What is the essence of you? When you wake up each morning, what truly drives you? What causes you to move foward?
With these questions on your mind, I’d like to show you a verse of scripture.
(1 John 2:16)
FOR ALL THAT IS IN THIS WORLD, THE LUST OF THE FLESH, AND THE LUST OF THE EYES, AND THE PRIDE OF LIFE, IS NOT OF THE FATHER, BUT IS OF THE WORLD.
This verse means exactly what it says. No matter what your flesh or eyes lust for, God is not in any of it! No matter how good you are at what you do as part of this world, how proud you are of all you have done in this world or, of this world; God is not in any of it. There’s a saying that goes like this (HEAVEN AND EARTH SHALL PASS AWAY, ONLY THAT WHICH IS DONE FOR CHRIST WILL LAST)!
If you follow me, read things I write, you probably already know that my greatest burden, passion is seeking to reach (Church members) that are still of this world in their spiritual walk. In other words, they say they believe in Jesus Christ, they’ve been baptized and, are members of a local Church however, they have never experienced the new birth in Jesus Christ, that have never been born again.
There is a dividing place; a place that will always separate each born again believer from the cares of this world. So, how do we define that place in any person’s life? Is it possible to do so? Personally, I believe that it’s something that God, by his Holy Spirit must show each individual within themselves. However, it will take, in most cases someone that is truly willing to bring that knowledge to light within an individual’s heart. When the word (heart) is used here it’s speaking of the (center of your being).
I believe that the word of God gives us pictures of what I’m speaking of; we just have to be able to recognize those things when we see them. We must allow God’s Spirit to show us just who we are. I’ll use a couple of passage to make my point. The first one we’ll look into is:
AND LOT ALSO, WHICH WENT WITH ABRAM, HAD FLOCKS, AND HERDS, AND TENTS. (6) AND THE LAND WAS NOT ABLE TO BEAR THEM, THAT THEY MIGHT DWELL TOGETHER: FOR THEIR SUBSTANCE WAS GREAT, SO THEY COULD NOT DWELL TOGETHER (7) AND THERE WAS A STRIFE BETWEEN THE HERDMEN OF ABRAM’S CATTLE AND THE HERDMEN OF LOT’S CATTLE: AND THE CANAANITE AND THE PERIZZITE DWELLED IN THE LAND. (8) AND ABRAM SAID UNTO LOT, LET THERE BE NO STRIFE, I PRAY THEE, BETWEEN ME AND THEE, AND BETWEEN MY HERDMEN AND THY HERSMEN, FOR WE BE BRETHREN. (9) IS NOT THE WHOLE LAND BEFORE THEE? SEPERATE THYSELF, I PRAY THEE, FROM ME: IF THOU WILT TAKE THE LEFT HAND, THEN I WILL GO TO THE RIGHT; OR IF THOU DEPART TO THE RIGHT HAND, THEN I WILL TO THE LEFT. (10) AND LOT LIFTED UP HIS EYES, AND BEHELD THE PLAINS OF JORDON, THAT THEY WERE WELL WATERED EVERY WHERE, BEFORE THE LORD DESTROYED SODOM AND GOMORRAH.
As you read this, I want you to notice something about Abram. To Abram, it had nothing to do with what he could see with his eyes. His heart: (the center of his being) was steadfast on the fact that God would provide for him no matter what he could see with his eyes. I will say this, Abram was not a perfect man, just like each of us. We all have our weaknesses. If you’ll go back to (Genesis 12) and read the first few verses; you will see that he was supposed to separate himself from his family. He made a choice to bring Lot with him However, he now sees the wisdom of God in asking him to do just that.
Even in the picture we see, each of these men had far more than either of them actually needed. We see that as we read. If I had to make a guess about the strife between the herdsmen; I’d say that Lot’s herdsmen were picking to best grass spots and, watered spots for their herds and leaving the leftovers for Abram’s herdsmen.
In my spiritual eye, why couldn’t both men just do away with all they didn’t need and get it down to just what they needed? We can see the (pride of life) in that picture. With that point being made, it still stands to reason that Abram was growing spiritually and seen the need to separate himself from lot. Even at that, he didn’t just pick a way to go. He allowed Lot to make that choice. Within that choice, we see the (lust of the eyes) and (the lust of the flesh). Lot chose according to what he could see.
As we consider (the world) and (to whom we will serve), let’s look at these verses a little deeper. If you will notice; in these verses, Abram pointed out that (there were Canaanites and Perizzites) in the land. As we look at Abram and Lot; they can be seen as God’s people living among (the people of the world). What happens to (the people of the world) when they see (God’s people) that have strife among them? As far as the world is concerned; have we caused great confusion as believers because we can’t come to an agreement about what truth is? The point is that Abram seen the fact that (the world) was seeing the strife between them.
As we look at this, let’s go back to the simplest form of this. Often as (Church members) we forget how the world sees us. There’s not and, cannot be but one truth. If we say that Abram was truth and Lot was not in this picture; we can clearly see who God blessed as we continue to read. If you’ll notice, it was Abram (God’s seed) that was concerned about how the world seen him. At some point as time moved forward in the New Testament; there became (a strife) between what truth was and (some man’s opinion). At that point (denominations were formed), bring confusion unto this world.
Although Abram made a (spiritual mistake) choosing to allow Lot to go with him, at this point he separated himself from the mistake he had made and moved forward spiritually. I’ve made this point before. I’ll use myself as an example. I got saved, was born again in a Baptist Church. does that fact make (the Baptist) correct in all they do? No, it doesn’t! Is that denomination (absolute truth)? No, it isn’t! What it means is that (the truth) and my ability to know it just moved into my heart. He (the Holy Spirit) is the one that directs me to truth, not a denomination!
(TO WHOM DO YOU SERVE)? Are you settling for what some man teaches you or, can you separate yourself from what man teaches and follow the leading of the (Spirit of God)? When we simply settle for less than the (truth) aren’t we being more like Lot and not at all like Abram?
So, we see a spiritual picture here with these two men. Before we get into the spiritual aspect any deeper, let’s also look at the next scripture God laid on my heart.
AND RUTH SAID, INTREAT ME NOT TO LEAVE THEE, OR TO RETURN FROM FOLLOWING AFTER THEE: FOR WHETHER THOU GOEST, I WILL GO; AND WHERE THOU LODGEST, I WILL LODGE: THY PEOPLE SHALL BE MY PEOPLE, AND THY GOD MY GOD: ( 17 ) WHERE THOU DIEST, WILL I DIE, AND THERE WILL I BE BURIED: THE LORD DO SO TO ME, AND MORE ALSO, IF OUGHT BUT DEATH PART THEE AND ME,
Here again, we see a spiritual picture of two people. In this picture, in this book, we see Naomi a woman and her husband that left the hardship as it unfolded in (Israel) and went to (Moab) a worldly land. There; her sons took two wives from this land. In time, her husband and, both sons died. Naomi is now returning to her homeland. She is seeking to persuade her daughters in law to stay in their land.
We see in this verse that Ruth is determined to go with her. She is very willing to give up all that she is and become exactly what Naomi and her people are! If you will study this all the way out, you will find that Ruth actually is a great grandparent of the people of Jesus Christ!
The contrast between these two sets of people can be seen in two different lights. While we can see Abram as a type of a new believer simply growing away from the things of this world, learning as he goes forward spiritually, we see Naomi and a spiritual person that choose to (what we might call) backslide and go back into the world. Then, she decided to go back to her spiritual roots, Ruth was determined to become part of that spiritual life.
What we often fail to be taught or, see is the need to leave this world and to allow God’s Spirit to transform us into all (that Spirit) would have us be. Can you see how Lot was drawn to this world and all the good things he could see? Abram was blessed because he chose to place his faith in God the Father.
In all of Naomi’s failures, Ruth could still see a need for spiritual things in her life and was determined to follow her footsteps back to where God always wanted her to be.
We, like both Lot and Naomi are drawn to the things of this world. Even as believers; when things in our lives are hard, we lean often on our own understanding and not on the faith we have in the will of God.
Lot can be seen more as a man that only knows the things of the world. Naomi is more like a believer that trusts more in the world than her faith in God.
Personally, I believe that both Lot and a Naomi were believers. They both just made bad spiritual choices in their lives. However, in the world we live in there are many that are not saved and seek the pleasures, good things of this world. Both Lot and Naomi were blessed because of the spiritual knowledge they each had witnessed. What happens to people that never have that spiritual knowledge?
Before we move on and, with the concept of spiritual knowledge in mind, let’s look at Lot for a minute. Lot was the nephew of Abram. So, let’s just assume he knew something about the spiritual walk of Abram. He had even acknowledged God the Father but, he had his eyes on worldly things.
As we look at the herdsmen of both Abram and Lot, in most cases they were all family members and the wives they had married plus their children. We know that Lot chose the things he could see with his eyes. Was he not leading his children in that same sinful direction? If we continue to follow Lot, we will see that God saved Lot from destruction but, what happened to all that were with him? We’re they not destroyed?
As we get into (CHOOSE WHOM YOU WILL SERVE) this will be a major point. If we look at Naomi, she turned back to God the Father, Ruth went with her, choosing to face anything necessary to do so. Because of that choice we can watch the blessed things that happened as time moved forward. That is, even the birth of Jesus Christ! Ruth being in that line, brought about faith unto salvation of this world.
Also, that spiritual line we watch in Naomi and Ruth came from the loins of Abram. Remember the (heart)? (The center of one’s being)? The very fact that we, as we live today have the possibility of salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ is directly connected to the heart of these people. However, where’s Lot? Where are his descendants?
When we us the word (descendants) in the spiritual sense; it’s much deeper that just those that are in our physical family line. It goes to the people that believe in God, the blood of Jesus Christ because of our faith, our witness as we walk through the time we are here on earth.
If we look at Ruth for instance. She was actually not any kin to Naomi, was she? Ruth was a Gentle that married Naomi’s son. I’d like to show you something about Naomi in a spiritual sense, making a spiritual point. We can view Naomi as a type of the Church living in a sin cursed world. Just as Naomi wasn’t perfect, neither is the Church. However, it’s not within our physical beings that brings about spiritual regeneration but, it’s our inner man, our faith, it’s the seed of our being, Jesus Christ, God’s Spirit within us!
As I mention this, I’m not necessarily speaking of a local Church. I’m speaking of the (Church universal) the body of Christ. We must distinguish between (the local Church) and those that are truly born of God’s Spirit, born again. Let’s look at this verse.
WOE UNTO THEM! FOR THEY HAVE GONE IN THE WAY OF CAIN, AND RAN GREEDILY AFTER THE ERROR OF BALAAM FOR REWARD, AND PERISHED IN THE GAINSAYING OF CORE.
All three of these men mentioned were men that had the ability to seek and walk with God. The point that Jude is making is that there are members of Churches that are exactly like these three men. All they do has nothing to do with the will of God but, it’s all about themselves. Again, as we continue in (WHOM YE SHALL SERVE) these are the things we must point out!
(THE WAY OF CAIN)
When we consider Cain, the firstborn son of Adam; just how many different things could he have been taught? As we look at this, let’s begin with what God had already told Adam. I often make this point when speaking about this. God didn’t tell both Adam and Eve about the (The Fruit of the Tree of knowledge of God and Evil). He only told Adam. So, doesn’t that leave the responsibility of teaching Eve up to Adam? We can say that God did come down in the cool of the day to fellowship with them, I realize that; however, can we look at that as a type of people going to Church on Sunday morning? A man takes his wife to Church on Sunday morning. The pastor has less than an hour with the whole congregation. The husband has the rest of the week with his wife. As I make this statement; I wonder just how much the average person pays attention to the pastor on Sunday?
I heard a story once about a pastor standing and preaching to his people. A man came in the door of the Church and began to steal all the coats and hats that were hanging in the vestibule of the Church. The pastor was the only one to see him. He yelled at least three times. (SOMEONE’S STEALING ALL THE HATS AND COATS)! Not one person even looked back to see, therefore the preacher just continued to preach his message.
After thr service, all the people seen their coats and hats were gone. They questioned the pastor about it. He replied, I shouted three times about it, no one even looked back. The people replied, we thought you were just preaching.
The point I’m making about this is that (spiritual teaching) goes much deeper than just a pastor on Sunday morning or, even just a man and his wife reading the Bible at night and praying together. There must be a noticeable difference in the everyday activities of a husband such as the job he has, hobbies he likes and, his spiritual walk with God continually. Our hobbies and jobs can be a great part of the world but, our spiritual walk must take the precedence in our lives, even as we do all the other things we do.
God had given Adam the responsibility to be the caretaker of the garden, to name the animals. (Genesis 2: 8-20). However, that wasn’t the reason that Adam was here, was it? Both Adam and Eve were placed here to fellowship with God the Father. Do you realize just how close Adam and Eve came to being separated from God forever? In my heart (I believe) that both Adam and Eve realized just how close they came to that and, (I believe) that they knew the importance of God killing an animal, shedding blood that they might be redeemed! (I believe) it was so real to them that when they let the garden, began to have children, they taught their children all about the grace of God.
When I asked the question; just how many things could have Cain been taught; don’t forget (the serpent) was still all about them! He has a powerful influence on any person and, especially on those that won’t believe in the blood sacrifice, with the importance thereof. I’d like to use something that Eve said to prove my point.
AND ADAM KNEW HIS WIFE AGAIN: AND SHE BARE A SON, AND CALLED HIS NAME SETH: FOR GOD SAID SHE, HATH APPOINTED ME ANOTHER SEED INSTEAD OF ABEL, WHOM CAIN SLEW.
Do you see the passion of Eve there? As a mother, she could see the mindset of Cain, the fact that he didn’t recognize the need of a blood sacrifice. The son she had (Seth) did see that and sought to share that grace with others. He replaced the son (Abel) that had been slain by the son that didn’t. She was (shall we say) praying to God that she might have another (seed) that would take that message far beyond the lives that they would live. God delivered that (WORLD SAVING GRACE) in the (heart) of Seth.
As you know, I like to see spiritual pictures in the things we see in scripture. Eve, being (THE TYPE) of the Church (the body of Jesus Christ) was more concerned about the spiritual aspect of mankind than she was the physical aspect. In any spirit filled Church it will always be about the spiritual wellbeing of people. never the physical. While a man, a husband might desire seed to carry his name forward in this world, the woman, the wife, being a type of the Church, if she’s spiritual will always be looking, teaching those children to be more concerned about the spiritual aspect of their lives.
Cain believe he could do things himself that (should) be pleasing to God. As I look at this; I consider the mindset that someone might have. The fact that living above sin is (serving) God. There are those that believe they can live (a sinless) life and be pleasing to God. Isn’t that exactly what Cain thought? He offered (the fruit of his hands). The things that he was able to do. As we consider (WHOM YE SHALL SERVE) what does it mean to serve God? If I were able to live above sin, never sin, would I be serving God because of that fact?
Let’s say you decided to join the military. Once you joined, they gave you a handbook of all that they expected as far as how you cut you hair, the way you dressed, the way you clean your weapon, even how you made your bed. If you met all those requirements perfectly; does that mean you are serving your country? A servant seeks to do the will of someone else. It does involve living as much as possible as being pleasing to the one you serve but, that’s not the most important part of your service.
The Bible calls Cain (a vagabond). What is a vagabond? (A person who wanders from place to place without a home or job), (having no settled home). Is this not a description of a person to whom believes they can lose their salvation? They are never settled on whether heaven or hell will be their home. Why? Because (they know) they are less than all God desires for them to be! They seek to feel assured within their own minds that (their righteousness) is a homeplace for them, wherever they deem that place to be at all different points in their lives. As their lives unfold, they always have a way to justify their own actions but, they never actually find that (home) true place of security in their lives. This is (the way of Cain). Therefore (to whom) are you serving?
( THE ERROR OF BALAAM )
What was (the error of Balaam)? We can easily tie this mindset to the (way of Cain). The error of Balaam was (assuming). However, it appears to me that it’s possible more than one way we can see his error. You can read the whole account of Balaam in (Numbers 22). Basically, Balaam was a prophet of God. As you read, you will notice that the King of Moab, Balak, sought to get Balaam, God’s prophet to curse Israel. As far as what Balaam assumed, he knew Israel was far less than all God desired for them to be. He assumed, knowing that fact; that God would have to curse them. That’s what he, in his fleshly way of thinking thought. So, let’s see if we can place (Balaam) and (Cain) by their mindsets together. If we follow the (way of Cain) in our fleshly minds, we are doing things correctly. Therefore, when we see someone else doing things that we, in our minds deem to be wrong then (we assume) God is going to curse them because of the things they are doing. The problem with that way of thinking is (then we all will be cursed). Why? Because we all are sinners and fall short of God’s glory. When Balaam looked at Israel and seen sin, wasn’t he also and Israelite? Didn’t he deserve the same condemnation?
Now, let’s notice something about both of these men being (Cain and Balaam). Neither of them is seeking to form another God to follow, they are just not seeing (the truth)! They can’t understand the grace of God. In (Cain’s) way; he’s saying to God, (look at all I’ve done). In (Balaam’ s) error he’s saying to God (look what they have done). Can we agree on this fact? God doesn’t need any prophet or either you or me if he decides to bring a curse on any one or, any group of people.
I’m seeking to show a picture of different mindsets of people, using these three individuals as our guideline. When we truly get into (to whom we serve) we truly need to evaluate our own personal lives as we look into why we do the things we do. Are we truly seeking to yield ourselves to God the Father or, are we looking for him to do or, except our personal choice?
Consider this: when we pray; are we truly seeking God’s will or, are we seeking to get God the Father to take heed to what we are asking for? If you will read through (Numbers 22) you will notice that when (Balaam the prophet) asked God, the Father what to do about cursing Israel. Didn’t God the Father give him an answer? (Yes, he Did)? And the answer was not hard to understand! However, when Balaam returned, after a while the king sweetened the pot. Therefore. Balaam went back and asked God the Father again. At that point, can’t we say that Balaam already knew the desire of God’s heart? Why ask again? He asked again because it was something of this world he desired and, that had nothing to do with God’s will. It also had nothing to do with a desire to help Israel. (To whom was he serving)?
Balaam assumed God had to curse Israel because of their sin. He also assumed that he could change God’s mind if he continued to ask him but, he wasn’t asking for Israel to be better but for himself.
As we consider (to whom we serve) I believe it’s often also true in our prayer lives. God speaks and, either we don’t listen or, we are not satisfied with his answer. Very often we are also praying to receive something we desire and not for God’s will.
We can actually see three different sides of Balaam: (1) The error of Balaam. (Assuming God must Curse) (Jude 1:11) (2) The Way of Balaam. (He Desired to Sell the Gift Gad had given him). (2 Peter 2:15) (3) (The Doctrine of Balaam) (Revelation 2:14). The doctrine of Balaam was teaching a man to corrupt a people that cannot be cursed.
We see all three of these things in one man. When we consider (to whom we serve) can we see the same things in ourselves? When we (assume) something; we are often driven to act on what we think and not what God’s truth reveals or, what God’s Spirit is actually saying to us. Also, what is the most important to you, the money you can make or seeking God’s will for your life? There are many Churches today that say: (we have hired a pastor). And that is exactly what they did! The person that pastors them has been educated in the way of Balaam, they commit the error of Balaam, and they teach the doctrine of Balaam!
How do they teach this? They teach it by not teaching (sanctification) a separation from this world unto the will of God. Not only is this seen in our Churches but, it’s the same way in the average (so called) Christian home. We teach our children that their secular education, the money they can make, and their social standing is what’s important. We like to see them join Church, say they believe in Christ and, get baptized but, we never teach a true separation from this world.
The Bible puts it this way:
( Matthew 6:24 )
NO MAN CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS: FOR EITHER HE WILL HATE THE ONE, AND LOVE THE OTHER; OR ELSE HE WILL HOLD TO THE ONE, AND DESPISE THE OTHER: YE CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON.
So, Balaam taught Balak and his people this. Since I can’t curse Israel, what you need to do is offer them the same thing you’re offering me. Help them to see the beauty and bounty of your lifestyle. Balaam is telling them I can’t curse Israel, but you can corrupt them just as you have done me!
In the average local Church supposedly, we see God’s people. Whether that is a true fact or not is only known by each individual and God the Father. However, have those members become so much like the world they live in that now, the world can’t see any difference?
If you noticed, I tied Cain to Balaam together in the first part of this. Can we also tie Balaam to Core together as the last man mentioned in (Jude 1:11)? I believe so. We’ll get to him now as we consider (to whom we serve). One of the first things we must understand and realize is this. There’s no such thing as a perfect man, that is even if he is a prophet! Balaam was a man that God chose to be a spokesman (prophet) for him. However, he is still in the flesh and, can easily be swayed by the fleshly body he lives in.
A prophet, just as any person has to be willing to speak truth, the truth that God tells him to reveal. (In my flesh) I often say (I don’t have an opinion). Now, any person that reads this probably understands that (I do) have an opinion, However, my point is that (my opinion) just like any other person’s opinion is no important. It’s the perfect word of God that’s important. (In the opinion) of Balaam, Israel needed to be cursed. In his flesh he acted to bring (his opinion) to pass.
As we look into Core or (Korah) as he is called in (Numbers) he also had an opinion. (In his opinion) Moses took too much upon himself. Now, let’s look at these verses of scripture:
NOW KORAH, THE SON OF IZHAR, THE SON OF KOHATH, THE SON OF LEVI, AND DATHAN AND ABIRAM, THE SONS OF ELIAB, AND ON, THE SON OF PELETH, SONS OF REUBEN, TOOK MEN: ( 2 ) AND THEY ROSE UP BEFORE MOSES, WITH CERTAIN OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY PRINCES OF THE ASSEMBLY, FAMOUS IN THE CONGREGATION, MEN OF RENOWN: ( 3 ) AND THEY GATHERED THEMSELVES TOGETHER AGAINST MOSE AND AGAINST AARON, AND SAID UNTO THEM, YOU TAKE TOO MUCH UPON YOU, SEEING ALL THE CONGREGATION ARE HOLY, EVERY ONE OF THEM, AND THE LORD IS AMONG THEM: WHEREFORE THEN LIFT YE UP YOURSELVES ABOVE THE CONGREGATION OF THE LORD?
Whether we like this or not, it doesn’t matter (it’s truth)! (IT CANNOT BE BUT ONE TRUTH)! And as born-again believers we must diligently seek for (that truth) denying any opinion by any man or person. In the picture we see in these verses; we see people denying that one truth, one voice and believing that they all had (an opinion) about what (truth) might be.
In this picture (Moses) is the voice of God the Father to his people. It doesn’t matter whether the people like what he has to say or not. How God leads is always right! Core or, Korah as we see him in (Numbers) didn’t like the place they were, neither did a lot of other people in Israel at the time. Does that fact, (that opinion) alone mean that God didn’t have them there?
There are all kinds of things we can say here however, we are looking into (whom will you serve). The fact is at this point Israel had already made a choice to be where they were. Did you notice in the verses we read that (Korah) stated that the (whole congregation) was holy (every one of them)? Is that what we assume about ourselves today therefore we actually don’t need to hear the voice of God and his direction?
As we close this segment out (TO WHOM DO YOU SERVE), considering these three men mentioned in (Jude); we must see this! Jude is writing this to (THOSE THAT ARE SANCTIFIED BY GOD THE FATHER) (PRESERVED IN JESUS CHRIST), (Verse 1). He is pointing out that (GIVE ALL DILIGENCE TO THE COMMON SALVATION) to (EARNESTLY CONTENT FOR THE FAITH) which (WAS ONCE DELIVERED UNTO THE SAINTS). (Verse 3).
Why is that so needed? Because there are (CERTAIN MEN CREPT IN UNAWARES). (WHO WERE BEFORE OF OLD ORDAINED TO THIS COMDEMNATION).
God the Father doesn’t have to call names! What is being said is that each of us are either like (Moses) or, any of the other prophets that truly sought to reveal truth or, we are possibly like one of these three men or, even worse: worshipping a false god. So, what he is doing here is causing men to stop and consider, (to whom they are serving)! As individuals we must be mindful of being led by (false teachers) of all kinds of falsehoods. However, just as Jude is saying, it doesn’t matter what the man’s name is or, what denomination, (God still calls them by one of these names)!
(CONSIDER: TO WHOM DO YOU SERVE)?
Jude uses the term (EARNESTLY CONTEND FOR THE FAITH). As you consider yourself would you rather be called or recognized by the name of Jesus Christ, Cain, Balaam or Core? When Jude uses that term that is exactly what he is asking these people. So, let’s consider some things about Jesus Christ.
Unlike Cain, would you agree with me that Jesus Christ believed in a blood sacrifice? As a matter of fact, his own blood became the true sacrificial blood for the sin of this world. Jesus Christ even made this statement:
VERILY, VERILY, I SAY UNTO YOU, EXCEPT YE EAT THE FLESH OF THE SON OF MAN, AND DRINK HIS BLOOD, YE SHALL HAVE NO LIFE IN YOU.
Now, look at these verses:
BUT AS MANY AS RECEIVED HIM, TO THEM GAVE HE POWER TO BECOME THE SONS OF GOD, EVEN TO THEM THAT BELIEVE ON HIS NAME: (13) WHICH WAS BORN, NOT OF BLOOD, NOR BY THE WILL OF THE FLESH, NOR OF THE WILL OF MAN, BUT OF GOD. (14) AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, AND DWELT AMONG US, (AND WE BEHELD HIS GLORY AS OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER,) FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH.
I wanted to show you these verses to make the point about (eating his flesh). It the spiritual consuming of the word of God. When we except his blood as a covering for our sin, we’re drinking his blood. If you’ll notice here is makes reference to the way, we are born-again. (Which are born, not of blood, nor by the will of the flesh, nor by the will of man, but of God). Salvation comes when God, by his word draws conviction on the heart of man, showing him his lost condition and drawing him to the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, no other way!
TO WHOM DO YOU SERVE?
Friends, be aware! We’re living in the last days! Jude is speaking to individuals like you and me warning them of the evils of man, even back in his day. You might not like it but, most Churches today are set up after either Cain, Balaam or Core! To me, it’s easily seen. For instance, you go to your pastor and tell him you’re going to quit paying him a salary, we’ll take up a love offering from the congregation each service, what they give is what your pay will be. Just see if he’s willing to stay as your pastor. (Balaam). Pay attention to your Church, do you see more of the world in the people or more of Jesus Christ? (Corrupting the people of God). If I can’t curse them, I’ll corrupt them! (Balaam).
How many pastors do you have in your Church? More than one? Is that not the argument (Core) was making? Telling Moses, you take too much on yourself? You say, well we have a big Church. Maybe if a Church is too big for just one pastor to handle, we need to start another Church! The Church I attend has three pastors, head pastor, assistant pastor and youth pastor. Now, I’m going to say something here you’re not going to like. Believe it or not, in the average Church like I attend, no matter what we think. the youth pastor is calling the shots. The rest is in name only! The head pastor is nothing more than a figure head and paid well for standing where he stands.
If you doubt me, you try standing against the actions of any one of those children and see where it ends up. You don’t have to agree with me however, all I’m doing is trying to help you see (to whom you serve). What happened to people that decided to follow Core? Where do you want to end up? All I’m saying is, if I’m right, pay attention! It will matter in the end!
Let’s look at (the way of Cain). He was a vagabond; he had no true home. As you read this; do you know your true home is heaven? Do you know and will confess to the people at your Church, your neighbors that you know without a shadow of a doubt that you’re saved and on your way to heaven or, are you trusting in the works of your hands? Do you doubt your salvation because you know you are not perfect? Or will you stand and proclaim that the blood of Christ has covered my every sin, past, present and future? Will you confess that fact?
When we know Jesus Christ as our Savior, we realize that it’s not our righteousness that we are trusting, it’s his righteousness! Therefore, our salvation is founded on an unchanging rock, Jesus Christ. I know I’m going to heaven, (my home) because of him and not myself.
That fact needs to be shouted from every pulpit! Every person needs to understand where their home is and why that home is set in concrete. Look at what the Apostle Paul said:
PAUL, AN APOSTLE, (NOT OF MAN, NEITHER BY MAN, BUT BY JESUS CHRIST, AND GOD THE FATHER, WHO RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD;)
NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH WE HAVE DON, BUT ACCORDING TO HIS MERCY HE SAVED US, BY THE WASHING OF REGENERATION AND RENEWING OF THE HOLY GHOST.
What any born-again believer has in their heart is not of any man, Church, denomination, religion. If it is, then (to whom do you serve)? If your obedience is to those men (to whom do you serve)?
In closing, I serve my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! The Church I attend; I’m not a member there for what that Church can do for me. I like to fellowship with people, hear God’s word when it’s preached but I’m there for the express purpose of allowing God to use me that I might help the spiritual aspect of any person I have the privilege to, that’s it!
Just guessing I’d say we have somewhere around six hundred members. I am a former pastor and there are at least two other former pastors that attend our Church. As I’ve stated, we also have three pastors on our staff. Some time ago, in our community there was a Church that went bankrupted. God began to stir in my heart. I approached our pastor with my burden. I told him; look, we have a lot of members, even available preachers right here in our Church. I told him what God had laid on my heart. Why don’t we buy that Church, start a new work with some of our people and pastors? He said (WOW)! I told him I would never mention it again! I had shared what God’s Spirit asked me to do, I just laid it in your lap> I never heard another word about it, even until this day.
Someone else seen the possibility and actually purchased that building. My point is that far too often we get so focused on numbers, size and a building that we simply refuse to downsize even for the glory of God. I want you to understand, the fact that I laid this on my pastor’s heart doesn’t make me right. However, can you see that if that opportunity had been offered to our Church with passion moving forward that it could have caused people to refocus on the spiritual life they have?
I personally don’t have the finances to take on a project like that on my own. I’m also aging and don’t have the ability I use to have. With all that being said, I did tell him that my wife and I would gladly do all we could to bring that new work to pass.
All I’m saying is that each of us, with our spiritual eyes needs to determine (to whom we serve)! With that in mind, look at what it says in:
I KNOW THY WORKS, THAT THOU ART NEITHER COLD NOR HOT: I WOULD THOU WERT COLD OR HOT. (16) SO THEN BECAUSE THOU ART LUKEWARM, AND NEITHER COLD NOR HOT, I WILL SPUE THEE OUT OF MY MOUTH. (17) BECAUSETHOU SAYEST, I AM RICH, AND INCREASED WITH GOODS, AND HAVE NEED OF NOTHING; AND KNOWEST NOT THAT THOU ART WRETCHED, AND MISERABLE, AND POOR, AND BLIND, AND NAKED: (17) I COUNCEL THEE TO BUY OF ME GOLD TRIED IN THE FIRE, THAT THOU MAYEST BE RICH; AND WHITE RAIMENT, THAT THOU MAYEST BR CLOTHED, AND THAT THE SHAME OF THY NAKEDNESS DO NOT APPEAR; AND ANOINT THINE EYES WITH EYESALVE, THAT THY MAYEST SEE. (19) AS MANY AS I LOVE, I REBUKE AND CHASTEN: BE ZEALOUS THEREFORE, AND REPENT. (20) BEHOLD, I STAND AT THE DOOR, AND KNOCK: IF ANY MAN HEAR MY VOICE, AND OPEN THE DOOR, I WILL COME IN TO HIM, AND WILL SUP WITH HIM, AND HE WITH ME.
(TO WHOM DO YE SERVE)? The ability for Satan and those that follow him to deceive people into hell is real! We can’t trust in man or any organization. We, as individuals must learn to study to show ourselves approved unto God. We must learn to hear what people say, such as I, gleam what can help us grow spiritually and forget the rest. Every person is sin-cursed with the ability to say false things. The only person that can be completely trusted is Jesus Christ. He was made flesh and dwelt among us!
Today, even God’s word has been touched by the corrupt hands of men! I’ve often made this statement. People say that they can’t understand the King James Bible. Well, do they truly understand the version they say they study? (In my opinion), when it comes to something as important as my ever-living soul and where it will spend eternity based on the knowledge I can glean from God’s word; I can see the benefit of going back to studying Hebrew and Greek, the original text rather than trusting simply what man translates to a new version of the word of God.
We are deceived into thinking that our ability to walk in the light of Jesus Christ is simple when it’s not! Actually, even salvation is not a simple thing! In scripture it’s compared to a woman having a child and walking next door to death to bring it about. The only difference is the fact that salvation bring about (daily dying) to become all Christ desire for you to be. It’s a lifetime of Dying!
Do be deceived! Be born again and walk with Christ into eternity.
(TO WHOM DO YOU SERVE)?
2 Timothy 1:7