For This Cause
For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
(1 Corinthians 11:30)
This sleep means physical death. What is the cause of these bodily malfunctions?
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation
to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
(1 Corinthians 11:29)
This means that some sin that we commit can cause physical death. What
is this sin?
Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of
the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
(1 Corinthians 11:27)
Let's now add a few more Scriptures to see what Paul meant.
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That
the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take,
eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of
me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had
supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in
my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's
death till he come.
(1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
He wrote this to professing Christians who were still under the influence
of the worldly idols of the time and this was the cause of the admonition.
Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that
ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all,
when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among
you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you,
that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come
together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's
supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own
supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses
to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them
that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise
(1 Corinthians 11:17-22)
It goes back to verse twenty nine. Some of these people, although professing
to be Christians, had not been converted or else they would have discerned
what Jesus had done for them. The proof of the pudding is in the eating
as the saying goes, so their lack of discernment was proof of the lack
of the Holy Spirit in their lives; either because they had never truly
made a Covenant with God, or had not counted His presence as of much import.
Remember, Paul had pastored this church for eighteen months (Acts 18:11)
and yet, when he left there were still some who went to church but were
After eighteen months he must have known the congregation pretty well and
the letters to the Corinthian church must have been of a much more personal
nature than say Romans or Colossians whom he had only heard about.
We also see that in various instances in Corinthians Paul was answering
questions presumably put to him in a letter or letters.
So, it would seem that there were many apostates even in the church pastored
by Paul, it's nothing new.
Isn't it also significant that just after this in his letter Paul also
answers questions about Spiritual gifts?
Let's take this a bit further here.
From reading the word of God it becomes apparent that there are at least
four types of people who go to church:
Those who are converted. (John 3:3)
Those weak in the faith. (Romans 14:1)
The wolves in sheep's clothing. (2 Corinthians 11:9-20)
When someone is converted through the work on the cross of the Lord Jesus
Christ, that person becomes the willing servant of God. God is love to
those who respond to that love and are joyfully obedient. God will protect
those who are His servants, as the above verses confirm. This must
mean therefore that those professing Christians who are not obedient to
God's wishes, who have not discerned the Lord's body, are not under His
This must mean therefore that they have not the Holy Spirit actively dwelling
inside them. And yet many disobedient "christians" speak in tongues and
are proud of it. While listening to someone like this spouting forth it
is obvious that this is of a spiritual nature, but if it isn't from God
who is it from? It must be from Satan, the god of this world, the prince
of the power of the air. This person is therefore one of the wolves in
sheep's clothing that Paul describes elsewhere. His or her purpose is to
disrupt the flow of the Holy Spirit in the church.
He may be the minister.
Moreover, even though Paul knew these people by name, he didn't point fingers
at anyone, but allowed the Holy Spirit to convict those who were converted
or about to be. The wolves were there in any event. The true believers
would naturally drift to each other and voluntarily form a "home cell"
where there was no outside interference. Here, the Holy Spirit would be
given free rein (reign) and Spiritual gifts would become evident - for
the purpose of glorifying and serving God in obedience.
After this, there was probably another, smaller group who did not advertise
their meeting together and to whom "members" were invited according to
their walk and talk and not according to the denomination of their church. A group of disciples where God's love and power was in evidence and where
His will was done. Not only a "holy huddle", but a place of outreach where
self came second.
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers
shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh
such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him
must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Spirit and truth - the Holy Spirit and the truth of the Bible. There
is a difference between knowing the word and knowing the truth. Only
the Holy Spirit of God can show one the truth of the Bible because it is
Nevertheless, and how encouraging, this Corinthian church of whom Paul
had been the Pastor was, with all its faults and humbugs, still the church
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our
brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints
which are in all Achaia:
(2 Corinthians 1:1)
Now, because of the times that we live in the idols1that
Satan offers us are of a different nature, softening us up for the double
whammy that he has planned for us.
Are we each going to be able to endure to the end?
You may remember that shortly after the above passages of Scripture were
written the Christians endured unbelievable torture of their bodies to
make them change their minds (hearts) about who Jesus Christ was.
Just sit and think for a while. Why would it be necessary for guiltless,
law-abiding people to be tortured, torn limb from limb just for a conviction
that they carried around with them? They weren't harming anybody. So there
must have been a hidden reason, a hidden agenda; a spiritual one.
Millions of men and women in parts of the third world, especially in Africa,
India and Asia, far away from the presence of the media, are still being
tortured, raped and killed for their "crime" of calling themselves Christians,
just as it has,without pause, since Christ Jesus died for our sins and
rose again, defeating Satan for those who believe.
In the first world we have it so easy that we have become soft, watching
as the power to govern ourselves and our families is taken from us piece
by piece, until one day, all of a sudden, we shall be forced to make a
life-changing choice, just as hard, but of a different nature to that of
immediate torture and death.
Many of you reading this believe that you will be "raptured" before this
shall happen and you have Scriptures to back up your belief.
But what if you are wrong? Remember the Pharisees of Jesus' day. Because
many misinterpreted Scripture they refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah.
We are not talking about Mickey Mouse stuff here2,
your whole everlasting future depends on this. Will you be able to endure
to the end?
Paul was able to spiritually strengthen the church in Corinth and elsewhere;
and as a result of the Christian martyrs, Satan realised that he had to
change his tactics of human domination and so he invaded the church. Church
and state became aligned and he was able to work more subtly and effectively.
Brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ, be aware of doing things
unworthy of the King of kings lest you fall into the snare of the "easy
God is love to those who respond to that love and are joyfully
obedient to their King.
1 Idols of the Heart.
2 God is Love.
Yea in Christ Jesus
The following was revealed by God the Holy Spirit yesterday and shall be
apparent to you as such as we proceed.
Because the subject, namely obedience, is being discussed in this discourse
it is included here.
The Lord's timing, is as to be expected, perfect.
As an introduction, this part of the Bible shows how the children of Israel
and their rulers had departed from their Covenant with God and how God
was working with them.
The following chapter leads up to the first part of the message that the
Lord wants to show you:
And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and
said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand,
and go to Ramothgilead: And when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu
the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise
up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber; Then take
the box of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, Thus saith the
LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door, and flee,
and tarry not. So the young man, even the young man the prophet,
went to Ramothgilead. And when he came, behold, the captains of the host
were sitting; and he said, I have an errand to thee, O captain.
And Jehu said, Unto which of all us? And he said, To thee, O captain. And
he arose, and went into the house; and he poured the oil on his head, and
said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I have anointed thee
king over the people of the LORD, even over Israel. And thou shalt
smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants
the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand
of Jezebel. For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off
from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and
left in Israel: And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam
the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah: And the
dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be
none to bury her. And he opened the door, and fled. Then Jehu came
forth to the servants of his lord: and one said unto him, Is
all well? wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? And he said unto
them, Ye know the man, and his communication. And they said, It is
false; tell us now. And he said, Thus and thus spake he to me, saying,
Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then they hasted,
and took every man his garment, and put it under him on the top
of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king. So Jehu the
son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram
had kept Ramothgilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria.
But king Joram was returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which
the Syrians had given him, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.) And
Jehu said, If it be your minds, then let none go forth nor
escape out of the city to go to tell it in Jezreel. So Jehu rode
in a chariot, and went to Jezreel; for Joram lay there. And Ahaziah king
of Judah was come down to see Joram. And there stood a watchman on the
tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said,
I see a company. And Joram said, Take an horseman, and send to meet them,
and let him say, Is it peace? So there went one on horseback to
meet him, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu said,
What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. And the watchman
told, saying, The messenger came to them, but he cometh not again. Then
he sent out a second on horseback, which came to them, and said, Thus saith
the king, Is it peace? And Jehu answered, What hast thou to do with
peace? turn thee behind me. And the watchman told, saying, He came even
unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving is like the driving
of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously. And Joram said, Make
ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah
king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against
Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite. And it came
to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And
he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel
and her witchcrafts are so many? And Joram turned his hands, and
fled, and said to Ahaziah, There is treachery, O Ahaziah. And Jehu
drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms,
and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot. Then
said Jehu to Bidkar his captain, Take up, and cast him in
the portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite: for remember how that,
when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, the LORD laid this
burden upon him; Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and
the blood of his sons, saith the LORD; and I will requite thee in this
plat, saith the LORD. Now therefore take and cast him into the plat
of ground, according to the word of the LORD. But when Ahaziah the
king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house.
And Jehu followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. And
they did so at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And
he fled to Megiddo, and died there. And his servants carried him in a chariot
to Jerusalem, and buried him in his sepulchre with his fathers in the city
of David. And in the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab began Ahaziah
to reign over Judah. And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of
it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at
a window. And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri
peace, who slew his master? And he lifted up his face to the window, and
said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or
three eunuchs. And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and
some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses:
and he trode her under foot. And when he was come in, he did eat and drink,
and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is
a king's daughter. And they went to bury her: but they found no more of
her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands. Wherefore
they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of
the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In
the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: And the carcase
of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of
Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.
(2 Kings 9:1-37)
Here's the first part that was received:
And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters, and sent
to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to them that
brought up Ahab's children, saying, Now as soon as this letter cometh
to you, seeing your master's sons are with you, and there are
with you chariots and horses, a fenced city also, and armour; Look even
out the best and meetest of your master's sons, and set him on his
father's throne, and fight for your master's house. But they were exceedingly
afraid, and said, Behold, two kings stood not before him: how then shall
we stand? And he that was over the house, and he that was
over the city, the elders also, and the bringers up of the children,
sent to Jehu, saying, We are thy servants, and will do all that
thou shalt bid us; we will not make any king: do thou that which is
good in thine eyes. Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying,
If ye be mine, and if ye will hearken unto my voice, take
ye the heads of the men your master's sons, and come to me to Jezreel by
to morrow this time. Now the king's sons, being seventy persons,
were with the great men of the city, which brought them up. And
it came to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the king's
sons, and slew seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent
him them to Jezreel. And there came a messenger, and told him, saying,
They have brought the heads of the king's sons. And he said, Lay ye them
in two heaps at the entering in of the gate until the morning. And it came
to pass in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the
people, Ye be righteous: behold, I conspired against my master,
and slew him: but who slew all these? Know now that there shall fall unto
the earth nothing of the word of the LORD, which the LORD spake concerning
the house of Ahab: for the LORD hath done that which he spake by
his servant Elijah. So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab
in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests,
until he left him none remaining. And he arose and departed, and came to
Samaria. And as he was at the shearing house in the way,
Jehu met with the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, Who are
ye? And they answered, We are the brethren of Ahaziah; and we go
down to salute the children of the king and the children of the queen.
And he said, Take them alive. And they took them alive, and slew them at
the pit of the shearing house, even two and forty men; neither left
he any of them. And when he was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab
the son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he saluted him, and said
to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And
Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, give me thine hand. And he
gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot. And
he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. So they made him ride
in his chariot. And when he came to Samaria, he slew all that remained
unto Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed him, according to the saying
of the LORD, which he spake to Elijah. And Jehu gathered all the people
together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu
shall serve him much. Now therefore call unto me all the prophets of Baal,
all his servants, and all his priests; let none be wanting: for I have
a great sacrifice to do to Baal; whosoever shall be wanting, he
shall not live. But Jehu did it in subtilty, to the intent that
he might destroy the worshippers of Baal. And Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn
assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it. And Jehu sent through
all Israel: and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not
a man left that came not. And they came into the house of Baal; and the
house of Baal was full from one end to another. And he said unto him that
was over the vestry, Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers
of Baal. And he brought them forth vestments. And Jehu went, and Jehonadab
the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal, and said unto the worshippers
of Baal, Search, and look that there be here with you none of the servants
of the LORD, but the worshippers of Baal only. And when they went in to
offer sacrifices and burnt offerings, Jehu appointed fourscore men without,
and said, If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands
escape, he that letteth him go, his life shall be for the
life of him. And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of offering
the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, Go
in, and slay them; let none come forth. And they smote them with
the edge of the sword; and the guard and the captains cast them
out, and went to the city of the house of Baal. And they brought forth
the images out of the house of Baal, and burned them. And they brake down
the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught
house unto this day. Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel. Howbeit from
the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed
not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were
in Bethel, and that were in Dan. And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because
thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes,
and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was
in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on
the throne of Israel. But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the
LORD God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the
sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin. In those days the LORD began
to cut Israel short: and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel;
From Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Reubenites,
and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, even
Gilead and Bashan.
(2 Kings 10:1-33)
Yesterday, Sunday, we watched and listened to a video tape of a church
service, one of a series that forms part of our Sunday worship, and the
subject of the message was:
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he
it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father,
and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
The final part of this message that was revealed was Paul's concern for
the church which he pastored:
But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust
in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
(2 Corinthians 1:9)
For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity
and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God,
we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
(2 Corinthians 1:12)
When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that
I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should
be yea yea, and nay nay? But as God is true, our word toward
you was not yea and nay. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached
among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not
yea and nay, but in him was yea. For all the promises of God in him are
yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
(2 Corinthians 1:17-20)
For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether
ye be obedient in all things.
(2 Corinthians 2:9)
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his
(2 Corinthians 2:11)
For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity,
but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
(2 Corinthians 2:17)
All glory to the Living God!
Let it be said here that the loving obedience that God expect of us, His
subjects, is not what we believe is obedience, but that which He has stated
in His word.
Let His word become Truth in our lives!
The following was found printed on a paper bookmark:
Eternal Father, you have called us apart from the world
so that we might meet together in brotherhood and we thank you for this
Hold before us the example of your Son, who was the man
who lived for others and show us how best we may bear witness as Christian
disciples in our homes, our places of work and in the life of our community.
Grant us grace that in going forth from here we may be
faithful to our calling as those who name Jesus Christ as Lord, and daily
experience the joyous freedom of the Sons of God.