By John Foll
, written 3/25/2018
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
“Peter said to Him, ‘Never shall You wash my feet!’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.’” John 13:8 NASB.
At the last supper, which was part of the Jewish Passover, the Jews had customs of washings, especially before religious events. Apparently servants sometimes washed the feet of those at these events, like the Passover, but since none of the disciples offered to take up this menial role, Jesus rose up and did the part of the servant. But when He came to Peter, Peter said, ‘never shall You wash my feet!’ He didn’t think that Jesus should be washing anyone’s feet, since He was the Son of God. Why would a king wash someone else’s feet? Whether or not we are right that the disciples expected someone else to wash their feet, i.e. a servant, it is clear that none of them got up to do the job. And so Jesus did. But we think that this is true, based on Jesus’ comment below in Luke 22:23-27 and in John 13:12-17.
“And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing. [Betray Jesus.] And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called 'Benefactors.' But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant. For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves."” Luke 22:23-27 NASB.
The disciples were bickering about who was the greatest among them, and did not think who would take the servant’s role of washing feet, or serve those at the table. Maybe this was why none of them got up to serve the others? But Jesus explained that the greater one is the one who serves.
“Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.’ Jesus said to him, "He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you. For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, ‘Not all of you are clean.’” John 13:9-11 NASB.
The disciples, except for Judas, were clean. But they needed help and needed to make some changes. Each of them needed to stop bickering and seeking the first place for themselves, and they needed to be the servant of others. They had lessons to learn on pride and self-seeking. In the same way, in our day, those who are Christian, who should love Jesus and want to be His servant, His modern day disciple, sometimes bicker and disagree with each other. But unfortunately not all who claim to be Christian, who should be Jesus’ disciple, are clean, and not all are truly His servant – some serve themselves during the week, and then come to Church. But some are clean, and just need to learn this lesson of humility, to wash one another’s feet.
“So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.’” John 13:12-17 NASB.
What things are you blessed if you do them? Wash one another’s feet, or to bear one another’s burdens; being the servant of the brethren and others. Is Jesus your Master? Yes? Then do as He did and serve others, washing their feet and helping them. Blessed are you if you do these things, following in your Master’s footsteps. Do you know what Jesus has done for you? Then walk in His footsteps.
Dear reader, are you Jesus’ disciple? Are you His servant? Are you clean before Him? Have you let the Spotless Lamb of God take away your sins and make you clean? If you do not let Jesus wash you, you have no part with Him! You must let Him forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9. Then you will be His disciple. If you appreciate His love for you, which took the guilt and burdens of your sins away from you and gave you peace, you should greatly love Him. If you love Him, you can’t help but want to be His servant. If you are His servant, you will want to bear one another’s burdens and wash the brethren’s feet. If you are His servant you will want to tell others about God’s love for you and how He saved you and took all your sins and burdens away! If He has done all of this for you, how could you not be His servant? How could you not love Him all the way, and be filled with His love, joy, and wonderful peace? Something to think about… Blessed are you if you do these things – wash one another’s feet and be Jesus’ servant and disciple.
Do not seek to be first. Do not seek your own way. Do not bicker with one another, or beat up on God’s other servants. Be clean from all your sins, allowing Jesus to take them all away, and have wonderful peace! Let the kindness and love of God fill your heart, may His wonderful Spirit fill you, and make you His loving servant, sacrificing all on the altar of your heart, counting all things but rubbish, but for the excellency of knowing and serving Him. God forbid that we should glory in anything but the cross! “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14 KJV.
May the grace of God be with you. May you decide to follow Jesus, be clean and wash one another’s feet. Amen.
#Wash #Another #Feet #No #Part #With #Me #Jesus #Pride #Selfseeking #Disciple #Servant #Clean #Holy #Spirit #Greatest #Crucified #Christ #Glory #Cross
By John Foll
, written between 9/15/2017 and 9/18/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
“And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12 RSV.
This text is normally viewed as the bond between two or three people who are bound together in the ties of love or walking together in sweet accord, but we believe it has a deeper meaning.
Our prayer for you is that you will live a successful Christian life and not be lacking in any good thing. We want to help equip you for this. What does it take? How do you overcome your trials and difficulties and problems? Let’s see what else ‘a cord of three that is not easily broken’ might mean, and how it will help you to be an overcomer.
“Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.'” John 14:23 NASB. If you love Jesus, keep His word, He and His Father will come to you and make their abode in you. This is a most beautiful and precious thing that Jesus and His Father want to do for you! They want to come and make their abode in your heart, if you want it. Together, Jesus, His Father and you make three; this is a cord of three that is not easily broken! Unlike the friendships between two or three people on this earth, God is mighty to save and will never fail you! How does it happen, when Jesus and His Father will come and make their abode in you? Through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Symbolically, the Holy Spirit will dwell in your heart on behalf of Jesus and His Father, if you seek to keep and obey His word, like He says. But when this happens it is none other than the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit dwelling in your heart all together, a three-fold union! This three-fold union of divinity cannot fail, because God cannot fail, for there is no part of man in this union. This is the strongest cord that can ever exist, because it is built on Divinity alone, which cannot fail. You don’t have to depend on your own strength, but on God’s power which cannot fail. Jesus promised this three-fold union to all of His true disciples and those who would be, that is the Comforter, or the Holy Spirit. But who are His disciples? All that love and obey Him.
You are never truly alone if you have Jesus and His Father dwelling in you, in the presence of the Holy Spirit or the comforter! Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:25-26 NASB. Jesus promised His disciples that He would not leave them as orphans. And He will give you the Holy Spirit forever if you would be His disciple too. He said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:16-18 NASB. From this we see that all who desire the Holy Spirit must get to know God. Implied in this is that all who would have the Holy Spirit must confess their sins, humble their heart before God, want to obey Him, and yield to Him fully. This can be shown by numerous Bible passages. Yes, Jesus comes to all that are His disciples, He will not leave them as orphans; He will come to them.
How do you love Jesus and keep His word? Jesus told Nicodemus that to be saved he must have a change wrought in him: “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?" Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.’” John 3:3-5 NASB. The answer to this question is that God will provide this for you if you want it. You must allow God to work fully in your life to do His good pleasure. Paul reveals: “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13 NASB. Since it is a work from God, the only part you play is to allow Him to do it for you, so yield yourself to God totally and allow Him to do this for you and it will happen. You will have to obey Him in what He has asked you to do at every point, without stubbornness. When doing what God asks you to do is an easy decision for you to make, then you will know that you are becoming or are born again!
The answer to how you can love Jesus and keep His word, is to have this three-fold union of Divinity dwelling in your heart. God has made this provision for you, if you would have it and seek after Him with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13. The way has been prepared for you at the cross by Jesus and given by God with the outpouring of His Holy Spirit, which started in Acts 2, and is to be forever. It is yours if you will claim it, and desire to love and obey God all the way. Don’t resist God, He loves you! You must prepare your heart to receive the power of God’s Holy Spirit if you would have Him dwell in your heart.
Jesus said, ‘I have given you the Holy Spirit forever.’ John 14:16. What a precious promise! Jesus will not leave His disciples alone or as ‘orphans’ as He promised, He will come to them! This is indeed the way you can live a successful Christian life, and have all the peace, love, faith, joy, and happiness that you were meant to have! Jesus doesn’t want to leave you alone, but longs to be in your heart! He and His Father greatly love you! So you don’t have to cross over Jordan alone, as the song says. Jesus stands behind His word and will not take away this promise of the Holy Spirit to His disciples, He has given the Holy Spirit to His disciples forever. Why do we keep talking about this promise as being for His disciples? Because it’s true. The messages given in John 13 to 17 were given by Jesus to His disciples, and to them that would believe through their testimony (or through the testimony of others who received it from someone who traces back to the original apostles). Jesus in His special prayer to His Father, before He was arrested and crucified said (John 17:1): “For their sakes [His disciples] I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:19-21 NASB. So we see from this that all who believe in Jesus through their word are to be His disciple too; it is implied. So if you have believed in Jesus through the testimony of the Bible or from another Christian, His prayer applies to you to! All who have been baptized as a Christian should be Jesus’ disciple, but sadly this is not true often enough. It is only for those who want to be His disciple and for those who truly love Him. If you love Jesus, you cannot help but be His disciple and keep His word. Jesus also gives the reason why the Holy Spirit is given when He said above: “so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” When you have the Holy Spirit in full, you cannot keep your love for Him quiet, but will want to tell everyone you can about it, and help everyone you can.
Since Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and won the victory for us, all authority has been given to Him in Heaven and earth. Go and make disciples of all men, and lo, He is with you always, even to the end of the world. “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20 KJV. If you are a Christian, you should be Jesus’ disciple too, and if you are Jesus’ disciple you are to follow His command to go and preach and teach all things that He commanded you, and the promise if you do this is: Lo He will be with you always, even unto the end of the world! Amen! Is that what you want? The author of Hebrews also tells us that God will never leave or forsake us: “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He [God] hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5 KJV. This promise applies only if God is abiding in you (or you want Him to abide in you), and you are living God’s Law of love (or you want to live it).
If you belong to Jesus and are His disciple, then you will have this three-fold union of Jesus, His Father and the Holy Spirit dwelling in your heart. This cord of the Trinity in your heart is a power that cannot be broken, and will guide and protect you as long as you allow them to dwell there.
May the grace of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all! Amen.
#Cord #Broken #God #Jesus #HolySpirit #Two #Better #One #Love #Keep #Word #Disciple #Comforter #Promise #BornAgain #Orphan #Leave #Forsake #Christian #Trinity
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
“For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leadingto salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10 NASB. What Paul says here is so true!
When a soul is convicted that there is something in their life that they should confess and repent of, there is often a struggle within (before they are born again). When there is a cherished sin it may seem sorrowful to give up because it seems so sweet. Or it may seem sorrowful when they worry what family or friends think about doing what God has asked them to do. They may feel greatly embarrassed if there is something to confess to others or to make right, or if someone else finds out about their guilt or sins. There are any number of sorrows that a soul can experience. But is there a sorrow for sin? Jesus said, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 KJV. Which sorrow do you have? If you are sorry that your life is not what it should be, and desire to have wonderful peace and a new life with God, you will be comforted, because God will give it to you! If you have just the sorrow of trouble that sins or mistakes bring, this is not true sorrow. When you are tired of sinning, hurting yourself, God and others, and want things to be better, humble your heart before God and throw yourself on His mercy! Give into God’s sweet Spirit! It matters not how small the sin may appear to yourself or others. Listen now to David’s perplexity and his desire to confess here: “For I am ready to fall, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin.” Psalm 38:17-18 NASB. Here David shows his sorrow for his sins, so he confessed his iniquity, and in several places in this Psalm he was begging for God’s help and mercy. David knew that he needed help from God to get peace and security. This is the way all contrite people will be!“Do not forsake me, O LORD; O my God, do not be far from me!” Psalm 38:21 NASB.
You may say that you have given yourself to God years before and confessed all of your sins to Him. But you probably know what God is asking you to do right now that you put off… put it off no more, so you can have wonderful peace with God! He loves you! You may have put off long ago what God had asked you to do and forgotten about it. If you lack true, sweet wonderful peace from God, and lack His sweet Spirit in your heart now, please pray to Him to reveal to you again whatever it was that you failed to do that you should have done.
If you have sweet, wonderful peace with God now and are walking in the light of His love, we are happy for you! This is the way you should always be! That means you have a sweetness in your life and example that is a fragrant odor to God! That means that you are loving and kind to others and are seeking to show them how much God loves them, or you are helping them in whatever way that God has blessed you with gifts to do, because God’s goodness is flowing through your life to them. And you are bearing much fruit for God. Does this portray your life? No, then there is a work to do yet in your heart to yield fully to God or to make things right with Him or others, let God do this for you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9. You will never regret it! He will turn that sorrow of sin into joy and wonderful peace! But how can this be, you may say? ‘I love the Truth and am following it.’ Really? If you really love the Truth, you should have this wonderful change in your heart, and you should dearly love your God and others. And serving God will be a constant delight to you! How do we know this? “Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” John 8:31-32 NASB. Thus you see that if you are really abiding in Christ, and are truly His disciple, that you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free! What truth? The truth of God’s love for you and the world! It will transform your life if you let it! If your life is not transformed like this, you are not yet fully Jesus’ disciple, and are not yet fully abiding in Christ, and are not yet fully free. Do not say that you are a child of Abraham, i.e. a child of God, and have no need of this. God is able from these stones to raise up Children for Abraham, i.e. children of God. Matthew 3:9. [We are not saying here that you are lost or that you don’t love God somewhat, or that you are not yet learning to walk with Him, if you do not have this wonderful change yet fully, that is between you and God, but that there is still a work to do in your heart and life, if you will let God do it for you and obey His sweet voice.]
Be honest, if these good things of having that sweet, wonderful peace, and being a New Creation filled with the Holy Spirit does not describe your life, there is still a work to do in your life to give yourself completely to God, because you love Him!If God is not first in your life, because you love Him, and you do not have this wonderful change that only a life yielded fully to God can have, that is filled with the Holy Spirit, God is not yet first in your life, and you are at least partly or fully breaking the First Commandment, Exodus 20:3. If God is not first in your life, because you love Him more than anything else in this life, you need to confess this to Him; tell Him you are sorry that you have not put Him first or continued to put Him first, and ask Him to help you keep His commandments, which are to love Him with all of your heart, mind and soul, and to help you love your neighbor as yourself! Matthew 22:26-40. You will never regret it! We promise you!Your life then will be so sweet and your love for Him will be so deep! You will wonder why you never did it before! And the things of this world will lose their hold on you, as your love for Him grows. When this happens, you will be ready or nearly ready for Heaven! (Only God knows when this process is complete.)
Solomon summed it all up when he declared: “Sorrow isbetter than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.” Ecclesiastes 7:3-4 KJV. Some do not want to think about their course, and what they need to do to be right with God. Their heart is full of sorrow and guilt, but they try to drown it out or ignore it. They want to keep themselves in a constant state of entertainment, mirth and comedy, anything but dealing with the sorrow that needs to be repented of. But Solomon says that the wise are in the house of mourning! This is when someone considers their life to see what God wants them to do, even if it isn’t pleasant. ‘The sorrow of the world produces death’, as Paul says above, but ‘the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces repentance without regret’, i.e. salvation! The wise have the sorrow that is according to the will of God that produces repentance without regret, because they think about their life and are sorry for their sins, and confess them to Him, and repent.
Why does the true sorrow produce repentance without regret? Because you can never know true peace, until you confess all of your sins and make a complete repentance. (Especially the sin of not putting God first in your life!) But once you give in, confess, give up and decide to do what God has asked you to do, He will help you and you will finally know true peace with no regrets! No regrets, because you will be so happy once you give in and decide to do whatever God has told you to do! Why would you regret all the joy, peace and relief you get when you know true repentance? You wouldn’t! God will help those who truly turn to Him, forgive them, and cleanse them from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9. Amen!
In closing, let us examine the apostle James’ wisdom for us:“But He [God] gives a greater grace.Therefore it says, ‘GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.’ Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” James 4:6-10 NASB. Now note what Jesus said here: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32 KJV. What Jesus says here also includes confession to God for sins, for no one can truly confess Jesus to men, unless they are first His disciple. And no one can truly be Jesus’ disciple until they have confessed their sins and yielded fully to Him! We should all want Jesus to confess to His Father that He knows us shouldn’t we? “Many will say to me in that day [the day of the kingdom of Heaven, i.e. the judgement], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’”Matthew 7:22-23 KJV. So we should all want Jesus to confess that He knows us to the Father! May God have mercy on all those who haven’t yielded fully to Him, and confessed all their sins to Him, including not putting Him first in their life! May He grant them more time and mercy to learn to love Him with all of their heart, and all of their soul and all of their mind! Matthew 22:37.
“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of any one, says the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.” Ezekiel 18:30-32 RSV.
#Sorrow #God #Repentance #Regret #World #Death #Confess #Repent #Forgot #Disciple #Laughter #Fool #Wise #Holy #Spirit #Jesus #Yield #Love #Joy #Proud #Humble
By John Foll, 12-9-2016
“But Peter and John answered and said unto them, ‘Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.’” Acts 4:19-20 KJV. Their answer to the rulers at Jerusalem indicates that they were determined to keep the command of Jesus to tell of God’s love to the world (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; Acts 5:19-21), regardless of what their religious leaders told them. They didn’t mind the obstacles that were placed in their way to hinder them, or the mistreatment they received, but counted it all joy to suffer for Jesus’ sake. “And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicingthat they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” Acts 5:40-42 KJV. They didn’t stop preaching Jesus, even after they were beaten and warned to stop. The prophet Jeremiah states the desire to speak of what he had seen and heard of God like this: “But if I say, ‘I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name,’ then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it.” Jeremiah 20:9 NASB. Thus when you love Jesus, you cannot help but speak of what He did for others and for you, like the Apostles and the prophets of old did!
If you have heard and seen that Jesus and His Father love you, and that Jesus died to save you, and believe, you cannot help but tell it to others what God has done for you!If you have tasted and seen that the Lord is good (Psalms 34:8), and ‘have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come’ Hebrews 6:4-5 NASB, you cannot help but speak of these things that you have seen and heard to as many who will listen, or you will greatly long to show them His love or help them in whatever way God has given you the ability to do. Failure to do this will cause your wells of water and springs to run dry.
If you have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, it will be just as natural for you as it was for Peter, James, John and the other Apostles to speak of God’s love and the gospel to the world, as they did in the book of Acts. Or to do your part to help in whatever way the Spirit has given you the ability and the gifts to do. It will be your greatest desire! If you have not really seen, heard, or believed, then you will be unable to tell this truth effectively to others, unless you pray for God’s special blessing until you get it. God can still bless you before you have completely consecrated yourself to Him, but it is much better to taste the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit that God wants to give you! Once you have tasted of this wonderful gift of God, you cannot help but testify of Jesus and the Father’s love. And you will never thirst again, for Jesus said, “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14 KJV. “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.'" But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:37-39 NASB. So we see here that the gift to satisfy our thirst that Jesus promised, is the promise of the Holy Spirit, and it was to be given to all willing Christians, starting at Pentecost (Acts 1:4-5, 8) to the end of time, to all who are thirsty and believe in Jesus. These are the conditions. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”Matthew 5:6 KJV. These words are still true for us today, if we will hunger and thirst after God’s righteousness, we will be filled! Thus this promise of the Holy Spirit is for all who are thirsty for Jesus’ love, and hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled, if they believe in Him.
Now let’s recap and finish our passage in Hebrews 6: “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.” Hebrews 6:4-8 NASB. Jesus says something similar to this when He said, “If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”John 15:6 KJV. Again this reiterates that those who have tasted of the Heavenly gift of the Holy Spirit, and have not continued to abide in Christ, will become withered and they will eventually be gathered and cast into the fire at the judgement, unless they repent.
It is beyond our belief how someone could experience the wonder of the gift of being born again, receiving the Holy Spirit, and ever want to go back to their life without the Holy Spirit again, but Hebrews 6:4-8 says that it can happen. And in fact there were a few examples in the Bible where it did happen. Read about Balaam the prophet (Numbers 22, 24; 31:8, 16; 2 Peter 2:15; Jude 1:11), and the prophet who was slain by the lion. 1 Kings 13:11-30.
We also note that Samson, who had the Holy Spirit, lost Him through disobedience, but at the end of his life he prayed to God, and God heard His prayer and avenged His enemies, by allowing Samson to slay more in his death, of God’s enemies, than in his life.*We believe by faith that God forgave Samson, because he is mentioned in Hebrews 11:32, and because God heard is prayer at the end of his life and gave him his miraculous strength back, because we know that God heareth not sinners. John 9:31. See Judges 14:5-6; 19, 15:14; 16:20-21 for information proving that Samson had the Holy Spirit. Samson probably didn’t really appreciate the wonderful gift of strength that was given to him before he lost it and his eyes were put out. But we believe that he wanted the Lord’s help again just before he died, to serve God’s command for his life one last time. Judges 16:22-31. And God worked a miracle, so Samson’s life was not in vain, and used him to help His people out of their desperate situation with their enemies. Samson’s enemies had mocked his God by thinking that their gods were more powerful, because they had given him into their hands. But this wasn’t so, and God avenged his name among the heathen by Samson’s sacrifice of his life, when he enabled Samson to bring down the house on the lords of the Philistines and the people gathered there with them. So Samson hadn’t fully appreciated the gift of God he had been given, but later regretted it and God forgave him, when he turned back to Him in prayer.
*We want to thank our stepdad, David Jenkins, for reminding us of this wonderful fact about Samson in Hebrews 11.
So there is hope for you, if you used to have a born again experience with God, and you have let it slip away, if you will repent now. Maybe you didn’t fully know what you had? Maybe you have been in a lukewarm state for a long time, without the love of God fully in your life, or the joy that knowing Him brings? Do you long for the experience that you once had with God? How long has it been? God will take you back, if you will return to Him with all your heart! “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13 NASB. But we believe that if you have lost it, that you probably hadn’t experienced it in its fullness, because Hebrews 6:4-8 says that it is hard to walk away, if you have ever fully tasted the fruits of God’s precious Holy Spirit in your heart in full force. It is the most precious thing you can ever experience in this life!
It is hard to walk away from this experience of knowing Jesus and His Father. Why would you want to? But it is also a most dangerous thing to live in a lukewarm Christian state, neither for God nor against Him, but in the middle. Revelation 3:14-17. That is why this passage in Hebrews 6:4-8 is given, for our instruction.
Jesus says to His Church today: “'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:20-21 NASB. Amen! Let it be so. When you hear Jesus knocking on the door of your heart, open it up and let Him come in. You will never regret it, we promise you! “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.’” John 14:23 NASB. Jesus promise to you is: if you will open the door of your heart, let Him come in and dine with you and you with Him, and if you will keep His Word, He and His Father will love you and come and make their abode with you! Oh precious promise! Amen!
#rejoice #suffer #joy #speak #heard #love #taste #God #good #abide #Born #Again #Holy #Spirit #disciple #believe #hunger #thirst #righteousness #gift
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'” Luke 14:26-30 NASB.
Are you able to finish the course that is set before you? Hebrews 12:1. You will be able to finish the course that is set before you, if you count the true cost, and the true value of the surpassing riches that God wants to provide you. “And raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:6-7 NASB.
Count the cost of loving, obeying and serving Jesus. Whenever you see the true value of serving Jesus with all the love, joy, peace, faith and all the other gifts that He wants to give you, and agree willingly to serve Him, then this will be what your soul wants, and you will get it. The value of what you get infinitely exceeds the cost that you will pay. But He who loves his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers or sisters, and even their own life more than Jesus, cannot be His disciple. When you calculate the true cost and value of giving your heart completely to God and serving Him, you will see that even though you may have to suffer much from friends, family and others, and may even make the ultimate sacrifice, that it will all be worth it in the end, for the rich bounty of love, joy and peace that you will reap for yourself and others whom you have helped, now and for all eternity in Heaven! God will call you His good and faithful servant, if you prove to be faithful to Him. So count the cost!
What kind of a price can you put on having peace, wonderful peace, and having this great love and joy that God wants to give you? Is there anything in this life that can equal it or compare with it in any way?No. God’s gifts that He wants to give you are priceless and beyond compare. All the riches of this world cannot compare to one moment of pure peace, love and joy that He will give you! And this peace, love and joy will continue throughout eternity, without end! Oh, the riches and bounty of God for us poor mortals!
Jesus also said, “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” Luke 14:33 NASB. If you give all of your possessions willingly and freely to Jesus, He will bless you and keep you. He may not ask you to sell or give away all that you have to the poor right away, like the rich young ruler thought He had asked him to do (Luke 18:22), but He will ask you to be a wise steward of your time, goods, means and talents, which you should willingly use to bless others as they have need. Matthew 25:14-30. The poor include not only the poor in this world’s goods, but those who are poor in the knowledge of salvation. Our heart should care about our poor brothers and sisters throughout this world that do not know Jesus yet, or those who don’t know Him all the way yet, that need to get to know Him better. Jesus knows you have needs and will take care of you! He is not necessarily asking you to sacrifice all that you have now, but to be willing to help others, as the need arises, from your store of resources. He is asking you to love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 22:39), because love is the fulfillment of the law.Romans 13:10. But whatever you do to help others, the cost is insignificant compared with the infinitely better riches and reward of love, happiness, and joy that you will accrue throughout eternity! Whatever sacrifice you make for God is definitely worth it, if you count the cost and the return on your investment that you will get forever in Heaven! Don’t think about what you will lose, think about what you will gain! When you have God’s love in your heart, you will find that the things of this earth have lost their hold on your heart, and you will willingly give to help others, even sacrificially. And you will be happy to do it!
If anyone does not love his neighbor as themselves, they cannot be Jesus’ disciple, because He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 NASB. And: “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” John 15:12-14 KJV. So if you want to be Jesus’ friend, you must do whatsoever He commanded you, which is to love one another, as He loves you. Therefore anyone who does not love his or her neighbor as themselves, cannot be Jesus’ disciple.
But if you find God’s Spirit stirring your heart with love and joy, and see the true value of serving Him, you will willingly yield your heart to Him! And then you will see that there is no sacrifice too great for your God, whom you love, for all the peace, love, faith, hope, and joy that He gives you, and from all the love and joy you get as you see someone else made happy when they give their heart to Him, and become as happy as you are! Enter into the joy of your Lord, enter into the kingdom of Heaven prepared for those who love Him! Matthew 25:21. Amen.
#Count #Cost #Holy #Spirit #Happiness #Love #Peace #Poor #God #Disciple #Joy #Give #Get #Priceless #Value #Victory #Eternal #Riches #Obey #Serve
Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” John 15:11 NASB.
Jesus spoke the word to His disciples in John chapters 14 to 17, but they still apply to us today, if we are His disciple! The words that Jesus has spoken to us, not only are they life to our soul, but they will bring us much joy! He loves us so much and longs for our joy to be full! We can only have this fullness of joy if we are His disciple and listen to His words of love to us. Our joy is made full when we are His disciple! This is where not only true peace is, but true joy! It is found only in the love for Jesus and following all of His words.But since He came to magnify His Father and His Father’s commandments (John 15:10), it is found in the pages of the entire Bible, not just the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John!
What were the words that Jesus spoke to His disciples before our passage, John 15:11?
“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruitof itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. By this is My Father glorified,that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love.” John 15:3-10 NASB.
If you want to have that full joy that Jesus wants all of His people to have, then ask God to help you become Jesus’ disciple. What does it mean to be Jesus’ disciple?It means to listen to and keep all of His words, and to bear much fruit for God and thus prove to be His disciple!If you abide in Him, as He was in His Father and His Father was in Him, you will bear much fruit, and become His disciple. Then when you are Jesus’ disciple, you will be able to pray to Godand ask whatever you wish, and it will be done unto you. This promise of Jesus was not given to the crowds that were following Him around, but to His disciples only. It was not given for selfish gratification or for anything outside of God’s will. But if you are Jesus’ disciple, you will only want God’s will, and selfishness and sin will be banished from your heart. If you want to be Jesus’ disciple, and abide in Him, you will become His disciple and then these words of Jesus will be for you, but only as you abide in Him, as He was in His Father and His Father in Him.
Final thought on the love of God and the joy He wants to give us:
“But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, That those who love Your name may exult in You. For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD, You surround him with favor as with a shield.” Psalm 5:11-12 NASB.
#Joy #Wonderful #Peace #Full #Believe #Happy #Saved #Truth #New #Life #God #Holy #Spirit #Jesus #Disciple #Clean #Abide #Fruit #Obey #Pray
By John Foll
, Written between 10/12/2016 to 10/13/2016.© Copyright 2016 John Foll
Do you worry for your future? Are you weary from worrying whether you are good enough to be saved or not? Are you fearful? Maybe you are worried because of your past mistakes. But fear not! “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 KJV. These are the conditions for salvation and eternal life! No matter how bad you are, or what you have done, eternal life with its love, joy, and happiness are within your reach! If you will just realize that Jesus and His Father love you and want to save you, and believe in their love, this promised eternal life will be yours! Is your eternal happiness and eternal life really that simple? Yes! But that sounds too easy, how can it be true? Surely there must be something else you must do besides believe in Jesus to be saved, isn’t there? But there is no mistake in this scripture, for it was told by Jesus Himself! He explicitly stated that the Father loves you and wants to save you, and that if you will just believe in Him, then salvation is yours! Let’s not make salvation any more complicated than this! Your salvation really is just this simple and easy to understand: whoever believes in Jesus the Son of God, will have eternal life!
But what does it mean to believe in Jesus? Here is where many make a mistake or are in error. Some think that they believe in Jesus, when they haven’t yielded their heart completely to Him. Brother Paul tells us that of the three: faith, hope and love, ‘that the greatest of these is love.’ 1 Corinthians 13:13. Paul also tells us: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 KJV. Now the Apostle John says about God that “We love Him, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 KJV. So our faith comes when we hear and learn that God loves us. John also says, “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:15-16 KJV. So here we see the link between faith or belief in Jesus, God’s only begotten Son and God’s love. The belief that John 3:16 is talking about is the belief that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that those who believe in His Son and Him, should not perish but have everlasting life! There can be no belief in Jesus, where there is no love for Him and what His Father did for us. Therefore to believe in Jesus is to love Him, because love is greater than belief or faith, and because God so loved the world. God’s love for us is the first cause. Thus you cannot love Him, until you realize that He first loved you. When a child learns that its parents love them, then the child also learns to trust them, and believe in them. So faith is born when one learns that Jesus and the Father loves them, and can be trusted to take care of them, and looks out for their good.
To believe in Jesus, is to love Him and His Father with all of your heart, and all of your mind, and all of your soul, and give yourself to them because you love them. Matthew 22:37. It is impossible to fully believe in Jesus, until you love Him, and have yielded yourself to Him. God’s love for you takes care of the rest of your salvation! If you love and believe in Jesus, you will naturally believe in His sacrifice for your sins, and His desire to save and help you, and that God will send you just the help you need. And you will naturally confess your sins, and believe that God has forgiven you. 1 John 1:9. Then you will have great peace with God, and be filled with great joy when you believe in Jesus. Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:16-18 NASB. Here Jesus promises all of His disciples, which will be you if you love Him, that He will ask the Father and the Father will give you another Helper, who will abide with you forever, if you want Him to! Jesus also said, that He will not leave you as an orphan, but He will come to you! Jesus also said, ‘And Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.’ Matthew 28:20. But how do you know that the promise Jesus made to His disciples here applies to you? You are Jesus’ disciple if you love Him, which you show if you want to keep His commandments, which are to love one another. John 13:34. Jesus said, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word.’ John 14:23 NASB. If you want to keep Jesus’ word, then you are His Disciple! You are His disciple if you do what He says. Jesus said, “And why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46 NASB. Thus if you do what Jesus’ says, He is your Lord, and you are His disciple. See also John 13:34; 14:21; 15:10. Notice that all of this traces back to love for Jesus and His Father. You could have none of this if God did not first love you! But what has this to do with believing in Jesus? It has everything to do with it! Because if you do not believe in Jesus, that means that you do not love Him, and probably do not really know how much He loves you, for if you believed that He loved you, this would awaken love in your heart, and would make all of the difference to you. If you do not believe in Jesus, that means that you don’t really believe that He loves you, or you don’t want the salvation He is offering you. So believing in Jesus is based on knowing His love personally.
So how are we saved? We are saved when we see how much we are in need of help, then learn that Jesus loves us; this awakens faith in our heart! This takes away despair and gives us hope for a better life that He has promised us. Therefore, if you will just learn how much Jesus and His Father love you, this will give you all the faith you need, so that you can believe in Jesus, the Son of God, and thus have eternal life!
But you may say that all of what we have said here is more than just believing in Jesus. But all of the things that the soul needs, develops from believing in Jesus, when the soul learns that He loves them and died to save them. Therefore the one who truly believes in Jesus has eternal life, because everything else that they need will be supplied by God, if they will just believe! And what is believing in Jesus? Again, it is learning that He loves you! Everything you need is supplied, if you will just learn how much Jesus and the Father love you! The soul that is lost, has never truly learned that Jesus or the Father loved them, or didn’t care, it is not because of their sins or mistakes, which can all be forgiven, if the soul will only believe in Jesus! The soul is lost because of unbelief in Jesus and the Father’s love for them, or because it doesn’t want this love or salvation. But how could anyone turn their back on such love? We believe that most people who turn their back on God, never really learned or wanted to learn how much He loves them, thus they didn’t believe!
Therefore John 3:16 is a promise that all who believe in Jesus will be saved, because the Father will forgive their sins, and send them the Holy Spirit, who will help them to be saved, and not leave them as orphans! And Jesus also promised that He would be with His people, until the end of the age! Matthew 28:20. Thus it is really true, that all who truly believe in Jesus will be saved! Do you believe in Jesus the Son of God? Do you believe that He and His Father greatly love you? Then salvation is yours! Go forth with peace, love and joy! May ‘the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.’ 2 Corinthians 13:14 NASB.
Bible Texts For Reflection:
John 3:1-21; John 14:15, John 14:23-24; John 13:35; John 13:34-35; Luke 6:46; 1 John 4:19; 1 Corinthians 13:13; John 14:21; John 15:8-11.
White Raiment Evangelism Purpose:
It is our desire to help as many people as possible learn how to be happy, and have the assurance of their salvation. There is no reason for people to not be happy, have guilt, or not have the assurance of their salvation, if they want it, and are willing to learn what God wants from them and desire to please Him. It is our desire that everyone who wants it, would find ‘the Pearl of Great price’, and that they would have a well of water springing up in them, unto eternal life!
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