Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
November 11, 1998
Last Updated :
July 1, 2011
Milk Of God's Word Or Meat Of God's Word, Spiritual Growth Or Spiritually Retarded Babes?, Profundity Of God And His Word, Baby Huey, Spiritual Misfits And Outcasts, Unsatisfied With Organized Religion, Churches Stuck In A Spiritual Rut, Be Ye Doers Of The Word, One Small Step Powered By The Holy Spirit, A Treasure in Earthen Vessels, The Faith Of Abraham, A Challenge Of Faith, Excuses Regarding Why We Can't Do It, Touching Testimony From My Daughter's Childhood, Take Up The Fellowship Challenge, Bear Fruit For The Lord Or Suffer The Consequences, Withered Fig Tree, Spiritually Dead Lord, Lord Group, A Cartoon Baby Huey Or A Mature Man Or Woman Of God?, Pass Out Tracts And Invite The Sheep Over, Small Beginnings
As I noted in part one, there comes a time when we need to be weaned from the milk of God's Word, and begin to dine on the meat of God's Word. As with a human baby, a liquid diet alone will not, and should not, satisfy us forever. The Apostle Paul addresses this very same problem when he writes that there are some Disciples who have walked in the faith for so long, that they should be spiritually mature enough to eat spiritual meat, yet sadly, they are more like spiritually retarded children who can still only handle the milk of God's Word. In essence, they are like Baby Huey. Paul even uses the phrase "he is a babe". You will recall that Baby Huey was rather large, yet he was quite naive and had the mind of a child. In the Epistle to the Hebrews we find the following verses:
"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit."
Hebrews 5:12-6:3, KJV
Notice that the Apostle Paul again emphasizes the importance of spiritual growth in the life of a Christian with his use of the phrase "let us go on unto perfection". He then tells us exactly what he means by this, and it relates directly to what I stated earlier; that is, that we need to leave behind the milk of the Word -- that is, the basics of our faith -- and move on to the deeper things of God, and full service to the Lord. If you doubt that there are more profound things to be discovered in God's Word, then consider what some of the writers of the Bible had to say:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8-9, KJV
"Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number."
Job 9:10, KJV
"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!"
Romans 11:33, KJV
You will recall that in part one I noted that due to his huge size and blundering nature, Baby Huey was a social outcast, and quite a misfit. In examining my own life, and in reading some of the email messages that I have received over the past fourteen years, it amazes me how many of us have also felt like misfits and social outcasts at some point in our lives, as a result of our strong faith in God, and our unwillingness to accept anything less than His best for our lives.
It might interest you to know that I've had a number of people write to me who have told me how they have tried this church and that church, or wandered from one Christian organization to another, and yet for some reason, they just don't seem to be able to fit in for very long. Things seem okay for a while, but then they start to notice certain things, such as pastoral abuse of power, doctrines that aren't in agreement with God's Word, cliquish attitudes between church members, questionable financial dealings, marital infidelity, etc.
Like myself, some of these people reached the point where they grew sick and tired of the hypocrisy, and simply didn't want to have anything to do with organized religion anymore; that is to say, with the church system. So they quit going to church, and simply began reading their Bibles in the privacy of their own homes.
For those of you who have experienced this in your lives, let me ask you a question. Have you ever stopped to consider that perhaps the reason why you feel like a misfit, is because God made you feel that way, because maybe He has something else -- that is, something better -- that He wants you to do with your life for Him? Is it possible that similar to the Church of Sardis, or even like the Scribes and the Pharisees of old, you are also trying to cling to an old, decrepit, half-dead religious system, while the Lord has been calling you out to try something new and exciting?
If you have noticed some of these goings on in your church, or if you are involved with a church or a fellowship which is stuck in a spiritual rut, and just keeps on preaching the same things day after day, month after month, and year after year, and just cannot seem to get beyond the basics of our faith as the Apostle Paul states in the previous Scriptures, then perhaps it is time for you to consider leaving.
If you personally believe that you have matured spiritually beyond the level of your current church, then why do you remain with them? If you feel uneasy or dissatisfied in your current location, and if God has placed the conviction upon your heart that you can be doing more for Him, then why not just get out there and do it? Get out of your rut and obey the Lord. Put faith and action behind your words and beliefs. Don't let it be said of you what Jesus said concerning the Scribes and the Pharisees:
"All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not."
Matthew 23:3, KJV
As we saw in part one, in his Epistle, James also admonishes us to be doers of the Word, and not hearers only. He advises us to demonstrate our faith by our works, because without works, our faith is just a dead faith. Consider these verses:
"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."
James 1:22, KJV
"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
James 2:26, KJV
"Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."
James 4:17, KJV
So tell me; has the Lord been trying to encourage your faith lately through this ministry, or perhaps through some other way, so that you will begin to do more for Him? Might it be possible that you have been resisting His Will for your life because you are simply afraid to try it? Is your hesitancy due to the fact that you feel that you don't have the faith for it; or maybe because you don't think you have the right skills and talents to do the job? If so, allow me to ask you a simple question: Did the first Apostles have the necessary skills, talents, education and power to do the job?
Based upon what we are told in the Scriptures, I would say that in the flesh, no, they did not. What was required was the power, boldness, wisdom and anointing of the Holy Spirit, as we can see by the following verses:
"And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."
Luke 24:49, KJV
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Acts 1:8, KJV
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."
2 Corinthians 4:7, KJV
"And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."
1 Corinthians 2:4-5, KJV
"For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake."
1 Thessalonians 1:5, KJV
"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."
Acts 4:13, KJV
If you would like to learn more about this "treasure in earthen vessels" that we possess, please consider reading such articles as "A Treasure in Earthen Vessels - God's Promise of the Spirit".
So if you are feeling like you are not capable or up to the task, take heart, because there is Someone who can empower you from on high to do both His Will and His Work, if you will only trust in Him completely. If you have the faith to just take that first small step of obedience in your life, He will provide you with the faith, power and wisdom to take the next step. You don't have to do the job yourself; He will do it through you. Please consider the following verses:
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6, KJV
"And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left."
Isaiah 30:21, KJV
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
Philippians 4:13, KJV
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
James 1:5, KJV
Another article which will strengthen and inspire you, and encourage you to step out by faith, is "The Only Credentials You Need!". This article will reveal to you that you are not alone concerning your feelings of inadequacy.
So let me ask you again: Are you just a Baby Huey? Has your current church or fellowship held you back from accomplishing what you know you should be doing for the Lord? Have your own doubts possibly prevented you from taking that leap of faith into the unknown of God's Will for your life? Like Baby Huey, are you simply afraid to leave the comfortable nest of your current church home, even though you realize that you are a misfit and no longer belong there? Do you have the faith of Abraham who ventured out, by faith, into the unknown, just because the Lord commanded him to do so? In the Epistle to the Hebrews, we read the following concerning that Patriarch:
"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went."
Hebrews 11:8, KJV
These are the questions I would like to ask you today. This is the big challenge that I wish to place before you. Now, I realize that you must operate according to your own personal faith, but I believe that there are some of you reading this today who are capable of meeting this challenge, even if you don't think that you can. Of course you can't; but He can do it through you if you are willing and able. As I explain in the article "Are You Crucified With Christ?", through your own faith and obedience, you must choose to place yourself upon the Lord's sacrificial altar in lifelong dedication to Him, just as Abraham was likewise willing to sacrifice his own dear son, Isaac, by faith.
No doubt, some of you will react to this challenge by saying to yourselves "Oh, I can't do that! I don't know the Word like you do! I am not ready to be a shepherd yet! I am still too young in the faith! I have never led a fellowship before! How would I even start one?". If that is your response, then allow me to share a little testimony with you. This incident really inspired my heart, and occurred in 1998 when I wrote the original version of this series. At that time, my only daughter was a young girl attending elementary school in the public school system.
Being as updating this portion of the series would be a bit difficult due to the verb tense that I used at that time, I am simply going to quote the original contents -- with a few minor changes for the sake of clarification -- as I wrote it back then:
----- Begin Quote -----
. . . She loves the Lord, and she loves His Word. Because we no longer have a television set in our home -- a typhoon in 1997 destroyed it, which I interpreted as a message from the Lord -- she is not distracted by it; so she spends a lot of her time reading and studying the Word in her KJV Bible, in her Bible story books, as well as by listening to our KJV Bible tapes, by listening to a few programs on the radio, by memorizing new verses often, and by working on articles on her computer. In short, she spends a lot of time immersed in God's Word, and she enjoys every minute of it.
To emphasize this point, consider the fact that all on her own, without any encouragement from me, she decided to make it a personal project to read a few chapters from the Bible before heading off to school in the morning; and she has been very faithful with it. She has already finished the Book of Job, and is currently reading the Book of Proverbs. Furthermore, she has already listened to the entire KJV Bible -- read on tape by Alexander Scourby -- quite a few times. Please bear in mind that we are talking about a girl who is only eight years old.
Physically-speaking, my daughter is a petite little thing. She is normally quite shy and very quiet. She also tends to be very sensitive, and her feelings are easily hurt. Despite these things which might hold her back in the flesh, God has empowered her to be a faithful witness for Him in the devil's very own territory; that is, at the elementary school she now attends. She has already witnessed to some of her friends and teachers, and has passed out a number of Gospel tracts which she folds by herself, and then places in her little "sower's pouch", which she keeps in her schoolbag. Even though she has been reprimanded and scoffed at on a few occasions -- even by one particular teacher who had the audacity to send home a four-page letter of complaint -- she continues to be faithful to the Lord. Today, as I was working on this article, she shared the following with me:
She has a little friend at school who also appears to be a Christian. I am not certain what denomination or organization her family is affiliated with. At any rate, when my daughter first offered her one of our homemade Salvation tracts, this girl was not very receptive; however, things soon changed after that. You see, this situation was quite upsetting to my daughter, as it is difficult for her to understand why some of the children make fun of her and treat her with disrespect when she is only trying to help them by telling them about the Lord. I believe it may have been around this time that we had a talk about bringing forth fruit with patience. We also prayed that the Lord would work in the life of her little friend, and turn the situation around.
Well, it turned out that the girl took the tract home and read it; including the Salvation prayer on the back. That seems to have made a difference. My daughter now tells me that they are friends; and that the girl has asked her for some of her Gospel tracts on several occasions, so that she can share them with her friends and family. My daughter has been happy to oblige. In fact, today she told me that her friend gave a tract to her grandmother. From what I've been told, her grandmother apparently liked the tract so much, that she gave it to her pastor; and they are now going to print some themselves.
So you see, God can do a lot through those who are yielded to Him, despite their size and age. If God can use these two little girls, who were willing to take a step of faith and obedience in the right direction, just think of what He can do through you if you will let Him. Are you willing to take that first step; or do you prefer to remain a spiritually retarded Baby Huey sucking on the milk bottle?
----- End Quote -----
Just re-reading that testimony after so many years is quite heart-touching for me personally. I hope that you were also touched by it as well. It also reminds me of my article "The Faith Of A Little Child", which you may also want to read.
To reiterate, this is my personal challenge to you: to let go of the old; to forsake the spiritually dead; to forget about the spiritually blind who are not interested in spreading the Light of the Gospel, but who only wish to continue in their same old manmade rut of church tradition; and to let the Lord do a new thing through you. Believe me, I am willing to help you all I can by offering you counsel if and when you require it. Just let me know. Let me remind you again to also read the eight-part series "Where Are The First Century Churches?". It contains a lot of practical information as well.
You don't have to start out with a large group. In fact, you will probably never even grow very big. As I have shared with my readers on previous occasions, this is not about size, or about popularity; it is about obedience and faithfulness to the Lord and to His Word; to put into practice some of the things which you have read in the Scriptures, as well as in my articles. This challenge is an opportunity for you to bear some positive fruit in your life, and to be more of a witness for the Lord. After all, as I have shared before, this is one of the reasons why we are called to be Christians. Coming to Christ just isn't about our Salvation, it also about bearing spiritual fruit and the Salvation of others. Consider what Jesus told His Disciples in the fifteenth chapter of the Gospel of John:
"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."
John 15:16, KJV
So the question that you need to ask yourself is this: Do you want to be a healthy branch that bears fruit that will remain; or do you want to be an old dead branch which may someday be cast into the fire? This is precisely what the Lord tells us will happen to the unfruitful branches who abide not in the Vine, as we see here:
"Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit . . . If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."
John 15:2, 6, KJV
I am also reminded of another incident that is recorded in the Gospels where the Lord cursed a fig tree -- symbolic of the spiritually dead, fruitless nation of Israel? -- because it no longer bore fruit. Consider the following verses:
"Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done."
Matthew 21:18-21, KJV
Stated another way, are you really happy with just being a part of the "Lord, Lord" group; that is, being a part of those spiritually dead religionists who offer the Lord lip service during their weekend routines but who don't manifest their faith through real actions such as witnessing and soul winning, and helping the needy and the oppressed? If you are guilty of the sins of the Lord, Lord group, let me to remind you what Jesus had to say about such people. After all, they even existed in His day, as we see by these verses:
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
Matthew 7:21-23, KJV
"Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not."
Matthew 23:1-3, KJV
"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."
Matthew 25:31-46, KJV
"And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"
Luke 6:46, KJV
"Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last."
Luke 13:24-30, KJV
"Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
Matthew 15:7-9, KJV
Again, the choice is really up to you. As I stated before, while I can offer you advice through my articles, and try to lead you in the right direction, in the end, you must operate according to your own personal faith and conviction, and not according to mine. However, you need to consider if instead of moving from church to church, and from one fellowship to another each time that you become disappointed, you should be starting one of your own.
Instead of just being a cartoon Baby Huey who sucks on the spiritual milk bottle -- which is the only thing that many churches offer these days -- perhaps it is time for you to grow up and become the mature man or woman of God that the Lord wants you to be. You need to move on to the meat! You need to become a mature Christian who not only learns how to feed himself, but who also knows how to feed others as well, through holding your own fellowships at your own home church. You can do it with His help; trust me!
It really isn't that hard to do once you get your feet wet. People invite their friends to their homes all the time for all kinds of worldly reasons, such as playing card games or Scrabble, or watching a video together, or having a birthday party or some other family celebration. Is it really that big of a thing to do something similar for the Lord's honor and glory?
You can begin by inviting a relative or two, or a friend or two, over to your home to study the Bible together. Passing out Gospel tracts is one good way to find God's hungry sheep. As you pass out your tracts, now and then you will encounter a few people who will ask "Well, tell me; where do you meet? Where do you fellowship?". While out of tradition some people will probably expect you to name the church that you attend, wouldn't it be great if you could say, "Well, why don't you come over to my house this weekend? A few of us are getting together, and we'd be glad to have you over. We'll be happy to answer any of your questions if we can. It is an informal setting, so you don't need to wear your Sunday best. Just come as you are, and bring along a Bible if you have one."
If during your fellowship a question comes up, and you don't know the answer to it, maybe you'll find it in one of my many articles. You can avail yourself of our Bill's Bible Basics online search engine as well, or even send me a quick email. If I am available at the time, I will try to help you answer their question.
The key point is this: If you can get just one or two people interested in getting together with you on a regular basis, that is a beginning. It may be a small beginning, but it is nevertheless a beginning. Furthermore, let's not forget that we are not really interested so much in quantity, as we are in creating a quality fellowship that is comprised of sincere seekers of Biblical truth. If you foolishly opt for quantity, you may end up with serious problems on your hands when some of your visitors turn out to actually be wolves in sheep's clothing, who have simply come to spy out your liberty in Jesus Christ. We will be talking more about this issue in a moment.
Please go to part three for the conclusion of this series.
⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .