(Go To Meeting)

Russell Kemp—August 27, 2021

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When Paul was trying explain a lot of things about Jesus Christ to the people, they just didn't understand. This is what he had to say to them:

Hebrews 5:11—Paul says: "Concerning Whom we have much to say… [speaking about Jesus Christ] …and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing…. [They weren't listening] …For truly, by this time you ought to be teachers…" (vs 11-12).

They've been around long time and should be much further along than they were.

"…but instead you need to have someone teach you again what are the beginning principles of the oracles of God, and have become those in need of milk, and not of solid food. For everyone who is partaking of milk is unskilled in the Word of Righteousness because he is an infant. But solid food is for those who are fully grown, who through repeated practice have had their senses trained to discern between good and evil" (vs 12-14).

This how we grow! It's an interesting concept of comparing milk to solid food. I think we obviously know here that Paul is talking about spiritual food! In other words, they are not getting the nourishment they needed to grow spiritually. They weren't growing.

As newborn babies, we were nourished by our mother's milk. Eventually, over time, we're given some soft food, because we still don't have teeth, and I think that's a blessing to mothers. But eventually we're fed solid food and meat to support our growth into mature adults. This is the human process that takes place. In other words, we can continue to stay on milk.

Spiritually speaking, we know that Paul is referring to the Word of God. We can't just learn the basic truths of God's Word and stop growing. We must be fed solid food or meat.

When we first come into the Church—all of us—we need to be fed spiritually as babes, because we are new in the Church. Peter refers to that:

1-Peter 2:2: "As newborn babes… [when we first come into the Church] …yearn after the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow."

But our growth shouldn't stop there! It does not stop. Paul gives an example of people who were not growing. They were not growing because they were still carnal, still walking according to the ways of the world. This is what he told them:

1-Corinthians 3:2[transcriber's correction]: "I gave you milk to drink, and not meat… [Why?] …for you were not yet able to receive spiritual meat; and neither are you able now, for you are still carnal…." (vs 2-3).

They were not growing, and still living in the ways of the world. Sooner or later, we need to be weaned from the milk, taken off that milk.

Isaiah very explicitly goes through the process that we need to follow if we are to become fully mature Christians.

Isaiah 28:9: "Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine?…. [then here's the process that must take place if we re to become mature Christians]: …Those who are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts, for precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept… [over and over] …line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little" (vs 9-10).

If we are to grow spiritually, we must be weaned from the breast and consume solid, spiritual food! Our spiritual food is the Word of God.

What happens when we learn the basics? We feel that all we need to do is just attend Church, listen to a sermon, socialize a little and just wait for the Kingdom of God!

Let me address a couple of those things. The angel of the Ephesians Church told them:

Revelation 2:4[transcriber's correction]: "…I have this against you, that you have left your first love"—diligently study the Word of God!

Verse 5: "Therefore, remember from where you have fallen… [your first love] …and repent, and do the first works…"

Like Peter said, at the beginning we do yearn for that pure spiritual milk. But we can't stop there or we will not grow.

Revelation 3:14: "And to the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans… [v 16]: So then, because you are lukewarm, and are neither cold nor hot…"

  • hot—fired up and searching the Word of God
  • cold—just not involved anymore

Verse 19: "…Therefore, be zealous and repent."

If we're to grow we must be zealous and fired up for the Word of God. There's no question about that!

Psalm 119:9: "With what shall a young man cleanse his way?…. [How do we become clean?] …By taking heed according to Your Word."

I will tell you, I think we all need a bit of cleaning up to do as we study God's Word.

Verse 10: "With all my heart I have sought You; O let me not wander from Your commandments." It's God's Word that keeps us from going astray!

Verse 11: "Your Word I have laid up in my heart, so that I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O LORD; teach me Your statutes" (vs 11-12). We're taught when we study and meditate on the Word of God!

Verse 15: "I will meditate upon Your precepts and have respect to Your ways"—tie in Isa. 28:10!  Studying the Word of God is ongoing process if we are to be able to feed and grow!

Verse 16: "I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your Word."

If we're to grow spiritually, we must be fed solid food. We only get that, obviously, from the Word of God.

Proverbs 30:5: "Every Word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him."

How important is the Word of God?

Jesus Christ after fasting for 40 days, obviously weak and in need of food, and was tempted by Satan who told Him: IF you're the Son of God command that these stones become bread!

I'm sure that Jesus Christ had the power to do just that! He was hungry, starving. However, notice his response to Satan: It is written that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word—God's Word—that proceeds out of the mouth of God!

How important is God's Word?

Every word in this book—the Bible—is given to us for instruction. We're to be fed by it every day so we can grow beyond that milk. We're instructed:

2-Timothy 3:16: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine… [how we keep the appropriate doctrines] …for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work" (vs 16-17).

  • Are you fully equipped for every good work?

or

  • Do you sill have room to grow?
  • Are you eating solid food?

or

  • Are you still drinking milk?

The Word of God is our solid food! The more we study the more we grow!

  • How important is this spiritual food?
  • How important is it that we study and continue to grow?

Jesus gave us that answer in the Parable of the Sower:

Matthew 13:18: "Therefore, hear the parable of the sower… [sowing the seeds] …When anyone hears the Word of the Kingdom and does not understand it, the wicked one comes and snatches away that which was sown in his heart. This is the one who was sown by the way" (vs 18-19).

This kind of reminds me of my children when they were little. They didn't want to hear me correcting them so they would put their hands over ears. They just didn't want to hear what I had to say. They didn't even want the spiritual milk.

Verse 20: "Now, the one who was sown upon the rocky places is the one who hears the Word and immediately receives it with joy."

I think most of us felt that when we first came into the Church.

Verse 21: "But because he has no root in himself, he does not endure; for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the Word, he is quickly offended."

This is the one who never got beyond the milk and go offended by things he didn't want to hear.

I don't want to hear that I can't work at my job. I don't want to hear that I can't do these things that they're telling me I have to do.

He didn't have roots and didn't want to change!

Verse 22: "And the one who was sown among the thorns is the one who hears the Word, but the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful."

This is the one who just doesn't want to come out of the world! They have to give up too much to abide by this solid spiritual food.

Verse 23: "But the one who was sown on good ground… [I hope this most of us] …this is the one who hears the Word and understands, who indeed brings forth fruit and produces—one a hundredfold, another sixtyfold and another thirtyfold."

This is the one who weaned from the milk, consumes solid, spiritual food and continues to grow! Brethren, we need to continue to grow 'precept upon precept, here a little, there a little' until we're fully mature.

James makes it clear that it is the implanted Word of God that saves us from this evil world. I keep focusing on the Word of God because that's where we get our spiritual food.

James 1:21: "Therefore, having rid yourselves of all filthiness and all the abounding of wickedness around you, then in meekness accept for yourselves the implanted Word, which is able to save your lives."

How important is the Word of God?Notice that it's the implanted Word of God that gives us life! But we can't be just hearers of the word, we have to be doers!

Verse 22: "Then be doers of the Word, and not only hearers, deceiving your own selves."

Verse 25: "But the one who has looked into the perfect Law of Freedom, and has continued in it, this one himself has not become a forgetful hearer, but is a doer of the work. This one shall be blessed in his actions."

How important is the Word of God? It's our spiritual food!

Sometimes I hear from member in the Church of God saying that they don't want to hear all this negative stuff in the Bible. I've heard this!

There are certain ministers when they're talking about prophecy, I don't want to hear it, they're talking about this, that and the other thing. It's just too depressing.

Think about that for a minute! Let's not deal with any of the negative stuff in the Bible! We could start with Genesis.

  • Cain slew Abel: Too negative, we can't read that!
  • The days of Noah: where God set out to destroy all life! Pretty negative! Way too much gloom and doom! We can't read that!
  • Sodom and Gomorrah: Way too much gloom and doom! Destroyed the whole city! Gone! Out of the way!

And we would have absolutely ignore:

  • Deut. 28:15 and going forward: Look at all the bad things that are going to happen to the nations that refuse to keep God's Laws and His statutes! Way too much negative stuff!
  • Ignore all the prophets: Way to much doom and gloom!
  • The words of Jesus Christ Himself; Matt. 24: Much to scary to read and talk about!
  • James, Peter, Jude, and others: all discuss the consequences of not repenting and keeping God's commandments!
  • Paul's letter to Timothy says: Know this also that in the last days perilous times will come! Not a very pretty picture, too negative!
  • 2-Thess.: Way too negative!
  • Rev. is filled with way too much gloom and doom!

Brethren, I hate to tell you this, but we've just eliminated a large portion of God's Word, the Bible, the thing we're supposed to be growing with.

Let's face it, if you only want to be taught smooth things, you're still drinking milk. We live in a crazy world! A lot of these negative things are taking place before our very eyes today!

  • we must read
  • we must study
  • we must meditate

On all the Word of God! If we're to:

  • grow
  • mature
  • move forward
  • quit being babes
  • be drawn from the breast

Let's see what Jesus said about keeping up with world conditions:

Matthew 24:42: "Watch, therefore, because you do not know in what hour your Lord is coming."

We don't know when Christ is coming! But we see the signs of the times, and the things taking place, and we need to be aware of it!

Verse 43: "But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have been watching, and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore, you also be ready. For the Son of man is coming at a time that you do not think" (vs 43-44). We don't know!

Verse 45: "Who then is the faithful and wise servant whom his lord has set over his household, to give them food… [spiritual food] …in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing" (vs 45-46).

Are we doing that? We cannot and should not ignore the unpleasant warnings that God has give us in His Word.

I don't like it; I watch way too much news. I'd like to forget about it altogether, I hate what I see. But we can't hide ourselves. We can't be an ostrich sticking our head in the ground and forgetting everything. We learn and grow as we see many of these things take place. Paul warned Timothy that there would come a time when people would rather not hear the Truth and say, 'Teach me smooth things.'

2-Timothy 4:3—Paul warns Timothy: "For there shall come a time when they will not tolerate sound doctrine… [don't tell me those bad things] …but according to their own lusts they shall accumulate to themselves a great number of teachers, having ears itching to hear what satisfies their cravings… [teach me smooth things that I like to hear] …and they shall turn away their own ears from the Truth; and they shall be turned aside unto myths" (vs 3-4)—deceived!

We live in negative times; there's no doubt about that! The Truth is not always pleasant; there's not doubt that! I hate it! I get it! I hate the direction this whole world is turning. I've been around a long time, and what I see taking place and think of my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, it bothers me tremendously.

But we can't hide from reality! We need to be aware as prophecy is being fulfilled. The good news, God's Kingdom is going to come! We know the good things! We can read them; it's going to come, but not before a lot of events take place. We need to be prepared! Some will; some won't! Christ gave us the perfect example of that:

Matthew 25:1: "Then shall the Kingdom of Heaven be compared to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom." We have a commission to meet the Bridegroom!

Verse 2: "And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. The ones who were foolish took their lamps, but they did not take oil with them… [couldn't refill their lamps] …but the wise took oil in their vessels along with their lamps" (vs 2-4).

Verse 5: Now, when the bridegroom was gone a long time, they all became drowsy and slept…. [I hope we're not sleeping] … But in the middle of the night there was a cry: 'Look, the bridegroom is coming! Go out to meet him.' Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.' But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there not be enough for us and for you. But instead, go to those who sell, and buy for yourselves'" (vs 5-9).

Verse 10: "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut. And afterwards the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us.' But He answered and said, 'Truly I say to you, I do not know you'" (vs 10-12).

All of this about the virgins was given to us for one important reason. He makes it very clear:

Verse 13: "Watch, therefore, for you do not know the day nor the hour in which the Son of man… [making it very clear Who we're talking about here] …is coming."

  • Are you watching events?
  • Are you prepared?

Matthew 24:36—Jesus says: "But concerning that day, and the hour, no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only."

This is the same day Jesus is referring to in Matt. 25 when He told us to watch for His coming. Then He tells us what condition the world would be in at that time:

Verse 37[transcriber's correction]: "Now, as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be at the coming of the Son of man."

I don't know what those days were like; it doesn't go into detail. But we know that it was so corrupt that God was willing to destroy all life with the exception of Noah and his family.

  • Are we getting close to that now? I don't know!
  • How do you think God feels about abortions? 62-million!
  • How do you think He feels about the modifying of the human DNA?
  • How do you think He feels about transgenders?
  • How do you think He feels about marriage between two men/two women?
  • How about the violence that we're currently seeing in the world everywhere?
  • How about God Himself being taken out of society? We can't have Him in our schools!
  • Was it like that in Noah's time? We don't know!

But we are to watch and we are to be prepared!

  • How do we watch?
  • How are we to be prepared?

By listening to only smooth things that we like to hear? NO! We need to study all the Word of God and eat solid spiritual food!

We yearn for the milk! But we need to progress to solid food! Notice just how important Peter considers the Word of God. The entire chapter is significant in understanding the importance of God's Word.

1-Peter 1:14: "As obedient children, do not conform yourselves to the former lusts, as you did in your ignorance. But according as He Who has called you is Holy, you yourselves also be Holy in all your conduct… [Where do we learn that? From God's Word!] …for it is written, 'You be Holy because I am Holy'" (vs 14-16).

Our previous conduct in the ways of the world need to be gone!

Verse 17: "And if you call upon the Father, Who judges according to each man's work without respect of persons, pass the time of your life's journey in the fear of God; knowing that you were not redeemed by corruptible things, by silver or gold, from your futile way of living, inherited by tradition from your forefathers; but by the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot; Who truly was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but was manifested in these last times for your sakes" (vs 17-20). That's why He came, for your sake!

Verse 21: "Even for you who through Him do believe in God, Who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope might be in God. Having purified your lives by obedience to the Truth unto unfeigned brotherly love through the Spirit, love one another fervently with a pure heart" (vs 21-22).

All of this is instruction on how we are to live after conversion; after receiving the Word of God!

Verse 23—the importance of the Word of God: "For you have been begotten again, not from corruptible seed, but from incorruptible seed, by the living Word of God, which remains forever." We get if from the Word of God! All of our spiritual growth comes from the Word of God!

Verse 24: "For all flesh is like grass, and all the glory of man is like the flower of the field; the grass has withered, and its flower has fallen away. But the Word of the Lord endures forever; and this is the message that was preached to you through the Gospel" (vs 24-25).

Then he tells us what we're to do as babes again, following the Word of God.

1-Peter 2:1: "Therefore, having put away all wickedness, and all deceit, and hypocrisies and jealousies, and all slanders, as newborn babes, yearn after the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow" (vs 1-2).

We're not there, yet. We're not to remain babes, but are to grow into solid spiritual food.

We live in a very difficult and negative time! There's no doubt about that. We're still dealing with this Covid pandemic; who even knows where that is going to take us tomorrow or the next day. We're watching our southern border—there are a lot of you in Australia and all around the world, but I'm speaking of the United States—being flooded day-by-day with illegals from all over the world. They're not all coming from Mexico or South America.

Some are good people; some are criminals. There are gang member, drug dealers. I know that we're to be compassionate, but the cost of dealing with all of these people is overwhelming our financial system. I think they said that just since Joe Biden has been in office, we have actually had enough people flood the country that is more than the entire population of Nebraska!

What do you think that costs? We have to feed them, house them, clothe them, provide medical for them! We are already seeing inflation beginning to bloom as a result of some of these things! We're starting to face shortages of oil, and we're begging OPEC to pump more oil.

It wasn't even a year ago that we were completely independent with oil. We have been facing—and I know Canada, the U.S. and Australia, all three—have been facing terrible fires, especially on the west coast of the U.S. and Canada. We're seeing a collapse of our power in Afghanistan every day. This is an embarrassment, it's terrible.

I could go on and on with these problems! How do we deal with all these issues? We know that Satan and his demons are actively working to bring all this chaos to prevent us from reaching God's Kingdom! That would please him tremendously!

  • How would you like to fight this battle?
  • As infants drinking milk?

or

  • As warriors eating solid food?
  • Which way would you rather do it?

We're given the answer to that in the Word of God! Paul tells us what we are to do:

Ephesians 6:10: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord… [we can only do that if we are weaned from the breast and eating solid spiritual food] …and in the might of His strength. Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil, because we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities and against powers, against the world rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual power of wickednessin high places" (v 10-12).

Then Paul gives us the answer on how to deal with all this stress and turmoil day-by-day:

Verse 13: "Therefore, take up the whole armor of God so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having worked out all things, to stand."

We could go through all of those, and we can only do that if we are fully mature and eating solid food: the Word of God.

Verse 17: "And put on the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."

Psalm 18:30: "As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the LORD is tried. He is a shield to all those who take refuge in Him.

Is it important that we understand God? We learn God! We study His Word! The Word of God gives us hope!

Psalm 130:5: "I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope."

Where does our hope come from? the Federal Government? militaries/armies?

When we first came into our relationship with God, we all needed to do what Peter told us, drink that spiritual milk. We did! We all did! It is the beginning process as infants, then to grow to maturity both physically and spiritually.

But we can't remain spiritual babes forever. Our ultimate goal is to become mature Christians. Paul tells us:

1-Corinthians 14:20: "Brethren, do not be children in your minds…"

  • Are we going to continue?
  • Are we going to grow?

or

  • Are we going to stay children?

"…however, in regard to malice be babes, but in your minds be fully mature" (v 20).

If you're drinking milk, you're not going to be fully mature!

We can only do that if we can consume solid spiritual food, and that requires:

  • study
  • meditation
  • prayer

The only thing I can tell you if you're still drinking milk—and I understand—it's time to move on to solid food. Be prepared! Be ready for the Bridegroom, the Son of man. That day is coming! We only stay strong if we become mature spiritual beings!.

Scriptural References:

  • Hebrews 5:11-14
  • 1 Peter 2:2
  • 1 Corinthians 3:2-3
  • Isaiah 29:9-10
  • Revelation 2:4-5
  • Revelation 3:14, 16
  • Psalm 119:9-12, 15
  • Proverbs 30:5
  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17
  • Matthew 13:18-23
  • James 1:21-22, 25
  • Matthew 24:42-46
  • 2 Timothy 4:3-4
  • Matthew 25:1-13
  • Matthew 24:36
  • 1-Peter 1:14-25
  • 1-Peter 2:1-2
  • Ephesians 6:10-17
  • Psalm 18:30
  • Psalm 130:5
  • 1 Corinthians 14:20

Scriptures referenced, not quoted: Deuteronomy 28

RK:bo
Transcribed: 11/14/21

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