Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Eternal Scandalous

The Eternal Scandalon

The gospel and Jesus Himself have been so diluted and made to mesh with the culture that they no longer are scandalous. Even unbelievers are left unoffended and unmoved. I am reposting this from 2012.

Rom.9:33 - As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling block and rock of offense: and whosever believes in Him shall not be ashamed.
I Cor 1:23 - But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block and unto the Greeks foolishness;
I Pet.2:6-8 - Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious, and he that believes on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to those who stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

The word in the Greek is σκανδαλον, which is translated “stumbling block” and transliterated in English “scandalon”. In a broad and colloquial sense we would say “scandal” and in the minds of men Jesus and His claims are scandalous. They are so absurd and so outrageous as to be a scandalon or scandalous. And as you can see from Scripture, it is Jesus Himself that is a scandalon to the hearts and minds of unbelievers. They can accept love, and they can accept mercy, and they can accept grace, but they stumble over Jesus which is the chief cornerstone without which the house of faith falls down and withers.

The man, the God man Jesus, is the first step of faith through which salvation is only possible. The disciples believed Him to be the Messiah, the One who the prophets of the Old Testament foretold. Not just another prophet and not just another teacher. Not just an anointed seer and not just a spokesman for God. Not just another Moses and not just another David. No, they said He was the Son of God, or as the Jewish mind would understand, God Himself in the flesh. And that is the eternal scandalon over which many continue to stumble.

In John’s gospel in chapter eight Jesus begins to refer to Himself as the light of the world. Of course the Pharisees took immediate offense that His witness about Himself was not true, but they just provided the Lord with an opportunity to add to His already growing scandalon. The Lord Jesus moves into some very uncomfortable territory as He claims that the two witnesses about who He is are the Father and Himself.(vs.18). And He presses further still by saying that He is from above while they shall die in their sins because they will not believe He is who He says He is.

Jesus prophesies of His own death in verse 28, and with that many believed on Him. The Jews begin to argue with Jesus about their heritage which they say is of Abraham, their father. Jesus points out their unbelief and His relationship to Father God. But then the Jews claim that Jesus is demon possessed because Christ said “If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.” And with that they ask if Jesus considers Himself greater than Abraham because Abraham is dead. You see the continuing transition? Jesus moves the conversation to the eternal and to the divine. And then Jesus makes a startling and arresting statement,

“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad”.
ow He has completely crossed the line and they seize upon His seeming contradiction. If Jesus is not even fifty years old how can He claim to have seen Abraham? Hold on tight, because Jesus will now use a term we call the tetragammaton. It is the four consonant for God’s name which God gave to Moses. And the Lord God said that YHWH was “I AM THAT I AM”. Isaiah later shortened it to “I AM” without removing the power and the mystery. So Jesus says, “Before Abraham, I AM”.

What was He saying? The Jews knew what He was implying and they took up stones to kill Him because they knew that Jesus had just said He was God. Not just a god, but the One True God, YHWH. He was claiming to be the God of Moses, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Jacob. He used the tetragrammaton “eγώ εἰμί” in the Greek text meaning I am. This was the capstone of Christ’s scandalon and it is the stumbling block that without the Holy Spirit cannot be overcome. It isn’t just what Jesus said that was scandalous, it was the entire idea that anyone could be God. Jesus came right out and said He was God and that anyone who sees Him sees the Father God. Scandalous.

A modern Jewish Rabbi named Jacob Neusner wrote a book in 2000 titled “A Rabbi talks with Jesus”. In this book Rabbi Neusner imagines himself sitting and listening to Jesus at the Sermon on the Mount. He listens intently to hear Jesus deconstruct the Torah, the law. But as he listens, he hears Jesus teach such unfolding depths of the Torah that he is mesmerized when he imagines himself returning to the group of rabbis. These rabbis ask Rabbi Neusner “Did Jesus leave anything out of the Torah when He taught?”

Rabbi Neusner replies, “No, He left nothing out”.

The rabbis then ask Rabbi Neusner, “Did Jesus add anything to the Torah?”

Rabbi Neusner replies, “He added only one thing, Himself.”

And with this, Rabbi Neusner admits that he cannot accept this from Jesus because if Jesus adds only Himself to the law, the Torah, it suggests that Jesus is above the law and indeed the embodiment of the law. And Rabbi Neusner says he must reject that because there is only one being above the law and that is Yahweh, God Himself. So if Rabbi Neusner is going to receive the Sermon on the Mount, he must accept Jesus as the Son of God.

So what we have in this book written by Rabbi Neusner is evidence that even Jewish scholars who examine the gospel writings with no bias to Jesus come to the conclusion that Jesus claimed to be God even though men like Rabbi Neusner reject Him in that context. And they reject the claims of Jesus because they are scandalous and He Himself is a scandalon.

One day in eternity, all unbelievers will realize that Jesus was the only way to redemption and reconciliation with Almighty God. He who was born in Bethlehem, He who walked to dust of this earth, He who shared over three years with 12 ordinary Jews, He who spoke on the hillsides of Judea, He, Jesus, was the Creator of the universe dressed in human form and coming to die. It was He who parted the Red Sea, He who met Moses on Mt. Sinai, He who spoke to Abraham, He who anointed King David, and it was He who John the Baptist announced.

It was Jesus who made the mountains, Jesus who made the oceans, Jesus who made Adam, Jesus who created the stars, it was Jesus who spoke everything into existence. And it was Jesus who was punished, Jesus who was beaten, Jesus who was mocked, Jesus who was betrayed, Jesus who suffered and died for our sins, and it was Jesus who rose bodily from the coldness of death for us.

It was Jesus who the apostles preached and died for, Jesus who anointed the early men of God, Jesus who received Stephen into glory, Jesus who called the Apostle Paul, Jesus who used Martin Luther, Jesus whose power brought mighty revivals, and it was Jesus whose message the missionaries carry into the uttermost parts of the world.

The entire Creation and redemption is centered around this Jesus, who is Almighty God Himself, and many cannot and will not see Him as who He is, for them, He is a stumbling block. And even for those who will be separated from God forever, Jesus will remain a scandalon, a stumbling block. How could they end up in hell? How could God have overlooked their good works? How could God have only provided one way to heaven? How could heaven be gained only by faith? For them, all these redemptive truths are much too scandalous, and the claims of Jesus being the most scandalous.

Jesus Christ.
The eternal scandalon.


Mike Williams said...

Prepare the Bride for the Bridegroom.
Prepare the Bride for the King of Glory.
Make her ready now!

(I heard this from the Lord the week of Thanksgiving.)

Anonymous said...

I think multitudes make a decision about Jesus far too quickly. Stand your ground, precious searcher for truth, and don't let anything distract you from studying the words of Jesus. Be prepared for a massive fight in order to come forward in your understanding of who Jesus was and is.

Truly He is the Giver of everything beautiful and God ennobling in this life. Praise Him for your eyesight and hearing. Praise Him for the gift of touch and the ability to smell scents and enjoy the taste of food.

Praise Him for the gift of balance and for being your doctor. Praise Him daily for His name is above all names.

Keep praising Him. Praise Him for His gracious gifts of faith, hope and love and demonstrate that you love Him by speaking up against the lies of Satan. God bless you!

Reine Gnade

Cherie c. said...

@ Mike Williams

You heard it from His Word, right?

your sister in Christ Jesus

Annette said...

Another amazing post, Pastor Rick! There are times when the repeat is more precious than the initial post. Love and adore the words, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD GOD Almighty." That repeat is profoundly majestic!

Also, I appreciate your reminding words praise and thanksgiving to our LORD Jesus Christ.

Oh, what a blessed, blessed day in spite of our circumstances.
This ministry has blessed my soul so much more than typed letters could even begin to express.

May our Holy and Righteous LORD be with all of you today and every day until He comes again.

His eternal blessings to you all.

Annette said...

Amazing post, Pastor Rick! Cherished this the first time around, and is even more piercing as a repeat.

A wonderful reminder of "How Great Thou Art, Praise Jesus."

May God's blessings be with all of you today.

Annette said...

My apologies to you as my computer skills need so much work, and this is an understatement!

This is embarrassing and I have a long way to go in the techno areas of life here as all of you can tell.

Grateful for patience in understanding, and might as well add that Riene Gnade's comment was so appreciated today as a sober reminder of thanking our LORD for those things we take for granted. God bless you, sir.

Anonymous said...

Annette, everything you post is uplifting! It is always lovely to hear your cheerful, faith-filled voice.

May 2014 be a productive year for you!

Reine Gnade

Cherie c said...

May I echo the comment by Reine Annette. You're a blessing dear sister in Christ. Computer skills or not, =D

your sister in Christ Jesus

Cherie c said...


I left you a message on the ARE WE OF THIS WORLD? post.

Welcome dear sister in Christ.

Anonymous said...


He is more than we could ever think or imagine. Praise God! Have to remember to thank Him every day, every moment.

I had a hard time watching movies about Jesus. Always. I made up my mind not to ever watch movies about Him again. It distorts the image of what He really is. The actor's face would interfere when I prayed. I'd try to put those images out of my head.

I was taught in a holiness church, from an OT command, not to set wicked images in front of us, nor to look upon idols. Watching TV was one of their taboos, and I confess I do watch a bit, but try to keep out the offending images.

Telling stories is one thing, but watching the story of Jesus just raises red flags, because we put too much investment in emotions and images that are made to induce pity towards Jesus. And the entertainment industry profits mightily from this. Producers writers and actors are all paid.

Preaching Jesus, the way the first Church taught, didn't come with CD's, and certainly God was merciful enough not to show the Lord's last few hours. I know this sentiment I have is in the minority. But, something pricked me about these movies a long time ago, and I felt it was wickedness. When 'money' is transferred from hand to hand, during a teaching of Jesus on a screen, when many scenes are conjured up by 'men', not the Holy Ghost, it just seems disrespectful to the REAL JESUS. He didn't come to be a legend, but the world's Savior.

I wonder how the Lord feels when movies are being promoted with his name on it? While He sits in Glory and Majesty on the throne with the Father of Creation. A replacement actor doesn't fill the void.

I was once asked in a women's christian group if I'd be the "Jesus" in a small skit they were doing; because we had no men, the president (who was determined to do this skit) needed apostles and such. I refused to do "Jesus" and the women thought I was being stubborn. I could not do Jesus. Just couldn't. I wouldn't encourage anyone else to either. And I won't watch someone else pretend they are.

Just thoughts of mine for the day.


michael said...

JESUS it is!

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ[fn] took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed[fn] to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.
19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."

Mike Williams said...

Cherie C.
I heard this from the Lord in the early morning hours when you're just waking up and are in that sort of half-conscious state. Once fully awake, I heard Him repeat it more emphatically. I was not actually reading my bible at the moment (that may not be your question), but had been meditating on the parable of the Wedding Feast (Matt.22) and Rev. 21:9 in the days leading up to it.
You know the way the Lord keeps bringing something to your attention over time. Hearing prophetic stuff from the Lord is new to me and often just scares the crap out of me. But others seem to be hearing that Jesus is returning for His Bride sooner than we're comfortable knowing.
Blessings to you dear Sister in Christ!

MIke Williams said...

Cherie C.
I left out the most obvious (of course).
Rev. 19:6-10 The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

This confirmed to me what I heard Him say.

Cherie c. said...

Hebrews 1

1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

"word of his power" By His Word we hear from the Lord in these last days.

Are you sure it just wasn't the Holy Spirit bringing to your remembrance the Word of God? God does not speak to us via voices or dreams any longer. We have His Word.

Are you sure Mike that this isn't what happened:

John 14:26, "These things I have spoken to you, while abiding with you. "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

I really can't say, but no where in Scripture does it say that God speaks to us directly. He did however, through His Son and His Holy Spirit speak to the Apostles.

We who have the Holy Spirit can know (only way i can explain it) what the Spirit teaches and says, but mainly through the Word of God.

All I know is that when the Holy Spirit teaches or "speaks" it is a knowing, not a voice. It is an understanding, not a dream or voice in my head. Like it is part of my conscience. I cannot explain it, but when it happens, it is the same as when I am being convicted or corrected, I just know what i did was wrong. I just know. I have not ever heard a voice or had a dream. He has woken me up from a sound sleep to pray, but I have never heard a voice tell me to wake up, it is always a knowing.

Peace to you dear brother in Christ Jesus, please test the spirit of the voice you hear. That is what the Word says to do.

your sister in Christ Jesus

Anonymous said...

Mike Williams: thank you for sharing - it is both wonderful and fearful to know we are indeed in the end times. We want it, yet want it delayed, because we know that so many aren't yet ready.

Bro. Rick shares about the uncomfortable territory that Jesus put the pharisees in when he said, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad".

When some pastors would replace Abraham with "Reagan" or the Founding Fathers (which seems to be their sentiment), with Abraham, we know we are in the last days, especially when we have every available tool to know the real Jesus and know how men will see Him as a stumblingblock. Some christians seem to want to push Him away and replace Him with human heroes and little gods.

Dear Lord Jesus, please keep us safely tucked in the shadow of your wings.


Julie Wilton said...

Very edifying post, Rick, but I must respond to Cherie's comment to Mike Williams. "God does not speak to us via voices or dreams any longer. We have His Word." These words are not true. Many times He does speak through the written word, but He also speaks through dreams and a voice. We must not limit Him. I do not say this because so many have said that God gives them dreams. I say this because He has given me dreams. I will share just a couple with you.

When Jesus was brand new to me and I had just started to attend a Methodist church, I had a dream from God. At this time I didn't know the scriptures and had none memorized. I dreamt I was standing in this place and there was a bunch of confusion going on and suddenly this girl turns around and points to me and says these words, "The Holy Spirit has something for me to say to you, Matthew 6v33, Seek first the kingdom of God." I woke up and thought the dream was strange as I didn't know about God given dreams to anyone and I didn't know the Matthew verse, so I got up, it was about midnight and I got the Bible out and looked up the verse from my dream. I was stunned to see those words. Did evil spirits give me that dream? Or did my flesh dream it up itself? No, the dream came from God and no one else.

I had a very strange thing happen not long after that. One night as I was sleeping, I awoke to what felt like a huge hand covering my back. I was on my stomach. And I HEARD these words, "Enter my rest." When I got up the next morning I made some phone calls to other believers that I knew and asked if any of them knew what "enter my rest" meant. No one knew and no one knew that the Bible even mentioned entering God's rest. What was that? The devil? My flesh making up those words? No, it was God.

I had one where I was caught up in a tornado and God spoke and said to me, "you have not given me your whole heart." When I awoke I thought surely God would never say such a thing to me because I thought I was so righteous. I shrugged off the dream. It would be years later when the Lord would remind me of the dream and what He said to me in the dream was true.

I could tell you some more, but I think that is enough. I never asked God for dreams, He just gave them. He can speak anyway He chooses. Jesus ascended to Heaven and left His Spirit, and His Spirit is not mute!

Rick Frueh said...

Dreams and/or vision are not primary and are either a reinforcement of Scripture or a personal communication based upon Scripture. They have been abused and overused, but they do exist. I have had a few dreams and a few visions, and just because people use it to suggest their own spiritual superiority does not mean they do not exist.

Anonymous said...

I also had a powerful dream...

I was struggling with the emerging church movement, ecumenicalism movement and such...

I was sleeping and in my dream this brilliant light, so bright I couldn't see was coming at me...then it got so close a voice said, "you've been struck by lightening!"...I awoke, my heart was racing fierce, I thought I may be having a heart attack...I was about to wake my wife when in my mind the phrase, "the entrance of his word brings light, the entrance of his word brings light" kept going over and over in my head...

I got up, went to my computer and did a search for the phrase...this is what I found -

Psalm 119:130
The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

Coincidence?...I don't believe so...

I wept in front of my computer screen for over 30 minutes...

Anonymous said...

Cherie; it's good to be careful and discern; there seem to be a lot of exploitations of the gifts of the Spirit, like just recently, a christian group who want to perform raising the dead for all to see, and counterfeit christians who claim "he sayeth, he sayeth".... BUT,

Jesus said in John 7: 37-39: "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, 'If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, 'out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.' Verse 39 says, "(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was no yet glorified.) My take on this is that Jesus expected ALL men who thirst, will receive these living waters, through the Holy Ghost, once he ascended to heaven.

Paul also was teaching about the propriety in that day of dress and women covering their hair when the "prayed and PROPHESIED". The prophet Joel spoke and prophesied that the Day of Pentecost would come. It was fulfilled, and while it's true when they were all assembled (apostles in Acts 1) being commanded that they shouldn't depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the "promise" of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me", that this passage was specically for the apostles to receive power, after that the Holy Ghost came upon them where it said they would be witnesses unto Him both in Jerusalem and in all Judeaia and in Samaria and unto the UTTERMOST PART of the earth (caps mine).

But, when the non-apostles and disciples were praying, they too received the Promise. Peter wasn't just addressing those who walked with Jesus, but everyone. How can we not see this? When scoffers mocked and heard Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, hearing them speak, Cretes and Arabians,they heard them speak in their tongues the wonderful works of God. Peter said: "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call". Peter said, through the reading of the prophet Joel that those were not drunk and the mockers supposed, and that "it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughter shall prophesy and your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophecy".


Cherie c. said...

It is not for today. They did not have the Word of God like we do today. The last days started with the New Testament. God had to use other means until His Word could be spread across the world.

I pray no one here is deceived when the Anti-Christ is revealed.

So I guess we should not question those who say they have heard directly from the Lord like:

Cindy Jacobs, Patricia King, Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, Paula White, oh and let's not forget the women pastors like Victoria Osteen and a few others. False teachers, men included, also say the Lord speaks to them via a voice and dreams. So I should believe you over them? They have spoken about hearing directly from God, and through dreams. So you don't think it could be something else? You know for sure it is from God? I mentioned the women of the apostate American Church to prove a point. They are leaders in their respective churches and "ministries" when women are not supposed to be there. Then to add that God speaks to them, ummm, no way.

It is not scandalous but blasphemous for these women to lead any church and to also say that God okays this heresy. They also say that God speaks to them making you look like a heretic if you question them.

Jesus said there will be signs, wonders and miracles, but they are not from Him. Should I believe man or God?

Still no one seems to read the Word of God in context. The Bible is not only the true and infallible Word of God it is also a history book of man and God. I may be on my own on this, but I believe God answers prayers because I have seen it and also speaks to us through His Word and His Holy Spirit, but not with an audible sound like a voice. It is a knowing in your spirit. I cannot explain it, but the Word of God can;

1 Corinthians 2:13
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Doesn't sound like a voice to me. Not a Bible Scholar, but I can read, Praise God and with the Holy Spirit, I can understand the Word of God, especially when accompanied by prayer.

Sorry, I love you guys but I guess I am not in the cool crowd because the only dreams I have are mostly nightmares and I don't hear the voice of God. =D

But on occasion He does answer my prayers especially when they are for someone else. And He does give me His peace, I feel His love, and I know that He is with me even when I don't feel like He is, and He loves me enough to correct me rather than leave me in a state of sin. I know He blesses me when I do not deserve it. All Glory and Honor to Him.

your sister in Christ Jesus
your sister in Christ Jesus

Rick Frueh said...

There are many who misuse the 2written Scriptures. Does that make them illegitimate? Where in the Bible does it say God will no longer use any dreams or visions? That is a man made theology usually referred to as cessationism. It is most predominately championed by Calvinists/reformed. And although they demand full Scriptural support for everything else they seem to allow for their own reasoning here.

Anonymous said...

Those words from Psalm 119 are very well known. God blesses us with increased understanding as we trust and obey Him.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that God speaks to His children very individually and creatively. As Cherie writes He speaks to us through His word but He isn't limited to this!

God has a unique way of capturing our attention. If a name is forgotton by us He can graciously bring it to our memory.
He also shares His sense of humor with us.
And He loves us even when we do activities that aren't overly Bible-related. For example He is a keen visitor at my dinner table but for years I've been resisting serving Him. That said. He remains holy God and I remain His very grateful servant!

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...


Are you suggesting my dream was a coincidence?

I guess it really doesn't matter because it wasn't to anyone but me...

I am in agreement with Rick that God can use whatever means to communicate with us...

Prior to being saved I was dreaming I was in hell...that dream helped lead me to Salvation...

Again, it was for me and it really doesn't matter what others believe when something is made personal between God and an individual...


Rick Frueh said...

We don't seek dreams etc., and we do not rely on dreams. And we test everything by God's Word. But how do we hear the Lord about certain things that are not in the Word? (buying something, who to marry, where to go to church, etc.) If God gives directions in those areas which are not in His Word then how can we say God never gives a dream?

Anonymous said...

God can use whatever means He chooses to gain our attention and He communicates to us in all areas of our life. Amen.

Yet I personally think we should heed more the word of God than our dreams!

God bless you!

Anonymous said...

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is the spirit of the antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." 1 John 4:1-3

Confess means simply to "agree with." So therefore, any spirit, dream, vision, prophetic word, experience, or whatever occurs with in the spirit of man, that does not agree with the revelation of Jesus Christ as written in our Sciptures is not of God. A false image of our Savior, His character, words, and deeds, will ultimately lead us away from the truth and eventually God, Himself.

"I have heard what the prophets said, that prophecy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of prophets that prophecy lies? yea, they are prophets of deceit of their own heart,who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams, which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal." Jeremiah 23:25-27

.....vs.32 "Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams," says the LORD, " and tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all," says the LORD."

Our LORD is clear in discerning the holy verses the profane. We must examine the fruits of the lives of people when discussing issues regarding pure spiritual matters. Are we to believe the dreams of a pastor who boasts of his out of this world visions and dreams who is secretly engaging in soliciting women in his congregation for "special favors" while married? Or how about that pastor and wife team who stand up in front of the church prophesying things to people "that only god can know" having been divorced and remarried three times over (while claiming to be born again.) Or how about that person that approaches you in church and says that I had a dream about you last night and this is what the lord told me to tell you; and then the things of that dream never come to pass all the while waiting for that break through.

An individual shared a dream with me not long ago and it went like this: "I entered heaven after an overdose of drugs and was declared dead by the medical professionals. I was committing suicide because I could not take the pain tis world any longer, so I listened to those voices that were speaking to me to end it all. I heard those voices for years and I finally had the courage to follow them and did what they told me to do. While in heaven, I met my uncle and grandparents for the first time and they hugged me. I visited with relative I never knew before in the Victorian setting. Old model T's were driving around and every was love and I was loved for the first time in my life. I wish I had never come back to this earth, but now I know what to look forward too."

Anonymous said...

After listening instently to their testimony and asking God, the Holy Spirit, to give me the courage to question this in a loving way, for I really liked this person and did not want to offend, I asked this person, "Do you know Jesus Christ as your LORD and Savior personally?"

Their response was "No, I don't believe in Jesus Christ. There are many paths to God and I am on one of those other paths." This person visited heaven, but still was not saved, interesting testimony for sure.

Please know that the use and abuse of God's word in manipulating the masses is alive and well within our culture, so if I err, then I will chose to err on the side of God's Word instead of a personal expeience where the spirits need to be carefully tested for God Himself says this,

"For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

On this topic, I chose to heed the warnings of our LORD verses placing trust in mere man.

Jesus is still speaking to us today through His Word, and I will choose to trust in Him and His truths over the creams and visions that occur in my life and the lives of others. To Him will the Glory be.