Much of the focus of Kingdom seekers seems to center in on loving each other, and love should be our first priority if anything else is to be accomplished. But we cannot omit truth, facts, or reality. There are many ideas, opinions, and words that can be looked over that really do not have any effect on people’s lives; at the same time, there are both lies and truths that affect every human on earth.
First Corinthians 12:31 tells us to “covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.”
Paul went on to say, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profits me nothing. Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity vaunts not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:1-7).
The truth that sets us free from sin and death is so vital that we should use every method the Holy Spirit urges us to use to persuade others. Voicing truth is one method that the Holy Spirit uses. The words of the Holy Spirit will direct, strengthen, and protect us when we consider them. The Spirit of Wisdom and Knowledge teaches believers how to be in the image of the Father.
We have heard it said that a man is as good as his word. Christ sheds a little more light on the subject by saying, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” We can, and do, judge people by what comes out of their mouths. What we say is very important, and our attitude is important as well.
I’ve heard ministers that claim to be reaching into the Kingdom of Righteousness, while striving to be funny they make fun of women by accusing them of being difficult, mean, and unreasonable during pregnancy; accusing all women of being alike in their conduct. Seldom do we hear a man get up and joke about his father-in-law, but mothers-in-law are mentioned often. One minister said, “He’ll [God] put you in the midst of the unlovable—your mother-in-law will move in.” These ministers get laughs, but few mothers-in-law or mothers are laughing inside, even if the statement is true in their case. The only difference in mothers and mothers-in-law are in the prejudice concept and attitudes of those connected with them. This type of ministering is rude, insulting, and it cannot and does not promote peace within a family.
Kingdom ministers are obligated to speak the oracles (utterance) of Yahweh (1 Pet. 4:11) and should be honest, and thoughtful. They should never encourage prejudicial ideas among their listeners. Mothers-in-law are not the enemies of families. Many are loving, understanding, and actively caring family members. Why then should negative remarks about them be said by any minister? People of the world promote enough strife between family members to keep Christian families warring against the devil.
Making fun or foolish jesting is not a method Christ used in teaching the Kingdom message. Condescending remarks do not eliminate problems in marriages, but in reality they prepare people to expect and accept them as facts.
Foolish jesting should not be part of the Kingdom ministry. This type of ministering is done with fun in mind, but in reality it is unprofitable. If a person goes to church to be entertained by insulting and foolish jesting, we have offered him no more than the world offers. Those who gather together with other believers should be learning the ways of the Kingdom. Their time should be quality time with Christians, giving the Holy Spirit opportunity to teach them and flow through them.
“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh [suitable, proper] saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of Yahweh. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light” (Ephesians 5:3-13).
Insulting, foolish jesting from the pulpit is a trend from the world entertainment that has crept into the churches unaware by many. It can be likened to a married couple that started their marriage out with little put- downs toward each other for entertainment, usually based on some irritating fact. But soon it becomes a habit and after several years of this, the damage begins to show in the couple’s self-esteem and outlook on marriage; therefore, affecting their children and those around them. Most often the couple has matured and the root of the put downs have long been rooted up and only the emotional memory remains, along with the habitual disrespect they have for each other.
If the president of the United States tried to get his views understood by using foolish jesting, it would certainly close any door he might have opened. Ministers have much more sacred responsibility to the Church than the president does to his country, because what you say from the pulpit is supposed to be the utterance of Love.
The responsibility of ministers of Righteousness is serious and should not be taken lightly or made light of. The Holy Spirit is well capable of bringing joy and excitement in fellowship meetings without the lower nature of man trying to entertain at the expense of others. Our lower nature should not be given honor in the churches but instead should be discouraged.
As we all know, the dictionary was produced that we all might learn what a word means and be able to communicate one to another. Early on, I learned the meanings of the words: doctrine, religion, religious, revelation, and sin. But now I am hearing ministers teach that these words are causing havoc in their gatherings and are asking the congregation to not dwell on them. They are even asking the congregation to set them aside and listen to what they have to say, explaining that these expressions are unnecessary.
Recently, I heard a minister say, “God doesn’t dwell in your revelations, doctrines, denominations, or understandings— He is above all that.” He said it as if revelation was a waste of time and could get out of hand and boggle our minds if we don’t watch out.
The following meanings were taken from a Webster’s Dictionary. We should all pay special attention to their meanings and try to use them properly. When these words are understood according to their true meaning, we will hold them dear to your heart.
► Doctrine: 1. That which is taught; the principle or principles taught in any branch of knowledge. 2. A teaching or the teachings of a church.
Christ said, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of Yahweh, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17).
“All scripture is given by inspiration of Yahweh, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16).
“Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things” (Titus 2:10).
► Religion: 1. The service and adoration of God or a god as expressed in forms of worship and a way of life. 2. Any one of the systems of faith and worship. 3. Profession of belief in God or a god; observance of the ceremonies of worship. 4. A conviction of the existence of a supreme being, resulting in reverence, love, gratitude, etc.
► Religious: 1. Showing devotion to, or the influence of, religion.
“But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridles not his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before Yahweh and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:25-27).
► Revelation: A revealing to others of something previously unknown to them; disclosure; also, that which is revealed. 2. God’s disclosure of himself or of his will to man, especially through scriptures.
Paul said in First Corinthians 14:6, “Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?”
If anyone is going to profit from another person’s ministry, that person must speak either by revelation, knowledge, prophecy, or by doctrine.
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 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” (2 Timothy 4:2-4).
► Sin: To miss the mark.
“Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).
I heard another minister say that we would never have to mess with the sin problem any more and that we don’t have to lead anyone in the sinner’s prayer because sin sacrifice was dealt with in Christ.
Another minister went so far as to say, “Christ said for those without sin to throw the first stone.” Then he continued, saying, “I’m qualified to throw the first stone, but I don’t see anyone to throw at.” He is confusing the issue— there is a big difference in condemning and instructing. We all must overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21).
In order to teach and show love, it has been asked that sin be ignored and not dealt with. In fact, we have been asked to just believe it doesn’t exist any more: for after all, Christ came and did away with that dirty word. But if you look up the word “love” and discover its attributes, you will see there are many ministers who fall short of its manifestation. The condition of falling short of the image of Love (the Father), is called “sin.” So, we are now being asked to go out into the highways and byways and declare to all that they are already in the image of the Father, regardless of the fruit they are bearing.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith …” (Galatians 5:22).
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” (Matthew 7:15-18).
We, as ministers, need to seek the Holy Spirit that it might teach us how to use the knowledge we have in wisdom.
I realize many young people desire entertainment, but they want truth also. They do not want to be insulted from the pulpit. One good example of this is statements like, “I know you all think you got it all, I don’t care what you say, you don’t.” This statement was spoken from a pulpit in what was said to be one of the most advanced meetings. This is not only a condescending statement, but it is belittling the elders, leaders, teachers, and Christian parents.
Young people are much smarter than many older people give them credit for. They are educated enough to know when something is wrong; they may not be able to pin-point it or have the boldness to come against it, but they know. The Savior came that they, too, could have the law in their minds, giving them a consciousness of right and wrong.
Gender, race, family position, or even age is not considered to be of importance when sharing truth. For anyone to get up and use any one of these in an insulting way only divides the people. It shuts the church doors to those who are being cut down. When this happens, it has a ripple effect and many are forbidden or they choose not to go to the gatherings.
Let us “…be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of Yahweh” (Romans 12:2).