Considering Proverbs 11:18

18 The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.

Sin is deceitful because it often promises some semblance of good or enjoyment in the short-term, but there is no real substance to be gained from sin. However, when we do well, we can expect lasting gain.

This can be true in life, but sometimes the opposite seems true for a time. Sometimes the wicked prosper and those who do what is right cannot seem to get ahead.

However, this is only true when we consider prosperity through the lens of worldly gain. When our judgment is clouded by “the deceitfulness of riches” we judge success according to how much a person has materially. Jesus said, “a man’s life consists of more than the things he possesses.”

A life spent in pursuit of worldly gain will have worldly gain in proportion to the ability and ambition a person has. A life spent in pursuit of righteousness will have a life that is prosperous in things that bring real love, peace, contentment, and trust in God—to name a few—in proportion to the faith and grace of God received.

The latter is a sure reward and there are many rewards to gain in this life when we make righteousness our aim.

Riches, on the other hand, are easily lost. A bout of sickness, job loss, or some other form of disaster can take a person down quickly in the things of this world. However, there is no trouble in this world that can take the reward of righteousness from a person, especially when the righteousness is the work of God in us.

There is no greater love, peace, contentment, and faith than that which is seen during times of Christian suffering. It is real, lasting, and cannot be shaken by the troubles of this life. Not for very long. The Holy Spirit will bring us comfort during hard times, and once we come through these times we see that the good things we thought were slipping away were not failing. They were being made stronger and we have even more than we did before.

This is not so for gain in this world, and it is a true saying of Jesus that we cannot serve both at the same time. “You cannot serve God and mammon.” It is also true that many will “lose what he only seems to have.”

We cannot serve righteousness and sin at the same time—and a life lived for the pursuit of worldly gain is a life of sin.

This might seem contrary to the belief of many, especially in a culture that has long valued hard work and worldly gain to the extent that a person’s righteousness is measured according to how much he has in the world.

Rich people are assumed to be hard working and reliable, for example. While people assume that those who are poor must be lazy or mentally unstable in some way.

These can be true to a degree. However, there is something to be said about the nature of a man whose aim is to gain riches in this world. Sure, such a man worked for what he has and that is his right. No one should take his hard work from him. However, far better is the man who worked to become more like Jesus—He who had no home to live in, no fancy clothing, and gave His life for others instead of taking power unto Himself.

I am not anti-capitalist, but as a Christian, I am anti-greed. I am against those who look down their noses at the poor, assuming that “If I could do it, so can they.” Not all have the same intellect. Not all have the same support system. Not all have the same greed of gain either.

Far better is the poor man who spends time with his family instead of climbing the career ladder. Far better is the poor man who is faithful to his wife than the rich man who has affairs behind closed doors or secretly lusts after women in his heart. Far better is the poor man who pursues a knowledge of God and His word than the man who pursues college degrees. Far better is the man who has a few sincere friends who love him, love his family, and love God than the man with dozens of acquaintances that speak kindly to his face then slander him behind his back.

There is a lot of empty pursuits in this world. There are many forms of sin, and our society has forgotten that greed is also a sin. Our society has forgotten that worshiping riches is sin. Our society has forgotten that “respect of persons” that exalts the rich and hates the poor is sin.

Yes, the poor man might lack motivation. He might lack sound judgement. He might have addictions. Guess what, so does the rich man.

The rich man lacks motivation in the true things of God, or else he would not have the time to go after this world as he does. The rich man lacks sound judgment, because he “judges after the outer appearance” and his judgment is according to the “wisdom of this world.” The rich man is addicted to comfort, social status and praise, and climbing to new heights of success.

He is not one whit better than the poor man that he despises. In-fact, he is in many ways worse because he thinks that his riches are righteousness while he sits prim and proud, holier-than-thou, and blind to just how poor he is in things that actually matter. He is a hypocrite, a liar, a man-pleaser, and a servant of self and not of God.

Capitalism is not sin. Greed is sin. Stepping on the backs of others to further yourself is sin. Hating the poor is sin. Making hypocritical judgments is sin.

Socialism is not the answer.

Jesus is. A free market is good. We do not need rich men in government telling us what to do with our lives and our money. We do not need big corporations running the world either. However, the world will do what the world does. If we do not worship the world, but Jesus, He will lead us in things that matter and cannot be taken from us.

“There is no rest, day nor night, for those who worship the beast and his image or receive the mark of his name.”

There is no rest when your pursuit is this world. Let it go. Do what you must according to your conscience to make the most of your talents and serve people in Christ, but do not fret yourself over this world. It is deception to think that anything we gain here is of real value.

There is rest in Jesus. When we work in Him and for Him—of a truth in the things that He values, which are foolishness to people in this world—then we have gain that cannot be lost. People in this world do not value these things. Fake Christians do not value these things.

God sees and He will divide the real believers from the fake, so we can be patient and watch and wait to see what He will do. Trust in Him and not riches or sins of any variety, because those who do are going to have a hell of a time when all that they trust in prove to be nothing more than a bottomless pit of nothingness. The greed of man can never be satisfied and neither is his wrath against those who stand in his way, but there is satisfaction and peace for the Christian that the world cannot know or understand.

That being said, we do not always feel the satisfaction and peace we want, but if we look to Jesus during our times of doubt and despair, He will strengthen us. He might strengthen us by taking us through hard times that remove our sinful pursuits from us as He deals with us as our Father who “chastens every son he loves.” If our faith is of God and true, even if it hangs only by a thin thread, we will make it because it is the grace of God that keeps us and He is faithful to those who belong to Him.

“It is good for me that I have been afflicted that I might learn thy statutes. The law of thy mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver.” (from Psalm 119)

PREVIOUS STUDY: Considering Proverbs 11:17 – “The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

The purpose of this bible study in The Proverbs is to consider present-day events in terms of the teachings and wisdom of Jesus ChristFollow in WordPress or subscribe by email (red button at the bottom of each page below the comments) if you would like to join this discussion and receive updates of future postsVisit the link above for easy access to all posts within this series.

These Things Saith He – Thyatira Overview

18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

28 And I will give him the morning star.

29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

There seems to be a lot going on here within the spirit of the church of Thyatira. On a positive note, there is mention of love, service, patience, and works. However, this church has some critical flaws. These flaws are encompassed in the idea of a Jezebel figure.

What does it say about this figure? This is a female figure. This figure claims to speak for God. This figure teaches her followers to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

There are a few ways we might look at this.

First, there is the idea of the female figure of Jezebel. How might we interpret this?

We can begin by going back to the story of Jezebel in 1 Kings. Jezebel was the wife of Ahab, a king of Israel. She led the people of Israel into worship of Baal and Asherah. She then persecuted the prophets of God who tried to lead the people of Israel away from idolatry.

Is the Jezebel mentioned in the letter to the church of Thyatira a parallel to this figure? It would seem so given the charges against her.

Is this going to be an individual, who like Jezebel, rises to power and misleads Christians? It could be; therefore this might be something worth remembering in the future.

We could consider this in terms of false religious leaders in general. There are those who want to gather a massive following of people who look to them as some great spiritual leader and mouthpiece of God. This can lead to a kind of spiritual adultery if the followers join themselves with such people instead of waiting on the Lord, Jesus.

We could consider this in terms of a destructive female influence in the church. There are many women leaders in the church who have overly softened the judgment of God, as women sometimes tend to do. This can lead to acceptance of sin or a thin commitment to the faith.

We could consider this in terms of a general acceptance of sin by the church. There are some who take the grace and forgiveness of God to an extreme that makes sin permissible. There are some who take sin off the books entirely, calling things that were once sin righteous and going so far as to praise the sinner.  Sinners are also welcome as leaders within the church, and proudly so. When sin is made permissible, it is akin to spiritual fornication with Satan and idolatry.

We could consider this in terms of a church that embraces forms of spirituality that are not of God. When we replace the things of the Spirit with ideas from other religions, we are committing a form of spiritual fornication.

These ideas can also be found in more nuanced ways within any church that uses love, forgiveness, and grace as a copout for living in sin.

Many like say that Jesus loves us just as we are, and there is no reason to be anything better. The notion that we are sinners in need of a savior is lost in many churches. They only want a soft, good-times message that makes everyone feel loved and accepted.

It is good to show love and patience. It is not good to forego the need for sound judgement that knows what sin is and requires repentance from the sinner.

There are churches that never preach the cross. Instead, they encourage people to embrace their inner light, so called, stating that we all have God in us. We only need to unlock our potential. The sacrifice of Jesus is replaced by a form of self-worship and a false sense of power and connection with the “universe” instead of our Creator.

In any case, whether we are dealing with a single, corrupt female leader or the acceptance and praise of sin and false spirituality in the church in more general terms, we are told that those who follow such as these will be killed if they do not repent.

21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

Those who follow the ways of Jezebel are made to join in with her in great tribulation. What does this mean? All the church will go through tribulation. What makes this tribulation different? Perhaps the difference is that this church does not think that they will see any trouble. After-all, God is love and He accepts our wickedness and there is no judgment, wrath, or even chastisement to fear (in their mind).

The Spirit is reinforcing the notion that those who embrace sin and worship of false leaders and false gods are going to go through trouble. Those who are faithful to Jesus will go through trouble too, as we read about in the letter to the Church of Smyrna. However, there is peace during trouble for those who are faithful to the Lord. For those who are not, the trouble will most likely be unbearable and death is the result: both death in body and death of the soul, pending any mercy of God.

Jesus tests our hearts by the Holy Spirit. “His eyes are as a flame of fire,” which means His gaze can see all things, test all things, reveal all things, and cleanse us of our sin. “His feet are like fine brass,” which means He cannot be moved. His authority is sound and so are His judgements. What He calls sin is sin. What He calls righteous is righteous. We cannot change His judgements and those who do are in danger of judgment.

It also does not matter how much “love, service, patience, and works” we have if our hearts are far from God. For example, we might be loving towards sinners in our actions and patience with them. However, if we do not love the truth and call sin out for what it is, then our love is not the kind of love that Jesus would have us show, and the works we do in the name of love are corrupt. We will receive according to these works—and not grace—because we took the grace of God for granted and made sin acceptable.

24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

What is the doctrine that Thyatira holds? How is it that Thyatira knows the “depths of Satan?” This “doctrine of the Nicolaitans” might take on a clearer meaning in the future, but for now it is the opinion of the author of “These Things Saith He” that this doctrine encompasses any teaching that embraces worldly Christianity. This church seems to be the embodiment of this idea on many levels, and in being such a church, they are also intimately connected with Satan. They have committed adultery with him in going after the things of the world and not the things of God through Jesus Christ.

Here we see a point of light in the patience and mercy of God. There are some within Thyatira who do not embrace the doctrines of this church and He tells them to hold on to what they have until He comes.

He states that he will “put upon you no other burden.” What does this mean? Perhaps it is burden enough to renounce the ways of this church and stay faithful to Jesus. Perhaps they have some problems in their walk, but if they hold onto the faith they have, He will show them mercy. This could also be stated as a contrast to the burden of the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. Jesus states, “my burden is light.” Keeping His ways are not burdensome, but the ways of Satan are a heavy load to bear.

26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

28 And I will give him the morning star.

29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

It is interesting that Jesus mentions His iron rule. This makes sense as a contrast to a church that is overly soft and permissive of sin. If we keep the works of Jesus, then we continue to call sin out for what it is and we continue to esteem His teachings as righteous. We also have faith in Jesus to work all good things in us so that we can do His will. We also understand that any good thing in us is by His power, so there is no reason to exalt leaders among us or esteem ourselves too highly.

He will “give the morning star” to those that overcome. Jesus is called the morning star. Satan also calls himself the morning star, and this church follows Satan to a great degree. The light of Satan is darkness and deception, but in Jesus we have the Light of Life. We will inherit Him by the Holy Spirit in us and when Jesus returns to overthrow the one whose light is darkness.

We will discuss in greater detail what it means to overcome the ways of Thyatira in the next chapter.

PREVIOUS CHAPTER: These Things Saith He – Scripture for Pergamos

NEXT:  These Things Saith He – Overcoming Thyatira

All Current “These Things Saith He” Drafts

The above is the draft version of a chapter to a book I plan to write and publish in a manner that is free of charge to the public.

I wrote in These Things Saith He: Contents that I will publish the drafts here first and offer opportunity for others to share their thoughts before the final work is completed.

I’m open to and greatly value the insight, experiences, and thoughts of my Christian brethren because we are a body knit together in Christ that is meant to work together without over reliance on our leaders. I am not your leader, but I do try to be faithful to what I have received to the best of my ability, and I look to Jesus for gracious judgment of my service and the service of all who truly love Him.

Lessons from Ananias and Saphira

Have you read the story in the Bible about the couple that was struck down dead for lying to the Holy Spirit?

I want to write this post as a follow up to my previous post, All In. There is a story in the Bible of a husband and wife who claimed to be “all in,” but they were holding things back for themselves.

They sold a plot of land and gave the money to the church. They claimed to give all, but they did not. No one required this of them. They were making a show of their good works and lying about the amount they had given.

They lied to the Holy Spirit and were struck dead on the spot. You can read about this in the Acts of the Apostles Chapter 5.

I think about this after considering my last post because I should have emphasized a desire to be “all in” for Jesus with faith in Him to make this possible in His perfect timing according to the will and grace of the Father. It is good for us to want to give our all for Jesus, but it is also good to remember that there is most likely going to be some area that is lacking for most of our lives.

Most of us cannot be all in like the apostles were or like John the Baptist was. Especially if we have a family that we are responsible for. I can’t be all in in the sense that I’d like to be. I have to work, but I can do my upmost to do all things “as unto the Lord” and for His glory. I can seek Him to remove my selfish nature from me overtime so that I can make sacrifices now for future gain in His Kingdom.

It is also worth stating that being “all in” for Jesus is going to mean being patient with others, loving others, and doing good to all—even our enemies. We might get fed up with it all and the Lord knows our frame. However, we have to keep His words and do them, no matter how painful or difficult. We can learn to rejoice in our suffering, knowing that our reward is in Heaven. Not grumble or feel sorry for ourselves. This is a high calling, but Jesus will help us.

All that being said, what else might we learn from the story of Ananias and Saphira?

As Christians, we call Jesus our Lord and Savior, right? That means something. As with all things, He knows our frame and He is patient with us. Thank God for that.

However, claiming Jesus as our Lord means something. We should strive and seek Him daily so that He is in-fact made Lord of our life. We need to get to know Him, how He would have us live our lives, and what He wants us to do with our life that was bought with His blood.

Claiming Jesus as our Savior means something. Do we look to Him to keep us or do we put our trust in man or in this world? This can be a hard thing for many of us. Not all of us have strong faith, but if we seek the Lord in this, we can trust in Him to make our faith stronger.

Growing in these might mean going through trying circumstances so that we can learn to trust in Jesus and live more fully for Him, but if that is the case, we can look back afterwards with thanks knowing that “tribulation works patience” and the trying of our faith “as by fire” is no strange thing.

Another lesson to learn from Ananias and Saphira is that the Lord knows our hearts and He does not approve of people who do things to be seen as something great in the eyes of others, especially when they are lying.

There are a lot of people in the faith who make a great show of their faith or of how great a Christian they are, but they are lying. Many do not even have faith. They are just playing along because this serves them in some way. “Whose god is their belly” as I believe Paul stated.

If we have sincere faith in Jesus, we can trust in Him to work out our character flaws, even if we are prone to doing things to be seen. However, we should not take anything lightly. We should fear these examples but also have faith in the Lord for His mercy and turn to Him so that we can be forgiven and made more complete in that which is pleasing to God.

All of this makes me think of another scripture that states, “the curse of the Lord is upon the house of the thief and those that swear falsely by my name.” I am paraphrasing, but the wording is not far off.

We do not want to claim Jesus falsely, as stated above. We also do not want to do things in His name falsely or claim some authority from God that we do not have.

We also do not want to steal what belongs to Him. This can mean many things. We do not want to rob Him of His glory by doing things to be seen, like Ananias and Saphira. There is a case of another man in Acts who was struck dead for not giving glory to God (Acts 12).

We should be mindful of the fact that any good thing we have come from the grace of God. It is fitting to praise the Lord for what He has done in your life. Some people might not like that and there are times when we should not be so quick to talk about those things. If someone is feeling down because they do not think the Lord is working in their lives as they think He should, it might not be so good an idea to rub your grace of God in their face.

However, in all things we should strive to honor God and know that He is the One who gives all things. Good and bad. All things are for His glory, including things that we might fear. Fear is also a form of worship and giving glory. “All things are by Him and for Him.”

We also should not rob God by gathering followers of ourselves and not Jesus. Many want to make disciples of themselves so that they can be something great. We are not Jesus and we should not covet followers. Rather, we should do our best to push Jesus out there and make Him big so that people will follow Him. As John the Baptist stated, “He must increase and I must decrease.”

We do not want to rob people of their faith through bad teaching or living in a way that brings shame to the Lord. We do not want to rob Jesus of our service because we forget that we were paid for with a price and we belong to Him now.

There are many ways in which we can consider the idea of stealing and swearing falsely by the Name of Jesus. There are many things we can consider from the story of Ananias and Saphira.

It is good to be mindful and sometimes we are not as mindful as we would like to be. However, if we serve the Lord then His Spirit will remind us of all things and provide us with opportunity to repent as needed so that we can learn and do better by the grace of God.

All In

I’ve spent my whole life chasing people that I’m never quite good enough for. This is going to be a cringe post but I don’t really care. I don’t think I should care anymore because all the time, care, and effort that goes into trying to be enough for people that are too good for me should be spent on the Lord.

I’ve wasted enough time. I spent six months handmaking Christmas gifts for people that did not appreciate it. Not even a thank you from about half of them. Probably a scoff behind closed doors because let’s face it. Who wants that these days?

I spent a week preparing my home for Christmas dinner trying to bring family together. Some made excuses for not coming. Those that did come were overheard talking with those that did not about their mutual plans together later that day. We aren’t good enough to be invited along, but those that did make it probably patted themselves on the back for gracing us with their presence.

I’m tired of always being the one to initiate conversations. I’m tired of always being the one to invite everyone to every event I host while being left out of their life and celebrations. I’m tired of doing for everyone all the time, even though my household is the poorest among them all. I’m tired of feeling like I’m not good enough for anyone. I’m tired of people saying that God is not with me because I renounce the corruption of today’s churches. I’m tired of people saying that my family is “white trash” and that God is not for us because we are “poor.”

Never mind that I work seven days a week from home doing a job that requires a Bachelor’s Degree that I do not have, but God gave skill and opportunity enough for me to make it anyway. Never mind that I homeschool my kids and work hard to take care of them and put them in sports three days a week. Never mind that I’ve worked so hard with one son on the autism spectrum that people don’t even know that he has this problem anymore, when just a few short years ago he couldn’t even handle public school.

Never mind that the Lord saved me from death more than once, from infancy to a few years ago. Never mind that He sent me His Holy Spirit in power. Never mind that He has healed me and continues to work in me to do His will despite a life of trouble. Never mind that the Lord has given me understanding of His word, understanding of repentance needed within the church, and His desire for his faithful church. God’s grace did that. He did it all and no one can tell me that He is not for me. Though, I do not take it for granted. I owe Him. I do not owe them.

I might not be good enough for some, but that is okay. God sees. He sees how hard I try, but unfortunately He also sees how much time I waste chasing love that I will never get. He also sees how I expend time, energy, and emotional capacity that should be His on those who do not value it.

I’m just done. I just spent my 35th birthday alone for the most part and without acknowledgement. Not that my birthday matters to me all that much. I love to celebrate other people’s because life is worth celebrating, so I always make mention of it and do something special for them. That’s why it feels bad. It’s not about me or that I feel entitled; it’s just the fact that I always put myself out there for everyone and I wonder why.

Why do I waste the time? Why do I always chase people who cannot love me back? It might be me. I’ve wondered about that my whole life. I’ve always felt lesser than other people. Maybe they sense that so they treat me as lesser. Maybe I am lesser.

Yet, there are some who return the love and I’m learning to be content. It is better to have a few sincere folks than a hundred fakes. Sincere people appreciate the time and effort you put into doing good for them, even if all you have to offer is something simple. Sincere people see how hard you try, not how much you lack. Sincere people want to be with you because of who you are, not what you can offer them socially or in terms of some gain in this world.

Most importantly as I think about all of this, I keep going back to wasted time, energy, and focus that Jesus should get from me. I need to be all in for Him and stop caring about people that I will never be good enough for. He gave His all for me, and I like to think that I’m all in for Him.

Yet, I know that so long as I am chasing love in this world that is not for me, I am vulnerable to giving something of myself that is not mine to give away. I am also vulnerable to wanting acceptance in this world, and after 35 years of being an odd-ball, you’d think I had learned by now that this world is not for me. Not until Jesus returns and makes it His.

I look forward to His Kingdom. I will have a home there and I do have home here with the few who truly care. I am fortunate to have a few sincere people in my life who love me, my kids, and Jesus. One day all the sincere will be together with Him and what a wonderful day that will be.

I know there are a lot of people out there who feel lost and alone. Many people only care about worldly gain. They only care about ungodly entertainment, gossip, boosting each others egos, and making one another feel better than people who they esteem to be lesser.

When Jesus walked this earth, “he had no stature or appearance that we should delight in him. He was despised and rejected of men.” I do not think it would be one bit different today. If you relate, you are not alone. Let’s be all in with Jesus. Stop chasing the world. He died to save us from it, after-all.

Considering Proverbs 11:17

The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

We can think of examples of this proverb within our society today. There are many cruel ideas and cruel people in the world who are quick to cast blame at others, falsely accuse others, and push for the worst punishments possible for even the slightest offense—assuming there is a real offense at all. The ways in which we see false offense and cruel judgment for these so-called offenses is astounding.

One could spend hours discussing the false accusations of racism, bigotry, and sexism, just to name a few. One could spend hours discussing the merciless actions taken in response to COVID-19 and the false accusations thrown at those who refuse to comply with tyranny. There are many ideas—ideas of deception, false accusation, and cruelty—that are tearing our world apart.

The worst part about it might be the lying nature of it all and the extreme hatred for anyone who stands by the truth. It used to be that you could disagree with someone and remain at peace so long as there was mutual respect and an agree-to-disagree kind of attitude. Not anymore. It’s follow suit with the lies and perversions or be hated—and even that isn’t good enough anymore. You’re also expected to be cruel to any who oppose. Mercy? That’s a fool’s idea in the mind of those who are caught up in the strange spirits of this time.

“Blessed are the merciful.”

That is an idea that we must hold on to as Christians. We should love mercy because we have received the mercy of God through Jesus. We know what sin is and we do not shy away from calling sin what it is. We do not make excuses for ourselves or for others, but we do make room for repentance and a desire to do what is right and true in the eyes of our Creator.

A culture without mercy is sure to have trouble. A culture without mercy destroys itself because there is no end to the vengeance of man that ensues without a love of mercy. Pair this with deceptions that call good evil and evil good, and then we have even greater trouble because not only do we lack mercy, but we punish the righteous and celebrate the wicked.

These are truly twisted times. God will judge it, and I thank God that in judgment there is mercy. I thank God that He sent His Son, Jesus to save us from our sinful and lying nature so that we can see what is good and true and stand by these things in Christ.

Yet, let us not get so caught up in the spirits of this time that we forget to look at our own failings. In what ways can we show greater mercy? Are we prone to getting sucked into the cruelties of our time? In everyday life we can seek the Lord to help us choose mercy. However, we must have sound judgement in order to know that we need mercy.

We cannot stop calling sin out for what it is. How can anyone know that they need a savior if they do not think that they are in sin? How can anyone know that they need Jesus if they do not know that their sins will lead to the destruction of their flesh—both in this life and in the second death?

It is mercy to continue to speak the truth to a world that hates the truth. Without the truth there is no repentance. Without repentance there is no turning to Jesus. Without Jesus there is no salvation. Without salvation there is no mercy. Without mercy there is only cruelty and destruction, so we must do what we can as Christians to be bold in the faith as those who were bought with the blood of Jesus. He will show us mercy even if no one else will because we are merciful in Him.

“And they overcame him (the accuser of the brethren) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (From Revelation 12)

PREVIOUS STUDY: Considering Proverbs 11:16A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

The purpose of this bible study in The Proverbs is to consider present-day events in terms of the teachings and wisdom of Jesus ChristFollow in WordPress or subscribe by email (red button at the bottom of each page below the comments) if you would like to join this discussion and receive updates of future postsVisit the link above for easy access to all posts within this series.

Where Your Treasure is, There Will Your Heart Be Also (Part 2)

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. – Matthew 6:19-24

How literally should we take this passage? Is there ever a time to buildup riches in this world? Will we always reject Christ in doing so? There is a time for all things, as the scriptures state elsewhere. We have to provide for people who depend on us, for example.

However, the pursuit of earthly riches can be consuming for many of us. If we are consumed with the things of this life and we don’t have time for God, then it does not matter how much we gain because we will lose it all in the end. That is an evil eye. Evil is the loss of some good. When the things we look to are things that will only pass away, then all that we do is in vain. There is no real good or gain. Only the illusion of good and gain.

As Jesus states in another parable, “the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches” can choke the word of God from our hearts. Worldly riches are a kind of deception. Especially when pursued in the place of riches in the Kingdom of Heaven because one is passing away and the other is eternal.

If our eyes are on the things of the Kingdom of God, then everything that we setout to do will be profitable in that which his everlasting. Light and life are symbols that go together, as are darkness and death.

We can focus on things that bring life and things that will remain forever or we can focus on things that seem good for a time but only fade into nothingness in the end. We can’t really do both. Not well. One always wins out, and this is a hard thing for people who have a lot of cares in this life. The Lord knows and He makes a way, but it’s not always easy. Good things are usually difficult. “To him that is given much, much is required.”

In any case, all things done to the glory of God and for His purposes are profitable. Some have wealth in this world because God is using this for the good of others or to glorify Himself in some way. How much is too much? To each his and her own conscience. It seems like this depends on what we are given to do.

However, it is good for us to be aware of this teaching. It is easy for many to get caught up in the things of this life. We only have a finite amount of time on this earth in which to grow in Christ and glorify God. Our use of this time matters.

We do not want to stand before Jesus knowing that we used our time to serve ourselves. We also do not want to fall short in the blessings we could receive now in Spirit or in the Kingdom to come because we were too busy with pursuits in this world.

In any case, whatever measure we can sacrifice the pleasures and riches of this life for gain in the Kingdom of God will be rewarded.

Jesus said, “every one that has forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”

The degree to which we should take care for what we have and for others and the degree to which we should sacrifice what we have is a matter each person has to determine for themselves as the Lord leads.

If our treasure is Jesus, then He will show us what to do. A heart that says, “Thou art my portion, oh Lord” will be rich in the Kingdom of Heaven, no matter their greatness or smallness in this world.

We might not always know what we are supposed to be doing, but if we keep seeking Jesus in faith then we know that all things are going as the Father ordains, and this will be for our good. It does not always seem good now, but the gain promised is more than we can imagine.

This article is part of a series that considers the Parables of Jesus. Right now, we are looking at the statements Jesus made during His Sermon on the Mount, to which He referenced in His Parable of the Building on Rock and Sand. Visit the link for quick access to all articles written within this series.

PREVIOUS POST IN THIS SERIES: Where Your Treasure Is, There Will Your Heart Be Also (Part 1)

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Where Your Treasure is, There Will Your Heart Be Also (Part 1)

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. – Matthew 6:19-24

As I read this, I cannot help but think about all the earthly treasures that we enjoy today. Even the ability to write this blog article requires the treasure of technology. I have a laptop computer, electricity, and internet. Behind me is a table that holds my kids’ school supplies, their Legos, and a marble run set (out of the way of our two-year old that still puts everything in his mouth).

I have a kitchen with plenty of food and easy access to all varieties of food, even despites some shortages. I can get online and order just about anything one might imagine, assuming I had the extra money to do so. I can also get online and find plenty of work to do so that I can make money to provide for my family and pursue all kinds of treasures for my kids and others.

We might not have a nice house (we rent a very old house that our landlord does not maintain or cannot maintain. I do what I can to make the most of it, but I don’t own it so I’m limited).

We might not have a nice car. We might be considered to be impoverished by United States standards, but we are still richer than most people have been throughout all of history. We have so much treasure in this life and I work hard to pursue what we need and maintain what we have.

I would like to own my own home one day. I would like to grow a business that provides a more secure future for my family or provides jobs for others.

I don’t like to write much about myself anymore, but as I read the passage above, I cannot help but think about this and it’s hard for me to write about these things and fully separate myself from these ideas.

Finding the balance between pursuing the necessities of life—and pursuing pleasures for those I love, especially my children—and pursuing the things of God has been a struggle for me for some time.

On one hand, there is a part of me that just wants to live my simple little life and do so as uprightly as I can. As a Christian, of course. There are things that I could pursue that are not unrighteous, like growing my business or taking on more work.

However, I could not keep up with this blog if I did that. Even as it is, I feel pressed to make the most of every minute of my day. I work seven days a week now just to maintain the demands of life without giving up on my obligations to this blog and the people who read it.

I have an obligation to do something with the gifts the Lord has given me, and I can use these to further my riches in this world or I can use them to edify the called of God, thereby gaining riches in the Kingdom of Heaven.

That’s my real home. I’ve never had a real home in this life. Home as a child did not feel like home. As an adult, I’ve never had a place of my own. All I have ever really wanted is a home, loving family, and good friends.

I have love in my family. We have had troubles, but the Lord has been good to us and He is at work in us. That is what really matters. A home is not a building or a location. It’s the people.

Building up people is a treasure that cannot be taken from us—especially when we are building up people in Christ.

That is a treasure that I cannot forsake no matter what. There is no career, no house, no car, or no gain within society that can compare.

I also wonder what I might do in the kingdom to come. I believe in a Millennial reign of Jesus on the earth after He overthrows the false christ. I have some ideas about what that time might mean for us who serve Him. I think that our lives now are preparing us for what we will do then.

You’ve heard it said that you should “dress for the job you want.” Can we transfer that idea to the kingdom of heaven? I think about what I would like to do. I have an affinity for helping traumatized people heal. I have an affinity for helping damaged families heal. That’s been the story of my life and the Lord’s work in my life. I also have some ideas about what “church” should be. I assume there would still be a need for people to congregate in the name of the Lord, but in a more beneficial manner than we have today. A more complete manner that has learned from our failings.

In any case, it is better to prepare myself for service to Jesus in His kingdom than it is to grow a business and pursue greater prosperity in this world. I truly cannot do both.

Yet, I admit to that being a struggle for me. Though, not a terribly difficult one. Jesus has done so much for me already. He has done so much for my family. He saved me from death and turned me into a better mother. He is brining peace to my home. He is teaching me many things in this life, not to mention the understanding of His word that He provides.

I must do what I can to raise my family. I must do what I can to provide for them. However, the real treasure I want is to be of use in His Kingdom—to have some small part in building up that home and those who will live there. Including my children and husband, Lord willing. It goes together. We must be good stewards of what we have and abide in the calling wherein we are called.

Sometimes I think I should stop being stubborn about not taking money for the ministry. Sometimes I think I should try to go into full time ministry and let my business go. Yet, I also trust that all things are going at the pace that the Lord has ordained.

I’ve been in a state of ambivalence for a while now, not knowing what to do with myself. As I write this, I realize that I am already right where I need to be.

I know exactly what my aim is here at The Lord Alone. It took me a while to get here, but I know I am focused on the right things. Most things He has given me to say will be covered in the Parables series, the Proverbs series, and in the These Things Saith He series. I do want to spend more time looking over the KindlingTruth articles. I have learned from my errors there in a broad sense (mostly errors in spirit), so I don’t know if that is necessary at this point.

My family has what they need. I have enough work. I do not need more. We have a place to live. We have food. We have educational tools and resources for the kids. The kids have luxuries even beyond what they need and I have a few of those too.

Time to let go of my earthly ambitions and just maintain with a willingness to let go of anything else the Lord might ask of me for His sake. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Apologies if this type of writing is off putting. I can’t in good conscience write about this teaching of Jesus until I have dealt with these issues within myself. That has been the case with all things I write. I learn mostly through personal experience and the Holy Spirit reveals the lessons as I go. Hard experience. Yet, this is the Lord’s doing and it is good. I am thankful.

This has been the cause for my stopping and starting at times. I do not want to be a hypocrite, so it’s hard to move forward unless my own sins or character flaws are worked out, or at least turned over to Jesus in faith that He will work them out in His time. This also means writing about myself sometimes, which some people like and others do not. I understand both perspectives.  


This article is part of a series that considers the Parables of Jesus. Right now, we are looking at the statements Jesus made during His Sermon on the Mount, to which He referenced in His Parable of the Building on Rock and Sand. Visit the link for quick access to all articles written within this series.

PREVIOUS POST IN THIS SERIES: Fast in Secret

Subscribe by entering your email address and clicking on the red button at the bottom of this page to get future posts by email or follow in WordPress.

These Things Saith He – Scripture for Pergamos

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”

The word of God is powerful and should be handled with respect. When we are negligent in our use of the word of God, we can do a lot of harm to the faith of others and to ourselves.

There is a great deal of patience and mercy that we can find through faith in Jesus for our misunderstandings and misteaching of the word. As Paul the apostle wrote, we “see God as through a glass darkly.”

However, there are instances when a misuse of the word of God becomes so grievous that we might find that the word of God that we negligently wield is turned against us. This is especially true when we use the word of God to make unjust judgements of others (with what judgement you judge, you will be judged) or when we use the word of God to condone sinful living, thereby acting as “Balaam who taught Balak to teach the children of Israel to eat things sacrificed unto idols and to commit fornication.”

Teachings that misuse the forgiveness of God, “turning the grace of God into lasciviousness” are hated by God because the forgiveness of sins was paid with the blood of His Son. We should respect His Son—who is also called the Word of God. We cannot take the salvation we are promised lightly by living a life filled with modern-day idolatry and acceptance of sins that our society want to embrace, like fornication for example.

We should do our best to handle the word of God with care so that we can learn true doctrine—but most importantly—so we can learn what it means to live out our Christianity faithfully. The knowledge that matters most for us is that which conforms us to the image of Christ over the course of our lives. Therefore, there is much room for us to be humble and patient with the secondary doctrines over which we disagree.

If we show a lack of patience in this regard, but instead use the word of God to condemn fellow believers with whom we disagree or otherwise cast them out from our fellowship, then we might be in danger of judgment.

When Jesus returns, it is written that He will “fight with the sword of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.”

The scriptures also indicate that the word of God is the weapon of the Christian. We too fight with the words of His mouth as the Spirit of God speaks through us and devours our enemies.

All of this is to say that we Christians will have to give an account for what we did with the word of God and the sacrifice of Jesus who Is the Word of God. There is a level of negligence that reveals a wicked heart that does not have real faith. However, for those of us who love Jesus of a truth, we can continue to seek Him in faith so that we are made more faithful to Him and to His teachings.

“And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”

Suggested Scripture for Reading Pertaining to the Ideas Considered in the Letter to the Church of Pergamos

Note: This scripture list is a work in progress that will be updated as These Things Saith He is completed.

  • Hebrews 4
  • 2 Timothy 3
  • 2 Corinthians 6
  • 1 Corinthians 10
  • Ephesians 6
  • Jude 1
  • James 3
  • Matthew 10
  • Revelation 11
  • Revelation 19

PREVIOUS CHAPTER: These Things Saith He – Overcoming Pergamos

NEXT:  These Things Saith He – Thyatira Overview

All Current “These Things Saith He” Drafts

The above is the draft version of a chapter to a book I plan to write and publish in a manner that is free of charge to the public.

I wrote in These Things Saith He: Contents that I will publish the drafts here first and offer opportunity for others to share their thoughts before the final work is completed.

I’m open to and greatly value the insight, experiences, and thoughts of my Christian brethren because we are a body knit together in Christ that is meant to work together without over reliance on our leaders. I am not your leader, but I do try to be faithful to what I have received to the best of my ability, and I look to Jesus for gracious judgment of my service and the service of all who truly love Him.

These Things Saith He – Overcoming Pergamos

17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

The sins of Pergamos are centered around misusing the word of God to justify living an ungodly lifestyle or to otherwise cause others to stumble in the faith.

How might we avoid misusing the word of God in such a manner, especially when many churches do this very thing? How many mainstream Christian teachings are based on misuse of the scripture?

There are secondary doctrines that Christians disagree over. However, one has to wonder how many pastors know that a teaching or two of their specific denomination is incorrect, yet they continue to teach falsehoods in order to retain their pastoral position?

This is one of the many dangers associated with institutionalized Christianity. The institution becomes a god in itself that exalts its falsehoods higher than the truthful teachings of Jesus and His apostles. The covenant bought with the blood of Jesus was meant to remove the barrier between man and God. It was not meant to erect many more barriers in the form of our countless denominations and the structures that we call “church.”

Through the blood of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we all have access to God. It is true that we do not all teach. We do not all lead. We do not all prophesy. However, Jesus knows how to feed His flock. He knows how to bring His faithful together so that all might be edified, and He does not need our institutions or buildings to do so.

We who have the Spirit of God are the temple of God—not built with hands—and we do not need these man-made structures. In-fact, these structures are very often nothing more than buildings constructed of stumbling blocks lead by men and women who knowingly ignore false teachings or otherwise harden their hearts to the truth for fear of man instead of fear of God and Jesus who Is the Word of God.

Rather than rely on structures of stumbling, we need to put Jesus first of a truth and do our best to learn the word of God afresh. The Holy Spirit can teach us or lead us to faithful ministers of the word of God—many of which are not found in these structures of stumbling that we call churches, but on the outskirts right where the true ministers of God have always been found.

Even so , there are many good pastors who sincerely believe the teachings they preach and they are doing the best that they can. Many have positive impacts on their congregants and community. God knows and He is gracious and merciful to much misunderstanding when done out of a pure heart.

He also allows room for us to disagree on much because not all is fully revealed. So long as Jesus is put first and we disagree in humility and love for the brethren, He will show us all things by the Spirit according to His perfect timing and methods.

However, each individual Christian should do what they can to learn the scriptures and the truth of the teachings of Jesus. The gospel is simple. If we put our faith in Jesus, He will work out the rest for us so long as we put Him first.

This is how we overcome Pergamos.

We overcome by thinking less of our pastors and more of Jesus. Do not assume that church leaders are right just because they have formal training. The Holy Spirit is not institutionalized and neither is the true church of God. His Church is one in Spirit and found in the hearts of all sincere believers of all backgrounds and sects.

The Holy Spirit will teach us all things. He is the best at revealing the knowledge of the Lord to us on an individual level using the perfect timing and method for each of us. He takes the time to work with us intimately, which is something that many churches neglect.

It is not possible to properly feed an audience of many with those same old regurgitated sermons that are void of the leading of the Spirit, which is fresh, new, alive, and able to revive the heart of the individual.

All false teachings can lead to stumbling in the faith, so we should sincerely do what we can to learn true doctrine with faith in the Holy Spirit to teach or to lead us to a faithful teacher that respects the word of God properly.

Most importantly, we should avoid any teaching that uses the word of God to condone sinful living. This can take many forms. This can take the form of misusing the grace and forgiveness of God through Jesus by refusing to promote the change of heart that is promised in the gospel.

This can include using the scripture to re-write what God has called sinful so that unrighteous deeds are made acceptable: deeds like fornication, a love of money, a love of popularity, a love of self and vanity, and a self-righteous hatred towards others.

Love of anything but Jesus—when done in the place of Jesus or in a manner that causes one to neglect Him and the gifts He gives—is idolatry. We cannot use the word of God or the blood shed by the Jesus to justify idolatry, or we are no better than Balaam and Balac.

All of this might make one ask if going to church is a good idea.

Formal church attendance is a matter of personal conscience and can be greatly helpful for many. Especially those who are new in the faith. However, many who grew up in the faith outside of these formal structures find church to be very unsatisfying. This is in-part due to the misuse of the word of God. When not misused, the teachings often have an infantile nature to them. It is no wonder. Pastors and church structures of stumbling need congregants who are dependent on them—like a suckling child—in order to remain prosperous.

A well-fed and well-developed Christian should be able to conduct their life as a Christian without going to preschool every week. That sounds harsh, but that is what many of our churches are at best. Christian preschools. Assuming they teach the gospel at all.

Fellowship is good. Good teaching is good. However, if we want to avoid the perils of Pergamos, we need to be willing to get away from “Satan’s Seat” and into the wilderness like the woman in Revelation 12.

God will cause this to happen when the churches go after the false christ. Those who remain faithful will flee churches out of necessity. Many have done so already because they can see the trajectory that many of our churches are heading towards which is the acceptance of the false christ made possible by the grievous mishandling of the word of God.

17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

There is a hidden manna for those who are willing to get out of the corruption of our churches. Just as the people of God were fed in the wilderness, so does He feed us now and so will He when the great apostacy is formed.

“The woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and threescore days” (from Revelation 12).

We might experience time in the wilderness individually or collectively depending on the time we are in or depending on God’s will for us. This idea has many fulfilments, but we can rest assured that if we seek Jesus and if we truly want to know Him and the truth of what He teaches, He will make a way for us to learn.

However, this way very often means leaving our comfort zones behind as we move forward to that promised land that comes first in heart by the Spirit and will one day come when Jesus returns to join all who are faithful with Himself. We want to grow up into Christ. We want to “bring forth the man child.”

If our churches do not encourage this growth, then they are nothing more than structures of stumbling that are fit to welcome Satan because His seat is already there and His ministers occupy those spaces. They will be cast out. Both the false ministers of this world and Satan and his angels. “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea, for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath for he knows that he has but a short time.”

The above is a chapter draft of a book that I intend to compose and publish in a manner that is free to the public for the purpose of edifying the called of God in Jesus Christ.

I wrote in These Things Saith He: Contents that I will publish the drafts here first and offer opportunity for others to share their thoughts before the final work is completed.

I’m open to and greatly value the insight, experiences, and thoughts of my Christian brethren because we are a body knit together in Christ that is meant to work together without over reliance on our leaders. I am not your leader, but I do try to be faithful to what I have received to the best of my ability, and I look to Jesus for gracious judgment of my service and the service of all who truly love Him.

PREVEIOIUS CHAPTER: These Things Saith He – Pergamos Overview

NEXT: These Things Saith He – Scripture for Pergamos

All Chapter Drafts: These Things Saith He

Considering Proverbs 11:16

A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

This proverb speaks strongly to the culture of our nation. Or rather, the opposite of this proverb. An ungracious woman is dishonored: and weak men are impoverished.

It seems to me that our nation is full of ungracious women and weak men, so it is no wonder that we have the troubles that we have.

I don’t want to slam gracious women and strong men. There are many of those also, but among those, they probably see the same trends in our society and are grieved about them.

Ungracious women hate other women—especially gracious women who hold traditional values.

Ungracious women hate men—especially strong men who would naturally take up a leader’s role, which is something the ungracious women despises in a man because she would rather rule over him.

Ungracious women hate motherhood. They murder their own children before they are born, or they murder their children spiritually after they are born through abuse and neglect.

Ungracious women want to be pampered, praised, and treated as if they can do no wrong. They are unaccountable and unwilling to sacrifice self-gratification for the good of others.

Ungracious women do not know how to assert themselves without being tyrannical.

Weak men don’t know what being a strong man is about and they reject these ideas because they are becoming societally taboo.

Weak men hate women and children because they reject commitment and only want to live a life that is as void of responsibility as possible.

Weak men are so consumed by addictions and other self-gratifying behaviors, that they consume more than they produce or contribute to society.

Weak men do not know how to assert themselves without being tyrannical.

What happens in a nation of ungracious women and weak men? What kind of child-raising is going on—assuming there is any at all? No doubt, the government raises the children. The media raises the children.

The result?

A generation of mind-dead, brainwashed tools of the state who will rise up against their negligent and abusive parents who they naturally, and perhaps rightfully, despise.

We see this a great deal already. Generation Z is wrought with angry young people that want to uproot our society.

They are also wrought with wise youngsters who see the depravation of the generations past, and they want to make things like they “used to be.” The underground trend of #tradlife offers some hope for the future as do many influences who try to encourage the growth of gracious women and strong men. People like Jordan Peterson, for example, who is greatly hated among the ungracious and weak.

These are major problems that need to be dealt with and there is no easy fix.

Ungracious women were probably neglected for a great portion of their lives, especially during childhood, because their own mothers were told that they had to enter the workforce and send their daughters off to public school where they would be abused and miseducated. While the mother worked, media raised their daughter, filling her mind with all things that praise being an ungracious woman.

Ungracious women probably did not have a strong father figure, or lacked having a father at all because divorce had become common as the taboo around divorce was lifted in recent generations past.

They do not know how to discern between a strong man who leads and sacrifices himself for others and a weak and abusive tyrant, so any semblance of strength is lumped in with abuse and oppression.

The same is true for weak men. Weak men probably did not have good mothering or fathering, and in its place came all form of ungodliness from outside forces. Weak men do not know the meaning of “leave you father and mother and cleave to your wife,” which is essential for boys to grow into men.

Instead, they engage in hookup culture or get married to women who will mother them–either because they did not have a mother that cared or they had one that smothered them by doing too much for them, so they never grew up. Pair this with a lack of a loving father who encouraged them to be strong and responsible, and you have disaster.

Gracious women are fed up. They are exhausted. They are tired of being used by weak men and slandered.

Strong men are fed up. They are exhausted. They are tired of being used by ungracious women and slandered.

What happens when the gracious women and strong men who remain simply give up or are totally consumed and eradicated by an ungracious and weak culture?

Death. That is what happens.

We are following in the same footsteps of other societies that collapsed. Like Rome. We are very much like Rome before their collapse. We are also like Israel before God sent the Assyrians and Babylonians.

I would not be surprised if the King of Babylon (the false christ) is soon to appear.

We are ripe for it and all the ungracious women and weak men will go right along with him. The Great Whore is the great architype of an ungracious woman. The King of Babylon is the great architype of the weak man. Just as we see in our society, when joined together there is destruction, starting with the destruction of the gracious and strong.

I would rather that we could do something about our dying culture. However, as I wrote, this is no easy fix. Especially when the elites do everything they can to undermine these efforts.

What we need is traditional families and gender rolls. Talk about a taboo subject these days! What we need are a slew of “end times Elijahs” who will “turn the hearts of the fathers to the sons and the sons to the fathers, lest they be cursed.”

We need to return the hearts of mankind to traditional, Judeo-Christian values. We need make a stand against the corruption of our churches so that the hearts of the people are turned to Father God and the apostles.

God will cause this to happen, but will the world accept it? Probably not. Not if it is time for the false christ to appear, but only the Father knows what time we are in. However, it does not look good.

Despite it all, we know that God is in control and He will reward those who remain gracious and strong. So, let us do what we can to be as He would have us to be and let us do what we can to encourage this in others.

Perhaps we can turn things around, but we have to fight with all that we’ve got and God has to be on our side. So, we first turn our hearts to Him. If we turn to Him, perhaps He will remove the destruction from our land. If we don’t, then I don’t see why we can’t expect anything but more of the same.

PREVIOUS STUDY: Considering Proverbs 11:15 – “He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure.

The purpose of this bible study in The Proverbs is to consider present-day events in terms of the teachings and wisdom of Jesus ChristFollow in WordPress or subscribe by email (red button at the bottom of each page below the comments) if you would like to join this discussion and receive updates of future postsVisit the link above for easy access to all posts within this series.