Tongues (γλῶσσα)
Tongues (γλῶσσα)

Pastor Luther Walker • December 01, 2022

Through the prophet Isaiah, God told Israel that He would give them a sign by speaking with them in other tongues (Isaiah 28:11). Fifty days after the Passover, in which Christ was put to death by wicked men but raised out from the dead three days later by God, the disciples where in Jerusalem as they had been commanded (Acts 1:4) when the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 2:1-4) and they spoke in a different language.

Tongue (γλῶσσα) is a word that is used of the physical tongue, how a person speaks, and the language spoken. When Christ healed a deaf man with a speech impediment, the man’s tongue was loosed, and he spoke correctly (Mark 7:33-35). In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man asked for water to cool his tongue (Luke 16:24). In the book of Romans, we see that the tongue is used for speaking for with their tongues they deceive (Romans 3:13) and every tongue will verbally agree with God (Romans 14:11).

When it comes to the Spiritual gift of speaking in tongues, it is defined in the same context in which it first appears in Scripture. The intense sound made when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples caused many of the Jews in the city to come to see what was happening (Acts 2:6). Now at this time a lot of devout Jews, meaning they were saved under the Mosaic Law, from every nation under heaven were in the city and their reaction explains what was happening. They marveled because the disciples were speaking in their dialects (διάλεκτος) the wonderful works of God (Acts 2:11). They were not just speaking another language, but specific dialects from where these Jews lived among the nations. The context of the speech was also understood, for they were speaking of the greatness of God. Later, when Peter is called to Cornelius’ house, this same thing happens to the Gentiles, causing amazement to the Jews with Peter that the gift of God was also poured out on the Gentiles. They spoke in different dialects magnifying God (Acts 10:44-46).

The Spiritual gift of speaking in tongues is the ability to magnify God in another dialect not known by the speaker and it was given to the Church for a sign to the unbelieving Jews (1 Corinthians 14:14). As a sign to the Jews (1 Corinthians 14:22), Paul wished that all spoke in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:5); however, more so prophecy because it is understood by all. For within the assembly Paul would rather speak five words with understanding than ten thousand in an unknown tongue (1 Corinthians 14:19). Due to its purpose, the Spiritual gift of speaking in tongues caused itself to cease (1 Corinthians 13:8) when Israel again rejected God’s offer of salvation, and therefore is no longer active within the Church today. Speaking in tongues has no value within the assemblies (1 Corinthians 14:6), for unless there is an interpreter the one speaking is not understood by men, only God (1 Corinthians 14:2) and is only edifying himself (1 Corinthians 14:4). This does not mean speaking in tongues is a prayer language, that would require ignoring the context. We are to worship God in spirit (rational) and truth (John 4:24), which cannot be done when the mind does not understand what is being said (1 Corinthians 14:9 – for if I worship in a tongue, my spirit worships, but my mind is not fruitful).  

There is a lot of heresy built around speaking in tongues. Pentecostal and Charismatic assemblies, which are led by sons of Satan (Ephesians 2:2; 5:6; Colossians 3:6), preach a different Jesus and have a different spirit (2 Corinthians 11:4). Are you being influenced by a different spirit? Test each spirit (1 John 4:1). For those claiming to speak in tongues today, we have technology that can understand different spoken languages, test them. Excuses will be made, but the reality is it is false. For those who claim to speak in tongues, this testing can be very difficult to accept because often it becomes an integral part of a person’s identity, but remember it is not God who lied to you and now He is giving you an opportunity to be free from that lie, if you will take Him at His Word over that of men. The assembly is for the edification of all, not the lifting up of a few. Therefore, let us cast off ignorance and walk in the light while we grow together unto a full experiential knowledge of the Son of God, for Satan would love nothing more than to deceive us and get us to walk independently from God by those he has deceptively placed into the assemblies to do his will.

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Tongues (γλῶσσα)
Tongues (γλῶσσα)

Pastor Luther Walker • December 01, 2022

Through the prophet Isaiah, God told Israel that He would give them a sign by speaking with them in other tongues (Isaiah 28:11). Fifty days after the Passover, in which Christ was put to death by wicked men but raised out from the dead three days later by God, the disciples where in Jerusalem as they had been commanded (Acts 1:4) when the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 2:1-4) and they spoke in a different language.

Tongue (γλῶσσα) is a word that is used of the physical tongue, how a person speaks, and the language spoken. When Christ healed a deaf man with a speech impediment, the man’s tongue was loosed, and he spoke correctly (Mark 7:33-35). In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man asked for water to cool his tongue (Luke 16:24). In the book of Romans, we see that the tongue is used for speaking for with their tongues they deceive (Romans 3:13) and every tongue will verbally agree with God (Romans 14:11).

When it comes to the Spiritual gift of speaking in tongues, it is defined in the same context in which it first appears in Scripture. The intense sound made when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples caused many of the Jews in the city to come to see what was happening (Acts 2:6). Now at this time a lot of devout Jews, meaning they were saved under the Mosaic Law, from every nation under heaven were in the city and their reaction explains what was happening. They marveled because the disciples were speaking in their dialects (διάλεκτος) the wonderful works of God (Acts 2:11). They were not just speaking another language, but specific dialects from where these Jews lived among the nations. The context of the speech was also understood, for they were speaking of the greatness of God. Later, when Peter is called to Cornelius’ house, this same thing happens to the Gentiles, causing amazement to the Jews with Peter that the gift of God was also poured out on the Gentiles. They spoke in different dialects magnifying God (Acts 10:44-46).

The Spiritual gift of speaking in tongues is the ability to magnify God in another dialect not known by the speaker and it was given to the Church for a sign to the unbelieving Jews (1 Corinthians 14:14). As a sign to the Jews (1 Corinthians 14:22), Paul wished that all spoke in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:5); however, more so prophecy because it is understood by all. For within the assembly Paul would rather speak five words with understanding than ten thousand in an unknown tongue (1 Corinthians 14:19). Due to its purpose, the Spiritual gift of speaking in tongues caused itself to cease (1 Corinthians 13:8) when Israel again rejected God’s offer of salvation, and therefore is no longer active within the Church today. Speaking in tongues has no value within the assemblies (1 Corinthians 14:6), for unless there is an interpreter the one speaking is not understood by men, only God (1 Corinthians 14:2) and is only edifying himself (1 Corinthians 14:4). This does not mean speaking in tongues is a prayer language, that would require ignoring the context. We are to worship God in spirit (rational) and truth (John 4:24), which cannot be done when the mind does not understand what is being said (1 Corinthians 14:9 – for if I worship in a tongue, my spirit worships, but my mind is not fruitful).  

There is a lot of heresy built around speaking in tongues. Pentecostal and Charismatic assemblies, which are led by sons of Satan (Ephesians 2:2; 5:6; Colossians 3:6), preach a different Jesus and have a different spirit (2 Corinthians 11:4). Are you being influenced by a different spirit? Test each spirit (1 John 4:1). For those claiming to speak in tongues today, we have technology that can understand different spoken languages, test them. Excuses will be made, but the reality is it is false. For those who claim to speak in tongues, this testing can be very difficult to accept because often it becomes an integral part of a person’s identity, but remember it is not God who lied to you and now He is giving you an opportunity to be free from that lie, if you will take Him at His Word over that of men. The assembly is for the edification of all, not the lifting up of a few. Therefore, let us cast off ignorance and walk in the light while we grow together unto a full experiential knowledge of the Son of God, for Satan would love nothing more than to deceive us and get us to walk independently from God by those he has deceptively placed into the assemblies to do his will.

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The Place of Maturity for all Who are in the  Christ
The Place of Maturity for all Who are in the Christ

Pastor Luther Walker • December 01, 2022

υἱοθεσία (placement of a son) is a word that expresses the cultural concept of when a child has matured enough to no longer be required to be under guardians and stewards, he is placed as a son. While the child is an inarticulate babbler, he is under guardians and stewards until the appointed time of the father. During this time the child does not differ from a slave of the household (Galatians 4:1-2). Although typically used of a mature male child, a mature female child could also hold the position in homes that lacked a son.

This aspect is brought over into the Church because all those who are immersed into the Christ (the new creation God made when He raised Christ), are placed as sons.

… while having marked off our bounds to the placement of sons through Jesus Christ unto Himself, according to the good pleasure of His desirous will, Ephesians 1:5.

The significance of this, is that all who are placed as sons are not under law. Those under law, before faith in Christ came, were kept under guardians and tutors (Galatians 3:23-24). When the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those who were under law that they should be placed as sons (Galatians 4:4-5). As members of the Church, we did not receive a spirit of bondage, but one of son placement (Romans 8:15). Therefore, we live out from faith (Romans 1:17), not by law for the law does not require faith (Galatians 3:12). The placement of sons actually belongs to Israel but when they rejected righteousness through Christ God opened it up to the Gentiles who accepted the truth (Romans 9:4).

When Paul wrote that our bounds have been marked off to the placement of sons, he was expressing the concept of God’s will in which those who are placed into Christ would not be under law, for they would be given all things pertaining to life and godliness so they can train their senses to distinguish between good and wrong and use the new mind they have to discern the desirous will of God in all situations. That is, they spiritually mature.

As for the erroneous translation of “adoption”, it does not actually mean taking the legal responsibility as a parent of a child that is not a biological child. Rather, “ἄμφανσις - adopt” is used for that concept, where “ἐκποίητος” refers to the one who was given to be adopted. Not only is this a bad translation, but it is also directly refuted by the fact that we are legitimate children of God, for He has placed His seed within us (1 John 3:2,9).

Since we are not under law, we are expected to mature and live righteously. When we do not, God will child-train us to correct our actions (Hebrews 12:5-6). Even to the point of death, for He will not allow us to be condemned with the world (1 Corinthians 11:32). Therefore, the placement of sons has nothing to do with the sex of a person, it is a position of maturity. Our standard is the risen, glorified, Christ and we live up to this standard by setting our minds on the things above (Colossians 3:1-2) and lining up our actions with God’s opinion of us in Christ. As we mature, we come to a full experiential knowledge of who we are in Christ so that we are no longer tossed around by every wind of teaching by the trickery of men (Ephesians 4:13-14). To our faith we add virtue, to our virtue knowledge, and to our knowledge we add self-control, and to our self-control we add patience, and to our patience we add godliness, and to our godliness we add fondness and to our fondness we ad love, for while these things exist in us, we will never be unfruitful in the full experiential knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 1:5-8). But the one who lacks these things has forgotten that Christ cleansed us from our sins (2 Peter 1:9).

Therefore, as sons, let us live out the salvation we have in Christ, not by governing our lives through “do nots” but by manifesting who we are in Christ by loving other saints, doing good to all, and expressing a proper opinion of God through our lives as mature ones by living according to His opinion of us in Christ.

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An Inarticulate Babbler (νήπιος)
An Inarticulate Babbler (νήπιος)

Pastor Luther Walker • November 24, 2022

Describes a stage of development in humans where they are able to speak but are not knowledgeable enough to make sense in what they are conveying with words and actions. This carries over to mean anyone, of any age, who lacks understanding and therefore their words, conclusions, and actions do not show good reasoning. In Scripture the predominate use of this word is to describe those who lack in knowledge and the result is beliefs that are not based upon truth.

When Jesus’ prayer is recorded by Matthew, He thanks the Father for hiding things from the wise and prudent while revealing them to the inarticulate babblers (Matthew 11:25). This was in response to the rejection of the gospel of the Kingdom of the Heavens by the cities. For so many great works had been done in them, that if they had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented, and Sodom would remain until this day. He was not referring to young children; rather, to the people who did not understand Scripture in comparison to the Priest and Scribes.

We also see this concept in the culture, in relation to the maturity of a child. It is at the appointed time of the father that a child is placed as a son. This word for child is “an inarticulate babbler”. And while that child is in such a state, he is under tutors and stewards until he learns how to no longer be an inarticulate babbler (Galatians 4:1). This is a very important concept in the Christian life. For we are placed as sons (Ephesians 1:5) and therefore are not under law but expected to mature and act right by living through faith as we exercise our senses to discern right and wrong (Hebrews 5:14). We also see another example of this word used in describing adults that lack knowledge in Romans where Paul speaks of a Jew who teaches those that he sees as being inarticulate babblers (Romans 2:20).

Paul uses this word when speaking of the completion of the revelation from God in 1 Corinthians 13:11.

When I was an inarticulate babbler, I spoke as an inarticulate babbler, I framed the mind as an inarticulate babbler, I reasoned as an inarticulate babbler. When I became a man, I rendered ineffective the things of the inarticulate babbler.

Now that the completed revelation has come (1 Corinthians 13:10), prophesying out from a part is finished. For by the revelation of the entire mystery of God, prophecy was rendered ineffective. That is, there is no more reason for prophecy.

When it comes to Christians, those who are carnal (focused on the desires of the flesh) do not mature in their understanding for they are acting as inarticulate babblers and therefore cannot handle mature things (1 Corinthians 3:1). One who is an inarticulate babbler is held in bondage under the elementary principles of the world – touch not, taste not, handle not (Galatians 4:3). God gave us pastors even teachers so that we come to a full experiential knowledge of the truth in order that we are no longer inarticulate babblers tossed around by every wind of teaching by the trickery of men (Ephesians 4:14).

How do we become mature? We train our senses to distinguish between what is proper and what is lacking in character so that we can handle the meat of the word, not just milk (Hebrews 5:12-14). This is done by knowing and living out the desirous will of God. Many who have spent their whole lives in assemblies have never matured in their understanding of the truth and how to properly live out the salvation we have in Christ. This is because they remain focused on the fleshly desires through religious works and events that are all about making those involved feel good rather than learning Spiritual things that seek to fulfill God’s desires in our lives. As a result of their carnal lifestyle, they are tossed around by the teachings of men who seek to deceive them.

Through Christ’s death for our sins, burial, and resurrection on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), God made a new man in which Christ is the head and the Church is the body. Within this new man, all those who are immersed by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13) are placed as sons (Ephesians 1:3). Therefore, we are not seen as inarticulate babblers who need law to govern every aspect of our lives; rather, we are to mature, train our senses to discern right from wrong, know God’s desirous will for our lives, and live the remaining of our time in the flesh to the will of God, not to that of humans.

 

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The Importance of Self-Sufficiency in the World System
The Importance of Self-Sufficiency in the World System

Pastor Luther Walker • November 23, 2022

And make it your ambition (fondness of honor) to lead a tranquil life and to attend to your own things and to work with your hands just as we commanded you in order that you should walk becomingly towards those who are outside and not have need – 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

Ambition expresses the concept of what we have a fondness for honor in. It was Paul’s ambition to preach Christ where He had not been preached (Romans 15:20). It should be our ambition to lead a tranquil life. A life where we are content and at peace. The world system does not want us to have this type of lifestyle because through it we become self-sufficient while working with our own hands and minding our own business. If someone is not willing to work, then they should not eat from another’s labors (2 Thessalonians 2:10).

One of the aspects of godliness is contentment. Regardless of what we have on earth we are beloved in Christ and should be content with having food, clothing, and a roof over our head (1 Timothy 6:8).  So many issues are brought into our lives because we are not content with what we have (1 Timothy 6:9). This does not mean we cannot be motivated to improve our lives, for we should seek to grow, mature, become better, gain skills, work with our own hands so that we have more than we need and are able to help fellow saints in need. But through all that, we should be content with where God has us.

Contentment makes it difficult for the world system to influence us. It uses the desires from our flesh – newer things, a spouse, higher paying job, etc. to persuade us to seek those things through what it offers. It also uses the desires of the eyes to convince us to be jealous about what others have and wish if we only had money. This of course produces a fondness for money which is a root of all things wrong and brings a lot of harmful things into our lives (1 Timothy 6:10). In addition, it also uses the pride of biological life, which is where racism comes from. We are all human and come from the same source, so why would one think themselves better than another because of their ethnicity or color? It is because the world system wants to use this hatred for others to manipulate us to follow its desires (1 John 2:16). However, when we become self-sufficient, the desires of the world system do not hold such sway over us, and we are then able to properly use the things of the world without being overcome by them (1 Corinthians 7:31).

Therefore, as children of God, let our ambition be to lead a tranquil life while becoming self-sufficient by using what God has given us in Christ so that we can be content in any situation, working with our hands so that we are no longer manipulated by the desires from the world, but rather, standing as luminaries to those around by finding honor in contentment and a tranquil life.

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Poor (πτωχός)
Poor (πτωχός)

Pastor Luther Walker • November 22, 2022

Poor is a word that means to lack something. It can be used of financial means, understanding, knowledge, or doctrine. If we are not careful with context it can be miss applied by implying it is addressing someone who is in financial need, but really is lacking in other areas.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus refers to the poor in spirit as being happy ones (Matthew 5:3). He is referring to the Jews during the Tribulation period who will be lacking information concerning what the man of lawlessness is doing in the temple after Israel flees to the wilderness because he has set himself up as God. When Jesus said He came to preach good news to the poor, He was not referring to those who lacked financial means, but the truth. He healed the lame, cleansed the lepers, even raised the dead, while presenting the good news to those who were poor in understanding (Matthew 11:5).

We live in a time where wealth and numbers are more valuable to the assemblies than truth, because they are poor in doctrine (Revelation 3:14-22). Many claim to follow Jesus, but really are just mockers of the truth following after their own ungodly desires (Jude 17-19). They masquerade as messengers of light, just as Satan does, while walking in darkness not knowing where they go and leading others astray with them.

When it comes to the things of the world system and religion, they are described as weak and poor (Galatians 4:9-10). Touch not, taste not, observance of days, months, new moons. These have an appearance of wisdom but are just weak and poor self-made religions serving to indulge the flesh (Colossians 2:21-23).

It is far greater of an issue to be poor in doctrine than to be in financial need. In Revelation, Christ councils us to seek after the things of value from Him, not wealth like a church that is lukewarm (Revelation 3:14-22). How? By seeking out the assembly that is guarding the Word and not denying His name (Revelation 3:8). This is an assembly that will teach how to live out the Christian life, not by law, but by grace. Today, these assemblies are small, but not weak. They are not the reformed, covenant, community, progressive, catholic, or denominational churches (Revelation 3:9), who are called out in Revelation for their heresy (Revelation 2:18-29; 3:1-6, 14-22). The focus in these assemblies will not be in worship services but teaching proper doctrine so the attendees come to a full experiential knowledge of Christ through understanding the Word of God and living it out. You won’t see them holding community events or other worldly focus ministries that only seek to make their followers feel good about themselves; rather, they will be the ones who care for each other and look after each other as a family. They are the ones that put the saints first in all things and love through actions not words (Galatians 6:10; John 13:34). They are the ones who are not poor in the areas that matter.

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Foreknowledge (πρόγνωσις)
Foreknowledge (πρόγνωσις)

Pastor Luther Walker • November 22, 2022

The English word “Prognosis” comes from this Greek word and still carries its basic meaning. A prediction of an outcome based upon prior knowledge. Typically used in the medical field, where the prior knowledge of the physician is called upon to determine the best course of action to heal a sickness, injury, or disease.

Paul uses prognosis in his defense before Agrippa, calling upon the Jews who all have a previous knowledge of Paul’s lifestyle as a Pharisee (Acts 26:5). After Peter discusses the new heavens and new earth, he encourages us to be on our guard because we have a prior knowledge that what is now will be totally destroyed (2 Peter 3:17).

When it comes to God and His prior knowledge, this same word is used. God marked off the bounds to be conformed to the image of His son, those He foreknew (Romans 8:29). The foreknowledge goes back to the plan God determined before the creation of the universe, in which He determined to set a specific group aside to be conformed to His Son. This foreknowledge is not looking at the individual, but the council that the Godhead determined to fulfill.

Speaking concerning Israel, Paul explains that God has not rejected the people that He foreknew. Israel was set aside to God as a nation and God will not cast them off but will fulfill His Word to them. Elijah learned this while thinking he was the only one left. No, God had seven thousand men who had not bowed the knee to Baal, even though it appeared that all others had. (Romans 11:2-4).

Prior to the foundations of the universe, God the Father determined that God the Son would be wrapped in flesh and serve as a precious lamb without blemish, through which the Church is purchased (1 Peter 1:20). This foreknowledge does not go back to Christ as a human, for prior to His incarnation, God the Son was not ever wrapped in flesh; rather, it is referring to Christ’s coming according to the foreknowledge of the council of the Godhead that determined it would happen.

We even see God’s foreknowledge in time concerning persecution and how those who are persecuted will be scattered. In Peter’s first letter, he addresses the elect strangers who were scattered according to the foreknowledge of God (1 Peter 1:1-2). There is a major translation issue with this verse that makes it appear Peter is stating that we are elect according to the foreknowledge of God. However, this is only within the translations because a theologian moved the word “elect” out of its order to justify the false belief of predestination. It actually states – Peter an apostle of Jesus Christ to the elect strangers of a scattering of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynian according to the foreknowledge of God the Father…. God’s foreknowledge has to do with their scattering, not election to salvation.

Foreknowledge is based upon a prior experience that provides the knowledge necessary to determine the course or path of an event or circumstance. The only time foreknowledge is used for an individual is with Paul while defending himself before Agrippa, where he called upon the Jews who had a foreknowledge of him. Within the decree of God, He determined certain things would happen, such as salvation coming through God the Son’s sacrifice and a specific group of those saved would be placed as sons in Christ so they could be conformed to the image of His Son. However, Scripture does not state that an individual is foreknown in the sense that God acts according to what He previously knew a person would do; rather, God acts according to the foreknowledge of what He determined to do.

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Trespass (παράπτωμα)
Trespass (παράπτωμα)

Pastor Luther Walker • November 21, 2022

Trespass expresses the meaning of committing an offence by crossing bounds where you are not permitted. Within Scripture, “trespass” is used to describe what happens within the mind when a person determines to commit a sin, where sin is used to describe the action (1 John 3:4 the sin is the lawlessness).

As a result of Adam’s sin, we are all under condemnation (Romans 5:12 also thus unto all men the death passed, on the basis that all sinned) so we are therefore subject to physical death (Romans 5:14 But the death reigned from Adam until Moses). However, it all started with Adam’s trespass, for by it we were all separated from God in our spirit (Romans 5:17 For since in the trespass of the one [man] the death reigned through the one [man]). Adam determined within his mind to violate God’s law by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, rejecting true logics and truth from God, and then fulfilled that determination resulting in sin. This is why Scripture states we are dead in both our trespasses and our sins. (Ephesians 2:1 And you being dead in your trespass and sins …).

Christ was delivered over to the cross because of our trespasses (Romans 4:25) and through His blood we have the forgiveness (sending away) of trespasses (Ephesians 1:7), along with the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:14). His cross work therefore not only dealt with the action that separated humans from Him, but also the process within the mind that resulted in the action.

For Christians, what happens within the mind and the result of what we determine to do is important to understand. Today, God is not counting trespasses against us (2 Corinthians 5:19); however, that does not mean they do not have a negative impact on us. When we determine to do something that will be sin, we are offending God because we have crossed over into an area we do not belong. God has given us all things pertaining to life and Godliness (2 Peter 1:3), including a new mind by which we can understand the things of the Spirit (Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 2:15), be led by the Spirit (Galatians 5:18), and therefore discern right from wrong (Hebrews 5:14). When using this mind, we will never allow a bad thought to work out to a determination to perform it so that we sin because we are seeking out the desires of the Spirit rather than the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17); therefore, by identifying the source of the desire (thought) we will overcome it by applying the proper defense we have in Christ. We cannot sin within our minds, for sin is always an action, but how we frame our minds and what determinations we permit to reside within it directly impact our activities and can even bring us into a state of unrighteousness because we have determined to do something we know is wrong.  

Therefore, knowing that although we were dead in our trespasses (Ephesians 2:5), God made us alive in Christ, let us use what God has given to us in Christ. We cannot control the thoughts that come into our minds, but we can determine what to do with them. By taking the time to understand where our desires come from, while lining them up with who we are in Christ, we can reject the bad ones and determine to fulfill the righteous ones, thereby living a life that truly shows a proper opinion of God because our thoughts are being governed by the desires from the Spirit not the flesh and therefore our actions show we are God’s children, forgiven of our trespasses, washed from our sins, and fully sanctified unto Him.  

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Conviction (ἔλεγχος)
Conviction (ἔλεγχος)

Pastor Luther Walker • November 20, 2022

Conviction, the evidence or proof that a belief is based upon. Faith is the substance of that which is hoped for, the conviction of accomplished works not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Since hope is always based upon a promise (Romans 8:24), faith in the one giving the promise is what undergirds the hope we have, even though we cannot at this time look at what was promised. When used in action it still carries the same meaning; therefore, Scripture, which is God-breathed, is profitable towards teaching and conviction, along with correction and child-training (2 Timothy 3:16). Which is why the Pastor is instructed to preach in season and out of season while convicting along with rebuking in all longsuffering and doctrine (2 Timothy 4:2).

There is so much great information in these passages and the meaning of the words, like teaching is different from doctrine, and child-training is specific to Christians, along with the fact that the Scripture is actually God-breathed, but we will have to look at these another time. Understanding conviction is important, because it is not about accusing a person, but about why we believe what we believe. The conviction is not judgment but laying out the truth so that our faith is shown to be based upon actual promises from God, not from humans. We see this with the Holy Spirit’s work concerning the unbelievers today. He convicts them of a sin – not believing in Christ’s death for sins and resurrection (John 16:8-11), righteousness – because Christ goes to the Father, and judgment – because the ruler of this world has been judged. He is not making them feel bad about their sins, but convincing them through truth of the facts of the Gospel for Salvation (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

As a result of who we are in Christ, we are not to fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but are to convict them (Ephesians 5:11). A good example of this is when Christians try to live through law rather than out from faith. Their works are unfruitful because these ones are not walking by faith and taking God at His Word; rather, they are using the flesh. They, along with all others who walk in darkness, should be convicted by our lifestyle as a result of walking in the light and the truth we speak. Walking in the darkness means a life that is focused on fulfilling the desires of the flesh and ignoring spiritual things. Light is God’s life in activity. When walking in the light, we are manifesting a quality of the life of God – the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

“Convict” in English can carry a meaning of some offense or crime; however, in Scripture the original language expresses conviction, which is the act of fully persuading someone based upon truth, such as is seen with faith being the conviction of that which is hoped for but not yet seen as we wait to receive it. So when Jude wrote of the judgment to come when the ungodly will be convicted of their ungodly works, this shows that when judgment comes upon them they will be convinced by the facts of their works and truth showing they are fully deserving of what they receive in return for their works. Jude 15 – to do judgment and according to all also to convince every soul concerning their ungodly works … .

It is not our words that will convict others around us of the truth, but our actions. This does not mean we will always get a positive result because there are some that do not want to know the truth and will react very negatively when convinced of it. But there are others that will be convicted of their unbelief or ungodly works and respond by changing their mind. Therefore, let the conviction of our faith be seen through our lifestyle, not just our words, because faith without works is dead.

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Communication with God – Supplication
Communication with God – Supplication

Pastor Luther Walker • November 19, 2022

When it comes to communication, the importance of being accurate and clear so those we are speaking with understand what we are trying to convey to them cannot be overstated. Unclear communication causes a lot of confusion and issues. When it comes to communicating with God, we are the ones who need to have clarity and understanding in how we properly speak with Him and in what manner we are to communicate. Because we worship God in spirit and truth, our communication also needs to be rational and according to the way things really are (John 4:23-24). When faced with a difficult situation our prayer is often going to involve supplication, which is a cry for help.

You all be anxious in nothing, but in everything with the worship and the supplication after thanksgiving, make known your request towards God – Philippians 4:6

When we are anxious, our communication should start out with worship, which is giving God credit for what He has done and Who He is, along with our supplication after we have expressed our appreciation. This order is important because it gets our minds in the correct place so that our requests are appropriate, for we do not want to be demanding our desires but seeking God’s will in the situation. This may mean that we or our loved ones do not get healed or saved from the state we are in, for through it God may be working out something far greater than we can see. We have a very good example with Christ, who during the days in His flesh, He offered up both supplication and petitions with strong crying and tears to the One who could rescue Him out from death and the Father heard Him (Hebrews 5:7), raising Him from the dead so that death will never again reign over Him.

There are times we have to deal with suffering in this world due to its corruption. Whether it is cancer, or some other life-threatening disease, a tragedy, something brought on by our own sin and lifestyle, or just the unknown, there are times were we can face some very difficult situations. During these times our communication to God should be done in an intelligent and meaningful way, for we are not speaking to sticks and stones, but a living God. One Who hears and responds.

Therefore, when we call out for help, let us do it properly so that our minds are stabilized by our communication, knowing that God hears us and He will take care of the situation, for we can cast all our anxiety upon Him (1 Peter 5:7), while not forgetting the strong supplication of the righteous works out much (James 5:16) and the Lord hears the supplication of the righteous (1 Peter 3:12).

And let us always remember, just because all we see is destruction and ashes this does not mean God is not listening, for God the Father raised Christ out from the dead, answering Christ’s supplication while totally defeating Satan, sin, and death so that Christ was victorious over all, for there is nothing to difficult for Him.

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Apostasy (ἀποστασία)
Apostasy (ἀποστασία)

Pastor Luther Walker • November 18, 2022

Apostasy means “to stand away from”. It is created by taking the Greek preposition ἀπὸ (from) and adding it to ἵστημι (to stand). Unfortunately, often times the English definition of this word is implied to Scripture, rather than its proper translated meaning.

This is especially prevalent in 2 Thessalonians where some imply that before the coming of Christ there will be a departure from the faith. However, what is being departed from must be defined by context because apostasy (ἀποστασία) only means “to stand away from”. The English definition adds “from the faith”. This is one of the issues that is caused by not translating a word. The transliterated word begins to take on a definition of its own that does not reflect the meaning of the original word. This new definition is then applied to the original, perverting its meaning.

Apostasy (ἀποστασία) is used for departing from a religious system, but what is being departed from is defined by the context. In Acts 21 James is speaking with Paul as he tries to outwit the Jews in Jerusalem because they have been told that Paul teaches the Jews among the Gentiles to forsake Moses.

And it has been reported to them concerning you, that you teach departure from Moses, all the Jews according to the Gentiles saying, do not circumcise their children nor walk in the customs – Acts 21:21.

However, apostasy is also used of departing from the earth. In 2 Thessalonians, Paul is writing of the day of the Lord when we will gather together with Him. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, where Paul gives more details on what happens at this time, our meeting is in the air.

Now I request you, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together concerning Him, to not be quickly shaken from the mind neither be troubled whether through spirit or through word or through a letter as through us, as that the day of the Lord has happened (ἐνίστημι – in standing). Do not let someone deceive you according to any manner, because unless the departure (ἀποστασία) comes first also the revelation of the man of lawlessness, the son of destruction. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3.  

Until the Church meets Christ in the air, and therefore the departure from the earth happens, the man of lawlessness will not be revealed. Since the man of lawlessness begins the tribulation period with the signing of the seven-year peace covenant with Israel, the Church is removed from the earth before the tribulation period. The “apostasy” in context here in 2 Thessalonians is clearly the departure from the earth, not the faith.

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