By John Foll
, written 10/28/2017
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
Are you tired of hurting yourself and others? It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick.
“And it happened that as He [Jesus] was reclining at the table in the house, behold many tax-gatherers and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, ‘Why is your Teacher eating with the tax-gatherers and sinners?’ But when He heard this, He said, ‘It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means, 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE, 'for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’” Matthew 9:10-13 NASB77.
There are two groups of people referred to by Jesus in this statement, ‘the righteous’ and ‘sinners’. What does the Bible have to say about the righteousness of man? “The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Psalm 14:2-3 NASB. ‘The best of them is like a briar, the most upright like a thorn hedge.’ Micah 7:4 NASB. This is the way many are who say they are a Christian, but don’t have a true conversion and God in their life. But those who see their need will turn to Him for help.
“Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” Jeremiah 8:22 KJV. Why are all of God’s people today not seeking healing from Him? This is God’s message to His people in our day too! There needs to be a balm in Gilead and help from the Great Physician, because many of His people in our day are in as much need of healing from the sickness of sin as they were in Jeremiah’s day and in the day when Jesus was dining with the tax collectors and sinners. Unfortunately because many of His people do not know or care that they are sick and in need of the Great Physician’s help, in need of the balm of Gilead, they have not been healed. If anyone needs healing they must first see that they are sick and in need of help; otherwise there will be no help or healing for them. The tax collectors and sinners in our passage in Matthew 9 received their opportunity of healing from sin from Jesus, and one of them was Matthew the disciple and apostle! See the verse before in Matthew 9:9. These were the sinners who the Pharisees were accusing Jesus of eating with. And at least one of them became Jesus’ loyal disciple, Matthew! How many people have been blessed by the book of Matthew? Aren’t you glad that Jesus ate with the tax collectors and sinners at Matthew’s house? We know that we are. There is hope for you too dear reader!
If someone see’s their need and allows Jesus to heal them from their sickness of sin, He will help them be good. When they have this change wrought in their heart they will have mercy and compassion on others who are still sick and in sin. If you consider yourself to be ‘the righteous’, go and learn what this means, ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE’, if you do not already know it. Hear now what God says here through Hosea the prophet, whom Jesus was quoting from In Mathew 9:13: “O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth. For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.” Hosea 6:4-7 KJV. God is saying here that He wants His people to have mercy and compassion on others, to desire a true knowledge of Him and His ways of love, and to keep their covenant with Him.
No one can be good or righteous if they are not kind and merciful to others; this is the way God is with mankind! It doesn’t matter what someone says they believe, if they are not kind and merciful to others they are unrighteous! To be a Christian and a disciple of Jesus, all must be kind and merciful to others. When Moses asked God to show him His glory, God said, ‘I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.’ Exodus 33:19 NASB. The King James Version renders this as: “And He [God] said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” Exodus 33:19 KJV. So we see here that God’s glory is His grace, mercy and compassion! But all those who have been shown mercy and compassion by God, because they asked for it from Him, should be grateful for the kindness that He has shown them. This should awaken His love in their heart and sympathy for others who are still trapped in the bondage of sin and addictions. Those who are grateful for the help they have received from Him will have mercy on sinners and will want to help them, instead of tearing them down. This is what Jesus meant when He said ‘Go and learn what this means.’ Those who say that they know Him and are not kind and merciful to others do not really know Him yet, and if they don’t repent they will find themselves shut out from the kingdom of Heaven. See Matthew 5:7, 6:12; John 13:34-35; 15:12, 17; 1 John 4:20; 2:4; Matthew 25:21-40; 7:21-23.
We first heard someone using this text as a promise that God would help them ‘if they were sick’ by a dear brother in Christ. He said that before he met Christ he did a lot of bad things. We believe he was looking for hope that life could be better for him, he was listening to the voice of God. After he started studying the Bible, when he read this text, he knew there was hope for him! He prayed something like this, ‘Dear Lord I am sick, so I need a physician. Jesus came to heal those who are sick. Please heal me!” In his heart he knew that God heard is prayer, because he was sick! And God helped him to become a better person and to stop doing bad things! All who see their sickness can pray to God, and receive forgiveness and healing from sin; and get help to stop doing bad things, just like our dear brother did!
Yes, all those who are ‘sick’ can receive help from the Great Physician if they will plead for His help! Jesus came to help those who are sick, not those who are sick but don’t think that they are! God will not provide healing for someone like this until they see their need and freely ask for His help. He compels none. Those who do not see their great need will not be helped. But there is love and mercy for all those who know that they are sick and are desperate for the help that only the Great Physician can supply.
So there is a balm in Gilead and the Great Physician there to provide healing for all who are sick. Are you sick? Then there is hope for you! If you pray the prayer that my brother prayed above, you will be healed, no matter how bad you are and no matter what you’ve done. Jesus came to call you, Oh sinner, if you would be healed!
May the grace of God be with you all! May you see your need of Jesus and receive healing from all sin!
P. S. Thank you our dear brother for your testimony on this text and your testimony that you knew that God would hear your prayer to Him and help you when you prayed this prayer! How it gave you hope that God would save you because you were sick! We hope that your testimony and this article will be a blessing to others, giving hope to all who are sick and trapped in sin and want to be free! We want all to be delivered from the bondage to sin, all who want it.
Jesus said, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 KJV. So there is hope for all who want it! There is the Physician and the balm of Gilead for all who see their need and want it. No reason anymore to be trapped in sin and guilt, when Jesus came to make all free! Amen.
#Sick #Well #Physician #Mercy #Compassion #Sacrifice #Ear #Tax #Collectors #Sinners #Righteous #Help #Healing #Hurt #Stop #Yourself #Others #Testimony #Forgiveness #Free
The Unity of the Scriptures
By John Foll, written between 8/19/2017 and 8/23/2017, except for the start which came with Part 1. © Copyright 2017 John Foll
“To whom would He teach knowledge, and to whom would He interpret the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just taken from the breast? For He says, 'Order on order, order on order, line on line, line on line, a little here, a little there.' ” Isaiah 28:9-10 NASB.
In this article we want to show you how to understand the Bible, by applying the principles of order upon order, line upon line, precept upon precept. We want to show the unity of the Bible and why it’s important, which shows order in the Bible, because God is a God of order. “Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40 KJV. Colossians 2:5; Titus 1:5; 2 Chronicles 29:35; Psalms 119:133; Matthew 12:44.
For the details of important truths you need to know that are taught by the Bible, please check out our new blog: How To Please God: http://WhiteRaimentEvangelismObey.blogspot.com/ .
The articles in the series you are now reading: “Order Upon Order, Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept!” are designed to teach you the importance of studying the whole Bible and the principles needed to understand it. They are a good lead into our new blog: How To Please God, where we will study these precious truths of the Bible that you need to know in greater detail. Why is it important to study these doctrines? So you can know how to please God and be eternally happy! Why aren’t we including them in our Love of God or our Faith Blogs? Because not everyone is ready for these truths yet. In our Love of God and our Faith Blogs we are trying to focus on the essentials of the gospel and how to be saved, have peace, love, joy, faith, hope, and how to become born again and be filled with the Spirit. Without these most essential and basic truths of the Gospel message fully believed and put into practice, your Christianity will become a “hollow shell”, with either self-righteousness or a carelessness of not loving God with all your heart, mind and soul, or a carelessness of not loving your neighbor as yourself.
We have seen in some of our previous articles in our Love of God Blog: the Holy Spirit is given to all that obey God. Acts 5:32. What does this mean? We have thought about this a lot and have come to the conclusion that it is most important to believe, teach and live by all of God’s truth in the Bible, not just the pleasant things to think about like the Love of God. (We already knew this at least in part, but had not connected it fully with Acts 5:32.) It makes no sense to talk about getting the Holy Spirit, or to talk about getting peace, love, faith, hope or joy, etc. if someone doesn’t eventually want to obey God. He gives us time to get to know Him and choose of our own free will to give our heart fully to Him or not. If anyone wants the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus also refers to as ‘the spirit of truth’, instead of the spirit of error, they must want to obey God. John 14:17; 16:16; 16:13. Anyone can claim they have the Holy Spirit or that they are born again, but the proof in whether they are or not, and have the right Spirit, is if they love and obey God, and treat others with kindness, love and respect. This means to keep God’s commandments, which are to love Him with all your heart, mind and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:36-40. The only way you can understand the Bible, is if you are listening to the Holy Spirit. The only way you can obey God’s commandments is if you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in your heart continually. But how do you know if you have the Holy Spirit? You must apply the Bible tests, you must keep God’s Law of Love. John said about Jesus: “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” 1 John 2:3-6 KJV. The promise of the Holy Spirit is a precious promise given to the believer who yields themselves to God. The more you yield to Him, the more of the power of the Holy Spirit you will have. If you yield to Him fully, you will have the Holy Spirit in full, and your life will never be the same; then God’s will for your life will be your greatest desire! The Holy Spirit is a precious gift that all Christians need. The Holy Spirit is also a reward given to those who want to obey God and love Him with all their heart, the Pearl of Great Price! When you love God with all your heart, mind and soul, then you have the Holy Spirit in full. Then obeying God’s every wish and command will be a delight for you, not a burden. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3 NASB.
In case you are wondering, whose commandments is John talking about keeping here in John 2:3-6, Jesus’ or God’s? As we have shown in our previous blog article: Order Upon Order, Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept! Part 1 http://WhiteRaimentEvangelism.blogspot.com/2017/08/order-upon-order-line-upon-line-precept-upon-precept-part1.html, God’s commandments are Jesus’ commandments, and Jesus’ commandments are God’s commandments, because they are one. Jesus is the Word of God and came to this earth to reveal His Father’s will for mankind. But Jesus restated God’s Law of Love in Matthew 22:36-40, and in John 13:34. (Note: Jesus wasn’t stating a new truth here, even though it may seem so, because this truth was taught first by Moses in Deuteronomy 6:4-6 and Leviticus 19:18.)
You must listen to the Holy Spirit to understand the Bible, be born again or be saved, but you must also love and obey God’s word in the Bible in order to have the Holy Spirit. Therefore it is important for you to study the other doctrines of the Bible, to help you know all of what God requires. This is the reason for our new blog, “How To Please God”; to teach the other essential truths of the Bible, so you can please God and have the Holy Spirit in full!
Now back to our current article “Order Upon Order, Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept Part 2”:
We want to add to our order upon order, and line upon line doctrines:
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV. What scripture does Paul say is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and instruction in righteousness? All scripture. What scriptures were the scriptures in Paul’s day? Just the Old Testament. Paul didn’t start to write any of his epistles until a long time after Jesus had gone back to Heaven, and most likely his own writings, although inspired, were not considered on the same level as scriptures until a later date. We don’t want to take the time to try to prove this to you in this article. We have talked about this in our books and other blog articles, and there is more too learn of it.
We are making the point about the Old Testament being “all scriptures” because there are many in our day that are teaching that Jesus did away with the Old Testament or the 10 Commandments, etc. and that the Old Testament can be discarded in part, if not in whole, because some declare it to be “Old Covenant”. To many people anything that can be labeled “Old Covenant” should be discarded. The devil is well pleased with this thinking, because once people start down this road, they end up carving up the New Testament too, with some parts being labeled ‘old covenant’ and other parts being labeled ‘new covenant’. This is destroying belief in the New Testament. As we have said in some of our books, the New Testament uses the Old Testament to prove that Jesus is the Christ, and it is the starting point of the Christian Faith, and if it is discarded, it turns Christianity into a sham, because we must have confidence that Jesus is the Christ or the Messiah of the world. If the Old Testament is not valid anymore, it destroys the credibility of Jesus, because He spoke with favor on it. Many things that He spoke can be found in the Old Testament. We have also shown in some of our previous blog articles, in our Love of God Blog and in some of our books, that there are preachers in our day that are contradicting Christ by their incorrect views of what Paul taught in his epistles. They tend to place their ideas of what Paul taught above the clear testimony of Jesus! A careful study of Paul’s writings reveal that he did not contradict anything that Jesus said. What Paul was against was legalism, the effort to save one’s self by themselves, and he was for being a new creature, which is to be born again and walk by the Spirit, which is life and peace. Romans 8:5-10. But these are the same things that Jesus was for!
We are not saying that the New Testament is not the scriptures or ‘all scriptures’. Our point is to make you aware that the books of the Old Testament were the scriptures first, and they were the scriptures that Paul specifically referred to when he wrote the epistle of 2nd Timothy. (He may have also been intending that his epistles and some of the other books of the New Testament that were written were scriptures too, but we haven’t researched this to know if it is true.) Many people probably haven’t thought of it this way, and may not realize what Paul meant in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. This point is important to understand. Since Paul and the other Apostles had seen Jesus physically or in a vision and learned from Him, and received the Holy Spirit, their writings are also the word of God, thus ‘the scriptures’. Many Christians make the New Testament their main or only scriptures, and are unsure whether the books of the Old Testament are also ‘the scriptures’ that are necessary for them to study and follow. But to understand God’s complete will for man, and to have a full understanding of the plan of salvation, and to understand the future that lies ahead of us, i.e. Bible prophecy, the Old Testament must be studied and viewed as the word of God by every believer. The writers of the New Testament did not fully expound on or list all of the truths of the Old Testament in their writings, because the people were exhorted to study the scriptures. In their day, there was no question that the Old Testament was the word of God to the believer.
Paul also said, “Study to shew [or show] thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV. What does Paul mean by rightly dividing the word of truth? He means that we need to study the whole Bible (both the Old and New Testaments), know all of what it says, and know how to rightly divide it up by context to build valid doctrines without contradictions, and we also believe, comparing scripture with scripture, order upon order, line upon line, and precept upon precept, as our theme passage for this article series indicates. This method of rightly dividing the truth is the method that God approves of. Those who rightly divide the word of truth will not be ashamed in the Day of Judgment, when their life record is brought up and the fruit of their life is accounted for. There will be a great reward for those who have been faithful in honoring God’s law of love for mankind, and teaching others to do so, and teaching others the way of salvation! We don’t know about you, but we want that great reward that Jesus promised! Don’t you too?
See Matthew 5:19; 25:31-46; John 15:16; Matthew 10:32-33; 1 Samuel 2:30; 2 Timothy 2:11-13; Psalms 19:7, 11; Romans 1:16; 10:11; 1 John 2:28; 2 Timothy 1:12-14.
We need to seek for harmony in the Bible and see how the Old and New Testaments work together! And that without either of them, we have an incomplete understanding of all truth! We have also endeavored in our Love of God Blog and in our Faith Blog to show that it has always been about faith. In the days of the Old Testament, it was about faith that Jesus would one day come to redeem mankind from their sins, to pay the price for our sins, and for the salvation that He and His Father would bring through the resurrection, and take His people home to be with Him forever in Heaven in mansions of glory and endless delight, as *the song says. And this is true in our day! We have even more light of the scriptures shining on our path than the people in the days of the Old Testament had, but it is still about faith in Jesus and His Father, whereby we must be saved and always will be.
One of the purposes of this Order Upon Order, Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept series of articles is to help you have full confidence that all of the Bible is the word of God; so that you can believe it, be happy, please God and receive the Holy Spirit in full, because the Holy Spirit is given to all that obey God, Acts 5:32, and to those who want to obey Him.
* From the Hymn: ‘My Jesus I Love Thee’: Words by William Ralph Featherston, Music by Adoniram Gordon. Click on the link below to hear me singing this song on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX4x8FJP6fA
In addition to Christians wanting to get rid of the Old Testament as part of their rule of faith, atheism, for some time now, has been trying to destroy our belief that God was the creator, as the Bible says He was in the book of Genesis. And some Christians now are integrating “theistic” evolution into their beliefs; this goes along with their belief that the Old Testament is old covenant and not necessary for Christians. Our purpose in this article is not to debunk evolution here, but to point out that it is a big factor in the errors that are plaguing our world today.
What’s at stake? The unity of the Bible, and whether God really meant what He said, or whether He changed His mind and said something different at a later date. If you have been confused on this, we hope that you will want to learn the truth on the unity of the Bible, ‘all scriptures’. If you don’t agree with this you will have trouble with many of our articles, because this is an integral part of what Acts 5:32 teaches, that if we want the Holy Spirit we must obey God. And the only way we can obey God is if we want to obey everything He said in the Bible. So we must study all of it. There is a beauty and harmony with the truth, when it is understood with no contradictions; this is the only way to know true peace, and to have the Spirit of Truth that Jesus promised to all of His disciples. John 15:26; 14:15-17; 16:13-14.
Jesus declared that those who read the scriptures and do not see that they testify of Him, do not have God’s word abiding in their heart. “And ye have not His word abiding in you: for whom He hath sent, Him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me. And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life.” John 5:38-40 KJV. What scriptures was Jesus referring to when He said this? The Old Testament. How do we know this? Because the book of John was not written until about A.D. 90’s! See http://www.freebeginning.com/new_testament_dates/. It is impossible that the book of John could have been considered scriptures when Jesus spoke John 5:38-40! The first book of the New Testament that was written was most likely the book of Mark, which was written about 60 - 70 A.D. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Mark/ . So it is impossible that any book of the New Testament could have been scriptures when Jesus said this. Also it is impossible for any book of the New Testament to have been considered scriptures before that book was written. We believe that many Christians have not considered the fact that the Gospels or the book of Acts were not written until a much later date, after they took place. And the other books of the New Testament were also written many years after Jesus went back to Heaven!
The Old Testament scriptures declare the love of God and the plan of salvation. Throughout its pages, in its rites and ceremonies, laws, and stories, we see God’s mercy for our fallen world. We see the plan of how Jesus would be sent to die on the cross for the sins of the world, how to live and be born again, how God would send the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, and how Jesus would one day return at the second coming and raise the righteous from the dead, and take all of His people home to be with Him and the Father in the mansions He has prepared for them. We also see the second resurrection and the judgement of the wicked and their eventual complete destruction by fire. All of this was shown or predicted in the Old Testament in one place or another. Much of this was shown in the daily rites, the festivals and other yearly rites of the sanctuary services with what the Priests did. And there were many prophecies from Moses, David and the Major and Minor Prophets throughout its pages. To get a full understanding of the truth it is necessary to study the New Testament together with the Old Testament, comparing their teachings and Bible prophecies. It is not good for anyone to reject the authority or the inspiration of the Old Testament, or to try to put it down as not being needed anymore for Christians. Jesus said that the scriptures testify of Him, which were the Old Testament scriptures. How can anything that testifies about Jesus be bad? These are the same "all scriptures” that Paul also spoke about that are profitable for the Christian, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete and lacking in nothing.
Jesus said to the Tempter, when tempted to turn the stones into bread when He was hungry, near the end of his forty day fast: ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:4 KJV. If you study the words of Moses, and the writings of the Old Testament with an open mind, you will see that these are indeed the words of God! Jesus declared that we should not live by the bread that we eat for food alone, implying that we are not to live just by the works or the fruits of our hands; not just by how we earn our living or feed ourselves. But we are also to live by the words of God, all of them. We should take heed to all that God has said, unless it was of a temporary nature (not for our day), or conditional with conditions not met.
We also have this testimony from Jesus regarding the importance of listening to Moses and the Prophets in this parable of the Rich man and Lazarus: “"But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.' "But he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!' "But he said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.'"” Luke 16:29-31 NASB. Some may think that Jesus was only talking to the Jews here when He made this statement, and that we don’t need to be concerned about what He said here if we are a Christian. But what Jesus said here was His main point! If someone will not believe the writings of Moses and the Prophets (literally He is talking about the entire Old Testament here), neither will they believe if someone should rise from the dead and tell them to repent. Think about what Jesus meant here!
Do Christians have the Old Testament in their Bibles? Yes. Why? Because Christians throughout the ages since Jesus went back to Heaven have been blessed by the Old Testament in its stories of faith, and the great and wonderful works of God! So it has been included in their Biblical canon. Who has not been blessed by reading the Psalms? Those who are down and out and greatly need encouragement. And there are many wonderful promises about Jesus the Messiah, particularly as found in the book of Isaiah the prophet. Who has not been blessed by these prophecies? Do we as Christians have the testimony of Moses and the Prophets in our Bible? Again yes. Then you must accept the testimony of the Old Testament, because you have Moses and the Prophets, as Jesus said. If you don’t, neither will you believe if someone should rise from the dead telling you to repent! Jesus was not just speaking to the Jewish race here! David wrote: “the law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul, the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple”! Psalms 19:7 KJV. This is found in the Old Testament. If you want to be truly converted, do not reject any of God’s counsel for you in any part of the Holy Scriptures, be it the Old or New Testaments.
There is yet another point to be learned from Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus: Did someone rise from the dead and seek to tell His people to repent? Yes! Who? Jesus! Even though the Bible makes no mention that Jesus ever spoke to any of the leaders of the nation of Israel again after His resurrection, by proxy He did speak to them. Through the testimony of Peter, James and John, the rest of the Apostles, and of course Paul. They were all preaching that Jesus’ rose from the dead and that everyone should repent. One place is Acts 2. Did any of the Jews believe Jesus’ call to repentance after He rose from the grave? Yes, but not all. We do not know the number, but it was probably not the majority. Why? Because Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 NASB. Many did not receive this testimony that He was risen, that His death for their sins alone could save them, and that they should repent. Why? Because they had not truly believed Moses and the Prophets, who all testified of Him! If they had known and really believed these writings, they would have known Jesus too, for these writings prophesied of Him. So we think that Jesus was making a prophecy concerning Himself in this parable of the rich man and Lazarus, that when He would rise from the dead, those who did not truly believe Moses and the Prophets would not believe His testimony either, as given by His Disciples telling them to repent. This is quite a statement that Jesus made! We wish all Christians would understand this, that if they will not believe the testimony of Moses and the Prophets, neither will they truly believe Jesus’ testimony to repent.
Both of the Old and New Testaments are the Holy Scriptures that we as Christians need to study and ask God’s help to put into practice. We are to live by all of these words that proceed from the mouth of God! If we want to understand God’s will for us, we will want to study everything that He has revealed in His Holy Scriptures, both in the Old and the New Testaments, and compare them, order upon order, line upon line, precept upon precept. This is the way of peace, love, joy, happiness, and eternal life! If you would have life, search for Jesus in the Old Testament, as well as studying about Him in the New Testament, for all of the Bible testifies about Jesus, and His Father’s love for our world. Amen!
May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all!
We hope to write further blog articles on this subject.
#Understand #Principle #Bible #Doctrine #Order #Unity #Old #New #Testament #HolySpirit #Obey #Love #Scripture #Reproof #Testimony #Jesus #Harmony #Believe #Rise #Dead
Please read this interview I wrote for our ministry, if you would like more on why and how our book and blog ministry got started, etc.?
© Copyright 2017 John Foll for all the answers to the questions.
Most Questions were from SmashWords.com.
When did you first start writing?
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My Android Samsung Galaxy Note 4 phone, using the @Voice Aloud Reader to play the text of the book to me while I am driving or doing work around our place, etc.
What is your main goal in your writing and what you are trying to accomplish?
Our main goal is to help as many people as possible get the assurance of their own salvation, and learn how wonderful God is and have the desire grow in them to give themselves to God all the way. Then they will have the peace, love, joy and happiness that they have been searching for their entire life, and now they have it! And it will last for all eternity, if they keep allowing God to take care of them.
What is your writing process?
God is the most important part of my life and writing process! I could do nothing of any value without Him. I owe my life and my love to Him for all that He has done for me, and the new life He freely gave me. I had a most wonderful experience with God, where I learned how much He loved me, and gave my heart to Him all the way.
I thought that I had done this many years ago before, when I was baptized as a boy, but now I know we need to give our heart to God all the way every day! And why would I not want to do so?
I love Him! Within a few days after this, I was so happy I said to myself, ‘This is too good to keep to myself, I must tell it to others’
(or something like that). So I asked God to help me write a book or books to tell of His love to the world
, and that He would make me an evangelist for Him to proclaim His love to as many people as I could, and then later to the world (I think I asked Him)! I believe that He heard my prayer, for He richly blessed me with these beautiful thoughts and wonderful promises in these books, particularly Parts 1
of The Love ofGod: God’s Plan to Save You!
But He also greatly blessed me on all of these books! I had also asked Him to do this for me, because I was moving to the country and needed a source of income, but I greatly desired and needed a ministry to serve Him with. Jesus said, ‘the labourer is worthy of his hire.’ Luke 10:7.
I had a good idea of the topics that should be in the first book, which eventually got split into multiple books, and so these became the chapters. The initial writing process of a lot of these books were almost automatic. Once an idea was impressed on my mind, it was just a matter of finding the texts that went with it, and rearranging, proofing, etc. Sometimes the initial idea would immediately suggest texts or like passages, and these passages, when commented on led to others. The editing process took a lot of the thought and time. I had to learn to take out things with wrong sentiments or passages that were too strong, that in my eagerness I had put into my writing, I had much to learn about writing. I had to make sure I could back up what I was saying from the Bible or take it out, and fix any incorrect ideas that I had placed there. (I was learning in this process too!) Then I had some places that were somewhat duplicated that needed to be combined and reworded. The Bible really does explain itself!
There were some books though that were harder to write, because they were dealing with some of the things that we don’t often want to talk about or hear, the harder truths in the Bible. I had to learn how to write things in such a way as to not overburden the reader with negative messages, and avoid using harsh tones or cutting words. It could have been my old ways trying to come back or it was my inexperience at being an evangelist, or writing the truths of the Bible in Love. But God helped me through these more difficult books to find the proper balance between the negative truths that the soul sometimes needs to hear, that are not pleasant for it, and love! If the soul feels no hope, it will despair or reject the truth! We should always preach love, whenever dealing with these harder topics in the Bible! Give people hope, not just tell them what they are doing wrong! In this process, I developed the main concept that I want in all of my future books as well, regardless of the topic. In their introduction, descriptions, brochures, and product information they should always say, “Discover the beautiful truth that God loves you and has a plan to save you!” If I can say that each book is about God’s love and plan to save you, and the book really contains this, then some of the harder truths of the Bible can be presented, and will fit with God’s love for the world! He doesn’t want anyone to perish! Therefore repent and live!
I have to use the aid of text-to-speech readers on my PC or Android phone to proof read to fix mistakes, because I don't see all of the errors. Dyslexia? Sometimes I don't always hear them either, so I listen and sometimes re-read things until I am satisfied. The editing and proof-reading processes are very important in order to get rid of mistakes, and to flesh out more fully the concepts that were expressed, in order to not miss anything important.
But I believe that God has been guiding me in this process, because I would be unable to write inspiring books like these without Him, that would be of any value spiritually, that would uplift people from the problems on this earth, to help them catch His Spirit and see a glimpse of Heaven. Praise His wonderful name! He gives gifts to those who love Him, to help them serve Him, and gives them the power and the strength to do it. What a privilege! What a joy!
What are you working on next?
We are working on the marketing of our Ministry for the Books, Website, and Blogs to help people get closer to God.
We have two books that are almost done except for the final editing. Some editing of these books has been done already, but more is needed: 1) "TheGifts of the Spirit in the Last Days: For Those Who Want To Know About theirNeed For the Gifts of The Spirit in the Last Days, Which We are Now Living in." 2) "TheFirst Commandment: Give Your Heart Completely To God Because You Love Him! WhatLack I Yet?" And some more excerpt books. I also want to make 2 other smaller books of "TheFirst Commandment", one with just the first (main chapter), and another with chapters 1 and 2. These two smaller books are intended for someone who may not be ready for the first book, but need to know the essentials of the First Commandment, etc. The "WhatLack I Yet" version gives the harder calls to give your heart to God, and shows the Holy Spirit outpouring for the latter days... Well you need to read it to find out. But it should help equip the reader so that they can be ready for the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the world, and help them to see their need of the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so that they can have a ministry to serve God with and be ready for Jesus to come.
We want to make a book to be tentatively called: "The Meaning of Baptism", discussing the origin of Baptism, and its meaning in the Early Christian Church. This is book points out the necessity of every Christian to be baptized by the water and the Spirit as described by Jesus in John 3:3, 5, and in Jesus' own baptism, who is the example for all Christians to follow. This will be taken from my currently released book "The Ceremonial Law and Sacrificial System: What does it mean to the Gospel Message?" and will be a small book for those wanting a book just on Christian baptism.
And some more planned books: "The Love of God: God's Plan to Save You Part 3: How To Please God" This may end up being two books? We are not sure yet. This one is built on top of Part 1 and 2 and God's Law of Love and the First Commandment. It is desirable that these books be read first before Part 3 or 4.
Who are your favorite authors?
Our favorite Bible authors currently are John, Paul and Matthew, and Luke for the book of Acts. Where would we be without the book of Acts?
When we were younger our favorites were Jeremiah and Isaiah we believe, we still love Jeremiah and Isaiah. John the Apostle's books are the easiest to understand and should be completely mastered by all Christians first I believe. The books of John and 1st John are very good at leading someone to Jesus; to give their heart to Him and become His. We recommend that everyone keep reading and re-reading these two books with much prayer! John, Matthew, Acts should be read and mastered before reading Paul. The Bible should not be studied in such a way as to interpret passages to contradict other places in the Bible. It is especially important to never accept an interpretation for passages in the newer books of the Bible that contradicts the testimony of the earlier books. If you would first study the Gospels, then the book of Acts, and then the Book of 1st John (in this order), this will greatly help you understand the Old Testament and the rest of the New Testament properly. This is because Christ is the center of the Bible, and I believe that the apostle John was especially close to Jesus, which you can easily see in the book of 1 John, which is why I recommend this book to be read after the Gospels and Acts.
The Gospels are perhaps the easiest books in the Bible to understand, and most important and the most powerful I believe. If people would just read the Bible with much prayer and devotion to God, instead of letting other people tell them what it means, there would be much less confusion and contradiction out there, and people would have the love, joy and peace we were all meant to have! And then we would have the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit and our whole life would change! We would have new life from above! And have the ability of obeying God and serving Him with great joy! The entire Bible revolves around Jesus Christ, so the Gospels should be studied first by everyone wanting to be a Christian, or for Christians who haven’t read much of the Bible if any.But those who are not where they need to be spiritually – these especially need to read the Gospels again and again until they get it! These should be the most studied books of the Bible I believe, especially the Books of John and Matthew.
What do you do for fun?
Serving God, studying His word, writing these books, and telling others of God’s wonderful love bring me great joy! Nothing in my life has ever brought me joy like this!
How do you approach cover design?
My mom gave me a most beautiful gift of two different versions of my cover paintings, that I had asked her if she would do for me.I really appreciate her for these wonderful gifts! I use the CorelDraw Photo Paint application to fix or alter the original painting(s), and the manipulate colors, fixing the scanning glitches, etc. But I have used parts of these paintings in different ways and in different places for my ministry. The second painting she made is the one I am currently using. I have used it to create much of my cover art on my books, and social media, and it helped me to choose my "corporate colors" and color schemes. I had told my Mom that originally that I wanted a picture of a young woman, who represents the Bride of Christ, who is waiting for the Second Coming of Christ or something like that, but it could also represent the Bride of Christ receiving the Holy Spirit to help her prepare for the Second Coming of Christ; to give her the ability of preparing and serving Him - to bring others to Him too! (I had known about what I wanted based on my first book, which eventually got split into several books – this works better in the eBook world.)
What is your favorite book?
Without a doubt the Bible! I was raised, when younger, reading the King James Version, but later studied in other versions of the Bible like the Revised Standard Version, the New English Bible, the Amplified Bible (I don't remember how much of this I read), and then the New American Standard Bible. But when I was and adult, and more seasoned, I started using just the KJV again for a few years, because I missed reading it, and because I thought it to be the better version probably based on some people I was associating with (I still love this version). But I found that I preferred the NASB most of the time, except for times where the KJV says things better. So when doing my Bible studies, when researching for my books, I prefer to have WordSearch open in the parallel version mode with multiple versions, including mainly KJV and NASB77 and NASB95 versions. Lately I have also added the RSV and NRSV and occasionally NIV. (I don't generally like the way the NIV reads, but sometimes I use it.) I believe that the KJV and the NASB are all that I really need most of the time. But sometimes I use the advanced capabilities in WordSearch for word meanings, etc.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
My Blogs, and the SlideShare.net PDF's made from my blogs. I have my blogs duplicated on multiple social media sites: BlogSpot.com (Blogger), Tumblr, Google+ Collections, SlideShare.net and some other places. I made PDF's of my brochures for the books and my ministry that are also widely available. All of these PDF's have links to my Web Sites and some of My Social Media sites. I also share my blog articles and other things on FaceBook and Twitter.
Published 2017-02-20 on SmashWords.com.
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“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.” 1 John 5:1 NASB. The child born of Him represents primarily Jesus, the Son of God, but could also mean any child of God who is truly born again. If we are born of God, we will also love all others who are born of God too.
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. I.e. whoever believes that Jesus is the Savior of the world is born of God. He who is not truly born again or born of God does not truly believe that Jesus is the Christ. This is the test to whether we are born again or not or please God or not: whether we truly believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world! Do you believe that Jesus is the Savior of the World? Then you are born of God. Are you born of God? Then you are born again and are overcoming the world, have faith, and are keeping the commandments of God, and have life from God and this wonderful change in your heart. “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” 1 John 5:2-4 NASB. Are you overcoming the world? Are you keeping His commandments? Do you have Faith? Do you believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior of the world? Do you find God’s commandments to be burdensome? Or do you find that keeping them is a delight?If you are not fully born again and not fully born of God, you will be unable to do these positive things and consider the commandments to be a burden, because humanly none of us can fully keep God’s commandments without His help. Are you breaking God’s commandments?(By habit or by desire.) Then you are not yet fully born of God. Or do you confess your sins when you break His commandments? If you do not have that born again experience that Jesus said that all are required to have before they can enter the kingdom of Heaven (John 3:3, 5), then you don’t fully believe yet that Jesus is the Savior of the world, it’s that simple. But don’t give up, there is still hope. The door of mercy is still open for you, open it, receive God’s forgiveness and be cleansed from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9. So confess your sins, contemplate the love of God, and of Jesus His Son, and then you will believe and know that Jesus is the Savior of the world and you will become born again!
Again John the beloved breaks it down for us in such profound and easy to understand terms:
“The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” 1 John 5:10-12 NASB. With John there is no middle ground, either we are for God or against Him. Either we believe in the Son of God and give this testimony of Him of His love for the world, and are born again, or we are not and find God’s commandments to be a burden, because we cannot keep them or consider them to be a delight, until we have a change of heart by letting the Holy Spirit change us. Either we have the Son and have life or we have no life in us and do not have eternal life. Either we are born again and believe in Jesus or we make God out to be a liar and believe not the Son. There is no middle ground.
It is the Spirit that testifies, because this Spirit is the truth, or ‘the Spirit of Truth’. John 16:13. When someone wants to tell others ‘the truth’ they should testify of Jesus, and give a message in harmony with the Spirit of Truth. If anyone doesn’t testify the truth of Jesus and His Father’s love for the world, or are not telling the truth in love to others, they are not really giving a true testimony of Jesus, but a false one. It matters not how many of ‘the truths’ in the Bible that they believe or are correct on, if they don’t get this one truth, then they are not giving a true testimony of Jesus or the Father and are not born again and have not the Son and have not life. No one can give a true testimony of Jesus all the time, if they have not yielded their heart completely to God. If you are yielding your heart to God at the time you give a testimony of Jesus, then you can give a true testimony of Him, but it is much better to be consistent and yield yourself to God at all times, so that your life can be fully in harmony with Him. Unbelievers often look at the ‘so called’ children of God and mock them and think that there is nothing to this Christian faith. This is because often the “children of God” have not yielded themselves fully to God yet. Let’s pray for the power to consistently be a son or daughter of God, so that He will always be honored by our lives and the way we live, not just when we are trying to ‘tell’ others about God or ‘the truth’. And it is our faith that helps us to gain the victory over the world, and to appropriate God’s many and precious promises to help us in our time of need. To the true believer, what John says here is really true: “We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.” 1 John 5:18 NASB. If we are fully born of God, as long as we stay connected to the vine, Jesus, the evil one cannot make us go against God; God’s power is too great to allow the soul who trusts in Him to be snatched out of His hand.Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I giveeternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch themout of the Father's hand.” John 10:27-29 NASB.
“Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.” 1 John 5:5-6 NASB.
So let us believe the words of John and believe in Jesus, that we may be born again, born of God, and be an overcomer, and then we can have life from God and from above, and give a true testimony of Jesus! God’s promises are true, not some speaker or writer’s rambling or quailing over what the word of God says. Let God’s word tell you the truth, and do not let anyone confuse you. Study it much, and with much prayer, and the Holy Spirit will explain it to you. If you obey everything the Holy Spirit has revealed to you and made plain from the Bible, more of this truth will be revealed to you. God’s word, the Bible, says what it means and means what it says. It’s easy to understand, if you will just take it as it reads and in context (don’t just pick out part of a text, but read it in a larger section first), although there may be some parables and prophecies that you need to study more in depth to know what they mean. But the essentials of salvation are easy for all to understand who want to believe, and want the promised blessing of a new life with God and eternal happiness, peace, love and joy!
May the grace of God be with you!
#Born #God #Jesus #Savior #Messiah #Confess #Believe #Forgiveness #Cleansed #Spirit #Truth #Overcomer #New #Life #Testimony #Prayer #Peace #Love #Joy #Essential