Summary: Temptation that is wickedness in high places could only hide the truth of its nature when you fail to spiritually discern the mask of the unclean spirit.
WITH THESE HANDS
Dr. Gale A. Ragan-Reid (February 5, 2018)
“Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that went with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:34-35, King James Version [Charge to the elders of Ephesus]).
Greetings in the Holy Name of Jesus,
My sisters and brothers, are you a minister of Christ Jesus, working with your own hands? Let it be known, near and far. Apostle Paul spoke to the elders of Ephesus, who feared that soon he would pass away. “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God…And labour, working with our own hands, being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:” (I Corinthians 4:1,12, KJV [Spectacles to the world]). With much recourse for brethren to withdraw from every brother that walked disorderly, Apostle Paul accompanied by Silvanus and Timotheus preached to the church of the Thessalonians about his trip to Philippi: “For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for laboring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God, so that the brethren follow his example to maintain the tradition of orderliness.” (I Thessalonians 2:9; II Thessalonians 3rd chapter [Manner of Paul’s preaching and Timothy’s charge]). Oftentimes, we reflect on when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.
Apostle Paul given to visions and revelations---went into a trance, “as he preached he told the Corinthians about a man he knew that was caught up to the third heaven---that vision made him glory in his infirmities---the weakness of his body so that the power of Christ rest upon him, for Paul was buffeted by the messenger of Satan to ground him from exaltation above his measure, whom he regarded as a thorn in his flesh but he prayed to God as he commended his apostleship when Christ Jesus spoke to him: “…My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Paul blamed himself that the church of the Corinthians was inferior to the other churches for he ought to have been commended of the Corinthians, as he saw he was wrong to commend his apostleship, “…for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostle, though I be nothing ” [II Corinthians 12th chapter, KJV]. In Romans (15th chapter), Paul preached that “we then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves” [15:1]. With that said, the happy state of the godly is to establish the work of our own hands [Psalms 90:17, KJV [“And let the beauty of the
LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.”].
Most certainly, a man’s heart and a man’s mind in the power of Christ Jesus healing sinners by the laying on of his hands speaking the Words of God is quite lofty when weighed against the natural man, for it is a supernatural force of power. How many ministers do you know that thinks and feels too highly of himself? To say the least, Paul was a highly educated man of faith but when those who are without education act like they are more educated than those who are educated and rally the members against those who are educated, it is simply unbearable, which is understandable. How is it of God to push down one in order to raise up the other when the other had every opportunity to raise up but failed to do so choosing the quick fix life---wanting a whole lot out of Christ Jesus short changing those who are vested in education, field work and life experiences. This sort of temptation is wickedness that leaves folks behind---that outcasts believers, even sacrifices those that seem expendable to them [We know the Jews sacrificed Jesus.].
Paul reflected on the truth of his own nature and natural inclination to dismiss many as unworthy of salvation. We have ministers in the one body that might not give a sinner the time of day, much less pray for healing or even sit next to a sinner in church, especially those not wealthy enough to pay. Within reasoning as I sat in reflection of some church-going experiences, I recalled a woman minister complained that a church had the congregation of believers lined up for healing, at a cost. Those who could not afford to pay, obviously, did not receive the healing power that the leaders of the church convinced the congregation that the visiting minister had.