Welcome to the second in a three part series. This is Dreamwalker1960. As a reminder you can read the transcripts of all my podcasts at dreamwalker1960.com. Also, you do not need to download podbean if you wish to listen. You can use Listen Notes, iHeart Radio, Amazon Music or Audible, Google Podcasts or Apple Podcasts. As well as Pandora, Spotify and PlayerFM. All you need do is do a search for Dreamwalker1960.
Last week we discussed the ruins of buildings in both the past and the future. There are other ruins that exist in this world. Ruins that we see daily. Yet few if any truly acknowledge them or their existence. These ruins are those that once knew salvation and have strayed form the Word of God for their own versions of the Bible which makes them happy, but they do not consider God’s happiness. Which is that they live forever an eternal structure made by the hand of God Himself.
God wishes these ruins to be rebuilt. To be made whole once more. But they need a starting point from where to lay down the foundation. Yes, their foundation is Jesus Christ Himself. However, doesn’t He provide a starting point?
Jesus Himself identifies what He sees as the greatest of the commandments.
Matthew 22:34-40 – But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
I want to look at the KJV of the second of these commandments:
“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
As – G5613 – hos – which how that is in that manner.
Leviticus 19:18 – Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
As thyself – H3644 – kemo – according to such as in comparison
The implication here is we are to view our neighbor in a way that would make them greater.
Philippians 2:3 – Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
When we think of what we want. That is what we should make possible for our neighbors. Does this mean surrendering all?
However, you should judge your own lives against those that you should be helping.
Those that seek to be great should be a servant to the rest.
Matthew 20:25-28 – But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Jesus Christ is the greatest. Yet he made Himself not only our servant but our sacrifice.
That is why He said that if someone sacrifices themselves for another is something we should seek if that is what is required of us. (1 John 3:16)
So, to treat our neighbors as we wish to be treated, we must be humble.
This humility should also be reflected in how we our lives.
Once we have surplus that which is extra should be given away. To those in the body of Christ first. Then to those in need outside of the body second. This is how someone rebuilds the ruins that most have made of their lives. Most without even being aware that they are ruins.
Another way of rebuilding the ruins of a life is by ending sin. Many live in and accept sins within their lives that they love and value more than God Himself.
Now here there will be those that scoff at this. Some may not even realize they are doing this. This is the greatest flaw in humanity itself. This is seen in the way the Bible is written. The letters that formed the New Testament were written to people that had become saved. That had become followers of Jesus Christ. That had turned their backs upon sin.
Yet as you read these letters a recurrent theme appears. To have self-control. To remain true to the laws of Moses. To be repentant. To end sin.
Were not these people, these letters were written for saved? Yes, they were. Then why were they still required to live with these demands upon their lives? Because they were as we are, in corruption. Our nature due to this corruption is to focus upon ourselves, not God. That is the entire problem. This is why we are to study upon the Bible and to learn how to change our lives. To attempt to the best of our ability to end sin within our lives with the help of the Holy Spirit. Especially those sins which will not allow us entry into our eternal service unto God. Through His Son our Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 2:15-19 – Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. 16 Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior. 17 This kind of talk spreads like cancer, as in the case of Hymenaeus and Philetus. 18 They have left the path of truth, claiming that the resurrection of the dead has already occurred; in this way, they have turned some people away from the faith. 19 But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The LORD knows those who are his,” and “All who belong to the LORD must turn away from evil.”
“Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive His approval.”
Isaiah 52:11 – Get out! Get out and leave your captivity, where everything you touch is unclean. Get out of there and purify yourselves, you who carry home the sacred objects of the LORD.
Ending sin in our lives and helping others is a job, which requires our diligent attention. For are we not “sacred objects” a temple unto God due to the Holy Spirit?
1 Corinthians 3:6-15 – I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. 7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. 9 For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building. 10 Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. 12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
These verses shows that those teaching the scripture must teach them accurately. Or they will themselves will suffer if they have taught people inaccurately.
This shows that people can be taught a false gospel. Even by those that were once shown as true to God but have turned away from the true Gospel as witnessed in 2 Timothy 2:17 mentioned earlier. It also shows that those that do turn away will suffer the consequences for teaching lessons that are pleasing to the ears of the listeners and does not make them feel the need to end their sins. Thus, going back to the earlier point of placing others before ourselves.
When seeking to make sure that others are heading into a righteous life. Doing so in such a manner that it causes them to know the true way into salvation. Then how to grow as true followers of Jesus Christ. Those that do this are placing those seeking after God before themselves. Helping people to truly seek after an eternal life that is filled with more opportunities than people know or even realize.
But to get back on the main track.
Let us look more closely at 1 Corinthians 3:12 in the KJV:
“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;”
We need to establish one key point. In the NLT the word “jewels” is used. In the KJV it is “precious stones.” This is actually in reference to marbles, alabasters, or granite. Not jewels but materials used in building extravagant structures.
Now when building the structures of our belief and faith in God. Not only do the teachers of the Bible have a part in the building. The people themselves have a part. When building upon the foundation that Jesus gave us when we accepted Him as our Savior. We all build each layer of our structure through what and how we learn about everything within the Christian belief and teachings. We all have all the layers mentioned in the verse from 1 Corinthians. Some have more than others of the various elements. Then when the time comes. That we must face the moment God passes judgment upon us through the fiery trail. How will the structure hold up and show where we stand in our salvation? Will it hold together enough to show that we have used our self-control and understanding of the Bible will enough to be seen as worthy to wear the white robes of salvation and righteousness?
That is up to every person to decide and contemplate for themselves.
Thus, the need for self-control and self-examination. But to do this we must know what it is we are to compare ourselves to. This is done through thoroughly studying the Bible and coming to understand the true and accurate teachings within it. This is done by learning the true meaning of words as they were written nearly two thousand years ago. Which can only be accomplished with study aids like that of Strong’s Concordance and the Theological Dictionaries of the Old and New Testaments. Note I do not mention commentaries, even though I have used some myself. Without true understanding how can anyone know for sure what it is that make the teachings of Jesus Christ what it is He wishes for us to know, learn and practice in our everyday lives.
It is by not following the true teaches of the Bible that there are human ruins throughout the world as these words are written down and recorded. They are ruins because they listen to that which makes wood, hay and stubble. All things that will burn away easily. Leaving a weak structure that will falter and fall in the fiery test promised to us at the time of our judgement. The only person that can fix these ruins are the people that have turned themselves into these ruins. By acknowledging they do not truly know the Bible on their own. Not taking the words of others, even myself, but taking responsibilities for their own lives. Then learning to become closer to Jesus Christ and thus closer to God.