God Gives Grace to the Humble

Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees

The Sorrow That is According to the Will of God Produces Repentance Without Regret

And He Also Told this Parable to Some People Who Trusted in Themselves that They Were Righteous, and Viewed Others with Contempt

By John Foll, written between 1/26/2018 to 01/27/2018
© Copyright 2018 John Foll

But He [God] gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.’” James 4:6 NASB.

What does it mean when James says God ‘gives grace to the humble? Let us look at what it means.

The book of Psalms declares: “The humble have seen it and are glad; you who seek God, let your heart revive. For the LORD hears the needy and does not despise His who are prisoners.” Psalm 69:32-33 NASB. Evidently it must be important, because it says here that God hears the prayers of the needy, and of the prisoners who are His who cry for His help. Those who are saved cry to God for help, this is their secret!In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears.” Psalm 18:6 NASB. Do you want God to hear your prayers dear reader? This is so important! Then cry to Him for help. Many come to God in prayer with a list of things they want from God, but have they asked Him for help or confessed all of their sins to Him? Those who want God’s grace and mercy must first cry to Him for help; those who don’t cry to Him for help will probably not get helped, whether they prayed or not. What would you cry to Him about for help? If your problems are overwhelming you, if you have an addiction or something you do over and over that you know that you should stop doing. Or if you don’t feel like you are saved or good enough to be saved, or your sins keep coming up in your mind over and over again and you are weary of it all? Do you want that sweet peace, wonderful peace, and want the assurance of your salvation? Do you know that you are bad and have done wrong; where can you get relief? Then call upon the name of the Lord, cry out to Him for help and He will always hear you! Jesus 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. If you will just come to Jesus and tell Him all of your troubles, He will give you rest. Is that what you want, rest? Then cry out to the Father in Jesus’ name, and He will hear your prayer! Just confess your sins to Him. If you find that you are in need, tarry there awhile with Jesus in the quite of your own ‘prayer closet’, which is any quiet private place free from the noise and clamor of this world, perhaps in nature or in a quiet room by yourself, wherever you can find some quiet time with Jesus, He loves you! Matthew 6:6. And He will give you rest. For His burden is light, and His yoke is easy, it is much easier than that yoke of guilt and sins and addictions that keep dragging you down! His yoke is easy, because it is a yoke based on love. It is something you shouldn’t mind, because it will give you peace and bring you much love and joy, if you will continue to tarry with Jesus awhile in prayer and Bible study, meditating on God’s rich promises to save and bless you.

Listen now to Moses’ account of God leading the children of Israel in the wilderness for 40 years, after leading them out of Egypt where they were slaves: "You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 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. Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.” Deuteronomy 8:2-5 NASB. In the same way as God disciplined the children of Israel as they made their way to the Promised Land, Canaan, God will also discipline you on your way to the Heavenly Canaan, the Promised Land, if you will just let Him do it for you, and not chafe under His kind hand. God will help you to be humble if you will just let Him. You may be proud now, and not know how you can get His grace for yourself for all of your past sins and failures, but if you will just let Him help you, and allow the discipline He gives you to work His will in your life through the trials you go through, He will help you to humble yourself before Him, so that you may receive His grace. Because God gives grace to the humble, which is for those who allow Him to humble them.

When does God give grace to the humble? When they cry out to Him for help, and only then. If you are satisfied with your life the way it is, or want to handle your burdens and problems by yourself, or in your own way, or just want to do your own thing, you will not find any rest or peace. It is not within any man’s or woman’s ability to be able to direct their own paths, or solve their own problems without the aid of God and have it turn out good. Whenever anyone attempts this, it is self-righteousness. Self-righteousness always leads to death, but crying out to God for help and confessing your sins to Him leads to life – eternal life. When the Lord sends the needed help, the humble will see it and be glad. The humble cry to Him for help. If you will humble yourself before God and cry out to Him in prayer, your heart will see His salvation and be glad! Is that what you want? Then read on!

It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” Lamentations 3:26 KJV. “Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.” Micah 7:7-8 KJV.

So what are you waiting for? Cry out to Him for help now, so you can start to get your salvation! When you see your need of Him and what He wants to do for you, and decide to yield your pride to Him and confess your sins and cry out to Him for help, He will surely save you and give you His grace!

Being humble is the same thing or similar to being meek or gentle. Jesus said, “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5 NASB. The King James has this as: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5 KJV. This reminds us of a psalm David wrote: “Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land. Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; and you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.” Psalm 37:8-11 NASB. What is David talking about here? Those who humble their pride and allow God to take care of them, will inherit the land, and delight themselves in abundant prosperity. Has this fully happened yet here on this Earth? No. For the most part the world looks up to those who are the strong, the wealthy, the powerful, the famous, the infamous, the most beautiful, the smartest, the greediest, the wickedest, etc. While some of these are not necessarily wrong in themselves the others are, but they are often accompanied with great pride and wrongdoing, while the needs of the poor in this world’s goods or the poor in spirit are looked down on or trampled on. The ruler of this world, the prince of the air, has given the things the world values to those whom he controls. John 12:30-31; 14:30; 16:11. Matthew 4:8-11; Luke 4:5-8; Ephesians 2:2. So if the meek haven’t inherited the earth yet, when will it happen that the gentle, the meek, and the humble will inherit the land? Jesus is quite clear here that the meek will eventually inherit the earth as He promised!

Jesus declared: ‘Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’ Matthew 18:3-4 KJV. This is just as true today as when Jesus spoke this 2000+ years ago. Jesus said that you must be converted and become as a little child, if you would enter the kingdom of Heaven, which means to love and obey your Father in Heaven, as little children are to love and obey their earthly fathers. But you cannot do this, unless you first humble yourself before God in prayer.

So when will the meek and humble inherit the earth? The prophet Isaiah gives us a clue when he writes: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” Isaiah 11:6 KJV. You can equate this child leading the wolf, the lamb, the leopard and the kid (goat or sheep lamb) with what Jesus said, when He said that unless you become as little children you shall never enter the kingdom of Heaven, as He stated in our text above in Matthew 18. It is only someone who has humbled themselves as a little child who will make it there and lead the wolf and the lamb, the leopard and the kid in Heaven. Read this whole prophecy in Isaiah 11:1-9, especially verse 9: “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:9 KJV. Isaiah declares here that this will take place when their will be no more death and no more hurt on God’s holy mountain, when the knowledge of God will cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea. Has the knowledge of God yet covered the earth as the waters cover the sea, with no disagreement among all mankind, and has all hurt, killing and death stopped? No. Clearly this will take place only in Heaven. It says in Psalms, talking about this day in Heaven, after all the wicked are destroyed, “The LORD is King forever and ever; nations have perished from His land. O LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror.” Psalm 10:16-18 NASB. This is when the humble shall inherit the Earth, after all of the wicked have been destroyed by Him. This is all done by the grace of God, no one will deserve to be there. Therefore let us praise His wonderful name and pray that we all will be there, with as many of our loved ones as possible, inviting as many as we can to also go there with us.

Note the message that John gives us from God in Revelation talking about that great day in the future in Heaven, when the meek shall inherit the earth:And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, ‘What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?’ And I said unto him, ‘Sir, thou knowest.’ And he said to me, ‘These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.’” Revelation 7:13-17 KJV. Talk about the perfect security blanket! How can anyone go wrong, if they will just follow the Lamb where ever He goes? Revelation 14:4. He will dwell with them forever, and feed them and quench their thirst from the river of life that flows endlessly from the throne of God! And nothing shall hurt or destroy them on God’s holy mountain, for the former things of this world are passed away, when all wickedness is gone forever.

Let us now sing God’s praises as we contemplate that great day in Heaven, when the meek will inherit the earth: He [God] has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble. HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS; and sent away the rich empty-handed.” Luke 1:51-53 NASB. Do you hunger and thirst after righteousness? Then you shall be filled! Matthew 5:6. It says here in our passage in Luke 1 that God will fill the hungry with good things, but will send those who are rich away empty handed. Those who think that they are rich, who don’t see their need of God, will be sent away into the outer darkness where there will be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:36-43, 49-50.

Have you been on a journey too with God like the children of Israel were in their wanderings on their way towards the Promised Land? Have you had ups and downs in your struggles? Have you ever found it hard to say you were wrong to someone, or to give up something you wanted to get or to do that you know that God was asking you to stop doing or to give up? Did you have bad feelings towards someone, or feel bad for something you said or did and struggle with it? Did you get peace? Don’t give up, there is still hope! Has God been shaping your life, putting you through trials? Take courage! If you will allow God to mold and shape you, if you will cry out to Him for help, and will allow Him to humble you, all of these blessings He has promised will be yours! You can yet gain the blessings of eternal life, when the meek shall inherit the earth, because God will give you a greater grace, if you will allow Him to help you! Amen. Just allow Him to mold you and shape you.

So don’t be proud, humble yourself before God now in prayer:

Prayer is a song we all can sing,
A light that the blind can see,
Prayer is a gift the poor can bring,
However poor they'd be.

Prayer is a star that lights the way
For those who are in despair,
And when your heart kneels down to pray,
God will hear your prayer.
* From the song Prayer, by Alfred Bryan and Edward Lisbona.

Do you want God to hear your prayer? Then kneel your heart before Him in prayer, then He will hear your prayer. This means give your heart to Him in prayer as my wife said, when I read the lyrics of this song to her and pointed out those last two lines of it to her. I didn’t catch the meaning of those last two lines when I first heard this song, or when I first read these lyrics, but I eventually saw that it was not saying that we should bow our knees in prayer, but our hearts. But it is true when you give your heart to God, that you can be sure He has heard your prayer! For God gives a greater grace to the humble, i.e. those who will humble themselves before Him. He will show them His rich mercy! But those who will not give their heart to Him at all will not be helped.

Yes God gives a greater grace and mercy to the humble and they shall inherit the Heavenly Canaan, the Land which is fairer than day, the kingdom of Heaven!

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.’ And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’ Then He said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.’” Revelation 21:2-7 NASB.  

May the grace of God be with you, may you follow the Lamb of God wherever He goes, as He leads you to Heaven’s peaceful shore! So cry out to Him now for help that this may be your story. Amen.

Final Meditation, from a Psalm of David:

Make me know Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.
Remember, O LORD,
Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
According to Your lovingkindness remember me,
For Your goodness' sake, O LORD.
Good and upright is the LORD;
Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in justice,

And He teaches the humble His way.
All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth
to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.
For Your name's sake, O LORD,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
Who is the man who fears the LORD?
He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
His soul will abide in prosperity, and
his descendants will inherit the land.
The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him,
And He will make them know His covenant.
My eyes are continually toward the LORD,
For He will pluck my feet out of the net.
Psalms 25:4-15 NASB.
See also Psalms 34:1-8.

The song Prayer that we quoted part of above lyrics can be found at:
https://genius.com/Eddy-arnold-prayer-lyrics
http://hebronum.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/May-June-2017.pdf . This pdf file contains both verses, search for ‘Prayer is a song we all can sing’. If you can ever get hear this wonderful song as sung by George Beverly Shae, listen to it over and over until the songs sticks in your head and you get what the song is saying.
https://www.discogs.com/George-Beverly-Shea-An-Evening-Prayer-Favorite-Hymns-For-The-Days-End/release/1853967 . This link has the album with this song on it track B1.
https://www.bear-family.com/shea-george-beverly-i-d-rather-have-jesus-2-cd.html . This cd has it I think.

An Evening of prayer: (Sung by George Beverly Shae):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjJny81DzGs&index=12&list=PL2849A9BCA49E7150
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbfFoxGtNm0

Did you think to pray? (Sung by George Beverly Shae):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiHIfqhGfc8&index=14&list=PL2849A9BCA49E7150

The Prayer Perfect (Sung by George Beverly Shae):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTAz9dSXR_w

#God #Gives #Grace #Humble #Trials #Needy #Cry #Help #Burden #Easy #Light #Rest #Confess #Sins #Prayer #Love #Peace #Salvation #Heaven #Meek

By John Foll, finished writing 1/8/2018
© Copyright 2018 John Foll

It takes more than having the correct theory of the truth to be saved.

* This blog is not for everyone, but some may especially need to hear this message. If you are looking for a nice easy-going article that tells you that you are OK and just makes you feel good, this article is not for you. We are sorry if it appears too strong. But there are problems with the way many people believe about how they are saved. Since Jesus gave this message or a similar one to it, it still needs to be heard! But if you are not ready for it, then don’t read this article. If you would like to find out what you may lack or need to do to be saved, read on.

“And Jesus said to them, ‘Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’” Matthew 16:6 NASB. “Then they [Jesus’ disciples] understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Matthew 16:12 NASB.

Jesus’ statement here is still valid today! We need to beware of the leaven of the modern Pharisees and Sadducees!

Today there are two basic groups within Christianity: the left and the right.
(We are not talking about Christian denominations here.) We are not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings or put down anyone, but today there is a “general” condition of lukewarmness in many Churches that seems very hard to wake people up to, or it’s a cold spiritual state or it’s a party like happy-go-lucky state – no worries. They just don’t get it. This is similar in some ways to when Jesus walked this earth warning His Disciples against the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. What can be done to wake people up to their peril? This is our desire and ministry objective: Help people lose their lukewarm Christian state.

In our day some have been taught to presume on God’s great mercy, that everything is taken care of by grace … they don’t need to choose to let God help them, renounce the world, or make the changes He wants them to make, or they are taught that once they are saved that they cannot be lost. Some don’t think their choice plays any role in their salvation once they have become ‘saved’: it is automatic after this. Some believe that they don’t need to give themselves to God daily or don’t think this needs to be their concern, since they are ‘saved’ or because of ‘grace’ or whatever. Or they don’t give it any thought at all, since they are falsely comforted by their teachers. And many of them are taught that they don’t have to obey God; that if they try to obey Him this is works and bad. There are multiple variations and layers of this teaching, depending on which Christian denomination they are from. But the end result of all of them will be the same, unless a miracle happens and they change. There is not as big a difference between the variations of these beliefs as many might think, the end result is the same: trick people into thinking that they are safe, when they are not, so that they will be lost. Trick people into thinking that since they have ‘the truth’ or the correct beliefs, that they are good and will be saved. Some of them won’t admit that the points we are making apply to them. They hide behind their belief that because they believe ‘the truth’ or because of something that they have done or are doing that they will be saved in the end. Some people seem to think church membership is a membership into a club of the saved.

And in our day there are others who claim that they ‘know the truth’, and probably think that they are keeping it. But they really aren’t and they are often harsh and critical with others, not knowing their true need of God. Some believe that they are right because they believe ‘the truth’ and take a firm stand for it, and think that this alone makes them goodgood enough to be saved. And they think that if you don’t agree with them and do as they do, that you don’t get it, implying that you are lost. They think that this is good behavior: talking about the sins and mistakes of others, but it is in fact, a terrible sin that will shut them out of Heaven, unless they repent of it. Others think that their salvation is secure because of grace, but if you don’t believe like they do, you are ‘under the law”, implying that you are lost. So this other side also believes that their belief saves them.

Many have a theory of the truth but do not have a vital connection with God, or their connection with Him is inconsistent. Many claim that the other side is in error without knowing that they are in error too. There is nothing you can learn that will save you by itself, even if it’s the truth, without the need to humble yourself before God, confess all your sins, yield to Him all the way moment by moment, and be fully converted and born again. What can be done to wake people up to these delusions? Many don’t realize that belief alone will not save them, weather it is the truth or not. Or they may think they are saved without having to yield to God, because they are saved or were saved at one time.

Do you believe?
You do well, the demons also believe and tremble! James 2:19. The belief in the truth is a good place to start, but unless you are daily converted and born again it is not enough. But do you believe in all the truth, or just what has been “cherry picked” for you by your teachers? Have you studied out all that the Bible has to say, the whole thing, and tried to learn everything that it teaches, without trying to force it through what you have been taught to make it fit? Jesus says that we are to beware of the leaven or teaching, or the doctrines of the Pharisees (on the right) and the Sadducees (on the left). We believe that Jesus would still say in our day to beware of ‘the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees', if He were here walking and teaching on this earth. He would warn us that we are to beware of their teachings and attitudes that do not line up 100% with God’s word in the Bible. And all attitudes that do not line up 100% with God’s love or are not compatible with it, should be discarded. (We are not saying here that God will not eventually carry out justice here against the unrepentant sinner, or that rebuke to sinners is not necessary sometimes, but it is always to be given in love.)

Many think that they know the truth, but if they are not changed by it to be kinder, gentler, more forgiving, more compassionate to others, more devoted to God, and more obedient to Him, it is of little value. You must be born again to enter the kingdom of Heaven, regardless of whether you believe the truth or not. John 3:3, 5. These are not my words, but Jesus’ words.

Jesus also said to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy:
“Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things, and do not do them.’” Matthew 23:1-3 NASB. Jesus’ definition of hypocrisy is when people say things and do not do them. Notice Jesus didn’t say that everything that the Scribes and Pharisees were saying were wrong. He clearly indicated that the things that they taught from the Bible should still be done, but that we are not to do as they do, because they said things and did not do them. Why? Because they had no vital connection with God, and no one can live a righteous life apart from Him. All their righteousness was pretended. We think this adequately describes many of those on the left, as well as many on the right in our day too. Did you catch that? Yes you heard that right! All their righteousness is pretended.

Many on the left ‘claim’ that they believe that they are saved by grace, or that they believe in righteousness by faith, while they do not really know what saving faith is, or what it means to be born again, or they have forgotten or lost it. And they believe that since they are saved by grace, that this is all that is needed. They have a theory of part of the truth, but not the practice. (Yes, we are saved by grace!) But the way many of them live is really a form of self-righteousness (or no righteousness at all), just like those on the right who are not born again. Anyone who does not have Christ’s righteousness has either self-righteousness or no righteousness at all. No one can be good before God standing in the robe of their own righteousness or filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6. Only those who are confessing their sins and allowing God to cleanse them from all unrighteousness appear good in the eyes of God. 1 John 1:9. Because Christ will be their righteousness, He will give it to them. Philippians 1:11; 3:9; Romans 8:10. Only those who are yielding to God step-by-step, day-by-day are where God wants them to be.

Many on the right seem to think that because they believe ‘the truth’ and take a vigorous stand for it, and put down those who do not do what they say, and those who don’t agree with their views on everything, that this makes them good. What a joke. Many of them also say bad things about others behind their back, and try to assassinate their characters. (Many on the left do this too.) But this behavior is anything but good. Jesus declared:If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” Matthew 18:15-17 NASB. The King James Version for this passage says that we are to ‘tell him his fault between thee and him alone.’ But even though Jesus said this, it has fallen on deaf hears, for many do not seem to know that He said it, or they just ignore what He said. This is such a big problem! This can cause souls to be lost and can divide churches! (This could cause the soul of the person being talked about to be lost, as well as those who are talking about them, unless they repent.) Belief in the truth is never enough by itself, there must also be a change of heart and a love for lost sinners, not desiring to hurt any - that all would come to repentance. It takes more than a theory of the truth! The truth must take possession of the heart. The attitude must change. What truth especially? The truth of God’s love for humanity and desire to save everyone!! We believe that some on both sides have parts of the truth, but it is not complete or is just a theory to them.

‘Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers’ Philippians 3:2 NASB:
Beware of the false teachings and bad attitudes of the left and the right. To some, the left appear to be more correct, because they talk much of God’s grace and love, which is true and can be found easily in the Bible. But to others, the right appears to be more correct and in line with more Bible truths. (Some on the right believe that they are saved by grace too.) But many Christians are not born again or have lost it, and think that because they believe ‘the truth’ and try to keep it that that it is enough to be saved, or for others who do nothing at all, because they think that all works are bad and are careless of God’s requirements. Those who are not listening to God do not know their own true spiritual condition: that they are blind, miserable, and naked. Revelation 3:15-20. Those who don’t see their need to obey God’, or seek His help to obey Him are blind to their true condition. But God’s Holy Spirit is given to all that obey Him (Acts 5:32) and to those who want to obey Him. And those who don’t want to obey Him (or don’t think that He can help them obey) most certainly do not have the Holy Spirit and are not born again. If someone is not wanting to obey, or do not think that they can obey Him by His power, you can be sure there is a big problem in their life that they need to confess, repent and forsake. There is nothing too hard for God that He wants to do for His people, if they want His help. Jeremiah 32:17, 27. If you are born again you will have the love of God in your heart for others, and will have pity for those who are erring, and will not talk bad about them. And you will also love to obey God, and be sorry when you make a mistake or sin. You will not seek to excuse sin, but get forgiven, and receive God’s sweet Holy Spirit into your life again. When you are born again, sharing God’s love for others is a delight for you, and your life is oriented around unselfish service to God, and for the salvation of souls, or for doing whatever God has given you to do to help others. (God gives different gifts to each person who belong to Him.)

The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees are the partial truths, the half-truths, and the falsehoods that they believe are the complete truth, without knowing they are missing something essential. For some of them, it is their attitude towards others that is wrong, more than their beliefs. These beliefs make them think that they are safe, OK, and right with God, when in fact they are not. They surround themselves with teachers who tell them they are OK as long as they have the correct beliefs. They both believe that they are right and that the other side is wrong. They say some things which are true, but do not do them. Both need to be born again, or re-born again. This is one of the ways the devil confuses people, he gets them into focusing on someone else as being in error, while they ignore their own errors. He holds up another group as being wrong, and gets them on a crusade against them. Unfortunately a lot of people in both of these groups are lacking the Holy Spirit dwelling in their heart, that all are required to have in order to be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven. John 3:3, 5. You must be born again to enter the kingdom of Heaven. This is not a statement about someone’s beliefs, but a statement about what they are or are not – born again or not born again. Belief will not save anyone, being born again will. (We are not talking about faith here, just people’s beliefs.)

Beware of the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees!
Beware of those who say they believe the truth but do not do it!
Beware of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees!
Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers.

It’s not ‘what you know’, but ‘Who you know’ that saves you:
Jesus says, ‘depart from Me, ye that work iniquity’ ‘for I never knew you’. “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'” Matthew 7:21-23 NASB.

Do you know my Jesus? Do you know my friend? Have you heard He loves you? And that He will abide till the end?‘ Oh sinner, waste not a precious moment! Make the Savior your friend before your life is over. No one knows how much time they have left on this earth. Don’t believe for a moment that you are OK because you know the truth or that you are automatically saved by grace, and that you do not have to make a choice to humble yourself before Him, love, serve and obey Him.

* From the song ‘Do you know my Jesus?’ by Vep B. Ellis and William F. Lakey

‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ Acts 16:30 KJV.
If you know that you are not born again, or find that you have been in error on any of the points we discussed in this article, or any others, and God is convicting you on it, you can get a clean slate right now with God! * He is always willing to forgive! Just humble yourself before Him right now, and tell Him you are sorry that you didn’t love Him enough to yield to Him all the way before, and obey Him in everything He asked you to do, or for putting it off. Tell Him you are sorry that you haven’t given your heart completely to Him before. Ask Him to help you be born again and fill you with His sweet Spirit. Ask Him to help you to love and obey Him in all things. Ask Him to help you become meek, gentle, lowly, and kind. Always obey Him willingly whenever He asks you to do something; ask Him for the help to do it. If you want to do your own thing, God will not force you to change or stop you from doing it, but it will make Him sad, because He loves you! If you decide to go your own way you cannot have this wonderful peace, love and joy in your heart that He wants to give you, and you will lose your earthly and heavenly security. But there is no reason for you to do this when you can have all the eternal riches that God wants to give you! And you can start to gain some of them right now! Do you want these eternal riches dear reader? They are yours if you will claim them! Give your heart to God now and every day and they will be yours! You will be so glad that you did! There will be a sweetness in your life that you probably never had or noticed before. Your attitude will change towards others who used to get you upset before, and you will want to obey God. And there will be Son-shine in your heart! Amen!

May the grace of God be with you, as you decide if you want to give your heart to God all the way. We hope and pray that you do. We want to see you in Heaven, and know the joy of the eternally saved! Amen.

* From the Song ‘He’, music written by Jack Richards, with lyrics by Richard Mullan.

Final Note:
There is a way to tell from the Bible if you are born again or not, if you will study it out. You should, your eternal life depends on it. But it must be more than a theory to you, you need to allow God to change you and you must give yourself to Him all the way. It must be your desire and practice. I.e. what you do, not just what you say. Only God can do this for you, but you must submit to Him completely, every day, if you want to be born again and stay that way. Amen, let it be so!

#Beware #Leaven #Pharisees #Sadducees #Hypocrisy #Left #Right #Liberal #Conservative #Grace #Truth #Lukewarm #Saved #Good #Harsh #Critical #Backbiting #Choice #Humble #BornAgain

By John Foll, Written 2/18/2017
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leadingto salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10 NASB. What Paul says here is so true!
When a soul is convicted that there is something in their life that they should confess and repent of, there is often a struggle within (before they are born again). When there is a cherished sin it may seem sorrowful to give up because it seems so sweet. Or it may seem sorrowful when they worry what family or friends think about doing what God has asked them to do. They may feel greatly embarrassed if there is something to confess to others or to make right, or if someone else finds out about their guilt or sins. There are any number of sorrows that a soul can experience. But is there a sorrow for sin? Jesus said, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 KJV. Which sorrow do you have? If you are sorry that your life is not what it should be, and desire to have wonderful peace and a new life with God, you will be comforted, because God will give it to you! If you have just the sorrow of trouble that sins or mistakes bring, this is not true sorrow. When you are tired of sinning, hurting yourself, God and others, and want things to be better, humble your heart before God and throw yourself on His mercy! Give into God’s sweet Spirit! It matters not how small the sin may appear to yourself or others. Listen now to David’s perplexity and his desire to confess here: “For I am ready to fall, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin.” Psalm 38:17-18 NASB. Here David shows his sorrow for his sins, so he confessed his iniquity, and in several places in this Psalm he was begging for God’s help and mercy. David knew that he needed help from God to get peace and security. This is the way all contrite people will be!“Do not forsake me, O LORD; O my God, do not be far from me!” Psalm 38:21 NASB.
You may say that you have given yourself to God years before and confessed all of your sins to Him. But you probably know what God is asking you to do right now that you put offput it off no more, so you can have wonderful peace with God! He loves you! You may have put off long ago what God had asked you to do and forgotten about it. If you lack true, sweet wonderful peace from God, and lack His sweet Spirit in your heart now, please pray to Him to reveal to you again whatever it was that you failed to do that you should have done.
If you have sweet, wonderful peace with God now and are walking in the light of His love, we are happy for you! This is the way you should always be! That means you have a sweetness in your life and example that is a fragrant odor to God! That means that you are loving and kind to others and are seeking to show them how much God loves them, or you are helping them in whatever way that God has blessed you with gifts to do, because God’s goodness is flowing through your life to them. And you are bearing much fruit for God. Does this portray your life? No, then there is a work to do yet in your heart to yield fully to God or to make things right with Him or others, let God do this for you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9. You will never regret it! He will turn that sorrow of sin into joy and wonderful peace! But how can this be, you may say?I love the Truth and am following it.Really? If you really love the Truth, you should have this wonderful change in your heart, and you should dearly love your God and others. And serving God will be a constant delight to you! How do we know this? “Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” John 8:31-32 NASB. Thus you see that if you are really abiding in Christ, and are truly His disciple, that you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free! What truth? The truth of God’s love for you and the world! It will transform your life if you let it! If your life is not transformed like this, you are not yet fully Jesus’ disciple, and are not yet fully abiding in Christ, and are not yet fully free. Do not say that you are a child of Abraham, i.e. a child of God, and have no need of this. God is able from these stones to raise up Children for Abraham, i.e. children of God. Matthew 3:9. [We are not saying here that you are lost or that you don’t love God somewhat, or that you are not yet learning to walk with Him, if you do not have this wonderful change yet fully, that is between you and God, but that there is still a work to do in your heart and life, if you will let God do it for you and obey His sweet voice.]
Be honest, if these good things of having that sweet, wonderful peace, and being a New Creation filled with the Holy Spirit does not describe your life, there is still a work to do in your life to give yourself completely to God, because you love Him!If God is not first in your life, because you love Him, and you do not have this wonderful change that only a life yielded fully to God can have, that is filled with the Holy Spirit, God is not yet first in your life, and you are at least partly or fully breaking the First Commandment, Exodus 20:3. If God is not first in your life, because you love Him more than anything else in this life, you need to confess this to Him; tell Him you are sorry that you have not put Him first or continued to put Him first, and ask Him to help you keep His commandments, which are to love Him with all of your heart, mind and soul, and to help you love your neighbor as yourself! Matthew 22:26-40. You will never regret it! We promise you!Your life then will be so sweet and your love for Him will be so deep! You will wonder why you never did it before! And the things of this world will lose their hold on you, as your love for Him grows. When this happens, you will be ready or nearly ready for Heaven! (Only God knows when this process is complete.)
Solomon summed it all up when he declared:Sorrow isbetter than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.” Ecclesiastes 7:3-4 KJV. Some do not want to think about their course, and what they need to do to be right with God. Their heart is full of sorrow and guilt, but they try to drown it out or ignore it. They want to keep themselves in a constant state of entertainment, mirth and comedy, anything but dealing with the sorrow that needs to be repented of. But Solomon says that the wise are in the house of mourning! This is when someone considers their life to see what God wants them to do, even if it isn’t pleasant. ‘The sorrow of the world produces death’, as Paul says above, but ‘the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces repentance without regret’, i.e. salvation! The wise have the sorrow that is according to the will of God that produces repentance without regret, because they think about their life and are sorry for their sins, and confess them to Him, and repent.
Why does the true sorrow produce repentance without regret? Because you can never know true peace, until you confess all of your sins and make a complete repentance. (Especially the sin of not putting God first in your life!) But once you give in, confess, give up and decide to do what God has asked you to do, He will help you and you will finally know true peace with no regrets! No regrets, because you will be so happy once you give in and decide to do whatever God has told you to do! Why would you regret all the joy, peace and relief you get when you know true repentance? You wouldn’t! God will help those who truly turn to Him, forgive them, and cleanse them from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9. Amen!
In closing, let us examine the apostle James’ wisdom for us:But He [God] gives a greater grace.Therefore it says, ‘GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” James 4:6-10 NASB. Now note what Jesus said here: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 10:32 KJV. What Jesus says here also includes confession to God for sins, for no one can truly confess Jesus to men, unless they are first His disciple. And no one can truly be Jesus’ disciple until they have confessed their sins and yielded fully to Him! We should all want Jesus to confess to His Father that He knows us shouldn’t we?Many will say to me in that day [the day of the kingdom of Heaven, i.e. the judgement], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’”Matthew 7:22-23 KJV. So we should all want Jesus to confess that He knows us to the Father! May God have mercy on all those who haven’t yielded fully to Him, and confessed all their sins to Him, including not putting Him first in their life! May He grant them more time and mercy to learn to love Him with all of their heart, and all of their soul and all of their mind! Matthew 22:37.
Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of any one, says the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.” Ezekiel 18:30-32 RSV.

#Sorrow #God #Repentance #Regret #World #Death #Confess #Repent #Forgot #Disciple #Laughter #Fool #Wise #Holy #Spirit #Jesus #Yield #Love #Joy #Proud #Humble

And He [Jesus] also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:” Luke 18:9 NASB. Have you met individuals who think that they are good and view others with contempt? Have you heard individuals who are quick to talk about others behind their back and hurt their reputation? Then you know those whom Jesus is addressing. Do you think that you are good? Do you have trouble protecting the feelings and reputations of others? Do people who break God’s Law or do not believe “the Truth” get you all fired up? We hope that you will keep reading this message, if any of these points hit home. Jesus’ message wasn’t just to rebuke the self-righteous, He loved these people and wanted to help them before it was too late! Can you see the love in His message here? The problem that Jesus is addressing is a very common problem in humanity. Many people have had this problem in their life at one time or another. Jesus was telling some people here that they needed to make a change if they wanted to be saved.
We took a pause from finishing this passage in Luke to contemplate Jesus’ message here. People read that Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees, then think that this message doesn’t apply to them, and say ‘I am glad I am not a sinner like that Pharisee’. Many people are OK with hearing a message, if they think that it applies to someone else. So think about this message, and not just jump to the conclusion that it doesn’t apply to you. Often people just read a passage, and run with what they think it means, and skip over some of what has been said. So it is beneficial to read the whole passage, and read every word of it, not skipping over parts of it, to get the whole truth, especially for parts that are often ignored. It is good to hear a startling message to help you wake up, or to hear a message stated from a different perspective, so you can be at peace. 
Jesus continues:
"Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 'I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.' But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!' I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."” Luke 18:10-14 NASB. 
Why was the tax collector justified before God, and not the Pharisee in this account? Because he humbled himself before God and begged for His mercy! The Pharisee didn’t.There is no one who does good, not even one.’ Psalm 14:3 NASB. So why wasn’t this Pharisee justified before God? Because he humbled not his heart before God, and confessed not his sin of pride and of praying unkind words towards this poor tax collector - sinner.If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV. God declares through His prophet Jeremiah, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.” Jeremiah 29:11-14 KJV. Dear reader, are you held captive by sins or bad habits? Do you want to be free? God says that if you will seek after Him with all of your heart, then you will find Him, and He will take away your captivity, and place you where you were always meant to be, with Him in Heaven as one of His sons or daughters. Jesus says, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36 KJV. He has provided the way, Oh sinner, if you will accept it, He will make you free indeed! What a promise!
This text shows the connection between God’s people and the humble who will inherit the earth:For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; and you will look carefully for his place, and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land, and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.” Psalm 37:9-11 NASB. We have all been evildoers at one point in our life, but if we will humble ourselves before God and wait on Him, He will help us to become one of the righteous. And remember what Jesus our Savior said, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”Matthew 5:5 KJV. God told Moses to tell the people before the Day of Atonement: “If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people.” Leviticus 23:29 NASB. Why was that? Because the Day of Atonement, also known as Yom Kippur, represents the Day of Judgment, when the judgement takes place. All who wish to be clean before God, will humble themselves before Him, and will confess all of their sins. Those who will not humble themselves before Him, will be cut off from among His people, and will not go to Heaven to live throughout the endless ages with the peace, love, happiness and the delight of the saved. Those who refuse to humble themselves before God will be cut off from His people, and will then realize that they have made a terrible mistake! Many people have no idea what they will be missing if they fail to humble themselves before God and stay that way! Peter admonishes us: “Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” 1 Peter 2:1-3 NASB. The Psalmist, David says, “O taste and see that the LORD is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Psalm 34:8 NASB. Only those who have humbled themselves before God, and have tasted of the goodness to come, have a clue to the priceless treasures of peace, love, joy and delight that God wants to give His people in Heaven forever! 
Consider those who have tasted of the heavenly gift: those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come’ Hebrews 6:4-5 NASB: it is very hard for these to fall away and become lost.How could you walk away from the best thing that you have ever known or could know? Dear reader, have you tasted of this heavenly gift of the age to come? Do not stop humbling your heart, and seeking after God until you get it! You will never regret it, we promise you! So humble yourself before your God, whom you love, confess all of your sins, asking Him to be merciful to you a sinner, and you will go home justified before Him, and He will fill your heart with His love. And you will indeed taste and see that the Lord is good, and will get the taste of the Heavenly gift and of the good things in the age to come. This is our prayer for you! Amen.

#self-righteous #contempt #justified #justify #humble #parable #taste #God #good #Yom #Kippur #Judgement #Atonement #heavenly #gift #hypocrite #clean #kindness #love #blessed