A Spirit of Faith

A SPIRIT OF FAITH

Introduction: 2 Tim. 1:7

A. The book of 2 Timothy is the last book Paul wrote. Some of his last words were: “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:6-7).
B. Paul had and maintained a spirit of faith. His faith was the basis of his salvation (Eph. 2:8-9), his security (2 Tim. 1:12), and his steadfastness (Col. 1:23).
C. In this study we will observe, in some detail, what Paul said to Timothy in chapter one verse 7. Notice that God has “not given us the spirit of fear.” If we have a “spirit of fear” we may have gotten it from preachers or somewhere else, but it is not from God.
D. What kind of spirit, or disposition, has God given us? Answer: It is a “spirit of faith.” But what does that involve? Notice that it is:

I. A SPIRIT OF POWER.
II. A SPIRIT OF PASSION.
III. A SPIRIT OF PURPOSE.

Body:

I. A SPIRIT OF POWER

A. First, notice that God has given us a “spirit… of power”. (2 Tim. 1:7a). Note carefully that the source of this “spirit of power” is God.
B. Notice also, the basis of our “spirit of power” is the promise of God (2 Tim. 1:1) and the purpose of God (2 Tim. 1:9).
C. Because of the promise of God and purpose of God, we are supplied with power from God. We have a “spirit of power” because of the “source of power.” The power does not come from us, but comes to us.
D. Observe some of the many verses that emphasize the power that God has made available to us:

1. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also has made us sufficient…..” (2 Cor. 3:5-6).
2. “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Cor. 12:9).
3. “..that I might know Him and the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10).
4. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Eph. 6:10).
5. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13).
6. “..that you may walk worthy of the Lord….being…strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power…” (Col. 1:10-11).
7. “Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…” (Eph. 3:20).
8. “I can do all thingsthrough Christ who strengthens me” (Eph. 4:13).

E. In his prayer for the Ephesians, Paul prayed that they might understand “what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead…” (Eph. 1:15-20).
F. Because of our recognition of His promises, we have a disposition of power.
G. We sing about it: “His power can make you what you ought to be” and “Soldiers of Christ arise and put your armor on, strong in the strength which God supplies.”
H. As Paul stated later, “..for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day” (2 Tim. 1:12).
I. Christians are to have a spirit of enthusiasm. Our powerful position in Christ has given us a positive disposition in life.

II. A SPIRIT OF PASSION (LOVE)

A. Observe that God has not only given us a spirit “of power,” but also “of love” (2 Tim. 1:7).
B. The “love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:5).
C. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love…” (Gal. 5:22). The “Spirit of His Son” that He has sent forth into our hearts produces love in our hearts (Gal. 4:6).
D. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19) and “if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (1 Jn. 4:11).
E. In fact, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8).
F. Love is the badge of discipleship (Jn. 13:34-35). Love is the basis of our works (Gal. 5:6). Love is the bond of our fellowship (Eph. 4:2-3).

III. A SPIRIT OF PURPOSE (SOUND MIND)

A. Not only has God given us a spirit of power and a spirit of love (passion), He has also given us a spirit of purpose.
B. It is interesting to note that “sound mind” is translated “sound judgment” (McCord); “self-control” (ESV); and “self-discipline” (NIV).
C. According to Strong the word means “an admonishing or calling to soundness of mind, to moderation and self-control.”
D. In other words, God has given us a sense of purpose. A sound mind is one that is “grounded and steadfast” (Col. 1:23).
E. Christians are those who “set their minds…. on the things of the Spirit” (Rom. 8:5). Thus they are “spiritually minded” (Rom. 8:6).
F. They do not “set their mind on earthly things” (Phil. 3:19), but instead they “set” their “minds on things above” (Col. 3:2).
G. The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose. And God has given us a purpose, an aim, an objective, and a goal.
H. A “double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (Jam. 1:8). He is “like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind” (Jam. 1:6). But a “sound mind” is sure, settled, and steadfast (Col. 1:23).
I. As Paul said, the love of Christ compels Christians to not live for themselves “but for Him who died for them” (2 Cor. 5:14-15).
J. Or, as he wrote on another occasion, “For to me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21).
K. This is the “one thing” we do. We “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ” and as many as are mature, have this mind (Phil. 3:13-15).
L. We have a “sound mind” because we have a mind with a specific purpose.

CONCLUSION: God has not given us a “spirit of fear” but a spirit of faith. Which means, He has given us a spirit of power, a spirit of passion, and a spirit of purpose? The conclusion is in the next verse: “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord….but share in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God” (2 Tim. 1:8). Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.org

Forgiveness without Repentance?

Forgiveness without Repentance?
I struggle with the idea of extending real “forgiveness” to one who does not repent and seek forgiveness (Lk. 17:3-5). Being “willing” to forgive and “seeking” to forgive is one thing, but actually forgiving any murderer until he repents is not likely for me at this point. When Jesus prayed “Father forgive them” (Lk. 23:34) were they forgiven at that point, or did they need to repent in order to be forgiven (Acts 2:36-38). I know that Jesus was willing to forgive them and wanted them forgiven, but could/did He actually forgive them without any sign of  repentance? If He did forgive them on the cross, why were these same people still guilty of these same sins in Acts 2? If He actually forgives people without repentance why not both thieves be told they would be with Him “in paradise?” (Lk. 23:43).
  
 Maybe that is the thing to do, but I am not there yet in my spiritual journey especially when it comes to murdering innocent victims in church, schools, theaters, clubs, or cutting up babies and selling their body parts, or murdering innocent people in France. In a sense, I admire those who are obviously more tenderhearted/spiritual or whatever you want to call it than me who say they can forgive those who show no signs of regret or remorse. But for me this is a real struggle if forgiving “unrepentant murderers” is the right thing to do. “If he repents” Jesus said, “forgive him!” (Lk. 17:3). If he does not repent, then is real “forgiveness” required or possible? Do we really forgive those who refuse to repent…something that God Himself evidently does not do? Shouldn’t a murderer at least say or indicate in some way that he’s sorry for what he’s done in order to be forgiven? If the apostles needed to pray “Lord, increase our faith” in order to forgive one who repeatedly repents (Lk. 17:5)…then I would need a huge increase  in order to really forgive those who show no signs of repentance at all!
I understand that forgiveness is/can be for our benefit as well as theirs, and if we have a forgiving spirit we are always willing, wanting and waiting to forgive like Jesus was on the cross and Stephen in Acts 7. The struggle comes when we are taught/believe that to be like Jesus we must forgive a murderer who refuses to repent and who seemingly shows no signs of remorse. I did not know any of those believers who were murdered in SC or any of those beheaded by terrorists that I’ve seen on TV or those people massacred in France, or shot in our schools, but I have trouble saying we should forgive them for murdering these innocent people when they seek no forgiveness. Personally, at this point, I can honestly say, “I do not forgive them for murdering those innocent people.” I would like to be able to. I might really want to. I might even pray like Jesus did, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”–because I am ready/willing/wanting to forgive any and all of them at any time and I can continue to pray that they will come to realize “what they do,” but until then, they are still murderers at heart and unless that changes it is hard for me to change the way I believe or simply “let it go” (forgiveness).  
We should forgive any murderer who repents and/or seeks forgiveness but must we/can we forgive a murderer while he is still murdering– either literally or in his heart?
I read where the Boston marathon bomber apologized for his crimes and seeks forgiveness. Therefore, I believe that he should be forgiven even though he will still suffer the consequences of his crimes for murdering innocent victims. But if he was already forgiven then this seems to be a waste of time and a useless apology. Why should he “seek forgiveness” if he already has it? If you can really simply forgive the terrorists who murdered the people in France, then you need to pray for me…because I can’t…unless/until they have a change of heart. 
  
Wayne Dunaway

  

Legalism Leads to Egotism

Legalism Leads to Egotism
Posted on June 26, 2015 by wdunaway

When religious people think we “have it all together” we always insist that others do the same–at least the parts of scripture that we think we get right. The Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14 is a case in point. He thought he had it all together and therefore thought others (like the publican) did not…since they were not as “righteous” as he thought he was. He was “self-righteous” and he condemned others who did not conform to his standard. Therefore he was proud. Legalism leads to egotism. Self righteousness causes us to be/act proud, boastful and arrogant. When the Pharisee looked “in” to his “own righteousness” rather than “up” to God’s righteousness it caused him to look “down” on others and their unrighteous.
One problem with “legalism” is that some of us who teach/have taught it don’t always realize it. (I know that I’m guilty.) It is/was not our intention, but the result is the same. One form of “legalism” is teaching that we must “keep all of the commandments” in the New Testament in order to “know” Him. “We” then list the commands that must be kept—leaving out some, explaining away others, and changing some according to what we have been taught and believe to be the “salvation issues.” In other words, we teach that we must “live right to be right”…meaning that we must “do the very best we can” to live exactly the way the Bible teaches in all areas of our lives at all times. This may sound good and is the “ideal” way to live and a great “goal,” but it is unreachable, unattainable and undoable for sinful humanity. And this conclusion is undeniable, unavoidable and un-debatable. The following is an excerpt from a Church Bulletin I received which makes it clear that we still believe and teach this to some degree:

How Can I Make It To Heaven?

I can’t make it to services regularly;

I can’t make it to Bible study to learn more about Jesus;

I can’t make it to a Gospel meeting to support the way to Heaven;

I can’t make it to my neighbor’s so I can show him the truth;

I can’t make it to the sick room so I can help those who need me;

I can’t make it to the place of grief to help lift the heavy heart;

I can’t make it to those overtaken in a fault in order to help restore them;

I can’t make it to my knees so that I can obtain forgiveness, grace and help. SO, HOW CAN I MAKE IT TO HEAVEN???

Notice first that, for the most part, these are things that “we preachers normally do” as part of our “calling” and livelihood. These are things we preachers usually enjoy doing, get paid to do, are “gifted” to do and have done for most/part of our lives.

But the obvious implication from this bulletin article, as well as with some of our preaching, is that if other members (workplace believers, homemakers, those not gifted to lift heavy hearts, those not as dedicated as we are) who do not do these things listed are not going to Heaven.

In my judgment this is actually a concealed brand (or at least a modified version) of “legalism.” And legalism fuels egotism—“an exaggerated opinion of your own importance” or righteousness (Lk. 18:9-14). Legalism is strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious or moral code, (http://www.merriam-ebster.com/dictionary/legalism) or “strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit” (http://www.rhymezone.com/r/rhyme.cgi?Word=legalism&typeofrhyme=def&org1=syl&org2=l&org). If we are saved by “strict conformity to the letter of the law” then all Christians are wasting their time. If it takes “strict conformity to the letter of the law” to be a faithful Christian then Christianity is a “waste of time,” is not “worth a dime,” and it is actually a “spiritual crime” to try to convert people to it. It is obvious that “strict conformity to the letter of the law” at all times and in all cases is not possible for any mere human being. If it takes “strict conformity to the letter of the law” then no one is going Heaven. Not one! No not one! Not you! Not me! Not those of us who write the articles! Not we preachers who preach it! No person living can live up to the “letter of the law” whether it is the Old Testament law or New Testament law. That is exactly why Jesus came to die for us. But let’s pursue this line of reasoning (?) a little further. For example, try this:

“How Can I Make It To Heaven?”
I do not always do unto others as I would have them do unto me (Matt. 7:12).
I am not perfect as my heavenly Father is perfect (Matt. 5:48).
I have not completely stopped all of my complaining (Phil. 2:14).
I have not completely stopped all worrying (Phil. 4:6).
I do not always bring every thought into obedience to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).
I have not quit all sinning (1 Jn. 1:8; 2:1).
I do not always control the desires of my body (eating etc.) (1 Cor. 6:12).
I do not always take care my physical body (exercising, etc) (1 Cor. 6:20).
I do not always refrain from speaking evil of brethren (James 4:11).
I do not always esteem others better than myself (Phil. 2:3).
I do not always look out for the interests of others (Phil. 2:4).
I do not always “make every effort” to add virtue (2 Pet. 1:5a).
I do not always “make every effort” to add knowledge (2 Pet. 1:5b).
I do not always “make every effort” to add self-control (2 Pet. 1:6a)
I do not always “make every effort” to add perseverance (2 Pet. 1:6b).
I do not always “make every effort” to add godliness (2 Pet. 1:6c).
I do not always “make every effort” to add brotherly kindness (2 Pet. 1:7a).
I do not always “make every effort” to add love (2 Pet. 1:7b).
I do not always show impartiality (gays, other races/religions) (Jam 2:1).
I am not always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58).
I do not always obey every law of man…especially traffic laws (1 Peter 2:13).
I do not always tell the truth, and nothing but the truth (Eph. 4:25).
I do not always lend to others expecting nothing in return (Lk. 6:35a).
I do not always honor all people (1 Peter 2:17a).
I do not always honor the king/ruler/president (1 Peter 1:17b).
I do not always bear with brethren as I should (Eph. 4:2).
I do not always walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6).
I do not always take in strangers (Matt. 25:43a).
I do not always turn the other cheek (Matt. 5:39).
I do not always go the second mile (Matt. 5:41).
I do not always visit those in prison (Matt. 25:42b).
I do not always invite strangers and poor people to dinner (Lk. 14:12-13).
I do not always pursue things that make for peace (Rom. 15:19).
I do not always think on things that are true (Phil. 4:8a)
I do not always think on things that are noble (Phil. 4:8b).
I do not always think on things that are just (Phil. 4:8c)
I do not always think on things that are pure (Phil. 4:8d).
I do not always think on things that are lovely (Phil. 4:8e).
I do not always think on things that are of good report (Phil 4:8f).
I do not always visit those who are sick (Matt. 25:43c)
I do not always remember the poor (Gal. 2:10).
I do not always take care of orphans (James 1:27a).
I do not always take care of widows (James 1:27b)
I do not always pray for all men (1 Tim. 2:1).
I do not always pray for all rulers as I should (1Tim. 2:2)
I do not always give to those who ask me (Matt. 5:42).
I do not always pray with understanding (1 Cor. 14:15a).
I do not always sing with understanding (1 Cor. 14:15b).
I do not always rejoice as I should (1 Thess. 5:22).
I do not always do good to them that hate me (Matt. 5:44a).
I do not always bless them that curse me (Matt. 5:44b).
I do not always pray for them that despitefully use me (Matt. 5:44c).
I do not always accept others as Christ does me (Rom. 15:7)
I do not love my neighbor as myself (Matt. 22:39).
I do not love my enemies as I should (Matt. 5:44).
I do not always let the sun go down on my anger (Eph. 4:26).
I do not always rejoice with those who rejoice (Rom. 12:15a).
I do not always weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15b).
I do not always love without some hypocrisy (Rom. 12:9).
I do not always do what I know is good to do (James 4:17).
I do not always honor to whom honor is due (Rom. 13:7).
I do not always rejoice when I am persecuted (Matt. 5:12).
I do not always agree with my adversary quickly (Matt. 5:25).
I do not always lend to those who want to borrow from me (Matt. 5:42).
I do not love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matt. 22:37).
I do not always count it all joy when I fall into various trials (James 1:2).
I do not always ask God for wisdom without (some) doubt (James 1:6).
I am not always tenderhearted (1 Peter 3:8b).
I am not always kind to others (Eph. 4:32).
I am not always as humble as I should be (James 5:10).
I am not always as patient as I should be (James 5:8).
I am not always as content as I should be (Heb. 13:5).
I am not always as thankful as I should be (1 Thess. 5:18).
I am not always as kind to the evil as I should be (Lk. 6:35b).
I am not always as courteous as I could be (1 Peter 3:8c).
I am not always fervent in spirit (Rom. 12:11).
I am not always as patient in tribulation as I should be (Rom. 12:12).
I do not always bless those who persecute me (Rom. 12:14).
I do not always give preference to others (Rom. 12:10).
I do not always resist the devil (1 Peter 5:9).
I do not always help brethren in need as much as I could (1 John 3:17)
I do not always “rejoice” as I should (1 Thess. 5:16; Phil. 4:4).
I do not always give “no offense” to others (1 Cor. 10:32).
I do not always try to please all men (1 Cor. 10:33).
I do not always discipline my body (1 Cor. 9:27a).
I do not always keep my body in subjection ( 1 Cor. 9:27b).
I do not always observe communion as I should (1 Cor. 11:24-25).
I do not always give as much as I could (1 Cor. 16:1-2).
I do not always test all things (1 Thess. 5:21; Phil. 4:4).
I do not always abstain from every appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:22).
I do not always try to restore those who sin (Eph. 6:1).
I do not always speak grace to others (Eph. 4:29).
I do not always walk in wisdom toward non-Christians (Col. 4:5)
I am not always keeping myself alert in prayer with thanksgiving (Col. 4:2).
I do not always suffer patiently (1 Peter 2:20).
I do not always abstain from all fleshly desires (1 Peter 2:11).
I am not always hastening the coming of Jesus (2 Pet. 3:12).
I do not always do good to all as I have opportunity (Gal. 6:10).
SO, HOW CAN I MAKE IT TO HEAVEN???

The list of course could go on and on and on. None of us do all of the things God has told us to do in His word as we should or even as we could. (Nor do we refrain from doing all He has told us not to do!) All of us could give more, pray more, serve more etc. I know wives who struggle with developing a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4). I know older women who do not always teach younger women (Titus 2:4). I know Christian husbands who struggle with seeking to love their wives as Christ loved the church and as their own bodies (Eph. 5:25-29). I know husbands who do not always dwell with their wives “with understanding” and who do not always give “honor to their wives (1 Pet. 3:7). We all know children who do not always and at all times obey their parents in “all things” (Col. 3:20). I know preachers who complain (not me, of course) and who are not “gentle” in dealing with others (2 Tim. 2:24) and are not as “patient” as we could and should be.

None of us “greet one another with a holy kiss” (1 Cor. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:26; 1 Pet. 5:14). The “holy kiss” is commanded at least five times and we have Bible examples of it being practiced (Acts 20:37). Strict conformity to the letter of the law would demand that we continue this practice. Furthermore not many of us practice “fasting” at all. Yet the Bible clearly indicates that Christians should “fast” (Matt. 6:16; 1 Cor. 7:5; NKJV) and the early Christians did (Acts 13:3). One problem with “legalism” (whether modified or full blown), which we learn by reading about the Pharisees in the New Testament and looking at our own lives and the lives of other believers in some cases, is that we do not even attempt to practice all of the commands in the New Testament but usually only those that were passed down to us by those gone before. We resist the “kiss” and pass on the “fast.” In many cases, we simply “pick and choose” on how to win and how to lose.

But we need to realize that there is a world of difference in saying that Jesus is my Lord and therefore I seek to keep His commandments (which Christians do based on their understanding, degree of faith, level of growth, etc.) and in someone else saying, “I am keeping all of His commandments because I want to be saved or stay saved.” There is a big difference in “working” because we have been “created in Christ for good works” (Eph. 2:10), and in believing that we do good works so that we “can be or remain in a relationship with Christ.” In 1 John 3:3 the Bible says: Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. Notice carefully that we “know” because we “keep.” We do not “keep” in order to “know!” It is like saying: “By this I know that a husband loves his wife because of the way he treats her.” It is not that a husband treats his wife good in order to love her, but he treats his wife well because he loves her. In the same way, we know that we know Him (salvation) because we keep His commandments (submission).

Remember, I am not saying that those of us who are/have been caught up in this mind-set intend to teach any form of “legalism.” I do not believe that that was/is our desire or purpose. In fact in most instances we simply do not/did not realize it. But I am saying that this is the result of the way we sometimes teach others and have been taught ourselves. We are simply getting the “cart before the horse.” People (rightly) interpret the way some of us teach or have taught concerning “obedience” to mean that we must “keep the law/rules” in order stay saved, rather than that we seek to “keep law/rules” because we are saved. Thus in some cases we leave the impression that “keeping the rules” maintains our relationship with Christ, rather than teaching that our relationship in Christ causes us to want to “keep the rules.” In John 14:23 we read, “Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word….” Note carefully that Jesus did not say one would “keep His word” in order to “love Him,” but rather “if anyone loves Me “he will keep My word.” There is a big difference in one who demonstrates “obedience to the faith” (Rom. 1:5; 16:26) because of his/her trust in the sacrifice of Jesus and in one who has “faith in his obedience” because Jesus made a sacrifice!

Wayne Dunaway gandpministries.org

THE DAYS OF VENGEANCE

THE DAYS OF VENGEANCE
(Vengeance on the persecutors and Victory for the persecuted.)
I. In the book of Luke chapter 21:1-32 Jesus was predicted the destruction of the Jewish Temple and city of Jerusalem which was to occur during the “generation” who lived when He was on earth which occurred in A.D. 70. He said:
 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. (Lk. 21:32).
II. Among the things He said would happen are the following:
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (Lk. 21:20-24).
III. In my judgment the book of Revelation describes in detail these “days of vengeance” and “wrath” on the Jewish Nation because of their rejection of Jesus and persecution of the “apostles and prophets” (See Matt. 23:32-37; 1 Thess. 2:14-16). According to the Bible they were the primary persecutors of saints in the first century Church whose end had come (1 Thess. 2:16). The book of Revelation is about “avenging the blood” of those “slain for the word of God and the testimony they held” by the Jews in the first century (Rev. 6:9)…which was to “shortly take place” (Rev. 1:1; 22:6) and was “near” (Rev. 1:3; 22:10) when John saw the vision.
A. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were,was completed. (Rev. 6:9-11).
B.  For the great day of His wrathhas come, and who is able to stand? (Rev. 6:17).
C. Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. (Rev. 11:1-2).
D. Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostlesand prophets, for God has avenged you on her! (Rev. 18:20).
E.  And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth. (Rev. 18:24).
F. For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” (Rev. 19:2).
G. The book of Revelation deals primarily with the victory of Christ and the Church over all the forces of evil and the vengeance of God on the Jewish Nation—the ones that Satan was using at that time to persecute and kill the “apostles and saints” in the first century. It was written to encourage those to whom it was first written (Rev. 1:11) and dealt primarily with some things that were to “shortly take place” (Rev. 1:1: 22:6) and were “near” at that time (Rev. 1:3; 22:10). For one to believe that “the entire” book of Revelation has been fulfilled is a mistake in my judgment, but to think that “none” of it has been fulfilled is equally wrong. 
IV. REVELATION FOR TODAY
I believe that primary message (first application of the principles) in the book of Revelation applied to the “avenging the blood” of the apostles and prophets against the Jewish Nation. (Compare Matt. 23:34-38 with  Rev. 18:20 & 24). However I also believe that the ultimate message is for every age and every Christian at all times. This means that no matter what group (or individual for that matter) it is that persecutes Christians, the judgment of God is coming on the persecutors at some point. When they fill up the measure of their sins to the point that God will not tolerate any more from them they become “ripe” for judgment and He then pours out His wrath on them. (See Genesis 15:16; Matthew 23:32; 1 Thessalonians 2:16; and Revelation 18:5).  The judgment of God is coming on every nation that persecutes Christians and no amount of persecution is going to keep believers out of Heaven (or away from God presence) and this is the message of the book. The principles taught in the book are meant for all time and in all cases. The wrath of God will be poured out on any nation, group or individual who persecute and/or kill His people. “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” says the Lord (Deut. 32:35; Rom. 12:19) is a principle that God has always applied and will always do so. In my judgment the book of Revelation verifies and describes that “vengeance” in detail. The wrath described in the book was first poured out on Jewish Nation (Jewish religious system/Judaism) who were the primary group of persecutors who were at that time persecuting the Church, but the principle taught (that God avenges the blood of His people) was later applied to Rome, and then to countless other countries and/or groups who have persecuted His people over the centuries since the book was written. Like Jerusalem (and later Rome), numerous countries and movements have fallen because of their mistreatment of the people of God. The “vengeance” of God will be poured out on any group or country (including the U.S./Russia, China, ISIS or any others) if they persecute/mistreat Christians. This is the teaching of Jesus in the book. The message of Revelation is vengeance and victory. It is vengeance against those who persecute believers and victory for those Christians who are persecuted. This will be ultimately be fulfilled for the last time when Jesus comes in person to take vengeance on those who reject His sacrifice and on those who “trouble” believers at His second coming (2 Thess. 1:3-10) at which time Satan himself (the instigator of all persecution) will be destroyed and all tribulation and persecution will be over!
Wayne Dunaway

gandpministries.org                                                                                           

Show Us the Father

SHOW US THE FATHER
John 14:8 Show us the Father and that will be enough.
In the Bible we learn that God is a FATHER who:
I. DEMANDS TO BE HEARD!
1. Deut. 6:4 “Hear” O Israel
2. Rev. 2:11 Let him “hear.”
3. Rev. 22:17 Let all who “hear”
4. John 6:44-45 All who “hear” and learn of the Father comes to Him.
II. DESERVES TO BE HONORED!
1. Jn. 5:23 “Honor” the Father.
1. Mal. 1:6 If Father where is my “honor?”
2. Prov. 3:9 “Honor” the Lord with the first fruits!
III. DESIRES TO GIVE HOPE!
1. 2 Thess. 2:16-17 Father gives us good “hope.”
2. 1 Tim. 1:1 Christ our “hope.”
Conclusion:
Jn. 14:8-9 Jesus is exactly what the Father is like. He came to “show us the Father.”
Therefore we see a Father who will:
Surrender all for His children. (Jn. 3:16; Phil. 2:5-8).
Run to meet His children.  (Lk. 15:20).
Get on His knees for His children. (Jn. 13:1-5).
Never condemn His faithful children (Jn. 3:17; 5:24; 8:3-11).
Always protect His children (Jn. 10:27-30).
Wayne Dunaway

gandpministries.org

A Comment from a friend about MDR

One reader/friend wrote the following comments concerning my “Marriage Maintenance and Divorce Dilemmas” article that I sent last week.

I have a different view on the remarriage. If you get a divorce for convenience, remarriage maybe should not be a future option.

My response: I see where you are coming from here and I basically agree. In my judgment, divorcing for “convenience” is the very thing that Jesus condemned in Matthew 19. Divorce and remarriage is not an option in a case where one divorces a faithful mate just for “convenience” sake without “sinning.” Jesus said, “Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt. 15:6). When a marriage partner divorces a “faithful mate” simply because the law of the land allows them to do so (convenience), it is wrong! Terribly wrong! And if they divorce a faithful mate simply because they “conveniently” find someone they like better, then that is marital adultery. Jesus said if one divorces a mate and marries another he “commits adultery against her” (Mk. 10:11). The issue I have is, “If they have already remarried, how do they fix it? Is it “convenient” to divorce again to repent of divorcing for “convenience”? The view I oppose is demanding that those who have already sinned by divorcing and remarrying for “convenience” being told that must divorce again.

His next comment: With a marriage involving young children, the children have no say about the divorce or a subsequent remarriage where they will become “step children” to the new spouse. A divorce is traumatic enough for children. A remarriage is another traumatic event. I think a divorced adult with young children should put their priority on the children, not themselves. Just my opinion.

My response: This is very good…especially the statement about putting “their priority on the children, not themselves.” I could not agree more. I believe (and know from experience in my own family and among some of my closest friends) that “divorce is traumatic” on all involved, especially for children in many (most) cases. I really don’t know hardly any families, in the church or out, who haven’t been affected in some way. And “remarriage” can be “traumatic” on them as well in some (many) cases. Knowing what I have seen in my lifetime, in most cases I personally would not recommend remarriage where children are involved…especially without a lot of spiritual counseling. So the point you make here is well taken.

But I also know cases where “remarriage” was one of the greatest blessings ever for the children. I have known children whose mothers divorced her “physically abusive/controlling/violent husbands” and later found a husband who was a “great father” to her children. So each case is different. The problem I have is with the view that says “remarried” couples must divorce again…which would be/is just as traumatic in many cases as divorcing the first time. Couples, whom I know personally, divorced and remarried and had children together in the “second marriage” but were told that they had to divorce in order to be Christians. If they had listened to those preachers and divorced each other, the divorce would have also been “traumatic” on them and their children just like it is “traumatic” on children in a first marriage. The question is usually not whether people sinned or were sinned against when marriages are destroyed, but it is, “What must they do about it when they have already committed the sin and are in a new relationship that they would not/cannot change?” God hates divorcing a “faithful marriage partner” no matter who does it or who demands it. See Malachi 2:16.

Wayne Dunaway
https://gandpministries.wordpress.com/

A Response to an Amazon comment

One person made the following comment about my book on “Just as I Am: Married, Divorced and Remarried” on Amazon.

“He can’t seem to prove his argument. He begins with an emotional anecdote to make his case. But this is a poor way to make your case for God’s will.

My response is:

Brian, thanks for reading the book and for responding. Divorce and remarriage is a highly “emotional” issue–especially for those involved and their children. But if you believe that my “case for God’s will” is based on “an emotional anecdote” then you missed almost all of what I wrote in the book. The case I referred to in the beginning was a real married couple with real children of their own who were really told to divorce. However if I had wanted to “prove” my “argument” or “make my case” based on the “emotional” hurt of those families involved in divorced and remarriage, who have been/are mistreated by or turned away from the Church because a previous marriage did not work out and they started over in a new relationship, then I could have easily added a number of other cases. (In fact I could quite possibly have written an entire book about the “emotional scars and hurt,” of those I know personally, that were caused by the Church’s misunderstanding of the MDRissue.) My “argument” in the book is based on what the Bible says about it. I am sorry that you were not convinced by the material in the book, but you have to live with your own conscience and what you believe the Bible teaches just as I do. I respect you for that and certainly respect your right to disagree. God bless! Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway 6/15/15
gandpministries.org/b>