The Bible View #812 — Sharing God’s Word

In This Issue:
Why Don’t They Understand?
We Just Deliver It!
Marching Orders
If I Don’t, Who Will?

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Volume: 812    May 31, 2021
Theme: Sharing God’s Word

Why Don’t They Understand?
Bill Brinkworth

“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” II Cor. 4:4

After sharing the Gospel for over 40 years, I still wish there was something I could say or do that would instantly get everyone saved and on the way to Heaven. Unfortunately, there is no such way!

One can give the clearest Bible verses one knows to show another the way to Heaven, but the unsaved listener sometimes politely stares back at the soul-winner and does not appear to be stirred.  The best stories of how the Lord has changed the soul-winner’s life also often result in empty stares. Even sharing the Bible’s scariest verses about the eternal home for the lost in a tormenting Hell often does not raise an eyebrow. Scripture about standing before the final judgment for the lost at the Great White Throne Judgment does not even seem to concern them.  They just do not seem to understand.

Soul winners may have to deal with hardened hearts, not-ready-yet souls, and those ignorant of God’s truths.  Often, without knowing the reason, it seems the Holy Spirit is not involved, and He is the only one who wins a soul to Christ.

There is another very serious obstacle that keeps many from being saved.  That reason may be the root cause of previously mentioned excuses for one’s not getting saved.  It is that they are spiritually blinded.

Spiritual blindness has always been a stumbling block for one to get saved, and it is especially a barrier these days.  Perhaps a person has heard so much negativity about being saved that they have not sought it out honestly for themselves.  They heard that “salvation is forced down one’s throat” without experiencing someone aggressively showing them the way to Heaven.  Others may be turned off to being born-again as they fear they will not have a mind or will of their own and will have to do things they dislike or do not believe.  Some fear their freedoms will be stripped from them.  Many have been so entrenched and addicted to sin that they have no interest or concern for anything that would change their lifestyles.

Talking to so many spiritually blinded people can frustrate a soul-winner.  The Holy Spirit and we seem to do everything we can to alter their eternal destination from Hell with seemingly no results.  Then, when we least expect it, we have the honor to lead one “easily” to salvation.  What is the difference?

When somebody readily accepts Christ as Saviour, we do not know all the work, trials, and tribulations the Holy Spirit had done previously in their lives.  It is His work that prepares them for when a soul-winner can talk to them.  When their heart is ready, it is only the Holy Spirit that can remove their spiritual blinders.

With this in mind, we should see the importance of “sowing the seeds” of the Gospel.  One day, those thoughts, verses, and biblical principles Christians planted may grow.  On that day, the Holy Spirit may open the eyes of the sinner, and he will no longer be blind to the things of God.  It may be the day he gets saved.  It may be the beginning when He understands more of the things of God.  That is why we must keep on sowing God’s truth, because one day the “seeds” may sprout.

“Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.” Isa. 6:10
“Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, 40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” John 12:39

We Just Deliver It!
Bill Brinkworth

I do not know if there are newspaper delivery boys or girls anymore.  However, when I was younger, many my age would get bundles of the daily paper delivered to them, fold them, put them in their newspaper bag, and deliver them to their customers.

Every day, often first thing in the morning or after school, a bundle of local newspapers would be retrieved by the delivery person.  They would do their best, no matter the weather or time, to get the paper to people to read.

If the customer did not open and read it, his ignorance of what was happening in the world around him was not the delivery person’s fault.  The paper was made available to him by the diligence of the newspaper boy.

Likewise, it is usually not a preacher’s or person delivering God’s message fault people do not heed the biblical warnings given to them.  The spreader of the Good News obeyed what he was commanded to do from the Word of God.  He did his part.  They were the delivery “boys.”  Their efforts made sure God’s Word was put in the hands and ears of those needing to know His message.

If the listener did not heed God’s call to change his life, it is on him, not the one that pointed him to “thus saith the Lord.”  If one did not get saved after hearing God’s plan of salvation, it is on the person and is not the delivery ”boy’s” fault.  All the delivery person can do is get God’s Truths to others.  No one can make anyone saved or obedient to His commandments.

What are you doing with God’s message that was faithfully delivered to you? Did you listen intently?  Were you convicted about something that was said? Did you go to the Lord, beg for His mercy, forgiveness, and intend to do as the Holy Spirit’s heartfelt “whisper” urged you to do?  Or did the message go in one ear, and no obedience to the Holy Spirit’s calling ever followed?   If so, you have been delivered God’s good news.  What will you do with His message?

“If people shared the Gospel like they do gossip, we’d have a major revival throughout the world.”

Marching Orders
Author Unknown

The Duke of Wellington was once confronted by a preacher who was unfriendly to foreign missions because of their expense, unproductiveness, and the work that needed to be done at home.

Fastening his eyes on the preacher, Wellington quoted the words of the Master, “… Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” He added, “There, sir, are your marching orders!”’ The statesman and soldier had learned the lesson that it was not the duty of a soldier to question the orders of his superior. 

It should not be our business to argue the Lord’s orders but simply to receive the orders and obey them. Go and tell others what the Bible teaches, and do not question what you are told to do!

If I Don’t, Who Will?
Bill Brinkworth

 “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;” Ephesians 6:14

  • I am a Christian. If I don’t tell the unsaved how to keep from spending an eternity in Hell, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them that sin is wicked and destroys our lives and those around us, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them what God says is sin, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them that abortion is against God’s commandments, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them that homosexuality is a chosen sin-style that angers God, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them that God’s way is right and all other ways are wrong, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them that God planned for man to have one wife and that both should be faithful to each other until death, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them that God has preserved His will and way in the King James Bible, so we will know exactly what He wants us to know, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them that everything that names itself “Christian” is not necessarily of God, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them that a real devil doesn’t want them to do what God wants them to, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them, it is the same devil that tempts, confuses, and deceives them so they won’t know God’s way or want to obey it, who will?
  • If I don’t show the world a proper, rewarding, God-desired lifestyle, who will?
  • If the unsaved world cannot see that I am different from them, who will show them a difference between those bound for Heaven and those bound for Hell?
  • If my life is not an example of how good God is and that He is alive and still working in His children’s lives, whose will?
  • If I don’t have the “guts” to stand up for what I believe and what God’s Word commands, who will?

As Christians, WE have many responsibilities. Instead of sitting around and not being the Christians WE should be, WE need to be a light in this sin-darkened world.  WE need to start showing and telling them — now!

The Bible View #811 — Prayer

In This Issue:
Answered Prayer
For What Do You Listen?
Just You and Jesus
Be Grateful for . . .

Free Daily Devotions, Bible Studies, and Sunday School lessons are available at and

 Volume: 811    May 24, 2021
Theme: Prayer

Answered Prayer
H. A. Ironsides

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7

We need to realize that our God takes a Fatherly interest in every detail of our lives and bids us bring everything to Him in prayer. Nothing is too small for His concern and nothing is too great for His power.

Years ago, the Free Kirk of Scotland was holding a church meeting in Aberdeen and worshippers were flocking in from all nearby towns to take part in the services. An aged man was on his way to the city on foot when he was overtaken by a young theological student. The two walked on in company. Despite the difference in their ages, they had much in common and so they enjoyed chatting together as they walked.

At noontime, they turned aside to a grassy field and sat down to eat the lunch, which each had brought with him, but first giving God thanks for His gracious provision. Afterward, the aged pilgrim suggested they pray together before continuing their journey. The young theologian was embarrassed, but agreed, asking that the elderly man should pray first, which he did. Addressing God as His Father in all simplicity, the older man poured out his heart in thanksgiving, and then uttered three specific requests.

He reminded the Lord that he was very hard of hearing, and if he did not get a seat up in the front, he would get little out of the sermon that evening.  He asked that a seat be kept for him near enough to the pulpit, so he could get the benefit of the message.  Secondly, he told the Lord that his shoes were badly worn and not fit for city streets.  He pleaded for a new pair, though he had not the “silver” to purchase them.  Last of all, he asked for a place to stay for the night, as he knew no one in Aberdeen and did not know where to look for accommodations.

By this time, the student’s eyes were wide open as he looked upon the old man with mingled disgust and amazement, thinking it the height of impertinence to burden God with such trivialities. When his turn came to pray, he delivered an eloquent, carefully composed discourse, which amazed his older companion, who saw in it nothing that showed the young man’s needs to God.

They reached the church just as the people were crowding in. It was soon clear that there was no longer even standing room left. The student thought, “Now we shall see what becomes of his presumptuous prayers. He will see that God has more to do than to use His time saving a seat for a poor, old countryman.

However, someone came out, and the old man was just able to squeeze inside the door, where he stood with his hand up to his ear, trying to hear what was going on. Just then, a young lady in a front pew turned and saw him. She called a sexton and said, “My father told me to hold our pew for him until time for the sermon, then, if he did not get here, to give it to someone else. Evidently, he has been detained. Will you please go back and bring up that old man who has his hand to his ear and is standing just inside the door?” In a few moments, petition number one was fully answered.

Now, in Scotland, some folks always kneel for prayer as the minister leads.  Others reverently rise to their feet. The old man was the kneeling kind, and the young woman stood. As she looked down, she could not help observing the worn soles on the feet of the kneeling worshipper. Her father was a shoe-dealer! At the close of the service, she delicately approached the subject of the need of a better pair of shoes and asked if she might take him to her father’s store, though closed for the night, and present him with a pair. Her offer was accepted as graciously as it was made. Petition number two was answered.

At the store, the lady inquired where he was to stay for the night. In all simplicity, he answered, “I dinna know yet. My Father has a room for me, but He has not told me whar it is.”

Puzzled for a moment, she exclaimed, “0h, you mean your Father — God! Well, I believe we have that room for you. We were saving our guestroom for the Rev. Blank, but a telegram came this morning saying he could not come, so now you must just come home with me and be our guest.” And so, the third petition was granted.

The next day the student inquired as to the outcome of the prayer and was astonished to find that God had heard and answered each plea. He is never too busy to heed the cries of His needy people. What we all require is more confidence in His love and more earnestness and directness in prayer.

“Why wish upon a star, when you can pray to the one who created them.”

For What Do You Listen?
Robert G. Lee

A naturalist, walking with his friend through the busy streets of a great city, paused and asked, “Do you hear the cricket?”

“Of course not,” laughed his friend. “You could never hear a cricket with all this roar of traffic.”

“But, I hear a cricket,” persisted the naturalist, and, turning over a stone, he uncovered the insect.

“Did you hear that cricket chirping above the noise of the street?” asked his friend in astonishment.

“Certainly,” said the naturalist. “I spend my time listening to nature, whether I am in the forest, the field, or the town. Everyone hears that for which he is listening.” Taking a coin from his pocket, he dropped it on the pavement, and each passer-by put his hand in his pocket to see if he was the one who had dropped it.

For what are you listening? God or gold? Your ears are tuned to listen for something, even as the receiving set is tuned to receive the program from a distant radio station. God’s ears are tuned to hear our prayers. Are ours tuned to hear His commands?

“Pray without ceasing, because Satan is preying without ceasing.”

Just You and Jesus
Bill Brinkworth

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” I Timothy 2:5

What wonderful news it must have been to the Jews, who were used to Old Testament worship when they first learned they could go to God themselves in prayer. Before Jesus’ death on the cross, they had to have priests go to God as middlemen for them.  After the sacrificial death of Christ, they could enter the “Holiest of Holies,” the closest place any could be to God, by themselves through their prayers (I Timothy 2:1).

However, then and even today, there are still many that believe they cannot go to God themselves.  These folks still, if they realize it or not, are attempting to worship the way it was done in Old Testament times.  Some go to a “priest” in a confessional and tell him their sins.  With his words, and doing what he tells them to do, they believe he can order their sins forgiven. They trust the “priest” to be their mediator between them and God. Some pray to the dead, some even deceased biblical characters, in hopes that a “saint” can be the middleman between them and God to have their sins forgiven or requests granted.

Sincere as those people are, what they are doing is contrary to the teaching of the Scriptures. I Timothy 2:5 tells us there is only one mediator between us and God, and that is Jesus Christ.

We no longer have to present a perfect, unblemished animal sacrifice for the high priest to take through the temple’s curtain to the Holiest of Holies, as in the Old Testament.  When Christ died, God ripped the veil in two from the top to the bottom.  Now any believer can go to God in prayer through Jesus Christ.

Telling a person, be it priest, parent, or any other person, one’s sins will not remove the consequences of one’s iniquity from God’s memory.  Those people may want to help, but they too are sinners in need of the Mediator.  Going to anyone else other than Christ to meet a need in one’s life or receive help from God will not result in God answering one’s prayers. The only one that is qualified to go to the Father on our behalf is His Son, Jesus. He is the only mediator between God and man.

“Well, my friend, today we have a Mediator.  The Lord Jesus Christ has come.  He has one hand in the hand of Deity because He is God.  He can save to the uttermost because He is God, and He has paid the price for our salvation.  He is a Mediator because He has also become a man.  He can hold my hand; He understands me.  He understands you.  You can go to Him, and He will not be upset with you.  He will not lose His temper or strike you or hurt you in any way… He still loves you and wants to put His arm around you.”
 — J. Vernon McGee

Be Grateful for . . .

What God has already done for you!
“O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.” Psalm 105:1

For His mercy in not giving us what we deserve.
“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Ps. 118:29

For everything!
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thes. 5:18

“Count your blessings, not your problems.”  

The Bible View #810 — Church Members

In This Issue:
Every Church Has Them
What Can Keep People from Church
The Church of His Own Opinion

Volume: 810   May 17, 2021
Theme: Church Members

Every Church Has Them
Bill Brinkworth

Every church has its good and bad members. The church that John was writing to in III John had several of both categories, I am sure. However, the apostle wrote of three members in his letter.

Two of the members were good representations of what a Christian should be. Gaius was the “well-beloved” (III John:1). He was most likely a friendly person who many loved. Many reports from the church told John how Gaius was a blessing to the church family (III John:3, 6) and how the man attended to the needs of other Christians (III John:5). It was evident by his concern for the brethren that he truly loved the members of his church.

Another blessing in the church was Demetrias.  John also heard good things said about him (III John:12). These two were an encouragement to the apostle’s heart. It is always good and encouraging to hear how people get saved, get their hearts and lived changed by the Holy Spirit’s work, and do much for the cause of Christ and the people of God.

People like those two encourage others by their proof of love for the family of God. They are sometimes part of the reason many stay faithful in church. However, even if we are saved, we still have sinful flesh to contend with, and there will often be “stinkers” in every church. In this church, there was one like that. His name was Diotrephes.

Diotrephes had a terrible testimony in the eyes of others. Instead of showing the spirit of meekness the other two good members showed, this man exhibited improper Christian behavior. He was known for always wanting recognition (III John:9). 

I can imagine Diotrephes was one of those that always had something to say. He was the one that got much of the attention and the glory. He refused to accept John the Apostle and any missionaries John sent to the church (III John:10). This discontented man did all he could to talk poorly of John and his work. Diotrephes even had people kicked out of the church that showed charity to anyone Paul sent to the ministry.

This type of man ruins the testimony of any ministry. When man tries to get the glory, which Diotrephes was attempting to receive, the Holy Spirit is grieved. The work for Christ in a ministry can come to a screeching halt. That is one reason many once-thriving churches are now spiritually dead and doing little for the cause of Christ. Men like this man, unfortunately, often become an excuse for many leaving a church. 

In every ministry, there are two types. The good workers are the light in this dark world. They make the church a Christian family. The evil (III John:11) should be ignored and not be the reason anyone leaves a church. If one quits because of a “Diotrephes,” one can be assured that the Holy Spirit is not involved in the decision. If you have one or more of “Diotrephes” in your church, do not leave. Get your eyes and ears off them, and keep them on the Saviour. He will never let you down, and He is the reason you should attend anyway!

“You are not too bad to go to church.  You are not too good to stay out!”  
— Author Unknown

What Can Keep People from Church
Bill Brinkworth

“Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be ableto stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11

Daily the Christian must prepare himself to ward off the wiles, or tricks, the devil has for him. Satan’s stratagem is to do all he can to keep us from obeying God. One area he prompts us to be disobedient in is for us not to attend church.  However, we cannot blame all our disobedience on him. Our pride, laziness, and sinful nature also keep us from being faithful in attendance.

Some of the popular excuses in keeping many from faithfully attending church are:

Church “hopping”: Church attendance is a must for Christian growth. God has raised up a pastor of a local church to minister to your needs. When you miss church, you miss what God had for you that day. When you are a church member and go to this church today and another one next week, your “hopping” around keeps you from attending the church God has for you.

Discontentment: If God originally pointed you to that church to join and attend, you need to stay there until He tells you to move! “I’m not happy with the preacher” or “That church is too cold” are not excuses not to attend. The question should be, “Does God want me to attend there?”

Hurt feelings: All churches are made up of humans. All humans are sinners. Therefore, there is no perfect church! People will accidentally or purposely say the wrong things. Everyone gets their feelings hurt sometimes. I am sure you have hurt other’s feelings. Again, the question should be, “Did God call me here?” If He did, hurt feelings are not a legitimate reason to leave a church.

Sin: When people are purposely sinning against God, they most often do not want to be reminded of it. Where will they be reminded of it? In church. That is often why they will not attend.  However, to get one’s freedom back from the control of sin, one should hear the Word of God, not avoid it.

Conviction: When the Holy Spirit of God urges people to halt their sin, instead of obeying His small “voice,” they avoid it by keeping out of church. Sometimes they even join another church, where watered-down preaching does not remind them of what God has already spoken to them about.

Lack of understanding of the things of God. Since they do not read their Bible and do not know what it teaches, when they hear hard, convicting preaching from the Bible, they stay far away from it.  Ignorance of the Word of God keeps many from attending a strong, Bible-believing church.

Legitimate reasons, such as sickness, vacations, or work. Sometimes good excuses keep people from attending church for a week or so. That is understandable and happens. However, because they miss, it is easier to miss twice, then three times, then it is months since they attended the ministry. Breaking a routine of consistent church attendance is a subtle way of stopping faithful attendance.

Pride: “No one shook my hand,” “They are such an unfriendly church,” or “No one is going to tell me what to do.” These thoughts and others reflect that the sin of pride is involved.  Pride keeps many out of church.

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

“Don’t wait until six strong men have to carry you to church in a casket.  Go when you can walk in.”  — Author Unknown

The Church of His Own Opinion
Bill Brinkworth

“Well, I need to get up.  It is Sunday.  I need to go to church,” he thought, as he rubbed his eyes. He struggled to make the first move of the day out of bed.

“But then again, why do I have to go?  God is everywhere.  So why can’t I worship Him here or on the lake?  I know, I can take the boat and go fishing.  It will be okay with God.  I’ll just talk to Him out in the boat and admire all He has made.”

The convicting voice of the Holy Spirit whispered, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is…” (Heb. 10:25a).

That fleeting remembrance of the verse soon left as the half-slumbering sluggard drifted in and out of sleep. Minutes later, he again awoke and continued his thoughts.  “Besides, the preacher is not always right anyway.  He thinks the Bible is the only source of knowing God’s way.  Why, it’s just a book and probably has a lot of mistakes. What does he know?  Besides, I’m a good person, and I think I know what is right. I don’t think you have to go to church every time. I don’t think God wants me to stay away from everything bad.  I know He wants me to have fun sometimes. He probably doesn’t expect me to be perfect.”

Again the soft voice of the Holy Spirit put in the contemplator’s mind a verse that was preached the last time he was in church, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

The fleeting reminder of the verse did nothing to change the opinion of the dozing man. Another thought was chased around by the man’s logic. “Yeah, I’m a good person.  I don’t need the preaching and Bible reading like those other folks. I do a lot of good things, and God knows about them. As long I’m not as bad as the others, I’m sure it’s okay with God.”

The Holy Spirit wanted to shouts, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Rom. 3:23), but He did not think the man would listen.  He decided He would try one more time to speak to the hardening heart, “… There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Rom. 3:10b).

The verse was received in the half-slumbering mind, but it, too, was ignored. “Well, if I don’t go to church, I can save some money by not putting it in the offering plate. Besides, the preacher just wants my money.  That church has got more than enough.”

Immediately, the Holy Spirit thought of the verse about how not tithing is robbing from God (Malachi 3:8-10).  Still, He reasoned, “Why should I tell him. He’s ignored everything I tried to tell him already.  He will just rationalize it somehow.  Probably the old excuse, ‘Well, that’s just an Old Testament verse and not for today.’  He has decided to do what he wants and will not obey anyway.” The Holy Spirit was silent to the slumberer and spoke no more.

Ten more minutes of dozing continued until finally, the man made another move to get out of his bed.  He already had formulated his plans for the day. He would walk the dog, get breakfast, and hook up the boat and head out to the lake.

One more local Church of My Own Opinion had just let out, but there would be millions of them meeting all over the world.  It was the most popular denomination.  As with most of the meetings, the Holy Spirit’s voice was not wanted to be heard, so He was likewise silent in most of their “services”.  He was very grieved (Eph. 4:30).

“I wonder why people change churches all the time.  What difference does it make which one you stay home from?”  — Author Unknown

The Bible View #809 — Contentment

Don’t miss the daily devotions at

In This Issue:
It’s Not Natural
We Can be Content
Be Content
The Two Chimneys
Blind, but Content
Paul’s Advice to Christians

Volume: 809    May 10, 2021
Theme: Contentment

It’s Not Natural
Morning and Evening, Spurgeon (Edited)

“I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11

The words in Philippians 4:11 show us that contentment is not a natural propensity of man. Covetousness, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man as thorns are to the soil.

We need not sow thistles and brambles.  They come up naturally enough because they are indigenous to earth, and so we need not teach men to complain.  They find fault fast enough without any education.

The precious things of the earth, however, must be cultivated. If we would have wheat, we must plow and sow it.  If we want flowers, there must be a garden and all the gardener’s care.

Contentment is one of the flowers of Heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated.  It will not grow in us naturally.   The new nature (II Cor. 5:17) can produce it.  Even then, we must be especially careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in us.

Paul says, “I have learned… to be content” as much as to say, he did not know how at one time. It cost him some pains to attain the mystery of that great truth. No doubt he sometimes thought he had learned and then broke down.  When at last he had acquired it and could say, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content,” he was an old, grey-headed man, close to the borders of the grave — a poor prisoner shut up in Nero’s dungeon at Rome.

We might be willing to endure Paul’s infirmities and share the cold dungeon with him if we, too, might by any means attain his good degree. Do not indulge the notion that you can be contented with learning or learn without discipline. It is not a power that may be exercised naturally, but a science to be acquired gradually. We know this from experience. Brother, hush that murmuring, natural though it be, and continue to be a diligent pupil in the College of Content.

We Can be Content
Watson, 1696 (Edited)

If we should put some men in a job that they are not skilled in, how unfit would they be?  Put a farmer to drawing pictures, and what strange work would he produce?  Usually, he would be out of his expertise.

Take an artist that is exact in his use of colors and put him to the plow or set him to planting and grafting trees, and he most likely would not do it properly.  It was not his skill and would not be done right.

Bid a worldly man to live by faith and to be content will be expecting him to do something he has no skill in.   He will not excel.

To live contented upon God’s provision and promises is a way of living which “… flesh and blood hath not revealed it…”  (Mat. 16:17).    However, many of God’s children who have learned to trust Him are content in the state they are allowed to be in (Phil. 4:11).  They are pleased with what God has provided or allowed them to experience.  Their training and history with God’s help have taught them to be satisfied in the faithful hands of their Master.

“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”  I Timothy 6:8

Be Content
Watson, 1696

The best way to be contented is to believe that the condition is best which God carved out for you. If God had seen it fit for us to have more, we would have had it.  His wisdom chooses the best for us.

Perhaps we could not manage great wealth.  Having all this world can offer includes great temptations that could be our demise. What many see as the answer to their woes can bring great loss and unhappiness.
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11

“Enough is an abundance to the wise.

The Two Chimneys

Two chimneys stood near each other on separate houses.   One was high and therefore very conspicuous.  The other short, just jutting above the roof.

“What a contemptible structure you are,” said the tall one, looking down disdainfully on his neighbor, the short chimney.

“I know,” said the short smokestack.  “I am but a very humble thing.”

“You need to look up very high to see my top,” boasted the tall chimney.

“Yes,” said the shorter one.

“Why, you are hardly worth the name of a chimney at all,” remarked the other.  “You are so short!”

“I don’t pretend to be greater than I am, though I am just as high as I ought to be for my purpose,” replied the little chimney.

“As high as you ought to be? Well, that is funny.  Why you are little better than a mere hole in the roof,” said the tall one with a loud laugh.

“It isn’t becoming that all chimneys should be of one height,” said the little one modestly.  “It is fitting that some should be high, like you, and some low down, like me.  Our duties are the same.   We are pretty much equal for our use, whether tall or short.”

The morning light showed the short chimney smoking as usual. Where was the tall one? Alas!  A storm that had come suddenly during the night swept it from its lofty place because it was so exposed.   It lay now only a heap of bricks on the ground.

“How thankful I am,” said the little chimney, “that I was so low.  Had I been high, like my poor neighbor, I might, and no doubt would have shared his unhappy fate.” The little chimney was content and grateful he was what he was made.
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Prov. 16:18

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  Hebrews 13:5

Blind, but Content
Bill Brinkworth

Because of poor medical treatment, Fanny Crosby lost her sight at a very young age. Although the life-altering blindness changed her life, the writer of over 9,000 hymns accepted her condition and did not let it dominate her life.  Even at eight years old, her content attitude was evident in a short poem she wrote:

Oh, what a happy soul I am,
Although I cannot see!
I am resolved that in this world,
Contented, I will be.

How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don’t,
To weep and sigh because I’m blind
I cannot, and I won’t!

When someone asked William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army,  his great secret to happiness, he replied, “I never said ‘no’ to the Lord.”

Paul’s Advice to Christians
Bill Brinkworth

In closing his letter to the Hebrew Christians, Paul left them with seven pieces of advice dealing with a Christian’s social duties. They were:

  • To love other Christians (Hebrews 13:1).
  • To be nice to strangers, especially because we do not know that when we do, we may be entertaining angels (Hebrews 13:1). This informs a Bible reader that angels are real and that we may contact them more often than realized. Because we may entertain them “unawares,” the art depicting them with wings and halos is not accurate. If they had those features, we could distinguish them from other people. However, if they looked like normal men, we would never know if we had communicated with them. You may even come in contact with an angel today!
  • To be concerned about the difficulties others are going through as if they were your trials (Hebrews 13:3).
  • To remember, marriage is the “honourable” thing, whereas adultery and fornication (sexual relations without being married) are not (Hebrews 13:4).
  • To be content with what you have and not to covet the things of others (Hebrews 13:5).
  • To be respectful and obey those with leadership responsibilities over you in your church (Hebrews 13:7, 17). It is the preachers, teachers, and other church leaders who God uses to minister to us. They have to answer to God for how they lead those under them. The least we can do is obey their leadership.
  • To not fall for false doctrine (Hebrews 13:9). Study the Scriptures and evaluate if what you are hearing is taught in the Word of God. If it is not, stay with what the Word of God teaches!

Paul felt this advice would benefit the early Christians if they would heed his counsel. Over two thousand years later, it is still excellent advice for one to follow.

The Bible View #808 — False Teaching

In This Issue:
Free from False Religion
Free from What?
They Looked “Religious.”  They Acted Righteous.
What Is Not Salvation

FREE printable versions of this Bible View and others, (including the large print and the church bulletin versions), can be found at

Volume: 808    May 3, 2021
Theme: False Teaching

Free from False Religion
Bill Brinkworth

One of the most deceptive, dangerous forces hampering the growth of Christianity has always been the false teachings and intents of some “spiritual” leaders. Jesus battled those that claimed to be of God but were not. It was even the “religious” leaders who orchestrated His death.

Paul warned of wicked leaders and had to battle their attacks against him and his stand for the Word of God.  In II Peter 2, Peter also warned his readers of those that claim to be of God but are not!

Peter red-flagged false prophets (II Peter 2:1-3). They claim to be knowledgeable about God’s Word and His way but sometimes subtly stray from the truth and promote their philosophies. Often their motivation is not to advance God’s way, as they advertise, but for their gain (II Peter 2:3). They sometimes try to take advantage of God’s blessings on His people for their benefit.

Today, we see “Christian” celebrities often with their hand out trying to get the money that should go to support a local church to reach their local community. Instead, they get hold of that money and use it for their cause.  In the last 40 years, many Christians have been disappointed when they discovered the offerings they sent to radio or television preachers were absconded for personal rather than ministerial use. Too many have deceptively made “God their belly” (Phil. 3:19).

No matter the lies the false prophets and teachers sow and the destruction (“pernicious ways” – (II Peter 2:2) they commit, they will not get away with it. The fallen angels did not get away with their sin (II Peter 2:4). A godless people of the time of Noah did not get away with their sin (II Peter 2:5). The wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrha did not continue unchecked. An all-seeing God will only sit by for so long. One day, His judgments will fall on those that oppose Him by teaching false spiritual doctrine (II Peter 2:9). No one gets away with iniquity!

No false prophet or teacher will ever stand in their position of authority and admit, “I am teaching you false doctrines.” They will hem and holler at any suggestions they are wrong. They will insist that they know the truth (“presumptuous” – II Peter 2:10), and one that is opposing them does not know the truth as they do.

It can be a no-win situation if believers do not know ”thus saith the Lord.”  If man would search the Scriptures for himself like he is commanded in the Word of God (II Tim 2:15) and know and live the truth, false prophets, teachers, and other religious leaders would have little audience for their often blasphemous teachings.

The cure for false teachings inside the local church’s doors is wary, Bible-educated believers and followers. When believers shirk their responsibility to study the Scriptures, false teaching will prevail and grow. It is long past the time that we as Christian people should learn the Scriptures for ourselves and stand up for Its truths.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

Free from What?
Bill Brinkworth

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

When you know and follow the truths preserved in God’s Word, you will be free, but free from what?

You can be free from:

  • The penalty of sin in a tormenting Hell and later in the Lake of Fire.
  • The hopelessness of not having guidance and help from the Lord.
  • The bondage one’s sin has on a person.
  • Making wrong relationships, decisions, and doing things you may regret the rest of your life.
  • The uncontrollable demand to heed sinful temptations.
  • Falsehoods that are taught or believed are often contrary to what God’s Word commands. Believe and obey the Word of God, and you will have your eyes opened to the deceptions and dishonesties that are peddled as truth and fact. God can give much discernment to the believer, and it will change how he sees what is happening around him.
  • A troubling, worrisome future with little hope.

It often is not an easy road to be untangled from sin’s grasp and to follow God’s will and way.  There may be many failures, weak moments, and struggles, but the freedom one gains by following God’s truths is worth it all!

“The appearance of religion only on Sunday often proves that it is only an appearance.”  — Author Unknown

They Looked “Religious.”  They Acted Righteous.
Bill Brinkworth

The Pharisees were a powerful, controlling, Jewish group that boasted about and led “spiritual” activities in Jesus’ time. They were known for their separation from the scripturally “unclean” practices of the worldly Gentiles. Their roots came from the intellectual scribes that had much to do with understanding and preserving the Scriptures. At the time, if anyone were considered to be “godly” people, certainly it would have been the Pharisees.

However, Jesus had much to say against this sect. It was some of these “religious” people that opposed Jesus and tried to stop His preaching.  This group taught contrary to what the Word of God taught. It was the Pharisees that led people in the wrong direction about spiritual matters.

John 8 tells much of what Jesus knew about this religious but unrighteous group, including:

  • Their judgments and discernments were often determined by their weak flesh and not by God’s influence (John 8:15).
  • They did not know God (John 8:19). Although this group was known for their wisdom of the Scriptures, Jesus knew that they were not of God. They did not even know the true God, and He was not their Father (John 8:44).
  • Their garb and practices led people to believe they were religious, but Jesus knew that they were not of God but of the devil (John 8:23, 44).
  • Their man-made “religion” would not save them. Unless the “religious” believed in Jesus alone, they would die in their sins (John 8:24).
  • They did not realize that they were held captive by their sins. They were not spiritually free (John 8:31-37).
  • The truth of God did not direct their lives (John 8:37). They were not obedient to the Word of God they had claimed to follow (John 8:37-39).

Today, we may not be controlled by the Pharisees, but we still have “religious” among us that are not righteous. Even if they are faithful in going to church, doing “spiritual” things, or even talk the “Christian talk,” they may be as spiritually dead as were the Pharisees.

God’s Word reveals that today’s “religious’” errors are often the same as the Pharisees clung to and that Jesus rebuked. “Religion” does not save or change anyone! Only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and trusting in God’s Word will change anyone — from the inside out!

A religion that is small enough for our understanding is not great enough for our need.” — Balfour

What Is Not Salvation
Bill Brinkworth

The Bible DOES NOT say that salvation can be gotten by:          

  • Doing many good works and earning one’s way to Heaven.
    “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
  • Believing there is a God and Jesus. Satan knows and has talked to both the Father and Son, and he is certainly not going to Heaven. Believing and knowing there is a God is not enough.
    “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” Matthew 25:41
  •    Believing you are a good person and worthy of Heaven.
    “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” Romans 3:10
  •   Obeying all the doctrines of a church, or even the Bible. Without Jesus as one’s Saviour they are just good deeds. Unless one receives Jesus as personal Saviour, all “religion” is in vain.
    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
    “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
     Matthew 7:22-23
  • Being a member of any church or religion alone will not guarantee anyone Heaven.
    “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:8-9

Just having a saved mother, father, or a “grandfather that was a preacher.” The salvation of others cannot get anyone into Heaven. Salvation is a personal relationship with God. No one can get saved for us.