- A Daring Woman Who Needed a Solution More than a Revelation
- A Question God In Flesh Partially Answered
- It’s OK Not to Know What God Only Knows
- God Is Partially a Mystery, and Will Remain Partially Mysterious Forever (Whether you believe it or not)
- Trying to Answer Questions Jesus Never Answered
- The Antichrist
- The Temptation and Dangers of Being and Knowing More than What God has Allowed
- Technologists/Inventors and the Antichrist
- Evildoers In the World
- The War of Information
- Information From the Enemies of the Gospel
- Internet Information / Information Technology
- Opinions and the Word of God
- The Great Commission
This article is typically a part of my upcoming book, “GOD, THE MAN OF GOD, AND THE PEOPLE OF GOD: Understanding God’s Calling and Operational Anointing Principles in Humanity.” But I decided to get this portion out in order to reason with you about the current situation of the body of Christ. So let’s get started.
A DARING WOMAN WHO NEEDED A SOLUTION MORE THAN A REVELATION
“When she reached the man of God at the mountain, she clung to his feet. Gehazi came over to push her away, but the man of God said, “Leave her alone, for her soul is in deep distress, and the LORD has hidden it from me and has not told me.” (2 Kings 4: 27)
The man and the prophet of God Elisha’s life and ministry has been marked by miracles, signs, and wonders, healings, and many other supernatural manifestations of God’s power unlike any other prophet before him, perhaps his own master Elijah who preceded him, and was taken to heaven alive (2 Kings 2: 11-12); and except Moses about whom the Bible says “–no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face— no prophet who did all the signs and wonders that the LORD sent Moses to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and to all his officials and all his land, God said.” (Deuteronomy 34: 10).
Despite the many terrifying miracles, signs, and wonders the LORD has used the man or prophet of God Elisha to perform later and the ones which occurred sometime, earlier in his ministry, he would tell his servant Gehazi about this particular woman and her situation, “—For her soul is in deep distress, and the LORD has hidden it from me and has not told me”.
This is the prophet, the man of God who just earlier healed bad water which was causing death and unproductivity in a whole town. (2 Kings 2: 19-22). He cursed a group of boys who were mocking his bald head, and two bears came out to maul forty-two of the boys. (2 Kings 2: 23-25). He prophesied and it came to pass, that the LORD filled the valley and the land with pools of water and gave his people, the Israelites victory. (2 Kings 3: 1-27). He instructed a widow under the anointing upon him to use one bottle of oil, pour and fill as many other bottles she can borrow from her neighbors, sold the oil, and paid off the debt of her deceased husband who was also a prophet. (2 Kings 4: 1-7).
The very woman, the man of God was telling his servant Gehazi about, he prophesied and prayed for her earlier that she will conceive and give birth to a son, and that came to pass. (2 Kings 4: 15-17). Later, this son grew and died out of illness, precisely a headache, and the mother set to meet the prophet for help, knowing God can use him to raise her son. But when the prophet Elisha saw her from afar, he didn’t know why she was coming, and he told his servant Gehazi, “the LORD has hidden it from me and has not told me.” (2 Kings 4: 27). Really? I think Gehazi would have thought in his heart. “You have been always used mightily by the LORD, and knowing things that are unknown to ordinary humans, and you don’t know or have no idea of what’s wrong for this woman?”. But then perhaps Gehazi, his servant has seen this type of situation several times with his master, the prophet so, out of respect and honor to his master, he didn’t say anything but do what the master asked him to do. (2 Kings 4: 26-37).
This is not about the miracles, signs, and wonders the LORD has used the prophet to perform, but we are trying to understand something about this prophet of God. So, let’s hold it here. We will come back to this, to the story.
A QUESTION GOD IN FLESH PARTIALLY ANSWERED
“As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?” (Mark 13: 3-4). In Matthew 24: 3, we read the same report; while Matthew does not give us the names of the disciples who came to the LORD to ask this pertinent question, at least his report confirms to us that the disciples did ask such as a question. Additionally, we are not fully sure if these four (4) disciples, Peter, James, John, and Andrew came privately to the LORD as a group of four, or they came to him individually and privately. But I would suggest the latter, they might have come to him individually and privately because of the urgency or significance of what they wanted to hear and know from the LORD whom they believed knows everything, because he’s the Messiah, the son of God as Peter confessed earlier. (Matthew 16: 15-16).
After all, the answer to their question was going to help them prepare for their position and role in the Kingdom of God that their Master has been preaching for nearly three and half years. Remember, two of these disciples, James and John were doing their best to secure their respective positions in what they believed would be the Kingdom of God, which the LORD will rule. (Mark 10:35–45).
Then came the surprises, which are completely contrary to their expectation: Jesus prophesied that actually, the temple and Jerusalem will be destroyed, not the Roman Empire and her dominion over the Jewish land (Mark 13:1–2). In effect, the disciples were bitterly and resentfully confused. I could imagine what was going on in their mind: Oh, no! So our Master and LORD is not going to establish His Kingdom now, in the present? Wow! So, when will that be? We must at least know the signs, and precisely the day and time when He will return to establish the Kingdom because we have to be ready.
Subsequently, came another surprise: The Master was telling them everything that must precede his return, BUT the DAY and HOUR. “What?” Maybe the disciples exclaimed. Yes, he just said, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13: 32). In the Gospel of Matthew, the Bible doesn’t mention the names of the disciples asking this question, but Mark mentions all four of them, Peter, James, John, and Andrew. Again, we are not fully sure whether these four disciples came privately to the LORD as a group of four, or they came to him individually and privately. But I would believe, they might have come to him individually and privately because their lives depended on the answer to that question. I think to be sure of what their ears were hearing was true, they sent Peter to ask the LORD first. Then when Jesus told him about all the signs, but couldn’t tell him the DAY and HOUR of his coming; their hearts started racing. How come the Master who has always known hidden things does not know the DAY and HOUR of his own return? We can’t believe this. He’s probably playing with our feeling—He must know. So they sent another disciple, James. He also went to the LORD privately and asked the same question, and surprisingly, the LORD told him exactly what he just told Peter. Then the disciples thought: Well, let another person go ask him the same question again. John, it’s your turn. We know the LORD loves you more than all of us. Please go ask the LORD the same question, maybe he might not only tell you the signs but the DAY and HOUR as well. John went to the LORD privately and asked him the same question. The LORD told him about the signs, but not the DAY and HOUR. “Alright”, they thought, “the LORD has taught us about perseverance with the parable of the wicked judge and the widow. (Luke 18: 1-8). So maybe he wants us to press him a little further before telling us the DAY and HOUR. So, Andrew, it’s your turn, please go and ask the LORD the same question privately and let’s find out if he will now tell us. And the last closest disciples of Jesus, Andrew also went to ask him the same question privately in hopes of hearing something different, encouraging, including the DAY and HOUR of his return. But no. The answer didn’t change. It was the same, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13: 32). That was the answer about the DAY and HOUR.
I don’t blame them. This might probably be my concern as well. The four disciples mentioned are the first disciples Jesus officially selected and asked to follow him (Mark 1:16–20). Peter, James, and John were his closest disciples right from the beginning of His ministry. They have witnessed first-hand the miracles, signs, and wonders, and healings that took place to confirm Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah whom they have been waiting for. They watched Jesus performed unimaginable miracles, and above all, saw him on the mountain during the Transfiguration when Elijah and Moses appeared and were talking with him. (Mark 9:2–13).
This is also the son of God who knew what the Scribes and Pharisees were thinking. (Matthew 9: 3-5). And saw Nathanael while he was still under the fig tree before even meeting Jesus. The Bible says, “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” (John 1:43-51)
IT’S OK NOT TO KNOW WHAT GOD ONLY KNOWS
The same son of God (Matthew 3: 17), Christ (Matthew 16: 15-16), God in flesh (John 1: 1 and 14) who declared, “Very truly I tell you,”— “before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8: 58). Is then saying he doesn’t know the DAY and HOUR of his coming? Yes. Even if he knew, what the Bible tells us is that he told his disciple that, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13: 32).
I believe we Christians, men and women of God have to adapt the same principle: Leave what is known by God only to God. I’m afraid that when we start trying to answer questions that Jesus Himself did not provide answers for, we are trying to be more than Jesus, and taking the place of God directly or indirectly. I think if even Jesus knew and could have given the DAY and HOUR of his return to his disciples, but he declined to do so; he might be teaching us that it’s OK or alright not to know what only God knows and instead be concerned about what we know and should do to please him and prepare for his second coming.
GOD IS PARTIALLY A MYSTERY AND WILL REMAIN PARTIALLY MYSTERIOUS FOREVER (WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IT OR NOT)
Yes. I know you may disagree with the above subtitle. But don’t get me wrong. I know that God has given us his Word and Holy Spirit to know Him or reveal Himself to us. (John 14: 26). And we have the mind of Christ—(1 Corinthians 2: 16). And “–because as he is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4: 17). And all other Bible passages we can quote. But the truth is, as much as we can know God, we would still be limited in knowing everything about Him—That’s why he’s GOD, the LORD. Knowing about something or someone does not mean you fully know everything about it or him. Job stated, “Can you fathom the deep things of God or discover the limits of the Almighty? (Job 11: 7)
The reason why you and I can never know EVERYTHING about God Himself and all His plans is simple: Remember how the devil wanted to lead a coup in heaven (Isaiah 14: 12-13).
If we humans know how to create, delegate and use administrative systems, where there is an “Administrator” or a System Administrator, responsible for the upkeep, configuration, and reliable operation of the system, one who has access to the whole system and controls it, and “Users”, those who use the system for their different benefits, however, have limited access to the system; all for the safety/security of the system, how in the world do we think we are wiser than God? Why do we think He will give us all information about Himself and plans? Would he not be wiser to avoid or prevent the next Lucifer or Satan from leading another coup?
The Pentecostal and Charismatic movements have taken us to some great heights in walking in the spiritual realm and the use of spiritual gifts of manifestations and ministerial given by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12: 9-10; Ephesians 4: 11-13), which we thank God for. But I’m afraid if we are not careful, we may be trying to say more than what Jesus said. And I know you may suggest, The LORD said, “Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I am doing. He will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father.” (John 14: 12). But note there is a difference between doing and saying at some levels. Time will not permit us to go deeper into these two words.
TRYING TO ANSWER QUESTIONS JESUS NEVER ANSWERED
I’m not sure if at some point the manifestations of God’s power in our lives as believers, we have forgotten the fact that we are not God and no more than the LORD Jesus. Or you may say, Jesus stated, “–I have said you are gods”? (John 10: 34). I believe that as well. But He wasn’t saying you are equal to GOD. Yes. We are gods with lower or small “g” because we are no gods without GOD, the LORD, or Him. And we can’t replace him even though we may be His representatives and image on earth. Maybe out of pride and arrogance, we think we can answer questions or a question Jesus avoided to give a full answer to. The declaration in the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation or Apocalypse must help us understand how serious the consequences of the error of trying to answer a question Jesus never fully answered could be. The Bible states, “I testify to everyone who hears the words of prophecy in this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and the holy city, which are described in this book”. (Revelation 22: 18-19).
Although the book of Revelation and many prophecies in the Old and New Testaments give us clues and signs of the return of the LORD Jesus-Christ, they never mentioned the DAY and HOUR. And even though the Bible gives us some clues about who the Antichrist could be, He never gives us a list of the people or individuals, religious leaders, technologists, inventors, and politicians who will probably become the Antichrist. In effect, this preoccupation by Pastors or Men of God trying to guess and reveal who the Antichrist will be, in my opinion, is a waste of time and a setup that can destroy the integrity of the Word of God in the eyes of the world. However, this will not change Who God is, and the integrity of his Word. But the consequences of this will return to the body of Christ on earth as a shame because instead of focusing on preaching the Good News of salvation, the Gospel of the LORD Jesus-Christ and his solemn or majestic return to people or the world, we have made it our responsibility to predict who the Antichrist will be. This is one of the things or answers God never gave us, but we are trying to give it to the world and the body of Christ. But after all, the Bible declares, “Certainly not! Let God be TRUE and every man a liar. As it is written: “So that You may be proved right when You speak and victorious when You judge.” (Romans 3: 4)
If the Antichrist will be a FALSE CHRIST, and the definition or meaning of “Antichrist” is also, a person or force seen as opposing Christ or the body of Christ, His Kingdom and reign, a person or thing regarded as supremely evil or as a fundamental enemy or opponent of Christ, the LORD Jesus; then we may say we have thousands or millions of “Antichrists” in the world right now. The Bible states, “But every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” (1 John 4: 3). But it’s not about who is against Christ, the LORD. It’s about a personal opponent of Christ expected to appear before the end of the world. This person, whoever he may be, God has not revealed him yet. And instead of wasting time to magnify him, let’s use that time to preach salvation and the glorious return of the LORD Jesus-Christ.
THE TEMPTATION AND DANGERS OF BEING AND KNOWING MORE THAN WHAT GOD HAS ALLOWED
I’m not talking about your purpose and destiny, or reaching your full potential in life spiritually and physically here. I would be really brief because I don’t think it will take much for you and I, to agree that we are in these different sorts of pains and evils in the world today because Adam and Eve wanted to know more than what God has allowed them to know. The Bible says Eve ate the fruit and offered some to her husband Adam as well when she heard the devil told her, “You will not surely die,” the serpent told her. “For God knows that in the day you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God–.” (Genesis 3: 4-5)
Over the centuries throughout the Church’s history, each time a man of God tries to be or say more than what God has allowed or revealed, it ends up being a bad theology that has no root in the Logos or the Word of God.
While I do my best to avoid criticizing men of God, sometimes salient matters must be addressed, explained, and supported with examples. I won’t mention any names. But I have always wondered how and why a man of God came up with the theology of “Sex is the Garden of Eden’s forbidden fruit?” For years, I couldn’t understand what would have made this great man of God go that far until I was reading about the revival movement that began in June 1946 and continued through the 1950s, which happened in his era. And I think the writer made a good point: He pointed out that this great man of God was trying to be recognized and seen as the best of all at the time; because soon after his ministry that was marked by notable healings, miracles, signs, and wonders begun, there were other younger and upcoming healing evangelists that God was raising up just like him. So, he felt his ministry and respect were threatened and started teaching theologies that have no root in the Bible somehow to establish, protect and set himself aside from the other healing evangelists that were also being used by God. Whether the theory of the writer could be proved or not, I think it’s worth giving a second thought to confirm whether is true or not.
THECNOLOGISTS/INVENTORS AND THE ANTICHRIST
At the alarming paste technology and inventions are going as predicted by the Bible in Daniel 12: 3-4, many are concerned whether any of the famous or popular technologists or inventors we already know will be the Antichrist? In fact, some prophecy experts are mentioning one or the other of these technologists and inventors as the one who will become the Antichrist. In my humble opinion, the Antichrist will use technology to his advantage, some of the finest inventions, computer programing (hardware, software, device, and networks) as part of his power to rule the world. But the actual technologists and inventors who are inventing these tools may have no idea that the Antichrist is going to use their inventions in such a way. Therefore, we have to be careful in mentioning the names of people God has not told us will become the Antichrist.
EVILDOERS IN THE WORLD
We must also admit that there are evil people powered by the devil in this world. And can analytically and intelligently detect that many of the troubles in our current world are man-made to rule the world. There are hidden things in the world that appear mysterious, and God only uses time to safely reveal them to His people, and for the sake of His people. And until that clear and absolute revelation and evidence, we should be wise not to address them as we fully know it.
Yes. Evil people can infiltrate good people, organizations, groups, and causes. But that does not make all the people, or the whole organization or entity, group, and causes evil.
While not all scientific discoveries and inventions are godly, wise, or error-free, this fact doesn’t make all scientists or technologists Antichrist. And while politicians may compromise, accept and make ungodly decisions for the price of winning a public office, that may not be enough facts to consider a politician as the Antichrist that the Bible describes in the Book of Revelation/Apocalypse. However, we all know the old saying, “Never say never”. So what we need is to be alerted, and one can be sober or alert about something without not mentioning names of possible Antichrist.
THE WAR OF INFORMATION
Let me start with the saying, “information is power.” Correct. Information is power. But then this power can be used in various ways, either to help/support, build, destroy, seduce, confuse, and manipulate. That’s why it’s imperative to carefully analyze every piece of information regardless of the source. Whether its coming from your best friend, brother/sister, parent, pastor, politician, doctor, lawyer, or even your enemy. Additionally, information can be fully real/true, partially true, or completely false/untrue. Keep in mind that the source of an information does not necessarily guarantee the authenticity of the information; especially if the transmitter has not properly vetted the information to confirm whether is true or not.
INFORMATION FROM ENEMIES OF THE GOSPEL
When someone who doesn’t really like you, (or call it your enemy), is providing you with information about another person (or enemy) who doesn’t like you as well, and his plans, it’s never to your advantage; there is something or a benefit in it for the latter. Either he’s trying to reduce the number of his enemies by his enemies, or he’s trying to make a fool out of you at the end of it all.
INTERNET INFORMATION / INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
The internet has revolutionized the way we find information, verify, and share it. Nevertheless, there is a good and bad in this internet revolution. Whether information is being fed by a reputable source or a group of hackers who broke into a network and database, we have to hold our spiritual filters as children of God, which are found in the Word of God, coupled to our godly intelligence in order to measure and vet every information we come across online. We have to analyze it very carefully and double-check its authenticity. And until we have thoroughly verified it, we should not publicly talk about it. Otherwise, we might be serving the purpose of other enemies of the Gospel, thinking we are serving the purpose of God, without not knowing that they are actually using the Church as an enemy to discredit and reduce the number of their other enemies.
OPINIONS AND THE WORD OF GOD
If an opinion is really what dictionaries define as “a judgment, viewpoint, or statement that is not conclusive, rather than facts, which are true statements”, then I’m afraid we are replacing the word of God, which “is perfect” (Psalm 18: 30) with our opinions, and this is dangerous. I think we will be in a more desirable or advantageous position as the body of Christ if we can just clarify that our opinions are our opinions instead of presenting it like it’s the infallible word of God, wisdom, and knowledge.
Apostle Paul was a master of owing his opinions and clarifying that, letting the people know that part of his letter was not a direct order coming from the LORD, rather from him, his own judgment. He would write to the Corinthians, “To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord}.” (1 Corinthians 7:12). Whether you and I agree on the fact that the Bible is infallible and inerrant inspiration from God, or you want to be a little cautious that is not exactly everything in it that is originally from God and add, is the verbal, plenary, infallible, inerrant inspiration, it won’t change anything about its authenticity. The Psalmist declared, “Your word, O LORD, is everlasting; it is firmly fixed in the heavens.” (Psalm 119: 89, BSB). Let us present our opinions, as our opinions, and not as God saying them.
THE GREAT COMMISSION
One of the greatest books on evangelism or soulwinning I ever read as a young Christian years ago was “The Passion For Souls”, by Oswald J. Smith. In his book, he magnificently argued and laid down the case for soulwinning. And while reading that book, I could feel the heart of the Author—He lived for souls. Oswald J. Smith said, “We talk of the Second Coming [of Christ]; [yet] half the world has never heard of the first.” He added, “No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once.”
I’m wondering if we are too busy talking about the Antichrist to the extent that we forgot and have left the necessity of preaching the first coming of the LORD Jesus-Christ and the salvation he came to offer the world, and prepare them for the second coming? I’m not stating that the Church or the body of Christ should not teach about the Antichrist, but when that subject becomes our utmost topic, I think we are wasting time we could use to preach the salvation Christ came to grant the world. Preach God’s people out of fear by encouraging them, and pray against the endtime plans of the devil. But let’s preach our Master, LORD, God, Christ, the Savior, His power, Kingdom, and glory more than the enemy.