The Living God Ministry
"The Ministry of Reconciliation"
2 Corinthians 5:17-20
PO Box 2784. Eugene, Oregon 97402
Phone: (541) 461-3337 * Fax: (541) 461-3666
A PREMATURE BIRTH
By Bill Glover
My wife and I were just blessed with a great-grandson - - born prematurely by six weeks (this is actually our 20th great-grandchild). Since he was born prematurely, it was necessary that he be placed in an incubator until certain physical organs could develop further so as to sustain life on his own. This birth, and the care this little fellow requires, vividly reminded me of the literal spiritual birth we all face as we are being prepared to enter the very family of God as “CHILDREN OF GOD” (Romans 8:14-17). I will come back to the premature birth point later in this article.
OUR BIRTH INTO GOD’S FAMILY
The Bible is very clear in that God created human beings in His own image and after His own image (see Genesis 1:26-27). But He created humans in physical (temporary) form with the potential of becoming a spirit being as God is spirit. As Jesus taught in John 3:6, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but spirit gives birth to spirit” (NIT). But, as verse 5 states, “no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the spirit.” Then as verses 7-8 explain, humans must be BORN OF THE SPIRIT of God and, as such, will no longer have physical limitations. Humans were created to be subject to death. It is appointed to all men to die once (Hebrews 9:27). And 1 Corinthians 15:22 says plainly “In Adam all die (the physical death), so in Christ all will be made alive” (given a spiritual body.) As the apostle Paul clearly explained in 1 Corinthians 15, “. . . there is a natural (human) body and there is also a spiritual body (verse 44). Verse 46 then explains that “The spiritual (body) did not come first, but the natural (human) and, after that, the spiritual.” This involves a MYSTERY (Ephesians 1:7-14) that we will address later.
“The first man (Adam) was of the dust of the earth (physical), the second man (Jesus Christ) from heaven . . . and just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man (Adam), so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven” - -Christ (verses 47-49). Remember that at creation God clearly stated that mankind was created “in His own image and after His likeness” (Genesis 1:26-27). This means in the general shape and form of God but in physical form with the potential for this spiritual birth (birth of the spirit) that Jesus spoke about in John 3, but also capable of eternal death - - total cessation of life, thus the two opposites of life or death.
Paul goes on to explain in 1 Corinthians 15 that we must all be changed from physical to spirit. Verse 51 says: “Listen, I tell you a mystery (the mystery of what God is doing in and through human beings): we will not all sleep (die physically) , but we will all be changed” (changed from physical flesh and blood into spirit beings). When and how does this change from physical to spirit occur? Let Paul answer that question in verses 52-55 - - please study these verses carefully. This change occurs at the last trump (verse 52). The return of Jesus Christ occurs at the last trump (1Thessalonians 4:13-18). As 1 Corinthians 15:53-54 explain, this physical flesh must be changed into spirit so we can then be immortal spirit beings in the very family of God. Thus, humans are to be changed from physical form into immortal spirit beings at the return of Jesus Christ to this earth to set up His kingdom.
SONS OF GOD
Let us now return to John 3 for a little more information. Jesus said “You must be born again” (verse 7). And, as verse 3 states, “No one can see (enter) the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” Verse 4 shows He was referring to a literal birth but one of the spirit and not just a physical birth in human form or into a physical family. That is the mystery Paul was speaking about in 1 Corinthians 15:51 - - the mystery of when and how we are to be changed from mortal flesh to immorality as literal sons of God.
We need to go to Romans 8 for further explanation. When we become a true Christian, we then become spiritual children of God (see Romans 8:14-17). Once we become true Christians we are then “children of God, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ . . . that we may also share His glory.” Since flesh and blood (humans) cannot enter the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50), there must be a re-birth - - a re-birth of Spirit or a change into a spirit body or, composition of spirit and not flesh.
THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG
The unanswerable question that always stumps those who deny the existence of God and believe in evolution is: ”Which came first the chicken or the egg?” I first used this example question almost 56 years ago when I was just married. I had rented a small cottage in South Pasadena, California. The landlord was an avowed atheist who was totally immersed in the theory of evolution. I refer to the “theory of evolution” for a specific purpose - - evolution is only a theory concocted by humans who refuse the idea of a Creator God - - they object to the existence of a God for fear that they might need to concern themselves with what that God might require of them and they refuse to be subject to anyone or anything.
This graduate from the University of Washington harassed me for three months making fun of my belief in God and the Bible. After three months I decided that I need not take that harassment just because he was my landlord. So when he came to collect his rent check (he always came in person so he could harass me), as he began his tirade against God, I stopped him by saying: “listen to me for I want to make a proposition to you - - I will ask you one very simple question and if you give me a provable scientific answer I will renounce God and embrace evolution.” The prospect of gaining a convert to evolution thrilled him as he asked for the question, convinced that, with all his degrees and his good mind, he could answer any question this young “Bible student” could ask (on the rent application form I stated I was a Bible student).
I did not quickly ask the question as I wanted to play with his mind quite a little to really set him up for a great fall as I knew he could not answer the question with a logical provable scientific answer or proof. I spent several minutes toying with his mind feigning guilt for asking him such a “simple” question with all his intellectual knowledge and experience and training. When he became agitated at my delay in asking the question, I finally said: “Okay, even though I am deeply embarrassed to ask you such a simple question here it is - - Will you give me a provable and logical scientific answer as to which came first the chicken or the egg?”
Now, isn’t that a very simple question? With all his “scientific” education you would think such a simple question would be easy to answer. But, he was speechless for several seconds as the color in his face changed from white to pink and then to beet red and back to a very pale white again. You would have thought that I hit him in the stomach with a baseball bat. When he finally regained his composure, he quickly looked at his watch and said, “Oh, I am 20 minutes late for a very important appointment,” as he jumped into his car and sped away. Within two days he telephoned and said, “From now on would you mail the rent check to me” - - and I never saw him again.
Let me explain why this question is so explosive and troubling to those who believe in evolution. Space restraints do not allow me to go into great detail about the reproductive process of all forms of life: humans, insects, birds etc. Let us take the chicken to illustrate the point. We are all aware of the fact that a baby chick comes from a female chicken through the production of an egg. But it takes a lot more than a female chicken and her capability of producing an egg to create additional chickens - - to reproduce the chicken specie. A female chicken can be a perfect specimen of and by herself but there must be something else to allow her to produce offspring so as to perpetuate the chicken specie. And what is that other factor but the male chicken?
Please study this picture carefully.
Evolution would have you believe
that this rooster, the hen and the
baby chicks are the result of a
so-called “big bang theory.” That’s
the same as claiming that the
Encyclopedia Britannica came into
existence as a result of a “big bang”
explosion in a print shop.
You can readily see that this question opens up hundreds of other unanswerable questions that evolution cannot afford to even consider let alone try and address. If we accept the theory of evolution then how did the female chicken come into being? If evolution is to be believed then how many millions of years did it take for a single female chicken to evolve? Keep in mind that chickens have a very short lifespan. A chicken could not live long enough to develop any characteristic let alone pass on the ability to pass on any “developed” characteristic. Even if evolution could produce only one female chicken, how could this female chicken reproduce the chicken specie without a male chicken fully
developed with all that is necessary to produce male sperm used to fertilize the female chicken? From that reality we then have literally hundreds of unanswerable questions as to how all the organs and functions of each specie survived and gradually developed
characteristics and was able to pass on these “acquired characteristic” to the next generation during all those millions of years when there were NOT two opposite sexes (male and female) with all the capabilities of reproduction? Is there any question as to why my landlord lost all color in his face and looked like I hit him in the stomach with a baseball bat?
I would like to go into greater detail about the reproduction process of all life forms but space in this article will not allow me to do so. It is said that “one picture is worth a thousand words” so I will use one graphic of an unborn infant within the human mother’s womb to quickly demonstrate that the reproductive process involves an untold number of miraculous factors that evolutionists cannot even begin to address or explain. (Please view the graphic of an unborn baby pictured.)
Please notice that the unborn baby is
sealed in the womb of the mother
the same as a new spiritual infant is
sealed by God in the womb of the
Church (2 Corinthians 1:20-22).
I have used the foregoing illustrations to enable us to grasp the miraculous birth of all birds, insects and mammals as well as the reproduction of all life forms EACH AFTER ITS OWN KIND just as the Bible says (see Genesis 1:11-13 and verses 21 and verses 24—25). Clearly the Bible sets forth the scientific fact that all life forms reproduce after their own kinds. Thus the Bible is a scientific book with scientifically provable facts. As the Bible teaches “Only a fool says there is no God (Psalm 53:1 and Romans 1:118-23).
By studying the reproductive process God has set in motion among all life forms, we can better understand the process He will use in our re-birth into His own family - - humans must be “born again” to enter that God family! By using the physical analogy of the birth of the different life forms, we can see that it takes both the male and the female to produce offspring. God, as the Creator, is the Father. By His creative power He transformed the second member of the God family (the “Word” or the “Spokesman”) into a human sperm cell and implanted it into Mary’s womb where it fertilized an egg in her body. Thus, a pregnancy occurred and after nine months of physical development a male child was born that was called “Jesus.” After Jesus had fulfilled His purpose in the flesh He was accepted by the Father as the “wave sheaf offering” (pictured by the holy day of that name) and was then transferred back into a spirit body by a resurrection from the dead setting the pattern we will follow as we enter the very family of God by the change explained in 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Christ then returned to being the second member of the God family so as to be the intercessor for God’s spiritual embryos (Hebrews 7:25 and 1 John 2:1-2).
THE INDWELLING CHRIST
Since it is God’s plan to bring many “sons into glory” (Hebrews 2:10) God had Jesus Christ sacrifice His own life as full payment for all the sins of all human beings who have ever lived - - since Jesus Christ was the Creator then His life was of greater value than all human life. But God wants humans to go through the process of experiencing being converted, then being impregnated by the Holy Spirit, growing in the “womb of the church” and eventually being born into the very family of God as a spirit being. Please go back and restudy the scriptures already quoted in this article to see that first comes the physical life and then comes the spiritual life.
BEING BORN AGAIN
We can now go back to the subject of a true Christian being “born again.” The Almighty Creator God gave the reproductive process of all life forms to help us understand the ultimate destiny or predestination of human beings - - our ultimate “rebirth” as spirit beings into His very family.
God the Father personally decides whom He calls into His family and when He will give this calling (John 6:44). The Bible is clear in that God is NOT calling every human alive to conversion at this time. “For you see your calling brethren, how that NOT MANY wise men, after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God has chosen the weak. . . to confound those who are mighty” (1 Corinthians 1:26-27). As we find in John 12:37-40, Romans 11:7-11, 2 Corinthians 3:14-19 and chapter 4:3-4, the Bible is clear that God has blinded the eyes of the vast majority lest they understand and repent and He would have to grant them conversion before it is His time to do so. God has a specific plan for the salvation of every human who has ever lived and has specific time elements when this will be done. You should carefully study Matthew 13:16-17. [You may need to request and study the article which shows that God is NOT trying to “save” everyone at this present time. You may also need to understand God’s holy days and what they picture in His plan for salvation.]
It is ONLY GOD THE FATHER who calls the individual and gives him, or her, the chance to become His son at this present time (see John 6:44). It is God the Father who decides whom to add to His church (see Acts 2:47). Once God the Father chooses a person and extends that calling, the person must then personally respond by repenting of his or her sins and accepting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to forgive those sins and be baptized so as to receive the Holy Spirit that seals us. That called person then must follow Christ by living the kind of life Christ lived. But we need help from God to live this kind of life (Mark 10:27 and Matthew 11:25-26). Study also Ephesians 2:8-10.
Once a person is called and chosen and responds to that calling and repents, he or she is then baptized which symbolizes the burial of the old person and the washing away of sins, he or she then experiences “a new beginning - - he or she becomes a new creation in and through God - - is begotten (impregnated) by God’s Spirit thus a “new creation” of a new spirit son of God occurs. Since we all need help from God to live this Christian life, God has ordained the laying on of hands for the receipt of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 8:18). If a person is truly converted and receives the Holy Spirit he or she then is impregnated with God’s Holy Spirit and becomes a new creation - - a new spiritual creation (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). By impregnating us with His Spirit God then sets a seal on us - - as an embryo is sealed in its mother’s womb - - (Ephesians 1:13-14) guaranteeing that we are from that moment forward a “son of God, heir of God and a joint heir with Christ to be glorified with Christ” (see Romans 8:14-18). This Spirit strengthens us in our inner being (see Ephesians 3:16).
THE CHURCH AS THE MOTHER
Again we can use the reproductive process in all life forms as a type of what God is doing with humans being born into His family. We have already seen that God the Father is the Father of all who enter His family. Who then is the mother that nurtures and protects the embryo she is carrying in her body? Jerusalem is symbolic of the church - - which is the mother of us all (see Ephesians 4:26). The church (the body of Christ) is supposed to be the mother of us all.
As the mother must protect and nurture
her baby, so the mother church must
nurture and protect all the new infants
God the Father brings into the body of
Jesus Christ which is the church (John
6:44 and Acts 2:47).
No one dares to cause either an abortion,
a miscarriage or the spiritual death of a
new “child of God.”
The Father turned all those He called over to Jesus Christ for safe keeping and, in turn, Jesus turned them over to His body, which is the church. Christ then set His true ministry in the church and gives them authority to build up the church and not tear it down (2 Corinthians 10:8) as is happening today by so many men claiming to be “ministers.” For decades now, I personally have witnessed “ministers” causing God’s embryonic sons to abort or miscarry because of the minister’s abusive actions and attitudes. These “ministers” refuse to even consider what the Bible says about anyone who would dare offend one of these little ones (see Matthew 18:6). Why don’t these ministers read and fear the words of God found in 1 Corinthians 8:12 which says clearly: “When you sin against your brother. . . and wound his weak conscience YOU SIN AGAINST CHRIST” since Christ died for that weak brother or sister. I have personally witnessed ministers (some of the top ones) sinning against brethren in very grievous ways (not realizing how delicate these SPIRITUAL EMBRYOS are) and yet NEVER PUT FORTH ANY EFFORT TO HELP THOSE INJURED MEMBERS HEAL and avoid ABORTING SPIRITUALLY. I charge that all the “ministers” I have known over the years cannot help but KNOW they have hurt others spiritually but refuse to do anything to make amends - - which God absolutely requires before our prayers will even be heard let alone answered (Matthew 5:23-24).
Please envision yourself as a spiritual
Babe in the very hand of your heavenly
Father - - totally dependent on Him for
The spiritual nourishment needed to
Survive and grow into a literal son of
God, heir of God, joint heir with Jesus
Christ and to be glorified with Him
It is necessary to refer to all those loudly proclaiming themselves as Philadelphians when, in fact, they are actually Laodiceans (these people use Revelation 3 as the basis for their claims). Those who loudly proclaim themselves “Philadelphians” claim they have all the “goodies” - - claim they are the “one and only” true church of God. I am reminded of what Jesus said in Matthew 23:23-36. The groups that I am intimately acquainted with fulfill what God says in Isaiah 58:2 in that they give the false impression they are spiritual in that they seem eager (give the outward impression) to know God’s will as if they really wanted to do what is right but inwardly they are corrupt. Or As God Himself says in Revelation 3:17-18,. they are actually “wretched, pitiful, (spiritually) poor, blind and naked.” Yet they will loudly proclaim, “But we have the truth of God and preach the Sabbath, the Holy Days and other points of the law!” Even the Jews do that and yet they do NOT represent God. Just keeping the Sabbath and holy days does NOT make you a true Christian.
Christ made it crystal clear that one can have the gift of speaking in other languages, can understand all prophecies (stressed by some of these people) can have all knowledge, can understand all mysteries, can have faith to literally move mountains, can give all your possessions to feed the poor and even give up your life in martyrdom and yet still miss out completely on salvation (1 Corinthians 13).
BACK TO THE PREMATURE BIRTH
Our premature great-grand son and the care he needs remind me vividly of all whom God calls into His church. Everyone God calls and impregnates with his Spirit is very vulnerable just as our great-grand son. This immature baby requires constant delicate care the same as an embryo that God engenders in the womb of the church requires delicate care and nurturing. All the technicians and all the feeding and breathing tubes and all the electronic monitoring devices affixed to the tiny baby in the hospital are comparable to the precious, delicate and loving care the true ministers of God are required to give to God’s spiritual embryos in His church. In like manner, this tiny premature baby is totally helpless and totally dependent on caregivers to assist him in his struggle to survive, as is a spiritual embryo helpless and dependent on the caregivers God has provided to give this assistance. As God had Paul write in 2 Timothy 2:24-26, the true minister must not quarrel, must be kind to everyone, must be able to teach, not resentful but gentle in the hope (not demanding as is the common practice) so as to salvage the one who is struggling spiritually to survive.
Notice that the infant cannot survive on
its own but needs tubes and monitors
and the personal assistance of the hospital
staff the same as the spiritual infant
needs specialized and loving care from
its spiritual mother - - the church.
In like manner, God has stated clearly that each member of the body of Christ (the church) has the responsibility to provide meaningful delicate care for each other. Each person reading this is encouraged to very carefully study 1 Corinthians 12:12-26. When each person is baptized, he or she becomes a part of the overall body of Christ and is required by God to tenderly guard and protect the other parts of the body. Paul was inspired to write that there are parts of the body of Christ (individual members of the body), regarded as un-presentable, are treated with special modesty (NIT translation) - - verse 23. See also Romans 14, 1 Corinthians 8.11-12 and Galatians 6:1-5. Rather than judging and condemning others the Bible shows we should do all within our power to salvage each other (James 5:19-20). Please study Romans 14:10 and James 4:11-12. If the Churches of God actually followed God’s instructions found in these scriptures then the church would not be divided and in such disarray as it is today!
All the “ministers” in all the different religious groups cannot help but KNOW they have NOT been following God’s advice given in these passages and treating God’s embryos as God’s own children. These “ministers” too often thrive in an authoritarian regime requiring the spiritual embryo to live up to the teachings of that particular church rather than live by the commands of God and Christ. In fact, one group that just recently split off from another larger group has returned to the old authoritarian mind set established and practiced by church leaders that led to the dismantling, the destruction and splitting of the church.
How many more spiritual miscarriages and abortions will occur as these carnal power and authority driven “ministers” keep aborting God’s infants in His church? Is this not what Paul warned about in Galatians 4:17 and in Acts 20:29-30 and what Christ meant in Matthew 23:15? Do any of these men actually realize how serious it is to presume to be a teacher of God and His ways and yet not fulfill God’s requirements to properly care for His spiritual embryos? [I might mention that due to God’s intervention our premature baby was released from the hospital in only seven days rather than the four to six weeks predicted by the hospital staff. Thank God!]
THE BOTTOM LINE
What does all this mean? What are all our human experiences worth in the final analysis? Many people seek answers to the mysteries of life - - WHY circumstances happen in our lives and what, if anything, is the true purpose? Can we really know the WHYS of this life? This question becomes quite profound when we remember that brilliant minds from the beginning of time have been seeking these answers without finding success.
Many people use religious concepts to try and make sense of these human issues. However, upon evaluation, it is apparent that these concepts and ideologies are nothing more than superstition or mere fiction. But we can know the answers to the mysteries of life. The first step in learning these is determining whether there is a higher power that has a specific purpose for human life. [If any need proof of the existence of God you should request an article. You should demand proof of God’s existence and not merely assume He exists.] With that backdrop I will proceed from the point of view that God does exist and that He is the originator of the human species and has a specific purpose for humans.
Earlier we dealt with God and His plan for humans but there are a few considerations worth mentioning that just came to me today in an email letter. The person, who wrote to me, has been on a long search for the meaning of life and why things happen as they do. He pointed out that this life and its events are in reality a mystery. That thought immediately resonated with me and made me realize I had to add the following to this article. Life truly is a mystery and the best and brightest minds throughout the ages have never been able to figure it out or arrive at what would be considered a logical understandable answer.
THE MYSTERY REVEALED
I will now reveal the mystery that has confounded the best minds. But let me say out front that most will not understand nor accept the answer to this mystery. As God inspired Paul to write in 1 Corinthians 1:20-25 that mystery is none other than Jesus Christ (see verse 23) which is a stumbling block to all humans - - Jews and non-Jews. I strongly encourage you to carefully study verses 20-25. Jesus said that the kingdom of God is a secret (mystery) - - Mark 4:11 and Matthew 13:16-17. And Romans 16:25 shows that this mystery has been hidden throughout the ages (see also 1 Corinthians 2:7). That God makes His mysteries known to His true people - - those called by God (Ephesians 1:9). Then Galatians 3:3, 4 and 9 show that this mystery is the administration of God’s grace through Jesus Christ. Paul further explains that this mystery involves Christ and the church (Galatians 5:32) and that it is a mystery of the gospel (Galatians 6:19). The true gospel preached by Jesus was that humans can ultimately enter the very family of God (covered earlier). Then in Colossians 1:26-27 we find that this mystery has been revealed to God’s saints which is “the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you the hope of glory!” This mystery is made known by God through Christ “in whom are hidden all the treasures (mysteries) of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:2-4).
The wise and intellectual of this world cannot comprehend these hidden mysteries of God but they are revealed to God’s chosen ones (see Matthew 13:16-17). For, as we find in 1 Corinthians 2:20-25, “Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For, since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believed. Jews demanded miraculous signs and the Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to gentiles.”
The reason this message is “foolishness to Gentiles” is because their minds could not accept or comprehend a “God” who would allow Himself to be killed. Jesus was a stumbling block to the Jews because they did not understand that the Messiah was to come TWICE - - once as a human and the second time as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords some two thousand years later. There is no way the natural “intelligent” mind can accept or embrace the message in this article or the concept of the virgin birth and a Savior dying on the cross. The false impressions given by the “Christian” churches of this world are so ridiculous as to make skeptics laugh at the very concepts being taught by those churches. I challenge anyone to carefully evaluate the teachings and customs of the “Christian” churches WITH THE BIBLE. You cannot find most of the practices and beliefs of these churches in the Bible. Why would anyone base his present and his future life on teachings that cannot be proven as true and reliable?
If you happen to be one of the few who actually understands the words in this article, then you are blessed beyond the great learned men of history. Please go back and re-read this
article very slowly and thank God that you are one of His chosen few to be given the
chance for salvation as one of His first fruits. Please spend much time with this article until you fully understand its message. It spells out your ultimate destiny as a member of the very family of God - - and shows you the Bible passages that support these beliefs.. Thus, each one of us has the opportunity to be a part of this mystery that God is revealing in and through His word! May God help you understand your part in this mystery is my earnest prayer. Your potential future is greater than anything you can possibly imagine - - becoming a member of the very family of God, being an heir of God, a joint heir with Jesus Christ and DESTINED to share His glory (Romans 8:14-17). May God help you grasp what He is holding out to you at this very moment!
You have now read a brief account of the MYSTERY OF LIFE - - what God is doing in and through human beings. Most people actually live out their lives without learning the very purpose of their existence. Some of you reading this are being invited by God to join His family during this present lifetime. The majority of human beings will have to wait on their salvation until after the one thousand year reign of Christ on this earth through those God the Father has chosen and trained for that job (see Revelation 20:4-5; 5:8-10;
1 Corinthians 6:3; 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
If you are one of those God the Father has called you must not allow yourself to either miscarry or abort spiritually. You are to examine yourself and your beliefs to see whether you are in the true faith that God has ordained (2 Corinthians 13:5).
BOTH SIDES OF THE COIN
God does give an extreme warning against anyone who offends His chosen ones. He says that it would be better for that person to have a large stone tied around his neck and he be cast into the depth of the sea (Mark 9:42, Luke 17:1 and 1 Corinthians 8:11-12). God pronounces judgment on anyone who causes offenses and refuses t o do all in his power to reconcile with the offended person (Matthey 6:14-15 and 5:23-24).
But there is another side of the coin. God says, “Great peace have they who love your (God’s) law, and NOTHING CAN OFFEND THEM” (Psalm 119:165). This means that each person should guard against ALLOWING HIMSELF TO BECOME OFFENDED. This means that each person must guard against offending or being offended. We must not try and blame others for our problems but accept our personal responsibility. If we are offended by others God requires that we forgive them - - God does not allow us to take matters into our own hands. Vengeance is reserved for God (Romans 12:19-20). Every human will have to answer for HIS OWN MISTAKES.