What The Lord Said To Me Today
Kept From Stumbling

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Read these two blocks of scripture. That is what the Lord had me do, in the NAS version.

John 15:26-16:1

"When the helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me, and you will bear witness also, because you have been with Me from the beginning. These things I have spoken to you, that you may be kept from stumbling."

Isaiah 28:11-13

"Indeed, He will speak to this people through stammering lips and a foreign tongue, He who said to them, Here is rest, give rest to the weary, and, here is repose, but they would not listen. So, the word of the Lord to them will be, Order on Order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little thre, That they may go and stumble backward, be broken, snared, and taken captive."

I have been talking a lot lately about the attack of the enemy to weary, or tyre us out. God gave us a helper to keep us from stumbling, but many saints rejected the means the Lord gave. Many rejected the baptism of the Holy Spirit as babbling or even as an evil heresy.

We know, from 1 Corinthians 14, that this passage from Isaiah 28 refers to the baptism of the Holy Spirit and Fire. 1 Corinthians 14 says that the gift of tongues will edify the individual: in other words, it will strengthen, comfort and encourage the believer. Isaiah 28 says that it will give rest to the weary and keep us from stumbling. Stumbling!

The passage from John 15 and 16, speaking about the helper, talks about stumbling. That is an interesting word in the Greek. "Scandalizo", from which we take our English word "scandalize". It is interesting to consult websters into the actual english meaning of this word.

"Scandal-discredit brought upon religion by unseemly conduct in a religious person; conduct that causes or encourages a lapse of faith or of religious obedience in another; a violation of morality or propriety; disgrace; a circumstance or action that offends propriety or established moral conceptions or digraces those associated with it; a loss of or damage to reputation caused by actual or apparent violation of morality or propriety; malicious or defamatory gossip."

As I read the dictionary definition, it seems archaic, because that it does not apply in the church anymore. There seem to very few things that are regarded as scandalous in the church anymore.

The Lord tells us that if we walk and make use of the helper, he will help to keep us out of scandal, but what can we say when the church is no longer able to be scandalized? Have we been so deadened by the wickedness of the society around us that we have been innoculated against being scandalized.

It is certainly a subject that causes me to scratch my head and ponder, even now as I write. I have seen things done in the church that should scandalize, it seems, but they do not. I have seen other things, for which there is no proof, where people are scandalized by inaccurate gossip.

I'm familiar with a situation, where a pastor fell in adultery, and was told by his board to sit down from ministry for one year. He did not comply. All elders and deacons of the church left except for one. One year later, the church had a thousand people in it. I'm familiar with another situation, where the pastor is accused of adultery, but maintains his innocence. There is no biblical proof against him: no two witnesses. And yet, hundreds have left that church. I have heard that pastor mutter over the incongruity of that situation.

It seems that what we are left with is this. People will readily accept a confirmed and confessed adulterer as their pastor: this does not scandalize them. But they are scandalized by a false rumor and accusation. It is as though they cannot bear with a man who really is innocent: they would prefer that he be guilty: then they would be comfortable.

Do we not see this in our society and in our presidency? There is a widespread attempt to tear down anyone who stands for righteous living: down to our level, so that there is no one acting sanctimoneous and "holier than thou".

And yet, the Lord says, "keep my commandments". The purpose of the helper is to keep us from being scandalized, even in a country and a church where the only way you can be scandalized is to be falsely accused. The Lord will deal with such a church and such a country. Where is the hatred of sin and the passion for purity? Let us call out to God for it.

Stephen L. Bening
a servant and prophet of our Lord Jesus Christ

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