- TABLE OF CONTENTS
- WAR ROOM -
STUDY - MORAL
ISSUES - KING
JAMES BIBLE - CULTS
THE DEADLY REFUGE
ALL TOO OFTEN
AN EXPERT IS SOMEONE WHO KNOWS ENOUGH ABOUT A SUBJECT TO BE SURE OF HIMSELF, BUT NOT ENOUGH TO KNOW HE IS WRONG.
The latest conspiracy about 9/11..... Covid..... AOC.....
Pat Robertson and Jeremy Rifkin
I have seen a building demolition, and I had a friend who worked in building demolition. I know the key to a perfect demolition is to drop a building in its footprint to prevent it from falling sideways and onto nearby buildings. The 9/11 towers were a perfect demolition. The two towers fell to the ground in thirteen seconds, and it would take a brick ten seconds to fall to the ground if dropped from the top of one of those buildings. So, based on my knowledge of physics, the 9/11 towers did not burn to the ground..... they were dropped by an exceptional job of demolition. That is the end of my knowledge. Who did it? I do not know, and I do not care.
It will never be known anymore who sank the Lusatania that brought the USA into World War I. My conclusion is, leave it alone. I broke my rule to help you see the worthlessness of just enough information to be sure of part of the story, but not enough to complete the story. Those sort of stories are a waste of time and help no one.
What is the moral? Stop collecting when you see you cannot finish the whole story. I love to read true accounts about the early days of Africa and India. That is, the days when White people "discovered" people who had already lived for thousands of years. Can you imagine being an African and no one ever discovered you? Would that mean you did not yet exist? The White race talks like the people of the world came into existence only when the Spaniard, or the Anglo Saxon, stepped onto the beach.
I still read one of explorer books from the era of discovery from time to time, but I must guard myself against the stupid notion that I can become an expert in the history of discovering people. My experiences with discovering Africans were priceless memories simply because I sat down and drank tea with real Africans. My library of discovery books are fun to read, but explorers had a bad habit of padding their tales of valor and conquest with details that are colorful but a lot of bologna. The only discovery knowledge I can trust explicitly is the knowledge I gleaned sitting in an African tea shop.
Beware of the day you decide you are the expert on ANY topic. That is the day you become a wretched pest to everyone around you. And, you will soon find your friends avoiding you. Remember, an expert is some jack leg who knows no more than you do about a subject, but someone put a microphone in front of him, and he became an "expert."
If you want to be useful to people, SERVE, and stop talking about yourself.
1 Corinthians 9:19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
When my Dad pastored a country church in a poor farm community in Oklahoma, he answered the call of any farmer who was shelling corn or slaughtering a hog and who needed help. He also went and helped the men of the community fight a prairie fire that threatened the area. For this reason, he was the honored guest with the old timers who sat on the porch of the general store and spinned yarns. But, my Dad had to earn that privilege by being, like Paul, all things to all men.
Unto the ignorant I would like to be a source of some knowledge that will make their life more orderly and rewarding. Other than that, my heritage of knowledge is locked away in my memory, and most of it will never be of use to anyone. However, it is a great comfort now that I am in my older years and my wife is with Jesus. I have memories that are priceless which God has allowed me to glean along the way.
Here is an example of wisdom I have that is perfectly worthless to you. I can tell you how to catch cat fish in Lake Victoria in Africa. Now, if you are so bored with life that you still want to know that sort of thing from my back history, great. I can unload on you until you are cross eyed. But, unless I am asked, I generally don't volunteer such priceless gems. How about how to hunt hippopotamuses? You must need to know all about that, right?
In other words, do not start searching out knowledge that quickly becomes a dead end. Stay with that which edifies.
1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
6. Knowledge that causes us to become anxious and fearful
We are talking about knowledge that, once you have it, you find two things happen:
First, you have no known solution to the thing, and the Bible does not talk about the subject.
Second, you find your mind being seduced into brooding over this new knowledge.
Anxiety can come to us all when life takes a turn that we cannot control or change. The Bible warns of this and tells us the solution:
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
"Careful" in this verse means anxious. The key to avoiding anxiety is to restrain ourselves from harvesting knowledge that leads to a dead end. There is anxiety enough from the unavoidable affairs of life and in dealing with certain people.
Also, let your requests be made known unto God. If you find knowledge available to you, and you don't know if it would lead to worthless anxiety, ASK GOD for wisdom.
The worst offense is to pass on the knowledge that led us into anxiety. That is a wicked thing do to another Christian. This pattern of offense is all over social media. It is also the main topics found on The Drudge Report. Matt Drudge has become very prosperous by passing on knowledge of evil people and frightful events around the world.
There is a time when you should keep what you learn or see totally to yourself. You find a sin or fault in a brother or sister, and you know God would like it to change. But, if you even mention it to them alone, you know, from their personality, that they will respond badly. Unless the Holy Spirit will not give you peace about it, KEEP YOUR FLAP TRAP SHUT PLEASE. Do everything you can to strengthen the troubled saint with the Word of God, and let the Holy Spirit work in his own time. He bloweth where he listeth, and you do not have the spiritual skill to blow the right way at the right time.
A young couple visited a church I pastored. They were dressed in military field jackets, they both had long hair, and you could not tell who was the man or wife from a back view of them. In fact, the gentleman's beard was the only clue who was whom. Some pastors could quote many verses to prove they were not right with God. I learned that they had great zeal for Christ in spite of their peculiar ways, so I left it alone. I asked the leading men to not judge them, and we would see if the Holy Spirit would work on them before we approached them on issues. That is exactly what happened. One day, the husband asked me to pray for him because he was addicted to soda pop, any kind. At first I was tempted to tell him that this was not such a serious issue, but the Holy Spirit quickly stopped me. I decided that if this was an addiction, and if he wanted to get victory over it, I better take it seriously also. So, I promised to pray with him about his soda pop problem. He got victory, and over time the beard came off, the field jackets were replaced, and the appearance they gave became culturally appropriate.
Now, I will be damned by some of you Fundamental Baptists. I have it on the best authority that God is not that worried about how Christians look on the outside. He is far more interested in getting control of our hearts. Some pastors make so much fuss over dress and hair that many Christians' spiritual maturity is skin deep.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
Stop worrying yourself overmuch about how other Christians look, and see if you can move their heart closer to the Lord.
Bob had whipped drugs, and he was working on the booze. He regularly failed on Saturday evening, and Sunday morning I could see it all over his face. I commended him for any victory in his life, but the booze often broke my heart because of what it did to him every time he failed. So, the Lord lead me to offer to "shoot pool" with him at the KOA campground where there was only a Coke machine. I told him that when he got the urge to hit the booze, call me anytime 24/7, and I would shoot pool with him. It helped that I love to shoot pool. I kept my end of the deal, and Bob conquered the booze. I never told him what I thought of his sin. And, I never told anyone who knew him about his battle. And, God most certainly got what he wanted.
Possibly the only reason to hang a preacher is when he passes on to others in the assembly the sins of saints who confide their battles to him. I jest, of course, but not about the offense. It is like a shepherd telling the wolf where to find the sheep.
THE FOUNDATION OF KNOWLEDGE
Jeremiah 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
What does this mean?
Will men not tell us to know the Lord in the Messianic Kingdom?
Not at all. The reason it will not be necessary to teach men to know the Lord is because Christ will make sure they do know the Lord. No one will have the option to not know the Lord. Any who rebel will be found one day to be guilty of rebellion of the truth they knew.
7. Ways of the world
We are warned not to be ignorant of the ways of the adversary:
2 Corinthians 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
But, we are also warned not to be overly expert in evil:
Romans 16:19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
So, where is the middle between these seeming extremes?
It is clearly a matter of keeping an eye of the devil and his helpers, take notes mentally, and be on guard for his tricks he uses to lead us astray...... while we seek not excessive knowledge about that which the world considers special and important.
When I hear a Christian go into detail explaining all the aspects of a "good wine" or the "best bourbon," I know that Christians has become an expert in things that he does not need to know.
I grew up in Kenya and Tanzania which were part of the British Empire. So, many of the missionary ladies were Anglophiles, and they kept up on the latest gossip about the Royal Family. The royals of Europe have always been moral dogs. There have been exceptions, but to know who Prince Charles shacked up with in his sordid past is what Paul meant by being "simple concerning evil." You are loading up on rubbish that clutters your mind, and you become tempted to imagine you are an expert on evil. I recall that my Mom had no interest in the latest scandals of the British royals, and I now appreciate her lack of interest.
Another sort of knowledge that is mongrel and ungodly is hero worship of evil men.
I once visited the office of a pastor who, in most ways, was a faithful and useful Bible teacher and pastor. But, as I entered his office, there was a life-size cardboard image of John Wayne in the corner. Around his office were other John Wayne curios of all sorts. This pastor had become obsessed with John Wayne and knew an enormous amount of information on the man. Ironically, in my extremely limited experience learning about John Wayne, I have learned that he was totally godless, and his family called a Catholic priest who came to his hospital bed and gave him the Last Rights just ten minutes before Wayne died. That was the extent of John Wayne's regard for God. For a pastor to immerse himself in the life and legends of John Wayne is totally revolting.
Another man has made himself the idol of thousands of Christians and many pastors. That is President Donald Trump. The man was raised to be a shady capitalist by a shifty father who lived all the time on the edge of criminal business deals. Trump also threw away two wives and married a porn queen who could probably be thrown away any day now for number four. These Christians who exalt Trump would assure us that they hate divorce just as much as God does, and the pastors who exalt Trump would have harsh words for any man who flew in Jeffrey Epstein's Lolita Express airliner to the Virgin islands where young girls are raped by old men.
But, The Donald gets a pass on these facts, and he is exalted and even claimed to be a Christian. As his porn queen reads The Lord's Prayer at a public gathering, these Christians swoon in wonder that this very special lady might actually be a Bible believer.
Psalms 12:8 The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.
When you exalt vile men, no matter what your apologetic is for praising them, YOU ARE WICKED. And, you give yourself away when you rise in mighty rage at any Bible believer who questions Trump's egomania and violent mouth.
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
One last question about Donald Trump: His campaign motto was, "Make America great again." Did you ever hear him tell the mob when they could tell when America is great again? Did he ever define greatness as he sees it? No, and that is because he is a Shy Lock, a con artist, and he was actually doing the very same thing Adolph Hitler did in his rallies.
"A state always calls itself fatherland when it is ready for murder." - Friedrich Durrenmatt
Donald Trump, in fulfillment of the above quote by Durrenmatt, sent the mob on January 6 to take over the US Government and hang Vice President Mike Pence. If you have been exalting Donald Trump, YOU are supporting the destruction of the American Democracy. HERE IS PROOF
Any man whom you exalt..... any man whom you make the object of extreme knowledge..... while setting aside serious evil in that man, is soon going to be your master, and you will be his fool. Stop making a hobby of gathering knowledge about men who are godless, uncultured, and uncivilized. That includes Christian leaders who are heretics. Get just enough knowledge to warn the saints why to avoid these vile men, and then let the creeps go to Hell. Chasing an evil man all the way to the funeral home is a waste of your life.
Jesus could have said much more in this text, but he was blunt, exposed the men before him, and then he walked away.
Matthew 16:2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
Simple mindedness that is not honoring to God
Proverbs 1:22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
The footnote from the Geneva Bible says, "Wisdom reproves three kinds of men, the foolish or simple who err out of ignorance, the mockers who cannot stand to be taught, and the fools who are drowned in worldly lusts and hate the knowledge of godliness."
The thing that seems to be the folly of this sort of simple man is that he "hates the knowledge of godliness." When your zeal to keep your world simple toward evil starts including avoiding the knowledge of God and his Word, you are a fool.
When you discipline yourself to look the other way when evil crops up in your home, church, or work place, you are still a fool if Christ is not the object of your discipline.
Again Solomon introduces us to a simple fool:
Proverbs 7:4 Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:
5 That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.
6 For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,
7 And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,
8 Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,
9 In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:
When you void your mind of the devices of Satan completely, you will be too dumb to know when you are in a deadly zone. Satan can put his servants in your path to bait you into evil, and you will walk right into the trap. As we said elsewhere in this article, there is a measure of knowledge of evil that we must have to avoid being ravaged by the adversary.
2 Corinthians 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
A friend of mine and his wife visited a church while they were looking for a church home. It was during the Christmas season. When they entered they at once saw a wreath on one side wall of the sanctuary, and a fixture of candles burning on the opposite wall. It was the Christmas season. The lady came from a Catholic family which practiced witchcraft and specialized in hexes. This lady was horrified. Arranged one way, it is a hex to bring good luck, and arranged the other way it is a hex to curse or kill someone. I do not recall which way they were arranged, but it totally freaked out the lady. The husband went to the pastor after the service and informed him of the evil ritual appearance of the decorations. The pastor laughed at my friend and made some dismissive answer about having more power than the devil.
This pastor was not a fool for not knowing about the evil ritual associated with the decorations. He WAS a fool for laughing off the concern of my friend and his wife. Symbols are used all through the Bible, and the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper is the ultimate example of symbolism and its spiritual associations. When we decide we can use symbols associated with evil, devils see this, and they assume they have an entrance to do more evil. This pastor was one of the fools Solomon was talking about in Proverbs.
THE PSALMIST, KING DAVID, ON WHAT KNOWLEDGE TO AVOID
Psalms 131:1 LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.
2 Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.
3 Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever.
Bill Gates has to be held in high esteem for his contribution to the age of technology in which we now revel. His Windows invention is the world's main entrance to cyberspace. Others have tried to improve on Bill's program, but Windows still reigns supreme.
Does that make Bill Gates an expert in how to solve the population and water problems of Africa?
No. If Bill gets anything right in the philanthropy department, it will only be because he has mastered the information and knowledge of African problems. I am not convinced he has yet mastered them because of some of the things he promotes. He is obsessed with reducing the population of Africa, and some of his suggestions sound too much like genocide. And, water problems in Africa will ONLY be solved if the solution is extremely basic and can be sustained by Africans. Too many men who become greatly wealthy end their life throwing money all over the world, and a few years after they are gone, the projects they sponsored are parked behind the barn rusting. I have seen this because I lived a significant part of my life in Africa.
King David had a great basic education in sheep herding and defending sheep. He could kill a bear and a lion bare handed. So, David spent his career as king defending Israel against the Philistines and other pagans. When he took a census, he entered a zone forbidden by God, and Israel was punished. Then David decided to build a temple for God, God put the brakes on, and David was only allowed to requisition the building supplies for his son Solomon to use to build the House of God.
By the time David was getting into old age, he tells us in Psalm 131 above that he had learned that some matters were too high for him, and he quieted himself. But, God let him write poetry into the canon of Scripture. David did not go sit in his recliner and play Nintendo. Nor did David buy a bass boat and become a famous fishing champion on the Sea of Galilee. God had things for him to do in his old age.
So, preacher, and you Christian fathers, what are you taking on, in the way of knowledge, that is too high for you? Are you humble enough to thank God for the victories and battles won of the past, and are you sitting in the gate these days? That is where you are needed.
Pastor David Burkholder of Trinity Baptist Church in Austin, Texas had determined that there would be a day when he should step aside and sit in the gate. He did just that. Anyone would have agreed with him that he was still needed to administer Trinity Baptist, but he knew when his hard choice needed to be made. Pastor Burkholder moved to Houston, and he and his wife joined a church there. He was asked to help in the ministry of that church, and he told them he would be willing to teach the Bible, but he flatly refused to take any administrative role in the church. I hope Pastor Burkholder does not mind my using him as an example because he is a classic modern example of the humble spirit King David showed in Psalm 131. By the way, by moving on in God's time, Pastor Burkholder did not have to handle the trauma of the Covid epidemic that came soon after he retired.
The history of the Lord's Church is replete with examples of men who had powerful ministries, but they did not know when to step down from power and sit in the gate with the elders. What follows are usually days of stagnation as those men so often end up spending a lot of time keeping their grip on power. Are you one of them?
There is a real blessing in handing the study of high things to younger men and be a mentor to those men.
TED TALKS- I strongly suggest that, if you want online time to add knowledge to your hard drive, search Ted Talks. Some of their topics are disgusting, but they are famous for finding people to talk about things they have done themselves or researched seriously.
THOROUGHLY CONSCIOUS IGNORANCE
Stuart Firestein talks about identifying what you are ignorant of with a view to finding knowledge to eliminate that ignorance. Pastors should watch this. Sir, what are you doing when you teach the Bible to the people? Are you giving them loads of facts which you expect them to remember? Or, are you lighting a fire in them to hunger and thirst after righteousness and find if themselves? If you want a church full of robots, keep loading on the facts. If you want noble Bereans, who search "to see if these things be true," then you must draw them into the fact gathering process. In other words, you must stop trying to be the center of attention and the brain boss.