Prophets, Prophecy, Accuracy, and Accountability

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_207f.jpgThere is not one Godly prophet in the Old or New Testaments, including Jesus, who prophesied something that did not come to pass within a reasonable amount of time, much less that never came to pass.

In the Old Testament when someone spoke in the name of the Lord and what they said was not true, or what they predicted did not come to pass, they died at the hands of God’s people.

This tells me that Isaiah, who prophesied a virgin would be with child eight centuries before Mary conceived Jesus in the Immaculate Conception, either had a special grace and favor with God and man, or in some fashion his predictive word came to pass in his lifetime.

In the New Testament, those who speak in the name of the Lord something that is not true, or that does not come to pass is not killed by God’s people, but their ministry can die because God’s people have the right and responsibility to judge what is said to be from God.

Paul and Silas found out that although the people in Berea were extremely excited for them to come teach them, they did not take what Paul and Silas taught as truth as being true until they searched the Scriptures themselves – daily.

“10 The brethren [in Thessalonica] immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” [Acts 17]

This examining of the Old Testament Scriptures [here Greek / graphe – written word] is a different word Paul used when he commanded the Thessalonicans to examine prophecy and those who prophesy. This word ‘examine’ means to investigate, sift, interrogate, question. It comes from a root word meaning to repeatedly and intensively forensically test. When teaching people how to study the Bible I encourage them to be like a detective walking into a crime scene with no preconceived ideas on what happened. There are six questions the inquisitive inquisitor should ask every text they read. They are: who, what, when, where, why and how.


As you ask those questions gazing into the text you will begin to see the truths that are contained within it. Like looking at a hologram, it may take some time to see what is in there but when the time is taken to see the student will quickly begin to  learn.

This examination will be encouraged by Paul in his great instruction on judging prophets and prophecy in 1 Corinthians 14:29. We will “examine” that text later!

Apparently Paul and Silas were fine with being examined, as well as their teaching being examined by the Thessalonican people. Every legitimate minister is okay with being examined!

In many places nobility is lacking both in those who minister and those they minister to.

Credibility is such a rare commodity in our world today and I am greatly concerned a lack of credibility and accountability has crept into the church Jesus is building as well. Fact checking God’s ministers has been around since the beginning of when people started saying they came [to speak, to teach] in the name of the Lord. Too many “hear from God” and leave when the examination commences.

Even Jesus submitted His ministry to those He ministered to – “37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” [John 10]

Jesus’ words and His works matched the works of His Father which should have convinced the Jews He was legitimate. What we say is as important as what we do and when they are not congruent people have a right to reject what we say and do, which means they reject us as worthy to minister to them. unless we become vulnerable and accountable to them.

You cannot disconnect what a person says and does from that person! “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” so what we say reveals what is really in our heart.

Nicodemus who was a teacher of the Jews recognized this connection when he said to Jesus, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” [John 3:2].

In the Old Testament the punishment was so severe for speaking in God’s name something untrue, or that did not come to pass because God’s people did not have the Holy Spirit inside of them and could easily be led astray. Prophets were accepted as God’s delegated spokesmen.

In the New Testament every true born again believer has the Holy Spirit inside of them and it is their responsibility to test everything to ensure what they are told is true. Also, every born again believer has the right and responsibility to speak for the God that saved them, even moving in the gift of prophecy.

John wrote this in 1 John 2: “18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. . . . 26 These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. 27 As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.”

When people run away from the very people they have said they love and are connected to because what they say and do come under scrutiny by those they say they love and are connected, it reveals a heart of corruption that John identifies as the spirit of the antichrist. John said many antichrists were on the scene in his day and those antichrists came from within the church. Keep in mind there was one church per region so it was unlikely those who left a church could become part of another one easily and inconspicuously.

Today, accountability is very difficult because there are multitudes of churches in search of gifted and anointed people. Most church growth is simply people shifting to different churches. Some simple fact checking could go a long way to rooting out the rebellious!

Two thousand years ago John referred to the time he lived in as “the last hour” twice in verse 18. John goes on to exhort the people to trust the anointing [Spirit of truth] that was in them would keep them safe from error. This means God’s people best be in God’s written Word [graphe in the Old and New Testaments] so they have God’s plumb line to line up what is being said or done in the name of the Lord with God’s eternal and established Word.

The anointing inside each believer is there to ensure they are not duped by the anointing of someone presenting themselves a representing God. When the one ministering insists their anointing is so good that those they minister to do not need to verify what they say and do is genuine, they misrepresent the God they claim to represent.

For all those concerned that we are living in the last days take a deep breath and relax, John lived in the last hour.

In fact, John wrote that Jesus spoke of this hour in the fourth chapter of his gospel.

“19 The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.’ 21 Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.'”

In this text Jesus revealed an hour was coming twice and the second time He referred to it He said, “and now is,” two thousand years ago. John and Jesus were speaking of a contemporary reality that was imminent to that generation. The last hour, which was the hour that was “now is [here]” was the total destruction of Judaism as a life giving system. In fact, by the time John wrote his “last hour” prediction the destruction of Jerusalem and the sacred Jewish temple was fast approaching.

The “hour” was not understood to be a literal sixty minute time span but an imminent time change that was about to take place. I believe that “hour” started ticking down when Jesus died on the Cross and God ripped the veil in the temple from the top to the bottom exposing the Holy of Holies as being void of the Ark of the Covenant.

Now I know that what I just said is considered ridiculous in our pop-culture Christian world but I believe every Book of the New Testament, including The Revelation of Jesus Christ, was completed prior to 70AD.

Paul said this in Hebrews chapter eight verse thirteen, “When He said, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.” It is understood that Hebrews was written in or about 67AD meaning within three years or so Judaism died and was burned with fire along with Jerusalem and the temple.

Jesus had predicted prior to His Olivet Discourse and in that Discourse that the generation who heard what He said would see the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Jesus even referred to His disciples multiple times in His discourse. [See Matthew 23, 24; Mark 13]

The pre-incarnate Christ appeared to Abraham and Sarah revealing, “At this time next year you will have a son.” Here is the text found in Genesis 18 – “9 Then they said to him, ‘Where is Sarah your wife?’ And he said, ‘There, in the tent.’ 10 He said, ‘I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.’ And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing. 12 Sarah laughed to herself, saying, ‘After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?’ 13 And the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?’ 14 Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.’ 15 Sarah denied it however, saying, ‘I did not laugh’; for she was afraid. And He said, ‘No, but you did laugh.'”

Now we could take this predictive prophecy two ways. First, we could say that the Lord was saying Sarah would have an immaculate conception. But we know that is not what was meant because there could only be one immaculate conception and that would not happen for approximately 2,021 years. Second, Abraham and Sarah, although past the age of childbearing and quite possibly the age of engaging in sexual intercourse, went into their tent and had marital relations needed to conceive a child.

The second option seems more likely to me based on what Paul said in Hebrews chapter eleven and Romans chapter four.

Hebrews 11 – “11 By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number, and innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.”

Sarah’s faith energized her reproductive organs and quite possibly activated her sexual desire. They had tried for twenty five years to have a child without success. In addition to being too old to have children in the natural [Sarah was ninety and Abraham was one hundred] we can safely assume the desire to try waned over the years too.

Romans 4 – “16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 [as it is written, ‘A father of many nations have I made you’] in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. 18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ 19 Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; 20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. 22 Therefore It was also credited to him as righteousness.”

‘Perform’ here means he was able to do the necessary work required to produce what the Lord promised them. Abraham took inventory of his natural condition and weighed that against the weight of God’s promise of a son with Sarah. Abraham faced the facts of Sarah’s and his condition but chose to focus on the truth of God’s word. As he considered what he was facing his respect for God far outweighed his history of losing expectation of becoming a father of the son of promise. Abraham’s faith grew stronger as he glorified God. As he became fully assured that what God promised was going to come to pass he was given the ability and desire to perform. His performance was credited to him as righteousness.

Agabus was a recognized prophet in the church in Jerusalem. His prophetic ministry is revealed in Acts 11 and Acts 21. What we find in those texts is Agabus was a predictive prophet because both times he is mentioned he is predicting future events.

It is interesting to me God used a prophet whose name means locust to prophesy a famine, but He did. Maybe Agabus himself was the message to the saints about a future problem in Judea!

“27 Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate [signify] by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius. 29 And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea. 30 And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders.” [Acts 11]

Luke writes that a plurality of prophets arrived in Antioch from the Jerusalem church. We do not know how many prophets were with Agabus and what the additional prophets did in Antioch. All we are told is Agabus prophesied a famine that would affect the whole world. Now, “whole world” can be interpreted as the whole world, the whole world Rome was ruling over, or the whole land of Judea. My guess is he was predicting a famine throughout Judea because that is where the relief supplies were directed and delivered to the elders – in Jerusalem!

We do not even know if Agabus and his team of prophets were a part of the eldership team in Jerusalem, just the provisions were delivered to them by Barnabas and Saul [Paul].

Did you notice his predictive prophesy came to pass during the reign of Claudius. Luke does not record Agabus placing a time frame on his word from God. Historians put this famine in 45AD. If Agabus prophesied in or about 40AD then his prophecy came to pass within five years.

The next time we find Agabus prophesying is in Acts 21 where he prophesied in Caesarea that Paul would be arrested in Jerusalem. Luke writes that Paul was arrested in the temple during that trip to Jerusalem.

Do you see that predictive prophets cannot claim they speak for God when what they predict does not come to pass in a reasonable amount of time? Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem within a generation [forty years – 30AD – 70AD] so the people had every right to expect that within forty years His prediction would come true. And it did!

Agabus did not put a time frame on either one of his predictive prophesies although it could have been, and very well may have been, understood Paul would be arrested on that trip into Jerusalem. And he was indeed arrested on that trip to Jerusalem.

There is no evidence that God ever releases a prophetic word that does not have a shelf life of a reasonable amount of time. And when a prophet gives a specific time frame, just as Jesus did in His Olivet Discourse, that prophet is on the hook for what they predicted to come to pass.

How else could God’s people “examine [test] everything carefully” and “hold onto that which is good” as Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5, if they must continue to hang on forever waiting on the word to come true?

“19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.

Paul first said, “Do not quench the Holy Spirit.” Many have interpreted that to mean “do not despise prophesies” but that is not what the Holy Spirit meant when He had Paul write it before “do not despise prophecies.” Quenching the Holy Spirit first and foremost means to not allow Him to function in His primary calling to comfort and convict, as well as to lead people into all the truth [God’s written Word].

Jesus first reveals the Holy Spirit as ‘Helper.” Then as the “Spirit of truth.” Then as the One who “will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” [John 14]

Helper means One called to come alongside for the purpose of providing aid, to advocate, assist, counsel, console, and intercede for.

.Then he said, “Do not despise prophesies” which means it is possible for God’s people to despise prophecy. We know that many church cultures refuse to allow prophets and the gift of prophecy to operate in their environments. Apparently prophecy is despised in some places today and I believe the reason is because of all the “words from God” that never come to pass.

Then he said, “Hold onto that which is good” meaning not to hold onto anything or anyone that is not good.

Lastly he said, “abstain from every form of evil.” ‘Abstain’ literally means: To prevent, to keep your distance from, and to not receive [have] anything evil [harmful, perverted, diseased, impoverished, and not productive].

What did Paul mean when he wrote, “examine everything carefully”? Paul uses language that those who tested metals and currency for purity and authenticity understood. Paul wanted the saints at Thessalonica to test by fire and by pressure what was offered to them, and those who offered it. Paul had written something similar to the saints in Corinth. “each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work [and words]” [1 Corinthians 3:13].

Paul was instructing the Thessalonican saints not to be credulous but to examine everything and everyone with great care. Where Luke wrote these same people poured through the Scriptures [Old Testament] carefully to compare what they were being taught as truth with the Truth, Paul wrote they were to examine everything and everyone with heated discourse, applying pressure in private, just like a smelter of silver and gold and the person tasked with ensuring the currency was not counterfeit, to discover what was in the heart of the people presenting themselves as legitimate ministers.

One great tool for the initial examination is the gift of the Spirit known as discerning of spirits. This gift is given by the Holy Spirit to alert us to what kind of spirit is operating in any given situation, individual or group setting. This gift discerns [distinguishes and identifies] whether it is the Holy Spirit, human spirit, angel or demonic spirit operating in our midst. The Holy Spirit is the first line of defense when we are hearing anyone speak for God. Being sensitive to the Spirit is vitally important and we must learn to recognize what He is saying inside of us. Then we must allow the Spirit to lead and guide us into all truth as found in the Scripture [graphe].

I believe this gift was used by Paul when he confronted the slave girl operating in divination [false prophecy] in Philippi [Ats 16]. “16 It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, ‘These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.’ 18 She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, ‘I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!’ And it came out at that very moment.”

Here we see it is possible to have an accurate word come from a person with a demonic spirit. Divination is obtaining unknown knowledge through a spiritual source other than God, thus the slave girl had a spirit of divination. She had given herself over to it because it gave her the ability to profit monetarily.

This spirit is a counterfeit to the gifts of the Holy Spirit called words of knowledge and words of wisdom, which often work in tandem with prophecy. The Greek word used is Pýthōn. Isn’t it interesting how that serpent is always looking for an opportunity to slip into our midst to deceive us? How did Paul know she was not a legitimate prophetic person? The Holy Spirit’s gift of the discerning of spirits is what I believe he used to recognize she was a fortune teller.

Paul cast that spirit out of her and that caused a riot and eventually a revival church to be birthed! In between there was pain, prison and then greater manifest Presence! That is usually God’s process to revival in an individual or a region!

In Philippi Paul and his team met a lady from Thyatira named Lydia. Lydia was an entrepreneur who sold purple fabrics. Lydia means travail and Thyatira means the odor of affliction. Lydia was a worshiper of God whose heart God opened to receive Paul, his team and their ministry. Lydia provided a temporary base of operations in Philippi for the advancement of the gospel of the kingdom to proceed into Europe.

I encourage you to read the resurrected Jesus’ words to the church at Thyatira found in Revelation 2:18-29. He begins with [verse 18] – “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:” In the middle of His word to Thyatira Jesus says in verse 23, “and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.” Do you notice a pattern?

We saw above what John wrote in 1 John 2 about the Holy Spirit [anointing] protecting us from being deceived in. He also wrote this in 1 John 5 [KJV] – “6 And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”

Jesus, before he came as a human was known in eternity past as the Word [John 1:1]. John wrote the Word became flesh [1:14]. Now, since He ascended to the throne next to His Father He is known as the only Mediator between God and man, “the Man Christ Jesus,” Now in eternity present and future He is known as the Man who Mediates.

This is in and of itself a huge subject but suffice it to say the Father, the Word that still remains in heaven now that Jesus came to earth and returned as a resurrected Man, and the Spirit all bear witness in earth to that which is accepted in heaven for use in the earth.

Look at what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12 – “29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. 30 But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; 33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

Paul did not allow for prophecy to go without being judged and neither did he allow for prophets to escape judgment. Lets examine carefully Paul’s instructions on how to steward prophets and prophetic ministry.

  • In a particular service only two to three prophets should speak
    • I believe this is because every matter is to be established out of the mouths of two to three witnesses which means the two to three prophets prophesying should prophesy things that are in harmony with each other and God’s eternal Word
    • 2 Peter 1 – “19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
      • Scripture, all of it, is to be how we judge any prophet or prophetic ministry
      • If someone prophesies anything contrary to Scripture it is to be rejected and if the person prophesying refuses to admit what they have prophesied is not in line with Scripture they are to be rejected because they are self interpreting and judging their own prophecies and prophetic ministry
  • As each prophet speaks “the others” pass judgment
    • Is Paul referring to the other prophets or the others in the hearing of the prophets
      • I believe the answer is yes, both the other prophets and the others in the hearing of the prophecies are to judge what is prophesied and those who prophesy
      • What does “pass judgment” mean
        • Pick it apart
        • To separate by straining through a strainer
        • To render a judicial decision based on every aspect of what is said and or done
  • The purpose of judging prophets and their prophecies is so:
    • All may learn
    • All may be encouraged
      • Who are the “all” who may learn and be encouraged
      • I believe all is all inclusive meaning all the prophets and all those exposed to their prophetic ministry
        • Prophets, just like apostles, evangelists, pastors and teachers are to equip the saints for the work of ministry, so their primary function is training everyone in prophetic ministry
    • Each prophet is to steward his own spirit by keeping it clean and pure and submitted to the other prophets and prophetic people who have learned and are being encouraged in their prophetic ministry
    • A prophet who refuses to pass through the judgment is to be judged as false
    • Encouragement is one of the three legs the gift of prophecy stands on [v3]
  • God is not confused and He does not spread or allow the spread of confusion in any of the churches of the saints

Again, to judge prophecy is to judge the person prophesying, whether that person is a prophet or not.

The New Testament warns about these false people and ministers:

  • False apostles [2 Corinthians 11:13; Revelation 2:2]
  • False prophets [Matthew 24:11,24; Mark 13:22; Acts 13:6; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:1; Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10]
  • False Christs [saviors] [Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22]
  • False teachers [2 Peter 2:1]
  • False brethren [2 Corinthians 11:26; Galatians 2:4]
  • False witness [Matthew 15:19; 19:18]
  • False circumcision [Philippians 3:2]

A cursory reading of church history reveals within the generation that was alive when Jesus was walking the planet all of the above were contemporary concerns for the genuine Christian, Christian leader and church community. And in the two thousand years since they are still a concern for leaders of the churches of the saints.

James tells us in chapter 3 verse 1 – “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.

“Stricter judgment” means a greater, larger, louder and stronger condemnation of wrong. This means the decisions made carry more weight and will travel farther than the judgments [decisions] of those who do not teach God’s people. This phrase comes from a Greek word that means: To separate for the purpose of approving or disapproving, determining what is right or wrong, and what is safe or unsafe. What is intended is to determine whether the one teaching is worthy of being trusted as a teacher.

That is why James uses the word “become” a teacher. Teachers are gifts of Christ who He calls to be[come] teachers. This means anyone called better know that it is a holy calling and not to be taken lightly. ‘Become’ means: To arise into the position, and onto the public stage you were called to take.

Paul reveals that teachers are third in line of importance in the church Jesus is building [the churches of the saints]. “And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers.” [1 Corinthians 12:28]

So, if teachers who are third in line come under a “stricter judgment” what kind of judgment do apostles and prophets come under?

This is where accuracy and accountability intersect. If a person who teaches or prophesies speaks something that is not true or does not come to pass within a reasonable amount of time, then that person must be willing to give an account of what they said to those they said it to. Not only that, but they must root out the root problem[s] that caused them to speak in the name of the Lord something the Lord was not saying. It is not enough to say, “I’m sorry!” The person must understand and articulate why they said what they said.

If they refuse to make themselves and their ministry accountable then they are to be judged as false ministers because their heart is not holy.

The only way for a person judged as false can be reinstated in good standing is by repenting and submitting to the delegated authorities in the church of the saints they worship in.

Receive and steward God’s passion, power, presence, priority, process, promises, protection, provision, pruning, purging, purity and purpose!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

A spiritual revolutionary


Who Wounded Me, And Why?

There are a lot of wounded Christians in the world!

Many suffer wounds from self inflicted poor choices!

Others suffer from wounds inflicted by insecure leaders!

Still others suffer from wounds from immature believers, or unbelievers!

There are Christians who have been, or continue to be wounded [persecuted] for their faith in Christ Jesus!

And then there are the ones who have been wounded by God and Godly leaders!

Please do not misunderstand my intentions. I am not writing to cast fault on or castigate anyone. I am a person, a Godly leader, who has wounded people and has been wounded by people.

Some of the wounds I have inflicted were out of my stupidity and immaturity. Other wounds have been spot on out of the word, will and ways of God.

When Godly leaders wound out of stupidity or immaturity we should quickly bring healing and restoration, or at least attempt to bring them to those we have wounded. Unfortunately, many of the wounded refuse to be restored because their wounds provide cover for their insecurities, irresponsibilities and inabilities. It is much easier to blame the leader who wounded them than to work through the issues that caused the wounds.

In this blog I want to address when Godly leaders representing God, wound people, and the proper way for the wounded to handle it in a Godly manner.

“Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us,
but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.”
Hosea 6:1 NAS

This verse lets us know there are times when God will wound us for the purpose of healing us in places and ways we otherwise would have never experienced.

It may be difficult to face the truth that God actually has our best interests in His heart when He wounds us, but that is the truth!

This is not to say that God will not heal a person who suffers from self-inflicted wounds, or from wounds that fall into any of the categories mentioned above. God is really good at intervening when we “deserve” it or not.

Volumes have been written and still are being written about all of the various ways Christians have been wounded. In this blog I want to address the last group, the ones that God and Godly leaders wound.

When God and Godly leaders wound us there is the possibility that genuine healing will go to the deepest places of our being where root problems exist that we may not be aware are there. These wounds have the potential to expose the real issue[s] that have plagued us in life, and in many instance for our whole life.

How we respond will determine the depth of healing we will experience and the length of time our healing will last.

Hebrews 12:4 Amplified Bible
“For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the  breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.”

When God speaks directly to us or indirectly though Godly leaders, those words can pierce us to the deepest parts of our being. Even “dividing soul from spirit” which is really a remarkable and necessary thing.

His word[s] “expose and sift and analyze and judge the very thoughts and purposes of the [our] heart.” God digs real deep in order to get to the real problem. Many times the real problem lies in the lies we believe. Our thoughts [dwelling on the lies] affect our purpose in life. When our heart is filled with purposes that are not Godly then God will send Godly leaders on purpose who can and will expose, sift, analyze and judge what we have allowed in our heart.

Jesus Himself said the following that we should pay careful attention to as it pertains to what we are dealing with in this blog.

“The words that I speak to you are spirit, they are life.” [John 6:63 NKJ]

The words of Jesus, which are the Word of God and the sword of the Spirit, are spirit and release life even when what He says to us hurts like crazy!

The context of His statement is Jesus was confronting the mindsets of the religiously minded, including those of His disciples. When He made this statement He had expanded the number of disciples from 12 to 82 or 84 depending on which historical information you choose to believe.

You can find all of this in John 6. Because of what Jesus was saying [teaching, releasing] the Jewish religious leaders were offended and many of His disciples walked away from Him. Turning to the 12 He said, “Do you want to go away also?”

The reason all of this happened was because they said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” [Verse 60]

The difficult statement was about eating His flesh and drinking His blood!

The word ‘difficult’ according to Thayer’s Dictionary of New Testament Words means: hard, harsh, violent, rough, intolerant, offensive. The root word means: From the hip to the toes.

In other words, Jesus’ words were strategically placed to affect their walk and what they produced. Toes help to bring balance and traction when we walk or run. The hip region involves the reproductive region. Jesus was dealing with their inability to function when their feelings got hurt. He does not want or need disciples who whine and complain when they hear things that wound them.

Look at what happened on the Day of Pentecost in the first century –

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ 38 Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.’ 40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation.’ 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.” [Acts 2 NKJ]

Peter said some things that were very hard for the Jewish people to hear.

There are those today that cannot face the force of these words Peter spoke.

“Therefore let ALL THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom YOU crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

There are many even today in the Christian Zionist and Messianic Jewish movements that refuse to hear these sharp words. People want to placate the Jews and eliminate the full responsibility of every Jewish person because in their mind only a few Jews were responsible for the murder of Jesus.

God and Peter had a different position than the Christian Zionists and Messianic Jews of today. The Jews of Peter’s day even had a different opinion because his words pierced through the religious rhetoric they had lived with their entire lives.

God’s words spoken out of Peter’s mouth ‘cut to the [their] heart’ to the point that they asked Peter and the rest of those standing there, ‘What shall we do?’ The word ‘cut’ or ‘pierce’ is the Greek word katanýssō [kat-an-oos’-so] and it means to pain the mind sharply; to agitate violently. Part of the root word means to pierce with severe and even deadly wounds. Ouch!

Peter was not concerned about the emotional well being of those Jews in Jerusalem that day. He was more concerned with their eternal well being.

God’s word like a sword cut them deeply and thoroughly and resulted in a response that led to the redemption of those who ‘gladly received his word.’ In other words, Peter’s words produced death and life all at the same time. Come on somebody!

What happened to those who did not gladly receive his sharp word? We don’t know but what we do know is they did not get right with God right then. Hopefully they had other opportunities that they took full advantage of later, and before it was too late for them.

Today, it is rare indeed for church leaders to be so bold when addressing the people assembled to hear them.

I firmly believe that too many Christians are emotionally driven to the point that there has been an effeminization of the church. Feel good Christianity is ruining Biblical Christianity.

Where are the real warriors who can take a blow and not blow up?

Where are the manly men who when wounded don’t run for cover and cower in their hurt feelings?

Where are the David’s who stand in the service of the Saul’s they are assigned to serve even after multiple attempts to take their lives?

Where are the John the Baptist’s who understand their role and don’t get wounded by not being the main attraction?

Where are the Paul’s who when misunderstood and maligned stay faithful to their assignment?

Where are the wounded warriors who in their pain plan for promotion by helping alleviate the pain others are experiencing?

The healing that can come from the kind of wounds God inflicts will elevate us into new places and possibilities in God. Failure to be healed can lead us to more places of pain where we may never be healed.

I remember standing in a line behind a leader that I have the utmost respect for to get a meal in the house of another leader that I have the utmost respect for. The conversation moved to our children and grandchildren. I made the “mistake” of saying what so many people say, “I wished I would have had my grandchildren first.” The leader I was standing behind said, “Well, I actually enjoyed raising my children.”

I was handed an opportunity to not only hold on to an offence, but to also impale myself on that fence [play on words], if I had allowed the offense to take hold. I was wounded because I was not implying I did not enjoy my 3 children when they were younger. Because I did not take offense, the wound carried on it enabled me to see more clearly that I was not communicating my heart very well by quoting that oft quoted statement.

Why would a loving God, and loving Godly leaders, wound another Christian?

This blog will not come close to fully answering this question but I do want to address a very real problem that exists in most church communities. And that problem is: Christians who function out of their soul, and primarily their emotions, not their spirit.

Our human spirit is the place where God, who is Spirit, resides after we surrender to His Lordship in our lives. This is called in Scripture being born again, the new birth, a new creation and other monikers.

Our soul is comprised of our mind [intellect, memories, imagination, etc], our will [decision making] and our emotions [feelings].

All three of these components of our soul are vitally important to us as believers but they are never to be the leading areas of how we relate to God or other people, especially the Godly leaders that God gives us to help us mature in Him.

One problem arises when God, or one of His Godly leaders says something to us we do not want to hear. When we do not agree with what we are being told we can become defensive and from that defensive position begin building a case against the one causing us the discomfort.

When God or one of His Godly leaders say things that adversely affect our emotions, or give us instructions we do not like or agree with we are faced with a dilemma. If we do not feel like doing it, or we do not feel like it is correct, or we do not feel it is God, when God or one of His Godly leaders confront us, we can get wounded.

This is especially true when we are confronted in a way that is “not how we would have done it.” People think that if someone rebukes them they have been abused. I am not sure what they think ‘rebuke’ looks like but just the sound of it does not sound like it is fun.

Paul said, “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove,  rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” [2 Timothy 4:2 NAS]

Rebuke here means to censure severely, to admonish or charge sharply.

Rebuke hurts our feelings!

Rebuke also means to raise the value of, to honor. It is actually an honor to be rebuked because the goal is the establishment of the correct value of the person rebuked. It raises their value in their own eyes. Usually a person who sees great value in a person rebukes them to shake them up in hopes they will see what the person rebuking them has seen in them.

Hurt feelings really becomes magnified when neither God, nor His Godly leaders cave to the emotional response and rejection of what they have asked, or required the person to do.


“But at these words he  was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.” Mark 10:22 NAS

When you read the entire context of the interaction between Jesus and the person who approached Him you discover that Jesus did not chase the person down to renegotiate the terms of following Him. What Jesus said hurt the person’s feelings. We know this because the text says ‘he was saddened’ and that he ‘went away grieving.’

When we respond out of our feelings instead of our spirit, we reject what God or Godly leaders have proposed or reveal to us is the will of God for our lives, because we don’t “feel” it.

This person had ‘much property’ and those possessions possessed him! Jesus will go after everything we possess to make sure we are totally committed to being possessed by only Him. And if our feelings get hurt oh well!

Another problem that arises when we are led by our feelings instead of our spirit is we lose sight of the heart of God and the heart of Godly leaders.

Our feelings can fool us and when that happens we look really foolish!

Our feelings make us feel like God or the Godly leader really does not have our best interests at heart. This feeling creates suspicion and then our mind [memory] kicks in to “remember” how we have been wounded in the past. Our imagination takes over to create scenarios that confirm our suspicions.


All of this of course is a virtual reality that has little or no basis in truth!

I have been guilty of doing this, as well as being the recipient of wounds from others who have totally created in their minds a reality that is not real.

This is a very dangerous way to operate in life, especially in the life of the community of believers that God has planted [set] us in. The enemy is more than happy to seize on our suspicions in order to separate us from the very people God has chosen to help develop godly character in us.

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend,

but the kisses of an enemy are lavish and deceitful.”

Proverbs 27:6 Amplified Bible

Contrary to the theology of many Christians, God, as a friend, will wound us. God and Godly leaders will do and say things that wound us. In the same way enemies [those pretending to be friends] will publicly “kiss” us while privately undermining us and our authority in their life or the lives of others we are leading.

Judas was valued beyond what he had proven he was worthy to be valued. Judas was a thief and a betrayer and Jesus knew it from the beginning. Jesus knowing these things about Judas did not stop Jesus from befriending and empowering him.

Judas was still in the group of 12 disciples when Jesus made this statement in John 15, “14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”

Did you see the requirement for friendship with Jesus? “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” Yikes! Yep! How did that ‘I don’t have to perform for relationship with Jesus’ theology work out for Judas? It won’t work out any better for us either!

Jesus called His disciples His friends but to be His friends they had to do what He commanded.

Kingdom leaders extend honor, trust and influence to people who have not earned it. And because of that kind of leadership they open themselves up to betrayal at the hands of those who will not grow up and out of their selfish lifestyle.

Kingdom leaders also have certain expectations of how they will be treated [valued] by those they befriend.

Behaving in this way gives place for a Judas to show up and show out but it also creates a culture where world changers can emerge as well.

Trust me – and I hope you will – there are a lot of leaders who are wounded by those they lead and many do not get the same love as those who have been wounded by a leader. There is a “well they are leaders so they can handle it” attitude in the church. Or worse, “they are a leader who probably deserves the pain they are going through.”

I am not apologizing for any leader who through their own selfishness, immaturity or irresponsibility has wounded anyone, including myself.

When we as leaders wound people out of our own stupidity and immaturity we need to do all we can to bring healing to that person or the people we have wounded. I said that earlier!

I work with both leaders and followers of leaders who have been wounded!

Kingdom leaders for the most part do handle their wounds, and they typically don’t respond in kind or run away from their assignment. A real Kingdom leader learns very early on to run to the cross and release their wounds on the One who was wounded for all of our transgressions.

Many times those who wound leaders run away at the first “wound” they receive from the leader without attempting to understand why they got wounded.

“Am I wounded because I am too sensitive or am I wounded because I just got hit with a sledgehammer [metaphorically] undeservedly?” Regardless of the reason we are wounded our first response should be – “How should I respond to my wound and the person who wounded me?” And, “Why was I wounded?”

 “Iron is made sharp with iron,
and one man is made sharp by a friend.”
Proverbs 27:17 New Life Bible

I like to describe this verse to people as – “God and Godly leaders [people] will rub you the right way.” This rubbing is intended to sharpen us and make us more brilliant [spectacular], so that we will be more effective in our kingdom assignment.

I understand that leaders are held to a higher standard and I agree we should. But that does not mean that a leader who gets trampled by those who are living out of their emotions should not be loved through the wounds they receive.

I also understand why most kingdom leaders have very few friends, and especially friends from the folks they lead. People struggle separating friendship from leadership. Both ships carry people but they may carry those people in different directions.

Leaders will invariably have to make decisions for the good of all on their ship that will not sit well with certain individuals [friends] who will not handle it well.

I am very open with the people I lead, especially those who want to “join” us as members of our church family. I say often, “I am not called to make friends. I am called to make disciples to Jesus Christ. If we happen to be friends in the process great.”

Unfortunately many people never accept this and have gotten their feelings hurt when decisions are made, or confrontations occur, that they do not agree with.

“I thought we were friends!” “I did too” is usually my response.

I don’t know how many times I have been forced to say, “If this is your response to what I have said, or done, then what does that say about our relationship?”

The word relationship is made up of 4 words. They are:

  • Relation – Connection that has accountability with behavior
  • Ship – A large vessel that carries people or cargo from one place to  another. Ships travel in one direction at one speed. The people or cargo on the ship may be on different levels but they still travel together.
  • Relations – Connections that have accountability with behavior
  • Hip – At the side or face to face depending on the level of intimacy

Or, “Help me understand why you are reacting like this?”

Again, I remind you that I am not casting blame or castigating those who are not blameless.

Misunderstanding God and His motives and the motives of His Godly leaders lead God’s people to places and other people who will “kiss” [publicly affirm] them but who can never truly lead them to where God has called them.

Developing the ability to forgive those who wound us is critical to the maturation process. That forgiveness must be given to God as well and to His Godly leaders.

As a kingdom leader who has spent many hours with wounded people I have found that when genuine forgiveness is granted, it gives the wounded person a brand new perspective on the person or people who have wounded them.

I know from personal experience that many wounds come from expectations we place on leaders that they are not responsible for.

For instance, Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth saying, “For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you [I am your spiritual father] through the gospel.” [1 Corinthians 4:15 NKJ]

When we are wanting to relate to a leader who God has given to us as a father, when they are just our teacher, our feelings can get hurt – badly hurt.

The expectation of fathering from someone God has not given to us as a father creates a sense of abandonment. This feeling creates all kinds of rejection issues that if not dealt with will cause us great harm spiritually, emotionally and in some cases physically.

This is especially true as it pertains to people who have been abandoned by someone they valued.

Fathers have a special place in our lives and can speak to us in ways that are supposed to hurt our feelings. Teachers just don’t have that same level of access to our hearts.

All fathers teach but not every teacher is a father!

Fathers are more interested in who they teach!

Teacher’s are more interested in what they teach!

Father’s want their children to surpass them in life!

Teacher’s need their children to remain below them so they will have someone to teach!

When a father speaks in a way that wounds us and we do not respond well then we have eliminated the possibility for our maturation process to reach the fatherhood level of maturity.

When we reject the wounding of our father we retard our growth!

5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.” [Hebrews 12 NAS]

The writer of Hebrews makes it abundantly clear that God chastens [mentioned 5x], rebukes, and scourges His sons. None of that sounds or feels fun! By the way, some of the Gospel writers use this same Greek word for scourge to describe the scourging Jesus endured. I know!

To those who endure these dealings of the Lord move on in maturity. To those who reject these dealings become illegitimate.

A case in point of properly processing being wounded can be found when Paul, as the father of the Christian community in Corinth, dealt severely with the community, community leaders, and individual Christian who was sinning in their midst [1 Corinthians 5].

“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named  among the Gentiles–that a man has his father’s wife!” [Verse 1]

  • This was grievious even to the unsaved mind!

“And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.” [Verse 2]

  • Paul challenges the community’s unwillingness to keep corruption out of their midst. He calls them “puffed up” meaning in his mind they had exalted themselves above the God they served through their self inflated opinion of themselves.

3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” [Verse 3-5]

  • This sounds severe doesn’t it? Paul, the daddy, made a judicial decision even though he was not physically present. He was present “in spirit” which means his connection to them was not based on an emotional connection but was rooted and grounded in the spirit, by the Holy Spirit. Paul goes on to say what his judicial decision was. “Deliver such a one [the one sinning] to satan for the destruction of his flesh.” In essence what Paul was saying is this – “This member of the church will not repent and stop living for the devil so I am releasing him to the devil. I am removing my fatherly covering because he refuses to change his direction.” How did Paul know this since he was not present to “counsel” the person? By his spirit! Paul’s goal in this judicial decision was the salvation of the person’s spirit.

6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened.” [Verse 6,7]

  • Here again Paul is addressing the attitude of the community of believers. Apparently they were proud of the way they were “loving” this person who refused to repent. Paul commands them to clean house or have the house corrupted by the sinful behavior.

“I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people.” [Verse 9]

  • This is in reference to an unknown letter Paul had written to them. Paul says, “Do not keep company with sexually immoral people.” This is in reference to his previous statement to purge the ungodly person with the ungodly lifestyle from their community.

“But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner–not even to eat with such a person.” [Verse 11]

  • Paul reiterates his insistence that the church keep the community pure. If a “brother” is a real brother he will not live a lifestyle that is contrary to family life.

“Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.” [Verse 13]

This is rather direct is it not? This is not ‘Let’s not offend anyone’ is it?

Let us take a look at the end result of Paul’s wounding words!

He said in 2 Corinthians 7, “2 Open your hearts to us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one.”

  • This is a bold statement revealing the need of the people he wounded to expose themselves to him in such a way that they are not restricted in their affections. Paul said that he nor anyone on his apostolic team had wronged or corrupted anyone. He also said that they had not cheated anyone either. I wonder how many Christians are cheated by leaders who are afraid to speak in a way that wounds the wayward?

3 I do not say this to condemn; for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.”

  • This is the language of a father as he relates his heart for the people he is responsible for. Wounding is not for the purpose of condemning. Quite the contrary. Wounding is for restoration!
4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.”
  • Real kingdom fathers are not afraid of hurting the feelings of the people they are assigned to be a father to. They temper their boldness with comfort and overflowing joy as they face and deal with the pressures associated with family life. They do not couch their words with compromise.

8 For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while.”

  • Once again this father in the faith communicates that his fatherly discipline wounded his spiritual children and how he did not regret it because the wound was short lived.

9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.”

  • Ah, the intent of the wounding is made known. Obviously the context here is the allowance of a gross sin to remain in the Christian community in Corinth. The principle of wounding can be applied to many instances. The results vary on how those who are wounded handle the pain and the process the pain is associated with.

10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”

  • The Corinthian believers, once they got over the fact that Paul wounded them, responded correctly which resulted in salvation [forgiveness, deliverance and restoration to God and His community]. Paul delineates between the proper response [repentance] and an improper response [death].

11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”

  • Here is how everyone knew they responded correctly, and how we know that we have responded correctly, when a Godly leader wounds us.
    • The people responsible responded by:
      • Becoming more committed to the well being of the community
      • Clearing themselves – meaning they fixed the problem instead of hiding it or pretending there was not one
      • Being incensed at their previous pathetic behavior
      • Restoring their reverence [respect] for God and His community
      • Restoring their zeal for God, the people of God and the things of God was on display
      • Clearing themselves by virtue of their correct response

12 Therefore, although I wrote to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong, nor for the sake of him who suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you.”

  • Look at what Paul just said [wrote]. I did not introduce the wound into the community for the people involved in the problem. I did it so that you would know just how much we care for you, and how much God was watching what we did to you, and for our honor for God and His community of holy people that will be positively affected by how we dealt with you.

Paul, as the spiritual father hurt some feelings, and he intended to do it to get a Godly response which would lead to a Godly result.

Now that is why God and Godly leaders wound you!

I hope you can accept it!

I hope you will respond positively to it!

I also hope you will repent if you have not and return to your ‘father’ and yield to the chastening process so you will be a true son in the faith.

Keep HIS Faith! Keep HIS Passion!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury
One of HIS Hisstorymakers

Fathers, Discipline And Personal Training

God has always been a Father!

God is pro fatherhood! Fatherhood in His Kingdom is a level of maturity, not merely a male who impregnates a woman.

 God has always been a personal trainer!

Kingdom fathers and personal trainers believe in discipline. Fathers and personal trainers know that undisciplined people rarely achieve greatness or fulfill their potential. Fathers and personal trainers “push” people beyond what they believe they can achieve and beyond where they are, and they help them see that there is a price to pay to get where they are going and that price is well worth paying.

There is a heavenly clarion call being trumpeted by apostolic and prophetic voices calling their tribal people home – into communities [common unities] where fatherhood is valued over denominational truth [their denomination’s version of truth] – and where true father’s are disciplined and exercise discipline as compared to quasi-father’s who just want to be friends and have “fun”.

Fun is such an overused word in the Kingdom of God!

Hear the words of the writer of Hebrews as you read this text from Hebrews 12:5-17 NLT ~~~~

5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, ‘My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you.’ 6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child. 7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? 10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. 12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. 14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. 16 Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. 17 You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.”

V5 – “Have you forgotten the ENCOURAGING words God spoke to you as His children?”

  • The writer then quotes Proverbs 3:11,12 – “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when He corrects you. For the Lord DISCIPLINES those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.

It is interesting to me that the writer of Hebrews use the phrase “encouraging words” to describe the discipline of the Lord. This tells me that discipline involves injecting courage into [in courage or put courage in] the hearts and minds of those who ‘receive’ correction.

V6 – “For The Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one he accepts as His child.”

  • Discipline and punishment are equated with love and acceptance. You don’t hear that taught in most pulpits today!

V7 – “Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by a father?”

  • The writer expresses surprise that anyone would consider not being disciplined by their father!

V8 – “If God does not discipline you . . . it means you ARE illegitimate and not REALLY His children at ALL.”

  • One of the signs that we are truly God’s child is we accept discipline. If we run from and refuse to receive discipline it is an indication that we are not related to God. Rebellion is associated with witchcraft! Witchcraft is an expression of the core value of the prince of darkness.

One of the contemptible issues in our modern Christian churches is leaders who refuse to exercise discipline in regard to unruly members. There are so many churches to choose from and there are too many leaders willing to accept people into their community for the sake of having seats filled and bank accounts with plenty of money in them.

“Christians” will migrate to places where they can have “fun” and “enjoy”  the benefits of the community without truly being connected or committed to the community. The “fun loving” Christians feel entitled to the benefits without the responsibility to those in authority.

V10 – “For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best the knew how.”

  • Our earthly fathers may be natural or spiritual. They represent God’s delegated authority in our lives. Human fathers, even in their imperfect attempts to bring correction, do what they think is best for us. This is not speaking of the obvious abusive fathers that some have had in their lives. Abuse is never to be tolerated by anyone on any level.

We are to honor those in authority over us, whether in the home, at work or in church. We demonstrate respect for God in the way we respect those God has placed us under in life. We may not agree with everything they do or say but we are not responsible for what they do or say. We are responsible for treating them with the same respect we treat God Himself. No real respect for God’s leaders shows no real respect for God.

Jesus said on judgment day we would give an account for how we treated the poor and the imprisoned. “Inasmuch as you did it to them you did it to Me.”

How much more will be be held accountable for the way we treated those in authority?

V10 – “God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we may share in His holiness.”

  • Holiness, or separation to God for His holy purposes lived out through us is connected to discipline.

V11 – “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”

  • Discipline is NOT fun! How about that for all you who think that God is only interested in you having fun? “It IS painful!” But the result of discipline is a harvest of right living for those who are trained by it. The Greek word trained is ‘gymnazo’. According to Thayer’s Dictionary of New Testament Words it means:
    1. to exercise naked [in a palaestra or school of athletics]
    2. to exercise vigorously, in any way, either the body or the mind

It comes from a root word that means to be stripped, or laid bare. Seems like the Lord’s training regimen is thorough and is meant to expose every flaw we have in our life.

This is the same word the writer of Hebrews uses in chapter five verse 14 to speak of the mature in Christ. Maturity requires discipline and discipline must be applied personally by the individual and individually by the Lord.


V12 – “So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.”

  • Get a grip! Reevaluate your position concerning God’s purpose for your life. Take personal responsibility for your inability to handle what God’s dealing are with you and your inability to walk it out in a way that is honorable.

V13 – “Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.”

  • Straighten up! Do you not realize your inconsistencies are adversely affecting the walk of other people?
  • Your walk should help others not hinder them!

V14 – “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.”

  • Stop causing trouble! Do your homework as it relates to being holy! If you don’t, the Lord will know it and will not allow you to see Him!

V15 – “Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”

  • You are not in this by yourself. You are responsible to others and for others. The way you relate to people affects your access to God’s grace [His divine ability]. Your negative attitude toward others is poisoning you and corrupting others because you have negated the grace of God in your own life. How is that working out for you?

V16-17 – “Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. 17 You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.”

  • What will it profit you if you get your way but lose everything God predetermined for your destiny?

Keep THE Faith! Keep THE Passion!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

A Hisstorymaker!