The Kingdom of God Consists Not in Words But in Power!

If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another

Why are the Spiritual Gifts in the book of Acts not still with us today?

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

Time is Short: An Appeal To Give Your Heart To God!

What Lack I Yet?

By John Foll, Finished writing from 05/20/2017 to 05/22/2017, and 6/3/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll

Before we get into this article, have you read our Faith Blog article God Will Never Allow the Righteous To Be Shaken! (Cast your burden upon the Lord)”? We recommend that you read it too, and you should also check out this other Faith Blog article:Do you have faith? Do you have Assurance? Faith commeth by hearing the word of God!” These articles were written to help inspire your faith in God so you can have a new life with Him, or have it more abundantly if you already have it!

Now on to our article.

The Kingdom of God consists not in words but in Power!

Listen to what the apostle Paul says here:

But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant, but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power.” 1 Corinthians 4:19-20 NASB.

Paul here was addressing a class of people among the Corinthian believers who were arrogant. 1 Corinthians 4:18. Evidently some people were causing problems in the Church, who were living without the power of God in their lives. Sound familiar? This problem and the solution addressed by Paul here is largely the same problem that we have today, and his solution is the same that is needed today. Let’s explore this concept further that Paul is trying to teach the Church. Yes, his counsel is for our day too, not just for the Corinthian church of his day.

Do you want God’s power in your life to help you be good and His gifts to serve Him with? Do you want the assurance of your salvation? Then get His power in your life.

Do you want to have sweet communion with Him every day? Do you want Him to take the shame of your sins away and give you the power to live a righteous life? Are you tired of the endless round of sinning and bad habits? Do you want a new life with Him? The kingdom of God consists not in mere words but in power. The power of Love. The power to be good. The power to live a good Christian life. Do you want this power?

A large portion of people in Christianity today are without power. Some try to excuse their lack, their sins, or say that it doesn’t matter since we are saved by grace (some of these may think that they have this power since they are ‘saved’). And there is another class who say they believe in obeying God, but they appear to lack the power to obey Him, though they might think that they are, but are only doing so from outward appearance. Many of these lack the ability of being kind, loving and merciful to others. Both of these groups are lacking the love, joy, peace, faith and hope and the power promised by God to all who believe. Jesus said in John 3:3, 5 that all must be born again to be able to enter the kingdom of God. But the kingdom of God consists not in words, but in Power, as Paul spoke above in 1 Corinthians 4:20. But not all want this power, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV. Are you being saved day-by-day? Do you have the power of God in your life?

Do you want this power? Do you want to personally experience the power of the Holy Spirit in your life like the early Christians did in the book of Acts? The Holy Spirit has been promised to you forever by Jesus and His Father (John 14:16), if you believe in Jesus (John 3:16-17), want to love and obey Him, and would seek this life from Him, the ‘Pearl of Great Price’. Matthew 13:46.

God is willing to give you new life with Him, with the power of the Holy Spirit if you meet the conditions. Yes, there are conditions. You must ask for it (or want it very much). Luke 11:13. You must hunger and thirst for it. Matthew 5:6. You must obey God (or want to obey Him). Acts 5:32. You must believe in Jesus for your salvation. John 3:16-17. You must have the Son of God. 1 John 5:12. You must confess your sins and believe that you have been forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9. You must search for this ‘Pearl of Great Price’. Matthew 13:46. You must allow God to make you meek. Matthew 5:5. You must forgive others. Matthew 6:12. You must be merciful to others. Matthew 5:7. You must allow God to make you pure in heart. Matthew 5:8. These texts are stating what is needed to receive salvation and the blessings of God in their fullness. This is the Gospel message that was taught by Jesus and His disciples. These are the most wonderful truths that you could ever learn, they will give you life, love, joy, faith, hope and eternal happiness. Is that what you want?

See also: John 8:42, 13:34,35; 15:12,17; 14:15, 15, 27; 15:9; 17:23; 1 John 3:23; 4:7, 11, 12; 2:3-6; 4:20-21; Luke 14:26-27, 33.

Are you tired of living a lukewarm Christian life? Then you need God’s power! Has your love for God or others grown cold or dim? Then you need God’s power. In Revelation 3:15-16, Jesus warns His people that He will spew them out of His mouth, unless they see their need of Him, repent and yield to Him all the way. This is a very serious condition that many of God’s people are in today! Those who do not listen to Jesus and see their need of Him and repent will be spewed out of His mouth and be lost. There needs to be a great change in a lot of Christians today. They have lost their first love of Jesus (or never had it), and need to get it back (or get it for the first time). The solution for all who are in this condition is to make a full confession to God in Jesus’ name for their sins, especially for being lukewarm and not putting Him first at all times. All who are lukewarm Christians should throw themselves on God’s mercy and ask Him to help them put Him first and love their neighbor as themselves, and stop dallying with the world!

If you would like this power, you must confess all of your sins and humble your heart before God, ask for the Holy Spirit, and yield yourself totally to God. Always do what God has asked you to do and want to do it. If you do not want to obey God in all things, or do not obey Him fully you cannot have the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit. If there is any part of the Bible that God has impressed on you that you should follow that you are resisting Him on, ask Him to help you change. Ask God to be merciful to you a sinner, this is something He will be happy to do! You will need to work through these issues with Him, trusting Him and in much prayer. When you get to the point where the last thing that you have been putting Him off on or resisting Him on has been given to Him, you should see a wonderful change in your life! Sometimes you may want His help but are not all-the-way there yet, but if you will hang in there and ask Him to help you to obey Him, and then obey Him, He will give you peace, more joy and more power and more love.

How long it takes for you to get the Holy Spirit in full depends on how soon you yield fully to Him and do all that He has asked you to do 100%. At a later date He may ask you to do more things, or make more changes, or to make something right with others. Always be willing to do everything He asks, pray for the ability of doing it and to be more willing. (This will shorten the time it takes for you to get this desired blessing from Him.) God will always help the penitent sinner who is genuinely asking for His help and willing to do what He asks, or to be made more willing. God gives His best gifts to those who love Him and are obedient to all of His wishes that He has revealed to them. He is mindful that you are but dust (Psalms 103:14), and doesn’t require more than you can bear (unless you have almost gone too far and are in eminent peril), but will always give you the help you need to do His bidding, if you want it and ask for it.

Here are some promises for you to claim:

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 NASB.

the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation’ 2 Peter 2:9 NASB.

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.” James 1:12 KJV.

 
Meditate on these next quotes if you wish to have God’s best gifts, and His best and sweetest rewards:

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:7-11 KJV.

Jesus said, “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:19 NASB.

Yes, there is a great reward for those who keep all of God’s testimonies and His Law of Love (Exodus 20:1-17; Matthew 22:36-40). If you want to be called great in the kingdom of Heaven, keep God’s commandments and teach others to do so. If you want to be converted and not be lost, make these teachings, the Gospel message in the New Testament, and the other teachings of the Bible your study and delight. And ask God for the help you need to do what He has asked you to do. Then you will have the confidence of knowing that He hears your prayers. Psalms 66:18; Proverbs 28:9. And you will have the promised great reward! Then you will have the sweetness of the Holy Spirit in your heart, and you will love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your mind and all your soul, and your neighbor as yourself!

Always start with the Bible, God’s word, to find out what He wants you to do. Be careful about asking people for their opinion, unless they can provide solid proof from the Bible for their views. If God has convicted you on something in the Bible, it is a dangerous thing to ask what other people think about it, unless they give you proof from the Bible that makes sense to you after much thought and prayer, proving your earlier convictions wrong. Pray that God will make it clear to you. Don’t put your soul’s destiny into someone else’s hands to decide for you. Your soul and eternal life are at stake!

One of the reasons why there are so many people who are not willing to obey everything in the Bible is because they surround themselves with teachers who quiet their conscience against the clearly revealed word of God. But the apostle Peter said that we ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29. You accept the opinions of others over the plain words of the Bible at your own risk, the risk of eternal loss! We recommend that you only go by the word of God, or study as much of it as you can understand yourself, then ask others who you trust that are living godly lives who have been born again and filled with the Holy Spirit for the Biblical proof of their views. Although someone can tell you the truth without living it 100%, it is best to trust only those who are living God’s love, obeying Him and born again from above, and contrite when they make a mistake. But their explanations must never contradict the Bible, and it should make sense. They should be able to prove everything they are teaching from the Bible. And you need to verify every step of their reasoning before believing their conclusions.

Some people offer “proof”, but when you check all of their proof texts or evaluate their reasoning carefully, many are fallacies, distortions, half-truths, or taken out of context to fit their theories. Some are preaching systematic error; i.e. multiple fallacies and multiple errors using a lot of Bible texts. Don’t let the fact that they have a lot of “proof texts” fool you into thinking that they are right. You need to check all of their texts and reasoning carefully, no matter how many texts they give, to see if it makes sense, and their conclusion sure. But also remember that they themselves might be well meaning, but in error. Many time fallacies and errors are used to “prove” other things. Every fallacy or error someone accepts into their thinking builds on the others they have accepted previously, making it harder to separate fact from fiction, truth from error. Don’t accept anything as the gospel truth unless it squares up 100% with what God has revealed to you from the Bible. If you find out that you have been in error in anything, simply recant your previous beliefs and let God help you to change and believe the truth. You must love God and want to obey Him, or you will eventually end up being deceived or seduced into sin and being lost. If you are wanting something to quiet your conscience, pleasing fables will fill the void. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12. So it is important to always be humble and contrite before God and have the desire to please Him, so you won’t be deceived by error.

What happens if you find out that you have been in error after reading the clear word of the Bible and the Holy Spirit convicts you of it? That is for you to decide. If you find out that you were doing or believing something wrong, then you need to make a change, if you would continue to be a son or daughter of God. If you have been in error, just confess your sins and ignorance and allow God to help you to change. He will be happy to help you. You are not held accountable for the truth if you did not know it or did not have it impressed on your mind to obey it.

You may ask, ‘How can I know the truth for sure? People I know and respect or family or friends believe the truth differently than the plain reading of the Bible.’ You can know the truth if you are Jesus’ sheep or become His sheep. If you are Jesus’ sheep, then you will listen to His words and He will lead you into all truth through the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit. John 16:13. You can trust in the Good Shepherd of the sheep to lead you all the way to Heaven’s peaceful shore. John 10:11, 14. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29 NASB. So there you have it, if you are Jesus’ sheep you will not have to worry as long as you follow where He leads and do what He says, and He will give you eternal life! No one can snatch you out of Jesus or His Father‘s hands as long as you want them to save you!

If you are still struggling with sin and doubt, just get to know God and study the promises of His love in the Bible and believe, asking Him to be merciful to you a sinner and He will surely bless you. Just hang in there! Don’t get discouraged. Remember that He loves you! When your heart is warmed more and more to His love you will know it, and when you verbally give your heart to Him all the way, He will fill you with great joy, love and power (and peace). And then you will know that you have the Holy Spirit. No one will have to tell you that you have the Holy Spirit because you will know! You will be so blessed, and your attitude towards God and others will change. And you will delight in obeying God and serving Him. And you will finally have power from God. Is this what you want?

It is high time that all Christians make a complete return to God, renouncing the world completely, asking Him for His help to break all ties with sin, worldliness, bad practices, and stop trying to justify sin and bad habits. God’s mercy for this world will soon run out, and all who do not love Him supremely will be cast out. But God will shelter all who are Jesus’ true sheep from this coming storm.

The Kingdom of Heaven and true Christianity consist not in words, but in power! It is time for all who are named a Christian to shed their powerless, joyless, faithless, hopeless, loveless Christian existence and man-made religion, for the perfect righteousness of Christ, and receive power from God to finally be a Christian with power, not lacking in any of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). This is to be Christ-like: to be meek, humble, lowly, pure, Holy, full of peace, love, joy, faith, hope: to be full of the Holy Spirit. This is my prayer for you dear reader! Amen!

#Kingdom #God #Power #Word #Lukewarm #HolySpirit #New #Life #Promise #Condition #Faith #Peace #Love #Great #Reward #Obey #Commandments #Conversion #Return #Repent

By John Foll, finished writing on 5/27/2017 and 5/28/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll

But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7 NASB.

This text is so true! This is very important! Walk in the light as God is the Light. Jesus is also the Light, the way, and the truth and the life and He came to reveal the love of His Father to the World. John 3:16-17; 9:5, 24:6; 12:46, 35-36; Hebrews 1:1-3; John 1:1-3. There can be no sweeter fellowship than the fellowship with Jesus and the Father, with the Holy Spirit, and with others who also have true fellowship with God!

The disciples of Jesus were learning of Him, but were bickering among themselves about who would be the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven. See Matthew 18:1-4; Luke 22:24. But after Jesus’ death and resurrection, they were changed more into His likeness and imbued with His Spirit, and had fellowship with one another. Then the Holy Spirit was poured out on them in Acts 2.

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Acts 2:1 KJV. Jesus’ disciples were following His command in Acts 1:4-5 to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on High. So they waited, expectantly for the promise of Jesus. They were in one place, and they were in one accord. They were of like mind, in ‘one accord.’ This made their fellowship sweet, a place where the Holy Spirit would be happy to dwell in, since God is love. 1 John 4:8. This is the way all will be, who have given themselves to God, towards others of like mind; they will be in one accord. This is the only real unity that can be had that is of any value, unity ‘in the Lord.’ Only God can bring about this unity! He brings about this unity among those who are obedient to Him and have yielded fully to Him, because the Holy Spirit is given to all who obey Him. Acts 5:32. And to those who would speak His words, He gives the Spirit without measure! John 3:34 NASB. All those who are God’s are heeding Jesus’ counsel that they should love one another, and are Jesus’ disciples. John 3:34-35; 15:8, 10.

What is the basis for true fellowship?We who had sweet fellowship together walked in the house of God in the throng.” Psalms 55:14 NASB. This psalm is talking about the fellowship between fellow believers walking together in harmony, sharing the same beliefs, i.e. in ‘one accord’ like Jesus disciples in Acts 2:1 at Pentecost. ‘What fellowship has light with darkness?’ 2 Corinthians 6:14 NASB. That’s a good question! How can those who are ‘walking in the Light as God is light’ have fellowship with those who do not love God and do not devote themselves to Him? So true fellowship is between those who believe and devote themselves to God. “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42 NASB. Who are “they” in Acts 2:42? It says those who ‘gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.’ Acts 2:41 KJV. What did “these” do? They ‘continued steadfastly in the apostles teaching’, they studied and thought about what the apostles taught them and put them into practice. They had fellowship with each other, and ate meals together and prayed together. Their fellowship was based on the joy and gladness they had in Christ, i.e. they were “gladly” “baptized”, and steadfastly adhered to the truths taught to them by the apostles, which led to them walking in one-accord with each other. They had received God’s Spirit, the Holy Ghost. How do we know that they received the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit? Because in verse 38 of Acts 2 Peter says, ‘Repent and be baptized each one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:39 NASB. So all those who were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching, who had fellowship with one another with the breaking of bread and much prayer, were baptized by Peter or the other apostles and had received the Holy Spirit! They had had a wonderful change wrought in their heart and lives that was impossible for anyone to get by themselves apart from God. They received the infilling of the Holy Spirit as a pledge of their inheritance in Heaven, because they repented and were baptized! There is no good reason why this shouldn’t continue to happen this way now in our day! Paul here states this same wonderful truth that these early believers at Pentecost had:In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation – having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of Promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14 NASB. This statement by Paul shows that the Holy Spirit is given for your redemption and to seal you; your personal pledge from God of your inheritance in Heaven, reserved for you if you want it! See also 1 Peter 1:4.

Fellowship with one another:
John the Beloved is saying in 1 John 1:7 that if you want the blood of Jesus to keep cleansing you from sin, you must keep walking in the Light of God, allowing God to change you and remake you into His image. What image? Simply put love and obedience. Love is the fulfillment of the Law. Romans 13:10. If we have the love of God in our heart, we will have fellowship with one another. How do you get the love of God in your heart? First you must confess your sins to God and ask Him to help you. Then He will give you a wonderful change if you do not resist Him. Then you must continue to walk in this light, and go where He leads you, not struggling against His will or the truth He has revealed to you from the Bible or for your life. You must walk in the light, if you want the blood of Jesus to cleanse you from all sin! If any are not willing to do everything He wants, stop doing it, drag their feet, or stop asking for His help, they will no longer be walking in the Light, and will lose their ability of having sweet fellowship with the other true believers. If this continues the blood of Jesus will no longer cleanse them from sin. This is the progression. Unfortunately there are many who go to church who are no longer walking in the Light, as He Himself is the Light, or they are not fully walking in the Light of His love and truth. This is the cause of the lukewarmness that is almost universal in the Church which manifests itself. Those in this state are missing the divine spark of God’s love and willingness to obey Him in their life.

But if any want to have life, they will walk in the Light of God’s love, allowing Him to mold and shape them, making them a new creature! Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV. This is something no one can do by themselves, but if they want this, they will cooperate with God, and willingly give themselves to Him and desire to please Him. The only way anyone can have sweet fellowship with other believers, is to have God’s love in their heart and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Then the blood of Jesus will cleanse them from all sin, and they won’t be guilty of His blood, because they will be forgiven and be led by His Spirit, walking in the Light. 1 Corinthians 11:27. This is God’s wonderful gift that He gave through the gift of His Son, and through the gift of the Holy Spirit that He gives to His people. “Gathering them together, He [Jesus] commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, ‘Which,’ He said, ‘you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’” Acts 1:4-5 NASB. The Father promised to give all of Jesus’ disciples this gift, this promise is for you too if you want it! If you repent, wait and pray for this promise, you will get endued with this power! When you get this power, you will be able to go forth and preach God’s love to the world with the same power that Jesus’ disciples did in the book of Acts! This is walking in the Light, as He is the Light! This is the true fellowship with God and this is how you have true fellowship with His true believers! Amen.

#Walk #Light #Fellowship #Forgiveness #HolySpirit #One #Accord #Lukewarm #Promise #Seal #Redemption #New #Creature #Baptism #Repent #Teaching #Prayer #Gift #Truth #Gospel

By John Foll, written 3/4/2017
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
This was written as a response to a question in Disqus.com: Did the Spiritual Gifts Die with the Apostles?
The Gifts of the Spirit are not gone from among those who have given themselves completely to God.
For over 100 years, God’s church as a whole, not as individuals, has been in a lukewarm state as Jesus predicted it would be in Revelation 3:14-22, before the Judgement. Revelation chapter 2 and 3 reveal to us that there are seven church “periods”, beginning with the Church in the book of Acts to the Seventh Church, just before the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the world. There have been more than one scholar and more than one denomination that taught this. We believe that God has given a measure of the Spirit to each of the Seven Churches in each of the seven ages, but not everyone has accepted the Spirit or met the conditions to receive the Spirit.See Joel 2 for the conditions: complete repentance.
* Proof that God’s church has been for over 100 years in a lukewarm state is outside the scope of this article.
* We believe that in each of the periods of God’s church there have been people who have had not only the Fruits of the Spirit, but the Gifts of the Spirit as well.
But to answer the question proposed on Disqus.com: ‘Did the gifts die with the Apostles?’ No! But it should be clear to all that there is something wrong with a lot of God’s church today, since they are not bearing the Christian fruits of the Spirit of peace, love, joy, faith, hope, self-control, etc. How do we know this? By their fruits shall you know them. Matthew 7:16-20. There is unkindness, lack of love, lack of peace, addictions, falsehoods, worldliness, strife, and wickedness, yes, even among those professing to know God and His Son Jesus.But many seek to excuse themselves and there are many false teachers that teach people to excuse their lack of love and godliness in their life, but the Bible is clear that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life – but only given to the humble and the penitent. Romans 6:23; Luke 18:13-14. Jesus clearly promised the Gift of the Holy Spirit to all of His disciples, which should be all Christians, since all Christians should want to be Jesus’ disciple, and they should all be filled with the Holy Spirit. If they really loved Jesus, they would be His disciple! Acts 1:4-5; John 14:16-17; Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16, Acts 2:3-4, Luke 13:26-33.
Jesus’ answer to the First Church of Ephesus gives us the reason why the Gifts of the Spirit are not apparently seen here in our day, to the same extent as in the book of Acts:Because God’s people have lost their first love for Him! Revelation 2:4-5. This passage also tells us how God’s church can get the Holy Spirit back … if they repent and do their first works. What works? By becoming truly converted and loving Jesus all the way, and He will give us the power to do His works. We cannot do this ourselves, we must submit fully to God, and receive this power from Him if we want it. Then we will preach the gospel to the world with great love, joy and power, and love our neighbor as ourselves! This was the church that started out strong in the power of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, but by the time Paul died and for sure after John the beloved died, the church had lost their first love for Jesus and His Father! And they also lost the full power of the Holy Spirit as well. The Church has yet to recover this full strength yet in our day. The book of Hebrews also gives us a clue too as to why many don’t have the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their life, because of unbelief! (It doesn’t mention this specifically, but this is an application of what it says.) See Hebrews 3:19; 4:6, 22.
Those who have no desire to live by the gospel or to preach it to the world, or who have lost their first love for Jesus or never had it, cannot have the wonderful sweet promise of the Holy Spirit, nor the Fruits nor the Gifts of the Spirit either, unless they have a great change made in them willingly! But if they have a change in their mind and give themselves to Jesus all the way, they should receive the Holy Spirit in full. Note what Peter here says, “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5:32 NASB. So we see here that the Holy Spirit is given by God only to those who obey Him (or want to obey Him), this implies that they have submitted themselves completely to Him. There is no middle ground here.
The Gifts of the Spirit cannot be the gifts of the Spirit, without the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I. e. if someone wants to have the Gifts of the Spirit, they MUST first have the Fruits of the Spirit. Their heart must be converted and completely devoted to God, if this is not the case, they do not have the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Or they do not want to obey God, Acts 5:32, or do not want to be Jesus’ friend and do all that He commanded, especially that we would love one another, and everyone in the world. John 15:14, 12-13. The full outpouring of the Holy Spirit is given on the condition of complete repentance and yielding to God. See Joel 2 and Jeremiah 31:31-34. There are popular teachings nowadays that say we don’t need to be concerned too much, if at all, about obeying God or wanting to live a righteous life, or even to make a full confession, and some imply that it is a sin to do so.Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” Isaiah 5:20-21 KJV.
Unless a person has a desire to come clean with God, and make a complete repentance, they will never get the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit, nor the Fruits of the Spirit, nor the Gifts of the Spirit. God’s best gifts are only for those who love Him all the way, and more than anything and everything else. But there is a false Holy Spirit out there, from ‘the father of lies’, and you can get this one quite easily without doing anything that Jesus or the Bible says that we should do, because it requires no cross to bear, and no confession to make, and no obedience to render. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-11. But we would rather have the true outpouring of the Holy Spirit and keep it, because as the song says, ‘‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word.’ By Louisa M. R. Stead. If any will repent, and get their first love for Jesus, and give their heart completely to Him, and want to obey Him and love to obey Him, they too can get this ‘promise of the Father’ that Jesus promised to all Christians! Jesus’ sheep will all hear His voice, and follow Him wherever He goes, want to obey Him, and they will have His Spirit and belong to Him and have life abundantly. John 10:27-29; Romans 8:9,14; Revelation 14:4. Jesus says, “'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.'”Revelation 3:20-21 NASB. Amen.  

#Spiritual #Die #Apostles #Holy #Spirit #Lukewarm #Peace #Fruits #Gifts #Why #No #Promise #Joy #Power #Receive #Acts #Disobedience #Excuse #Sin #Repent

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

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By John Foll, Written 11/4/2016

 
The time so long waited for by God’s people is almost here, the Second Coming of Christ. Soon it will be too late to give your heart completely to God, and prepare for the Second Coming. Do you not hear Him calling to your heart now? Have you put off doing or forgotten anything that God has asked you to do? Have you lost your first love for Him? Jesus and the Father greatly love you, and are even now calling to your heart to yield yourself to their love, and receive help and mercy while they still can be found. Why not give your heart to Him now? Yes, the corruption in the world has about passed the divine limits, and soon Jesus will arise and come and terribly shake the earth, when He comes back in the clouds with great glory, and every eye shall see Him, even those that pierced His side, taunted Him, and put Him on the cross! This is you and I as well, for it was our sins too that placed Him on the cross. But if you will only yield your heart totally to Jesus and the Father, they will shield you from the wrath to come. ‘And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come.’ 1 Thessalonians 1:10 NASB. And then when Jesus returns to the earth, you will not shrink back in fear, because He is the one you adore. “But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:39 NASB.
Food For Thought:
“Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘If a man love me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.’” John 14:23 KJV.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Romans 8:9 KJV.
If you are where you need to be with God, you will keep Jesus’ words, and He and the Father will love you, and will come and make their abode with you. Then God will fill you with His precious Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of Christ, and then you will belong to Him and His Son Jesus, and then they will shield and protect you. The only safety is yielding your heart completely to Christ. How do you know if you have yielded yourself completely to Him? You will have this great joy in your heart to serve and obey Him, and will have love for your poor erring brother and sister, and will greatly desire the salvation of the world! You will put all of your life and plans willingly on the altar and offer them to God, because you love Him. 99.999% is not enough, but God will take even this, if it is given from your heart, and will work on you gently to persuade you to give your heart to Him all the way. God only accepts the service and obedience to Him that is rendered to Him out of love.God is a God of love, and will nevercompel any. But if you get to know Jesus and His Father, you will find their love irresistible!  And then you will find it very easy to give your heart completely to them, in fact it will be your greatest desire! And then you will belong to Jesus, and will be given His Spirit! And then when He comes back in the clouds with great glory you will not shrink back in fear from Him, whom you greatly adore! Yes we repeated this again, we want you to get this! This is so important! If you do not have the Spirit of Christ in you, you are none of His. But if you have His Spirit, you will not be living in the flesh anymore, but have life and peace! So why not give your heart to Him now, that you might have life and peace, and great joy? And then you will have the assurance of your salvation, that no one can take away from you! And your whole attitude in life will change! Truly then you will have life and peace! Is this what you want? It’s yours, if you will just claim it!

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1 KJV.

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“And, behold, one came and said unto Him, ‘Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?’ And He said unto him, ‘Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He saith unto him, ‘Which?’ Jesus said, ‘Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, honour thy father and thy mother: and, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ The young man saith unto Him, ‘All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?’ Jesus said unto him, ‘If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come andfollow me.’ But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.” Matthew 19:16-22 KJV.
This rich young man did not have the love for others that he should have had. He claimed that he was keeping all of God’s commandments, but Jesus plainly stated that we need to ‘love our neighbor as ourselves,’ in Matthew 22:39, and in Mark 12:31, which includes helping the poor. And Moses revealed this truth that we are to help the poor too: “If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the LORDyour God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.” Deuteronomy 15:7-8 NKJV. If this young man had been willing to give to the poor, and to follow Jesus, this would have proved to be the remedy of his soul! If he would have had God’s Spirit in his heart or wanted to have God’s Spirit in his heart, he would have willingly done this. After thinking about it, he went away sorrowful, because it wasn’t worth it to him to give up all of his possessions to love his neighbor as himself. Jesus didn’t indicate that the young man had a problem with all of the commandments, because he didn’t state all of them to this young man. But in reality, the young man was breaking the first commandment too, because he wasn’t loving his neighbor as himself, because everyone belongs to our loving Heavenly Father in Heaven. If we love God, then we will love our neighbor too. Paul states this same truth when he says: “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,’ and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:8-10 NASB. This young man had made the claim of keeping God’s law, but Paul’s statement here declares that this young man was in fact breaking God’s Law, because he did not love his neighbor as himself.
Was this young man wanting to come and follow Jesus? No, perhaps because it required giving up all of his wealth, or maybe it was because he didn’t want to forsake all and come and follow Jesus? This was an even bigger problem! But praise the Lord there were some who wanted to follow Jesus, who left everything to follow Him, who preached to those who came before us the gospel message, Jesus’ Disciples! After this rich young man left, in response to Jesus’ statement ‘with men it is impossible to be saved, but with God all things are possible’ [including salvation] Peter questioned Jesus: “Then answered Peter and said unto Him, ‘Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?’ And Jesus said unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’”Matthew 19:27-28 KJV.
So what was this young man really lacking? He was lacking love for God and love for His neighbor! If he was willing to love his neighbor, by helping the poor out of his worldly goods, to relieve their needs and suffering, this would have shown his love for God.
So likewise, if you don’t love your neighbor as yourself, or are not willing to leave everything and come and follow Jesus, you will be in the same boat as this young man!Anyone who speaks unkind words about someone behind their back, or harsh critical words to them, certainly does not love their neighbor as themself, and are not keeping the first commandment to have no other gods before God, Exodus 20:3. It does not matter if someone says that they know the truth, all of the truth, and claim that they follow it or not. If they do not love their neighbor, they are a transgressor of the law, and are lacking the knowledge of the truth of God’s love. If you love your neighbor as yourself, that means that you are Jesus’ disciple, for the only way you can love your neighbor as yourself, is if you love Jesus and are willing to forsake all and follow Him. God will provide everything you need if you are willing to come and follow Jesus.
When God’s love is dwelling in your heart, it changes the way you speak to others and what you say about them, and it will help you to not want to damage their reputation; kindness will be in your words and thoughts about them. You will seek for their good, and not seek to expose their sins and weaknesses to others. “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3 NASB. When God’s love is dwelling in your heart, it will change the way you view the needs of your neighbors, and you will seek to help them. Yes, you are not only your ‘brother’s keeper’ (Genesis 4:9), but you are your ‘neighbor’s keeper’ too!
Do not be like this rich young man, who thought he had it all, but was missing something big! When he found that he needed to give everything he had to help the poor and come and follow Jesus, he went away sorrowful, for he had many possessions. If any do not love their neighbor as themselves, this is what they lack! If this is the case, then they most certainly do not love their Heavenly Father as well, as the first commandment requires. And they do not know Him, because our Heavenly Father most certainly loves everyone on this earth, and is doing everything to help and save them, and so should all who truly love Him. Any who are not thinking enough of the needs of their neighbors should now confess this sin to God, to receive pardon, and grace for help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16), and allow God’s sweet Spirit to animate their heart and life, then they will come and follow Jesus, and have no lack of any good thing that they need! No one who loves God, can turn away from the needs of others, when it is in their power to help them! “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”Proverbs 3:27 NASB. This will be a blessing to you if you always help others, when it is in your power to do so!
If you know you fall short in this area, and what you lack is love for your neighbor, there is good news for you! If you will confess your sins to God, and ask Him to cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9), and willingly yield yourself to Him, then He will forgive you and bless you with new life from Him. No one need stay in this state of lacking the most important thing in their life, love, if they will allow God into their heart, to mold them and shape them. If you are having trouble believing or yielding your heart to God, you can pray, ‘Lord be merciful to me a sinner’ (Luke 18:13), and He will hear your prayer and smile from Heaven on you! And be sure to tell Him you are sorry for not putting Him first, and breaking the first commandment, and make Him the Lord of your life! All this and more your Heavenly Father wants to do for you now!

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