Tuesday, July 03, 2007

You That Work Iniquity

This morning as I awakened from a night of restful sleep, the Lord brought to mind a specific verse of Scripture. I love it when that happens!

One of the promises of Jesus to all believers is to give us the Helper, the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit of God who will bring to mind His will and Word in order to help us in discerning truth from error.

The verse (Jesus speaking) that came to my mind was:



(KJV) Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

(NKJV) Mat 7:23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'

(NLT) Mat 7:23 But I will reply, `I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.'
Footnote:
Or unlawful.


We can learn something that is key here by focusing on the term, "iniquity." It is labeled "lawlessness," and the NLT says, "the things you did were unauthorized."

Jesus is talking about those who CONSIDER THEMSELVES BELIEVERS and who think they are part of His kingdom. In the parable, they were extremely and unpleasantly surprised to find out that they did not end up there.


Mat 7:21

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Mat 7:22
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

What was the key point in Matthew 7:23?

(KJV) ye that work iniquity

(NKJV) you who practice lawlessness

(NLT) the things you did were unauthorized.' (or, unlawful)

Jesus also said:

Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

Where else in the Bible is that term "fulfil" presented? It is told to us in a negative sense here:

Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof]. (bold mine)

NLT version tells us:

Rom 13:14 But let the Lord Jesus Christ take control of you, and don't think of ways to indulge your evil desires. (bold mine)

Keeping that word "iniquity" (lawlessness) in mind, let's see what 2 Thessalonians tells us:

2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way.


2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:


2Th 2:9 [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,


2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.


2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:


2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (bold mine)


2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:


2Th 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.


2Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.


2Th 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given [us] everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,


2Th 2:17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work


Although the KJV is much more accurate in presenting the meaning of this passage, here's the NLT version:

2Th 2:7 For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way.

2Th 2:8 Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will consume with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.

2Th 2:9 This evil man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles.

2Th 2:10 He will use every kind of wicked deception to fool those who are on their way to destruction because they refuse to believe the truth that would save them.

2Th 2:11 So God will send great deception upon them, and they will believe all these lies.

2Th 2:12 Then they will be condemned for not believing the truth and for enjoying the evil they do. (bold mine)

2Th 2:13 As for us, we always thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved by the Lord. We are thankful that God chose you to be among the first[fn3] to experience salvation, a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and by your belief in the truth.

2Th 2:14 He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2Th 2:15 With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on everything we taught you both in person and by letter.
2Th 2:16 May our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father, who loved us and in his special favor gave us everlasting comfort and good hope,

2Th 2:17 comfort your hearts and give you strength in every good thing you do and say.


Footnotes:
2:1 Greek brothers; also in 2:13, 15.
2:3 Greek the son of destruction.
2:13 Some manuscripts read God chose (Note: bold mine in all verses above)

After this post, a blogger made some statements and asked a few questions in the comment section:



Curious and no disrespect intended, but what determines whether Deb's readers have comments that merit your response? Is it based on how you see Christ? Is it someone that you think you may be able to convince to your ideology? I respect your knowledge of the Bible; it is very impressive, but when you quote all these verses, what is your point? You bury your reader with dogma--did Jesus do such a thing? No, he lived, walked and ate with sinners, never placing himself above them. He also used scripture with discretion--if we are dealing with the word of God, then we should use it sparingly as he did in order to make our points clear. I bear you no ill will, Christine, and I am not attacking you, but I think you could do more with less. I am sorry you have such issues with Deb; maybe it's time to give it to God and move on.





I wrote:

Welcome to Talkwisdom (I think...).

To answer your first question.

I don't think that personal attacks are productive. Some of the people over there only did that (to several of the Bible-based Christians commenting) and did not contribute to the topic at hand. It has been my goal not to engage in unproductive dialogue. However, when someone asks a good question or makes an intriguing comment (relative to the topic) then I am happy to respond.

I don't know much about your history, but I did glance at your profile. It appears that you have several active blogs going. I wasn't sure which one to read in order to learn about you. When I have more time perhaps I can do that.

The verse quotes were in an effort to help Deb see the following:


1. Do not believe every spirit. God's Word tells us to "test the spirits to see if they are of God."

2. To demonstrate that Scripture informs us that the Holy Spirit of God would not lead a person away from God's Word. Deb has often claimed that God "speaks to her" and tells her that homosexual behavior is OK. This is why I warned that she should "test the spirits" and test what she hears against what Scripture really says.

3. Deb's belief that homosexual behavior is not sin is just that...her belief. The indisputable evidence in Scripture confirms God's position on the issue. It is sin and an abomination. For most of the last 2,000 years since Christ's resurrection, there has not been one biblical scholar that has ever said otherwise. Deb's "gay christian movement" philosophy is a recent 20th century heresy that is being spread (both knowingly, and unknowingly) by those who have been deceived by it. The book of Jude warns us about such heresy. I'm just pointing out the obvious error of this kind of thinking and demonstrating it through God's Word.

You asked:
"You bury your reader with dogma--did Jesus do such a thing?"

There is no way for me to know that one way or the other because John informs us:

Jhn 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Also, Jesus spoke in parables and told us why he did so. See Matthew 13:10-17

Let me ask you this. What do you think the following parable is telling us?

(Using NLT):
Mat 13:24 Here is another story Jesus told: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field.

Mat 13:25 But that night as everyone slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat.

Mat 13:26 When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.

Mat 13:27 The farmer's servants came and told him, `Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds!'

Mat 13:28 " `An enemy has done it!' the farmer exclaimed. " `Shall we pull out the weeds?' they asked.

Mat 13:29 "He replied, `No, you'll hurt the wheat if you do.

Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds and burn them and to put the wheat in the barn.' "

*******

So far, the commenter hasn't returned to answer my question. Anyone here want to give it a whirl?

Christine

P.S. Lots of hints at the beginning of this post! More hints in one of my favorite Bible chapters.

11 comments:

Mark said...

I will! raising hand in a flurry of back and forths :)

Jesus is telling us not to take matters in our own hands in terms of getting rid of the bad folks. The body of Christ (the church as well) will have 'weeds' planted among us and no human hand will know the difference well enough to remove them. That is God and God alone's judgement. We are to live like sun light in the world of weeds. God's judgement theme is also repeated in revelation as you know. Then the weeds be thrown into the fire and the wheat will stand tall and untouched by God's wrath. The body of Christ must continue in the truth and biblical instruction.

~Deb said...

Maybe God was speaking to you when he put in your mind the scripture, "Depart from me, I never knew you."

Treat your brothers and sisters with love, and you'll find love back in return. Judge not. Live in harmony with one another----all these scriptures I can toss right back at you, but I'm not going to do that, Christine.

Accept the fact that there are people who love God, whose faith is strong and can never be dwindled. Be content knowing that God loves you more than anything and He's capable of bringing any lost soul back to Him.

Do you trust God enough, that He is able to do this? Or are you going to try and take matters into your own hands on this issue?

Let go of it...and let God take care of the rest.

Christinewjc said...

Great answer, Mark!

All we can do is "warn those weeds" and as you said, "The body of Christ must continue in the truth and biblical instruction."

Pity the weeds, though...

Deb,

For some reason, after I read your comment, I immediately thought about some dialogue and a scene in the movie, Forrest Gump.

It was the one where Forrest was listening to Jenny tell him about "living in harmony" and "finding ways to expand her mind."

Are you familiar with the movie?

Well, Forrest innocently thinks that Jenny's "living in harmony" must be, as he said in the movie, "out West somewhere."

Jenny's "finding ways to expand her mind" certainly wasn't anything positive because the scene drastically shifts to where we see Jenny surrounded by a bunch of hippies shooting up drugs.

Earlier, we saw a scene where "expanding her mind" through sniffing cocaine resulted in her stepping up on an outdoor balcony ledge many floors up from several lanes of speeding traffic. We could tell that she was contemplating suicide. She almost slips, but catches herself and steps down from the ledge. She ends up rocking back and forth in in the cold wind with tears streaming down her once pretty, but now goulish, haggard looking face.

If you're not familiar with the storyline, Jenny later gets sick and dies at a young age (leaving behind her and Forrest's son, Forrest Jr.). It is most likely that her early death was as a result of "living in harmony" (not a place out West, mind you...) and "expanding her mind."

To someone like Forrest, who didn't know the difference (low IQ, according to the plot), he was under the assumption that what Jenny was involved with (as she told her story to him) was good (or, at least positive and OK).

But we, the audience, get the truth. Behind the scenes, we had the fool-proof evidence of what was really going on in Jenny's life before she came back to see Forrest.


When you stated:

Quote: "Judge not. Live in harmony with one another----"

for some reason, that particular movie scene just popped right into my head. Not sure why, but thought I'd share it anyway.

P.S. Maybe God was speaking to you when he put in my mind the idea to share the scripture, "Depart from me, I never knew you" on my blog today.

Do you trust God enough, to recognize that He is speaking to you about this? Or are you going to try and continue to take matters into your own hands on this issue?

You stated, "Let go of it...and let God take care of the rest."

Is that biblical? Just wondering...

If so, then I suppose Jesus giving us the Great Commission is a moot point, too? Just wondering how you'd reconcile those two beliefs.

Mark said...

uffor some reason, that particular movie scene just popped right into my head. Not sure why, but thought I'd share it anyway.

Christine...I believe God's holiness will happen in Deb's thinking. God's will is at work through you!
...However, I bet you and I never see it. $20.00 ? $10.00 ? nickel ? chicken? lol

God Bless you!

~Deb said...

You're comparing me with a character who had been on drugs. I've never took drugs in my life, Christine. Loving another human being isn't going to kill you, nor would God think it was bad. This is totally my belief, as you already know.

When I said, "Let go and let God", it stems from the biblical scripture based on this passage:

"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck out of your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:1-5).

God is the only one who can judge anyone. So, I would really rethink what you've compared me to. God is the only one who can convict me. If my lifestyle is in fact a sin, don't you trust God enough that He'll bring me back? I already have faith in Him. And, if I have faith in God and proclaim Jesus as my savior, don't you think that I would be convicted already?

God tells me differently.

Christinewjc said...

Deb,

The operative words in that verse include this portion:

"First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye."

Jesus wasn't making a blanket statement to "never judge" another person. We are told repeatedly in Scripture to use discerning judgment. We are just not supposed to try and attempt to use judgment in the eternal sense, because that alone, belongs to God.

I have already had several "planks" removed from my own eyes. I'm sure there is more! But the "plank" on this issue has been removed (IMHO)by God's Word and thus Jesus gives permission to "remove the speck from my brother's eye."

(On a personal note, I never wanted to become involved with this issue in the past. But the Lord apparently had other ideas! I have written about this in the past. When I find the post, I will link to it.)

Perhaps one of my "planks" was indifference to those caught up in homosexual bondage? The Lord has placed numerous individuals (some wonderful, some convicting, and others absolute thorns in the side!!) as well as circumstances in my path over the last 5 years that forced me to deal directly with this issue. I used to say, "why me Lord?"

Wrong attitude!

Now it's "why not me Lord! Use me!

Why would Jesus have said:
"First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye."

if it wasn't an attainable task to be done by believers?

If you have noticed, I have tried to avoid applying the "God only eternal judgment" with you. This is why I often write about both the "Judgment Seat of Christ" (reserved only for believers) and the "Great White Throne Judgment" (eternal death for the unrepentant).

Where did I compare you to Jenny the drug user? I mentioned that I was reminded of that scene in Forrest Gump because of your admonition to me to "live in harmony."

Though your situation is different from the character in the movie, we could use it as an analogy.

Both of the two circumstances could have the disasterous effect of allowing a person to "live in harmony right into eternal separation from God."

Deb wrote:

"If my lifestyle is in fact a sin, don't you trust God enough that He'll bring me back?"

I pray that He does! Many are, in fact, praying for you Deb!

Deb wrote:

"And, if I have faith in God and proclaim Jesus as my savior, don't you think that I would be convicted already?"

Not necessarily. The fact that you insist on "being right" in your personal beliefs (which are patently contrary to God's Word) indicates that on this one issue, you may not have already been convicted. Of course, that is the work of the Holy Spirit.

All that we, as fellow believers, are required to do is share Scripture to correct any obvious heresies out there. The gay theology movement is steeped in heresy. I know that you don't think so, but it's the truth.

Whether you stay in your current beliefs on this issue is between you and God, afterall. However, God calls Christians to share Christ's Gospel of Truth, not a gospel of error.

I have attempted to share the truth so that others will not be led astray. I don't think that any of us should be using God to advance a personal belief that is blatantly contrary to Scripture.

We obviously disagree on this issue. You will probably continue on your path, and I will on my path.

I don't want to be found guilty of "using God" inappropriately. That is why my own personal feelings should never be allowed to conflict with God's Word. I want Him to be using me, instead.

Mark said...

"If my lifestyle is in fact a sin, don't you trust God enough that He'll bring me back?"

I do! But those who know the truth must proclaim it. They don't do so on their own, they do it with the God's word. Deb, you have on your heart the fingerprint of God. I see it when you defend your relationships and feelings. I ask that you take your time.

All true followers of Christ are first put to suffer, and then enabled, so that even in our worldly suffering, we have peace, wisdom, and are certain of eternal life with our creator. Your hands, feet, and mouth may bleed, but your heart rejoices. That is the goal of any disciple of Christ, a Christian indeed.

~Deb said...

Well, I can't argue with you any longer.

All I can say is, I love God, I know God, and I have a personal relationship with him.

I also want to say, that I know God loves you as well.

You have your beliefs, and I have mine.

God bless you in your journey in seeking the truth and reaching further to connect with the Lord.

Peace!

Christinewjc said...

Yep Deb...

You are now utilizing the Truthphobia move right out of Mel White's deception playbook.

May the Holy Spirit of God open your eyes to the truth one day soon.

God bless,
Christine

Enemy of the Republic said...

Christine,

I am not interested in getting into these arguments as they solve nothing. I hadn't returned to your page because I work two jobs and I hadn't found time. I only blog on my Cruel Virgin site, which you will probably not care for, as I am currently going through faith traumas, and I haven't found answers through any blogger--that is not meant as disrespect, only honesty. I find much in Christianity to be rigid and dogmatic; I did not become a Christian to follow the law nor spurn morality. As for Deb and her openness about homosexuality, I think she should be left alone. The anti-gay movement in Christianity fosters a great deal of hate; again, I sense no hate from you, but certainly gays feel judged and left wanting. My question is this: why bother when there are more pressing issues in the world? We have poverty, children are dying in their neighborhoods from violence, there are homeless people, many Americans still go to bed hungry in the richest nation in the world. Can't we care about that?

Christinewjc said...

This post was interesting:

The Infiltration of Homosexuality into Christianity

Quote:

What makes it extra disturbing is that at least some of them are consistently applying their nonsensical & unbiblical ‘don’t judge’ attitude to the entire homosexual issue. Compromise begets more compromise; apostasy begets moral indifference and liberalism.