1 Timothy 4:1-2 MEV “Now the Spirit clearly says that in the last times some will depart from the faith and pay attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a hot iron.”
Notice the word, “Cult.” Is inside the word, “Culture.” I can speak authoritatively on cults because I was born and raised in one as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I left when I was 26 years old I’m now in my 50s. Every cult has it’s own culture. You are not going to change that culture, it is not God’s will that you do so. Once you realize you’re in a cult all you can do is leave. That’s what Jesus commands:
Matthew 15:12-14 HCSB “Then the disciples came up and told Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard this statement?” He replied, “Every plant that My heavenly Father didn’t plant will be uprooted. LEAVE THEM alone! They are blind guides. And if the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit.””
Jesus told His disciples to leave the Pharisee cult alone. Why? “If the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit,” Jesus says. A cult will lead you straight to hell. One thing common in cults is this: they LOVE giving their own opinions on godly matters, and even use scripture to back them up. DANGEROUS!!!😳SATANIC!!!! The Devil does this all the time. He speaks through his children the same way. Watch the culture of anything you join. Jesus tells us to be watchful. (Matthew 24:4-5) Is it opinionated? Or does it stick SOLIDLY to the word of God? Is it fact? Or is it fiction? Is it truth or is it false? Is it God or is it Satan? It can’t be both.
1 Timothy 1:3-6 HCSB “As I urged you when I went to Macedonia, remain in Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach different doctrine or to pay attention to MYTHS and endless genealogies. These promote EMPTY SPECULATIONS rather than God’s plan, which operates by faith. Now the goal of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. Some have deviated from these and turned aside to fruitless discussion.”
2 Timothy 4:3-4 KJV “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto FABLES”
Are you being wooed by story time? Fables, myths, speculations? Or are your ears perked up ONLY for the solid truth of God’s word? Stories, fables, don’t save anyone only God’s truth does. That’s why we are commanded not to pay attention to fables. What or who do we give our ears to? Do we disobey God and pay attention to myths, fables, stories, fiction? A Christian’s job is to spread only the truth. Can’t happen if you pay attention to fables. Be careful, be careful dear brethren that you are not following a cult.
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1 Corinthians 14:26-40 NLT “Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. WHEN YOU MEET TOGETHER, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you. No more than two or three should speak in tongues. They must speak one at a time, and someone must interpret what they say. But if no one is present who can interpret, they must be silent in your church meeting and speak in tongues to God privately. Let two or three people prophesy, and let the others evaluate what is said. But if someone is prophesying and another person receives a revelation from the Lord, the one who is speaking must stop. In this way, all who prophesy will have a turn to speak, one after the other, so that everyone will learn and be encouraged. Remember that people who prophesy are in control of their spirit and can take turns. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people. Women should be silent during the church meetings. It is not proper for them to speak. They should be submissive, just as the law says. If they have any questions, they should ask their husbands at home, for it is improper for women to speak in church meetings. Or do you think God’s word originated with you Corinthians? Are you the only ones to whom it was given? If you claim to be a prophet or think you are spiritual, you should recognize that what I am saying is a command from the Lord himself. But if you do not recognize this, you yourself will not be recognized. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and don’t forbid speaking in tongues. But be sure that everything is done properly and in order.”
TO BETTER UNDERSTAND VERSE 34-35 ABOUT WOMEN BEING SILENT READ 1 TIMOTHY 2:12-13
1 Timothy 2:12-13 HCSB “I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; instead, she is to be silent. For Adam was created first, then Eve.”
The silence apostle Paul was talking about was women teaching in the church or exercising authority over men, acting in a leadership role. This wasn’t Paul’s rule, it came from Jesus Christ.
And why is there always one main guy or gal doing all of the talking in these church meetings when God says, 2 or 3 can take the lead in prophesying? That’s how cults get started. And He also said if a revelation comes to someone listening to whoever is speaking the first speaker should be silent and let that person talk. Everyone can prophesy in turn and teach each other the instructions say. This is not what we see in church meetings today even by church leaders some of us like, so I ask you the question, is God really there?🤔 To answer that question in short, “Yes,” in some cases He is still there. But He is warning ALL (7) the churches. The ones who refuse to repent He will leave (remove their lamp stand), and some have already had their lamps put out because they insisted on doing things their own way.😪 Why are these super spiritual people (church leaders) ignoring these simple instructions for how God desires HIS CHURCH MEETING to be conducted? And most of us already know how phony the speaking in tongues (or other languages) is at these meetings; 20 or more people cackling like geese all at the same time supposedly filled with the Holy Ghost. Their filled with ghosts alright but they’re not Holy. God said only one person at a time should speak in tongues, 2 or 3 people at the most in a church meeting, and someone MUST interpret what is said. If there is no interpreter the one speaking in tongues should be silent. Would God write that instruction then get inside of people and make them go against what He wrote?😳 Of course not! The Bible says at the end of 1 Corinthians chapter 14 that whoever thinks he/she is spiritual and doesn’t recognize these instructions he/she won’t be recognized by God, or whoever ignores these instructions will be ignored by God. And for the record these aren’t Lionel’s instructions either, just as they were not Paul’s. I just happen to agree with them just as Paul did. They’re the commands of the Lord. If you take offense at them, you’re taking offense at God.
Luke 7:23 NET “BLESSED is anyone who takes no offense at me.”
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1 Timothy 5:20 NLT “Those who sin should be reprimanded in front of the whole church; this will serve as a strong warning to others.”
Galatians 2:11-14 NLT “But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile believers, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. When I saw that they were not following the truth of the gospel message, I said to Peter in front of all the others, “Since you, a Jew by birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions?”
1 Corinthians 5:1-13 NLT “I can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among you—something that even pagans don’t do. I am told that a man in your church is living in sin with his stepmother. You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship. Even though I am not with you in person, I am with you in the Spirit. And as though I were there, I have already passed judgment on this man in the name of the Lord Jesus. You must call a meeting of the church. I will be present with you in spirit, and so will the power of our Lord Jesus. Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved on the day the Lord returns. Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth. When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.””
RESTORATION IS ALSO BIBLICAL😊
2 Corinthians 2:5-11 NLT “I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of you more than he hurt me. Most of you opposed him, and that was punishment enough. Now, however, it is time to forgive and comfort him. Otherwise he may be overcome by discouragement. So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him. I wrote to you as I did to test you and see if you would fully comply with my instructions. When you forgive this man, I forgive him, too. And when I forgive whatever needs to be forgiven, I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit, so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes.”
Galatians 6:1-3 HCSB “Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also won’t be tempted. Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone considers himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”
James 5:19-20 HCSB “My brothers, if any among you strays from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his life from death and cover a multitude of sins.”
Jude 1:22-23 HCSB “Have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; have mercy on others but with fear, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.”
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Revelation 12:11 NLT “And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.”
Jesus thought about dying for us. His thoughts led Him to actually doing it. But do we ever think about dying for Him? What really comes to mind when we hear this passage?
Matthew 16:24 KJV “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
When we hear this passage do we only think about denying self, you know, getting rid of some bad habits, etcetera? Or do we also think about what Jesus meant when He said, “Take up his cross?” A cross is not just an instrument of persecution and suffering. It’s an instrument of death. Do we think about the possibility that our faith may one day put us in the crosshairs of life or death? And do we pray to God now for the strength to overcome should we ever find ourselves in that situation?🤔 Becoming a martyr is a very real possibility for a true Christian. But whether it happens or not we must be ready. Remember in Revelation 12:11 the 3 keys to defeating the Devil? “They have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.” (NLT) Many Christians claim the blood of Jesus, and they give their testimonies, but what about the last part of that verse, “They did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die?” We don’t really hear about that too much. We must be willing to die for our faith the scripture says. If we’re afraid to die for Jesus we won’t defeat the Devil. I know this is a serious topic. And it’s not my goal to put you in a somber mood. It’s just something God requires if we are to win. May we not be like so many who are just playing church.
Revelation 14:13 ESV “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!””
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Matthew 5:23-24 NET “So then, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother and then come and present your gift.”
All of us have faults, so conflicts, disagreements, etcetera are bound to happen among us. But it’s how we handle these that shows which of us truly follow Jesus Christ:
1 Corinthians 11:18-19 HCSB “For to begin with, I hear that when you come together as a church there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. There must, indeed, be factions among you, so that those who are approved may be recognized among you.”
The Holy Spirit says there will be divisions among us so that those of us who really have God’s approval may be recognized. And on the contrary these divisions show which of us do not have God’s approval. Conflicts have to happen the scriptures say guys, it’s a test.
Now let’s get back to Matthew 5:23-24. Jesus says when offering a sacrifice to God if you REMEMBER that your brother/sister has something against you, leave your gift there, don’t offer it. FIRST GO AND MAKE PEACE WITH YOUR BROTHER/SISTER, then come and offer your gift. Basically Jesus is saying He’s not interested in our offering, our sacrifice to Him if we have UNRESOLVED CONFLICTS among any brethren. We’re talking about brethren here. Today we don’t offer animal sacrifices and other types of scarifies like the Jews did under the Law. So what sacrifices do we offer to God today? The Bible says:
Romans 12:1 HCSB “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.”
Hebrews 13:15-16 HCSB “Therefore, through Him let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of our lips that confess His name. Don’t neglect to do what is good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices.”
These are the sacrifices that we offer to God today: our bodies are called a living sacrifice, praising God with our lips (our mouths) confessing His name is a sacrifice, and doing good deeds and sharing with others is also a sacrifice to God. So what Jesus is saying in Matthew 5:23-24 to us today is He’s not interested in our bodily sacrifice, or using our mouths to confess Him and praise Him, or our good deeds, if we have UNRESOLVED CONFLICTS with another brethren. PEACE AMONG BRETHREN is that important to Him. It should be to us too if we are really in Him. Yes, this is serious.🤔
Jesus didn’t say, “If you’re right and the other person is wrong you don’t have to go make peace with them.” He said, when offering your gifts or sacrifices to God if you REMEMBER, that your brother or sister has something against you, drop the gift because He won’t accept it, and your FIRST duty and act of worship is to go and make peace with that brother or sister. Then come back and offer your gift to Me that it may go up as a sweet smelling odor before Me; that it may be acceptable.😊 Not like Cain’s offering which the Lord did not accept:
1 John 3:10-12 HCSB “This is how God’s children — and the Devil’s children — are made evident. Whoever does not do what is right is not of God, especially the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another, unlike Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.”
1 John 3:14-15 HCSB “We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.”
No we don’t want to be like that guy Cain who hated his brother. God says ANYONE who hates a brother is a murderer just like Cain. Nahh we don’t wonna be in that category. You don’t think of Cain as a religious person do you? We only think of Him as a murderer. But the Bible says in Genesis that Cain and Able BOTH offered up sacrifices to God. That’s a religious act. Cain had some religion y’all.😳 But his sacrifice was not accepted, just as ours will not be accepted no matter how religious we are if we do not love our brethren. Nothing new under the sun is there? There are religious people right among us who are just like Cain. But there’s no need to fret. The Lord will reveal to us who they are. As the scriptures say in 1 Corinthians 11:18-19: divisions are bound to happen and when they do it is for the purpose of making manifest which of us truly have God’s approval and which of us are just playing church. When conflicts come brethren may we be among those who prove that we dearly love our brothers and sisters. May we be among those who really do have God’s approval.
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