ISSUE: #65


(Messianic Email Message)
Psalms 119:97 - 104
Seeking The Truth
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For His Glory!


Dealing With a Difficult Church

In a study about the Corinthians it is difficult to imagine the depth of the problems the troubled saints had at Corinth. Paul had his hands full trying to keep abreast of the issues. Even though we have only two recorded letters, by reading them we understand there were at least four letters written by the Apostle Paul to this church.

I encourage our readers to look up the history of this famed port city. This sin filled city was known throughout the known world for all its immorality and idolatry. Corinth was destroyed by the Romans in 149 BC and rebuilt in 49 BC, again by the Romans. Even the most hardened of sinners had a tough time coping with the wicked life style in this city of debauchery.

Paul, on his second missionary journey, found no place for a congregation in Athens, so he departed for Corinth (see Acts 18). He would have left there also after struggling with the Jews because there was little fruit being born for all his effort. However YHVH had other plans: Acts 18: 9 Then the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision, Be not afraid, but speak and be not silent. 10 For I am with you and no man can harm you; and I have many people in this city.

As a result of this vision Paul stayed 18 months (a long time for him) and a congregation was formed. It must have been a sizeable one because of all the divisions referred to by Paul in 1Corinthians.

After a study of the city and the wicked influence these people brought into the church I read Corinthians as if Paul needed to strongly denounce each of them for their un-godly behavior. Not until reading a study by Robert L. Deffinbaugh did I realize the great love and compassion Paul had for this congregation; about his confidence and faith in the grace of YHVH toward these saints at Corinth and everywhere.

Read carefully (emphasis mine):

1Corinthians 1: 1 Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,
5 that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge,
6 even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you,
7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
8 who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

When Paul says "God" he is speaking of the Father of Yeshua and the saints (v-3).

Paul was not praising these immature Corinthians for their problems, he was thanking Elohim (God the Father v-3) for all the grace He poured upon them. He was not just addressing the church at Corinth but the whole body of Messiah (Christ v-2), he was calling them saints (v-2). Why?

Paul was thanking the Father (v-4) because He had given these saints everything they needed (v-7) to become mature saints; to have victory over their godless nature through Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ). Read it again: that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, (the Kingdom of God).

Paul knew that the witness of Messiah was confirmed in them; they had the very power of the Son in them (grace v-4) so they could be victorious over sin; because Yeshua is faithful (v-9).

Praise YHVH! He is faithful, He will supply our every need, He will empower us to resist the devil; He will enrich us in all that is needed to be faithful to Him. If we are abiding in and having fellowship with His Son, we can and will glorify His name; (v-8) who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Go on to read how the wisdom given Paul to deal with this unruly group applies to our lives, our families, our church today. Let us examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith, for by His Spirit we can live in His righteousness, faithfully, to the end.

Remember Your Status In Messiah:

1Corinthians 6:9-11 the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

We must encourage others (or ourselves) that are not living up to the standard set by Yeshua; for if we are in Him we have His grace, that is His power, to live and walk as He did. Do not trust in your way; trust Him, that in everything you were enriched in Him.

Blessed be YHVH.


Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.

Proverbs 22:19 So that your trust may be in the LORD, I have taught you today, even you.


"Don’t argue for other people’s weaknesses. Don’t argue for your own. When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and learn from it- immediately. " Stephen R. Covey

Paul was not condemning the saints at Corinth; he was encouraging them to see the foolishness of their way. He was proclaiming the power of Messiah in their lives, helping them to see the error of their way and to change.

Bible Quiz
  1. What was done for Yeshua when He was forty days old?
  2. What was the sign of God’s promise that the world would never again be destroyed by a flood?
  3. Nehemiah came to build the walls of which city?
  4. How may one reap eternal life?
  5. What is another name for the Ten Commandments?
  6. At whose house did Paul and his companions stay in Philippi?
  7. Who said, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you"?


In our pursuit of humility:

"Humility, as it is the mark of Christ, will be the one standard of glory …the lowliest is the nearest to God." Andrew Murray

The saints at Corinth were anything but humble in their attitude toward one another in the beginning. They may have had an excuse in the physical because they lived amongst the most corrupt citizenship in the world. But they had no excuse in Christ Jesus (Yeshua the Messiah). Why did they have no excuse to express the humility of the Savior?

1Corinthians 6:11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

1Co 1:9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Did you know who said:

What we learn with pleasure we never forget.

-Alfred Mercer


I'd rather be failure at something I enjoy than a success at something I hate.

-George Burns


Speak not against anyone whose burden you have not weighed yourself.

-Marion Bradley


Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.

-Phillip Brooks


A baby is born with a need to be loved--and never outgrows it.

-Frank Clark


Things should be as simple as possible but not any simpler.

-Albert Einstein

Lighter Side

One Sunday in a Midwest city, a young child was "acting up" during the morning worship hour. The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew but were losing the battle. Finally, the father picked the little fellow up and walked sternly up the aisle on his way out. Just before reaching the safety of the foyer, the little one called loudly to the congregation, "Pray for me! Pray for me!"


A Sunday school teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to the church service, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?"

One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping,"


Six-year old Angie and her four-year old brother Joel were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang and talked out loud. Finally, his big sister had had enough. "You're not supposed to talk out loud in church." "Why? Who's going to stop me?" Joel asked. Angie pointed to the back of the church and said, "See those two men standing by the door?

They're hushers."


A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5, Ryan, 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. "If Jesus were sitting here, He would say 'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.' Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, "Ryan, you be Jesus!"


After the church service a little boy told the pastor, "When I grow up, I'm going to give you some money." "Well, thank you," the pastor replied, "but why?" "Because my daddy says you're one of the poorest preachers we've ever had."


At Sunday School they were teaching how God created everything, including human beings. Little Johnny, a child in the kindergarten class, seemed especially intent when they told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam's ribs. Later in the week his mother noticed him lying as though he was ill, and said.

"Johnny what is the matter?"

Little Johnny responded, "I have a pain in my side. I think I'm going to have a wife!"

A Prayer

Lord, Thou knowest that I am growing old!

Keep me from becoming talkative and possessed with the idea that I must express myself on every subject.

Release me from the craving to straighten out everyone’s affairs.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless detail…give me wings to get to the point!

Seal my lips when I am inclined to tell of my aches and pains; they are increasing with the years and my love to speak of them grows sweeter as time goes by.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.

Keep me thoughtful but not nosy; helpful but not bossy!

With my vast store of wisdom and experience, it does seem a pity not to use it all!

But Thou knowest, Lord , that I want a few friends left at the end. Amen.

-Ann Chellman Conifer, Colorado - entry in Reminisce magazine.

Human Interest



The $20.00 Bill

MY Outlook of Life.........

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, Who would like this $20 bill?

Hands started going up. He said, I am going to give this to one of you, but first, let me do this.

He proceeded to crumple the bill up. He then asked, who still wants it?

Still the hands were up in the air.

Well, he replied what if I do this?

He dropped it on the ground, and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. Now, who still wants it? Still hands went into the air.

My friends, you all have learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it, because, it did not decrease in value. It was still worth 20 dollars. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel that we are worthless, but, no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value, dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who love you.

The worth of our lives comes not in what we do, or whom we know, but by who we are.

You are special, don't ever forget it!

Always count your blessings, not your problems

A Commentary

by Al Whittinghill

Surely every honest person in the church of the Lord Jesus today must have a deep inner awareness that "something is wrong"! Isn't it true that there is an ominous sense of danger as one considers the Biblical characteristics of the New Testament church and then compares them to the state of the church in our day? Contradictions abound! We may try to cover this uneasiness many ways - humor, amusement, busyness, keeping a positive attitude, distracting ourselves acquiring "the trinkets of time," new building programs and creating "successful" religious organizations; but the symptoms of Divine displeasure saturate our nation on every level. There seems to be "a rumor from the Lord" that is letting His people get the sense of impending trouble if we do not have a serious change in the attitudes of our hearts. God is seeking to get the attention of the nation, beginning with His church. Will we not listen to Him before it is forever too late? Just think of what the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ would be like in our day if God had His way! No one wants revival in the church more than He Who died to purchase her and make her His very own precious, holy Bride!

What are some of the attitudes and thinking that hinder God's people from experiencing Heaven - sent revival? As we consider some of these things, let us first pause and pray that our hearts would be humbled and able to discern what the Spirit of God is saying to us (please read Psalm 80:3-7, and Psalm 85:4-9).

Why No Revival?

1. An attitude of wrong priorities: Until we have a renewed mind, we have no real sense of what is really important. Revelation 2:4-5 makes it clear that the Lord desires that loving intimacy with HIM at the center of everything. Most people are so worn out by their work that they have nothing left for Jesus. Someone once said, "Most Americans worship their work, work at their play, and play at their worship." Some who cannot bear a long worship service feel cheated if the sports match is short. Perhaps no sin is greater than a long sermon! We keep trying to fit God into our worldly schedule when He is waiting for us to be willing to fit into His Heavenly one. Why are you on earth today? What will we say at the end of life when we leave money and everything behind and face eternity? Matthew 6:33.

2. An attitude of complacency: Complacency is our state when we are self-satisfied and have a casual approach to God. The church of Laodecia in Revelation 3:15-17 shows the attitude of those who become content in "lukewarm living" and become blinded to their true condition. "Why do we need revival? After all, God is blessing us!" Revival will come only to a desperate church, not a contented one. He is ever the Rewarder of those who "diligently seek Him," not the mere casual inquirer. Maybe the reason for so little real hunger and thirst for the genuine things of God in our day is because we have gorged ourselves on the things of this world. My old friend Leonard Ravenhill used to say, " The only reason that we don't see real revival is that we are content to live without it."

3. An attitude of resignation: Some Christians say, "If God wants to send revival, He will." This negates our responsibility as a church to seek His face! Others might say, "We already have revival just claim it." This self-deceived approach hardly bears comment. Once again I quote Brother Ravenhill: "The church is so subnormal, if we became normal, it would amaze us." I have heard well meaning people say, "There's nothing that we can do; it's up to God to send revival." We then end up blaming God's sovereignty for the sad state of the church. If there is no revival in the church, we can be very sure that the lack is on our part and not God's! In fact, a Christian is more to be blamed for not being revived than a lost man is to be blamed for still being lost! We must stir up the gift of God and press into His desire for the church. This must start with each individual taking responsibility before God for becoming pleasing to God, and a "channel of revival."

4. An attitude of prejudice, or misconceived notions about revival: We say that we are "open to God," but we really mean as long as He works within our expectations or preconceived terms of reference. It must be "traditional, respectable, rational" with no out-of-control display of emotions, (This might even be the same one who goes to the ball game and paints himself and shrieks for his team.) We want order! The mysterious, irrational, or supernatural has always tended to make the carnal mind nervous. "Lord revive us but do it this much, and no more and do it this way and with these people. Thank you. Praise you." We often believe God to the point of discomfort or inconvenience or costing us something dear, and then we back off! Too many treat Him as "a supernatural aid to a happy life," and we want Him as long as He doesn't change what we like. But any person that is not open to change is NOT open to revival. There can be no revival until we are willing to change. Psalm 110 says, "Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power." Am I willing to give up my own ideas? Am I willing to give up my comfortable, but dead, tradition? Please see Mark 7:9 if you are hung up on tradition. Oh, to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.

5. An attitude of "loving comfortable truth": The Bible warns us that in the last days men will have itching ears. It is a necessity that preachers NOT scratch them. "Preach love to us, not all that stuff about self denial and suffering." "We don't want to offend anyone." "You're making people feel guilty; people won't come back, and we won't grow." "You'll drive people away if you keep preaching against sin." But friends, sin is THE great hindrance to the mighty outpouring of God's Spirit. It is far better to drive men away by faithful preaching than to drive the Holy Spirit away by unfaithful preaching! It's time to sound the reveille and not sing lullabies! Those who have a "let-us-sleep" attitude will never appreciate the preacher who sounds the trumpet in their ear. One might say "Brother, don't expose the sins of the church to the world." Well, don't worry; they discovered them a long time ago! Given the state of the church today, there is no comfortable way to get to the place of genuine revival blessing! It may be very painful for us. Our attitude must become that we would rather BE right than merely FEEL right. Light is the only answer for darkness.

(More next time.)

Quiz Answers

1. He was presented to the Eternal in the temple, according to the Law. - Luke 2:22-39

2. The rainbow - Genesis 9:12-16

3. Jerusalem - Nehemiah 2;17

4. Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah (Christ) - Romans 2:16

5. Decalogue or Mosaic covenant - Exodus 20:1-17

6. Lydia’s - Acts 16:14-15

7. Peter - John 21:16