when Jesus was on the earth. After Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit fell on believers, the authority and keys to the kingdom were delivered to ALL BELIEVERS.
The Nicolations, today, believe that God only uses men in positions of authority in the church and that They are God’s man or The man of Godâ. They insist on having their title used, such as: Apostle so and so, Prophet so and so, Bishop so and so, and Doctor so and so.
What God has shown me is that the spiritual leaders in Jesusâ day were the same way. They had an image of God or the Messiah that wasnât what Jesus turned out to be. They studied the word of God their whole lives. They taught the word of God to others. They were immersed in Godâs word and law throughout their whole lives. They believed that if God were going to move upon His people, the move would most certainly be ushered in by them. They would be whom the Lord would approve of and use. Certainly, if the Messiah were to come and stand before them, they, of all people, would know and recognize Him immediately above anyone else. Yet, when the Messiah, Jesus, did come, He did not come through the spiritual leadership as they believed. Jesus came in spite of them and for them. When the Messiah, Jesus, taught, performed miracles and showed the people what the Father was like, He was neither recognized by those in a position of spiritual authority or accepted by them, even though they had studied and taught the word of God all their lives. Their image, preconceived ideas and beliefs, pride and lack of spiritual discernment caused them to reject and kill the God they claimed to love and worship. They had a deeply engraved mental image of God (stronghold) that didnât line up with how Jesus operated and turned out to be while He walked the earth. They, of all people, believed they knew the word of God and could not be deceived, yet Jesus stated that they were spiritually blind, hard hearted and of their father, the devil. They were, also, prideful, unteachable, unsubmissive, and believed they and their doctrines were infallible. They wanted to hang onto their mental strongholds, be in denial about Jesus and who He really was, and they, of all people, couldnât be wrong about Him. The Messiah would never rebuke them, of all people, as Jesus often did! They wouldnât kill Jesus, their Messiah, knowingly. They wouldnât have killed those servants that God had sent to them, knowingly, either. They had to be deceived and a deceived person never thinks they are or can be! The battle is in the mind and the Truth is needed to pull down those mental strongholds. If you are prideful, unteachable, and unsubmissive and think too highly of yourself, you will reject the Truth, Jesus. Do you see why satan tries so hard to deceive us?
I see this in churches today, especially in leadership who are Nicolations that Lord their authority over people. They think too highly of themselves and very little of others. They are usually right in their own eyes and would rather be right than do what is right. They will not submit themselves to others in the fear of the Lord, but they want you to be submissive to them. In other words, they want something from you that they are unwilling to give to you, themselves. Everyone must submit to them because they are Godâs âapostle, prophet, bishop, priest, man, etc.â and they are above being deceived. They are not open to anything the Lord would want to show them, especially about themselves and the doctrines they teach. They do not allow the Lord to wash them in the water of the word in order to have them become without spot or wrinkle and, therefore, they have no part with Him!
God has always been faithful to show believers where they are deceived, in error, being led astray, falling away, etc. Jesus is the Truth and to reject âThe Truthâ is to reject Jesus. Meek, teachable and humble people will not reject the Truth. They love the Lord more than their deeply impressed mental image or stronghold and they will want to walk in the light and truth. Jesus washes us in the water of the word, which is Truth about how Jesus really is and operates. As Jesus said to Peter as He knelt to wash Peterâs feet, âIf you donât allow me to wash you (with the Truth or water of the word in your deception) you have NO PART WITH ME! No part means NO PART even if you are an anointed, miracle worker of God, as Peter was! The meek and teachable will inherit the earth because they do not reject Jesus, The Truth, as He washes them and reveals His true self to them. They give up their false teachings, doctrines and false images of God as He reveals His truth self to them.
The religious leaders in Jesusâ day are no different than some of the religious leaders today. They abuse their position of authority as a Nicolation and God said that He hates the deeds of the Nicolations who Lord their authority over others. It is a real abuse of power stemming from pride, deception, mental strongholds and false images that they have of God. They will be turned back and be greatly ashamed that trust in their graven image. As with all demonic doctrines and legalism, the Nicolations will try to silence you, suppress you, shut you up, persecute you, pray you out of their church, give you the silent treatment as they try to âset you straight from the pulpit. No two way discussions or one on one conversations. They can talk, but they sure donât want you to. They will mark you in the church because your beliefs differ from their false doctrines, and this makes them afraid of you. Nicolations just can’t deal with people who donât believe exactly as they do. They only want blind followers who are yes men and yes women. They don’t want someone in their church who has discernment and can think for themselves. Look at what they did to Jesus. A sheep sent in among wolves. They make sure their ushers know who you are so they can escort you off if you disagree with someone in authority. They are afraid that you will prophesy in the church (I never have and have never been called to do that) or talk to other people in the church and cause division. I have never done this either nor have I been called of God to do this. I have always gone quietly to pastors with the truth. I have never had a pastor or one in leadership sit down, one on one, in a loving way to teach me or show me where I was in deception if they believed I was. They haven’t been able to. They are afraid of me or of what I have to say because they will be stripped of their ability to control their congregation, especially in the area of money. They cast your name out as evil at the church/pastors/leaders conferences or meetings. They think that you donât know about this. God has always been faithful to let me know when this is going on. When I was about to be thrown out of a church for my scriptural Christian beliefs, the Lord warned me with the scripture, âBlessed are you when your name is cast out as evil for my name sake, for great is your reward in heavenâ. Soon after, I got a certified letter from the pastor of the church I was attending because he had read some of the things the Lord has given to me to write. God was faithful to bring him the truth as he was being led astray and He rejected Jesus, the Truth, who came to wash him in the water of the word. He did not recognize Jesus when Jesus manifested Himself to him because he had a false image of how Jesus was and how He operated. I never did anything publicly or caused division among members of the church. I never would, but that is what these âso called leadersâ are afraid of, yet none of them have sat down and talked to me. As a matter of fact, some wonât talk to you at all, period, ever. Not even to say hello or be friendly. They only talk to those in their inner circle and they appear to be âaboveâ everyone else. How can someone lead you if they wonât even talk to you? Jesus wasnât afraid to talk to anyone. Can you imagine how deceived and afraid someone must be to send you a certified letter stating that you were not allowed in the church or on church grounds or you would be arrested? All because of a book that was given to the pastor that Jesus wrote to His church to prepare her for His coming. The truth that was revealed in it wouldnât allow the pastor to manipulate Godâs word to extort money from the people, (mostly poor) in his congregation. This pastor was getting fat off the sheep and shutting up the doors of the throne room of God to the people. His funds might dry up if the Truth were revealed. He rejected Jesus, the Truth, because of the external appearance of the messenger God sent and because He loved money more then God. This pastor persecuted me, tried to suppress me, shut me up and threw me out, just as the religious leaders did in Jesusâ day. Some men love darkness more than light and will not come to the light that their deeds could be reproved, that they were wrought in darkness. This takes the form of denial by rationalizing, justifying, minimizing, explaining, giving your intent, putting things in perspective, etc. If you are defensive and doing any of the things just mentioned when your doctrine or sin is exposed by the Truth, your heart is not right and you are in danger of judgment for unrepentant sin. That is how you can apply that scripture to your self and your life. The bible says that this is how judgment or condemnation comes upon you. The word judgment and condemnation mean the same and judgment starts in the house of the Lord (church). There is, therefore, now no condemnation or judgment for those who are in Christ Jesus WHO WALK NOT ACCORDING TO THE FLESH, BUT ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT. Those who walk according to the spirit donât have anything to worry about as long as they remain abiding in the vine and producing fruit. Does the church even know what it means to walk according to the flesh? If we donât know, how can we apply it to ourselves? It seems to me that it means Jesus must be Lord of your life in order to be savior. Many are calling Jesus, âLordâ and they are not doing what He says. No one preaches Jesus as Lord, except by the Holy Spirit! If you believe something, you act upon it. If you are not acting upon it, you donât really believe it, do you? Behold the kindness and severity of the Lord. We all need to get right with God by being honest and not be in denial over our false doctrines or our sins. To do so, is calling evil âgoodâ and the bible says âWhoa to those who call evil goodâ. Make straight the paths and bring forth fruit worthy of repentance. Every false thing must be pulled down, thrown down, plowed under and the path made straight before any replanting can take place. Donât fight against God! To do so could mean that you are cut off from Him because you have rejected Him. You will be a foolish virgin shut out of the wedding feast or a branch cut off. We are not the bride yet. We are only engaged or espoused to the Lord. According to Jewish law, a writ of divorcement can take place during the engagement period before being wed. At this time in the history of the world, before Jesus returns for His betrothed and takes her to that mansion that has been prepared for her, it is imperative that we allow Jesus to wash us in the water of the word in order to become that bride that is without spot or wrinkle. If we do not allow Jesus to wash us with the Truth, we have NO PART WITH HIM. Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. The wise will not be in denial about their false doctrines or sin when exposed as such. They will have enough oil for their lamps to shine in the darkness as they await the groom. At this time in the history of the world our eternal security rests on whether we reject Jesus, The Truth, or accept The Truth and give up our preconceived ideas, false teachings and doctrines in order to be washed by The Truth. Jesus will send forth His messengers to gather out of His kingdom all who offend (all scandals) and all workers of iniquity. God is faithful to warn you in order to bring you to repentance. The trumpet will be blown and if you do not heed the warning, your blood will be on your own heads. The Lord wishes that none would perish, no not one. There will be those that do, though, because they have rejected The Truth. As Christians walking in the light and the Truth, we are to pull the deceived from the fire, hating even their garments that are spotted by the flesh.
The church has made a false doctrine out of half a sentence in scripture without quoting or understanding the last half of the sentence. Therefore, they reject anyone God sends to them speaking of judgment or condemnation. Just what the devil would like. The bible says that a wise man speaks of judgment. Before Jesus returns, God will judge His church and remove out of His kingdom, (the church) all who offend and the workers of iniquity. Grace is not the license to sin and God will not allow men in positions of authority to do things like abuse and molest children. Godâs word says that those who offend the little ones, âIt would be better that a millstone were hung around their necks and they were thrown into the depths of the seaâ. Godâs judgment on this will be severe. Your sins will find you out and your unrepentant sins will be exposed. It will start with the leadership and God will send someone to you or make sure you get the message before judgment comes. He has always been faithful to do that. Donât kill or persecute the messenger. The leadership in the church is held to a higher accountability and they are to be examples to the body of Christ. You will have an opportunity to repent and be cleansed. We live in end times and it is even more imperative that we are teachable, submissive, and allow Jesus to wash us with the Truth of the water of the word. If we donât allow Him to wash us, we have no part with Him. He is coming for His bride that is without spot or wrinkle, not those who are unteachable, unsubmissive and unrepentant. They will be removed out of His kingdom before Christ returns. It is the meek and teachable that will inherit the earth, not the proud and stiff-necked. If you believe that judgment can come upon you as a Christian and that you could have your name removed from the Lambs Book of Life, wouldnât you be more open and submissive to God and one another?. Wouldnât you be more teachable? That is the fruit of this doctrine. It is good fruit that preaches Jesus as Lord. If you believe âonce saved, always saved, no matter what you ever did, and you continued to willfully sin because you don’t believe there is a consequence, what is your incentive to submit and repent if you believe it doesn’t matter and everything is okay between you and God? You end up persecuting the person God sent to you to bring you back and save you from the fire. That is the fruit of the once saved always saved doctrine. Not only are you persecuting the person God sent to you, but you are unsubmissive, unteachable, and unrepentant as a result of your preconceived ideas, false doctrines and beliefs which lead to a state of denial.
The bible tells us not to cast our pearls before swine. The pearls can be the contents of your heart or that of God’s. When revealed to a pig they will turn on you, trample your spiritual truths or pearls into the mud and turn on you to rend or attack you! That is what these spiritual leaders do. That is why God has not revealed these pearls or the contents of His heart to these types of people, personally. They won’t get it revealed to them personally by God. He has to send someone to them. They won’t get it on their own and their reaction reveals just what the bible says about them. They are pigs. They are not open to the truth and they persecute you and turn on you. God doesn’t want to personally reveal His heart to these types of people, because they wouldn’t receive it because they are deceived and their hearts are hard. They need to be humbled, so God sends the weak and despised to them with the message.
There are those in the bible whom Jesus will say, Depart from me. I never knew you. They said, But Lord, have we not laid hands on the sick in your name, cast out devils in your name and prophesied in your name. These people truly believed with their whole heart that they were Christians and followers of Christ. They were deceived. If Jesus is faithful to reveal the truth to you in your deception, how could they still be deceived to the point of eternal damnation? Answer: They rejected the Truth, Jesus, because they had mental strongholds or false images of Jesus and who He was and how He operated. They didn’t recognize Jesus when He revealed Himself to them as The Truth in their deception. Some men love darkness rather than light and will not come to the light that their deeds could be reproved that they were wrought in darkness. They were in denial over their false beliefs being false when the light and truth were revealed to them as such. This is what brings condemnation. They were deceived only because they wanted to be. You can’t be deceived unless you want to be because The Truth is who Jesus is and He is faithful to reveal Himself as The Truth in our deception. It is up to us whether we allow Him to wash us. If we are humble, meek and teachable and Jesus is Lord of our lives, we will listen, seek and want the truth in our lives. We won’t want to be in deception. We will submit ourselves unto the Lord and to each other, because God uses others to speak into our lives no matter what our title, position of authority or educational level is. For those who are prideful because of their title or degree, God will use the weak and despised person in your eyes to reveal the truth to you. Donât be focused on the external, or the person, because you might miss God.
The bible says that in end times, God will pour His spirit out upon the earth. Your sons and YOUR DAUGHTERS will prophesy. If you canât submit yourselves one to another in the fear of the Lord because the person is a woman, and considered not as good as a man, then you just might miss God talking to you because of your prejudice regarding the person who is delivering the message. The risen Christ first revealed Himself to a woman and Jesus told her to go tell. When His disciples didnât believe her, Jesus rebuked them. So what is new? If we treated black people or people of other nationalities the way we treat women in our churches, we would be sued out of existence. God isn’t a respecter of persons. This comes from pride in man. God uses and speaks through women and he just may be speaking to you through one. Donât reject the Truth, Jesus, because of the outside package He chooses to speak through. A religious spirit focuses on the externals and how things look and are all about being right. It is more important for them to be right instead of doing right and they will reject Jesus, the Truth, because of that. It is sooooooooooo important that we submit ourselves, one to another, in the fear of the Lord. Nicolation leaders want something from you that they are incapable or unwilling to give you, and that is submission, meekness, humility and teachability. They don’t believe that they need to submit. This is a very dangerous cliff to be standing on. If you think you are not deceived, you probably are. If you think you cannot be deceived, you already are. If you think there isnât more to know or more God has to reveal of Himself out of His word, you already are deceived. God is faithful to reveal The Truth to us. It is our job to accept it. If we stop accepting it, He stops revealing it. There is so much more to know about God and to experience Him in our lives. The more teachable you are, the more you experience the God of the Word and the more He manifests Himself to you.
If we want to see revival, we need to humble ourselves, pray and seek His face, not His hand. Christians shouldn’t be motivated to give financially so that they will receive a blessing from God. If you give to get, you are no longer under grace, but works. You should give and forget. Freely you have received, freely give. I wonder how many people would give if they had to forget or if they didn’t receive a blessing in return. We need to turn from our wicked ways and allow Him to wash us in the water of the word as He reveals Truth in our lives and pulls down our strongholds with it. The battle is in our minds. The battle is for our hearts and souls. Jesus is coming for a Glorious Church Without Spot Or Wrinkle. We are in end times. At this hour in the history of the world, the most dangerous thing we can do is to reject Jesus, The Truth, as He reveals the false images, doctrines and preconceived ideas we have about Him. We must be teachable, humble, meek and submissive in order for Jesus to wash us in the water of the word in this midnight hour. Be the wise young virgin who brought enough oil for her lamp. Donât be a foolish virgin. If we donât allow Jesus to wash us, we have NO PART with Him. No part means no part! Before God judges the world, He will judge His church because judgment starts in the house of the Lord.
There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, WHO WALK NOT ACCORDING TO THE FLESH, BUT OF THE SPIRIT. We have made a false doctrine in the church over a half of a scriptural sentence in the bible. We forget the last half of this verse. People who are in Christ Jesus walk a certain way. They walk according to the spirit. In order to be in Christ Jesus you have to walk according to the spirit of God. There isn’t any condemnation for those who walk according to the spirit. If you claim to be a Christian and you are walking according to the flesh, you don’t have eternal security without repentance. The fruit of the eternally secureâ doctrine is rampant sin in the church without a change of heart. There isn’t any fear or reverence of God. There isn’t any submission, humility, meekness, etc. The fruit of the âonce saved always saved doctrine is lukewarmness, indifference to the will and heart of God, and rampant sin. There isn’t any consequence for unrepentant sin. You can do whatever you want and be okay with God because you are âinâ and can never be thrown out. You will not receive correction or discipline. One such example is that of a Christian who has a home building business with a Christian name. This Christian has a reputation, within the real estate community, as being a cheat, conniver and corner cutter who would try to cut the commission earned by real estate people in half because he thought he was good friends with one of the more successful real estate brokers. This real estate broker and the agents in his office didn’t like or trust this builder. The builder spoke frequently about how wacky or weird his church was. When a position in this real estate office opened up, a young woman from this builder’s church applied for the position. When the successful real estate broker discovered that this woman attended the same church as the builder, he wouldn’t consider hiring her because of the reputation and behavior of the builder and the way he spoke about his church. That is the fruit of the once saved always saved doctrine. Try the fruits because it is by their fruits you will know them.
If you believe that you can be judged or condemned, the fruit will be the peaceable fruit of righteousness, submission to the Lord, humility and meekness. Try the fruits, yourself, because it is by their fruits you will know them. Jesus canât be savior if Jesus isn’t Lord. The word judge means the same as condemn and judgment starts in the house of the Lord or within the church. We are much more teachable and open to the Lord if we believe that we can be cut off. For all the scriptural references that speak of BELIEVERS being judged or cut off, please read on. Do your own study. See what God reveals to you. Don’t be deceived in this midnight hour before Jesus returns for His Glorious Church.
Let me ask you this! Which doctrine would you rather be wrong about? Which doctrine is safest to be wrong about? I had a Messianic Jewish (Jewish Christian) radio personality tell me that if he were to be wrong in any doctrine, he would want it to be the one I teach, as shown to me by the Holy Spirit. How about you? I lift up Jesus as Lord!
In a recent survey, most people had trouble applying the word of God to their lives. Most people miss the whole point when reading the bible and they take everything literally. There are several ways to interpret the bible: literally, figuratively, culturally and historically. For instance, in the letter to the Corinthians, Paul talks about the women having their heads covered and keeping silent in the church. In order to know what Paul was talking about and why he was addressing these issues, you have to know the history and culture in Corinth in that day. In nearby Delphi, a pagan religion was practiced. The religion had three priestesses, who offered sacrifices to their gods and they lit incense that produced a drug induced state. While under this drug induced state, the priestesses spoke in tongues while someone interpreted. Other counterfeit gifts of the spirit were displayed. The female members of this pagan religion had short hair and performed sexual acts during worship. In order that Godly women, within the Christian church in Corinth, would not be associated with the pagan prostitutes, they were to have long hair. If they were a recent convert to Christianity from the pagan religion, they needed to have their head covered until their hair grew back, in order that they were not associated with the pagan worshipers. If you didnât have long hair you would dishonor your husband and Christ, because you looked like a prostitute. Women were not to come to church dressed seductively. In todayâs churches, I have seen tight leather pants that just scream sex, bare shoulders and legs, sexy shoes, etc. and this is in the leadership. It just screams, âlook at me, and look at meâ. As a result, the congregation believes this attire is acceptable and they start wearing it as well. The point was missed entirely when reading the scriptures because it was taken literally. When I grew up in the Catholic church, we had to wear hats on our heads or we werenât allowed in church. Good grief! The point was that women are not to dress seductively or in an ungodly manner, so as to be associated with immorality. To do so, would dishonor her husband and God and distract attention away from the worship of Jesus and the message. Now, let’s get to the heart of why women do this. They are getting their sense of value and worth from the attention paid to them by men. It is called male dependency. They are not getting their value and worth from Jesus. What men think of them is more important then what God thinks. They are trying to fill the void inside of them with things other than Christ. These women let other people dictate how they view themselves and feel about themselves. I know! I’ve done this and I was brought up that way. I am a totally different person since I have gotten my value and worth from Jesus. I donât need the approval of others and I have a renewed passion and boldness and I can be used of the Lord because I have been set free. The Samaritan woman at the well was also one of these women. She had been married five times and was living with the sixths man when she met Jesus at the well. Jesus told her that He was what she was hungering and thirsting after and only He could give her living water so that she would never thirst again. Only Jesus could fill the void in her heart.
Back to cultural interpretation. Paul addressed the problem of women speaking in the church because the women were now asking all kinds of questions. Only the men were educated, taught in the scriptures and could read at that time. Women, under old testament worship, could not speak, study the scriptures or participate in the worship service. They could not even sit with the men. They had to sit in the back and pretty much be invisible. Now under Christian worship services, the women were allowed to participate and ask questions and the fact that they were doing so states that they were taking advantage of their new identity in Christ, because there is neither Jew nor Gentile, male or female distinctions because they were all as one under Jesus Christ. The women were so hungry to learn that they disrupted the worship services. Thus, Paul asked them to keep silent in the church and have their husbands teach them at home. The equivalent, today, would be telling you children not to talk in church because they would disrupt the service. Have you ever tried delivering a message when you are being interrupted constantly with questions? Paulâs whole point was that there was confusion and disruption in the church, and God was not the author of confusion. That is why he told the women to keep silent in the church and have their husbands teach them at home. If you were to interpret this literally, women would be uneducated mutes in the church who were unable to participate in the worship of the Lord who bought them with His blood.
The whole reason Paul addressed spiritual gifts to the church in Corinth were because, the pagan worshipers in neighboring Delphi, which had infiltrated Corinth, operated in the counterfeit gifts of the spirit. Not everything supernatural is of God and not everything supernatural is of the devil. Satan counterfeits what God does and if God’s gifts weren’t of any value, satan wouldn’t counterfeit them, would he? Because there were many questions arising on spiritual gifts, their operation and the need for discernment, Paul taught on spiritual gifts. The pagan worshipers offered sacrifices to their gods, which were later eaten. Paul taught on eating meat that was sacrificed to pagan gods because of this practice that had infiltrated Corinth.
Much of the interpretation of the bible cannot be understood without knowing the culture or history. We end up missing the whole point, reading things out of context and misunderstanding what is being said because it is taken literally or legalistically. False doctrines, divisions and heresies arise.
Another example of cultural interpretation of the bible would be regarding the tithe. When you read the book of Malachi, ask yourself this: Who is God speaking to? If you do not answer that question, you will miss the whole point. The Lord is addressing the spiritual leaders. He is not speaking to the people. It was the leaders who were being rebuked for not taking care of the poor, fatherless and those in need. It was the leaders who were told that they were robbing God because they did not give their tithe to the needy as they were supposed to. They kept it just as today’s greedy, prosperity preachers do. They rob the poor and needy. In the book of Malachi, the people lived in a Theocracy and this was their welfare system. We now live in a Democracy that was ordained by God and we pay taxes in order to support those in need through various government agencies. We pay anywhere from 30% to 40% of our income in taxes. I am not saying we shouldn’t support our churches. I am saying that God isn’t calling the poor God robbers for not tithing to the greedy and prosperous church leaders. These leaders imply that God will not do anything for them unless they first tithe, which many of them cannot do. Some of these church leaders will not even talk to you, if you call to make an appointment, unless they can verify that you tithe to their church. The implication is that you don’t count in their eyes or the Lord’s. How un-Christ like! Thus, they are shutting up the doors of heaven for these people. These church leaders are extortionist that will not enter the kingdom of heaven, as the bible teaches. Places of worship have become a den of thieves as these leaders use Godâs word, taken out of context and missing the point, to shame people into giving. If we go back to the faith based initiatives that President Bush is strongly promoting, I am afraid the poor and needy will starve and go without in these types of churches or in our ho hum, lukewarm, I don’t care society.
The book of Malachi was speaking to the men, sometimes, too. God was rebuking them for how they treated their wives. They were sexually immoral and physically abusive to their wives and had the wives cover their bruises with their garments. Then they came to church and sacrificed to God, thinking everything was just fine between them and the Lord. God not only rebuked these men for the hardness of their hearts and the way they treated their wives, but He also, rebuked the priests for allowing it, or turning a blind eye to it. God is calling them to repentance. If they do not repent, God will allow divorce, even though He hates it. Everyone quotes the verse about God hating divorce in order to get people to remain married in abusive or adulterous marriages. They miss the whole point! God is saying that He hates divorce and divorce is the consequence of treating your wife treacherously! If they don’t repent, God will allow divorce over the beatings and broken hearts that the men are afflicting upon the wife of their youth. Divorce was God’s permissive will, not His perfect will.
Let’s go on to another cultural interpretation of the bible. This one pertains to the last supper. In the Jewish culture, a young man would propose to a young woman by pouring a cup of wine and setting it before her. If she drank the wine, she was accepting his proposal and they became engaged. An engagement was taken very seriously and it could not be broken without a judgment or writ of divorcement. The young man then went away to build a home for his betrothed. Jesus told His disciples that He would go and prepare a place for them in heaven. The home building was supervised by the young man’s father so that a suitable home was built. The father made sure that a shack was not thrown up so the young man could go get his bride. When the home was ready, the young man gathered his groomsmen together and waited outside the city or town. A messenger was sent before him to ride through the streets to shout to the young women to light her lamp and get ready to meet her groom. This was done in the middle of the night or around the midnight hour. After a sufficient amount of time passed for the bride to prepare for her groom, the groom came and swept his betrothed away to be married, where a seven day wedding feast followed. After the seven days, the married couple returned.
You would have to know the cultural in order for the bible to make sense. When Jesus poured the wine at the last supper, He was proposing to us. If we drink the wine, which is the cup of His blood, we are accepting this proposal and we are now ENGAGED to Jesus. We are not married yet, and a writ of divorcement or judgment can take place if we are unfaithful or not ready when He comes for us. Joseph was seeking to get a writ of divorcement against Mary when he found that she was pregnant with Jesus and he knew he had not been with her. An angel had to stop Joseph from doing this. Jesus will send forerunners before Him to announce to His betrothed that He is coming. She is to light her lamp and prepare herself for the wedding or marriage. We must be without spot or wrinkle and prepared for our groom. The foolish do not have enough oil for their lamps. They miss the wedding feast. Jesus comes for those who are ready and prepared and whisks us away (rapture) to be married. He then returns with us after the seven days (years of tribulation?)
Here is another question for you? Why did the Lord keep the Israelites from eating certain kinds of animals? Why did He have them go through such a vigorous cleansing process in preparing their food and utensils? Think about it! God had to preserve the Jewish race because it was through them that the Messiah was to come to save the world. They did not have refrigeration in those days as we do now. Certain kinds of animal meat and such, like pork, could prove to be fatal and kill off many people in the Jewish race. They just had to trust God and obey because God wasnât going to go into the explanation that there were micro organism in the unpreserved flesh of certain animals and these micro organisms could kill them.
The time and culture play a huge part in interpreting and understanding the bible. Many times, taken literally and out of context, it will lead to a legalistic doctrine of heresies that cause division, strife, repression, suppression, abusive hierarchy, and every evil thing. This is not of God. Try the fruits of the doctrine because it is by the fruits you will know. For instance: women are to keep silent in the church and have their heads covered when taken literally, would have women be oppressed, suppressed mutes wearing hats or veils. Women would not be able to sing, praise, prophecy, etc. It implication is that women are not as good as a man and the gifts that God has given them for ministry are never acknowledge or exercised because of the respecter of persons doctrine being practiced in the church. It is not what people say that is believed, but what they do. I have heard many in the church say all the right things, but their actions are something different. What you do is what you really believe in your heart, not what you say. The walk must match the talk or the person is desperately deceived. All legalistic doctrines are doctrines of demons and they have many of the same characteristics, only to varying degrees. Legalistic churches that do not permit women to participate or exercise their God given gifts, oppress women just as the Taliban does, only to a different degree. They quench the moving of the Holy Spirit. God hates all forms of oppression and suppression. God said that He will pour His Spirit out on ALL FLESH. That includes women. Your sons and your daughters will prophecy! That means that God will give a message or speak to you through a female. If the male dominated hierarchy within the church oppresses and suppresses women and will not permit them to operate in the gifts God has bestowed upon them, they will miss God and what He has to say to the churches. Many churches pigeon hole women into certain roles that have nothing to do with their God given gifts and callings. If women are despised within the church and are considered weak, that is exactly who God will use. He takes the weak things of the world and the despised and uses them to confound the wise so that no flesh will glory in His presence.
Yes indeed, when scripture interpreted out of context without historical and cultural background, you have a legalistic doctrine of demons spewing heresies as truth. That is why it is so important to be meek and teachable and try the fruits of any doctrine being taught. If it is exclusive, oppressive, or lording authority over others instead of serving, it is a doctrine of demons and God hates it. If you are a Christian who truly loves the Lord, you have no business teaching or promoting something God hates.
We live in end times! It is the job of the Holy Spirit to rebuke, reprove and to instruct unto righteousness. The definition of rebuke or reprove means to show strong hatred or disapproval of something. Your flesh will hate it, and I pray that you will not walk in the flesh and be defensive by rationalizing, justifying, explaining, giving your intent, and so on. There is a reason Jesus didn’t do those things. It is sin and it is of the flesh. God will use a messenger or person to speak through. God has even been known to use a donkey. Don’t reject the message or injure the messenger because the message displays this strong hatred or disapproval as the Holy Spirit speaks through this person. To do so means that you have thrown it back into the face of the Holy Spirit, which is the definition of blasphemy. It is time to awake, and prepare ourselves to meet our groom. Allow Him to wash you with the Truth of the water of the word in order to make of you a bride, without spot or wrinkle. Listen to the messengers being sent ahead of the Lord, before it is too late. It is time to wake up and get prepared!