Posts Tagged ‘Ephesus’

(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace as in all churches of the saints. – 1 Corinthians 14:33

– In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust – let me never be put to confusion. – Psalm 71:1

Our English word “confusion” comes from the Latin “confusionem.”  It means the mixing, mingling, and blending of many things together.  To the point where it creates a disorderly mind, producing a sometimes constant state of mental perplexity.  Any person who is confused may often walk around a lot, saying or thinking things like “I don’t get it,” “This doesn’t make much sense,” or “That wasn’t supposed to happen.”

This world can leave us confused in such a way many a day – leaving us scratching our heads in wonder as to what is really going on in our lives.  God’s Word should never leave any Christian in any state of confusion.  If we believe on Him – we will not be.  If Jesus truly is the cornerstone of our foundations  – we shall never be confounded – unless we are continuing in disobedience (1 Corinthians 3:11, 1 Peter 2:5-7).

Once the proper foundation has been set, we are to build our holy temples in accordance with God’s instructions (Ephesians 2:20-22).  If we don’t, it is all vanity (Psalm 127:1).  Our churches and homes are bound for great ruin – causing more confusion when they finally collapse (Luke 6:48-49).  Refusing God’s instructions is in err.  We shall die for still using this world’s manual (Proverbs 5:23, Proverbs 10:17).

Also, there are spiritual staircases inside our Christian buildings, leading up to heaven’s door.  If we climb the right way, God promises us we will never be barren or unfruitful in our knowledge of Christ.  We will never fall spiritually (2 Peter 1:5-11).  Stumbling faith indicates climbing the wrong way (John 10:1). Spiritual fruit production sputters – speaking more confusion into our souls (Galatians 5:22-23).

Even more confusion is created if we still love this world, and its things (1 John 2:15).  If our faith consists of trying to blend the world and Word together – we are in great err.  It shows God we are still trying to base and build our belief on two different foundations.  We still want to feast and have fellowship at two separate tables, with two different fathers (John 8:44, 1 Corinthians 10:20-21).

If our affection is not steadily focused on eternal things – it will still be set on some earthly ones (Colossians 3:2).  Any friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4).  If we keep wavering between the world and Word  – it is sure to make us lie down each evening in some state of shame and confusion (Jeremiah 3:25).  We might even toss and turn a little – or a lot (Ephesians 4:14).

So, what’s the harm in wanting a little bit of the world and Word?   In “Reality Church” by Ian Vincent, he writes:  “Christians who do not believe in every truth of God’s Word – will believe in lies by default.  The harm in believing things about God and the Christian life which aren’t true, is it robs God of His glory.  It dilutes our personal faith, weakens our relationship with Him … thereby bringing confusion.”

Vincent continues with this:  “If we are confused, it opens the door for the father of liars (John 8:44) to play around with us.  This basically messes up our minds, because it genders them towards sin.  There is never any neutral ground with God.”   We either buy the truth and don’t sell it (Proverbs 23:23) – or we sell out for more lies.  We either love God completely, or we do not (Mark 12:30).

It is difficult to be content as Christians – no matter what state we are in – if we are in any state of confusion (Philippians 4:11).  If we are, we have brought it to our faces (Daniel 9:7-8).  God has not authored it – we have (lead verse).  We are still trying to finish our faith without Christ (Hebrews 12:2).  We have only put part of our trust in God – despite what we may claim (second lead verse).

Maybe this is why the scene in Christianity today can often seem similar to the riot at the Ephesus theater. Something exciting was going on there.  Everyone rushed inside with one accord.  So, what was going on?  Well, some people cried one thing, some cried another – until everyone was confused.  In the end, most didn’t know why they had assembled in the first place (Acts 19:29-32).

Maybe this is why we are hearing a confused and uncertain sound in today’s church (Isaiah 9:5, 1 Corinthians 14:8).  The world silently took a seat in our pews years ago (Revelation 2:13).  Unsound doctrine crept in (Titus 2:1).  It can all sound like an annoying noise to the lost … as if countless Christians all over the world are absent-mindedly jangling their many keys of faith, belief, and truth (1 Timothy 1:6).

Desiring to be teachers, but neither understanding or affirming much of what we preach (1 Timothy 1:7). Any confused preacher of the Word, preaching to any confused person in the world – must give the devil constant delight.  For if we should be confused at any time as Christians, Satan knows we have swerved away from the good Word of God’s truth – to serve the world of goods and his lies (1 Timothy 1:6).



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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ‘s gospel; and a door was opened unto me of the Lord. – 2 Corinthians 2:12

– “I (Jesus) am the door: By me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” – John 10:9

All of us probably love to hear words such as “If God closes one door, He’ll open another one.”  However, there are all kinds of doors in life – both physical and spiritual.  Which of the latter ones are being opened or closed shut, and when – takes prayer and great discernment.  So is who’s opening them, and why – or life can end up feeling like a revolving door.

When Paul tarried at Ephesus until Pentecost, he realized God had opened a great and effectual door to preach the gospel there.  He was also fully aware there were many adversaries waiting on the other side who didn’t want him to (1 Corinthians 16:8-9). His main adversary then, is the same as ours today – Satan (1 Peter 5:8).

Sin lies at every door (Genesis 4:7) – including the figurative one over our mouths (Psalm 141:3).  A door we may perceive to be leading to more truth and our Father – could just be a trap door to more lies.  Set by the father of them – Satan (John 8:44), to catch us at will in his snare of sin once again (2 Timothy 2:26).

Following God requires faith and prayer – which have their own doors.  When Paul and Barnabas gathered the church together in Antioch – they told of how God had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles (Acts 14:26-27).  When we pray, we are to go into a closet, and shut the door.  What He sees in secret will be rewarded openly (Matthew 6:6).

Still, wherever we go to spread the gospel, there will be opposition standing in every doorway.  The devil doesn’t want us to get to a place he can never get back to – heaven.  We have overcome the wicked one as believers – if we abide with God steadfast until the end; as He does with us (John 15:1-5, Hebrews 3:14, Hebrews 13:5, John 2:14).

There is a final door we’re all heading for called death.  It’s the forever snare of Satan (Proverbs 14:27).  All issues from death belong to God (Psalm 68:20) – and He holds the keys to it and hell (Revelation 1:18).  However, Satan still has power over ours.  This is why Christ died at the Cross – to defeat death in principle (Hebrews 2:9-15).

However, it will be the last enemy to be defeated (1 Corinthians 15:26).  This won’t happen until God sends His Son back with His grace and salvation (1 Peter 1:13, Revelation 12:10).  Until then, standing in the doorway between the devil and eternal damnation, and forever deliverance – is our Savior Jesus (second lead verse).

There really is a stairway to heaven in a spiritual sense.  We can spend our whole lives as Christians climbing up the wrong steps (John 10:1).  We’ve been given the key to heaven with the Holy Ghost – but can still find heaven’s door has no keyhole upon our death.  We have to stay humble and obedient unto it like Jesus (Philippians 2:8, Colossians 3:5-6).

It doesn’t matter how high we climb – perhaps on the proverbial ladder to success in life – if we find the door to eternal deliverance upon our death, locked. We can knock all we want with no answer.  Or, we may hear God say from the other side “Depart, for I never knew you (Matthew 7:23).”  The only stairs left are the ones leading down to damnation’s door.

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(Scripture from the NKJV and KJV)

– And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees – and of the Herodians to catch him in his words. – Mark 12:13

Jesus certainly had his critics and doubters while he lived upon this earth. Some certain Pharisees and Herodians were hoping they would catch Christ in his words – that he would slip up and contradict something he had said – so they could at least justify to themselves he wasn’t who he claimed to be. Likewise, Christians today certainly have their critics and doubters. Some certain unbelievers are most likely hoping we’ll slip up and contradict something we say – so they can at least justify to themselves why they continue to live as they do. They’re not sure we even know who we are – or what we’re talking about – so why would they ever want to join in?

We are to study to show ourselves approved unto God – workmen who need not be ashamed – rightly dividing the Word of truth when we present it (2 Timothy 2:15). So we understand what we are saying and affirming before we speak or write words to others. So we don’t come across to the unbelieving as just a bunch of irritating and jangling noise-makers – but not much of anything else (1 Timothy 1:6-7). Confusion and contradiction don’t go far in reaching and presenting a consensus in any matter or subject – Christianity included. It usually just leads to a bunch of vain babbling – which only increases ungodliness among believers (2 Timothy 2:16).

It’s like the riot at the Ephesus theater. Apparently, something really important was going on inside. However, many didn’t really seem to understand what. Some cried out one thing – some another – but a large majority did not know why they had come together to begin with (Acts 19:29-32). Are we the same today as believers? Doesn’t a confused noise coming from Christians – of which God is not the author of – only serve to send a message to the lost that a large part of us don’t even seem to know why we’ve come together to begin with (Isaiah 9:5, 1 Corinthians 14:33)? When we appear this way to the unbelieving – won’t many most likely just be chomping at the bit to catch us in our words?

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(NKJV and KJV Scripture)

– For God is not the author of confusion. – 1 Corinthians 14:33

“Are you always in confusion, surrounded by illusion?”  Those are lyrics from the 1977 song “Help is on the Way” by the Little River Band.  It’s a dangerous state to be in as a Christian, because whoever believes in Him shall not be confounded (1 Peter 2:6).  Confusion is both a lack of understanding and a lot of uncertainty.  It can easily lead to situations of panic – and a breakdown of order.  People who deliberately attempt to confuse others are intent on disturbing them in mind of purpose.  Satan is the king of creating confusion in Christians – it’s one of his many devices we should never be ignorant of (2 Corinthians 2:11).

We can create our own Christian confusion when we continue following – and pursuing vain, worldly idols and gods (Isaiah 45:16).  The riot at Ephesus in the book of Acts is a great illustration of confusion being caused by this very reason. Demetrius was a silversmith making a lucrative living creating silver shrines for the goddess Diana – who was worshipped by many people in Ephesus.  He wasn’t too crazy about the apostle Paul going around everywhere preaching there was only one God – and not any of those made by vain hands.  So, Demetrius rounded up his fellow craftsmen – their worldly wealth was at stake (Acts 19:24-26).

All these men then riled up the masses in the area – and many rushed in to fill up the nearby theater to figure out what should be done about Paul.  However, what happened inside resembled nothing more than herd and mob mentality.  Confusion reigned. Some cried one thing, some cried another – but the vast majority really didn’t have a clue as to why they were there. They just knew something important or exciting was happening when they saw everyone heading into the theater – and they apparently did not want to be left out (Acts 19:29-32).  Cooler heads eventually prevailed and the assembly was dismissed without incident (Acts 19:36-41).

The ingredients were there for something bad to happen – just as they can be today if we incline our hearts more towards the world – than to the Word (1 Kings 8:58, Jeremiah 7:24).  Is there a confused cry coming from modern Christianity because of this (Isaiah 9:5)?  Is there a lack of understanding and a lot of uncertainty?  Has Satan subtly succeeded in disturbing our mind of purpose?  To paraphrase a 1986 hit by Genesis called “Land of Confusion” – are there too many preachers, making too many promises, creating too many problems – and not enough love to go around?  If there is a confused Christianity today – is it being caused by our continued pursuit of worldly gods and vain goods? Is there a recipe in the Christian kitchen for something bad to happen?

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