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In Defense of the Gospel

July 30, 2010

Liberal theology interprets God’s plan of salvation as something He devised so that we sinners could get to heaven even though we miss the mark. All one has to do is admit that they are a sinner, ask forgiveness for being a sinner and believe that Jesus said the price for their sins and then they are in.

To give them credit many of that group want to be good and try to be good, but if it’s too hard–oh well, god will forgive them for their weaknesses.

There is a branch of this group who don’t even care if they sin–thinking that their sins are covered, according to Jn:3:16 and Rom: 10:9-10

The trouble with this theology is that it does great harm and is not in line with a lot of scriptures. I will point to many of the scriptures that show this interpretation of the plan of salvation to be in error.

But first, the harm is that it negates the true intention of God and violates the true plan of salvations. For I will show that God’s intention is to restore the sinner to spiritual life and to give the repentant sinner the power, knowledge and equipment to overcome sin and death.

And second harm is that it violates God’s plan to have obedient children who will love and help the world–be a part of the answer and not be a part of the problem–to do this one must learn to make godly decisions that are good for themselves and those whom they touch rather than harm. Lies, sexual sins, abuse of substances, obesity, greediness, putting money first, not knowing God’s Word, ugliness, a me first attitude, and a my little world perception are a few of the wrong choices that cause harm and suffering.

Now I will show the loving heart of God and His ingenious plan of salvation.

Rom: 8:1-4: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3: For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

5-8: For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6: For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7: Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8: So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

9-11: But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.10: And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11: But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

12-14: Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13: For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

15-18: For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18: For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

How to Enter the Promise Land

July 30, 2010

Apply these scriptures in Deuteronomy spiritually and you will have God’s instructions on how to enter the promise land.

1:8: Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.

1:13: Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.

1:25: And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us.

1:28-32: Whither shall we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there. Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them. The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes; And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place. Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God,

1:36: Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD.

1:41-46: Then ye answered and said unto me, We have sinned against the LORD, we will go up and fight, according to all that the LORD our God commanded us. And when ye had girded on every man his weapons of war, ye were ready to go up into the hill. And the LORD said unto me, Say unto them, Go not up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest ye be smitten before your enemies. So I spake unto you; and ye would not hear, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD, and went presumptuously up into the hill. And the Amorites, which dwelt in that mountain, came out against you, and chased you, as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir, even unto Hormah. And ye returned and wept before the LORD; but the LORD would not hearken to your voice, nor give ear unto you. So ye abode in Kadesh many days, according unto the days that ye abode there.

2:7: For the LORD thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.

2:25: This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee.

4:1-10: Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. Your eyes have seen what the LORD did because of Baal-peor: for all the men that followed Baal-peor, the LORD thy God hath destroyed them from among you. But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day. Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.

4:15-20: Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.

4:23-31: Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee. For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. When thou shalt beget children, and children’s children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, to provoke him to anger: I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you. And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.

4:32-35: For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it? Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.

4:40-41:Thou shalt keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, for ever.

5:14: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. [For the church pertaining to taking the land, he is talking about the seventh day Sabbath rest where by we rest from our labors and are led and empowered by his Spirit.]

5:29: O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!

6:4-13: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.

7:2-6: And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

8:3-8: And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey;

10:12-21: And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked. For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name. He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.

11:18-28: Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth. For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him; Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves. Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be. There shall no man be able to stand before you: for the LORD your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as he hath said unto you. Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

12:5-7: But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come: And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks: And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.

13:1-11: If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.

16:11-12: And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt: and thou shalt observe and do these statutes.

16:20: That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

To those who lead God’s people into the Promise Land:

Joshua 1:2-9: Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

© Compiled by Sylvia Huffnagle

 

Hebrews 10 (2nd in Church Series)

July 24, 2010

Heb: 10:14-16: For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 15: Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16: This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

(Who is perfected? Them that are sanctified–set apart for the Lord. How are they sanctified? God puts His laws in their heart. His laws–that‘s right–He has not done away with the law. He has done away the legal written code. God’s laws are in the hearts of true believers because they have repented of their ways and turned to Him for guidance. Their heart has been made right with Him and now He will be able to teach them how to live and give.)

17-20: And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18: Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.19: Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20: By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

(Those who meet the above criteria have been washed clean of all sin. They do not to keep on confessing their acts of rebellion and disobedience–they are gone. They can enter into God’s presence with boldness. This means they are welcome to go to God about any and everything that they are concerned about. The blood of Jesus has provided this new and living way to approach God. The new way is a Father/child relationship with the Almighty.)

21-23: And having an high priest over the house of God; 22: Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23: Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

(Our profession or confession is that Jesus is our Lord and Savior and our sin is washed away and we have a Father/child relationship with God. For this plan of God’s to draw us close to Him, we must exercise faith. That is; we must steadily believe and be conscious of these truths.)

24-27: And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26: For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27: But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

(I don’t care what you may have been taught about salvation, this is the way it is. One reason we are to assemble is to encourage one another to trust and obey God because it is written right here if we sin willfully after receiving the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, there is no alternative sacrifice that can separate us from sin. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

What I’m hearing in church these days is that it is none of our (the congregation’s) business who’s taking communion and how people dress, and so on. That is a far cry from this exhortation which tells us to care about each other’s position in the Lord. We are one body–how is it that it is none of the body’s business what the fingers do or the feet or whatever.)

Ezek: 13:5: Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

The Clear Call to Salvation (1st in Church Series)

July 24, 2010

If the call to salvation were made clear, what God promises in Jeremiah 32 would be accomplished in the church.

Jer: 32:37-42: Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: 38: And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: 39: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: 40: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. 41: Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul. 42: For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.

Some might say that scripture is for the Jews, but I say, Hebrews 8: 10-13 shows that it is for all those who qualify for the covenant.

Heb: 8: 10-13: For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12: For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13: In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

This is a very valid and important point. Look what the church is supposed to have, be, and do. Preachers are forever preaching unity. Some preachers preach obedience. If  Christians had heard and received a clear call to salvation, these things would be “a given”. The church would be in harmony with God and one another.

The clear call to salvation is a call to repent of doing things our way and is a call to turn to God’s ways. God’s ways are laid out in the Bible.

In the call it should be clear that the person is answering God’s call to be reconciled to Him and this means that He will be Father to them from then on and they will be His child. This relationship is build on love and trust.

This call changes everything. The recipient becomes a new creature. A new creation–old things are passed away and all becomes new.

Why? Because the person is born again of the Spirit of God. He or she has been given a new heart as spoken of above and is from that day forth to follow their new heart instead of their carnal desires.

How? By reckoning their old nature to be crucified. They no longer do what their carnal nature dictates, but they do what God would have them do because they are born again and have His Spirit. Rom: 6-8

Some will say, we’ve heard all this before. What is the purpose of this article? The purpose is to proclaim that when one comes to Christ or gets saved or however you put it, they have been bought with a price and being an obedient child is not a option, it is a requirement.

I am not teaching that if one misses the mark that they lost their salvation, I am teaching that a child of God has covenanted to be taken care of by Him, and to be raised by Him, and to trust and obey Him, and to respond to His Word because they have a new heart.

The new heart does not want to obey the flesh and die. The new heart wants to learn from God, be led of the Lord, do righteousness and live forever.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

They Have Sown Wheat, But Reaped Thorns (6th in sowing Series)

July 16, 2010

To understand this teaching, you need to think contemporary and to think from a spiritual angle.

Jer: 12:1-2: Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously? 2: Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.

(Why did Jeremiah call these God worshippers wicked and treacherous? Because they confessed to worship God, but they lived like the world.)

3: But thou, O LORD, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward thee: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.

(This is what happens to Christians that go on living like the world, they get slaughtered. Why? Because Christians are supposed to follow Jesus not the world. Jesus is the good Shepherd.)

4: How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? the beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our last end.

(This describes the churches’ condition. We have not brought about salvation–not anyway near to the degree that we were ordained to produce.)

5-9: If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan? 6: For even thy brethren, and the house of thy father, even they have dealt treacherously with thee; yea, they have called a multitude after thee: believe them not, though they speak fair words unto thee. 7: I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies. 8: Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest; it crieth out against me: therefore have I hated it. 9: Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.

(God talks to Jeremiah here. He says His prophets must be tough and stand fast. He agrees that these so called God worshippers are treacherous and He says he is going to let them alone. He intends to let them reap what they are sowing. What else could He do? If a person promises to trust and obey Him, but then goes right on trusting and obeying the world, what can God do, but let them learn the hard way. I know it says in Isa: 54:7-8: For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. 8: In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. But He also said in Isa: 54:13: And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children. That is the key to all of this. Christians must be taught of the Lord.)

10: Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. 11: They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart.

(Many pastors have been wrongly taught and are wrongly teaching. It’s as in Isa: 28:7-8: But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. 8: For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean. [When you sow God’s seed, be careful not to trample it.)

12-13: The spoilers are come upon all high places through the wilderness: for the sword of the LORD shall devour from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land: no flesh shall have peace. 13: They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns: they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit: and they shall be ashamed of your revenues because of the fierce anger of the LORD.

(This is the inevitable result of following the world and not following Jesus.)

14-17: Thus saith the LORD against all mine evil neighbours, that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit; Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them. 15: And it shall come to pass, after that I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land. 16: And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, The LORD liveth; as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built in the midst of my people. 17: But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the LORD.

(The church can apply this. I know that the land in that passage is Israel and that it is a warning to any who try to possess the Jews inheritance, but the church is not enjoying her spiritual inheritance on the level that it was given to them and the answer is the same. If they will diligently learn God’s ways and swear by His name, the church can become the glorious church that God intended. Otherwise, in these last days, God will only have a remnant and most of the church will join the great whore.)

Jer: 13:1-7: Thus saith the LORD unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water. 2: So I got a girdle according to the word of the LORD, and put it on my loins. 3: And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, 4: Take the girdle that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock. 5: So I went, and hid it by Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me. 6: And it came to pass after many days, that the LORD said unto me, Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there. 7: Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing.

8-11: Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 9: Thus saith the LORD, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10: This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing. 11: For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the LORD; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.

(That’s where the church belongs–cleaving to the Lord as a girdle cleaves to a man’s loins. God says here that that’s how He had in mind for Christians to be His people. They would cleave unto Him and He would teach them His ways and lead them in a straight path. 2 Cor: 6:17-18: Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18: And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.)

12-14: Therefore thou shalt speak unto them this word; Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Every bottle shall be filled with wine: and they shall say unto thee, Do we not certainly know that every bottle shall be filled with wine? 13: Then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings that sit upon David’s throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness. 14: And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.

(The same drunkenness as in Isa: 28. God is talking about an adulterated gospel.)

15-17: Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken. 16: Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness. 17: But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD’s flock is carried away captive.

18-21: Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down, even the crown of your glory. 19: The cities of the south shall be shut up, and none shall open them: Judah shall be carried away captive all of it, it shall be wholly carried away captive. 20: Lift up your eyes, and behold them that come from the north: where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock? 21: What wilt thou say when he shall punish thee? for thou hast taught them to be captains, and as chief over thee: shall not sorrows take thee, as a woman in travail?

22-23: And if thou say in thine heart, Wherefore come these things upon me? For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts discovered, and thy heels made bare. 23: Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

24-27: Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness. 25: This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the LORD; because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood. 26: Therefore will I discover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy shame may appear. 27: I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be?

(God calls for the church to humble themselves. He has in mind the solemn assembly in Joel: 2:15-18: Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: 16: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. 17: Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? 18: Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.

God asks if a leopard can change his spots–He is saying that a Christian cannot be a Christian unless they have Jesus operating in their heart, otherwise they are only human.

The sowing lesson in this article is; Don’t trample your crops, keep the pollution out, and if you are not truly in Christ, God will not bless your crops.)

© Sylvia Huffnagle

 

Sowing the Right Seeds (5th in Sowing Series)

July 16, 2010

How can Christians overcome with today’s thinking? It take Bible thinking to be a real Christian witness and to overcome.

When calling people to salvation or to serve the Lord we sow the seeds of the benefits that are promised in the Bible. But in teaching Christians how to live, it is far more powerful and effective to teach not from the angle of what do Christians stand to benefit, though that part should not be excluded, but from the angle of them being servants of the Lord. We should teach from the angle of their being members of the body of Christ.

Here’s how it works:

Many today are trying to give Christians incentive to walk in God’s ways by listing all the earthly and heavenly benefits for doing so. The Bible does tell us of earthly and heavenly benefits for the obedient, but there is a more powerful incentive.

When a person receives God’s offer of salvation, they come into covenant with God. On their end of the covenant they are to trust and obey Him–they are to receive Him as their Father. On His end He is to be Father to them–that is be their parent, guardian, and provider. That is the greatest blessing and benefit. After hearing about that, the listener should be eager to find out how it all works. I’m, at this time, talking about the call to salvation and I already owned that the benefits the recipient can expect right now are of the utmost of importance and should be elaborated on.

Once you have convinced them that it is entirely in their interest to repent and be reconciled to God, it  is time to go into thorough detail about God’s brilliant and perfect plan to save them. They need to understand that they are about to enter into Christ’s crucifixion–their carnal desires are not to rule in their lives anymore. This is how God provided for our lower nature to be crucified. So it’s repentance, crucifixion, and then new life or the resurrection from the dead.

That’s how it works. If they don’t understand that, how are they going to live the new life in Christ which is a life based upon their new desire to please the Godhead rather than to please their carnal nature? That’s where the power lies. Any gospel that does not teach that is not the true gospel.

Now once the sinner has repented of doing things their way and has received Jesus into their heart, they are cultivated ground ready for proper sowing.

The angle for this stage is to emphasize Jesus. Magnify Him. Teach all about His nature, His attitudes, His way of life. Belabor the details of His beauty, His love, His sacrificial nature, and the monumental task He completed when He ascended into heaven to start His High Priestly ministry. The desired result is for the new believer to be stirred to a high state of love, appreciation, admiration, and gratitude toward Him. This state should be nurtured regularly.

Teach them all about His High Priestly ministry and teach them all about the empowerment we have through His acts and His presence.

Then weekly the new or young converts should be taught how to relate their conduct to Jesus and be taught their part as a member of His body. Christianity is not a single player effort. Each Christian in the local body is a designated member of Christ’s body and should be fitly joined to the other members. The teacher needs to stress this point–that the body works together for the cause of Christ. It’s not we work together for the common good. It’s not we work together to promote the church. It’s we work together to continue Christ’s work.

As you teach them to relate their activities to Christ and His body, you also teach them how to conduct their affairs and progressively learn to walk in love–teach them to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. The power lies in worshipping Jesus in one’s heart and conscientiously living one day at a time in a manner that will promote Jesus’ cause.

It’s all about Jesus. Convincing people to receive Jesus is about them–what will happen to them if they do or they don’t, but once they enter into covenant with God, it’s about being about the Father’s business. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. What else is there? (News flash: My outline is not original–this is the way the Bible handles things.)

So as soon as a child is old enough to go to a Sunday school class, he or she should be taught to relate their conduct to Jesus. Examples of how to teach little children:

You do not teach them to be kind and to be good. When you do that, they know they ought to be that way, but if they don’t feel like it, most times they won’t have the power to do it.

You teach them about Jesus with the goal of causing them to love Him. Once you have them wanting to be like Jesus and to make Jesus happy, then you teach them how: Tell them like this:

Jesus is kind to people and He wants us to be kind to people too. Jesus is our example of how to behave as children of God. Every time you are kind, Jesus smiles.

You teach: We show grace to others, because God showed grace toward us and gave us the Spirit of grace. That means we try to bless people just because Jesus wants us to. We don’t have to feel like being loving toward somebody, we do it because we have Jesus, the lover, in our hearts.

Teach them to be generous by telling them: Jesus is the wisest man in the world and He said: It is better to give than to receive. Say: Learn to be a giver and you will see what He means. Give them the scriptures that assure them of a great return on their investment, because the knowledge of the promises  make it easier to share generously.

To teach patience, you say: We are patient with people because God is patient toward us. Read scriptures that talk about the importance of patience.

You use pictures to show Jesus ministering to people and you tell the story that goes with the picture and don’t stop there–teach them that as Jesus is, so are we in this world. Teach them that Jesus is the Light and now He is in heaven helping all of us, His body on the earth, be light for others.

On and on it goes everything is taught from the angle that we have been bought with a price and we are no longer our own–that we belong to God and that this is a very good thing because He is the most wonderful Father. Teach them that Jesus is our shepherd and this is very good, because we need a shepherd and He is the most wonderful Shepherd. Teach them why we need a shepherd.

Nurturing the crops: Nurturing is done by repeatedly teaching them what the full armor of God is and how to put it on.

Harvesting takes place when the student blossoms out and begins to show their areas of expertise.

Along the same lines as likening the teaching of believers to sowing and reaping, we can use the illustration of team effort in building a magnificent building.

It is imperative for church leaders to build on the firm foundation spoken of in Eph: 2:20: And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

This means that the information God has given us through the prophets, and the apostles and Jesus Himself are the foundation that we build on. There is no other. So, new believers must be taught the things that are taught by these three sources. Not just what Jesus said, not just New Testament, but the history of God’s dealings with mankind and the books of the prophets must be taught.

If any of this information is ignored, disregarded, or distorted, the building will not be godly. It will not be magnificent. It will not glorify God.

Also the building materials must be of top quality. Not wood , hay, or stubble, but silver and gold. Wisdom, faith, and love are the precious metals in the Bible. Biblical wisdom is heeded. Biblical faith is tried. And Biblical love is exercised.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

Break Up the Fallow Ground (4th in Sowing Series)

July 10, 2010

Jer: 1:1-6: If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove. 2: And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory. 3: For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. 4: Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings. 5: Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities. 6: Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction.

I believe the largest mistake that the church is making is how they are handling the call to salvation. In fact today, it appears that most of those who evangelized are trying to make God’s plan even simpler–telling the hearer that all they have to do is believe that Jesus is the Savior and confess it with their mouth.

Some will say: Well isn’t that what Rom: 10: 9-10 says? No, not exactly. It says if you confess Jesus as Lord and believe God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  The key word there is Lord. If you do Romans 10:9-10–that is: confess His Lordship in your life and walk it out, you will be saved. But too many are just agreeing with their mouth that Jesus is the Savior and are therefore hoping to go to heaven without having repented of their ways and turned to His.

As I was saying, if the call were handled correctly, I think at least three fourth of the church’s problems would be solved. Let me show you what I mean.

Though this should have been the first article in my sowing and reaping series, since it deals with preparing the ground, the inspiration came now, so it will have to be the fourth in the series.

In the above passage of scripture God calls the people to repent. He wants them to assemble and humbly repent and confess Him as Lord. He has Jeremiah refer to this as breaking up the fallow ground. That is what is not being done in the modern call to salvation.

Before the call to salvation is made, the hearers should be thoroughly convinced of their own inability to save themselves, and of their own inability to walk in agape love without God’s indwelling, and with their own inability to handle their own affairs the way God calls them to successfully, and they should be convinced that Jesus is the only way to God and the only way to eternal life.

This is breaking up the fallow ground. Now that the hearer is convinced that they can only have eternal life and live successfully by receiving Jesus as their Lord and savior, they are probably ready even eager to receive Jesus, but they still need to see just how destructive selfishness and rebellion are. This is done by reading scriptures that show agape love in practice.

All of God’s commandments and mandates are agape love in practice, but the hearer must understand that the carnal nature or self serving nature is at enmity with God and will not and can not please Him i/e they cannot walk in agape love without a complete makeover.

Next the hearers must be shown God’s remedy for all of this. This is found in Romans 6-8. God arranged for the carnal nature to be crucified with Christ and then He made it possible for the receiver to be resurrected with new life—a life in Christ and Christ in them.

Then they should be called up front to be led in a sinner’s prayer—make it severe and thorough. There is a great advantage to a person to being broken-hearted over their sin. (Jas: 4:8-10: Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.9: Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10: Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.)

They should be made to understand their upcoming baptism. The evangelist needs to explain that when they are immersed they are acting out their crucifixion and when they come up out of the water, they will be testifying to their resurrection from the dead into new life in Christ.

They should be made to understand the covenant that they are entering. They are covenanting to receive God as their Father and God, promising to trust and obey Him. This is not something that was meant to take a lifetime to learn. At the time of salvation, a person is to repent of disobedience and rebellion and receive God’s authority in their life. God is covenanting to be the person’s Father in every sense of the word. He will take care of them, shelter them, teach them, provide for them, help them, heal them, and feed and clothe them.

Think about what kind of congregation a church would have if this was how the call was handled. This is the true way.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

A Time to Sow and A Time to Reap (3rd in Sowing Series)

July 10, 2010

Sometimes people lay responsibility on Christians that they cannot handle.  They can’t handle them because they haven’t reached that level of maturity yet.  Teachers must remember that God is Father and we are all children at different levels of growth. 

A child should not be expected to think and behave as an adult.  Father is the epitome of adulthood and Christians are all in different stages of development. 

Listen Christians, if you don’t hear the truth in your spirit and see it with your spiritual understanding, you can’t do it.  Don’t let teachers put a guilt trip on you for not being fully mature when you are only, say 8 yrs. old in your understanding.  One of the things Jesus wanted to accomplish was to set Christians free from guilt trips. 

Heb: 7:24-27:  But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

To make the matter clear, I am not talking about deliberate sin.  Those who have come to God have repented of their ways and have covenanted with God to receive Him as Father to be trusted and obeyed.  And He has covenanted with those who receive His salvation to be a loving, providing Father.

1Jn: 3:6: Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

How to Sow and Reap (2nd in Sowing Series)

July 2, 2010

Isa: 28:5-6: In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.

(God is looking for the day when Christians truly are led by His Spirit and not by man’s understanding of His Spirit.  You can tell which one by the results.  When God’s Spirit is truly in operation the church will bear good fruit—she will be godly and effective–effective in what?  Evangelization?  Yes, but also the church needs to be effective as being light and salt—the culture will then see godly standards.)

7-8: But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.  For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.

(The strong wine (has fermented or become stagnant) here is man’s understanding and teaching of the Bible.  The vomit is people teaching what they have learned from other teachers instead of learning from God and teaching the pure wine of truth.).

9-13: Whom shall he teach knowledge?  And whom shall he make to understand doctrine?  Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:  For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.  To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.  But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

(God says He had some teachers, but the people would not hear the straight stuff, so teachers began teaching the stuff the people would tolerate or that they liked and so it was line upon line and precept upon precept until they fell away backward.  That is teachers keep teaching the same things over and over and therefore the church never goes on with God, in fact over time she goes backward or loses ground—accepts lower standards.)

14-22: Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.  Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. (flee in panic)  Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.  And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.  From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.  For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.  For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.   Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.

(God is speaking to those who have short-changed His Word, His teachings, and His precepts.  Many people think they will be all right with God because of what Jesus has done for mankind.  But they have been wrongly taught and have misunderstood what God was doing.   Had they heeded the word—such as Isa: 8:20: To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.—they would not have been fooled.  There are many scriptures that can be used to help a person understand why God sent Jesus.  He sent Jesus to restore those who will accept His offer to spiritual life, not to mainly get sinners into heaven, but to give Christians the power to resist the devil.  But the group that God is referring to in the above scripture is those who really didn’t want to hear the hard stuff, they just wanted to get by—that  was Cain’s attitude and God told him in Gen: 4:7 Amp. V.:  If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.  The above group thought they could get away with a short-changed gospel and God says it can’t be done.  He calls that kind of believing a covenant with death.  And He goes on to tell them that that is why they have a short-changed salvation. [Vs 20]  The strange work that God is doing today is told about in 2Thess: 2:11-12: And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.)

(The last segment of Isaiah 28 is teaching about sowing and reaping.)

23: Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech.  Doth the plowman plow all day to sow?  Doth he open and break the clods of his ground? 

(God is saying to teachers and preachers the first thing you have to do to sow His word is the break up the fallow ground—prepare the ground.  How?  Using the Bible, show the class or congregation the love of God, the righteousness of God, the mandate of God, the inevitable results of disobeying God, and the inevitable results of obeying God.  That, if taught rightly, should have the people eager to receive forgiveness and a new life.)

24-25: When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin; and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and rie in their place?

(He says the next thing that must be done is to sow the right seed, the right way, to the right people or group.  That’s right—one group might need the foundation laid—the milk of the word.  That would be new believers and the young children.  Another group needs the next step up in instruction, and a third group is ready to move on to greater understanding.  Not only is He talking about what teachers sow, but He points out that there are different methods of sowing for different seeds.  He will teach the teacher who is being led by His Spirit how to teach and what to teach.)

26-29: For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him.  For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod. Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen.  This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.

(Now we find out that it’s not just getting the ground ready and planting the right seeds, but there is a certain way to harvest each kind of seed also.  God says the teacher must have discretion.  He must be able to discern the right approach—the one that will zero in and get the desired result.)

(So Isaiah 28 teaches the considerations involved in sowing and then reaping.  My reason  for pointing this scripture out is because I don’t think that many teachers are following this instruction.  I think mostly that they throw everything out there on unplowed ground and hope some of it will come up.  Very seldom do they harvest or even know when harvest time has come.)

© Sylvia Huffnagle

Sowing and Reaping (1st in Sowing Series)

July 2, 2010

Gen: 2:15:  And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. (Cultivate it)

1Cor: 3:6-9:  I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. (This scripture is to show that cultivation takes place in human hearts.)

Mk: 4:14-20: The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. (This is the fainting referred to in Heb: 12:1-13.) And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirty fold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

Those on stony ground–without deep roots fainted. Mk: 4:17, using the Amplified Bible, sheds light on why they fell away. It says they immediately were offended–became displeased, indignant, and resentful and they stumbled and fell away. In Matt: 13:21 it says—when the trouble comes they were repelled and began to distrust and desert him whom they ought to trust and obey and they fell away.

How did those whose heart was good ground manage not to faint as the flighty one did?

Jas: 1:2-8: My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.        

The next category of believer’s soil is okay, but they have other things growing in their heart besides the Word of God–there are weeds and thorns growing there too. The weeds and thorns  (other priority interests) choked the Word and it bears no fruit. In the Amplified Bible, it says thorns are the cares and anxieties of the world, the distractions of the age, and the pleasures and delight and false glamour, and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things and that they creep in and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.

In this parable Jesus covers everything that causes a church or person to be non-productive, stagnate, immature, and/or even dead–some seed fell on good ground and brought forth fruit, thirty, sixty, and even one hundred times as much as was sown–they are the ones who hear the Word, and receive and accept and welcome it and bear fruit with patience.

Why do we need all that much patience? Because we already read that Satan wants to snatch the Word away. And we already read that tests and trials come because of the Word sown.  And we read about people letting other things come in and grow in their hearts and that these things choke the Word of God out.

The fourth reason is Mk: 4:26-28: And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come. (It takes quality time.)  God assures us in Gal: 6:9, that we shall reap in due season, if we faint not.

Yet, another point is how much understanding the person has. In Matt: 13:23 in the Amp. V. it says the person with the good soil grasped and understood the Word and therefore yielded a good harvest. That ties in with what Jesus said next in Mk: 4:23-25: If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath. The Amp. V. says, the measure of thought and study you give to the truth you hear will be the measure of virtue and knowledge that comes back to you and more besides will be given to you who hear. This brings me to the next point, take heed what you sow.

Gal: 6:7-9: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (There’s the warning about fainting again.)

In Prov: 4:20-23 we read: My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. 

In Rom: 13:14 we are told to clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for indulging the flesh–put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature-to gratify its desires (lusts).

This all has to do with sowing and reaping. If you sow soap operas, guess what you are going to reap. If you sow babbling ‘Talk shows’, you will become a babbler. Whatever you are feeding into your computer (mind) will come out. If you do not feed it in, it cannot come out–garbage in, garbage out.

If you have chosen to be Christ-like, you must feed much on the Word of God. If you want to overcome, you must feed much on the Word of God. If you want to be protected from lies and the liar, you must feed on the Word of God. If you want to know how to handle trouble when it comes, you must feed on the Word of God. If you want faith in God’s promises, you must feed on the Word of God. If you want to know the truth, you must feed on the Word of God. If you want strength to avoid temptation, you must feed on the Word of God. If you want to have the right attitudes toward all situations so that you can avoid resentment, frustration, anger, pouting, and anxiety, you must feed on the Word of God.

Cultivate your gardens!

© Sylvia Huffnagle


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