By John Foll
, written between 02/05/2018 to 02/11/2018, and finished on 03/3/2018.
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
This article is an answer to a question posed by one of the readers of our White Raiment Evangelism Blogs and some of our books:
What did Jesus mean when he said that we were to love one another?
If you have not read our previous article, “Who is My Neighbor? Part 1”, we recommend that you read it, because we don’t want to cover all of it again here, but to find the answer to this second question, and put it all together for you. https://whiteraimentevangelism.org/BlogLove/?p=15
“Jesus said, ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.’” John 13:34-35 KJV.
Let’s explore what this means.
In Part 1 of this article, we discovered that whoever needs our help, who we have the ability of helping is our neighbor. We also learned that we have an obligation and responsibility to do what we can for others, whoever and whenever we can help. We are held accountable to God not only for the wrong things that we have thought, said or done in this life, but also for the neglect of others. Everyone in this world could literally be our neighbor, if we would think outside of the box and ask God for more ways to help them, not just the ones we have come in contact with in this life. God doesn’t compel anyone, but if His love is not in your heart you won’t see the need or have the ability of helping others. And those who have done nothing to help others, will eventually be shut out of the Kingdom of Heaven if they haven’t repented, and will be cast into the fire prepared for the devil and his angels. This is what Jesus said, this is not our words. And those who have been helping others, even if they did not know they were doing it for Jesus, were doing it unto Him. And Jesus will invite them to go with Him to Heaven, with its everlasting love and endless delight, because what they did to help others, was done unto Him, as if He was the one they did it to. They may not even have known that they were doing it unto Him, because it was in their heart to do it, and they didn’t give it a second thought, but they were! Jesus takes all wrong acts of unkindness and neglect done to others as if they were done to Him personally, and all acts of kindness and love done to others, as if they were done to Him personally.
The question what did Christ mean when He said that we were to love one another, does it mean that we are to love only the brethren of our Church? Or does it mean something more? Does it mean the same thing as God’s commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves? We shall see.
As you can see the answer to this question and its sub-questions are more complex.
Whatever conclusion we come up with cannot contradict what we have already learned from our previous article, Part 1, where we learned that our neighbor is not just someone who is of our faith, or even of our same Christian denomination, because Jesus proved this idea to be wrong, as we conclude from the answer to His question given by the “doctor of the law,” the Jewish lawyer: “The one who showed mercy toward him." Luke 10:36. “The one who showed mercy toward him” was a foreigner, a Samaritan, and thus not of the same faith as the Jews, who were much despised by them! From this we conclude that if we are to obey Jesus and His Father, we must love those outside of our faith, including those who are not even Christian. Because of what we know about Jesus and His Father, we conclude therefore that our neighbor is the whole world, whether they are Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Pagan, or even an Atheist! Is anyone left out from this list? No, all are our neighbor. Our neighbor is whoever we have the ability of helping that needs our help, without reference to race, religion, creed, etc. because God is no respecter of persons. “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, ‘Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him.’” Acts 10:34-35 KJV.
There is evidence in the scriptures that there should be a special place in our heart for the brethren. Do a search for the word ‘brethren’ in a computer Bible or on an Internet Bible site and see what it comes up with, if you want to know more of this. They are too numerous to mention here. But here are a few references for you to check out if you wish: Greet the brethren: Romans 16:3, 5-6, 8, 11; 1 Corinthians 16:19-21; 2 Corinthians 13:12-13; Philippians 4:21-22; Collisions 4:14, 15, 18; 1 Timothy 5:26; 2 Timothy 3:17; 4:19-21; Philemon 1:23; Hebrews 13:24; James 1:1; 1 Peter 5:15; 2 John 1:13; 3 John 1:14. There is a work for us to do within the church, for the widows, the orphans, etc. 1 Timothy 5:3-20. James 1:27. We are not to take believers to a court of law before unbelievers, because it brings dishonor to God. 1 Corinthians 6:1-6.
To begin our discovery of what the answer to this question is, let us start here:
The apostle John declares that “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” 1 John 3:14-18 NASB.
Again John says, “We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” 1 John 4:19-21 NASB.
So another question that can be asked is: Who is my brother? Is it someone from your faith or Christian denomination? Or is it someone who is a Christian? This seems to be indicated, but we believe it also has a deeper meaning, and includes all who might become a Christian at a later date, whether they are now or not. In the end your brother can be the same thing as your neighbor. Since we don’t know who will accept God’s invitation to be saved or not, we need to treat everyone as if they would eventually be saved. This is impossible to do without God’s help, so we must pray for His help to do it.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:7-11 NASB.
Who are we to love? According to John, ‘the one who does not love does not know God.’ So we had better get to know God, so that we can love others. Even though the first part of this text is saying that we should love ‘one another’, verse 8 doesn’t seem to limit it to just ‘one another’ or just ‘the brethren.’ I.e. our love should not be limited just to those who go to our Church denomination. There is no doubt that we are to love the brethren of our Church, which is probably John’s main point. But what about all those who are not currently a part of God’s Church? If they can be brought into the fold of the true Shepherd and give themselves to God, they would become our brethren too, would they not? So is John really excluding all non-Church members here or all non-Christians, or those who are not members of your Church denomination here? We think not. John clearly states here that the one who does not love does not know God. And God does not love just those who are believers in Jesus, but the whole world, and desires all to accept His offer of eternal life – He is not willing that any should perish! 2 Peter 3:9. See also John 3:16-17.
We need to know the answer to this question, whether we should limit our love just to the brethren in our Church, or should our love be more than this? Jesus said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35 KJV. The answer to this question is VERY important, because Jesus stated that this would be how people would know if we are His disciple or not! Those who don’t’ ‘love one another’ are not His disciple! We want to make sure that we are on the right side of this, because we want to be Jesus’ disciple.
Jesus clears up the answer to our question here with this statement:
“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:27-36 NASB. See also Matthew 5:43-48.
We see from what Jesus’ said above, that those who we love should not be just those who love us back, or treat us kindly and fairly. Since we should be able to expect those who are Christian to treat us with kindness and love, based on Jesus’ command to love one another, His statement here in Luke 6 seems to indicate that if we love others who don’t love us, like He asked us to do, that this also includes non-Christians and people who are not of our faith. Did you catch that? Jesus statement here in Luke 6 seems to indicate that we should love those who are not even a Christian yet, or not of our faith.
From Jesus’ command that we are to ‘love our enemies’, we conclude that there must be a larger group of people than those who are of our Christian denomination, or even of those who are Christian, that we are to love. Because a Christian’s enemies can most certainly come from those whose beliefs are hostile against Christianity, which includes a large group of people in this world. So clearly the non-Christian is included in who we are supposed to love, by Jesus’ statement above.
So when Jesus said that we were to love one another, does this not also mean that we are to love those who are not a Christian or of our particular faith yet? Yes, we think this is clear.
Jesus’ statement above in Luke 6:32 also tells us that we are to love those who persecute us, and to be meek and humble with those who would make demands of us. And we are to do good to those who need our help, especially to those who can’t pay us back or help us back. Jesus also stated that persecution could come out of your own household or your Church when He said, “They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.” John 16:2 NASB. This indicates that persecution can arise out of your own faith! What could be clearer than this? Jesus further declared: “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” Luke 12:51-53 NASB. What is Jesus talking about here? Not everyone loves Him and His Father supremely, some become embittered against the truth when their sins and defects are made plain, and will not bear patiently when someone, even in their own family, takes their stand for Jesus and wants to love and obey Him all the way, it makes them look bad! So this is the cause of some of the persecution that can happen. Who were the people that Jesus was talking to in John 16:2 above? They were all Jews. The first Christians were all Jews, but they learned new truths that were not accepted by all Jews, so this produced persecution. Probably the majority of the Jews didn’t accept Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God, because He pointed out their sins. And the first Jewish Christians were forced out of meeting with the other Jews in the synagogues at one point. Jewish Christians were literally cast out of their Synagogues!
But something similar to this also happened to true Christians during the Middle Ages, during the great persecution that occurred there, where they were persecuted for believing the truth, which went against what the established Church was teaching. And unfortunately this also happened here in the United States, before we were a nation from some Christian denominations towards others who didn’t believe exactly as they did, and it has happened after we were a nation too. We don’t want to go there in this article, but you probably get our point now, don’t you? The fact that someone is a member of your Christian denomination doesn’t mean that they love you, and will not try to persecute you if you stand up for your beliefs that God is teaching you, it may come to a point where they will cast you out of their ‘synagogues’ too. And we can most certainly be persecuted by those who are not Christian at all, who are antagonistic against Christianity, because they know not the love of Jesus and His Father for the human race. Yes, there is a cross that we all must bear if we wish to be Jesus’ disciple. But this is not the main point of our article. But Jesus said that we are to love one another, that we were to also love those who persecute us, who are trying to make our life miserable. We are to love even those who are trying to steal our sweet Christian peace, love and joy and our Crown of life that Jesus and His Father want to give us. Those who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ will war against Him. 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10.
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” 1 Peter 4:12-19 KJV.
In Matthew 5 Jesus says that ‘if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?’ Matthew 5:47 NASB. Jesus makes it clear here that we are to love not just our brethren or the Christians who believe as we do, but He also enjoins us to love non-Christians as well.
Jesus gives the reason we are to love our enemies and pray for them: ‘so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:45 NASB. Jesus makes it clear that God sends the rain and blessings on both the righteous and the wicked, and that we are to be like our Heavenly Father and love everyone, not just those who love us back, but even love those who persecute us. If we want to be sons of our Heavenly Father in Heaven, we must love others like He does. And not just love the ‘brothers’ of our own denominational faith and not just those who are Christians. Because Jesus said that we are to love our enemies, His command to love one another also means that we are to love those who are not even Christian yet. We need to let God’s sweet Spirit fill our heart with His love and not be partial to any, but do our best to help others, sharing His love with them whether they can help us back or repay us or not. Because God is kind to the unkind, unloving and undeserving, so should we.
We are not suggesting here that we can walk together with unbelievers in sweet accord, or to those who don’t believe exactly like we do, but that we are to still love everyone. The prophet Amos declared: “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3 KJV. The apostle Paul says, “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:16-18 KJV.
Is there anyone that we should not love? No. We are to love those who love us of course, but we are also to love those who don’t love us, if we would be Jesus’ disciple. But there is a special love we should have for the brethren who believe like we do, all those who love Jesus like we do, who have the same kind of faith as ours. Peter makes this clear when he writes: “Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” 2 Peter 1:1-4 NASB. Here Peter says that he is greeting all who have the same kind of faith as he had. What was that same kind of faith that Peter had? He declares that it is the faith in the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. And Peter blesses those who have the same kind of faith as he had with this special blessing: ‘grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord’. Dear reader, we hope that you have the same kind of faith that Peter had, in the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who is mighty to save, and His Father more so. For no one is able to snatch you out of His or His Father’s hands!
Jesus declared: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.” John 10:27-29 NASB.
Do you believe this dear reader? Do you love Jesus and believe that no one can snatch you out of His hand, or out of His Father’s hand who is greater than He? It’s true! Just believe it! You are the only one who can take yourself out of God’s hand. If you believe that God can save you, and that no one can snatch you out of His hand, then you have the same kind of faith as Peter had! It’s a simple as that!
So yes, there is a special greeting that we can give only to those who have the same kind of faith that Peter and the apostles had. We can only share this kind of comradery with those who are of a like mind, who in a like manner love Jesus as we do.
But unfortunately not all of ‘the brethren’, who call themselves ‘Christian’, have the same kind of faith that Peter and the other Apostles of the New Testament had. This is, to use a cliché, a crying shame, literally! All who name themselves Christians should have the same kind of faith that Peter and the Apostles had! It is not God’s fault that they have this lack! He is not to be charged with this. It is their own fault for not taking advantage of the many precious promises that God has given us for a new life with Him. Or this could be due to ignorance or to false teachers and false professors of the Christian faith. Or this could be due to those who are well meaning, but are teaching a faulty or incomplete understanding of the truth, failing to explain the truth of God’s many precious promises that we may become partakers of His divine nature. 2 Peter 1:4.
There is a great lack of faith and unbelief in the promises of God, manifested today by many Christians, with the lack of the true knowledge of how to be saved, or of their great need to be born again (John 3:3, 5), or else there would be more born again Christians, and this world would be a better place. Yes we know that there are many who claim to be born again, and some of whom have stickers on their cars or signs outside of their houses or businesses saying, ‘Jesus is Lord.’ But if we go by the Bible standard of being born again, that we love one another and love our neighbor as ourselves, that we should have the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and in many other texts in the New Testament, their life comes up short of the mark. But the final chapter in their life hasn’t been written yet, and God will make the decision whether they merit His grace or not, or whether they are weighed in the balances and found wanting. Daniel 5:27.
Many Christians do not believe the plain reading of the Bible, where Jesus states that we are to love God with all of our heart, mind and soul, and to love our neighbor as ourselves, which He infers is the same thing as the Law or the 10 Commandments, and is the main teaching of the Law and the Prophets, which is a term that refers literally to the whole Old Testament, and by extension to all of the New Testament as well. They think that His Law of Love or the Old Testament are done away with, superseded by the Gospel of Grace or the New Covenant, not realizing that Jesus’ command to love one another, and to love God are one and the same as the 10 Commandments of Exodus 20 of the Old Testament, and that God has always been about Grace and Love, even in the Old Testament! But Jesus breathed new life into these commands, and showed us more fully what they mean, and gives us the power through the Holy Spirit to keep them, if we are born again. John 3:3 5. Consider well Jesus’ statement here in regard to this: “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:40 KJV. This is in reference to the command of God to love Him with all of our heart, mind and soul and to love our neighbor as ourselves. This proves to everyone who believes in Jesus, that the commandment to love our God with all our heart, and all our mind and all our soul, and to love our neighbor as ourselves, is the whole purpose and reason for the Old Testament, and even the whole New Testament as well! We don’t want to go into the proofs here regarding all of these assertions that we are making here – we have already covered them in other articles and in several of our books. We cite this here as an aid to the understanding of the question: ‘Who is my neighbor?’ and what Jesus meant when He said that we are ‘to love one another.’ It is not the hearers, but the doers of the Law of Love who will be right in God’s sight. Romans 2:13. But all those who love God will be wanting to keep His divine injunction and ask Him for the help to do it.
From all of this we conclude that not all who name themselves Christians have the same kind of faith as ours, or the same kind of faith that Peter and the Apostles had, i.e. the same kind of faith in the righteousness of Jesus Christ and His Father, and of their ability of making us righteous too. So when Jesus says that we are to love one another, this would have to be a broader scope than our own Christian denomination or faith, because more than likely not all of those of your Christian denomination, if you are a Christian, have the same kind of faith that Peter had, or believe the plain reading of the Bible or believe the plain words and commands of Jesus. Sad but true. We are saved as individuals, not as a group of people. Church membership is not a membership into the club of the saved. We are not saying here that we shouldn’t have brotherly love towards those who are of our same Christian denomination, who may not have the same kind of faith that Peter and the other Apostles had, because we are to ‘love one another’ as Jesus loved us. But the fact is that all don’t have the same kind of faith that Peter and the other Apostles had. So we cannot have the same comradery with those who don’t believe as we do. Draw your own conclusions. It takes more than a mere profession of faith to have the same kind of faith that Peter and the other Apostles had.
Conclusion of What did Jesus mean when He commanded us to love one another?
We conclude therefore, that even though there is a special comradery among those who have the same kind of faith that we have, Jesus’ command to love one another goes way beyond the membership of our particular Church faith, and even beyond to all people who are Christian. It should also include those who could be our brothers or sisters, but are not yet; we should do all that we can to help them love Jesus too. We also conclude that Jesus’ command to love one another, is the same thing as or similar to God’s command that we love our neighbor as ourselves. And to reiterate what we discovered in our previous lesson, part 1, our neighbor is whoever needs our help, and is literally anyone in the world that we have the power and the ability of helping. Those who go into the kingdom of Heaven with Jesus at His second coming, are those who have loved their neighbor as themselves, clothed the naked, fed the hungry, visited those who were sick and in prison and shared the gospel of Jesus and His Father’s love with them.
Dear reader, we hope that you can see the necessity of loving your neighbor as yourself, and loving one another, including those who are not of your faith yet, or not even Christian yet. This is what Jesus wants you to do. If you want to be pleasing in His site, ask Him how you can best serve Him and help others. Pray for a fitness to serve Him with a pure, new heart, filled with love for Him and others, the ones whom Christ died for. Don’t hold yourself back from this precious joy of showing others His love or helping them in their needs. You will never regret it, we promise you! If you will allow God to help you to help others in their needs, be it physical or spiritual needs, then you will be greatly blessed. Then your life will be a pleasing aroma to God. God wants His children to reproduce His character of love. This is part of the reward of Heaven, it is love, pure and simple. If you have been given love, you cannot help but want to share it with others, or your springs of joy will dry up. Everyone who names the name of Christ should be happy they have been loved and forgiven by God - this should produce in them the strongest inducement for them to want to serve Him. Freely you have received from Him, freely give from your storehouse of resources, time and means to help others, for your God whom you love.
May the grace of God be with you, dear reader, as you ask for help from God to love your neighbor as yourself, and for His help to ‘love one another’ as Jesus loved you. Amen.
#Love #One #Another #Who #Neighbor #Needs #Help #Brother #Church #Denomination #Christian #non #Enemy #Hate #Persecution #New #Life #Grace #Faith #Peter
By John Foll
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
My post on this Disqus: Monday 1/1/2018
Paul tells us clearly that we can gain the victory through Christ. "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:24 KJV. Then 2 verse later here he also says this: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1 KJV. And at the end of this chapter he says: "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39 KJV. Paul himself also died a conqueror: "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:6-8 KJV.
Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, and He is able to do what He says He will do for us. We need to believe that. None of us are good, not even one, but God is good all the time, as is Jesus His Son. God and His Son Jesus are more than able to deliver us and help us gain the victory, if we will seek after God with all our heart, and make Him our God, laying all on the altar to Him. Then, when He is our God, He will save us, just like He promised He would, and will help us to gain the victory. "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2 KJV.
‘But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 15:57 NASB.
And contrary to the opinion of some Bible teachers, it is possible to gain the victory through Jesus Christ. The Book of Revelation affirms that there will be a group of people who gained the victory through the Lamb. I want to be in that group. How about you? After the seven last plagues fall on this earth Revelation tells us about this group:
"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest." Revelation 15:2-4 KJV.
So we see here that Revelation predicts that there will be a group of people that get the victory, despite what this world and the Beast try to do to them. This is only by God's power, not by anything found in themselves. Let’s talk faith and live it, not acting like God is powerless to save His people from their sins. This promise of salvation runs throughout the entire Bible! Believe it! Receive it!
The prophet Isaiah also tells us there will be a group of people waiting for God to save them, and He does: (This is a representation of those who are alive when Jesus comes back in the clouds with great glory at the Second Coming): "And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." Isaiah 25:9 KJV.
If you have this desire, dear reader to have this victory, God will give it to you, if you will humble yourself before Him and give your heart to Him all the way, He would be delighted to give you this victory! "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Matthew 5:6 NASB. Jesus promised through this text the victory who would hunger and thirst after God's righteousness. Believe it!
#Victory #Over #Sin #Contrary #False #Teachers #Conqueror #Paul #Fought #Good #Fight #Jesus #Author #Finisher #Faith #Moses #Save #Salvation #Believe #Righteousness
By John Foll, Finished writing from 05/20/2017 to 05/22/2017, and 6/3/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
Before we get into this article, have you read our Faith Blog article “God Will Never Allow the Righteous To Be Shaken! (Cast your burden upon the Lord)”? We recommend that you read it too, and you should also check out this other Faith Blog article: “Do you have faith? Do you have Assurance? Faith commeth by hearing the word of God!” These articles were written to help inspire your faith in God so you can have a new life with Him, or have it more abundantly if you already have it!
Now on to our article.
The Kingdom of God consists not in words but in Power!
Listen to what the apostle Paul says here:
“But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant, but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power.” 1 Corinthians 4:19-20 NASB.
Paul here was addressing a class of people among the Corinthian believers who were arrogant. 1 Corinthians 4:18. Evidently some people were causing problems in the Church, who were living without the power of God in their lives. Sound familiar? This problem and the solution addressed by Paul here is largely the same problem that we have today, and his solution is the same that is needed today. Let’s explore this concept further that Paul is trying to teach the Church. Yes, his counsel is for our day too, not just for the Corinthian church of his day.
Do you want God’s power in your life to help you be good and His gifts to serve Him with? Do you want the assurance of your salvation? Then get His power in your life.
Do you want to have sweet communion with Him every day? Do you want Him to take the shame of your sins away and give you the power to live a righteous life? Are you tired of the endless round of sinning and bad habits? Do you want a new life with Him? The kingdom of God consists not in mere words but in power. The power of Love. The power to be good. The power to live a good Christian life. Do you want this power?
A large portion of people in Christianity today are without power. Some try to excuse their lack, their sins, or say that it doesn’t matter since we are saved by grace (some of these may think that they have this power since they are ‘saved’). And there is another class who say they believe in obeying God, but they appear to lack the power to obey Him, though they might think that they are, but are only doing so from outward appearance. Many of these lack the ability of being kind, loving and merciful to others. Both of these groups are lacking the love, joy, peace, faith and hope and the power promised by God to all who believe. Jesus said in John 3:3, 5 that all must be born again to be able to enter the kingdom of God. But the kingdom of God consists not in words, but in Power, as Paul spoke above in 1 Corinthians 4:20. But not all want this power, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV. Are you being saved day-by-day? Do you have the power of God in your life?
Do you want this power? Do you want to personally experience the power of the Holy Spirit in your life like the early Christians did in the book of Acts? The Holy Spirit has been promised to you forever by Jesus and His Father (John 14:16), if you believe in Jesus (John 3:16-17), want to love and obey Him, and would seek this life from Him, the ‘Pearl of Great Price’. Matthew 13:46.
God is willing to give you new life with Him, with the power of the Holy Spirit if you meet the conditions. Yes, there are conditions. You must ask for it (or want it very much). Luke 11:13. You must hunger and thirst for it. Matthew 5:6. You must obey God (or want to obey Him). Acts 5:32. You must believe in Jesus for your salvation. John 3:16-17. You must have the Son of God. 1 John 5:12. You must confess your sins and believe that you have been forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9. You must search for this ‘Pearl of Great Price’. Matthew 13:46. You must allow God to make you meek. Matthew 5:5. You must forgive others. Matthew 6:12. You must be merciful to others. Matthew 5:7. You must allow God to make you pure in heart. Matthew 5:8. These texts are stating what is needed to receive salvation and the blessings of God in their fullness. This is the Gospel message that was taught by Jesus and His disciples. These are the most wonderful truths that you could ever learn, they will give you life, love, joy, faith, hope and eternal happiness. Is that what you want?
See also: John 8:42, 13:34,35; 15:12,17; 14:15, 15, 27; 15:9; 17:23; 1 John 3:23; 4:7, 11, 12; 2:3-6; 4:20-21; Luke 14:26-27, 33.
Are you tired of living a lukewarm Christian life? Then you need God’s power! Has your love for God or others grown cold or dim? Then you need God’s power. In Revelation 3:15-16, Jesus warns His people that He will spew them out of His mouth, unless they see their need of Him, repent and yield to Him all the way. This is a very serious condition that many of God’s people are in today! Those who do not listen to Jesus and see their need of Him and repent will be spewed out of His mouth and be lost. There needs to be a great change in a lot of Christians today. They have lost their first love of Jesus (or never had it), and need to get it back (or get it for the first time). The solution for all who are in this condition is to make a full confession to God in Jesus’ name for their sins, especially for being lukewarm and not putting Him first at all times. All who are lukewarm Christians should throw themselves on God’s mercy and ask Him to help them put Him first and love their neighbor as themselves, and stop dallying with the world!
If you would like this power, you must confess all of your sins and humble your heart before God, ask for the Holy Spirit, and yield yourself totally to God. Always do what God has asked you to do and want to do it. If you do not want to obey God in all things, or do not obey Him fully you cannot have the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit. If there is any part of the Bible that God has impressed on you that you should follow that you are resisting Him on, ask Him to help you change. Ask God to be merciful to you a sinner, this is something He will be happy to do! You will need to work through these issues with Him, trusting Him and in much prayer. When you get to the point where the last thing that you have been putting Him off on or resisting Him on has been given to Him, you should see a wonderful change in your life! Sometimes you may want His help but are not all-the-way there yet, but if you will hang in there and ask Him to help you to obey Him, and then obey Him, He will give you peace, more joy and more power and more love.
How long it takes for you to get the Holy Spirit in full depends on how soon you yield fully to Him and do all that He has asked you to do 100%. At a later date He may ask you to do more things, or make more changes, or to make something right with others. Always be willing to do everything He asks, pray for the ability of doing it and to be more willing. (This will shorten the time it takes for you to get this desired blessing from Him.) God will always help the penitent sinner who is genuinely asking for His help and willing to do what He asks, or to be made more willing. God gives His best gifts to those who love Him and are obedient to all of His wishes that He has revealed to them. He is mindful that you are but dust (Psalms 103:14), and doesn’t require more than you can bear (unless you have almost gone too far and are in eminent peril), but will always give you the help you need to do His bidding, if you want it and ask for it.
Here are some promises for you to claim:
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 NASB.
‘the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation’ 2 Peter 2:9 NASB.
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.” James 1:12 KJV.
Meditate on these next quotes if you wish to have God’s best gifts, and His best and sweetest rewards:
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:7-11 KJV.
Jesus said, “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:19 NASB.
Yes, there is a great reward for those who keep all of God’s testimonies and His Law of Love (Exodus 20:1-17; Matthew 22:36-40). If you want to be called great in the kingdom of Heaven, keep God’s commandments and teach others to do so. If you want to be converted and not be lost, make these teachings, the Gospel message in the New Testament, and the other teachings of the Bible your study and delight. And ask God for the help you need to do what He has asked you to do. Then you will have the confidence of knowing that He hears your prayers. Psalms 66:18; Proverbs 28:9. And you will have the promised great reward! Then you will have the sweetness of the Holy Spirit in your heart, and you will love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your mind and all your soul, and your neighbor as yourself!
Always start with the Bible, God’s word, to find out what He wants you to do. Be careful about asking people for their opinion, unless they can provide solid proof from the Bible for their views. If God has convicted you on something in the Bible, it is a dangerous thing to ask what other people think about it, unless they give you proof from the Bible that makes sense to you after much thought and prayer, proving your earlier convictions wrong. Pray that God will make it clear to you. Don’t put your soul’s destiny into someone else’s hands to decide for you. Your soul and eternal life are at stake!
One of the reasons why there are so many people who are not willing to obey everything in the Bible is because they surround themselves with teachers who quiet their conscience against the clearly revealed word of God. But the apostle Peter said that we ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29. You accept the opinions of others over the plain words of the Bible at your own risk, the risk of eternal loss! We recommend that you only go by the word of God, or study as much of it as you can understand yourself, then ask others who you trust that are living godly lives who have been born again and filled with the Holy Spirit for the Biblical proof of their views. Although someone can tell you the truth without living it 100%, it is best to trust only those who are living God’s love, obeying Him and born again from above, and contrite when they make a mistake. But their explanations must never contradict the Bible, and it should make sense. They should be able to prove everything they are teaching from the Bible. And you need to verify every step of their reasoning before believing their conclusions.
Some people offer “proof”, but when you check all of their proof texts or evaluate their reasoning carefully, many are fallacies, distortions, half-truths, or taken out of context to fit their theories. Some are preaching systematic error; i.e. multiple fallacies and multiple errors using a lot of Bible texts. Don’t let the fact that they have a lot of “proof texts” fool you into thinking that they are right. You need to check all of their texts and reasoning carefully, no matter how many texts they give, to see if it makes sense, and their conclusion sure. But also remember that they themselves might be well meaning, but in error. Many time fallacies and errors are used to “prove” other things. Every fallacy or error someone accepts into their thinking builds on the others they have accepted previously, making it harder to separate fact from fiction, truth from error. Don’t accept anything as the gospel truth unless it squares up 100% with what God has revealed to you from the Bible. If you find out that you have been in error in anything, simply recant your previous beliefs and let God help you to change and believe the truth. You must love God and want to obey Him, or you will eventually end up being deceived or seduced into sin and being lost. If you are wanting something to quiet your conscience, pleasing fables will fill the void. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12. So it is important to always be humble and contrite before God and have the desire to please Him, so you won’t be deceived by error.
What happens if you find out that you have been in error after reading the clear word of the Bible and the Holy Spirit convicts you of it? That is for you to decide. If you find out that you were doing or believing something wrong, then you need to make a change, if you would continue to be a son or daughter of God. If you have been in error, just confess your sins and ignorance and allow God to help you to change. He will be happy to help you. You are not held accountable for the truth if you did not know it or did not have it impressed on your mind to obey it.
You may ask, ‘How can I know the truth for sure? People I know and respect or family or friends believe the truth differently than the plain reading of the Bible.’ You can know the truth if you are Jesus’ sheep or become His sheep. If you are Jesus’ sheep, then you will listen to His words and He will lead you into all truth through the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit. John 16:13. You can trust in the Good Shepherd of the sheep to lead you all the way to Heaven’s peaceful shore. John 10:11, 14. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29 NASB. So there you have it, if you are Jesus’ sheep you will not have to worry as long as you follow where He leads and do what He says, and He will give you eternal life! No one can snatch you out of Jesus or His Father‘s hands as long as you want them to save you!
If you are still struggling with sin and doubt, just get to know God and study the promises of His love in the Bible and believe, asking Him to be merciful to you a sinner and He will surely bless you. Just hang in there! Don’t get discouraged. Remember that He loves you! When your heart is warmed more and more to His love you will know it, and when you verbally give your heart to Him all the way, He will fill you with great joy, love and power (and peace). And then you will know that you have the Holy Spirit. No one will have to tell you that you have the Holy Spirit because you will know! You will be so blessed, and your attitude towards God and others will change. And you will delight in obeying God and serving Him. And you will finally have power from God. Is this what you want?
It is high time that all Christians make a complete return to God, renouncing the world completely, asking Him for His help to break all ties with sin, worldliness, bad practices, and stop trying to justify sin and bad habits. God’s mercy for this world will soon run out, and all who do not love Him supremely will be cast out. But God will shelter all who are Jesus’ true sheep from this coming storm.
The Kingdom of Heaven and true Christianity consist not in words, but in power! It is time for all who are named a Christian to shed their powerless, joyless, faithless, hopeless, loveless Christian existence and man-made religion, for the perfect righteousness of Christ, and receive power from God to finally be a Christian with power, not lacking in any of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). This is to be Christ-like: to be meek, humble, lowly, pure, Holy, full of peace, love, joy, faith, hope: to be full of the Holy Spirit. This is my prayer for you dear reader! Amen!
#Kingdom #God #Power #Word #Lukewarm #HolySpirit #New #Life #Promise #Condition #Faith #Peace #Love #Great #Reward #Obey #Commandments #Conversion #Return #Repent
By John Foll, Written between 04/03/2017 and 04/07/2017, and from 04/15/2017 to 04/18/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
If you have not already read our blog articles by W. W. Prescott, on the Divine Human Family on our Faith Blog, we recommend that you read them now. Here is the first article of three: The Divine Human Family 1 of 3.
Yes, we want to feed on the word of God!
We want to show you some of the wonderful things God has done and wants to do for you. We will feed on God’s word: that is what we are doing here in our Love of God Blog and in our Faith Blog – feeding on the word of God, and learning what He wants us to learn, so that we can clear the way for our heart to know such joy as the angels know and desire to look into (1 Peter 1:12), such joy as the Holy Men and Women of Old knew in the Bible. The purpose of our Ministry, our Blog articles, our books, and our messages that we preach is to break the Bread of Life, the Word of God, that you may feed on it, and become like God. If you continue like this you will learn to love Him all-the-way.
We believe that our books that you would be the most blessed by are: “The Love of God: God’s Plan To Save You!” Part 1: How To Have Righteousness By Faith and Part 2: How To Become the Bride of Christ! In these books we will break the bread of life to you: to show you the love of God, and how to get the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit for yourself! You will be so happy if you get this for yourself and blessed! It is our desire that as many people as possible would accept God’s invitation to be completely His, and be filled with His precious Holy Spirit. And it is our prayer, dear reader that this would happened to you, if it hasn’t already happened. And if you already know these joys, that you would greatly increase in love, joy, strength, and power to serve Him with; to be full and overflowing with His love! In these books we will also share with you some of our testimony from time-to-time, where needed, to help accentuate the points we are making. The main point of these books is to break the bread of life to you, so that you can experience the wonder, joy and peace of being a true son or daughter of God: That is what we were all meant to be – that God has promised to all who would believe and have it. Is that what you want? May the Grace of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you! Amen!
I want to share a few thoughts on the wonderful things God has done for me!
When I had the most wonderful experience of my life, where God showed me how much He loved me, and I gave my heart to Him with no reservations. In the days that followed I had great joy, but I also had a great struggle at the same time. But God sustained me and helped me through the struggle that my lower nature and the enemy of our souls was trying to overcome me with. I can only claim God’s love for me and help - that helped me make it through this struggle to yield fully to Him, and put down the doubts and opposition. But what a sweet release from the sore trials, what a sweet refrain from the struggle of self. I found that for the first time I had power, not my power but God’s Power to overcome. Why should I not love and trust Him? He filled my heart with His wonderful love, and then I felt that I could do anything He asked me to do! He helped me to trust in Him; that He would hear my prayers and grant my wish to be more like Him! In my life before this I hadn’t been satisfied with the way life had been going for me. But after I learned that He really loved me, because His Spirit told me so, I felt that I could trust Him for all of my needs and true desires; that He would listen to my petitions and requests. In my previous life, I had never been totally sure that my life pleased God; I would worry that I was good enough and did not have the assurance of my salvation with Him. I tried my best, but no matter what I did, I seemed to always fall short of the mark. But after I learned how much He loved me, He made it easy for me to believe that my salvation was secure with Him. And I had confessed all of my sins, repented, and threw myself on His mercy to save me. – He made me to know that my salvation was secure with Him, as long as I stayed humble and penitent before Him, and kept trusting in Him to carry me through.
When I was having this struggle, after I was starting to learn how much God loved me, my lower nature and our ancient foe wanted me back. The struggle between good and evil had always been going on in my life, but now I was most keenly aware of it. It seemed that every day there was some new attack on me, usually many. My scientific and rationalistic mind couldn’t believe what was happening to me, it was unsettled by all of this Spirit and power; that I could just talk to God and receive all this peace, love, strength and power for myself; something outside of the realm of human ability, reason, skill and will, and outside of the mundane and natural experiences that we as humans can know. It had a hard time dealing with this night and day difference between me, before and after my experience with God. I suppose that many of these things are still happening to me now, but I have just accepted them as part of our struggle against the powers and principalities of this world, but Jesus was the conqueror through every trial and perplexity, and that His strength is yours and mine, if we will just trust in Him and yield fully to His love and watch-care. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 KJV. Wonderful news! Jesus has overcome the world! If we will just make Him our Lord, He will help us to overcome too!
After I learned how much God loved me, and yielded myself fully to Him, I became very bold in my prayers and requests to Him. I believe that He heard my prayers and was delighted to give me the ones He wanted to give me, that were for my best and were His plan for my life. I was satisfied with the rich blessings He so wonderfully gave me, that I had never had before or never had with this strength and power, ‘my cup runneth over! Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me, all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever!’ Psalms 23:6 KJV. Even though I didn’t get the answers to all of my bold requests – yet, it was enough! He has made me so happy and been so wonderful to me; more than I could ever deserve! I had no clue that such wonderful peace, love and joy existed! I never thought it would be so wonderful to yield completely to God and volunteer to serve Him. Boy was I wrong! I am still praying for more of these gifts and power from Him to do more. I cannot take the credit for any of these wonderful things that happened to me, that He did for me or gave me; it wasn’t because of ANY of my goodness or natural ability or strength of character: it was solely of His doing, not mine. I see now that Jesus searched for me and found me, like in the parable of the good shepherd, and brought me to Himself. John 10:7-17; Matthew 18:11-14.
In my earlier life, many times I thought that I was OK, because I had been a Christian all of my life, although there were some times when I had drifted as a young adult and could have left the faith. But I still had a problem with sin in my life, and did not have the sweet assurance that you can only get when you yield yourself fully to Him. In my heart I knew that something was lacking; I did not have the peace, joy and the assurance of salvation that God has promised to all who really know and love Him.
I was born the son of a minister, who later became a college theology professor, and I had an interest in this line myself, though I never entered a theological seminary or majored in it in college. But I have learned since that none of the religious things that you can do matter, unless you have a living and vital connection with God.
In my previous life, after God had made a change in my life, but I wasn’t completely awake or transformed by His love yet, I wanted a little ministry to try to help others with their health, or some other “little” ministry, etc. I had thought about other things like learning to preach or other ministries that I could do. I say little, but I probably didn’t use the words “little ministry”. But since I hadn’t yielded to God all the way yet, I wasn’t totally devoted to Him yet and therefore not ready for a “bigger” ministry. But I did not know what God had planned for me. I wanted to have my own business and not make any waves, and try to make it through the end of time and be saved. You know keep “a low profile”; don’t attract too much attention. I had no clue that God’s love would get so strong a hold of my heart and that my greatest desire would be to become a fisher of men, and that my whole life would change, including my dreams and goals and what motivated me, and not care about the results that might happen if I were to follow Him all the way: that I would not be in fear of what people might say or think about me or be in fear of persecution. It was wholly the work of God. When I was a kid we used to sing, “I will make you fishers of men, fishers of men, fishers of men. I will make you fishers of men, if you follow me.” But could this be me too? To be honest, there were other times in my life before when I wanted to be a fisher of men, but I wasn’t ready then or didn’t really fully believe that it could happen to me like this now; I didn’t fully know or fully believe what God could do for me. In my previous life, I felt that something wonderful like this could happen to someone else, but not me, because I wasn’t good enough or talented enough. But this time it was different, because God helped me to believe that it was really possible and made it happen. But He had to first take away the shame of my sins, and help me to believe that He loved me, and believe in Him and His power to save. And He had to free me from the chains that bound me, before I could become a fisher of men and have the power to do it.
In my previous life I didn’t fully believe in the love and power of God, but I wanted a better life, and to be clean and pure before Him. How could I fully believe? This has to be experienced to be fully known, and I had not yet experienced it fully. I had not the power to be a fisher of men, even though there were several times that I tried to. My self got in the way, and my lower nature was resisting this dream and what God wanted to do for me, and there was some backsliding from what I had learned. But God was working steadily behind the scenes to remake me and give me the true desires of my heart that I had had as a boy and a young man.
Does it take special power from God to be His witness and win souls for Him? Yes it does. Are we able to be an effective witness for Him if we don’t have a vital connection with Him or haven’t yielded our heart fully to Him? No we can’t. You can be a witness for God before you have yielded fully to Him or have His wonderful power fully in your life, if you are temporarily yielding to Him, but not there yet. But until you get these missing ingredients in your life from Him all the way, there is no way for you to be a truly effective witness until you get this power from Him. Jesus said that ‘without me ye can do nothing.’ John 15:5. God will take you as you are. If your desire to serve Him is genuine, and if you cooperate with Him and allow Him to mold and shape you, He will make you into a useful tool for Him. 2 Timothy 2:21. But it is better to have your ‘upper room’ experience and ‘tarry at Jerusalem’ until you get power from on high, like Jesus commanded His disciples to do in Acts 1, which took place in Acts 2 where they received the full power of the Holy Spirit. No one has this power within themselves. Some people may think that what they have already is sufficient, to be a witness for Him, but it is not. Witnessing for God is not something that you can just try to do or to be, it’s something you are or are not. Everyone is a witness for or against God whether they realize it or not. Witnessing for God, like our salvation, is wholly the work of God; we cannot effect this ourselves. All that we can do is study God’s word and learn to love Him, confess our sins, yield fully to Him and decide to obey Him, but He supplies the change we need and the power to do all that He asks, including being His witness and preaching the gospel of His love to the ends of the earth! We must have the power of the Holy Spirit or the Comforter, whom Jesus said would reprove the world of sin, if we want to witness of Jesus and the gospel to the world. John 16:8. And we must love God and want to obey Him all the way, no holding back, if we want this special power. Acts 5:32; Matthew 22:36-37, 40.
I believe now that the young “ideal” man still inside of me “secretly” wanted to serve God. So God provided a way for me to serve Him. I am in no way deserving of this wonderful joy and privilege, but He has given it to me just the same, because He loves me. No one has ever deserved to be saved, live or be blessed by God, but He will do this and more to all who receive Him into their heart, because He is love! 1 John 4:8. I had asked God to make me an evangelist of His love, and to help me write a book on His love, and later for other books, and later to teach it to others, and later to write articles on it. When this wonderful change had taken place in my heart, I said to myself, ‘This is too good to keep to myself, I must tell it to others’. A few weeks after I had started to write, when I re-started my book in its new form that would later become the books: “The Love of God: God’s Plan to Save You!” Part 1 and 2 and some other little books, often a most wonderful feeling would flow through my entire being. This is hard to explain to other people for them to understand, or to make them believe that it happened and can happen, except to those who have experienced it themselves. Some may think that I am trying to make something out of myself. I had a hard time believing it was happening to me too, and was worried that I was making something special out of myself that I was not, you know bragging or pride. My lower nature would try to say, ‘You don’t have the Holy Spirit! Don’t try to make other people believe this!’ Or ‘yes you have the Holy Spirit, but just keep it quiet, keep it to yourself.’ i.e. False humility. My lower nature wanted me to be ashamed of what God was doing for me and tried to make me deny that power and glory that God can bless someone with. Ah! the abuse I had to put up with from my lower nature! But this struggle was worth it, because my old ways have absolutely nothing to offer that I want anymore.
This is ever the way the rationalistic thought goes for those trained by the world in the science of unbelief, that will ultimately cause someone to be lost, if they do not repent from this unbelief, since they deny God’s miracles and His power. I still have to pray to God on this one, because my lower nature and Satan do not let up on trying to put down my relationship with God, and say that it is false, and is the working of the wrong spirit, anything but accept what God has done and is doing for me. Satan does not want us to give God the credit or the glory, or to praise Him for His marvelous love or works, but wants us to attribute everything bad to God and everything good to our self (self-righteousness), or natural or mundane processes; anything to deny the power of God, and to keep other sinners from believing in Him and His mighty love and power to save! Satan doesn’t mind if you are a Christian, as long as you keep your Christianity and what God has done for you to yourself, as long as you don’t live a Christ-like life, do not have faith in Jesus or His Father’s mighty power to save, do not overcome sin, and as long as you express words of doubt about God to others as much as possible, leading them as much as possible into sin and self-destruction, and allow him to motivate you by his despicable, hateful character. But it is a sin to deny the power of God and the wonderful works that He has done, especially if you have a personal knowledge of His wonderful love and power. Dear reader, do not deny God’s miracles or power to save you! Do not deny God’s love by the way you live or by the testimony of Him that you give to others. You are giving a testimony of Him to others whether you are aware of it or not. If you practice the science of unbelief like I did, you will not be giving a true testimony of God or His Son to others of His wonderful mercy, awesome love and mighty power to save. Think about this. I had faith in God before this, but it was much watered down and indecisive. But God changed all of that when He drew me to Himself.
This wonderful feeling filling my being that was beyond words went on like this for days and weeks, as I was writing my books, but not necessarily this strong all the time. And it has continued on after this, as I was doing different aspects of the ministry that God has given me. I remember telling someone, ‘When does this joy stop? I should pinch myself to see if I am awake.’ And then a voice inside of me seemed to say, ‘Never’, then I told the person that I was talking to ‘Never’. (They may have said this too as soon as I posed this question.) This was the most wonderful thing that I have ever experienced in my life, but it hasn’t stopped happening yet, although it is not always this strong, and there is an ebb and flow to it. Conventional wisdom may say that ‘no one can be this happy for this long, there must be something wrong. No one has the right to be this happy or can be.’ I am sure that there is nothing on this earth that can produce this sweet overflowing experience of joy and love that does not end, but the Holy Spirit! This set my lower “logical” nature into a tailspin, because it could not accept what was happening to me, which contributed to my struggle. But for all who want to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, there is a cross that they must bear, and battles to be won. But we do not have to fight these battles on our own, Jesus has fought and won these battles for us, if we will just tap into His strength, He will deliver us. I had no one who I could confide with on this that I knew, who had also gone through this wonderful experience and terrible struggle with doubts, to give me advice as to the source of this experience and what to do about it. So I had to trust alone in God; that He was looking after my soul and would not let me be lost without trying to help me, if I went astray in any way or got too proud. Later I started to run into other people who had an experience with God too, but there experience was not exactly the same as mine.
God rewards those with love, peace, joy and kindness who yield fully to His love and make Him the Lord of their life. This is what fuels their ministry to serve Him with, and enables them to undergo great hardship, heartache, etc. and press on through trials, sore they be, to help seek and save the lost. This is likely how the apostles were able to do what they did. They were powered by the Holy Spirit and their love for Jesus to preach the gospel to the world. And they didn’t mind suffering or dying for Jesus, whom they greatly loved and adored! The motivation that allowed the disciples of Jesus to do what they did, and suffer what they did, cannot be fully understood by those who have never surrendered fully to Jesus’ love and been filled with the Holy Spirit. Those who have surrendered fully to Jesus’ love will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and will not be able to contain their love and joy; they will not be able to help themselves, but will want to share this good news with everyone they can! It is as natural as a baby duck takes to water, or a bird to flight!
Yes, there is great reward in yielding fully to the love of God and becoming His; when you become His you can’t help but want to be His servant, because the Holy Spirit will fill you with God’s love! “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.’” Matthew 16:24-25 NASB. Whatever sacrifice you make for Jesus and His Father, they will greatly appreciate it and you will have your reward. If you truly love Jesus you will not mind losing your life for Him; your strongest desire will be to do whatever is His will for your life! In fact, you may find yourself praying that He would give you the honor of dying for Him. What? Is this strange? To the unconverted heart this is complete foolishness! Why would someone want to die for Jesus or for their faith? In my former life, I was trying to figure out how to preserve my life as long as possible and avoid the persecution in the time of trouble at the end of the world; in those days I could not understand self-sacrifice. That is the world’s thinking. If you lose your life, which is to die to self, and are raised with Jesus in the baptism of His death, and renewed in newness of life, you will have life abundantly and find your life with God. “Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:” Romans 6:4-5 KJV. If you are serving God because you love Him, you will probably not mind it if you have to suffer great hardship, or are persecuted, or even lose your life. You want to bring honor and glory to His wonderful name, and to please Him. Those who are willing to lose their life and willing to give up all of their possessions for Jesus will find it. If you are willing to give your life to God all-the-way, which is losing your life from the world’s point-of-view, you will find it! And you will wonder why you didn’t lose your life to Him a long time ago!
Dear reader, why does it have to take so long to gain the blessings that God has wanted you to have your whole life? There is no reason to wait anymore, when you can have it now. You don’t have to wait 30 or 40 years, or wait until you are good or “better”, you can have it now! You don’t have to be a better person or be “perfect” before God will bless you like this. You don’t have to wait until you are able to be good before you can be what God wants you to be! Dear soul, why do you not have it now? It has been promised to you, and you may have it, if you will fall on your knees now and give yourself completely to God’s wonderful love!
The ability of serving God, like your salvation, is a gift from God and you do not deserve this wonderful joy and privilege, and will never deserve it. You can never serve God fully or perfectly in your own strength. It is solely the work of God, which He will be happy to do for you, if you want it and would claim your destiny. Just humble your heart before God, surrender to His love, and desire to obey Him in everything that He has commanded, and love Him with all of your heart, mind and soul, and He will help you to love your neighbor as yourself. As long as you continue like this, He will hear your prayers, and bless you with great peace, love and joy! It will fuel your ministry to serve Him and others with. He will remove the guilt of your sins and unfulfilled duties, and He will remove from you the idea that you are not good enough to be saved or to be His witness. He will give you the assurance of your salvation, and will take away your selfishness and sin if you will let Him, and will give you all the gifts you need to serve Him with. No need to be afraid or have guilt, when God wants to give you everything that you need. No reason to feel guilty or think that you are not good enough, or have not done enough for Him or others. No reason to have fear on whether you can serve Him, or how you can serve Him. Perfect love casts out all fear. 1 John 4:18. Just trust in your God who is mighty to save (Isaiah 63:1 KJV & NASB), and He will help you to do all that He is commanding you to do! Just believe! He loves you and wants to show you His mercy and love, and raise you up so that you can ride on eagle’s wings. Exodus 19:4. He wants to give you the reward of the righteous and make you happy! And give you the wonderful privilege of leading others to Heaven, where you will know joy throughout eternity, because your life pleased God, and because those whom you have helped will be so happy and will thank you for caring enough to share God’s love with them, so that they could be as happy as you are! Oh reader, do not miss out on this wonderful joy, this wonderful reward of the righteous! Oh reader, do not miss out on what makes life worth living, living for all eternity! In a word, love. Love makes life worth living, living for all eternity: the love of God! God will truly provide for all of your needs and help you to meet all of your duties; to serve Him and your fellow man! He will take away the shame and guilt of your life, and give you life and love throughout eternity if you will let Him. Amen!
#God #Wonderful #Experience #Peace #Joy #Love #You #Faith #Power #HolySpirit #Prayer #My #Testimony #Believe #Serve #Glory #Praise #Science #Unbelief #Rationalism
By John Foll, written on 3/12/2017 and 3/18/2017 – 3/19/2017.
© Copyright John Foll 2017
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 KJV.
What did Jesus really mean when He said this?
There is more to this text than is commonly understood. We want to go deeper into this statement by Jesus and give our own personal testimony regarding it, to help increase your faith in God!
Now back to what Jesus said before our central text here:
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” Matthew 6:25-32 NASB.
Jesus is talking about two classes of people here: those of faith and the Gentiles. The Gentiles seek first after what they shall eat, drink and be clothed with, making this the most important thing – these are all those who don’t know Jesus or His Father. ‘The Gentiles’ that Jesus is referring to here includes those who are baptized as Christian, who are not of faith or do not fully believe that God loves them and will take care of them. If Jesus is your master, you will truly believe that God loves you and will take care of you, and you will seek first after His kingdom and His righteousness.
Jesus told us not to be like the Gentiles, who worry about how they are going to be clothed, or have food to eat, etc., because they don’t believe in the Mighty Helper for their daily needs.
Which class are you? Are you a Gentile or are you a child of faith? That depends on whether you know that God loves you or not, or whether you know that He will take care of you or not. Do you have faith that God loves you and will take care of you? Then seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all the things that you need in this life will be added unto you. Doubt it not. Jesus tells us here that the birds, lilies, and grass are fed, arrayed in their “clothing” and taken care of by our Heavenly Father. Does He not love you more than them? Why then do you not believe that He will take care of you, you of little faith? Why do you worry about how you shall live? Why do you worry about having a job? Will you still be able to afford food? What will you do when something that you need and depend on breaks, if you cannot afford to fix or replace it? Do as Jesus commanded you: “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.” Matthew 6:25 KJV. Just take Him at His word!
But now we want to take this deeper:
What does it really mean to seek first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness? This is the key to everything good in this life and the life to come. Simply put, this is to seek after God and all His righteousness as Jesus clearly stated here. God revealed this same truth to His servant Jeremiah: “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 KJV. When you seek for God with all your heart, and then desire to obey Him in everything that He has commanded you in the Holy Bible, then you will be seeking after Him first and His righteousness! When you are tired of sinning and being unrighteous, you can pray to God that He will give you His righteousness, and He will give you the Holy Spirit to help you be righteous! Then you will be truly seeking the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness for yourself. Jesus also states this same truth in a different manner when He said: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 KJV. Jesus’ yoke is much easier than that yoke of bondage to sin, suffering and death! It is easier, because He will make you happy! It is easier, because this yoke is based on your desire to love and serve Him, not by force or addiction or slavery like your life is before you give your heart totally to Him. Jesus will never force you, that is why His yoke is lighter, because it is based only on your choice of daily giving your heart to Him and willingly serving Him, and because He will take all of your burdens and slavery of sin away from you, if you let Him! This will make you very happy if you will just give your heart to Him all-the-way! This is another way of stating how you can seek first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness. Dear reader, lay all of your cares and burdens on Jesus, and take His yoke upon you, and then He will help you to seek first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness.
A passage with overlapping or similar meaning to what Jesus said in Matthew 6:25-33 is this passage that Moses wrote of God to the Israelites: “And He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.” Deuteronomy 8:3 NASB. Jesus used this quote when the devil tempted Him in the wilderness to turn the stones into bread: “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, ‘If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.’ But He [Jesus] answered and said, ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:1-4 KJV. If you will desire to live by every word that comes from the mouth of God in His Holy Bible, and ask for His help to do this, you will then be living by every word that proceeds from His mouth, and will then be seeking His Kingdom first and seeking after His righteousness.
But let’s take this even deeper:
What does it really mean to seek first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness? The clue was given earlier. When you yield yourself completely to God because you love Him, you will then be given the precious Holy Spirit. And since ‘God is love’, 1 John 4:8, a very strong desire will be placed in your heart to help others in whatever way you can, because you know that God loves them too, just like He loves you! And you will long, just ache to tell them how much He loves them!
Note: 1 John 4:8 does not say that God has love, but it says that ‘God is love’! I.e. God is the source of Love!
So again, what does it really mean to seek first the kingdom of God? It means that you will greatly desire to do everything in your power to build up God’s kingdom, by telling others how much He loves them or by showing it to them, by helping them, and by living a life that brings honor and glory to God! If you are truly seeking first the kingdom of God, you will lay everything on the altar to Him and give everything to Him, and beg Him to send you into His vineyard (Luke 10:2) and give you the gifts that you need to serve Him with. John 14:12-15. Then you will be Jesus’ disciple and will bear much fruit, and this will glorify God! John 15:8. Why is God glorified when you bear much fruit for Him? Because God is love, 1 John 4:8, and loves everyone, and greatly longs to save them! God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Ezekiel 33:11; 18:23. Also “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 KJV. Never forget that God loves you and everyone else in the world, and wants all men and women to come to repentance, so that they perish not! If you really love Him, you will long to help build up His kingdom, which is the fuller deeper meaning of ‘seeking first the Kingdom of God’. You will feel your great need of His help and how inadequate you are without Him, and how much you need the spiritual gifts that you need to serve Him with, asking Him for these things in Jesus’ name, so that you can bring honor and glory to Him.
What will God give you if you truly seek His Kingdom first and all of His righteousness, and tell others how much He loves them? I.e. What will God give you if you seek to build up His kingdom? Jesus plainly stated that God would give you all of the things that the Gentiles and every human being seek after: food, clothing, shelter, in short all of the things you need to live, survive and thrive. If instead of seeking first after what the Gentiles seek after (who don’t know God or trust in Him), and seek after His kingdom and His righteousness, He will give you everything that you need. If you will stop living your life by just the way you earn your living, and if you stop putting your faith in your ability to take care of your needs and your family’s needs by your job, and fully live by all of the words in God’s Holy Bible, trusting in Him to supply all of your needs, then you will be putting His kingdom first and seeking after His righteousness! When you place all on the altar because of your love for Him, and seek to bring others to Him, telling and showing them how much He loves them, then you will be living by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, and will be truly seeking first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness. Then you can fully claim Jesus’ promise here, and believe that God will give you all the things you need in this life, that the Gentiles earnestly seek after! Because God knows that you need these things and cares for you!
* Note: We are not saying here that if you don't seek first after the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, or haven't fully yielded to Him that He will not still try to take care of you, because God sends the rain on the just and the unjust. Jesus said, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." Matthew 5:44-45 KJV. But it is much better to believe that God love's you and will take care of you, so that you can make your way safely to Heaven, and have the confidence you need when you pray to claim His rich promises for you! The purpose of this article is to increase your faith in God, and to help you learn fully how much He loves you, and have the wonderful peace and assurance of your own salvation!
I know personally that what was stated in this article is true. I was telling this idea to a little group at Church that the fuller meaning of ‘seeking first the kingdom of God’ is really seeking first the kingdom of God, not just for yourself, but for others. I.e. you are seeking to build up God’s kingdom. I was saying that as a group that we could claim this promise for ourselves, since we were working towards and making plans on how to help others in our community get to know God and help them with their health, etc. I have been working towards this goal with this little group for a while now that I am a part of, and I also greatly desired to build up God’s Kingdom for my own writing and speaking ministry that I asked God to give me, that He is giving me. I am boasting in the Lord, which is permitted according to 1 Corinthians 1:31, because I would be nothing without Him – He is my strength and shield and mighty helper! (I got this idea that it is permitted to boast in the Lord from either A. T. Jones or E. J. Waggoner.) Now I had been looking for a job for many months, and was getting very discouraged from time-to-time, and believed that I needed to express my faith that since we were working to help others get to know God, that we met the qualifications for this promise of Jesus in Matthew 6:25-36. I believe I told them about my job interview and asked them to pray for me, and that I believed that the conditions for this promise were met; that they could claim this promise for their needs too. I had interviewed for a job on this same day by phone before this meeting, but I didn’t know the results of it then. The next day I was told by the recruiting company for this job, that I had interviewed strongly and that the company was thinking of extending an offer to me, but I was to wait until the following Tuesday (the next week). That next week I was given the offer of employment and accepted it. So I believe that God heard my prayer and granted my request, because I was willing to confess the promises of His love for us and promises to help us and the conditions, and that we had met them. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9 KJV. So we need to confess with our mouth that our Lord Jesus greatly loves us and wants to take care of us: we need to confess with our mouth the promises that God has given us and their conditions, so that others might have faith in God too! God will help you, if you will seek after His kingdom first and all of His righteousness, and seek to help others know how much He loves them.
So how can you stop worrying about how you will be clothed, have food to eat and how you will live? How can you believe that God will take care of you? How can you seek first His kingdom and His righteousness?
You need an anchor, to anchor your soul to your mighty helper, God! That anchor is your faith in Him, if you know that He loves you. Do you really know that He loves you? Have you experienced this personally for yourself? Has He revealed to you that He loves you? God will do all of this for you and more, if you will just get to know Him and learn to give your heart completely to Him! God will give you this anchor if you will just ask Him to! Be like Jesus’ disciples who said unto the Lord: ‘Increase our faith.’ Luke 17:5 KJV. How do you get this faith? By yielding your heart to God all the way and receiving the Holy Spirit, because it is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23. What do you have to lose? Why not give your heart completely to God today? But you may say ‘I am a sinner, no good or evil.’ But what does Jesus say? “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” Luke 11:13 KJV. Answer: Jesus says that God will give you the Holy Spirit, if you will but ask! Is it really just that simple to get faith? Yes it is! Why then is it that not every Christian has enough faith and why is it that they get caught up into doubt? Answer: Because they have not asked or continue to ask every day for the precious Holy Spirit or because they have not fully yielded themselves to God. Maybe they don’t really know how much God loves them or maybe they don’t really care yet? Yes, we believe that this must be the case! If they really knew how much He loved them, and what He did for them when He gave His only Son to die on the cross for their sins, John 3:16-17, and the wonderful gift He provided for them in the gift of the Holy Spirit, as stated in Acts 2:33 and in other places such as John 14:16, and returned their love and affection to Him, then they would have the assurance of their salvation, and have the Holy Spirit for themselves, and have all the faith that they need to believe God and appropriate all of His promises in the Bible and thus get the victory. So the key to having faith is getting to know God and yielding yourself to Him! He will then give you everything that you need to love, obey and serve Him with! And then you will be truly seeking first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness, and all of the things you need will be added unto you! Amen.
#Seek #First #Kingdom #God #Righteousness #Food #Clothing #Faith #Birds #Heart #Search #Holy #Spirit #Yoke #Bread #Live #Mouth #Perish #Repentance #Promise
© Copyright 2017 John Foll and earlier.
“And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:39-40 NASB. “And He was saying, ‘For this reason I havesaid to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.’” John 6:65 NASB.
Wow! It’s the Father’s will, if you will give your heart to Him, that He will give you to Jesus, and Jesus will raise you up on the last day! Whoever believes in Jesus will have eternal life! How do you know that the Father has given or will give you to Jesus? If you behold Jesus and believe in Him, you will be given to Jesus as the text says, and He will raise you up on the last day. You cannot lose if you do this. How do we know this? Because Jesus said here that He will lose none of those who have been given to Him. The condition again? To behold Jesus, God’s Son, and believe in Him.
Stop thinking about your past failures and problems. Just believe that the Father and Jesus the Son love you. Just believe that the Father will give you to His precious Son Jesus, who will raise you up to eternal life. He will give you a wonderful spiritual life now and when you die, He will raise you up on the last day! No one can come to Jesus, unless the Father draws him (by the power of the Holy Spirit). This is what is meant by ‘all that the Father gave me’.
In the New Testament of the Bible there are many comparisons between baptism, death, the resurrection of Jesus and the resurrection of our heart to walk in the newness of life – but these are often an allusion to the literal resurrection of the dead, that is promised to all who believe. Jesus also said this in our passage above in John 6:39-40 that He will raise up all who are given to Him by the Father on the last day! Is that what you want? To be raised up by Jesus on the last day? Then behold Jesus and believe in Him, and let Him create a clean heart in you (Psalms 51:10), and ask God to help you to become born again, so that you can enter the kingdom of God. John 3:3, 5.
God promised through the prophet Jeremiah that He would make a New Covenant with His people (the house of Israel and Judah, which also includes all Christians who give themselves to God, see Galatians 3:29), which was to be fulfilled starting at Pentecost in Acts 2 and continue to our day: “"Behold, days are coming, " declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."” Jeremiah 31:31-34 NASB. In this promise, not only does God want to write His Law in our heart, He wants all to know Him from the least to the greatest – this is also a prophecy of Heaven, which is when this prophecy will have its sweetest, complete fulfillment! But we can all have the first part fulfilled now, where God will write His Law in our heart.
So there is a link between being baptized into Jesus’ death and resurrection and the New Birth of John 3:3, 5 and God promising to create a new heart in His people of Jeremiah 31:31-34, and when Jesus finally takes His people to Heaven, at the Second Coming.Baptism/death, raised from the water/raised into the Newness of Jesus’ resurrection through baptism, and to the resurrection of the dead on the last day. If we love Jesus and want to be saved we will want to die with Him, through baptism (and each day die to sin), and be raised to newness of life, and to be resurrected on the last day. “It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:11-13 NASB. Paul indicates that if we want eternal life, we should die with Jesus in baptism, and not deny Jesus. And in 1 Corinthians 15:31, he also adds ‘die to self’. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9 KJV. We should ask God for His Holy Spirit to help us to be faithful to Him, and not deny Him or His Son Jesus by our words, deeds, thoughts, or by the way we live, so that He will not deny us. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 KJV. God does not want to appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through Jesus, as Paul says above, and that waking or sleeping we should live together with Him. It is the will of the Father, as Jesus said above in John 6:40, that all believe in Jesus and obtain eternal life. Therefore believe.
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:3-11 KJV. If you are not walking in newness of life with God’s love in your heart, or do not love God more than anything and everything else, or do not love your neighbor as yourself, then you have not fully, truly been baptized into Jesus’ death and resurrection, or you have not truly beheld the Son Jesus or believed in Him, or you have not continued like this. But if you are walking in newness of life, life is good and sweet, even if you are going through great difficulties and trials, and your heart will long to serve God and tell others how much He loves them, and help them in whatever way you have in your power to do. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”Proverbs 3:27 NASB. And to whom is good do? To every child of God; every human being on this earth, good or bad, because God loves them all! If you are born from above, this will be your sweetest desire, to help all when it is in your power to do so.
If you know you are not yet where you should be, or are not walking in newness of life, and you have not truly beheld the Son nor believed in Him, or are not born again, there is still hope! The door of mercy is still open! Get on your knees and plead with God to have mercy on you a sinner, and ask Him to help you to become born again. Ask God to help you to be more willing, and yield yourself completely to Him. God will always hear your prayer when you beg Him for mercy and cling to Him for help like this!Deuteronomy 10:20, 13:4; Joshua 23:8; Psalms 63:8. And you can yet be born from above! Amen!
This is what we want and continue to want, to be raised in newness of life, and to be raised on the last day to be with Jesus and His Father in Heaven forever.There is a great joy and a great reward in loving God with all your heart and loving your neighbor as yourself, because love is the fulfillment of the Law! Romans 13:10, and Psalms 19:7-11. This is God’s promise to all who behold Jesus and believe in Him.
Finally, to end this article, we want to bring this final statement from Paul regarding our blessed hope:
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NASB.
#God #Jesus #Lose #Raise #Behold #Believe #Faith #Resurrection #Baptism #Death #Life #Buried #New #Spirit #Born #Again #Covenant #Condition #Heaven #Pentecost
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
Jesus said, “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.” Luke 6:40 NASB.
Are you Jesus’ student? Have you been trained by Him? Are you still in training by Him? Be patient, if He is your teacher, and if you are a diligent student, you will be fully trained and will become like Him.He will take care of that for you, if you continue to let Him be your Master!
What does it mean to be like Jesus? How was Jesus? He was always loving, patient and kind. But because of His love this also meant that He had to warn those who were in grave danger of being lost, of their peril! This was the reason for His stern rebukes to some. He always knew the right approach for each person. Study His methods, be filled with His Spirit, and then you will be able to know which approach you should use with those you come in contact with.
God will also use trials and circumstances to train you, if you will let Him. “Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.” Hebrews 12:9-13 NASB.
A lot of the problems that Christians have are brought on by themselves, until they yield fully to Him because they love Him. There are two ways to be saved, the easy way and the hard way. The hard way is to try to be your own master, and give in to God now-and-then, and then have to go through excruciating trials until you agree to let Him lead and you follow Him or give up totally being a Christian, and the easy way, which is to learn how much He loves you, throw yourself on His great mercy, and let Him help you, then yield to Him fully! It is much easier for God to work with a contrite, totally yielded heart, because those that do this invite the Holy Spirit to dwell in their heart, and He will make it very easy for them to be like Jesus! This only happens when someone stops struggling against God, and invites Him to rule their heart. Why struggle? Why not make it easy on yourself and yield fully to His loving power now? You have nothing to lose but your sins, lack of peace, lack of faith, lack of hope, lack of joy, lack of self-control, lack of assurance of your salvation, and the deeds of the flesh.‘Those that practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.’ Galatians 5:19-21. Why would you want to hold on to any of these things? If you will just yield to Him now, all-the-way, He will make it easy for you! Galatians 5:22-23.
“For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:6-8 NASB. Do you want to please God? Why would you want to be hostile toward Him?If you are living in the flesh, you are hostile against God and cannot please Him, but if you want life and peace, set your mind on the Spirit like Paul says. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Romans 8:9 KJV. Do you want to belong to Christ?Then you must have His Spirit, and walk in His Spirit, or you are ‘none of His’, as the King James Version of the Bible puts it, or you do not belong to Him, as the New American Standard Bible puts it.
What they did to Jesus, they will do to His true followers who continue to be trained by Him and want to serve Him. Jesus says, “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they callthem of his household?” Matthew 10:24-25 KJV.
If they called Jesus the ‘prince of Demons’, what will they call His servants? Matthew 9:34; 12:24 KJV. Do not be afraid, Jesus and His Father love you and will take care of you! If you love Jesus, do not worry about those that can destroy the body but not the soul, but fear God in Heaven only! Matthew 10:28. Do not let what others might say or have said keep you from the joy of following in your Master’s footsteps and being His servant!
Now listen to this account of Peter and the apostles after they had been imprisoned (Acts 5:18), because they were following Jesus’ command (Matthew 28:18-20), and after they were released by the angel and ordered to preach again by God, as revealed to them by this angel (Acts 5:19-20): “And when they had brought them, they set thembefore the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.” Acts 5:27-28 KJV. * * * “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, rejoicing that 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. Before the rulers let them go, they were beaten and told not to preach anymore in His name again! So we see here that despite being imprisoned, beaten and being warned by the leaders of Jerusalem from preaching of Jesus, Jesus’ disciples rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His Name! How and why were they able to rejoice because they had suffered for Jesus? Is this a normal human behavior? Certainly not! No one likes to be abused, but they were so happy, because they loved Jesus so much, that they were able to rejoice because of this suffering! Because they knew it made Jesus and His Father happy, since they were willing to save the lost at all costs to themselves, just like Jesus was willing to give up all and Heaven forever for us! This is the Great Power of the Love of Jesus and of God!
It was the Holy Spirit that enabled the disciples to rejoice when they were persecuted, imprisoned and beaten! But why was it necessary that they should rejoice? Because it helped them to deal with the pain and shame of persecution. The joy that God gives all of Jesus’ disciples is part of the reward that He gives to those who love Him and belong to Him! Nothing brings greater joy to Jesus’ disciples than to bring others to the kingdom! This is because they have the Spirit of God, who is not willing that any should perish(2 Peter 3:9 KJV). Even though the devil doesn’t take it kindly when souls are won to God, and tries to destroy those who are helping God to free his prisoners, God enables them to press on and to do His work of love and mercy for the world!There is nothing that any human being or devil can do to take the joy of those who are serving God away! Yes, they might suffer cruel torture and death, and sometimes their suffering may not always appear to be joyful, but they will have joy many times on this earth, and they will have endless joy in Heaven throughout eternity, in helping others become as happy as they are and becoming saved! It makes all their suffering worthwhile! And like Jesus, they will see the travail of their soul and be satisfied, Isaiah 53:11, and count it all joy! (Of course not to the same degree as the infinite love of Jesus! But within their own human, finite limitations.)
We have cited Jesus’ declaration in this message that the servant is not above His master, therefore consider this: As the soldiers crucified Jesus, He said: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ Luke 23:34 KJV. And listen to what Isaiah proclaimed about our Lord: “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.” Isaiah 53:7 KJV. Jesus did not say anything to save Himself, or say anything against His accusers, or to those crucifying Him or causing Him pain, but prayed to His Father to forgive them! Jesus never did anything to deserve the treatment He received from sinful men, but He did this to pay the price for our sins and was willing to forgive those who did this to Him! Therefore all of His servants must be willing to forgive those who are abusing them and spitefully treating them too!This is proof that Jesus is their Master and that they have the Holy Spirit.
“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 24:44-51 KJV.
And we will repeat this same text in the New American Standard, in case you have difficulty understanding the old King’s English:
“For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that evil slave says in his heart, 'My master is not coming for a long time,' and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 24:44-51 NASB.
The faithful servants of Jesus will spend their time doing the work that God has given them to do, giving the lost their ‘meat in due season’ or ‘their food at the proper time’(i.e. they will help the lost receive the bread of life), and will not say that their Master delays His coming and will not tear into God’s other servants and people and will not live their life in drunkenness. This tells us that Jesus will not come as a thief in the night to those who are His faithful servants! We pray that you will so prove faithful to Jesus and keep doing His work until He returns! We pray that you will not eat and drink with the drunken, and not continually find fault with others, or repeat their sins to others behind their back, and will protect their reputations, so that Jesus will not come as a thief in the night for you.
So if Jesus is your Master, and you are His servant, then you will willingly follow in His footsteps, and forgive those who have wronged and hurt you, and maligned you in His name, even calling you evil, and do as He did - seek and save the lost.
Thus when a student of Jesus is fully trained, they will be like Him and will yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness, and count it all joy when they suffer for His name. They will be like their teacher, have love and give forgiveness to their accusers and the ones who cause them pain, and count it all joy to suffer for His sake. And they will not stop, even when commanded by those in authority, from preaching in His name! Amen!
#Student #Master #Teacher #Jesus #Saved #Hard #Give #Lack #Faith #Joy #Flesh #Holy #Spirit #Fruits #Death #Life #Forgive #Servant #Thief #Night
By John Foll
, written sometime in February to April 2014? Edited 2/24/2017 & 02/25/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
[How to keep the faith?
The promises of God
Are very important,
Now I see!]
It’s one thing to give your soul to God,
And to yield everything to Him,
But another thing to keep it.
Satan, our relentless foe,
Has a vast array of devices
To try to force his way back in.
[But now as I type this in,
I know that God is very strong to save,
And nothing that our foe can do,
Can prevent us from the victory,
If to God we cling!]
But we have to be more
Vigilant in the Lord,
To protect our soul.
[Actually God is vigilant for us,
But if we are vigilant,
It is because His love
Is helping us to
Want to be vigilant,
And so it is all by Him!]
We must build a wall of faith around our soul,
[We must let Him build a wall of faith around our soul.]
Then another wall around that wall,
Then another wall around that wall,
Never ending, and keep your trust in Him!
It’s your choice and only your choice,
To keep God in your heart
The minute you let your guard down,
[The minute you let go of God’s hand],
Your enemy will try to tear down those walls,
And try to destroy you!
But being afraid of failure
Will cause failure too!
[Trust your soul to God,
He loves you, Oh naïve soul!
Why not? He loves you and is strong to save!
Yes, we must trust in God to protect us from our foe,
And allow His love to guide us
Every moment, every hour.
Pray, keep praying, until you get the victory,
Pray, keep praying, until you feel His mighty power to save.
Pray, keep praying, until you know
That He cannot lose,
And let Him win the battles for you!
And then keep praying because you love Him,
And praise His wonderful name!
P. S. Not all of this “poem” was as I originally wrote it on a piece of paper that I typed in today, because I revised it with what I have learned since.
But even though I did not know all of what I know now then, it didn’t matter, because God’s love has carried me through and guided me. But I didn’t want to let Him down. I learned during this time, that not everything that was happening to me was from Him, because my lower nature and our ancient foe were fighting to gain me back from God. I thought that you should know some of my great struggles, in my desire to win over my lower nature and to become completely God’s, that is why I think I wrote this poem? It should be shared.
When I started to write down this, if I remember correctly, I was trying to write what I should put in my book that I was trying to write, but it quickly turned from a chapter idea, into a pseudo-poem – this was what was happening to me at that time. I was so happy, and emotional about what was happening, that I was thinking in poetic or musical rhythmic sense. So instead of being just a chapter idea, it is now a poem!
I had to rein this in, because I was trying to write a book on God’s love, not a book on just poetry. If you want to read the chapter this poem is talking about, read my book “The Love of God: God’s Plan to Save You! Part 2 How to Become the Bride of Christ
” in the chapter #2 “Build a Wall of Faith Around Your Heart, Until it Becomes a Fortress!
” But I recommend that you read Part 1 first: “The Love of God: God’s Plan To Save You! Part 1: How to Have Righteousness By Faith!
#How #Keep #Faith #Poetry #Promises #Trust #Praise #God #Yield #Strong #Save #Protect #Vigilant #Wall #Victory #Afraid #Fear #Foe #Destroy #Battle
Please read this interview I wrote for our ministry, if you would like more on why and how our book and blog ministry got started, etc.?
© Copyright 2017 John Foll for all the answers to the questions.
Most Questions were from SmashWords.com.
When did you first start writing?
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My Android Samsung Galaxy Note 4 phone, using the @Voice Aloud Reader to play the text of the book to me while I am driving or doing work around our place, etc.
What is your main goal in your writing and what you are trying to accomplish?
Our main goal is to help as many people as possible get the assurance of their own salvation, and learn how wonderful God is and have the desire grow in them to give themselves to God all the way. Then they will have the peace, love, joy and happiness that they have been searching for their entire life, and now they have it! And it will last for all eternity, if they keep allowing God to take care of them.
What is your writing process?
God is the most important part of my life and writing process! I could do nothing of any value without Him. I owe my life and my love to Him for all that He has done for me, and the new life He freely gave me. I had a most wonderful experience with God, where I learned how much He loved me, and gave my heart to Him all the way.
I thought that I had done this many years ago before, when I was baptized as a boy, but now I know we need to give our heart to God all the way every day! And why would I not want to do so?
I love Him! Within a few days after this, I was so happy I said to myself, ‘This is too good to keep to myself, I must tell it to others’
(or something like that). So I asked God to help me write a book or books to tell of His love to the world
, and that He would make me an evangelist for Him to proclaim His love to as many people as I could, and then later to the world (I think I asked Him)! I believe that He heard my prayer, for He richly blessed me with these beautiful thoughts and wonderful promises in these books, particularly Parts 1
of The Love ofGod: God’s Plan to Save You!
But He also greatly blessed me on all of these books! I had also asked Him to do this for me, because I was moving to the country and needed a source of income, but I greatly desired and needed a ministry to serve Him with. Jesus said, ‘the labourer is worthy of his hire.’ Luke 10:7.
I had a good idea of the topics that should be in the first book, which eventually got split into multiple books, and so these became the chapters. The initial writing process of a lot of these books were almost automatic. Once an idea was impressed on my mind, it was just a matter of finding the texts that went with it, and rearranging, proofing, etc. Sometimes the initial idea would immediately suggest texts or like passages, and these passages, when commented on led to others. The editing process took a lot of the thought and time. I had to learn to take out things with wrong sentiments or passages that were too strong, that in my eagerness I had put into my writing, I had much to learn about writing. I had to make sure I could back up what I was saying from the Bible or take it out, and fix any incorrect ideas that I had placed there. (I was learning in this process too!) Then I had some places that were somewhat duplicated that needed to be combined and reworded. The Bible really does explain itself!
There were some books though that were harder to write, because they were dealing with some of the things that we don’t often want to talk about or hear, the harder truths in the Bible. I had to learn how to write things in such a way as to not overburden the reader with negative messages, and avoid using harsh tones or cutting words. It could have been my old ways trying to come back or it was my inexperience at being an evangelist, or writing the truths of the Bible in Love. But God helped me through these more difficult books to find the proper balance between the negative truths that the soul sometimes needs to hear, that are not pleasant for it, and love! If the soul feels no hope, it will despair or reject the truth! We should always preach love, whenever dealing with these harder topics in the Bible! Give people hope, not just tell them what they are doing wrong! In this process, I developed the main concept that I want in all of my future books as well, regardless of the topic. In their introduction, descriptions, brochures, and product information they should always say, “Discover the beautiful truth that God loves you and has a plan to save you!” If I can say that each book is about God’s love and plan to save you, and the book really contains this, then some of the harder truths of the Bible can be presented, and will fit with God’s love for the world! He doesn’t want anyone to perish! Therefore repent and live!
I have to use the aid of text-to-speech readers on my PC or Android phone to proof read to fix mistakes, because I don't see all of the errors. Dyslexia? Sometimes I don't always hear them either, so I listen and sometimes re-read things until I am satisfied. The editing and proof-reading processes are very important in order to get rid of mistakes, and to flesh out more fully the concepts that were expressed, in order to not miss anything important.
But I believe that God has been guiding me in this process, because I would be unable to write inspiring books like these without Him, that would be of any value spiritually, that would uplift people from the problems on this earth, to help them catch His Spirit and see a glimpse of Heaven. Praise His wonderful name! He gives gifts to those who love Him, to help them serve Him, and gives them the power and the strength to do it. What a privilege! What a joy!
What are you working on next?
We are working on the marketing of our Ministry for the Books, Website, and Blogs to help people get closer to God.
We have two books that are almost done except for the final editing. Some editing of these books has been done already, but more is needed: 1) "TheGifts of the Spirit in the Last Days: For Those Who Want To Know About theirNeed For the Gifts of The Spirit in the Last Days, Which We are Now Living in." 2) "TheFirst Commandment: Give Your Heart Completely To God Because You Love Him! WhatLack I Yet?" And some more excerpt books. I also want to make 2 other smaller books of "TheFirst Commandment", one with just the first (main chapter), and another with chapters 1 and 2. These two smaller books are intended for someone who may not be ready for the first book, but need to know the essentials of the First Commandment, etc. The "WhatLack I Yet" version gives the harder calls to give your heart to God, and shows the Holy Spirit outpouring for the latter days... Well you need to read it to find out. But it should help equip the reader so that they can be ready for the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the world, and help them to see their need of the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so that they can have a ministry to serve God with and be ready for Jesus to come.
We want to make a book to be tentatively called: "The Meaning of Baptism", discussing the origin of Baptism, and its meaning in the Early Christian Church. This is book points out the necessity of every Christian to be baptized by the water and the Spirit as described by Jesus in John 3:3, 5, and in Jesus' own baptism, who is the example for all Christians to follow. This will be taken from my currently released book "The Ceremonial Law and Sacrificial System: What does it mean to the Gospel Message?" and will be a small book for those wanting a book just on Christian baptism.
And some more planned books: "The Love of God: God's Plan to Save You Part 3: How To Please God" This may end up being two books? We are not sure yet. This one is built on top of Part 1 and 2 and God's Law of Love and the First Commandment. It is desirable that these books be read first before Part 3 or 4.
Who are your favorite authors?
Our favorite Bible authors currently are John, Paul and Matthew, and Luke for the book of Acts. Where would we be without the book of Acts?
When we were younger our favorites were Jeremiah and Isaiah we believe, we still love Jeremiah and Isaiah. John the Apostle's books are the easiest to understand and should be completely mastered by all Christians first I believe. The books of John and 1st John are very good at leading someone to Jesus; to give their heart to Him and become His. We recommend that everyone keep reading and re-reading these two books with much prayer! John, Matthew, Acts should be read and mastered before reading Paul. The Bible should not be studied in such a way as to interpret passages to contradict other places in the Bible. It is especially important to never accept an interpretation for passages in the newer books of the Bible that contradicts the testimony of the earlier books. If you would first study the Gospels, then the book of Acts, and then the Book of 1st John (in this order), this will greatly help you understand the Old Testament and the rest of the New Testament properly. This is because Christ is the center of the Bible, and I believe that the apostle John was especially close to Jesus, which you can easily see in the book of 1 John, which is why I recommend this book to be read after the Gospels and Acts.
The Gospels are perhaps the easiest books in the Bible to understand, and most important and the most powerful I believe. If people would just read the Bible with much prayer and devotion to God, instead of letting other people tell them what it means, there would be much less confusion and contradiction out there, and people would have the love, joy and peace we were all meant to have! And then we would have the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit and our whole life would change! We would have new life from above! And have the ability of obeying God and serving Him with great joy! The entire Bible revolves around Jesus Christ, so the Gospels should be studied first by everyone wanting to be a Christian, or for Christians who haven’t read much of the Bible if any.But those who are not where they need to be spiritually – these especially need to read the Gospels again and again until they get it! These should be the most studied books of the Bible I believe, especially the Books of John and Matthew.
What do you do for fun?
Serving God, studying His word, writing these books, and telling others of God’s wonderful love bring me great joy! Nothing in my life has ever brought me joy like this!
How do you approach cover design?
My mom gave me a most beautiful gift of two different versions of my cover paintings, that I had asked her if she would do for me.I really appreciate her for these wonderful gifts! I use the CorelDraw Photo Paint application to fix or alter the original painting(s), and the manipulate colors, fixing the scanning glitches, etc. But I have used parts of these paintings in different ways and in different places for my ministry. The second painting she made is the one I am currently using. I have used it to create much of my cover art on my books, and social media, and it helped me to choose my "corporate colors" and color schemes. I had told my Mom that originally that I wanted a picture of a young woman, who represents the Bride of Christ, who is waiting for the Second Coming of Christ or something like that, but it could also represent the Bride of Christ receiving the Holy Spirit to help her prepare for the Second Coming of Christ; to give her the ability of preparing and serving Him - to bring others to Him too! (I had known about what I wanted based on my first book, which eventually got split into several books – this works better in the eBook world.)
What is your favorite book?
Without a doubt the Bible! I was raised, when younger, reading the King James Version, but later studied in other versions of the Bible like the Revised Standard Version, the New English Bible, the Amplified Bible (I don't remember how much of this I read), and then the New American Standard Bible. But when I was and adult, and more seasoned, I started using just the KJV again for a few years, because I missed reading it, and because I thought it to be the better version probably based on some people I was associating with (I still love this version). But I found that I preferred the NASB most of the time, except for times where the KJV says things better. So when doing my Bible studies, when researching for my books, I prefer to have WordSearch open in the parallel version mode with multiple versions, including mainly KJV and NASB77 and NASB95 versions. Lately I have also added the RSV and NRSV and occasionally NIV. (I don't generally like the way the NIV reads, but sometimes I use it.) I believe that the KJV and the NASB are all that I really need most of the time. But sometimes I use the advanced capabilities in WordSearch for word meanings, etc.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
My Blogs, and the SlideShare.net PDF's made from my blogs. I have my blogs duplicated on multiple social media sites: BlogSpot.com (Blogger), Tumblr, Google+ Collections, SlideShare.net and some other places. I made PDF's of my brochures for the books and my ministry that are also widely available. All of these PDF's have links to my Web Sites and some of My Social Media sites. I also share my blog articles and other things on FaceBook and Twitter.
Published 2017-02-20 on SmashWords.com.
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“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with youalways, even to the end of the age.’” Matthew 28:18-20 NASB.
Jesus has paid the price for our sins, and has been given all authority in heaven and on earth.He commands all who are His to go and make disciples of all men. And He is with us until the end of the world. This is a wonderful promise! If we wish to go out and tell others about God’s love and the salvation that Jesus bought for us, Jesus will be with us until the end of the world! It is because of the price that He paid for our sins, that we can go out and help win others for the kingdom. Let us rejoice and be glad for the great salvation He bought for us!
This command that Jesus gave us is a promise, that He would give us the power to make disciples of all men. When Jesus said this it was very near Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit would be poured out without measure upon His people who were gathered there in that upper room, and would be given to all Christians who would repent and be baptized. This same power is also available to us now, if we wish to be Jesus’ disciple! Acts 1 also talks about this same event where Jesus gave His last message to His disciples before He ascended back into heaven. He said to His disciples, “He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.’” Acts 1:7-8 NASB. Here is the secret to how they could preach the gospel to the whole world: they would receive power from God, the Holy Spirit to do so!
Many people do not fully realize what Christ has been given since He died on the cross, and provided the victory for us. They don’t live their lives like they fully, really believe that He won the victory on the cross for them, and has now been given all power in Heaven and on Earth. They want to say that Christ only forgives us when we confess our sins, or that we are just saved, with not much of a change or difference in their life needed after their conversion. Many don’t realize the power from Him that they can claim. If anyone desires to do Christ’s bidding and go tell the good news of the gospel to the world, Jesus will be with them, even until the end of the world! He will provide them with the power to preach this message with power, and will help the hearers of the message want to be saved. The power to bring honor and glory to Jesus and His Father has been promised to all Christians, not just grace to forgive us after we sin. The power to not live a hypocritical life, the power to live a righteous life for Him and the power to give His testimony to the world. These were all promised to us by Jesus, since He was victorious over sin and death, and paid for our sins, now all power has been given to Him both in Heaven and on earth! Let’s live our life, like we believe what He said! Let’s not live our lives, barely eking out a spiritual existence, and feeling guilty that we are not doing enough for Him or the Father. Why should we starve or thirst, when the fountain flowing from the river of life is within our reach, and when we have been provided with the bread of life? Just take the bread of life and a deep drink from the river of life that He has provided for you, and have a new life with Him! But take this every day, and every time you hunger and thirst, and you will be filled and satisfied with the goodness of God! Don’t starve or thirst yourself, but be filled with God’s love, you need it!
Let us also believe that He will give us the power to be His witnesses, both in Jerusalem, and all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the remotest parts of the earth as He said in Acts 1:8. We don’t have to be worried, or worry if we are good enough to be saved, or whether we are a good enough preacher to preach the word to others, or good enough at whatever gift God has given to us that He wants us to use for Him. No reason for guilt or fear. Just trust and believe Jesus when He said that all power has been given to Him in Heaven and on earth, and go out with joy, and help others see how much He and His Father love them! This is the gospel message! This is the good news! It’s not about how good we are, or what we can do for Him, it’s about what He and His Father and the Holy Spirit can do for us! Just cooperate with God, yield your heart to Him, and be filled with the Holy Spirit! Pray for this, breathe this, and live for this! Then go forth with great joy and great power, after you have received power from on high, and bring honor and glory to God! He deserves it doesn’t He? What brings honor and glory to God?When someone is saved by the blood of Jesus and transformed from a son or daughter of perdition or a son or daughter of sin, into a son or daughter of God! But what even brings more glory to God, is when His own children reproduce is character of love and want to go out and show this to the world!Then He is delighted to grant them the full power, love and joy that the Holy Spirit brings to the soul who is devoted to Him; this is the power to make others the son or daughter of God too!
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all! Amen.
©Copyright 2017 by John Foll
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