WHY PASTORS AND MISSIONARIES FAIL TO TRAIN LEADERS



By Ken Blue
May 8th, 2017. Filed under: ARTICLES.

WHY PASTORS AND MISSIONARIES FAIL TO TRAIN LEADERS

Baptist

And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.  And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.  Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king’s pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.  Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.  And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.  Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.  Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.” Nehemiah 2:12-18.

  1. MANY DON’T KNOW HOW TO TRAIN LEADERS
  2. MANY ASSUME NO ONE WANTS TO SERVE
  3. MANY ASSUME NO ONE IS SPIRITUAL ENOUGH TO SERVE
  4. MANY WANT TO DO IT ALL, THAT WAY THEY GET THE GLORY
  5. MANY ARE TOO INSECURE TO TRAIN OTHERS. THIS MAY BE THE #1 REASON
  6. MANY FEAR THAT OTHERS WILL EXCEL THEMSELVES IN LEADERSHIP
  7. MANY LOVE DOING IT ALL. THAT IS THEIR SELF-FULFILLMENT
  8. MANY WANT TO KEEP THE CHURCH SMALL FOR SELFISH AND PERSONAL REASONS
  9. MANY HAVE WIVES WHO DON’T WANT LEADERS WHO MIGHT COMPETE WITH THEIR HUSBANDS
  10. MANY DON’T REALIZE THAT JESUS SPENT MOST OF HIS MINISTRY TRAINING LEADERS
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THE MORMON CULT



By Ken Blue
March 26th, 2017. Filed under: ARTICLES, Religions.

MORMON SCIENTIST DISPROVE MORMONISM THROUGH DNA, AND THE LACK OF LINGUISTIC, AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE.
mormon

By Ken Blue

Did you know that Mormons believe in millions of gods? These gods are dispersed throughout the universe and have their own world, just like the Mormon god of the earth. The god they worship has a multitude of spirit wives. Their god has sex with his wives, and you were born a spirit baby. The reason they taught polygamy, was so the earthly wives could have as many children as possible to provide bodies for the spirit babies. When Mormons speak of Jesus as the “Son of God,” and of a virgin, they mean that their god literately had sex with Mary, thus Jesus is a son of god. They also believe Jesus and the Devil are brothers, having the same father.   Below, you have it from their own mouth. They are a deceptive cult.

The picture of Brigham Young and his wives.

Mormon.org
“Your life didn’t begin at birth and it won’t end at death. Before you came to earth, your spirit lived with Heavenly Father who created you. You knew Him, and He knew and loved you. It was a happy time during which you were taught God’s plan of happiness and the path to true joy. But just as most of us leave our home and parents when we grow up, God knew you needed to do the same. He knew you couldn’t progress unless you left for a while. So he allowed you to come to earth to experience the joy—as well as pain—of a physical body.”

Let us break down what they say, and then fill in the blanks with the real truth.“Your life didn’t begin at birth…your spirit was created by…” What you aren’t told is that your spirit “creation” was a birth resulting from the gods having intercourse with their many celestial wives. All these gods and their wives were once human just like you. Now you too can become a god with your own world and your multiple wives if they have pleased you on earth, and you call them from the grave in the resurrection.

“Your life won’t end at death.” You aren’t told why you are here, and what you are supposed to do. You see, Mormons believe the god they worship and talk about, was at one time a man (Perhaps Adam). Through “progress” he attained the status of a god and was assigned to populate the earth and make more gods. So, when you die, if you are “lucky,” you and your many wives will be assigned a planet, yes, and a planet to populate and keep the process of making more gods. The only way that can be accomplished is moving through a process of progress. Some of these rituals are public knowledge, much is secret. The more you study Mormonism the more you understand that it was built on sex in this life, and in the afterlife, somewhat like Islam.

I challenge any Mormon to refute what we have said.

Mormons use Bible and Christian terminology for two reasons. One, they believe they are the only true Christians. They are the “Latter Day Saints.” In other words, there was no true gospel from the time of the first Apostles, until Joseph Smith discovered golden plates. Thus, the truth was rediscovered, and the “Latter Day Saints” emerged.

Also, Mormons are avid “missionaries.” That is one of the requirements, plus mandatory tithing, for a special place in the heavens. They use Bible language to make naïve Christians think they have much in common. I assure you that Mormons and Bible Christians have absolute nothing in common.

Lastly, Mormonism is an ever evolving religion. That is if you point to what their prophets and founding fathers said in the beginning, more recent prophets may get newer revelations to negate what they object to. The example is their teaching that the black race came from following the Devil. However, when Civil Rights came along, they got an updated revelation from their god and adjusted their theology.

I challenge any Mormon to respond and refute what we have said.

DON’T BE DECEIVED!!!

 

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THE PLANNING STEPS



By Ken Blue
March 25th, 2017. Filed under: ARTICLES, Planning.

THE PLANNING ARROW

planningBy Ken Blue

NEED, THEN PURPOSE GO IN THE TARGET. OBJECTIVES GO ON THE LINES ON THE SHAFT. THESE MUST SUPPORT YOUR PURPOSE. GOALS ARE DETERMINED FROM THE OBJECTIVES.

GOALS MUST BE:

  • S – specific, significant, stretching.
  • M – measurable, meaningful, motivational.
  • A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented.
  • R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented.
  • T – time-based, time-bound, timely, tangible, trackable.
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The Book of Mormon



By Ken Blue
March 19th, 2017. Filed under: Insights.

The Book of Mormon –Part 1

mormon

Colonizer, territorial governor, and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young (1801-1877) was born in Whitingham, Vermont, on June 1, 1801. Brigham and his 21 wives.

Those who call themselves Mormons, or Latter Day Saints, point to Ezekiel 37:15-20, Isaiah 29:11, and John 10:16 to prove that the Bible prophesied about the book of Mormon. Could you give me some insight into what these passages are talking about?

“The verses you cited are the most common verses in the Bible that Mormonism uses to try to show that the coming of the book of Mormon was prophesied about. As you are undoubtedly aware, Mormonism contains many teachings which are contrary to what the Bible says, (e.g. Adam was our God and Father; Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost; men are not spiritually dead by nature in Adam; Lucifer was a spirit brother to Jesus). It also is full of teachings of which the Bible makes no mention, (e.g. their doctrine of celestial marriage; the Army of Redeemers).

However, it is also interesting to note that many of Mormonism’s cardinal doctrines and teachings cannot be found in the book of Mormon either. For example, the book of Mormon does not speak of ‘baptism for the dead’; of celestial marriage; of progression to godhood; or of a host of other essential Mormon teachings, ordinances, and the like. These teachings are found in the subsequent writings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, and in the so-called other revelations given to them through their priesthood.

In truth, though the book of Mormon is by necessity honored by them, it is not their main source of faith and practice. Nor is the Bible. Their other books and writings are actually their main source of faith and practice. Mormons naturally deny this. However, their doctrines, ordinances, and practices say otherwise.

In my experience with their doctrines the book of Mormon is primarily used by them as a tool to bridge the gap, so to speak, between the Bible and their other books like “Doctrine and Covenants” and the “Pearl of Great Price,” in which their essential doctrines and ‘gospel ordinances’ are to be found. And what they want converts to Mormonism to do is to pass from the Bible to their other books of revelation by going over the bridge that the book of Mormon functions as. Hence the last of their Articles of Faith states, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” With this statement, they first of all pay lip-service to the Bible, while at the same time impugning the reliability of the Bible, since to them it has not been consistently ‘translated correctly.’ By so saying, they also conveniently leave themselves the ability to discard, disregard, and/or adjust any of its teachings that they don’t like, or that they want to adjust to say something different, by simply saying that a particular statement, or verse, or passage in the Bible has not been properly translated. They then translate it, or interpret it, in such a way as fits their needs. So though this particular Article of Faith professes the Bible to be the word of God, it does not state this to be so unreservedly.

However, no such reservation is made in connection with the book of Mormon. This, the Article states, is simply “the word of God,” with no question as to whether it is translated correctly or not. And later on, the reason for this becomes apparent when the book of Mormon is used to move a convert’s confidence away from what the Bible says, to what the book of Mormon says, and then to move it ultimately to what their books of other revelations have to say. The Bible is honored by them; the book of Mormon is revered by them, but their other books of revelations are what are actually believed and followed.

Nevertheless, the book of Mormon is essential to Mormonism. And as such it goes to great lengths to persuade people that the Bible prophesies about its coming; that it is ‘another testament of Jesus Christ’; and that it is the testament of Jesus Christ that not only pertains to those in the Americas, but to all men, seeing that (as they teach) it contains the “everlasting gospel in its fulness” and Mormonism is the only “True church on the earth.”

Now with respect to the verses and passages in the Bible that Mormonism uses to promote the book of Mormon, an honest handling of them in their particular contexts makes it plain and clear that they do not say what Mormonism says they say. (However, Mormonism is not counting on anyone handling the verses honestly within their contexts. It doesn’t do this itself, and it figures others will not do so, or be able to do so.) So by paying attention to their contexts, and by paying attention to the outworking of God’s program and dealings with Israel, the following briefly and simply sets forth what the verses are talking about.”

The Book of Mormon –Part 2

 Those who call themselves Mormons, or Latter Day Saints, point to Ezekiel 37:15-20, Isaiah 29:11, and John 10:16 to prove that the Bible prophesied about the book of Mormon. Could you give me some insight into what these passages are talking about?

Re: Ezekiel 37:15-20 — The immediate context of this passage, along with the overall context of the outworking of God’s program with Israel, make it plain and clear that “the stick” that is written upon with the words “For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions” is not the Bible, and “the stick” that is written upon with the words “For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for the children of Israel his companions” is not the book of Mormon. Nor does the joining of them “one to another into one stick” in Ezekiel’s hand prophesy about the Bible and the book of Mormon becoming the combined word of God in the latter days.

Mormonism is not counting on anyone handling verses honestly within their contexts.

This is basically what Mormonism teaches, but the context forbids any such interpretation. For the context itself interprets what God “meanest by these” in verses 18-25ff, and it is plain and clear what they mean in the interpretation that it gives.

As verses 18-25 set forth, the “sticks” with the names of the two particular tribes of Israel written on them, along with the reference to the other tribes that became “companions” of either Judah or Joseph/Ephraim, represent the “two nations” “divided into two kingdoms” that the whole nation of Israel had become following the death of Solomon. As I Kings earlier on recorded, the whole nation was divided into two nations, and two kingdoms, after Solomon’s death.

The prophecy and meaning of the two sticks is self-interpreting in verses 18-25. And as such, it is blatantly obvious that what Mormonism says about it is a deliberately corrupt and false interpretation. What Mormonism says is of their own concoction. It is a lie that is dishonestly forced on the passage, and it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the immediate context, or with the doctrinal role of Ezekiel’s prophecies in the outworking of God’s program and dealings with Israel.

The Book of Mormon- Part 3

Those who call themselves Mormons, or Latter Day Saints, point to Ezekiel 37:15-20, Isaiah 29:11, and John 10:16 to prove that the Bible prophesied about the book of Mormon. Could you give me some insight into what these passages are talking about?

John 10:16 — According to Mormon publications, “the promise concerning ‘other sheep’ was realized by the appearance of Christ to the Nephites,” and it is the book of Mormon that testifies to this. However, God’s program with Israel says that John 10:16 means something else.

God had already identified the “other sheep” when He prophesied in Ezekiel about coming to “search my sheep, and seek them out”; when He prophesied about He Himself being “the good shepherd” in contrast to “the shepherds of Israel” who have been cruel to the Lord’s flock; and when He prophesied about setting up “one shepherd” over them when they are no more “two nations.” In Ezekiel 34 God begins prophesying about these things and begins describing His actions as Israel’s “good shepherd.” Then in chapter 37, (where we have already noted that He describes reversing the “two nations” judgment of the Second Course of Punishment of Leviticus 26), God goes on to describe how when all Israel is no longer “two nations” but “one nation in the land,” that at that time “they all shall have one shepherd.” The nation therefore, will no longer be “two nations” with two folds of sheep.

So then in view of this prophecy, the Lord in the opening portion of John 10 is describing those aspects of His ‘shepherd ministry’ that were in effect at that time in accordance with the fulfillment of Ezekiel 34. But as He said in verse 16, “other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.” In accordance with Ezekiel 37, those “other sheep” are the sheep belonging to Joseph/Ephraim and the house of Israel his companions, who are also known in the Gospel accounts as the Samaritans.

These “other sheep” were not being dealt with at the same time as the rest of the sheep of Israel because God had said that He would deal with Jerusalem and Judea first. The “other sheep” are the Samaritans, and in perfect accordance with the prophesied outworking of God’s program with Israel, the time would come in the program when these “other sheep” would be called. But not until the sheep of Jerusalem and Judea were dealt with first.

So then these are the issues that are being spoken about in these three particular passages. It is plain and clear from their respective contexts, and from the outworking of God’s program with Israel, that what Mormonism teaches from these passages is not only false but a deceitful lie.

 

 

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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PREACHING, TEACHING, AND TRAINING



By Ken Blue
March 13th, 2017. Filed under: ARTICLES, Ministry.

PREACHERS SHOULD PREACH, TEACH, AND TRAIN

“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” Matthew 4:23.

“Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.” Acts 15:35.

“Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.” Acts 28:31

Preaching is the message announced by preachers and is primarily for the purpose of conversion. We could say, with accuracy, Jesus preached to the multitudes, and taught His Disciples. Perhaps the Twelve taught the Seventy and the Seventy, the hundred and twenty.

Teaching consist of the message taught by preachers that explains, clarifies, and applies, with exhortation. It is primarily for building faith, Christian conviction, and character. One of the qualifications of a pastor is he must be “apt to teach.” (I Tim. 3:2. II Tim. 2:24). Paul seemed to have his greatest success by teaching. Many pastors are excellent preachers, but they also need to distinguish between the two, and master teaching.

Training is a task whereby preachers develop skill sets in trainees.  According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of training is: the act, process, or method of one that trains. The skill, knowledge, or experience acquired by one that trains. The state of being trained. A young doctor who’s still in training. She’s in training for the Olympics.

Training others may be the greatest weakness of many good preachers.

Synonyms: drill, practice (also practice), routine, exercise, workout, assignment, homework, lesson; brush up, refresher, review, spring training, a process by which someone is taught the skills that are needed for an art, profession, or job. The process by which an athlete prepares for competition by exercising, practicing, etc. It is the skill, knowledge, or experience acquired by a person or animal who has trained. Thus, training is showing how, assisting in the task, the trainee performs the task. Correction and encouragement are given as necessary. Training others may be the greatest weakness of many good preachers.

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The Outer Darkness



By Ken Blue
February 11th, 2017. Filed under: Bible Studies.

The Outer Darkness

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

I’ve received several questions lately asking for clarification of the term “Outer Darkness”  so here’s an updated and expanded version of a study I did on the subject several years ago.  The outer darkness is mentioned a total of 4 times in the New Testament, three by name and one by implication, and always by Jesus. The term is not used any where else, Old Testament or New, by anyone else.  Those who ask about the outer darkness want to know if it’s another name for the place of eternal punishment, or if it’s some place different. And they want to know who’s going there.

The problem I’ve had in researching this is there’s no general agreement among scholars as to what it is, where it is, or even for whom it’s intended.  While most experts say it’s for unbelievers, some actually teach that it’s a place where believers who have not properly sanctified themselves will go after the rapture.  According to these teachers,  some believers will be taken in the rapture because they believe Jesus died for their sins and rose again.  But instead of beginning their eternal life of bliss in the presence of the Lord, they’ll spend the Millennium “outside, in the darkness”  learning to live a holy life so they’ll be fit to dwell in the Lord’s presence during eternity.  Thankfully, there’s not a shred of Biblical evidence to support this view.  On the contrary, at the moment of the rapture all believers will be made perfect, conformed to the likeness of the Son (Romans 8:29, 1 John 3:2), having become in fact that which we currently are by faith (2 Cor. 5:17).

There’s also no agreement as to whether the outer darkness is a physical location or simply a state of being. The phrase outer darkness literally means, “outside, where there is no light”.  But the Greek word for darkness can be used metaphorically to mean spiritual ignorance or blindness.  An accompanying phrase describes it as a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, which denotes extreme anguish and utter despair.  So whether you think it’s a state of mind or a physical location the outer darkness is obviously not a nice place to be.

For many generations it was simply thought to be another name for Hell. But Hell, or more accurately Hades, is not a permanent destination. It’s a temporary one that will be thrown into the Lake of Fire at the end of the Millennium (Rev. 20:14). What I read about the outer darkness leads me to believe it’s a permanent state.

So let’s take another look at its four appearances to see if we can answer some of the lingering questions about the Outer Darkness.

Matt. 8:5-12

The first time Jesus mentioned the outer darkness was in Matt. 8:12 at the end of His encounter with the Roman Centurion.

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.”

Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.”

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 8:5-12)

In this reference to the outer darkness, Jesus was clearly speaking to and about Israel. He was criticizing the Jews because a Gentile Roman soldier was demonstrating a stronger faith in Him than they had. He said that their lack of faith would result in people from all over the world (Gentiles) inheriting the Kingdom, while the Jews, who were the Kingdom’s intended subjects, would be thrown into the outer darkness, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Israel was then (and will be again) God’s Kingdom on Earth. The Lord repeated His warning to them in Matt. 21:43 when He said, “Therefore I tell you that the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” It’s obvious that the Lord believed they were the subjects of the Kingdom or else why would He threaten to take it away from them?

So in His first mention of the outer darkness the Lord warned the Jewish people of His time that at the End of the Age, Gentile believers like the Centurion would join the Jewish patriarchs at the Feast inaugurating the Kingdom Age while they themselves would be thrown outside into the darkness for failing to recognize their Messiah.

Matt 22:1-14

The next time He mentioned it was in Matt. 22:13 as part of His parable of the Wedding Banquet.

Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

“Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

“But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless.

“Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.” (Matt. 22:1-14)

There are three things to keep in mind here. First, the bride is never mentioned in this parable. Second, a bride is not considered a last minute guest and in any case could never be thrown out of her own wedding.  And third, the banquet follows the wedding, so in the context of the parable the wedding has already taken place.

To accept the view that this parable is about the Church you have to ignore these facts. Then you have to assume that some in the Church are the Bride while others are not.  But the Bible never even hints of that. It’s a man made conclusion without any support. If we’re saved, we’re in the Church and if we’re in the Church we’re the Bride of Christ (2 Cor. 11:2).

In parables everything is symbolic of something else, and the Bible always explains what they stand for. Isaiah 61:10 explains that the wedding clothes represent righteousness;

I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Here’s how I see it. In Rev. 16:15, just after the 6th Bowl judgment and long after the church has departed, the Lord said, “Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

He was alluding to the fact that the Doctrine of Eternal Security will expire with the Rapture, a fact that Jesus also taught in the Parable of the 10 Virgins. Tribulation believers will be saved by faith, just like everyone else, but will be responsible for keeping themselves saved, or as John said, keeping their clothes with them. Rev. 14:12 says they will do this by obeying God’s commandments and remaining faithful to Jesus.

The man ejected from the banquet was a last minute guest. He represents tribulation survivors, none of whom are part of the Church. He was trying to receive the blessing of those invited to the wedding banquet that occurs at the time of the 2nd Coming (Rev. 19:9).  The wedding banquet represents the Millennium.  But He either hadn’t remained faithful and had lost his salvation, or never was saved at all.  Remember the servants invited both the “good” and the “bad” and it isn’t clear whether this man had wedding clothes and lost them, or never had them in the first place.  Either way, the point is He was there in His own righteousness and it was insufficient.  When he tried to gain entrance into the banquet, he was discovered and ejected.

So the 2nd reference applies to unbelieving survivors from the Great Tribulation who will be denied a place in the Kingdom for lack of the righteousness that comes by faith, and banished to the outer darkness instead.

Matt. 24:45-51

Next is the Parable of the Servants

Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matt. 24:45-51)

This parable has only an implied reference to the outer darkness, calling it a place for hypocrites where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 24:51). Since the phrase “weeping and gnashing of teeth” accompanies every other mention of the outer darkness, I think it’s safe to include it in our study. The timing of this parable was established as early as Matt. 24:29-30 which makes every thing that follows pertain to people on Earth at the time of the 2nd Coming. As a matter of fact, all the Olivet Discourse parables describe the destinies of Tribulation Survivors. You can easily confirm this by also looking at Matt. 24:36-37, Matt. 25:1, and Matt. 25:14.

The Parable Of The Servants is about those who will have held positions of spiritual leadership during the Great Tribulation. In the Millennial Kingdom, the Lord will elevate leaders who have kept the word of God through the intense hardship and persecution of the times, and have taught sound doctrine to the flocks entrusted to them, to a place of authority.  (Remember, no Tribulation survivor will enter the New Jerusalem, but will dwell on Earth during the Lord’s Millennial reign.)

But having forsaken the truth, the wicked servants will no longer be watching for the Lord’s return, ignoring the obvious fulfillment of prophecy all around them and ridiculing those whose child-like faith sustains them. They are the worst of all enemies because they’ll look and sound like friends. They’re like the one John describes as appearing to have the authority of the Lamb but who speaks the words of the Dragon (Rev. 13:11). The Greek word translated hypocrite was often used to describe an actor or pretender, someone who appears to be something he’s not. So for the third time we see the Outer Darkness as a place for unbelievers. In this case it’s those who have betrayed the trust placed in them.

Matt. 25:14-30

The Lord’s final reference to the outer darkness appears at the end of the Parable of the Talents.

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

” ‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matt. 25:14-30)

Like the other Olivet Discourse parables, the timing of this one is after the 2nd coming, the judgment is on Earth, and the man who had his only talent confiscated demonstrated a complete lack of knowledge of and faith in his master. He thought of Him as a hard man who accepted credit He didn’t deserve and he was afraid the master would treat him unfairly.  This person can’t be a believer because no believer feels that way about Jesus. His punishment is to be consigned to the outer darkness.

So in all four cases, the ones being judged are unbelievers and their punishment is to live in a state of total obscurity where they will experience extreme anguish and utter despair. The fact that there’s no expanded teaching on the outer darkness elsewhere in the Bible leads me to believe the Lord was speaking of a place we’re already familiar with, but describing it in a way that helps us understand how it will feel to be there.

Remember, the words obscurity, extreme anguish and utter despair are associated with the outer darkness. To be there is to be cut off from the presence of the Lord and everyone else, existing in total obscurity. The dictionary defines anguish as excruciating or acute distress, suffering, or pain, and despair as a state of utter hopelessness.

That, my friends, is the consequence of unbelief. Whether you call it Hell, Hades, Gehenna, the Lake of Fire, or the Outer Darkness,  you wouldn’t want your worst enemy to spend even an hour there. 05-02-15

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ARE THEY LOST OR ARE THEY SAVED?



By Ken Blue
February 9th, 2017. Filed under: ARTICLES, Bible Studies, Bible Study.

ARE THEY LOST OR ARE THEY SAVED?

Comments on 1 Cor. 6:9

“Observe here, 1. Our apostle’s positive assertion, and categorical proposition, That the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God; whereby unrighteousness, is meant injustice and injuriousness towards our neighbour, as appears by the context, which speaks of defrauding: unrighteousness will as certainly shut out of heaven, as ungodliness.

Observe next, The large catalog of sins which the apostle reckons up, that will shut out of heaven: uncleanness, idolatry, inordinate love of this world, drunkenness, etc. For the confirmation of his proposition, he proceedeth to the enumeration of the several sins destructive of salvation: which are not to be understood copulatively, but disjunctively: not as if he only who is guilty of all these shall miss of heaven, but he that lives in any one of these unrepented of; if he doth not forsake his wicked course of life, he shall never see the kingdom of God: whoever allows and tolerates himself in any one sin, is certainly in a state of damnation.-William Burket’s notes

“Know ye not, etc. By unrighteousness here you may understand what is opposed to strict integrity. The unrighteous, then, that is, those who inflict injury on their brethren, who defraud or circumvent others, who, in short, are intent upon their own advantage at the expense of injuring others, will not inherit the kingdom of God. That by the unrighteous here, as for example adulterers, and thieves and covetous, and revilers, he means those who do not repent of their sins, but obstinately persist in them, is too manifest to require that it should be stated. The Apostle himself, too, afterwards expresses this in the words employed by him, when he says that the Corinthians formerly were such The wicked, then, do inherit the kingdom of God, but it is only in the event of their having been first converted to the Lord in true repentance, and having in this way ceased to be wicked. For although conversion is not the ground of pardon, yet we know that none are reconciled to God but those who repent. The interrogation, however, is emphatic, for it intimates that he states nothing but what they themselves know, and is a matter of common remark among all pious persons.” –John Calvin

“The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom – The unrighteous, αδικοι , those who act contrary to right, cannot inherit, for the inheritance is by right. He who is not a child of God has no right to the family inheritance, for that inheritance is for the children. If children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, Ro 8:17. There are here ten classes of transgressors which the apostle excludes from the kingdom of God; and any man who is guilty of any one of the evils mentioned above is thereby excluded from this kingdom, whether it imply the Church of Christ here below or the state of glory hereafter.

Several of the evils here enumerated will not bear to be particularly explained; they are, however, sufficiently plain of themselves, and show us what abominations were commonly practiced among the Corinthians.”-Adam Clark

“…their tricking and defrauding of one another, with other sins they were guilty of; which, if not repented of, would show, that notwithstanding their profession, they were destitute of the grace of God, were unfit to be in the kingdom of God, in a Gospel church state here below, and would be shut out of the kingdom of heaven hereafter.” –John Gill

“He puts it to them as a plain truth, of which they could not be ignorant, that such sinners should not inherit the kingdom of God. The meanest among them must know thus much, that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God (1Co 6:9), shall not be owned as true members of his church on earth, nor admitted as glorious members of the church in heaven. All unrighteousness is sin; and all reigning sin, nay, every actual sin committed deliberately, and not repented of, shuts out of the kingdom of heaven.” –Matthew Henry

“And he presses the point that they were to cherish no illusions as to this, for none of the characters pointed to in verse 9 and 10 should ever dwell with God.”-Georg Williams

“Those who practice such sins are not Christians.”- William McDonald

“The kingdom of God. Cannot be saved; cannot enter into heaven. Cmt. on Mt 3:2. This may refer either to the kingdom of God in heaven, or to the church on earth–most probably the former. But the sense is the same essentially, whichever is meant. The man who is not fit to enter into the one, is not fit to enter into the other. The man who is fit to enter the kingdom of God on earth, shall also enter into that in heaven.”- Albert Barns

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THE NEW COVENANT WITH ISRAEL.



By Ken Blue
January 22nd, 2017. Filed under: ARTICLES, Bible Studies.

THE NEW COVENANT WITH ISRAEL.

COVENANT                                             

IT MIGHT SURPRISE YOU TO KNOW THAT MOST CHRISTIANS DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A COVENANT AND A TESTAMENT. ODDLY ENOUGH, MANY ASSUME THAT THE CHURCH, THE BODY OF CHRIST, IS NOW UNDER THE NEW COVENANT. ALTHOUGH THERE ARE EIGHTY-FIVE CONTRASTs BETWEEN THE OLD AND THE NEW COVENANT, NEITHER THE OLD OR THE NEW WAS MADE WITH THE CHURCH. IT IS CLEAR THEY WERE MADE WITH ISRAEL.

 

  1. JESUS IS THE MEDIATOR OF THE NEW COVENANT.
  2. THE OLD COVENANT WAS ONE OF CONDEMNATION.
  3. THE NEW WAS MADE WITH ISRAEL AND JUDAH.
  4. THE NEW IS NOTHING LIKE THE OLD.
  5. THE NEW COVENANT WILL BE INSTALLED IN THE MILLENNIUM.
  6. GOD WILL CONVERT THE WHOLE NATION. “SO ALL ISRAEL WILL BE SAVED.”
  7. THE LORD WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND ISRAEL WILL BE HIS PEOPLE.
  8. THERE WILL NO WITNESSING FOR ALL IN THE LAND WILL KNOW HIM.
  9. GOD WILL IN MERCY, REMOVE THEIR UNRIGHTEOUSNESS AND THEIR INIQUITIES HE WILL NEVER REMEMBER.
  10. THIS IS THE NEW COVENANT PROMISED TO ISRAEL IN JEREMIAH 31:31-34.

But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.  For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.  For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:  And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.  In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” Hebrews 8:6-13

 

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MATTHIAS THE APOSTLE?



By Ken Blue
January 7th, 2017. Filed under: ARTICLES, Bible Studies, Bible Study.

Was Matthias a legitimate Apostle?

casting-lots “Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.  And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.  And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,  That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.  And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” Acts 1:21-26.

It has been claimed by some that the Eleven were in a hurry in the choosing of Matthias, and therefore he was not Gods choice. In other words, the Eleven should have waited until Paul was converted and he should have been numbered with the Eleven.

The Lord never rebuked them for their choice…

We believe this argument is absurd and based on nothing but guesswork in order to delegalize the unique apostleship of Paul. The text is clear. The apostles prayed about the matter of a replacement for Judas. It was required that the replacement should have ministered from the beginning of the ministry of the Lord and witnessed His resurrection. Furthermore, to specifically ask for God to lead in the choice. Casting lots were not uncommon in settling the unknown. The lot fell to Matthias and he was numbered with the Twelve. The Lord never rebuked them for their choice, but contrarywise blessed their ministry mightily.

The casting of lots was not only Scriptural, it was also a common practice. The first record in Scripture is in Leviticus 16:8. “And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.” There are many accounts of casting lots in Scripture. The Psalmist said, “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.” Proverbs 16:33. It was firmly believed that the providence of God ruled in the casting of lots to the degree it was never questioned.

Paul was never intended to be one of the Twelve or to have a part in their ministry. He was divinely selected to be the apostle to the Gentiles. “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:” Romans 11:13. He was also chosen to write all the church epistles. Just as many of the Jewish Christians could not reconcile Paul’s ministry, so it is today among many Gentile Christians.

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THE APOSTLES FIRST POST-RESURRECTION QUESTION



By Ken Blue
January 7th, 2017. Filed under: ARTICLES.

THE APOSTLES FIRST POST-RESURRECTION QUESTION

question“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Acts 1:6

It is not always immediately clear why one asks questions. There could be several reasons. God asked Adam, “Where art thou?” Since God knew, the answer is evident. But, what of the disciples? They had spent three years under the teaching of Jesus. They had watched and heard Him preach, and they were trained and sent out on many preaching assignments. All the ministry and the training of the Twelve was about the Kingdom of Heaven. Their hopes were dashed when He was crucified, but His resurrection revived their spirits and hopes. Thus, their first post-resurrection question. “…, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Now, I believe we should look long and hard at that question. Why would they ask it? What was their thinking and what was uppermost on their mind for them to ask that question? In addition, He did not correct their thinking or assumption. His response was simply that it was not for them to know the time. The motive behind our question is, what was their thinking and why? Questions can be revealing.

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