TABLE OF CONTENTS
- 1 The Scriptures are the Bedrock of Our Faith, Life and Peace in Christ
- 2 Labor in the Study of God’s Word for the Food of Eternal Life
- 3 God’s Word Revealed by His Holy Spirit
- 4 Study to Become Grounded and Settled
- 5 Study to be No Longer Infants and Children, but Full-Grown in Christ
- 6 Study to be Instructed in Salvation, Righteousness & Every Good Work
- 7 Study to Be Able to Approve the Good, Acceptable, and Perfect Will of God
- 8 Study to Have Razor Sharp Discernment
- 9 Learn Secrets of the Kingdom and Mysteries of God
- 10 Study the More Sure Word Prophecy to Understand the Signs of the Times
- 11 Like Jesus, Fulfill the More Sure Prophetic Word of God
- 12 Study to Walk in The Mind of Christ and Not the Opinions of Men
- 13 Study to Edify, Equip and Build Up the Body of Christ
MATTHEW 13:16-17 – But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
THE WORD OF GOD IS THE BEDROCK OF OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE REVEALED WORD TRANSFORMS NEW-BORN BABES IN CHRIST AND ALL BELIEVERS INTO IMAGE OF JESUS CHRIST ON A DAILY BASIS.
AND WHILE IT IS GOOD TO GIVE ATTENDANCE TO READ THE WORD DAILY, TIME SPENT STUDYING THE WORD OF GOD IS WHERE EXPONENTIAL GROWTH INTO THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF JESUS ACCELERATES, AND THE EQUIPPING OF SAINTS TAKES ON A WHOLE NEW LEVEL, AND MANIFESTED SONS OF GOD ALL OF CREATION IS GROANING FOR EMERGES AS FORETOLD IN ROMANS 8:28.
THE REASONS FOR THIS ARE MANIFOLD AS YOU WILL SEE. YET, AT THE HEART OF THE MATTER, WHEN YOU ENTER INTO THE LABOR OF GOD’S WORD, THE KINGDOM OF HIS SPIRIT OPENS TO US. AND THROUGH THE REVEALED WORD, WE BEGIN TO WALK IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS AND UNDERSTAND THE WILL AND COUNSEL OF GOD IN ALL THINGS.
The Scriptures are the Bedrock of Our Faith, Life and Peace in Christ
OUR LIFE, FAMILY, AND MINISTRY ARE BUILT UPON THE VERY FOUNDATION OF THE ETERNAL SCRIPTURES. EVERY THOUGHT, WORD, AND ACTION ARE TO BE BROUGHT INTO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST. YET WITHOUT THE SCRIPTURES, THE PEOPLE OF GOD HAVE NO FOUNDATION, NO COMPASS, AND NO WAY TO LIGHT THE PATH FOR ALL GOD’S MINISTERS AND SAINTS ALIKE TO WALK IN.
Matthew 7:24 (Jesus words and teachings are our foundation)
24“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
I Cor 15:1-4 (The gospel we believe is according to the eternal scriptures)
1Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
2 Tim 3:14-15 (The scriptures make us wise to salvation)
14But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Romans 16:25-27 (Obedience that brings all God’s people into the unity of the faith comes through the prophetic revelation of God’s word)
25Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began 26but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— 27to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
Psalm 119:105 (The word blazes the path of God for all God’s people. When we study to understand the word of God, the unclear becomes very clear.)
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
2 Peter 1:2 (God’s grace and peace are multiplied to us as we come to understand more of God’s ways and paths, even as we follow Jesus Christ in all things)
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
Ephesians 1:1-23 (Consider the promises of God are helping the church and bride of Christ to rule and reign on the earth. Yet we must pray to God open our eyes to see what He sees).
1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: 2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. 11In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
12that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. 13In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
15Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
James 4:1-17 (Our faith comes from understanding the written word that reveals God’s will. The will of God is for the salvation and benefit of others).
1Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?
Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? 6But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
7Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. 11Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?
13Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
I John 5:14 (Study to know how we should ask according to the written word).
14Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
1 Corinthians 13:1-2 (While our faith in the written word grows exceedingly, we should always be reminded that love is the greatest in the kingdom).
1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
Labor in the Study of God’s Word for the Food of Eternal Life
AS SAINTS OF GOD WHO ARE ALIVE SPIRITUALLY, WE LABOR IN THE WORD TO FEED OURSELVES, THE LAMBS, AND SHEEP OF GOD SO THAT ALL MEN ARE PRESENTED BLAMELESS IN THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST.
John 6:6 (Work for food that endures to eternal life)
Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
John 21:15-19 (Feed the Lambs and Sheep of God)
15So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
16He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
17He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.
18Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” 19This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”
I Timothy 5:17-18 (Elders labor in the word of God)
17Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
Acts 6:1-7 (When this type of labor in the study of God’s word becomes the focus of every minister and house of God, we as God’s ministers grow up into the fullness of Christ, and therefore we will feed many)
1Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.
2Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.
3Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
5And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, 6whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.
7Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
Colossians 1:24-29 (Labor in the word to warn and teach every man in all wisdom, to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus)
24I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, 25of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God,
26the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
28Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 29To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.
Ezra 7:1-28 (Consider how Ezra devoted himself to the study and observance of the scripture and how God had used him for all Israel).
1After these things, during the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, 2the son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub, 3the son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth, 4the son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki, 5the son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest— 6this Ezra came up from Babylon. He was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses, which the Lord, the God of Israel, had given. The king had granted him everything he asked, for the hand of the Lord his God was on him.
7Some of the Israelites, including priests, Levites, musicians, gatekeepers and temple servants, also came up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes. 8Ezra arrived in Jerusalem in the fifth month of the seventh year of the king. 9He had begun his journey from Babylon on the first day of the first month, and he arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month, for the gracious hand of his God was on him.
10For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel 11This is a copy of the letter King Artaxerxes had given to Ezra the priest, a teacher of the Law, a man learned in matters concerning the commands and decrees of the Lord for Israel: 12Artaxerxes, king of kings, To Ezra the priest, teacher of the Law of the God of heaven: Greetings.
13Now I decree that any of the Israelites in my kingdom, including priests and Levites, who volunteer to go to Jerusalem with you, may go. 14You are sent by the king and his seven advisers to inquire about Judah and Jerusalem with regard to the Law of your God, which is in your hand.
15Moreover, you are to take with you the silver and gold that the king and his advisers have freely given to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem, 16together with all the silver and gold you may obtain from the province of Babylon, as well as the freewill offerings of the people and priests for the temple of their God in Jerusalem. 17With this money be sure to buy bulls, rams and male lambs, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings, and sacrifice them on the altar of the temple of your God in Jerusalem.
18You and your fellow Israelites may then do whatever seems best with the rest of the silver and gold, in accordance with the will of your God. 19Deliver to the God of Jerusalem all the articles entrusted to you for worship in the temple of your God. 20And anything else needed for the temple of your God that you are responsible to supply, you may provide from the royal treasury.
21Now I, King Artaxerxes, decree that all the treasurers of Trans-Euphrates are to provide with diligence whatever Ezra the priest, the teacher of the Law of the God of heaven, may ask of you— 22up to a hundred talents of silver, a hundred cors of wheat, a hundred baths of wine, a hundred baths of olive oil, and salt without limit. 23Whatever the God of heaven has prescribed, let it be done with diligence for the temple of the God of heaven. Why should his wrath fall on the realm of the king and of his sons? 24You are also to know that you have no authority to impose taxes, tribute or duty on any of the priests, Levites, musicians, gatekeepers, temple servants or other workers at this house of God.
25And you, Ezra, in accordance with the wisdom of your God, which you possess, appoint magistrates and judges to administer justice to all the people of Trans-Euphrates—all who know the laws of your God. And you are to teach any who do not know them. 26Whoever does not obey the law of your God and the law of the king must surely be punished by death, banishment, confiscation of property, or imprisonment.
27Praise be to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, who has put it into the king’s heart to bring honor to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem in this way 28and who has extended his good favor to me before the king and his advisers and all the king’s powerful officials. Because the hand of the Lord my God was on me, I took courage and gathered leaders from Israel to go up with me.
God’s Word Revealed by His Holy Spirit
JESUS SAID, “IF ANY MAN WILL DO MY FATHER’S DOCTRINE, HE WILL KNOW IF THE DOCTRINE I SPEAK OF IS OF MYSELF OR FROM MY FATHER” (JOHN 17:17). AS THOSE WHO DO THE TRUTH, WE COME TO THE LIGHT OF GOD’S REVEALED WORD (JOHN 3:21).
John 16:5-15 (The Holy Spirit guides into all truth and reveals more understanding as you are able to hear it)
5“But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.
7Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.
8And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
12“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
13However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
14He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
Study to Become Grounded and Settled
WHEN ANY PERSON BECOMES A NEW CREATION IN CHRIST, IT BECOMES CRITICAL THAT THEY BECOME GROUNDED AND SETTLED IN THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD.
AND WHILE IT IS GOOD TO EXHORT ONE ANOTHER IN THE FAITH, LEST PEOPLE BECOME DISCOURAGED OR HARDENED BY THE DECEITFULNESS OF SIN, IT IS VITAL THAT YOUNG LAMBS OF GOD LEARN HOW TO BEGIN STUDYING THE WORD OF GOD SO THAT THEY WILL GROW INTO OAK TREES PLANTED BY THE LORD.
Colossians 1:19-23 (We must continue daily to stay grounded and settled in the truth of the gospel)
19For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
21And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—
23if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Isaiah 61:1-4 (Become a tree of righteousness)
1“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, 3To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” 4And they shall rebuild the old ruins, They shall raise up the former desolations, And they shall repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations.
Matthew 13:31-35 (The kingdom of God within us grows exponentially larger, and our borders expand, as the study of God’s word increases within us)
31He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.32Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
33He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
34Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”
I Timothy 3:15 (The global church of Jesus Christ, is to be the pillar and ground of the truth)
But if I tarry long, that you mayest know how thou ought to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Revelation 3:11-13 (Jesus’ reward to those whom He makes pillars)
11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.12The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name.13Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Study to be No Longer Infants and Children, but Full-Grown in Christ
THE DEVIL IS A LIAR AND DECEIVES THE NATIONS (REVELATION 12:9). HE HAS INFILTRATED THE BODY OF CHRIST WITH MANY FALSE DOCTRINES AND HERESY (REVELATION 2:14-15; REVELATION 2:20-23; 1 CORINTHIANS 11:18-19). YET, MOST ARE NOT EVEN AWARE OF THIS, BUT AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS ARE TOSSED TO AND FRO BY EVERY WIND OF DOCTRINE.
IT IS ONLY THROUGH THE DISCERNING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND IN PARTICULAR, THE REVEALED TRUTH IN GOD’S WORD THAT WE CAN SEE LIES THAT ARE SPOKEN, TAUGHT,
WHEN ANYONE TAKES THE TIME TO DO A THOROUGH STUDY OF GOD’S WORD ON ANY PARTICULAR TOPIC.
Isaiah 28:1-13 (Those who learn a little here and there will be subject to backslide)
1Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower which is at the head of the verdant valleys, to those who are overcome with wine! 2Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one, like a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, like a flood of mighty waters overflowing, Who will bring them down to the earth with His hand.
3The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, will be trampled underfoot; 4And the glorious beauty is a fading flower which is at the head of the verdant valley, like the first fruit before the summer, which an observer sees; He eats it up while it is still in his hand.
5In that day the Lord of hosts will be for a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty to the remnant of His people,
6For a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and for strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
7But they also have erred through wine, and through intoxicating drink are out of the way; The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink, they are swallowed up by wine, they are out of the way through intoxicating drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. 8For all tables are full of vomit and filth; No place is clean.
9“Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts?
10For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.”
11For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, 12To whom He said, “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,” And, “This is the refreshing”; Yet they would not hear.
13But the word of the Lord was to them, “Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little,” That they might go and fall backward, and be broken and snared and caught.
Matthew 4:1-11 (Jesus’ is the word become flesh. His discernment to recognize the devil’s lies came purely from His in depth study and understanding of the word of God, every word of it)
1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
7Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Ephesians 4:9-16 (God is looking for His saints to rule and reign in the earth, growing up into Christ in all things, and not tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine)
9(Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
I Corinthians 11:11-12 (Studying the word gives us the understanding of full-grown and mature in Christ, just as Jesus Himself is mature).
11When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
Study to be Instructed in Salvation, Righteousness & Every Good Work
GOD EXPECTS ALL OF HIS SAINTS TO HAVE A THOROUGH WORKING KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. THE FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS IN THE KINGDOM IS GROWING IN YOUR OWN SALVATION, RIGHTEOUSNESS, SANCTIFICATION AND REDEMPTION.
Matthew 5:6 (Hunger and thirst for righteousness)
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Matthew 6:31-34 (Seek for God’s righteousness first)
31“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Proverbs 1:18 (Separate yourself to take time to study)
Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeks and intermeddles with all wisdom
I Corinthians 1:26-30 (God’s revealed wisdom makes any fool for Christ wise enough to confound the wise of this world)
26For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.
27But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29that no flesh should glory in His presence.
30But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
2 Timothy 3:14-17 (Remember, it’s knowing and studying the scripture and not books that equips us for every good work)
14But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
15and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 2:20-26 (Study to be equipped to effectively share and defend your faith)
20In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
22Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.
24And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
Study to Be Able to Approve the Good, Acceptable, and Perfect Will of God
GOD HAS GIVEN HIS HOLY SPIRIT AND THE WORD OF GOD WHICH IS ABLE TO MAKE US WISE UNTO SALVATION. YET, GOD DESIRES THAT WE GO FROM FAITH TO FAITH AND GLORY TO GLORY BY HIS HOLY SPIRIT REVEALING THE WORD OF GOD. AS GOD’S MINISTERS, WE RECOGNIZE THE WORK OF CHRIST WILL COME TO GREATER FRUITION AS THE SAINTS OF GOD CONTINUE TO INCREASE IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.
Proverbs 15:15 (God has never asked His people to give their opinions. Rather, He has asked His ministers and people to thoroughly examine His word to know what God’s counsel is on every matter)
The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, But the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.
2 Timothy 2:15-16 (Study God’s word so we are not ashamed)
Study to shew yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
2 Timothy 4:1-5 (Teach, preach, correct, counsel, encourage with God’s sound doctrine)
1I charge you therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5But watch in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Acts 20:20-21 (Learn everything that would be helpful for God’s people)
how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 20:26-27 (Declare the whole counsel of God)
Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
Philippians 1:1-11 (Study to abound more and more in depth of insight)
1Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
7It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Study to Have Razor Sharp Discernment
THERE IS A LOT OF DECEPTION IN THE BODY OF CHRIST. BELIEVERS OR MINISTER IS MAY FIND THEMSELVES SOMETIME OF GETTING OFF COURSE INTO VAIN JANGLING. THE CONTINUAL STUDY OF GOD’S WORD PRODUCES GREAT DISCERNMENT. THE DEVIL CAN DECEIVE THE PEOPLE OF GOD IF WE DO NOT ABIDE IN STUDY OF THE WORD OF GOD.
Hebrews 4:10 (God’s word reveals the intents of the heart. The more we study, the greater depth of discernment)
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
I John 2:24-27 (The anointing of the Holy Spirit will teach you what you need to know, if you are just a young lamb in Christ)
24Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.
25And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.
26These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.
27But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
Luke 4:1-13 (Jesus discernment came directly from the word of God).
1Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. 3And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ”
5Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” 8And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
9Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. 10For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you,’ 11and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”12And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”
13Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.
Matthew 16:13-23 (Jesus discernment also came from His study and knowledge of prophetic scriptures, and could clearly see that when others in His own kingdom were getting off track).
13When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”16Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.18And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.
21From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 22Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” 23But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Galatians 2:1-10 (Paul could recognize false brethren when others could not)
1Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. 2And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain. 3Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.
4And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), 5to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
6But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me.
7But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter 8(for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles), 9and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.
Galatians 2:11-21 (Paul also could tell when other true and genuine people of God were getting off course from the faith, even those who seemed to be pillars in the faith. Deception must be caught early because it can take others off course from the faith, just as it did with Barnabas).
11Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 13And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.
14But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? 15We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
17“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! 18For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
2 Peter 2:1-3 (Because many are following the ways of false teachers, the way of truth is evil spoken of)
1But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
2And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
Ephesians 5:10-7 (Paul, the apostle of God warned the saints many times, “let no man deceive you”. Studying the word of God will arm you with the truth.)
1Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be partners with them.
2 Timothy 3:1-9 (When God’s people study the truth, they can see the lies of the devil clearly and stay clear of ungodly people)
1But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
4traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
6For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts,
7always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.
10But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
I Timothy 1:1-7 (Recognize when you hear others or ministers who may have turned from edifying others in the faith and have become entrenched in matters pertaining to the natural things rather than spiritual things which truly edifies others in the faith. If you recognize ministers or other saints who have erred from the faith, pray for them).
1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope, 2To Timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. 3As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.
5Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, 6from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, 7desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.
Galatians 3:1-29 (Listen to ministers who are dead to themselves, and helping you also live life free in the Spirit of Christ. Consider how Paul addressed an entire region of people, the Galatians, who were getting out of the faith and into the works of the law).
1O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?
5Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— 6just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
7Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” 9So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
10For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” 11But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” 12Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
13Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),14that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
15Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. 16Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. 17And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. 18For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
19What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and itwas appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.
21Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Learn Secrets of the Kingdom and Mysteries of God
LIKE JESUS, TO THOSE WHO SEEK FOR AND DO THE TRUTH, GOD HAS GIVEN TO HIS PEOPLE TO KNOW THE SECRETS OF HIS KINGDOM, AS WELL AS TO REVEAL THE MYSTERIES OF GOD.
THESE SECRETS ALLOW GOD’S PEOPLE TO MANIFEST HIS KINGDOM IN THE EARTH, TAKING CONTROL OF PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS.
GOD’S MYSTERIES AND PROPHECIES ALSO ALSO REVEAL THE HIDDEN MANIFOLD WISDOM OF GOD AND SIGNS OF THE AGES, THAT ARE MADE KNOWN TO EQUIP THE CHURCH AND EXECUTING GOD’S AUTHORITY OVER PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS.
1 Corinthians 4:1 (God wants to reveal many mysteries to His people)
Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Matthew 13:44-26 (Study God’s word and become a disciple in the kingdom of God, revealing things new and old)
31He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.32Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
33He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
34Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”
36Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man.38The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one,39and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.42They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish.48When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away.49This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous50and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51 “Have you understood all these things?”Jesus asked. “Yes,” they replied.
52He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”
53When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 54Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked.
55“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” 58And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
Ephesians 3:1-13 (Paul reveals to the saints at Ephesus that by revelation God made known to him a mystery that was now to be revealed to all God’s apostles and prophets for the sake of the gospel. However, as a steward of the mystery and for the purposes of God, God requires that we do our part to make all men see the fellowship of the mystery)
1For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles— 2if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets:
6that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, 7of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.
8To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;
10to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. 13Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
Study the More Sure Word Prophecy to Understand the Signs of the Times
MOST PEOPLE TODAY ARE SEEKING FOR PROPHETIC WORDS FROM PROPHETS TO UNDERSTAND THE TIMES WE LIVE IN.
AND WHILE WE KNOW THAT GOD HAS GIVEN GIFTS OF APOSTLES, PROPHETS, EVANGELISTS, PASTORS, AND TEACHERS TO EQUIP THE SAINTS (EPHESIANS 4:8-12), AND THAT “SURELY THE LORD DOES NOTHING, BUT REVEALS HIS SECRETS TO HIS SERVANTS THE PROPHETS (AMOS 3:7), THE TRUTH IS THAT GOD DOES NOT WANT ANY OF HIS PEOPLE IN THE DARK. GOD IS NO RESPECTOR OF PERSONS.
PROPHECIES GIVEN THAT ARE NOT IN THE SCRIPTURE CAN FAIL (I CORINTHIANS 13:8). YET, THROUGH THE STUDY OF THE MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY FOUND IN SCRIPTURE, WE CAN KNOW FOR SURE TIMES, EVENTS, AND SEASONS THAT WILL COME TO PASS.
2 Peter 1:1 (When we study the word while looking for signs of the times, we can begin to understand the mind of God and what God is speaking for this day and hour with precision only revealed by His Spirit)
1We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
Acts 2:14-41 (Consider how much the early apostles and prophets understood the more sure word of prophecy)
14Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17“ ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ 22“Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 25David said about him:
“ ‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 26Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, 27because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
you will not let your holy one see decay. 28You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’
29“Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. 32God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand 35until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ’
36“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
37When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day
Like Jesus, Fulfill the More Sure Prophetic Word of God
THOSE WHO DO THE TRUTH COME TO THE LIGHT (JOHN 3:21), WHILE THOSE WHO HEAR THE TRUTH AND DO NOT DO IT DECEIVE THEMSELVES (JAMES 1:23-25). AND TO THOSE WHO DO THE TRUTH AND STUDY THE WORD AND MORE SURE WORD PROPHECY WRITTEN IN SCRIPTURE, AND DESIRE TO EQUIP ALL GOD’S PEOPLE – THERE IS A CONTINUAL UNFOLDING OF WALKING IN THE MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY.
YOU LITERALLY FEEL AS IF YOU ARE WALKING OUT IN THE NATURAL THE THINGS OF GOD WRITTEN IN THE SCRIPTURES AND WATCHING AND HEARING IN REAL TIME THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT MANIFESTING.THIS IS THE FULFILLMENT OF SCRIPTURE ITSELF.
JUST AS JESUS IS THE WORD BECOME FLESH (JOHN 1:7) AND HE FULFILLED 100’S OF PROPHECIES, WE TOO ARE DESTINED TO WALK IN THE FULFILLMENT OF PROPHETIC SCRIPTURE. HE IS ALSO THE FIRSTBORN FROM AMONG MANY BRETHREN (ROMANS 8:29) AND GOD IS NO RESPECTOR OF PERSONS AND WILL DO THE SAME FOR OTHERS HE HAS CALLED. IN FACT, GOD HAS PROPHECIES FOR EVERY PERSON TO FULFILL TO THEIR GLORY (I CORINTHIANS 2:1-16).
AND WHEN MUCH OF THE ETERNAL GLORY OF GOD’S PROPHETIC MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY HAS BEEN REVEALED TO YOU TO WALK IN AND FULFILL, LIKE PAUL YOU SOMETIMES FEEL AS THOUGH YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN A THORN IN THE FLESH TO HELP KEEP YOUR FLESH CRUCIFIED (2 CORINTHIANS 12:7). BUT DO NOT FEAR OR LOSE HEART. IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE FATHER’S GOOD PLEASURE TO GIVE YOU THE KINGDOM (LUKE 12:32). CONTINUE TO WALK IN THE FULFILLMENT AND GLORY OF THE WRITTEN PROPHETIC SCRIPTURE.
BUT KNOW THIS ALSO. LIKE THE PHARISEES WHO DESIRED THEIR OWN GLORY, IT IS POSSIBLE TO BE ON THE WRONG END OF PROPHETIC SCRIPTURE.
Luke 4:16-30 (Consider how Jesus understood the prophecies and was walking according to the Spirit and fulfilling these scriptures in real time).
16So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed MeTo preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”20Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”
23He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’ ” 24Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. 25But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; 26but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. 30Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.
Mark 14:43-50 (Jesus was always aware of fulfilling the scripture)
43And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him and lead Him away safely.” 45As soon as he had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, “Rabbi, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 46Then they laid their hands on Him and took Him. 47And one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
48Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? 49I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”
50Then they all forsook Him and fled.
John 19:25-30 (Jesus knew all the prophecies He was destined to fulfill and when His time and ministry would come to the end of its course).
25Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
28After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 30When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Hebrews 12:1-29 (If you ever feel or find yourself on the wrong side of prophetic fulfillment, take heart. God is dealing with you as sons and daughters in the faith. Continue to seek His kingdom and righteousness first, walk in love continually, and speak the truth without wavering. God will bring your race and crown of victory to it’s prophetic and eternal fulfillment just as He did with Jesus).
1Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”
7If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
12Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. 14Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
15looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.
18For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20(For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” 21And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)
22But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
25See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29For our God is a consuming fire.
I Timothy 1:18-20 (Paul exhorted his sons in the faith)
18This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.
Study to Walk in The Mind of Christ and Not the Opinions of Men
AS OUR MINDS BECOME RENEWED AND EVEN TRANSFORMED BY THE IN-DEPTH STUDY OF GOD’S WORD, EARTHLY AND FLESHLY THOUGHTS AND WORLDLY OPINIONS NO LONGER ARE BASED ON THE ELEMENTS OF THIS WORLD WHICH CAN INCLUDE MANY THINGS: SUCH AS OUR UPBRINGING, CULTURE, POLITICAL VIEWS, RACE, DOCTRINAL PREFERENCES, OR ANY OTHER THOUGHT, THOUGHT PROCESS, OR OPINION THAT IS DEVOID OF THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD.
GOD’S WAYS ARE NOT THE WAYS OF MAN. WHAT MEN ESTEEM HIGHLY ARE THE VERY THINGS THAT ARE AN ABOMINATION TO GOD (LUKE 16:15). WHEN THE PEOPLE OF GOD COLLECTIVELY STUDY THE WORD OF GOD, WE WILL BE COMPLETELY IN THE UNITY OF THE FAITH, WITH ONE HEART, ONE MIND, AND ONE OPINION – FOR CHRIST IS NOT DIVIDED WITHIN HIMSELF.
1 Corinthians 1:1-31 (God is destroying the wisdom of this world)
1Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: 3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 5that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, 6even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, 7so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
10Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
14I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. 16Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.
18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” 20Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
Ephesians 4:1-23 (Put off the old man with his opinions. Put on the new man created in Christ)
1I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
7But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.” 9(Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
17This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20But you have not so learned Christ, 21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
I Corinthians 2:6-15 (We speak God’s wisdom among those who are mature)
6However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.
7But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.11For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
13These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (Studying transforms us into the fullness of Christ)
18But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Romans 15:1-5 (When we study to know God’s thoughts and His ways, then we will have the same mind toward things of this life, and we will speak the same thing)
1We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. 3For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” 4For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
5Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:7-21 (Continue to learn and study Christ in the gospels daily. It’s His image and likeness we are after)
7But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
15Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
17Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. 20For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
Study to Edify, Equip and Build Up the Body of Christ
AS THE BODY OF CHRIST IN THE EARTH, WE ARE LIVING STONES WHOM GOD HAS PLACED IN HIS HOUSE AND MAKE FOR HIMSELF A PEOPLE ZEALOUS OF GOOD WORKS. THE BODY OF CHRIST GROWS AS IT EDIFIES ONE ANOTHER IN THE CALLING, GRACE, AND FAITH THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO EACH PERSON FOR THE EDIFICATION OF OTHERS. AS WE CONTINUE TO STUDY THE WORD OF GOD IN MANY AREAS, WE CONTINUALLY ADD TO THE LIFE OF CHRIST IN ONE ANOTHER AND HELP EDIFY EACH OTHER IN THE WORK THAT CHRIST HAS CALLED EACH OF US TO DO.
I Corinthians 14:26 (Study to edify the church of Christ)
26What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.
I Corinthians 13:1-12 (Reminder that everything must be done by love)
1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 13And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
I Corinthians 8:1-13 (A reminder that we all have knowledge, but those who love God seek to use that knowledge for God’s purposes only)
1Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. 2Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. 3But whoever loves God is known by God.
4So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” 5For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
7But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.
9Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.
Romans 12:3-21 (A good reminder of how to keep all things in perspective)
3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
4For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
6We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Act 17:16-34 (Like Paul, by God’s grace when you are studying God’s word and He reveals His mysteries to you, remind yourself that we at one time were all ignorant. God will use you to make all men see the fellowship of this mystery, knowing this – that God will judge every man’s work in truth)
16While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21(All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
22Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
24“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.
27God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ 29“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.
30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
32When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33At that, Paul left the Council. 34Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
Romans 14:1-23 (Through persistent and in-depth study of God’s word, you’ll find yourself coming to a greater understanding of God’s word. It may be that you learn areas of disobedience in your own walk with God, and now also feel impressed by the Holy Spirit the need to teach others what you have now come to understand since it has now been revealed to you.
Yet if others don’t listen or take heed, remember this: while we judge no man, God will judge every man according to His works, and also what he knows.
And remember, the reason Jesus spoke the mysteries of God in parables was for this reason: to those who had ears to hear could understand God’s mysteries, while the mysteries were hidden from those who would not hear).
1Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.
3Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
5One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
6He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.
7For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
9For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.”
12So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
14I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.
16Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.
19Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
20Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.
22Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
23But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.
Romans 1:1-15 (Paul’s grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith was used to edify and establish the saints and to help bring them to a whole new of level of faith, love and obedience to God’s word and Spirit)
1Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 3concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. 5Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, 6among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
7To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
8First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 9For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, 10making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you.
11For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established— 12that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
13Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles. 14I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.
15So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.