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You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
Eze. 3:20-21 20 Again [shuwb], When a righteous [tsaddiyq] man doth turn [shuwb] from his righteousness [tsedeq], and commit [asah] iniquity [evel], and I lay [nathan] a stumblingblock [mikshowl] before [paniym] him, he shall die [muwth]: because thou hast not given him warning [zahar], he shall die [muwth] in his sin [chatta'ah], and his righteousness [tsadaqah] which he hath done [asah] shall not be remembered [zakar]; but his blood [dam] will I require [baqash] at thine hand [yad]. 21 Nevertheless if thou warn [zahar] the righteous [tsaddiyq] man, that the righteous [tsaddiyq] sin [chata] not, and he doth not sin [chata], he shall surely [chayah] live [chayah], because he is warned [zahar]; also thou hast delivered [natsal] thy soul [nephesh]. KJV-Interlinear 20 'Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he shall die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 'However, if you have warned the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; and you have delivered yourself.' NASB
To unbelievers, spiritual phenomena is foolishness. They simply do not and cannot, understand it and therefore they see it as silly stories and beliefs with regard to God, Christ, Bible doctrine, and the whole concept of Gods plan.
As for believers who are out of fellowship (they have been saved), Bible doctrine is a stumbling block. They do not see the value of Gods plan for their lives. They do not see Gods plan as necessary. They perceive their own ideas and rules as being better for their life. They prefer to pursue their own ideas of a spiritual life and therefore they ignore Gods mandates and establish their own life style. They prefer to ignore Gods mandated responsibilities on their lives, and replace them with their own preferred standards for life.
After all, someone else can give to support the teaching of the Word of God. Someone else (who can afford it) can give to charity. This implies that the believer himself, cannot afford to give of either his time or money. The truth being that the believer doesn't want to give, nor does he regard the recipient as 'worthy' of getting his time or money. This attitude is further applied to other principles of doctrine taught in the Bible thus compromising, short circuiting, and rendering useless the spiritual life.
14 'Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem. NASB
1 Cor. 1:23-24
23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, NASB
Believers in Christ need to be reminded of their responsibilities before God just as unbelievers. But as far as believers go, they have many self made rules and alternative excuses to borrow from in order to avoid their spiritual life and responsibilities.
Just as unbelievers will die, so also the believer is not excused from death. 'Dying thou shalt die.' A person may be physically alive and simultaneously spiritually dead. As for believers, their spiritual death is their falling out of fellowship. No believer can lose their salvation, but they can fall out of fellowship by committing a sin.
When a person gets away from their daily Bible study, then committing a sin is inevitable. Their own human works replaces Gods divine works by means of the doctrine resident in their soul.
32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, NASB
The obstacle God places in front of the believer is Bible doctrine. The negative believer stumbles over it by means of his own human works, his own human righteousness, his own plan and standards for life. All of these are founded in arrogance, the foundation for all sin.
When we all face the Judgment Seat of Christ, all human good (wood, hay, and stubble) will be permanently erased from history. No human work can add to or be used to improve Gods plan. Human works are rejected and destroyed forever.
The responsibility of Ezekiel is the same as for everyone who is positive toward God and advancing in their spiritual lives. We all have obligations in our spiritual life - to support and to help.
To do otherwise, to ignore ones spiritual obligations, then equates to failure in the spiritual life. The human works you accumulate during your life will evaporate into nothingness when you die. And, at death you lose all that you invested your life in because you excluded Gods rules and mandates from your life.
On the other hand, when a person hears the warnings of truth, and responds positively to them and pursues their spiritual life in the proper way, then the believer keeps his investment and gains from it.
Note, that the believer receives blessing by association from Gods doctrine in him. God does not reward the believer directly, but the doctrine is the target of Gods blessing. Having doctrine in the soul means that blessing is directed toward that doctrine and blessing to the believer results by that association.
The believer who fulfills his obligations to God, saves his own life. That is, he is successful in his obedience toward God.
If the believer either responds favorably or not, toward God and his spiritual life, he will eventually reach the end of his life regardless. The results of his life are dependent on his attitude toward God and doctrine.
Ezekiel is appointed a watchman. Every believer is appointed a watchman, first over their own soul to keep it safe and secure and advancing in their spiritual life, and second, and even simultaneously, to maintain their obedience before God and to their responsibilities in life.
Each persons life is in their own hands. As you live by your own hand (your choices in life), so you will die and enter into eternity by your own hand (the results of those choices).
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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