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Come let us Grow Together: Declare unto yourself a Fast

Come let us Grow Together is a weekly series that deals with the many topical categories that exist within the Word of God. The purpose of this series is to grow in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding in things pertaining to God.

Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD? (Isa 58:3-5)

Isa 58_3

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The children of Israel expected that if they fasted the Lord was obligated to do what they were asking of him. However, what manner of spirit are you of when you fast? Fasting is more than just pushing the plate aside even as for the children of Israel it was more than just a time to spread sackcloth and ashes.

How and why does one fast?

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? (Isa 58:6-7)

When we are fasting we are not only desiring a closer walk with God but we are also fasting to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke.

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day: And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (Isa 58:8-11)

Let us look at an example from the Prophet Daniel.

In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: (Dan 9:2-3)

Notice that Daniel set his face unto the Lord God. He did this by prayer and supplications with fasting as well as with sackcloth and ashes.

And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. (Dan 9:4-6)

Notice how Daniel carefully laid out his petition to the Lord God. He confessed the sins of his people and he exalted the Lord our God. In confessing the sins of his people he acknowledged their departing from the commandments and judgments of the Lord.

This is a perfect example of how one is to fast and why one comes to the Lord with a fast. Daniel continues his prayer…

O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name. (Dan 9:16-19)

And the Prophet Daniel was heard. Because when he fasted he prayed and sought the Lord with the right spirit and with the right heart.

And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. (Dan 9:20-21)

Let us remember to follow the example the Lord gave to us when we fast as well as the example given to us by the Prophet Daniel and not be as the hypocrites.

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. (Mt 6:16-18)

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Come let us Grow Together: Gaining Doctrinal Knowledge

Come let us Grow Together is a weekly series that deals with the many topical categories that exist within the Word of God. The purpose of this series is to grow in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding in things pertaining to God.

Isaiah 28:9-10
9 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.
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

This is so important to understand. The Prophet Isaiah is teaching us whom the Lord will teach knowledge and whom he shall make to understand doctrine. The Prophet then reveals to us how the Word of God is set up and how we gain doctrinal knowledge. “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little”.

A precept is a general rule regulating thought or behavior. In this case it is referring to the commandments of God the Law. But this doctrinal knowledge is gained precept upon precept. Meaning one commandment upon another, one commandment upon another. Line upon line, line upon line meaning we gain this doctrinal knowledge from one scripture to another from one scripture to another. Gaining this doctrinal knowledge here a little and there a little meaning it comes over time and over the course of studying from one book or chapter to another.

This is the key to gaining doctrinal knowledge.

So what approach should one take to begin gaining this doctrinal knowledge. First remember that you must be weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. This means that you must not be a babe in the Lord. The babe in the Lord needs to be Bible studied with and instructed in the paths of righteousness.

For those who are no longer babes and who have a good doctrinal foundation and desire to grow spiritually as well as doctrinally in the Word of God the first thing one should do is to begin to pray that God will open up your understanding to the Word of God and help you to have a greater desire to learn of Him.

Begin to pray and ask the Lord for the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. Even if you believe you do have the knowledge of him begin to pray this prayer anyway because there is so much more to gain from the many scriptures that pertain to our God. Begin asking the Lord to increase your wisdom, knowledge and understanding in all things pertaining to God. Pray these prayers every day. Ask the Lord to increase your ability to learn doctrinal knowledge and ask him to open up your retaining levels that you might be able to retain the Word of God. Also pray that God will give you the ability to witness this gospel to others. Remember our God is a God who will reward the diligent seeker so pray that the Lord will give you diligence in studying the Word of God.

Change your study habits.

For those just beginning to understand what I am speaking of, start out with the New Testament in your studying. The reason for this is because we are under the New Testament Covenant and you are desiring to gain doctrinal understanding. You must increase your study time. Let me make some suggestions. For those who do not yet know the gospels and the book of Acts well, this is the place to start for you. However, set your goal to read each book within one week. Each week reading the next book until you have read all 5 of these books. The reason why is because you are gaining doctrinal knowledge here a little and there a little. You will begin to see the similarities in the gospels as well as gaining a deeper look at the overall picture because it is fresh in your mind.

For those of you who already know the book of Acts and the Gospels well, the epistles is the place to start for you. These books are very short in many cases so you can read several a day. But when you first start, consider reading the book of Romans, Galatians and James. These books have much to teach concerning the law and the liberty in Christ Jesus that has set us free from the law of sin and death. Also be sure to read the book of Ephesians and Colossians together to get a better look at the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ. There is much in regards to this mystery and this is why you are praying for the spirit of revelation and the knowledge of him.

Be sure to read the books of Romans through Jude in no more than two weeks. This will really have the Word fresh in your mind and you will begin to see many similarities of topics. This is precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.

When you have finished this for your first time in this manner of study its time to switch to the gospels and the book of Acts for those who started with the epistles or for those who started with the gospels and the book of Acts switch to the epistles.

When you have completed the entire New Testament not including the book of Revelation, then it is time to start this process over, but this time begin to take notes. Notes on whatever particular topics stood out to you during the course of your study. In so doing you begin to learn more on this subject precept upon precept and line upon line and thus you begin to gain a deeper doctrinal understanding.

The notes you are taking are just logging down scripture verses that speak on the topic or topics you are searching out. Do not look to books for this help. Take the time to do this for yourself!! This is where the learning process for you really begins to take deeper roots because you have searched it out for yourself and see it for yourself in the context that it was spoken in. This will help you to be able to share it back with others as well because you have brought the scriptures to light that speaks on a particular subject and have reinforced them in your mind due to the manner in which you have studied them out. Also while you were taking these notes you once again went through the New Testament and this has allowed you to begin to take notice of more similarities, as well as reinforcing what you already knew, while letting you begin to see the many other scriptures that allude to those subjects that you may not have been aware of.

For example. If one desires to gain a deeper doctrinal understanding of the baptism, then one needs to log all the scriptures speaking on baptism and then study these scriptural passages together and you will then begin to gain doctrinal knowledge on this subject. You will also begin to take notice of other passages of scriptures that allude to the baptism as well as other subjects that are directly connected to the baptism as you continue to read through the New Testament.

Over time your understanding of the Word of God will increase greatly. After you have developed a great understanding of the New Testament then begin to look at the Old Testament. But remember the Old Testament law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ. Study the Old Testament out but don’t get lost in it with it’s histories and genealogies and things of this nature, but rather begin to see the prophecies concerning Christ and the seed that was to come and learn why it was that the gentiles were grafted into the good olive tree. This should be your beginning focus of the Old Testament as well as beginning to take notice of the many prophecies concerning the end of days. This will begin to prepare you to better understand the book of Revelation when that time comes.

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C&C: The Power of the Righteous Prayer

Connections and Comparisons is an ongoing weekly series that deals with many scriptures in the Bible, some of which are not commonly addressed. The purpose of this series is to examine the scriptures at hand comparing what is said and looking at the connections within.

The Power of the Righteous Prayer avails much, but never the less it must be according to the will of God. Even though all things are possible with God it does not mean every prayer you pray even with all faith will be answered according to your will, but it will be answered according to God’s will. Just in case you don’t believe this remember our Lord Jesus Christ prayed “Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” (Mk 14:36) The will of God was for him to drink the cup! Will you lose your faith in God because you suffer long? Will you also go away?

1 Kings 17:1-16
1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
2 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.
5 So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
8 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.
10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
11 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.
12 And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
14 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.

Prayers are answered according to the will of God. God may tell you what to pray like he did with the Prophet Elijah concerning the rain, but the Prophet Elijah had the faith to pray the prayer of faith.

15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.

1 Kings 18:1, 41-46
1 And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.
41 And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.
42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees,
43 And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times.

The Prophet Elijah knew what God had told him and had the faith to send his servant seven times while he prayed.

44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.
45 And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.
46 And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

The Power of the Righteous Prayer avails much!

Luke 4:25-26
25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.

James 5:16-18
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

The Power of the Righteous Prayer avails much! Remember, however every thing according to God’s will, God’s purpose, and according to God’s timing. Not yours! I thought you wanted the will of God in your life? You pray for God’s will and sing songs that you are a willing vessel to be used of God, but when the answers come and you begin to be used of God whose will do you now want? I thought my prayers would bring forth this or that, but that wasn’t what God’s will was for you. So do you really want the will of God in your life?

2 Kings 20:1-11
1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.
2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying,
3 I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.

The Power of the Righteous Prayer avails much!

4 And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying,
5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD.
6 And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.
7 And Isaiah said, Take a lump of figs. And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.
8 And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the LORD the third day?
9 And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?
10 And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.
11 And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.

All things are possible with God if only we believe and ask according to his will.

Luke 17:5-6
5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

Mark 16:15-18
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Mark 11:22-26
22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Have faith in God! Ask according to his will! Forgive, if ye have ought against any! If your prayer isn’t answered it doesn’t mean that you lack faith. You may lack faith, but that is not always the case. You can have all faith and ask and not receive. “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:8-9)

1 Corinthians 12:4-11
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

Now there are diversities of gifts, differences of administrations, diversities of operations, but the same Spirit, the same Lord, and the same God which worketh all in all to profit withal. Have faith in God!

1 Corinthians 12:27-31
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Many people are confused that when it says “do all speak with tongues”, means that it is ok for them to not ever speak with tongues. This is comparable to saying do all have the gift of faith, means that it is ok for them not to have faith. This is speaking of spiritual gifts. The gift of divers kinds of tongues and the gift of interpreting tongues. This is not the same as you receiving the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance. If you have not ever spoke with other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance you do not have the Holy Ghost and can not have any of the gifts of the Spirit of which one of the gifts is that of faith. The gift of faith is not the same thing as having faith even as divers kinds of tongues is not the same as receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance.

Luke 18:1-8
1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

I thought you wanted the will of God in your life? You pray for God’s will and sing songs that you are a willing vessel to be used of God, but when the answers come and you begin to be used of God whose will do you now want? I thought you were following the leading of the Lord. I thought you would follow him where ever he leads you? So do you really want the will of God in your life? Will you lose your faith in God because you suffer long? Will you also go away?

James 4:1-3
1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

1 John 5:14-15
14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Mark 14:32-42
32 And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.
33 And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;
34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.
35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.
36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.
37 And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?
38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
39 And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words.
40 And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him.
41 And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
42 Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.

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How to Respond to Heretics and Those that Oppose Themselves According to the Bible

Titus 3:8-11
8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

As we see from this passage of scriptures at verse eight “that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.” This is followed by God given instruction that we are to “avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.” It is so very important that you hear these words and obey them. We are to avoid both foolish questions and contentions as the teachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ and we are told why. “they are unprofitable and vain.” Then we were told some extremely important words to hear concerning the people we are teaching “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.”

So after you admonish someone the first or even the second time we are to reject such a one as a heretic knowing that such a one is subverted, which means to pervert, and that they are sinning and are condemned of their own self! You are not to debate with them. You are to reject such a one because the truth is not in them and this is unprofitable and vain.

The people that are doing this are heretics and they are perverted and they are sinning and it is there very words that are condemning them. “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Mt 12:35-37)

These people will be used by satan to try their best to provoke you into answering them and will continue to harass you and cause you to waste your time in fruitless debating with them while you could be witnessing to someone else who desires to hear. Also knowing this “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” (Prov 10:19)

This is why you should always pray before answering anyone’s questions that comment to your Biblical posts. You should be praying on how God would have you to answer, whether or not to answer, and whether or not to delete the comments from those that you have already admonished the first and even the second time that is sinning being heretics and perverted. Also if they are speaking filthy language, off colored comments, or racist comments you should delete those posts as they are ungodly and unfruitful to the readers who wish to learn the truth of the Word of God. If God lays it on your heart to reply to them and let them know that you deleted their post because of their language those that are sincerely seeking Jesus Christ and truth will receive with the understanding that when they comment they need to do so in reverence and respect before God Almighty.

This is the will of God as we just read from the Word of God. However, we are also instructed in the Bible:

2 Timothy 2:22-26
22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Again you see how we are to respond to those who oppose themselves. We are told why we are to avoid “foolish and unlearned questions” “knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive”. We are also instructed in what manner we are to teach, “be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth” “that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

All scripture must work together. So we as teachers of the gospel must be sure that we are identifying who are heretics being condemned of themselves and sinning by their own words; while also not striving with them, being gentle, patient, and answering in meekness “instructing those that oppose themselves”. If perhaps God “will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

These people may or may not even know that they are being taken captive by the devil by his own will to come against you. This is again why you are to reject a heretic after the first and second admonition and should not be calling them names, but rather praying for their souls that God would save them from the snare of the devil and that they would desire to learn of God and His righteousness. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Mt 5:6) This is also why Jesus said “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:9b) “But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Mt 15:13-14) Jesus also told some “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (Jn 8:44)

You should not be using the Word of God to attack those that oppose themselves or those that are heretics as this is not what we are instructed to do as teachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ who taught us, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Lk 19:10) “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Heb 4:12-13)

When you have a person who comments to your post or even if you are witnessing to someone in person and they disagree with something you teach or speak of in the Bible and come against it. You need to ask them this question. Do you believe the Bible is the infallible, inerrant Word of Almighty God who sent his only begotten Son Jesus the Christ who was God manifested in the flesh as Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us that came to seek and to save that which was lost? If they answer no to this question then you know for sure that they are a heretic and you are to reject such a one and you are not to strive with them or continue on giving answers to them as they have already rejected the Word of God and they are sinning being condemned of themselves by their own words.

If you see that the person you asked this question to responded no but has a desire to hear the truth then in that case you are to respond as God directs you but if they again reject it, then you are to reject them as a heretic again being condemned of themselves by their own words.

When we read in Jude:

Jude 1:3-13
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
11 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.
12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

When Jude said, “that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” we still have to use scripture with scriptures. So yes we must contend for this faith that was once delivered to us but in the right manner and the right spirit which was addressed above. Jude describes to you what kind of people you are dealing with here and is instructing the believers to contend for the faith as we ought to. This can be accomplished by the Pastor of the Church instructing his flock of the heresies that are being taught that are lies and have perverted the gospel of Jesus Christ and to stay away from these false teachers and false doctrines of men. It can be accomplished by the saints instructing those that oppose themselves in the right manner and right spirit as addressed above but ultimately rejecting the heretics after the first and the second admonition knowing that they have already rejected the Word of God and they are sinning being condemned of themselves by their own words. However, if you did not contend for the faith then the people would be led astray. So that is accomplished more from the pulpit than in person and is done through prayer.

Galatians 1:6-9
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Notice here the Apostle Paul says to the Church of Galatia “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” He then tells us twice “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” He said they were perverting the gospel of Christ.

Listen to the Word of God!

2 Corinthians 4:3-4
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

This gospel is hid to them that are lost of whom satan has blinded their minds because they believed not! Again they opposed themselves and are being taken captive by satan at his own will. We were taught in what manner and what spirit we are to address these situations ultimately leading to rejecting such a one as a heretic after the first and the second admonition while we pray that God would perhaps “give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

Let everything be done by prayer and obedience to the Word of God! “Let not then your good be evil spoken of:” (Rm 14:16)

Isaiah 55:10-11
10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

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C & C: Preparing for Battle

Connections and Comparisons is an ongoing weekly series that deals with many scriptures in the Bible, some of which are not commonly addressed. The purpose of this series is to examine the scriptures at hand comparing what is said and looking at the connections within.

Ephesians 6:10-18
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

1) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth

Romans 8:35-39
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Philippians 4:11-13
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Mark 9:19-29
19 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.
20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.
21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.
27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?
29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

Hebrews 13:5-8
5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

2) Having on the breastplate of righteousness

James 4:7-8
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Romans 13:12-14
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Romans 12:21
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

3) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace

1 Peter 3:15-17
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

2 Timothy 2:22-26
22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

4) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Luke 17:6
6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

1 John 5:14-15
14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

5) And take the helmet of salvation

Acts 2:36-41
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Romans 10:12-14
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Hebrews 13:17
17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

6) And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

Hebrews 4:12-13
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Matthew 4:1-11
1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

7) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints

1 Thessalonians 5:17
17 Pray without ceasing.

Phiippiansl 4:6-7
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Galatians 6:1-2
1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

To download any of our free audio or written sermons or to listen to our free radio station be sure to visit us @ http://www.ensnaredindistractions.com/

Come Let us Grow Together: Prayer

Come let us Grow Together is a weekly series that deals with the many topical categories that exist within the Word of God.  The purpose of this series is to grow in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding in things pertaining to God.

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16b)

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. (Mt 6:5-8)

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. (Mk 11:24-26)

These verses of scripture in no wise mean that corporate prayer is not to take place.  “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.” (Acts 12:5-17)

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1 Jn 5:14-15)

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;  Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Lk 18:1-8)

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7)

To download any of our free audio or written sermons or to listen to our free radio station be sure to visit us @ http://www.ensnaredindistractions.com/