Many have explained the subject of “divine discipline” relying on their personal experiences and far from examining the Word of God. So many others have gone astray following after them, because of their ignorance in the Word of God and not examining it. Instead if they would follow their spirits (the voice of the Holy Spirit within them) they would not have gone astray.
Yes the Word of God says that God loves His children; His sons and daughters; those who are born of Him; and chastises them. But the Word of God shows that the method of divine discipline is not like the way people imagine (i.e. through diseases, problems and curses). People began to imagine and deduce false ideas and false thoughts about God because of their lack of knowledge of the Word. For when you know the Word of God you will stop imagining or deducing and will enter into the certain knowledge.
In this article we will discuss:
- The misconception of discipline, why it is not true and what are its consequences.
- How does God discipline His sons and daughters from the Word of God?
THE MISCONCEPTION OF DIVINE DISCIPLINE:
Some say and believe that God disciplines his children by entering them into problems, diseases and curses so that they may learn a lesson, often when we meet and ask those people who believe that God chastises them through diseases, curses and problems for what lesson they have learnt by this discipline; Mostly they will answer: “We do not know what we learned but we learned a lot . . .”
Or they may say: “The lesson is patience and faith . . .”
But deep down in his heart this person knows very well that he has learned nothing; and that within him lies a volcano of questions. He has shed lots of tears and if you entered into the secrets of his life you will find him praying day and night to pass through this matter or this tribulation, you fill find him also lost and sad. . . Perhaps this person has asked for help from one of the servants but he got incorrect answers, telling him to endure his situation for this is how the Lord disciplines his children.
How can we tell or conclude that this person is still lost and sad despite all the answers and prayers he received? It is when we ask him to talk about his situation; you will find him like a hidden fire or coal that is about to ignite again; this proves that he was not satisfied with the answers he got and all his questions are still chasing him inside.
Had this person been so honest with himself and did not ignore the inner voice that is speaking to him in his spirit; he would have found in the Word of God that God does not do such things and does not use problems to teach people lessons.
The new spirit of the born again man does not mislead him because it is born of the Word and the Word does not teach that God is the problem maker; but He is the one who solves the problems.
As for those who say that they have learnt patience and faith; actually they do not know what the Word of God teaches about these two words:
- The definition of the word PATIENCE in Greek: Patience means stability and solidity of confidence in God; that He is at work to solve the problematic situation. It is not bowing to the problem and not surrendering to it but standing against the problem knowing that God is on the side of the believer.
- The definition of the word FAITH in Greek: Faith is being assured that what you hope for; God will do; believing it will be done to you; and even that it has already been done. Faith looks at the situation and says that everything is possible for you; even if you get sick; or if the disease or the circumstance you are passing through worsens. If you have this kind of faith then you will stand up and declare healing to your body. You will stand firmly holding on to the Word of God in the face of any situation which will make God work for you.
Here we see that “patience and faith” stand together against the problem cause and are not as some think they exist to make the problem endurable; because endurance is represented by only one word in the Bible and that is surrendering.
*** I always say if it was a lie being repeated and circulated and spreading over the years; this will not make this lie true ***
As a son and as a daughter of God a lie is defined as follows:
WHAT IS NOT COMPLIANT WITH THE WORD OF GOD WILL REMAIN A LIE AND FALSE IN THE SIGHT OF GOD EVEN IF IT WAS ADOPTED OVER THE YEARS PASSED . . .
We already know very well that God judges things according to His Word . . .
If you decide to know what the Word teaches and study it; the Holy Spirit will help you learn what is in the Word and between its lines; that which may have been overlooked and ignored by many; and which the majority may not agree on, however the majority’s opinion will not matter if it does not agree with the Word of God.
Therefore be assured that when you study the Word with the help of the Holy Spirit there will be no chance of guessing what God is saying about this matter or that; but you will know it and understand it because God has put His character, His concepts and His thought in His Word, and when you “know the Word” you “know God”.
So do not accept the lies and know what the Word of God says about “discipline”.
There is a famous excuse that says: “What is not good in the eyes of men may be good in the eyes of God . . . for who knows the mind of the Lord?”
The Word of God does not allow us to speculate what God’s method of discipline is, which I will shortly elaborate on, but let us first examine closely the words and the sayings which have become on the tongues of many:
- “What is not good in the eyes of men may be good in the eyes of God!“
Before we look at the word of God to find the answer we have to think of the obvious. For example: if you meditate on the fact that God has placed His character in humans you will find that this is God’s creation and is not the result of a coincidence; for He has put in the hearts of people the hatred of sin and the love of righteousness, the hatred of disease and poverty and the persuit of health and safety. If God loves poverty, disease and problems then He would have put in you the instinct to love these too.
If we study the Word of God we will find that God does not use problems, poverty and disease to discipline His children looking as if He does not love them. This will become clear to you soon.
- “Who has known the mind of the Lord“
Let us see where this verse came from? It is in 1 Corinthians 2:15-16 “15 But he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But as for us we have the mind of Christ.”
Here the Apostle Paul is saying that the believers of the New Testament differ from the believers of the Old Testament. In the Old Testament they used to say “Who has known the mind of the Lord?”; but in the second part of the verse he clarifies to us that: “as for us we have the mind of Christ”; that is we possess His way of thinking. There is no more mystery as it used to be before because the Holy Spirit dwelt in us and began to reveal to us who God is more than before. Paul was talking here about the Holy Spirit who reveals to us what our inheritance in Christ is.
Then why do these misconceptions exist?
Man is not taught by violence, but if a father wanted to teach his son or his daughter a lesson then it should be like this: he should help him/her to understand what he wants by words and not by violence, because violence makes him/her averted and shun away from him.
Do not put the mind of an adult on a child’s body, because that way you will frustrate him/her and bury his/her character. You should expect that he/she may do wrong because he/she still possesses or lives with the mentality of a child.
The Bible says that “the kindness of God” is the one who leads people to repentance! Notice that the Bible did not say that “the violence of God” leads people to repentance; but it says “the kindness of God” is the one who leads people to repentance; and so “kindness” is the key of the human heart. Romans 2:4 “Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?”
WHY DID THESE TEACHINGS SPREAD? FOR MANY REASONS:
- Because people measure (value) the Word of God according to human standards; and this is not correct thinking. Instead you have to measure people according to the Bible; that is make the Bible your reference and not the life and experiences of people; because there are people who do not live according to what they possess in Christ; they do not know what they have in Christ and they do not know how to take hold of it. Hence; they cannot be considered a measure of the Word, but it is the Word that measures, declares and judges whether they themselves live the Word or not.
- Incorrect teachings were also spread due to the challenge of the Word of God of ministers. In other words when a preacher discovers that the Word of God says that there is a solution to the problems, healing of the diseases and miracles; he will find these verses stand as a challenge for him. If he takes them and begins preaching them while he himself has not yet received his recovery or anything else; people will face him with many questions like: “And what about you preacher you have not defeated this disease in your body ?”
- There are still denominations that do not believe that the Holy Spirit still heals; and that God still works miracles, so in their words they rely on the term “discipline” thus misinterpreting the Scriptures. They like to speak and preach that God is the one who sends pain; and they spread this falseness in their churches. But you will find among their listeners those who reject this teaching and do not accept it; but also do not discuss it and keep it inside. This leads to revulsion in their spirits and they do not know that their spirits is suffocating within them because what they are hearing is not the Word of God.
- When I studied the history of word usage related to our subject through a science called ETYMOLOGY which is the study of the history of words, their origin, and how their forms and meanings change over time, where sometimes you will find that the original usage and meaning of a word is different from what they are in the current time, I found that the church in its beginnings – not properly called the “first church” for there is no such thing as the “second church” – was subjected to severe persecutions; and when the believers used to greet each other they would encourage each other by saying “. . I am suffering for Christ’s sake . .”.
After the end of the persecution era, they continued to repeat that same word even without the presence of persecution, and so the term “persecution” began to stand for another cause such as pain, problems and difficult circumstances. So when someone goes through difficult circumstances or when he becomes ill; he would say: “This pain is for Christ’s sake”; while the usage of this word was only associated with the era of persecution, so this term was mistakenly passed on to the following generations.
- What are the consequences of these misconceptions?
It is going away from God and not drawing closer to Him. This is what happens with the believer who considers that “when faced with problems in his life; God would be the reason of it, it is He who brought him into this trouble to teach him a lesson” – WHICH IS NOT TRUE – and because he believes this misconception he will start to move away from God and escape from Him instead of running towards Him. You will find him running away from God “who caused this disaster to him” – as he says – rather than running to Him to save him, thus he will begin to cut off prayer and cut off going to the church until this behavior becomes a habit.
When I realized these reasons I began to notice the huge problems within the body of Christ, where I have met with believers who have forsaken God because of their blaming of Him, they may also not declare there blame of God publicly; this blame which is within their hearts. This leads them to avoid talking about God publicly. You may see them praying or going to the church but actually pretending to do so in front of everyone to protect themselves, but the fact within them is that they wake up and sleep on a volcano of questions, judgments and incorrect thoughts about God.
The Lord Jesus has also explained to us in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:24 that when someone thinks wrong thoughts about God this person begins to make wrong decisions, he may also decide not to serve and not to invest his abilities and talents in the service that God has given him.
Matthew 25:24 “Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed”
The interpretation of this verse indicates that this person was misinformed about his master and we can see that he was wrong because his master gave him a talent to invest in it but he was afraid and this was his natural reaction.
In your opinion if you were a father or a mother would you be more merciful than God?
Let us see this from the Word of God and let our minds act with intuitive thinking of how God disciplines His children. So let us see what the Lord Jesus said and how he likened the Heavenly Father’s relationship with his children to an earthly father’s relationship to his children; we see it in Luke 11: 11-13.
Luke 11:11-13 “11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”
Is it that when you punish your son or daughter or want to teach them a lesson; you take a needle and a syringe from the oncology institute and inject them in their blood to spread cancer in their bodies? Do you do this as a father or as a mother? Of course not.
Well let me ask you these questions:
- Are you better more merciful and more loving than the heavenly Father? God forbid.
- Do you destroy the heart or the liver of your son or daughter because he\she did not obey you or you want to teach him\her a lesson? of course not.
- Do you recommend that the bad guys beat your son to teach him a lesson? of course not .
- Does your love being the earthly Father exceed the love of the heavenly Father? God forbid.
- Is God the Father less loving than you are in His love for His children? God forbid.
Without doubt it is impossible for you to be more loving to your children than the Heavenly Father’s love is to them. Because it is He who put the loving instinct within you to love your children, to protect them, to do them good, to watch out to feed them, to care for them and to protect them from any dangers, even to give your life for their sake. He is the father of love, even better, He is love itself; the unconditional Agape love.
If you want to see your son or daughter in the best health, not being physically needy and are protected from any dangers then be assured that God the Father wants this for his children too. He wants their good greatly more and He loves them greatly more and better than you do.
Having seen that it is impossible for God to descipline his children by diseases, by problems and by poverty, let us see from God’s Word what discipline is and how God disciplines His children:
HOW DOES GOD DISCIPLINE HIS SONS AND DAUGHTERS? “GOD DISCIPLINES HIS CHILDREN BY THE WORD”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
The word “discipline” in Greek comes to mean teaching, correcting, discipling, directing and refining. NOT beating or violence, not disease and poverty (curses).
The Word of God will not conflict with itself because the Holy Spirit is the one who wrote it all. When the Bible says that the Word of God is effective in discipline it is so because the Word of God is good and useful for teaching and reproof.
Let us see the application of this in the Word of God: How did the Lord Jesus (who is God in the flesh) correct His disciples?
The life of the Lord Jesus is the application of what is in the mind of the Father who is in heaven. The Lord Jesus is God who speaks to you. The Bible says in Hebrews 1:1-2 “1 God, who in various ways and in many ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by the Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” therefore Jesus Christ is God speaking to you; and what Jesus did in the Gospels in His interaction with the matters and in His thought is exactly the way of God the Heavenly Father. There is no need to try and guess who God is because the Lord Jesus Christ has cut off all doubts with certainty through His service and through His life which He lived which was free from what is being said today of Him that He gives diseases and causes problems so as to teach people lessons. The Lord Jesus healed from the diseases and was not a contributor of them. He as well used to fill the needs of the disciples out of the ministry funding box. He also worked on helping the poor for He was against poverty.
When the Lord Jesus Christ was on earth He never said to anyone: “I will give you sickness to teach you a lesson” or “I will send you this problem to increase your faith and to make you purer”.
But He said as we have already seen in 2 Timothy 3 that the Word is God’s instrument of discipline. The Lord Jesus also said it literally in John 15:1-4 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you . . .” Notice that He did not say “You are pure because of the diseases I gave you.” rather He said “You are clean (pure) because of the words I have spoken to you.”
Accept the Word and give it authority over your life because this is useful for you. Yes the Word of God will transform your mind and correct the way of your thinking to make your mind renewed; that is you begin thinking as God thinks which is according to the Word and you shall find great results. This is divine discipline.
Hebrews 12:5-12 “5 And have you forgotten the exhortation which addresses you as sons?– “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage when you are punished by him. 6 For the Lord disciplines him whom he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time at their pleasure, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,”
Let us replace the word “discipline” with what it meant in the original written Greek to understand it, “the one the Lord loves He disciplines”: to discipline = to teach, to prune, to correct, to guide. Yes God disciplines; that is He teaches, He guides, He prunes and He corrects His children.
But How? BY THE WORD.
This also means that if you refuse to read the Word you refuse to be available to the heavenly Father to teach you. If you only read the Word and do not let it rule over you then you will be lost in your life and you will be available to Satan’s influence.
The Word corrects within your spirit:
The heavenly Father is the Father of our spirits and not our bodies, your body is the crust in which your true inner human lives and is your spirit. For that reason the Bible says that God created your body but He is the father of your spirit. When your spiritual Father corrects you; He will correct you using the Word.
Therefore the Word is the whip of the heavenly Father Who is “spirit” to our spirits.
RESULTS OF UNSUBMITTING TO THE WORD:
Our unsubmitting to the Word has catastrophic consequences which God will not be responsible for, otherwise He would not have told us to submit to the Word in order to avoid Satan’s hand on our lives.
David wrote in one Psalm that when he went far from the Word he suffered humiliation and disgrace, but when he returned to the Word he lived wonderfully. God was not the cause of this humiliation which David suffered at the time of his error. When he returned and studied the Word he discovered that his departure from the Word was the reason for his suffering not God, he discovered that God is good and wonderful and does not do anything bad.
Psalms 119:67-68 “67 Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept thy word. 68 Thou art good and doest good; teach me thy statutes.”, so if you find a suffering believer; be sure that it is not the doing of God; undoubtedly this person has gone far from the Word of God; as is mentioned in one Psalm: “he has gone astray from the Word” ; but when he returns to the Word he will discover that God is good and does not do anything humiliating or insulting.
As the Word of God says in the New Testament “Every good gift is from God” the word good means blameless, delightful and upright. James 1:12-16 “12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.”
Do not be decieved by saying it is God who was behing your problem or behind your sickness, because God only offers everything that is good but sickness is not good, is not pleasing and is not right, therefore it is not from God but from the Devil who came to steal, to slay and to destroy, and when you believed his lies and did not believe the Word; you allowed him to enter your life and your mind therefore turning away from the Word.
Submit to the Word because it is the instrument of God He uses to guide you, to teache you, to prune you and to disciple you. So give it the first lead in your life daily and submit to it accepting the discipline of your Heavenly Father by the Word.
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