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Next up-date: 1 February 1997 (God willing).
Why did Jesus have to say to His disciples, "You know not what manner of spirit you are of..." Luke 9:55.
This statement was made by Jesus after two of His disciples, the "sons of thunder", had been upset by the refusal of the Samaritans to give Him hospitality for the night. Mark 3:17.
Jesus had "... sent messengers before His face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready [a bed] for Him. And they did not receive him, because His face was as though He would go to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, will You that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elijah did? But He turned, and rebuked them, and said, You know not what manner of spirit you are of, for the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village". Luke 9:53-56.
The reference to Elijah is based on the story recorded in 2 Kings 1:9-15. There, to the casual observer and to John and James at that time, it appears that Elijah called down fire from heaven, not once, but twice, and each time destroyed an officer and fifty men of the king's guard for speaking sarcastically to him. This was based on a widespread misconception of God's character then, as it is now. It seems that only when the third man begged for his life and the lives of his men did Elijah stop his savagery. However, Jesus was no casual reader of the Bible. He knew the character of His Father, He had come to show that character Himself, and so He read the words prayerfully in the light of that understanding. John, (called the son of thunder, or bad-temper, at the beginning of his ministry), eventually learnt what God is like through being with Jesus. Then he became like Him and later wrote, "He that loves not knows not God; for God is love". 1 John.4.8. And, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death". 1 John.3.14.
What actually happened was that when the soldiers approached Elijah and called him a man of God in a sarcastic way, Elijah tried to warn them that because he WAS a man of God, to approach him in the wrong attitude would kill them! Not because God would deliberately do it. Not because He was answering Elijah's request either. But because Elijah was sitting on the hilltop under the immediate protection of God and surrounded by His glory, and sinful men should be careful. Elijah was actually trying to save them from themselves! But, like the sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu,who took their censers, "and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He commanded them not", there went out fire [His "glory"], from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. Leviticus10:1-3. That "fire" is the living life of the person known as "Almighty God" and it is fatal to sin and sinners. The word "holy" in the Bible means "dangerous" as well as "separate".
When the second captain called out to Elijah he added the word "quickly" showing that he was not willing to accept the warning either. But the third man was different. He fell on his knees and asked Elijah to come. He claimed the protection of God for himself and his fifty by saying, "Let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, BE PRECIOUS IN THY SIGHT". Verse 13. Such a request and attitude of mind allows God to veil His glory and protect the sinner.
It was this understanding that made Jesus rebuke John and James and tell them that they were operating under the spirit of Satan the destroyer. Although they were His disciples and Christians, their ignorance of the mind of God made them act in opposition to His desire. Their request brought pain to the heart of Jesus for He came ONLY to save as He declared, "the Son of man is not come to destroy". John and James did not understand this, but that still hurt the Son of God for they should have known. Thus it is that today many of His children still are hurting Him by their ignorance of His ways.
The Father of mankind NEVER hurts, or destroys, or rejects, His children.
He ONLY heals and saves as it is written: "The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all). That word, I say, you know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached. How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him". Acts10:36-39.
It is the devil who hurts and destroys, for it is written in another place, "Forasmuch then as the children [or Christians] are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same [flesh and blood]; that through death [on the cross] He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage". Hebrews 2:14-15.
Now have another look at Revelation 12:7-9!!!
Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts?
I won't argue as I have stated, but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.
THE SPIRIT OR CHARACTER OF GOD
1. There are two, and only two, very different spirits operating in this world. Compulsion and love. Luke 9:55.
2. Our understanding of God's character affects our understanding of His word, the Bible. John 7:17-18.
3. There is force OR choice, slavery OR freedom. Romans 6:13.
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