In this age of high-tech computers and fax machines, we live our lives with instant everything: instant tea and instant Quaker oats, high-speed communications and instant banking.
There are many churches teaching instant salvation and maturity in our walk with God. There are many who come up with formulas, programs and rituals to bring forth this "instant maturity". Unfortunately, all these man-made prescriptions for "instant maturity" have left God's people empty, confused and full of doubts and fears.
Many of these people will fall away because they do not have a solid foundation in the Word of God to build upon. They run to and fro looking for the truth, instead of applying themselves to His God-given Word and becoming useful saints.
Many make the statement: "If I only knew what God wanted me to do and what God wanted me to be; all I want is to be pleasing to God in all that I do and say." The problem seems to be widespread, but the solution seems rather simple. We only need to use the Concordance and look up what God desires us to be:
"For thus sayeth the Lord, "BE YE"
As we search out the "BE YE"'s in the Word, it becomes clear what God expects us to be. God also informs us what He does not want us to be. He informs us:
"BE YE" not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle. . ." Psalm 32:9
God wants a people who will serve Him because they love Him and are obedient to His Word. God wants a people that do not need restraints (bits in their mouths) to get them to follow the direction God has set in their lives.
Both the horse and the mule do only as they are driven to do. They volunteer for nothing. They are not interested in pleasing their master, but are only obedient so that the bit does not chaff their mouth. If too much pressure is applied to the bit, they are most willing to throw their master into the street. They will often kick to do their master harm. There is no love in the actions of the horse or mule.
There should be no need for the bit in our lives. Rather, we should serve with willingness and vigor. When the Master is required to use the bit, our actions toward our Master should always be in love.
"And be not conformed to this world: but "BE YE" transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:2
The word transformed is METOMORPHOO. It is a process whereby we are changed from one form unto another. If we conform to this world, we will be in the image and likeness of the world. But if we are transformed, we will be changed into the image and likeness of God.
How does this transformation take place? Paul wrote: Christ gave Himself for the church
"That He might sanctify (set apart in the Spiritual realm) and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word", Ephesians 5:25-26.
The Word of God is life. If ye be transformed, it will be by the Word of life. It is the only means by which the mind can be renewed.
Jesus spoke of the mind when He revealed:
"Seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither "BE YE" of doubtful mind," Luke 12:29.
The word doubtful means "without a way, without resources, also perplexed". Those who doubt or are perplexed about the things of God are without a way and without resources so that they move on into the higher realm in God. We must come into this higher realm of the Spirit if we are to hear His voice and understand His Word.
When we come unto our God, He always demands that we don one thing.
II Corinthians 6:17 "Wherefore come out from among them, and "BE YE" separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you."
If we expect to be received by God, we must be separate. We must come out from among the world and the worldly influence in our lives. After we come out, we are not to touch or partake of the unclean things. The unclean is that which has not been sanctified or set apart unto God.
God, speaking through Paul said, "If you will do these things then will I receive you". So to reverse our look at this, we would need to preclude that if we do not come out from among them and "BE YE" separate and touch not, neither partake of that which has not been sanctified unto God, then He will not receive us.
Once we have been received or accepted by God, we are to be reconciled unto Him.
II Corinthians 5:20 "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, "BE YE" reconciled to God."
The word reconcile is KATALLASSO and means "to change from enmity to friend". We must be reconciled unto God after that we are forgiven our sins to become His friend.
How do we become the friend of God?
John 15:14 "Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."
When we obtain a place in God where we are obedient to His voice and do as He commands us, then we are His friend. As His friends, He promises us that all things He has heard of His Father, He will make known unto us, John 15:15. After we have been reconciled to the Father, the ministry of reconciliation is given to us as His friends. II Corinthians 5:18
II Corinthians 6:11-13 "O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.
Ye are not straitened (distressed) in us but ye are straitened (distressed) in your own bowels (inward affections, tender mercies).
Now for a recompense in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) "BE YE" also enlarged.
"BE YE" also enlarged. God expects us to be constantly enlarged. God told Israel to enlarge their borders and that He would cast out their enemies and that no man would desire their land. Exodus 34:24
We are to constantly enlarge our borders in God. Many have been content with the confines of their denominational system. They are not breaking up the fallow ground and surveying new territories in God.
The word enlarge is PLATUNO and means "to make broad or to expand our knowledge of God." A derivative of the word enlarged, PLATUNO is revealed in Ephesians:
"May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." Ephesians 3:18 - 19
The word breadth is PLATOS and has the same meaning as PLATUNO. We are to comprehend (attain or lay hold of) what is the breadth, length, depth, and height of the love of God. Most people have God in a box. God can be no bigger then what they understand Him to be and He must fit in their box of understanding. Many refuse to be enlarged in Him or by Him.
Paul writes that the love of God passes our ability to know and understand. Yet, we continually try to figure out God with our carnal minds. Paul never told us to try to figure out God, but that we would be filled with all the fullness of God.
We are to be enlarged in this area so that our relationship with God may increase. And as our relationship with Him increases, so will our knowledge and understanding of His Word.
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, "BE YE" stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." I Corinthians 15:58
We are to be stedfast, unmoveable. The word stedfast is HEDRAIOS and means "seated or morally set". We are to be unmoveable in our determination to serve God. We see this determination in Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. When Nebuchadnezzar told them to bow down to his golden image when they heard his music, they answered:
"O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter." Daniel 3:16-18
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
But if not, be it known unto thee, O King, that we will not serve thy god nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up."
We are to be stedfast, unmoveable. We should be determined to serve our God no matter what the price. If we are not serving the God of life, then we have set up other gods in our hearts and are serving them.
Ephesians 5:1 "BE YE" therefore followers of God, as dear children;"
We are to be followers of God as His dear children. Just as we show honour and respect to our earthly parents, we are to show reverence to our heavenly Father. When we follow God, we are not only to follow His Word, we are to follow His deeds.
"But "BE YE" doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." James 1:22
When we are not a doer of the Word, we only deceive ourselves in believing we are followers of Christ. But, rather, we have become the children of disobedience. Paul writes that the wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience, Ephesians 5:6. Therefore, if we are not followers of God and doers of the Word, then we are not stedfast and unmoveable.
"Wherefore "BE YE" not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:17
We are not to seek the will of the Lord. We are to know the will of the Lord in our lives. How do we know His will? First, we know His will because it is contained in His Word. We also have the knowledge of sin by the law. Romans 3:20
Are we to follow the law? No! We have been freed from the law of sin and death, Romans 8:2. But we are to know the law because it is by the law that we have the knowledge of sin. We learn to know right from wrong in God by the law.
The word unwise in Ephesians 5:17 is APHRON and it means "without reason, the want of mental sanity, the lack of common sense in the perception of the reality of things natural and Spiritual". In a nutshell, it means "no Spiritual perception". It is trying to understand the things of God with the carnal, or fleshly mind. The Lord revealed that His ways are past finding out, Romans 11:33. His ways are higher than our ways, Isaiah 55:9. The foolishness of God is wiser then man. I Corinthians 1:25
Yet our natural complexity keeps us from operating our lives in a way that is pleasing to God. We become unwise because of our lack of Spiritual perception in God.
"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: "BE YE" therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." Matthew 10:16
In Jesus' Words, we are to be as wise as serpents. In other words, we are to be as wise as satan (the old serpent). Paul writes:
"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." II Corinthians 2:11
We are not ignorant of satan's deceits. Yet, many Christians seem to fear satan more than they do God. They give satan more credit for the activity in their lives, than they do God. Satan has no power except that which we give him. If we allow his devices to flourish in our lives, then we have given him place.
"Neither give place to the devil." Ephesians 4:22
Give no place to satan. The word place is TOPOS and means "area or region". It also means opportunity. So many give satan credit for what God is trying to accomplish in their lives.
When we give place (credit to satan for what God is doing) it only hinders and slows the process of what God is trying to accomplish. We are told to resist the devil and he will flee from us, James 4:7. We need to be as Jesus, who could state that:
". . . the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me". John 14:30
Dust, or the old, sinful, Adam nature is the serpent's meat (food). When we have dealt with the old Adam nature and have become wise as serpents to the devil's devices, then we can truly state that we have overcome the evil in our lives. [see "Dust, the Serpents Meat" by George Kirkpatrick]
We are also to be harmless as doves. This can only come by and through the Spirit. Five of the fruit of the Spirit refer to harmlessness in our lives. Those fruits are: love, peace, gentleness, goodness and meekness. We can only accomplish God's purpose in our lives by and through the Spirit.
"And "BE YE" kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32
We are to be kind one to another. The word for kind is CHRESTOS and means "serviceable, good, pleasant, gracious". We can only be in God's service when we are serving our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Paul writes in Galatians 6:5 that every man shall bear his own burden. The word burdened is PHORTION and means "to bear a physical load". We are to carry our physical load of life. We must do this to be men and women of God. We must face the challenge of life. We have the promise of God that He will not put more on us then we can bear. And, if we come unto Him, He will make our burdens light. It is Christ Jesus who will help us bear our burdens of life.
Before Paul wrote this to the Galatians, he stated:
"Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
It would appear that this was a contradiction of what he wrote in the fifth verse. But a different word was used for burdens. The word for burdens in verse 2 is BOROS and means "to make a demand on ones resources". This is used both in a physical, and Spiritual sense. It has to do with our brothers and sisters' walk in Christ. We are to strengthen, uplift and encourage; again, using the fruits and gifts of the Spirit in ministering unto their need.
Paul is not saying that we should not give a hand on the end of a load. Neither is he saying that we should be a crutch. We should not encourage a crutch being used in any person's life. The whole purpose of Government Programs is to provide a crutch so people need not face the challenge of life. Many churches are guilty of the same. They provide a crutch in people's lives and they refuse to bear the burden of their own existence. They become cripples, not able to stand on their own two feet and face life.
Is this saying that we should never help anyone? John wrote:
"But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" I John 3:17
Certainly we are to help whomever God puts in our path, but we are to help them get on their feet and stand, that they may be able to bear their own burdens in this life. When they are hungry, we feed them, then teach them how to catch fish in order to feed themselves. This is the kindest thing we can do for anyone. This shows our concern and the love of God in their lives.
"BE YE" also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." James 5:8
There are two main words in Greek that are translated patient or patience; HUPOMONE and MAKROTHUMIA. HUPOMONE means "to abide under" and MAKROTHUMIA means "to grow in trials". We all know that tribulation worketh patience, Romans 5:3.
The word James used for patient was MAKROTHMAI. It is the same word translated "longsuffering" in the gifts of the Spirit." So the proper translation of James 5:8 is, "BE YE" also longsuffering. Yet, most who call themselves Christian today, want nothing to do with suffering, let alone longsuffering. Most are desiring a secret escape plan, die a painless death, or have Jesus come and make everything right and turn the kingdom over to them.
The Bible teaches that suffering is necessary if we are to overcome the fleshly mind and serve Christ with our whole hearts.
In Paul's letter to Timothy we are made a promise.
"If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us:" II Timothy 2:12
If we are to reign with Christ, then we must suffer with Him. Jesus said,
"The disciple is not above His master; but every one that is perfect shall be as His master." Luke 6:40
Jesus is our Master and example of suffering. If we are to be like Him and reign with Him, then we must suffer. Suffering will develop the gift of longsuffering in our lives. James revealed why longsuffering is a necessity in our lives.
"Be patient (longsuffering) therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman (Christ) waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth (the in-christed ones), and hath long patience (longsuffering) for it, until he (the in-christed one) receive the early and latter rain (double portion outpouring)." James 5:7
James further reveals that we are to be longsuffering and stablish our hearts (to settle the matter in our innermost being), for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh, James 5:8.
God is coming. The Day of the Lord draweth nigh. Most are looking for the return of Jesus. But before He returns for His own, there will be a Day of Judgment upon the whole earth as it was in the Days of Noah. Only those who endure unto the end will be saved. This will be through longsuffering. Therefore, stablish your hearts today.
"BE YE" therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not." Luke 12:40
Jesus spoke, "BE YE" ready. Ready for what? Most think they are ready. They have readied themselves to be taken off the earth before any judgment comes. They are ready for Jesus' return and waiting for Him to praise them for going to church every Sunday for the last twenty years. But are they ready for the white horse rider of Revelation 19 to return? Are they ready for Him whose name is Faithful and True, who comes to judge and make war, His clothes dipped in blood, who is going to tread the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God? Revelation 19:11-15
Those who are hanging on instead of going on in God are the vine in the book of Revelation :
"And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. Revelation 14;18 - 19
Most would like to believe that the vine is the world. But the world was never attached to the full-ripe clusters. The vine is the church system. Jesus explained this when He said,
"I am the True Vine and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away." John 15:1-2
The word branch is KLEMA and means "a tender shoot of a vine". The branch is attached to the vine. What happens to these unfruitful branches? Men gather them and cast them into the fire and they are burned, John 15:6. Many believe this to be the fire of hell. But it is the winepress of the wrath of God; God's judgment in the earth. We are told to be ready for the Son of man cometh in an hour we think not, Luke 12:40. He is coming in the day of the Lord, or His Judgment, to be glorified in His saints, II Thessalonians 1:10.
God is preparing His people now so they need not go through the wrath that is coming upon the earth. God is going to judge all sin. But first, He will judge the sin of His people. We have God's Word that judgment must begin at the house of God, I Peter 4:17.
I Peter 4:7 "But the end of all things is at hand: "BE YE" therefore sober, and watch unto prayer."
Peter writes that we are to be sober. This does not mean to be free from alcohol, but it is the Greek word SOPHRONEO and means "to be of a sound mind, right mind, or serious mind." We are not to be frivolous, or silly minded.
Under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Peter was given the Keys of the Kingdom. He admonished God's people to be sober, having a sound and serious mind.
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul revealed that God hath not given us the spirit of Fear, but of power. We know, therefore, that the spirit of fear comes from the spirit of darkness. Fear does not come from God. By God's Spirit we have power, love and a sound mind, II Timothy 1:7. Only when we are living by the Spirit of God can we have a sound mind.
In Titus 2:6 the young men are told to be soberminded. This is the word SOPHRONOS and means "to exercise self restraint, which governs the passions and desires, so that they may be conformed to the mind of Christ".
Paul also used another form of the word, SOPHRONOS in I Timothy 2:9,
"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;"
The word sobriety means "habitual inner government with constant controls of all passion and desire".
In Paul's letter to Titus, Paul said the aged women were to teach the younger women to be sober, Titus 2:4. This word is SOPHRONIZO and means "to cultivate sound judgment".
The qualifications for eldership listed in I Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:8 stress the need to be sober. We are commanded by God to be soberminded. God expects all to have this sound mind: the young men, the elders, the aged women, as well as the young women. This can only come by and through the Holy Spirit of God. [see "Proper Order in the Eldership" and "Order In His Courts" by George Kirkpatrick]
"BE YE" therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful." Luke 6:36
Jesus spoke that we are to be merciful as our Father is merciful. The word merciful is the Greek word OIKTIRMON and means "to have compassion for others". This is a character trait of the Father and is a much stronger rendering then the word ELEEO which is the word generally used for mercy. ELEEO means "to show sympathy". OIDTIRMON means we are to have "deep compassion for the ills of others". We are to have sympathy for those who are less fortunate than we. Unfortunately, we live in a world where all we hear is to take care of "Ole number one" which is a humanistic, ungodly teaching. We are, instead, to develop the character, nature and personality of the Father in our lives. We must have the fruits of the Spirit in our lives if we are to be pleasing to the Father.
In some churches, we witness an attitude that if someone has a need, it is because they do not have enough faith to have their need met. One of the main teachings of Jesus was that we are to give to the poor. He that gives to the poor lends unto the Lord, Proverbs 19:17. Yet, most of God's people have no compassion for the poor, or anyone else. We are commanded by God to "BE YE" merciful".
We may ask, "To what degree are we to be merciful?" As your Father is merciful... How merciful has the Father been to you?
"But as He which hath called you is holy, so "BE YE" holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, "BE YE" holy; for I am holy." I Peter 1:15-16
"BE YE" holy in all manner of conversation. The word conversation does not mean what we say. It is the word ANASTROPHE and means "our behavior, or our way of life"; the way we live. " To be holy is to live a separated life from sin and the world. We are to be separated unto God and the things of His kingdom. As the Father is Holy, we also are to be Holy. Many want to keep one foot in the world and one foot in the Kingdom. They are double-minded, not making a total commitment to God, not leaving the world.
James writes that a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways, James 1:8. The word unstable means "unsettled, disorderly, and unruly." When a person is in this state, it shows up as immaturity.
They constantly look for someone to blame for their mistakes. They are constantly accusing someone else for their shortcomings. It all stems from the lack of commitment in their lives. They are not willing to walk a separated life.
We are also admonished to be perfect.
"BE YE" therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matthew 5:48
We are to be perfect as the Father is perfect. Many will immediately proclaim, "I will never be perfect in this life." And yet it is a commandment of God that we be perfect, even as our Father is perfect. One may ask, "How can this be, seeing we are flesh and still make mistakes?" The word for perfect is TELEIOS and means "having reached its end, finished, complete and mature". It has nothing to do with not making a mistake. We all make mistakes.
As we grew from childhood to adulthood and the growing process stopped, we became mature, complete and our growing had come to an end. But we still make mistakes. This does not mean we become a child again. It means we must desire to act like an adult in our mistakes. When the Bible speaks of "Being perfect", it is when we come to the place in God that our minds, (souls) and our very being make the decision to walk in Christ. We are totally yielded to the work of His Spirit in our lives. We no longer fight and resist the change that God desires in our lives. This is coming into maturity.
We begin to apply God's Word on a daily basis, speaking and living the Word and becoming skillful in the Word. When we come to this place, we can truly apply the Word to our lives. [see "Becoming the Word" by George Kirkpatrick]
"But let patience have her perfect work, that "YE MAY BE" perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:4
"Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may "BE YE" shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger." Zephaniah 2:3
These faithful, righteous ones who are totally separated unto God will be hid in the day of the Lord's anger. Many, today, believe that God has an escape plan where He will take His people off the earth during the wrath of God. They use Enoch as their example. The Bibles does not state, "As it was in the Day of Enoch". But, rather, "As it was in the Days of Noah". Noah was hid during the Lord's wrath. God's wrath was all around Noah. But it could not touch him because he was sealed in the ark by God.
God will have His Noahs during the coming wrath who will be sealed in with Him, hid in the day of His anger. The flood did not come upon Noah unknowingly. He knew the exact day and hour, seven days prior to the flood, Genesis 7:4. As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in our day. When God pours out His wrath, only those who know, hear and are obedient to His voice will be hid in the day of the Lord's anger.
"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and "BE YE" thankful." Colossians 3:15
We need to let the peace of God rule in our hearts with the knowing that He has but one Body. He does not have a different body in every building or on every street corner. If we are not part of that one Body, the "Chosen Ones", then we are not part of anything. We have missed the plan and purpose of God in the earth.
And the Lord's anger will come upon those children of disobedience who are not walking in His ways.
"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105
But unto the children of disobedience, His Word is not a lamp unto their feet.
"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in His way." Psalm 37:23
But the steps of the children of disobedience choose to walk in their own ways by sight and not by His Spirit. These will not be part of that one Body, nor His kingdom reign in the earth.
Paul admonished us, "BE YE" thankful". Only those who truly know the calling of God in their lives and the hope of that calling have anything to be thankful for. We are told in His Word:
"In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." I Thessalonians 5:18
God has directed and shown us His will, "BE YE".Related Books by George Kirkpatrick
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