Chapter 12 The Beginning of the Judgment Sequence

Many people will read this sequence and disagree based only on the fact they never heard or read about it before. Is that a proper basis to judge the sequence John recorded, in the order he recorded it. After we look at the sequence John wrote, you have the right and responsibility to measure that up against what other people wrote about and preach. But you better ask how they came up with the sequence they preach about. Look at the way they present it and compare it to how information is presented in this chapter, and following chapters in this book.

Revelation 6:7-11 RSVA When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” (8) And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him; and they were given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth. (9) When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; (10) they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?” (11) Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

There may be no better Bible Study Rule than to gather all the information on a subject BEFORE you come to a conclusion. That is an interesting rule. One I wish everyone followed. One of the reasons people find the Bible difficult to understand is the fact, they have to forget so much before they are ready to take a look at what the Bible is actually saying. With that said, let’s see what this chapter is telling us, and how the chapter and book of Revelation explains what all those signs, visions, and symbols actual represent.

This chapter of course deals with a series of seven seals. The seals are of course symbolic. The Lamb is symbolic, and of course everything in the vision John saw is symbolic. There is no doubt, John saw those visions in Heaven. There shouldn’t be any doubt, that after each of those visions, someone in Heaven came to John to explain what those symbols represented.

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night within his temple; and he who sits upon the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:13-17 RSVA).

At times an angel in Heaven explained one detail. Other times an angel had to go back in history to explain how certain events unfolded, and why the world is going to find itself in some rather precarious positions. The key to understanding Revelation is to pay attention to each vision, and the beginning of each explanation. The entire book follows a pattern of visions, then an explanation for each vision. Common sense tells us the angels provided John with a detailed explanation of the vision he just saw. Why would an angel in Heaven begin a conversation about some unrelated series of events when John expected to hear an explanation for the question at hand? But that’s what some people believe and teach. Many people believe and teach that John saw a vision, then an angel in Heaven came to John and began a conversation about some unrelated event or started a new conversation on a different subject. On the contrary. John did not record a book with the idea of hiding or withholding any information. John did not record a series of events placed in some random, hidden, or coded order. The book of Revelation was recorded with every detail John saw in the order those events unfolded in Heaven. The conversations John experienced in Heaven illustrate Heaven’s perfect order and ability to answer questions. God’s intention was to tell this world what will happen and the sequence those events will follow. God did not lie, and neither did any of those angels. The only deceivers are those people who claim John’s book is a set of events presented in some unknown, mysterious order, and God left this world on its own to figure out the proper sequence.

In other words, the visions John recorded in Revelation are events that would happen in the future, after John wrote his book. Most visions were followed by an explanation. The angel or being offering the explanation began by going over a series of events John was familiar with. That is to say, events that happened in the past, then led to the time frame of the vision John had seen. In other words the future. Events John was not familiar with. With that in mind, the Book of Revelation begins to clear up. For some reason that seems to confuse people.

The events in Revelation chapters 6 and 7 all pointed to future points in history. An angel asked John what he saw. Of course John didn’t know what any of those symbols represented or the events, people, places, or things those symbols represented. John had no way of knowing because the time frame as well as the events were in the future. It is impossible for anyone to explain a symbol pointing to something they never saw. It is impossible for any human being to describe any event, person, or thing they have never seen. So the angel explained what those people in the white robes represented. In this case both the vision and explanation are based on future events. But they are the same event. This writing style is common throughout the Bible beginning in Genesis where chapter 2 added more details to chapter 1. At the very beginning of the scriptures, God explained how all the scriptures are interpreted. One chapter provided an introduction and the following chapter added details. God used this pattern as a type of signature or fingerprint on His Word. That is one method scholars used to verify authentic inspired books and weed out copies, or commentaries non inspired authors wrote. There are of course other patterns and fingerprints God used to verify the books He inspired.

John was not given a specific time frame in this vision. The events could have taken place any time after John wrote his book. Some people think those events happened in our past. Other prefer to think the are going to happen in our future. And some think those events will repeat themselves over time. When we look at a few facts, we can see how death and pestilence have been repeated since John’s time, and even before Johns time. The fifth seal is a controversial issue.

The fifth seal has some facts to consider. “I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?”

When we see souls in Heaven, we tend to jump to the world and its views to interpret scripture. But we are not going to do that here. We are going to allow scripture to interpret scripture. Where does the Bible tell us who those souls are, and what they are doing in Heaven? Let’s look at a few details.

No time frame is given. Without facts from the Bible, all we can do is guess. We also have to remember, those souls are symbols. By rule, a symbol always points to something far greater. Some people prefer to think those souls are not symbolic, but are physical. We have to consider all the facts to determine if those souls are physical or spiritual.

The souls are under the altar. What altar? If we began to guess or assume, we may be playing with fire. The Tabernacle had two alters. The sacrificial altar that was outside the tent and the altar of incense inside the first compartment. If we assume the altar of incense, what did that altar represent? We only have to look back one chapter to see that explained.

And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints; (Revelation 5:8 RSVA).

Now we see how the Bible explains the Bible and how symbols are interpreted within the story they are found in. There is never any reason to guess. Now we notice that those souls cried out to God. When we put two and two together, we see how the alter is the altar of incense, and the souls under represent those who pray earnestly to God.

After listening to them, God gives them white robes, and tells them to rest a little longer. We are given the first time frame in this section of Revelation. “Rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete.” From that we know this event takes place before the judgment process is complete.

Then I saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads.” (Revelation 7:2-3 RSVA).

After John saw those seals opened, he saw a new vision with four angels holding back the four winds. We know those winds are also symbolic. What about that seal in the saints foreheads? I’ve seen thousands of people studying and telling the world what they think the mark of the beast is. But how many people study God’s seal? Something seems rather strange about that.

Since some people receive a seal, and other people do not, there had to be some sort of decision process before this event. Can we call that a judgment process? It seems as if Revelation is getting ahead of itself. And to a certain degree, it is. But the entire Bible is written with examples showing how God provided a series of warnings. All those warnings pointed to the same event. Each successive warning contained more details. Put them all together and what do you have? A clearer picture of what is about to happen in the future. But there is a catch. No one seems to understand a prophecy until it has been fulfilled. That’s just the way this world is. We have to accept that fact.

So far John was shown a series of visions that eventually led to a brief introduction to the judgment process. Remember, we are going to stick to the judgment process in this series of studies and not get side tracked by guessing at any particular event, or attempt to rely on what the world has been teaching about the symbols John say and wrote about. Instead we are going to allow the Bible to slowly reveal each and every event and symbol concerning the judgment process. I have to warn you. The temptation to interpret symbols based accumulated knowledge is great. And most times nearly impossible to avoid. Let’s be honest about how the the world views the judgment process. For one thing, very little is known about the actual judgment process God inspired authors to write about. On the other hand, man made concepts thrive in this world. Some people are hooked on the concept, their understanding of the judgment process plays a part in their salvation. Look at how human nature exposes its flaws. Some churches claim they are God’s chosen church. Their proof is rather flimsy to say the least. They claim to hold a sort of key by claiming God revealed more to them then to other churches. But what is that truth they cling onto, and exactly how did God reveal that extra bit of truth to them? I’ve heard churches or at least evangelists claim they have all the truth. If they had all the truth, they would have no problem explaining the law of the prophets Jeremiah wrote about, nor would they have any problem explaining exactly what method God used to provide the exclusive information they are privileged to have.

Thus far we have looked at one example showing how the Bible is designed to answer questions. We have also seen how visions John saw in Heaven were explained by angles and other beings living in Heaven. Based on the few facts the Book of Revelation has revealed, we can fasten onto a few basic study concepts. Symbols are explained in the story they are located. Angels and other beings in Heaven understand the visions and symbols John was shown in Heaven. That tells us not only how the Bible is interpreted, but where to go for those interpretations. No where does the Bible tell us to rely on this world, its teachers, evangelists, or preachers. John never told us, one person or institution will understand his letter, and the rest will be lost. That is a man made concept. If you are stuck on that concept, you have to work to get yourself out of that belief. If you prefer to rely on the world to interpret John’s book for you, that is your loss.

I am going to skip over a great deal of Revelation so we can stick to the judgment at hand. The next mention of the judgment is in chapter 11.

Revelation 11:15-19 MKJV (15) And the seventh angel sounded. And there were great voices in Heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ. And He will reign forever and ever. (16) And the twenty-four elders sitting before God on their thrones, fell on their faces and worshiped God, (17) saying, We thank You, O Lord God Almighty, who are, and who was, and who is coming, because You took Your great power and reigned. (18) And the nations were full of wrath, and Your wrath came, and the time of the judging of the dead, and to give the reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to the ones fearing Your name, to the small and to the great, and to destroy those destroying the earth. (19) And the temple of God was opened in Heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His covenant, and there occurred lightnings and voices, and thunders and an earthquake, and a great hail.

Some people may argue the point, how can anyone jump from Revelation chapter 6 all the way to chapter 11 and possibly explain God’s judgment process? This is really following basic Bible Study concepts. Search the Book of Revelation yourself. The judgment is found in chapters 6, 11, 14, 16, and 17-20. I didn’t write the Bible, God did. And that is the way He laid out the judgment process in Revelation. I know we slipped over some of the favorite chapters some people claim to have studied. I hear it all the time from PhD’s as well as common people. There are a number of chapters I skipped over that people talk about all the time. Some churches hold seminars based on some of those chapters. Some churches hang their claim to fame on some of the chapters I skipped over. And yes, some will claim those chapters hold the key to understanding the judgment process. Well they don’t. Go ahead and search the words judge and judgment in Revelation. They jump from chapter 6 to 11. That’s just the way it is and all the arguing isn’t going to change a word in scripture.

After writing a number of chapters on how to get saved, and what Paul, Peter, James, and John wrote about faith, salvation, and the quest to draw closer to God, I have to leave the major part of this study in your hands. I know how people will question this book based on the fact, it covers Revelation, but not the chapters they are familiar with. They will question how anyone can make a comment on God’s judgment process without their coveted chapters.

I’ve attended a lot of seminars, watched a lot of videos, and listened to a lot of sermons on those chapters I decided to omit. I’ve heard so much about those chapters, I could write a dozen books on each of them. But after preparing the material for this book, leaving it sit, praying about it, and waiting for an answer, I decided to go with what was recorded in Revelation and how John recorded it. As I look back at what was covered in those other chapters, I could see how answers the world is familiar with concentrates on the best guesses on what is going to happen in this world. When I follow the sequence John laid out in this book, I can see how we should be concerned with what is happening in Heaven. In my book we will stick with what is happening in Heaven.

The seventh trumpet is the last trumpet in this sequence of events. Like many other books in the Bible, and the collection of books found in the Bible, facts are offered here and there. And it is up to us to gather those facts, verify that they are discussing the same subject, then look at the subject the hand with all the facts we’ve gathered. We aren’t supposed to stop, then look at facts the world has to offer, or tends to offer. Whenever we deal with a future event in prophecy, we are supposed to rely on the Bible and Bible only. I think we can all agree with that fact.

The seventh trumpet obviously points to the closing moments of this world. It is safe to assume, since we are still here, the events symbolized by the seventh trumpet are in the future. When we see something mentioned in the Bible like, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ. And He will reign forever and ever.” What are we supposed to do? Number one, admit we don’t know the answer. We can look at different scenarios, but we still have to keep the door open to information we find in scripture at a later date. What could John mean when he makes reference to the kingdoms of this world becoming the kingdoms of the Lord and Christ? Obviously the introduction of the seventh trumpet is pointing us to a time when God gives the kingdoms of this world over to Christ. That is a good place to begin a study on that time period and events describing that particular period. That I can leave up to you so you can hone your skills.

Once we identify a particular time frame, do we guess at the actual events? No. We stick to the facts. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:15-16 KJV).

Of course it helps when you know where to look. The Book of Revelation tells us, King of Kings is a title Jesus will wear. The seventh trumpet pointed us to Jesus’ return. And the Book of Revelation chapter 19 explained why the seventh trumpet introduced the concept of God taking possession of the kingdoms of this world. Of course Revelation chapter 19 contains a lot more details you can read on your own.

John mentioned one important event, the judgment of the dead. Why only the dead? This is showing an important part of the judgment sequence. Those people symbolized by death receive judgment. Saints receive a reward. If we gathered all the facts on this subject, we would find a judgment period only the lost will face.

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:12-15 KJV).

So far we have seen how the Book of Revelation introduced one judgment period and explained what that judgment period was in a later chapter. This is not unusual for the Bible to explain itself. And for books in the Bible to explain the symbolism they contain. There is another event or symbol we have to look at. “And the temple of God was opened in Heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His covenant, and there occurred lightnings and voices, and thunders and an earthquake, and a great hail.”

What event was this describing? We know the Tabernacle was designed to explain events in Heaven. Many of those events were to be fulfilled long after the Tabernacle disappeared. One service in the Tabernacle describes how the high priest is to enter the Most Holy place once a year.

And he shall take some of the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it with his finger on the front of the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle the blood with his finger seven times. “Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood within the veil, and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, sprinkling it upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat; thus he shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleannesses of the people of Israel, and because of their transgressions, all their sins; and so he shall do for the tent of meeting, which abides with them in the midst of their uncleannesses. (Leviticus 16:14-16 RSVA).

Once again, it is up to you to read the entire chapter. If you do you will see numerous parallels to the few chapters in Revelation mentioned in chapter 12 of this book you re reading. An atonement is a covering. Plain and simple. Strange as it may seem, the same Hebrew word for atonement was also used to describe the covering of tar Noah used to cover his ark. If you think of that and give it some time, you will see a host of underlying spiritual parallels between the flood and Jesus’ return. Also the cleansing of the sanctuary, the once a year ceremony inside the Tabernacle represented.

As we move forward in our study on God’s judgment, we have to realize one simple fact. The Bible can and will point us in the right direction to answer questions, identify symbols, and events. That is just what the Bible was designed to do.

Chapter 9 Criteria to Being Saved Part 2

James 2:10-18 NLTse For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. (11) For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.” So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law. (12) So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. (13) There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you. (14) What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? (15) Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, (16) and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”–but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? (17) So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. (18) Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

It is pretty common knowledge throughout the Christian community that everyone has broken the law in one way or another. Most of Christianity agrees that, everyone is guilty under the law, and we need Jesus’ sacrifice to set us free from the law. In some cases that means, we need Jesus to avoid that judgment process. Other Christians believe we all face some type of judgment and we need Jesus to stand in our place. That is pretty much splitting hairs. We may be spending too much time nit picking a process we really don’t understand. A process many people are afraid to investigate. The judgment process we would just as soon place on the back burner, or put in a closet and forget about it. But here, we will look at a few key statements to see what scripture reveals. Then one day we may know enough about that judgment process to tell the world about how and why God needs that judgment process in His plan of salvation.

It seems every Christian religion, and many other religions in the world agree, there is a judgment process. The problem is, when it comes to describing that process step by step, every religion and denomination branches out in different directions. Why? Maybe because God didn’t include a step by step explanation in any of the books in the Bible. Or did He? If we look back in history, we can see how many beliefs we take for granted today have been missed, or hidden for generations. If nothing else, change is slow in the Christian world. If we look back in the Old Testament at stories about Israel, no one can deny the fact, they forgot details faster than Moses or God could explain them. It is like watching the news with someone. Then making a comment about a news story and the other person has no idea what you are talking about. You just watched the same story together, but the other person has no recollection of that story. Why? Maybe that story didn’t interest them. Maybe they had something else on their mind. Maybe their mind is never in tune to what is in front of them.

In the Christian world, people seem to tune out the second they hear anything new. They seem to come across someone, or some book, video, or set of doctrines they agree with and follow that train of thought like a run away freight train. No one is going to stop them. They take that mentality with them everywhere. Even to the grave. Whenever a word is spoken that doesn’t fit the groove they live in, they shut down, reject it, and their mind refocuses on what they agree with. How are we ever going to unravel the mysteries surrounding the judgment process if we are stuck in a rut we made by going over the same two or three details we heard years ago? We have to make use of the judgment process Paul told us to use. We have to investigate the matter. We have to dig deep. We have to be ready for the Holy Spirit to reveal the unknown. We have to be ready for any new information the world is ready for in this generation. Which just may be the last generation on this planet. If we’ve not open to new information God is willing to share, how are we supposed to help get this world ready for the judgment process that is about to come?

James brings out the fact, we should have a lot of questions whenever we approach the subject of God’s judgment. Look at one sentence James was inspired to record. “ So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free.” Looking at this one sentence should invoke a question or two. For one, how can a law that judges you set you free? I know there must be 1000 explanations out there in the world. But like that judgment process, which one is right? How do we begin to investigate it? This is my book, so I am going to follow a process I’m familiar with, and I’ve seen work. The first thing I do is go back to the original language. I prefer to get as close to the original sentence the author recorded. I know a lot of people like to open up a number of Bible translations until they find one they agree with. Then they run with that. The only reason I never use that method is because, I know all I will get is a bunch of opinions on the subject. One translator thinks it says this. Another translator thinks it says that. After opening up a number of translations, all you get is a collection of opinions. No one offers any explanations explaining how and why they came up with their particular translation. On the other hand, when we look at the KJV+, we get something close to the original sentence structure. And few changes to the original words. Of course the English sentence structure is far different than original Greek sentence structure. But we have to remember, God inspired the Bible and knows how to construct a sentence that can and will be understood by every language in the generation He chooses to reveal its spiritual meaning. Now let’s look at the KJV+ version.

Jas 2:12 SoG3779 speakG2980 ye, andG2532 soG3779 do,G4160 asG5613 they that shall beG3195 judgedG2919 byG1223 the lawG3551 of liberty.G1657

When we look at what James was inspired to record, we see the simple message that happens to be much like the old saying, “actions speak louder than words.” It may also be explained by another old saying, “do what you say and say what you do.” In other words, James is telling Christians not only to talk the talk, but walk the walk. We see the same message in other stories throughout the Bible, as well as a lot of common cliches used in this world.

This world would be a far better place if people were honest. How to we obtain that honesty? We basically follow the laws and threat people like we want to be treated. We don’t steal, lie, or scam. In other words, we live a life outside the commonly traveled highway of this world.

What about going back to the basics in the area of law? Why don’t we follow God’s simple Ten Commandments? Why does this world have Christian leaders and followers who oppose God’s Ten Commandments by telling people, “the law was made only for the Jews. The law was nailed to the cross, “ and other such terms? Why do people insist we have been delivered from the Ten Commandments and all of God’s laws and ordinances without any type of judgment process whatsoever? If James, John, Paul, and other Bible authors discussed God’s law and the part it plays in God’s pan of salvation, why do some people insist all of God’s laws have been swept under the rug and have nothing to do with any judgment process? That doesn’t make any sense. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

I believe God gives us explanations to some of these difficult questions by putting us through certain experiences in life. I wish I could come up with a list of examples showing how people walk the walk and talk the talk. There are some good people out there who are good Christians, would never hurt a fly, would give you the shirt off their back, and would stop at nothing to help a stranger. They live life without fear, and don’t seem to have a care in the world. Those type of people are few and far between. Then there is the dark world we call reality. The cold, cruel world we call home. We see examples of people living without God’s law because someone told them that law is old fashion. We don’t need it anymore. God just doesn’t understand how this world works anymore. So we have to fashion our own laws, republic, democracy, way of living, and refine this world based on experience. In other words, try to exist without God. The world doesn’t hear God anymore because in their minds, God and His laws are past history. Or something like that. So let’s take a look at how this world has done on their own.

At this particular time the federal government in the US is shut down. Most of us can’t tell the difference. No one knows for sure exactly how many people are out of work, or how much money the government is saving. All we know is what the news media chooses to tell us. We are like sheep led to slaughter. But let’s take a look at what is on the news and dig a little deeper with some good old fashion common sense.

Federal employees have been without a pay check for one month. Many can’t pay their bills, and have no idea where their next meal is coming from. Some are afraid of loosing their homes. That’s the facts we hear on the news. But what is happening behind the scenes? Congress is going over a number of Bills to chose one to sign into law that would pay those federal employees, even though they didn’t work. I wish we all had those kinds of benefits. Those federal employees have access to the same unemployment benefits the rest of us have. But the federal employees interviewed by the news media call unemployment benefits, “peanuts.” They are unable to live on funds Congress and other agencies claim is more than enough for the common person to live on. Millions of tax dollars have been spent to set up food pantries for federal employees. Another special benefit the rest of us don’t enjoy. As far as having their homes foreclosed. Check the laws. Most state have laws that requires the lender to wait a number of months before they can file the first set of papers in court. Then there is another waiting period. Followed by another waiting period. During that time that could take more than a year, people can make up the payments. The rest of us have to figure that situation out on our own. But Congress feels a need to step in and lend a helping hand the rest of us will never see.

Now consider the fact, most of those federal employees make more money than the rest of us could ever dream about. With all that money, why don’t they have any savings? This is not the first time the federal government has shut down. Nor will it be the last. We are supposed to believe the federal government hired the top people to do a job the rest of us are unqualified to do. They are supposed to be the cream of the crop. The best of the best. The best in the world. People who are impossible to replace. People who keep this country running in tip top shape with the highest degree of efficiency. And those people have no savings. They make far more money than the rest of us, and they can’t plan for an event that happens every few years. That is sad. If they were as good as they claim they are, why don’t they have companies climbing over one another to hire them? At least for a little while. Why can’t they get a job in the private sector to hold them over during the shut down?

We see one set of laws for federal employees, and another set of laws for the rest of us. In short, this is one example showing what happens when God and His laws are rejected, and humans think they can write a better set of laws.

Other, more personal events also showed how man made laws, and a lack of better judgment can and will effect people. I just started a new business in Wisconsin. The state elected a new governor. The governor ran on the platform, he needed to raise taxes to fix the state school system. A brief look at his history shows, he was in charge of that school system for more than 16 years. The thing that gets me is, why would anyone elect a governor to fix a system he says does not work? A system he designed, installed, and spent more money on than other branch of government or government project. Over the past 16 years Tony Evers has caused the greatest increases in property taxes than anyone else in government. Check out your property tax bill. The school system is a separate line item and has the greatest increases during those 16 years when Evers ran the school system.

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If you took your car to a mechanic and he broke more things on the car, and never fixed the original problem, would you give that mechanic more time and money to fix your car? Or would you take that car to another mechanic? It seems voters either have no common sense, or are easily fooled. We have to admit, there wasn’t much of a choice in the final election, but why don’t tax payers do something about it?

On one level of government we have changes to make it easier for people to start new businesses. Another branch of government sees how businesses are due to save money and devise ways or draining those savings and more. On the business level, the start up cost, fees I had to pay to the state just about doubled. That cut into my budget. Those fees will cut into every company budget. In the long run, common sense will tell us, good businesses will have a training plan in place. Why not consider the fact, on the job training is the best education system this world has to offer. But when government cuts into any business budget, what is bound to suffer? In many cases, training programs suffer. That’s the type of mind set we have to deal with in the real world when the average voter is duped into electing carrier politicians. It happens every time.

Would you take your car to a mechanic with no experience, no training, and no idea where to begin? People do that in voting booths. Running government, especially a government the size we have to contend with is a lot like running a business. People have to be hired, supervised, trained, and plans have to be made, scrutinized, and finally initiated. All those steps require skills carrier politicians don’t have. But people keep putting all that power in their hands. The mistakes they make cost billions of dollars. Just raise taxes to make up for those mistakes. People accept that type of behavior as status quo. Electing unqualified politicians is normal operating procedure and nothing is going to change. Just blame all the mistakes on the other party.

So far this new plan for Wisconsin has cost me a boat load of money. And will cost me more. In the long run, who suffers? Plans to hire people are on hold. Other entities I have to deal with jumped on the band wagon of grabbing the golden ring – the federal tax deduction offered to small businesses. Every entity involved in my line of work has raised their fees and added new fees. So much for a bright and strong beginning. Every business is in the same boat. The common mentality is, if government can do it and get away with it, why can’t we grad a piece of the pie?

That mentality is a far cry from what James wrote about, treat others like you would like to be treated. Our government sets a rather poor example. People in high places don’t argue the point. They take the cue government gives them, jump on the bandwagon and ride it all the way to the bank. Always taking more and more. Is that all that makes America strong is a good bottom line at the end of the year measured in dollars? Whatever happened to good old fashion integrity, honor, valor, and common sense? We live under the mentality of, “everyone does it.” Getting back to God’s law. We may have the freedom to elect the worst people and put them in higher positions. But all the votes in the world are not going to change one letter of God’s law. Not one of them. Politicians may be able to hide their mistakes from the average voter. But they will never be able to hide one backroom deal or sin from God. Eventually they will have to answer for the errors of their ways. What about the responsibility of the average voter? Aren’t they somehow responsible for the mess we are in? Do they share responsibility for those sins carrier politicians make? Didn’t Paul or Peter write something about that subject? I’m not sure at this point.

There are other lessons I had to learn in life. Why it took me over six years is beyond me. There were reasons why I was trapped in certain situations, but the lessons didn’t go unnoticed. It doesn’t matter what line of business I was in. The fact of the matter is, there is no reason to point fingers. Except at myself for being so foolish. The number one lesson is, no one is going to help you. You have to learn to help yourself. Isn’t that the lesson Jesus taught when He healed the paralyzed man at the pool? Jesus asked the man what he was doing there. The man answered with a list of excuses. “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” (John 5:7 NLTse). Why didn’t the man have the faith to ask God for healing, or ask Jesus to heal him? It seems the man was stuck on the idea, everyone else believes that pool can heal me.

We all use excuses to hold us back. But one day, the Holy Spirit tells us to get up and walk out of that dismal situation. The thing is, if we don’t learn from those less than fortunate situations, we are doomed to repeat them. And those are mistakes I don’t want to repeat.

I worked for an employer who stole all my leads. At least those he knew about and was able to act upon. I was paid strictly commission. On top of that, I had to pay some rather steep company fees. Some of those fees offset operating expenses. Some of those fees went into profit for the company. The fact of the matter was, part of the commission went to the company and I received a share. All the leads went through the office. In six years, I didn’t receive a single lead from that office. I had my own website, but a few choice rules funneled all those leads through the office. I spent time and money on my personal website only to find out, the vast majority of leads went strait to the office, and I was cut out of the loop. That is only one of the dirty little secrets some companies have.

In hindsight it seems rather foolish to pay someone to take away your means of income. Praise the LORD I had just enough funds to pay the never ending list of fees to get out of that mess and start a business of my own. Before that happened, I switched offices and worked for another company. It was rather short lived. I thought I endured an isolated incident. Quite the contrary was true. Using a different motive and process, the new company began stealing leads, and clients. Leaving me with fewer and fewer chances of making a sale and earning a living.

I’m sure that happens in a number of businesses. I’m sure other people have experienced similar situations. The point is. Companies and certain business fields make laws and regulations the rest of us have to try to live with. In the long run, they are laws and rules that create different classes. The haves, and have nots. People who can and will take advantage of those laws, and those who suffer at their hands. Nothing at all like God’s law was designed to protect. Maybe that is what James had in mind when he called God’s law, “the law of liberty.” Maybe if we gave that law a chance, we would see a far friendlier world.

Chapter 8 Criteria to Being Saved

1 Corinthians 1:4-10 RSVA (4) I give thanks to God always for you because of the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, (5) that in every way you were enriched in him with all speech and all knowledge– (6) even as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you– (7) so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ; (8) who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (10) I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

It seems like the majority of Christians prefer to ignore or avoid the subject of God as our supreme judge. Why avoid the obvious? There are a number of reasons people tend to avoid the subject of God as our judge. How does a view of God as judge fit into the image of the all loving God people like to mold and present? In other words, if you bring up the views of God as all loving and a judge, you open the door to a paradox that is difficult to explain. In today’s world, God as judge may be offensive. Let’s face it, modern media has done everything in its power to make harsh subjects, for lack of a better term, illegal. They tend to call that, being politically incorrect. But God is above and beyond politics. God would not dirty His feet in this world wind of political correctness. To a large degree, God stands on the side and allows people to form their own paths to happiness and security. God allows people to go so far to build their image of the perfect utopia, before He steps in and introduces His plan. In the hope people can and will learn from their mistakes, God allows people, institutions, governments, and countries to pursue their own course before He gets involved. But do we really learn from mistakes made in the past?

The Bible contains a collection of stories designed to shape and guide our course in life. To a certain degree, those stories are read, discussed, and sometimes people will preach on those stories. Not often enough though. More often than not, preachers take a sentence or two from one story, then a few sentences from another story, then go way off track by telling their own story, a personal view based on a few sentences taken from the Bible. People listening to those stories somehow are convinced, the story is Biblical. The preacher started his story in the Bible. So why wouldn’t it be Biblical? The sad fact is, the Jews who killed Jesus formed the same sermons, concepts, and ideals from a few sentences in scripture. Then of course blended them with a host of man made concepts they agreed with. Those concepts led to the arrest, trial, conviction, and execution of God’s Son. In other words, the worldly views held by the Jews were 100% wrong. Of course we have the New Testament to help us clear up a few of the mistakes the Jews made. But why do people keep using the same failed system the Jews used to interpret and understand scripture?

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No one can argue the fact, God is in charge. God is the judge. God has passed that role unto His Son. But to what degree? We’ll never find the answer to that question when we prefer to ignore the subject in scripture. We’ll never find the answer if we use worldly views and rely on personal experiences. We won’t find the answer in a pew, on TV, we certainly will not find the answer on social media, or in a book. Not even this book. Common sense will tell us, God decided to omit specific details on His role as judge for a reason. God wants each of us to approach His throne as individuals so He can personally explain His role as judge, and how that effects our lives. All the sermons, books, and videos in the world can never amount to a single second in God’s presence.

When we think about God’s judgment, we can’t help but remember views of some guy in his painted station wagon with loud speakers mounted on top. A few select scripture are brush painted along the side of the flat black station wagon. Speakers are blaring the same message over and over again about how God is going to judge this world, and we are all going to burn in hell. It seems some people are obsessed by the judgment period, and feel it is their duty to tell the world their view of the judgment process. It’s not difficult to look at that approach as offensive. Maybe that is why so many people decide to ignore the subject. We could go on forever about the worldly view on God’s judgment. But what good would that do? We would never reach an understanding more than one step above that of the Jews, priests, and Pharisees. We could look at the New Testament and see what that adds. But for the most part, we are not going to find the details we need to paint a complete picture. But Paul and other writers did give us a wealth of information. We just have to learn to follow their train of thought. After all, their words were inspired, and that is all we have to go on.

Paul made it clear, we need Jesus to teach people about Jesus. It really doesn’t matter what subject we are going to cover. There are many sides to every subject. We have radical views, peaceful views, and all kinds of views in between. For the most part, they are views from the world, formed and tainted by this world of sin. Some subjects require a total escape from this world before we are able to find accurate and reliable facts. Paul told us, we are supposed to be, “united in the same mind and the same judgment.” How can we be united without talking about the subject, opening up the Bible, and finding a few bits and pieces of scripture to define our stand on the judgment? Let’s take a step back for a second. How do you think you are going to be judged? Maybe you should think about when you are going to be judged. We’ll cover that subject in a later chapter. In the mean time, will you be judged on an individual or corporate level? That establishes one view of God in your mind. Your view may be quite different than mine.

Once a view of God is established, that is a starting point to draw closer to God. How is that done? Paul hit on a few details for us to consider. First, as Christians we are prepared or trained on the subject, life, and ministry of Jesus. Paul placed that training where it belongs, in a personal meeting with Jesus. After Jesus rose from the grave, He returned to this world to retrain His disciples. Those disciples had to experience a number of growing pains before they were ready to drop everything they were taught, and open their eyes to what Jesus was saying. Before Jesus was arrested, He explained everything about the Holy Spirit, and how the Holy Spirit was going to take His place in this world. When we are communicating with the Spirit, we are communicating with Jesus. The two are one mind, thought, and action.

Paul added a brief comment about spiritual gifts. Those gifts are from the Spirit, and the Spirit provides training for those those gifts. The church can’t train you. The online video can’t train you. You have to be in personal contact with the Holy Spirit to receive the proper on the job training. Somehow that training leads to a total understanding and unified view of the judgment. We are not going to find all the answers in one chapter. So we will take a look at other popular text on the subject.

1 Corinthians 4:1-10 RSVA (1) This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. (2) Moreover it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. (3) But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself. (4) I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. (5) Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then every man will receive his commendation from God. (6) I have applied all this to myself and Apol’los for your benefit, brethren, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. (7) For who sees anything different in you? What have you that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift? (8) Already you are filled! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! (9) For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. (10) We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.

Up to this point we have not learned a great deal of actual, definitive points describing God’s actual role as judge. We could pour over scripture, search the Bible, and pray about those details. But what would we find? How can we find the unified view Paul wrote about?

Of course Paul covered a great deal of details between chapters 1 and 4. In 1 Corinthians 4 Paul enters into an interesting discussion. Christ’s servants should have insight into the mysteries concerning God. Paul mentions trust, which has a direct link to a relationship. How can Christ trust you if He doesn’t know you? Of course if God sees everything, He knows all about you. So Jesus definitely knows if He is able to trust you. There is nothing to hide. On the other side of the relationship, what do you know about Jesus, God, and those mysteries?

It seems some people question Paul on his knowledge and motives. That was nothing new. Paul knew it was going to happen, and it was something he had to deal with. Paul introduced another type of judgment. The one people practice between one another, anyone who is different, and in what we all should expect, a judgment process where we weight the facts being presented. It will clear up matters when we take a look at the actual Greek word Paul used to explain this judgment process.

Judgment

G350 ἀνακρίνω anakrinō an-ak-ree’-no

From G303 and G2919; properly to scrutinize, that is, (by implication) investigate, interrogate, determine: – ask, question, discern, examine, judge, search.

We should know, there are different types of judgment, as well as different judgment processes. We have judgment related to court systems. We have God’s judgment process. And of course we have a type of judgment that occurs between Christians. To say, “we should never judge,” is an understatement. Most likely coming from people who never looked up the definition of the different judgments found in the New Testament.

When we use the right judgment process the proper way, we are not judging people in a condemning manner. We are simply weighing the evidence they submit. That is a skill all Christians should have. But what criteria do we have to judge, scrutinize, and investigate what other people are teaching? We have the Bible. But what good is the Bible without the Holy Spirit? It is no good at all. That brings up another good point. Does the teacher or preacher exhibit and display any connection with God’s Spirit. If they did, they should be ready, willing, and able to prove it. We also run the risk of weight evidence based on what we’ve been taught. We have to be honest and examine those sources. Paul identified Christ as the only reliable source of information. Paul presented his relationship with Christ as his most important credential. Paul had no problems describing the direct view and meeting he had with Christ. What about those preachers you learned from? Are they as reliable as Paul?

Paul made it clear, we have one type of judgment to perform, and God’s judgment process is far different than ours.

1Co 4:3 ButG1161 with meG1698 it isG2076 a(G1519) very small thingG1646 thatG2443 I should be judgedG350

1Co 4:5 ThereforeG5620 judgeG2919

When we look at the KJV+, we see it pointing us to two different Greek words. One is a type of judgment process. The other points to the results only God is allowed to determine. So we do have a role in one type of judgment, but the definition of other types of judgment tell us to keep our noses out of it. We should have a minimal knowledge of those different types of judgment. The thing we have to remember is, where we got that knowledge. God chose Paul as a voice and pen. When we learn something from Paul, it is more than learning something from words in a book. We are learning from a direct revelation Jesus gave to Paul. So we can’t take any credit for ourselves. We have to send all that credit back to Jesus. We are not in the business of unlocking mysteries in the Bible to bring fame and fortune to ourselves. We are in the business of bringing people to Jesus. Not to a church or preacher claiming to know the truth, or possess some secret power to interpret inspired scripture. Scripture was written for all of us to read, study, pray on, and receive personal revelations on. Some for our personal benefit. Others to share.

Paul made a point by placing himself at a lower level than the people he was writing to. That was designed to accomplished 2 things. To prove his personal relationship with Christ is worth more than anything in this world. Even more than the words of one of the most reliable teachers this world has known. It also reminded people how that increased knowledge will be shunned by this world. As you learn more and more about Christ, and as you share that knowledge, be prepared to be questioned, scrutinized, and condemned. People will cross that line on judgment without batting and eye. They may do it out of ignorance. But that is the way of the world.

2 Thessalonians 1:4-11 RSVA (4) Therefore we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions which you are enduring. (5) This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be made worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering– (6) since indeed God deems it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, (7) and to grant rest with us to you who are afflicted, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, (8) inflicting vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (9) They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, (10) when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. (11) To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his call, and may fulfil every good resolve and work of faith by his power,

In this letter, Paul makes it more than clear that we need to place revenge in God’s hands. If we know God, we know He sees everything that goes on around us. Especially the plots, slandering, and when it happens, the persecution. Why sweat it when we can leave all that work to God?

Hebrews 6:1-8 NLTse So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. (2) You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. (3) And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding. (4) For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened–those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, (5) who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come– (6) and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame. (7) When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing. (8) But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it.

This seems to be one of the strangest chapters related to God’s judgment. Its relationship with God’s judgment may be missed by most people. If you read the entire chapter, you will see how the author wrote about God’s promises and rewards. Although God’s judgment carries the death penalty, the other outcome is of course, eternal life. Another subject we have to investigate to understand the entire story. How much do we know about God’s promises, why He gave those promises, how and why those promises have a progression, and how God intends to fulfill those promises. We also have to look into who is going to see those promises fulfilled. Actually live that fulfillment.

Here the author wrote about subjects the average Christian should know. Based on the author’s comments, some people get stuck on those subjects. If you are out in the Christian world, you’ve seen how some people get stuck on one subject, look at themselves as a leading authority on that subject, and feel it is their duty to get the world to think like them. Is that what a Christian is? Is that all it takes?

Hebrews talks about an advancement. A constant growth. The question is, how do we grow. Hebrews seems to be written to people who were are not your basic Christians, but to Christians on a definite path or course. And dedicated to keep moving along that path. The Book of Hebrews is like no other book in the Bible. It doesn’t tell us anything new. But that book does explain details other books linger upon but for lack of a better term, lack the depth many of us search for. The Book of Hebrews ties together a number of stories, places events in the proper order, explains symbols, and the reasoning behind them.

The Book of Hebrews may be a little different that other books in the Bible, but follows a familiar pattern found in other inspired books. It contains promises and curses. Why did God use that pattern in so many books in the Bible? There must be a reason. My engineering experience tells me to get as close to the original design to understand the concept behind it.

We could do a study and look at how God’s promises progressed over the years. Every few generations received a new detail on that promise. But we only want to look at the first promise God gave to this world. That promise followed the first sin in this world. Adam the man was to work and sweat for his food. Eve was to suffer during child birth. What about the promises. One of Eve’s sons, after quite a few generations was going to crush that snake’s head. What about Adam? He would receive food to survive, but at a cost. Hence, this world reached a new age with a whole new set of rules brought on by sin.

No mention of working our way back into God’s grace was ever given. God never outlines a method or series of steps to work our way out of sin. In other words, sin had to run its course. Not only was the Book of Hebrews telling us, we had to spend time and put in effort to find out about God, we also had to beware of sin’s progression. Over the generations, we have grown rather far away from God. Some people may think books and technology have brought us closer to God. But let’s get real. Jesus waited a number of generations before coming here to save this world. Part of saving this world was retraining this world. Getting at least some people to give up the grasp this world had on them. To break away into a far better world. The one God promised. That promise has always been there. And those curses are still holding us down. Keeping us from getting as close to God as we’d like to be.

That’s why the Book of Hebrews told us, some people are stuck. They know a little about God, but are afraid to take that next step. They use the world as an excuse. They think they have to get the world up to their speed before taking the next step. That is not reality. That is nothing more than an excuse. That is giving into the fears this world creates.

The most interesting part of this portion of Hebrews is the comment of those “who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come– and who then turn away from God.” That is the part I had to pray about, and a part I had to give God some time to set a few personal experiences into play.

What chance do people who constantly drift away from God stand in the judgment process? When we look at this in simple terms, how would Jesus answer when the Fathers asks, “Son, do you know this person?” How would Jesus answer? He may say, “I knew them at one time, but they turned their back on Me.” How else is Jesus supposed to answer? Would Jesus take time to go over the hundred or so times He tried to reestablish a relationship with them? Would Jesus mention the countless times He asked them for help, but they chose to ignore the request? These are the type of details the Book of Hebrews is trying to get us to consider.

After a few weeks of living on the edge of a number of Internet scams, I was shown how some people drift away from God. It’s just not me. Internet scams are on the rise and coming from some rather high places. Major companies are involved, and government is making some rather poor decisions by passing new laws that don’t help the average person, but help to hide scammers. All of that amounts to one thing. People moving further away from God.

If you have a Christian based profile or are on a Christian dating site, and run into a scammer, you’ll be up against someone who knows enough about Christianity to lure in the average, unsuspecting victim. Hence, we need to be on guard and up to date in the latest scams. We have to have an idea how they work, and how to identify a scammer taking advantage of recent laws that hides their identity, making it impossible to find out who we are communicating with.

In 2018 it was easy to find the general location an email was sent from. The Header on the email contained an entire map showing us where an email originated and which servers transferred that email. In an effort to protect the identity of people who didn’t want to be traced or identified, Congress and some world organization making new Internet laws changed all of that. Today all we get is one address showing the business location of the last server that delivered the email to your computer. In other words, there is no way to figure out if you are emailing a person down the street, or on the other side of the world.

That is one example of people who are drifting away. Somewhere they learned enough about Christianity to make you think they are loyal, follow God, are caring, read the Bible, and are exactly what you have been searching for. But they just want to set that hook and make some money. What scammers have been doing is influencing people in rather high positions to pass laws that protect their identity. They hide behind a computer or phone. Scammers prefer to use Google Voice that has been designed to hide your identity and location. There are other things Google has been doing to protect scammers and put the rest of us at risk. At this point, I’ve seen some rather unfair business tactics Google has been using in their Internet ad industry that gives them an unfair advantage. Check out the Internet and I am sure you will find a series of complaints, lawsuits, so on, and so forth.

Internet scammers and large Internet corporations pretty much fit the description of people God warned us about throughout the Bible. The only thing is, God used rather basic descriptions. But when we put 2 and 2 together with the growth the Book of Hebrews tells us to pursue, we can easily see how they fit into the scheme of things.

Scammers have grown at a faster rate then the Internet itself. They focus on new ways to part a fool from their money. They have no respect for people, target Christians, and the elderly. Scammers dedicate themselves to perfecting their black art as well as doing what they do best, hide in the shadows. When someone dedicates their life to sin, does a quick prayer asking to be forgiven make everything right with God? Are they saved at that point? Or does our all knowing God see their plans, and make a decision based on the evidence presented?

That is one question we have to consider when we study the subjects of God’s judgment, and the judgment process we as Christians are supposed to conduct. Which is investigating situations. Not condemning people, but learn to tell a real Christian from a pretend Christian. We can and should plant seeds when given the opportunity. But with some people, there is only so much we can do. The author of Hebrews spelled out our limitations. We need to respect our limitations, as well as work to higher levels to be more productive working with the Holy Spirit.