Edification, Exhortation, and Comfort
I am going to first mention an advanced principle regarding the operation of a manifestation of the spirit. In this Scripture and teaching, you should be able to see the importance of edification, exhortation, and comfort in our renewed mind development and walk. Chapter 14 of I Corinthians gives us godly instruction as to how to operate all nine manifestations including prophecy. God will show you what is important when a person learns how to prophesy correctly.
But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and [by way of] exhortation, and comfort. – I Corinthians 14: 3
We are instructed by God on how to prophesy correctly. What we say is inspired by the Holy Ghost and we must speak it forth without our mind or our thoughts interfering. This is not a teaching on how to prophesy. It is mentioning three subject matters that are important when we prophesy, but my point is to show you the importance of the renewed mind development. These subjects are very important in other areas of our walk with God. The renewed mind is your key to power and you must renew it continuously. You need to exemplify the Christ in you by practicing the three subjects of our teaching when you are witnessing to people. It has been said, and it is very true, that many times people will not read the Bible, but they will read you. I may have told you that when I first got into the Word, I was as hot as could be. But I remember one thing that always stayed with me. After I got people into biblical classes and they were moving with the Word, I would always ask them ‘what was the main reason that inspired them to become interested in learning the Bible.’ They would say to me that they wanted to become like me. Well glory to God, I never heard anything like that said of me before. You see they were reading me and not the Bible. Many people will turn on to the Word because they want to have the things that you have in your life. We will take a look at the dictionary definitions of Edification, Exhortation, and Comfort shortly. Before we do this, I want to go over one Scripture in I Corinthians Chapter 13. We are to build up and encourage others by way of edification, exhortation and comfort. We are to manifest the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation. We are to build up people and not tear them down. Remember, they do not know the Word of God. But many times they will see that light in your life and in your walk. Now I exhort………… what did I just do?........... I just encouraged you to read chapter 13 which talks about the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation. We will go to the final Scripture in this chapter which concludes what God is trying to show us about the love of God and its qualities and importance.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity [the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation], these three; but the greatest of these is charity. – I Corinthians 13: 13
Do you see how important it is to manifest the love of God in your life to others? Now you may think that there is another type of love and there is. This love is man’s love and is referred to in the Greek by the word fileo. This type of love cannot be compared to the love of God, which in the Greek word, is referred to as agape. An example that will help you is try to imagine when you were much younger and you are not born again. You may have had a girlfriend and you cared for her very much. In fact you told her that you love her. This was fileo love and as we know, it can be very strong. But it is fleeting and usually doesn’t last very long. It can also be very hurtful as I have experienced many times. It is a most unusual thing. Many girls I once dated could not care less today. But I still care and wish the best for them. Many of them are probably not born again of God’s spirit and they cannot manifest agape love. The love of God is one of the strongest emotions that a born again believer can possess. Although this teaching is not only about the love of God, it helps prepare you for what I’m about to teach you. The love of God is all encompassing and covers every single point that I will bring up in this teaching. Now let’s get to those individual definitions.
1) EDIFICATION – intellectual, moral, or spiritual improvement; enlightenment.
Your intellect improves with your spiritual improvement. The spiritual realm is always greater than the natural realm. The Word of God will always show you everlasting improvement and enlightenment.
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. – I Corinthians 1: 25
These are figures of speech. God has no foolishness and He has no weakness.
2) EXHORTATION – admonish earnestly; a speech or discourse intended to advise, incite, or encourage.
What speech are we talking about? We’re talking about speaking the Word of God to people which will build them up and advise them to live their lives as God intends them to do. We are to encourage people to do so. You can’t do it for them. They have free will. Noah witnessed for 120 years and no one believed. If people want to go to hell, that’s their decision. The people who believe and act on the Word you have spoken to them will experience the following:
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, -- Ephesians 3: 20
I experienced this many, many times.
3) COMFORT – to soothe in time of grief or fear; to console; to relieve; to aid; help; assistance; capacity to give physical ease and well-being.
There is nothing in the universe that will allow people physical ease and well-being like the powerful Words of God full of positives and healing when spoken on the lips of a dedicated believer manifesting the love of God. Did you ever wonder what the result is of the kindness you show towards another person when you speak the Word to them?
……… not knowing that the goodness [kindness] of God leadeth thee to repentance? -- Romans 2: 4b
Did you know that the kindness you show to others is what leads them to repent and get born again of God’s Spirit? Let’s move on to Scriptural examples illustrating the purpose of edification, exhortation, and comfort.
In I Timothy, we see how we should act and carry out God’s Word pertaining to men. I realize that this is difficult when you’re trying to pray for men that are sinners. But if we don’t do it, who will? Jesus Christ himself often prayed for and did everything he could to help a sinner to repent and change their lifestyle.
I EXHORT therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; -- I Timothy 2: 1
Timothy is encouraging the church to engage in supplications and prayer and giving of thanks to intercede for all men. As I said before, it is difficult to pray for sinners and God rejecters. But we are God’s hands, legs, mouth, and eyes. You have to understand free will. God can only move when we move. If we do not move the Word of God, it will never move. God has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation. This is a great responsibility that we must uphold and carry out in our lives. That is what I am doing right now. I am holding forth the Word of God to you in the most effective means that is possible to me. That is why these teachings reach millions of people. You need to understand that when times change, the adversary changes with them. Many years ago, I could not do this. But I have come to the conclusion that this is the most effective way to share God’s Word with you in this day and time.
But again, take a look at that previous Scripture. The first two words are “I EXHORT”. This is the verb form of exhortation. Timothy is encouraging the believers to do what God has inspired him to write. What I try to do is to remember many of the people that were kind to me and helped me. I will first pray for them and then slowly I will move to people more problematic in my lifetime. The thing about the renewed mind is this: you have got to do what God tells you to do and not what you want to do. God knows best and He created life, so we have no reason to contradict what He is trying to teach us. Remember the old adage that I have used in other teachings. Henry built the Ford – the Ford did not build Henry.
For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: -- I Thessalonians 2: 3
It is easy for me to do a complete comprehensive teaching on each Scripture in the Bible. But I am going to explain this Scripture in the simplest way that I can. It actually interprets itself.
Encouragement of the church in Thessalonica was not done in a deceitful manner, but they were encouraged with simplicity and an innocent heart. It was not done in an unclean manner, nor in guile. The problem with the world today and the boob tube preachers is that many of them are slyly and deceitfully exhorting people. It’s a clever counterfeit. Their end game is only to get you to financially support their institution. This is what it means when the Scripture refers to exhortation of deceit. You would be amazed at how many preachers there are today that are only after your money. And next time you see one on television, watch how many Scriptures they actually go over and explain in depth.
I have waited to finally share this and get it off my heart. I watched preacher on a television station capture everyone’s attention. He was quite good as an orator, but he really never rightly divided the Word of God. He was talking about the third heaven and earth which is in the future. I was listening intently to him since he was pretty good at what he was doing. Then came the bomb. I won’t get into too much detail right now, but there is a Scripture at the end of the book of Revelation and part of it says that in the new heaven and earth, there will be no sea. He had everyone’s attention and he guessed at what that last word meant – sea. He wrongly divided the Word of God in front of thousands of people in this auditorium. He tried to justify his statement because he was obviously uneasy about what he was teaching because he never studied the subject. But he had captivated the attention of multitudes of people with what he was saying. Are you ready? He said that in the third heaven and earth, there would be no oceans. He said we would no longer need salt in our bloodstream!?%$##@. Lord and God Almighty. It was totally ridiculous because I know for a fact that the word ‘sea’ is a Hebraism meaning no more conflict, no more confusion, and no more problems. But he took the word ‘sea’ in its literal sense and said there would be no more oceans on the earth. This seemed to upset some people to a certain extent and rightly so. I believe that the oceans which cover about 75% of the earth are beautiful. They are part of God’s masterpiece and I kind of got angry when I heard this guy say what he said. It was not like I haven’t experienced this before. But this is one of the times when I was so thankful for the ministry that taught me God’s Word rightly divided. And the keywords there are ‘rightly divided.’ No guesswork. Let’s get into another Scripture that talks about edification.
Edification is referring strictly to the building up of something. I’ve heard this said in another way which just came to my mind. It is the easiest thing in the world to tear down someone and criticize them. But it is much more difficult to find the good in something or somebody. I will let you think about that for a minute.
Yes, I know how difficult it is to get along with many neighbors that transgress the Word of God. But God wants us to make the best effort that we can and to take advantage of certain situations where we can bless our neighbor.
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. – Romans 15: 1, 2
I live in a very dark neighborhood. The adversary tries hard to get at me because of this website. God has shown me that I can deal with the tribulation. It doesn’t bother me anymore. I can tell you many stories, but I will tell you just one. I saw a neighbor abuse a beautiful dog once and I reported him seven times to the police and to the Humane Society. They did nothing. Years had passed and I had realized that this neighbor suspected that he had done a terrible thing. He approached me one day and he put his hand out to shake my hand in a gesture of friendship. Many other things happened, but this one thing sort of shocked me. I had to take down two trees that were threatening my home. To make a long story very short, he offered to come over with his chainsaw and not only cut the trees up laying on the ground, but to split them also for me and stack them in a very neat pile. There’s a lot to this story that I hope you can understand. I never really went and yelled at this guy except for the first day. But there’s one thing I cannot stand and that’s animal abuse. I will always go at that person with everything that I have to protect a poor, innocent, helpless animal. I also learned something very valuable and that was that the Humane Society was worthless and so was my local police department. I never went back to my previous way of thinking about them. I keep away.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4: 7
So let us all try to build up people because they are not perfect. I’m not perfect by any means, are you? So let’s not be selfish and only think about ourselves. A person may act in a strange way towards you but it may have nothing to do with you at all. Many people have problems in their marriage and many people have problems with their health. You never really know what’s going on in a person’s life, so let’s not be the first one to point a finger. Because when you point a finger at anyone, you are pointing 3 back at yourself. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt and I always go the extra mile. If people want to live like the devil after I have done everything I could, then I let them live like the devil and I keep away from them. I do not fellowship with them as God wants us not to do.
Let’s talk a little bit about the verb form of edification which is the word edify.
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and the things wherewith one may edify another. – Romans 14: 19
The phrase ’follow after’ means that we are to pursue after the things which make for peace, with zeal - or great enthusiasm. But the verse surely does not end there. We are to pursue with zeal peace and the things where we may edify another. There it is. We are to build up one another and not tear down. It takes a person with a renewed mind and the love of God to be able to do this in their life. They are to find and to look at only the strong points that a person has and they are to build up that person by recognizing that every person has some strong points. Sometimes we must look hard to find them, but they are there. Many times we blame ourselves for situations where other people make us feel bad. But oftentimes, it is the fault of the person who is judging you unjustly. You need to remember what the Word of God says about you. You need to remember that all you need to do as far as standing approved before anyone, is to stand approved before God. Take a look at II Timothy 2: 15. I want you to understand that this works two ways. People may look at you and tear you down, but the following Scripture is going to show you that there’s only one person, if you may, that you need to stand approved before. That is all that I care about as far as standing approved before anyone.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. – II Timothy 2: 15
I know that this may sound egotistical. But I need to tell you that when you study the Word of God, you become very intelligent. God makes you that way with His Word. When you come across many people who know nothing about God’s Word, they are not as intelligent as you are. But don’t get a big head about it, because you will bring destruction upon yourself. I was told by a great leader that when you witness to someone, you need to drop down to their level. Don’t speak in confusing terms to them. Keep it as simple as possible because those people do not understand, nor do they have whole thoughts in their mind. They have been functioning that way all of their life with half thoughts. But you should understand that you have more wisdom than other people. You should have mercy and compassion on them. The worst thing you could do is to tear them down. If you do so, you are working for the wrong god, and you will bring destruction upon yourself. God wants us to love people with the love of God just like Jesus Christ did. He did not accuse Judas of anything. He held nothing against him. Judas simply could not live with what he did so he went out and he killed himself. It’s easy to think the way God wants you to think. There is every benefit the world to live by God’s Word. Why would I sit here for hours sharing the only truth in the world with you? I do it because God needs people who are going to take a stand for Him. Can you not see what’s going on in the world? Gambling is becoming rampant. Without natural affection has become accepted now. People are becoming more and more distant from each other. I believe that the divorce rate is above 50% in the United States. Floods are rampant and so are fires. It’s my opinion that God is getting Jesus Christ ready to come back.
Finally, we are going to conclude with ‘Comfort’. Who brings comfort to you? Only God’s people can truly bring comfort to you.
Jesus Christ taught the multitudes many of God’s principles. He had compassion on people that suffered and many of us still do struggle. What makes you feel better?
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. – Matthew 5: 4
Surely you have mourned the loss of a loved one or even a pet that you cared so much for. I need to tell you a story that relates to what we are teaching here. It concerned a dog that I had a very close bond with. We actually walked 30,000 miles in about 15 years. I wrote a book about this dog, but I never had it published. It was too personal and it sits here in this room. But the point I want to make is that I was suffering a great deal, mourning for the loss of this pet. I felt so horrible, I didn’t even care to go on. Sound crazy? Well, if you have never had an experience like this, you will not understand.
I was hurting really badly and I couldn’t seem to shake that feeling. But there was one person that helped heal the hurt that I was feeling. That was the veterinarian who took care of my dog. She knew how much I cared for that little animal and one day she got on the telephone and she called me. She told me that I gave that dog the best possible life he could have ever had. She told me that he lived for a long time and was in amazing physical condition when he passed. He had a disease that we fought for about two or three years. I was in tears on the telephone, but she just kept building me up and telling me all positive remarks concerning my loss. I could tell that she meant every word that she said and guess what it brought to me. She was the only one that brought comfort to my heart. I never forgot the things she said to me and they helped me to heal much faster. It’s a strange thing, but there was only that one person who brought comfort to me. I cannot begin to tell you how important that was to me. So remember, when you comfort someone who is hurting, they will never forget you and they will never forget what you said to them.
When Paul was writing to the believers in the book of Romans, he wrote the following.
That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. – Romans 1: 12
How do people comfort one another? They are comforted together by mutual believing. We, as Christians, are supposed to work together in unity of spirit and thoughts. Many Christians argue amongst one another. They don’t know the first thing about the renewed mind and how they are supposed to conduct themselves in front of God Almighty. The verse speaks for itself and shows how we are to be comforted together. We are to believe the same things – mutual believing. We are to speak the same things when it comes to spiritual matters. We are to rightly divide the Word of God together so that we can have comfort among ourselves. We have a long way to go. But just remember the lessons that can be learned by studying different Scriptures that talk about comfort. Comfort is a precious emotion. When you can give someone else comfort in their lives, do not ever let that opportunity pass you by. You may never have that opportunity again.
Every once in a while I talk about the manifestations of the spirit. I have mentioned to you about prophecy and showed you how it should be handled in the church decently and in order. If we are fortunate to find a fellowship that operates this manifestation properly, we can see the result.
For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. -- I Corinthians 14: 31
Speaking in tongues and prophesying in a believers meeting brings comfort to those who are present. You should be able to see how God arranges His Word so that it brings us great learning. In this verse God talks about the manifestation of prophecy and that all can learn and all can be comforted. Remember that the last two Scriptures are from the church epistles which are written directly to us today. Very much of the Word of God is written for our learning.
When speaking about the second return of Jesus Christ, we all should be getting a little bit excited. We can help people that think there is no hope by telling them about the third heaven and earth in which there will be no problems at all – ever. God tells us about how this is going to take place in I Thessalonians 4: 17. You should read this verse on your own. But take a look at the next verse.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words. – I Thessalonians 4: 18
Surely we understand the word comfort by now. It is a simple principle and one that mostly everyone understands. So when God gives us such good news concerning the return of Jesus Christ and so many other great principles in the Word, we feel comforted. When you are comfortable, you feel relaxed and peaceful. Don’t ever forget that the greatest cargoes of life come in over quiet seas.
Make your best effort to edify, exhort and comfort others. It may be difficult in this present world, but if it’s in your heart to do so, God will make a way. I think we have made our point in this teaching and now it is up to you to apply what you learned. Remember the following Scripture because I believe it will help you through what may be difficult times.
For this is the love of God that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous. – I John 5: 3
God is telling you that the love of God means keeping his commandments and when you do so, it is not a burden. It’s the right way to live and you will experience peace, joy, and comfort. If God Almighty created all life, don’t you think He knows how to live it?