DISCIPLESHIP: What Does the Bible say?


DISCIPLESHIP: What the Bible says

Paul, in his 2nd letter to the Corinthian church, urged its members “… examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith, prove your own selves…” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Today’s lesson and discussion is to stimulate some individual self-examination. Looking inward, read the following in application to yourself and fill in the blank with the name that the Holy Spirit puts on your heart as a future “Disciple” that YOU are charged with the command to disciple:

  • If I don’t teach (fill in the blank: ____________________my son or daughter, my grandson / granddaughter, my neighbor) …then WHO will?
    • For whosoever (fill in the blank ________________) shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall (fill in the blank ________________) call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall (fill in the blank ________________)  believe in Him of whom they have not heard? (Romans 10:13-14)


  • Have I been called to be a Disciple?
  • Do I know what a “Disciple” is?
  • Have I submitted to the call of being made a Disciple?
  • In what ways is the cost of being a Disciple manifested in my own life?
  • Do I have any responsibility to “reproduce” Disciples?
  • Am I making Disciples as I am going about? (Go therefore…as YOU are going… and make disciples of all nations… Matthew 28:19)
  • Am I teaching others to follow Jesus? Or am I simply teaching others what to believe? (If we simply teach people “what to believe”, people’s belief will last only until someone else comes along to teach them something different to believe.


“Discipleship” is a calling of God.  “…God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth, to which He called you by our gospel…” (2 Thess. 2:13-14) a “calling” that demands obedience. The “calling” to Discipleship is:

  • A calling of God (Romans 8:30) whom He predestinated, these He also called
  •  A calling that was redestined by God (Romans 8:30)
  • A calling to those having been justified by God (Romans 8:30) whom He called, those He also justified
  • A calling to become conformed by God (Romans 8:29) He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son
  • A calling to be in fellowship with God (1 Cor. 1:9) God is faithful, by whom you were called to the fellowship of His Son
  • A calling upon the “owned” of God (Rom. 1:6) you also are the called-out ones of Jesus Christ
  • To be a saint (Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2) those who are in Rome, beloved of God, called-out saints… who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called-out saints
  • A calling to holiness (1 Thess. 4:7) For God has not called us to uncleanness, but in sanctification.
  • A calling to patient endurance of suffering (1 Peter 2:20–21; 3:9) For what glory is it if you patiently endure while sinning and being buffeted? But if you suffer while doing good, and patiently endure, this is a grace from God… Never give back evil for evil, or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, giving blessing, knowing that you are called to this so that you might inherit blessing.
  • The calling to Discipleship is an act of God that guarantees a response!!


  • One who is devoted…
    • to the Scriptures and,
    • to the body and,
    • to serving one another and,
    • to praying for one another (Acts 2:42) And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
    • A disciple is one who denies himself(Luke 9:23) “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself…”
    • A disciple is one who abides (John 8:31-32) “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples…”
    • A disciple is a cross-bearer (Luke 14:27) Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple…
    • A disciple is a fruit-bearer (John 15:5, Galatians 5:22) He who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit;
    • A disciple is one who loves (John 13:34-35) (love expressed in actions of patience, kindness, forbearance, forgiveness, charity, selflessness, good conduct, not easily provoked, etc.) By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
    • A disciple is one who becomes like Jesus: (Luke 6:40) everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.
    • A disciple is one who imitates Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:1) Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
    • One who is a “fisher-of-men”: (Mark 1:16-22) Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men
    • A disciple is one who sets aside the world’s notions as to the purpose of one’s work and labor, and who labors to follow Jesus: (Mark 1:16-22) And immediately they left their nets and followed him
    • A disciple is a body-builder, a truth-speaker; a disciple is stable and mature in the Word and to Christ; a disciple grows up to become no longer like children (Ephesians 4:11-17) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…


Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote:  “The messengers of Jesus will be

  • hated to the end of time. (Am I hated?)
  • They will be blamed for all the division which rend cities and homes. (Am I blamed among brothers, sisters, loved ones, for being divisive?)
  • Jesus and his disciples will be condemned on all sides for undermining family life, and for leading the nation astray; (Am I condemned for splitting my family and refusing to compromise on national issues?)
  • they will be called crazy fanatics and disturbers of the peace. (Am I considered “fanatical?”)
  • The disciples will be sorely tempted to desert their Lord. (Am I tempted to quit?)

But the end is also near, and they must hold on and persevere until it comes. Only he will be blessed who remains loyal to Jesus and his word until the end.” (Matthew 24:13)




My beloved: Friends and Family all: I know that this Easter greeting seems long. But if you think this is long, consider how long ETERNITY is, and whether or not God might be speaking to your hearts about your own eternity. God is real; God is holy; and God demands that which not one human being is able to deliver: PERFECTION  and HOLINESS! Because we cannot deliver…

…Jesus Had to Die!

“…they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings…the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them…” Genesis 3:7, 21

Yesterday was “Maundy Thursday”, the day commemorating the events of the day of the Last Supper of Jesus with the Apostles.

The English word Maundy in that name for the day is derived through Middle English, and Old French mandé, from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos” which translated means:“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you”). This was Jesus’ instruction to the Apostles in the gospel of John in explanation of the significance to His actions in washing their feet.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN “PASSOVER” and “RESURRECTION SUNDAY (Easter)”: John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)

Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, is the holiday commemorating the Hebrews’ exodus from slavery in Egypt. The Passover lamb was the animal God directed the Israelites to use as a sacrifice in Egypt on the night God struck down the firstborn sons of every household (Exodus 12:29). God said that when He saw the lamb’s blood on the doorframe of a house, He would “pass over” that home and not permit “the destroyer” (Exodus 12:23) to enter. Any home without the blood of the lamb would have their firstborn son struck down that night (Exodus 12: 12-13).

The New Testament establishes the relationship between the Passover lamb of Exodus that was merely the foreshadowing of the sacrificial Lamb of God, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 5:7). John the Baptist recognized Jesus as “the Lamb of God” (John 1:29), and the apostle Peter links the lamb without defect (Exodus 12:5) with Christ, whom he calls a “lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:19). Jesus is qualified to be called One “without blemish” because His life was completely free from sin (Hebrews 4:15). In Revelation, John the apostle sees Jesus as “a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain” (Revelation 5:6). Jesus was crucified during the time that the Passover was observed (Mark 14:12).

The Scriptures teach that followers of Jesus have symbolically applied the sacrificial blood of Jesus to their hearts and thus have escaped eternal death (Hebrews 9:12, 14). Just as the Passover lamb’s applied blood caused the “destroyer” to pass over each household, Christ’s applied blood causes God’s judgment to pass over sinners and gives life to believers (Romans 6:23).

As the first Passover marked the Hebrews’ release from Egyptian slavery, so the death of Christ marks our release from the slavery of sin (Romans 8:2). As the first Passover was to be held in remembrance as an annual feast, so Christians are to memorialize the Lord’s death in communion until He returns (1 Corinthians 11:26).

The Old Testament Passover lamb, although a reality in that time, was a mere foreshadowing of the better and final Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ. Through His sinless life and sacrificial death, Jesus became the only One capable of giving people a way to escape death and a sure hope of eternal life (1 Peter 1:20-21).

Thus, the Crucifixion and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior took place, not coincidentally, with the Jewish celebration of Passover.

WHY JESUS HAD TO DIE:     “Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. “The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness…” (Leviticus 16:21-22)

ISAIAH:   More than 700 years before the time of Jesus, the great “evangelical” prophet, Isaiah foretold the Gospel of Jesus Christ upon whom, “… the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. The highly regarded prophet Isaiah could not have been more precise in foretelling Jesus if he’d actually attended the events memorialized by Christians these next several days:

(Isaiah 53:1-12) “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked-but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

One must ask how the Jewish prophet Isaiah could write these words in the face of the teachings of Deuteronomy, Exodus, Ezekiel, and others that state with abundant clarity that, “Every man shall be put to death for his own sin.”

In Exodus 32 Moses tries to offer himself as an atonement for the sins of the people and God said “No.” When any man attempts to provide an acceptable sacrifice for atonement of sin, up to and including a human sacrifice, God not only refuses and rejects it, but commands against it.

Sinful humanity is incapable of providing ANYTHING that is “unblemished”! God refuses and rejects every thing that man might try to bring that does not conform to God’s bar of perfection.

According to the divine inspiration and dictation of the prophets’ writings, God has said that He WILL lay upon the One of HIS choosing the iniquity of us all. Thus, Jesus who was “…foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God…” (1 Peter 1:20-21) is the Anointed One, chosen by will of God. And God gave to Isaiah His word on this and Isaiah foretold of it.

DAVID: More than 250 years BEFORE ISAIAH, the Holy Spirit of God gave to the most renowned king of Israel named David, the divine word characterizing such clarity as an actual eyewitness the suffering crucifixion of Jesus, the one upon whom God laid the iniquity of all, on the Cross:

Psalm 22 “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning? O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; …I am a…reproach of men, and despised by the people. All those who see Me ridicule Me; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, ‘He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!’ But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts. I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother’s womb You have been My God…I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it has melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots…”

Messiah came first to save the lost, the Lamb without blemish, the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. Genesis 3:21 foreshadows the God-provided covering of righteousness replacing man’s attempt at self-righteousness when He replaced Adam and Eve’s coverings of fig leaves with tunics of skin. By the example of the vicarious suffering and death of an innocent victim who’s blood was shed in order to provide the only Divinely acceptable “covering”, God would teach His people first with the elements of Passover; elements that foreshadowed the two missions of Messiah: first, Savior and the full, final, and perfect Atonement; second, reigning King of His people. Messiah would become for His people the highest righteousness. Men who trust in their own righteousness shall be judged by it.

EZEKIEL- FALSE HOPE: The prophet Ezekiel writes concerning the value and false hope in a man’s own righteousness:

 “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: ‘The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins.’ When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered…” (Ezekiel 33:12-13)

This is bad news for the one trusting in his own righteousness, THE PROVERBIAL MAN who has, if it were possible, been good his whole life, who unexpectedly dies from stumbling into the path of an oncoming bus from having a lustful thought from the distraction of seeing an attractive woman walk by. Ezekiel reiterates the Word of the Lord:

“But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:24)

JEREMIAH- THE ONLY HOPE: The Old Testament scriptures foretell the coming of Messiah and the ushering in of a new covenant. Jeremiah 31 writes:

“In those days they shall say no more: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity (as decreed under the old covenant); every man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.’ Behold, the days are coming, says 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 that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

Book of HEBREWS- HOPE FULFILLED: “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins,” Jesus said. “And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” (Hebrews 9:15)

IT’S FRIDAY…: We grieve the crucifixion memorialized on Friday.  (Isaiah 42:1-4) “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth. He will not fail nor be discouraged, till He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands shall wait for His law.”


We will celebrate the evidence that Jesus is Messiah! It is the Resurrection, the risen Christ.

This holy day we have come to call “Easter” is the celebration of the EVIDENCE, the PROOF that Jesus the Christ is all that He claims to be including SAVIOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

500 witnessed the risen Jesus; and while many would suffer torture and death for something they believe true, we believe the testimonies of the Apostles because we know that no man would die in order to perpetuate the story of something they know is a lie!


ISRAEL: Back to the Future


ISRAEL: Back to the Future

views from Romans 11:11-12; 25-27

There exists theologies that imply that the promises of God to Israel were forfeited by Israel because of their disobedience, rebellion, adultery, and idolatry; and that subsequent to the final destruction of Jerusalem and the desolation of the Temple in 70 A.D. by the Romans, the blessings promised to Israel are, instead, promised to the Church that is Biblically the Body and Bride of Christ.

Some theologians go so far as to say that every “End Times” prophecy has ALREADY been fulfilled, including the prophecies of Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation.

I have heard the most articulate, impassioned, convincing, and compelling teachings on the matters and chronologies of “End Times” prophecy by scholars who I consider FAR wiser and MORE knowledgeable than myself…all of whom teach authoritatively, who claim” and even “appear” as if they might be under Holy Spirit-leading…yet teach in opposition to one another!

Thus I find myself unwilling to believe that any of them are correct…or, if one of them is correct, Satan is currently in the place of “authority over the earth” by virtue of having been given power to veil our understanding until God decides that the veil is removed.

As for me, I am convinced that the FUTURE of Israel is clearly revealed BACK in the past…and that the Church has NOT replaced Israel as heirs of the promise, but been adopted into Israel as heirs of the promise. Here is my brief argument:

  1. God planned before the foundations of the earth that He was going to create a particular people for worship:“…This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD…” (Psalms 102:18) That “people” referred to in Psalms is Israel!
  2. This “people” of God called Israel stumbled in their worship! HOW DID THEY STUMBLE?
    1. Their WORSHIP became CORRUPT: “…These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men…” (Matthew 15:8-9)
    2. But…these “people” called Israel who “stumbled” are NOT “fallen”, neither are they LOST(Romans 11:11-12; 25-27):
      1. The “trespass” of Israel opened the door of “adoption” to the Gentiles. “…through their trespass salvation has come to (you and me)the Gentiles,
      2. Israel’s “trespass” served God’s purpose which is stated as being, “…so as to make Israel jealous…”
      3. Israel’s “trespass” is proven to be of great benefit to the world, and to you and me under the anointing of grace in Jesus Christ: “…Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for (you and me) the Gentiles…”
      4. Here is the first part of Israel’s promise of a FUTURE restoration and reconciliation: “…how much more will their full inclusion mean!”
      5. God, through Paul sends a very stern warning to those who would teach that “we” now have “one-up” on Israel, that “we” have the “better position” than Israel, relative to God: “… I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in…”
      6. Now the Spirit of God moves Paul to state emphatically and clearly a promise pertaining to Israel’s FUTURE: “…And so all Israel will be saved…”
      7. Paul states further that, in the very same way we Gentiles receive forgiveness and redemption, so it will be for Israel in the FUTURE: “…as it is written: ‘The Deliverer (Jesus) will come out of Zion, and He (Jesus) will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.’” (Romans 11:11-12; 25-27)

So, the summary of my belief in the FUTURE of Israel comes from these promises made by God in the past:

      • Through the “stumble” (the trespass) of Israel, salvation has come to you and me!!!
      • That salvation is made accessible to you and me (Gentiles) God had PURPOSED to make Israel jealous!!!
      • God has blinded Israel, in part until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in!!!
      • And, according to Paul, all of Israel will be saved!!!
      • And, according to Paul, speaking of the FUTURE promise of Jesus Christ to Israel, this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.


Prayer for the Persecuted


Prayer for the Persecuted

HEADLINE 3/15/2016:    “The evidence is in, and it’s chilling — the Islamic State is intentionally waging a war of genocide against Christians in Iraq and Syria. The jihadists are systematically trying to exterminate the Christian population in both countries by forcing followers of Jesus Christ to convert to their brand of Apocalyptic Islam or enslaving them, murdering them, starving them, and/or driving them out of the region.” Joel Rosenberg

May the Holy Spirit of our God and Savior Jesus Christ strengthen these who suffer today for Righteous sake! Father God, these who are suffering are trusting in You for their salvation (Psalm 7:1).

LORD,these who are suffering suffer NOT because of iniquity, NOT because they have repaid evil for evil, NOT because they have taken what was not theirs to take! No, FATHER GOD, they are suffering for no other reason but having taken upon themselves identity with our Savior.

They suffer as testimonial witnesses who not only know the Truth, but have a living and personal relationship with the Truth…but have been charged guilty for proclaiming the Truth, the truth who is the Resurrected Messiah and YOUR Anointed One (Psalm 7:2-4; Acts 4:2). FATHER, even if for but a moment, may each of these persecuted experience the covering of the shadow of YOUR hand (Ex 33:22) that shades these from the terrible heat of their tormentors.

The day comes…and may even be upon us…the Day in which YOU arise in anger to lift YOURSELF up because of the rage of the persecutors and demand justice for these who are persecuted (Psalm 7:6).  And in that Day, in the presence of these persecuted, YOU shall judge all people and bring an end of wickedness and justice to these who suffer at the hand of the wicked (Psalm 7:7-9).

The great irony, O FATHER, is that these who suffer will NOT rejoice in the judgment and punishment of their persecutors!! No, GOD, they will grieve greatly in the lost-ness of their tormentors. They will celebrate neither  the verdict against them nor the judgment of sentencing. These saints will be found pleading for Your mercy upon their persecutors (Matthew 5:44)!!! My God, my God…how utterly incomprehensible is this nature that is YOUR nature, and that YOU have put that nature into the nature of men by way of the indwelling SPIRIT of Jesus Christ, YOUR beloved Son who interceded for HIS own persecutors when HE pleaded unto heaven, “FATHER, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

May the HOLY SPIRIT of our GOD and Savior JESUS CHRIST strengthen these who suffer today for Righteous sake! Amen!

Parable of the Presumptuous Son


Parable of the Presumptuous Son

There was a certain son who did something wrong and his brother took the blame and received the punishment of the father.

The wrongful son was not repentant. No, in fact he was glad because he did not get caught…and he went back and did it again, over and over. Each time, his brother took the blame and was punished. The rebellious son was exceedingly thankful each time that his brother rather than himself was punished by the father. And, because  the father put the blame for the rebellious son’s wrongdoing and the punishment on his brother, the son relished in the perception of his own innocence before his father.

And never once did the rebellious son ever lose confidence in his inheritance. He often boasted of the inheritance just as if he had already received it since the day he first saw his name in his father’s will!

“You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches …” (Revelation 3:4-5)

STUPID: Characteristics of a Fool


STUPID- Characteristics of a Fool

“…As it happens to the fool, it also happens to me, and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, ‘This also is vanity.’ For there is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever, since all that now is will be forgotten in the days to come. And how does a wise man die? As the fool!” (Ecclesiastes 2:15-16)

Lord forgive me for what I am about to write because there is very LITTLE about that which I am writing that does NOT apply to me personally. So, here goes…

I am old enough now to have come to greater understanding of Solomon’s writings in Ecclesiastes about the fickleness of the human nature….YES, including that fickle nature when it cohabits with the divine nature of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. The Apostle Paul sums it up what I’m loosely calling the “fickleness” of our nature like this:

“…For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good… For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.  For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice… I delight in the law of God according to the inward man, (yet) I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind…” (Romans 7:14-16, 18-19, 22-23).

Paul fought mightily this fickleness of his human nature and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, won victory. However, there are so many today who foolishly justify remaining in sin, knowing what is right but persisting in doing what they know is wrong…using as their justification this portion of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome. But we know that Paul was no FOOL!


I begin by first defining “fool” from the Biblical point of view:

  • One who is destitute of reason, or the common powers of understanding; an idiot.  Some persons are born fools, and are called natural fools; others may become fools by some injury done to the brain. (For purposes of this work, I apply this definition to the fool who is DUMB.)
  • One who is somewhat deficient in intellect, but not an idiot; or a person who acts absurdly; one who does not exercise his reason; one who pursues a course contraryto the dictates of wisdom. (For purposes of this work, I apply this definition to the fool who is IGNORANT.)
    • In scripture, “fool” is often used for a wicked or depraved person; one who acts contrary to sound wisdom in his moral deportment; one who follows his own inclinations, who prefers trifling and temporary pleasures to the service of God and eternal happiness.
    • And, the word “fool” is used to characterize a weak Christian who has much remaining sin and unbelief.

I have observed that there are two categories of “fools”. There is the “LOST FOOL”; and there is the “SAVED FOOL”.

  • THE LOST FOOL: The “lost fool” is the DUMB fool. Without the Holy Spirit, the DUMB fool is an idiot…and I do not write this as a term of disparagement but as a simple statement of truth. An idiot- someone who is DUMB- is a “natural” fool who is destitute of reason and lacks the “common powers of understanding” of the things of God. “…the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God…The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit…” (1 Corinthians 2:14)
  • THE SAVED FOOL: The “saved fool” is either an IGNORANT fool or STUPID fool; and looks and lives no differently than the “lost fool”. Understanding that one who is redeemed and saved is born-again by the indwelling Holy Spirit of God means that the ability now exists to learn, understand, and do what is right. However, the “Saved Fool” looks and lives no differently than the “Lost Fool”: “…And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).

Thus, I have come to observe that there are two categories of “Saved Fools”. There are “IGNORANT FOOLS”; and there are “STUPID FOOLS”.

  • THE IGNORANT FOOL: Unlike the one who is “dumb” in the sense of not having the ability to learn, one who is ignorant does have the intellectual ability to learn. Thus, having the indwelling Holy Spirit of God within him, the IGNORANT FOOL has the capacity to learn, understand, and do what is right, but has not yet learned!
  • THE STUPID FOOL: The one who, under the tutelage of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit of God has learned and understands what is right…but does wrong ANYWAY…is a STUPID FOOL! There is no profit to trying to help one who persists to be a STUPID FOOL.
  • “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains… It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them… the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them…” (John 9:41; 2 Peter 2:21; Matthew 25:1-13)


To the one who might think this a harsh teaching is offered this defense: “Words from a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips…let your conversation be always full of grace, (and) seasoned with salt…” (Eccl 10:12; Col 4:6). May these words having the sting of salt be known to come from a gracious heart and be wisely considered. You can believe me and what I write! There is very little that I do not know from personal experience about ignorant and stupid foolishness!!! “…O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God–through Jesus Christ our Lord…”

Bruce- Author of STUPID



REVIVAL: This is written for the “church-goer” who professes to follow Jesus Christ. If you do not understand what it means to “follow Jesus”, please go to: Follow Me…  If you are already a follower of Jesus, then this is for you.

“Revival” seems to be ANOTHER one of those words that has lost its true meaning.

Just Google “revival” and one will find no lack of:


WHAT IS REVIVAL? We are constantly speaking about and praying for a “revival;” would it not be as well to know what we mean by it? If we ask for revival, ought we know for what we ask?

  • Noah Webster 1828:
    • Return, recall or recovery to life from death or apparent death; as the revival of a drowned person.
    • Return or recall to activity from a state of languor; as the revival of spirits.
    • Recall, return or recovery from a state of neglect, oblivion, obscurity or depression; as the revival of letters or learning.
    • Renewed and more active attention to religion; an awakening of men to their spiritual concerns.
    • Charles Spurgeon 1866:
      • The word “revive” is from the Latin, and interpreted thus—to live again, to receive again a life which has almost expired; to rekindle into a flame the vital spark which was nearly extinguished.
      • When a person has been dragged out of a pond nearly drowned, the bystanders are afraid that he is dead, and are anxious to ascertain if life still lingers. The proper means are used to restore animation;
        • the body is rubbed,
        •  stimulants are administered, and if by God’s providence life still tarries in the poor clay, the rescued man opens his eyes, sits up, and speaks, and those around him rejoice that he has revived.

HAS “CHURCH” LOST ITS “LIFE”? We must be very MINDFUL to the answer that we give.

  • To say NO requires one to pull his head up out of the sand in which it is buried;
  • To say YES requires one to look in one’s own mirror to find the problem!

Have I forgotten from where I have fallen?

  • Thomas Goodwin, a 17th century Puritan preacher: “…My brethren, when God first began to love you, He gave you all that He ever meant to give you in the lump…When I am threatened to become cold in my ministry…I take a turn up and down among the sins of my life, and I always come down with a broken and contrite heart, ready to preach, as it was preached in the beginning…the forgiveness of sins…”

Revival became PERSONAL before it proceeded amongst the people.

  • Christmas Evans, an 18th century Gospel preacher:  In his early years he grew weary from battling argumentative Christians, became disillusioned and lost his joy of the love of Christ: “I was weary of a cold heart towards Christ and His atonement and the work of His Spirit- a cold heart in the pulpit, in secret prayer and in study; especially when I remembered the 15 years before that heart had been burning within me as if I were on the way to Emmaus with Jesus…” The story goes on that he prayed, even though his heart was hard and his spirit worldly…and his love for Jesus Christ came alive again…

…and revival became PERSONAL before a national revival then swept across Wales!

  • 19th century church historian, James Craighe Robertson: The 598 B.C. revival in the land that we now know as England is attributed to a bishop named Augustine who, along with the missionaries that followed him into the land of the Saxons, were particularly noticed by the pagan Saxons for their “holy, gentle, and self-denying lives which led to a Christmas Day baptism of 10,000 persons in one day!! (Sketches of Church History published 1887).

Revival had FIRST become PERSONAL in the missionaries before 10,000 new believers came to Jesus Christ!

LOOK AT ME!!! In what way would ANY ONE of OUR NEIGHBORS characterize ME as “holy, gentle, or SELF-DENYING”???

  • Come on over to my house and let me show you MY self-denial...
    • My 1300 square feet of lavish, spacious living space;
    • My counters covered by convenience-creating appliances;
    • My walls adorned by art, mementos, and multiple time-keeping  devices
    • My multiplicity of electronic devices of self-enjoyment: TV, DVD, VCR, Wii, stereo speakers, computer for streaming TV, wireless capable to send my enjoyment into every room of the house.
    • My lavish transportation PLUS a “house” to shelter even my transportation!!!!
    • More devices of self-entertainment: 25 fishing poles, kayaks, canoe, outdoor furniture, YES, EVEN a dog!!
    • Double and triple appliances: 3 refrigerators, 2 stoves, 3 freezers, back-up to my back-ups for electricity…i.e. generator, solar, and wind-power.
    • Swimming pool, barbecue, outdoor fire pit….
    • Unknown number of pairs of shoes…
    • Closet too stuffed with clothes to be able to hang my clothes…
    • And a heart that covets a NICER home, a DIFFERENT home, a NEWER car, a BETTER boat, a more SECURE bank account, a YOUNGER self…
  • Oh…and did I mention that I want MORE OF GOD? What a liar I am!!!
    • God says to me, “Bruce, you don’t have any ROOM in your life for Me! You are TOO FULL OF YOURSELF!!”

WE SAY THAT WE ARE PRAYING FOR REVIVAL. But we REALLY think that it is “ME” who needs to be revived? Or do we think that it is “them” who needs revival?

  • We think it is “THE PASTOR” that needs revival.
  • We think it is “THE CHURCH” that needs revival.


Our problem is that we are looking REVIVAL…just LOOK at OURSELVES!!! WE HAVE NOT DIED TO SELF!!

  • In fact, I continue to strive in the pursuit of maintaining my own comfort and well-being.


I DO EXPECT THAT “REVIVAL” IS GOING TO COME…but it’s coming with JUDGMENT. We have become too comfortable with our own sin, too intimate with our world, and too entangled with our pleasures.

  • “…the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land…When you have eaten and are full—then BEWARE, lest you forget the Lord by not keeping His commandments, His judgements, and His statutes… (Deut. 30:9, 6:11-12; 8:10-11)

Historian, James Craighe Robertson describes the judgment of God:  “When on every side we are surrounded with swords; on every side we dread the danger of death which is close at hand…THEN we will see what remains for us…the suffering of chastisement because of our misdeeds by Him who sometimes nourishes His children, and sometimes corrects them with a scourge…who, by benefits and by sufferings alike, is training us for an eternal inheritance!

  • I believe revival is coming soon…but it’s not going to be born from “evangelism”. It will be born of extreme hardship and persecution of the saints.


  • I believe the coming revival is going to be a revival of revelation, a revival that is not a revival of added numbers to the Body, but a revival that is going to reveal the TRUE Body from the false Christs, false apostles, false prophets, false witnesses, false pastors, false teachers, deceitful workers, and false brethren!


Christian- Are You a Danger to Other Believers?


Too often I hear stories of church-goers who…

  • have been beaten up by the religious community instead of being edified by the word of God;
  • are enslaved by their denomination, church doctrine, the pastor, or their religious organization;
  • are hurt and wounded by the very people that should help them, encourage them, and love them;
  • instead of love and compassion, receive orders and bondage;
  • are blindly following these pastors because they don’t know any better;
  • are taught that we can’t listen to certain radio stations or watch certain movies;
  • are told that we should give 10% of our income to the church and then some;
  • etc., etc., and etc.

Where is the Christ-like love and the Christ-like compassion?  Why do people blindly believe such things and blindly follow them?

I’ll tell you why.  They just don’t know any better.  They think that their service to the church is their service to God.  People suffer in their religion because they don’t know the Truth, the Truth that is Jesus. They know about Him…but they are ignorant of Him.

MOST CHRISTIANS TODAY KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT THE BIBLE TO BE DANGEROUS!! Here is an eye-opening article: Why Are So Many Christians Biblically Illiterate? Hope that some take the time to read it.

Jesus did NOT command His disciples to “…go and make converts of all nations…”. He commands His people to go and make “…disciples…”.

  • Do we not realize that discipleship leads to salvation? Is it not written, “…how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them, how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? Are we discipling others in TRUTH? Or are we only giving them our own personal interpretation and opinion? Only TRUTH leads to salvation!
  • My friends, are we too busy in church trying to help people get free from the bondage of hardship and affliction so that they can enjoy life and a comfortable “Christian walk”? Or, are we teaching the way of freedom from the bondage of sin and making disciples those who believe so that their belief ENDURES the hardships of Christ-likeness, of cross-bearing, of suffering, of persecution, and of self-denial? Jesus died to free us from the bondage of SIN. He did NOT die to free us from the troubles and discomfort of this life.

Before we try to “go out and make disciples”, ought we to first become disciples?

Do you not know that a disciple is a learner and a discipler is a teacher? Do you not know that Paul, the greatest disciple-maker of the Scriptures, spent 3 years as a disciple before becoming a discipler of the Jews and then 14 years as a disciple before becoming a discipler of the Gentiles? (Galatians 1:18- 2:1)

HOW ARE WE TO MAKE DISCIPLES IF WE OURSELVES ARE NOT DISCIPLES IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORD OF GOD? It is not hard to find people who equate knowledge with arrogance. But it is HARD to find people that will equate the lack of knowledge with ignorance. Is it not written that whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered? How does one “walk in wisdom” without “walking” in the knowledge of the Word of God? By Holy Spirit osmosis??

I know that this is a disagreeable subject to many…and it is not my heart and spirit to “offend”. But I cannot constrain myself from saying again how long and deeply troubled I have been that the 21st century disciple is being directed to books (and other media) that other men have written (and sell) about “discipleship”. Does it not seem now that the Holy Spirit-inspired instructions in discipleship called the Bible is inadequate to the job of making disciples, that the Holy Spirit NOW needs the help of the likes of Rick Warren, Dr. Patrick Morley, etc. to give a man understanding of Scripture?

It used to be that the Bible was the study guide and the “commentary” was the aid. Now, “disciples” are called to sit and listen to an hour of the “commentary” and then they are “discipled” by a handful of Scripture “fragments”.

And so, today, we find NOT disciples, but men and women calling themselves disciples whose spiritual “health” comes from a “pill bottle” containing fragments of Scriptures from which they draw a daily “pain-killer” to help them get through the day. Then, these who have been so discipled are reproduced to likewise disciple others.

It is WHY I think that the 21st century church in America and in the world has LOST ITS SALT and its LIGHT HAS BECOME HIDDEN. What do YOU think?

Discerning Magical from Miraculous


Discerning Magical from Miraculous

(2 Thessalonians 2:3-4) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.


I find myself once again drawn to Act chapter 3 and the ignorance of Word of God demonstrated by the children of God (Israel) by which they rejected and crucified their Messiah (Acts 3:13-18). It was ignorance that caused them to be deceived to believe Jesus Christ was a fraud, a deception that continues to this very day.

It is the very same ignorance of the Word of God that is setting up the children of God for the greatest act of deception ever to befall upon humanity- spoken of in 2 Thessalonians-, perhaps to happen in our lifetime.


CURRENT EVENT: As we drive around our neighborhoods, and around town many of us feel a great sense of encouragement as we see the explosion of new construction. Everyone is speaking of the economic turn-around and recovery. The stock market is booming and the President speaks regularly of the decreasing numbers of the unemployed. Things appear to be as if our economy is returning to health. As a nation, we are financially bankrupt in every sense of the word in that our debt has surpassed the value of its assets yet, magically, we appear a picture of economic boom. Since we choose to bury our heads in the sand of our individual financial well-being, we live in the “illusion”.


If we can be so easily deceived in our natural environment and circumstances, how much more easily can we be deceived in the spiritual realm. While we live so ignorant of the realities of our natural state of being, how much more ignorant are we of the things of God?


Was it a real snake or an illusion? God is the God of miracles; Satan is the god of illusion. I think that it is profitable to look at Noah Webster’s definitions of “magic” and “miracle”, and “magician” vs. “miraculous”:

MAG’IC, n. [L. magia; Gr. a philosopher among the Persians.]  The art or science of putting into action the power of spirits; or the science of producing wonderful effects by the aid of superhuman beings, or of departed spirits; sorcery; enchantment. Superstitious or geotic magic, consists in the invocation of devils or demons, and supposes some tacit or express agreement between them and human beings. As illusion and deception and slight-of-hand, the art of appearing to perform supernatural feats.

·         MAGI’CIAN, n.  One that practices the black art; an enchanter; a necromancer (who pretends to foretell future events by holding converse with departed spirits- the practice forbidden in Deuteronomy 18); a conjurer; a sorcerer or sorceress.

MIR’ACLE, n. [L. miraculum, from miror, to wonder.] 1. Literally, a wonder or wonderful thing; but appropriately, 2.  In theology, an event or effect contrary to the established constitution and course of things, or a deviation from the known laws of nature; a supernatural event.  Miracles can be wrought only by Almighty power, as when Christ healed lepers, saying, “I will, be thou clean,” or calmed the tempest, “Peace, be still.”

·         MIRAC’ULOUS, a.  Performed supernaturally, or by a power beyond the ordinary agency of natural laws; effected by the direct agency of Almighty power, and not by natural causes; as the miraculous healing of the sick or raising the dead by Christ. 1.  Supernatural; furnished supernaturally, or competent to perform miracles; as the miraculous powers of the Apostles.  Miraculous, applied to the extraordinary powers of the Apostles, may mean conferred by supernatural agency, or competent to work miracles. I believe it is generally used in the latter sense. 2.  In a less definite sense, wonderful; extra-ordinary.

The day is coming- perhaps in our lifetime- when the Anti-Christ will convincingly establish himself as Jesus Christ and the children of God will fall prey to the illusion because, magically, he will give the illusion of performing miracles.

During one of our Life Group sessions, the question was asked, “Were the serpents of the Pharaoh’s magicians real or illusions?” We say that we don’t know; and we might be tempted into thinking that it doesn’t matter.

Doesn’t it? Isn’t it important for the follower of Christ to know the difference between truth and deception, reality and illusion? I guess what I am saying here is that I think it matters; and I think it matters a LOT in these times. I think that if we are so easily able to say that it doesn’t matter in the small things, then we’ll be easily deceived in the big things.

Deceived in the small way: We have been so easily deceived in the past half-century into believing that living in personal debt is normal and natural. In fact, it is how we have come to build the church. It is the financial reflection of our personal beliefs. We have fallen victim to the deception, eyes wide open!

Deceived in the big way: To us who do not know the Jesus of the Word of God, the Anti-Christ will look MUCH, MUCH more like Jesus than the Jesus we know. Eyes wide open, many will believe him to be real.

Back to Moses and the serpent. The Bible teaches that ONLY God has life-giving power. God created from nothing and gave life to the first snake that ever existed. God is not the God of illusion, He is the God of miracles and creating something from nothing- or recreating something (like a snake) from something else (like a stick) is…well…truly miraculous. As for magicians, working in concert with demons, they magically give the illusion of being like God and having the power of God.

More than ever let us help one another fight ignorance with the sword that is Word of God, to KNOW Jesus! And remember your children and any of the younger upon whom you have influence, lest the Lord tarry. Do not presume that they’ll “find Jesus” on their own! You are a missionary…your family is your mission!!


Yeshua Messiah- Law and Grace


Yeshua Messiah- Law and Grace

We Christians just love to talk about our “grace”. One of our favorite things to say is that, “We are saved by grace, not by law.” We even have little “jokes” about grace, one of which is a “favorite” of mine that stems from my own tendency towards a heavy right foot while driving: “I drive by ‘grace’ and not by law.” I even “justify” myself with another one of our favorites is: “We live by the spirit of the law, not by the letter of the law.”

it reveals a Christian disrespect and disparagement of our adoptive “family”, because when we make these statements in ignorance rather than in truth, we are covertly implying that we (Christians) are the religious “good guys” and you (Jews) are the religious “bad guys”. Conversely, the Jew is often found as perceiving Christians as the religious “bad guys” in accordance the Christian’s own admittance of their misperception of the Law as having been made irrelevant.

Is the Law of Moses irrelevant to Christians? Read more… 5 The Law