Those In Christ Looking For ‘Strong Meat’ Uncategorized by admin - January 12, 20140 Ok, we’re are all believers in Christ and part of the Body of Christ here, right? I’m assuming so. If you’re not, well, you’re welcome to listen, but you probably won’t understand everything I’m going to cover, so don’t let it confuse you. Keep ploughin’. After hearing the Message of Salvation through Jesus Christ and being baptized in His Name, what then? 2 Tim 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. Obviously then, we must study God’s Word to show ourselves ‘approved unto God’. A believer in Christ is to become a ‘workman’. This can only be done by ‘rightly dividing the word of truth’, which is The Word of God. That’s how we know what to teach, and when to teach It. At the same time while turning to a serious study of God’s Word, you must try to bring under control the old urges of the flesh that prevent proper study. If you had groups of friends that refuse to believe, you don’t have to totally shun them out of your life. But the change they will see in you, may make them shun you. Christ’s servants are not to totally separate themselves from the world, but go out and help bring others to His Truth. Not all want it, and The Holy Spirit will be your Guide in those matters. What’s the difference between ‘milk’ and ‘meat’? If after having accepted Jesus Christ, do you keep hearing the Message of Salvation and Baptism repeatedly and not ‘strong meat’ to go with It? Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Paul the apostle was speaking this in the Book of Hebrews (or possibly it was Luke). Paul was a scholar of The Old Testament and prophets. When he was converted by Jesus Christ, he also received the gift of The Holy Spirit to put his scholarly learning from The Word into perspective. If we wish to be ‘skilful in the word of righteousness’, we are to follow Paul’s example of study. The example he set should be every Christian’s goal. Some are given more than others by our Father. They are no better than any other Christian, for the various administrations of The Spirit make up the many membered Body of Christ (I Cor.12). Paul wrote most of the New Testament. He had only The Old Testament for study during his days, for that’s what was written at the time. If you want to be a skillful workman with ‘strong meat’, study all of The Word, not just parts. Learn how all of God’s Word is applied in our lives today. For example; the Old Testament and prophets tell us all events that will happen during this ‘flesh age’, even after Christ returns at His second coming. It told us about the coming Savior and His offer of Salvation, and even how He would die on the cross for us (Ps.22). It warns us of the times we live in today, and teaches how to understand the Book of Revelation. It reveals our Mission as ambassadors of Christ, and even teaches about God’s coming Millennium reign upon this ancient earth and thereafter. In other words, the New Testament is the fulfillment of what the Old Testament told us would happen. And It is not complete yet. What was written in the Old Testament is still being fulfilled even today, and for our future. Rightly dividing The Word means being aware of prophecy given in the Old Testament and Its fulfillment in The New, for today, and evermore. It also means being able to ‘rightly divide’ the subject and object of the Chapter, and even single verses which separate between many years. Here’s an example: Revelation 12 verses 3 through 5 are about Satan’s first rebellion, the Woman in Eden who would bring forth the ‘Seed’ of the Salvation Promise given to Abraham, down through to Christ Who is the male child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. Those three verses cover from the time ‘of old’, when Lucifer rebelled against God, then God setting up this flesh age and providing the Seed that His Son would be born from; then giving Abraham the Promise that Christ would come offering Salvation; then His Mission as Savior being fulfilled on the cross; and next Salvation being preached to the world; and finally…Christ’s second coming and God’s Kingdom when Christ will rule all nations with a rod of iron. The whole Plan of God is given in all of His Word. If we are not familiar with the Old Testament, how will we know when It is being fulfilled today? Jesus Christ and His Apostles all quoted from The Old Testament letting us know when portions of Its prophecy came to pass. The Gospel Books and events of Acts especially were given as direct proof of events prophesied in The Old Testament. Christians who are not studied in both New and Old Testaments, are as ‘babes’ on the ‘milk’, and cannot discern both good and evil. And it still applies even though many may have been attending Church for most of their lives. Matt 13:51 Jesus saith unto them, “Have ye understood all these things?” They say unto Him, “Yea, Lord.” 52 Then said He unto them, “Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.” To be instructed of the Kingdom of Heaven is to learn from our ‘Householder’ Who is GOD through His Son Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit. The ‘treasure’ we are instructed in is both New and Old Testaments. 2 Cor 4:6 For God, Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. The True Treasure is not of the flesh, but It can dwell in our flesh, or ‘earthen vessels’. That Treasure is not creeds and religious rituals, nor profane babelings, but The Knowledge of Jesus Christ. How is that perfect Knowledge received? From Christ’s Spirit guiding us in His Treasure which is His Word. And that means all of The Word. Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, “Lord, who hath believed our report?” 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. We received Christ by ‘faith’. We first had to hear about Christ in order to believe. Paul was quoting from Psalms 19:4, Isaiah 52:7 and 53:1. Isaiah declared the first Advent of Messiah Jesus Christ there in Isaiah 53. Israel had the prophecy of Salvation long before Christ came in the flesh, but the majority of old Israel did not believe. But those who weren’t told about Christ’s coming did believe. How much more of The Word did God open up to us who have believed on Christ? All of It! Those of Israel today who haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as Savior are stumbling at God’s Word (Rom.9). But for us who by ‘hearing’ The Word of God, and through faith accept Christ, all the ‘meat’ is there for us to discover. The Faithful and Wise Steward Gives Meat in Due Season Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. This is what Christ’s entrusted servants should be doing today. They are to give Christ’s members ‘meat in due season’. That season is now, as The Word is opening up to sincere members more now than ever before. Jer 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture! saith the LORD. 2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed My people; Ye have scattered My flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. 3 And I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. 4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. Here’s a little warning from our Father to Pastors who don’t feed His sheep. It still applies today, as Christ told Peter to feed His sheep (John 21; Ps.100:3). That’s what a Pastor’s job is, to feed God’s People His Word, and not man’s word. How many places can you go and hear God’s Word being preached? Line by line is how it is done. And with understanding using the ‘renewed’ mind which Christ gave us (I Cor.2:16). By this we know then, that Christ’s Church should have one fulfilling the office of Pastor, in order to feed the flock of sheep. It was commanded by our Lord and Savior (John 10; 21; Acts 20:27-31; Titus 1; 1 Peter 4:10-11; 1 Tim.5:17; Heb.13:7; 1 Peter 5:2; 2 Tim.4). How to recognize a true Pastor Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. When you set out to learn a new language, it’s almost like going back to school again. Differences in grammar has to be learned, how to pronounce it, and the biggest bulk of all, the new vocabulary of words. Learning God’s Word is no different for the beginner. It requires time and applying ourselves, as it doesn’t come overnight. And we never stop learning, for God’s Word is The Living Word. It’s complete, yet infinite. Study a Chapter properly once, and you’ll get the basic Message. Study that same Chapter over and over, and you may understand something new every time. By verifying The Word when you are taught, is how to get the ‘meat’. That is, if The Word is being taught to you. That’s what a Pastor’s job is, to pastor a flock. In other words, a Pastor/teacher is not an Evangelist or Minister. An Evangelist is given to go out and specifically preach The Gospel of Christ, much like a Missionary. A Minister is the office of Deacon in the Church. Those duties are as an administrator of the Church, to the poor, the sick, etc. But a Pastor is to be ‘overseer’ over the flock, giving guidance and direction to the Church. Each one of these offices for Christ should be able to preach The Gospel or teach The Word. A Pastor has teaching The Word as the specific ‘gift’ of office. Paul was mainly an Evangelist/Pastor, and an apostle to the Churches, but able in all three. His duty as given by Christ was to preach The Gospel of Christ to the 1) Gentile, 2) Kings, 3) and to Israel, meaning both ‘houses’ of Israel (Acts 9). Paul also was overseer of the Churches he was entrusted with. His Epistles to the Churches he helped found make up much of The New Testament. He was well prepared for his mission, both as Evangelist and Pastor. Many today are not receiving the ‘meat’ of God’s Word after accepting Christ. The number of Evangelists and Ministers outnumber Pastors who can teach all of The Word. Most Christians are not aware of these separate duties within Christ’s Church. Stack on top of that, the three titles of Evangelist, Minister, and Pastor, are used interchangeably today. Most people think they’re all the same office. They are not. A Pastor should be able to teach from the Hebrew, Chaldee, and Greek Manuscripts of God’s Word. In other words, the goal of a good Pastor should be the level of Paul’s scholarship as he was proficient in Hebrew, Greek, and Roman languages; and a Hebrew scholar of The Old Testament. This is one of the reasons why the ‘meat’ is lacking in most Churches today. There are too few real Pastor/overseers worth their salt who have learning at a level to protect the sheep from false doctrines and such. That’s what a real shepherd does in protecting the sheep from ‘ravening wolves’. Ezekiel 34:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, ‘Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; ‘Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. 4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. 5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, My flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. GOD is talking about His People being scattered because the shepherds, or Pastors, were not feeding His sheep. They were not getting the ‘meat’ of God’s Word, so they turned to idols and what not. The sheep then became the ‘meat’ for ‘all the beasts of the field’. People are not literally sheep, nor meat for animals, so what is the spiritual Message here from our Father? The ‘beasts’ represent the false prophets of Satan’s camp. Satan’s children, i.e. the sons of Cain, are the ‘beasts of the field’ in the spiritual sense. That’s what happens when God’s People don’t get a proper pasturing and receive the ‘meat’ of The Word of God. They get devoured by Satan. Need I say more about the state of affairs among many of God’s People today? Peace be to you in Christ Jesus, Dave Ramey.