The Lord gave me these words share with our small group gathering, “know, be, and do”.  These words are an aid to simplify the process of the development of a leader in the church of Jesus Christ.  So much of what I have done in the past has been based more in “doing” things for God, but honestly, what can we do for a Christ we barely “know”?  We must first take up our cross and follow Him -- not church dogma, doctrinal arguments, or even the “sacred cows” of our passionate ministry ideas (I'm telling on myself).


If anyone of us would take serious the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ, we will have to go through the knowing, being, and doing of Jesus in order to preach effectively the “Jesus message” presented to us in the pages of scripture and in our history books.  There is a “time” process which we must endure in order to “be” and “do” the work of God correctly.  Even then, we still will fall short of the effort set forth by Paul in the first century, but we will give all we got to once again recapture the lost message of salvation in the Name of Jesus Christ alone.


Last time I wrote about the “charge” that Paul gave Timothy to preach and teach no other doctrine then this,“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” I Tim.1:15   The context in presenting this emphatic statement was based in the influx of erroneous teaching on the law of God and sloppy and wicked behavior.  The charge of Paul can be clearly understood by meditating on his words, but quite obviously, this charge has not been understood in our day, and otherwise we would not find ourselves in this divided mess we call “church” here in our America.  


In our time, the next generation leaders of Christ's church, have been handed a malnourished and deformed message by the previous generation of believers.  Due to a lack of spiritual understanding of the Pauline message and method, we have not received an accurate transfer of the Pauline way.  Maybe it was the seduction of our materialistic culture working effectively to distract us from the essential elements of the truth of Christ.  But for Paul, he had about 20 years to do the work of evangelizing the known world and this he did with a great sense of urgency that we too must discover again; this we will do with God's help.  


As an apostle of Christ, Paul prophetically and instinctively “knew” that he had limited time to do the work he was called and commissioned by Christ to do.  He knew he would suffer many things carrying the Lord's message throughout the Roman Empire. And, at the same time, the apostle Paul was to train the next generation leadership to take his place after he was gone.  


Do you remember how Moses trained Joshua to take his place?  Moses took Joshua everywhere he went, even to the summit of Sinai and Horeb.  By these encounters with Moses, Joshua was able to gain the insight and training needed to go and conquer the land of Canaan after Moses was gone.  He came to know the God of Moses.


By the time Paul penned the epistle of I Timothy, around 62 A.D. (six years before his execution), Paul had laid his hands on Timothy to carry on his work in the cities where Christ's churches had been planted and established by the Christo-centric preaching of the apostle Paul.  


Paul's God-ordained apostolic transfer of leadership was confirmed and established years earlier by prophetic utterances by and through the Spirit of God.  Paul “knew” that Timothy was called by God to do the work he was doing, even though he was a young man.  Paul knew that soon he would leave Timothy behind to carry the charge given to him by the Lord Jesus Christ without his personal involvement. 


Take the time to study how quickly false teaching entered the first century church.  You can do this by reading portions of the Diadace.  A second century account of the affairs of the church after all the original apostles had died.


It wasn't long after Paul's death that Gnosticism took root in the church.  After the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, the saints were scattered all over Asia Minor into a very Roman and Greek culture.  It was then that the apostle John took dead aim at the combination of errors found in the Gnostic teaching and Docetism (“to seem”) which directly challenged the humanity of Jesus in His very real physical death and in His bodily resurrection.   


These false teachings set in motion a false spirituality that emphasized that anything material or earthy was sinful, these teachings were pervading the churches in Asia Minor that Paul had planted and that were under the Apostle John's oversight.  If Paul and John had major resistance transferring the unvarnished truth of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, what makes us think we are not going to have challenges passing the truth of Christ's substitutionary death for sinners on to our children?  Our message has been twisted and therefore we must get it right before we pass it on to the next generation.


Sadly, the spiritual legacy of the baby-boom generation has been filled with so much division.  Arguments over the doctrines of the inerrancy of scripture, signs and wonders, baptism of the Holy Spirit, water baptism, church government, forms of worship, the role of women in the church, spiritual gifts, homosexual relations, music, and veracity of the historical account of the death and resurrection of Jesus have blown large holes in our unity and power as the people of God.  


Most sad of all these conflicts is the misunderstanding and mishandling of the person and work of Jesus Christ.  Religious traditions of the church and academic scholarship, combined with our modern day materialism, has left the next generation of young leaders with quite a mess to sort out and clean up.  This they must do, with God's help, so that a unified and spirit-filled church may rise again.  That the “truth” be transferred to next generation more accurately and modeled more effectively.  To preserve the power of the gospel message.   


Nothing less than a living and breathing “truth” of a salvation in Christ and in Christ alone will radically save lost souls from their sinful and remediless condition.  This message, with its powerful life changing words, contains all the necessary truth in the charge given to Paul by Jesus from the right hand of the Father in heaven.  And “this” charge, Paul handed off to Timothy, his spiritual son.  


We must work tirelessly to reestablish a righteous transfer of the original apostolic traditions that Paul, John, James, Peter, and the other apostles possessed from Jesus and then ardently labored to pass them on to their spiritual children.


Today, Generation Next, is facing the unenviable task of releasing their children to society unprepared to “know” God and uneducated in the “ways” of Christ, lost in the abyss of relativism, existentialism, modernity, and false spirituality, we, at the very same time, are witnessing the end of the work of the enemy levied on us in the 80's and 90's which gave us the self-centered health, wealth, and prosperity movement.  We also will see the end of the heady intellectualism of those who have argued vehemently the doctrine of election and predestination to the point of driving men deep into doctrinal division and separatism.


We still see even in the best of circles, men who are more concerned about preserving their legacy then the legacy of Jesus Christ.  So much time is wasted in preserving a legacy.  Just study the life of Paul, he was forsaken at the end of his life by just about everybody, save a few.  2 Tim. 1:15, “This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.”


I truly believe that the fatherly heart of Paul would be so broke if he were to visit the church in our modern day America.  Just as in the time when Paul stood on Mar's Hill in Athens, Greece and observed the idolatry of the Greeks, and uttered these words in Acts 17:16, “Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols.”  So we too, are given over to the doctrine of self and individualism.  Before long we will observe that Catholics and Protestants alike will allow a full blown worship of the Baals and Ashtorehs of ancient history. 


As today's college students enter institutions given over to idols, and the rest of our young enter directly into the workforce run by greed and self-serving materialism.  These young men and women go into a world with a very mixed up and upside-down morality, a world where absolute truth has taken great hits and is all but jettisoned to the curb in irrelevancy.  


What will become of them as they and we are left without the real ambassadors of the message of Jesus Christ?  What happens if the ambassadorship of the “truth” of Jesus Christ and Him crucified disappears?  We know that the Lord will always have a seed on the earth, but Jesus even said before He left our world these words, “when the Son of Man comes will He really find faith on the earth.” 


The spiritual understanding and personal embrace of the Pauline “charge” must be understood and embraced by the older generation and at the same time in our youth, together we must pass forward the “message” and the Pauline “charge” that truly saves men from their sins.  


I believe our God is fixing and will fix this mess very soon.  Through the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit and the release of the Lord Christ's harvesting angels.  The elect will be gathered together from the four winds.  These angels have been sent to prepare the earth for His glorious return.  We, with them, will witness a powerful return to the vintage message of a Jewish rabbi, called Jesus, who was nailed to a Roman cross of execution by His own people and granted by the power of His own authority, for one purpose, to save them and us from our sins, Gentiles and Jews, for the glory of His everlasting Name.  To build a kingdom of righteousness, without end!


In order to strengthen our faith-filled gaze upon His cross, and to gain an accurate understanding of sin and the curse of death hanging upon our heads.  We must “know” in our heart of hearts that by no other Name can men be saved.  To walk with our Savior and gain an intimacy that cures all that ails us.  That in our “knowing” we gain a real salvation and deliverance from any, and all kinds of sin.  


This grace that saves us, comes only through the bloodshed of the one and only Son of God, which due, to the penalty of our sins, our Messiah hung there all alone to bear our sins in His body and satisfy the justice of heaven and its perfect law.  The grace to overcome sin, and the lies of the enemy in the world system, come to us through His powerful resurrection, so all that ails mankind is remedied and made right at the foot of that cross and by virtue of His empty tomb.  


A cross that was historically located in a ultra-political and divided first century Palestine.  Jesus came to save sinners, all kinds of sinners, of whom, I am chief.  This is the substance of our message.   These are the words uttered by a brilliant jewish rabbi by the name of Saul, who was magnanimously saved by His Power.  Paul was stopped in his tracks and saved from following the dictates of his murdering heart.  He was powerfully remade into a preacher of righteousness to the very same people he hated, and sent to a world he wanted to make perfectly jewish.  The irony of God!


Our children, the rising generation, will usher in a return to the ancient paths.  To reestablish the ancient borders and landmarks as they were set in first century Palestine by the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ.  To reconnect with Israel as a people with a future and an inheritance,  and as a culture, must be and most definitely will be redeemed by Jesus before He inhabits our planet.  


To bring back the sacred unity of the bond of peace that was established in the first century church.  Only by “this” message can fit these lofty goals and will be achieved in our time.  No matter how tense and divided our world may become, we will triumph by “heralding” forth this message.


To accomplish this large work of renewal and restoration of the glory of Christ in His church, the Lord would first have us “know” Him personally in truth and love.  Without an encounter with the risen Christ, how will you or I ever proclaim accurately the power of His Life and a personally changed life, like the apostle Paul experienced?  


To speak boldly of a salvation that can deliver anyone from the curse of death?  You must “know” of “your” Deliver and the One who has empowered you to preach.  That He and only He, broke the chains that bound you to the power of reigning sin.  So you could preach powerfully to those who “bound” in their sins.


The Lord will have us personally connect with Him so we can over time move like Him, becoming more and more like Him, and to “be”  like Him.  To sense and know His overwhelming love and His complete and entire forgiveness from all our sins.  But what of the issue of sin?  To “be” Christ is to know His law, to know why He is so fastidious about us “being” all that the law was to be for the Hebrew people.  He came to establish the law, that law of love to God and to love to our neighbors as ourselves.  To love even our enemies in His Name.  To bear fruit of righteousness.  To walk in the Spirit of God and not fulfill the desires of the flesh.  It's more about “being” then “not being” as we walk in the way of Jesus.


Our Jesus came to fulfill the law, not abrogate it!  To move in the all ways of Christ we have to study him and His words.  How long will the process be if you have been raised in an idolatrous society with an anemically soft message of Christ?  As long as it takes to “know” Christ sufficiently and to move on to the stature of a mature believer in Him.  Lacking nothing, but fully equipped to “wage the good warfare” for the truth.  


Now to “doing” the message of Jesus.  Without “knowing” and “being”, no one can ever “do” what Jesus requires.  It is through a process of “knowing” Christ and learning the grace of yielding to Christ's will in your heart, that you and I become a man or woman who “does” all that He desires for His little brothers in His kingdom.  


To qualify this statement, a brand new convert can sometimes be the best evangelist for Christ, but to “know” Christ takes time.  As those who have been trained by our Lord, we are assured that over time, the Lord will train them too in the ways of His character by walking with them side by side through all their difficult days.  He can and will make them fishers of men in their knowing, being, and doing, after all, this is His work, not ours.


Knowing, Being, and Doing -- can we agree that this is the same process that Saul of Tarsus underwent while he was in the wilderness alone with Jesus for 3 years?  Then for 10 years in Tarsus to be inside and part of the community of faith, long enough to figure out how hard it is to connect the Lord's people in love and righteousness.  To be a listener of the message and not just a “doer” in the preaching of the message of the glorious gospel.


To learn firsthand the challenges of building multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-generational churches that truly represent the heart of the message of the cross of Jesus.  This work had to be done before “Saul” soon to become the “Paul” was to be placed so strategically on the front-lines of pressing the kingdom of God to the frontiers of the Roman empire.  So the “doing” is a natural byproduct of knowing Christ and being found in Christ.


To accelerate this process, we must go back to the original message of the gospels, and only preach that which truly saves men from their sins.  To set people free from false ideas about God, misunderstandings about His power, about the “spiritual” gifts He gives to His people, and how to gather together and truly be the “church” of Jesus Christ.  Our natural minds cannot comprehend these truths.  This knowing and being and doing we will do with His help.  Let us believe that our best days lie ahead of us.  


Many blessings,