Luke 7:18-19 John’s disciples reported back to him the news of all these events taking place. He sent two of them to the Master to ask the question, “Are you the One we’ve been expecting, or are we still waiting?”
20 The men showed up before Jesus and said, “John the Baptizer sent us to ask you, ‘Are you the One we’ve been expecting, or are we still waiting?’”
21-23 In the next two or three hours Jesus healed many from diseases, distress, and evil spirits. To many of the blind he gave the gift of sight. Then he gave his answer: “Go back and tell John what you have just seen and heard:
The blind see,
The lame walk,
Lepers are cleansed,
The deaf hear,
The dead are raised,
The wretched of the earth have God’s salvation hospitality extended to them.
“Is this what you were expecting? Then count yourselves fortunate!”
24-27 After John’s messengers left to make their report, Jesus said more about John to the crowd of people. “What did you expect when you went out to see him in the wild? A weekend camper? Hardly. What then? A sheik in silk pajamas? Not in the wilderness, not by a long shot. What then? A messenger from God? That’s right, a messenger! Probably the greatest messenger you’ll ever hear. He is the messenger Malachi announced when he wrote,
I’m sending my messenger on ahead
To make the road smooth for you.
28-30 “Let me lay it out for you as plainly as I can: No one in history surpasses John the Baptizer, but in the kingdom he prepared you for, the lowliest person is ahead of him. The ordinary and disreputable people who heard John, by being baptized by him into the kingdom, are the clearest evidence; the Pharisees and religious officials would have nothing to do with such a baptism, wouldn’t think of giving up their place in line to their inferiors.
31-35 “How can I account for the people of this generation? They’re like spoiled children complaining to their parents, ‘We wanted to skip rope and you were always too tired; we wanted to talk but you were always too busy.’ John the Baptizer came fasting and you called him crazy. The Son of Man came feasting and you called him a lush. Opinion polls don’t count for much, do they? The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”
I'm heartbroken. What is happening to us, to God's people, to those who receive His Son Jesus as Savior and Lord? We are chasing our tails, we are chasing each others tails, and continue to divide and divide and divide. We throw our preferred doctrines in the teeth of those whom we disagree with. We throw everyone else but those we understand under the bus. God has given us everything we need for life and godliness, but we wallow in judgment and condemnation. We won't read any Bible except the KJV or some other one we deem worthy! We accuse the other translators and paraphrasers of damnable heresy yet we wouldn't even open a concordance or lexicon ourselves.
We accuse some over their teaching on wealth, and all the while build our own retirement plans. We accuse others of being false prophets and yet could not identify Gog or Magog, or point to the Golan Heights on a map.
We say that prophets do not exist today, but claim to judge the prophets of old. We warn others as if we were prophets on all manner of doctrine, but deny that any are prophets, or have the gift given them. Are not the gifts and callings without repentance? Are we not forbidden to despise prophecy? We say prophecy and tongues have ceased (and knowledge too?) but the truth is we still see through a glass darkly and our knowledge is incomplete, partial.
1 Corinthians 14:36-40English Standard Version (ESV)
36 Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached? 37 If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. 38 If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized. 39 So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But all things should be done decently and in order.
1 Thessalonians 5:20American Standard Version (ASV)
20 despise not prophesyings;
We gentiles say "we are the Israel of God!" and have no comprehension of the scriptures which clearly show saved gentiles as grafted into the tree God had already cultivated by the law and the prophets (seven thousand who had not bowed the knee to Baal, yes? no? or at the least 11 and the rest of the those in the upper room, yes? no?). Go to Romans Ch.'s 9-11 and study the identity of every pronoun in those three chapters. The spiritual reality will, must emerge that God still loves the Jewish people today, and the gifts and covenants He promise their fathers are without repentance. And YES! When they receive their Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) those gifts and covenants will become theirs in present experience and everlasting possession.
Romans 11:28-29American Standard Version (ASV)
28 As touching the gospel, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sake.
29 For the gifts and the calling of God are not repented of.
We cry "context, context, context" and emphasize the literal interpretation and fail to remember that the foundation of everything we have is spiritual. And that no private interpretations are allowed. (see https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2Peter1:20&version=ESV) We were not ever going to be saved by doctrine being reduced by our private interpretations and made void of the Spirit and void of Love.
We say apostles (ones sent by God, see http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/Lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=G652&t=KJV) no longer exist and then send our own people calling them missionaries and believe we are obeying God in sending them. Jesus prayed from Gethsemane that the Father make us one as He and Father ARE ONE! But we ignore His prayer, His OUR Father and the Holy Spirit who would make us one as they are one. We are commanded to love one another yet we remain in a state of childishness, see the scripture paraphrased at the top. And the power of God, the dunamis power of God we reject for ourselves and condemn those who receive it. Thereby our faith is a sham and Jesus can only heal a few here and there.
I am wondering how long we will say God must judge America for abortion and homosexuality and not see that judgment BEGINS in the house of God, THE CHURCH of God? Our own children flee our congregations and the pastors' children flee after them.
2 Timothy 3 The Message (MSG)
3 :1-5 Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people.
6-9 These are the kind of people who smooth-talk themselves into the homes of unstable and needy women and take advantage of them; women who, depressed by their sinfulness, take up with every new religious fad that calls itself “truth.” They get exploited every time and never really learn. These men are like those old Egyptian frauds Jannes and Jambres, who challenged Moses. They were rejects from the faith, twisted in their thinking, defying truth itself. But nothing will come of these latest impostors. Everyone will see through them, just as people saw through that Egyptian hoax.
The difficult times are here NOW! In the broad streets of America and the sewers of her internet the days ARE evil. And the people are evil. And what we call church or others call church is evil. And we cry "REPENT! THE RAPTURE IS AT HAND! DON'T BE LEFT BEHIND!"Are we not just seeking to scare people into our denominational sects? Jesus says teach them to observe all the HE said, NOT what you said, or what I said, but what He the Divine Son of God said. He said Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. He said Love one another as I have loved you.
John 13:35 English Standard Version (ESV)
"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
Galatians 5:13-15 English Standard Version (ESV)
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
Stop the devouring of one another. The world, the devil and our own immaturity are exposing us to those who teach lesser words and yes even false words. True: we, or some among us are called to expose those lesser and false words. Nevertheless:
To the Church in Ephesus [Revelation 2 English Standard Version (ESV)]
1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.
2 “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
Jesus did also say:
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26
But if you have hated them and become Jesus' disciple, go on to LOVE God and your neighbor and know He has COMMANDED you to love your fellow disciples as He loves them. And even to love your enemy.
"...you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another."
Galatians 5:4-6The Message (MSG)
4-6 I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects [private interpretations, teachings and prophecies], you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.