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Saturday, 20 August 2016

those who revile are not serving christ - they are nothing! (1 Corinthians 13:2)

For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. (Galatians 5:14-15)

Many Christians have different views and come into conflict over various aspects of eschatology, and of course, theology in general. At the end of the day, knowledge of spiritual realities may belie our true spiritual condition. In truth character is the defining factor that reveals spirituality. If we teat others disrespectfully and resort to ad hominem attacks, then God says that we are nothing..

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:2)

Joel Richardson recently hit the nail on the head when he said: "We might disagree with our brothers, but we need to treat each other with respect. Who cares if you understand prophecy if you don't have the character of Christ."{1}

The dictionary definition of "revile" is: "to assail with contemptuous or opprobrious language; address or speak of abusively." {2} 

Biblically, to "revile" is quite literally to curse someone (James 3:9-10 cf. Ecclesiastes 10:20; Exodus 22:28). It is also linked to mockery, taunting and dishonour (Psalm 74:10; 44:16), and defined as persecution against those who stand up for the truth (Matthew 5:11). This form of persecution varies from mild forms of exclusion and snubbing to extreme vilification and public humiliation. Many who challenge the ongoing apostasy in the churches are increasingly wearied by revilers. We are those who have the audacity to search the scriptures for ourselves and to ask uncomfortable questions. We try to do so in a polite and respectful manner, but generally the response is that we are quite literally cursed, treated like enemies, ignored and degraded in all sorts of ways: My brothers these things ought not to be so.. but in too many cases they are so. The response of some who view themselves as Christian "movers and shakers" is to tear anyone to pieces who question their views (Romans 12:3). They do not realise that they have slipped up in the most elementary teaching of Christ, they have forgotten that first and foremost, love defines Christianity. Love and truth are of course an inseparable combination in the Bible. (2 John 1-13)

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. (James 3:5-12)

It is interesting that God puts "revilers" in the same category as the sexually immoral, the greedy, idolaters etc. and a commandment is attached: 

But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. (1 Corinthians 5:11)

Beware of revilers, they do not serve Jesus Christ. A reviler is someone who speaks from the perspective of the world and the perspective of death: 

For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:11-18)

Joel Richardson mentions "the good old boys club". Good old boys clubs are of course not limited to one particular group, such as dispensationalists. They run rife in all kinds of ministries and denominations. They seek to exclude and discredit any individual who challenges their ideas with the scriptures. This is nothing new and we should not be surprised, we are literally sheep amongst the wolves (Matthew 10:16). Though it is very hard at times, it is good to remember that Christ suffered the same kinds of humiliation and much worse: .. a servant is not above his master. (Matthew 10:23-24)

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11)

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT: 

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:3-11) 

Joel Richardson has, I believe, been severly criticised for his minority view on an Islamic Antichrist. Whilst this view does have its problems, we should be able to refute it without doing the man an injury. Furthermore, it does seem more than a little perverse that pretribulationist, annihilationist and intra-seal teachers are criticising this view. Stones and glass houses come to mind!

{2} http://www.dictionary.com/browse/revi

6 comments:

Mike Rogers said...

I have two words that fit this: JACOB PRASCH I have not seen a man such as he who puts himself out there as an elder of the church and a teacher of God's word, yet is vile in his treatment of anyone who disagrees or challenges his teachings. And there is a looong list of others. I've been in the Body of Christ for over 35 years and in two different denominations. In every Church I have attended, if you disagree or challenge them church leadership, you are immediately ostracized and villainized. Church Leadership is totally pathetic today. I starting to believe there no longer are any real shepherds among us.

Treena Gisborn said...

Jacob Prasch is one of the worst examples I have come across Mike, though there are many others who have their ways of silencing the truth! I can't imagine how they will give an answer to the Lord. (James 3:1) God bless you Mike.

Helen said...

Hi Treena,

You are wise to focus on these scriptures on this post.
I have become increasingly aware of "church leaders" who will not discuss scriptures & the Christian walk of faith in an appropriate manner. I have been reviled for the name of Christ too, by non-believers & "church pastors" alike. In fact all who live in a Godly manner of "abiding in Christ" who also "love the Truth" will also be reviled.

Just this morning I have read in my bible in Luke 4 how when Jesus initially read from the Isaiah scripture, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me..." that the people all "marveled at His gracious words," but as soon as He said, "No prophet is accepted in his own country..." & gave the examples of Elijah & Elisha, then it says, "all those in the synagogue, were filled with wrath,.." & it had a murderous element to it even at that starting point of Christ's earthly ministry. And so it went on in His life & all the lives of true believers. We are promised trouble in this life. It was very often the religious leaders in Jesus' day that were filled with an intense anger & hatred towards Him, & so it often is the case today.

I have recently "given up" on "going TO church", having gone regularly for 29 years, & I am actually enjoying more time with reading my bible & praying alone presently. I have come across a very interesting website by Neil Gerrard from the USA called, http://paidionbooks.org/
Just maybe it would be a blessing to you or your readers as it is being to me as he explains things about "church" versus the meaning of the word "ecclesia". He explains things pertaining to the history behind how our "church services" are organised. I have found his writings very helpful.

I am the same lady who wrote a comment previously to say that your blog info had helped me finally "see through" JP. I had always noticed his "character defect" of over-harshness, but like many people, I was perhaps rather too naive & forgiving & just prayed for him, that the Lord would soften his heart. However, that does not appear to have happened, but each person has a choice. Do we live "in the flesh" or "in the Spirit"?

I had also previously noticed some information that suggested that JP had unhealthy links with people & organisations & strange doctrines on other websites, such as a woman who posted back in 2010 at http://galatiansfour.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Jacob%20Prasch.

I am also, like you Treena, a "single woman", (though through having been divorced), so I too do not like the spirit in "christian-world" that demeans or reviles women for simply being a woman. That is quite an evil thing. I too am not "a feminist" but I am very grateful that God gave me a good brain, a tender heart & a discerning Spirit. I am so very grateful that the Lord is NOT like so very many of the "church leaders" that I have met & read about.

Treena, If you wish to communicate further, please feel free to use my email.

Blessings in the name of Jesus Christ,
from Helen

Treena Gisborn said...

My dear Helen - How you have blessed me with your thoughts and your comments. I have been thinking about this issue for a long time, but recently more so since the JP problem. I shall certainly look up the link of Neil Gerrard http://paidionbooks.org/ There is more to JP than meets the eye - I have also read about his unhealthy connections, though I did not mention it in any of my posts. If you are unable to ask church leaders important questions about their dodgy "doctrines" without receiving a civil answer, then you are dealing with ungodly men... If you leave your email on a further comment, I will not publish it and I will contact you. God bless x

colin said...

Helen's comment probably reflects where a great many believers are today. Not that they are against church per se, certainly not, by any means. But they realise that not all is well in the so-called institution most today know to be called the 'church'. God IS calling out a people for His name, this He will do right until the end of the millennium-Acts 15.14.
I am so glad that there are men and women like Helen, to whom God has granted the gift of discernment; that they may come to trust in Jesus-ALONE!
As she seems to be doing already; I would encourage her to continually CLING to her Bible, and daily pray to God in Christ to daily order her steps.
I too haven't heard of Neil Gerrard, but, nevertheless we should all be guided by Scripture ALONE- Jeremiah 31.33-34, Hebrews 8.11.
God bless you.

Treena Gisborn said...

Thank you Colin once again for your wisdom. Scripture is paramount as you say, Amen. God bless