Reviling 

We read in 1 Corinthians 5 a list of examples of sins we are not to associate with. One of those on the list is reviling.

 

But what is reviling? When I asked pastors they told me that it means cussing/cursing. Another told me it means to blaspheme God. And that was the extent of their explanation.

Well, those are true but there is much more to the meaning of the word. A quick look at the Greek manuscript and where else the word is used is quite revealing.

John 9:28 Then they reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples.

 

The Greek word is loidoros. The above is the New King James version. If we look at how other versions have translated the word it is telling:

cursed him                               NLT

ridiculed him                          HCSB

turned on him in fury         ISV

hurled insults                         NIV

heaped insults                       BSB

railed at him                           CJB

jumped all over him           MSG

Are you getting the idea?

 

Now if we then look at the Koine Greek synonyms we see mock, reproached, ridiculed, slander, gossip,  etc.

One of the more significant synonyms is the word blasphemy. As the pastors thought that it was direct blasphemy – no it is indirect blasphemy that counts. What do I mean? Well in John 9:28 they reviled the blind man that was healed insulting him as if he were foolish or inferior to them. But in doing so they blasphemed God as they insulted him.

When we read 1 Peter 4:14  (NKJ)  If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.

 

So as the healed blind man was being reproached they were blaspheming God. This is serious for in Israel at the time this was an offense that warrants execution. (It was for blasphemy that they put Jesus to death.)

 

So when you insult your fellow man, your brother, OR the Devil you simultaneously blaspheme God. We read in the book of Jude: 9 Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

Now the most astonishing exhortation to me from this verse is that the English word here revile is not the same as 1 Cor. 5 loidoros in the Greek but is, in fact, the Greek word blasphemias it’s synonym.

So when we gossip, slander, insult, mock or speak evil in any way against ANYONE! (even the devil) We are blaspheming God!

So when it says that Mike did not revile the devil it is saying he didn’t say anything like “You’re an idiot!” Or “How blind can you be?” Or “Dad approves of me more than you!”, Etc.
This is not unlike when Merriam spoke evil of Moses. She commented that since Moses has a foreign wife that either she or Aaron should have been the leader or chosen one. In her simple thinking, yes she spoke down on Moses but does not realize she was insulting God. Who chose Moses? It was God. So she does not realize that she basically said: “God made a bad choice because Moses has a foreign wife, he could have done better in having chosen me or Aaron, God is foolish.”

Who chose Moses? It was God.

So she does not realize that she basically said: “God made a bad choice because Moses has a foreign wife, he could have done better in having chosen me or Aaron, God is foolish.”

In that event, God gave Merriam leprosy. This allows us to see physically what reviling does to our souls (that which God sees but we do not see). God did not give her leprosy because he was offended. Though he said that her own father would have spit in her face. No, but so that she and others could see how she is hurting her own soul. In like manner to the NT says to rebuke an elder publicly so that all may fear – he rebuked her publicly.

Reviling is an epidemic in the body of Christ. They have no idea what it is nor are they interested in knowing. I heard one sermon where a pastor said “well, we are not the purpose driven church you know” and the audience roars in laughter. This was a way to say they were superior to Rick Warren’s church. (I neither endorse either church)

This is serious for a reviler will not inherit the kingdom of God. Now some will say “so you are saying we can lose our salvation?”. Will you say this in order to not obey?

When we revile we are killing our souls! When we do not exhort our brother who may have reviled in our presence we are their accomplice. Their blood will be required at our hands.

Remember to count the cost. That for every idle word a man will be judged Matthew 12:36, That the disciples then asked, “who then can be saved”. It is not for sin that God will judge us. It is for our excuses and denial that he MUST judge us!

 

Amen

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WHY DO KIDS BELIEVE IN THE TOOTH FAIRY, THE EASTER BUNNY, SANTA CLAUS, BUT NOT IN GOD?

With one word I can answer this: experience!

They have not seen these three nor have they seen God. But they have seen results with these three and so believe, not because of the story and the belief of the parents (or fibbing) but because they see the presents, the money, the basket – experience!

Kids believe parents at their word, yet being intelligent enough even at three years old they have doubts, but when they wake up Christmas day and see presents under the tree and hear mom and dad say “wow look Santa came!” They may have been skeptical about the tooth fairy but when they wake up and see money and the tooth gone and mom reinforces the optional truth with “see I told you they would buy your tooth”. The kid is THEN convinced (or rather deceived!).

In my home, we do NOT believe in these three, but we do believe in God. And so I have begged and pleaded with God to give my kids experience with him so that they could believe in Him.
We read in the first chapter of Acts the phrase “by many infallible proofs”!

One day while in the sixth grade my son (Jason) needed money for a field trip. He was crying because we had literally zero money. I said son please share these things with me, it was late at night just before he was going to bed and the trip was in the morning. He was feeling emotion worrying about the next day and what would he tell his teacher. So together we sat in Gods presence, told him what is our trouble and asked for guidance, then waited and listened. I was told to tell my son in the morning he will have his money and that I was to go for a night walk where God would give me the five euro.

I wandered around town for a few hours around 1 am I ran into a guy I know who works at a nightclub. We chatted and he asked me what I was doing out so late. I told him my son needs five euro and I am looking for it. He immediately offered me five euro – in the moment I asked Father if I should accept and he said yes. Though I walked away wondering – was this God’s provision? I remembered to take every thought captive to the authority of Christ, so I asked: “Father is that really from you or because I shared?” He reminded me that he told me to share with him and that I did not ask men for money but he put it on the man’s heart to give. I accepted this answer yet honestly not fully satisfied.

When I  got home I was eager to see his joy when he would see the five euro (like waking up and the tooth is gone and now there is money). He was not excited – he was sad. I asked why and he said that he needed seven euro, not just five. I did not know this, he had told me about the five but not the two. So I said, “If God provided the five he will provide the other two, perhaps you will see it on the ground, or in the bus, or at the restaurant!”

At this time he would walk alone to school. But as a word of wisdom, I was to walk with him today. As we walked and approached the road for his school and should turn I saw a vision to go a block further and to walk around and circle back to the school. As I obeyed this my son said: “dad you’re going the wrong way.” I said I know but God has shown me to take us this way.

As we walked I noticed in the gutter a two euro coin and said to my son gently and calmly “look”. His eyes lit up as I expected them to earlier that morning and as he bent down he found what I had not seen another one euro coin. He was so shocked, so surprised, so full of joy and amazement. He told me right away how he would tell his friends.

I too was amazed and NOW fully satisfied that even the earlier five euro was from Him.
“Faith come from hearing, and hearing the voice of God.” Thus I pray often that my kids will experience him so that they might believe he exists and that they might slowly learn how they can trust him with all.

We have many other such experiences I could share. Most the time it is like this one at what seems to us the very last possible moment, not unlike when God parted the Red Sea.

may you be inspired and go and do likewise.

UPDATE April 4, 2017

We may think we are robbing our kids of fantasy and fun by not doing these games. But what we end up doing is robbing them of trust. I have interviewed many people – and between the ages of 8-14 one day they realized this was a lie and they all tell me they thought “Can I really trust my parents?”. This makes them then think “Is God made up too?”. So to counter this I ask for experience for my kids that God is real.

When my one son (Jojo) was four for Christmas he wanted a remote control car. I had not money to buy this – I asked him to ask God for one. So we prayed together for one. A week later the Red Cross invited him to a Christmas party. They gave him a gift, he opened it. And it was a remote control car.

My son when he was five wanted a tablet. Something I could not afford. I told him he could ask God. 14 months later when he opened a box from Grandma that had a tablet in it his response was “My tablet”. He knew God would answer one day and the day he got it he was not surprised God answered he was just joyful that this was the day. (I have his response on video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnen8djRPmQ&feature=youtu.be )

Recently I was walking with my soon to be 14yr old son (Jason). He told me his friends ask him “How do you know God is real” please know we are in Greece where all kids are Orthodox Christians all have been baptized Christian, most of them go to church at Easter and Christmas. They see my son’s faith, they see his courage, they see he is not afraid of men’s opinions – such as when a classmate is being a bully he is not mindful of others wrongly calling him a snitch (He does not tattle tale he asks for help). So I got to share with him how to answer that question. I told him he can tell them of his experiences of God (such as the money for the field trip), he can tell them that this is why he cannot be easily intimidated or manipulated due to spending time with God each day (Jason’s own Character is proof of God – it is proof he has been with God). That he can just lay his hand on their shoulder and say “God please show my friend you are real. and I thank you that you will”