August 2017           "A Journal of Biblical Understanding"           Volume 14           

(Daniel 4:25)
" ... and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will."


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Basic Christianity ... The CALLED

No one can come to Jesus except the Father (God) draws them. (John 6:44, 65)

John 6:44 "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."
John 6:65 "And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father."

The desire a person has to draw close to Jesus and God is the pull of God's Holy Spirit. It is said by those in religious circles that God is "calling" that person.

When a person gets that calling, God is setting before them a decision they MUST make. It is a life and death decision (Deut. 30:19-20 and God wants them to CHOOSE LIFE!

Deuteronomy 30:19 "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:"
Deuteronomy 30:20 "That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, [and] that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he [is] thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them."

Somewhere into their lives a "seed" of God's Glorious Gospel has been sown and how they react to that "sowing" will determine whether they live or die!

That "seed" is talked about in the parable of the "sower and the seed" in Luke 8 verses 4 through 15.

Luke 8:4 "And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:
5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air
devoured it.
6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience."

It is explained in the preceeding scriptures, and in other scriptures, that the "seed" can be taken away, stifled, or starved. It can also fall on FERTILE ground and bear fruit. That fruit is produced when we GROW IN THE GRACE AND THE KNOWLEDGE of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (2 Pet. 3:18).

2 Peter 3:18 "But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen."

That fruit produces a life of obedience to God and service to Him and mankind!

That "seed" creates a decision-making cross-road in their lives and that decision-making process creates a jumble of thoughts about various and sundry things, not the least of which is whether or not to begin OBEYING God!

Those jumbled thoughts are used by Satan the Devil. He is the god of this world right now (2 Cor. 4:4) and is doing everything God will allow him to do to influence and deceive the people of this world. He uses those times of indecision to confuse and distort the minds of those whom God is calling into His Glorious Rest.

Satan also uses the "cares of this world", as well as spiritual briars and thorns, to destroy those "seeds of truth" that have been planted in a person's mind, as it shows in Mat. 13:3; Mark 4:3; Luke 8:5.

Mat. 13:3 "And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Read on in the chapter and God explains the parable to any who will hear.

God is NOT the author of confusion!! (1 Cor. 14:33)

1 Corinthians 14:33 "For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." {confusion: Gr. tumult, or, unquietness}

If God is not the author of confusion, then who is?

Satan, of course. The scriptures tell us that Satan is a LIAR and the father of it !! (John 8:44).

John 8:44 "Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." {of his own: or, from his own will or disposition}

They tell us that Satan is a MASTER deceiver because he has deceived the WHOLE world (society). (Rev. 12:9)

Revelation 12:9 "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

Yes, Satan has deceived EVERYONE in this world to one extent or another and works harder on those God has called and is calling than the rest of the world who are already blinded. (I Peter 5:8-11, John 12:40, Romans 11:7, 2 Cor. 4:4)

1 Pet. 5:8-11 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
John 12:40 "He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with [their] eyes, nor understand with [their] heart, and be converted, and I should heal them."
Rom. 11:7-8 "What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded {blinded: or, hardened}
8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. "{slumber: or, remorse}
2 Corinthians 4:4 "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

Everyone who is just coming to Christ needs to realize that the people of this world CANNOT think like God or live like God as it says in Isaiah 55:8 !

Isaiah 55:8 "For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD."

We are told in scripture that our human nature (because of the influence and deception of Satan the Devil) is the enemy (enmity) of God. (Romans 8:7)

Romans 8:7 "Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." {the carnal…: Gr. the minding of the flesh}

The ONLY way a human being can BEGIN to think and live like God is to be given His Holy Spirit (His Mind in them) and His thoughts will then BEGIN to be our thoughts also, and we will begin to learn to think and live like Him. (Nehemiah 1:9; Mal. 3:7; 1 Cor. 2:10-14)

Nehemiah 1:9 "But [if] ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, [yet] will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there."
Malachi 3:7 "Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept [them]. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?"
1 Corinthians 2:10 "But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
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.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

God will only give His Holy Spirit to those who OBEY HIM. (Acts 5:32)

Yes, salvation is a gift of God but God will NOT give it to someone who continually and willfully disobeys Him. We are told to let this MIND be in us that was in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 2:5) THAT MIND is the mind of God, His Holy Spirit!

Mankind, of course, has a human spirit   as mentioned in the book of Job chapter 32 and verse 8.

Job 32:8 "But [there is] a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." (i.e. Human understanding.)

Truly God gives inspiration even humanly speaking, but we are NOT to allow our human understanding to lead us away. (Prov. 3:5).

Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

We are also told to realize there is a way that seems right to a human being but those ways lead to death. (Prov. 14:12, 16:25)

Proverbs 14:12 "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death."
Proverbs 16:25 "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death."

This is mentioned twice in scripture to emphasize the importance placed upon it.

The human mind has been deceived and changed into a mind that mirrors that of Satan the Devil, deceitful and desperately wicked. (Jer. 17:9) !!

Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

Yes, there is a human understanding and a knowledge. This, of course, does NOT include spiritual understanding since that can only come from God through His Holy Spirit.

I have said for quite some time now that anyone can gain spiritual knowledge. All anyone needs to do to gain that is to read the Bible or have someone read it to them.

However, Spiritual Understanding can ONLY come from God through His Holy Spirit. We are given an example of that in Luke 24:32 and in Acts 16:14.

Luke 24:32 "And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
Acts 16:14 "And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard [us]: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul."

Our physical Bible is called the Word of God and we also know Jesus was called the Word in John 1:1. In verse 14 it plainly shows that this WORD is the one who became Jesus.

John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

Seeing all this, what is a person to do when they have received that "calling" from God?

Peter tells us the answer to that in Acts 2:38.

Acts 2:38 "Then Peter said unto them, 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."

That person should be repentant of their sins. (Sin is the breaking of God's Law - 1 John 3:4). They should then be baptized. (Completely submerged in water to picture their "burial with Christ" - Rom. 6:4). Because of their obedience they will receive the "gift of the Holy Spirit" as mentioned above in Acts 5:32.

Will that cause the jumbled thoughts, deception of Satan, and hard times to cease?

Not necessarily. We are told this in 1 Cor. 10:13 and in James 1:12.

1 Corinthians 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]." {common…: or, moderate}
James 1:12 Blessed [is] the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him."

We are tested and tried to enable God to determine if His Seed has fallen upon fertile ground. We are tested and tried to see if we will turn from our old wicked ways and turn unto God. If we will, He will give us the strength to stand in that day of temptation. (1 Cor. 10:13)

1 Corinthians 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]. "{common…: or, moderate}

Those who have been called of God should begin reading God's Word, His instruction book, to learn how to overcome these trials and temptations. They should begin a study into God's promises which are throughout the scriptures.

A schedule should be made that will take them through the Bible in one year, allowing them to read several chapters each night. This will also keep many things in their minds which they have read. A good study program was put out by Ambassador College in California and is available from members or former members of the World Wide Church of God.

What study helps do beginning Bible-students need?

A good King James 1611 authorized version Bible (preferrable one with wide margins), and a good unabridged dictionary. Other bible versions, it has been found, have many more errors in translation, than the King James 1611 authorized version.

Where can one go for answers to questions that might come up?

Questions may be electronically mailed to the editor of Seven Times Newsletter by sending an e-mail to theeditor (at) 7times (dot) org or write to the address at the bottom.

If there is anything we can do to help, please let us know.

We are your servants.

Ken Browder, Editor
Seven Times Newsletter
828 Greenhills Dr. SE
Cleveland, TN 37323

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