The American Wisdom Series

Pamphlet #5169 KCEphesians9

Remember the "Dark Ages", so called because the church system withheld the light of truth from the people, and only those "with permission" could have access to the Bible.
A church would do that?

Paul has been instructing us to become grown-up, mature Christians, not "carried about by every wind of doctrine".

All too many of us go to church week after week and because there no "meat", no food of substance, to be found, we remain as "baby" Christians, never becoming weaned from the milk bottle.

Once again, Paul explains it so much better:

Hebrews 5:12
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
If you have been a Christian for any appreciable length of time, then you should have been "endeavoring", studying, i.e. "searching the scriptures daily".

You should be able to teach "new born babes in Christ" and answer their questions directly from the Word of God.

It is not to say that all should become teachers and preachers, for there are many gifts, but by growing in the grace and knowledge of His word, a Christian should reach a level of maturity, whereby he or she can help others.

It is never too late to begin.

The point is, don't become a Christian of 10, 20, 30 years or more, and have only milk to offer the hungry.

Even it may go sour from sitting in the pew too long.

[13] For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Are you skilful or unskilful? It is up to you and me to either be laborers or hearers only.
[14] But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Strong meat belongs to them that are mature and have grown in His Word.

AND, the beautiful reward of knowing God's Word is the ability to discern BOTH good and evil.

With a strong foundation in Him the policies and issues confronting us both nationally and individually are easily understood, the good or evil of which are most apparent, having been weighed in the balance of truth.

Now consider this.

Paul has told us that if we simply believe in Jesus Christ and yet do not know His Word, then we are baby Christians?

Of course, there is nothing wrong with that, for we must all be born as babes.

But we are not to remain babies all of our lives!

We are to grow and mature.

And so it is that Christ is the "Living Word of God"; the Bible is the "Written Word of God".

The more you know the Written Word the more you know Him.

Ephes. 4:15
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
There is a difference in simply speaking the truth and speaking the truth "in love".

The latter exercises discernment and wisdom from being mature in Him.

[16] From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
The body is held together by every ligament, according to each working part, and grows mature in love.

Not all of us are the same "part", but it takes all of us to make the body "increase".

[17] This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
"Vanity" means "depravity", the state of man without God.
[18] Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
Without the "light" of truth all understanding is darkened, for how can one "see" without light?

This always reminds me of the "Dark Ages", so called because the church system had withheld the light of truth from the people, and only those "with permission" could have access to the Bible.


A church would do that?

The translators of the 1611 KJV Bible wrote two letters in preface to that great work.

The first was to King James, praising him and thanking him for the great commission (and for the "funding" I'm sure).

The second was to the English reader, that's you and me.

It has been taken out of the preface to most all Bibles sold today, for it offends churches and church systems.

You should obtain a copy and read it.

Here is one paragraph from that great work concerning the "dark ages" (it is written in old English, the "u's" are "v's", etc):


Now the Church of Rome would seeme at the length to beare motherly affection towards her children, and to allow them the Scriptures in their mother tongue: but indeed it is a gift, not deseruing to be called a gift, an vnprofitable gift: they must first get a Licence in writing before they may vse them, and to get that, they must approue themselues to their Confessor, that is, to be such as are, if not frozen in the dregs, yet sowred with Leauen of their superstition. Howbeit, it seemed too much to Clement the 8, That there should be any Licence granted to haue them in the vulgar tongue, and therefore he ouerruleth and frustrateth the grant of Pius the fourth. So much are they afraid of the light of the Scripture, (LucifugxScripturarum, as Tertullian speaketh) that they will not trust the people with it, no not as it is set foorth by their owne sworne men, no not with the Licence of their owne Bishops and Inquisitors. Yea, so vnwilling they are to communicate the Scriptures to the peoples vnderstanding in any sort, that they are not ashamed to confesse, that wee forced them to translate it into English against their wills. This seemeth to argue a bad cause, or a bad conscience, or both. Sure we are, that it is not he that hath good gold, that is afraid to bring it to the touch-stone, but he that hath the counterfeit; neither is it the true man that shunneth the light, but the malefactour, lest his deedes should be reproued: neither is it the plaine dealing Merchant that is vnwilling to haue the waights, or the meteyard brought in place, but he that vseth deceit. But we will let them alone for this fault, and returne to translation.

Did you read the part that said they were afraid of the "light of the Scripture"?

Why are they afraid?

Because when you read God's Word you find there is only one mediator between God and man, and that is Jesus Christ.

This could cause a big problem for churches and priests and ministers, etc. who tell you that you need them.

You don't!

It could have a devastating effect on their power and their purse!

This same group, in conspiracy with King Philip of Spain, caused him to launch the Spanish Armada against the English.

This was an attempt by Satan to prevent the "little book", the Bible, from being translated and published for the common man.

We read about the valiant escapades of the English naval heroes like Sir Francis Drake, etc., and rightly so.

However, just go to any history book or encyclopedia and read how this great armada was defeated.

You will find that two violent storms, one on the southern tip of England and one on the north side, destroyed this fleet.

"Nature" destroyed the Spanish Armada, which is to say, God handled it Himself.

Back to Ephesians where Paul is taking about the ungodly:

[19] Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
To be "past feeling" is to be calloused, having a seared conscience, allowing "self will" to run amuck.
[20] But ye have not so learned Christ;
[21] If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
[22] That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
If you are going to follow Christ, then your old conduct must be abandoned.

The "inner man", now having received the spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, must take charge, and through Him, overcome the old self, i.e. we must "put to death" the old self.

That is part of what baptism symbolizes.

[23] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

[24] And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

And that is what the other part of baptism symbolizes.

Don't think for one minute that you can completely put off the "old man", for it would seem that he is tireless.

But we must always "try" and when we do fall short, repent and move on in Him.

[25] Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
And don't forget verse 14.

Speak truth "in love".

That doesn't necessarily mean "sugar sweet" with raspberries on top.

Sometimes speaking truth in love doesn't appear to those to whom it is spoken as very loving, for love encompasses far more than mere sweet affections.

Love can also be correction, exhortation, sacrifice, etc.

Paul certainly knew and he passes it on to us!

Hebrews 12:6
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
If you receive chastening from the Lord, REJOICE!

For in it you know that your Father loves you.

(Note: It may take recovering from a few "pity parties" and "poor me baby" sessions until we have "grown-up" enough to take "like a man" (no gender intended)).

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them {the ancient Israelites} for ensamples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

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