Let Him Not Eat!

The following is a compilation of excerpts

from our book entitled

"Let Him Not Eat!"

We hope to have the book available on Amazon books soon

The Text

...For even when we were with you,

this we commanded you,

that if any would not work,

neither should he eat....”

2 Thessalonians 3:10

An Apostolic Commandment!

First of all, let's settle one issue; this is not a recommendation, it is an apostolic commandment!

Second, there are about as many views on this passage as there are commentators. Some of the absurd ideas concocted about what Paul meant in 2 Thessalonians 3:10-15, (the instant passage) are beyond belief; and some are downright dangerous. It has become idiomatically en vogue in these Last Days; especially among my generation, the “Me Generation”. Since our coming of age and taking full leadership of the nation and the church, it has revealed an alarming trending attitude. We intend to show the effect this has had on the interpretation and application of the instant passage. So-called Conservative Christians, love using it to rationalize their refusal to help the poor and disadvantaged....

But what did the Apostle Paul mean by this passage, and what is it actually saying to us; Don't feed him; Don't let him eat; He should refrain from eating; Starve him; What? Also, what does our response to the instant passage say about us as the church within our nation?

We cannot reach our conclusion merely on what we think it should say. It cannot be based on anyone's individual moral compass. It certainly cannot be forced into the mold of what we want it to mean. It must be based on sound principles of interpretation; grammar, history, culture, context, and it cannot contradict other scriptures properly translated, interpreted, and applied; and we must have Holy Spirit illumination. Unless we agree to those rules, we cannot agree on anything regarding scripture.

I searched several New Testament translations and the following shows they certainly do not agree:

  • four popular translations used some ABSOLUTE form of “Shall Not” eat;

  • thirteen used some PASSIVE form of “Let Not” eat; and

  • eight used some VOLUNTARY form of “Should Not” eat.

Now that creates quite a conundrum. They cannot ALL be right; but they can ALL be wrong....

This is deadly serious! This is an Apostolic Command! So to use Paul's own words to the Corinthians, regarding the things that he wrote in his epistles, “...the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord....”!

Not a Novice or aspiritual

Since I was a pre-schooler, I have attended church. Coming from a Baptist heritage, flavored with Nazarene teachings, with a broad Pentecostal Holiness experience. My academic credentials are rooted in scholarly men, not the least of who were products of Dallas Theological Seminary in its heyday. My supernatural credentials are directly rooted in William Branham's ministry, as well as my extensive Pentecostal experiences. But I never remember the instant passage being abused as it is today, until after Ronald Reagan’s first term as president....

Wholesale Last Days Error

The error in the instant passage is not isolated. I have heard atrocious interpolations like the “Be Angry and Sin Not” error from Ephesians 4:26-27; and their contradictory interpolation of “Make no Friendship with an Angry Man” error from Proverbs 22:24. Renowned Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest correctly translated the first half of Ephesians 4:26 as “…be constantly angry….” So, these knuckleheads are teaching to be constantly angry, yet make no friendship with an angry man? I mean give me a break; they can't have it both ways! No wonder unbelievers think the bible is filled with contradictions! The knuckleheads provided the rope for the textual hanging!

But consider these other errors and misapplications:

  • the “Impossible to Renew Them” error from Hebrews 6:4-6;

  • the “Forsaking the Assembly” error from Hebrews 10:25;

  • the “Sin Willfully” error from Hebrews 10:26;

  • the “Great Falling Away” error from 2 Thessalonians 2:3;

  • Paul's “Thorn in the Flesh” from 2 Corinthians 12:1-10;

  • the “Taking the Name of the Lord thy God in Vain” error from the second of third of the Ten Commandments (depending on which manuscript you read);

  • the countless other misinterpretations and misapplications of foundational scriptures;

  • the little cherry on the top of this heretical parfait is the “Let Him Not Eat” error from 2 Thessalonians 3:10-15.

Again, these passages are not merely addressing incidental doctrines, but they are related to foundational truths! “Error” is bad enough, but “Heresy” is worse. I'm anyone’s judge, but I am called to be a Watchman on the Wall!

To their polar extremes, many of these scriptural abuses have created destructive lifestyles from both liberal theology and legalistic theology. Some have resulted in license to sin; and others have been instrumental in placing people under a life sentence of condemnation. Neither extreme is correct! Legalism has caused some to give up and turn away from the faith out of nothing more than sheer hopelessness. Those who so mislead will pay a price for their heresies. The Apostle James warned that “...not many should leap out into the teaching ministry, because teachers come under a stricter sentence....” James 3:1 (my expanded translation). We should be enraged about bible teachers misleading souls!

Paul cried out against those who did that saying “let them be ANATHEMA!” The late pastor Gene Scott is the only man I have found that had the courage to publicly teach what Paul was literally saying there. In fact, he brazenly led his congregation in a confession of it to make them feel the impact of Paul's contempt for those who taught legalism. Scott led his people to confess with him the literal translation of 1 Corinthians 16:22; Scott said roughly, “...if any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let his be God-damned... Maranatha....” Scott was correct in his application of the Greek word Paul used, “ANATHEMA”. It is tantamount to declaring something damned by God. That is not taking the Name of the Lord thy God in vain, necessarily; otherwise Paul of all people would never have written it. There are some things and people for which God does damn from heaven. As Jesus said, anyone who believes not on the Son is damned already!

But I digress....

It was legalism wrought in hypocrisy for which Paul rebuked Peter. Today, some are placing burdens on others that no one can bear; not even the “burdenizers”, those who are placing the burdens. I cannot count the number of Pentecostal preachers I have seen preach these hard legalistic doctrines, only to themselves collapse under the burden.

One dear brother, I'll never forget. He was around fifty years of age, sold out to Jesus Christ, skinny as a rail from oft extended fastings, and a mouth filled with dentures. He preached with remarkable power. His sermon delivery was with such Pentecostal passion sometimes his teeth would fly out mid-sermon; But with a microphone in one hand, he'd catch his teeth in mid-air with the other hand, and push them back in his mouth, without losing his stride. Some thought it was his so-called “Shtick”, but it wasn't. It was not affected in any way, or put on so to speak.

But this extraordinarily consecrated spirit-filled anointed preacher woke up one day to a church that satan had cut asunder in more ways than a Benihana chef. The devil had ensnared him and then exposed him for a secret sin; and no one came to rescue him from the devil's snare. He had been having sexual encounters with a 14-15 year old girl in his congregation.

As often is the case, everyone began to hurl their fiery darts such as; they always knew there was something about him that wasn't right, and other similar pejorative remarks. Over the decades, I've heard it all fired at the wounded soldiers.

Without question he sinned, and he should have been removed from his pastorate. But someone should have filled his seat and kept the church together; and he should have been restored and when ready, returned to ministry.

But the legalism that brother preached finally broke him; and when he lay wounded in the miry ditch, his years of legalistic teaching was the very ammunition his followers fired into his wound soul to finish him off….

I've seen them come back broken, ashamed, having spent a life in bars, destroying marriages, driving children to turn away from God, solely because they preached a different gospel. Sadly, some never came back, and went to their graves without being restored.

It seems humans have the hardest time finding balance. Either it's so extremely legalistic, they cannot even keep their own improvised versions of the Law; or it is so extremely liberal that even satan himself will eventually be saved.

Don't laugh; back in the late 1970s I actually had a charismatic friend say that to me. After a service where there was a great move of the Spirit, he was touched by the sweetness of God's Holy Spirit. He came up to me and said, “...Brother Gerry, God's love is so indescribable that I believe in the end, even the devil will be saved....”

But for every story like that of the destructive results of liberal theology, I could tell you ten heartbreaking stories of Pentecostal men of God, who utterly failed God, their followers, their families, and themselves by foisting a legalistic burden on everyone that they could not even bear themselves….

These weren't evil people! These were men and women who were zealous to excel in pleasing our Father. But they lacked the academic scholarship credentials to check their own teachings against God's holy word. They were so sure they were right; they dismissed doctrinal correction as head knowledge! But in the end, they corrupted the message of truth; they mis-led their followers, and led so many lives shipwrecked.

As Jesus said, “…if the blind lead the blind, they both fall into the ditch….” Matthew 15:14.

That is part of what Paul is talking about in the context of the instant passage; leading silly souls captive, subverting entire households, by means of false teachings….

Think about it, in these Last Days as we call it, we have televangelists, radio preachers, conservative talk, and other media communication sources entering households and leading them into captivity by words that sound, taste, and go down as sweet and smooth as honey. We will cover this further in later chapters….

As stated, in our book by the current working title of “Why Scholarship Matters”, we intend to show how every form of teaching has a spirit behind it. It's not just a compilation of marks on a sheet of paper; there is a living spirit behind it. Well false teachings as a demonic presence behind it. We are warned repeatedly in scripture to be careful who and what we let into our house. The Apostles warned about allowing these people and teachings with these demonic spirits into our house, even bidding them god speed!

Corrupting the Message!

Jesus and His Apostles issued warnings; actually they were in effect curses on anyone who corrupted their teachings. This is why James warned literally “...not many should leap out into the teaching ministry, because teachers come under a stricter sentence....” James 3:1 (my expanded translation).

As previously cited, Paul writing to the Galatians warned “...though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be we said before...if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed....”

Anyone familiar with the etymology of the Greek word “anathema” translated “accursed” will know the gravity of Paul's warning. In fact, he did everything one can do in 1st century Greek to give the strongest most powerful emphasis his point, he repeated or double stated it; he bound himself to the curse, and even bound any angel from heaven to this pending imprecation. This kind of statement is at least rare, if not totally unique, to Paul.

We have an entire book under way on the subject of “Corrupting the Message”.

The Perversion!

The instant passage (2 Thessalonians 3:10-15), does not mean anything close to what it is being heralded by Republican elected officials, conservative talk, and Christian leaders across our nation. On judgment day, their ignorance of the true meaning of “Let Him Not Eat” will not be an excuse. After all, ignorance of the gospel message will be no excuse to those who never accepted Jesus Christ as savior….

The popular view of Let Him Not Eat butts up against everything that Moses taught, the prophets taught, Jesus taught, and His Apostles taught about helping the poor and disadvantaged. To accept that view would mean that believers would be commanded to not let the likes of Jesus or His disciples eat! It actually butts up against nearly 300 passages of scripture regarding how we treat the poor and needy….

The same Apostle Paul commanded the Romans to “...feed your enemies....” Yet he's going to tell the Thessalonians regarding a brother to “...let him not eat....”; and then five verses later command them to “...count him not as an a brother....”

What? Do they think this is some cruel joke? Paul says to one group feed the enemy; and the other group, starve the brother? These leaders will pay dearly for misleading so many, when they are held to account in the Day of Judgment! That is Thus Saith the Lord!

By all appearance, Let Him Not Eat has become the conservative mantra. When it comes time to vote on any genre of government assistance for the poor and needy, the mantra kicks in. I have heard it declared many times on television by members of Congress who claim to represent our Lord Jesus Christ! At least once, I heard it declared on the floor of the House of Representatives; in the grossest hypocrisy imaginable for anyone claiming to be a Christian....

Technically, using the instant passage in that way and for that purpose is actually an act of “…taking the Name of the Lord thy God in Vain….”

There is an horrible spirit behind it that has actually caused a movement to develop out of all this. It has become one of the most popularly “abused passages” among those who confess they love the Lord Jesus Christ with their lips, yet the way they treat the poor and needy, they show that their hearts are far from it….

Before you reach the end of this book, we hope you will see why we believe this is one of the deadliest heresies in the church today; and potentially lethal for our nation's existence. In this writer’s opinion, it is far more dangerous to our nation than abortion, homosexuality, or any of the national security threats we currently face. If not corrected, it is certain lead us to divine destruction. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when....

A few years ago, I heard a pastor say, “...the Lord will deal with the church, the same way the church deals with the poor....” I wish I had been the one to come up with that phrase. I believe it is prophetically true!

The research on this book “Let Him Not Eat” is nearly completed. As stated, this article is merely a compilation of excerpts from the manuscript. We intend to offer all the proof we have to show why we believe the popular view of 2 Thessalonians 3:10-15 is wrong, heretically wrong! We intend to also show what the true and correct meaning is, and what the Apostle Paul's purpose was in writing it. Further, we want to give evidence of the Holy Spirit's warning that this awful heresy could bring about the destruction of our nation as we know it, and our way of life as American Christians. Please pray that we can get this completed and printed, and then find a way to get it into the public stream, ASAP!

Let me reiterate, while all who know me well, know that I am of the mind that the importance of academic scholarship cannot be over-stated. However, regardless of the level of academic scholarship, without Holy Spirit illumination a risk of error will always be present; as well as an unacceptable risk of heresy. Both academic scholarship and Holy Spirit relationship are needed.

As stated, we are writing books addressing this, and other dangerous errors currently being embraced….

But I digress....



- GERRY PHILLIPS - 1955-2015