Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P593 (12-11-20)
We all struggle in growing in Christ, learning how to overcome worry and all kinds of sin, and how to make wise decisions in those difficult things of life. Much of our struggle is because we are leaning on our understanding, trying to work things out in the energy of our flesh, or are focusing, not on Christ, but our circumstances and surroundings, and letting the voice of the world crowd out truth. Our mind has drifted from focusing on Christ to the thinking and pattern of the world.
It also takes time to grow. When you first come to Christ, it seems hard to navigate through the word of God and through the things you hear. You may not have the discernment yet to know what is right and what is wrong or what is the better choice. At times, you just do not know the truth, or lack the wisdom from God to know how to proceed. Yes, it is good to hear from mature believers in the Lord, to help you out. But ultimately, any human being can misguide you, because they may not know the truth themselves, are merely repeating what they heard from a denominational persuasion or even from ulterior motives, disguising themselves as a Christian, and twisting scriptures to mean something other than what it really means.
So, you must realize, if you are in Christ, the reason the Holy Spirit is in you, is to guide you into all truth. For the truth is what sets you free, so you can walk in love, joy and peace, the fruit of the Spirit that God Himself will produce in you and through you, as you abide in Him. Ultimately, the Holy Spirit is the one who will teach you. Trust Him, for He will guide you into all truth.
So, make sure you make the diligent effort to spend time reading God’s word, not because you have to, but because you want to get to know God, who loves you perfectly. Remember that it is perfect love that casts out fear. There is no fear of punishment when you know God, who is perfect love.
So, test what every man says is true. How? By relying on the Holy Spirit, who is in you, to teach you while you are reading and meditating on passages of scripture. That is what the apostle Paul commended the people of Berea for. For they diligently studied the scriptures to see if what he said was so.
Rob from Erie, PA
Rob: I have been really discouraged lately about my walk. I came to understand the gospel of grace ten years ago. I am twenty seven years old now. I am going through a lot of uncertainty about a lot of things happening. I do not know anyone who believes this, maybe five people. I live in Pennsylvania. I am just really discouraged. There are just a few people like Malcom Smith, Steve McVay and you and my parents. I had a little bible study. People did not really take to it too well. I believe it with all my heart and I can never turn back. I am really discouraged about different things. Speaking in tongues. I believe it works but I feel like God does not even talk to me anymore lately.
Bob: Rob, the only thing I can say is that you are depending on the flesh instead of the Spirit for your life. It might be helpful to you for me to read something to you that Major Thomas had written not too long ago. Open up your heart to what this is going to say to you. Will you do that?
Bob: Open up your heart to receive what it is going to say to you. I think it will deliver you from heartbreak, frustration, unhappiness and despair you are going through.
By Major Ian Thomas
It is not a question about improving or being reformed but a substitution, receiving a God-given life, a life in which we have nothing to offer God. In exchange, God tells us that the old Adamic nature within you, called flesh, has no redeeming feature about it. It is entirely without remedy. This was Paul’s persuasion. For I know nothing good lives in me, that is my flesh. I can will to do what is right but I cannot perform it. I have the intention or urge to do what is right but no power to carry it out.
For your own spiritual well-being, it is absolutely imperative that you recognize the fact that this old nature will never change it’s character. All the wickedness of which it is capable today will be capable of doing tomorrow, or fifty years from now, if you are still alive. The flesh within you then will be as wicked as flesh within you today. There is absolutely no salvageable content within it. What a relief it must be in order for you to discover that all your attempts to harness the flesh in service of Jesus Christ, in all your painful efforts to produce it, to good principles, godly principles of life and conduct, that God had never expected anything from you, except the hopeless failure that you have been. You have been trying to do the impossible.
The Galatian church made the same mistake. They had been trying to achieve holiness in their own strength. They tried to submit themselves to rules and regulations imposed upon them by legalists who glorified in their conformity to Jewish customs. Outward form and ritualistic patterns had become a substitute for spontaneous expressions of the indwelling life of Christ. Paul, therefore, addressed them as poor and silly, thoughtless and unreflecting and senseless Galatian.
He asked that question. Did you receive the Holy Spirit as a result of observing the law, and doing its works, or was it by hearing the message of the gospel and believing it? Was it by observing a law of rituals or from the message of faith? And he asked, are you so foolish and senseless and silly, after having begun your life by way of the Holy Spirit, are you now trying to achieve perfection by dependence on the flesh? The flesh in you has never ceased to love sin and never will. Given half a chance, it will always manifest its corruption and depravity.
That is why the godliest of men still have latent within them the most terrible potential for evil. It is the godliest of men who know the best of it, in the acknowledgment of this very fact, which is the secret of their godliness. They have learned often by bitter experience that character does not improve for the better by improving the flesh but only by allowing it to be replaced by the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can render its pernicious appetites inoperative.
The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Be persuaded, therefore, of the wickedness of your own heart and humbly confess it before God. Never be shocked or dismayed at the amazing capacity of sin that lies within you for this is the nature of your case. It is only when you are honest enough to face up to these facts, on the one hand, to have a big enough view of what the Lord Jesus Christ came to do for you. On the other hand, the desire to let Him do it.
Bob: Now, there is the problem that we run into when we get discouraged. You were depending upon your flesh. Depending upon us to do for God that only God can do in and through us. That plane does not work, does it, Rob? You can look around and get discouraged in what you see in other people, but if your eyes are on someone else, they would be looking at you and be discouraged at what they are seeing in you. So we have to realize in and of ourselves, and for any person on this earth, and makes no difference how big you have become in the eyes of your community, we are all the same.
Bob: You have people, whether Billy Graham or Billy the Kid, what you have is human beings with a sinful nature that is never going to change. So, you look around and you say, “There is hardly anybody there.” Think how we felt twenty years ago when we went on the radio. That is not enough to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves and this type of thing. It is the incentive to get up and continue to do what you are doing to get more people to see the truth of these things.
Bob: Discouragement does not come from God. It begins with an unrealistic expectation or misplaced dependency. If your expectation was that everybody was going to grab a hold of this message then you have to think why people did not grab a hold of it when Paul was preaching or when Jesus was sharing truth of it. So do not get discouraged by looking at people. Get your eyes off people and get into Jesus. Have no confidence in the flesh. There is nothing flesh is going to do except fail. And move on. Pick yourself up and say, “what I have been going through is ridiculous because it is and move on.” I do not care what you have done. I do not care about any of those things. From God’s standpoint it is in the past. Get up and move on. Press on to the high calling of Christ Jesus.
Rob: Wow. That is a lot of information.
Bob: Stop depending on you. God never expected anything from you.
Rob: I have a lot of fear.
Bob: That does not come from God, does it?Rob: I know.
Rob: I have diabetes. I do not know if it has anything to do with that. Maybe some of my feelings. You get angry sometimes.
Bob: Medication could have something to do with it. But again, is God bigger than your medication?
Bob: So when that comes, that is not the Spirit doing those things. That is flesh. Recognize where it is coming from. This fear is not coming from you. It is coming from the enemy of your soul, whether you have diabetes or not, you still have responses and responsibility to those responses. So the whole issue is not what you have, but how you respond to it.
Bob: Circumstances do not cause your nature. They reveal your nature
Bob: What that means is that I cannot put mad in you. I can draw it out of you, but I cannot put it in you. I cannot put joy in you, but I can draw it out of you, if you have it in you, if you are indwelt by Christ then you are indwelt by joy. Circumstances do not cause your nature. They just reveal where you are walking. When those things are revealed, do not beat yourself up over them?
Rob: I do that a lot. I beat myself up a lot. Instead of speaking tongues. I thought , are they real?
Bob: Of course not, Rob. Why would you even be concerned about speaking in tongues?
Rob: I do not know. I think I might be absorbed in feelings. Sometimes when I feel, I am upset or down, and when I am not speaking in tongues like I used to.
Bob: What do you think babbling in some language, that you have no idea what it is, and you do not know what you are saying, nor is anyone else going to do for you?
Rob: That is what upsets me, all this stuff I learned at church.
Bob: Satan is bringing that issue back up. What is it doing for you? Producing fear. Give it back to Satan. Tell him to get someone else to be babbling in tongues. You do not have to listen to that stuff. I get perplexed, quite frankly, why anybody would be all hung up in what they are doing. If I was sitting around telling everybody, I teach and I teach and I teach, you would think I was a blithering idiot. If God has given me the ability to teach, then shut up about it. It is nothing to be bragging or talking about, or letting everybody know you got. If I am wrong, people I do not know, they would not have a clue if I had the gift of teaching or no gift at all. It is not something to be bragging about. It is something God gave you. So why would someone be bragging about speaking in some language that no one knows what you are saying.
Rob: I know. Some people say something after and pretend God is saying it.
Bob: You know that to be true. We know there is no word of knowledge. That is nonsense. The word of knowledge is in the bible.
Rob: It is so confusing to people to just do whatever they are told. I believe a lot of those people are Christians in that church.
Bob: See Rob, again, I think that will drive you crazy, sitting around thinking about who is saved and who isn’t. Forget about it. The whole issue is for you to come to your senses, as Paul said, to grow up and quit acting like a child to grow up and be responsible and you cannot do that by looking at other people. Get your eyes off of people. They will discourage you. Get your eyes off of man. That will discourage you. Get your eyes on where they belong, on Jesus. Thinking about what other people are thinking is nonsense.
Rob: I would like to talk to fellow believers in this knowledge. When someone wants to hear it and they come to me, and then I am ready to tell them. I know what is true, that they are loved no matter what. No cause for it but just because God chose to. If they are eager to know.
Bob: You are going to have that fellowship in some areas. Some areas, it will be harder to find, but when you do find somebody, you have someone to communicate with. But if you don’t, you have Jesus as your friend. And He will never leave you.
Rob: He never has.
No. Just remember truth, Rob. Fear does not come from God. When you get it, you know where you got it from. Give it back to Satan and replace it with truth you do know. Perfect love casts out fear and nothing can separate me from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 10:5
5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
1 John 4:18
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Rob: I appreciate what you guys have done. There are books like yours, Steve’s and Malcom’s. They are not in Christian bookstores and I know why. My dad and I have really enjoyed learning from those things.
Bob: I will tell you something. I do not have much fellowship with any of those guys any more. Malcolm was into tongues. He was into that stuff, as much as he could talk about those other things. He has gone through two divorces and other kinds of things that are not matching up with what is being taught. That makes me wonder. Some of the teaching out there is phenomenal in exchange life, but if you are back at the cross, then evidently you believe you were a Mormon. If you think you think you were back at the cross with Jesus, then there is no other doctrine you can hold onto except Mormon. That means you were alive spiritually before you were alive spiritually. For darn sure you were not alive physically back at the cross. If physically, you were not back there, then maybe you thought you were spiritually. If that is the case, then you were alive spiritually before you were alive physically and the bible says, “first comes the natural, then the spiritual”. There are some things I definitely do not agree with. Again, error will put you into bondage. The fact is that is not the way it works. The realm God lives in is His realm. I live here on this earth and I was not back at the cross with Jesus. If I was, then I was involved in the crucifixion with Jesus. He was there by himself. I was not there with him. He died for the sins of the whole world back then. I was not there. I am here. I have the privilege by faith of entering into that marvelous truth, by faith and faith alone, not by sight, but by faith.
Bob: There are things there that you go right to the point everything is great but then all of a sudden people go off on some zululand. We had people who came out of that movement who started teaching universal salvation, that everybody is saved. Again, Rob, whether it is them or me, that is not where you are going to find the ultimate truth. You are going to find ultimate truth, if you are a true born again believer, and the Spirit is in you, He has promised to guide you into all truth, to make things of Jesus made known to you.
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
Rob: That is what scared me. So you depend on Him and He will do it. I had listened to his tapes all the time. I thought in my mind that everybody is forgiven but not everybody is saved.
Bob: Yes. Everybody is forgiven but not saved.
Rob: I agree with that.
Bob: God says that. He died for the sins of the whole world. So there is no other way to interpret that. But that is not salvation.
1 John 2:2 (KJV)
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
Bob: In Him, you have forgiveness, the redemption of sins. That is why Paul said that without the resurrection we are still dead in our sins. That takes care of the concept of people thinking everyone is saved.
1 Corinthians 15:16-19
16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
Bob: Not everyone is totally forgiven because the sin of unbelief is in all of us. That is a sin that has to be forgiven. So although everyone is born into this world with their sins, plural, forgiven, the sin of unbelief is upon all of us, and that is why we are still under the death penalty. The thing that enables us to be born dead, is because the sin of unbelief has not been corrected. Sins have been taken away from the eyes of God but the sin of the rejection has to be corrected.
Bob: Well, we have to go off the air. Rob, study the scriptures on your own and let the Spirit of God teach you. I hope that helps. Bye.
Judy from Phoenix, AZ
Judy: My question was about where the bible says you should not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will take care of itself. Then we are saving for the future like in a 401K. So what does that have to do with that part of the bible says?
Bob: I do not see any conflict at all on that type of thing. The whole issue is to not worry about those things. Today has enough problems of its own. Worry is in regard to the future and you do not belong in the future. That is God’ country up there. We do not belong there. We have to deal with what is going on today.
Bob: There is nothing wrong with people saving money for the rainy day. Sometimes you are going to have rainy days. You can either prepare for it or not. I think that is in accordance with the measure of faith given unto you. There are people who save a lot and some people do not. I do not see a problem in either case. But the issue is to not be worrying about the future. That is not for us to worry about. We have to be thankful for what we have today and for our daily provision we have today.
Bob: So many times, Judy, our minds can get all messed up and we begin to think of all the bad stuff.
Judy: Yes we do. I do that sometimes.
Bob: Absolutely. Amy and I sat down sometime thinking about things of the future with our children, or this or that. Hold on a minute. Let us take inventory. Do we have a roof on our head? Yes. Let us thank God for that. Do we have food to eat and clothes to wear? So start to thank God for what we do have and not worry about what we do not have.
Judy: A friend of mine asked me what I thought about psychics and fortune tellers.
Bob: It says it is a very sinful practice. It is prohibited in both the old and the new testament. Those kinds of things are not real. They are con artists.
Judy: Do you know where I can find that?
Bob: It is all over in the scriptures. Quite frankly, you do not have to be a Christian to understand that. I knew that when I was lost as a goose. People like that are con artists. If fortune tellers were so good, why are they living in those crummy old houses or shacks?
Judy: How come we pay for it? Then why do people believe them?
Bob: Because people are dumb. That is why you would pay for that. Someone is conned into thinking that somebody there can sit there and tell the future. If they could tell the future for five minutes, they could be billionaires on the stock market.
Judy: That reminds me. I am from Africa. It reminds me of witch doctors.
Judy: You go there. They tell you your whole future and your whole past.
Bob: They do not know anything. They are just con artists.
Judy: Thank you so much. I am so glad to talk to you, Bob. This is the first time I called. I said to myself, “Let me call and talk to him myself.”
Bob: I appreciate your calling, Judy. I hope that helps?
Judy: God bless.
Bob: God bless you, too.
Ted from Indianapolis, IN
Ted: I am in apartment work. I have been on this job fourteen years doing the same job. We had a change of boss, a female. She is kind of against men, so to speak. And, I do more work every day and I work hard. It seems like it is not enough. I pray every morning to give me strength to put up with her. I am almost at my wits end. I am not the type of person to voice my opinion on anything because I want to treat somebody like I want to be treated. It does not seem it is working. It does not seem it is enough. I am praying about it. Do you have input on this?
Bob: Ted, I do not know how to answer that personally. That is something you have to determine whether you want to stay there or not. If I had a boss, whether male or female, who was not respecting me as a human being. Even though you may be a boss, and I have been a boss in the secular world as well as the spiritual world, and never even when I was lost was I there to lord my position over people. I saw my position as a boss and a leader was to try to make people as productive as they could be. So it was not one of those things to lord it over people. If you have a boss to lord it over people, to criticize and never see anything good in someone, then I would consider leaving and get another job or share Christ with them. That will open their eyes. But again, I do not think, Ted, you can be in a situation where you do not want to say what you know to be true. That is not a loving thing to do. If you know something and you know the way to eternal life and that her way is to eternal damnation, and you do not warn somebody of that, then you are not being loving at all. You are actually being the very opposite of that. If there is that problem and you are planning on leaving anyway, then you might just sit down with her and share what the Lord means to her and see what happens. She might, at that point, get so angry that she might let you go. If that is the case, then you can consider that is God’s way.
Ted: Thank you brother, Bob. I appreciate that. I needed to hear some kind of advice.
Bob: Well, I hope that helps brother. The best to you. God will lead you.
Ted: Thanks, Bob. I appreciate it.
Bob: Alright, my friend.