Envy. Entitlement. Those are two words I hate.
That isn’t to say I haven’t ever practiced those vices. But I really do hate them.
Envy is, of course, inward turmoil stimulated by a heart that cannot celebrate another’s good fortune. It involves wanting what another has. Jealousy, envy’s evil twin and hellacious handmaiden, involves personal resentment toward the one in question. Whereas an envious person wants what another has, jealousy [at least] simply doesn’t want the other person to have it.
Clearly, both usually go together: The envious person sometimes, if not usually, becomes jealous. The results of envy-jealousy includes the dropping of one’s countenance toward the fortunate (or blessed) person, then self-justifying (and sometimes-irrational) frustration which often deteriorates into further ungodly manifestations. Self contamination If I can take a bunny trail here— let me share a word about those ungodly manifestations. It seems to me that jealousy-envy often contaminates and/or wounds both the perpetrator and its victim(s). What I mean is that, once envy erodes into jealousy, it is not unusual for the jealous person to be contaminated by seething anger, internal rage, and finally contempt. Sometimes these emotions are accompanied by abuse and violence– verbal, physical, or both. As a result, the jealous person often ends up suffering a sense of guilt, personal condemnation, self-loathing, and, at worse, despair.
And if that were not enough, the victim of jealous envy also suffers, wittingly or not.
But this post is not only about envy; it’s also about entitlement. But I mentioned both because envy is often accompanied by entitlement. But entitlement can also be an “independent vice.” So entitlement doesn’t require the presence of envy though, like women who go to public restrooms in groups, they often appear together. So, what of “entitlement?”
Entitlement is a perspective… a mentality. It usually manifests itself as an assumption that one DESERVES something– an expectation of a perceived (or moral) right. Now keep in mind that there ARE legitimate entitlements. But those are not my concern, nor are they the topic of this post. Rather, I am concerned about the general and pervasive “entitlement mentality” that hangs like a dark cloud over many people, including certain sections of the American populous. And just as “groups” of people develop entitlement mentalities, individuals do it as well. Those who do so consider it an outrage that they sometimes must “do without” or otherwise should actually “do something”– rather than doing nothing but having an expectation of receiving something nevertheless. All this serves as a long introduction to the central idea of this post: The Elimination of Envy and Entitlement. In the past, I assumed several things… Things like:
BLESSINGS SPOIL PEOPLE
MATERIAL NICETIES STIMULATE THE BASE INSTINCTS OF OUR HUMANITY AND DRIVE ENVY INTO PEOPLE
THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN GIVEN MUCH ALWAYS DEVELOP AN ENTITLEMENT MENTALITY THAT SPOILS THEM, AND FINALLY…
BLESSINGS PRODUCE ENTITLEMENT IN THE PERSON WHO RECEIVES THEM AND ENVY IN THOSE WHO DO NOT.
But I no longer think those things.
Oh, sure, we’ve SEEN EXAMPLES of those ideas– but I have come to believe that no cause-effect relationship exists between blessing and entitlement or envy. I remember when my elder son, Dakota, turned 11. For his birthday he got this insanely great gift that virtually no child his age has. To boot, Dakota enjoys a life foreign to my own early years. He (and his brother Christian) is, in many ways, a child of plenty. He has never known “need.” He would hardly even understand the concept of “want.” And yet, the enormous blessings he enjoys are (a) not “expected” by him, nor (b) have these opportunities and experiences soiled or spoiled him. Dakota is genuinely thankful and grateful. And though all the results aren’t in– his life and demeanor has shown me that envy, entitlement, and blessing CAN BE mutually exclusive. So what makes the difference? I believe that envy and entitlement are eliminated from blessed people when those people possesscharacter. Character (or its absence) is, I believe, the single arbiter of envy and entitlement mentalities. With character, those bad character qualities are not present. Without character, those vices breed, mutate, and multiply.
So now, instead of withholding “good” from my child/children, I feel the freedom to bless them liberally. And rather than spending all my energies regretting my generosity and battling their growing envy and entitlement, I work on ensuring that they are developing character. I think that’s the way God intended it to be, and it helps me enjoy being a generous father– just as my Heavenly Father is.
That’s a question we see in the Holy Bible, like in the life of Job, and it’s a question we ask ourselves.
It’s a question we ask, so… Ask it.
“O.K., Can God be trusted?” This question of trusting God relates to the issue of “faith.” Faith is trusting what you know; not just what you see. That’s because what we can see is limited, and we usually don’t know all the facts.
What we know, on the other hand, is everything God has shown us about Himself, His character, and His truth. And that is what is meant by “Walk by faith, not by sight.” In testament to this, the Bible’s “Job” was telling his accusing friends that the bad things that had befallen him had not made him lose his faith. In fact, he said, even if God let him die, Job was going to trust His wisdom. But watch this:
Sometimes Life Doesn’t Add Up
Job acknowledged that some of life wasn’t adding up, and that he felt the security in his relationship with God to question why these things were happening, what was going on, and even to say to God that he didn’t know what he was doing to deserve the hardships he’d been enduring.
At the end of this story, which was life in middle-age for Job, he learned that all hardships aren’t because of errors on our part. He learned that the bad things which happened were not penal(ties), but that some were just righteous suffering.
Don’t Always Equate Suffering with God’s Disfavor. That’s a mistake.
In this case, problems were something God had allowed in order to further purify an already-good man. And all this, because Job truly trusted God (in spite of the harsh treatment that season of life had dealt Job), was meant to to deepen Job’s faith and to prepare him to receive the double-blessings God was soon to provide him.
These blessings were coming and, had Job’s heart not been purified, they have changed him for the worse or made him into another person. (We’ve seen that happen to some people). By going through the lowest of lows at this time in his life, Job was soon going to be spiritually-prepared, ready, to receive enormous blessings in life. But first he had to pass the testing of his faith.
Practically speaking, what is the point?
The practical point of this verse is that God allows us to question (to argue our ways before Him) because He knows we are working with only half of the facts. But the missing facts should be replaced by faith in God’s goodness. And we should trust in God’s Character, even if He allows otherwise horrible things to happen, because He always intends it for good.
So we can question WHY and WHAT He is doing, but we should never question “THAT” He is well within His authority to do whatever it is He does.
In acknowledgement of this, Job later says “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. You (God) asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me.” God then blessed Job beyond his wildest dreams. The moral of the story is to trust God, no matter what, and feel free to talk to Him about what is happening and how you feel, just don’t accuse Him of wrongdoing or bad motives, or question His “right” to do what He pleases. Everything He does is meant to work out for our good (New Testament, Romans 8:28-38) and is designed to give us a better hope and future (Old Testament, Jeremiah 29:11-13).
Read this story’s exciting conclusion in Job 42:12ff.
A leading Christian thinker, Dr. Perry Downs, is known for an important but surprising quote: “Truth-telling is an act of violence.” Who knew?
Regarding violence, anyone who has ever been victimized and that has suffered the resultant trauma knows its resonant results. It is like the proverbial pebble which causes a disproportionate effect– rows of ripples that circumnavigate far from the point of impact, long after the rock has settled in the silt below.
In this sense, violence forever affects those it touches. It should not be confused with a momentary, punctiliar event… violence is the initiation of an altered and completely re-arranged reality for all those it touches, be it directly or indirectly. Violence changes people’s lives. Some of that change is painful… and some of it, ultimately, can bring redemptive meaning and hope.
Now back to the central idea– truth.
Truth-telling can be a blunt object. I’ll never forget the words of a physician to me in the winter of 2006 when my mother was ailing in a Knoxville, Tennessee hospital. “Freddy, your mother is dead.” No mastery of language could ever help me communicate the thoughts and emotions I experienced in that moment. The statement, however true, was horribly blunt. Cold. Hurtful.Awful. That shows what is meant by the violence of truth. That statement forever affected my life and the lives of so many others.
The death of my mother caused profound hurt, but as the gaping wound has slowly begun to heal, God has used it to bring ephiphanies and moments of meaning that, apparently, I would have been unable to perceive otherwise. Does that mean that mom’s passing was ‘for the best?’ I don’t know if I could ever utter such a thing– it seems inconceivable. But since death is an irrevocable and necessary evil since the Fall (Genesis 3), the meaning and insights I’ve received are at least a modest consolation. And, at least for my mom, this discussion is academic. She wouldn’t return even if given the chance. If that’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for me.
With these broad and sketchy ideas strewn about, I return to my original concept. The Violence of Truth.
Jesus said, “I came to bring a sword” (Matthew 10:34). The truth of God, like violence, affects everything. It impacts people to different degrees, depending on their proximity to it. The effects of truth continue on and on. Truth alters and dictates reality. And though it can be painful, once it does its important work, truth brings intuitive insights and meaning. For those reasons, however painful truth sometimes is, knowing it is better than ignorance– because only the truth can set us free.
There’s no doubt! Haters Gonna Hate Us For Giving You These Five Freebies!
Just Wow. I’m incredibly excited to share these five valuable resources with you on the occasion of the Just-Released and First Online Course [Ministry | MINS 120: Introduction to Discipleship] at PodcastSeminary.com.
What’s The Fuss?
We now have available both our first Audio Course for individual learning on the go via podcast, and this brand-new Online Discipleship Course that includes personal and group study. But that’s really not what this is about. This is about sharing with you five key resources as a special thanks for joining our Soapbox Network mailing list. That way we can keep you updated on these helpful resources that are now being produced and introduced. In addition, joining us will make sure you’re the first to know when I produce new blog posts, podcast episodes, and other resources… not to mention special offers and even free resources.
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There are MANY options for playing podcasts— so you can enjoy them literally anywhere you are and anywhere you go.
But let’s take this one step at a time.
First, what is a “Podcast?”
What options do you have for enjoying podcasts?
The ways to use and enjoy podcast episodes are nearly endless. Seriously.
Want to listen to any of our classes on your home computer? No problem!
Want to view Podcast Seminary courses through your TV on Google Chromecast or Apple TV unit? Why not?
Maybe you want to go completely wireless and listen to our podcasts through your Bluetooth speaker outside at home, while showering, or at the beach. Nobody’s stopping you. Could this be true? Are Podcast Seminary Audio Courses truly that versatile? Absolutely.
In fact, there’s more.
All of our courses allow you to listen to sound doctrine and solid Christian teaching while in your car via AUX cable or by Bluetooth, or on Smart Phone and e-Reader browsers.
Concerned about the connectivity of your Microsoft, BlackBerry, or other device? No worries, connect easily with every imaginable digital media player, and with Microsoft, Android, or Apple Pads, and of course on your favorite Podcasting app or simply by headset.
The sky’s the limit. All you need to get started is to get a great podcast series and get going!
If you’re interested in filling the gaps in your Bible knowledge or to be equipped in your ministry, learn more about Podcast Seminary Audio Courses on podcast!
That said, there’s a ‘sense’ in which it doesn’t always matter whether one’s fear is rational or not. That’s because even if a particular fear happens to be irrational, that doesn’t necessarily make it any less troubling. In fact, irrationality doesn’t “negate” fear in the least– and, in some cases, it can even breed terror.
In the context of this discussion, it is important to remember that fear and danger are not one and the same. Fear is an emotion. Danger, however, is an actual threat to one’s safety.
Though fear and danger should appear together (and often do), interestingly, they can also be inexplicably separated. Note that a child may be in actual danger of physical harm, but have no fear whatsoever. In addition, a grown adult may be in absolutely no danger, yet be deathly afraid.
In the case of my dear mother who passed away a years ago (February 25, 2007), there was a time prior to our losing her that she struggled with a fear of death. She (like me… and you) did not want to die. Sadly, the fact that she was a Christian believer did not assuage her insecurity, nor did it eliminate her fear of the unknown. In fact, my mother was in the condition of many Christians– she “feared” though there was no “danger.”
In Christ, my mom’s eternal fate was absolutely secure– something she now knows full well. Yet that reality and fact never calculated into spiritual peace and inner security. So though my mother’s fear did not affect her destiny, she was still emotionally imprisoned—at least for a short time. The only thing I wish is that she could have lived free from what I wish to call the “dangerless fear.”
God is Sovereign
Similarly, in spite of the fact that God is sovereign, many Christians today live in fear. And though the world sometimes presents genuine threats where fear is not completely unfounded, in light of the Omnipotent Sovereign we serve, disciples should increasingly embrace and then embody the security and confidence which is very much found in Christ. As we do, we will become powerfully emboldened and increasingly learn to live with fearless abandon. This type of courageous Christianity is the only brand of faith that is capable of pushing back the darkness and advancing the light. As such, Christians must decide whether to cave… or to be brave.
I get it. But we all need to have a handle on truth. After all, we must “live!” It’s important to understand that “truth” isn’t just the stuff of people with really long Greek names like:
Pythagoras of Samos
Zeno of Elea
Diogenes of Sinope
What is the nature of truth?
Truth is what “is.” Truth is that which is real, true, or truth. Truth is that which is actual. It’s another way of saying that ‘Truth’ isn’t simply “what is ‘believed.’ ” What is ‘believed’ is subjective and may or may not have anything to do with reality. Sometimes belief is nothing more than fantasy. So ‘belief’ may not have a 1 to 1 relationship with reality. The only time belief is legitimized is when that which is believed is objectively true. Truth (or actuality) legitimizes belief. Anything less isn’t really “truth”– it’s just belief. The Point:Belief does not equal truth. And just as ‘belief’ doesn’t create truth… neither does disbelief destroy truth. Truth is ‘truth’ because it is ‘true,’ not simply because it is believed.
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According to International Podcast Day, “A “podcast” is sort of difficult to explain because there really isn’t anything else like it — but rather, many things that are kind of like it.”
They continue: “A good starting point, is to think of a podcast as “Internet Radio On-Demand.” It’s similar in that you can usually listen to it on your computer — but it’s more than that. [However, and not to confuse the issue, podcasting isn’t confined to just audio but can be video as well]. With the amount of content that podcasting provides, regular Broadcast Radio, or “Terrestrial Radio” — as they call it — simply can never compete. The AM and FM radio band only has so many channels. Consequently, radio stations “Broadcast” their content — meaning that they attempt to appeal to as broad of an audience as possible. Because, afterall, this is what advertisers are looking for. But podcasting, by contrast, is not necessarily hamstrung to advertising revenue like its broadcasting cousin. With its specific and specialized content, it is able to “narrowcast” to only those who choose to listen. So while a particular podcast’s audience may be considerably smaller than the audience of a broadcast, one could argue that the podcast’s audience is a much more targeted and interested in the content being delivered. So, in a way, Satellite Radio, with its ability to provide more channels than Broadcast Radio, takes a step towards podcasting — but still does not come close.”
Podcasts are “On Demand” and can be listened to on your schedule — not when a Radio Station decides to air it. So, it’s kind of like TiVo.”
The Didache (literally “Teaching” but commonly called “The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles”) is an ancient extrabiblical (non-scriptural) booklet that provides an orthodox understanding of essential Christian teaching. It is the earliest known discipleship manual from the Early Church in existence. Learn more.
1:1 There are two ways, one of life and one of death! and there is a great difference between the two ways. 1:2 The way of life is this: First, you shall love God who made you. And second, love your neighbor as yourself, and do not do to another what you would not want done to you. 1:3 The meaning of these sayings is this: Bless those who curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast for those who persecute you. For what reward is there for loving those who love you? Do not the heathens do the same? But you should love those who hate you, and then you shall have no enemies. 1:4 Abstain from fleshly and bodily lusts: If someone strikes your right cheek, turn the other also, and be perfect. If someone forces you to go one mile, go two. If someone takes your cloak, give also your coat. If someone takes from you what is yours, don’t ask for it back. You really cannot. 1:5 Give to every one who asks you, and don’t ask for it back. The Father wants his blessings shared. Happy is the giver who lives according to this rule, for that one is guiltless. But the receiver must beware; for if one receives who has need, he is guiltless, but if one receives not having need, he shall stand trial, answering why he received and for what use. If he is found guilty he shall not escape until he pays back the last penny. 1:6 However, concerning this, there is a saying: “Let your alms sweat in your hands until you know to whom to give them.”
2 The Second Commandment
2:1 The second commandment of the teaching is this: 2:2 Do not commit murder; do not commit adultery; do not corrupt boys; do not have illicit sex; do not steal; do not practice magic; do not practice witchcraft; you shall not murder a child, whether it be born or unborn. Do not covet the things of your neighbor. 2:3 Do not swear or bear false witness. Do not speak evil of others; do not bear grudges. 2:4 You should not be double-minded or double-tongued, for a double-tongue is a deadly snare. 2:5 Your speech should not be false nor empty, but fulfilled by action. 2:6 Do not be covetous, or greedy, or hypocritical, or malicious, or arrogant. Do not have designs against your neighbor. 2:7 Hate no one; correct some, pray for others, and some you should love more than your own life.
3 My Child, Flee Evil
3:1 My child, flee evil of all kinds, and everything like it. 3:2 Don’t be prone to anger, for anger leads to murder. Don’t be jealous or quarrelsome or hot-tempered, for all these things lead to murder. 3:3 My child, don’t be lustful, for lust leads to illicit sex. Don’t be a filthy talker or allow your eyes a free reign, for these lead to adultery. 3:4 My child, don’t observe omens, since it leads to idolatry. Don’t be an enchanter, or an astrologer, or a purifier, or be willing to see or hear about these things, for these all lead to idolatry. 3:5 My child, don’t be a liar, since a lie leads to theft. Don’t love money or seek glory, for these things lead to thievery. 3:6 My child, don’t grumble, since it leads to blasphemy, and don’t be self-willed or evil-minded, for all these things lead to blasphemy. 3:7 On the contrary, be gentle, since the gentle will inherit the earth. 3:8 Be long-suffering and pitiful and guileless and gentle and good, and with trembling, treasure the words you have received. 3:9 Don’t exalt yourself or open your heart to overconfidence. Don’t be on intimate terms with mighty people, but with just and lowly ones. 3:10 Accept whatever happens to you as a blessing, knowing that nothing comes to pass apart from God.
4 My Child, Remember
[4:1 My child, remember day and night him who speaks the word of God to you, and honor him as the Lord. For wherever his lordship is spoken of, there he is.] 4:2 Seek each day the faces of the saints, in order that you may be refreshed by their words. 4:3 Do not initiate divisions, but rather bring peace to those who contend against one another. Judge righteously, and do not take social status into account when reproving for transgressions. 4:4 Do not waver in your decisions. 4:5 Do not be one who opens his hands to receive, or closes them when it is time to give. 4:6 If you have anything, by your hands you should give ransom for your sins. 4:7 Do not hesitate to give, and do not complain about it. You will know in time who is the good Rewarder. 4:8 Do not turn away from one who is in want; rather, share all things with your brother, and do not say that they are your own. For if you are sharers in what is imperishable, how much more in things which perish! 4:9 Do not remove your hand from your son or daughter; teach them the fear of God from their youth. 4:10 Do not give orders to your servants when you are angry, for they hope in the same God, and they may lose the fear of God, who is over both of you. God is surely not coming to call on us according to our outward appearance or station in life, but to them whom the Spirit has prepared. 4:11 And you, servants, be subject to your masters as to God’s image, in modesty and fear. 4:12 You should hate all hypocrisy and everything which is not pleasing to the Lord. 4:13 Do not in any way neglect the commandments of the Lord, but keep what you have received, neither adding nor taking away anything. 4:14 In your gatherings, confess your transgressions, and do not come for prayer with a guilty conscience.
This is the way of life!
5 The Way of Death
5:1 The way of death, on the other hand, is this: It is evil and accursed—murders, adulteries, lust, illicit sex, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, sorceries, robberies, false testimonies, hypocrisy,double-heartedness,deceit, haughtiness, depravity, self-will, greediness, filthy talking, jealousy, over-confidence, loftiness, boastfulness—those who do not fear God. 5:2 The way of death is the way of those who persecute the good, hate the truth, love lies, and do not understand the reward for righteousness. They do not cleave to good or righteous judgment; they do not watch for what is good, but for what is evil. They are strangers to meekness and patience, loving vanities, pursuing revenge, without pity for the needy and oppressed. They do not know their Creator; they are murderers of children, destroyers of God’s image. They turn away from those who are in need, making matters worse for those who are distressed. They are advocates for the rich, unjust judges of the poor. In a word, the way of death is full of those who are steeped in sin. Be delivered, children, from all of this!
6 See That No One Leads You Astray
6:1 See that no one leads you astray from the way of this teaching, since all other teachings train you without God. 6:2 For if you are able to bear the entire yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect; but if you are not able, then at least do what you can. 6:3 Concerning food, do what you are able to do and be on guard against meat offered to idols, for that is to worship dead gods.
7 Concerning Baptism
7:1 Concerning baptism, you should baptize this way: After first explaining all things, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in flowing water. 7:2 But if you have no running water, baptize in other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, then in warm. 7:3 If you have very little, pour water three times on the head in the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. 7:4 Before the baptism, both the baptizer and the candidate for baptism, plus any others who can, should fast. The candidate should fast for one or two days beforehand.
8 Your Fasts and Prayers
8:1 Your fasts should not be with the hypocrites, for they fast on Mondays and Thursdays. You should fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. 8:2 And do not pray like the hypocrites, but rather as the Lord commanded in the gospel: Our Father in heaven, holy be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us enough bread day-by-day. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. 8:3 Pray this three times each day.
9 Concerning the Eucharist (Lord’s Supper/Communion)
9:1 Concerning the Eucharist, give thanks this way. 9:2 First, concerning the cup: We thank you, our Father, for the holy vine of David your servant, which you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be the glory forever. 9:3 Next, concerning the broken bread: We thank you, our Father, for the life and knowledge which you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be the glory forever. 9:4 Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let your church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. To you is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ forever. 9:5 Allow no one to eat or drink of your Eucharist, unless they have been baptized in the name of the Lord. For concerning this, the Lord has said, “Do not give what is holy to dogs.”
10 After the Eucharist
10:1 After the Eucharist when you are filled, give thanks this way: 10:2 We thank you, holy Father, for your holy name which you enshrined in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality that you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be the glory forever. 10:3 You, Master Almighty, have created all things for your name’s sake. You gave food and drink to all people for enjoyment, that they might give thanks to you; but to us you freely give spiritual food and drink and life eternal through Jesus, your servant. 10:4 Before all things we thank you because you are mighty. To you be the glory forever. 10:5 Remember, Lord, your church. Deliver it from all evil and make it perfect in your love, and gather it from the four winds sanctified for your kingdom which you have prepared for it. For Yours is the power and the glory forever. 10:6 Let grace come, and let this world pass away!
Hosanna to the Son of David! If anyone is holy, let him come; if anyone is not holy, let him repent. Maranatha! Amen.
[10:7 But permit the prophets to make thanksgiving as much as they desire.]
11 Welcome the Teacher
11:1 Welcome the teacher when he comes to instruct you in all that has been said. 11:2 But if he turns and trains you in another tradition to the destruction of this teaching, do not listen. If he teaches so as to increase righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as the Lord. 11:3 Act according to the precepts of the gospel concerning all apostles and prophets: 11:4 Let every apostle who comes to you be received as the Lord. 11:5 But he must not remain more than one day, or two, if there’s a need. If he stays three days, he is a false prophet. 11:6 And when the apostle goes away, let him take nothing but bread to last him until his next night of lodging. If he asks for money, he is a false prophet. 11:7 In addition, if any prophet speaks in the Spirit, you shall not try or judge him; for every sin will be forgiven, but this sin cannot be forgiven. 11:8 But not everyone who speaks in the Spirit is a prophet; only he is a prophet who has the ways of the Lord about him. By their ways will the false prophet and the prophet be known. 11:9 Any prophet who orders a meal in the Spirit does not eat it; if he does, he is indeed a false prophet. 11:10 And any prophet who teaches the truth, but does not do what he teaches, is a false prophet. 11:11 When a prophet, proved true, works for the mystery of the church in the world but does not teach others to do what he himself does, he will not be judged among you, for his judgment is already before God. The ancient prophets acted in this way, also. 11:12 But whoever says in the Spirit, “Give me money,”or something else like this, you must not listen to him. But if he tells you to give for the sake of others who are in need, let no one judge him.
12 Welcome Anyone Coming in the Name of the Lord
12:1 Welcome anyone coming in the name of the Lord. Receive everyone who comes in the name of the Lord, but then, test them and use your discretion. 12:2 If he who comes is a transient, assist him as far as you are able; but he should not remain with you more than two or three days, if need be. 12:3 If he wants to stay with you, and is a craftsman, let him work for his living. 12:4 But if he has no trade, use your judgment in providing for him; for a Christian should not live idle in your midst. 12:5 If he is dissatisfied with this sort of an arrangement, he is a Christ peddler. Watch that you keep away from such people.
13 Every Genuine prophet
13:1 Every genuine prophet who wants to live among you is worthy of support. 13:2 So also, every true teacher is, like a workman, entitled to his support. 13:3 Every first fruit, therefore, of the products of vintage and harvest, of cattle and of sheep, should be given as first fruits to the prophets, for they are your high priests. 13:4 But if you have no prophet, give it all to the poor. 13:5 If you bake bread, take the first loaf and give it according to the commandment. 13:6 If you open a new jar of wine or of oil, take the first fruit and give it to the prophets. 13:7 If you acquire money or cloth or any other possession, set aside a portion first, as it may seem good to you, and give according to the commandment.
14 On the Lord’s Day
14:1 On the Lord’s day, gather yourselves together and break bread, give thanks, but first confess your sins so that your sacrifice may be pure. 14:2 However, let no one who is at odds with his brother come together with you, until he has reconciled, so that your sacrifice may not be profaned. 14:3 For this is what the Lord has said: “For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the of hosts. . . . For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name is reverenced among the nations.”
15 Appoint Bishops for Yourselves
15:1 Appoint bishops for yourselves, as well as deacons, worthy of the Lord, of meek disposition, unattached to money, truthful and proven; for they also render to you the service of prophets and teachers. 15:2 Do not despise them, after all, for they are your honored ones, together with the prophets and teachers. 15:3 And reprove one another, not in anger, but in peace, as you have it in the gospel. But to anyone who acts amiss against another, let no one speak to him, nor let him hear anything from you until he repents. But your prayers and alms and all your deeds so do, as you have it in the gospel of our Lord.
16 Watch Over Your Life
16:1 Watch over your life, that your lamps are never quenched, and that your loins are never unloosed. Be ready, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 16:2 Come together often, seeking the things that are good for your souls. A life of faith will not profit you if you are not made perfect at the end of time. 16:3 For in the last days false prophets and corrupters will be plenty, and the sheep will be turned into wolves, and love will be turned into hate. 16:4 When lawlessness increases, they will hate and persecute and betray one another, and then the world-deceiver will appear claiming to be the Son of God, and he will do signs and wonders, and the earth will be delivered into his hands, and he will do iniquitous things that have not been seen since the beginning of the world. 16:5 Then humankind will enter into the fire of trial, and many will be made to stumble and many will perish; but those who endure in their faith will be saved from under the curse itself. 16:6 And then the signs of the truth will appear: the first sign, an opening of the heavens; the second sign, the sounding of the trumpet; and the third sign, the resurrection of the dead— 16:7 not of every one, but as it is said: “Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.” 16:8 Finally, “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory.”