Monthly Archives: April 2011
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 1 in a series of advanced Bible lessons designed to help you to recognize the extreme value of the Word of God. I had a funny thing happen to me the other day when a three year old picked up a kids book and said to me, “this book is broken, I can’t read any of the words”. I thought that was very cute reasoning from a three year old. Well I laughed and said to myself that is the way the Bible is to many people. There are a multitude of people in the world who have tried to read the pages of the Bible and they have concluded “this book is broken” because it does not make any sense to them. Because of this, we have many in the world that look down on the Bible and like my three year old little friend, they do not understand what they are doing or saying. I have seen others on TV laugh at Christians and they look at the Bible and call it a foolish book of fables. All of these erroneous conclusions are based upon ignorance and their inability to see any value of the words that are written on the pages. I use to be this exact same way until God opened my eyes and I began to understand the deep hidden spiritual information that is encoded on the pages. All of a sudden the pages of the Bible became alive to me and these living words began to speak to my heart and I began to see and understand the real spiritual things of God like never before. This new perspective changed my life forever!
1Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1Co 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
I was given a question from one of my readers; so I thought if one person had this question there might be many others that could benefit from the same answer. As you can see from my key verses, God is describing a spiritual ministry process in the terms of planting seeds and watering them and God causes them to grow. This seems to not be that difficult on the surface, but yet what does each of the elements represent in these verses and how do they work together? Why does someone plant and someone else water? What is the seed and what is the water? These are some of the questions that I will attempt to answer in the rest of this lesson.
The Bible describes itself in many fascinating and unique ways that make it a book like no other. Today I will attempt to address just three of these unique descriptors to allow you to see the Word of God from a new and different perspective. I will be teaching about seed, water and light primarily and what they each represent. If you have ever planted a garden in your backyard, then God has taught you several spiritual lessons without you even knowing it. You see God tells us the hidden things of God are clearly revealed in the things that He has made, so men are without excuse (Rom 1:20). I remember one year we planted tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and broccoli to name a few vegetables in a garden and we carefully tilled the soil and put the seeds and the plants into the ground and then watered them, cared for them, built a fence around them and over time they grew. We enjoyed and ate a lot of really fresh food from just a few rows of vegetables in a garden over that summer. After studying the Bible I learned that farming was a created concept from God that applies to us learning about the Bible. You see God created these natural farming processes to reflect a much greater truth about how things work in the unseen spiritual realm. I have written on this subject before, but not in this direct relationship of God’s word being three different aspects that are essential elements to our spiritual growth process. So today’s lesson will be watering some seeds that I planted before. Uh oh, I think I just got ahead of myself.
In the natural garden world there exist four natural elements that are essential for our natural food production. These four essential elements are light, water, seed and soil. Without any one of these four we would not exist on this planet. These four essential natural elements are all symbolic representations of spiritual things and that is my primary subject today. Of course light comes from the sun and is probably the first major basic element that permits all life to exist on our planet. We live in a solar system that is our life sustaining force and our planet exists in the perfect position in order to sustain this life here. If we were closer to the sun, it would be too hot and if we were further away it would be too cold. So we live on a Goldilocks planet, one that is just right for human habitation and this is not by chance or accident. I totally believe that it was by design. So the first subject that I want to focus on is the Sun and who or what this represents to us in our Christian walk.
Mal 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
We will briefly examine why Jesus Christ is described to us to be the “Sun of Righteousness”? I will briefly tell you that God does not have to call Him the “Sun of Righteousness” if there are no other suns that exist. In other words God qualifies Jesus to be righteousness and this implies there is a sun that is unrighteousness. I do not have time to explain this fully today, but Satan is the unrighteous sun, I believe. You see in Isaiah 14:12, Satan is called “Lucifer” and this name in the Hebrew means “bright morning star”. Wow, that is tough to understand isn’t it? You see Jesus is also called the “bright and morning star” in Revelation 22:16. Both Jesus and Satan are called by the same name, but one is the Sun of Righteousness and the other is the “sun of unrighteousness”. You have to understand that this “morning star” is a coded reference to our sun, the star that rises in the east every morning that lights our day. I’m sorry I do not have time to elaborate on that more today since it is not my primary subject. Just understand when you are looking at the night sky that every star that you are looking at is a different sun than ours. So there exist many suns by the design and creation acts of God. Let’s continue to look at Jesus. You see Jesus called Himself the “Light of the World” and the “Light of Life” in John 8:12. Jesus is clearly telling us that He is the source for all Spiritual life. There are many verses in the New Testament that confirm this reality, if you choose to see them. If you want to look up some of the names, titles and descriptions of Jesus in the Bible you can read my lesson on this subject called “Names, Titles, Descriptions and Symbols of Jesus in the Bible”. I have concluded that Jesus is the Spiritual Sun of the Spiritual Day and you can read about this in more depth in my Bible lesson called “Understanding Night and Day”. The next factor that I want to associate with the sun is who Jesus is according to the Bible. We certainly understand that Jesus is called the Son of God, but God describes Him in another key way that you should see:
Rev 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
This verse in Revelation is describing Jesus Christ and God is calling His name something entirely different. God calls His name the “Word of God”! By the laws of mathematics created by God we can substitute Word of God for Sun of God and we can even go further and say the Sun of Righteousness is equal to the Word of God. This is a very substantial part of my lesson today. God’s Word is the key factor that brings us Spiritual Light and Life and this is an essential part of God’s spiritual farming lesson.
The second essential element for life on our planet is the existence of water in mass quantities. Our planet is often called the water planet since there is so much water on it that this water could cover it many times over if the world was flat. However in the farming process, water is not the next essential element so I’ll leave this one to last today. Next I want to address “seed” and you should know if you have read my other Bible lessons what this is or at least know parts of what this is. I did a long series of lessons from the Bible on what Seeds represent and there are many things that conform to these types of created and spiritual realities. If you would care to read about them all in detail, you can go and read “Understanding Seeds”. However, today I just want to focus in on one lesson and really just a part of that lesson to define what Paul was sowing and Apollos was watering. You see if you recall in the Parable of the Sower, Jesus taught us the Seed was the Word of God. You can read this in Matthew 13:23 and Luke 8:11. So God’s word is clearly defined to be God’s spiritual seed. We also know from this parable that the ground or soil is man’s spiritual heart. God tells us that those who hear and understand the Word of God are those that will eventually produce spiritual fruit. Let me give you another key verse found in the Bible about the Seed of God:
1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
Here is God contrasting two seeds, one is corruptible and one is incorruptible and that is two ends of two opposites. The concept of corruptible is a Greek word that means mortal or decaying. To be mortal is to be subject to death. It is often associated with organic matter in the world. The laws of thermodynamics state that everything that we can perceive around us is in a state of decay. God is basically comparing natural things (seeds) to spiritual things (seeds) and God inform us that His spiritual Seed is incorruptible. We can understand from the definition of this word that it means “immortal” or incapable of death. God is basically telling you His Words are everlasting Seed that will never die, never pass away and never cease to exist.
We have now discovered two key factors to identify or describe the Word of God. These are God’s Word is Spiritual Light and God’s Word is Incorruptible Seed. I hope you are beginning to see and understand the increasing value of the Word of God. It appears to me that the more I learn about God’s word, the more valuable it becomes to me. God is telling us without His word we would all cease to exist instantly. So let’s continue in the farming analogy and discover if God’s word is also water? There are actually many things in the Bible that are described to be water or symbolically related to water. People are said to be water, seas, oceans, etc. whose waves roar endlessly. But, this is not God’s water, just the people made in the image of God who many seem to be clueless to whom they really are. Let me show you what Jesus says to His disciples in the Gospels about water and this will hopefully begin to change our perspective on the subject:
Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
If God’s word can make you spiritually clean, then God is implying a washing process like when you take a bath or shower. God is basically telling you that the Word of God is the Water of God in indirect terminology. Water is an essential element for life on our planet. We drink water, we wash in water, we use water for many purposes. You should be able to understand that water is a vital and indispensable part for life on our planet and that God is saying “My Words are also this essential” in the spiritual realm. Let me give you verification and a second witness for this reality:
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Ephesians chapter 5 is predominately a marriage covenant chapter and in the context of this information, God describes that His Word is a cleaning force or power. This verse leaves no doubt in my mind that the Word of God is equal to the Water of God. All of this information might be confusing to you or it could be very enlightening to you. You see in the natural realm, light is not water and they are two different elements or substances, so we think. Seeds are also not light and a seed is not water either. So it is very complicated isn’t it? This is why there has been a great debate in the church to the existence of the Trinity of God. How can God be three and still be one? It is a huge perplexing puzzle that only God can solve. What you need to understand though is that everything that we see around us in the physical realm was created by the Word of God from the spiritual realm, so essentially all of these things are the same one thing, the Word of God. When I learned how God created the world, it changed my perspective to many things in the Bible. God saw and God said and then it was. You can read this over and over in Genesis 1. God was trying to teach you that His words became what we see around us.
Today is Earth Day and I do not profess to be a supporter of this man made cause or event. It appears people in the world want to say “Save the Planet” and ignore the people and let them all go to hell. The problem with this reasoning is that God tells us “heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word will never pass away” (Mat 24:35). So people are focused in on the wrong priority entirely. God’s word is eternal and you should be consumed with knowing as much about it as you can learn.
2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
The things of this world are very temporary and not eternal so we as true Christian should not give these natural things like our planet the first priority. Do not get me wrong, I did not say to pollute it or to treat it badly, I am in fact saying you should be a good steward of what God has given to you to enjoy, but do not make it your life’s focus to save the planet because it will not matter in a short time from now. Keep your eyes on the eternal things and this is just the Word of God. Make God’s Word your first priority and it will make other temporary things seem very insignificant.
So I have given you at least three different aspects of the Word of God today. The Word of God is Spiritual Light that causes us to live and grow. The Word of God is Spiritual Water that causes us to be clean. The Word of God is Seed that is planted in the spiritual soil of our hearts and it is these three factors from God that causes us to produce fruit unto God. This is why Paul could plant God’s word first and then Apollos could come along and water those seeds that were planted by Paul. It all reverts back to the same eternal words of God. These are not new words; they are the same words being spoken by different preachers or teachers. This is how it works. God is the essential factor that causes the seed to grow. God gives us the seeds to plant with His Word. God gives us the water to cause these seeds to continue to produce and this is also His word. So it is always God and His Word that is the important factors and never the preacher who sowed or watered. Do you understand these concepts? Do you see why I’m not important? However, what I say is very important, but me, I am just a farmer who is either planting new seeds in you or watering old seeds that have been sown already by someone else. I hope and pray that you enjoyed my simple Bible lesson today and may God continue to bless you until next time.
If you would like to continue reading in this series you may go to “Part 2” now.
(Ver 1.2) This is the continuation of a series that I have been doing on the subject of Understanding Bible Faith. What is it? Where does it come from? How do we get it? What good is it? How do we use it and on and on I could go. These are a few of the subjects that I have attempted to cover in this series at least in part. Everything that I have covered on the subject of Bible faith is applicable to today’s subject of the Prayer of Faith. However, today’s lesson is actually a new perspective of three related subjects and these are faith, prayer and healing combined into one lesson. I will have to touch a little bit on each of these subjects in order to teach about the “Prayer of Faith”. I have been trying to answer questions about some very complex subjects found in the Bible by simplifying them to the best of my ability. If you have not read this Faith series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start reading with “Part 1” and continue through the lessons sequentially so that you do not miss out on any of the important points that I have already covered. In the world that we live in, we all are faced with challenges that at times seem insurmountable and even overwhelming to us. This is when most Christians fall on their faces and begin to pray asking God for help. Now, if this is the only time that you pray when you are in a major crisis, then your current situation was probably caused by your own poor judgment or past decision making failures. I know we have all been there before and have fallen short of the best that we could have done in every situation. Human nature normally likes to think that we have everything under control despite the actual circumstances of life that we are faced with. But, when the doctor comes to you and tells you that you have stage four cancer, then all of sudden people think it is time to pray. Please do not believe that I am making light of your situation and please do not think that I am saying it is too late to change it, because with God all things are possible (Mat 19:26). But, you need to realize that just because everything is possible with God does not mean that you can have it fall upon you automatically without learning what God wants you to do to obtain it. However, you also need to realize that no matter what the report is today, that does not have to be the final report on the matter. The first report never has to be the last report if you learn how to change your situation around by using your faith. I have already tried to teach you that your faith is the determining factor for your final outcome, either positive or negative and this is why you need to continue to change and grow up spiritually to begin to believe the right things based upon the Word of God to cause a positive outcome.
Do not get me wrong when I say that any prayer is better than no prayer, but people need to realize that there are several different kinds of prayer mentioned in the Bible and that each of them have specific purposes, instructions and rules associated with them for the correct way to use them effectively. This is why many Christians pray and nothing happens, because sometimes they are using the wrong type of prayer or the wrong rules for the prayer that they are trying to pray. Today’s subject is a “single” very specific type of unique prayer called the “prayer of faith” and this is a radical new approach to asking God for anything that no other religion in the world follows or even understands how to do. You see too many people believe that all prayer has great power and therefore, all you need to do is to pray and then you will see the hand of God at work. But, that is actually a fantasy type of prayer that is not based upon what the Bible says. Most types of prayer that religious people in the world pray have ABSOLUTELY NO POWER whatsoever associated with them! I know I just shocked a lot of people with that statement, but you find the scripture that says “Prayer” changes things just because you prayed. Please know that Jesus taught us that there is a right way to pray and a wrong way to pray and this is a new concept to many Christians who do not know the difference. Here is an example of what I am telling you:
Mat 6:5 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.
Here is Jesus teaching us a specific way NOT to pray. Jesus says the hypocrites love to pray and Jesus clearly says this is not how we should pray. I will be very plain and tell you if there is one wrong way to pray there are implied multitudes of wrong ways to pray. Perhaps one day I will do a series on what the Bible says about prayer. There are over 165 verses in the New Testament that mention prayer directly and many others that mention it indirectly. Therefore, there is a lot on the subject for us to learn and then we need to apply what we learn to find the correct way to pray to our Heavenly Father. Take a look around the world and see how many religious people are praying every day. You see all you have to do is to look at how many Jewish people are standing at the western wall in Jerusalem that are religiously lifting up baseless empty words to a God who is not interested in them. Wow, I know I am just about to lose a lot of readers with these statements. Please think with me, if prayer was all that was necessary for God to move, then the Islamic faithful who bow towards Mecca and pray 5 times a day would certainly be the most blessed by God. But, I will also tell you plainly that God is not interested in their prayers either. You see the problem with most of these prayers is the fact that Jesus taught us that He was the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Jesus also taught us if you ask the Father anything in my name, that is what He will hear and do (John 14:13). Do either Jewish or Islamic prayers ever acknowledge Jesus as the mediator and go between to God (1 Tim 2:5). I do not believe either of these world religions acknowledge the fact that God had a Son who came to the earth in the flesh. To me, that is a major problem isn’t it? That clearly teaches us that not every prayer that someone says is going to change anything so we better find out what to do to make it work.
So I guess we have a major problem, either prayer works or it doesn’t work, or perhaps there is a greater truth called faith that supersedes prayer that God is requiring us to learn in order to get our prayers heard and answered. I have said this repeatedly in my Bible lessons, there is more than one truth in the Bible and you need to learn all of the factors that are related in order to understand if what you are doing is correct. Let me be very frank again, if you have been praying to God to heal you for ten years and nothing happened then you have been praying 9 years 11 months and 30 days too long. Please get a clue and see when your prayer is not working, you need to do something different to cause it to happen. Too many times people look at God as being the problem, when prayer is not answered and this is never the case. The Bible says God does not change (Mal 3:6), with Him is not even a shadow of turning (James 1:17) that is going to occur. Therefore, where does that leave for the change that needs to occur in order for the prayer to be answered? This is not a trick question, if you have been praying to God and that leaves only two choices, you or God. If God is not the problem then you must be the problem that needs to change! Every Christian should be an ever changing individual, always moving from faith to faith, growing in knowledge and producing new fruit unto God. If you are not a changing Christian then you are dead Christian and that is not good. If you are a Christian and you are not willing to change, you are just in big trouble. Please learn that the problem with unanswered prayer is not His fault nor is God saying NO! God is normally just waiting for you to change and conform to His word so that you will get your answer on His terms and the correct way. This is why you need to learn about the prayer of faith and what it is and how it works. This is the beginning of the lesson on the prayer of faith and this is my foundational scripture found in the book of James:
Jas 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
Jas 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
This is a much ignored passage of scriptures in many churches in the modern world. Too many modern progressive churches think that the original letters written to the churches do not suddenly apply anymore and that is simply not true. We have some people that go to churches where they teach God moves and heals people only through doctors, modern medicine and hospitals today. They have reduced the power of God and in effect limited Him to a very narrow minded perspective that says God is incapable of doing anything supernatural in the world. To view things from a natural perspective only is to deny God’s supernatural power and this is foolish. As you can read in these verses in James, God is talking about people who are sick in the church. So what are they supposed to do? According to God and the Bible one thing that they can do is to call upon the elders of the church so that they can pray for them. Of course this is not all that it says is it? It actually takes much more than just prayer according to these verses. There is a factor given that the elders should anoint the sick person with oil and I have seen this done in churches and I feel like it is scriptural to do this. However, it is not the oil that heals people. It is not the elders that heal people. The implication is clearly given to us that the elders better be spiritually mature enough to understand how to pray a very specific type of prayer called the “prayer of faith”. You see this is the greatest problem with prayer for the sick that ministers in the church will come and pray for you, but since they know nothing about faith they pray wrong and get no results. When people come to your house and anoint you with oil and then say a quick prayer and leave, too many thinks they have fulfilled the requirements for what God said to do, but then when the sick person does not get better or even die, no one wants to think it was their fault or even attempt to take any responsibility for what just happened. Instead people reason in their minds that it was just not the will of God to heal Sister Jones or whoever. When it actually boils down to the fact that no one prayed the prayer of faith and God says very clearly that it is this prayer of faith that will heal them. When God says the prayer of faith will save the sick, the Greek word is “sozo” that means to deliver or to make whole.
No the problem is normally caused because God says ONLY the “prayer of faith” will heal the sick and everyone thinks they prayed this way correctly when in reality they do not have a clue what the prayer of faith really is. So we need to learn about what the prayer of faith is and how to pray it correctly or you will never see anyone get healed. That seems to put the responsibility of healing back upon people and not God, doesn’t it?
What I have discovered is that God is never moved by needs. You see there are a lot of people in the world who are sick or diseased who even die every day and God did nothing to stop this from occurring. I guess I should rephrase that statement because that made it sound like God is responsible for not healing and this is just not the case. You see healing was a very specific part of the atonement work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Salvation was an all-inclusive work of God that included your spirit, your soul and your body. God saved you spiritually, mentally and physically as a complete work of the shed blood on the cross. Therefore, if you need physical healing, then you are a candidate for what the Bible says God has already provided for you. If you do not do what the Bible says for you to do, then what do you expect God to do, make you do it? That would make God an unjust God who forced someone into doing the right things and God is not this way. God says in Hosea 4:6 my people are destroyed (killed, robbed, made sick) by a lack of knowledge of God. Insufficient knowledge is one of your greatest enemies to you receiving healing. So that is why I am here to try to teach you. Since I’m not God, I will warn you that I do not know everything and therefore I need to learn more also, but I will tell you what I have learned up to this point in time.
Faith as we have already learned comes by hearing the Word of God. Therefore, your personal measure of Bible faith is based upon your knowledge of God’s Word that you have heard. We can also conclude that the “prayer of faith” is also based upon this same personal knowledge of the Word of God. It comes down to this fact. Before you pray you better find out what the Bible says about what you are praying for and then you can base your prayer upon those specific scriptures. This gives your prayer a firm foundation to stand upon. This is what I have been taught to do. Go to your Bible and search the scriptures for verses on your subject that you are about to ask God for and see what He has promised you. Then study these for several days, mediating on them over and over until they become a part of your spirit and then go to God and pray. This means you should be able to quote them out of your spirit without reading them. You should know every word and every reference for every scripture. Now you have a firm foundation for the “prayer of faith” and you will be able to fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim 6:12). If you need healing then look up healing scriptures and find out what God said about it. You can look in Isaiah 53 at the atonement scriptures. But, these are also quoted in the New Testament more clearly in Matthew 8:17 and 1 Peter 2:24. There are many other healing scriptures that are also good to know, like Psalm 91:16 and Psalm 107:20, to name a couple. Study the Bible and find out the promises of God and these are what you will stand upon for the basis of your faith to expect God to fulfill them in your life. What I am trying to tell you is that the “prayer of faith” is always based upon your knowledge of the Word of God. Therefore, if you do not know the Word of God, you do not have any faith to pray. Uh oh? That doesn’t sound good for a lot of people who pray! Jesus actually teaches us some very specific things about the prayer of faith in Mark 11 and that is where I am going next. Please read this verse very carefully:
Mar 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
If you read the context of this scripture you should be able to see from verse 22 that Jesus says “Have faith in God”. There is actually a better translation of these Greek words which say “Have the God kind of faith”. Jesus was telling us we could have the same kind of faith that God has and this is hard to accept for many people. Jesus is definitely teaching us a faith lesson in this chapter so the subject of faith is the dominant themed subject. So when Jesus gets to teaching us on prayer in verse 24, He is associating a very specific type of prayer by discussing only the “prayer of faith” that we read about in James. What does this verse say? Jesus acknowledges that people have desires and these are some of the primary reasons why a lot of people pray. In other words people who do not desire to be healed and who want to remain sick will not ever pray and ask God to intervene. One of the first things you need to figure out is, do you desire to be well and healed? You may recall in an earlier faith lesson that I taught on the man at the pool who Jesus came up to and asked “will you be made whole”. The man’s will and desire played a role in whether he was going to be healed that day. If you have the same desire to be healed then continue reading else stop reading here now! Next it says to pray and ask for it. This is where it begins to get more complex. You see you cannot ask wrongly and expect to get it answered just because you desire it to happen. In other words, if you desire another man’s wife, you are not asking according to the will of God or the Word of God and you can count on your prayer not being answered or even just plainly ignored by God. So find out if what you are praying for is the will of God first by looking in His word and if you can find at least two scriptures that say that you can have it, then you have a firm foundation for your request to God.
Mark 11:24 then changes prayer things up dramatically when it says that when you pray you must also believe. This is another key factor for why many prayers go unanswered. People pray and never believe anything happened or they believe wrongly like things will happen some day. You see that is not the prayer of faith if you do not believe anything or believe things correctly. What I am trying to teach you right now, is that it matters what you believe when you pray. In fact God tells us in Hebrews some important stuff that we need to believe:
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Praying the prayer of faith without first possessing faith it is impossible for God to honor this prayer without Him violating His word. You see if God says it is impossible to please Him without faith and you think you can pray and get an answer anyway who is right, you or God? If you do not please God with your prayer, do you think it will be answered anyway? I personally do not believe this. God very specifically says you need faith to be pleasing to Him. Then it says you must believe that God exists. Wow, why would anyone pray if they did not believe this first? Next you must believe that God rewards you because you prayed. This is where it begins to get more complex again. You see Jesus taught us in Mark 11:24 that when you pray you must believe that you receive and that goes along with the fact that you must understand and know that God heard you. You see I already showed you that God does not hear every prayer. If you do not believe in Jesus when you are praying to God, you are being ignored because only Jesus is the way to the Father now. Here is a good time to introduce you to a verse that I talked about earlier but did not give it to you directly:
1Jn 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
As you can clearly see God says He only hears people when they pray according to His Word. This means if you are not praying according to His will your words of prayer are ignored. So one of the most important factors in any prayer of faith is for you to find out what the Word of God says is the Will of God for your situation. It is not hard to do this, if you know how to use a computer search program to look up the scriptures. As I taught you before, this means that you must spend time preparing to pray before you ever attempt to pray the “prayer of faith”. The more time that you spend in preparing to pray the prayer of faith will cause your prayer to be more likely to succeed. Do not rush into prayer, review the scriptures that you are going to use for several days and then finally pray.
Here is where I am going to differentiate with the KJV translation a little bit. I believe that Jesus said in Mark 11:24 that when you pray, you must believe that you received (past tense) what you have prayed for before you ever have them in the natural physical realm. The KJV translation is “receive” but this Greek word seems to be past tense and that makes a huge difference in what you believe and when. If you pray and believe that God heard you and that He will heal you some day, that is not past tense and that is NOT faith. This is probably the greatest challenge to why your prayers never worked before. You see it is because you did not believe that anything changed that is one of the key factors to why nothing did change so you kept praying and asking for God to do what He said He had already done. This is why the prayer of faith is only prayed one time and never repeated. In future prayers you can remind God and yourself about what you already asked for and thank Him for giving you the answer, but you are in error if you ever ask Him for it again. I wish I could say this is easy to do, but that would be an untruthful statement. Nobody that I know of ever said that walking by faith and not by sight was easy to do. Faith goes against all human reasoning and logic. People like to see the healing and then believe that they have it and this is putting the cart before the horse in the Bible reality of how God says to do things. You see the world says “seeing is believing” and this is the opposite to what God says “believing is seeing”. Since many humans are flesh dominated we tend to look at the circumstances and they many times take priority over what we just prayed for and what the Bible said to us. In other words if you are worse tomorrow than you were yesterday after you prayed and asked God for healing, you must not automatically fall into a sense realm reality that God did not answer your prayer. When you do this you are basing your faith on your circumstances and ignoring what God’s Word is saying to you and this is failure to please God. This is the opposite of what God tells us to do in the Bible:
2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
To walk by sight is to chart your course based upon what you see in the world with your 5 physical senses. But, to walk by faith this is where you find out what God said and then you fight to believe that over what the doctor has said. If God said you “were healed” and the doctor says you are “sick” do not chastise the doctor or sound like a fool in denial, you just thank the doctor and do what he says to do, but you choose to believe what God says the outcome is over the doctors report. The last report from the doctor is never the final report unless you give into it and believe it.
In closing today, let me reemphasize one major point. One of the most important things that you need to learn today, is the fact that when you pray the prayer of faith you must begin to believe that you have the answer at that very moment that you prayed or you are not following the Word of God or being obedient to how God taught you to pray. The concept of having to believe that you have something before you actually have it is a Bible faith concept that is found throughout the Bible from cover to cover. For example, God told Israel after they had left Egypt and they were in the wilderness, “I have given you the Promise Land”. So according to God it was a done deal, but to Israel they did not have it yet. So they were required to believe something that God said before it actually occurred and they possessed it. This is the same thing that happened with Abraham. God told Abraham your seed shall be as the stars of heaven. God told Abraham “I have made you a father of many nations”. Before Abraham was a father God said he was, so Abraham had to believe this before it happened and it eventually came to pass. This is the concept of faith that is essential to see before the promise has been fulfilled in your life in the natural you must accept it done in the spiritual realm. You must believe that it is true before you can actually prove that it is true in the natural realm. Here is another New Testament statement that Jesus makes:
Joh 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Jesus gives us a basic nutshell faith lesson in one verse. Jesus says you must hear the Word of God to get faith and then you must believe what you heard. If you do these two things then you have the basis for Bible Faith. In Jesus’ example, you must believe on Jesus being sent by God and then Jesus says you will have eternal life. How many of you that believe in Jesus as being sent by God today, actually feel like you have this eternal life? Can you prove it? How do you know you have it? I rarely feel like it and I cannot prove it to anyone, but yet Jesus says I have it so that is what I will stand on with my faith. Jesus is basically saying you will have eternal life whether you feel like it, whether you look like it or regardless of the proof that you possess. This is Bible faith, having what the word says even though you have no physical evidence for what it says. I hope this lesson helps you in your walk with God and I expect to hear about many answered prayers from this lesson. Thanks for taking the time to study the Bible with me and spread the word to a friend. God Bless!
If you would like to read the next lesson in this series you may continue to “Part 13“.
(Ver 2.0) I will get back to teaching on faith and healing very soon. However, I will warn you again today up front that this Bible lesson will potentially offend some people. This is now Part 2 of a lesson series that I have been teaching about a modern day problem that has been running wild in almost every Christian church and ministry in the world. I was not going to write a part 2, but the Spirit of God did not allow me to drop the subject, so here I go again today. We live in a complex world with vast numbers of pressures that are presented to men and women of God and we must all have money to survive and pay our bills. But, this mentality and pressure has caused many Christian ministries of God to justify a selling of the Gospel that only allows for a few rich people to hear and learn the truth of God and it places unjust limitations upon all those who cannot afford to buy it. There are a few exceptions that I can name like Keith Moore who runs Moore Life Ministries and Andrew Womack who runs Andrew Womack Ministries, who both allow you to copy their ministry materials and freely give them to others. They both also freely distribute the Gospel for free. I guess I should point out some minor differences between the two; Andrew Womack has an online store where they post suggested prices for their materials but I assume if you cannot afford those prices they might send them to you anyway. They do say that on their TV show, that if you cannot afford the CD that they are talking about that day that they will send it to you anyway. I also learned today that they have many of their materials available as a free download as MP3 files. Prais God for them! Keith Moore is more technology savvy and will post the entire MP3 file and the WMV video file of his meetings on the internet to allow you to watch or listen to them on your iPod or MP3 player device. Search the internet and look for churches who give away MP3 files of their sermons for free for you to download and listen to and you will see that there are a growing number that have purposely chosen not to prostitute the Gospel for a few dollars so that everyone in the world can hear it for free. These are all examples of innovative new types of ministries of God who care more for people than they do for money. However, it is funny how God works when He sees people who care for what He cares for. It seems that God will always meet the needs of those who are reaching out to people for free and cause them to prosper. You see Keith Moore, who does not charge for the Gospel, flies a jet airplane and is significantly blessed by God and this is an awesome example of God’s blessings on a man who is teaching others the truth and being blessed to do it. This is how it supposed to work in every ministry. Jesus taught us very clearly “freely you have received, so freely give” and if you are not doing this, then you are guilty of spiritual prostitution and I will talk about this directly today.
If you have not read “Part 1” I would truly advise you to start reading there first and then come back and continue with this lesson so that you will better understand what I am preaching today. Many times the Bible and the Truth of God are very difficult to swallow for some people. Some Christian people and even ministers see things in their minds as being acceptable, but in the eyes of God and the eyes of men on the outside it is self-evident to be the wrong approach. Today’s Bible lesson is about the Christian Prostitution of the Word of God and that is a potentially offensive subject to many today, yet this subject needs to be preached regardless of what people think of it at first. A prostitute in the natural world is usually a female who sells herself to others for the sexual pleasures of those who pay her money for what they desire. If you do not understand what prostitution is, you are either blind or extremely naïve. Prostitution is legal in Nevada and some other countries in the world, but just because something is legal does not mean it is right in the eyes of God. That is why I can preach against ministries who are selling their Gospel using the laws of the government to justify their approach to the distribution of the Gospel. Just because Spiritual Prostitution is legal in this country, it does not make it right in the eyes of God either. There are two questions that enter into my mind when I think about the subject of prostitution. First, what makes a woman do this? And second, what makes a man want what she is selling? For the woman, it is usually a desire for the money. For the man who is buying it, it is usually just a lust or the fact that he has a very strong desire for sexual gratification. He obviously sees value in what she is selling and is willing to pay her price. What am I preaching about today? When a man has sex with a woman it is called “knowing” her in the Bible. The Bible says Adam “knew” his wife and she conceived a son (Gen 4:1). This natural sex act is often times called “carnal knowledge”. The “knowing” of a woman is the covenant act of marriage. This is true whether you thought it was true or not. It is also true if she is a paid prostitute or your real wife (1 Cor 6:16). But, we can also have spiritual “knowledge” of God by hearing His Word taught by a preacher or a teacher and this is why I am teaching you about prostitution. There is a direct correlation in the Bible between natural sex to spiritual knowledge if you did not know it! The Word (Logos) of God is called His “seed” in Luke 8:11 and 1 Peter 1:23. The sperm of a man is also called ‘seed” in Leviticus 15:16-18 and Numbers 5:28. Therefore we can conclude the Word of God is His spiritual “seed” sown to give man the knowledge of the truth. So I am discussing a very mature subject today when I describe people who are on the internet selling the “knowledge” of God for money. The selling of the knowledge of God’s Word is equivalent in the spiritual realm to the natural sexual knowledge of a prostitute if it is done for money or profit. Getting or giving the knowledge of God is exactly like having sex in the natural. You need to get a hold of this concept very fast if you are a preacher who is selling your knowledge of God for money! I believe that this is a very serious subject and that is why I am preaching it today at the risk of offending my spiritual brothers. If you know of anyone that is doing this, please share this message with them ASAP!
What makes a prostitute think that she is worthy of this money that she earns? It is usually because she is attractive and does not know of any other way to get money. In other words her looks make her desirable to others and this causes her body to have monetary value. If no one wanted what she had, there would be no prostitutes in the world today, this is just how it works. Here is the major problem that I am talking about today. The Word of God is a highly desirable substance to many people like me. Over twenty years ago I began to hunger for the knowledge of God, so much so that I spent thousands of dollars to obtain this knowledge. I valued what many men of God were teaching so much that I bought it like a natural man after a sexy prostitute. Since this was the fastest and only way that I could get this knowledge, I paid their price. Since I was not a rich man that limited me to what I could give in offerings to them. But, I sacrificed the one for the other. So if I was the John looking for the “knowledge” of God, what does that make these ministers who were selling this knowledge? Wow, that does not leave too many choices does it? Obviously there are many ministries in the world who are spiritual prostitutes of the knowledge of God. This is why when I asked Kenneth Hagin Ministries for permission to copy their materials and give them away for free, that I was shocked when they said to me “NO”, I could not do that. They obviously liked the money more than they liked to help people learn about God. For a ministry that teaches “faith” predominately I do not understand why they do not live by what they preach. You see if there was no demand for this ministry’s materials, there would be no prostitution going on by them selling it. However, since God’s Word has great value to many people in the world they have a golden opportunity to sell their knowledge for a great price. This may be not what they think they are doing, but nonetheless it is what is going on. Jesus actually spoke of this in terms of a man who sold everything he had to buy the pearl of great price. The pearl of great price is actually the knowledge of God that He was speaking of in parable form (Mat 13:45-46).
You see I do not preach against the message that is being taught, it is a great message. I know I have over a 1000 of them on my MP3 player. But, how much do think that it cost me to get all of these? Do you think I got them for free? If you go to their website you will find that they sell MP3 files for $5 each, Tapes and CDs for $7 each and DVDs for $15 each. You do the math and see how much you think I spent. Now, some of these tapes that I bought did not come from them directly. I bought some of them off of eBay and those usually cost me more than what they would have sold them for but, since they were discontinued sets and they did not sell them anymore, I had to do what I had to do to get them. You see the Unnamed TV Ministry has created an artificial state of demand by limiting their materials. Much like the world diamond market controls the number of diamonds on the market so that they can cause the prices to rise. Anytime you put limits on what you are selling this is what you are doing regardless of what you think you are doing. Since you cannot find many of the tapes anymore on their websites, you have to buy what comes up for sell by the chance of people selling them that do not know what they have. Many times people would die and leave their tapes to their children and they would not have a clue what they were so they would sell them in a garage sell or on eBay. This is where I would buy them. For example, Unnamed TV ministries has two yearly meetings where they have a week of intensive training and Bible studies. I have nearly every set of tapes of these meetings going back 25 to 30 years. Sometimes I paid upwards of $10 a tape to buy them off the internet. When there are 16 to 20 tapes in one set, you do the math and tell me how much it cost me. So why did it cost me so much? It is because I was bidding against 10 other people who knew the value of the information on those tapes. It would be like having one hot prostitute and 10 Johns bidding to see who was going to have her tonight. I’m sorry if I’m too blunt sometimes, but somebody needs to wake up to see the truth!
Modern technology permits people to spread the Word of God for the cost of pennies and the majority of the ministries on the earth are still charging many dollars for their valuable spiritual copyrighted information. If you look at my picture that I have included in this paragraph you will see a very small computer chip that I own. On this computer chip I have 500 Kenneth Hagin sermons. So I still value these like the great Words of God that they are. These are the pearl of great price that I have sought after with my money and these are not all of the sermons that I own. I will tell you that I have nearly 2000 of just Kenneth Hagin messages and then I have many other Bible teachers of God for a total of over 10,000 MP3 sermons all together. God knows my heart and sees my hunger to know the truth and God has blessed me tremendously more than I could say. So I appreciate all that I have and I wanted to share it with others around the world and I have been struggling because of the resistance that I have been getting from ministers of the Gospel found in the body of Christ.
About 20 years ago, I was a part of a very large church in a city located in the Bible belt of America. This was a church that was growing and had increased in size to be one of the largest churches in the city. Our senior pastor was on TV teaching the Word of God and ministering to people nationwide, and making a lot of money from it. Our Sunday morning church service was broadcast live to the city on TV. Our church had over 5000 members in it and we thought we were doing very well and were certainly in the perfect will of God. Over time the ministry was attacked by Satan and the news media and things started to change and deteriorate quickly. The senior pastor was under such pressure that he isolated himself and started surrounding himself with ungodly council and advice. He eventually got deep into error, departing from the Word of God and abusing his anointing from God to go in a different independent direction. In his eyes he was just fine and thought nothing was wrong with him. Even after leaving his wife and taking up with another woman he thought he was justified in what he was doing. Well that church does not exist anymore; it went from over 5000 members to zero in a matter of a couple of years. That church building was sold to the city and it is now a convention center. Please learn from the mistakes of this ministry example that no man is justified to do what is right in his own eyes and think they will always have a ministry that can never fail or cease to exist. I know, I was there and I saw it firsthand. I tried to help and do what I could, like I am doing right now but I was pushed out like an enemy of the church and ignored. So it is today in my fight against my brothers in Christ who seem to deny what they are doing is wrong by selling their copyrighted Gospel.
I have learned one very important lesson that if it was not for God and His grace, I would not be doing what I am doing today. Therefore, what I teach and preach is not mine to control, copyright or limit. I am smart enough to see that if it were not for the knowledge of God and the anointing of God I would have absolutely nothing to teach that is worth a dime to anyone. Too many times preachers begin to think too highly of themselves and their abilities and they fall into a trap of believing that they have accomplished and created such a great ministry by their own abilities and talents. When you fall into this trap, it is very easy to think that you own what you are teaching and not give God the credit for what you have that is so valuable to others. When I see the anointing of God on me and what I teach, I stand in awe of the Greater One who is at work and I do not dare to think that I can copyright it since it was not my words to begin with. This is the error that too many ministries have fallen into and they are now so deep in it that it will be extremely difficult for them to get out of it unless they fall on their faces and repent quickly and change.
In my first Bible lesson on this subject, I taught the message of Jesus casting out the money changers from the temple of God and I related this to what is happening today because these men were using their knowledge of God and His Word to create a business. Today I want to continue this Bible lesson with another story that is found in the Bible that certainly applies directly to what I have been teaching you. You can turn to this story in the Book of Acts and find it in chapter 18 so please turn and read it with me and observe what is being said very closely:
Act 8:18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
Here is a man named Simon and he observes the anointing of God in action in the lives of the apostles. Peter is basically laying his hands on new believers in Christ and they are being filled with the Spirit of God with the evidence of speaking in other tongues and Simon offers them money for the power to do this also. Since I am preaching about money, the anointing and ministers today this story certainly applies, doesn’t it? Or at least it should, if people would open their eyes and see what is going on:
Act 8:19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
So Simon desires to have the same power and anointing that is present on Peter to do what Peter was doing, but he is wrongly motivated primarily by greed. He is thinking within himself that with this power, he will be able to get rich. By buying the anointing he will be able to do exactly what Peter was doing and use it for a new spiritual business. Wow, I hope and pray that you can read and see what God is saying here! Here is Peter’s reaction to this offer of prostitution from Simon. You did hear what I just called it, didn’t you?
Act 8:20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
Apparently Peter was not motivated by money and he saw things differently than a lot of modern ministries on the earth do today who seem to be motivated or stimulated by money offers that are coming to them. It is very obvious to me that Peter did not take any money for what he knew was not his to begin with to sell. Are you still listening to what I just said?
Act 8:21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
When you do something wrong does it matter the intentions of why you do it? Then on the other hand can you have perfectly good intentions and still do the wrong things? Both of these are certainly possible today. Here is where it begins to get infinitely more complex. People do many things in the world today out of ignorance even though they are still clearly the wrong things to do. I hope and pray that this is the situation for the ministries that I have named in these lessons and all of the others that I did not name. That is why I like to think that modern ministries are not willfully and intentionally prostituting the gift of God that has been given to them to make a profit from it. However, Peter was smart enough to see that it was wrong either way and that it was not wise for him to partake of the money that was being offered to him. Having the right knowledge of God is the power to say no when a situation is presented that appears to be very good on the surface. Modern ministries today have been presented a very attractive offer for the use or I should say the abuse of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and they have fallen into the trap that has turned the selling of that which does not belong to them into a positive thing for the benefit of what they are doing for God. Could not Peter think the exact same thing in Acts 8? Couldn’t Peter had justified, that this money could be used to help spread the Gospel, so he better take it and just let God figure out what to do next with Simon. Think with me, Peter was a called man of God. Peter was an anointed man of God. Peter was taught by Jesus himself! So Peter had the same things going for him that preachers like Kenneth Hagin or Kenneth Copeland have going for them. I guess I should clarify that Kenneth Hagin went to be with the Lord in 2003, so he is not technically in charge of his ministry anymore and his son runs it today. His son Kenneth W Hagin is on TV and this is probably a part of what is feeding the problem. Maybe you think I am being a critic because I do not like these ministries, but since you do not know me, you would think wrong. It is only because I like them so much that I mention them at all. You see I consider Kenneth Hagin to be a spiritual father of mine, so it hurts me to no end that I have to teach what they are doing is wrong! You have no idea how much I cried when I wrote the first article.
What I want you to learn today is that Peter was in town preaching the Word of God and ministering to the people when he was offered what appeared to be a large sum of cash to give what he did not own to another man. If you do not understand how this applies to the modern world, then you are a spiritually blind man or woman. If you are selling your anointed teaching or preaching materials for a profit you are accepting money for something that you did not produce or could produce without the power of God’s participation. Maybe some of my readers do not understand what the anointing is and we should back up briefly and talk about that. The anointing is God’s Power and Ability for you to do what you have been called to do. The anointing of God is a gift of God like Peter was discussing in Acts 8. In other words, you might have been called to preach, but yet if you are trying to do it all in your own abilities and talents you are laboring in vain and wasting your time (Ps 127:1). To “anoint” is a Bible term that means to smear or rub with oil. The oil is usually viewed to be a type of the Holy Spirit in the Word of God. So to anoint with oil, is a concept that is an outward representation of something that actually transpires internally in our hearts (spirits). That was a brief lesson on the anointing and I know I did not cover it very well. But, since I’m teaching about Peter in Acts, let’s review a statement that Peter makes in his letter to the church:
1Pe 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
1Pe 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
I hope that you can see what God is saying to the church in these verses. Since Peter is the scribe for these words, they directly apply to what we just read in Acts 8. Peter basically says that it is the ability that God has given to him that has caused him to do what he has done and it was not him that was doing anything. Think with me about the life of Peter recorded in the scriptures. It was not the same Peter in Acts chapter 2 who stood up and preached to thousands that it was the Peter who denied Jesus 3 times in John 13. What changed or happened to Peter to cause such a drastic transformation to a man who was fearful of other men to a man who was bold to preach the Word of God? The change occurred when God anointed Peter with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit which gave him supernatural power and abilities. I do not mean he could fly like a superman, I mean he had the Power of God upon him and working through him to do things that his natural man could have never accomplished. This is the anointing and the gifting of God that he was describing.
I use to be like the Peter who denied Jesus three times. You see I use to know nothing; I use to have no understanding of the Word of God and I use to have no teaching ability. I may have been called by God as a young child or even still in my mother’s womb as it says for many men of God in the Bible, but, I could not fulfill my destiny using my own determination or skills. It was not until the Holy Spirit came into me, filled me, then anointed me to teach and taught me what to teach that I could dare to teach the Bible at all. This is an essential lesson to learn for anyone in the ministry. It is always the anointing of God that must be present to produce anything of any spiritual value for others. So if you are teaching the Bible without the anointing you are just an entertainer that is making money and you ought to charge admission to your shows. But, if you are anointed by God then you are a man or a woman that is depending on Him to show up and work through you.
Most modern ministries with any integrity would never think of charging you an admission or an entrance fee into one of their meetings like it was a rock concert or a Broadway show. To charge money to allow you to hear the Gospel message of salvation would be a clear violation of the Word of God. However, to charge you money for past Bible lessons that they have recorded seems to be another story entirely in today’s world. I really do not understand how they see these two things to be different. A live teaching and a taped teaching contain the same words, the same message, the same meanings, the same anointing and the same power to save, heal or deliver the people who are listening to it. Why is it permissible in their eyes to charge great deals of money for these old Bible lessons that they do not charge for their new live ones? Why the gift of God is not sold live, but is sold in copies later, I really do not understand? That is a very narrow minded interpretation of the scriptures if you think one is permissible and the other is not. That is being inconsistent and ignorantly irresponsible of what God has given to you as a free gift. Do you not understand these concepts? Am I speaking empty words to empty heads? Or have you closed your mind to what the truth of God is telling you because we live in a modern world? Heaven help us all to get on the same page and work in unity and harmony to reach the entire world for God. I hope that you learned something from this series of lessons and if you agree with what I am saying, please share it with others so that the truth will prevail. God Bless you!
Driving Out the Money Changers from the Temple of God! A Copyrighted Gospel Sold in the Den of Thieves!
(Ver 2.0) I will warn you up front that this Bible lesson will offend some people today. I’m sure after you read this lesson I will have some people who agree with me and others who strongly disagree with me, but I really do pray that you will agree with God’s Word and not my opinions I am not writing this Bible lesson today to seem better than anyone else or to say that I am perfect and I never make any mistakes! I am just writing this article today to point out a major problem that has been running rampant in the Body of Christ. It seems there are certain internal policies called the doctrines of men in many Christian Ministries today who believe that they have the right to limit and control what is being taught to others and even how it can be shared. This is what I call today the “Copyrighted Gospel of Jesus Christ” and you will soon learn more about why I called it this. These offensive policies are giving the body of Christ a black eye and a very poor reputation and what even one Christian man does reflects on all of us as a whole whether we like it or not, since we are just ONE BODY! You see I’m definitely not perfect either and I make a ton of mistakes. But, if someone sees me making a mistake I would greatly appreciate them telling me about it so I can learn, repent and change. This is my attempt at teaching so others will see a different perspective to what they are doing. I try very hard not name names in my lessons, and I will do the same today after considering what these words might do to damage the reputation of certain Christians. Somebody definitely needs to wake up the sleeping giants, sound the alarm and they need to stop what they are doing and this is my deepest prayer. Perhaps God can use this message to do something that might cause a change to occur. I have tried to talk to a few ministries personally and privately first and since this didn’t work, I am now taking the message publicly to the Body of Christ for your attention and consideration. So today I am going to talk about the moneychangers in the Temple of God, who they are and what they are selling in the modern world:
Mat 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
Mat 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
As you can see from these verses in Matthew Jesus is NOT a happy Savior! This is an example of Godly Righteous Anger in action. Many people like to think that God is only Love and that this means He is nice all the time and will put up with your antics indefinitely. The vast gay community embraces the scriptures of God’s love and grace and they ignore the scriptures of sin, repentance and His judgment. Here in Matthew 21:12 Jesus goes into the Temple in Jerusalem and starts casting out those who were there to profit from God’s Word. These were His natural brothers and sisters if you did not know that. So I feel justified to speak of my spiritual brothers and sisters today in the same light. These people in the temple were all religious people who knew what the Bible said and they used this knowledge to make God’s work and His Word a business that caused them to get rich and profit from what did not belong to them. So Jesus got angry and cast them all out! Do you think that God thinks differently about this today than He did back then in the Temple? Do not get me wrong, being rich is not a problem at all, but how you got there is! If you are using God’s Word to prosper you or your ministry then you are a modern day moneychanger in the Temple of God at risk of being driven out before Christ returns for His church very soon. There are many and I do literally mean many Christian ministries that are in danger of this catastrophe today. All you have to do is go on to the internet and search for ministries that do this and you will find them. They have literally thousands of tapes, CDs, Video Tapes, DVDs and books for sell that clearly have huge mark ups and profit margins built into them. They have taken the Word of God that was given to them for free and put a price on it because it was valuable to someone and they can sell it to help pay for their ministry and TV expenses. This is what I call prostituting the Word of God for money and it is going on almost everywhere! Many of these ministries justify this practice with the logic and human reasoning that all of the money just goes back into the ministry and never their personal pockets, but yet most of these ministers and their employees still draw salaries from this income and there lies at least a part of the root of the problem.
So here is where I am going to start to get directly to the point that needs to be said today. I recently asked a very popular Christian TV ministry for permission to distribute copies of their materials for free to those in other countries that cannot afford to buy them. I did not modify the messages or make any changes to them, nor did I charge anyone for any of them. In fact, I mailed them to others with me paying the full cost of shipping. I also took upon myself the duplication costs, the material media expenses and the gas and labor for sending them were all paid by me. So I was never attempting to profit from their copyrighted materials. I was only motivated to help others to learn from the great messages that I had learned from. There is a huge problem with many ministries today; they do not fully understand the advantages of modern technology and the power of it. While the world around them has gone fully digital, these ministries primarily live with an analog mentality. I am a computer geek and I do not deny this one bit. Over 15 years ago I started buying old tapes from certain ministries and I converted them to MP3 files on my computer. This allowed me to keep them electronically so even if the tapes wear out, I still have the message. But, today there are also new MP3 players that you can fit in your little shirt pocket that will hold over 2000 sermons on it. This allows the Gospel to be carried around wherever you go. It also allows the Gospel to be freely and cheaply distributed to others for little to nothing. There are some ministries that are starting to learn about MP3 files now, but they are still stuck in their analog paradigm of selling them for the same cost as their tapes and CDs. That is crazy; do you know how much it would cost to fill up a MP3 player with your $5 MP3 files that cost you pennies to create and distribute? You see we live in a different world today; it is not a reel to reel Gospel mentality anymore. It is not even a cassette tape mentality where you can only put one tape into your tape player to hear the Gospel anymore. It is a digital revolution that has occurred to allow you to carry around 1000’s of your favorite Bible lessons and you can do all of them in a device that is less than 1 inch square or even on your smart phone. Wake UP PEOPLE!
You see this ministry that I asked for permission from, did not care if people had their materials, they only cared that they were given away for free to people outside of their control. How arrogant and controlling is that attitude? According to them anyone is free to go to their website and spend $5,000 – $10,000 to buy all of their ministry materials and they will be mailed directly to them. But, do not ever think you can make copies of them and give them to anyone else or they will sue you because of the copyrighted Gospel only belongs to them. This is a GOSPEL FUNNEL effect that Satan loves. If you limit the Gospel to go through one source of distribution only, it causes the Gospel to in effect be easily stopped or at the least severely hindered.
Does any ministry have the right to be a funnel for the TRUTH? What if Paul had this attitude? Would we have a Bible today? How did the early church grow into the fastest known religion from a small handful to thousands in only a very short time? Could it be the fact that there were no funnels limiting the spread of the truth? Could it be the fact there were no COPYRIGHTED Gospel ministries? All of this sounds a whole lot like the people in the temple who were profiting from selling doves and sacrifices for the people to obey the Word of God. If only the rich could afford to buy their sacrifices, then the poor were in trouble. This is the same situation we have in the world today. We have a bunch of ministries that are preaching a rich man’s Gospel and the poor are left out to fend for themselves.
Let me describe to you the situation so that you understand what is going on. I try to be a man of integrity and I never do anything to profit from preaching or teaching the Word of God as you can tell from reading my Bible lessons on the internet for free. So over the past 30 years, I had bought a bunch of a certain ministries materials costing me thousands of dollars and I thought they were all excellent Bible lessons that everyone should hear. So I emailed this ministry and asked them for permission to make electronic copies to distribute to others free of charge. In other words I would give their materials away to help others for free in order to assist people all over the world learn the same truth of God’s Word that I had learned. Does that sound unreasonable to you? You see after I emailed this well-known TV ministry and asked for this permission to make copies of their materials to give away to others for free, they wrote me back and explained all of their materials were “copyrighted” and I could not give them away to anyone because it was just not allowed by their internal policies. Forget, the Spirit of God said not to do this and forget what the Bible says about spreading the Gospel, they did not mention either of these to be factors in their policy; they just said it was THEIR Policy that forbids me in conjunction with the copyright laws of the United States of America which backs their right to do this. Wow and I thought there was a separation of church and state? I guess the separation is only important if the government is trying to tell the church what to do, but if the church wants to use the government to helps them to make a profit from the Word of God and the Gospel, then that is OK! So I became righteously angry with their email response and this is my attempt to tell the world about it. Since I am a Christian and a man of integrity I have no choice but to abide by their ignorant Godless policy, but you need to know about it so that you can decide if what they are doing is allowable both in your eyes and in the eyes of God. Here is the email response that I got from this ministry:
Because of the great amount of requests we receive from persons both known and unknown to us for duplication of “OUR UNNAMED” Ministries material such as cassette tapes, CDs, video tapes, DVDs, excerpts of books and magazines, printed lessons, etc., we have had to adopt a standard policy in order to be fair to everyone. In times past there has been confusion, misunderstanding and even unauthorized message changes resulting from duplication. Now that all of our materials are copyrighted, we feel it best to deny all requests for duplication. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
Oh, I understand perfectly well! Here is a ministry that charges a great deal of money on their website and in the meetings for their copyrighted Gospel and as long as you can afford to pay their prices you can have a copy of anything you like. If you are rich enough you can even buy one of everything. Oh, I understand perfectly well! But, if you cannot afford to pay $5 for a MP3 file, $7 for a CD or $15 for a DVD then you are screwed! Yes, I understand perfectly! Here is a ministry that is interested ONLY in making a dollar; more than they are for getting people the Word of God to teach them. Here is a ministry that God came for free and taught them what to teach to His people and they turn around and think they own the message. Wow, did you hear what I just said? Here is a ministry that does not allow you to copy “their” messages to give to others because it would cut into their future revenue stream. This is no different than the moneychangers in the Temple of God that Jesus drove out with a whip. If the people of Israel could not afford the moneychangers prices they did without a sacrifice that year. Oh, well maybe they can come back next year and could afford to buy a dove? I understand perfectly! What if the apostle Paul had that attitude? I would bet you that Paul would not have written 2/3 of the New Testament for us to have today. He would have seen how much money he could have made from the revelations of the mystery of the Gospel and only give this valuable information to the rich who could afford to buy it. If Paul would have copyrighted the New Testament, we would not have the Bible today. If the church in Paul’s day was not allowed to make copies of the letters that were written to them by Paul, they would have worn out, died and faded away forever. Do you understand these concepts that I am giving you today? What is the difference between a hand written letter or a scroll in Paul’s day and a CD in our day? They are both the Words of God, are they not? I do not see there is any difference between them. So what gives a ministry the right to limit who gets what they teach and forbid others to copy it? Who died and made them God? Is it only because the government says they can do it, that this makes it permissible in the eyes of everyone? Is the government the God of these ministries who charge for “their” gospel? Listen to what Paul said about this subject and pay very close attention to the Word of God and what He says:
1Co 9:18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
Wow, when I read this verse I nearly fell on my face and asked God why don’t men see and understand what they are doing with their eternal rewards. They have chosen to sacrifice an eternal reward for a temporary monetary gain. My Bible says in Matthew 6:20 “Lay up for yourself treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt it”. Paul very clearly tells us in 1 Corinthians 9:18 that his reward is great because he has freely given the truth to everyone without a charge. Paul further calls the charge of the Gospel an abuse of the power of God. Are you listening to what God just said? So if you are making ANY money from the Gospel you are abusing God’s power and losing your eternal reward. These are not my Words are they? I did not make this up, did I? Is this what your Bible says about selling the Gospel? What are the vast numbers of ministries doing with the Gospel that they have been given? Do they just ignore the Bible because they can? Most modern ministries when they go to a church to teach in person, they go for free, but then they usually receive an offering for their work that they have done. That is a normal Bible way of doing things in the church and I believe this is acceptable based upon Romans 15:27 and 1 Corinthians 9:11. But, here is where these ministries take it up a notch because of the advent of modern recording technology which was not available in Paul’s day. Because the Gospel can be recorded, preserved, and redistributed in the modern world, it is copied and packaged into an attractive sellable product and peddled everywhere they go for profit and income. Most of the ministries who do this are on television and they see these products as ways to help pay for the very expensive television time costs. So they will offer these valuable lessons on special promotions that will cause people to want them and send in their money so that they can hear the Gospel. So they make millions of dollars from the Gospel of Jesus Christ to help them pay for their TV bills.
When I was younger, I remember going to some Kenneth Copeland Believer’s Conventions and I would always have to pass by the tape tables at the front to get into the auditorium. Of course they were selling the tapes of the meetings that were going on that week, but they were also selling tapes from many years gone by at the same time. I would look at the tape series one after the other and there were normally many of them. My heart hungered for the knowledge of God and I wanted to buy them all. But, I was going to a church that taught us to give offerings and to sow seeds into other ministries. So I had a dilemma and a very hard choice to make since I was not a rich man. Do I buy tapes or do I give an offering? Why did I have to make this choice? It is because they charged so much for their taped Gospel. The Gospel was being peddled for a major profit. This was a clear prostitution of the Word of God and I can see that now, but back then I did not know enough to understand it. Oh, sure it was all nice quality tapes and folders and it takes time to duplicate them and package them. But, when you buy in the bulk like they did you can get these things very cheap and it does not cost you $5 to make one tape. In fact the cost is less than ten percent of that when done in major bulk with an efficient assembly line support process. So even if 50 cents of my $5 goes to cover the cost of making the tape the other $4.50 went to the ministry to pay for their jet airplanes or whatever. Wake up preachers!!! You see the cost of recording, duplication, production and distribution has greatly decreased over time with technology advancements. What use to cost 50 cents is now in the pennies today. What would had happened 25 years ago if preachers gave away their messages for free and allowed you to copy all of them? I believe that Jesus could have come back sooner because the Gospel would have already gone around the globe. Instead we have ministries like Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland who are charging more than ever for their 30 year old copyrighted Gospel and what can we do about it? Do you think charging for the Gospel puts undue constraints upon who is able to hear it and who is not able to hear it? Does any of this sound fair to you? You see the Kenneth Hagin ministry said that they had to be fair by making a blanket NO COPY policy and they forget who they are not being fair to are those that cannot afford to buy their overpriced materials to learn the truth. This Gospel could have been spread around the world with modern technology and the internet for pennies. I have to tell you the truth that Kenneth Copeland does give away a little bit for free on the internet, but Kenneth Hagin Ministries do not give anything away ever for FREE on the internet. So do I sound like the bad guy here? Are you going to shoot the messenger and ignore the message?
Let’s shift our focus off of money for a minute. The Kenneth Hagin Ministry claims that people have abused their materials and even edited them to make them say something that they do not say and this is the justification for copyrighting the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for not permitting anyone to make copies or redistribute the messages. Isn’t it amazing that Satan can use a few people to abuse the Gospel and this is suddenly justification to stop the ministry from spreading the truth to the hands of many more people who want to hear it but can’t afford it? Here is a great ministry with a great message and all it takes is for Satan to abuse it and they shut the doors to make sure it does not go around the world unless they can fully control it. Abuse is a funny lesson to learn from, but this is nothing new. In the natural world people abuse natural food and overeat constantly and we have a generation of kids who are grossly obese because of natural food abuse and the lack of physical exercise. Using the logic of the Unnamed TV Ministry we should control natural food to the masses of children so that they will not hurt themselves with it. In fact this is what our government has hotly debated and they have started to initiate these types of controls in schools and other places. They have limited food service in schools to only good healthy non-fried foods that are low in fat. One government agency in California passed a law that McDonalds could not sell toys in the happy meals to kids because this promoted an unhealthy lifestyle choice. This is how some ministries in the church are reacting to the abuse of God’s spiritual food. You did know that God’s word is spiritual food, didn’t you? If you did not know this you need to read your Bible some more. Because a ministry’s materials were abused they have instigated tight controls to keep it from happening and this is not the way to solve the problem. Did you know that people when they received copies of the Bible written by the Apostles they would make copies of them? Did you know that sometimes some people would abuse this policy and make little subtle changes to the copies and omissions to some of the words in the text because they did not agree with them? Did you know that this is still a point of controversy today in some religious institutions? However, the problem is solved by looking at all of the copies and comparing them. Since there are so many copies of the original manuscripts in the world that we can use to compare, the truth is easily determined. So copy abuse is not a new concept, it was an old concept used by Satan in the early church and it is still the same today. The best way to overcome copy abuse is to ensure that there are more legitimate copies in circulation than there are corrupted copies. If the Unnamed TV Ministry website gave away legit copies for anyone to download and listen to, it would be impossible for Satan to corrupt them all. This is the solution for abuse of the message and it is very easy to solve in this age of technology. A legitimate copy of the Word of God can contain signature information, even file size and date and time stamps and other ways of ensuring the accuracy. Of course any smart criminal can overcome whatever you do to protect your material, so you will never overcome that potential abuse. But, you can ensure that no matter how many abused copies there are in the world, there is still a place where you can get the complete message for FREE. So the solution to keep people from abusing your ministry materials is to flood the market with them so that anyone can get a legitimate copy of it for free from your website. Then no one can stop it or even change it to keep it out of the hands of the people to learn it. Don’t you see how the spread of the Gospel could go around the world in a matter of a few days if only ministries would start to do this?
There are so many ministries on TV and the internet that are guilty of this practice of copyrighting the Gospel of Jesus, that I really cannot name them all. Please do not get me wrong I have no problem with anything these TV ministries teach, that is not the issue at all. They all have a great message from God. The only problem that I have is how much they are charging for it. Also I want to point out that not everyone in the ministry is doing this on the internet. One man that I highly recommend is named Keith Moore (Moore Life Ministries) and he teaches the Bible with great spiritual substance to it and it is all for FREE! Keith Moore Ministries gives away all of their Bible lessons for free and that is an awesome example that he is setting for the Body of Christ. Do me a favor and go to his website and download something and then send him an offering telling him thanks for freely giving us the word of God.
There are many of my favorite Bible preachers and teachers that I have learned a lot from that practice this Limited Funnel Gospel Prostitution and they have gotten a lot of my money in order for me to get this knowledge. If you came to my house you could find hundreds and even thousands of their tapes in boxes in my closet from these guys. There are literally too many TV preachers to name them all. However there are also many churches that follow their examples and do the same with their in church book stores. I do not believe that these ministries are purposely or intentionally keeping the gospel from the masses; I’m trying to give them the benefit of a doubt and convince myself that they are doing what they are doing out of pure ignorance and this is why I teach the way I do today by naming their names. Please join with me to help me proclaim freedom for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Call these ministries until they hear the voice of the people or the voice of God to change their ways to allow the Gospel to be preached without charge. Help me eliminate Gospel copyrights that only line the pockets of the preachers. Help me to take off Gospel limitations so that it can be spread around the world with modern technology. In closing here is the commandment and great commission given to the church by our Lord Jesus Christ:
Mat 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Freely you have received from God, so therefore freely give to men. This does not say to charge to recover you costs, it says to freely give the message of the truth to everyone that will listen. In today’s digital world this is so simple to do.
Maybe you may have noticed that I teach the Bible totally FREE! I do not have a donate button on my website, I do not have a P.O. Box that you can mail to, I do not give you a ministry name, I do not give you my personal name. This is my way of FREELY giving to you what God has given to me! So if I never see a dime from anything I teach, I know that I have a reward awaiting me in heaven that moths and rust cannot take away. I will also tell you that anything that I publish on this site is not mine and I do not own it and therefore you may freely copy it and spread it to anyone that will listen to it or read it. I have an OPEN COPY policy that is based upon FREELY I RECEIVED so FREELY GIVE. You have full permission to abuse it or use it however you like. I do not care! I have done what God has told me to do by publishing it, now you do what God tells you to do with it and be a good steward of His Word too.
Therefore, if no other ministry in the world will distribute the Gospel for Free, I have decided that I will do it! I’m sure this is going to make Satan really angry with me so I would appreciate your prayers. Also, I recently had a commenter who asked if they could sow a seed into my ministry, but I had to turn them down. This was a very difficult decision on my part to make, because I understand the power of sowing and reaping in the Bible. However, I believe that God told me not to accept any money for what I teach. This is one of the main reasons I teach anonymously on the internet. This website is not the words of a man, these are the Words of God and if I treat them as such, somebody out there will see them for what they are and understand their value.
Before I end today let me please say a prayer and if you agree with what I have said today, please also pray this with me in agreement:
Dear God, help Christian ministries to see that everything you have given to them does not belong to them. Cause ministers to come to know that they are just stewards of the Gospel and that you will hold them accountable for what you have given to them freely. Help all ministers to have a compassionate heart for people; a heart that desires everyone to hear and know the truth and not just those who can afford to buy it. Help ministries learn about all of the new technologies that are available in the world and on the internet to help us spread the Words of Grace to everyone who is hungry to hear it. Lord God as ministries transition to a faith based life style of ministry by giving the Gospel for free to everyone, help them with an abundant supply of new partners, donors and contributors that more than make up for the revenue that they will lose from not selling your Words. Open the eyes and hears of our understanding and help us all to be good stewards of the blessed Word of God. Surely the time is short and many in the world still need to hear the truth before you come back, so help us to get this word out as fast and as efficient as we can and to not miss anyone that is open to the Gospel before you return for us. Even so Lord Jesus, come quickly! In Jesus name I pray! Amen!
Thank you and God bless you for taking the time to read my Bible lesson and please share it with someone that you know to help us all get the truth out!
If you would like to continue reading this series of Bible lessons, you can continue with “Part 2“.
(Ver 1.1) This is now Part 4 in a series of advanced Bible lessons about where Sickness and Disease Came From. If you have not read this series of lessons from the beginning, then I would suggest that you go back to Part 1 and start there. In today’s lesson I want to directly focus in on a false teaching that is found in many churches that causes many people to remain in sickness. Many confused and ignorant ministers want to claim that Paul had a physical sickness, disease or disability from God and since he endured this with such great patience and humility we should also submit to the will of God and endure it the same way. I have actually heard people teach this as if it was a message from God or a Bible verse. They have theorized that since the Bible says that Paul was struck down blind on the road to Damascus by the brign light coming from Jesus that he had continuing and ongoing eyesight problems that followed him into his maturing years caused by God. They even use a verse found in Galatians 6:1 where Paul makes a statement “You see what a large letter that I have written unto you”, to say Paul was using Greek letters that were written extra-large to allow him to see them. Wow, you can really make the Bible say whatever you want it to say, can’t you? I personally believe that in Galatians 6:1 Paul was referring that the amount of information covered in his letter to the Galatians was what was a great size and I believe that he was not talking about the size of his handwriting. But, you can believe whatever you like and be wrong. So let’s look at the controversial verse written in 2 Corinthians and see exactly what it says about Paul’s thorn in the flesh:
2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
I want to start this lesson with the emphasized point given to us of why Paul had this thorn. Rather than determining what the thorn is or who gave it to him, let us focus only on the why it was there factor. I actually believe that this reason of why it was present is more important than Paul having a thorn. You can clearly read in 2 Corinthians 12:7 the fact that Paul said this thorn was present because of the abundance of the revelations that were given to him. Uh oh? You can begin today by asking yourself this question, are you a Paul? How many revelations have you been given in the past 10 to 20 years? Could you write 2/3 of the New Testament? If you have not been given the same number of revelations as Paul, then you are not a Paul and you do not qualify to have a thorn. I really do not care what the thorn is right now, if it is a sickness or a disease, you must ask yourself why you are sick and if you can say it is because of the abundant revelations that you have been given by Jesus then you are potentially the same as Paul. Otherwise if you have not been given abundant revelations from God then you do not qualify for a thorn. This is very simple logic based upon the words in the scripture. This further makes it just so simple to determine now if you even qualify to have a thorn. God was intelligent enough to write you and tell you why there was a thorn and then you must be intelligent enough to figure out if you are eligible for the thorn. Based upon this information the vast majority of people teaching, preaching and hearing this verse do not qualify for it. Later we will examine what a thorn is using the Bible, but for now I want you to judge yourself and make a count of how many revelations you have been given. If there are so many that you can’t count them all, then you are qualified. Maybe I should stop and define what a revelation is so that you can understand that concept first.
A revelation is a New Testament concept. The word “revelation” only occurs 10 times in the New Testament. Of course there is a book of the Bible called “Revelation” and this is the final book of the Bible that describes the time of the end. There are no direct revelations given in the Old Testament that I know of. But, do not misunderstand what I am saying. God did have prophets in the Old Testament that were given words to speak from God, but if the prophets understood the Words it would shock me tremendously. Let me give you the definition of the Greek word from the Strong’s that is translated as “revelation” so that you see what it means:
From G601; disclosure: – appearing, coming, lighten, manifestation, be revealed, revelation.
The Greek word translated as “revelation” is from another Greek word that means “to take off the cover”. There is a clear implication given to us that the Word of God had a cover on it. So a revelation is a revealing of the Word of God. This of course further implies that the Word of God was a vastly hidden complex spiritual set of information that needs to be uncovered for us to understand it. It would be like when a waiter in a restaurant brings out a covered dish to your table and you do not know what it is until they take off the lid and reveal it. This was how the Old Testament was written. It had a covering over it that did not permit any man to understand the true meanings that it contained. This is a concept that I call “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight” and I write about this a lot. These are techniques that God implemented in His Word using His extreme intelligence that allowed Him to use words that we can clearly read, but yet the way they were presented to us, it is almost impossible to understand them correctly until the Spirit of God reveals them to us. Let me give you some more scriptures from Galatians about this subject to teach you more about the concepts of revelations. Let me show you where Paul said he got what he taught from the Bible:
Gal 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
Paul is talking about the Gospel that he was preaching to the people on the earth and he tells you that these words did not come from a man. This is just another way of telling you he didn’t learn it from a church denomination, a Sunday school, a seminary or even a preacher. These are usually the institutions which teach the doctrines of men. You see many churches in the world today only know how to teach lessons that they learned from other men and they have no spiritual substance or value to them. These types of men are not led by the Spirit of God, they are usually led by books, calendars, denomination plans and lessons and other doctrines of men. Paul tells you exactly where he got his message and it is not from any of these usual places:
Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
If Jesus Christ came to you one day and taught you something awesome in the Bible, what would have been Jesus’ purpose for doing this? Is it just for you alone? Why do you think that Jesus gave Paul such great revelations of the Word of God, was it for Paul personally to grow up spiritually and no one else? Of course it was not, Paul was called by God to be a teacher of the Word of God, and so Jesus came and taught him what to teach. Can Jesus still do this today? I know for a fact that He can and has. Did you know it makes all the difference in the world where your preacher got his message that he teaches you on Sunday morning? If it comes from a book other than the Bible, it is worthless no matter how entertaining it might be. We can clearly see that Paul claims to have been taught by Jesus Christ and the message that he taught was the words of Jesus and not the words of Paul or any other man. We are definitely starting to understand why Paul had a thorn in his flesh, even though we still do not yet have a clue what this was. Before I move on in this subject let me teach more about what a revelation is:
Eph 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
As you can read a revelation is the implied understanding of a hidden mystery. A mystery is always something that is not clearly made known until the ending. If you have ever read a mystery novel then that is what I am talking about. The ending of the book almost always reveals the surprise. You can try to read it and you can think on it and you can attempt to figure it out, but until it is revealed it rarely is the right conclusion in your mind to what really happens in any really good mystery story. If you can read a book and figure out the ending before it happens then it is not a good mystery story. God’s Old Testament was the greatest mystery story of all time. It had complex twists and turns and unexpected things happened like God comes to the earth in the flesh when no expected Him to show up this way. Jesus instead of fighting with a sword and conquering the world’s kingdoms has come to the earth to die and no one expected that. Jesus at his trial does not even defend himself in court and He is convicted of no crimes and yet sentenced to die on a cross like a criminal. These are some of the greatest mysteries of God and why Satan did not know what to do with Him. While Jesus walked the earth in the flesh He starts speaking to the people in parables that told of hidden spiritual things that had been kept secret since the foundation of the world and this was clearly the start of the unveiling of the mystery of God. Jesus started revealing these mysteries to His disciples when He walked among us and then Jesus later appeared to Paul and taught him some more of the mysteries of the Old Testament.
Eph 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
This book about Christ is the greatest Mystery book that you will ever attempt to understand. The complex hidden spiritual things in this book will cause you to scratch your head and wonder how did I not see that or say what did that say? Saul, who became Paul was a serious Bible student before he ever understood what he was reading. Saul was a devoted religious man of the order of the Pharisees (Php 3:5). It was only after Saul was struck down blind on the road to Damascus and the man of God came to him and restored his eyesight and filled him with the Spirit of God (Acts 9:17) that Paul ever began to understand the mysteries of the Bible to teach them. This could be my story also but, that is not my subject today so I will not go there.
Eph 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
As you can see the mystery was not made known to men before in the Old Testament. But, God has revealed them to us through His apostles and prophets by His Spirit. This is a foundational key to understanding if you qualify to have a thorn like Paul. I gave you a lot of the background information that is very relevant to making this determination. If you determine you are a Paul and can have a thorn like him, then let’s stop and figure out what this thorn was next. Let us reread a our foundational verse for today’s lesson:
2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
I only underlined the part that I wanted you to focus in on. Paul describes this “thorn” as a messenger of Satan that was sent to “buffet” him. It is first important to note that whatever this thorn was, it came from Satan and not from God. The term “messenger” in the Greek can mean an angel or a preacher. It is someone who carries a message. The Fedex Company is a messenger business that delivers messages. Angels or messengers can be sent by God, or in this case they can also be sent by Satan. An angel is of course a spiritual being. You must realize that Satan has angels under his control in order to understand the spiritual kingdoms that exist. God has a spiritual kingdom and Satan has a spiritual kingdom and both of these kingdoms have angels. You can read about these angels in a spiritual war with each other in Revelation 12 and Daniel 10. However, I am not convinced that Paul’s thorn was an angel of Satan. I am more inclined to believe that Paul who knew the Old Testament was speaking in Bible figurative terms much like we do today in our modern language when he was describing a thorn in his flesh. Here is an Old Testament verse that Paul no doubt knew and it contains a definition of what a thorn in the flesh meant:
Num 33:55 But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.
God is using figurative language to describe a people. The children of Israel were instructed by God to drive out the inhabitants of the land and God says if you do not do this those that you allow to stay will become major stumbling blocks to you. God uses a term “a prick in your eye” or “a thorn in your side” and both of these are a way to describe someone who is causing you either emotional pain or spiritual pain but never a physical pain. In this case God is warning the children of Israel that these people would cause them to sin against God. They would introduce them to idol worship and other godless religions. God figuratively calls this a “pain in their flesh”. In our world we use this technique of speaking still today to describe people who are causing us emotional distress. We say “she is a real pain in my….” and you pick the body part that applies. Let me give you a possible example of this type of person in the Bible that Paul could have been speaking of:
Act 16:16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
Here in Acts 16:16 Paul and others are going to pray and a certain demon possessed woman starts following them around. This certainly qualifies to be a “messenger of Satan”. A spirit of divination is basically a “fortune teller” who uses evil spirits to try to tell people the future. We have these confused types of people still in the world today.
Act 16:17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
Do you see that this woman starts following Paul around and begins to yell to people “These are the servants of God who show you the way to salvation”. You cannot read these words in a book and clearly understand the tone that they were spoken in. I can only assume that these words were spoken as “mocking words of sarcasm and cynicism”. You see what else would a demon possessed woman be saying? Satan does not promote a real man of God and tell people how to get saved; Satan is not working to help you out of his kingdom into the kingdom of God. It is very clear to me that Paul was a great man of God who Satan wanted to cause others not to believe his words from God. No, you see in these verses an example of how Satan can use a person in the world to be a thorn in your side as we just read about in 2 Corinthians 12:7. Paul when he describes a “thorn in his flesh” is using figurative language to describe someone who was trying to distract him from the assignment that God had given to him to cause him not to teach the revelations of God. Satan was clearly not interested in these revelations getting out. Satan was attempting to thwart them before they were spread around the world.
I am convinced that Paul’s thorn in the flesh was not a physical weakness, a sickness, disability or a disease. I believe it was Satan’s attempt to keep the revelations of God from being proclaimed. Regardless of what the thorn was, it was given to Paul by Satan because of the revelations from Jesus. This means I do not know of anyone in the world today that qualifies to have the same “thorn” that Paul did. If you think you have been given a thorn in your flesh and that this is a sickness to keep you humble, you better tell me what revelations you are teaching that will make you a Paul. I want to hear about these revelations very soon, they must be really good for Satan to want to stop them from coming out. This was a strange Bible lesson on healing, sickness and disease I know, but you have to counter the false teachings with the truth in order to get people to understand that they are not a Paul and they do not have to endure a thorn like Paul did. Please do not allow the teachings of some men on the earth to allow Satan to keep you in the bondage of sickness. If you have been taught that Paul endured physical sickness and prayed to God for Him to take it away from him and God did not, therefore you must also endure sickness in your body with the same level of humility, say sorry Satan that will not work on me again.
If you would like to continue reading on the subject of healing in the Bible you can continue to “Part 5“.