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The Narrow Path 11/18

The Narrow Path / Steve Gregg
The Truth Network Radio
November 18, 2020 7:00 am

The Narrow Path 11/18

The Narrow Path / Steve Gregg

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November 18, 2020 7:00 am

Enjoy this program from Steve Gregg and The Narrow Path Radio.

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Music Good afternoon and welcome to the Narrow Path radio broadcast. My name is Steve Gregg and we're live for an hour each weekday afternoon, taking your phone calls.

If you have questions about the Bible or Christianity, or if you have a different viewpoint from that of the host, we welcome you to join us on the air and bring up the subject that you would like to discuss or would like to have answered. We have one line open at this point. The number to call is 844-484-5737. That's 844-484-5737. Our first call today is from Ali from Nevada, California.

Is it Ali? Welcome to the Narrow Path. Hey Steve, how you doing? Thanks for taking my call.

Good, buddy. I just had a couple comments. I won't ramble on too much, but then there's a question somewhere in there in the comments and I'm sure I'll pick up on it. There's a lady that called you, I think last week, that said because you believed certain things about mask laws that you weren't hearing from the Holy Spirit. And you know what?

I just wanted to tell her that, you know, in the nicest way, she has no idea what she's even talking about. And I'm not saying this because, you know, I'm trying to be pro-mask or anti-mask, pro-COVID or anything like that, but it's simply, you cannot tell another man that he's not hearing from the Holy Spirit, first of all, because if you're gonna do that, you're gonna have to tell 2.3 billion Christians that none of them are hearing from the Holy Spirit because everybody has their own views and their beliefs of what they believe. And I guess I'm tired of people attributing, saying that they hear from God and they have dreams from God and they know when this is going to happen or when the rapture is going to happen or this or that, and they hear from the Holy Spirit and none of it comes to pass.

And all it does is make a mockery out of God, in my opinion. And most people think that they're hearing from the Holy Spirit, they're not. They're hearing, you're hearing from your own conscience.

That's it. Either your own subconscious mind or what I even call, you know, there is a higher self. I'm not, you know, into psychology too much, but there's that higher part of our self, that intuition that knows things. And I guess what I don't understand is how people can attribute and say that the Holy Spirit told them this and told them that, when I don't think most people even know what the Holy Spirit even is, because if that's the case, most people would agree and there wouldn't be all these different denominations and belief systems, even among people in the same church. So, I think I've accepted the fact that I think a lot of what I hear is just me, and I'm not going to pin it on God anymore. Because I'm always... Yeah, we need to be careful about doing that, because when somebody says, well, you're wrong because the Holy Spirit told me you're wrong.

Well, if you've only got the Holy Spirit telling you that I'm wrong, and I have the Holy Spirit too, then I think it's a stalemate. Now, if you have the Bible on your side and you say, you know, I believe the Holy Spirit has directed me to see it from this scripture, this way, and it contradicts what you're saying, so I think you're wrong, I can accept that without any problem. Actually, I don't, you know, I don't have any problem with a woman saying, you know, that I wasn't hearing from God.

I've never taken people seriously who said that to me anyway, unless they had the Bible on their side, and that's something that was lacking in her phone call. But on the other hand, there's nothing wrong with telling somebody if what they're saying needs to be corrected from scripture. And the Holy Spirit does speak through scripture, he inspired the scripture, and he might even speak to you or to me in such ways to bring the truth of scripture to one's mind at a particular time.

I think that though, what we have is a lot of cultural difference in the body of Christ, as well as theological difference. And there's some people who are from a Christian culture that has somehow encouraged them to believe that God is speaking to them every time that they have a strong opinion about something. Or anytime an idea comes to them when they're praying, for example, they say, well, God, I was praying about this and God told me this. Well, you know, I want to tell you something, I think God does tell people things. I'm not going to deny that. But when you say that this thought came to my head, therefore, it's God, that's not necessarily so.

I mean, it may be, but it may not be. So I share your concern. Now, there's, of course, other people who don't think God speaks to us today at all, except through the Bible.

And I wouldn't affirm that myself, because I think the gifts of the Spirit are still for today. But I think that there's a certain cultural charismaticism that wants to attribute to God and to a revelation from God, everything that they have a strong opinion about. And so I share your concerns about that, Ali.

Hey, my lines are falling, you should take another call. But I do appreciate you bringing that up. Yeah, I'll just say quickly, a lot of it is the charismatics, because most of the people that I know, that God told me this, and God told me that, are these hypercharismatics. And yeah, yeah, yeah, you don't hear that much from Baptists or Lutherans or Presbyterians. You don't even hear it from Catholics.

Yeah, no from Catholics, you're right. All right, brother. Well, thanks for your call, bro. Okay, appreciate hearing from you. All right, we're gonna talk next to John from San Diego. Welcome to The Narrow Path, John. Thanks for calling.

Thank you for taking my call. My question is, what do you think of Jessie Penn Lewis? Well, you know, I haven't really read Jessie Penn Lewis. I had her book, War on the Saints. And she was, of course, involved in the Welsh revival with Evan Roberts. And I, you know, I read about some of the great things in the revival, but I never read very much about the personal life or the writings of Jessie Penn Lewis.

I will say this. In her book, War on Saints, from what I understand, she took an awful lot of supernatural manifestations in the revival to be demonic. And I have, and there are, we were talking about charismatics a minute ago. There are charismatics who think that she missed the boat there, that she was missing the fact that they were true charismatic, true supernatural phenomena, and that she just thought all such phenomena were demonic. That's the critique I've heard of her. But I have to say, though I've had her book on my shelf for years, I've never taken the time to read more than a few pages of it. Not because I didn't think it would be worthwhile.

I just, there were other things more worthwhile for me to read at the time. So I can't speak authoritatively, but I do know that her book, War on the Saints, I think she, along with Evan Roberts, identified a lot of things that went on in the Welsh revival as being demonic distractions. And whereas, I guess there would be, that'd be a matter of opinion for some. Some people would say, well, she may think they're demonic, but we think they were the works of the Holy Spirit. So I will, I do think though, as I was saying to the previous caller, that there's a certain charismatic mentality that is not very critical of things that profess to be from the Holy Spirit. You know, the Bible says, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God. And because many false prophets have gone out in the world and there's false signs and wonders also mentioned in Second Thessalonians chapter two. So there can be false prophecy. There can be false signs and wonders. And therefore, just because something happens that appears to be supernatural or unusual in a revival meeting, it doesn't mean necessarily that it's the Holy Spirit.

It could be, but that would have to be judged before one could say for certain. Now, apart from her book on that subject, I'm not really very familiar with Jessie Penn Lewis. So I'm afraid I won't be able to do much in the way of giving an informing critique about her. All right. Thank you, John, for your call. I appreciate it.

Let's see Sue from Everett, Washington. Welcome to The Narrow Path. Thanks for calling.

Hi, thank you. I would like to understand the concept of there being a number of heavens. A friend of mine and I were talking, you know, is paradise heaven? What about absent from the body, present with the Lord? Is heaven where you stay forever? And in that conversation came, there's a third heaven, seventh heaven, and I don't understand that at all. And I'll take my answer off the air. Okay, thanks for your call.

I appreciate that. Well, the Bible doesn't mention anything about a seventh heaven. There is a mention in 2 Corinthians 12 near the beginning of that chapter where Paul's talking about he knew one who was caught up into the third heaven.

And most commentators, including myself, would say he's actually speaking of his own experience. But he does refer to the third heaven, and he does identify it with paradise. He says, even unto paradise. He was caught up to the third heaven, even unto paradise. So he uses the word paradise interchangeably with the third heaven. Now, he doesn't explain what he means by third heaven. There's no other place in the whole Bible mentions a first or second or third heaven or any beyond that. So, you know, we only have that one passage, which is just a brush with the terminology.

Now, I want to say this. The word paradise, although Paul refers to third heaven as paradise, is not necessarily the only use of the word paradise. The paradise of God is a reference, in some cases, to the Garden of Eden or to the new heavens and the new earth when Jesus returns. Jesus said to the thief on the cross, today you'll be with me in paradise. And I don't think they went to the third heaven.

They might have, but most believe otherwise. The Bible indicates Jesus went down into the grave or into Sheol. So I think paradise in the Bible has a very generic usage. I don't think it's a proper name. Just like, except for Paradise, California, I don't know of any place that has a proper name, paradise. But lots of places we might speak of as paradise. We might think of Hawaii as, wow, that's paradise, you know, or Tahiti as paradise, or wherever we like to go that's beautiful, we call it paradise. And I think that that's probably not too different than the way the word paradise was used in biblical times, because the word paradise is a Persian word that means a pleasurable park, a pleasure place, a park or, you know, a scenic place. And so it's probably used figuratively, just like we would perhaps talk about the Garden of Eden as paradise. So it can be referred to as the third heaven. I mean, the third heaven can be referred to as paradise, and other places that are paradisical could also be referred to as paradise in other contexts. But the third heaven, I'll tell you, since the Bible nowhere gives us any clues about the third heaven, but only has mention of it, most have assumed, and I'm going to go with the general assumption, that it's referring to the fact that we can find in the Bible three different places or realms that are referred to as heaven.

One of them is, of course, the atmosphere around the earth where the birds fly. The birds fly through the heavens, the Bible says, or through heaven. And the other physical heaven would be the universe out beyond our atmosphere where the stars are, the stars of the heavens, or of heaven. And then, of course, the third would be the place where God dwells. The Bible says God's throne is in heaven. He's our Father in heaven. Now, when Jesus called Jesus our Father in heaven, He didn't mean in the sky. He didn't mean, you know, in the atmosphere flying around with the birds or out in outer space because Paul said that we all are very near to God. In Him, we live and move and have our being. So I believe that heaven, as the place where God lives, is a reference to the spiritual realm where God and the angels who are spirits dwell. And so that's where I think our spirits also go when we die. The Bible says we're absent from the body when we die, but we're present with the Lord. And present with the Lord would be in heaven. Now, you asked, is it the eternal home?

No, it's not. It's not even Jesus' eternal home. It says in 1 Thessalonians, when Jesus comes back, He's going to bring with Him those who have died in Christ. And where He's coming to is here, earth. The Bible says that He's going to inherit the earth, the uttermost parts of the earth, for His possession, it says in Psalm 2.8.

And so are we. We're going to inherit the earth, according to Revelation 5.10 and even Jesus' own statement in Matthew 5.5, where He says the meek shall inherit the earth. So we're going to live in a new heaven, a new earth. At least that's the last scene in the book of Revelation, is that of a new heaven and a new earth where there's no crying, there's no sorrow, and there's no pain, and there's no suffering, and there's no sickness, no death, and where there's no more curse. So the new heaven and the new earth, spoken of that way, is because it's like Genesis 1.1, God created the heavens and the earth. Well, then He's going to create a new heaven and a new earth. And the new earth is going to be without a curse, just like it was when God first made it before Adam and Eve sinned. And that's where God intended for people to live. God never intended for people to live in heaven. That's not really, that's not human, the realm of humans. It says in Psalm 115 in verse 16, it says, even the heavens are the Lord's, but the earth He has given to the sons of men. So He makes a very clear distinction in the scripture.

Heaven is the place for God, and the earth is the place for people. And so that's Psalm 115 verse 16. So anyway, that's, I think that covered all your questions. I don't remember if there's any more in there.

You had quite a string of them, but that should cover the subject, I hope. Okay. Dwight from Denver.

Well, welcome to The Narrow Path. Thanks for calling. Hey, Dwight. Yes. Yes, sir.

You're on the air. Okay. Yes, I was listening to Dr. Kim Kimmel, author of Grace-Based Parenting Online, and he was mentioning that Plato referred to four different types of personalities. Or temperaments or temperaments. Yeah.

Right. Do you place much weight in those different types of personalities? You know, I'm not sure what difference that makes, but some people think it makes a great deal of difference. You know, Tim LaHaye, who became especially famous for the Left Behind novels, before he was writing a lot about Bible prophecy, he wrote several books on the four temperaments.

These came out back in the, I think in the 70s and the 80s. And he, you know, he wrote several books from a Christian point of view on the four temperaments and you could probably find them if you're curious about it. I never was very interested in it. And I can't say whether it's right or wrong because I can't say why necessarily it would matter. I mean, it might matter in terms of our being more appreciative of people who are different than we are and say, well, that's just one of the different temperament. But we could learn that lesson even if we knew nothing about the names of the four temperaments. I mean, to say that person's phlegmatic, you know, which is one of them, or melancholy, which is another one. You know, okay, I don't need to know those words to know that someone I'm with is a little moody or that somebody I'm with is, you know, has a certain personality. So I, you know, I think it's, I kind of reacted negatively to it, not because I believed it was not true or anything like that. I just felt like it's kind of makes people too introverted. I think that any time people begin too much looking at themselves and say, well, I'm this or I'm that, and they take these tests to find out what they are and so forth.

I don't know. I just, I think it's too much of a focus on myself. I mean, it doesn't matter what my temperament is. I'm required to be like Jesus. I'm required to, you know, maybe I tend to be melancholy. Well, then I need to cheer up to be more like Jesus.

Maybe I'm, you know, sanguine. Well, maybe I need to adjust myself to be like Jesus from there, wherever I am. I need to change and I need to become more like Christ. I'll no doubt deal with temperamental issues that are, that either were born into me or nurtured into me and my upbringing, but I don't really see how it changes anything about my duty as a Christian. I think it more or less distracts me from my duty as a Christian. I think Christians need to be focused on Christ as much as possible. And then the, you know, we are changed from glory to glory into his image.

So whatever point we're changed from, that is what wherever, whatever our beginning point is, I don't know that it hurts us to know it or to have a name for it, but I don't think it's ever hurt anyone not to know it or not to have a name for it. So it's, to me, it's, it's a, you know, peripheral, peripheral. Okay. Well that helps a lot. Thank you so much. All right. I appreciate your call, Dwight. God bless you by now. All right. Let's talk to Mike from Dallas, Oregon. Mike, welcome to The Narrow Path. Thanks for calling.

Hey Steve, I've got a two part question. I have an adult son, 23 years old, who lives at home and on his off time, he has really started getting into playing Dungeons and Dragons online with his friends. I need to know, number one, is there any danger of any demonic influence associated with that game? And in Ephesians, Paul talks about spiritual forces of evil around us. Now, are there demons watching us like there are guardian angels watching us? Well, I suspect, I suspect that there are. We're never told exactly how, uh, I mean, we're never told that, we're never promised that the angels, you know, we're told that the angels guard us if we're, if we fear God, but we're never told that the demons are always attacking us, but we, we should never be comfortable in any kind of assurance that they're not. I mean, we can't see them with our eyes. So we know there are millions of them.

Are there great, a huge number of them, uh, swarms of them are sometimes described in the book of revelation. And, and I believe that even if demons aren't in the room with me right now, and I suspect that they are, by the way, I just say, I suspect, I don't know. Um, but if they are, uh, let me put it this way.

If they aren't, they might be 10 minutes from now. I don't know. I don't know when the demons are going to be showing up and I don't worry about it much because, uh, if you walk in the spirit and you wear the armor of God, uh, then you know, uh, you know how to respond whenever a demon comes with its, uh, ploys against you. The thing is you do have to live with a supernaturalistic worldview. And I think that may be worse.

A lot of people fall short. They don't believe I would, they kind of believe in the supernatural cause they're believers, let's say in God. And they would say, okay, yeah, there is a God. Uh, they might even believe there's angels, uh, but they might not. They, I mean, there's different degrees of awareness of the supernatural that different people have. Uh, I think our worldview has to be shaped entirely by what the Bible says. And therefore we have to believe there's a devil and there's demons and there's angels and there's God and so forth. And that we have a soul or a spirit. So, um, so, you know, depending on how, how biblical your worldview is, uh, the reality that you may be attacked by the demonic is, uh, is, uh, is with you all the time. I mean, you don't live in fear.

You just live in, um, you live in, uh, preparedness. But as far as dungeon and dragons goes, uh, I've never, I've never even watched anyone play the game. I have no idea what it involves. I remember when it first came out, seems to me it came out in the eighties and, uh, and there weren't as many video games out then as there are now, of course. But I remember when I heard people playing it, I, it concerned me, but to say it concerned me doesn't mean I have any real knowledge of the harm it does. I do remember reading some critiques of it again, that didn't give me a very clear understanding of how it works. These, uh, these games should play online with other people that you don't, you know, who aren't there.

Uh, I don't even know how that works. I, I don't, I've never played a video game, so I don't have any interest in video games. I never have never had never been tempted, but I would say that, um, I would just say that, uh, an awful lot of time is wasted playing video games.

And even if it's entirely pure, uh, I would think that limited time should be spent in any video game because there's an awful lot that you haven't processed yet. The average person, um, of, of what God has actually requires of us. I mean, anyone who has not read the whole Bible once or twice or three times and is spending very much time watching video games is really wasting a lot of time that could be put to much better use. And anyone who has read the Bible a great deal should be meditating on scripture day and night. Now I, I personally, uh, I think we should always have the mindset that whatever we're doing or thinking about, we're, we're viewing it through a Christian lens. We're on what we know to be true, what we know to be scriptural. And therefore, in a sense, we're meditating on scripture, even when we're in conversation with people or seeing something in a commercial or, or, or playing a game or doing anything.

And, uh, I just don't know. I mean, if a person is truly a spiritual Christian and they're meditating on scripture day and night, uh, I don't, I don't think they, that they should be deprived, you know, an occasional diversion. I mean, watching a TV show or a movie once in a while, it's not really forbidden, but I think that even when you're doing that, you should be viewing it through the lens of your Christian worldview and of what the scripture teaches. Now, I don't know what to what degree these people who play these games are doing that, you know, and I don't know to what degree they're wasting an awful lot of time that could be put to better use, but I'll tell you, I would never play Dungeons and dragons. I would never have allowed my kids to now my kids are adults now and I couldn't stop them. In fact, they, I'm sure my kids do play video games.

They're, they're millennials, you know? Uh, but, uh, I don't ever, I'm never around them when they're playing them. But, uh, yeah, I've heard, I've, I, all I can say is I don't feel very comfortable about, uh, of that kind of a game, but, but I don't know much about it. There are people who do say that the, the role playing and all that stuff can easily open you up to demons.

And I wouldn't be surprised if that's true, but I couldn't say that authoritatively. Wow. Okay. Okay.

Yeah. So Christian mindset, I know for my son, he is not a believer. Unfortunately does not follow, uh, like his mother and I do. And so I'm just concerned that in his atheist world, whether there's any, you know, open door. Well, there could be, I mean, you might want to, might want to just do a little research on the game itself because I've never really done that.

I'm not that interested in it, but, uh, you might want to do a little research on the game and even talk to your son and say, okay, what's going on here when you're playing this, what's, what is, what's really happening here. And then if you assess it, if you assess it as something that's demonic, uh, and it very well may be unbeknownst to me, it may well be, uh, then you could also always say, well, if he's in your house, you don't really want that in, in your house. Uh, you know, it says in Deuteronomy, do not let the abominable thing in your house.

Uh, so, you know, that would be a good thing. I mean, cause it's, it's unknown to us exactly to what degree bringing that kind of thing into the house invites a demonic activity. It sometimes seems to, I don't know that it always does, but I just wouldn't want to, I don't want to play around with demons. I don't want to be in their backyard.

I'd rather be on solid ground and with a position to fight them off. Yes. Don't take the chance. Okay. Yeah. Okay. Steve, that's helpful. Thank you. Okay, brother. I'm sorry about your son.

I, I, I, I, a lot of parents listening have the same issues with their children. God bless you. God bless you joining us.

Yeah. Now the music's playing, but that doesn't mean we're done. We were only halfway done.

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The narrow path radio broadcast. My name is Steve Gregg and we're live for another half hour. Taking your calls. If you have the questions about the Bible you'd like to bring up, I will be glad to talk to you about them. I do want to, while I'm, there are calls waiting, but I do want to answer a question that came from a prisoner in Hawaii named Cody.

And Cody has written to us with questions before and I, it's not, I'm not always quick to get to them because we get so many calls, but once in a while I think I should just give a prisoner a chance because he can listen, but he can't call in from the correctional facility where he is. He said, my question is on October 22nd, 2020 the Pope spoke from the Vatican and said homosexuality is okay in the church. Is this the falling away or the place of the abomination that makes desolate?

Okay. Well, first of all, I didn't hear what the Pope said and I, and if he says homosexualized, okay, I guess I'd have to ask, did he mean, I mean, and I'm not sure he said that, I mean, cause I didn't hear it, but if you heard him correctly, then he might be saying that a homosexual person is still loved by God and can be accepted by God, but without necessarily implying that they can practice their homosexuality. You see, to be a homosexual means that a person is attracted to the same sex, but being attracted to somebody doesn't mean you're doing anything evil about it.

That's a temptation. They have a different kind of temptation than I do because I'm never attracted to the same sex, not in that way. So, but I'd be tempted sometimes with the opposite sex and therefore I can understand the difference between temptation and sin because I would never act on it. So, and a person who's a homosexual inclined may live a celibate lifestyle and in which case they are, they are okay. Now, if he means that people who are practicing homosexual fornication are okay, well then of course that would not be correct. It's not okay to practice fornication, either heterosexual or homosexual.

No fornication is okay. The Bible says fornicators will not inherit the kingdom of God and the Pope who doesn't tell people that would not be helping people find the kingdom of God. He might in fact be encouraging behavior that would prevent people from entering the kingdom of God. Now you say, is this the falling away, the abomination of desolation? I don't believe that Paul's reference to the falling away in 2 Thessalonians 2 or the reference to the abomination of desolation mentioned by Matthew and in Matthew, by Jesus in Matthew 24, 21, 24, 15. I don't think those are talking about things that are happening in the end times. I realize that if you listen to a lot of Christian radio, most Bible prophecy teachers or most Bible teachers seem to be implied that these kinds of things that are in these prophetic passages are about things that are happening in the end times.

Now that's one view and a lot of people hold that view obviously. I hold the view that many of those things that people have historically or popularly I should say thought of as referring to the end times are really referring to things that have already happened in history. They were future when they were predicted of course, but lots of water's gone under the bridge in the 2,000 years since those prophecies were made. And there's every reason to wonder whether in the 2,000 years after the prediction that have taken place, whether anything in those 2,000 years have been the fulfillment of those predictions. And in my opinion, a great number of them have been. So I'm not really looking for the future abomination of desolation or one in our time. Likewise, the falling away which is only mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2 is I think that happened in the past too.

That's my own opinion. So you asked me if when the Pope declares that homosexuality is okay, is he committing the abomination of desolation or is this the falling away? No, but I think that if he's encouraging normative, as normative homosexual behavior then of course he's speaking against the Bible. He's speaking against the apostles. So in other words, he's speaking against Christ because the apostles speak for Christ.

That's what the authority Christ gave them. So I don't know if he said that. I don't know exactly what he said. He might have said something like that, but I'd have to know exactly what he said and how he couched it because I myself would say if somebody is struggling with same sex attraction but like every good Christian, they're avoiding fornication, they're not having sex, then they are not, there's nothing for them to be ashamed of.

They're struggling with something I don't struggle with and I greatly am sympathetic and actually pity them for that. But then I have my struggles, I mean every human being has their struggles, their temptations, but temptation is not sin. Sin is when you succumb to the temptation and therefore if the Pope is just saying, oh, if you're tempted with the same sex, then don't feel bad, just live a holy life. But if he says it's okay within a holy life to exercise your homosexual urges and fornicate, I would certainly disagree with that very strongly and I would think he's not teaching what a Christian leader should teach. In fact, he's leading people astray into something that the Bible says will keep them out of the kingdom. So I don't think a spiritual leader should ever do that.

That would make him a false teacher, of course. All right, let's talk next to Eddie from Napa, California. Eddie, welcome to the Narrow Path. Thanks for calling. Hey, thank you for taking my call, Steve. Just two questions. One of them has to do with prophecy and like you said earlier, God can do whatever he wants and I took him out of the box.

He could do whatever he wants, however he wants, when he wants. So when I read Hebrews 1, it talks about that God in the form of time spoke to us through prophets, but in these latter days spoke to us through Jesus, right? But even after Christ, there was a couple of prophets. So is there prophets like they were back then now and is teaching a form of prophecy? That's one question. And then the other one was this in the book of Job. And I went around in circles with a few people on this. When I read it, and I know it's just writing from, you know, did God instigate the enemy to check out Job?

You know, did he instigate it? But anyway, Steve, my phone is cutting out. I'm going to go ahead and hang up and listen to your response on the radio, okay? And thank you so much for taking my call. Okay. Okay. My pleasure. Thank you for joining us. God bless you. All right.

I know. As far as prophets go, some people think that Hebrews 1, 1 indicates that the coming of Christ ended the age of prophets because the writer begins the book saying, God, who at various times and in diverse ways spoken time past to our fathers by the prophets has in these last days spoken to us by his son, which he goes on to describe as being, of course, much superior to any prophets. Now, he doesn't say here that once the son has come, that God doesn't speak through any prophets anymore. We know, of course, as you pointed out, there were prophets in the church after Jesus had come.

Agabus is the one whose name is most prominent in the book of Acts. There's a couple of times we have him showing up and prophesying future things and he doesn't seem much different in his ministry. Of course, we have only a small specimen of his ministry, but I can't tell from that that he's any different than an Old Testament prophet would have been. Paul told the church of Corinth, let the prophets speak two or three and let the others judge. Now, the prophets have to be judged because they're professing to speak from God and we don't want to be accepting something as from God if it's, let's say, a liar and the Bible does indicate there are false prophets. So we have to be careful not to just believe everything that someone says if they say they're a prophet. They still stand subject to judgment, judgment of the Word of God.

If they don't speak according to this word, there's no light in them. So I believe there are people who prophesy and the writer of Hebrews is not denying that. He's just saying that our fathers before us, before Jesus came, only had the prophets for him to speak through, but we have something much better. We have Christ. But having Christ doesn't mean there's no use for prophets any more than there's no need for teachers since we have Christ teaching. Christ came teaching, but that doesn't mean there's no other people who teach. The Holy Spirit who is continuing Christ's ministry through his body gives gifts like prophecy and teaching and those kinds of things to different servants of his who are part of his body.

And therefore he is continuing to speak to us through the ones that he gives such gifts to. Now you said his teaching the same thing as prophecy. The Bible actually makes a distinction between those things. In Ephesians 4 and 11, Paul said that Christ gave some apostles and some prophets and some evangelists and some pastors and teachers.

Now he made clear that those are different. In fact, near the end of 2 Corinthians 12, where Paul is talking about the various gifts, let me just read this passage for you. He says in 1 Corinthians 12, excuse me, verse 28, it says, God has appointed these in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles and so forth.

Now however the first, second and third should be understood, whether it's in importance or in chronology, it clearly makes a distinction. God has given first apostles, third teachers, so the first and the third wouldn't be the same thing. So I don't think that teaching is the same as prophecy. I don't think that preaching is the same as prophecy. I think prophecy is what it always was in the Bible. God speaking directly through a person in an oracular way, that is giving an oracle.

And you can generally tell the difference. A teacher talks about God. A prophet speaks as God, saying, you know, thus says the Lord, I, you know, I will do such and such. And, you know, a teacher never talks that way unless he's lapsing into prophesying.

Because actually, I mean, a teacher might prophesy and a prophet might teach, but prophecy and teaching are not the same phenomenon. Now you asked about Job and I wasn't real clear on your question about Job. I think you were asking, did God unleash the devil on Job?

As I recall your question. Yeah, we could say he did. In the sense that Job was protected until that point from the devil's harm. And the devil says so himself to God. While the devil doesn't always tell the truth, we might expect him not to try to get away with lying to God to his face. And he says, you know, I've not been able to afflict Job because you put a hedge around him.

So I can't touch anything that is his or him. So we can see that that hedge that God had placed around Job prevented the devil from doing anything to him. And if God had wished, he could have kept that hedge there until Job, you know, died and went to heaven or whatever, went to wherever he'd go. So the fact that the devil says, well, let me add him, let me do things to him, and then I'll show you he's not your faithful servant that you think he is. And God said, okay, you can do this, but not more. That means that God did unleash the devil, not entirely.

He kept a leash on him, but he let him do things that the hedge he had put around Job previously would have prevented the devil from doing. And what this means, of course, is that God protects his people from the devil's attacks unless, as in the case of Job, God sees fit to test them. And I think that's what we see happening is that God saw fit to allow Job to be tested in these ways. And the devil is the tester. That's what the word tempter means, tester. And so the test was on Job's loyalty.

The same as Adam and Eve's test. God allowed the devil to get to them too and to test them, to test their loyalty. Actually, every test that the devil brings to us is a test of our loyalty to God. And that's true whether the temptation is an allurement to some pleasure or whether it is pain and suffering that we have to face or whether it's persecution or whatever.

These are tests. And that's what our life here is for, to be tested. Because God is looking for loyal servants that he can hand over the throne to. That's what the Bible says. The Bible says that if we endure, we'll reign with him. When he comes, he's going to have some of us reigning with him. But he's not going to have anyone reigning with him if they're disloyal. That's why Jesus said to the church of Smyrna in Revelation 2 10, be faithful. That means loyal. Be faithful unto death and I'll give you the crown of life as you'll reign.

You'll have a crown like I have if you're faithful or loyal. So once we understand that's what this world is for, it makes a lot of things, but it just makes life different. We view life differently and I think more sensibly. Because so many times, sufferings just seem nonsensical. There's no reason that that person should suffer.

He's a nice guy. Why would Job have to suffer like that? Why would I have to suffer like I'd have to and I haven't done anything wrong?

Well, I mean, that's it. It's a test. We're in this life for one reason. This life is temporary, man. We only live about 70, 80, 90 years and then we have eternity to face. And what God has in mind for us is that in that eternity, we'd reign with him. So this whole life here is the test of our loyalty to God to see who he can trust and give authority and power to when he comes back. So when Jesus comes, that's why there's a judgment because everything we've done will be examined. And those who've been faithful will reign with Christ.

Those who have not, will not. And every trial and test we have is basically part of the whole program to see if we're going to be loyal to God when there's temptations to do otherwise. Adam and Eve failed that test.

Job passed the test. Jesus was tested in the same way. In fact, the Bible says in Luke chapter four, verse one, that the Holy Spirit led Jesus out to the wilderness to be tempted or tested by the devil. So Jesus himself had to go through testing and of course passed the test. So yeah, Job, God did allow the devil to come after Job.

And there's, I mean, there's no way to read the first two chapters without agreeing with that fact. People sometimes don't want to believe that because they think that makes God look bad. But actually if they think that God has them on this earth to avoid trials and that God has to explain himself when he allows us to go through trials, they haven't figured out what they're here for yet. They haven't figured out that they're in school. And when you're in school, you take tests. If you fail the tests, you don't graduate.

If you pass the tests, you do. And that's what we're doing. If you thought this was a playground, you were wrong. This is not a playground.

This is a school classroom and a battleground because the enemy is the one who's testing us and would like to destroy us if we will allow ourselves to fail. All right, let's talk to Steve from Newport Beach. Steve, welcome to The Narrow Path. Thanks for calling. Hey, how are you? Can you hear me okay? Yes, sir. Okay, good.

I'm in my car and I turn the radio down, but hopefully everything is coming through. So I've listened to your show quite a bit and I think it's pretty interesting. I like your patience and you have a good in-depth view of the scriptures and an open mind.

And I like that. I just wanted to say, and there's a lot of interesting things going on these days. And thank God that I was allowed to read the Bible over the last 25 years and just study it and study it and fell in love with the scriptures. My wife was alive.

We just read together and so many just fantastic things. But in either case, without boring you to death, I was curious what you thought about 2 Corinthians chapter 13 verse 5. I mean, I could go on and on, but just starting with that one just to see how you feel about it. Examine yourselves as to whether you're in the faith. Prove yourselves. Do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you unless you indeed are reprobate?

Reprobate. What do I think about that? Well, I think that we have to remember what Jesus said in Matthew 7 that on the day of testing, of judgment, many will say, Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name. We cast out demons in your name.

We did what works in your name. And he'll say, I never knew you. Depart from me, you workers of iniquity. So obviously there are people who think that they are Christians and even have reason to believe they're Christians because they've done the kinds of things mentioned, or at least they believe they have. And yet they're going to find out a rude awakening on the day of judgment that they never were Christians. Jesus never knew who they were.

He never recognized them. And so I think what Paul's saying here is that, you know, just so we don't end up in that class of people who are so shocked and she grinned and, and are not saved, we should examine ourselves. We should put ourselves to the very test that he's talking about. See if you're really in the faith.

And yeah. And he's saying that Jesus Christ is in you. I mean, that's a pretty profound statement, which, which makes us who, who love God and believe in God. It gives me chills, you know, just reading that and thinking about what he's really saying.

And you know, I just, that's why I kind of had to, had to share that. Well, Christ is in us and we do have to examine ourselves to see if that's really, if that's really, if that's applicable to us or to someone else other than us, it says in first John chapter three and verse 24, it says, now he who keeps his commandments abides in him. And he in him, that is Christ is in you and you're in him.

If you're keeping his commandments. And it says, and by this, we know that he abides in us by the spirit whom he has given us. So we, we want to test ourselves to see if we're in the faith. Well, we know that he abides in us because we keep his commandments and because his spirit is in us. If someone says, well, how do I know the spirits in me? Well, do you have the spirit of Christ or don't you?

Are you, would, would people who are around you say, well, I, I sense the spirit of God in you, or they say, I think you had a bitter spirit or a arrogant spirit or something else. I mean, the spirit of Christ is, is, uh, quite unique and, uh, you know, Christians are supposed to have that spirit in us. And we know that, uh, we abide in him and he abides in us. If, if we have the spirit and also in first John four 13, just usually a page over, it says by this, we know that we abide in him and he abides in us because he has given us of his spirit. So possessing the holy spirit, being obedient to his words, uh, and by the way, the fruit of the spirit is love.

You know, Jesus said by this, all men, all men will know you're my disciples. If you have loved one for another, but that's the fruit of the spirit. If I have the spirit, then I love. If I don't have the spirit, I don't love. And if I don't love, I don't have the spirit. So, I mean, this, we should test ourselves. That's what Paul is saying.

Make sure that you are one of those that Christ is in. Amen. We either have the love or we don't.

And if we don't, then, um, well, I think we've got some Houston, we got some problems here. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Love. You know, I, I feel like, and I think, and I think that's the thing that Jesus referred to when he said some people prophesy and cast out demons and do mighty works in his name. And they apparently didn't do the will of the father. Uh, well, what's the will of the father that we love one another. And Paul remembered first Corinthians 13 said, if I speak in tongues, if I prophesy, if I do mighty works, if I cast, you know, have such faith as I can cast a mountain into the sea with my faith, or if I even give up my body to be burned, if I don't have love, it counts for nothing. He said the only verses of first Corinthians 13.

So, so he's saying the same thing. Jesus is, you know, there, there are people who have these gifts, but they don't have any love. And if they don't have love, then they're not Christians. It counts for, you know, without love, it doesn't count for anything with God.

Well, God is love as it's, as he says in first John. And if you don't have, if you don't have love, you don't really appear. How do you, how do you know if you have love?

How do you know if you have love? You, you know, it because you're putting others ahead of yourself. You're doing for others what you would want done to you. You're giving to those who have genuine needs.

If you have something to give, you are patient with people. If they are, if they're annoying you, you're like Christ. And that's what, that's what the spirit of Christ looks like.

If, if you look like Jesus to people, then I think you probably qualified, you know, as a, as a true follower of Christ. That's right. Well, I think from my opinion, the last thing is that I think that we're, we're going to be in some pretty interesting times up ahead with all the worldly things going on. And I think a lot of people are going to be very scared and a lot of stuff with the lockdowns and a lot of serious stuff going on. But I think it's going to be very important that we stay close to God and trust in him because it's going to get pretty, pretty intense most likely.

Yeah. And we're not, we're not accustomed to following God in a land where we have no freedom. But I mean, we've already had the freedom takeaway in some of the States, you know, to even meet for Thanksgiving.

I mean, this is crazy. I mean, freedoms, we know, we know which party wants to take away all our freedoms. And if that party wins, if that party actually wins, then we will, we'll have to learn what Christians in the Soviet Union had to learn and what Christians in China will be tested, North Korea.

North Korea. Yep. Right. Now, if the other party wins, we have to live with riots in the streets. But frankly, I'd rather, you know, survive the riots in the street and have my freedom than to live and have my children and grandchildren live without any freedom to openly speak up for Christ or to stand for what's righteous.

And I think that's certainly the direction that one party wants to take us. Hey, I need to get, I'm almost out of time here, but I appreciate your call. I agree. Well, thank you so much. And may God bless you. Thank you, Steve.

Michael from North Texas. I only have a minute or two, but you can have it if you want it. Go ahead. Yeah.

Thanks, Steve. Just a quick question about why anybody would want to have children given the fact that, you know, they could be destined to a life of suffering while they're alive, but also be condemned to hell. There's no, you know, guarantees that they would be saved even if they were in a Christian family. Well, the answer is, the answer would be, and I have to cut you off because I'm going to be cut off myself here in about a minute.

And I would like to answer if I can. The reason I think Christians might choose to have children is for the same reason Christians do anything. And that is because God wants us to, because God commands us to be fruitful, because God, you know, if God tells us to do something, it might be the very thing that's going to break our hearts. But if it's His will for us to do it, then we do it. And we do have to, you know, when we obey God, then we, then we, you know, we have to trust God with the outcomes of things, because God knows that we don't, we can't control outcomes. You're right, the children we have could end up in hell, but, you know, and we don't have control over that.

The children we have may have to live in a miserable state like children around the world do in poverty-stricken nations and totalitarian nations and so forth. Our children might have to also, but the question is, does God want us to have children or not? Not do we want to, do we want to have heartbreak? No, no one wants to have heartbreak. And at times like this, many people say, well, I would never want to bring a child into this world. I don't blame them. Except if God wants you to, you know, God is the one who gives children, like arrows in the hands of a mighty man. And if, if in horrible times in the past, Christians didn't have children, then we wouldn't have had some of the great heroes of the faith and some of the great revivals that came about.

So we're just going to have to trust God and do the right thing. I'm sorry, I can't go further because I'm out of time. You've been listening to The Narrow Path radio broadcast. My name is Steve Gregg, and we are live Monday through Friday. We're listener supported. You can write to us at The Narrow Path, P.O. Box 1730, Temecula, California, 92593, or our website is thenarrowpath.com. Thanks for joining us. Let's talk again tomorrow.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-26 16:14:15 / 2024-01-26 16:36:15 / 22

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