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March 27, 1998

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Q/A Topics:
"C" not "c" assures" (1Jn 4:4-6)

Q.
Generally I agree with everything you say but today you cause me to ask a question. Two sentences specifically need to be addressed:

--paste--
Thus, the very fact that a person is in Christ assures victory. The fact that a person is a Christian ("C" not "c") assures the ability to ferret out the false from the true.

But the world will not accept the teaching of the Believer, which was received through the Holy Spirit. Thus, you easily know the false prophet. The lying spirits. They will either purposely refute what you say, or will simply not understand it. They are not capable of doing so. "The natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit of God..neither CAN he know them."(1Cor2:14)
--end-paste--

The underlined portions above are the source of my concern. Both state that we, as believers, will have no trouble spotting a false teacher and/or false doctrine. However, Jesus, in speaking to his very own disciples, said "Take heed that no man deceive you... " (Mat 24:3). Obviously they could possibly be deceived. The rest of the New Testament, in many places discusses this same theme.

We just left a Southern Baptist church where the pastor is certainly a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. However, he is being deceived by PK and other SBC schemes. He even called Mike Timmis, the Roman Catholic board member of PK and Mr. Timmis answered the pastors questions like any normal believer. The pastor, however, did not ask the key questions about Mary, purgatory, etc. The pastor is a believer, he was deceived, and now continues to lead the men of his church into the ecumenical sewer.

Just because one is a believer does not mean that he has good discernment. Unfortunately, I think the opposite is true. People think that just because they are saved, they cannot be deceived. God's word tells us otherwise. It is never wise to think that we can relax.

A.
(My e-mail software does not show "underlines.")

However, your questions are valid. This is why Peter writes to "be sober, be vigilant.."(1Pt5:8) Paul was constantly striving to be "perfect" (Phil3:12) was exercising self-discipline.(1Cor9:27)

But, in the context of such vigilance...the fact that we are Believers assures victory. To whatever degree the flesh is still in control, there will be failures.

The rest of that study must be taken in the context in which it is written. Not taken by itself, either, but in the context of the ongoing studies in 1John.

Q.
Just because one is a believer does not mean that he has good discernment.

A.
Again...in context. If he is growing to maturity, and manifesting all the various things John has been teaching indicative of one who is "in the light" and "abiding in Christ" ...then yes... "just because" is assurance of "good discernment."

Many pastors are deceived because they do not measure up. Many others are not even born again. Having a label of "Baptist" or "XYZ" does not guarantee that the person in the pulpit is God's messenger.

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Perfected in love? (1Jn 4:7-21)

Q.
I must disagreee with your last statements. A person who is not perfected in love MAY truly be of God. Our souls are still being saved, as it says in the book of James (though our spirits be born-again).

Or did I misinterpret you?

A.
Let's take it all "in context" shall we. Let's go back to the example of the felines, again.

A kitten weaned from its mother and taken to a household where NO OTHER CATS exist...knows how to groom itself. It knows how to lick its paws, and then use those paws to "wash" its face. As it grows, it developes its "technique" in the matter. But all cats, essentially, wash their faces in the same way. They are "perfectly" (completely) "feline." It is the cat's "nature" to behave in this way.

In similar fashion, it is the Christian's "nature" to "love." If a person CANNOT love, he is not a "Christian." He does not possess the Holy Spirit of Christ residing in him.(Rom8:9) This does not say that as he "grows"(1Pt2:2) he won't develope and "understand love" more and more. But a true Believing Christian has the "seed"(1Jn3:9) remaining in him, and thus, it is in his nature. He cannot BUT love..."big" love, "little" love. There will be "love" there. If there isn't, he is not Christ's.

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"protocolary" prayer? (Mat 6:5-8)

Q.
What do you think of "protocolary" prayer at each openning and closing of a spiritual content event, regardless of wheter it is the body of Christ or unbeleavers?

A.
When I looked up the word "protocolary" I see things having to do with "forms, ceremony, etiquette." Coming from the base word "protocol." Things being done "properly" due to special occasion/s and societal "rituals."

Another thing I'm not quite sure how to evaluate is your reference to "spiritual content." Today, that can mean many things; especially when you allow for the presence of "unbelievers."

For the most part, I would direct you back to the paragraph dealing with "corporate prayer." Solomon did it before Israel in dedicating the temple. Supposedly before "believers." Paul did so, storm-tossed at sea. Most there, likely, unregenerate.

Anything else I would say would be personal conjecture. And if a person is being asked to "bring the prayer" for some event, I think each Christian so asked would have to search the mind of the Lord in the matter. What is the event? If it was to open a session of legislature, I might think of it as an opportunity for a Christian "witness" to the world, in similar fashion as Jesus "prayed" before calling Lazarus forth; even though such chambers are officially "secular" in nature. If it were for a "United Religions" gathering; I would likely refuse to participate, due to everything they stand for. If it is a truly "Christian" event, even though there are unbelievers present, "official" prayers can be a way of corporately bringing Believers together in "one" mind and spirit for the occasion as they seek the Lord's Face.

I believe each Believer must respond to each situation in the manner in which he is called upon; as a servant of the Most High, and ambassadors of Christ.

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Sending angels?

Q.
I just found your site today, and wanted to thank you..I believe it will be a great tool to use in my path to maturity and growth. I have a question that you may be able to answer for me. My [relative] prays everyday sending the warring and ministering angels to various people, etc. who are on her prayer list. I questioned her as to why she does this, and she tells me that as Christians, we have the authority to send angels to help. I can't seem to find any scripture to back up her practice. In fact, all the scriptures I've looked at clearly show God sending forth the angels. Can you clear this up for me?

A.
"Sending angels" must be part of the same mentality which attempts to "bind Satan" through prayer. At the website's "TopicSearch" are some related writings under search-words "satan -binding, angels."

In Heb1:14 we are told that angels are "ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation." In other words, they minister to/for Believing Christians, and/or those who "will become" Christians. But it doesn't say they are at the beck-n-call of the Believer.

We also know that Christians "are going to" judge angels.(1Cor6:3) But that is yet in the future.

Regarding any present communication with angels, where man is "addressing" angels, the two passages I think of both chide the people thus engaged. Speaking of things "they do not know."(Jude8-10) Being "presumptuous and self-willed..."(2Pt2:10) These passages, of course, are referring to demons. And demons are angels...albeit "fallen" angels.

But like you...I know of no passage which instructs us to address/command angels to do this or that. As you say, God sends them. I would consider it a very "scary" thing for a person to be so presumptuous.

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"Biker" Paul?

Q.
You are a biker? I thought I had subscribed to someone's Christian service where I might get advice from someone who had good sense. Discernment, y'know? Conservative thought. Orthodoxy.

Kindly unsubscribe me!

A.
Now I've heard of everything!! People have unsubscribed due to doctrinal differences. But...for choice of transportation?! If a motorcycle police or highway patrol stopped you...would you give them grief because they were riding a motorcycle? Perhaps argue before the judge, the validity of the ticket you received, because the officer was riding a motorcycle at the moment you were stopped?

There was more I wrote this individual personally, including the fact that I don't wear leathers and studs, don't have tattoos, and suggested a visit to see the photos at the website to see if he thought I looked like a "biker." But this is included because it illustrates the pettiness of some people. I guess this is the risk one takes when writing to a group of people, and once in a while, on a rare occasion, making some personal reference to illustrate a point. While some people have written, appreciating the occasional personal illustrations, others are apparently offended. As a friend of mine says, "Oh well.."

While, on the one hand I rather kind of "chuckled" at the absurdity of it all... On the other hand, we must "sigh" before our Lord at the blindness of this person who considers himself a "minister."

While absurdity reigns, let's be tongue-in-cheek one more moment: I'm fairly "conservative" you know; riding an '83 Goldwing. For those of you who know (or care), Chuck Swindol rides a Harley...or used to just a couple years ago. What does "that" say about him... (smile)

Sigh! Enough already...

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