Galatians 1:15 - 18 (KJV) 15But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mothers womb, and called me by his grace, 16To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. 18Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.
Acts 20:25 - 32 (KJV) 25And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. 26Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 28Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. 32And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
James 5:17 (NKJV) 17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.
These scriptures along with the Gospels and the fact that the disciples were in intensive training with the Master for three years indicate the fact that there is a lot of truth to be learned that is not learned in one easy lesson. I am certainly not trying to say that there is some kind of hard and fast rule of three years training for ministry for the Lord
but what these scriptures indicate is the fact that the Gospel is not something that can be boiled down to ONE message, and certainly not down to ONE little pat formula as many have seemed to imply on some of these forums. Paul went on past midnight at least on one occasion we know, and we find many of the most edifying messages on this site that are well over an hour in length and you are still left hungering for more
why? Because this thing cannot be put down in one easy lesson, any more than becoming a concert pianist comes from a once a week lesson and one hour of practice right before the next one.
I was reading the thread where one writer had it all down to PEACE and was grateful for the answer that Brother Mike B. gave regarding the fact that if we are honest and love the truth there will always be areas of our life in which we can be challenged and can grow. I know that I have certainly been challenged by messages that I have heard here and also by the insight and experience of some of those who have written in to these forums. Brother Paris Reidhead certainly changed my thinking in some areas with his messages. Paul Washer has challenged my heart in some areas. Leonard Ravenhill has been used of God to pulverize my heart in more places than I can count. These are just a few of the many
This whole Christian journey has been one of iron sharpening iron, of faithful wounds of friends and even of sharpened arrows of enemies who meant it for evil but God meant it for good
. If it is true, it is true regardless of what the motive of the truth speaker is. And God has confirmed truth from both friends and the not so friendly.
If Paul could write as he did in the letter to the beloved Philippians:
Philippians 3:12 - 14 (KJV) 12Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect (teleioo, not meaning still full of sin as some like to interpret this
but meaning having already accomplished his afore mentioned goal of knowing Christ fully and being fully conformed to His image through the fellowship of His suffering) : but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
I suspect that each of us has a few more feet to go
One thing I believe that is the distinctive mark of those who are truly His, is that continual love for truth, regardless of how much it cuts and pricks and pierces the soul and heart
there is that ready recognition and resolution to walk in the light.
John 18:37 (NKJV) 37Pilate therefore said to Him, Are You a king then? Jesus answered, You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.
On the other hand there is that distinctive smell and sound to the voice that has self-defense and self-justification in it. Sin AND lies have to be defended, and those defending get very defensive. Truth does not, it only needs to be declared and those who love it and have a heart for it will latch on to it as our brother CRSSCHK has said on another post, and search the scriptures to confirm it.