VIII. The Ministry
“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it;
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it;
And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star; He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels; Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name; To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
Revelation, chapters 2,3 & 21
GRACE FOR OVERCOMING
Overcoming the world, the flesh, and namely, the devil–those who do so are promised an abundance of eternal blessings by our Lord, as our opening Scripture for this chapter attests.
We have been given the grace through the Blood of Jesus to not let any of the adversaries have dominion over us. It is he who overcomes by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of his testimony, and loves not his life unto the death, that shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. The word ‘overcome’ in the Greek means to subdue, conquer and carry off in victory. He who conquers is what the Master is saying here; and our weapons are such by His Blood, that if we but walk with and obey Him, He will see us through to more than conquering; and we will receive the inheritance of the conqueror of which He speaks. For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 Jn. 5: 4-5). These will be those who did not give way to the honor of men and the seduction of demons; Out of the seven churches, we come to the revelation that only a remnant in them shall be saved, for the Holy Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; But there shall be those who will have known Him that is from the beginning; those who will overcome the wicked one, and know and love the Master, and love and are loved by our Father; there are those who will be strong in the strength that is Jesus, for the Word Himself shall abide in them; It will be those that love not the world, neither the things that are in the world; for if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is seduction in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world will pass away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God shall abide forever (1 Jn. 2: 15-17).
Just how many will survive the great end-time apostasy is unknown. What we do know is that apostasy is a matter of the heart; many are waiting for masses of people to desert the church—many in the church have already deserted Jesus and the church through the heart. Many of God’s children are not overcoming, but have been overcome. There is rampant abuse and sinful indulgence of every kind, everywhere, including the church. We have ministered to homosexuals, crack addicts, heroine addicts, murderers, and victims of abuse of all kinds—in the church. As stated earlier, the height of deception is calling evil, good, and, good, evil, and the Scripture pronounces woe on those who do such. Many Christian women have exercised their freedom of choice, and terminated their pregnancies; This is not a freedom found anywhere in the Scriptures, but yet many fall into the deception that the woman can, in the interest of controlling her own body, abort a fetus. Such action lets spirits invade the woman’s life to the point that many sink to near unredeemable levels of sorrow and guilt. Infanticide is an abomination to God but it is forgivable. We have worked with many women who have suffered the spiritual repercussions of choosing abortion. We do not condemn them, we preach repentance, the forgiveness of God, and the cleansing of the Blood of Jesus and intimacy and fellowship with Him, to them. To those who come with Godly sorrow and repentance, there is forgiveness, cleansing, and restoration, and, many times, a ministry is given to these women to serve and help many sisters making the same woeful choice–those who come to Jesus with their whole heart will be graced to overcome.
People tack politically correct name tags on lifestyles that the Bible strictly prohibits, and in an effort to remain inoffensive and ‘pastoral’, many ministers pat these “alternative lifestyles” on the head, and even let them invade the pulpits of our churches. In our effort to love the sinner and hate his sin, we have come to an age of tolerance and cheap grace not sanctioned by Scripture. Again we see the invasion of the doctrine of demons–we have called evil good, for we have moved from not only justifying the sinner, but in our fear of offending him, the deception that is upon us justifies his sin as well. The bottom line of the gospel of Jesus is repent and live, or persist in your sin and perish, and its time we drove this home into the lives of many who, though they sit in pews every Sunday, are still heading for the White Throne; without Godly repentance, there is no Cloak for sin. This is not a judgment call by man; this is the judgment of the Word of God. Idols dominate the landscape, and are tolerated under the guise of economic progress, art and sophistication, inviting the devil himself and polluting every eye that beholds; heroes wallow in their millions, as they step over Lazarus at the gate of the arena; honest men labor and the slothful pick-up a check; our children are raped and murdered—and they commit rape and murder, as we fight to the death for the letter of filth concerning first amendment rights, ignoring the Spirit of the laws implemented foundationally from the word of God. Greed has permitted practices that spawn diseases fast becoming untreatable and incurable as water and food is poisoned in the name of bigger crops and fatter animals and corporate profits. Gunshots forever echo in the halls of our schools, as our kids, many abused and ignored by parents, look to the violent and lustful screen for direction and entertainment. The fruit of America has been inundated with worms, rotting from the inside out…..we are a nation sorely in need of deliverance, having fallen victim to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, and unless the loins of our pulpits become girded, judgment shall surely sweep us away–the church included. For we know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night, and that judgment will come first to the house of God.
For when they shall say, Peace and safety, such as many are saying now, then sudden destruction shall come upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. You are all the children of light, and the children of the day: you are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch (1Thessalonians 5: 3-6a)–and be sober, be vigilant; because our adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, is walking about, devouring many, and seeking more; resist him steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in our brethren that are in the world. 1 Pet. 5: 8-9). They that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Wherefore, let us comfort ourselves together, and edify one another. 1Thessalonians 5: 7-11
Let us be patient in our suffering, as best as we can, seizing the grace to do so, that after we have suffered a while, our Father of all grace might make us perfect and establish, strengthen, and settle us.
Universal rule of the Kingdom of God:
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
It is not enough for me to tell people where and how satan is in their lives, if I don’t first testify of Jesus—for satan cannot be eradicated but by Jesus, and it is my relationship with Him that puts satan on alert;
I can tell people they need to forgive—they cannot forgive without a relationship with Jesus;
I can tell people to repent, and though they may be able to repent, repentance is a gift of God as the apostle tells us, and apart from Jesus, they cannot sustain repentance.
I can tell people that they need to grow in holiness and sanctification, but apart from an intimate relationship with Jesus, they will not grow in either.
I can tell people to worship God in Spirit and in Truth—apart from a relationship with Jesus, they will worship in vain.
Satan will instruct us, telling us we need to obey the word of God, and many set out to do so—without Jesus.
****I can tell people they need to make a choice—a decision on discipleship—they cannot do it without seeking Jesus first—His call graces discipleship into being—Jesus must speak to them first and foremost, as I lead them to Him—not with the consequences of the Gospel, but with who He is and what He has done—If I by my flesh and blood try to reveal Him to them, spiritual revelation will not come; If I, through the Spirit of God, bring revelation of Jesus to them, they will respond. We must not get the cart before the horse: Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you Mt. 6: 33—all Jesus commands, He gives—-not automatically up front, but through relationship with Him—“apart from me you can do nothing.” (Jn. 15: 5)—this is the all-encompassing rule of the Kingdom of God. The full counsel of God, comes after I relate the full counsel of who Jesus is and what He has done—this is the office and duty of the Holy Spirit; conviction will then come.
*BEHOLD I SEND YOU
1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.
3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
4 Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.
5 And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.
6 And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.
7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.
8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:
9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
10 But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,
11 Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come nigh unto you.
12 But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.
13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
14 But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.
15 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.
16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
Ver. 1. Before His face into every city and place, whither He Himself would come—This is a great comfort to this mission of the disciple—he has been sent to pave the way for Jesus.
Ver. 2. — Therefore said He unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth laborers into his harvest. We have prayed for laborers and they have come, and they will keep coming—we must continue to pray; many are sitting in comfortable churches are looking to get out and win souls, and do the work of the ministry.
Ver. 3. — Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
What do wolves do to lambs? —He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. Isa 53:6—they shall turn on you and shall rend you—it happens in the life of the disciple.
They must set out with an expectation of trouble and persecution: “Behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves; but go your ways, and resolve to make the best of it. Your enemies will be as wolves, bloody and cruel, and ready to pull you to pieces; in their threatenings and revilings, they will be as howling wolves to terrify you; in their persecutions of you, they will be as ravening wolves to tear you. But you must be as lambs, peaceable and patient, though made an easy prey of. It would have been very hard thus to be sent forth as sheep among wolves, if Jesus had not endued them with his Spirit and His courage. These first missionaries were to go forth unarmed and unprovided for. They were to be a type of strange, seemingly weak preachers, before whose simple words and unarmed presence, the great system of paganism was to go down. One of the rare but beautiful traditional sayings of the Lord is referred to the first occasion of his speaking the words of this third verse. Peter is said to have asked him, “But how, then, if the wolves tear the lambs?” And the Lord said, “Let not the lambs fear the wolves, when the lambs are once dead” (these lambs are to live the crucified life in which they die daily, but have no fear of temporal death of the flesh); and then added again the words of Matthew 10:28, “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Ver. 4. — Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes. And salute no man by the way.
See here the poverty of the true disciple. This especially refers to the length and tediousness of Eastern salutations, often very unreal, and which would consume much valuable time. Men were to see that one absorbing interest possessed them, and that to them was no time given for the ordinary useless amenities of life, but to the preaching of the gospel only.
Ver. 5. — Peace be to this house. When we pray for people who are looking for Jesus, His peace which is our peace, falls on them—this is the Kingdom of God coming nigh to them.
Ver. 6. — The son of peace. We minister Jesus to them and He moves in them and on them.
Ver. 7. — And in the same house remain.… Go not from house to house. Make camp in one place—time is to be spent bringing the Kingdom—not in trifling with the temporal.
Ver. 8. — Eat such things as are set before you.
(1) an instruction to be content with whatever their host should set before
them, avoiding even the appearance of caring or wishing for flesh-serving advantages;
Ver. 9. — And heal the sick that are therein. These were great powers to confer upon poor weak men — men, too, only in the very dawn of faith — and their naive surprise and joy (see ver. 17) show how little they believed in their possession of such powers, even after their Master’s words announcing to them the gift. This is what we do—we deliver people and they are healed—sometimes physically, but always Spiritually—if they want to be.
10 But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,
11 Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. Matt 7:5-6;——- He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. Matt 10:40
We must announce the judgments of God against those who should reject us and our message: “If you enter into a city, and they do not receive you, if there be none there disposed to hearken to your doctrine, leave them, v. 10. If they will not heed your preaching of me into their lives, don’t you give them warning in their streets.” He orders them to (Lk 9:5) do as he had ordered the apostles to do: “Say to them, not with rage, or scorn, or resentment, but with compassion to their perishing souls, and a holy dread of the judgment day, which they are bringing upon themselves, Even the dust of your city—your life– which cleaves to us, we do wipe off against you, v. 11. From them do not receive anything at all, be not beholden to them. It cost that prophet of the Lord dear who accepted a meal’s meat with a prophet in Bethel, (1 Kin. 13:1-26). Tell them that you will not carry with you the dust and dirt of their lives; let them take it to themselves, for dust they are.” It shall be a witness for Jesus’ ministers that they had been there according to their Master’s order: Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Acts 20:26-27
It shall be a witness against those who refuse to receive Jesus and His word concerning those who are unrepentant and steeped in sin and bondage—“repent ye and believe the gospel,” (Mk. 1: 15) is His command. And we are to tell them and we are to shake their dust from our feet of those we minister to for months who still refuse to heed the message. We are not to compromise or water down the message, and we must warn them to be sure of the message and its impact on their lives—temporally and eternally. It is in our telling them that the kingdom of God is come nigh to them; Here is the plain truth of the gospel—choose this day whom you will serve The gospel is brought to your doors; if you shut your doors against it, your blood is upon your own head. Now that the kingdom of God is come nigh to you, if you will not come up to it, and come into it, your sin will be unforgiven, and your condemnation sure.
Ver. 12. — But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.
Ver. 13. — Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
Jesus here starts to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, but the people refused to repent and come to Him. Men will be judged not only for what they have done or failed to do, but their opportunities, their circumstances, their chances in life, will be, before they are judged, strictly taken into account.
Ver. 14. — But it shall be more tolerable for Tyro and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. Tyre and Sidon, those representative examples of the luxury and vileness of the great cities of the old pagan world, will, when the dreadful awards are made, be beaten with few stripes, while the cities spoken of here, wilt be beaten with many, because these last listened unrepentant to the word of the gospel, and gazed unmoved at the mighty works of mercy of Jesus; This is one of the passages in the New Testament where the doctrine of degrees in punishment is plainly set forth, and in words which fell from the lips of the Master Himself.
Ver. 15. — And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell. The present state of the site where this city once lay, is indeed so desolate and miserable that we can scarcely picture to ourselves that it was once a populous, crowded city; some thirty years after this woe had been uttered by Jesus, in the terrible wars in which Rome avenged herself on the Jewish hatred and scorn, this beautiful city was absolutely laid to waste. Jewish historian Josephus, who had been dwelling on the loveliness of the place, described the city as “strewn with wrecks and putrefying bodies.”
16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
We are instructed by Jesus not to cast our pearls before swine, lest they turn on us and rend us; yet we are reminded that we are sent as sheep amongst wolves, and we know what wolves do to sheep. But as sacrificial animals—sheep—we keep going—dumb to the shearer, dumb to the slaughter.
God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him. Acts 10: 38
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and forever. Heb 13:8
The first vital question for the person you are ministering to is “where are you with Jesus and where is He with you?” Jesus is the foundation of all that you are doing, so He must be brought in at the outset, so that He can be allowed to direct you, and you will be open to Him doing the ministry. If the person you are ministering to has no relationship with Jesus, you need to lead the person to the Lord; Mere acceptance of Jesus is not enough; the full counsel regarding confession of sin, and repentance from it, and a lifetime walk of love and obedience to Jesus must be included:
20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. 2 Pet 2:20-22
God’s design in favoring them thus was to bring them to repentance and intimacy with Jesus; hey thus frustrate the mercy and grace of God—giving lip service to true repentance, failing to bring forth the fruits meet for it; the doom of those who thus receive the grace of God in vain will be very fearful. They that were thus exalted, not turning to Jesus, will be thrust down to hell, thrust down with disgrace and dishonor. They will thrust in to get into heaven, in the crowd of professors, but in vain; they shall be thrust down, to their everlasting grief and disappointment, into the lowest hell, and hell will be hell indeed to them, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth:
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Rev) 21:8
fearful— deilos (di-los’); timid, i.e. (by implication) faithless:
The cowardly, those who do not acquit themselves as men and women of God because imagination of consequence overtakes their faith; Those who through fear of men, withdraw from the will of God; Those who succumb to the fearful threats of satan, thus ignoring the soverienty of God and His deliverance and salvation.
unbelieving— apistos (ap’-is-tos); actively disbelieving, i.e. without faith in Jesus; (especially, a heathen); not to be trusted; without trust (in God);
Jesus– as to those to whom He sent his ministers: will reckon Himself treated according as His ministers are treated, v. 16. What is done to the minister, is done, as it were, to the Master that sends him–“he that hears you, and regards what you say, hears Me, and honors Me; but, he that despises you does in effect despise me, and shall be reckoned with as having rejected Me; he thus despises Him that sent Me—he despises our Father in heaven.” And they who despise the faithful ministers of Jesus, who hate and persecute them, look scornfully upon them, and turn their backs upon their ministry, will be reckoned with as despisers of God and will not receive acknowledgment from Jesus before our Father on the dreadful day of judgment.
*WHOM DO YOU SAY JESUS IS?
13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
If we are to effectively minister Jesus to people, we must first know who He is ourselves. This relationship must be established, for it contains all that is vital to ministry. Do you know Jesus as He is, or as others have presented Him to you? It is out of your intimacy with, and your everyday worship of, Jesus, that the anointing for the ministry comes.
Jesus here is moving the disciples to a decision as to who He is to them; Determined now to reveal Himself, He desires to make them express the mistaken views which were rife concerning His Person and is office and mission, and to weigh all they had heard, all they had experienced with Him, and make the decision as to who and what He is to them. He is still asking the same question today, and it is this question that we must put to any we minister to—who and what is Jesus to you—where are you with Jesus, and where is He with you. Up till now, Jesus had not said who He was, but had left all to judge who He is by His works. Notice here He is asking who the people—the common people—say He is; He had already been persecuted by the scribers and Pharisees—the leaders of the church—and was now enquiring what the disciples had heard about Him from the common man.
14 And they said, Some say that you art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
See the differing opinions given by men here; this is an example of the division Jesus causes; the Truth of who He is yough, is a united Truth—it is whole—and to truly know who He is, one must be drawn to Him by our Father, and it is our Father who must then reveal Him; see the flesh and blood answers given here. If we do not cling to Him and love Him for who and what He is, we will find our opinions of Him divided and wavering. Notice that all the men mentioned here had already died and were all great men of God; see these people believing that Jesus is a great man of God, but the inference is, that He is only a man—“a great Prophet.” Herod thought that Jesus was animated by the spirit of John the Baptist (Mt. 14: 1-20); Of the men here mentioned, we can draw two conclusions: that Jesus obviously had a high reputation among the people, but He was not regarded as the Messiah; Thanks to the scribes and Pharisees, He was seen as a forerunner to the true Messiah. People we minister to will have all sorts of varying opinions as to who Jesus is, and what He is to them; to minister Jesus to them, we must first come to the truth as to who He is ourselves—who He is to us. If we have not come to Him and pursued Him by grace, we will not be able to effectively minister Him by grace.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
The disciple is closer to Jesus than any others; It is in this closeness, that revelation comes as to who He is; check the various areas of your lives—your time at His feet, your sacrificing for others, your worship, your tithes and offerings, your pride, your lust—it is your witness in these areas that will tell you who you think Jesus is and what He really is to you. To say you love Him and are intimate with Him, and to not give to His work, is hypocrisy—for true love for Him always translates into true obedience to Him. To preach His preachings and teach His teachings, with out walking them out yourself, is hypocrisy of the gravest sort, and again, reveals who He is to you. It was on this inquiry of the twelve, that hung the foundation of the church, and it is this inquiry of the Master today to you and me, and all who proclaim Him that holds the foundation of the church together. The closer you are to Him, the better you can relate to others, who He really is. When we are being raised by God to train and teach others, and to save, heal, and deliver them, we must first come to the awful truth about Jesus, and when coming to that truth we must in no way compromise it. To compromise what He is to us, will compromise what we are able to minister of Him to those to whom we are called.
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, You art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
See the vehement loyalty of Peter here—he silences all hesitation on the part of the other eleven, and declares boldly what must be the conviction of all the Master’s disciples. He boldly speaks out the persuasion the grace of God had wrought in the depths of His soul—He knows that He knows; Imagine trying to debate him over the issue. We must arrive at this point with Jesus—that we know without doubt or compromise, who He is, what He has done, what He requires and commands—we must not strive or debate about it, or negotiate at the table of the table of the enemy about it.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
“blessed” as in the blessed Jesus uses in the sermon on the mount—same Greek word, which would really insinuate a benediction, more than a mere confession; Jesus addresses Peter here as “son of Jona”—and does so again when reminding him of his frail human nature in the face of great spiritual privileges: So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. John 21:15; “flesh and blood” is used by Jesus here to express the idea of the natural man, to whom Spiritual things are not discerned. Interesting that Paul also uses the phrase in the 6th chapter of Ephesians when telling us that we “wrestle not against flesh and blood;” It is the grace of God, that He, by His revelation, overcomes our slowness of apprehension, prejudices, education and lack of faith.
Those who refuse to get into union with Jesus will find that their ministries and lives will be conducted according to flesh and blood, not the Spirit of God.
So the first question must be answered, and if the person does not know Jesus, it is your job to introduce them, and lead them to Him; confession of need for Him, confession of the lost sinful state from which only Jesus can rescue, and, entering into an eternal walk of love for Him and obedience to Him, are the steps that need to be taken. If the question of baptism comes up, yes, they must be baptized, whether they were as an infant or not. This will be God’s time for them to receive baptism, and publicly acknowledge their need for and their allegiance to, Jesus.
Once the person has been led to the Lord it is time to start the ministry. There may be several areas of the person’s life that Jesus wants to deal with. You will learn much by asking, and then listening. As you open up the ministry session, listening will be the most important phase—remember it is the One Great Listener, who is resurrecting inside you. Satan works in a deception beyond our comprehension at times, so we must listen to see where the word of God is being violated, what Jesus is saying at the time, and where the enemy has gotten in.
We all suffer from hurts and abuses of the past; what we must remember, is, that we too have hurt people and have abused them—this fact is of great value when ministering to someone who has been hurt and abused, and it is a valid question to ask them as they stubbornly refuse to forgive their abuser, if, in fact, they have ever hurt or abused anyone. Just about all abusers have been abused; they hurt and act out the anger and rage of that hurt because of the abuse they have suffered. We need to get the abused to see their abusers in that light; the goal of Jesus is to bring them into intimacy with Him, and to let Him fill them with Himself to the point that they are able receive His gift of forgiveness and to say from their heart—“Father forgive them.” Such heart-felt utterance is perfect evidence that Jesus has manifested in the person’s mortal flesh, for there is not one person who can say that from the heart, without Jesus authoring it. Jesus will break any bondage on a person who has seized the grace of a heart for Him—there absolutely must be a turning from sin (repentance), and confession of sin, and the asking of Jesus to come in and be Lord of the life. If people refuse to turn, confess, and repent, then we refuse to minister, but we do counsel them as to what they need to do, as Peter did to Simon the magician when Simon wanted the power of the Holy Spirit:
21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter: for your heart is not right in the sight of God.
22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
23 For I perceive that you art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
The gall of bitterness— A Hebraism for excessive bitterness: gall, wormwood, and such like, are used to express the dreadful effects of sin in the soul; the bitter unwillingness to repent, bitter regret, bitter sufferings, bitter hate, pride, and anger which the sin of an unGodly heart produces. In (Deut. 29:18), idolatry and its consequences are expressed, by having among them a root that beareth GALL and WORMWOOD. And in (Heb. 12:15), some grievous sin is intended, when the apostle warns them, lest any root of BITTERNESS springing up, trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.
Bond of iniquity— An allusion to the mode in which the Romans secured their prisoners, chaining the right hand of the prisoner to the left hand of the soldier who guarded him; as if the apostle had said, You art tied and bound by the chain of your sin; justice hath laid hold upon thee, and you have only a short time before your execution, to see if you wilt repent.
We see Peter here go right to the point—he doesn’t waste pastoral mumblings or the sloppy agape love thing on Simon—he tells him firmly what his problem is and gets right to the point; He doesn’t say—“that’s ok, we’ll just love you through it brother—here, have the Holy Spirit.” Firmness is best when we are dealing with sin in the soul and its consequences regarding this temporal life, and, its subsequent impact on eternity. Simon had a great reputation among the people, and of late a good name too among God’s people, and yet Peter here gives him counsel that brings his character into question. It is rampant in and out of the church today— men and women continuing under the power of sin, and yet they put on a form of godliness and claim Jesus. Hypocrisy is death (Lk. 12: 1), and we must address it when we see it. Remember, we don’t pursue people for ministry, they come to us, and when they come to us, we must be ready to give them the full counsel of God that no man’s blood be on our hands:
Wherefore I take you to record this day that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Acts 20:26-27
We must expose the wolf within, in spite of the sheep’s clothing. What is revealed here in Simon, is the revelation of all those who oppose Jesus; First, They are in the gall of bitterness—which shows their aversion to the commandments of Jesus—“He who loves me obeys my commandments” (Jn 14: 15); that Sin is an abominable thing, which the Lord hates, and sinners are by it made abominable to Him; they are vicious in their own nature, and are void of Jesus dwelling in them. Indwelling sin is a root of bitterness, that bears gall and wormwood, (Deut. 29:18). The faculties are corrupted, and the mind embittered against all Jesus teaches and commands, (Heb. 12:15). It intimates likewise the consequences of sin; the end is bitter as wormwood—it is damnation. Secondly, They are in the bond of iniquity– bound over to the judgment of God by the guilt of sin, having no Cloak for their sin:
21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.
23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also. John 15:21-23
Such are bound under the dominion of Satan by the power of sin, led captive by him at his will- (2Tim. 2: 26). Peter shows Simon that he will come short of the spiritual blessings which he undervalued (v. 21): “You have neither part nor lot in this matter;” you have nothing to do with the gifts of the Holy Ghost, you do not understand them, you are excluded from them, have put a bar in your own door; you cannot receive the Holy Ghost yourself, nor power to confer the Holy Ghost upon others, for your heart is not right in the sight of God; if you think that Jesus is a trade to live by in this world, you have no part nor lot in the eternal life in the other world which the gospel offers.” First, There are many who profess Jesus, and yet have no part in Him:
23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles, which he did.
24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. John 2:23-25
Secondly, They are those whose hearts are not right in the sight of God, are not animated by a right spirit, nor guided by the hand and word of Jesus, nor directed to His glory.
Peter thus gives Simon Godly counsel, v. 22. Though he was angry with him, yet he did not abandon him; and, though he sees his case as ending in condemnation, yet he does not say—“brother, kneel here, and I’ll pray for you;” he instead, directs Simon to pray to God himself, and seek God for a heart for Jesus, himself.
Peter continues to instruct Simon: He must do his first works. First, He must repent,– must see his error and turn from it,– must change his mind and life,– must be humbled and ashamed for what he has done. His repentance must be immediately undertaken: “Repent of this, acknowledge yourself guilty in this, and be sorry for it, repent, and turn to Jesus.” He must call his sin for what it is– wickedness, his wickedness, the fruit of his own corruption. Those that are in sin’s dominion, must, repent. He must pray to God, must pray that God would give him repentance, and pardon through Jesus upon that repentance. Penitents must pray, which implies a desire toward Jesus, and a confidence in Him as the great Forgiver, Cleanser, and Restorer of Life. Simon, as great a man as he and others think he is, shall not be allowed entrance into the apostles’ communion, upon any other terms than those upon which other sinners are admitted—repentance, prayer, and coming to Jesus as their Savior from their sin, and from here on, as Lord of their lives.
The encouragement of Peter for Simon is this: Go to God, through Jesus, pray, and see if God will give you the gift of repentance and His forgiveness—the gifts of repentance and forgiveness from God, are found in the Gift that is His Son. See here that it is the heart of Simon that Peter deals with; for it is the heart of man that Jesus is always dealing with—(Deut. 10: 16; Rms. 2: 28-29; Col. 2: 11). When Peter here puts a perhaps upon his counsel of going to God and what God might do, the doubt here is of the sincerity of Simon’s repentance, not of his forgiveness by the Lord, if his repentance is sincere.
Simon’s request to them to pray for him, v. 24. As stated earlier, Peter refuses to pray for him, but instead, sends him to the Lord to pray for himself; Simon begged for the prayers of the apostles for him, wishing to have an interest in them, who, he believed, had a good relationship with the Lord, using that to help him. He begged of them to pray for him, but did not pray for himself, as he ought to have done; and, in desiring them to pray for him, his concern is more that the judgments to which he had subjected himself, be prevented—instead of being concerned that Jesus would change his corruption; like Pharaoh, who would have Moses entreat the Lord for him, that he would take away this death only, not that he would take away this sin, this hardness of heart, (Exo. 8:8; 10:17).
Servants of sin in the house of God
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, “If ye continue in my
word, then ye are my disciples indeed.”
32 ”And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
33: They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
34 Jesus answered them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
35 And the servant abideth not in the house forever: but the Son abideth ever.
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
“If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed”–this is verse 31 and upon this verse rests the remaining part of our text. In order to overcome bondage of any kind, we must continue in His word—both the written, and the spoken. If we spend all our time in the Bible and none at His feet, our head will be filled with Biblical knowledge, but our hearts will never be reached. We must be immersed in the written word to be sure, but we must also be immersed in the Person of Jesus, and He immersed in us, and that can only happen by spending time at His feet—We cannot do without this filling and the intimacy with Him that it brings. So we must abide in Him and His word and Himself must, abide in us.
It is the disciple who is made free–the first word in verse 32 is ‘and’ which joins that verse as building on 31.–it is not enough to just believe–the demons believe and they tremble– Here we see the contrast between a nominal professor who still serves sin but confesses Jesus–one who is lukewarm–and a son–one who’s Faith is alive, testimony given by His works, evidenced by the resurrection of the Master within him- “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me……and you will know them by their fruit……” Jesus here presses on the believing Jews the need for continuance in relationship with Him, and the fact that it is this continuance that verifies His real disciples because they are transformed from being servants of sin, to being servants of God. It is then that they will experimentally know the Truth (Jesus Himself) and be set free and kept free by that relationship. In verse 33 we sense the pride of the Jewish character, insinuating that their seed being of Abraham, was sufficient, and that Jesus could hardly add anything to their standing as Abraham’s children. Many today who are in such belief and bondage would say to us they are seeds of Jesus and His grace, having accepted Him as Savior, but not making Him Lord–how dare we talk about self-sacrifice and obedience–Jesus died so we are free–free from Him and free to sin because He paid it all. The character of the unbelieving Jews here is much the same as the Christians we are talking about; These Jews had been in bondage in Egypt, Babylon, and were currently in bondage to the Romans; yet they refuse to acknowledge their bondage as many Christians do today. Jesus then tells them of their bondage to sin–The slaves of sin rarely grumble at that slavery–it is their slavery to God they grumble at. They do various things for His service He cares nothing about, or try to appease Him by assuming (sometimes with great effort) some yoke Jesus never wore, and in these things they remain slaves not sons.
As our Maker, the Lord designed our survival as dependent on Him, and this is total freedom. Instead of being sons and daughters to Him, most remain slaves to all else and in doing this, they are constantly seeking and arriving at a more complete slavery. As the Scripture says, they appear to be abiding in the house (God’s), but when that Day comes, they will find that they never really abode there at all because they were bondservants to sin, not to the Master, who is the Son that shall abide in the house forever. Much of their problem can be traced to the pursuit of the gods—health and wealth. They seek most intimate relations with much that is contrary, namely riches and well-being, not realizing that the most intimate relationship possible is with Him. Where this is not realized, joy in one’s being is pursued instead of the Life of that being–in short, we look to something of ourselves to rejoice in. There is nothing. This brings one false glory and dominion over him or herself, which he or she rejoices in, but the Spiritual Life will eventually fail because the counterfeit has survived and thus dominating—they seek to appease and satisfy the god of self; the journey by and large then, is made walking after one’s own thoughts and perceptions, as well as the doctrine of demons and of men, seeking mammon, in the name of Jesus. All one has then, one rejoices in as being one’s own–there is no more complete bondage than this. The flesh tempted and thus inspired and drawn away, starving the spirit, cladding it in the grave clothes of vain imagination and service to self. God would have sons and daughters–and He would grace sons and daughters in willing it so, freeing them indeed, from themselves, but making them willing slaves to Jesus. The slave of sin is not an heir, and may, at any time, be expelled from the house–the family of his Master; a son is an heir, privileged with the right of remaining in the family. The latter describing a person who the Son of God–Maker of all things–has made free;
Men love self–flesh–and it resides in outer darkness, for such is its eternal home, as the flesh has no glory. Period:
And this is the condemnation, that Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the Light, neither cometh to the Light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the Light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. John 3:19-21; “How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?” Jn. 5: 44
In the Father’s house are many slaves….not unto Righteousness, but unto self. It is Jesus and He only that can exact freedom from this monster. I choose to pursue His Resurrection and Life in my mortal flesh; I must decide to be consumed with pursuing Him–only then will I decrease and He increase–but I must remember that it is my Father in me, He must do the work–my only part in it is to decide to let Him do it. Then, I become, by grace, servant to all, but slave to none but Jesus in which complete slavery becomes total freedom: “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.”
Jesus died to save us–from self and the eternal darkness Justice demands of it;
The soul, by accepting Jesus in His light and power, is greatly elevated and raised above things of sense and reason, for Faith given by Jesus has total Lordship over both; and the soul can never act with so true a liberty as when it acts under a command of Jesus, for where He is there is liberty.
Taken in context and considering His Jewish audience, we see Jesus addressing a world at the crisis point of its spiritual history. By nature, far from Him, they were in bondage. Only if they chose to continue to abide in Him and His Word would they know the Truth (Him) and He would make them free. The result of this knowledge would be moral, and hence that knowledge consisted not in merely believing on Him, but in making His Word and teaching, their dwelling place–abiding in Him (Vs 30-32); But it was this very moral application which they resisted. In this also Jesus had used their own forms of thinking and teaching, only in a much higher sense. For their own tradition had it, that he only was free who labored in the study of the Law. Yet the liberty of which He spoke came not through study of the Law, but from abiding in the Word and the Person of Jesus. Again, this was the very thing they resisted. Thus they ignored the Spiritual, and fell back upon the national application of the Word of Jesus. As this is once more evidential of the Jewish authorship of this Gospel, so also the characteristically Jewish boast, that as the children of Abraham they had never been, and never could be, in real servitude. In their writings we see that ‘All Israel are the children of Kings’ (Shabb. 67a; 128a), and its application even to common life, that as the ‘children of Abraham, not even Solomon’s feast could be too good for them (Baba Mets. 7.1).
Jesus pointed them to another servitude which they knew not, that of sin (Vs 34), and, entering at the same time also on their own ideas, He told them that the continuance in this servitude would also lead to more national bondage and rejection–”the servant abideth not in the house forever;” on the other hand, the Son abode there forever; whom He made free by adoption into His family, they would be free in reality and essentially (Vs 35). Then because of their having ears that would not hear, He turned to their favorite conceit of being Abraham’s seed. They were such by national descent…..But there was a moral descent–and that alone was of real eternal value. The Word of Jesus was what He had “seen” with (before) the Father–not “heard,” for His presence with the Father is eternal. Their deeds were what they had “heard” from their father. And thus He showed them–in answer to their inquiry–that their father could not have been Abraham, so far as Spiritual descent was concerned (Vs 37-40). They had now a glimpse of His meaning, but only to misapply it, according to their Jewish prejudice. Their spiritual descent, they urged, must be of God, since their descent from Abraham was legitimate. But Jesus dispelled even this conceit by showing, that if theirs were spiritual descent from God, then would they not reject His Message, nor seek to kill Him, but seek to recognize Him and love Him (Vs 42).
But they were morally incapable of grasping His Words–and this because of their sinful nature, in short, their pride, evidence of certain manifestation of the evil one, ruling an reigning; an event which Judaism had never taken into account (they were, after all, the chosen people). If the Jews were morally unable to hear His Word and cherished murderous designs, it was because, morally speaking, their descent was of the devil. His argument was unanswerable.
The basic freedom here is deliverance from the guilt of sin, and access without fear to the throne of our Father. Arising out of this freedom come many other freedoms–freedom from legalism–freedom from the letter which kills and freedom to chose Jesus and His Spirit which give Life; Freedom from the Law and freedom of access to God’s grace through Jesus; Freedom to chose Life. The entire 8th chapter here also shows a freedom to ‘do as one would like,’ and is described in various ways: ‘to walk in darkness’ Vs 12; ‘to dwell “below,” in this world’ Vs 23; to be unpleasing to God, Vs 29; to imitate the devil, Vs 44; The end of these types of freedoms is the ultimate bondage–eternal death, Vs 21, 24.
The Way to True Freedom is to abide in His word (Vs 31), and so abide in Him (15: 7); if a person abides in Jesus, Truth of discipleship will be the fruit as the Master resurrects in the mortal flesh of the disciple. A disciple means an apprentice, one who receives instruction from his Master, watches the Master at work, learns by abiding with his Master, and yielding to Him. The true disciple lives, but lives not–it is the Master that lives in Him (Gal. 2: 20). Such a person will then know the Truth–the Truth is Jesus, and hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep his commandments. (1 Jn 2: 3)- and eternal life is to know Him and the only true God (Jn. 17:3)-It is our obedience that proves we know Him, and it is our obedience that proves our salvation, and it is our obedience that brings Complete and True freedom, proving our sonship and evidence that we are not the servants of sin, but are the sons of God, and we shall abide in the house forever. We must give to those whom we minister, the full counsel of God (Acts 20: 27).
*RESOLVING TO OBEY AND MINISTER
Here in lies the secret of ministry–Jesus is still the greatest among us and we must allow Him to be our Minister; but there is a price, and that price is everything. He laid all down for all of us, and His call is no less than that to all of us–we must seize the greatest grace which is to let the Master lift us to our cross that we might die that, Jesus might live to minister through us.
Instead of being indistinguishable from the world, we must be totally detached from it while ministering to it. The degree of help that we might be, will be commensurate to that detachment. The church in many instances has become part of that to which it was sent to tear down. And because of this, God has in many instances, lifted His hand– Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? Did not the Lord, He against whom we have sinned? For they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law. Therefore he hath poured upon them the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart. (Isaiah 42: 24-25).
We must remember the words which were spoken by the early apostles—For we are told that there will be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. They separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But we must continue building ourselves up on our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost; We must keep ourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Jude 1: 17-23
The exciting thing we have noticed is that Jesus is raising up more and more people to move in the prophetic and apostolic anointing–in short, our Father is raising up more and more men and women who are willing to lay down their lives that God’s people might be freed. And in this freeing, we are seeing a multiplication of ministry anointings that might be unprecedented in modern times. Our Father is doing what it is going to take to service the incoming end-times harvest. It is time for all of God’s children to abide at the feet of Jesus that they may find the will of our Father for their duty as the Day approaches. We must always seek the kingdom of God and His Righteousness (Jesus) and His will as we discern His direction for our ministries, For we know He has set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, governments, and diversities of tongues. Though all believers are sent under the Commission, all are not apostles; all are not prophets, all are not teachers and all are not workers of miracles, but all are required in their ministry to the Lord, to beseech Him for His will in ministry calling and responsibility. Some, who have spent their lives in the gravest bondage, have been freed by Jesus and have been given the most powerful ministries in terms of dealing with the enemy in the lives of God’s children.
Strongholds in doctrine and religious philosophy that have been developed by seducing spirits are being pulled down, but the battle is just beginning. The Lord is dealing with the fleshy intellectualism that has for decades, dominated university classrooms worldwide. Such philosophy exalts itself against the knowledge of the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He sent. Such philosophies are preached by principalities and powers, and emanate from spiritual wickedness in the high places of the world. We must put on the whole armor of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles of these seducing spirits—we must be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. We must be able to distinguish the church from the fallen world. We must take the shield of faith, wherewith we shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked—praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for all of us, that utterance may be given us, that we may open our mouths boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, satan was bound at Calvary—we no longer bind him, we enter his house and throw him out.
Deliverance (see also, the end of Chapter 7)
Some deliverance sessions can get very loud, and very messy. Demons will always try to control the ministry session, and discerning their actions is necessary; Perseverance with patience is always needed. Some demons will come out without an argument or struggle, but most will resist and challenge your authority. As stated earlier, we ministered to many coming out of the church of Satan, and saw some very extraordinary things happen. We worked with one man in his late twenties who had been raised in a satanic home. For four hours he went from the chair to the floor and back again, burping, and regurgitating. This man had become a Christian–as a matter of fact he had started seminary. Through various sexual encounters he had become extremely demonized. We worked and worked with this man, and after one four hour session, he lost two inches off his waistline–to “cast out” in the original language means to expel with a notion of violence, excrement from the stomach, and this is precisely what had happened to this man–Like He had done with many, Jesus had changed the entire countenance of the man.
Deliverance can be very stinky and very, very messy, as it was in this case. But, Faithful is He who has called us—Jesus delivers and heals.
Another problem in the ministry is that people think all they have to do is become a believer and they can cast out demons. And though Jesus says deliverance—casting out demons is a sign that shall follow them that believe (Mk. 16), we again must define what it means to ‘believe.’ It is a life-forsaking total adherence to the Person of Jesus—nothing less.
What this presumption of merely believing has done is set many Christians trying to do so without God’s commissioning and direction—it becomes “Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are you”? Many may not wind up naked, but they do wind up wounded (Acts 19: 15-16). We have dealt with many Christians who have been literally scared to death trying to do deliverance when God wasn’t calling them to do it. Some of these people are still sleeping with the lights on and their Bibles in their beds months after their initial ordeal. We have found though, that many get the courage and the power to deal with the enemy, after they have been through deliverance themselves. If God wants a man or woman to enter the ministry of casting out demons, they will not have to seek it; the Lord will bring it. It can be extremely dangerous to try to work deliverance without the calling and direction of Jesus.
The early stages of deliverance ministry can be extremely difficult. Demons will battle you and defy you, and many times it can be a contest of who can outlast whom. They will get you to strive and debate, and will not go, even when you tell them to go in the name of Jesus. It may take several times of getting into these confrontations to raise your faith to the level needed to deal with the spirits God has led you to. Demons bargained with Jesus, asking Him in the case of the Gadarene demoniac, to be sent into a herd of swine. Those who have worked in true deliverance ministry know what I am talking about—they will bargain with you too. One eventually learns to use Jesus’ authority to take command of the demons, and to not debate nor strive with them, but move right to getting them identified if the Lord so directs, and throwing them out. We have found that naming the spirit is only important if Jesus leads in that direction. Any demon is capable of manifesting as anything evil. Early in our ministry we had cast several demons out of a person, and thought we had several more to go, only to find that there was one demon left and he was changing from anger to lust to murder, to whatever he wanted to be. Jesus informed us and through him out. In the Gospel narratives, Jesus most of the time does not name specific spirits–He just calls them “unclean spirits,” and that is the way we deal with most. The way Jesus works with me is, I see the spirit manifest on the person, see its face, and can, by the grace of Jesus, tell most of the time the name of the spirit by that face. Most people come wanting deliverance from a certain spirit they believe is possessing or harassing them. But the key is to consider what they request, but always seek Jesus for He alone knows what is there and what is needed to get rid of it. Many under demonic oppression are not only confused, but are in total deception as to just what the enemy is doing to them and has already done. If you see a spirit of rage or anger, know that most of the time there is underlying hurt–usually the spirit of anger gets in as a response to an abusive or hurtful situation. But many times, a spirit of rage and anger gets a foothold because a person’s pride has been severely wounded. In this case, the spirit will seek revenge on the persecuting party and anyone else that it can jump on. Again, this is not a how-to manual on deliverance. I learned the ministry at the feet of Jesus and that’s where you will learn it if you are called to it.
In their very deception, demons will change faces and personalities—they will appear as one thing and actually be another–we must always beware that we are dealing with the ultimate deceiver when we are working deliverance, and the Truth is the only way deliverance will come about. Again, it is written, all power on heaven and earth has been given to Jesus, so deliverance is never a power issue, lit is always the Truth overcoming the lie.
Intimacy with Jesus is the totally necessary prerequisite for dealing with evil spirits. It takes His discernment to realize what you’re dealing with. And the longer you are in this ministry, the more clever and deceptive the enemy gets. Only Jesus can ever handle him. Know this and know it well. Those whom God uses in this ministry have a life that is spent at the feet of Jesus no matter where they go or when they get there. When Jesus gave authority over scorpions, serpents, and over all the power of the enemy (Lk. 10: 19), He was addressing disciples–men who had forsaken everything they had for the Master. There is a price to pay for the power in deliverance ministry–that price is your life.
Ministry of the Master
There is nothing like the eyes of death–the demon–staring you down, speechless, and with that leer, questioning your authority. This is what they love to do–they will tell you that you don’t have enough power to throw them out; I tell them they are right, for ‘it is written’–all power on heaven and earth has been given to Jesus. Using ‘it is written’ will back down the demon who is trying to work you with the lie and deception. And again, we learn not to strive and debate with them—we need to get them out because there are so many people to deal with and this is a very tiring, draining ministry. Demons may or may not tell the truth, but they are capable of saying things that are true. Some seek information from them, some seek angelic help during the sessions–I never do–I seek no one or nothing but Jesus, and I am in constant touch with Him throughout the session, and, I instruct the person I am ministering to, make sure they are in constant pursuit of Him as well. Angels may show up and usually do, but you must be in communication without ceasing with the Master to make sure you are on His course, and discerning His will in the deliverance for it is His ministry, and only He knows the person you are ministering to and the demons you are trying to throw out. We always wait on the Master, and when He shows up, we know deliverance is coming.
The only things we have found that may delay deliverance are a lack of repentance or forgiveness. Many people harbor bitterness and resentment, and, especially unforgiveness. In fact, that is why many come for ministry–they have tried for years to forgive and have not been able to. We must understand that we cannot forgive–forgiveness, like everything else our Father requires, is a gift from Him and we need to ask Him for it. The same with repentance; as we instruct those who oppose themselves, we must ask our Father to give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, many who are taken captive by him at his will. These two points cannot be argued too strongly, for we have seen the Lord unwilling to deliver until these two areas are taken care of.
We must always remember that as we preach Jesus crucified, that healing and deliverance are part of that gospel; we don’t usually preach before deliverance in one on one ministry, but we do give extensive testimony of Jesus, testimony that the Spirit of God always honors. If we are working deliverance to a group, it is a little different; we do preach Jesus, and instruct under His direction, and then He moves in and does the ministry: “……whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister; And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister; I am among you as He that serveth…” Mk. 10: 43-45; Lk. 22: 27b
Jesus is the greatest among us, and He must be given the rightful place as Minister–if we consistently lift Him up He will draw the victim to Himself; Persistent and consistent testimony of Jesus in deliverance sessions is evidence that the Spirit of Holiness is doing the work, for He is our Father in us, and the work is His.
The deliverance ministry opens one up to much criticism, but it is amazing how many in the body of the Lord have problems that cannot be solved any other way. People will come from denominations that don’t believe in deliverance, or that Christians can be demonized. Many people have dealt with spiritual problems for years, undergoing much prayer and many physicians to no avail. And then they come, and Jesus sets them free.
One thing you realize early in the ministry is that you will not be as successful as the Master was in the Gospels. This will open you up to much criticism. God will deliver people through you wherever and however He sees fit. It might even be in the lobby of an international ministry, as it was with me several times–most of the gospel deliverances performed by the Master were done in public. Point is, you will learn that as Jesus manifests in you, He will grace you to Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
“….the least in the Kingdom….”
People often ask: “how do Christians get demonized?” In the last chapter (7), we talked about many scriptural examples of demonized believers. If we, even as believers, make choices that are contrary to God, we open ourselves to evil spirits. We once worked with a second grade girl who was hitting her classmates and coming close to doing the same with her teacher. The school district was thinking about expelling her, and having her evaluated for possible placement in a home for children with mental problems. We were contacted first, and asked to pray and work with the girl….It turned out that she had been sexually molested by her dad during weekend visits stipulated in a divorce decree. The abuse had taken place a few years earlier, but the spirits that entered were now manifesting as anger, and even rage. Jesus delivered the girl and she was fine—until her Christian mother rented an ‘R’ rated movie, and allowed the girl to sit and watch it with her. She became demonized all over again, and we had to deal with her again. As far as the spirits are concerned, it was a legal situation; In this case, the mother opened her daughter back up to the spirits by letting her witness sexual situations in the movie. We have had people who were unwanted children from the time of conception undergo dramatic deliverance at the hand of Jesus. The drug and alcohol culture has opened more Christians to demonization, than perhaps any other indulgences. People get high and they become promiscuous, slipping into all sorts of deviate behavior; The movie industry has made it possible for people to contaminate themselves with R and X rated movies in the comfort of their own homes. Such behavior not only opens the people to demonization but also opens the home to the invasion of evil spirits. We have been called to exorcise many homes, indwelt by evil spirits because of the sinful behavior that has gone on in the homes.
All kinds of abuse open doors to all kinds of evil spirits, and our society over the last several decades, has been among the most abusive in the world. Many believe that the North American continent, namely the U.S., is the most needful mission field in the world today.
Any time there is trauma of any kind, satan is there to take advantage, fear being the most common problem. Sinful and unrepentant behavior on the part of Christians opens the door for spirits of evil to invade their bodies and lives. Many come for deliverance and then move right back into their sin. Such are much harder to deal with the second and third times around. When Jesus sweeps the house clean, we must be sure that He Himself then takes up residence there. For if we get seven spirits that are more wicked than the ones we through out of a person, going back into the same person, we have a much bigger problem. People coming out of occult and satanic backgrounds are the most difficult to deal with. The sessions are usually very long and painful for the victim and the minister, and the price paid for the deliverance is exacted on the minister much more severely than most other deliverances. Again, this is not a “how-to” manual for deliverance. Observations and facts stated here are based on experience given by Jesus, and authenticated by Scripture. There are some good “how to” authors on deliverance already out there–of all that’s available, we would recommend Don Bashan, and Derek Prince’s books on the subject. These books will help you, but always stay completely open to Jesus–if God is calling you into deliverance ministry, though many principles will be the same as many other deliverance ministries, the Lord will want to establish His own way with you; and always remember—its not so much book-instruction that you need–you need Jesus and a most intimate relationship with Him–He must become your Life if you are to overcome satan in your life and the lives of others.
It’s hoped that some of the principles and situations reiterated here will help and exhort you if God does call.
*THE PHARISEE AND PUBLICAN: PRIDE AND HUMILITY
9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
No man can confess and renounce all his sin–we have so many sins of omission and commission that it is impossible to confess them all, even if we knew what they all are, which we don’t; and the sins of every generation are the same; we are all guilty of many of the same sins as our forefathers, and God says we cannot blame them for our sin though it be the same as theirs, and we cannot accuse God of visiting their sins on us but each man is responsible for his own– for every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge. In many instances, generational sin is blamed for current sin, which tends to make some feel that if it hadn’t been for the sins of their forefathers, they themselves might be free of sin. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Our forefathers sin is but a shadow of our own, for all we like sheep have gone astray, and neither claiming generational influence or “the devil made me do it,” will fly at the judgment seat of Jesus.
It is the Holiness of the Blood of Jesus that endorses the Attitude of our hearts– sitting at the right hand of our Father. It makes us overcomers because of His gift of our faith in it to forever remove our sin and our enslavement to it. It is the perfect obedience of Jesus that gives His Blood its perfection. It is no longer the blood of bulls and goats being applied, but it is the application of the Blood of God, made when God shed His Blood on Calvary–again, the Power of the Blood of God is not dependent on the use man makes of it. That does not prohibit man from applying it if he so wishes. Under the Old Covenant, the blood of animals was applied, under the New Covenant, the Name of Jesus is applied, for it is the Holiness of His Blood that nourishes and sustains His Name in relation to the working of our Father in the saints–the Spirit of God never works without the Blood of God, for the Spirit of God is in residence in His Blood. The duty of the children of God toward His Blood must now be faith in its perfect Holiness and what it accomplished on its own, irrespective of our application of it. When the accuser of the brethren indicts God’s children, he must now indict through the Blood of God’s Son, and our Father the Holy Spirit in the Blood of His Son, is the Power of His Blood toward them that believe. For by His Blood, Jesus is our peace, He who has broken down the middle wall of partition between us and our Father–having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of two, one new man, so making peace; and that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and has preached peace to we which were afar off, and to them that were nigh (Eph. 2: 14-16). For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father–old things are passed away, and behold, all things become new. We must not get involved in the intricate exploration of our own corruption, for if we do, we will not be fit for the yoke or the plow; We must be very careful when exploring the corruption of those to whom we minister. It has to be done explicitly at the direction of the Lord. We must forget those things, which are behind, and reach forth unto those things, which are before, we must press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing we are otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto us.
Never were all these things made more clear to me than by my ministry to a satanic enforcer-sacrificer pulled from the church of satan by our Father. The man sat across from me, and as I always do, after some testimony as to the glorious Person of Jesus, we sat quietly and waited for the Master to show. He did, and when He did, I saw this man slowly lift his hands to his face; a few seconds later, he looked down at his feet and tears came to his eyes; both his hands and feet had been curled under for several years, with no hope of straightening them out. That morning, this man saw Jesus heal his hands and his feet— as the spirits were removed from him, both hands and both feet, became straight. We had not gone through renunciation, curses, generational sin, or anything else contained in the ordinances that though blotted out, seem to sell a lot of books these days. This was a man of satan, who had come to Jesus, accepted Him as Savior and Lord, confessed his sin and his need for His Savior, repented, and had made his Savior Lord of his life–those who have been forgiven much, love much; When we had started the session, I had first suggested sin confession, and he told me he had spent weeks confessing his transgressions to the Lord, and I believed he had. He said he had undergone extreme repentance. So when the power of God hit him, Jesus healed his hands and feet. Such Glory…..such Grace……My Lord…… We had not been praying for healing, but had started out the session the way we start out all sessions–by seeking the will of our Lord for the life we are ministering to, and seeking the manifestation of the Master to do the ministry. God may want to heal, he may not. We desire and seek but one thing and that is His Person, for if we have Him, we have His will and that is all we want. Period. We have seen many healings, when we haven’t prayed for them; and many times when we have prayed for healing, God has healed; many times He has not. We must seize grace to make “thy will not mine be done” be our very lives—Jesus I want you; Holy and Righteous Father I want you; Holy Spirit of Grace, I love you and worship you, and I want you—-not your gifts or your money or your honor or your glory—–When you said–”Seek My Face,” my heart said unto you, “Your Face Lord, will I seek.”
The Law in the life of the disciple
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
I am not come to destroy; emphasizing his statement by repetition. But to fulfil. By establishing the absolute and final meaning of the Law and the Prophets. Christ came not to abolish the Law or the Prophets, but to satisfy them — to bring about in his own Person, and ultimately in the persons of his followers—by His indwelling Spirit– that righteousness of life which fulfills the law; Jesus fulfills the law by living His life through us, therefore the Law—as He says—still stands, and will stand forever. Jesus has unfolded its spiritual essence, its inward perfection. Not even a tittle of the ceremonial law has passed away, if we regard the Mosaic Law as a whole; for the ideas which form its basis, as the distinction between the unclean and the clean, are confirmed by Christ, and contained in the law of holiness which he teaches men.”
*MINISTRY DISPOSITION AND RESPONSIBILITY
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20
26 Wherefore I take you to record this day that I am pure from the blood of all men.
27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:
3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.
7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.
8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
10 Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?
11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.
13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteous nesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.
*CONFRONTATION UNTO ACCOUNTABILITY
10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.
12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
1. We are put under the dispensation of the grace of God, so the gospel is called, (Eph. 3:2). It is grace in respect of the heart of Jesus is in it– the free favor and good-will of God to us through Jesus, not any merit of our own, but unmerited favor because of the Blood of Jesus; Let not sin reign, but yield yourselves unto God; for you are not under the law, but under grace, (Rom. 6:12-14). The love of Jesus constrains us not to live to self, but to Him (2 Cor. 5:14-15); mere belief is of no effect for mere belief without living in obedience to Jesus, is grace is received in vain, for it is not grace at all but is blatant deception.
2. This gospel grace brings salvation (reveals and offers it to sinners and ensures it to disicples)– salvation from sin and wrath, from death and hell. Hence it is called the word of life; it brings to faith, and so to life, the life of holiness now and of happiness hereafter. The law is the ministration of death, but the gospel the ministration of life and peace. This therefore must be received as salvation (its rules minded, its commands obeyed), that the end of it may be obtained which is the salvation of the soul.
3. It has appeared, or shone out more clearly and illustriously than ever before, for it shines through the Blood and Person of Jesus. The old dispensation was comparatively dark and shadowy; this is a clear and shining light; and, as it is now more bright, so more diffused and extensive also. For,
4. It has appeared to all men; not to the Jews only, as the glory of God appeared at mount Sinai to that particular people, and out of the view of all others; but gospel grace is open to all, and all are invited to come and partake of it, Gentiles as well as Jews. The publication of it is free and general: Disciple all nations: Preach the gospel to every creature. The preaching of Jesus Christ, which was kept secret since the world began, now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith—if I claim faith, I must be in obedience to Jesus— (Rom. 16:25-26). The doctrine of grace and salvation by the gospel is for all ranks and conditions of men (slaves and servants, as well as masters), therefore engaging and encouraging all to receive and believe it, and walk in obedience to Jesus, without which, there can be no salvation—Heb. 5: 9.
5. This gospel revelation is to teach, and not by way of information and instruction only, but by way of precept and command, as a sovereign who gives laws to his subjects. It directs what to shun and what to follow, what to avoid and what to do. The gospel is not for speculation only or chiefly, but for the right ordering of life; for it teaches us,
(1.) To abandon sin: Denying ungodliness and worldly lusts; to renounce and have no more to do with these, as we have had: Put off, concerning the former conversation, the old man which is corrupt; that is, the whole body of sins, here distributed into ungodliness and worldly lusts. Thus we are instructed by Jesus to deny ungodliness (hate and put it away); and worldly lusts, all corrupt and vicious desires and affections that prevail in worldly men, and carry out to worldly things the lust of the flesh also, and of the eye, and the pride of life, all sensuality and filthiness, covetous desires and ambition, seeking and valuing more the praise of men than of God—all of these are gradually put aside when we seek Jesus in His fullness, and walk with Him as the Fullness of our hearts; Those that are Christ’s have allowed Him to crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts. The proof of –”Ye must be born again” is a 180 degree turn in behavior—a turn that is life-changing and a turn that abides; it is becoming a soldier, growing in sanctification as Jesus cleanses more and more from all filthiness of flesh and spirit. Thus the gospel first unteaches that which is evil, and then,
(2.) To make conscience of that which is of God: To live soberly, righteously, and Godly; there must be evidence of doing the works of Jesus, as well as resisting evil; in these conjunctly is sincerity proved and salvation validated. We should live soberly with respect to ourselves, in the due control of our appetites and passions, keeping the limits of moderation and temperance, avoiding all inordinate excesses; and righteously towards all men, rendering to all their due, as Jesus directs, according to our ability and their need: this seems a part of justice and righteousness, for we are not born for ourselves alone, and therefore may not live to ourselves only. We are members one of another, and must seek every man another’s wealth—which is to sacrifice ourselves that they may know Him (1 Cor. 10:24; 12:25). And we must be godly towards God, in the duties of his worship and service. Whether you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God, (1 Cor. 10:31). Personal and relative duties must be done in obedience to Jesus’ commands, with due aim at pleasing and honoring Him, from principles of holy love and fear of Him. But there is an express and direct duty also that we owe to God, namely, belief and acknowledgment of His being and perfections, paying Him internal and external worship and homage,– loving, fearing, and trusting in Him,– depending on Him, and devoting ourselves to Him in worship at His feet daily,– observing all those duties and ordinances that He has commanded,– praying to Him, praising Him, and meditating on Him and his word, and doing His works.
This is our walk, looking and coming to God, as he has manifested himself in Jesus; To go to God in any other way, namely, by saints or angels, is blasphemous, and contrary to all that Jesus teaches. All communications from God to us are through his Son, and our returns must also be by His Son. Thus our intimacy and obedience to Jesus is the proof that we are sons and not bastards. God in Jesus we must look at as the Object of our hope and worship. Thus must we exercise ourselves to consume Jesus and let Him consume us. We are the circumcision (who have in truth what was signified by that sacrament) who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. See in how small a compass our duty is comprised; it is put into few words, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, and living soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, continually. There is the world that now is, and that which is to come; the present is the time and place of our work and our trial. We thus then look forward to the glories of heaven, to which a sober, righteous, and sacrificial life is the preparation: Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. The glorious appearing of Jesus will the blessed hope of the disciple, attained; for our joy will be this: to be where He is, and to behold His glory, (Jn. 17:24). Christian dsiciples are marked by this, expecting their Master’s coming (Lk. 12:36), and loving His appearance, (2 Tim. 4:8). Let us then look to this Hope; let our loins be girt, and our lights burning, and ourselves like those who wait for their Lord; the day or hour we know not, but He that shall come will come, and will not tarry, (Heb. 10:37). And when He comes, let Him find us doing that to which He called us.
Exhortations to various duties
The apostle closes the chapter (as he began it) with a summary direction to Titus upon the whole, in which we have the matter and manner of ministers’ teaching, and a special instruction to Titus in reference to himself.
I. The matter of ministers’ teaching: These thing, namely, those before mentioned: not Jewish fables and traditions, but the truths and duties of the gospel, of avoiding sin, and living soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Ministers in their preaching must keep close to the word of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God, (1 Pet. 4:11), and not the figments and inventions of his own..
II. The manner; by doctrine, and exhortation, and reproof with all authority. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness; (2 Tim. 3:16)–that is, to teach sound doctrine, to convince of sin and refute error, to reform the life, and to carry forward in what the command and directive of Jesus; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works that are to be practiced by himself or to be taught to others. Here is what will furnish for all parts of his duty, and the right discharge of them. “These things speak, or teach; shun not to declare the whole counsel of God.” The great and necessary truths and duties of the gospel, especially, these speak and exhort, and do it with perseverance and earnestness, as well as consistence. Ministers must not be cold and lifeless in delivering heavenly doctrine and precepts, as if they were indifferent things or of little concern; but they must urge them with earnestness suitable to their nature and importance; they must call upon persons to mind and heed, and not be hearers only, deceiving themselves; but doers of the word, that they may be obedient therein. And rebuke–convince and reprove such as contradict or deny the teachings of Jesus, or neglect and do not receive the truth as they should, or retain it in unrighteousness—meaning those who hear it not with such a believing and obedient mind and heart as they ought, but, instead, live in contrary practices, showing themselves stubborn and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate. Rebuke with all authority, coming in the name of Jesus, and armed with his commandments, threatenings, and discipline; We are reprovers in the gate.
“Let no man despise thee; that is, give no occasion to do so, don’t put up with it without reproving it considering that—“he who despiseth, despiseth not man, but God.” Or thus, “Speak and exhort these things, press them upon all, as they may respectively be concerned; with boldness and faithfulness reprove sin, and carefully look to thyself and thy own conduct.” The most effectual way for ministers to secure themselves in the face of much temptation, is to make Jesus a lifestyle—in your going out and your coming in.
“Know those that labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake, (1 Thes. 5:12-13). Mind their teaching, respect their persons, support them in their office, for the salvations of souls, including your own, is at stake.
2 Tim 4:1-5
1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
‘Instant’— ephistemi- a) to stand by, to be present b) to stand over one, to place oneself above 1) used especially of persons coming upon one suddenly
‘Reprove’– elegcho-1) to convict, to refute, to confute
a) generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted
b) by conviction to bring to the light, to expose
2) to find fault with, correct
a) by word:
1) to reprehend severely, to chide, to admonish, to reprove
2) to call to account, to show one his fault, to demand an explanation
b) by deed: to chasten, to punish
‘Rebuke’– epitimao- to tax with fault, to berate, to chide, to reprove, to censure severely, to admonish or charge sharply
‘Exhort’– parakaleo-to console, to encourage and strengthen by consolation, to comfort, to receive consolation, to be comforted; f) to instruct, to teach
‘Longsuffering’– makrothumia-1) patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance; forbearance, slowness in avenging wrongs.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.