Have you ever said “I wonder, what if____” “What if the leaders of our government were to think only of the people, instead of themselves?” “What if the religious leaders of today were to humble themselves before God and preach and teach the pure word of God instead of a taught or conceived doctrine which either adds too, of takes away from God’s word.?” What if?
It isn’t just we in the 21st century who are being inundated with junk, (see my new book: I Am a Simple Man with a Simple Faith, who added all the junk?), this started in the Garden of Eden with Eve adding to the instructions of God concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God said “Don’t eat of it’s fruit.” Eve, when answering the “serpent”, added “we can’t touch it either!” That was not what God said, and down through the ages man has continually added or subtracted from God’s clear instructions. Why? to feed their own egos, or their pride. Look what Jesus said to the religious leaders of His day.
Matthew 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
Matthew 15:4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
Matthew 15:5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
Matthew 15:6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
Matthew 15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Why would anyone do that? Add to or subtract from God’s word? First it gives them a feeling of importance, pride, and secondly, it verifies their personal beliefs. Example. If I have a new concept, or explanation of a different belief, and convince you that I am correct, I have my first convert to the Church of what John Believes. Pride, I now am the head of this new church, and I teach my personal beliefs as the gospel.
Oh wait! That is how the different denominations began. I remember reading about a pastor who taught that healing from and by God is not available today, that it died with the last Apostles. Someone asked him why he believed that. His response was, “Well, I am a pastor and I asked God for healing and I wasn’t healed, so I believe that if God will not heal one of his servants, then healing is not for today, period, end of discussion!
” We attended a church at one point that was very fervent in the ministry of providing for the poor and the sick wherever God directed them to go. It was and still is a marvelous ministry. They sent ministers and medical doctors to South America, and to Africa, as well as ministering in Omaha, NE, definitely doing the Lord’s work. But when I asked the Pastor about the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the speaking in tongues, he really stepped aside, “If you want to believe that, ok.” Yet a proper reading of scripture tells us that it was a gift given to us by God through the Holy Spirit. Now, not everyone has the same gifts, but we are not to look down on people who have gifts that we do not. In all things we are to glorify God.
1Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
1Corinthians 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1Corinthians 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
1Corinthians 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
1Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
1Corinthians 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
1Corinthians 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
1Corinthians 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
1Corinthians 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
If we disagree with someone in a spiritual matter, we should do three things.
(1) Love them as God does.
(2) Pray! Ask God to help you , to give you clarity and peace.
(3) Wait on the Lord. Neither you or I are God, and as Rick Warren starts his book, The Purpose Driven Life, “It’s not about you,”