Paul warns the Church at Thessalonica of the Return of Jesus Christ | 1 Thessalonians commentary

On his second missionary journey (which we also see a lot of info in Acts 15-18 about it), Paul entered Europe for the first time when he went to Macedonia. The first churches that he established were in Philippi and Thessalonica. Paul wrote this first letter to the Thessalonian people only a few months after the establishment of the Church. Paul is glad of their development of character and the faith, love, and endurance that can be clearly seen. They have proved themselves to be God’s People. They look forward to the climax of their salvation at the return of Jesus Christ.

Paul admits that he preached so boldly that he endured bodily harm, but he didn’t want praise nor money. Therefore, he gave to them to help them. He worked at tent making to make an income for himself. Otherwise, he did his preaching as he could. He only wanted to bring God glory.

The Thessalonians knew they had a Word from God, and that Paul is who he said he is. The Jews were trying to prevent the message of Jesus from reaching the Gentiles, but all the while, they were preparing a big divine judgment unto themselves. Paul faced many difficulties, trials, etc. through trying to preach to the Gentiles, however, he desires to revisit them soon, and talks about how well they have progressed in their faith and love. He seems overjoyed about the love they’ve cultivated.

He talks to them about marriage and work, but they don’t need to be overly dependent on each other, but rather, be ready to help others. Faults must be corrected so that they can continue as a church, and so they don’t have non-Christians criticizing them. After this starts the info about the Return of Christ. Some were worried that those who’ve died would not experience Christ’s Return, and therefore, they want people that are alive to join them, so together, they could meet Christ.

Paul said that no one knows when He will return, however, He will come unexpectedly as a thief would. He talks more about what Christ will do once He arrives, and told them to be self-controlled, strong in faith and love, and be confident in their salvation. Having unity with Christ means that they would escape wrath and enjoy Salvation to its fullest. They need to live in a way that is pleasing to God and one that encourages others.

Lastly, he sees minor difficulties have occurred, and Church leaders had the responsibility to solve such problems. Paul reminds the members to respect those who are in leadership and don’t be offended when they need to correct you. All Christians should be helpful, joyful, prayerful, and thankful. God alone can give strength to put this advice into practice, and that God wants His People to constantly progress toward greater holiness. Paul ends it by telling them to read the letter to the Church to full understanding.

What does Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost really mean? | Mark 3:28-30

Many have worried or just wondered what could blasphemy against the Holy Ghost mean. The issue of blasphemy itself involves the uttering or action that purposely defames a god or gods (or tries to defame God).

“Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: 29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: 30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.”

Commentary: To begin this commentary, it is wise to think back to a few verses before this context above. When Jesus had cast out demons (Mark 12:22-24), the Pharisees accused Jesus of doing this by the power of satan – who was the prince of demons. Jesus replied that if satan were to cast out himself or his lackeys, it would be a civil war in his own kingdom.

The only way to defeat a strong man is by a stronger man. Jesus showed He was stronger than satan, and that Jesus’ reign would result in destroying satan and his forces (see context Matthew 12:25-29 as well).

Now, God would forgive any doubts or otherwise misunderstandings of what people had about Jesus; however, God would not forgive the willful rejection of the works of Jesus Christ was were good and came from God. Those who called God’s Spirit “satan”, otherwise calling good “evil”, would position themselves of rejecting God’s goodness; therefore, they would not receive forgiveness (or the remission of sins). Rejecting God means that one is condemned and prepared for destruction (John 3:16-20; also see Matthew 12:30-32).

The good works of Jesus evidence His Goodness, just as good fruit evidences a good tree! 🙂

The evil works of the Pharisees evidence their evil hearts, and that will be used against them on Judgment Day.

The light of God shines bright in one’s heart, driving out the darkness and helping them spread that light unto others; however, rejecting the light means the darkness within them becomes even darker (see Luke 11:33-36).

Therefore, we see that those who speak against and/or reject Salvation, God, Jesus Christ, or His Good Works – are those who blaspheme against the Holy Ghost. This will not bring forgiveness to them, as in they will not receive Salvation. Those who purposely reject and/or speak against God will not be able to receive His Spirit along with the forgiveness of sins.

This is not to say that if one rejects or speaks against God at one point or another, but then later accepts Him by admitting his own wrongdoing, that he would not be forgiven. Those who admit they were wrong and accept God’s Salvation will indeed be saved, there is no question of that. The best use case is Paul (Saul), who had vehemently rejected God and persecuted His People, but then later was confronted by Jesus, was saved, and then went on to be a great minister.

Believe it or not, it is very difficult for someone who is truly saved to reject or blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Most that are truly saved would be fearful of God, and would not do this kind of activity, because they are afraid also of losing Salvation.

The Holy Spirit is God’s Final Witness to Jesus Christ and His Sacrificial Work on the Cross. No forgiveness, regeneration, conversion, repentance, etc. is given to those who reject the call of the Holy Spirit – even quenching His Voice.

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is tied to revelation, because it is the Spirit of Truth/Revelation of Jesus Christ that shall change the minds and hearts of people to accept the Salvation of Jesus Christ. Those who do not listen to God’s Spirit do not receive Christ, and in essence will never be forgiven.

Jude’s warning against false teachers | Book of Jude

Updated September 3, 2020

Scripture: Jude

Commentary: Jude was encouraging to the Christians in this letter that they were faithful; however, he wanted to warn people of how false teachers (evil teachers) creep in unsuspecting into the church. There are many false teachers and heretics in the church today. Punishment is assured for those who distort or inflate the Gospel of Jesus Christ (especially to make the Gospel give them the freedom to practice immorality.

Don’t be surprised, as this kind of thing is very common in the church today. There are many church leaders who purposely try to make the Gospel fit around their agenda. The most common ways they do this are the following (and be sure to flee if you see any of these signs):

  • Paying the pastor a salary (Jesus speaks against this in John 10:12-13). This is a sign of greed or lack of compassion (why would you want to accept money from the same ones you are feeding when it is God’s Will to provide for them freely the Gospel?)
  • Giving church leaders or teachers a title in front of their name (Jesus warned against this). This is a warning against spiritual leaders in the use of pride or authority.
  • Teaching the prosperity gospel (Paul warned about this in 1 Timothy 6:5, 9-11; Jesus warned His disciples that money is not a target for the godly in Matthew 8:20 – Wouldn’t Jesus have pursued abstract wealth if it were usual for the godly to do so?)
  • Teaching baptismal regeneration (baptism is required for Salvation)(Jesus speaks against it in Acts 1:5).
  • Involvement in Sodomy (God destroyed the works of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18:20-21; See also 2 Peter 2:6-10).

Although this list is not exhaustive, and there are so many more warnings, Jude does not seem to give much more warnings. He feels that it is important to also encourage the Christian. People may belong to a Christian community, or might be called preacher or teacher – but that is no guarantee that they are saved, called, or holy.

God’s People were delivered from Egypt, but the evil ones were destroyed in judgment. Angels have a high status; however, some rebelled and were destroyed. Sodom and Gomorrah may have been great cities; however, their destruction was because of their overall sins (immorality).

How to discover these false teachers? False teachers or ungodly teachers have no understanding of spiritual things, for they just react to physical instincts. They have Cain’s jealousy, Balaam’s greed, and even Korah’s spirit of rebellion against authority. When it comes to fellowship meals, their behavior is outrageous, and they are fruitless: amounting to nothing good.

Enoch’s prophecy told of the assured punishment coming to ungodly people; therefore, if they criticize, flatter, grumble, boast, etc. – they are just doing so that they benefit personally. However, personal benefit from spiritual and Bible teaching are abominable.

Jude wanted to finish by encouraging the Christians of the apostles’ saying that false teachers and heretics were coming to try to mislead the church and people outside the church. Being more sincere in prayer, hating sin, and loving God were all very important to avoid being affected by false teachers.

Jude then praises the Lord with magnificence, noting His Majesty and Authority – which by that power were all Christians saved! God will keep His People safe from destructive corruption, and one day bring Christians into His Heavenly Presence! 🙂

Lessons and other notes from Jude

As far as similarities to 2 Peter, we see that they oppose similar errors, and one may have borrowed from the other – or, they both used the same material that was to deal with false teaching of this time. Many argue that 2 Peter is just an expansion of Jude, or that Jude was written later and was expanded on part of 2 Peter. It is mostly just 2 Peter 2:1-3:3 that resemble Jude 4-16. If 2 Peter were an expansion of Jude, then date Jude was written would be around 65 AD with 2 Peter written just before Peter died. If Jude were taken from 2 Peter, then the date of Jude’s writing would be around 66-67 AD (between the death of Peter and fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD).

To this writer, however, it appears that Jude was written after 2 Peter, for Jude speaks in the present tense through his Epistle as if false teachers are currently present. 2 Peter, though, is referring more into the future as a warning that they will appear more and more even though the beginning of concern is present. Jude 17-18 speak of Apostles of the past.

Ungodly men in verse 11: The false teachers spoken of do not understand spiritual things well. They have Cain’s jealousy, Balaam’s greed, and Korah’s spirit of rebellion against authority. Korah is also “Core.” In following the way of Cain, they followed his manners and fell under his punishment. Cain hated his brother and slew him – they hate their brethren, by their false doctrines/deceits, murder their souls, and stir up persecution. In following after Balaam’s greed, for they were involved in covetousness, to which being excessively addicted – for they did it for the sake of filthy money corrupting the doctrine of Christ. They perished in the gainsaying of Core/Korah, which affected the priesthood, and rose up against Moses and Aaron, but perishing in the attempt. This is just like imitating a rebellion against Christ. They despise dominion and speaking evil – which leads to their destruction.

Contending for the faith: Contending for the faith means to encourage Christians to hold firmly to the truth they have heard and fight against those who want to destroy it. Epaphras was one who worked faithfully and prayerfully. Paul was one who wanted to strive hard at his work. Athletes have strict training, and Christians should do the same in striving for mastery in their work for the faith!

Those who slip in unaware have such characteristics:

  • They don’t control their passions nor their words.
  • They commit immoral sexual acts.
  • They insult both God and Angels.
  • They have no understanding of spiritual things. (They act according to their physical instincts as animals do.)
  • They have Cain’s jealousy.
  • They have Balaam’s greed.
  • They have Korah’s spirit of rebellion against authority.
  • Their behavior at a Christian fellowship meal is a disgrace.

According to verses 14-16 of Jude, they will have God’s punishment, and we should not worry about directly dealing with them. Jude prays that they will be kept from falling and hopes for the best against these false teachers.

Jude could’ve gone on a lot longer in his writing, wherefore, he had much to say and it seemed that the information was so limited. However, this book serves as a last hope to warn people of deceivers before things were to get ugly in the return of Christ, persecution and destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, among other things going on in that day. However, the book also serves as a wonderful reminder to keep ourselves in the love of God, and focus on Jesus Christ.

We are instructed, just as the other teachers helped, to look for deceivers and know their signs. Above that, though, walk in love and humility; focusing on building each other up and moving forward on His desires, not worldly desires. We need to remember the words of Jesus Christ, and the Apostles that followed and hold true to those, instead of gratifying something “new” and “fresh” in today’s societal realm.

We have more to look forward to when we stick to what Christ instructed us in, for He is the hope and glory! He is our excellent Lord, our King, and our wonderful friend that sticks closer than a brother. We shouldn’t let ourselves become astray with deceivers, sinful acts, and other harsh things that damage our relationship with God. We look forward to His glory only and hope for a bright future!

We only pray to God! | 1 Timothy 2:5

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

Commentary: There are proponents on Earth that claim that we as Christians may pray to saints, Mary, or other governing bodies, and they will help our prayers up to God; however, this Scripture in Timothy refutes that heresy by stating that there is only One Mediator and His Name is Jesus Christ! This is the ultimate clarity we have!

Paul teaches more about it than just his letter to Timothy, as his letter to the Romans he states that the Holy Spirit is the one that translates our prayers and groanings to the Father God (Romans 8:26-27). Therefore, Jesus is the guarantor (the Promised One) of the New Covenant, which allows Him to be the Chief Intercessor (Hebrews 7:22-25). Literally, the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10) – meaning He is the prophesied one who carries prophecies (which means that He creates those prophecies in prophets, and then He fulfills them). (See also Acts 4:12; John 14:6)

Without Salvation, those who pray to or worship a carved image are sinning according to Exodus 20:4-5. Praying to others is equivalent to praying to a familiar spirit (see Leviticus 19:31; Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Isaiah 8:9; Leviticus 20:6 and 27).

Repent and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ | Acts 2:38-47

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”

Commentary: Peter continues to address the apostles and disciples, in which he tells the multitude standing there to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins in the Name of Jesus Christ. Now, Jesus told the apostles right before He ascended (see Acts 1:5) that it would not be water baptism they would receive; however, they would receive a different and new type of baptism, which could be of the Holy Ghost.

Since there were about 3,000 people saved during this encounter, it is highly unlikely (especially in the upper chamber) to have water to do it, and to be able to baptize that many people – all on the day of Pentecost. Therefore, many people were saved and baptized of the Holy Ghost, because they expressed faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Those who were saved continue to learn from the apostles, and fellowshipped with them often. The brethren gathered in each others’ houses and communed, along with several men and brethren bringing friends and family to be saved almost every day.

Peter’s sermon of fulfilled prophecy | Acts 2:14-37

Scripture: “14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.2:32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

Commentary: After Peter told the brethren that there was no possibility that they could be drunk with new wine due to how early it was in the day – for this was not happy hour – he explains the vitality – the importance – of this ministry for Jesus Christ.

Peter then recites the prophecy from Joel (the minor prophet), which was from Joel 2:28-32. The context of this prophecy from Joel represents that people may readily turn to God (accept God) during times of hardship; however, many of them may just forget God as quickly as they came unto Him. Some people, when prosperity occurs, they feel as if they have no need of help from God, because they have the delusion of self-sufficiency. The core of the prophecy is that they would be more obedient to God when understand His Will (including being in better devotion unto Him). God once only gave His Spirit to people to do certain tasks, but the time is coming one day where He will place His Spirit within each believer of any diversity, and it will occur before the final great day of the Lord. One of the signs of the great day of the Lord is the phenomenal locust plague, in which on that day, believers would be saved; however, sinners would perish.

Jesus came to do signs, wonders, and miracles, as Jesus does what He sees His Father (God) doing (John 5:19). The point stricken unto the apostles and disciples along with the other brethren, was that the Jews took and killed Jesus. But God… He raised Him, thus breaking the chains of death – for nothing could hold Jesus down any longer. Not only that, but He suffered to fulfill the Will of God (Psalm 22:1). Believers, just like Christ, will be raised the same way He was after death (1 Corinthians 6:14; Philippians 3:10; Romans 6:5).

King David spoke about Jesus’ first advent (His First Coming), in that he saw Jesus as Lord on the right hand of God, and this coming man would keep believers’ souls from Hell, and finally that Jesus would be without corruption (Jesus would be sinless). Jesus would guide people on the proper path, and His Presence in believers’ lives would bring great joy.

The spirit of David lives on, because Jesus inherited David’s throne, and had sat there after dying and rising again in His Resurrection (see 1 Kings 2:10; 2 Samuel 7:12; Psalm 16:10). David was not one whom had ascended into Heaven; whereas Jesus did ascend. The apostles and some disciples bore witness that Jesus lived, ministered, died sacrificially, resurrected, appeared to them again, and then ascended into Heaven (at Bethany).

Other notes: Isaiah also had a prophecy that was fulfilled in these days noted in the book of Acts. In Isaiah 44:1-5, we see that not only is God willing to forgive His People, but that He also wants to give His Spirit unto each believer, in which new life will spring up inside of them, which shall enable them to evangelize to Jews and Gentiles.

Your temptation does not come from God | James 1:13-16

“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.”

When a person is tempted, that person should not just blame God for the reason of that temptation. Before this, James notes in 1:2 that brethren should count it all joy to be tempted. Now here, he notes that it is important not to blame God when being tempted. Man is supposed to patiently endure when tempted; therefore, once the man has successfully endured, he will learn he has become a victor over the temptation.

As the Scripture says, God is not convinced by evil things, in which He should tempt man to do any evil or try to ridicule man for one thing or another. There is no reason for God to act out, and therefore, God stays holy and just without any iniquity.

Men are tempted by their own lusts (their self-desires), and entice themselves with it (they tease themselves). For example, if chocolate makes someone sick and they know they should not eat it, they may be tempted to indulge into it anyway and ignore the fact that it makes them sick. Therefore, if you resist the temptation and endure successfully, you will not be sick; however, if you give in, you may cause sickness in your body again and then regret giving into the temptation.

The desires you dive into cause sin to occur, which means when you give in to a temptation, it means that you sin if that means it disobeys or goes against God. There are some things that are not considered sin, in which people can be tempted with. Keep in mind this type of temptation that causes sin would be negative. Positive things man is tempted with, such as doing good for another person is not included in this admonition. For example, it would not be sinful to be tempted to help someone up when they have fallen, for doing so, you will receive a reward – if not from man, even so from God. However, if someone is tempted to steal something from another person, and they go through with it, then this is considered sin – which would be consequential especially on Earth.

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23). When someone sins, they are deserving of punishment even death (Romans 3:23). It is best to remain out of sin, especially if a Christian, because setting a good example is the best choice and makes one glorify God (Titus 2:7). It is best, as a Christian, to avoid sin so you do not lead non-christians to their death – for showing a good example might draw them to eternal life. What a benefit!

James tells God’s People not to be erring into sin, because it sets a bad example. As just explained in the paragraph above, it is best to lead a good example to help lead others to Christ and leave their sinful lifestyles. Jesus also says those who err are ones who do not know the Scriptures (so read up on your material folks!), and people err by not knowing God’s Power (Matthew 22:29). In addition, those who think God governs the dead… Well He does not (Mark 12:27). Do not let others mislead you either, hold fast to the Word of God, not man’s philosophy (Colossians 2:4, 8). Do as James says in a few verses (1:19), swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to great anger.

How to be a spiritual Christian | 1 Thessalonians 5:16-28

“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss. I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”

Commentary: Paul tells the Thessalonians several ways on being spiritual, although not an all-encompassing list. Here are his instructions on how to start being more spiritual (which can draw you to a feeling of closeness to God):

  • Rejoice – Have joy in the Holy Ghost arising from your pardon by Christ’s Blood, and righteousness He has imputed upon you. Rejoice in gratitude – being thankful for your every day life and provisions by God. His Glory, His Salvation, His Peace – be grateful for these things.
  • Pray without ceasing – This does not mean to always be on your knees, or always in prayer. Rather, do not let your flesh break you from prayer, if your spirit has demanded it. If you spirit says you need to pray, then you need to sacrifice a bit of time and pray. Ethiopic texts render it well by saying “pray frequently.” Pray, even if a little is better than not at all. Do not stop praying… ever!
  • Give thanks – It is vital to have gratitude, especially toward God. This actually changes the mindset from a poverty way of thinking (the negative thought that you feel you are without) to an abundance way of thinking (knowing that you have God’s Provision and you can continue to have His Provision). Be thankful for what? Our being (able to live), food, other temporal good things, family, friends, raiment/clothing, shelter, water, grace/forgiveness, hope, the election of yourself to Salvation, spouse (if it applies), our ever-loving Savior, and so much more.
  • Not quenching the Spirit – Not to say that we can deliver a jab at the person of the Spirit; however, this refers to either the grace of the Spirit or faith – to which we should not allow ourselves to avoid the use of Spiritual Gifts, such as prophecy, teaching, evangelizing, tongues, edification, exhortation, or any other spiritual gift. We should be using that which we were gifted in, for to avoid use could be quenching of the Spirit – such as putting out the Fire of the Holy Ghost, or letting the Living Waters within dry up, or letting the inner light of the Lord Jesus Christ to dim. We must always let the water flow, let the light shine, and let the fire burn for the Lord in all of our lives, and we can do this by becoming more spiritually close to God by practicing the things in this passage of Scripture.
  • Not despising prophecy – Now, it is incorrect to assume that Christ Jesus will change anything about history that He has already announced – Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). We do not pass into the lukewarmness of the world, and prophesying selfish things or other worldly gain. Rather, we prophesy based on what has already been written. When such things are nigh, it is important to announce them before our fellow brethren to encourage readiness for any possible trials or adversity. The emancipation in societal things brings us closer to being good at analyzing how prophecy is portraying itself in our world today. It is more ideal for those who feel gifted to prophesy to give the Word that will bring edification and comfort, especially if the person does not have the Gift of Tongues.
  • Prove all things, hold fast to the good, abstaining from appearances of evil, being blameless – To do this, we shall attempt to seek the truth at all times. Modern day calls this “fact-checking”. Many people intend to deceive one another, fabricating fables, myths, and other seducing lies. Even the very people of God try to deceive each other and are easily deceived themselves – but put this far away from you and hold to the truth in God’s Word. Remove yourself from evil situations and avoid being seen sinning or doing terrible things (do not make God look bad!). We must be blameless as we look forward to the coming of our Lord’s appearing – a joyous day to come.

You see the Lord is faithful, and calls you to do wonderful things as a minister. It is vital to pray for your own ministry and be more connected with God, but also pray for other ministers and fellowship with them occasionally. Teach others these things as well on how to be spiritual, and drawing closer to God by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Sons of God – Sonship | John 1:12-13; Romans 8:16-17

John 1:12-13, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Romans 8:16-17, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

Commentary: Those receiving Christ Jesus have the power to become sons of God literally, because they have believed upon God and received Salvation by Jesus Christ. Being born of God means literally from God, not from blood as we know it (such as genetics necessarily), but by the Blood of Christ Jesus. We as Christians are not descendant from the will of flesh or the will of man, but are given as the Will of God. This is presumed as being born again, which Jesus verifies in John 3:5-6, which states that one must be born of water and the Spirit to be able to enter the Kingdom of God. Those born of the Spirit are now known as spirit (as in spirit being from God).

Perhaps one determines this is the same as mysticism; however, that argument does not view the other point-of-view, which says that His Spirit translates spiritual things to our spirits (therefore, people are not mystics). This is the message from Paul to the Romans. Paul also explained to the Galatians people in Galatians 3:26 that those who have faith in Christ Jesus are children of God.

The power to be called sons or children of God came via promise from God to Isaiah to tell His People, in which a special everlasting name is given unto God’s People who become His sons (Isaiah 56:5). This is a marvelous benefit that we will receive a special name, and His People have the promise of being written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (One is to wonder if that special name will also be written in there and we have it presented to us)(See Luke 10:20; Revelation 3:5; 20:12-15). Most Jewish law prohibited the inheritance of something to be assigned to females; however, Paul states here a generality, which is to suppose that God allows both male and female to inherit the promise of sonship, for all are one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).

Such sons of God are heirs of an incorruptible inheritance, which excels all other privileges. It is the supercession and/or succession of the justification and remission of sins. Such privilege comes upon people of any generation of any heritage who has believed upon Jesus Christ for Salvation and made righteous before God by His Saving Grace (See again Galatians 3:28). This is likely the highest greatness man can reach, and most certainly not of one that dwells again on power, but dwells on the person of Jesus Christ, a much higher thing than power, especially in purposeful submission unto God as the supreme being and limiting oneself to the worship of God alone, rooting out all idolatry (See Luke 12:32; 22:29-30; Acts 26:18; Galatians 3:29; 4:7; Ephesians 3:6; Hebrews 6:17; 1 Peter 1:4; Matthew 25:21; Revelation 3:21; 21:7; indirectly – 1 John 3:10).

Every Soul is subject to God & Government | Romans 13:1-10

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

Commentary: Every person is subject to God, that is absolute. However, the powers that be (governing authorities) that are ordained by God reserve subjection unto them as well (as much as you would like to disagree with them). Resisting governing powers is resisting the ordinance of God, and though not blasphemous unto God, still may be damned on Earth because of resistance (such as a person becoming imprisoned for breaking the law or for treason).

Rulers are to be a minister of God to people for good, and not for evil. Pay your taxes and do what is right in submission unto the governing authorities as long as it is godly to do so (Obey God before man – see Acts 4:19). You must, no matter the case, express love in whatever you do, for it is believed to be the primary way to exercise godliness in your life.

Archaeological notes: Paul writes this to the Romans during the infamous reign of Emperor Nero, who reigned in Rome from 54 to 68 AD. Nero was the last ruler part of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty, which was comprised in order: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and finally Nero (Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus). Such dynasty was responsible for restoring the old Roman religion along with a rather godless idolatrous system. Under their system of government, they had total control over Rome, and made much of their senate ceremonial (which is hard to imagine, especially if you live in the USA). Consuls and tribunes were faded to gray as much of the tyranny of their dynasty ruled on. Slave trade and ruling was highly supported by governing authorities, and religion and politics were very controlled by the government; therefore, persecution was very common. Rulers must know, however, that authority comes from God, which means they are to obey Him.

Paul knew that zealous Jews did not want to have any ruler but God and did not want to pay any taxes whatsoever except to God. Paul appeared to hope for the Romans to one day have a new and benevolent ruler – one that may be tolerant to their needs. Paul emphasized careful loyalty (not necessarily patriotism), assuming the governing powers (especially an imperial authority) would not turn against Christians. A few years after his statements here, reports had shown that members of Caesar’s house became believers (presumably of God or Jesus Christ)(see Philippians 1:22).