“31 Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” [Luke 22:31,32]

I have always found these two verses interesting, challenging, and encouraging.

Interesting because it is counter-intuitive to most teaching on God’s love and concern for His people.

Challenging because Jesus does not deny Satan’s demand to attack Peter.

Encouraging because Jesus obviously had faith in His prayer life, and in Peter to respond to his failure with faithfulness to God, which means He has faith in me to respond correctly and quickly when I fail to live up to His standard.

So many believe that God will “protect” them from Satan. These verses reveal a protection that is based in a prayer for a quick recovery, not a rescue from temptation and the tests in each temptation.

Do you see how Jesus prays and what He does not do?

Think about this –

  • God did not deny Satan access to Jesus
  • Jesus said He would send us out in the same way His Father sent Him [that is a deep subject]
  • Jesus did not deny Satan access to Peter
  • God will not deny Satan access to you, that is if you are or will be a threat to Satan [if you are not presently or will be eventually a threat then why bother with allowing him to bother [sift] you]

In His intercessory prayer life at the right hand of the Father Jesus prays for our faith, and for us to be strong. In the model prayer, which most have been taught is the Lord’s prayer, Jesus taught novice disciples to pray for God to keep the devil away from them.

Matthew 6:13

“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from [the] evil [one].”

Yet John, who was present when Jesus taught the twelve that prayer, wrote this in 1 John 2:

“1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.

  • We see little children are to learn sin is not acceptible

13 I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.

  • Overcoming the evil one begins with saying yes to God, His word, will and ways

14 I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.”

  • God’s word does more than instruct us, it empowers us

Jesus fully expected Peter, and all of His disciples throughout every generation, to grow up quickly so that being an overcomer would be normal, not rare!

Jesus’ statement to Peter was approximately 3.5 years into Peter’s discipleship training process. Peter, having access to Jesus for 360 days a year for 3 to 3.5 years seems to give him an advantage in the maturation process. But Jesus said this, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” [John 16:7]

Discipleship comes with, and every true disciple of Jesus post resurrection, ascension and Pentecost outpouring, have an advantage over those who walked with Jesus in the flesh 2000 years ago.

With that being true then why do so many disciples of Jesus fail Him and fail to rebound quickly, if ever at all?

There are too many reasons to write about here but a main issue is the lack of reading, study and understanding Scripture and our identity in Christ.

Are you like the Jewish religious leaders of Jesus’ day, “Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God?”

John gives great insight to his readers:

1. He writes to ‘little children’ in verse 1. Those children have matured to the level of living solely to honor God and to defend His honor at all costs.

2. He writes to young men in verses 13 and 14 and describes how these young men matured to become overcomers.

a. They are strong

b. The Word of God abides in them

c. They attack the devil [they overcome him] – they are not praying for protection from him

d. Their identity in Christ is revealed, and unleashes the Christ that is in them

Listen [well read and understand] friends, do you scare the devil enough that he demands permission from God to attack you?

Are you still a pebble in your own eyes or the pillar that God sees when He looks at you?

Is God looking at you, or for you?

Where are you?

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



When the children of Israel reached the Jordan River they were faced with a supreme challenge from their Supreme Commander.

I am not saying there were not major challenges in the wilderness, nor am I discounting the anxiety that may have been present in those challenges.

I just imagine them standing at the river bank waiting on God to split the waters so they could cross into their place of purpose. Knowing human nature the way I do I can see them staring at the river waiting, waiting, waiting for God to speak to Joshua as He spoke to Moses. “Why are you complaining. What do you have in your hand? Stretch out your “staff”! Stand still and watch Me perform a miracle for you.”

Those instructions never came!

If you are going to place yourself in your place of divine purpose you should not expect God to say what He once said, nor do what He once did. Instead they heard [my paraphrase], “You will have to step into the raging river if you want to enter your promised land.”

Those called to carry the Ark of the Covenant had to step in first. That is the real test of leadership. Can you lead when what you expected to happen is not happening the way you expected?

Will you believe the God you say you believe in? “Be the first to step into the flooded river.”

God said the priests must step into the river!

God said the priests must stand in the river!

God said the priests must stay in the river!

Can you imagine standing still, holding the Ark of the Presence of God on your shoulders, for however long it took anywhere between 1.5 to 5 million people to cross the Jordan River? Only when all of God’s people crossed over were the priests allowed to leave the River.

This is what God actually said, “It shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above will stand in one heap. . . . . 10 For the priests who carried the ark were standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything was completed that the Lord had commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua. And the people hurried and crossed; 11 and when all the people had finished crossing, the ark of the Lord and the priests crossed before the people.” [Joshua 3:13; 4:10,11]

Until we learn to rest in God will we will never discover the rest of God. We will also never rest in the ever changing and unsettling world we live in and are called to settle.

Did you notice how God identified Himself? He did not call Himself the Lord God of Israel. He called Himself the Lord of all the earth. This is a huge pronouncement that many have missed.

God identifies Himself, or is identified, as the God of Israel over 200 times. All but 2 of those are in the Old Testament. Yet here in Joshua 3 He identifies Himself by a different name, The Lord of all the earth, 2 times. The first time is in verse 11, “Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over ahead of you into the Jordan.”

The is the first time in Scripture God identifies Himself by this name!

The Presence of God, carried on the shoulders of certain priests of God, preceded the people of God into that which was flooded, moving swiftly, and was very unstable!

The Jordan River begins at the foot of Mount Hermon to the north and empties into the Dead Sea to the south. The Jordan descends approximately 3100 feet from its headwaters to the Dead Sea where it ends its journey. At the time of Jesus the Jordan could reach almost 5000 feet wide. Today it is no where near that width.

Jordan means to descend, to decline, to be brought down, among other things. It ends in the Dead Sea. The metaphor is representative of a person whose life is in decline and heading toward death.

This is what happened to the water once the priests settled in their place of rest in the middle of the River. “The waters which were flowing  down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam.” [Joshua 3:16]

Adam is the man of sin whose sin brought death into the human race! By rolling the water all the way back to Adam God was saying everything Adam passed on to man was being rolled back, off of and away from those entering their place of promise.

Why would God do that? Why would God do that at this moment in history? Why would God identify Himself as the Lord of all the earth right there, right then?

I am convinced that God identifies Himself this way to the children of Israel as the Lord of all the earth because the promise of a promise land was made to Abram, before he became Abraham, the converted covenant man of faith.

We find that promise promised the first time in Acts 7 when Stephen is testifying before the Sanhedrin. “2 The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, 3 and said to him, ‘Leave your country and your relativesand come into the land that I will show you.'”

In Genesis 12 God told Abram the 2nd time, when he was in Haran, to leave his father’s house and go to the land that He would show him and eventually give to him.

In Genesis 12:3 God preached the gospel to Abram when He said to him, “And in you all the nations of the earth will be blessed.” Paul tells us in Galatians 3:8 this was the gospel being preached to Abraham.

Paul writes in Romans 4:13, “For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith [believing God and staying faithful to God].”

Are you aware that just like the descendants of faithful Abraham, you will have to step into your greatest challenge to reach your promised purpose. When you do you position yourself to change the entire world, or at the least your entire world.

In the Old Testament there were a select few of the priests chosen by God to carry the Ark of His Presence. In the New Testament every born again believer is a priest called to carry God’s presence.

Will you risk it all in front of all those following you?

If not, you disqualify yourself from being God’s leader! Why? If you are waiting on someone else to take the risk you are called to take you automatically become a follower!

On the surface the flooded River the children of Israel stood before looked scary, inconvenient and very risky. They did not realize under the turbulent surface was a place of rest!

Below the surface stood dry ground and stones of remembrance that were to remind them what deliverance is all about, as well as their part in participating in their deliverance.

Leaders must learn to rest in what God is saying so they can rest in where God says to take a stand.

Leaders take the maximum risk so that the rest of God’s people’s transition will be much less stressful. Welcome to the school of the Spirit in leadership training!

I can imagine the fear they had to face when the reality set in that the God who had delivered them from Egyptian bondage with a strong right hand of power and authority, and had kept them in their 40 year wilderness wanderings with that same power and authority, now was telling them they have to take a huge step of faith into their place of divine purpose, trusting they would not perish in the process of going from wandering and wondering in a wilderness to accepting full responsibility for possessing all the promises God had made to them while they were in bondage.

They were told manna would no longer fall from heaven! In the place of their purpose they would have to work the land that had unlimited resources. The land had full provision but they would have to labor in the land to extract it and benefit from it.

Provision would not fall from heaven. It would come from the land [promises] they were to live in and possess!

In the land of promise they would have to confront their enemies and dispossess them from what God had promised to them.

Making a decision to be proactive in uprooting everything in our lives that stands in opposition to and in the way of God’s perfect plan for us is a prerequisite to our possessing our possessions.

In the New Testament we learn we do not battle against flesh and blood. This is true! Our enemies are not other people.

Our primary enemy is ourselves! The devil is not our primary enemy. Our primary enemy is our own flesh [carnal, sinful, immature and irresponsible ways]! Paul says in Romans that our flesh is at enmity with our new true identity in Christ and that it wars against the Spirit of God, and the Spirit wars against it.

The devil is already dispossessed and he only has access to our possessions when we invite him to feed at our table of timidity and carnality.

Another way to look at God telling His leaders to step into and stand in the midst of the river is ‘rivers’ stand for moves of the Holy Spirit and the various anointing’s that are  resident in the Holy Spirit, in you.

“Out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water. This Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit who they had not yet received.”

Stepping into, standing in and resting in the moving of God’s Spirit and His anointing on your life is vital to functioning as one of His leaders. If we are not moving with God we become the clog that creates hinderances to where He is moving. The world we are called to transform will only be transformed after we are transformed by His Presence and anointing.

What is your greatest challenge in the context of and in conflict with what God has promised you?

What appears on the surface to be so unstable because it is constantly shifting that you stand shaking on the shoreline opposite your divine purpose?

What is sitting under all that appears shifting and unstable just waiting for you to step into the very substance that creates consternation, waiting for you to stand there, and to find a rest that you never thought you would find?

What world is waiting on you to transform as you tremble in fear facing what appears to be traumatically terrifying?

God delivered you from where you were in order to deliver you into your place of purpose where He has always seen you successfully possessing your possessions [promises]!

Will you face your greatest fear and fearlessly and faithfully move forward?

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

A Hisstorymaker

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!

All Scripture

Every time ALL CAPS are used it is for emphasis only!

16″All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, for training in righteousness; 17[so] that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” [2 Timothy 3:16,17].

This is a classic text for a multitude of reasons. I would like to provide some context and exposition so that each of you, not just the men, can be an adequate and equipped minister of the gospel of grace.

First of all, in Christ there is neither male nor female and all Christian believers are ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul, the apostle of grace, in my opinion, had more revelation on the word, will and ways of God than any other human being, except for Jesus Christ.

Galatians 3:28 – “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Paul, writing to his spiritual son Timothy, was instructing him on the importance of the Scripture in his development as a young minister of the Christian life, Christian message, and Christian ministry.

In verse 16 of his second letter to Timothy he pens the classic text – “All Scripture is inspired by God”.

Taken literally, which we should, the phrase “all Scripture” is referring to the Old Testament Scripture. But in context we must also know that the New Testament was being lived out and also being written by the different New Testament writers.

Without a context the text becomes a pretext that can be taken out of context. This is done a lot with preachers and teachers that have already formulated a belief that they are trying to prove. In other words, these “teachers” find verses in the Bible to prove what they already believe. This is called proof texting and eisegesis. Eisegesis is a fancy Greek word that means to read into the text a personal bias. Exegesis is the Greek word that means to get, or take out of the text what the text is saying. In other words – LET THE TEXT TELL YOU WHAT THE TEXT IS SAYING!

As representatives of the Lord we must provide the context in order to come to the correct  conclusion.

Also, correct hermeneutics requires us to first determine what the text meant to the person or people it was written to. We cannot leap frog thousands of years into our day to come to conclusions without first understanding what it meant when it was written. I refer you to my previous blog Eschatological Options.

Additionally, everyone who reads and or studies the Bible should ask these questions as they approach the text. Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? These questions enable us to become investigators in our quest to come to correct conclusions.

Whatever is misdiagnosed will be mistreated!

In Acts 17 Paul and Silas are preaching the gospel of grace in Berea. Look at what Luke recorded, “10 The brethren [brothers and sister in Christ] 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 [Berean Jews] 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.” As a side note there must have been at least 10 Jewish men in Berea because 10 men are required to form a synagogue [Fausset Bible Dictionary, Holman Bible Dictionary].

As a core value we all should check out every minister’s theology with Scripture. We should go to every Bible references they cite in their sermons or books, blogs and articles.

In God we trust!

Everyone else should be checked and verified!

If Paul and Silas did not require their listeners to take their word for what they were teaching, we should not blindly “trust” someone no matter how long they have been in ministry.

As a personal core value I always encourage my readers and listeners to be as noble minded as the Bereans.

There is a syndrome that has plagued the Church since Mount Sinai when God’s Church in the wilderness [See Acts 7:38] told Moses in so many words [I’m paraphrasing], “You go hear from God and come back and tell us what He is saying because He is a scary Person.” [Exodus 20:19 – “Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.””]

Too many of today’s “Church” people only hear what God is saying through what their favorite preacher is saying.


By the way, it is NOT dishonoring to hold ministers [our leaders] accountable by doing your own study and even asking questions. We are not blind sheep. We are also not in the Old Testament where only the prophets heard from and spoke for God. It’s a good thing too because one misspoken word brought the swift judgment of death.

Once I heard a preacher teaching on the High Priest in the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement. He was teaching that the High Priest was wearing the blue ephod with the bells and pomegranates sewn on the hem all around and that he was required to keep moving or die. I went to that preacher later and said, “I don’t understand what you taught because in Leviticus 16:1-4 it explicitly says the High Priest only wore white linen when He went into the Most Holy Place. If he was not wearing the blue ephod on the Day of Atonement then what you taught is not true.” He said to me, “I will have to look into this.” I never heard back from him so I don’t know where he stands on this issue.

Leviticus 16:1-4 KJV – “1 And the LORD spake unto Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the LORD, and died; 2 And the LORD said unto Moses, ‘Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat. 3 Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering. 4 He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on.”


You may be in a cult if you feel manipulated! You may be in a cult if you are accused of being a Jezebel or Absalom!

You may be operating out of one of those evil spirits.

If so, repent quickly and thoroughly!

Having your own opinions and beliefs DOES NOT constitute you having an evil spirit.

You may be in a cult if your leader tells you, “I am only trying to protect you from error” which is code for “You need me to keep you from error.” I once heard a preacher say that in his sermon. I was stunned!

All believers [true Christians] have the Holy Spirit and can “know what is true.”

1 John 2:20,26,27 – “20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 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 [tell you what to believe, or tell you what is safe or not]; 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.”

1 John 2 begins with, “My little children, I am writing to you . . . .” The phrase ‘little children’ is the Greek word paidion. There are four words in the Greek for child [children]. 1] brephos = unborn or newborn [totally dependant on another person], 2] nepios = selfish [Paul uses this word in 1 Cor 3:1], 3] paidion = age of accountability as they know what sin is, at this stage the child is transitioning out of selfishness to selflessness, and 4] teknon = mature child but not yet considered a son of the covenant where the Father can entrust His “store” to the child.

Paul himself had already been writing letters that would “one day” be called Scripture. Just because the New Testament was not yet canonized – for it would take several hundred years for that designation to come – doesn’t mean his writings were not being viewed in the first century as being authoritative.

Look at what Peter said concerning Paul. Keep in mind Peter was a Jewish disciple of Jesus Christ who lost his life being faithful to the message of God’s message of grace. Peter was one of the 12 original apostles [Apostles of the Lamb], and an elder in local churches.

2 Peter 3:14-18 – “14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort [to twist, as in to make it into what they want it to say and mean], as they do ALSO THE REST OF the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this [that there are people twisting the Scripture to fit their own agenda] beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness [to Christ], 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

Do you see what Peter said about Paul? . . . . “our beloved brother [in Christ] Paul, according to the wisdom [revelation] given him, wrote to you, as also in ALL HIS LETTERS, speaking in THEM of these things, in which are SOME THINGS HARD TO UNDERSTAND, which the untaught and unstable DISTORT, as they do the REST OF THE SCRIPTURES, to their own destruction.”

Peter is substantiating Paul’s letters [plural] as authoritative with the rest of the [OT] Scriptures, in the first century. He said that even though some of what Paul was writing was hard to understand, it was not an excuse to distort it. Those distorting Paul’s “wisdom [revelation]” would do so to their own destruction.

I love that Peter, like Barnabas in Paul’s early days as a believer, gave Paul street cred [credibility]!

What was Paul’s wisdom? Well some of it is revealed here ~

Colossians 2:6-23 – “6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt  [Law of commandments] consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. 16 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day — 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly [carnal] mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. 20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

In verses 16 AND 17 Paul states, “Therefore NO ONE is to act as your judge [deciding if you have a relationship with Christ or not] in regard to [based on] food or drink [Jewish dietary laws – Romans 14:17 — “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”], or in respect to a festival [the feasts of Israel], or a new moon [Jewish calendar], or a Sabbath day [Jewish ethical Laws]–THINGS WHICH ARE A MERE SHADOW OF WHAT IS TO COME; BUT THE SUBSTANCE BELONGS TO CHRIST.”

The word judge in verse 16 can mean an umpire, someone who makes decisions on what or who is safe [saved], and what or who is out [not safe or saved]. It carries the idea of a person who self appoints theirselves as sole arbiter of who is playing by the rules and attempts to disqualify the ones “they deem” breaking the rules.

He continues in verse 18, “Let NO ONE keep defrauding you of your prize”. Jesus and our personal relationship to Him is our prize. In other words, don’t pay attention to someone that tells you are in danger of going to hell if you do not adhere to these shadows.

He begins in verse 6 by saying, “Therefore as you have received Jesus Christ the Lord so walk in Him.” Paul is speaking of a faith relationship not a keeping the rules relationship. We know this to be true by what followed in verse 7, “Having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith.”

This is very similar language to what Paul wrote in Galatians chapter 3. The book of Galatians was written by Paul to combat the Judaizers who perverted [distorted] the message of grace and kept attempting to destroy Paul’s ministry of grace.

I want to go back to verse 10 of Colossians 2 before we move on. I want you to get what Paul said in this verse so please pay careful attention to these words.

“And in Him [Christ] you HAVE BEEN made complete.” Did you get that? I hope you got it. Paul was saying there is nothing more you have to do or need to do. “YOU HAVE BEEN MADE COMPLETE IN HIM.” Paul also said this – “We are being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ” [Romans 8:29]. Taken together Paul’s wisdom reveals we are being conformed to the ONE we ARE ALREADY complete in.” Hallelujah! By God’s grace working inside of us we will become who we already are in Christ. Double Hallelujah!!

Galatians 3:1-9 – “1 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected [completed or matured] by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 6 Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.'”

I could go on and on and on releasing “the wisdom” of Paul, who by the way continues to this day being pursued and persecuted by the modern day Judaizers, those Jewish believers, or Jewish wannabe’s, who want to bring us back under the Law of Moses.

Did you know that a person does not fall from grace the moment they commit a sin because “where sin abounds grace abounds much more” [Romans 5:20]. A person falls from grace when they try to relate to God by the Law [rules and regulations], attempting to earn His approval though their own performance.

Galatians 5:4 – “You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”

Christian teachers [leaders] who are Law based [external government] are usually very insecure people. I know this because they use the LAW to control people. People who want to control others usually cannot control themselves [no internal government]. They live in a perpetual state of fear. Freedom requires a lot more personal responsibility and these leaders can’t stand their people having freedom, because they don’t have freedom. They are always focused on what is wrong with “YOU”. In truth they are usually punishing themselves but take it out on others.

Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment. He answered – “Love God” and then He said the second one was just like it – “Love people”.

Jesus changed the rules on His own rules!

Jesus took the 10 commandments, 9 of which were negative – what we can’t do – and turned them into 2 positive things we could do – love God and love people. He continued by stating emphatically – “ALL THE LAW AND PROPHETS HANG ON THESE.”

In other words love trumps law! Or, love is greater than rules!

I do not commit adultery because there is a Law that says, “Thou shalt NOT commit adultery.” I am faithful to my wife because I LOVE MY WIFE and we have a heart to heart connection! This is not rocket science folks!

We ARE saved and are kept saved by grace through faith – PERIOD! Keeping some external form of a past, present or future religious order can never save us or keep us saved.

When people want contemporary Christians to hold on to the types and shadows of the old world order it is usually because they do not have a very strong relationship with God’s heart.

Those who are weak in their relationship to the ultimate reality [Jesus] need the security of His shadow [Go back to the above mentioned reference in Colossians 2:6-23].

Paul calls these things elementary!

Colossians 2:8

“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”

Colossians 2:20-23

20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

What in the world is the world Paul is referring to in this text? How about the Jewish and pagan world! He is referring to Jewish rules and regulations as well as pagan prohibitions that had an outward appearance of being godly, but was “self-made religion.”

There are too many people focused on Christ’s shadow. Shadows point to a greater reality. Old Testament types and shadows are the virtual reality.

Jesus Christ is reality!

Look at what Peter had to say about salvation, “3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials , 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. 10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look .” [1 Peter 1:3-12]

Come on somebody – where is “we must keep the festivals or any other Old Testament ritual to be saved?” In fact, Peter says God’s power keeps us in our salvation through [our] faith!

Hebrews 11:6 – “But without faith it is impossible to please him.” “Without faith” NOT “without the festivals” it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God.

Peter even says that the Spirit of Christ prophesied the message of grace through the Old Testament prophets and that He [Holy Spirit] “predicted” the sufferings [at the hands of lawless Jews which included their constant harassing Him, turning Him over to the Romans, giving false testimony against Him, abandoning Him, mocking Him while on the Cross, shall I go on . . . .calling Him Beelzebub, saying He was a bastard child, refusing to kill Him themselves by stoning as a false prophet but hiring a hit man [Pilate] to crucify Him. This to me clearly reveals they knew exactly what they were doing].

God’s grace is God’s ability!

It is a gift from God!

Grace does not provide excuses for misbehavior [sin, immaturity]. God’s grace enable us to be [become] who He says we are and to do all that He says we can do.

Friends, it is up to you to stay free from religious teaching and teachers who want nothing more than to bring you back under a religious system that died and was replaced 2000 years ago.

God raised Jesus the Christ from the dead. He will NEVER raise Judaism from the dead!

Paul wrote in Galatians 5 – “It WAS for FREEDOM’S sake that Christ set YOU free. Therefore, DO NOT ALLOW yourselves to be enslaved again by any yoke of bondage.” [V1]

Check out Paul’s warning to Titus, another one of his sons in the faith who he had placed on Crete to set in order the local church there – “10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. 12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. 13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. 15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” [Titus 1:10-16].

These false teachers of the circumcision were either Jewish Christians or men masquerading as Christians or unsaved Jewish men who could not stand other Jews, and even Gentiles getting saved and becoming free. Money was a main motivating force for their “theology”. They professed a relationship with God but in reality denied Him through their works [teachings].

This is what Paul had to say to the saints in Thessalonica –

1 Thessalonians 2:13-16 – “13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe. 14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, 15 who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, 16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.” [See Acts 17 for context]

The false circumcision teachers were promoting “Jewish fables”. There are a host of opinions as to what these fables actually were but we can suffice to say they were being used to subvert whole households in order to get people’s money.

As I stated in my previous blog Eschatological Options “Bad News Sells.” There are actually Christians today promoting war and profiting off of it by selling DVD’s, CD’s, books, etc. Many predictions have been espoused by those who have a non Scriptural love affair with natural Israel. To me they are no different than those who have an non Scriptural love affair with Mary. Natural Israel and Mary were simply vehicles to bring the Savior of the world into the world. Once the Savior arrived we should have honor for natural Israel and Mary but our focus is on Jesus. Because only those who are in Christ are the people of God.

God told Israel the only way they could stay on the the land or return to the land was through obedience and repentance. As far as I know they have yet to repent for falsely accusing Jesus and murdering Him.

I will not take up more time and space to provide the Scripture texts for the following statements.

God’s promise of land to Abraham and to his Seed was unconditional!

Natural Israel’s right to retain the land was conditional on their complete obedience to God!

Natural Israel’s right to return to the land after they rebelled and were expelled was based on REPENTANCE!

The actual promise of land to Abraham [actually Abram] was the planet not Palestine. Romans 4:13 – “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”

In closing, I do not personally know of one person who believes the Old Testament has been done away with, in the sense that it no longer has value to us. I do personally know lots of people who believe the Old Testament has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and that He inaugurated, and is the Mediator of a better covenant. The New Testament explains the Old Testament, not vice versa! The New Testament is SUPERIOR to the Old Testament.

I don’t know about you, but I am not looking backwards into the Old Testament. I choose rather to do what the apostle Paul said in Philippians 3, “2 Beware of the dogs [Jews considered non Jews [the heathen] dogs and here Paul is saying unregenerate Jews are dogs [heathen]], beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision [unsaved Jews or the Judaizers]; 3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh, 4 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. 7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind [See verses 4-6] and reaching forward to what lies ahead,14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect [mature], have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.”

And again,

Hebrews 8:1-13 – “1 Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 [Jesus is] a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; so it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer. 4 Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law; 5 who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, “See,” He says, “that you make all things according to the pattern [the heavenly pattern] which was shown you on the mountain.” 6 But now He [Jesus] has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. 8 For finding fault with them, He says, “Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will effect a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; 9 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; For they did not continue in My covenant, and I did not care for them, says the Lord.10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 “And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, and everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord, ‘For all will know Me, from the least to the greatest of them. 12 “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more.” 13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.”

Stay Hungry And Thirsty For God My Friends!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

A Hisstorymaker!