Are You Blind?

Are you blind, or can you see?

In John 9:39-41 we read. “39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.”

Are you blind, or can you see?

When you have godly standards in your life, it is interesting how quickly other professing Christians call you a “legalist.” Now you would think that other Christians would be happy when you have some standards of holiness in your life, but for some reason, it really annoys many of them.

What does this passage mean? 1 Peter 1:14-16 says, “14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

Does that not sound like God is referring to the clothes that we wear? It sounds like it is important to God how Christians dress. 1 Timothy 2:9 says, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.”

God not only wants us to wear “modest” apparel, but also the “proper” apparel for our gender. Deuteronomy 22:5 says, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”

What clothes pertain unto a man, and what clothes pertain unto a woman? One quick way is to look at the symbols on bathroom doors. What symbol is on the men’s bathroom door? A person with pants. What symbol is on the women’s bathroom door? A person with a dress. Why were those symbols chosen? Because it is important that there be no confusion as to who should be in which bathroom.

So isn’t it interesting that if a church teaches that Christian women ought to wear dresses, not pants, that that church is thus labeled as being “legalistic?” What is there about many Christians, that they cannot see what the world seems to clearly see? Luke 16:8b says, “…for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” That sounds like a good application to this issue before us. The “children of light” (Christians), do not seem to see what the “children of this world” (unsaved people) can see, that pants pertain to men, and dresses pertain to women.

We are living in a very perverted and ungodly generation. Suddenly, many people cannot seem to figure out what gender they really are. Finally, some of them “come out” and declare that they are the opposite gender of what they are biologically. Guess what happens when they do that? To reinforce that new image to everyone, they make sure and dress according to what pertains to that gender. A man who comes out and declares that he is a woman, suddenly starts wearing dresses. A woman who comes out and declares that she is really a man, will make sure and wear pants. Why do they feel the need to change the clothes that they wear? Because they are trying to convince others that they really are that gender.

Can you not see what the world clearly sees? The world sees that pants pertain to men, and dresses pertain to women, by the symbols they put on the bathroom doors. Even the world in the depths of darkness and perversion, can still see clearly that men wear pants, and women wear dresses, so they dress accordingly to that standard to convince others of the gender that they are trying to portray.

Are you going to continue to accuse other Christians of being legalists when they are simply following what God teaches us? Deuteronomy 22:5 says, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”

It is also interesting that when a man tries to portray that he is a woman, he grows his hair out long. And when a woman decides to portray that she is a man, she cuts her hair short? Do they actually “see” some things that you do not? Luke 16:8b says, “…for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” What does the Bible say? 1 Corinthians 11:14-15 says, “14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.”

In John 9:39-41 we read. “39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.”

Are you blind, or can you see?

Should A Person Get Tattoos?

It seems that almost everyone has tattoos today.  Yes, “plural.”  How many people that have gotten tattooed, end up with just one?  This is exactly what Satan wants, everyone to get tattooed.  Why?  Because Satan has a future plan for tattoos.

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads.” (Holy Bible, Revelation 13:16, KJV)

Why is he going to cause everyone to get tattooed?  What is the purpose of it?  “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Holy Bible, Revelation 13:17, KJV).  Tattoos are going to be all about “controlling” people, and their ability to buy or sell. 

But will you not have a choice in the matter?  Sure, you have a choice of which tattoo you want, either his “mark,” or his “name,” or his “number.”  “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Holy Bible, Revelation 13:17, KJV).  If you choose “none of the above,” then you will not be able to buy or sell anything.

We do not know what his “mark” will look like.  We do not know what his “name” will be.  But we do know what his number is, “666.”  And we do know that all who take his tattoo, will perish for ever in the lake of fire.  “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” (Holy Bible, Revelation 14:9-11, KJV).

 So it is Satan who is pushing the tattoo fad.  Once he gets everyone used to having multiple tattoos, it will be much easier to “demand” that all people take “his tattoo.”

In fact, right now, in this age of “political correctness” and “mob rage” and “mob rule” on social media, just to bring up the matter that God says not to get tattooed is sure to get many choice words and names thrown at you.  “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” (Holy Bible, Leviticus 19:28, KJV).

The bottom line is that we are once again in an age where it seems that every man is determined to do what is right in his own eyes.  “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Holy Bible, Judges 21:25, KJV).  Are you determined to please yourself, or to please God?  If you are going to please God, then you cannot be ashamed of God, nor of what He has commanded in His Word, the Bible.  “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Holy Bible, Mark 8:38, KJV).

How to be saved.

What Was Jesus’ First Word When He Began His Public Ministry?

It was “repent.”  “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Holy Bible, Matthew 4:17, KJV).

Jesus said, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Holy Bible, Luke 13:3, KJV).

What does it mean to “repent?”  It is defined by Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary as, “To feel pain, sorrow or regret for something done or spoken.”

That sounds like how David felt about his sin.  “For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.” (Holy Bible, Psalm 38:18, KJV).

Repentance is the desire to turn from your sin to Jesus Christ, and to live a new life for him. “But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” (Holy Bible, Acts 26:20, KJV).

Have you repented of your sins, and asked the Lord Jesus Christ to save you?  “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (Holy Bible, 2 Corinthians 5:17, KJV).

How to be saved.

Censored & Discriminated Against?

We are living in a day of powerful media platforms and search engines that are censoring and discrimating against Christians and conservatives.  We have noticed what has happened to our placement because we speak the truth of God’s Word.

So what should we do?  Water down our message so we will appear higher in the search engines?  No, because one day we will have to answer to the “Highest,” who is God.   “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Holy Bible, Romans 14:12, KJV).  “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Holy Bible, Mark 8:36-38, KJV).

Do not worry about those who are evil and powerful and try to suppress the truth.  “I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;  And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?” (Holy Bible, Isaiah 51:12-13, KJV).

Do not worry.  God is more powerful than any, and He strongly desires that His Word go forth around the world, and give people the chance to be saved.  Bow before God, not to the media platforms, and get out the truth to as many as you can.  Do not worry about how many “likes” you get here upon earth.  There is only one “like” that matters in all of eternity, and that is from the Lord, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…” (Holy Bible, Matthew 25:21, KJV).

We are not facing anything new.  God’s people have been oppressed in many ages, as people have tried to suppress the Word of God from getting out to the masses.  Do not worry, God is in charge.  “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Holy Bible, Isaiah 55:11, KJV).  

How to be saved.

Should You Have Pierced Ears?

In 1992, I was faced with a boy who started attending church, and he had a pierced earring.  I saw the need to prepare a message on this subject, studying it from the perspective that men and boys needed to be masculine, not feminine, so they should not be piercing their flesh for jewelry.

But as I prepared for that message, I saw that God gave instructions for a person (male or female), who was willing to become a lifelong slave to a master, to have their master pierce their ear as a sign to all that he/she was a slave to someone.

Deuteronomy 15:12-17 says, “12 And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee.  13 And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty:  14 Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him.  15 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day.  16 And it shall be, if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee; because he loveth thee and thine house, because he is well with thee;  17 Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise.”

This passage showed me that women did not have pierced ears in Bible times, or it would not have been a sign that a woman with a pierced ear was a lifelong slave to someone.  If it was already a common practice for women to have pierced ears, then this instruction would have been meaningless.

As I continued to study the subject, I saw in the Scriptures that men often follow women into sin.  First, it was Adam following Eve into sin.

Genesis 3:6 says, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

Then I thought about sodomy, which I normally associated as starting with perverted males, but then studying it out, I realized that God said that it started with the women.

Ezekiel 16:49 says, “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”

Romans chapter one also lists the sin of sodomy as starting with the women, and then the men following them into perversion.   Romans 1:24-28 says, “24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.”

Adam followed Eve into sin.  The men of Sodom followed their wives into perverted immorality.  The result of my study was not at all what I thought that I was going to find.  I was just planning on preaching a message that our men and boys needed to be masculine (which they should be), and not feminine.

I was then faced with one of the hardest decisions that I have ever faced as a pastor.  If I preached that message, that men and boys were starting to pierce their ears because they were, once again, following the women into sin (who first began piercing their ears), then I was going to no doubt highly offend many women in our congregation who had pierced ears.  It was an agonizing moment in my life, but I realized that I had to preach the truth, or I was not being a faithful minister of the Word.  Well, I preached it, and some women did get highly offended, and they and their families left the church.  But other women came to the altar in tears, with their pierced earrings in their hands

I preached that message in 1992.  Since that time, Christians have followed the world still further, down, down, down into sin.  Now, Christians have about as many tattoos as the unsaved have.  Now, more and more professing Christians are drinking alcohol.  Are you one of those professing Christians?

None of these sins (or any other sins) will ever bring you true happiness or acceptance with other people.  Giving in to the sins of this world will never bring more meaning to your life, but more emptiness, and more depth into sin.  Why do you think that so many people who pierce their flesh, go on to get more piercings?  Why do you think that so many people who get one tattoo, go on to get many more?  Jesus gave the answer in John 8:34, “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.”

That is interesting, because it goes right back to the reason for the writing of this article: piercing the ears was a sign of slavery, life-long slavery.

How to be saved.

Have A Good One!

Do you?  Do you have a good day?  Do you have a good weekend?  Or are your days and weekends often frustrating?  What can you do about it?

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” (Holy Bible, Proverbs 3:5-8, KJV)

What if you had someone with you 24/7 that was infinitely strong, infinitely wise, and infinitely wealthy?  But what if you never called upon him for help when you needed someone to protect you?  What is you never called upon him when you needed some help and wisdom in what to do?  What if you never called upon him to help you when you had a financial need? 

Well that is exactly how most people treat God.  He is waiting right there to save you from your sins, if you will but repent and ask Him to save you.  “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” (Holy Bible, Acts 3:19, KJV)   “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Holy Bible, Romans 10:9-13, KJV)

If you are saved, then acknowledge God before you start a task or go somewhere.  “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” (Holy Bible, Proverbs 3:5-8, KJV) 

What does that mean, “In all thy ways acknowledge him?”  Acknowledge God’s presence with you.  Ask Him for His help before you start a task.  Ask Him for help before you go to work.  Ask Him for help before you start a task at work.  Acknowledge His presence and ask Him for help before you start some task around the house.  If you start doing that, you will find yourself thanking and praising God throughout the day, because for once, you are not ignoring Him for most of your day.  For once, you are not thinking that you can handle a project just fine on your own.  You will find that your days are not frustrating, but filled with answered prayers.

What prayers did God answer for you yesterday?  Cannot think of any?  Try acknowledging God in all your ways, before you go anywhere or start any task, and tomorrow if someone asked you if God answered any prayers, then you will have many immediate answers!

 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” (Holy Bible, Proverbs 3:5-8, KJV) 

How to be saved.

What is polluting our ground?

I was out witnessing and came across an Amish man in his garden.  This first thing that he complained about was farmers that pollute the ground with all their chemicals.  Then he told me of a farmer neighbor that boasted that he did not even need the rain, because he had center-pivot irrigation to water his fields.

In regard to the Amish farmer, the ground water is being contaminated in many places because of chemicals, but there is an even bigger polluter of our ground.

In regard to the modern farmer, he is very foolish to boast and to be filled with pride that he does not need the rain, because with no rain, the level of water in the aquifer will lower, and he will have no water with which to irrigate his fields.

Our greatest need is to get listen to God’s Word, and to get right with Him.  The greatest polluter of our ground is abortion, and sodomy.

Abortion pollutes our ground.   The Bible says in Numbers 35:33, “So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.”  Think of all of the innocent babies that have been murdered in the womb.  It has polluted our ground.  Think of all of these people fighting for abortion rights, and the innocent blood upon their hands.  One day they are going to face the true and the living God, and this is what the Bible says in Hebrews 10:31, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Sodomy also pollutes our land.  Leviticus 18:22-28 says, “22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. 23 Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. 24 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: 25 And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. 26 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: 27 (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled😉 28 That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.”
Sodomy is a vile sin in the sight of God, and He says that the land itself will vomit out the inhabitants of a land that commit such a vile act.  What they do not realize is that the very flag that they use (rainbow colors) is a reference to a time when God judged and killed every vile person upon earth in the flood, because of their wickedness.  They are flying a flag which points to their own future destruction.  We need to pray that they would repent and confess their sin, before it is too late.  1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says, “9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

How to be saved.

Saved By What?

When you ask someone if he/she is saved, what is the response?  Sometimes a person responds, “Yes, I was baptized.” 

If getting baptized could save you, then why would God have allowed His Son to be mercilessly mocked, tortured, and crucified? 

Isaiah 53:3-7 says, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.  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.”

God would have never allowed all that to happen to Jesus, if just dipping you in water could save your soul.

We are not permitted to get baptized until after we get saved.  Acts 8:35-39 says, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.  And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.  And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.”

What is the purpose of baptism, if it does not save a person?  Baptism gives the new Christian an opportunity to show that he/she is not ashamed of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that he/she has repented of sin, and received the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, and wants to now live a new life for Jesus Christ.  Romans 6:3-6 says, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

Are you saved?  Have you been baptized to show that you are unashamed of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that you have repented of your sins, and now desire to live a new life for the Lord Jesus Christ? 

How to be saved.

Faith Promise Giving

Faith Promise Giving is a system and teaching in regard to giving money to the Lord’s work. It was devised by a man named Oswald J. Smith (A Faith Promise Offering, by Oswald J. Smith).  The Faith Promise Giving system is “Promising by faith, a year in advance, to give an amount of money, which you do not presently have, to God for His work, if He will provide it for you.”

Contrary to that teaching, the Bible teaches us that true Faith Giving is “Giving an amount of money to the Lord from what you presently have, whether part, or all of it, and then, by faith, trusting God to meet your needs.”

This is how the widow gave, and Jesus highly commended her for it.  Mark 12:41-44 says, “41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”

Now if you promise God that you will give an amount of money to Him, if He will first give it to you, then you are just asking God for an “abundance” to drop into your lap, so that you can turn around and give it back to Him.  That is no sacrifice on your part.  That takes no faith on your part.  If God does it, then fine.  If God does not do it, then you are out nothing.

But for the widow who gave two mites, that was all the money that she had.  That was “all her living;” that is, that is all the money that she had to meet her needs to live.  Jesus said that the widow gave more than those many rich people who put a lot of money into the treasury.  The widow made no promises to give more.  She did not put any pieces of paper into the treasury, promising that she would give a certain amount in the next year, if God would first give it to her.

Oswald J. Smith devised this idea of “Faith Promise Giving” based upon the Corinthian Church in 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9.  The amazing thing is that Oswald took the very problem at Corinth with their giving, that Paul was trying to correct, and Oswald makes that out as if it is the crowning way to give to the Lord.  Look at it closely.

Paul starts by giving the Corinthians the example of some other churches, “1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. 3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; 4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.” 

There is no mention here about promising Paul a gift; to the contrary, they gave to him of what they had.  These people were very poor, and yet they were giving to Paul “beyond their power,” more than their ability to then meet their own needs, just like the widow with the two mites.

Paul then tells the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 8:7, “Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.”  Paul was telling them, “Corinthian Christians, you abound in so many areas, but not in this grace of being abundant givers of finances for God’s work.”

Now Paul deals with the problem that was hindering their giving.  2 Corinthians 8:10-11 says, “10 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. 11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.”

The Corinthians had begun a year ago to talk about giving, but they had obviously not yet reached their goal of what they had wanted to give.  Paul is dealing with this problem, and notice what he tells them.  “11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.”

Paul was telling them, “Listen, you were very forward and open to talk about what you were going to give, a year ago, but you evidently never reached that amount, so you have not given.  What you need to do now is perform (give) from that which God has given to you.”   “11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.”

Paul emphasizes it once again in the next verse, 2 Corinthians 8:12, “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.”   You are not judged according to the money that you would “like to have,” but what you “actually have.”

When it comes to giving, God always requires us to “give first,” then He will bless us with more to give, as He sees fit.  Consider the following Scriptures.

2 Corinthians 9:6 says, “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”  Before you can “reap,” you have to first “sow.”  If you sow “sparingly,” then you will reap “sparingly.”  If you sow “bountifully,” then you will reap “bountifully.”  If you give money “sparingly” to God, then you will reap “sparingly.”  If you give money “bountifully” to God, then you will reap “bountifully” from God.  God does not promise to drop you a million dollars from the sky, so that you can give it to missionaries.  But God does promise that if you give bountifully of what you have, that He will give bountifully back to you, so that you can give more.

2 Corinthians 9:7-10 says, “7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: 9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. 10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)”

God does not teach us to promise, one year in advance, to give a certain amount of money to Him.  God teaches us to give first, of what He has given to us, and then He will bless us as He sees fit.  Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”  What God blesses you with financially, is dependent upon what you first give to His work.

People cannot justify the use of the Faith Offering Giving system from an honest exposition of Scripture.  This matter of promising to give an amount of money that you do not have, one year in advance, is actually based upon the very problem that Paul was trying to correct at Corinth: they had wanted to give a certain amount of money to God’s work, but after one year, had still given nothing, because they had not met that goal.  Paul was telling them to quit waiting to give, and to just give from what they had, because that is all that God requires of us.  The more that we give of what we have, the more that He will give to us in return, so that we can help even more.

Pastors are tempted to use the Faith Promise Giving system, not because it is Scriptural, but because it brings in a lot of money.  Listen to Oswald J. Smith, “I would never go back to the cash offering. With a cash offering I could only get a very little, but with a Faith Promise Offering I can get much. In our Annual Missionary Convention we never get more than $7,000 in cash, but we get a quarter of a million or more in Faith Promises.”  How many times does He mention God in his statement?  Zero times.  How many times does he mention “I” or “we?”  Five times.

The largest churches in America, and around the world, use rock music to draw in thousands of people to their services; so should we do the same, because it brings in more people?  Of course not.  The same holds true for money.

For a full study about this subject, please see the Liberty Bible Course “Money, Part 2” at ““.

How to be saved.

The Last Becomes First

“Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.” (Holy Bible, Mark 16:9, KJV)  

Mary Magdalene was one of the many women who ministered to Jesus as He traveled.  “There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;  (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.” (Holy Bible, Mark 15:40-41, KJV)   Food would need to be prepared; clothes washed, water provided, etc.

“Why did Jesus appear first to Mary Magalene?  Maybe it was because she was forgiven the most, so she loved the most.  “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” (Holy Bible, Luke 7:47, KJV)

Think about it.  Jesus did not appear first to Peter, James, and John, the inner three, whom Jesus had asked to watch and pray with Him before His arrest.  Jesus did not appear first to the 12 apostles.  Jesus did not appear first to the 70 men that He sent forth to preach.  Why did Jesus appear first to Mary Magdalene?  The Bible says in Matthew 19:30, “But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”

Think about it.  Jesus rewarded this woman before all of the men.  This is a good lesson for us in what is going to take place at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  Some women complain that God is not fair to them, and has given them a lowly place in life.  Oh, what a shame that they feel that way, because if they would serve with gladness of heart, they would see, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, that they would be rewarded above many men!  

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;  While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.  Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;  But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” (Holy Bible, 1 Peter 3:1-4, KJV). 

Fulfill your role gladly before the Lord.  You will thus be “in the sight of God of great price.”  Think of that as “great rewards” one day, and throughout eternity!

How to be saved.