There are those who have adopted the doctrine that they can do any evil they wish and then just repent. They may allow our children to perish and then just repent.

Judas Iscariot after he betrayed the Lord, was remorseful about what he had done. He sought to return the 30 pieces of silver, saying that he had betrayed an innocent man. (Matthew 27: 3, 4) Judas had all the elements that are associated with repentance: remorse, sorrow for what he had done, confession that he had sinned, he identified the sin, in returning the money, he wished that he could have undone the evil. Judas was much more contrite for his sin than many believers are today and yet, Judas perished.

The Lord had said, even before the betrayal, that it "had been good for that man if he had not been born." (Matthew 26:24). In Acts 1:25, Peter said that he went to "his own place". Esau found himself in a similar situation. According to Hebrews 12:17, Esau sought repentance with tears and didn't find it. "For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears."

It is the Spirit of God that grants repentance. (2 Timothy 2:25) My ability to repent and find acceptance is enabled by the Spirit of God. That should not be taken for granted. One should not plan to sin, and deceive himself into believing that repentance is guaranteed. In 1 Timothy 1:13, Paul wrote concerning himself: "Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief."

Paul wrote here, that God granted him mercy based on a reason: his blasphemy, persecuting and injurious behaviour was done in ignorance. This teaches us that in granting mercies, God examines the heart and grants mercies on his assessment of the individual's heart. There would have been others who, like Paul, were blasphemers, persecutors and injurious, who did not receive the same kind of mercy that was granted to Paul.

In 2 Timothy 1:15, Paul referred to a number of believers who forsook him, apparently not wanting to be seen associating with him as he was imprisoned. There was however, one believer, Onesiphorus, who stood by Paul. As Paul listed his good deeds toward him, he wrote: "The Lord give mercy unto the house of  Onesiphorus" (vs 16) and "The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day" (vs 18).

Clearly that same mercy was not extended to "all they which are in Asia" that turned away from Paul. They could not just forsook Paul, repent and receive the same mercies as the one who stood by Paul and paid the price. The mercies of God is conditional. This helps us to better understand that which is written in Romans 9: 15 - "For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion". "Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth." (vs 18) Let us not take the mercies of God for granted.

Dr. Seenath, your exhortation that defines "the salt of the earth" is timely and relevant. It addresses one of the major issues that has been a source of misleading, over the years.

I refer to the teaching in which believers make confessions as to who the scriptures say they are, without recognising that responsibilities and functions are attached to all of those titles. In that regard, you rightly pointed out that being called the salt of the earth, only makes sense, if we diligently live out the beatitude.

Many gladly confess being the salt of the earth, without an understanding of the responsibility and action that the title implies. In acknowledging your great teaching, in this regard, I wish to exhort that this principle be applied to all of the promises of God, that is applicable to the body of Christ. Indeed, we are expected to pay keen attention to ALL of the Word of God, and to be doers of every Word.

In 2 Peter 1, as Peter wrote about the "exceeding great and precious promises" he twiced, used the word "diligence" (vs 5, 10). The word diligence refers to a particular kind of attention and carefulness to perform certain actions, that is expected of the believer in response to the exceeding great and precious promises that have been given to us.

In both verses 2 and 3, Peter wrote of promises that is attained through the knowledge of God. This goes beyond the knowledge that brought salvation as in verse 5, he refers to knowledge as something that the believer must add. In other words, our knowledge of God must be ever increasing. And as it increases, grace and peace is multiplied unto us (vs 2) and we are able to receive those things which his divine power has made available to us. (Vs 3)

So many are making confession of having these things, while not increasing in the knowledge of God, that according to the scripture brings these promises into our lives.

Many confess being partakers of the divine nature, (vs 4) without the realization that the divine nature, if we would allow it to leads us, will cause in us an ever increasing resistance to sin and a desire to live in righteousness.

Verses 5 to 7, goes into details as to the qualities that we are to be continually adding. This clearly shows that the life we are called to live is one of character and expected behaviour. Let us be mindful that the Word of God, applies to every believer regardless of rank or ministerial status.

If there is any question as to the significance of being diligent in adding these attributes to our walk in Christ, verses 9 and 10, should dispel any doubt.

"But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins." (Vs 9 - This seems self explanatory).

The next verse tells us that it is our responsibility to make certain our calling and election and, it is only as we practice these things that we are protected against falling. To state it another way, I can fall if I neglect to do these things. Again, we are to make our calling and election sure. This cannot be stressed enough.

L. Lee Fook

Very often when we hear about Christians being the “salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13) we are told it is preservation, flavor, and possibly healing since salt can function in these ways. While indeed Christians affect society through these means, this explanation falls short of what the text really says and it causes us to lose the fundamental truth of what it means to be salt.

Notice Jesus did not say that we are to “function” like salt but that we “are” the salt. In the context of the beatitudes from Matthew 5:3-12, Jesus outlines the characteristics and virtues of what it means to be a Christian and stresses the critical importance of not only possessing these qualities but continually manifesting them. In other words, it is those who possess and practice these attributes are the ones who are truly the salt of the earth.

But Jesus also warns that the salt can lose its savor which, as a consequence, makes the salt “saltless” and thus, it is good for nothing but to be thrown under the feet of men. In those days this is exactly what was done to salt that lost its savor. They would use it to pave walkways.

If a believer fails to practice the beatitudes as outlined by Jesus, then he has lost his savor. These beatitudes are to characterize the Christian and become the kingdom way of life that he faithfully demonstrates to the world. The metaphor of salt can only have meaning when we embrace and diligently live out these qualities and show the world who Jesus Christ truly is. Don’t stop being salt!

B. M. Seenath

Romans 12:2 speaks about a "good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." We know therefore that there is a perfect Will of God.

In 1 Samuel 8, the elders of Israel, went to Samuel and gave him reason why they wanted to be governed by a human King after the manner of other nations. (vs 4 and 5) The scripture tells us that Samuel was displeased by this request. Samuel knew that this was not the will of God for the governance of Israel. Samuel went to the Lord in prayer concerning this matter.

God's instruction to Samuel is interesting: "Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee:". In other words, give them what they want. But in the same sentence - "they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them." Although granting their request for a human king to rule over them, God considered that request to be one of rejecting Him from ruling over Israel. In other words, the perfect will of God was that He would be their king and, not a man, as the other nations. The Lord went further in warning them of the kind of king that they would receive and how they would suffer under his reign.(vs 9 - 18). The Lord promised that on the day when they cry unto him because of the king that rule over them, He will not answer. Answers to prayer are also aligned with being in the perfect will of God and, therefore, our prayers are hindered when we are out of His perfect will. As the people insisted that they should have a king, inspite of the warning of God, Samuel was instructed by God to "make them a king." (vs 22) Clearly, the Lord was permitting them a king, against His perfect will.

In 1 Samuel 9:16, the Lord leads Samuel to Saul and told him to "anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me". Samuel stood in the office of king with the anointing of the Lord upon him. God promised that Saul would have military victories for the sake of Israel (see also 1 Samuel 14:47, 48)

Blessings does not mean that someone is in the perfect will of God. There are things that God permits. We live in a day in which many claim to be apostles and are not. Can we say with surety that all who are pastoring are called and anointed for that office? In such cases, the flock suffers. In instructing about ordaining pastors, Paul told Timothy, that he should not put a novice in office. (1 Timothy 3:6) This has to do with maturity and readiness. Doubtless there are many in offices for which they are not ready. They surely are not in the perfect will of God. But God may permit it, as as we saw in the case of Saul. This is dangerous for we can never be effective out of the perfect will of God. And yet, it does not mean that there are not some successes, as we see in Saul.

Dear Fellow Pastors,

The scripture is clear about the threats faced by the church as well as the role of the shepherd (pastor) as the chief defender of the sheep assigned to his care and oversight. (John 10)

These threats are ever increasing, as we enter more and more into perilous times in which deception, evil men and seducers, wax worse and worse. (2 Timothy 3:13)

As Pastors, we need to ensure that we are clothed with the whole armor of God with which we have been especially equipped both to feed and defend the flock assigned to our care. We need to stand in strength and in exercise of the independence that is necessary, if we are to be effective. We need to be aware that as the enemy targets the flock,  pastors would be the first point of assault.  If the shepherd is smitten, the flock would then be scattered. (Matthew 26:31)

We should also be aware that as we take our rightful position, others would take note. There are those who would be encouraged. There are those who would also become aware of their own limitations with respect to the flock, as the pastors would have marked the boundaries.

Be encouraged!

PastorThe office or gift of the Pastor is listed among the gifts (often called the ministry gifts) in Ephesians 4:11. According to the scripture, those gifts are given by the Lord. Let us focus on the office of the pastor. It is the Lord who distributes these gifts as He sees fit. No man can choose to be a pastor. One cannot be a pastor by his personal choice. Doubtless there are many who are performing the role of the pastor, without the calling and, may be recognized by others as a pastor, simply on the basis that they preside over a church. But according to the scripture, presiding over a church is NOT what makes one a pastor. The callings of God are NEVER chosen by men. According to Hebrews 5:4, No man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God.

The scripture also says that the good works for which we are created in Christ Jesus were determined for us "before". (Eph 2:10). In Gal 1:15, 16 Paul states that it did please God who "separated me from my mother's womb and called me by His grace" to reveal His Son in him. This scripture implies that before he came out of his mother’s womb, his purpose was determined and that God brought him from his mother's womb for that predetermined purpose.  In other words, a person is a pastor before he is even set over a church. He is set by God over a church because he is a pastor. He is a pastor before he had knowledge of it and certainly before he had a single member. The number of members over which one presides cannot be a basis to determining the call. Even having many members do not prove the call.

Am I A Gossiper?

GossipThe word “gossip” always convey a sense of negative, idle conversation and the spreading of rumours about other people. Concern about gossip, may have been on the mind of Henry Thomas Buckle, when he made the well-known quote: “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people”.

There are people whose only problem with gossip is when they are the target of other gossipers. That however, suggests that they understand the evil effects of gossip.  Yet, they too, often indulge in gossip concerning others. Most gossips are outright lies, half-truths and often attempts to paint a negative view of others in the mind of the hearers.

For the purpose of making the rumours appear to be facts, it is delivered with a sense of boldness and assurance. Gossipers should be aware that they are spreading lies concerning others.

It is therefore, important that we be conscious of our gossip.

You Shall Not Take the Name of the Lord Your God In VainVery early in God’s dealing with man, He warns man against using His Name in vain.  Much of the use of the Name of the Lord by man occurs in human speech.  
When the Lord taught His disciples to pray, in what is a model prayer (after this manner pray ye), He began by addressing the Father and then worshipping Him through His Name – Hallowed be Thy Name. (Matthew 6:9)

The Lord began by reverencing the Name of our Father in Heaven. He taught his disciples to speak words to the Father, letting Him know that His Name is Hallowed to them. Hallowed means holy, sanctified, set apart.

Such reverencing of the Name of God is the very opposite of the vain use of His Name, in which the Name of the Lord is treated as a common word or a mere human name.  In fact, many persons when vainly using the Name of the Lord are unaware at those moments that they are misusing His Name.  There is often no thought of Him, when His Name is vainly used as though it was a slang. An understanding of the Scripture would teach us that when God uses names, that is - even when He gives names to men, those names are always related to the character, call and purpose of the individual.  It is always about who the person is. God changed the name of Abram to Abraham – meaning father of a multitude – because that was whom God made him.  Most human names given by parents are in no way reflective of the person who owns the name, because our parents do not know us sufficiently to identify us by who we really are.


Numbers 12 begins by relating how Miriam and Aaron, sister and brother of Moses, had an issue with Moses because of the Ethiopian wife that he had married.

The Danger of Standing in the Way of the MinistryObviously upset, they began questioning if it was only Moses through who the Lord speaks. “And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us?”  Then the scripture adds, “And the Lord heard it”. (Numbers 12: 1, 2)

Does that mean that the Lord was unaware of all they had been saying otherwise concerning their dissatisfaction with his choice of a wife?  Certainly not! What is does mean, is that they had entered into an area, that immediately got God’s attention.  They had crossed a line that was of great concern to the Lord and his response was immediate.

To Miriam and Aaron, Moses was their brother.  Very likely, while others saw him as a prophet of God, their first impression of him was that of a brother and just another man.  Therein lies the root of the problem expressed by the Lord in this well-known scripture: “A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” (Mark 6:4)


In addressing the multiple problems among the Corinthian believers, Paul dealt with the matter of brothers taking brothers to courts, presided over by the ungodly judges. (1 Corinthians 6:1-8)

Delivering JusticeThis scripture has been used by some, in certain instances to even perpetrate injustices among the brethren.  In other words, it would seem that there are some who have dealt unjustly with others only because they do not expect to be taken before the courts of the world.  Some may have dealt with their brethren in a manner that they may never deal with persons of the world whom they know won’t hesitate to take them to the courts of the world. Indeed, where this exists, it is a great evil and a wanton display of wickedness that goes contrary to ALL that this scripture has instructed. The scripture is about the delivery of justice, settling disputes between brethren in a just manner.  

Paul speaks concerning the future, that the saints shall have responsibilities for judging the then world. He further adds that the saints shall exercise judgment over angels. Compared to those responsibilities, the judgments we are now called upon to exercise are small matters. (1 Corinthians 6:2,3)

This has nothing to do with brethren who are legally trained.  It has nothing to do with looking for loopholes within the law for exploitation, as happens in the world’s legal system and which often corrupts justice. It has to do with making judgments according to truth and governed by our godly responsibilities toward each other. The scripture expects such a standard of fairness among believers that “the least esteemed in the church” should be able to justly decide a matter. (vs 4)

Restoring the Believer that sinnedGod created man for fellowship with man. That was evident in the Garden of Eden, as the presence of the Lord God, would visit man. (Genesis 3:8) It was also evident that once man sinned, the fellowship was broken and man was hiding from the presence and fellowship of his Creator. It was not God who pushed man away, it was man who was no longer comfortable in God’s presence. (Genesis 3:10.) Sin broke both the relationship and the fellowship that God and man had been mutually enjoying.

God immediately began a process that pointed to the sending of His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, with restoration of fellowship as the objective.

The scripture tells that that to as many as receive the Lord Jesus, He gives power to become sons of God. (John 1:12) Giving those who receive Him the status or relationship of sons, define the kind of fellowship that God desires with mankind – the fellowship of a Father with His sons. Because sin had separated man from God, a restoration of fellowship with God, meant dealing with the sin problem. That is what the Lord Jesus did in His death, the shedding of His blood and in His resurrection from the dead. However, because even after restoration, the possibility exists that man may still sin, God had to put in place the means of dealing with any further sin.

Muzzled by CultureWhen Jude wrote to the saints, he made mention that his intent was to write to them concerning “the common salvation.” (Jude 3)  He found however, that there was a matter more urgent with which he had to deal.  He instead wrote, urging the brethren to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3)

Clearly Jude considered the “faith which  was once delivered unto the saints” to be under threat.  The words “earnestly contend”, according to the well-used, Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, come from a Greek word which “signifies to contend about a thing as a combatant”.  In other words, Jude is telling his audience to combat, fight for the faith, as originally delivered and received.  The word “earnestly” adds emphasis to the fight effort.  The Amplified version says, “fight strenuously”. Jude was putting the saint in combat mode.  There was nothing casual about his call.  The implication is that except you fight for it, you may lose it.

But just how could this threat have come about?  “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 4)


It is God who open doorsWe must always be mindful that for us who are called of God, Paul wrote that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

The Amplified Version, states it this way: “For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].”

In other words, the work which God has called each of us to do was prepared, planned and determined by Him before we came.  It really is a matter of us finding out from God, what He has called us to do and following Him faithfully until that work is finished.

As Paul came to the end of his ministry, he wrote to Timothy, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7).  “I have fought a good fight” described the work of the ministry. “I have finished my course” was his objective.  “I have kept the faith” is another way of saying, “I remained faithful” and revealed the key to finishing.


BetrayalWhile there is truth to what is often said that “all sin is sin”, there are those that seem to be more grievous and devastating in their effects than others.  Betrayal must be ranked high among the most grievous of evils, if only for the pain that it leaves in its wake.  That, doubtless makes it one of the chief weapons of Satan as he sets up humans to hurt each other.  More so, as we would note as we examine the matter of betrayal, by its very nature it has to be carried out by someone close and trusted which is exactly why it causes such pain.  It is often accompanied by shock and surprise.

Rather than look for a dictionary and an intellectual definition of betrayal, we would examine its characteristics and nature which, hopefully, would allow self-examination and introspection, in the process so as to ensure it is recognised and rejected by those who would wish not to fall into the category of traitors.

Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ, has for over 2000 years stood as the symbol of betrayal.  An examination of the traits, thinking and behaviour of Judas would serve as enlightening in forming a concept of this sin.

Matthew 26:14-16 give an insight into the plot: “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.”

How To Lead and When to FollowLeadership is about vision.  Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”

Vision is about direction and destiny.  Leaders sell their visions to those who wish to follow them.  Followers are those who have bought into the vision as espoused by the leader.  The exception are those persons who live under dictatorships and are without a choice.

The Lord Jesus was a leader.  He boldly told men, “Follow me” (Matthew 4:19) He told them what the outcome would be if they would follow His Vision – “I will make you fishers of men”.  Inherent in that promise, is that they too would be leading others.  He would make them leaders.

The Lord taught and prepared His disciples over 3 and a half years for the leadership roles they were to fill after His departure.  He taught by words and by His example.  He also drew reference to the leadership of men to which they were exposed, even in showing what they should avoid.  In one such example, the Lord referred to the leadership of the Pharisees. “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Matthew 15:14)


The New CreationThe Lord Jesus in John 13:34, gave to His disciples “a new commandment”.  “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”  The new commandment was that His followers love one another in the manner that He loved them.  It meant that the Lord used His manner of loving His disciples as an example that they should follow, in loving one another.  In other words, we are to love as the Lord loves.

When the Lord Jesus walked on the earth, He was approached by a lawyer, who asked, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”  (Mathew 23:36)

The Lord answered him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.   On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (vs 37-40)

So that even under the Law, God commanded that men love God as well as one another.  In the case of loving their fellow men, the measure was according to how they loved themselves.   In this new commandment, the measure is as Christ loved.

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