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With Broad Strokes
all things; hold fast that which is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:21
painting in oils and watercolor, but ever since God called me
into doing research and writing the results, I have been
unable to find the time to embark on a painting.
I started thinking about
what makes a good painting. It's the details. That does not
mean details in structure or form only, but the details in
shades, color and depth and much more. Many artists begin by
using a larger brush and a broad stroke. Later the detailing
is often done with smaller brushes and more precise strokes.
Very often people approve a
painting by whether it is pleasing to their eye. They are
captivated by the main object and often do not notice the
details. Anyone involved in wildlife art knows that the
details in the painting go far beyond the animal depicted. If
you enter a competition, the judges are biologists and an
array of professionals that can determine if the shape of a
grass, or color is accurate. They determine if the foliage is
right for where the animal roams, or if it is accurate for the
season. In other words, you could paint the most incredible
portrait of a lion and fail completely by not upholding the
details of his surroundings. It literally becomes an exercise
How often do we see the
broad strokes of truth painted by those who seem to be of God?
How often do people get caught up with the image of the
"artist" and never look beyond the title of the
picture or main theme he paints? People often get caught up in
"name brand artists" and believe them to be the
"Rembrandts of scripture". The other side is that
some believe themselves to be "master artists",
believing that what they paint as truth is without flaw or
In both instances people
willingly believe that the picture that is painted of truth,
is indeed truth.
However, what has often
become the rule is that while the broad stroke is based on
truth, closer examination often reveals sordid details in the
strokes of the finer brush. Things that will upon examination
fail under close scrutiny. Since there is only one Master
Artist, why would we feel it necessary to hang on to copies of
truth that may even be exposed as being counterfeit? How can
we say we trust God and yet depend on mans opinions and wisdom
as the final proof or authority for an issue?
God has been teaching me to
not look so much at what the main statements are from a
person, but what they say around those statements. Even the
most ungodly person can quote scripture and use it to
advantage. If it is surrounded with statements that promote,
exude or expound scriptural error or ungodliness, is truth
really being put forward, or is scriptural truth being used to
How are we to know truth and
error? How do we judge and what do we do if we see
"sordid" details? Who can be deceived by these
"artists" and why? These are just some of the
questions that run through my mind.
The word of God has never
failed to provide answers to those who fervently seek. It can
be counted on to provide Gods views, wisdom, reprimands and
comfort. It is truth. We are expected to seek it for answers,
above what any man might say. Failure to read it can cause us
"And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not
therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither
the power of God?"
"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is
"And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That
man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of
Christ is revealed to us
through the scriptures, as are the doctrines we are to uphold.
"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have
eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
"And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he
expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things
"I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is
within my heart."
119:11 "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I
might not sin against thee."
We are to depend on God to
teach us through Scripture and give us what we need to grow in
knowledge of Him. Wisdom and understanding come from God.
Dependence on God is what keeps us from falling into
2:6-13 "For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth
cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound
wisdom for the righteous: He is a buckler to them that
walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and
preserveth the way of His saints. Then shalt thou
understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea,
every good path. When wisdom entereth into thine heart,
and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall
preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver
thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that
speaketh froward things; Who leave the paths of
uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;"
"...Then opened He their understanding, that they
might understand the scriptures."
3:5-7 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and
lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways
acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not
wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from
1 Peter 2:6
" Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture,
Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect,
precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be
6:23 "For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is
light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of
119:104,105 "Through thy precepts I get
understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word
is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
4:12 " For the word of God is quick, and powerful,
and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the
dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and
marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of
We are not to trust in man,
but depend on God for insight and discernment, and weigh
everything others say to the word of God, so that we are not
deceived. Learning what is in the scriptures and trusting God
is what will keep a light unto our path so we do not stumble
"Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust,
and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to
"...in that they received the word with all readiness
of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those
things were so."
3:14-17 "But continue thou in the things which thou
hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom
thou hast learned them: And that from a child thou hast
known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee
wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ
Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and
is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction,
for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may
be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."
3:16 "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them
of these things; in which are some things hard to be
understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable
wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their
3:17 "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these
things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with
the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness."
1:19-21 "We have also a more sure word of prophecy;
whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light
that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the
day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no
prophecy of the scripture is of any private
interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by
the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were
moved by the Holy Ghost."
2:1-3 "But there were false prophets also among the
people, even as there shall be false teachers among you,
who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying
the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift
destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways;
by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken
of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words
make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time
lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."
Also: 2 Peter
7-11 "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the
soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the
simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the
heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening
the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever:
the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous
altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea,
than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the
honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in
keeping them there is great reward."
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel
of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor
sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in
the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day
can be deceived?
Any person who accepts
Christ can be deceived. Those that have never received Him are
already held captive by deception and sin. If we were unable
to be deceived, even though we have Christ in us, then many
scriptures would appear to be in vain. I could never believe
that. When God takes the time to give a warning, then it is
probably something that we had better take very seriously to
2:6-9 "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the
Lord, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in Him, and
stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding
therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you
through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of
men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after
Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead
2:18 "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a
voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding
into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up
by his fleshly mind,"
Thessalonians 2:3 "Let no man deceive you by any
means: for that day shall not come, except there come a
falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the
son of perdition:"
It was recently suggested
that because Eve was deceived, men were put in authority over
women. The implication was that men couldn't be deceived, at
least not in the same way or perhaps, as easily as women.
I was contemplating all of
that while working on this article. Because men are upheld as
being the ones to be spiritual leaders in many churches, does
that mean they are not being deceived, but rather, just
rebellious or disobedient when they enter into questionable
activities or beliefs?
It was interesting that one
of the first passages impressed on my heart was Mark 13:3-6.
as He sat upon the mount of Olives over against the
temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked Him
privately, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what
shall be the sign when all these things shall be
fulfilled? And Jesus answering them began to say, Take
heed lest any man deceive you: For many shall come in my
name, saying I am Christ; and shall deceive many."
Here we have Christ telling
the disciples--the very ones who stood and saw, and were later
martyred for Him --He is telling them and warning them,
to pay attention and listen to what he had to say because they
can be deceived. In other words Peter could even be deceived.
To suggest that being deceived is an "Eve" thing, or
more of a woman thing, is a deception in and of itself. Not
only are the people that agree with that thinking in
deception, but they are also promoting deceptive thinking.
5:19 "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these
least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be
called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever
shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in
the kingdom of heaven."
There are many that have a
"form of godliness", but when they speak and paint
their pictures of "truth", something happens. When a
person scrutinizes the "fine strokes" it is apparent
they are not of God and/or have strayed from obedience to all
of Gods' word.
3:22 "But the scripture hath concluded all under sin,
that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given
to them that believe."
"If any man among you seem to be religious, and
bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this
man's religion is in vain."
15:10-14 "And He called the multitude, and said unto
them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the
mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the
mouth, this defileth a man. Then came his disciples, and
said unto Him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were
offended, after they heard this saying? But He answered
and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not
planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind
leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind,
both shall fall into the ditch."
Over and over we see a test
of a person's godliness being brought down to what comes out
of their mouths. Is it gentle, meek, exhibiting the fruits of
the Spirit? Does the person come across with true love for
others or do they show ridicule, contempt and even hatred
towards other brethren or those that may not be of God. We
have a responsibility to expose error, but that does not give
us license to abuse others.
Even the brother that has
been admonished and rebuked, and even "marked" is
not to be treated as an enemy.
Thessalonians 3:13-15 "But ye, brethren, be not weary
in well doing. And if any man obey not our word by this
epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that
he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but
admonish him as a brother."
5:15,16 "But if ye bite and devour one another, take
heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say
then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust
of the flesh."
"I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not
with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while
the wicked is before me."
"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you
of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write
unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend
for the faith which was once delivered unto the
Too often it seems that
people are exposing others as being in error and forgetting
the Biblical statements about dealing with these very issues.
6:1-3 "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye
which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of
meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Bear ye one anothers burdens, and so fulfil the law of
Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when
he is nothing, he deceiveth himself."
5:19,20 "Brethren, if any of you do err from the
truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which
converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save
a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of
We must test everything
according to what the word of God says.
4:1-3 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the
spirits whether they are of God: because many false
prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the
Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus
Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit
that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh
is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist,
whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now
already is it in the world."
4:6-8 "We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us;
he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the
spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us
love one another: for love is of God; and every one that
loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not
knoweth not God; for God is love."
2 John 6-11
"And this is love, that we walk after His
commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have
heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. For many
deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that
Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and
an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those
things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full
reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the
doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the
doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine,
receive him not into your house, neither bid him God
speed; For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of
his evil deeds."
16:17,18 "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them
which cause divisions and offences contrary to the
doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they
that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their
own belly; and by good works and fair speeches deceive the
hearts of the simple."
God says that whoever loves
Him and keeps His commandments is His. One of the greatest
indicators is whether we love one another. How we deal with
one another when put to the test, is usually a true reflection
of whether that love and obedience to Christ is present. That
is not to say that each of us does not stumble and make
mistakes. God allows for that in that we are to seek
forgiveness and forgive others.
"If ye love me, keep my commandments."
"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he
it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved
of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest
myself to him."
15:10-12 "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide
in my love; even as I have kept my Fathers commandments,
and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto
you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy
might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one
another, as I have loved you."
5:44-46 "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless
them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and
pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute
you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is
in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and
on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the
unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward
have ye? do not even the publicans the same?"
4:20-21 "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his
brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother
whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not
seen? And this commandment have we from Him, That he who
loveth God love his brother also."
We are to hate sin, but not
the sinner. I think I will always take to heart what a
Scottish preacher said during a weekend workshop. He was
speaking of those that have fallen into error and those that
have never known Christ.
"There go I, but for the grace of God."
My prayer is that we will
all grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
and that we will truly be a reflection of Him, no matter what
the circumstances. I pray that whatever picture we are
compelled to "paint", that it will be a true
reflection of what the "Master" portrays in His
scripture quotes from the Authorized King James Bible
Copyright . All articles are the sole property of SeekGod.ca and Vicky Dillen. All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated.
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