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Diabolos

Posted by on Sep 26, 2018 in Reflections in the Word | 2 comments

Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. 1 Timothy 3:11

[Men and women of the last days will be]…unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good… 2 Timothy 3:3

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good… Titus 2:3

I often look up the Greek or Hebrew for a word when I’m reading the Bible. Today, I looked up the Greek word for malicious gossips which I found in 1 Timothy 3:11. Here’s what I found:

Diabolos: [Strong’s Concordance, #1228]

  1. prone to slander, slanderous, accusing falsely
  2. a calumniator, false accuser, slanderer  [Note: a calumniator is one who makes false and defamatory statements about someone.]
  3. metaph. applied to a man who, by opposing the cause of God, may be said to act the part of the devil or to side with him

However, of the 36 verses in which the Greek word diabolos is used, 33 of them—nearly 92%refer to this:

“Satan, the prince of demons, the author of evil, persecuting good men, estranging mankind from God and enticing them to sin, and afflicting them with diseases by means of demons who take possession of their bodies at his bidding; the malignant enemy of God and the Messiah…” Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

It hit me: Of all the sins described or listed in the Bible, this sin, the sin of making a false accusation, is the ONLY sin that is one and the same with the word uniquely used for the devil.

Therefore, of all the sins described/listed in the Bible, the most Satan-like of all when utilized by a human is not idolatry, stealing, sexual sin, simple lying, cheating, violent behaviors, etc., (all of which must be confessed to God and repented of by the human so engaged if they want to be free of the toxic internal environment caused by such involvement; see 1 John 1:9). Instead, the sin most likened to the devil himself is the sin of false accusation.

My take away is this: Be careful that you don’t jump aboard the bandwagon of finger-pointers and tongue-waggers; there’s a good chance that some, if not all, of the accusations darting around are false. Come to terms with the fact that some men and women have given themselves over to false accusations. They are DIABOLOSmen and women most closely reflecting the devil himself. You don’t want to be counted among that group. Fortunately, however, in Christ, there is redemption and cleansing for such people if they choose to confess and repent; but it is better not to devise, embrace, or further those accusations in the first place.

Some food for thought.

Dorothy

© 2018, Dorothy Frick

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Concerning Jesus’ directive “sell your cloak and buy a sword”

Posted by on Nov 5, 2017 in Reflections in the Word | Comments Off on Concerning Jesus’ directive “sell your cloak and buy a sword”

I wrote this today on Facebook:

Bear with me while I process something.

Two summers ago I awoke one morning in a vacation condo overlooking the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. But my heart was full of concern; I was puzzled. You see, I had just emerged that early Wednesday morning from a dream in which I was attending a Sunday morning service at my church. In the dream my pastor was teaching something that was totally unlike his personality or anything he’s ever said before from the pulpit.

He was teaching us that with times as they are, it would be appropriate for those of us who desired to do so to carry concealed weapons into the service.

He also asserted that if anyone bragged or displayed bravado or arrogance about it, he would immediately kick them out of the church, no questions asked.

I told one of the ladies (my friend Debbie K.) with whom I was vacationing about it first thing. We had no idea what God was saying although the message of the dream was in-your-face clear. It was June 17, 2015.

Imagine my shock and grief that evening when we learned that nine beautiful worshippers were gunned down in their church–the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church–during their Wednesday night Bible study.

And today, once again we are confronted by another slaughter in a Baptist church in Texas, where perhaps twenty or so dear ones have been killed. In addition, across the country, in a Fresno, California, Catholic church parking lot, two more were shot as church was letting out.

We can debate the gun issue; in fact, I’m POSITIVE it will come up. But the dream I had just 10 hours before that weasely young man murdered nine of my brothers and sisters at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church makes me wonder if the tables may have been turned if one or two of those saints had carried a weapon along with their Bible.

I recall one of the instructions that Jesus gave His disciples before He was arrested, brutally tortured, and crucified was different than anything He had ever preached before–and markedly unlike His personality.

He said, “…if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one” (Luke 22:36).

I’ve thought about this often since my dream the morning of June 17, 2015. I’ve thought about my pastor’s stern dream-warning concerning the attitude that must attend such weapon-bearing. And I’ve sought God concerning Jesus’ goal in giving this uncharacteristic directive.

Despite the Lord’s sword-instruction, nowhere do we see any of the New Testament believers/preachers engaging in swordfights or spreading the Gospel by means of the sword. Nowhere do we see any of the believers even defending themselves by means of the sword.

Nonetheless, it’s inescapable: The Gospel of Luke records that Jesus directed His followers at the time to carry a sword.

Because His disciples obeyed Him in other matters, there is no reason to believe they disregarded the sword-directive. Jesus had commanded them to go into all the world and preach the gospel; to go into the byways and highways; to teach and preach wherever they went.

And Jesus, Who understood the future better than most people can make sense of the past, realized that His followers would be easy prey for bad actors all along the way. Therefore, in His foresight, wisdom, and great love, He made provision for them–“If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”

And again, Jesus–Who is able read the minds and motives of men and women–knew this well: Most thugs are cowardly. If they see a sword slung around the shoulder of even the tiniest of His disciples, they would bide their time and find another–an unarmed victim–and leave the sword-bearer alone.

This is why I support the Second Amendment. I don’t like braggadocious attitudes about weapons; I DO like the idea that criminals will think twice before harming a man or a woman with a gun.

Thanks for reading.

Dorothy

 

© 2017, Dorothy Frick

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Remove the dross

Posted by on Jul 29, 2013 in Reflections in the Word | Comments Off on Remove the dross

Take away the dross from the silver, and there comes out a vessel for the smith.” Proverbs 25:4, NASB

Remove impurities from the silver and the silversmith can craft a fine chalice.” Proverbs 25:4, Message Bible

First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” Matthew 23:26, NIV

Scour the insides, and then the gleaming surface will mean something.” Matthew 23:26, Message Bible

The good news is this: “If a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether—the past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and new” (2 Corinthians 5:17, Phillips).

If you are a new creature and your sin nature is gone, then two questions come up: 1.) Why do you still get tempted to sin? 2.) Why should you even be concerned about sin if everything has been covered by the sacrifice of Jesus?

To answer the first question, in Christ you are forgiven and your past is washed clean. Yet you have this thing called a soul, made up of your mind, will, and emotions. Although your soul is eternal, it was not recreated like your spirit was when you received Christ, and therefore is liable to make wrong choices. Your mind is to be renewed (see Romans 12:2) and your soul is to be saved by receiving God’s Word with a humble heart (see James 1:21). Philippians 2:12-13 says that you are to work out your salvation with fear and trembling; the good news is that God works inside you to help you to be willing to obey Him.

Why should you be concerned about sin? The Apostle Paul asked the same question. “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?” (Romans 6:1, NLT.) You can almost hear the apostle blowing a gasket as he answers his own question in verse 2, “May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (NASB.)

Your actions, thoughts, and words build your life. They also affect everyone around you, for good or for ill. You are accountable for the choices you make, the words you speak, and the thoughts you think. But because of your faith in Christ, the God to whom you will give an account is the same One who works within you both to will and to work for His good pleasure! He has rigged life in your favor! Only a mindset of rebellion, apathy, or self-importance on your part can gum up the flow of His wonderful grace on your life. If these attitudes arise within you, God is still present; He has not ceased to love you, and He will be ever-ready to work kindly within you to bring about repentance and change in your heart. Help with these destructive mindsets is just a prayer away.

Why exert so much attention on the topic of personal accountability when the world is spinning out of control? Perhaps if more attention had been paid to this subject, our world would not be in its current disastrous condition .

At the beginning of today’s entry the proverb states, “Take away the dross from the silver, and there comes out a vessel for the smith.”  Impurities in silver decrease its reflective properties. Unconfessed sin in your life decreases your ability to reflect the Lord to a hurting world around you. Unchecked rebellion, apathy, or self-importance will block the clear leading of the Holy Spirit when you need it the most. As ungodly attitudes remain in your heart, they become weights to you, and life becomes burdensome, the call of Christ grows more and more faint, and the light that is in you becomes dim, hidden under a pile of flesh and unrestrained soul.

However, if you become aware of “dross” in your life, simply yield it to the Silversmith, and He will gladly remove it from you.

You were created in Christ Jesus to be a vessel for honorable use. Let God take away any dross cropping up in you, for it’s time for you to shine. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16, KJV).

Let nothing cloud your light any longer!

Dorothy

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Jugglers

Posted by on Jul 3, 2013 in July 2013, Reflections in the Word | Comments Off on Jugglers

But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”          2 Timothy 3:13, NASB

But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”                   2 Timothy 3:13, KJV

In the King James Version of 2 Timothy 3:13, impostors are called “seducers”. According to the Encarta Dictionary, a seducer is a persuader who uses deception to get what he or she wants sexually. However, the same reference further reveals that the term isn’t limited to sexual enticement; a seducer also tries to talk someone into doing other things they wouldn’t normally do by painting a picture of how “amazing” or “truly noble” those things are. Lastly, the same source states that the term seducer can be used to describe a person who manipulates others into giving them their support or agreement.

The term “impostor” used in the NASB indicates the false, illegitimate character of this type of person, whereas “seducer” further reveals the manipulative, self-serving motivation lurking within the individual.

Now look at the Greek definition for the word impostor. That word is goēs and indicates not only a deceiver and an impostor, but also reveals some other very interesting peculiarities (see < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1114&t=KJV >).

The first definition right out of the box for this Greek word is “a wailer” and “a howler”. Remember, impostors lie and manipulate, so this wailing and howling is not the genuine cry of pain or remorse—no, the wail and howl of an impostor is a grand charade in the interest of furthering his agenda to con and deceive. Would you be surprised to learn that one of the strategies which activist Saul Alinsky included in his book, Rules for Radicals, to force societal change was to loudly, disruptively, and continuously complain–to howl and wail–against the status quo?

Another definition of goēs is an enchanter, who, according to the source, would utter incantations in a sort of a howl.

But to me, the most intriguing definition of all is included in the second meaning along with enchanter: a juggler. You may wonder how this word, juggler, could possibly be related to impostor or seducer. This is where it gets very interesting.

Think about this: information—extremely important information—gets thrown at Americans constantly. Any attempt to make sense of current events is dizzying and makes you feel as if you are watching…well, a multi-object juggling routine in hyper-speed! You start to learn about one change in society and before you know it, a second, and then a third, and then a fourth fly into view. Changes in health care laws, changes in gun laws, changes in privacy concerns for travel, communication, etc., changes in the military, changes in taxation, changes in prices, changes in the genetic makeup of food, changes in voting laws, changes in immigration, changes in age-old marriage definitions, changes in regulations, changes in China, Russia, and the middle-east, predicted changes in America’s status as the world’s economic leader and number 1 super-power, changes in what is commonly accepted as right and wrong—all these things and so much more fly at us from every direction at the speed of light.

Most of us do not have the reading capacity of JFK who was reported to read four newspapers in 15 minutes every day. And yet the juggling of volumes of important, highly detailed events before our eyes daily intensifies more and more, mocking our inability to comprehend even one piece, let alone grasp the entire scope of information.

Most people just throw their hands up in the air, let the info fall to the ground, and walk away. Who can keep up with it all?

I propose that this is by design to keep men and women of good will and honest heart off-balance as they attempt to bring order to chaos.

But I believe with all my heart that there is a strategy from the Throne Room of God to empower His people to deal effectively in the face of this constant juggling act of disastrous, poisonous events.

It was rumored that baseball legend Ted Williams was able to see, as if frozen in space, the seams on any fastball hurled his way. Could it be that God has been “magnifying your vision” with one or two of the very serious issues facing our nation? Are you passionate about any of the above listed changes going on in our culture? What angers you? What makes you uneasy? What is attempting to rob your peace? Could it  be that the issues that bug you the most are the “seams on the baseball” flying at you? Could it be that the Living God has prompted your ire and is giving you the assignment to hit that issue out of the park in consecrated, heartfelt prayer?

It is my belief that God’s will in these difficult days is to freely send assignments to His men and women, boys and girls, “freezing in space” for each one of us the details about whatever He prompts us to pray for. Look. He’s so much greater than any impostor, seducer, or juggler of oppression that ever existed.

So when you see alarming information being juggled at warp-speed before your eyes, thank God that He has His “Ted Williams” prayer people stepping up to the plate all over the nation and around the world, ready, waiting, bats in hand, anticipating those fastballs, and, seeing the seams, prayer muscles bulging, swing with a force that could only come from God and connect—sending those balls way out of the park.

Get ready to play ball, Ted Williams—you.

Dorothy

 

 

 

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Folly

Posted by on Jul 2, 2013 in July 2013, Reflections in the Word | Comments Off on Folly

But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all…” 2 Timothy 3:9

But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” 2 Timothy 3:13

The above verses couldn’t seem any more contradictory! And yet they both appear in 2 Timothy 3 in the Apostle Paul’s description of the last days. Both verses are about the same type of people, evil men and impostors, men who oppose the truth, have depraved minds, and who are rejected in regard to the faith (see 2 Timothy 3:8).

Verse 9 tells us that these truth-haters will make no further progress. Verse 13 says that they will proceed from bad to worse.

Could both verses be true and about the same godless folks?

Let’s muddy the waters a bit more before we clear them up. Did you know that the word for “progress” in verse 9 and the word for “proceed” in verse 13 are one and the same word?

Both words are prokoptō in Greek. It means to promote, to further, to advance, to go forward, and to make progress (see <www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4298&t=KJV>).  

According to the Word, evil men and impostors will prokoptō (proceed and advance) from bad to worse. And, also according to the Bible, these evil men will not make further prokoptō (progress or advancement)!

If the evil operatives of the last days:

  • will make no further progress, while at the same time they
  • are proceeding from bad to worse

then something very interesting is being revealed here.

I believe that the Holy Spirit is letting the generation alive in the last days in on important truth.

1.)  We can put our faith in what God has said about those who oppose the truth, have depraved minds, and who are rejected in regard to the faith. And that is this: They will make no further progress. Why not? For their folly will be obvious to all.

How will their progress be halted? By having their folly openly displayed before all—the rest of the population.

How will it be exposed and made obvious before the eyes of the full population? That’s where we believers come in: We are to pray for truth to prevail and evil to be exposed in God’s way and God’s time.

But then, you may ask, if evil men are supposed to make no further progress, why are things clearly getting worse? My response? This show’s not over! God’s not done. Don’t tell me you’re done!

2.)  We also can bet our bottom dollar on the fact that evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse. God said they would.

Here’s the difference. These evil men and women will make no further progress in their agendas, in great part, because of their folly. Folly has neither the ability nor power to cause the one who embraces it to flourish forever. Many godly souls see right through the impostors and their lies, and many more will start to wake up to the folly of what is being foisted upon them. Our part, as believers in all of this, is to pray for truth to prevail, for folly to be openly and explicitly exposed for what it is, and to cry out to God to intervene on behalf of our nation.

However, the poor souls clinging to their agendas of folly will themselves proceed from bad to worse as they deceive and become even more deceived themselves. Unfortunately, they will be successful in deceiving some; but again, our job as believers is to pray for truth to prevail, for folly to be seen openly for the evil that it is, and for the advancement of the agenda of those who hate the God of the Bible to be set back and restrained on our watch.

May God strengthen, direct, and gird you for your part in this prayer battle as you cling to Him and His Word.

God bless and empower you,

Dorothy

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Impostors

Posted by on Jul 1, 2013 in July 2013, Reflections in the Word | Comments Off on Impostors

2 Timothy 3 describes in list format the types of godless people who will be alive in the last days. Each generation since Christ likely saw some characteristics of its own unique time in that chapter’s description, to be sure, but now, unfortunately, in our time the list in 2 Timothy 3 appears to be a perfect fit.

Verse 13 says, “But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

I would like for you to look more closely at the word “impostors” in this verse. First, consider the definition of impostor—one who “assumes [a] false identity or title for the purpose of deception” (MerriamWebster.com). To assume an identity or title that is not your own is lying.

Next, impostors are grouped in verse 13 with evil men. Since lying violates the Word of God, it’s not hard to understand why impostors are placed alongside evil men in Scripture as those to watch out for in the last days.

The verse continues to reveal that impostors will proceed from bad to worse. A lying individual who supposes he or she will not get caught in their falsehood will, more than likely, continue in the lie. In fact, their lying gets more and more far-fetched as they increase in the assumption that they will not face consequences. And since lying violates the Word of God, obviously telling a lie is bad. However, as the person continues and their lies snowball, they get worse. Impostors—unless they repent—will proceed from bad to worse, just like the Bible says.

Last of all, verse 13 tells us how impostors spend time. They are busy deceiving and being deceived on an ongoing basis. If a person spends his time deceiving, he will eventually end up believing his own lies. Deceivers become very deceived. In other words, impostors don’t live in reality. And if those in leadership posts throughout the nation are involved in any part of the deception cycle, their grasp of reality is, at best, faulty.

This scenario spelled out in 2 Timothy 3 has caused many in the Body of Christ great concern. If the evil men and impostors among us are going to proceed from bad to worse, then what hope is there for us to even dream that our prayers will be answered?

In Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s blogs, I want to show you some “inside facts” I discovered while studying this chapter which gave me great encouragement and resolve. It is my desire that you also will find comfort and be fueled to continue in effective prayer for our nation despite what you see with your eyes.

Stay tuned!

Dorothy

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