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Saturday, June 04, 2011

Taming The Tongue Will Prevent Much Pain in Your Future!


     I am baffled! Stunned! I cannot believe how so many people on Facebook and other social networks on the Internet can make certain statements they claim come from the Bible; yet, upon searching diligently in God’s word in attempts to find out if what they said was true, there is no record of such a claim whatsoever!
     One small example is when a dear Christian friend of mine posted on Facebook that Jesus Christ is the mustard seed quoted in several verses in the Gospel, upon close scrutiny and examination, the only reference to mustard seed in the Bible concerns faith and the kingdom of God. We learn that the mustard seed (being the smallest seed you can plant in the ground) can grow to become the biggest flower of them all. Obviously, the analogy being that both faith and the kingdom of God (albeit small at its inception) can and will grow immensely. How someone was able to identify Jesus Christ as being a mustard seed when scripture in no way states, implies nor should we infer, simply boggles the mind.  

     This example, as small and insignificant as it may seem in the overall redemptive message we receive from God, an innocuous statement that Jesus Christ is to be viewed as the mustard on several references in the Gospels, can plant a different kind of seed in the minds of the readers, to the extent such a claim can turn into a doctrinal precept that can confuse people to their own detriment. Especially in cases where many religious adherents (or novice expositors) readily get on Facebook and other social networks and begin spewing forth scripture they may have heard from others or they just simply don’t understand. The sad (and dangerous aspect of this incident) is that this kind of misquoting scripture goes on all the time. 
     What these folks fail to recognize is that by posting or sharing the word of God with others, that person doing so has assumed the role of a teacher. I personally take my role as a teacher and an evangelist (a messenger of God’s word) extremely serious, especially after reading the stern requirements and warnings declared to those who want to be teachers.As we read in James 3, the entire chapter is devoted to ‘taming the tongue.’ At the outset, we are told in verses 1 and 2 that:

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly, (James 3:1).

      Further in chapter 3, we are given examples of how the tongue is like the bit in the mouth of an animal we use to make them obey, as well as how such a small part of our physical body has tremendous power to get others to turn their direction off course. Like the small rudder, which is the smallest device on a large ship, the tongue has the power to steer a person, group, company, organization and even a country in whatever direction it wants. Think Adolph Hitler!

     James tells us the tongue is also like a small spark that can set an entire forest ablaze. James tells us that the tongue is a fire that is also compared to a world of evil among the parts of the body that can corrupt the whole person, and can actually set the whole course of a person’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. James adds that while man can tame all sorts of animals, man cannot tame the tongue, that it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. We are told that the tongue should be used to praise our Lord and Father, but instead we find it cursing men, who have been made in God’s likeness:
     Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt[ water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water, (James 1:9-12). Many of those who go about posting and sharing God’s word are seeking attention and obviously want to be seen as wise people. For whatever reason, these folks care more about how people (should) view them rather than how God sees them. Man has always sought out acceptance, praise and self-esteem. Most of our lives have been spent on gaining approval by doing works that will please our neighbors, schoolmates and colleagues in our chosen professions.
     High achievers in the world do get promoted and they do get raises, and normally excel in whatever endeavors. We most certainly do not imply that this is wrong in the marketplace.
     But, when it comes to the word of God (and His Kingdom); it has nothing do with being viewed as a wise nor intelligent person. Most Christians follow those preachers and teachers who (on the surface at least) appear to be dynamic and profound teachers and preachers. They follow them as groupies follow rock stars! Many who post on social networks actually want to be seen as Christian rock stars, themselves! They seem to be seeking the same attention and recognition as the popular evangelists we see in media, to be viewed as "super holy" especially from their fellow Christians. They feel redeemed especially when they receive praise from those very same folks who seek praise for themselves, rather than ascertaining that everything we do brings glory to God!      

     Many folks have even accused me of being guilty of the same thing; that my ministry is just another form of getting attention from the public. Trust me, after experiencing much fame, money and societal position during my secular days as a radio-television talk show host for over 35 years, that experience pales in comparison to being one of God's broadcasters for just one single day; and if I had another method of getting the message in my books out to the general public, I would be off the Internet in a nano second. All the praise and all the glory that went with my former career is nothing compared to the approval I seek from God rather than men, as we read in Ecclesiastes 2:11, it was all vanity and vexation of the spirit.

      More importantly, if the messages being posted by many Moses Wannabees are couched more so around a particular cultural group of people, a nation or a country, a particular political party or philosophy, or any other entity besides Jesus Christ, it is not of God! It is sheer idolatry that needs to be destroyed and removed from anything that calls itself Christian!

     Whatever material we post on social networks, if Jesus isn’t center-stage and receiving the glory for what He has done, then all the other esoteric information and data that we produce matters not. If we focus more attention on any of today’s current Bible giants (and we do not mean the Nephilim) who are highly visible in society by virtue of the Electronic church, or on preachers and teachers who many believe are bringing new information to the fold, then we are not paying honor to God. If the messenger becomes more important than the message, then they have become idols for destruction. 
     There are thousands upon thousands of self-proclaimed apostles, deacons, ministers and novice expositors who have started their own Internet churches, claiming to have inside information about God and the Bible that the masses are lacking, and they rightly believe they have the truth (more truth) than the majority of millions of professing Christians on Facebook and other social networks. Mostly, the loudest and most uninformed (from a sound biblical exegetical perspective) are novice Bible students who are genuinely excited about their recent conversion to Christianity and (about especially) new found information they have received from their pastor or recently read from the plethora of prophecy books inundating the marketplace. 
     But, lest we forget, messages that God would have us to receive come from those who have been ordained by God and not solely by working to gain credibility by attaining (or even purchasing) teaching credentials and licenses given to men by other men, but rather given by men of God ( 2 Timothy1:6, 1 Timothy 4:13-16 and Acts 8:18) who have been confirmed by the Holy Spirit, and that by the laying on of hands by the presbyters. How many of these inexperienced Bible pundits can make the claim they have received their ministry (if it can be called that) through the process God has established within and among His ecclessia?
     Now, prophecy books, or books on eschatology (which is a big part of theology, philosophy, and futurology concerned with what are believed to be the final events in history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity, commonly referred to as the end of the world or the World to Come) have been with us since the time of Jesus ascension to Heaven after His resurrection. In the last two hundred years, books written about the end of the world grew steadily and exponentially, more so since the advent of the Internet. 
     Many woman and men have written thousands upon thousands of books on this subject, and this profitable industry (unfortunately) will continue to grow. The only problem with these books is that their focus deals more so with the timing of the return of Jesus (as was promised in Acts1:7-11), something that Jesus specifically told his disciples not to concern themselves with. Yet, we ignore His admonition while at the same time claiming we are obeying Him and His word.
     I have been personally attacked (daily) over and over again by many self-proclaimed Christians for ostensibly writing books on (the date-setting type of) prophecy. Nothing can be further from the truth. My books contain no information whatsoever concerning the timing of Christ’s return, other than challenges to the predominating Pre-Mid-Post-Tribulation Rapture to Heaven doctrines, nor even Pre-Wrath dogma. The return of Jesus Christ is not going to be determined on the various times frames being bandied about by those who believe the Bible dictates we are to experience a specific seven-year tribulation period culled from a misinterpretation of scripture from the Book of Daniel. If anything, my books (which took over 25 years of study and writing before they were published) deal with warnings against such activity. The number one reason is that such speculations dishonor God and deny Jesus Christ His rightful glory! 
     Yes! Tribulation (God's true disciples being persecuted by Anti-Christian forces) will increase and accelerate exponentially before the return of Jesus Christ; but there is no 'magical' time-frame formula found in the Bible that tells us when this persecution begins and ends. This is why guessing and speculating at specific times and seasons (date-setting, as we have seen lately) is sheer folly and has been discouraged by Jesus Christ Himself. Even if some genius was able to come up with a magnificent time formula based on seasons and who is in political power at the moment, the Book of Daniel tells us that God can change those in a nano second (see Daniel 2:21 and Acts 1:7). But yet, man tries to tell God what He has to do based on their equation! This again is sheer folly!
     But the greater danger in this, which actually can result (in some cases) a person losing their soul, is that the greater percentage of prophecy books blatantly deny what was accomplished at the cross, which is the fulfillment of ALL the promises God made to Abraham and the patriarchs thereafter, (see Hebrews 11:13-16). They dishonor what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross by claiming that there are still promises that need to be fulfilled before or at His final return to rule and reign on earth forever, those promises that were completely and totally fulfilled as we read key verses in chapters 23:14 and 24:13 in the Book of Joshua! He told them they could dwell in that Promised Land if they would obey Him and not bow down before other Gods
     Claiming they love, honor and obey God’s laws, precepts and commandments, a segment in the Christian community has been flaunting a diabolic doctrine that claims that a specific group of people were made promises that have yet to be fulfilled, when the Bible clearly states that all the promises have been fulfilled by Jesus Christ, facts which are clearly recorded in the Bible!

      There is nothing new under the sun. Unlike many ersatz prophets who believe they are bringing new information to the masses, such as predictions as to when the world will end, everything God wanted us to know is already in the Bible and has been there for centuries. Many people (like Bible Code aficionados, astrologers, Ufologists, occult experts, and others who dabble in the study of the paranormal), believe they are providing God’s people with new data they never had before. Little do they realize that history (when probed deeply enough) has recorded their “new findings” centuries past. This esoteric data accomplishes nothing but to draw attention away from Jesus and His mission for His disciples. It’s as if this old and rehashed information will provide greater protection from demonic attacks than what God has already assured His children who abide in Him rather than man-made traditions and solutions. Jesus confirmed this when He told the apostle Peter that upon this "Rock” (who is Jesus Christ and not Peter nor the Catholic church, nor any other entity but He alone) that “the gates of Hell shall not prevail against His ecclesia, (Matthew 16:18). God’s children need no other survival wisdom nor equipment but God’s protective shield and His alone.

     We are told by James that there are two kinds of Wisdom. One is where we are to show whatever Bible insights we have by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. The other is demonstrated by harboring bitter envy and selfish ambition our hearts, which we should not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, nonspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”  

     Instead of practicing such boastful activity, we should be about the wisdom that comes from heaven, which is first of all pure; and then be peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness!”


     I am always being accused of offering my opinion or have misinterpreted what I have read in the Bible when I present and share the word of God with others. And, obviously I’m willing to change my positional understanding if they can provide verifiable scripture that outright refutes my presentation. Learning the things of God is an ongoing and an eternal process.
      But my detractors never present Bible verses to challenge the messages I post (in an effort to help them grow in God’s word); instead they get upset and irritated by the message and launch vitriolic attacks on my person with endless ad hominem verbiage that actually proves the message I posted was correct.

     I take my ministry seriously for two main reasons. One is to apprise my fellow brethren that tribulation is on the rise and, unfortunately they are not prepared to deal with it. This comes mostly from they trusting in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture and other Left Behind myths, which are man-made polemics that are not found in the Bible. Secondly, I would never be as foolish as to post items on the Internet if they could not be biblically verified, solely to seek glory for myself. I seek for God to receive the Glory for what He has done in the person of Jesus Christ! To do so, and be found guilty of teaching a false Gospel, will incur on me the wrath of God. I’m not willing to take that chance, therefore, whatever I post, it will always be what God clearly states (not other theorists contentions but that), which can be verified if my readers will take the time to deeply examine what I post, rather than quickly attack me personally because it is not what they have been taught. They and their teacher’s works will be judged by almighty God, just as mine will! Until then, feel free to share with me your insightful knowledge gleaned from deep study of God’s word! But to attack me in a personal way, my character, my ethnicity, rather than having an “iron- sharpening-iron” exchange, basically confirms for me that your tongue needs taming!

      Therefore, if you truly want to be a part of the team that enhances the Kingdom of God, especially as we see that His return is one day closer than before, examine your heart and ask yourself why it is that anger arises in your heart when I post certain scripture (which I did not write nor create)? Why is it that you get angry at me, the messenger, for sharing God’s word with His children? Whether the scripture I post resonates with you or not, and instead it causes deep anger within you, ask yourself why? Did God’s word stir your spirit and convict you and your pride? If it caused you anger because you believe I used God’s word in error; then enlighten me. If you have not read my books, how can you attack them without knowing what they state? If you do read them, and feel I am in error, or if you have other scripture that invalidates my message, I will welcome it with open arms and grateful heart!
     In conclusion, a highly educated engineer, who teaches a men's Bible class in his church, who has read both of my books, sent me a message recently and stated, It always comes down to what the Bible actually says and you have written the definitive work, as far as I am concerned. Unfortunately most people will not put in the great amount of time and effort to study them, as you have done.

     My response to him was Thank you for your kind words. The only difference between those who agree with my research and those who don’t is that the ones who agree have read the books!

~

For information concerning the author's books, please click on The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation. To access his blog and web sites, please click on Joe Ortiz.

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