The Truth

Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of Heaven

By John Foll, written between 2/23/2019 and 2/27/2019
© Copyright 2019 John Foll

Do you know the truth? Many people think or say that they know the truth, but do they really? We want to get to the bottom of this. What is the truth? And how do you know if you have found it? It’s important to know if you know the truth or not.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.’” John 14:6 NASB.

If someone doesn’t know Jesus, really know Him, then they really don't know ‘the Truth.’ Someone may think that they know ‘all truth,’ but not know ‘the Truth.’ Knowing right from wrong is a good place to start, but in order to do what is right you need a power beyond yourself. Many make the mistake of thinking that a mere knowledge of the truth and the belief in it is enough, but it is not unless they know Jesus, because He is the only way and the truth and the life. Without the power to be good, knowing the truth is not enough. If you don't know Jesus, you will not have that new life that He wants to give you, or have life more abundantly. John 10:10; 1 John 5:12. You need to know Jesus in order to be born again. Jesus declared that only those who are born again will be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven. John 3:3, 5. If you have the Son you have the life, if you do not have the Son you do not have the life! 1 John 5:12 NASB. If you want to know 'the truth,' you must get to know Jesus, because He is ‘the Truth.’ Otherwise you do not have it. This life from Him that He longs to give you is a vibrant relationship with Him, where He opens to you the way of the truth and gives you the power to do it! Do not be deceived, without knowing Him you cannot do or keep the truth and will stumble on the way.

What did Jesus mean when He said that ‘no one comes through the Father but through Me?’ Those who think that they are going to be saved because of their knowledge of the scriptures, or because of their knowledge of the truth as given by other inspired Christian authors, or because of their own good works, without having to go through Jesus to be saved will be in for a rude awakening at the second resurrection.

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power ***” Revelation 20:6 KJV. But what is the second death? And why is it that we don’t want to be resurrected at the second resurrection? Because Jesus said, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:28-29 KJV. The two resurrections Jesus describes here are: 1) the resurrection of life, and 2) the resurrection of damnation. This is why Revelation 20:6 declares that ‘blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection,’ because the second death is the resurrection of damnation! The second death does not sound good, does it? We don’t want any part of that!

Many people think that a knowledge of the truth or their belief in it will save them, but it will not, unless they get salvation from Jesus. No one can be saved, except those who come through Jesus to get to the Father. Only Jesus’ blood forgives their sins and makes them acceptable to God.

There may be some people who are saved, who didn’t know Jesus or the basics of Christianity. God can choose to forgive them based on the blood of Jesus,’ this is His prerogative, since He is a God of love and justice and fairness. But doesn’t this contradict what we just stated? No. God doesn’t hold someone accountable for what they didn’t know and couldn’t learn in their lifetime. This is important to understand. People who don’t know about Jesus can still be saved by Jesus, not by anything that they have done or not done. We are all saved by the merits of Jesus’ blood alone. Are we saying that you don’t have to be a Christian at all to be saved? Not exactly. In the times of ignorance God winked, but He is now commanding men and women everywhere to repent and believe in Jesus. The apostle Paul declared: “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” Acts 17:29-31 KJV. Jesus loves poor sinners who don’t know Him, and will plead His blood for them if they were honest and doing the best that they could with what they knew. But no one can be saved without Jesus’ blood. No! It is impossible! That is what Jesus meant. But as Paul plainly indicated, even though that in the times of ignorance God winked, there will come a day when people who don’t know Jesus will be held accountable for their ignorance (including those who believe that they are Christians but don’t really know Him), if they fail to avail themselves of the opportunity of learning about Him, and they resist the Holy Spirit. So once they learn about Jesus, they need to come to Him for forgiveness and life, and not try to be saved in any other way, or through their own merit or goodness. It must be remembered, that the unpardonable sin for a sinner is resisting the Holy Spirit or failing to obey His pleading in their heart. John 16:8-11; Acts 7:51; Mark 3:22-30. The unpardonable sin is the one sin that will keep someone out of Heaven - which is resisting the Holy Spirit.

It is possible to study the truth of the Bible your entire life and not know the most essential truth of them all - Jesus. This is the one thing you cannot do without! How does this happen? It is done by doing your own thing, or by rendering less than a full consecration to God, and resisting the pleas of the Holy Spirit. If you cooperate with God and listen to the Holy Spirit, He will testify to you of Jesus, so that you can know Him. John 15:26. It’s your choice what you will do and whether you will have the new life that Jesus is offering you or not. Someone who “knows” the truth, who doesn’t know Jesus and has not devoted themselves to Him cannot help but have deep spiritual problems. When someone tries to keep the truth without knowing Him, they will either sink into a legalistic quagmire, or into a careless state that some folks have who think they can do what they like, since they are ‘saved.’ (This is the way they have been taught by the lukewarm professors of ‘the truth’, where ‘the truth’ is picked out and made to contradict other portions of the Bible and against itself.) A lot of God’s people seem to fall in either one of these categories. Neither of these groups know Jesus, because He plainly declared that if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 NASB. Jesus stated this in response to what took place here: “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.They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham's offspring, and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You shall become free?'” Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. And the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.’” John 8:31-35 NASB. Jesus’ response indicated that they needed to be made free. They believed that they were OK since they were descended from Abraham. But Jesus told them that since they had committed sin that they were slaves of sin, needing to be made free. Thus they were not really free like they thought they were. They were in as much need of being free as we are in our day! No human being is not in need of being made free; we all need this freedom which only Jesus can give. Those who have addictions to sin that they can't break out of are definitely not free indeed. Clearly these do not know Jesus yet, because He came to free the captives (Isaiah 61:1-8; Luke 4:18) and make them free indeed.

Therefore if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed! Just believe it. He cannot lie! If He has made you free, you will be free indeed! Has he made you free dear reader? This is the real gospel that Jesus and the disciples preached. Freedom! This freedom can be yours too if you greatly desire it! Jesus has promised this to you if you are tired of being a slave to sin! Why not claim this promise for yourself and finally be free? You owe it to yourself to do this! This is the best thing that will ever happen to you and will help you on your way to Heaven!

Those who do not know Jesus cannot be free indeed. Those who do not know Jesus cannot obey Him. Those who do not know Jesus cannot possibly please Him, regardless of how many Bible texts they try to stack up to indicate that there is no need to. They try to drown out God's requirements in the Bible that declare that the wages of sin is death [Romans 6:23] and that we need to live holy lives for Him [1 Peter 1:15-16], confessing our sins to Him. 1 John 1:9. And unfortunately many today also teach that confession of sin to God is not needed for someone who gets 'saved,' because they say 'it was finished' at the cross or some other mumbo-jumbo nonsense. But someone who knows Jesus will want to please Him! It is automatic. They won’t be doing it to save themselves, but because they love Him, and because He gives them the power to obey. Those who don’t love Him, don’t please Him and don’t obey Him. Maybe this is the problem.

The Bible should never be read or studied in such a way as to make it contradict itself; we should seek out the closest harmony in it, because God is a God of order.For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” 1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV. And: “Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40 KJV. Yes you are saved by grace alone, not by your works. But this does not negate the rest of the Bible. Yes God offers forgiveness for your sins and mistakes when you confess them, but He wants you to live a holy life, and He has provided a way for you to do so, if you will become a partaker of the divine nature through Jesus.For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” 2 Peter 1:4 NASB.

Jesus declared: “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48 NASB. Many people live, teach and act as if Jesus didn't mean what He said, and said what He meant here! They seem to think that it is impossible for them to live a good life this side of Heaven. But what did Jesus say? He said be ye perfect therefore as your heavenly father is perfect. This is a command, not something you can do if you want to. If what Jesus said was not true, this would make Him a liar! God forbid! Now who is the liar? The liar is the one who says we don’t need to concern ourselves with what Jesus said here; they use other scriptures to try to negate it. The liar is the one who says that Jesus didn’t come in the flesh (living as we do, tried and tempted as we are in all points, yet without sin [Hebrews 4:15] – thus showing us how to live). John writes: “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” 2 John 1:7 KJV. And: “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.” 1 John 2:22-23 NASB. Anyone who teaches that we don’t need to obey all of what Jesus taught, or that we can be saved by any other way than through Jesus is the liar. (Including that they can be saved merely through their knowledge and belief in ‘the truth.’) How can anyone be right, regardless of their quotes or reasoning if they contradict Jesus? Who does John say this is? The antichrist! There, I have done it! I have invoked the title of the arch evil one for that lie, for he is the father of lies! The liar is the one who contradicts Jesus. The liar is the one who says that we do not need to crucify the flesh with its sinful passions and desires. Paul declares, “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:24 NASB. The liar is the one who teaches others to not believe Jesus or teaches unbelief. There can be no misunderstanding of what Jesus stated here in Matthew 5:48 with someone whose mind is open to ‘the way, the truth and the life’ - Jesus. You don't have to have a doctor's degree in theology to figure out what He meant. He said be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect, and that is what He meant.

Jesus also stated that those who love Him keep His word, and that those who don't love Him do not hear Him or keep His word.Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; …’” John 14:23 NASB. And: “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.” John 14:24 NASB. And: “Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. *** If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.’” John 8:42-47 NASB.

The problem here is that unbelief blocks the plain words of Jesus, making them seem obscure or something that is unimportant or something that cannot be right, without considering the ramifications of this view. Of course many people don't view this as making Jesus a liar, but it's true. Either what Jesus said is true or what they believe is true that contradicts Jesus. But they cannot both be right. Those who truly believe in righteousness by faith, learn true faith. When they learn that God is to be fully trusted, they start to take the word of God as it reads, and stop quibbling over what it says and simply believe it. All would do well to get to this point in their spiritual life, where they simply believe the word of God without any doubt. (Take the Bible as it reads, unless you are reading a passage which is clearly symbolic and needs interpreting, but then study other portions of the Bible to learn what it means. The Bible will explain itself if you let it and want to know ‘the Truth.’) But this language that Jesus used is so unmistakable, so unavoidable - a child should be able to understand it. So why is it that many adults cannot understand what He said? It is because of unbelief! People schooled in years of unbelief, stuck in addictions or trying to be good by themselves are those who come up with humanistic theories that contradict the plain word of God, such as the error that we do not need to be perfect or cannot be perfect. Jesus would not have commanded His followers to be perfect if it were not possible through His help to do so.

If you wish to be saved and please God, you must believe what is written in the Bible, because it is the word of God. You must believe in the promises of God to free you from sin and save you, otherwise you have no hope of being saved. John 3:16-17. Why waste your time with a religion that doesn't offer you hope? This is not the gospel of the Bible at all, but another gospel. 2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6-26. This is not the gospel that Jesus, Paul, David or John or the many cloud of witnesses in the Bible preached. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 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 12:1-2 KJV. But the devil's sophistry blinds people to the clear truth. If you want to be undeceived by his lies and deceptions, pray to God to be merciful to you a sinner and He will help you! Luke 18:13. This is something He will be happy to do! We promise you! And He will open your mind to ‘the Truth.’ Is that what you want? But what truth is that? That you would know the one and true God and Jesus His Son, who made the sacrifice for your sins, that you might be forgiven and be made free indeed! Jesus prayed to His Father for all of His disciples (which can be you too if you want to be His disciple): “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3 NASB. This is the true gospel! Everything outside of this is another gospel and not the truth. Stop wasting your time on spiritual rubbish or half-truths that are of no value (Isaiah 55:1-3), and learn where real life comes from, and where the real power comes from – Jesus. There is no other name than Jesus, given among men, whereby you must be saved. Acts 4:12. If you just get to know Jesus, your life will be changed forever, as long as you abide in Him. John 15:4-6, 9-10. God guarantees it!

All your righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6 KJV. But this does not mean that God cannot provide you a robe that is pure and spotless! Oh no, this is not true! For this is the promise of the Gospel! The gospel is useless if it cannot make you a better, kinder and gentler person. The gospel is more than forgiveness, it takes away your shame and gives you hope - that you don't have to be or continue to be a miserable failure! The way many preach ‘the gospel’ today is no gospel at all. The real gospel doesn't give you a pass on your sins, or just heap upon you legal requirements that you can never meet. The real gospel forgives your sins when you confess them. The real gospel helps you to keep God’s requirements and makes you happy! The real gospel provides a way to lift you up out of the mud and set you on high, in Heavenly places! If the Son has made you free, you shall be free indeed! When will people start to believe what Jesus said, that if He has ‘made you free, you will be free indeed?’ Why is it that so many people don't see their need of being free, or how or why Jesus will do this? Why can't people believe the word of God as it is written? Why is it that they can't see that Jesus wants to make them free? Have they not heard that He loves them? Have they not heard that He died on the cross for their sins? Have they not heard that He promised to give them freedom and change them and save them? Do they not love Him? Do they not desire these wonderful gifts for themselves? Or do they think that these are beyond the ability of Jesus to give? Or do they think that they can do this on their own without Him? - as many believe, because pride doesn’t have to take the back seat when the person does it themselves, instead of humbling themselves before God. But pride comes before the fall (Proverbs 16:18), and no one can be saved without humbling themselves before God and getting His forgiveness and help to live a good life for Him.

To summarize this lesson:

Jesus said, that He ‘is the way, the truth, and the life.’ Do you believe now? No one can enter into Heaven or get out of this world of sin, but through the blood He shed on the cross for their sins. No one can come to the Father except through Jesus. There is nothing you can do that will give you an entrance into Heaven, except through the atoning blood of Jesus for your sins. There is no way for you to know ‘the truth,’ unless you know Jesus. No one can know ‘the truth,’ if they first do not know Him, really know Him, and have given themselves to Him. No one can know ‘the way,’ unless they know Him. There is no universal salvation that everyone gets. There is no salvation that anyone gets without knowing ‘the Truth’ - Jesus. And no one can have ‘the life,’ if they do not know Him: It comes through Him alone. Salvation is given only to those who know the way, the truth and the life. Regardless of how many ‘truths’ someone learns from the Bible or by any other inspired writer, unless they know Jesus and are born again (John 3:3, 5) they will in no wise enter the kingdom of Heaven, regardless of which Bible texts they quote to show they can be saved in another way. The Bible doesn’t contradict itself, and nothing that contradicts Jesus is correct. Any interpretation of any Bible text which contradicts the plain words of Jesus cannot be the truth and is a lie, for He is ‘the Truth.’ Those who think that because they know and believe all of the truth in the Bible, who think that this makes them good and will save them, who haven’t been changed by Jesus and softened by His love and made into kinder gentler people filled with His Spirit, have deceived themselves. Jesus is coming back to save those whom He knows. Jesus declared, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day [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 7:21-23 KJV. In the day of the judgment, those who do not know Jesus - will have to depart from Him, and will be cast out into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Dear reader, if you have found that you have relied on your own knowledge of the truth to save you, and did not really know Jesus, there is still time to repent and get to know Him. Dear reader, if you didn’t know that you needed to obey Jesus’ commands, you can now seek for God’s help today. This will bring you much joy and power! None of your Bible knowledge or anything else, no matter how correct it is, will save you unless you know Jesus and are born again. Unless you love Him and His Father, and have allowed Them to fill you with the precious Holy Spirit, you cannot know the way, the truth and the life, regardless of how much you have studied the Bible or what any minister has told you. God loves you and wants to save you. Do not resist Him! Put your full trust in Him, and in the merits of Jesus’ blood to atone for your sins, and allow the Holy Spirit to convict you of sin, fill you, and help you to live a righteous life for God. Let Jesus make you free indeed, breaking your slavery to sin and bad habits that are destroying you or hurting others. This is our prayer for you. Amen.

May the grace of God be with you, as you get to know ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ - Jesus! Amen.

#Essential #Truth #Know #Knowledge #Way #Life #Jesus #Father #Perfect #Abundant #Believe #Belief #Save #Legalism #Son #Made #Free #Gospel #Liar #Antichrist

By John Foll, Finished Writing 3/25/2017 to 3/26/2017
© Copyright 2017 John Foll

Jesus said, “For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20 KJV.

What is Jesus saying here? There can be no doubt that the scribes and Pharisees were zealous to keep God’s Law, the 10 Commandments. Jesus plainly declared here that our righteousness must exceed theirs! This statement by Jesus clearly shows the idea that the commandments mentioned in Matthew 5:17-20 are the 10 Commandments. How do we know this? Because the scribes and Pharisees believed that you should keep the Law and they endeavored to keep it. Did Jesus say that the scribes or Pharisees were wrong in trying to keep God’s Law or 10 Commandments? No. Why did Jesus say that our righteousness MUST exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees in order to be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven? Because it is true. Jesus said this because the scribes and Pharisees were trying to keep the 10 Commandments in their own strength, which is impossible. The scribes and Pharisees made a pretense of keeping the 10 Commandments, but were unable to do so since they did not have a vital connection with God (even though they probably thought they were keeping His commandments). You can never keep God’s commandments, unless you love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your mind, and all your soul, and love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:35-40. To outward appearance they might have appeared to keep them, but God looks not at the outside, He looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.” Matthew 23:25-26 NASB. We must allow God to clean the inside of our heart, and help us not be hypocrites, if we want our righteousness to exceed that of the scribes and the Pharisees: if we ever wish to enter the kingdom of Heaven. It is not an easy thing to be a “scribe” or a Pharisee; a person has to work full time at it, and be very zealous to keep the Law, being weighed down with guilt and self-righteousness, resisting the Holy Spirit’s plea for them to make the changes that God wants them to make, never knowing or forgetting how sweet it is to be totally right with God and clean before Him, with the peace and joy of knowing that your life pleases Him. If this is your case, your righteousness does not exceed that of the scribes or the Pharisees. These zealous efforts to be good are never good enough and never will be, because they fall infinitely short of God’s desire for us to have His PERFECT righteousness! No one can ever be saved, unless their righteousness exceeds that of the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees! No one can ever be saved, unless they have Christ’s righteousness. The best that we can do is useless to gain eternal life; we must have more than we can ever do in our own power and strength, and skill and will.


A corrupt, impure, or a self-righteous heart can never fulfill the requirements of the Law, or know the joy of having a heart full of love for God and their fellow man, unless they repent; for love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:10. A self-righteous heart does not know peace, because it is not clean before God. The scribes and Pharisees tried their best to keep God’s Law, and prided themselves on keeping it, but Jesus said that their righteousness was not good enough to enter the kingdom of Heaven.

When Jesus says that your righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, He is stating the truth. But how is this possible? You in your own desire and willpower cannot keep God’s Law of Love, though it might appear that you can to yourself and others. But only God is good. Matthew 19:17; Mark 10:18. But (as Jesus said) if you want to be saved, your righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. The only way your righteousness can exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, and to be good, is if you let God clean the inside of your cup first. If you want the inside of your cup to be clean, you must allow Him to not only forgive your sins, but to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9. And you need to cooperate with Him and do everything He asks willingly. If you are not there yet, you can pray to God: ‘Have mercy on me a sinner, help me to be willing and help me to keep your Law.’ And He will hear your prayer and grant it if you mean it. The only way your righteousness can exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, is if you let God make you good! If you really know God, you cannot help but be good, because He will help you be good. This is because only God is good.


We know there are some saying that we don’t have to keep God’s 10 Commandments, that Jesus did everything for us on the cross, but the Bible says otherwise. We are not saying that our efforts to keep the 10 Commandments will save us, no not at all! We are saying that if we have God’s saving love dwelling in our heart, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, we would always want to keep the 10 Commandments or be sorry when we break them. The tempter has far too long kept this argument to two sides that are both wrong! Did you catch that? Both of the sides, on the left and on the right, are wrong. In general, liberals and conservative Christians are wrong on this subject. We say this, because liberal Christians tend to say that we cannot keep God’s Law, and thus should not concern ourselves with it at all since we are ‘saved by grace’, some of them even going as far as implying or saying that you are doing something wrong to even try to keep God’s Law. I.e. it is a sin to be good and it is good to sin. (They will probably deny this belief if you discuss the end result of their belief with them.) “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20 NASB. And there are many conservative Christians who are very zealous for keeping the Law, yet are not keeping it perfectly, although they will probably deny this. Their failed efforts to keep God’s Law does not please Him. But if they have confessed their sins to Him and asked for His help to keep His Law, this will please Him. But they have no room for pride over their erring brothers and sisters, if they themselves are also breaking His Law in thought, word or deed in any way! In the end, anyone who has not confessed all of their sins and yielded themselves completely to God, can never possibly keep all of God’s Law, for they are breaking the first commandment to have no other God’s before Him at the very least, and do not love the Lord their God with all of their heart, and all of their mind, and all of their soul. Exodus 20:2; Matthew 22:37-38. God requires His Laws and commandments to be kept perfectly in thought, word and in action at all times, something that is humanly impossible! We are not saying here that God cannot forgive sinners who have broken His Law. We must always keep in mind that God’s thoughts and ways are way above man’s ideas and ability. Listen to what God revealed through the prophet Isaiah: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV. Man’s ideas on whether he is keeping God’s Law or not, and his ability of keeping it are completely inadequate, unless he knows the whole truth of it and has God’s divine aid. Whenever someone is making the claim of keeping God’s Law, if they lose their temper, say bad things about others behind their back, or say hurtful things to them, or do not love God supremely or do not love their neighbor as themselves, then they most certainly do not have the right spirit and are breaking God’s Law, regardless of their claim, because ‘love is the fulfillment of the Law.’ Romans 13:10.

Some conservatives appear to think that if they believe the truth and endeavor to keep it and promote it to others, or if they point out the sins and defects of others that this makes them good, but it does not! Many conservatives believe and teach the majority of the truth, but omit the weightier matters of the Law like love and mercy, and have no ability of keeping God’s Law, because they do not have a vital connection with God. Jesus said, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” Matthew 23:23 KJV.

And many liberals think that there is no reason to even try to be good, or worry whether they are good or not, because they believe that they are only saved by grace and are not actually required by God to obey Him. But unless the liberal’s righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, i.e. unless their righteousness exceeds that of the conservatives, they cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven either. Did you catch that? There are no liberals or conservatives that are excused from obeying all of God’s Law or 10 Commandments. There are no liberals or conservatives who are excused from loving the Lord their God with all their heart, and with all of their mind and with all of their soul, or from loving their neighbor as themselves. Any who do not allow God to help them be good will eventually be weighed in the balance and found wanting. Daniel 5:27.

If you have a problem with what we are saying here in this article, these are not our words but Jesus’ words that were stated in Matthew 5:20.
 
Nothing but God’s perfect righteousness is ever acceptable to Him. So you find the truth that whether you are a religious conservative or a liberal, that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven. Do you doubt the main premise of this article? Then consider well what Jesus said here:“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48 KJV. If Jesus told you to do something, then it must be true. God cannot lie. Hebrews 6:18. Jesus the Son of God cannot lie either. (Jesus came to reveal the will of the Father to mankind.) Since Jesus said that you were to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect, there must be a way for you to do it. To get perfection, you must get Christ's righteousness, which you can only gain by faith. Romans 3:22. We find that this statement by Jesus in Matthew 5:48 is in perfect harmony with His other statement in Matthew 5:20, in fact, they are in the same chapter! God has made provision for you, so you do not have to live in the flesh, and can have His righteousness! See Romans 8:5-17.

How did these lies or half-truths on the left and on the right ever become acceptable to ‘God’s people’? Because they allowed this to be, and because they haven’t challenged the idea enough that it doesn’t matter what you do, or the idea that it only matters what you believe, or you are OK if it looks like you are keeping God’s Law, and that you don’t have to actually live a righteous life or have love and kindness for others, that your intention to keep His Law is enough, even though the Bible plainly states otherwise. But Jesus said that you must be born again by the water and by the Spirit to be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven, John 3:3, 5. And that no good tree can bear bad fruit, and no bad tree can bear good fruit. Jesus said: “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:16-20 KJV. So just believe what Jesus said. We are not trying to make you feel bad or to wound any; our desire is that regardless of what your problems are that you would turn to God for help and live, so that you get the help you need to be happy and be at peace. If you are unaware of the problems on the left or on the right (if any of these are your problems) you will be unable to get the peace, love, joy, faith and hope that you need to thrive spiritually and to withstand the trials that are ahead as this world’s history draws to a close.

So what do you do if you know you are not where you should be spiritually? Regardless of whether you fall on the left or on the right, the solution in both cases is the same. If you have been in either one of these groups (many of us have been in one or both of these groups in at least one point in our life) if you confess your sins, yield yourself completely to God, and learn to fully love Him, you will find it an easy thing to make the changes that He wants you to make. Did you hear that right: it is an ‘easy thing to make the changes that He wants you to make’? Yes you did hear that right! While it is an impossible thing to be good by yourself, if you know God and really love Him, it will be the most easy and natural thing in the world for you to be good, providing you keep abiding in His love for you. But wait not for tomorrow or for a convenient season to approach His throne of grace to obtain this help and mercy in time of need. Acts 24:5; Hebrews 4:16. God is even now waiting for you to completely return to Him and seek after Him with all your heart, then you will be found by Him. Deuteronomy 4:29; Jeremiah 29:11-13.

We wish someone had taught us the wonderful truth many years ago that God would give us the power to live a righteous life, if we would yield our heart completely to Him and let Him help us, then we wouldn’t have had to waste so much of our life; that He wants to fill us with His precious Holy Spirit to help us obey Him, and that we don’t have to go it alone. He will indeed supply all of our needs. Philippians 4:19. This is how our righteousness can exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. Why is this a wonderful truth? Because God has placed in everyone’s heart the desire to be good, and they can never be truly happy until they allow God to help them be good. Whenever God asks you to do something, He always provides a way for you to do it! This message is the righteousness by faith doctrine of the Bible. See Genesis 15:6; Romans 1:17; 3:22,25; 4:1-23; Galatians 5:5; Philippians 3:9; Hebrews 11. It is a joy to love and serve God and keep His commandments, which only He can give us the ability of doing. God is even now longing to help everyone have His righteousness and bear good fruit for Him, if only they would accept His help and yield fully to Him.

Dear reader, there is no reason to try to live with the righteousness of your own filthy rags, because you are trying so hard to keep God’s Law, or the righteousness of your own filthy rags when you are not right with God, because you don’t think that you need to concern yourself with keeping God’s Law of Love (the 10 Commandments) or living a Holy life for Him. Isaiah 64:6. There is no reason to not have the assurance of your salvation right now, and no reason to not have the strength or the will to obey God, or to not have the forgiveness of all of your sins. Wait not a precious moment. There is no reason to wait, you can have this peace right now! There is nothing to be gained by trying to save yourself, because you cannot. There is nothing to be gained by the constant round of sinning and confessing with no way out, addictions, and thinking that you are clear with God without having to yield to Him all-the-way; nothing to be gained, and everything to lose. Jesus bore all of your sins on the cross for you, oh sinner, there is no reason to try to do it yourself. He will help you to be righteous for your Heavenly Father, to remove the shame of your sins and free you from your addictions (John 8:36), if you will have His help and yield to His loving heart. This is our prayer for you, dear reader. Amen.

#Except #Righteousness #Exceeds #Pharisees #Cannot #Enter #Heaven #Hypocrites #Liberal #Conservative #Left #Right #Wrong #Good #EternalLife #Love #Neighbor #Perfect #Self-Righteous #Blind