"Blessed Is He Who Is Not
Offended Because Of Me"
A brother offended is harder to win than a
strong city (Prov 18:19).
Jesus offended many people when He walked
earth. Not deliberately, of course, but it happened. He brought new truth,
so it was unavoidable.
Today the work of Elijah advances, preparing
the way for His Second Coming. Truth is being restored, and again people get
The religious establishment found fault with
Jesus. They were offended by his theology. They said:
“This Man blasphemes!” (Matt 9:3.)
They couldn’t understand why He did things
differently, why He would eat with tax collectors (most despised and
traitorous to Jews) and sinners (9:11).
Even the disciples of John were having a hard
time accepting Him! (9:14.)
They could see the awesome power that flowed
at His command (9:8), but it didn’t seem to make much difference. Signs are
soon forgotten. What sticks in the throat are the things you don’t like.
...the things YOU don’t like. That’s
What you are used to, what you take for
granted as truth, or the way things are always done, if those ‘sacred cows’
are challenged, that’s what’s upsetting. But there can be no blessing
without challenging the strongholds of error. That’s why Jesus declared:
Blessed is he who is not offended because of
Me (Matt 11:6).
What Is Wrong With Many Nice Christians
For some while I wondered about why it is
that people get offended. I mean, nice people, really lovely Christians, who
are devout, sincere, giving, dedicated to what they understand of God’s
ways. They love Jesus, and they sincerely desire to do His will. But we come
along, present new truth (new to them), and 90% of them get offended, and
turn away from us.
Although I had written about this
prophetically back in 1994 (Will You Step Back? in Awake! Awake!
Vol 2 No 6, March 1994), I still found it difficult to grasp.
A dream to Helena on 14th March 2006 explains
more about this anomaly:
I was on a journey in the future, meeting
with several groups of people. I went to see a church. On the wall of this
church there was a Thyme shrub. It was growing laterally, spreading sideways
to another wall. It needed pruning, so I suggested that to them, but someone
said that would require permission.
This illustrates how much people follow tradition and men, rather than God
and His Word. Having to get permission showed their subservience to human
hierarchy in their church, which is unbiblical (Matt 20:25-26; 23:8).
What the dream emphasises in symbol is their
need for pruning – having the old dead wood cut away and the old teachings
The lateral growth of the people, represented
by the nicely scented Thyme plant, is growth that is not so much towards God
as towards men. Christians usually become nicer people for accepting Jesus
into their lives, but what needs to be foremost in their lives is not how
they seem to behave to others, but how their heart changes towards God.
This Thyme plant was not planted in the soil.
It was planted in the wall of the church. Their faith and grounding was not
so much in God, in Jesus, and in His Word, as in the human structure that
had been built by men in the name of Jesus.
For those who are shallow believers, they
won’t see how devastating is this transfer of loyalties! When rough times
come, their church or their leaders will not be able to help them. Only God
can do that. They need to be firmly planted in His Word, in Him, otherwise
they will get offended in the hard times coming.
When Church Leaders Get Offended
Church leaders are used to having pre-eminence.
Most take it for granted because they have believed the lie that they are in
Jesus’ place in the Church, there to feed the flock, and to lead the flock.
What they don’t realise is that they are there to do the former but not the
latter. Jesus is meant to lead, not them. They are vying with His Spirit for
So, when a prophet comes along and presents
new truth, the invisible cords of their control are threatened. Many get
The classic scenario for us is this. We come
into their ‘domain’, and pronounce (through writing usually) that some
aspects of their theology need a second look. For example, the Bible doesn’t
support holding Sunday services as a replacement for what God instituted
long ago at Creation in Sabbath worship (Gen 2:2,3), and which He reminded
Israel about at Sinai (Ex 20:8-11). When you present this truth to leaders
who have been used to keeping Sunday for as long as they can remember, you
are either met with a wall of silence or a wall of hostility.
They get offended that we would dare to
challenge their ‘credentials’ as Bible teachers. But we are not challenging
that. We are challenging their error. All they have to do is prove the truth
we present like the Bereans did, searching the scriptures to see whether
these things be so (Acts 17:11), and then teach it to their congregations.
We’re not asking for them to step aside and let us take over. We’re asking
them to let the Holy Spirit take over.
But people get offended at that, just like
they got offended at Jesus.
They resented His pre-eminence. Pride was at
the root of their reaction. They didn’t see it until He came along and did
what He did. The same is true today. He comes along, reveals something
‘new’, and the challenge exposes hidden strongholds within them.
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit
He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear
more fruit (Jn 15:2).
So, don’t get offended. Just humble yourself
before Him. Accept the new things He brings. Accept the vehicles He uses, as
unpretentious as they are. Accept them as prophets who speak for Him. Then
you will have the benefit of the prophet’s reward. You will enjoy a greater
infilling of the Spirit as a result.
God revealed in these words why offence
occurs so often at the appearing of a prophet:
The reason most people get upset at you and
what you bring, is because they are not at the same level of spiritual
When The Spirit Comes
We were meeting together in our fellowship
one Sabbath recently. As usual, two or three people prayed in tongues, and
someone else gave an ‘interpretation’ (not a word-for-word ‘translation’,
but the gist of what the tongues prayers were expressing in the spirit). God
edifies His people through His gifts, and the gifts are for the communal
good, not for selfish gain.
After the tongues there was a prophetic word,
and God poured out more of His Spirit on those gathered. But I noticed that
not all benefited to the same degree. Only the receptive had the benefit.
And the prophetic statement above in italics reveals why that was.
For the Spirit to come, the heart has to be
prepared. Israel had to prepare for three days before God appeared in fire
on Mount Sinai (Ex 19:10-11). The preparation involved washing their
Believers today must be prepared to wash
their clothes, too – their spiritual clothes! In fact, they have got to do
even more! They must be prepared to throw out the old dirty coat of
Sunday-keeping, and get back to the tenets of the faith once delivered,
keeping the festivals which God gave Israel, including the Sabbath.
They must also be willing to give up
subservience to ‘ecclesiastics’ (church leaders in positions of authority
over them) and follow unequivocally the full lead of the Spirit.
They need to come out from churches that do
not relinquish this illicit domination. They need to shun repression and
Where the Spirit is not openly welcomed in
meetings, they need to accept a further baptism and start to move in the
gifts of the Spirit, hear God’s voice and reach out to others as the Spirit
gives them that boldness.
Otherwise, the Spirit just will not come.
So, don’t have a paroxysm of rage against me.
Blessed is he who is not offended by any of the above requirements. They are
truths being restored in this last revival of this age. This is the last
outpouring of the Spirit before the Great Tribulation descends upon the
world. It is to prepare God’s people for the evils of the time before us. It
will be upon us soon!
New Truth And Old Wineskins
Mila Thompson recently wrote:
In the past I often wondered what the
true meaning of Matthew 9:16-17 was. Several times I had a feeling I was
close to understanding, yet it was evading me. But last Friday, at the
start of the Sabbath, as I pondered it again, the light came to me.
I’m sure you know all this, but it was
such a revelation to me that I would like to share it with you.
It suddenly became clear to me that Jesus
was comparing the Old Covenant He had made with His people with an old
torn garment. That covenant was broken by Israel through their
unfaithfulness to God. Hence the symbolism of being torn (something worn
out and useless). [Doesn’t this also portray how people get offended at
presentation of new truth, when they don’t have the Spirit as they
should?! They are ‘torn’ emotionally.]
There is no sense in taking good new
cloth and cutting it up to mend the old torn garment. It makes more
sense to throw the old garment away and use the good new cloth to make a
new garment (symbol of the New Covenant).
The patch here represents the customs,
rituals and rules which were part of the old covenant, broken by the
people. By themselves, such observances have no meaning or importance.
Jesus said this to John’s disciples when they came to question Him about
fasting (Matt 9:14).
The second comparison He used makes this
meaning even clearer: the wine is a metaphor for the Spirit. A new
spiritual covenant could not use the old physical form of worship, which
became corrupted into empty ritualism (old wineskin). It required a new,
spiritual form (new wineskin). “God is Spirit, and His worshippers must
worship Him in Spirit and in truth” (Jn 4:24).
It is interesting that even after John’s
personal testimony about Jesus being the One who would baptise with the
fire and the Holy Spirit, while Jesus was going around teaching ‘with
authority’, performing great miracles, some men still continued to
follow John – a mere man. They were ‘faithful to him’. Yet John’s very
purpose was to point them to Jesus! They were also trying to be
‘righteous enough’ to earn their salvation through fasting and rituals.
They were indignant and critical of Jesus’ disciples.
They did not come to learn from Jesus.
They came with accusations, just like the Pharisees and teachers of the
I see here a parallel of the Church
today. Many believers follow men, although Jesus has been revealed to
them in a new light, with all His might and power and love!
Malcolm B Heap,