Sadly, 99% of the church world teaches that we are to give Jesus THANKS FOR BAD THINGS (because they think we must give thanks FOR ALL THINGS). Everyone knows that you CANNOT take a single verse out of the Bible to prove something. All Bible scholars agree that the Bible interprets the Bible – meaning – any Bible verse must be interpreted in the light of the overall teaching of the Word of God on that subject.
Again, 99% of the church world wants to take a SINGLE verse to prove their point. The verse that they use is Eph 5:20
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Eph 5:18-20 (King James Version)
Ooops, what did we say – the Bible interprets the Bible. Is there a companion verse that conflicts or interprets this another way? There sure is:
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thes 5:18 (King James Version)
Now that makes a lot more sense – we are going to give God thanks IN every situation because we want God to show up and DELIVER US out of that situation. We certainly ARE NOT going to give God thanks FOR SOMETHING THAT THE DEVIL DID meaning something that the devil inspired – for example:1. If a woman gets raped – the devil did that – we are NOT going to thank God for something that the devil did 2. If someone gets shot and killed in a gang shooting – the devil did that – we are NOT going to thank God for something that the devil did
Bible translation is more complex than most of us realize. There is the “literal” translation which has to be modified depending on the “context” of what was written. According to Thayer, a Greek authority, an expression is to be interpreted and the meaning understood by the context. According to A.T. Robertson, Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, pages 629-630, a better translation for the word “for” in Eph 5:20 would be the word “over”.
Well, is there any other Bible translation that translates the verse using the word “over”. The answer is YES as given below:
Don’t drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ. Eph 5:18-20 (The Message Bible)
Once again, it makes a lot more sense to hear the Apostle Paul encourage us to “Sing praises over everything”, or to give thanks and praise “in everything” which is what he said in 1Thes 5:18. Now, the Bible interprets the Bible, so is there any other Bible example where the Apostle Paul DEMONSTRATES how this should work in a real situation. There sure is:
22 Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. 23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them [Paul and Silas] into prison… 25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. Act 16:22-23, 25-26
As you can see in the verse above, Apostle Paul and Silas gave thanks and praise “IN” that bad situation, and they began to sing praises “OVER” that situation. It was the devil (not God) who beat Paul and Silas with rods. Obviously, Apostle Paul and Silas gave thanks and praise “IN” that situation and “OVER” that situation so that God would “DELIVER” them out of that situation. And that is exactly what happened – God showed up and all the doors “SUPERNATURALLY” were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.
Do you understand that giving God credit for something that was actually the work of the devil is an “ABOMINATION” to the Lord. When you thank God “FOR EVERYTHING – including BAD or EVIL things” then you are actually cursing God – blaming God for something that God did not do.
Now, I must tell you that as I write this, I am sensing by the Holy Spirit that there will be ministers and ministries that will “scoff – to laugh at in scorn or contempt“ at the things I have written in this article, and Jesus wants me to warn you to not do that. At least one scripture comes to mind:
NOT MANY [of you] should become teachers ([a]self-constituted censors and reprovers of others), my brethren, for you know that we [teachers] will be judged by a higher standard and with greater severity [than other people; thus we assume the greater accountability and the more condemnation]. James 3:1
I sense that Jesus has ALREADY been longsuffering, patient and merciful to those who persist in teaching FALSE DOCTRINE, but that those days may be coming to an end. So, I urge you to REPENT, lay down your false doctrines. Jesus is not the author of evil things that kill, steal and destroy. If it kills, steals and destroys, then it comes from the devil (John 10:10), and it is blasphemy to say that the things that the devil does have come from Jesus. We DO give thanks to Jesus IN ALL situations – bad or good, for Jesus is our deliverer. But we DO NOT give Jesus thanks for the evil things that come from the work of the devil.
Because this is such an important point, let me further illustrate with a quote from Kenneth Hagin’s book “I Believe In Visions”:
Page 93, I slipped and fell on my right elbow hurting my arm rather severely… the Lord spoke to me… [and] said that this was the devil’s work, but that He would make it turn out for His glory and work for my good.
Page 96, You have gotten into trouble because you have reversed the order and have put your teaching ministry first and your prophetic ministry second. When you did that, you got out of my perfect will into my permissive will thus opening the door for the devil to attack you.
You might ask why, if I knew that you were going to fall and hurt your arm, I didn’t prevent it. I could have of course but I didn’t want to. And instead of your being angry with me for not preventing it, you should be glad that I allowed it to happen. If I had not permitted Satan to do this to arrest your attention, you would not have lived past the age of fifty-five because you would have continued in my permissive will instead of my perfect will. This is the third time I have had to speak to you about this.
Page 97, …many are like you and are living in only my permissive will. For that reason, difficulties have been permitted to come their way. Others are weak in faith. Their faith is not strong enough to appropriate the healing that belongs to them. Some don’t even know what belongs to them.
As you can see from the above testimony, the bad/evil thing that happened to Kenneth Hagin’s elbow was that the injury was the work of the devil (it came from the devil, not from Jesus). So, Jesus would NEVER want Kenneth Hagin to thank Jesus for hurting Kenneth’s elbow because Jesus DID NOT hurt Kenneth’s elbow – the devil did it – it was the work of the devil.
But we are to give thanks” IN” all circumstances (for Jesus is the protector, healer, deliverer, restorer, helper, miracle worker, etc.), and we are to give thanks and praise “OVER” all situations because only Jesus can take the bad things that the devil does and use those bad things that the devil does, that Jesus did not want to have happen and turn it/redeem it into something good.
So, when bad things happen – know this – Jesus did not want that bad thing to happen. It becomes a “wake up” call. Ooops:
- Have we studied the Bible to find out what belongs to us?
- Have we studied the Bible to find out how to appropriate/take possession of what belongs to us?
- Has Jesus been telling us go here, do that, and we have not followed His inward leading and thereby slipped off of his “perfect” will and into his “permissive” will thereby giving the devil an opportunity to attack us?
For all these reasons I say again, KNOWLEDGE is only the first step, INSTRUCTION is only the first step, PLEASE call so we can plug you into a GROUP or WORKSHOP because humans LEARN by DOING and PRACTICING in a group or workshop with other Christians – not reading an article. We want to hear from you – let’s make this interactive.
Please invite your friends to request to be put on the email mailing list to receive future newsletters – and call me so we can start a group, or workshop, or house church at your house.Rick Hollman House Church Ministries for Jesus 402-896-3760