AS IRON SHARPENS IRON REVISITED

First let me remind you that I am only a student and because I understand that is all I am if I see something in Scripture that seems different than what others believe I continually reexamine it to make sure I am not misleading anyone.

 

My post on Proverbs 27:17 is just such a case. I am sure that iron can not be used to sharpen iron. So if you understand the verse as it is written and understand that the word for sharpen is to mean “to increase one’s mental ability”, which is the common way to comprehend the word in this context, we then have a problem with understanding other verses in Scripture. It is not an insurmountable problem, but still a problem.

 

The duty of a Biblical teacher is commonly thought of as to sharpen another’s understanding of Scripture. The problem as I see it is God appoints some as teachers and yet in the NIV Jesus said call no man teacher (Mat 23:10 NIV) Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. Are we to be teachers and yet not think of ourselves as teachers or allow anyone to call us teachers?

 

Then if you consider the NIV translation of Proverbs 27:17 you can see that it isn’t even possible to sharpen anyone! That is if you understand that iron can not sharpen iron and you consider the NIV translation without also considering the KJV.

 

If you think that I am trying to reconcile these two verses of the NIV, you are correct. I believe the Bible to be without error, so if that is true there must be some way that those who God appoint teachers must teach and yet not be recognized as teachers. Well one way that I see is those who have not turned to God do not yet have the Holy Spirit as their teacher and they need a man to teach or show the way.

 

Before I was saved my pastor seemed like he knew all of the answers and every sermon seemed to fit what I had just experienced the week prior to the sermon and I was excited to hear, but after I turned and was baptized I became critical of his sermons and they no longer pertained to my recent experiences. If he understood this he could have predicted it and even explained it to me, but no one knows everything and I must admit that I have not heard a better preacher.

 

Let’s examine the KJV, comparing it to the NIV. The KJV translates Proverbs 27:17 quite a bit differently than the NIV. (Prov 27:17 KJV)  Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. The NIV disregards the word countenance, but it is in Strong’s so it is in the original Hebrew language.

 

Those who use the NIV and who refuse to accept that the second part of the verse determines that the first part is not possible I would bet have no problem believing it when the KJV is considered.

 

As I understand the KJV it says that when someone is depressed, or down as we would say, there is nothing anyone else can do to change it. Only time will change that, though we try; and we do try. Even Job’s friends understood that (Job 2:13 NIV) “Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.”

 

The KJV translates the word “didaskalos” as “master”, which puts a different meaning than the NIV on most of the verses where the word is used, because the NIV translates the word as “teacher” most of the time. But it also translates it as Rabbi in four verses and that when there is a word for Rabbi: that word is “rhabbi” (Strong’s #4461).

 

I have noticed many differences between the NIV and the KJV as I thought about this deviation, but there is one underlying concept that guides my thoughts. God protects His word and it is not possible to change something that God is protecting. It may be possible to write a different version of God’s word, but it will not prevail. Because both the KJV and the NIV prevail then it is my understanding that God wants both translations of Proverbs 27:17 to be viewed as genuine. For the word of God is living and active.

 

And here is what angers my brothers, the first phrase in Proverbs 27:17 determines the meaning of the second phrase and iron still does not sharpen iron. Ha-ha, and you thought I was going to change!  

55 Responses to AS IRON SHARPENS IRON REVISITED

  1. Susejevoli says:

    “The problem as I see it is God appoints some as teachers and yet in the NIV Jesus said call no man teacher (Mat 23:10 NIV) Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. Are we to be teachers and yet not think of ourselves as teachers or allow anyone to call us teachers?”

    You beat me to it. I was about to challenge you on the same thing. The first statement is referring to Ephesians 4:11 (or another verse similar). What is also interesting is Paul’s OT quote in Ephesians 4:8 (Psalm 68:18). Interesting!

    Point 4c on this article attempts an explanation: http://www.wrestedscriptures.com/b08trinity/ephesians4v8-10.html

    I had a skimmed through the post, i will read it again carefully later. See you.

  2. prockey says:

    I appreciate your thoughts. I’m adding you to my blogroll if you don’t mind. God bless you.

  3. astudent says:

    I would be honored. Thanks

  4. scott campbell says:

    I love your heart to search out the richer meanings of the Truth. We all go from one level of glory to another – and in the process our grasp of the deeper meaning of the Truth grows in stride. Truth is like a diamond cut by a master craftsman. Many different facets reflecting different hues yet from the same light. I believe the verse in proverbs has a specific truth to bear; if all we do is rely on those around us for advice and encouragement we limit ourselves. If we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship with each other in a more effective way. The word of god is powerful and “sharper” than any two edged sword. Thus if the words we share with another is “inspired” by Him – made “real” through the experience of Him – then as I listen, the rock sharpens my sword – then if I speak from a place of experience back to someone – if it speaks to their heart then in turn my words sharpen their sword – or iron. Yet it is not us doing the honing – it is Him. After all, Truth is a person; the word only speaks about Him who is the Truth. A mere concept of who Jesus is will not produce life; but an intimate one on one relationship with Jesus will produce life. Thus if we answer the question He asked the boys – and has been asking ever since – we go from moving in mere principles of Truth to the very presence of Truth. That question was “who do you say that I am?”

  5. astudent says:

    scott campbell,

    Now, we are really close to agreement. I would only say my words speak to other’s minds and the Rock that is in all who have turned to God and been baptized into Christ will speak to their hearts and teach them.

    It is not really my words that speak to one’s heart. At least I hope not, because I am only a man and I do not know everything. Only God knows and only God makes no mistakes.

    However it should be apparent that I do feel responsible to state what I believe is correct and there are many times God uses the words of others to correct me. However that is not to say they taught me anymore than to say I taught them.

  6. scott campbell says:

    It’s interesting that it says as we came to Jesus so walk in Him. We didn’t let Jesus into our minds – we let Him into our hearts. He speaks to our hearts – then His words go into our heads and begin the ongoing process of renewing our minds. Our walk is relational and not necessarily rational. Intimacy with our Lord is our choice. Too many believe in the concept of having a personal relationship with Jesus – but do not want to pay the price to develop such a relationship. He paid the ultimate price so we could enter into such a one on one intimate walk with Him – but it’s always our choice if we want to obey His plan for our lives. I often tell the Lord prior to mentoring someone “Lord what would you say if you were sitting with this person? It’s only your words and counsel that really matters – so inspire my heart to hear from you the words I should speak”

  7. astudent says:

    scott campbell,

    Well said Scott. I might add that no price is too much and any price paid is returned ten fold. Also Jesus said his load is light and I find that true.

  8. scott campbell says:

    Here’s a thought. The shadow of Peter that caused people to be healed was not a shadow by his body in the sunlight. There is a Greek word for that type of shadow, but the Greek word for Peter’s shadow simply means “illumination of light.” I personally believe that the deeper we allow our hearts to touch the things of the Lord in turn creates an amazing internal reality. Our internal reality creates our external reality – or shadow. Darkness cannot comprehend light – and simply must flee. Just turn on a light – or flashlight in a dark room. To the degree that the light is the darkness must dispense or flee. I personally believe our Lord’s yoke is easy – and the burden is keeping the light of our external shadow from dimming. It’s something we can ask for – open our hearts to – but something only He can do through us and in us. I believe because we have Jesus in our hearts we should change the atmosphere of any room we walk into.

  9. astudent says:

    scott campell,

    Or it could be that God used Peter’s shadow to show that it was not Peter himself that healed, but the light that surrounded him.

    About having Jesus in our hearts and that changing the atmosphere of a room when we walk into it, have you considered that the world crucified Jesus? You may well indeed change the atmosphere! Be careful. The work of Jesus was to go to the cross, but I don’t believe it is every Christian’s work. At least it would not seem a light load to me.

  10. scott campbell says:

    Peter gave of himself to become a living expression of the life of Jesus in the earth. You are right it wasn’t peter who healed – but peter was involved by yielding his life to the lord to the degree that he could be used of the lord in such a way.

    The world did crucify our Lord – but he died for the sins of the whole world. There will be those who decide not to believe in the saving grace of the work of the cross – but do you feel our place is just to sit back – or are we to be a light upon a hill? The cross was death for my Lord – but I believe it is life for me. I died with him on the cross – and I wasn’t even a twinkle in my daddy’s eye yet. It pleased the father to pour every ounce of his wrath upon Jesus – therefore ushering in the age of grace where you and I could give ourselves to him – be able to enter into one degree of glory and then another – to show the world that there is an answer to lifes woes and miseries.

  11. astudent says:

    scott campbell,

    Well, it seems as though some think that I do think that we should just sit back and do nothing, so let’s see if I can explain what I believe I should do.

    God raised Peter up to do what He wanted Peter to do. Peter was given all the tools that were required for the job. I am not Peter and I was not given the same tools. I was not given the attributes to be a leader of God’s people either.

    I believe that I should be an example for those around me and of course God has let me blog and share what I believe He has and is teaching me.

    I know that God does not need me to do anything for Him, but anything I do for anyone made in the image of God pleases Him.

    So bottom line I am enjoying the life that God has given me and I thank God for it: every day. Worry is a sin, so I don’t worry about what I could, or even what I should do.

    Truth is everyone that I know already knows there is a God. God has given everyone the authority to choose whether they want to live with him or not and they only have to spend a little time in thought to realize the truth and perhaps my example will cause them to do so.

    I would not take credit for anyone’s salvation, because if I took credit for success I would also have to take credit for failure and I fail many more times than I succeed.

    Again I don’t worry about anything, so I don’t worry if someone thinks that I am not doing enough for the Lord. If someone thinks that I am only sitting back and therefore not doing enough for the Lord they have judged me.

    (Rom 14:4 NIV) Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

    I don’t mean to say that you have judged me, because you did not use the phrase that way, you only asked. I only said this for others that do judge me. And even then an accusation from a friend can be a good thing for the accused! It is only pride that would cause anger because someone else thinks they are not perfect. We need to be reminded every now and then that we are not all that wonderful.

  12. scott campbell says:

    I’m glad you felt I wasn’t passing any sort of judgment – for I can’t, won’t, and would be a fool to judge another. What I’ve come to see after 38 years of loving Jesus is that we are all created in His image. Your assessment on God giving us the “authority” to make the personal choice is pivotal to say the least. There are two sovereign powers in the universe – the Will of the father – and our will. He gave us the power to choose – for He only wants those who truly love Him for who He is. It’s a heart issue for everyone – why some choose and some don’t when given the same opportunity has always been a mystery to me. It says no one knows the heart except the Father – and since He’s god and I’m not – I’ll simply believe what is written. I’m only responsible to keep my heart in the love of god. Yet it does break my heart to see those who choose not to choose. But like it says – no one comes to the Father unless the Father is drawing them. The ultimate head count is yet to be seen.

    One thing for sure we all have a call on our lives if we serve the King. Paul said to make your calling and election sure. There is no possible small call in the Lord. Like Paul said – we are not all ears – nor eyes – but members in particular. We don’t notice our little toe much – but stub it or cut it off and see how much it meant to the total functionality of your body. I do not question how you let the Lord use you – never would. But mark my words – if you’re letting him use you then your surrender and impact on life and those around you is just as dynamic as Peter – Paul – David – period.

    I’ve been judged so much over the years that I sometime wonder if my middle name is colander?

    I’ve finally learned that if I can serve an audience of One – serve Him with my whole heart – then I’ll bear much fruit – and be all that He wants me to be. The automatic by-product is that I impact those around me.

  13. chrisanthemum7 says:

    so what does happen when iron comes in contact with another piece of iron? Sparks? Heat? Nothing? Can it smooth out like sandpaper? I follow your logic but not so sure it fits the rhetorical model of Proverbs. The metaphor is used to confirm something, not negate. Otherwise it would’ve said something clearer like, “Like ironing sharpening iron, it is impossible to teach another man.” or something.

  14. scott campbell says:

    Analysis without divine inspiration creates intellectual offense. There’s a balance for sure – but it does say as a man thinks in his “heart” so is he. What I love about scripture is the hidden mystery and the apparent paradox – which is simply two conflicting thoughts contained in the same truth. Jesus spoke in parables on purpose. He did some of the oddest things – which I kinda feel just to keep us on our toes. He cursed a fig tree for not having fruit even though it wasn’t the season for figs – then went on to tell the boys that they needed to be instant in season and out of season. Poor fig tree – had to die just so an eternal principle could be proven. Sure sucked for the fig tree. He taught that the way up is down; to live you must die – etc. etc. I’ve concluded that the Father is bigger than His 66 books. His backyard – the heavens – must be measured in light years – and according to NASA scientists the universe is growing at the rate of 186,000 miles per second – and has been since the beginning – so when the creative word was spoken I guess it never stopped creating.

    My point? Everyone contains a different thought yet so far every thought has been a dimension or construct of the truth hidden in one simple proverb. The simple is always hidden in the complex. The proverb seems to contradict itself yet doesn’t. Maybe every verse can be approached by the application of one verse – “It’s the Glory of God to conceal a matter – it’s the honor of Kings to search it out?”

  15. astudent says:

    chrisanthemum7,

    Well if you were to rub two pieces of iron together it would only create heat and eventually the pieces would try to weld together and if the force that pushed them was strong enough it would destroy them.

    How did you determine it was suppose to confirm something and not negate? Don’t you see that by negating man can not teach man that it confirms that only God can? (1 John 2:27 NIV) As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in him.

    Jesus spoke in parables so not everyone could understand and personally I believe the Bible is written the same way. There are many things in the Bible that are not clear until one meditates on them. I believe to meditate on Scripture is to talk it over with the Holy Spirit which is in our minds (Closer than a brother) and He guides us to the truth.

  16. astudent says:

    scott campbell,

    I agree with you so much sometimes I feel like I am talking to myself!

    As for the fig tree we know it was symbolic. It stood for Israel and Israel was not bearing fruit. Don’t feel sorry for a tree, but morn for Israel.

    It certainly is an honor to search Scripture and rather enjoyable as well.

    I have to laugh. That is one of the reasons that I blog. You see I always viewed the verse that says only God knows the heart as God and I know, but perhaps I should take myself out of the list!

    I believe God draws everyone toward Him. It is just that most resists the call and God will not make anyone love Him. Everyone must reach that love by their own choosing.

    I also have been judged – well not condemned, but others have been critical of some of the things I have done and even though Scripture says do not judge others I have been blessed by it. Others meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.

  17. Christine says:

    I don’t know, I don’t think one should go too much in the opposite direction and make the same mistake of saying “THIS is absolutely [not] what it means.” There are many possibilities in scripture. Maybe Solomon didn’t know anything about blacksmiths and just thought it sounded good, or heard it from someone else, or maybe back then they were using iron to sharpen iron b/c they didn’t know any better. It shouldn’t matter ultimately, unless one treats the bible as something to conquer rather than to study.

  18. scott campbell says:

    It’s clear in the Old Testament that they knew they needed stones to sharpen swords – so Solomon knew as well since he was a kings kid. Maybe the wise approach is to not isolate the one verse; rather, read in in context with the whole chapter. You’ll see solomon using various examples of contradiction to make his point about relationship situations.

    One should never hang their hat on saying a verse only means such and so. That’s an intellectual trap that only puts God in a box – and reduces Him to manageable proportions in our own hearts. We are encouraged to seek the Spirit of Wisdom & Revelation. We go from Glory to Glory – each providing a deeper and richer experience in understanding. We are to get wisdom – but in all our getting we’re to get understanding.

    I do have one concern about your statement;”Maybe Solomon didn’t know anything about blacksmiths and just thought it sounded good” – if I’m reading that right it implies a possible insignificant thought put down in His written word. The Lord made it very clear that scripture was given those who penned it by divine inspiration. Part of the problem in reading the scriptures is that we see the bible broken up into chapter and verse so we tend to isolate verses and miss complete thought. Complete thought is the by-product of reading what’s written in context.

    The bible didn’t make it to printed form until the 1600’s. People in those days were mostly functional illiterates. They relied on those who read the written scrolls to read them and teach them. Jesus made it very clear that the only way to really understand is to have the Father reveal and open understanding to your heart.

    Keep your heart open and willing to receive more from your talking with your Lord. Truth is a person; the written word lays out wonders and principles about He who is Truth. The word became flesh in Jesus. He’s the one who said He’d never leave you nor forsake you. He’s the one who “promised” He’d send the comforter/Holy Spirit who would then lead you and me and all who have ears to hear into “all truth.”

  19. astudent says:

    Christine,

    I agree with Scott that Solomon knew stones were needed to sharpen swords. After all it is Solomon of which we speak. But even if He didn’t God did and as Scott says scripture was given by divine inspiration. To put it in my words, God wrote the Bible using men as we would use our own hand. There is nothing in the Bible that God did not want and nothing left out that God did not want left out.

    It does seem that no one knows that iron can not sharpen iron: even today, but it would only take one attempt to realize that it can not be accomplished.

    Of course the Bible is not something that can be conquered, but it was give to us to learn and when you learn something why wouldn’t you consider it absolute? It is true that one can understand a verse to mean something and then later understand it to mean something else. What is amazing is both understandings are true!

    (1 John 2:27 NIV) As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in him.

    If the Holy Spirit teaches us about all things then what is it that we can not learn? It is the Holy Spirit that teaches and He is the perfect teacher. The only dilemma I see is that we are not perfect students.

    That is why I can not teach. I am only a man and you do right by doubting me. The only way you can be absolutely sure that iron can not sharpen iron is to attempt it yourself. Then you can say with confidence “Iron can not sharpen iron”.

  20. Christine says:

    Okay…

    I get it. Iron can’t sharpen iron. There’s no need for me to re-invent the wheel and prove it to myself, I believe you.

    First of all, I don’t agree that men can’t teach other men on the simple basis that it’s too general an argument. Who knows what either of us mean when we say the words “men” and “teach”?

    Secondly yes, I AGREE, there are things only the Holy Spirit can teach you. But those things are few. For most things, he uses people, places, literature (the Word included), laws of nature, animals, movies, dreams, children, weather patterns, difficult circumstances, mistakes, experiences, etc. etc. etc., the list goes on and on and on…

    With that said, it’s possible that Proverbs could mean what you now think it means. It could also STILL mean what you no longer think it means. From what I’ve seen, all this new information is doing– this fact that iron cannot sharpen iron– is creating a forced connection that isn’t there. The passage is still being interpreted narrowly and rather strictly, only this time with more desperation to make sense of a book that we’ve been told is “inerrant.”

    I completely agree that anything that’s in this book is by God’s intention, but that doesn’t mean that the information is there do what you think it should. Indeed, maybe this “man can’t teach another man” interpretation is a good one. But it ain’t the only one.

    The truth is, I’ve experienced first hand the concept expressed in the formal interpration, but NEVER the one in the latter.

    I’m more inclined to believe that Solomon got the concept right but the science wrong. Either way, it looks like I’ll have to study this a little longer than I thought.

  21. astudent says:

    Christine,

    Hardheaded am I not? You do right to study it out for yourself.

    Take the verse to mean what it says, “you do not need anyone to teach you”.

    Yes, God uses many ways to teach and sometimes He even uses men, but as He says (Mat 23:10 NIV) “Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.”

    To obey this verse I believe not only should we not call anyone else teacher, but we should not call ourselves teachers either. If someone seems to understand from something a man says it is God that gives that understanding: not the man.

    I believe that if I think a verse has a certain meaning it must also agree with other verses and I find that when Mathew 23:10 agrees with 1 John 2:27 and Prov 27:17.

    The Word of God seems to me to be too important for mere men to teach.

    You see, it is a catch 22. I can not teach you that I can not teach you. Kind of funny isn’t it?

  22. Christine says:

    No, foolishness is never funny. Ugh! Men!

  23. scott campbell says:

    Christine & astudent;

    The instruction in the word – new testament – is that we are to have teachers – and we are to teach. This blog is a form of teaching in and of itself. Get out a concordance and see the multiple verses that tell us to teach and seek out teachers. The best example is found in Eph 4:11 where Paul lays out the foundation provision of the Lord for the New Testament Church – where he gave some apostles, some prophets….some “teachers” for the building up of the saints “until” we all come into full unity. There are verses, such as 2Tim 4:2-3 and 2Pet 2:1-3 where we are warned against the false teachers. In Peter, I believe, it clearly shows that people with hearts wanting knowledge for their corrupt gain, will attach and be drawn to false teachers. Jesus told us to go out and “teach” all the nations.

    Christine is right when she points out that many things teach us. There’s a verse that says all things proclaim christ. Yet astudent is right to clarify that it’s the HS that teaches through the anointing. Nothing of value is revealed unless it comes from divine inspiration from the Father through the HS. Romans 1:20 tells us that the invisible things of him are “clearly” seen being understood by the things that are made, even His godhead power, so that we are all without excuse. Pretty clear that the unseen realm is reflected in principle by understanding the things that are made. Example of countless examples; eagles: from exodus to revelation there are multiple references about the eagles nature and a believer. eagles soar on the wind using the power of the wind – they reach heights no other bird has seen not by their own energy but by letting the air carry them. an eagle can see a small rabbit with clarity from three miles away; an eagle looks for storms to strengthen their winds and to ride the storm thermals to carry them above the storm – they use the storms of life to carry them to heights they’ve never could reach without the storm. eagles live in the heights of the mountains – – sound like our plight and flight with the Lord?

    Interesting that the springboard verse in proverbs is not a collective thought but a focused thought relating to a one on one relationship? iron sharpens iron so a man sharpens the countenance of his “friend”
    Jesus was not god in flesh. Jesus was a man; and a man in union with the father – nevertheless a man. so when jesus spoke was it iron sharpening iron? yes – – and no I think. Jesus only said what the father told him to say – this he spoke with the words of heaven – and those words are sharper than any two edged sword – coming from the “rock” himself – thus when those words hit the armor of the believer it filled the heart with hope and by simple default sharpened the sword of the hearer.

    I honestly do not believe it’s so hard to understand – in fact we need to guard ourselves from thinking it’s too hard to understand – for paul was right – be not robbed of the simplicity that is in christ – yet we all live in a realm of paradox and mystery – by design so we’ll all seek Him more and more. Then we’ll receive simple understanding to that which initially seemed so complex.

  24. astudent says:

    scott campbell,

    Of course you are correct when you cite verses such as Eph 4:11. But you also must consider Mathew 23:10 and 1 John 2:27. Because some verses say we must teach and yet others say we must not be called teachers it seems a dichotomy, but we know that if all of God’s words are true there can be no dichotomies in it.

    The explanation as I see it is though we are to teach we must not let others call or view us as teachers. At first this seems like a small thing, but we must strive to obey all of the words of God. To call ourselves teachers is to disobey Mathew 23:10. That would be a sin and sin causes problems not for just the one who sins, but for others as well.

    If we call ourselves teachers, because we understand some of God’s word, then others may look to us as holy and pure: and they do. This can not be denied. It is a fact of our times and our Churches. Because all men sin and fall short of the Glory of God He is profaned by association when the teachers are found to be with sin. The more famous the teacher, the more people believe Christianity is a sham, because of the sins of men.

    There is a description of a proper church service in 1 Corinthians starting with 14:24 and continuing through 33. Basically it states that all are to prophesy, but in our church services today only the preacher prophesies and no one else speaks. It has come to this because some view themselves as teachers: knowing more than others. If the church service was conducted properly the Holy Spirit could teach through everyone and no one person would be recognized as a teacher.

    Can a man claim to be a teacher of Scripture and not teach Mat 23:10? Is the pastor looked upon as a servant or as a master in our churches? Most would claim to be a servant, but most of the congregation would say he is a master. If you think that I am wrong then visit a church where you are not known and ask the people what they think of their pastor. I believe you will find most believing that he is the shepherd and everyone else are only sheep when in truth he is also only a sheep.

    How many times have you heard a pastor, teacher, preacher, teach 1 John 2:27? Funny that you should cite verses about false teachers. Is a teacher that does not teach 1 John 2:27 a true teacher? Is the Catholic teacher a true teacher when he teaches others to call a man father?

    The pastor that receives his income from the church is in danger of serving two masters. That is not to say it is wrong to be supported by the church, but there are some things that are not taught because a pastor might loose his position if he did so. I have never heard a pastor preach a sermon on the Fourth of July about the Founding Fathers not paying taxes and rebelling against the king that God had appointed and I don’t expect to either.

    I don’t think many pastors do these things on purpose. I believe that most truly believe they are right in calling themselves teachers, but the system has been corrupted by those who do not obey and teach Mathew 23:10.

    I believe both you and Christine are right when you say there are many things that teach us, but those things are not men. When I consider myself I know that I am not perfect, but the perfect teacher lives in me and I live because of that. I may point out something that the Teacher has pointed out to me, but that does not make me the Teacher: only an echo. No one must view me as a teacher or I have failed to be a true follower.

    It is a sad state of affairs when I must blog to prophesy when God says everyone should prophesy when the church comes together.

    You cite eagles as a symbol of good, but have you considered that birds might be a symbol of those who are not followers of God. Satan is the ruler of the air (Eph 2:2) and those that soar on the air know and use the air to gain height. I am made in the image of God and I have no wings. It is odd that angels are usually depicted with wings and yet those who are made in the image of God do not have them! Nor does the Bible claim angels have them.

    Should we avoid storms, or should we embrace them? Would Job have learned that even though he tried to please God he could not do so if he were able to avoid the storm?

    Well, anyway you are right. It is not hard to understand, but our desires get in the way of our understanding. We would like everyone to be saved and we would like to think that we can be the one responsible for many, but ultimately it is God that saves. Even if someone turns to God because of something we said we can not claim credit for it. God gave us everything, even the mind in which we would claim credit.

    (2 Tim 2:14&15 NIV) “Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” So let us not quarrel over words, but continue to search out the meaning of Scripture so that we can rightly handle the word of truth.

    Bottom line you, Christine, and Scripture are right. God chose some to be teachers, but Scripture is also right when Jesus said “Call no man teacher”.

    “O” and by the way, iron still can not be used to sharpen iron! He said with a smile on his face.

  25. scott campbell says:

    It would behoove us to consider the original language when we read scripture. Our english language is limited in meaning when used to understand a verse. For example, the verse you cite in Matthew does not say “teacher” in the original language; the word actually means “master.” It is right therefore and we are never to call any many master.

    I still believe the Lord not only wants us to teach, but has given some with special gifts for teaching. The problem with religion – or the ultra organized churches with strict theological and doctrinal boxes is that they view their gift as a teacher as a title and not a job description. The Lord used Paul, Peter, and all the other boys to teach. Until the 1600’s that’s all the believers had were teachers.

    When Jesus asked the 120 to wait in the upper room for the promise of the comforter it’s interesting to see Peter stand and “teach.” Billy Graham taught. We are to teach in our words, actions, and expression of life we live before a lost and dying world.

    It didn’t take long after Acts when old patterns set in; divisive debates; pride of flesh; and abuse of the position of simply being a reflection of his life in and through an individual. Sects were formed. today we call them denominations.

    I marvel when I attend some various denominational settings. I hear them sing “onward christian soldier” yet when visiting with the pastor or what ever title his business card reflects I find he has no burden or sees no need to teach about spiritual warfare.

    Concerning the verse in I John; I’ve pondered the verse, heard many anointed ministries teach on the verse. But my intimate understanding is this: the Holy Spirit is more than capable to teach me – but he chooses to anoint vessels to share what they’ve learned and experienced with the Lord. this type of fellowship is glorious – – based on the premise that no one is wondering who’s the greatest in the kingdom.

    do a word study on eagles – and you’ll see there’s no negative reference to the beauty and wonder of this magnificent creature.

    I’ll seek understanding from my heart – not my intellect. If I seek to know from my heart then the understanding makes the 18 inch climb to mky head; renews my mind; and transforms me.

  26. astudent says:

    Scott,

    Our exchange has been very rewarding for me. Because we have examined the Word together and I have been reminded of verses that seem to disagree with my understanding now I see even better. I would explain here in a comment, but I would rather write a blog as I do not think most follow all of the comments and I want to share with as many as possible. God has not only given me a better understanding, but also the way to say it! I hope you will be as pleased as I am when you read it. Thanks for your efforts in explaining your views.

    The word “KATHEGETES” which is used in Mat 23:10 can mean both teacher and master. However the word used in 23:8 which is translated as “Rabbi” can only mean master. It seems reasonable that 23:8 would be teacher and 23:10 master. If both meant master the verses, when read together, would read ‘you are not to be called Master for you have only one Master nor are you to be called master for you have one Master’. I left out verse 9 for clarity.

    I checked all of the Bibles I currently have in “e-Sword” and there were 4 that translated the word as “master”. All 4 were translated in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds and the meanings of some words change with time. There were 4 that translated the word as “leader” and 4 as “teacher” along with one as “instructors” and they were all made in this time.

    Anyway, when ever some one says that if I read the Bible in the original language, as if it would say something different, I am reminded that over 100 of the best scholars spent a lot of time and prayer to translate the Word into the language that Americans use in this country today and they chose the word “teacher”. Should I trust 100 scholars that were only attempting to translate the Bible, or one that is also trying to sway my thoughts?

    “O” I left out the NKJV, because I have it in “QuickVerse” and not in e-sword, but even it translates the word as “teacher”!

    I think we are very close to agreement. You say the problem with organized churches is they view their gift as a teacher as a title and I would agree. But I would add that anyone that views their gift as a teacher in their own heart and mind have viewed it as a title as well.

    I agree with your intimate understanding of 1 John completely. When we share what we have learned we are students sharing what the Teacher has been able to get into our thick heads, or at least my head is thick, but I stop short of calling myself, or letting anyone else call me “teacher”. As I understand Mat 23:10 the word means teacher and not just Teacher. As I see it the capitalization of the words clarifies the meaning.

    I had to laugh because I took your advice and the second verse that had the word eagle in it was Leviticus 11:13 (NIV) “‘These are the birds you are to detest and not eat because they are detestable: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture,”
    I did find a verse that might be why angels are depicted as having wings (Isa 40:31).

    Do a word study on “birds” and you will find they came and ate up the seed and that seed represented the Word of God (Luke 8:5 and 11).

    I see understanding just the opposite way. If I did not know in my mind that I am a sinner I would not know that I needed a Savior. That knowledge then made its way to my heart and I began to understand what a wonderful Father we have. Faith comes from the Word (Rom 10:17), not from the heart. It is understanding that renews my mind and transforms me. However I will say that it makes no difference how one views the process as long as it takes place.

    There for a while we seem to be in complete agreement and it is nice to have one’s views reinforced by others, but it is even better to exchange understandings that are different. I can not lean anything by listening to those who agree completely with me and being the selfish human that I am I want to learn. So thanks for your views and making the effort to explain them.

  27. scott campbell says:

    Oh how wonderful it is to look at the written word – and seek the hidden treasures therein contained. Have a feeling it’ll take an eternity to fully appreciate the mystery of paradox.

    Here’s still how I view “teacher” or callings. When Jesus asked the boys who “men” said he was he was given back several distorted images. Then the Lord asked the all important question that has been asked ever since; “who do you say that I am?” It is at the very core of the question that all understanding is gained. Intimacy – which can be broken down “in-to-me-see” is the difference between one who professes Jesus is Lord and the one who actually knows Him as Lord. Big difference in how life and who we are in Him is meant to be. The word is riddled with so many things said that we sometimes process through paradigms that are a tad distorted; distorted from previous faulty teachings; trough concepts we may not eve realize we yet have; from deep wounds created by, sadly, many in the church; etc. The “process” which is an ongoing internal changing of what we are to who he is – eventually will yield fullness. In my 38 years of following the Lord I cringe at some of the understanding of truth that I once held – and only through trials and tribulations did I finally discover that I was wrong. These chain of events eventually brought me to the place where I reach for that which is deeper – while not being robbed of the simplicity that is in Christ. Wasn’t an easy gig.

    I know people who have the gift of teaching – but I don’t call them teachers – nor do the ones who hold their gift in His hands call themselves teachers. It’s been man who has distorted what gifts the Lord has given to help all of us come to complete unity. In every generation there have been those who’ve risen simply in the anointing – simply yielding their hearts to His purpose – with only one agenda – here am I Lord send me – and thank God their mantels have been passed onto the next generation. There is a time – and I personally believe will be sooner than we believe – when the final mantles – the final apostolic reformation – comes – makes it’s impact on a lost and dying world – and then da-daa He’ll return in all his glory!! don’t know if it’ll be in my lifetime – at 59 – but I sense in my heart it will be in my childrens lifetime. That’s not setting dates – it’s simply discerning the season upon the earth.

    when the tabernacle was built the Lord took men and women who had no skillsets to perform the work – and anointed them to be skilled craftsman. I’m sure those who were asked to be master this or that did not dare call themselves silversmiths, goldsmiths, wood carvers, etc – yet the “gift of anointing” gave them the visible ability to perform. I wasn’t there, but I wonder if after it was all done that some took the gift unto themselves and boasted wrongly.

    the gifts and callings of god are without repentance. to me this is a visible and sobering verse. I see many yet taking their calling onto themselves – prostituting their gift for their own benefit – and this is why the western church is so divided and confused. Apart from Him we all “cannot” do nothing – that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything we want – it just means if it’s not Him doing it through us it’s worth nothing – nada – pointless – and fruitless.

    Sorry; I still believe the eagle was created to teach us something about going higher. Rom 1:20 is there for a reason. Jesus always used the creation around him; our response to the creation; to teach amazing truths about the unseen realm.

    Complete understanding is the fruit of seeking – and keep on seeking; ask – and keep on asking; knock – and keep on knocking.

    Never change your pursuit of knowing your Lord in the biggest and baddest way possible. He’s the kindest person I’ve ever met – and that’s my final answer on that one!
    Be Blessed

  28. preach says:

    iron causes iron to be sharpened. each time we read the scriptures and i mean any of them we get adeeper understanding.while the word remains the same so does its meaning it takes us on a deeper walk into GOD’s mind though we will neverfully understand all things. one man plants another waters but GOD gives the increase while we help lead each other in a closer walk in divine destiny it is GOD that takes us and leads us on that journey. this is good meat chew it wisely the woeds on this thread should not rattle you but provoke you and if you do the research and everyone still does not totally agree just agree to disagree and know that this is not a scripture that will undo the work that JESUS did on the cross

  29. preach says:

    we should be solid as iron and when tested against other iron it should only cause us to go to the LORD for sharpening

  30. astudent says:

    Preach says,

    I am too much a stickler for truth to let you get away with “iron causes iron to be sharpened”. I understand your desire to help others, but I would like it based it on facts.

    I agree with the rest of your first comment. That is how I see it.

    Be careful about equating us to iron. (Dan 2:40 NIV) Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others.

  31. preach says:

    which validates my point the only thing that should be able to break us is the truth and that truth is JESUS CHRIST the WORD wrapped in flesh. The word is also reffered to as a sword. the statement that iron causes iron to be sharpened only validates what you said it can not do the actual sharpening but causes the soldier to go back to the stone for sharpening. we can all cause each other to learn. all based on facts my friend the bible is inerrant so that means the it can not contradict itself. and none of us have a mouth cut like a bible. what one man may get from the scripture another may not get til later. the SPIRIT of GOD reveals to us what GOD is saying and should not be overruled by the words of other men. some can only drink milk some can handle milk and meat so what will the FATHER give HIS children. what man is all knowing, what man is alright, what man knows the heart and mind of GOD. we can search the scripture we can read every book written by man we can do all this and yet not know all thngs or obtain all the knowledge that the bible contains and when we limit ourselves to the knowledge of man we miss out on an unlimited GOD. GOD is not the logic of man. but HE is the accomplisher of the impossible, HE uses the simplest things to confound the wise,
    no man throws away his sword because it has been dulled and or chipped but he sharpens it

    if you have palringo i invite you to join my group “holy conversation” its just started and need ppl like you that will force ppl to study to show themselves approved you are what we all should be a great student focused on the true things of GOD and HIS word

    your friend in CHRIST JESUS our LORD

  32. astudent says:

    Preach says,

    Thanks for the encouragement, but I don’t seem to have the energy to do all the things I want to do now, so I must decline.

    You understand very well that it is only God that reveals understanding and you said it well.

    I do not think we can force anyone to do anything. God does not, so neither should we. If we could inspire them and demonstrate the pure joy of understanding the Word of God, perhaps they would show themselves approved to God and man. Many times, I have had the thought that if you do not know what God wants then you probably will not do what He wants.

  33. Tim Gorka says:

    The discussion is based upon the false assumtion that Iron can not sharpen iron. I know with great certainty that I can take a bar of iron, cut it in half and sharpen one using the other as my only tool. If you allow me heating and cooling all the better. This fact is easily verified. With this in mind, I suggest you revisit the scripture, and consider it at face value. The intent of God’s word is not to trick us.

  34. astudent says:

    Tim Groka,

    You might want to try your theory, before you make such a claim. I have worked with my hands all my life: as a mechanic, wielder, machinist, and fabricator. If I were to make a claim about something that can be tested, I would test it first. God has let me be wrong many times so that I might learn to verify my thoughts.
    Not only would I let you heat it and cool it using any method you want; I will let you do anything you want as long as you do not use it to make steel, because it would no longer be iron. However, even if you make steel and use it to form an edge, I will sharpen it with a stone.
    The only readers of this blog that claim iron can sharpen iron are Christians that want to believe it, not those who actually sharpen anything. I suggest you study the physics of the task so you might understand God’s word better. I, for one, am not tricked by your claims.

  35. Russ Hock says:

    i understand the wisdom in this proverb as the student teacher relationship and balance within ourselves. When to be either the sharpened or sharpener. Who would debate that the best teachers are the best students? The trick is getting past our pride to remain as, Christ commands to me, “As a child” A teacher automatically connotes an authority in knowledge when in actuality the teacher needs only to stay a lesson ahead of the student. I continually observe the compulsion of pride revealing itself in teaching and not in learning. We are relegated and submitted much more easily as a student. Once we learn we learn we then have the proclivity to establish are value (Which is pride) by teaching others. Danger exists in the unbalance. Thus, one piece of iron posesses the identical properties of the other. This of course applies only if one believes iron sharpens iron. If iron does not sharpen iron then we have a worthless endeavor fitting of two fools. Some clown ;o)

  36. astudent says:

    Russ Hock,

    Rest assured that iron does not sharpen iron. It is a fact of physics and yet I cannot teach anyone!
    We are all students and there is much to be gained by explaining our thoughts and views about the subject to other students, but God is the teacher. That is the way it should be, because God, the Teacher, knows the subject.
    As for us (1Co 8:2), “The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.” How could we teach when we do not yet know, as we ought to know?
    Never accept what any man says. Always go to the Teachers Text Book and see what He says.
    Having said that, I agree with most of what you have said. The problem of staying one lesson ahead of someone that we might consider a student is it allows no room for error and we all make mistakes. If we make God our teacher the only mistake we can make is not yet understanding the lesson. Not to worry as He is the perfect teacher and He will not give up on us.

  37. David says:

    Iron can indeed be used to sharpen iron, as my grandfather demonstrated to me over 50 years ago and I have confirmed in my own use, but not in the sense of honing an edge that we normally think of. It’s a simple, rough process that anyone can confirm for themselves, one that’s been around since the dawn of smithing, predating even the iron smiths who apparently inspired the saying.

    Blade (or blank). Anvil. Hammer. The thing to be sharpened with this method must be beaten between two other hard surfaces. Sure, it may be a rough edge that may need further honing, but sharp? Yes. Applied heat can speed the process. *heh*

    In addition, simple hammering of (charcoal-heated) iron ore was an essential part of the process of refining ore during the early iron age, and hammering to form tools–which could indeed be rather sharp before using any other sharpening tool–was the primary method of turning “wrought iron” into knives, axes, etc. Heck, field-expedient hand-hammers (simple hand held chunks of “refined” iron) could put a rough edge back on a tool faster than stone honing, especially when the tool had been significantly dulled.

    In the “heat” of a (fair) argument, two people can indeed sharpen each other in their clash of personalities, ideas and rhetoric, forging, if you will, new skills, new understandings, new respect. “Hammering out agreements” is one way of viewing such a “sharpening”.

  38. astudent says:

    David,

    There is a difference between shaping and sharpening. An ax that has been used might, by your definition, seem sharp. However, it is not and neither are tools that have been shaped on a forge. A tool is sharpened after it is shaped.

    (Webster’s Dictionary) sharp•en (shärÆpÃn), v.t., v.i.
    to make or become sharp or sharper.
    [1400–50; late ME; see SHARP, -EN1]
    —sharpÆen•er, n.

    Please read the comments as this and I believe all other claims by Christians have been covered.

  39. Keith says:

    I believe the proverb is referring to the same principle as a sharpening steel. In meat cutting, the meat cutter will pull out his “steel” to put the point back on his blade. After a while of cutting meat, the real fine point one the blade will roll over. The blade doesn’t always need to be taken to a grit sharpener. Most time, the point just needs to be straightened back out and this process is done with a sharpening steel. See this site: http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/culinarytools/ht/honing.htm . The same is true for iron. Iron is much more ductile than steel, so the point on the blade would need to be straightened much more often. In fact, some sources say that steel wasn’t widely used in swords until the 8th century BC. If that is the case, Solomon might not have used steel in swords, but rather hardened iron. In any case, I think the principle of iron sharpening iron is true.

    Another completely possible process would be the sharpening of the iron by the iron worker. Of course, the iron didn’t start with a point, so the iron worker would take a piece of iron and begin to heat it to a glowing red, then hammer (with an iron hammer) on the iron piece which would have been placed on another large piece of iron (today they are steel anvils). In this case, iron tools would be used to make the blade flat and get it into it’s general shape before grinding the edge. Therefore, again, iron sharpens iron. However, I think the first possibility is probably the most likely of the two.

    So, in this case, I believe the scripture is referring to the process of a friend’s responsibility to a friend. We are not to create the edge, that is the responsibility of the master, however we are to help keep that edge from becoming ineffective (rolling over). As a Christian friend, we keep our brothers and sisters in Christ sharp by not letting them bend their lives to the world under the pressure of the world. God’s Word is living and active, sharper than a double edged sword. In the same way, we must help our friends live out God’s Word by not dulling down its truth.

  40. astudent says:

    Keith,
    Please read all of the comments. Your ideas have already been answered more than once. Sorry I should have said that they were answered in the origional post “As iron Sharpens Iron”.

    Breifly, you cannot sharpen with a steel. If the edge is dull, steeling only bends a dull edge. No amount of bending will sharpen a dull blade.

    Shaping a tool is not sharpening it. After the iron worker shapes the tool, then it is sharpened.

    The verse is ‘As iron sharpens iron’, not as iron bends iron, or as iron beats iron.

    You said, “We must help our friends live out God’s Word by not dulling down its truth.” I agree and to say that iron can sharpen iron is dulling down the truth. Don’t just claim iron can sharpen iron. If you are sure in your own mind, then test it. I did.

  41. Sorry but Iron does sharpen Iron. One uses an Iron file to sharpen the Iron teeth on a chain saw chain. When I make a knife out of stock Iron I use a Iron file to sharpen it.

    When I discuss an issue that a brother is having regarding the word sometimes sparks fly when we don’t agree. However thru time and the spirit I find that common ground or a agreement will happen. Generally both parties benefit from it.

    Robert

    <

  42. astudent says:

    Robert Edwin Mutch,

    File (tool)
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Steel files are made from high carbon steel[3][4] (1.0 to 1.25% carbon) and case hardened to approximately 80 HR15N.[5] Even historically, files were made from plain carbon steel and case hardened.[6]

    You might want to research your claims, before you make them.

    One uses a “steel file” to sharpen “steel teeth” on a chainsaw chain. No one makes iron files or iron chainsaw teeth.

    If you were to really make a knife, you would make it out of a file, leaf spring, or some other high carbon steel. You can even purchase a blank from companies that supply knife-making supplies. You cannot purchase an iron blank, because no one that knew anything about knives would waste their time on such a silly project.

    We are close to sparks and you have only commented once. Do your research before you try to sound like you know the subject, if you truly want common ground?

    There are 41 comments on this post. I think most anything that you can think of has already been answered. Read the questions and answers that appear and then we will be close to a common ground.

  43. chrisanthemum7 says:

    …wow.

  44. astudent says:

    I just pulled up an old copy of “As iron sharpens iron” and there were 115 comments. Now there are only 41? Looks like someone has access to my account!

  45. astudent says:

    It must be the weather! I have two similar posts “As iron sharpens iron” and “As iron sharpens iron revisited”. I am quite tired of answering preachers that have not or do not work with their hands (1Tim 4:11). There are still 115 comments on “AS IRON SHARPENS IRON” and this will make 46 comments on “AS IRON SHARPENS IRON REVISITED”. To save the trouble, that is 161 comments and iron still cannot sharpen iron.

    It is disheartening when those who are trying to teach the Word do not even go to the trouble of testing what I said, before stating that it can be done: and I am tired of it. Those who have taken it upon themselves to be a teacher should first be a student. Those who tell others to be truthful should be truthful.

    I, even though I have spent my life working with my hands and know iron cannot sharpen iron, still attempted it. TEST WHAT I SAID, BEFORE YOU COMMENT.

    Well, that ought to greatly limit comments. Hey?

  46. scott says:

    Maybe it’s time to test whether this blog is creating true fellowship and pure dialogue. Strong debate tends to slowly divide. I still cannot understand why this issue is being so analyed. You are the sum of your parts; Truth is multifaceted; thus begin to pull in other Truths in a real way……no one wins this debate…no one has a corner on the Truth but one person I know….the Holy spirit. The hour is too late, the season on the earth too grave for believers to settle on trying to figure out one simple….yes, simple….truth. Its time for believers to allow the HS to lead them into all Truth. As I’ve read the various exchanges I see only one real focus….can iron actually sharpen iron…..is that really all this verse wants to yield to our hearts? If the HS doesn’t reveal something bigger now….He will eventually concerning this verse….till the I seem him twiddling his thumbs waiting for many to move on to other pieces of the puzzle. There is, afterall, I believe, a real danger into falling into intellectual offence when beating one line of Truth so much. Just a thought. Hey, I’ve know my Lord for almost 40 years. My heart is 20, my body is 60….and one thing for sure; for all that I’ve discovered in 40 years about Truth, I’ve realized there’s ten times more I’ve yet to discover…..we are all on the same team, and the same journey hopefully…..to come into the fullness of who He is…..thus stepping into our true identity in Him. So to quote ole forest gump “that’s all I have to say bout dat.”

  47. astudent says:

    scott,

    Truth does not always create fellowship. Fellowship is not my goal. It may result from a true study of the Word, or it may not. Truth will not be sacrificed for the sake of fellowship on this blog.

    You are correct when you say there is only one simple truth and that is iron cannot sharpen iron. The Spiritual truth gleaned from the verse is man cannot sharpen man. We only supply the questions to take to the Holy Spirit. He is the only teacher.

    Unfortunately, men have assumed the role of teacher instead of fellow student. Those are the ones who do not/will not accept this fact. They take money to teach and money traps them into refusing the truth of Proverbs 27:17.

    The something bigger that you might see is the yeast/sin in the church. The word sin is interchangeable with the word yeast in the Bible.

    (Mat 13:33 NIV) He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

    (Mat 16:11-12 NIV) How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
    Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

    The church of today has become like the Temple in the time of Jesus.

    I agree that we all have much more to learn, but we cannot build our understanding on sand for the sake of friendship. Would I show love to a brother by bending truth?

    You show that you understand the truth when you say that it is time for believers to allow the Holy Spirit to lead them into all truth. It is the Holy Spirit that is given to us to teach us all things, even the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 2).

    By the way, I am not beating one line of truth. I am defending a simple truth as a truth.

    You are a young man. I am over seventy, with the body of a forty year old man, and the mind of a fifteen year old. Hey, nobody is perfect

  48. scott says:

    The thing I hate most about blogs or emails is that one must write their words…..thus eliminating any voice inflection to the words said…and voice inflection gives to the listener the true passion behind certain words and phrases. that aside I can only speak for myself….after salvation is a personal journey and we’re told to work out “our own” salvation with fear and trembling. In my 40 year journey with the LOrd I’ve passed through a number of church flows….and have of late simply settled in my heart that; a. my father is bigger than we actually realize…..heck the universe grows at the speed of light, so my dad is still having fun creating stars and galaxies and such; b. my Lord calls me friend, so friendship is key in my book….in fact my focus the past ten years has not to receive more revelation or deep understanding of various mysteries in the word…..rather my focus is learning more and more about Jesus….period. c. I love the fact that the HS loves his job….and the promise is that he’ll lead me into all truth….and truth truly is a person…the word became flesh not words on paper….and yes, I love reading the word….except now I read it as a love letter to me….full of wonder and mystery….full of insight into who “He” is…..it’s all about Jesus…not us.

    See, we’re actually not talking about iron and such….hmmmm

  49. astudent says:

    scott,

    You are certainly right. One cannot add voice inflection to the written word. Paul the apostle to the gentiles had the same problem, just the opposite way. (2 Cor 10:10 NIV) For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.”

    I see that your comment is from your heart and I appreciate that. Everyone that has overcome the world is free to do what they think is right and it certainly is right to enjoy Jesus and our Father. I however, cannot do as you do, because for me it would be wrong.

    We are truly told to workout our own salvation. Actually the Word says “continue to work out your salvation”. I cannot just stop and say there is nothing else to do.

    (John 6:29 NIV) Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” That sounds personal and easy, with nothing but personal requirements. However, (John 9:4 NIV) As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.

    I would say that the Bible is all about Jesus also, but to go a bit farther, it is all about what Jesus did for us. I cannot just claim this great gift for myself and not share the understanding that God has and does give me. It is worth more than gold and silver and I do not feel it right to hoard it and keep it to myself.

    You say that your focus is to learn more and more about Jesus and not to receive more revelation or deep understanding! Isn’t that an oxymoron? How can one learn more about Jesus without receiving a deeper understanding and how can one receive a deeper understanding without revelations?

    Scott, don’t think that I am trying to recruit you to do as I am doing. If God wanted you too, He would lay it on your heart and you would be miserable until you did. Some are called to be like John the apostle, When Peter asked Jesus about John, his answer was “what is that to you”.

    I am only trying to explain why I must defend what I have written. The comments all come from those who believe themselves teachers. This is part of what has weakened the church. It angers them when a student challenges them and they do not like what I say. If they calm down and consider what I say and become students themselves, then perhaps God would change their heart and then they might change the church. It is only pride that stands in their way.

  50. scott says:

    (hit the wrong button)….anyway I saw how hard it was for us to not only juggle or try to grasp the varried benefits of the Lord as represented by the colors. The Lord gently spoke to my heart that if I’d simply focus on the light, which created the colors, then the colors would be automatic. It changed how I viewed revelation and prophetic things written. All His promises are sure and absolutes. Yet I’ve found comfort that if I focus on the light, or Jesus, then somehow He’ll produce all the benefits….or fruit of the Light….in my life in His time, His season, and will complete the work He started in me……but my heart must be looking towards Him at all times…then as He leads, inspires, and maps out yet another day I can rest that if I need a specific color to fulfill my present assignment on any given day I’ll have the color, the anointing to do so…..all because my heart is fixed on Him. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen the church fall into is that the teachers, pastors, or what ever title they are tagged with….they feel they must come up with 52 life changing messages each and every year. I’d rather see true teachers get inspiriation from the Lord on a particular truth or instruction….and stay on that topic until the Lord is done…..to me in my humble opinion that is the only way for the church to ruminate enough on an aspect of Truth until it goes from knowledge of that truth to actual life application experience.

  51. scott says:

    part of my above comment was not posted. I was referring to how one day I was looking at the colors created by some military hi-tech prisms. Unbelievable colors. I saw the colors as all the benefits, promises given and how I’ve always tried to juggle as many as I could at any give time.

    blessings

  52. scott says:

    True. The church is filled with people with titles as “teachers”…..yet a true teacher is one who is always being taught by yet another teacher….either an older mentor or by the Holy Spirit. Truth is progressive while being inclusive yet riddled with mystery. You are right that I focus on Jesus….but the amazing paradox that the more I focus the more my heart is taught. In my journey I’ve seen too many begin loving the beauty of hearing by the spirit and receiving amazing depths from the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation…..only to fall into the trap of serving the revelation instead of the God who gave the flipping revelation in the first place. Pride enters in…and as you know the by-product is an ultimate fall. My brother used to work on hi-tech prisims for lazer guided weapons. If they were faulty they’d throw them away. He gave me a few and I was amazed at the colors they’d reflect as the sunlight shone through them…..more colors than the most expensive crystal. One day I was looking at all the colors and began to compare them to the array of benefits we get from the Lord. I began to think how at times we as belivers try to juggle the color of healing, along with the color of

    (TRY AND PIECE TOGETHER MY THOUGHTS……HIT WRONG KEYS…..SO IT’S A BIT SCATTERED BUT HOPEFULLY THE JEST OF IT WILL MAKE SENSE.)

  53. astudent says:

    scott,

    I had no trouble piecing your thoughts together. I just passed the light back through the prism and found God.

    I liked the analogy of the prism. Light is a favorite symbol in Scripture also.

  54. homosexual says:

    Having read this I thought it was very informative.
    I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this short article together.
    I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments.

    But so what, it was still worth it!

  55. astudent says:

    homosexual,

    I see by your blog name that you are a person of truth.

    I do hope that you compare what I say with what God says, because I am only a man and it is not possible for a man to always be right.

    We both believe that it is worth it.

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