Why Do Virtually ALL Christians
Dishonor God by Doing God’s Work
Their OWN Way?
Lorraine Day, M.D.
Pastors and church members teach that Christians need to “work for God.” Many churches dictate exactly what the members must do. For example, Jehovah’s Witnesses must spend a certain amount of time each month going door to door to deliver religious literature, mostly to people who don’t want it, and the literature ends up in the trash.
“Probably the most well-known practice of the Jehovah's Witnesses is evangelism, which is most often done door-to-door. An official website of the Jehovah's Witnesses explains the reason for this practice as follows:
“Jesus told his followers to ‘make disciples of people of all nations,’ and he set the example by ‘journeying from city to city and from village to village, preaching and declaring the good news of the kingdom of God.’ The apostle Paul taught in public places, in the marketplace, and from house to house. We follow their example. Other religions have acknowledged the Christian obligation to preach in public places and from house to house, although this is often left to a limited group of missionaries or clergy to fulfill.
“Evangelism is central to the religious life of a Jehovah's Witness. Witnesses who are employed full time, known as ‘kingdom publishers’ are expected to spend as much time as possible evangelizing (mostly door-to-door) each month. "Pioneer publishers" hold only part-time jobs and devote 100 hours each month to witnessing. "Special publishers" are full-time, salaried employees of the Watchtower Society who are expected to spend about 150 hours per month on evangelism.
“Each Kingdom Hall has an assigned territory for which it is responsible to evangelize, and each publisher has an assigned neighborhood. Statistics related to these efforts are tracked carefully. Each month, statistical data such as number of visits, hours spent preaching, Bible studies conducted and tracts distributed are reported to the society's headquarters in Brooklyn. Worldwide statistics for 2003 can be viewed on the official Watchtower website.” http://www.religionfacts.com/jehovahs_witnesses/practices.htm
Indeed, Jesus did say, “Make disciples of all nations” NOT “Make disciples of all THE nations.” The word “nations” means “unbelievers.” One doesn’t have to travel to a different country, or even to a different city in order to make a disciple of an unbeliever.
Furthermore, Jesus did not say, “Convert people to your way of thinking,” but that we are to “disciple” those whose hearts have been opened to truth by Jesus Christ. We don’t know whose heart has been opened by the Lord. Only Jesus knows who those people are.
We are to leave it to Him to bring those people to us.
Our job is NOT to “work for God” nor “convert the heart of the unbeliever.” Our job is to learn to know God and become One with Him, and then let Him take over our life and do with it what He will.
We must give up our right to ourselves and give it over to God.
When Jesus was on earth, He just “lived the life” of the Son of God. People came to Him because God led them there.
We must follow His example. If we “live the life” of the Son of God manifesting His presence in us, God will bring people to us whose mind and heart have been opened to accept truth. Frequently those people have gotten to that point through trouble serious trouble most of which they have brought on themselves by running their own life, rather than allowing God to “direct their path.” (Prov 3:6)
The LDS Church is one of the most active modern practitioners of missionary work, reporting that it had over 80,000 full-time missionaries worldwide in October 2013 (as well as over 22,000 part-time church-service missionaries at the end of 2012). Most full-time Mormon missionaries are single young men and women in their late teens and early twenties and older couples no longer with children in the home.
Missionaries are often assigned to serve far from their homes, including in other countries. Many missionaries learn a new language at a missionary training center as part of their assignment. Missions typically last two years for males, 18 months for females, and 6 to 18 months for older couples. The LDS Church strongly encourages, but does not require, missionary service for young men. All Mormon missionaries serve voluntarily and do not receive a salary for their work; they typically finance missions themselves or with assistance from family or other church members. Many Latter-day Saints save money during their teenage years to cover their mission expenses.
Many other denominations, including the Evangelical Christians and Seventh-day Adventists, place a major emphasis on formal proselytizing of the “unchurched” and virtually all denominations encourage strongly that their members be involved in working for and within the church. “Working for the church,” in the minds of most clergy and church members, has become synonymous with “working for God” even though the two are miles apart.
Everyone is busy “working for God” in an attempt to “win souls for Him.” But you can’t give away something you, yourself, do not have. Most Christians don’t even understand what it means to “know God.” All they know is “the church.’
God is not found in a church. In fact, He states that Himself.
Howbeit, the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands, as saith the prophet.” Acts 7:48
“God that made the world and all therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.” Acts 17:24
God is found when we are alone, in our room, studying the Bible and praying. And we find Him only when we recognize our need for Him to run our life.
“You will seek Me, and you will find Me, (but only) when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jer 29:13
Again, God is not found in a church. \
“The kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21
“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of God’s breath of holiness which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Cor 6:19,20
When we get to know the Lord, up close and personally, when we give up our right to ourselves and give it over to God, we will become a “new Creation in Christ.
“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has passed away; behold ALL become new.” 1 Cor 5:17
When we truly know the Lord and He exhibits His character through us, God will work through us in ways we don’t even understand. Our life will be an ongoing witness for the Lord even when we are unaware of it.
The Bible tells us that when we know the Lord, we won’t have to “work at telling others the truth of Jesus Christ. In stead:
“ He that believeth on Me as the Scripture hath said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38
As Paul said,
“Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.” 1 Cor 9:16
Paul referred to himself as a “slave of Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:1). He was owned by the Lord and willingly devoted his life to Him.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Gal 2:20
We won’t have to “try” to witness to others or devote time to go out to “find” people to evangelize. When we just live the life of Jesus Christ, He will bring people to us. It may be someone coming to do repair work on your home. It may be the clerk doing the check-out at the grocery store. It may be the one who cuts your hair, or your dentist, or the painter who is painting your house, or the cashier at your cleaners. And the conversation doesn’t have to be contrived to “make an opening to witness” to this person.
If you are aware and “keep your eyes and ears open” God, Himself, will engineer the conversation so that the other person asks you an opening question that will allow you to share truth with that person, whether it is truth about the situation in America, or the situation in the world, or a problem with their health. Just make sure you stay alert so you don’t miss the many opportunities God will give you to share His truth.
Even though God is the creator of “time” and He literally has “all the time in the world” His ways are much more efficient than man’s ways.
How much more productive we are when we allow God to do His work through us rather than deciding what work God needs done. It is far more effectual to allow God to bring to us the ones whose mind and heart He has opened, rather than to spend hours, days, and weeks trying to proselytize those who have no interest in truth.
Getting to Know God is a Process
It takes time to learn to know God so He can work “through” you. It is not instantaneous. Instead it takes a lot of Bible study and prayer.
Even the Bible patriarchs, before they truly learned to know the Lord and HIS ways, often made the mistake of doing God’s work their own way.
Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael: Abraham, Sarah and Isaac
Did God Really Ask Abraham to Murder His Son, Isaac? Or did Abraham Totally Misunderstand the Character of God?
Abraham (then known as Abram) lived in Ur of the Chaldees (Babylon) where (Genesis 11:31) he married his wife, Sarah. Abraham and Sarah were Babylonians who were led by God to go to the land of Canaan. However, at the time they left Babylon, they had no idea where God was leading them.
God called Abraham to leave his ancestral home and go “unto a land that I will show thee.” (Genesis 12:1) After a delay to care for his dying father (Genesis 11:31) Abraham and Sarah began their trip to Canaan.
“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8
Abraham had faith to follow wherever God was leading him. He did not demand to know before hand where he was going.
Sometime later there was a famine in the land of Canaan.
“And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there: for famine was grievous in the land. Genesis 12:10
Notice that God did not instruct Abram to go into Egypt. God had brought Abram and Sarah to Canaan and He could certainly provide them with food, even in the midst of a severe famine. But Abraham, like most human beings, did not trust God. Instead, he trusted himself to make his own plans.
Abraham Decided to Lie
According to the Scriptures, Sarah was a beautiful woman and Abraham feared that an Egyptian would take Sarah for his own wife and kill Abraham. So he again, without consulting God, devised his own plan for the situation - to tell a lie.
“And it came to pass, when he (Abraham) was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a beautiful woman to look upon.
“Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, ‘This is his wife,’ and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.
“Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake: and my soul shall live because of thee.” Genesis 12:11-13
Abraham was willing to lie to save his own life, rationalizing that it wasn’t a complete lie, just a half-truth. Sarah was Abraham’s half sister, the daughter of his father, but not the daughter of Abraham’s mother. (Genesis 20:12,13) When Abraham made his own plans rather than allowing God to make the plans for him, the problems just became more serious.
“And it came to pass, that when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very beautiful.
“The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house.
“And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep and oxen and donkeys and men servants, and maidservants, and camels.
“And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.” Genesis 12:14-17
The Lord eventually came to Abraham’s rescue.
“And Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?
“Why did you say, She is my sister? So I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go your way.
“And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had. And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had. . .” Genesis 12:18-20; 13:1
It is obvious that at this time in Abraham’s life he did not trust God, instead he trusted in himself, and he did not yet understand fully God’s true character.
Later, Abraham asked God for a son so he would not have to declare his steward, Eliezer of Damascus, as his heir. God answered his prayer and promised Abraham a son of his own.
“And God brought Abraham forth and said, Look now toward heaven, and count the stars, if you are able to number them: and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be.” Genesis 15:5
Many years passed and both Abraham and Sarah continued to age, but no son had been born. Again, Abraham and Sarah did not trust God to fulfill His promise, in spite of their advanced age, so they took matters into their own hands. Sarah gave her Egyptian servant Hagar to Abraham, and Hagar conceived and gave birth to Ishmael.
Abraham and Sarah had chosen to do God’s work their own way, something Christians do regularly. They apparently thought God needed some help so they devised their own plans.
Abraham was thrilled to have his son, Ishmael, and still did not understand that was not the “son” God had promised. Adultery with Hagar was Abraham and Sarah’s idea, not God’s. God had promised Abraham a son by his own wife Sarah, not by Abraham committing adultery, something God strongly disapproves.
When Ishmael was about 15 years old, God came again to Abraham and said,
“I will bless her (Sarah), and give thee a son also by her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be mother of nations, kings of people shall be of her.
“Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? And shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear a child? Genesis 17:16,17
Because of his devotion to his only son, Ishmael, Abraham hoped that he would be the son of God’s blessing.
“And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! Genesis 17:18
Bur God could not endorse man’s way Abraham’s way of committing adultery to have a child - Abraham was to have the son that God had promised, by his legitimate wife, Sarah, and his name was to be Isaac.
Isaac is Born
The aged parents now had their “miracle” baby, the baby of the promise, the baby conceived in faith. Abraham was a father at 100 and Sarah a mother at age 90 (“Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Genesis 18:14), and they were overwhelmed with joy. But now God told Abraham to send away his first son, Hagar and Ishmael who was conceived as a result of “man’s” plans rather than God’s, the work of Abraham rather than the miracle of God. Isaac was the ‘son of the promise’ as a result of Abraham’s faith. But Ishmael symbolized Abraham’s lack of faith, the result of “man” doing God’s work man’s own way. Yet God blessed Ishmael who became the “father of a great nation.” Genesis 12:1-3
Abraham Misunderstood God’s Character
When Isaac was a young man, probably between 20 and 30 years of age, God gave Abraham a command:
“Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah: and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” Genesis 22:2 (KJV)
Unfortunately, we come again to a disaster caused by the mistranslation of the Hebrew word alah (#5927 and 5930 in Strong’s Concordance) that means ascent, not “burnt.” Every time this word is used in the Bible, it is mistranslated as “burnt.” It is true that animal ascent offerings were burned on the altar, and Abraham, not understanding God’s character, assumed erroneously that since animal ascent offerings were burned on the altar that God also required human sacrifices to be “burned on the altar.”
What a horrible story to tell children - that God has, at any time, commanded a parent to tie up his child, place him on a sacrificial altar, stab him to death in a bloody slaughter, and then set his own child on fire! But that is what the Christian church teaches.
And what a terrible view of our heavenly Father to implant in a child’s innocent and impressionable mind! How can anyone truly love a God who is willing to incinerate His children or to burn them forever!
Human parents that behave in the same way go to prison for life, as well they should, and some are even executed. They are not considered in any way, to be loving parents. They are viewed as evil Monsters!
Would God Burn His Children in Hellfire?
The Christian church teaches that God is going to burn in hellfire the majority of all those He has ever created. But they say it’s a loving act on God’s part because these unbelievers “wouldn’t be happy in heaven anyway!” What a disastrous view of God’s character of love! How far the Christian church has fallen
Jesus is God, in human form, and Jesus said:
“For the Son of man came not to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Luke 9:56
The literal translation of this text in the original Hebrew gives the proper interpretation:
“Take, pray, your son, your only one, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him up there for an ascent offering on one of the mountains of which I will apprize you.” Genesis 22:2 (Concordant literal translation)
God is Not a “Killer God”!
The practice of burning human sacrifices was part of Satanic paganism, not part of God’s plan. God is not a “Killer God.” He has never commanded any parent to burn up his child, nor will God do such an abhorrent thing to any of His own children, whether adults or youngsters, in the future. The heathen sacrificed their children “through the fire” to the god Molech by placing the living child into the burning hot hands of the pagan image. Loud music was played to muffle the screams of the child as he was being incinerated.
History tells us that in order for the pagan god Molech to find the parents’ human sacrifice acceptable, the parents of the child were required to stand motionless and emotionless while the baby screamed from pain as it was being burned to death.
The Bible tells us that even King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, sank into the depths of paganism and built “a high place in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon” (1 Kings 11:7) and apparently offered up his own children to this fiery pagan god. Solomon, against God’s command, had married many wives from heathen nations for political reasons, resulting in Solomon’s total apostasy from God. Later on however, when Solomon became old, he returned to God and His Word.
How similar that apostate pagan worship by the Old Testament Israelites was to the present-day teaching of the Christian church, namely that God will burn the majority of His children in a literal hellfire. When Christian parents of unconverted children are asked, “How do you feel about the idea that God is going to burn up your children in hellfire?” their answers are often shocking. Like the apostate Israelite parents who sacrificed their children to Molech thousands of years ago, these present-day Christian parents respond - without emotion in the following ways: “They (their children) knew the rules” or “They had their chance” or “They didn’t make the right choice.”
The normal love and affection Christian parents have for their children seems to disappear when the subject of hellfire is broached.
Today’s parents are crushed if they hear of the tragic death of the child of one of their friends, whether in a car crash or other type of accident. But when it comes to burning hellfire for their own children, they often say, without even a hint of a tear, “God has the right to do what He wants because He’s God.”
Christians of today do not understand God’s character any more than Abraham did long ago. Because animal ascent offerings were burned on the altar, Abraham automatically assumed that when God asked him to offer his son, Isaac, as an ascent offering, God wanted Abraham to murder his son and burn him up.
Nothing could be further from the truth - or further from God’s character!
God immediately told Abraham to “Stop” and He provided a ram in the thicket for the ascent offering, saying:
“Lay not thine hand upon the young man, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that you fear God, seeing that you have not withheld your son, your only son from Me.” Genesis 22:12
Abraham, though wrong about God’s character of love, was willing to give up his only son, Isaac, to the Lord and God blessed him for his faith. Believing God’s promise that through Isaac Abraham’s descendants would be as the “sand of the sea,” Abraham had faith that if Isaac were put to death, God would resurrect him from the dead.
In the story of Abraham, Isaac at least would have been dead before he was burned on the altar. Abraham had raised the knife to kill him before he was to be burned. But in the modern Christian church, the doctrine of hellfire says that God is going to burn His children AIVE! And FOREVER!
God never has, and God never will, burn up His children in hellfire or any other kind of fire. He tells us how much He abhors even the thought of human burning sacrifices.
“And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech: which I commanded them not, neither came it into My mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.” Jeremiah 32:35
God calls human burning sacrifices an abomination, so why would He ever do such a thing in the end? After all, Jesus says,
He is “the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
God says, “I never change.” Malachi 3:6
Jesus said of His Father,
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire. . . in burnt (ascent) offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou has had no pleasure. . .” Hebrews 10:5,6
God Wants “Living” Sacrifices
God was not asking Abraham to slaughter his son and then burn him on the altar. On the contrary, God was asking Abraham to dedicate Isaac’s life to God, to offer Isaac as a “living sacrifice.”
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your logical service.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1,2
Eventually God purified Abraham from this serious error regarding God’s character.
It is of no value to God to give Him your life for death. He wants us to be living sacrifices for Him, so we can exhibit His character. A burning hellfire has “never entered into God’s mind.” Jer. 32:35
It is Satan, not God, who requires human burning sacrifices through his pagan gods Molech and Baal. Satan has cleverly and deceptively put his own character on the face of God and the whole Christian world has bought the lie.
Moses and the Exodus
When Moses was 40 years old, he was spiritually aware that it would be his job to bring about the release of the Israelites from slavery under the Egyptians.
“And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens. . .” Exodus 2:11
But because Moses was a warrior, and the equivalent of the Secretary of Defense in Pharaoh’s government, Moses assumed that his releasing of the Israelites from slavery would be by force.
“. . . and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren.
“And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.
“And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?
“And he said, Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, “Surely this thing is known.”
“Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. (Even though Pharaoh was Moses’ adoptive grandfather). But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.” Exodus 2:11-15
Moses spent 40 years tending sheep in the land of Midian learning to trust God, rather than trusting in himself. He had to learn that God makes the plans, and our job is to carry out the plans God makes not to make our own plans.
After 40 years, when Moses was 80 years old, God appeared to him in the burning bush, saying, in essence, to Moses: “Now you’re ready!”
“The Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows.
“And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large land, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. . . Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” Ex 3:7-8, 10
Notice that God said, “I (God) am come down to deliver them. . .” God was going to do it Himself. He was going to make the plans. It was Moses’ job to carry out the plans made by God, not for Moses to make his own plans.
“Moses saw the oppression of his people and felt certain that he was the one to deliver them, and in the righteous indignation of his own spirit he started to right their wrongs. After he launched his strike for God and for what he thought was right killing the Egyptian who was beating the Israelite God allowed Moses to be driven into empty discouragement, sending him into the desert to feed sheep for forty years.
“At the end of that time, God appeared to Moses and said to him ‘. . . bring My people. . . out of Egypt. But Moses said to God, ;Who am I that I should go…?’” (Ex 3:10-11). In the beginning Moses had realized that he was the one to deliver the people, but he had to be trained and disciplined by God first. He was right to his individual perspective, but he was not the person for the work until he had learned true fellowship and oneness with God. . .
“We must understand that our individual effort for God shows nothing but disrespect for Him our individuality is to be rendered radiant through a personal relationship with God, so that He may be ‘well pleased’ (matt 3:17).” Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, Oct 13
Joshua at Ai
Before Moses death, God had appointed Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. God gave Joshua the “Battle Plan” for conquering Jericho, the first pagan city they encountered after having crossed the Jordan River.
With Moses, Joshua had fought many battles against the enemies of the Israelites. He was well-versed in how to fight a war. But Joshua certainly had to trust God in order to carry out the Battle Plan God gave him for Jericho.
“And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.
“And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.
“And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of ram’ horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.” Joshua 6:2-5
And it happened just as God said it would. The Battle Plan was amazingly successful; the walls of Jericho fell down at the sound of the trumpets and the shouts of the Israelites.
The Israelites had conquered Jericho. And there was no loss of life among the Israelite army.
The next city to conquer was Ai. But instead of asking the Lord how to conquer Ai, Joshua, flush with victory at Jericho, chose to make his own plans. He sent his own spies to do surveillance, and took their advice on how to attack Ai.
“And they (the spies) returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about 2000 or 3000 men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but a few.
“So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men.” Joshua 7:3-4
But the men of Ai were ready for Joshua and his Israelites warriors and killed 36 of the Israelites.
“And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty-six men; for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in Morad: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.
“And they fled before the men of Ai.”
“And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the Lord until the evening, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads.” Joshua 7:4-6
Joshua learned a hard lesson, a lesson that most present-day Christians still have not learned. Joshua understood that he was not to make his own plans. He learned that his job was to carry out the plans that God has made.
Jacob’s Stolen Blessing
Isaac, the son of Abraham, married Rebekah and gave birth to twin sons: Esau, the older, and Jacob, the younger. By tradition, the older son, Esau, would normally have received the birthright the major inheritance - from their father, Isaac.
While Rebekah was pregnant with her twin sons,
“The children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the Lord.
“And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy inward parts; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.” Genesis 25:22,23
Thus, God told Rebekah that her younger son, Jacob, would inherit the birthright, rather than Esau. Throughout their sons’ life, Rebekah favored Jacob, and Isaac favored Esau.
When Isaac became old and blind, and near death, he called for Esau to bestow on him the birthright. But Rebekah overheard their conversation, and instead of letting God, in God’s own way, fulfill His promise of giving the birthright to Jacob, Rebekah decided that God needed “help.”
So she resorted to deception, and included her son, Jacob, in her evil schemes. She told Jacob to kill two goats that she would cook in such a way to make them taste like venison the dish that Isaac had asked Esau the hunter to prepare for him. Rebekah then took some of the hairy hide of the goat and attached them to Jacob’s arms to deceive Isaac into thinking Jacob was Esau the hairy one. Because Jacob was almost totally blind, he would only be able to feel Jacob’s arms, and smell the body scent of a “hunter” on Jacob.
Indeed, Isaac was deceived and gave the birthright blessing to Jacob. But what a price both Jacob and his mother Rebekah, paid.
Esau discovered the plot and the loss of his birthright and threatened to kill Jacob. Jacob had to flee to Rebekah’s far-away relatives and mother and son never saw each other again. Because Jacob had lied to both his father and his brother, he reaped what he had sown. Laban, the relative of Rebekah, promised to give his daughter Rachel to Jacob for his wife. Jacob loved Rachel so much he was willing to work the 7 years that her father Laban demanded for payment for his daughter.
When the wedding day arrived, Jacob’s bride was dressed in the traditional wedding garments with the lower half of her face covered. But after the wedding ceremony, when they entered their own tent and the veil was removed, to his horror, Jacob realized that he had been deceived by Laban just as Jacob had deceived his father and his brother. Laban had given his older daughter Leah to Jacob as his wife.
Jacob had to work another 7 years in order to marry Rachel. And now he had two wives to contend with. Eventually, that situation brought him even more heartache because the sons Jacob had with Leah and Leah’s servant were responsible for selling Joseph, Jacob’s son by Rachael and Jacob’s favorite of all his sons into slavery in Egypt, and telling their father Jacob that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal.
Jacob mourned for years over the “death” of Joseph!
Eventually, Jacob was re-united with Joseph, and the brothers had to admit to their father that they had lied, and they were responsible for selling their brother into slavery for many, many years.
But though it all, Jacob learned his own hard lesson; NEVER attempt to do God’s work your own way!
Peter and Mathias
After Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus Christ, Judas committed suicide. That meant there were only 11 disciples left. Jesus Christ had personally picked all of the twelve.
But now that Jesus had been resurrected and gone to heaven, Peter believed that Jesus could no longer pick His disciples. Instead, Peter decided to pick the 12th disciple. Peter did not know the Lord well enough to understand that Jesus was perfectly capable of picking His own disciples whether He was in heaven or on earth.
Peter had decided to do God’s work his OWN way.
“And they (Peter and the remaining disciples) appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Mathias.
“And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all, show whether of these two thou hast chosen. . . And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Mathias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” Acts 1:23-26
Peter had made his OWN plans and then asked God to bless Peter’s own plans. That’s the way every “Christian” organization works. The Ministers and elders make their OWN plans, then pray that God will bless THEIR plans.
But that’s not the way God works.
God makes His OWN plans. Our job is to carry out God’s plans. But when Christians do not know God personally, they cannot “hear” God’s directions. God talks to everyone all the time. But unless a person has at least some of the character of God in Him, he cannot “hear” God’s voice.
Undoubtedly, Mathias was a godly man. But he is never again mentioned in the Scriptures.
When Jesus Christ decided it was time to pick His 12th disciple, He picked a man that would never have been on Peter’s list, because at the time Peter arrogantly and ignorantly tried to take over God’s job, Saul of Tarsus was a Pharisee who was vigorously pursuing Christians: imprisoning and killing them.
But Saul of Tarsus was the choice of Jesus Christ, even though Saul, at that time, was the enemy of Christ. Jesus appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus, where Saul was traveling to imprison more Christians, and Jesus blinded him. Immediately, Saul knew He was in the presence of Someone far greater than he. Immediately, he was converted to be a follower of Jesus Christ, as the apostle Paul, who subsequently became the author of the majority of the New Testament, the most prominent revealer of God’s plan of Universal Restoration, and possibly the greatest of all the apostles.
Today’s Christians are still doing God’s work their OWN way
As mentioned above, virtually every Christian church, Christian school, and every other type of Christian organization, is still trying to do God’s work their own way. They spend hours in committee meetings deciding what THEY are going to do for God. They encourage their members either to do what they (the leaders) tell them to do for God, or for the members to decide on their own, what they want to do - - for God, as though God is helpless to make His own plans.
As we have said before, scientists have been able to deduce that God is over 100 trillion times smarter than any human being. So why have so-called Christians, those who claim to be followers of Christ, believed that they have the right to make God’s plans for Him.
That reveals the ignorance and arrogance of the organized Christian churches of today.
Furthermore, individual “Christians” want to form their own “ministry” and many of them do so by stealing the work of others. They actually not only break the laws of the land, but they break God’s laws, including stealing and lying, by taking another’s work without permission and using it for themselves.
Those who call themselves Christians steal the copyrighted CDs, DVDs, and books from singers or speakers, reproduce them, and then sell them or give them away to others patting themselves on the back for their “great work for God.”
That is no different from walking into a Book and Bible store and stealing Bibles either to sell them or to give away to others. They are Thieves no matter how much they try to deny it.
God NEVER blesses any “Christian” endeavors if those people break God’s law in the process! And those people are so FAR from knowing God that it is clear that they are “hypocrites whose conscience has been seared with a hot iron!” 1 Tim 4:2
They have adopted and embraced the world’s view of success. They want to be “seen of men” for their supposedly “good works.” Matt 23:5
But God does not look at outward appearances, He looks at their evil heart.
When He returns, He will turn to them and say,
“I never knew you. Depart from Me, ye who work iniquity.” Matt 7:23
Those who call themselves “Christians” and break God’s laws to do “God’s work their own way” really don’t even believe in God at all, because if they did, they would know that God can raise someone up in their own community, or in their own nation, or in their own language, who can bring the truth to those who want it. Instead they think God is impotent and incapable of making His own plans and they arrogantly believe they must “help God out.” So they willingly and deliberately break God’s commandments deceiving themselves into believing they are “working for God.”
God makes His OWN Plans
The key to our work as God’s follower is the authority of Jesus Christ, not the needs of the lost. We are inclined to look on the Lord as one who assists us in our endeavors for God. But God does not say that the lost will never be saved if we don’t go, He simply says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations. . .”
“The great enemy of Jesus Christ today is the idea of practical work that has no basis in the New Testament but comes from the systems of the world. This work insists upon endless energy and activities, but no private life with God. . . An active Christian worker too often lives to be seen by others, while it is the innermost, personal area that reveals the power of a person’s life.
“We must get rid of the plague of the spirit of this religious age in which we live. In the life of Jesus there was none of the pressure and the rushing of tremendous activity that we regard so highly today, and a disciple is to be like His Master. The central point of the kingdom of Jesus Christ is a personal relationship with Him, not public usefulness to others.” Ibid Oct 19
“We rarely need the grace of God to withstand human crises human nature and pride are sufficient for us to face the stress and strain magnificently. But it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, going through drudgery, and living an ordinary, unnoticed, and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people and this is not learned in five minutes.” Ibid Oct 21
Never protest by saying, “if only I were somewhere else!” All of God’s people are ordinary people who have been made extraordinary by the purpose He has given them. Unless we have the right purpose intellectually in our mind, and lovingly in our heart, we will very quickly be diverted from being useful to God. We are not workers for God by choice. Many people deliberately choose to be workers, but they have no purpose of God’s almighty grace or His mighty Word in them.
“I chose you. . .” (John 15:16). It is not that you have gotten God, but that He has gotten you. . . Never choose to be a worker, but once God has placed His call upon you, woe be to you if you “turn aside. . . to the right or the left. . .” (Deut 28:14)
“The missionary is someone sent by Jesus Christ, just as Christ was sent by God. The great controlling factor is not the needs of the people, but the command of Jesus. The goal of our life is to be true to Him - - and to carry out HIS plans!
“In missionary work, the great danger is that God’s call will be replaced by the needs of the people, to the point that human sympathy for those needs will absolutely overwhelm the meaning of being sent by Jesus.
“The needs are so enormous, and the conditions so difficult, that every power of the mind falters and fails. We tend to forget that the one great reason underneath all missionary work is not primarily the elevation of the people, their education, nor their needs, but is first and foremost the command of Jesus Christ - - “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations (unbelievers. . .” (Matt 28:19)
“When looking back on the lives of men and women of God, the tendency is to say, ‘What wonderfully keen and intelligent wisdom they had, and how perfectly they understood all that God wanted!’
“But the keen and intelligent mind behind them was the mind of God, not human wisdom at all. We give credit to human wisdom when we should give credit to the divine guidance of God being exhibited through child-like people who ere ‘foolish’ enough to trust God’s wisdom and His supernatural equipment.” Ibid. Oct 26