By John Foll
, Finished 6/9/2018, 6/10/2018.
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.’” Jeremiah 29:11-13 NASB.
No matter where you have been, or what you have done, or how much of a failure you have made of your life, don’t lose hope. God has a better plan for your life. He wants to give you a future and hope for a better life. Being able to be good and having eternal life are not beyond your reach, if you will grasp the Lord’s hands and allow Him to save you. If this is what you want, seek after God with all your heart, no holding back. Is that what you want? What do you have to gain by holding back yourself from this wonderful hope and peace that God wants to give you?
Do you feel like God doesn’t hear your prayers? Are you unsure of what your future holds, or whether you can be saved? Are you sure if you have what it takes to succeed and be the victor at last? Do you wonder if you are good enough, strong enough, smart enough, or wise enough, talented enough, and industrious enough to be able to provide for yourself and your family’s needs? Are you worried you will fail? Do you want to have the assurance of your own salvation? God declares here through His prophet Jeremiah that if you will search for Him with all your heart you will find Him. Much peace, hope, love and joy await you if you will just search for Him with all your heart. Then you will find Him. Are you tired of what your human nature and this world have to offer? Are you tired of its empty promises and lies? Are you tired of trying so hard and failing? Then it is time to try it God’s way, and search for Him with all your heart. When it is in your heart to do so, pray to Him and He will hear your prayer and answer it to the fullest! Oh so full! If you are not there yet, then come to Him as you are, sins, failures and all, and beg Him to help you. Don’t wait until you are ready all the way, or you never will be. But if you have been following Him and are ready to take your next step with Him, why not search for Him and seek to find Him with all your heart? What do you have to lose? If you are new to all of this, or a new Christian, or are not a Christian yet, why go through all the perplexity and trials of following God half-way and failing, when you can throw yourself on His side all the way and find Him and get all the power you need to succeed and to have a new life with Him? You will never regret it, we promise you. Cling to God, He is your only hope, Oh sinner! He is your path, your light and your life. Deuteronomy 10:20; 13:4 NASB. “But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29 NASB.
“Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.” Proverbs 8:32-35 KJV. What is Solomon talking about here? He is talking about wisdom. To be wise one must be willing to receive instruction. Wisdom is receiving instruction - learning what you need to know to get life and have it more abundantly, and then do it. Seek after it daily from God’s Holy word, the Bible, and through much prayer with Him. This is where you will obtain instruction from Him. This is how you will find life and obtain favor from the Lord, by receiving His instruction for your life. Note the counsel that king David gave his son Solomon: “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9 NASB. There is no hiding from God. There is no hiding your words, your actions or your thoughts from Him, He knows them all.
Now put it all together: If you wish to have life and not die, receive the instruction that you need to seek after God with your whole heart and a willing mind. If you will seek Him, He will let you find Him. Is that what you want, dear reader? Then seek after God with all your heart, and He will be found by you, and your whole life will change for the better.
As God told Abraham, ‘I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward’ Genesis 15:1 KJV, He also tells you, if you will seek after Him, He will be your shield and exceedingly great reward. Abraham was called the friend of God. James 2:23. Many people cannot understand those who want to live a life of love and devotion to God, to give up the sins and pleasures of this world, and it’s wealth and ‘baubles’, with a willingness to give themselves to God all-the-way and serve Him, living an unselfish life to serve Him and others – it seems like there is nothing in it for them. Why would they want to do it? But they have vastly underestimated the great reward in finding and knowing the Lord, a great reward indeed! God and His precious Son Jesus are both great rewards to those who love and serve Them. This great joy can only be known by those who seek after God with their whole heart. Those who only seek Him half way are shortchanging themselves, and will never know this sweetest, full joy. And those who do not seek after Him, and those who do not find Him will know an eternal loss.
God tells the saved that He is their great and exceeding reward. In contrast to this Paul tells us that the real loss of the lost - is to be forever shut out from the presence of the Lamb: “*** when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed — for our testimony to you was believed.” 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 NASB. Jesus and His Father are the source of life and of every blessing that you would ever need. They are your eternal security blanket, if you will just put your trust in Them. But those who will not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus, who do not accept His salvation, will be cast out from His presence, paying the penalty with eternal destruction, away from His loving presence that alone can bring peace, everlasting life, blessings, love and joy.
“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.” Isaiah 59:12 NASB. This is one of the chief reasons why God does not answer everyone’s prayers, and why He doesn’t hear them. There is no room for halfway measures, half-hearted love and devotion to God. Your sins have separated you from God until you confess, repent and humble yourself before Him. He will save you regardless of how bad you are or what you have done, if you will just throw yourself on His mercy, and seek after Him with all your heart. Half-hearted seeking is for all who would fail. If you have only sought after God half-way or have not been consistent in seeking Him every day with all your heart, you can still seek after Him with all your heart and find Him, there is still time! But wait not another day or for a convenient season. Do not be like Felix who said to Paul, ‘when it is a convenient season I will call for you – a season which never came for him. Acts 24:25 KJV. Now is the day of salvation, while you hear God’s voice, His call to your heart. “For He says, “AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.” Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION” 2 Corinthians 6:2 NASB. Harden not your heart against Him, He loves you! Listen to His counsel to you here: “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, to day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” Hebrews 3:7-12 KJV. Do not harden your heart against God, or have a heart of unbelief, not believing that He will save you or not wanting His salvation. Do not have a heart of unbelief, which is departing from the living God.
Consider Jesus’ message here:
“Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:5-13 NASB.
Consider the message that Jesus is trying to teach here: If you will be persistent with God, making your petitions known to Him for a new, better life with Him – wanting a change from the failure and the wreck that your life has been, He will hear your prayer. If you cling to God and persist in making your petitions known to Him for your desire to be saved and to be a better person, He will hear your prayer. God is not like your earthly parents, who sometimes made mistakes or sometimes forgot your needs or sometimes only thought of themselves, but God really cares. If your parents gave you good things in this life, how much more will your Heavenly Father give you the Holy Spirit when you ask Him? But you must ask Him, you must seek after Him, you must knock, and the door will be opened to you – the door to eternal life! You must be persistent and cling to God, not giving up, praying to Him and making all of your requests known to Him, of your desire to have a new life with Him, and for the spiritual blessings that He wants to give you, until you get these desired blessings. After God’s gift of His dear son Jesus for the world, His other most precious gift to those who belong to Him, is the gift of His precious Holy Spirit. He will give the Holy Spirit to all who ask, to all who seek after Him with all their heart. This is one of the gifts that all are required to have to enter Heaven and have eternal life. John 3:3, 5. All who wish to enter the Pearly Gates of Heaven will have to be born again of both the water (have the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ, symbolized by baptism in the water) and by the Holy Spirit. These gifts from God allow you to become born again, Oh sinner, that Ye might be saved and be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven, like Jesus said in John 3:3, 5. The Holy Spirit is a most precious gift and reward for those who seek after God with all their heart, no holding back. (Why would anyone want to hold anything back, not getting this sweetest of rewards? This is a great mystery.) Dear reader, why would you want to hold anything back and not get this sweetest reward for yourself?
The Conclusion of the Matter:
Everyone who seeks after God with all their heart will receive the joy of their salvation, and have great peace, love and joy! Everyone who seeks after God, and knocks, the door will be opened to them, the door to eternal life! Especially when they persist in clinging to God, and keep humbling their heart before Him every day, every hour, and learning to commune with Him in prayer. Everyone who asks, and really wants it, can receive the best gift from God after forgiveness, the Holy Spirit. They will receive the Holy Spirit, the pledge of their redemption (Ephesians 4:30 NASB), and have the assurance of their salvation, because God will tell them He loves them, and His precious Spirit will dwell in their heart and help them on their way to Heaven. They will have the continued assurance of their salvation, if they continue to seek after Him with all their heart, every day. But the presence of the Holy Spirit gives them the strongest inducement to want to keep all this peace, love, joy and hope that He brings them. When they have all this peace, love and joy and really value it, why would they want to give it up? We do not know why anyone would give up God’s offer of mercy, forgiveness, peace, love, hope – much less the wonder and joy of having the Holy Spirit in their heart, and know that their life is pleasing to God, because they are letting Him save them, and He is giving them the power to live a righteous life. What more could you want? This is everything your heart has been searching for! Just give yourself to God now, and forevermore and enjoy your new life with Him!
The secret to having a better life, with peace and hope for tomorrow, is to seek after God with all your heart, and then you will find Him! You will be so glad you did! We promise you, that if this is what you are searching for, you will be so glad you did, and God’s love for you will be a well of water inside of you springing up into eternal life! John 4:13-143. God will be delighted to give this to you!
May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
Songs For Today’s Message:
If you seek Me, You will Find Me: (Truth Songs)
If you seek Me, You will Find Me: (Hawaii Baptist Academy choirs)
#Lord #God #Plans #Hope #Seek #Me #Find #Search #All #Heart #Prayer #Love #Peace #Joy #Holy #Spirit #Half-way #Wisdom #Eternal #Life
By John Foll
, finished 5/5/2018.
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
“Then another came, saying, `Lord, here is your pound, which I kept laid away in a napkin; for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.' He said to him, `I will condemn you out of your own mouth, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money into the bank, and at my coming I should have collected it with interest?' And he said to those who stood by, `Take the pound from him, and give it to him who has the ten pounds.' (And they said to him, `Lord, he has ten pounds!') `I tell you, that to every one who has will more be given; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me.'" Luke 19:20-27 RSV.
The NASB has this as, “you worthless slave”:
"He said to him, 'By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow?” Luke 19:22 NASB.
Jesus’ words here apply to all who make the claim of being one of God’s people and have been in the church or the synagogue for years, who are not doing enough or anything at all to help others or show them how much He or His Father love them. They are ‘worthless servants’, ‘worthless slaves’. They knew what their master required of them, but did nothing about it. “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8 KJV.
Did you know that everyone is a ‘slave’ or a ‘servant’ to someone or something? Paul declares: “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16 KJV. So there are but two choices in this life, you can yield all the way to God and become His servant or you can become a slave or servant of sin and death. Which will you have? If you are a Christian that means that you are Jesus’ servant or disciple. Those who are not Jesus’ willing servant are not really a Christian at all. Jesus will especially judge all who ‘claim to be a Christian’ by higher standards than those who don’t. Out of their own mouth they will be judged. To know whose side you are on, you must know who you are yielding yourself a servant to obey. The Holy Spirit or ‘the flesh’. Once you know who you are yielding to, on a regular, daily basis, you will understand your life’s final destiny. That is why this parable of the worthless servant or worthless slave is so important! For God will hold all of His servants accountable in the day of Judgement as we shall see below.
This parable by Jesus in Luke 19:20-27 is an illustration of the coming judgement. The “worthless slave” and the “wicked servant” represent the people of God who do not let their light shine for His glory. Jesus called them a “worthless slave.” Also note what He said here: “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” John 15:8 NASB. In another related parable Jesus said: “And He began telling this parable: "A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper, 'Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?' "And he answered and said to him, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’ "” Luke 13:6-9 NASB. This parable represents the coming judgement. But it happens before the final judgement, because this was primarily a prophecy about the Jewish nation who were rejecting Him. We are not saying this to bash the Jews, for many Christians also are not bearing fruit for the Master. This prophecy applies to all ‘Christians’ as well who bear no fruit for Him. This parable is a warning to all of God’s people everywhere who are fruitless and lifeless. Eventually everyone’s life’s record comes up before God. He gives all a chance to repent and get to know Him and bear fruit for His glory. Of all who make the claim of being His people, He looks at them carefully, longing for His own to finally bear fruit for His glory. James says, “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” James 5:7 KJV. Here ‘The husbandman’ is God the Father. Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” John 15:1-2 KJV. Oh how our loving Heavenly Father waits for His ‘people’ to finally bear fruit for His glory! He has long patience for it. Every branch He prunes that it may bear more fruit (John 15:1-2) and every lifeless branch, gets cast into the fire to be burned. Jesus said, “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” John 15:6 NASB. And so all who do not abide in Jesus - they will not bear fruit for God’s glory, and sadly they eventually will be gathered up and cast into the fire to be burned.
James 5:7 is also making a reference to the coming judgement when he says, ‘Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.’ This message from James has a special application to all those who claim they are waiting for Christ’s Second Coming. Those who make the claim they are waiting for Jesus’ Second Coming, if they really believe it, will ask God to help them bear much fruit for His glory. Those who do not heed this message to bear much fruit for God will be in trouble. Jesus was repeating what the Father said when He said, ‘I have waited three years for it to bear fruit, cut it down.’ Jesus represents the gardener who said fertilize it and give it more time to bear fruit. Jesus represents the vineyard keeper in this parable in Luke 13:6-9, because he said, ‘I will fertilize it and dig around it – if it doesn’t bear fruit next year then cut it down.’ Jesus pleads with the Father to give His people more time to repent and bear fruit for His Father’s glory. Yes, the Father has long patience that His people would finally bear fruit for His glory, and if they would do all that He asks them to do, and seek Him with all of their heart. If they would seek after Him with all their heart, He would grant them the precious blessing of bearing fruit for His glory! “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 NASB. But make no mistake! The vineyard keeper or the gardener in the parable of Luke 13:-6-9, said, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’ Luke 13:9. Jesus said, leave the tree alone a year, until it has been fertilized, and if it bears fruit next year fine, but if not, ‘cut it down.’ This is in answer to God’s command and question: Cut it down, why does it even take up the ground? All of the true subjects of God’s kingdom are not ‘cumberers of the ground.’ They just don’t take up the ground, soaking up all the blessings from God, and the rich root of the vine, Jesus, but they bear much fruit for the Master.
Back to our original text in Luke 19:20-27: Jesus called that man a “wicked servant” in the King James Version. The NASB version calls the man a “worthless slave.” Both are right. Those who make the claim of following and believing in Jesus, yet do not bear fruit for the Father’s glory are not only a “worthless servant,” but a “wicked slave.” God has provided everything we need to love and serve Him with: He gave us Jesus His Son for the sins of the world (John 3:16-17), and He gave us the promise of the Comforter or the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 NASB. But those who will not take the time to get to know God, love and obey Him, will not have this blessing, and will not be able to live a righteous life, which makes them “wicked” and “worthless.” Those that are trying to work out their own righteousness by their own skill or will, or those who make the claim of being God’s people who are not too concerned about the sin in their life, alike will not receive the blessing of righteousness that God wants to give them through the Holy Spirit, and will be that “wicked servant” whom God will take away even what they don’t have. Both of these examples are self-righteousness, because real righteousness only comes from God. Those who will not bear fruit for God, who make the claim of being one of His children will eventually be judged for this. God will eventually say, “Why does it take up the ground! Cut it down!”
Unfortunately, someday soon these sad words will be uttered against all who refuse to let Jesus dig around the soil of their heart and receive the spiritual ‘fertilizer’ from Him, the dew of Heaven or the gift of the Holy Spirit. This would have given them the spiritual growth they needed in order to please the Master of the vineyard. This is what God will say someday to those wicked, worthless and lazy servants, unless they repent and allow Him to make a change in them that they cannot make themselves. Bearing fruit for God is not salvation by works, but the lack of good works in these “wicked servants” shows that they had no vital connection with God, did not know Him, and had not availed themselves of His many precious promises. “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:4 KJV.
All are promised salvation if they would only believe in Jesus, God’s only Son. And if they truly believe, they would get to know God, keep His word, and the Holy Spirit would be abiding in them, and then they would bear much fruit for Him. No! The wicked, worthless and lazy servants of God have not claimed His rich promises, nor believed in them, and have not been born again of the water and of the Spirit (John 3:3, 5), and will not enter the kingdom of Heaven. Then it will be a sad day for their soul, because at the end of their probation at the judgment they will be accounted with the enemies of God, as Jesus said: “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.’” Luke 19: 27 KJV. Those who will not avail themselves of the wonderful salvation that God has provided them through Jesus, and allow Him to fill them with the Holy Spirit, unless they repent, will become His enemies, and will be that “wicked”, lazy and “worthless” servant who doesn’t want Jesus or His Father to rein over them; they will not have God rule over their heart, because they do not love Him. Jesus reiterated this when He said: ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.’ John 14:23-24 NASB. So only those who truly love Jesus and His Father will keep Jesus’ word and have Him and His Father making their abode in their heart, through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
From the words of their mouth will God judge those wicked servants. They knew that their Heavenly Father wanted them to bear much fruit for Him, so at the very least they should have put His talents that He gave them out to “the exchangers” and traded with it to increase it in some way. They could have at least given money to God’s servants who were preaching the Gospel to the poor, and to His missionaries in foreign lands, instead of doing nothing. But instead, they hid their talents that God gave them, showing their disdain for Heaven’s blessings. While it is true that God is love, many people forget that they have a responsibility to others in this world to help them, and follow all of His commandments, which are to love Him more than anyone or anything else, and to love their neighbor as themselves. Matthew 22:36-40. If you do not want to be that “worthless” or “wicked slave,” ‘trade your talents’ in such a way as to enrich God’s kingdom and help it grow. This is to teach your neighbor of God’s love or help them in some way, so that God’s kingdom can grow. Those that do not love God enough to help Him grow His kingdom, do not really love Him or Jesus, and will eventually become that “wicked” “worthless” slave who is God’s enemy.
Be not like that “wicked,” lazy, and “worthless” servant of God who did not avail themselves of God’s many promised blessings, and allow Him to make them all that He wanted them to be. Let Jesus dig around the soil of your heart, allow the trials that He sends you to mold you and shape you. Allow Jesus to fertilize the soil of your heart, and give you the water of life, that you may become born again. When you become truly born again, and get the Holy Spirit for yourself, it will be the most natural thing in the world for you to bear much fruit for God, it will be your greatest desire! This will be proof that the Holy Spirit is in your heart and that you know God.
Let’s finish out that parable by going back to the beginning of it, which takes place in Heaven, as those who love God are ushered into the Pearly gates:
“When he [Jesus] returned, having received the kingdom, he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by trading. The first came before him, saying, `Lord, your pound has made ten pounds more.' And he said to him, `Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.' And the second came, saying, `Lord, your pound has made five pounds.' And he said to him, `And you are to be over five cities.' Luke 19:15-19 RSV.
And the Parallel passage from Matthew:
“And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:20-23 KJV.
So whether you have received 10 talents from the Lord, or 5 or 2 or even 1, invest them all for the glory of God, so that when Jesus comes back to take His people home He will say, ‘well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.’ Enter into the joy of Heaven, that Jesus has prepared for all those who love Him. And there will be much joy throughout the endless ages of eternity – for those who have invested the Master’s talents for His service that He gave them! Amen.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you, and give you the refreshing dew of Heaven, and grant you many precious fruits to bear for the Master. That you may enter into the joy of your Lord. Amen.
#Worthless #Servant #Slave #Wicked #Talents #Invest #Yield #Obey #Holy #Spirit #Flesh #Bear #Fruit #Burned #Jesus #Judgment #Vineyard #Husbandman #Helper #Comforter
By John Foll
, written between 9/15/2017 and 9/21/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.’” John 14:23 NASB.
‘If any man loves Me, he will keep my word.’ Is this really true? How can anyone doubt what Jesus said? But many today doubt whether they need to obey God, sometimes out of ignorance or because they were taught this way, not realizing that Jesus and His Father are one. John 10:30. Many don’t really understand everything He said, and have heard other parts of the New Testament taken out of context, or misinterpreted to say something different than what He taught. Therefore many are in fact doubting what Jesus said is true, whether they realize it or not! The truth of the matter is that if they don’t want to obey God, they cannot keep Jesus’ word either, because His word is really His Father’s word, as we learned in Part 1. Because only God is good (Luke 18:19), the only way they can be good is if they get the Holy Spirit. And since the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey God (Acts 5:32), if they don’t want to obey God, they cannot have the Holy Spirit. This means that they cannot keep Jesus’ word either, because none of us are good, and the only way anyone can be good is if God helps them to be good through His Holy Spirit.
But in this article, Part 2, we want to break it down further for you, especially if you are still undecided by what it means to keep Jesus’ word and whether God’s commandments are Jesus’ commandments or not. One thing is true that you can’t deny, that if you want to be born from above and filled with the Holy Spirit, you must want to keep Jesus’ word. Because if you love Him you will keep His word, and He and His Father will come to you and make their abode in you. This is how you become born again!
Jesus’ Commandments versus God’s Commandments:
Some say that Jesus’s new commandment that we love one another (John 13:34), and His other commandments to His disciples are different than what God commanded His people to do in the 10 Commandments of Exodus 20. And that we don’t need to keep the 10 Commandments any more (also known as God’s commandments), just Jesus’ commandments. But it is not possible to keep Jesus’ commandments without keeping God’s commandments, and if you keep God’s commandments, you are keeping Jesus’ commandments as well, because they are all about love! Those who break God’s 10 Commandments, and don’t confess these sins and repent of them do not love Jesus, and are not keeping His word.
No one who sins, knows God. “No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.” 1 John 3:6 NASB. No one who abides in Jesus sins. How do we know this? See the previous verse 5: “And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.” 1 John 3:5 NASB. The “He” here is clearly Jesus, because He appeared on this earth and died on the cross to take away our sin. And in “Him” there is no sin, because He was the spotless Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. John 1:29. And John declared that He came in order to take away sins. Therefore no one who abides in Jesus sins. Think on that, meditate on it, believe it. It is a most beautiful promise when you see it and believe it! Tarry with Jesus awhile and He will help you to live a righteous life, because no one who abides in Him sins. Better yet, why not abide with Him the rest of your life? What do you have to lose? He will help you to be a better, kinder and gentler person!
But what is sin? What does John say? “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4 KJV. So let’s feed this back into 1 John 3:6 to get a clearer meaning of it: “No one who abides in Jesus breaks the Law of God; no one who breaks the Law of God has seen Jesus or knows Him.” This is serious folks! We believe that this text is talking about habitual sin here, not just momentary sins or mistakes. But momentary sins can turn into repetitive sins, if the soul does not turn to God for help. Those who’s custom or practice is sin, do not really know Jesus or His loving Father!
But what is the transgression of the Law? It is being unloving, unkind, disrespectful, hurtful, and selfish towards God or others. Because Love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:10. So let’s restate 1 John 3:6 yet again, to feed in this meaning into it too: “No one who abides in Jesus says or does hurtful things against others, or thinks bad thoughts about them; no one who says or does hurtful things against others, or thinks bad thoughts about them has either seen Jesus or knows Him.” Again folks, this is serious! Think about what this text is really saying. “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.” 1 John 3:4-5 NASB. This tells us that those who practice sin are breaking God’s Law; breaking God’s law is the definition of sin. This also tells us that Jesus came in order to take away sin. So those who love God will want Jesus to take away their sins, i.e. to forgive them and help them to stop “practicing” lawlessness and breaking God’s Law.
“Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.” 1 John 3:7-10 NASB. Jesus appeared so that He could destroy the works of the devil. He wants to take away your sins from the books of heaven when you ask for forgiveness from God, and from your life, so that you can be pure.
Still think that you don’t’ need to keep God’s Commandments, and that you only need to keep Jesus’ Commandments? Read what John has to say here: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.” 1 John 5:2 KJV. Now in the pure context of this verse it is quite clearly talking about God’s commandments, not Jesus’ commandments! This is also important, because John is reiterating in slightly different words, Jesus’ command to love one another here when he said, ‘By this we know that we love the children of God.’ This is clearly the same thing as Jesus’ command to love one another, i.e. to love our Christian brethren. This statement by John makes a strong tie between Jesus’ new commandment to love one another, and keeping God’s commandments: it shows us that they are the same thing, just two different ways of looking at it. Because this is how you know that you love one another, when you keep God’s commandments: especially those in Exodus 20. All of Jesus’ disciples, including His modern day ones, will love one another and keep Jesus’ words. John makes it so clear, that if you read both of his books of John and 1st John and reason through it carefully with much prayer, that you need not miss it.
Again why is 1 John 5:2 talking about God’s commandments? Because we already saw in Part 1 of this article that Jesus’ commandments are actually God’s commandments, because God gave His Son Jesus a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. John 12:49. If anyone doubts what we are saying here, this is the testimony Jesus gave through His servant John and in other places. We also saw in Part 1 of this article that Jesus kept all of His Father’s commandments. If Jesus kept all of His Father’s commandments and loved Him, shouldn’t you too?
How do you know that John was Jesus’ servant, and wrote His words for you to read? Read what he wrote at the beginning of 1 John: “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life — and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us — what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.” 1 John 1:1-4 NASB. The King James has this last part as ‘And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” 1 John 1:4 KJV. Why did John write the books of John, 1st John and our passage of 1 John 5:2? So that your joy would be made complete or full, just as he stated. John’s fellowship was with the Father and with Jesus His Son. If your fellowship is with Jesus, then you will receive and believe John’s testimony here in our passage of 1 John 5:2, and everything else John wrote as well.
But how do you really know that this verse in 1 John 5:2 is talking about keeping God’s Commandments? Easy! Just read the verse before it: “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. Who begat Jesus? Who was Jesus the Son of? God. John 3:16. Then who is ‘God’ in 1 John 5:2? The Father. If you love God, you also will love His Son Jesus, because He proceeded from Him! If you love Jesus, then you will love His Father also. If you love to obey Jesus, you will also love to obey His Father. If you love Jesus you will keep His word. If you love Jesus you will also keep His Father’s word.
Do you love God? Do you love Jesus His Son? Then keep God’s commandments, which are Jesus’ word. Still doubt that Jesus was sent from God or that His words were from God, the Father? “Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do ye not understand My speech? even because ye cannot hear My word.” John 8:42-43 KJV.
So if God is your Father, you will love Jesus His Son, because He proceeded from Him. If you do not hear or believe our words or reasoning here, it is because you do not hear Jesus’ word.
Jesus’ Commandments are the Father’s Commandments:
Notice the similarity of these two messages from John. Notice that both are talking about love:
1) “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.” 1 John 4:20 NASB.
2) “The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:” 1 John 2:4-5 NASB.
Therefore to hate your brother is the same thing as breaking God’s commandments. From this it is clear that ‘to love’ means ‘to keep God’s commandments.’ That is why we say that keeping God’s 10 commandments are about love, for Love is the fulfillment of the Law. Romans 13:10. You cannot separate love from the 10 commandments, or the 10 commandments from love. The 10 Commandments are the summary of the way God wants us to treat Him and others. They are general and easy to understand. But their principles cover every aspect of life and help us to know how to love God and our neighbor as ourselves. You cannot keep the 10 commandments unless you have love for God and man. And you can’t keep the 10 Commandments or love unless you know God. It’s that simple.
How do we know if we have the love of God and have His love perfected in us? By keeping His commandments. This is how we know if we really know Him, or if we are just ‘blowing smoke’, saying that we are a Christian and know Him. If we really know Him, it will not be a big struggle or a burden to treat others with kindness, love and respect, and to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and all our mind and all our soul. It will only be natural. “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. 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 5:1-4 NASB. “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8 KJV. Whoever keeps God’s word and the 10 Commandments, the love of God has truly been perfected in them, for no one can really keep God’s word in their own strength and power.
The 10 Commandments are Jesus’ Commandments:
Jesus declared, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-19 KJV. Some people try to say that since Jesus fulfilled the law, we don’t have to. Even though Jesus definitely kept His Father’s law perfectly on our behalf, this idea that since He did it for us that we don’t need to keep it, still goes against what Jesus said, when He said He didn’t come to destroy it but to fulfill it. So if Jesus’ death on the cross means we don’t need to keep the 10 Commandments, then Jesus’ would be destroying the law. But Jesus did not contradict Himself. In Exodus 19 God promised blessings if His people would obey His voice and then He spoke the 10 Commandments to them in Exodus 20. So if Jesus did not come to destroy the Law, how is it that His death on the cross makes it so we no longer need to keep the Law? If that were really true, then Jesus would be destroying the Law, or making it of ‘none effect’ if we didn’t have to keep it from then on. But what does Jesus say? ‘I am not come to destroy’ [the Law]. And why did Jesus say: ‘Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?’ Matthew 15:3 KJV. He spoke this to the scribes and Pharisees of His day, but we believe that if He were walking on the earth again in our day, He would say the same thing to those who hold any tradition or teaching that causes people to transgress the laws of God. And those who teach that God’s 10 Commandments do not need to be kept any more are definitely teaching others to ‘transgress the law of God’, which is the same thing that Jesus reprimanded the scribes and Pharisees for doing. If it was wrong for the scribes and Pharisees to do, it is wrong for anyone in our day to do it as well.
The plain meaning of the word ‘fulfill’ is to replenish or make it full. Or to make it happen. Jesus’ death on the cross and the Father’s gift of the Holy Spirit provides the way for us to be forgiven, and to be cleansed from all unrighteousness, 1 John 1:9, so that we can love Him and our neighbor as ourselves.
Notice that Jesus declared that until heaven and earth have passed away, not even one jot or tittle, [not even the smallest of portion of the law], shall pass away. We know that some say that He fulfilled the law for us, so we don’t need to keep it, but Jesus, as if in anticipation of this, informs us quite clearly that unless Heaven and Earth pass away, not even the smallest portion of the commandments will be done away with. Are heaven and earth still here? Yes. Then not even the smallest portion of the 10 Commandments have been done away with. Some may say, ‘we are saved by grace’, meaning that we don’t have to keep God’s Law. [They imply it, but some even say that we can’t, and shouldn’t. Some even go as far as implying that it is a sin to keep God’s Law. Imagine that?] But this is clearly refuted by what Jesus declared above. Jesus also declared that all who shall break even ‘the least’ or smallest of the commandments [of the 10], shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. We believe that this is a curse. We don’t think that it is a good thing to be called ‘least in the kingdom of heaven’ by God. Why? Because Jesus contrasts this with His next statement: whoever shall do these commandments and teach them to others shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. We believe that it is clear that this is a blessing! Therefore the contrast of this blessing of being called great in the kingdom of Heaven is the curse of being called least in the kingdom of Heaven, because a curse is the opposite of a blessing. We want this blessing of being called great in the kingdom of Heaven, because this is what pleases God and we want to please Him. If anyone believes they don’t have to keep God’s law, they should keep it quiet! If they tell anybody else this lie, they will come under God’s displeasure! Of course if they break His law and don’t confess it, they will also come under His displeasure too.
David affirms this same truth that Jesus declared, that there is a great reward for those who keep God’s law: “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.
Dear reader, do you want to be converted so that you can be saved? Do you want to be warned so that you are not lost? Do you want the promised great reward? Then ask God to help you keep His law of love, the 10 Commandments and read and meditate on them. For when you study them out and meditate on them, you will be warned, and converted, if you humble yourself before God, and allow His love to fully penetrate your heart! Moreover by the 10 commandments are God’s servants warned, and in keeping them is great reward! And as Jesus said, in teaching others to keep them there is great reward! Dear reader do you want to be Jesus and His Father’s servant? Then keep their commandments of love to you, it’s that simple. The power to keep God’s word is in His commands. Those who have faith in God will understand this. Do you want the promised great reward? Then teach others to love and obey God too, it’s that simple. Yes, God’s 10 Commandment Law is perfect, and will last forever, since Heaven and Earth are still here, and Heaven will last forever.
Therefore it is clear that the 10 Commandments are also Jesus’ Commandments, not just God’s Commandments, since Jesus did not come to destroy the Law.
Still don’t believe that ‘the law’ that Jesus didn’t come to destroy is the 10 Commandments? Then proceed to our next section where we will go into this, to help you see that this passage in Mathew 5:17-19 is indeed referring to the 10 Commandments.
What is the difference between the 10 Commandments and Jesus’ command to love one another or to love your neighbor as yourself?
Without going into all of the details here, we want to show you what it means by illustrating it. For additional evidence beyond what we are going to say here, please read our many other articles regarding this, (especially ‘Who is my Neighbor Part 1’ and 2 https://whiteraimentevangelism.org/BlogLove/?p=15 and
https://whiteraimentevangelism.org/BlogLove/?p=14) or our book, ‘God’s Law of Love’. You owe it to yourself to have a full understanding of this subject, because there are many who misunderstand it and hold errors regarding it.
Is there a difference between the 10 Commandments and the command to Love our Neighbor as ourself and to love God with all our heart, mind and soul? No. We will show you why.
Jesus made it clear in Matthew 22:37-40, in answer to the lawyer’s question in verse 36, that ‘on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ Notice He referred to them as the two commandments, the ‘first and great commandment’ and “the second’ [great commandment]. Paul comes to our aid here to help us understand that these two great commandments that Jesus’ spoke of are the same thing as the 10 Commandments, when he said that ‘love is the fulfillment of the Law’ and mentions some of the 10 commandments in Romans 13:8-10. Here Paul says, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, ‘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; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:8-10 NASB. Notice that Paul mentions 4 of the 10 commandments of Exodus 20:1-17. And he quite clearly links it to the 2nd great commandment that Jesus talked about in Matthew 22:37-40. Thus in this passage, Paul clearly bridges the gap between what it means to love your neighbor as yourself (one of the two great commandments) and the 10 Commandments since he mentions several of them.
The 10 Commandments are a summary of God’s law of love, which was the point that Jesus was making here in Matthew 22:37-40. Though the 10 Commandments do not mention in detail every possible sin or wrong in every possible way, they summarize them. And Jesus summarized the 10 Commandments into 2 great commandments. But everything that is wrong that can be thought, said, or done is contained in at least one of the 10 Commandments, and many times more than one of them. If someone says anything hurtful against someone else, neglects to do good when it is needed, hurts themselves or others, they are breaking God’s Law of Love the 10 Commandments. Some people who think they are keeping God’s commandments, say bad or hurtful things or have bad thoughts, etc., and think that their ‘mere’ outward observance of the 10 Commandments is accepted by God, but it is not. Rest assured that no one who is unkind, unmerciful, unloving, or even neglectful of others or their needs, who are selfish are keeping the 10 Commandments, regardless of their claims. No way. Because love is the fulfillment of the Law. Romans 13:10.
Those who do not love God above anyone else (including themselves) and everything else in this world are breaking the first commandment as found in Exodus 20:3 and Matthew 22:36-38. Did you catch that? It is not enough to keep God’s Laws out of a sense of duty, but they must be kept because you love Him. This is the first commandment, which is also the most broken commandment because all other commandments in the Bible, not just the other 10 Commandments, are contained in it. And those who do not love their neighbor as themselves or say or do hurtful things to them, or neglect them are breaking at least one of the other 6 commandments of the 10, and possibly others too. The first four commandments deal with loving God more than anyone and anything, and the last 6 commandments deal with how to love your neighbor as yourself. If someone just tries to keep God’s commandments out of a sense of duty, they are not really keeping them completely, if at all. The only way you can keep His commandments is if you love Him, and if you love Him you will not lie, cheat or steal, or kill, etc.
The only way you can keep His commandments is if you ‘know’ God. 1 John 2:4. And if you know God, you will love Him supremely and love your neighbor as yourself. This is the proof that you know Him, because ‘God is love.’ 1 John 4:8. And those who know Him, He abides in them and they in Him, and He fills them with His precious Holy Spirit! Amen.
No Tears in Heaven:
There will be no tears in Heaven, sorrow, pain, or death. Revelation 21:4. Or anything that hurts in God’s Holy Mountain. Isaiah 11:9. Those who continue hurting God or others and don’t want His help to be better, will not be admitted into Heaven. This is because Heaven is all about love, joy, and happiness. But God will give a blessing to those who want to obey His law of Love. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14 KJV. And in the NASB it says: “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14 NASB. All those who hang on to sin and do not let Jesus wash their robes from sin, will not be in Heaven and would not be happy there, because they did not want all the love, joy and peace that God wanted to give them. God wants all of His people to learn to love Him and others on this earth; to learn how to submit to Him and receive the Holy Spirit, so that He can help them to be good, and fit them for Heaven. We repeat, Heaven is all about love. The purpose of this life is to learn how to love. This is what prepares one for Heaven. Those who don’t want to love the Lord their God with all their heart and all their mind and all their soul will not be happy in Heaven, and will not be admitted there. Because there will be none to hurt in all of God’s Holy Mountain.
God is love, 1 John 4:8, and will not allow the wicked into Heaven. Now we have all been wicked at least one point in our life, but God has provided the way for us to be there, by forgiving our sins when we confess them, and by helping us to overcome if we accept His help. God, who is rich in mercy and abundant in love, provided for our salvation by giving His Son to die on the cross for our sins, if we confess them (1 John 1:9), and by providing the Holy Spirit, if we want to obey Him. Acts 5:32. This fits us for Heaven. This is the gospel message, the good news. Dear reader, won’t you come and go with me to that bright and fair land in Heaven, where there will be no more hurt, suffering, sin, pain or death? Won’t you ask God to make you fit for Heaven? This is the Gospel! Amen.
If you want to keep Jesus’ word and be filled with the Holy Spirit, you must want to keep all the words He spoke, and keep all of His words that were spoken by His servants. Since His words come from God, you will also want to keep all of God’s words too, which include all of His servants in all ages.
Why are we making such a big deal out of Jesus commandments being God’s commandments and keeping God’s commandments? So that you will not be fooled and can become born again. Because the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey God or to those who want to obey Him. These are those who keep Jesus’ word, which is the same word that His Father gave to Him as a ‘commandment’ of what to say and what to speak. We are making a big deal out of this, because this is the only path of peace, love and joy! If you love God and obey Him (by His power) you will never regret it, we promise you!
If you love Jesus, keep His word, which is to keep His Father’s commandments, including the Law of Love, the 10 Commandments of Exodus 20. If you love Jesus, the Father will love you, and you will be filled with the Holy Spirit! Amen! This will help you to love your neighbor as yourself, and to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul! And your life will be sweet with the dew of Heaven, when you are filled with the Holy Spirit and delight in loving and serving God.
May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
#Love #Jesus #Keep #Word #Obey #God #Holy #Spirit #Commandment #Born #Again #Joy #Abide #Sin #Hate #Brother #Destroy #Law #Fulfill #Saved
By John Foll
, written between 4/13/2108 to 4/14/2018.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.’” John 14:23 NASB.
This text is the watchword of our ministry, White Raiment Evangelism.
Do you love Jesus? Then discover what Jesus meant when He said, ‘If any man love Me, he will keep My word.’
What is the source of Jesus’ words that we are to keep?
Jesus declared, “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment [the Father’s commandment] is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me." John 12:49-50 NASB.
So what is the source of Jesus’ words according to what He said? They are the Father’s words. ‘The Father gave Jesus a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.’ God’s words are eternal life, therefore Jesus spoke just as His Father told Him. Think about that.
Did Jesus say anything that was His own word and not from the Father? Jesus declared, "I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 5:30 NASB. “Jesus therefore said, ‘When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.’" John 8:28-29 NASB. So there you have it from Jesus’ own words: He spoke nothing on His own initiative, but the things that the Father taught Him and gave Him a commandment to speak. He always said and did the things that pleased His Father!
Why is the source of Jesus’ words so important? Because some people make a distinction between Jesus’ words and God’s words, between Jesus’ commandments and the Father’s commandments, between the Old Testament and the New Testament, between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. But this is incorrect, because all of Jesus’ words were not from Himself but from His Father, as John 12:49 clearly states. This is why Jesus is called the Word of God’ ‘made flesh,’ because He speaks for God. John 1:1-5, 10-14. It is important to understand this, because it will help save you from error, so that you can be happy in your love for God and not be confused about anything that He wants you to do. Jesus also declared: “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.” John 14:24 NASB. Who sent Jesus to this world that we might be saved? Jesus declared: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17 NASB. So who sent Jesus to this world? God, the Father. So according to Jesus, whose words did Jesus really speak? God’s words.
Think we are wrong on this? “We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:6 NASB. If our writings are not from God, they are of no value and please stop reading them. However, if they are from God, then they are the truth. If we are not from God, there is no value to our work – then stop reading our articles. But if our articles are the truth, they are from God, then please keep reading them. If you know God or want to know Him, you will listen to what we are writing, because the messages in our articles are from God, since they come from His Word, the Bible. By this you will know the spirit of truth from the spirit of error: if you know or want to know God, He will give you the Holy Spirit who will guide you into all truth. John 16:13. Then you will listen to what we are saying, if we indeed are from God. But if you do not listen to God, you will not listen to us. We are not trying to make something of our selves here, but we intend to be God’s messenger of love to the world, to do our duty because we love Him and don’t want anyone to be lost. God has made a wonderful change in our heart and life, and it is not a burden but a great joy to serve Him! We want you to know the truth of this and not be confused, because eternal life depends on listening to and knowing God’s will for your life; the essentials of salvation. And when you know the truth and love it, it will set you free. John 8:32.
We want you to get it, so we will deeply explore this concept that the words or commandments that Jesus spoke were from His Father, and that there is no difference or separation between them or their words or commandments, because ‘They are one.’ Jesus Himself declared: “I and my Father are one.” John 10:30 KJV. There are not two different gospels, the gospel of God and the gospel of Jesus. There are not two different truths on how to be saved, the truth for the Jews and Israelites of the Old Testament, and the truth for Christians in the New Testament. The conditions for Salvation have always been the same: We must believe that only God can save us, we must confess our sins, and love and obey Him, and let Him help and save us by His mighty power. Because no one can ever save themselves, it is only by faith in God that anyone is ever saved. This is what is taught in both the Old and New Testaments; it has ever been its theme, even though some people are confused on it, even in our day. (We are not talking about ‘the holy days,’ feast days, rites and ceremonies of either Israelites or Christians, or the order or format of your Church services here, but the essential, fundamental truths that God revealed to His people in both the Old and New Testaments; they are the same. They are all based on the word of God, when His people follow God’s word!)
Now let’s put our theme text with this meaning we have just learned:
‘If anyone loves Jesus, they will keep the word of God, and they will keep the commandments of God (as Jesus always kept His Father’s commandments and always did the things that pleased Him), and His Father will love them, and Jesus and His Father will come to them and will make Their abode with them.’ paraphrase John 14:23. We think this clearly refers to the 10 Commandments here, God’s Law of Love.
But wait, we also need to understand what Jesus meant when He said that He and His Father would come and make their abode in them.
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’ (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” John 7:37-39 KJV.
From this passage we see that all who believe in Jesus - out of their belly shall flow rivers of living water. Do you believe this dear reader? This has been promised to you, if you believe in Jesus all the way. Then you will love Him and His Father, and out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water. This is Jesus description of what it’s like to receive the Holy Spirit or the Holy Ghost. When this happens to you, you will be given life, and will be bubbling over with God’s love and spiritual blessings, more than enough for yourself, and you will just long to share it with others!
The importance of being born again:
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?’ Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’” John 3:3-6 NASB. If you are born fully of the flesh, and the Spirit of God is not working in your heart, you will be unable to understand what Jesus is saying here, because what is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is Spirit.
“And Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.’” Matthew 16:17 NASB. If you have received your testimony from the flesh, you will not understand this, but if flesh and blood did not reveal it to you but God, then you will understand it, because you will be born again or becoming born again. Jesus also declared, “’It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.” John 6:63-64 NASB. To be born of the flesh profits nothing, but to be born of the Spirit is life and peace! Romans 8:6. To be born of the Spirit leads to everlasting life and great joy! When this happens, you will be blessed beyond measure, and will have rivers of living water flowing through you!
Sadly there are many who do not believe, truly believe who name themselves a Christian, even though they have the testimony of Jesus in the Bible, and the testimony of His disciples and apostles. Truly the Spirit gives life, the flesh profits nothing. They allow other preachers and teachers to snatch away whatever testimony God has spoken to their heart or mind, and doubt the plain words of God. They reinterpret or ignore some of the plainest statements by Jesus, and instead accept what some theologian or preacher’s ‘interpretation’ of what the Bible teaches, based on a few verses in the New Testament. These “supposed” teachings of these few verses in the New Testament are usually taken out of context, or not properly understood by those who are untaught or unstable, who also distort the rest of the scriptures. Unfortunately many of these faulty interpretations of the scriptures are fairly mainstream or common in our day. This should not be. Please consider the testimony of Peter regarding this: “Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.” 2 Peter 3:14-16 NASB. Our recommendation: Do not interpret Paul in any way that contradicts Jesus. Do not take any lone statement by Jesus as a means of contradicting any of His other clear statements. Seek for the greatest harmony in the Bible. If you don’t understand something, at least give the majority of the scriptures the credence and authority, until you thoroughly understand any apparent discrepancies to it from the remaining portions. Don’t just latch on to any statement or word of any verse, and ignore the others. When in doubt, always stick with the clear words of Jesus, because God does not contradict Himself. Whatever any apostle taught always has to agree with Jesus, because Jesus is the Word of God, and because God is a God of order, and doesn’t make any mistakes or change His mind later. No human being has the authority to change any of Jesus’ words. God will never send a prophet, preacher or teacher who contradicts His word or tries to change it. This is the work of the adversary of our soul, not God. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20 KJV. According to the prophet Isaiah, how much light is in those who contradict anything that is in God’s Law or 10 Commandments (also known as the testimony in the Old Testament)? None. If a preacher, teacher or theologian says or writes anything contrary to the Law or Testimony, there is no light in them!
Now back to our main point: When Jesus and His Father abide in you, this is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit; this is how you become born again.
Now let’s update our theme text with this new understanding, to bring out its fullest meaning:
‘If anyone loves Jesus, they will keep the word of God, they will keep the commandments of God, and His Father will love them, and Jesus and His Father will fill them with the Holy Spirit!’ paraphrase John 14:23.
Why is this understanding so important? Because this is how you become born again! When Jesus and His Father come and make their abode in you, and fill you with the Precious Holy Spirit, you become born again! Peter tells us quite clearly that the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey God, in Acts 5:32. This agrees perfectly with what Jesus said, when He said: ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.’ John 14:23 NASB. You may not know the exact date or time when you start to become born again, but when this sweet influence manifests itself in your life and heart it becomes apparent! You become a new creature, your life and desires change for the better. We are not saying here that you must first keep God’s commandments, then you will get the Holy Spirit, because no one can obey God without His help. Isaiah 64:6; Matthew 19:17; Romans 13:12. Only God is good. God gives the power to obey, you supply your choice to obey Him. But when you get the Holy Spirit in full, God makes it very easy for you to obey Him, because your love for Him will outweigh every other consideration in this life. It’s only natural, if you love Him, to want to obey Him; it will be your sweetest desire! There can be no doubt that those who have learned to love God want to obey Him. And that they would never know this sweetest of joys, if they didn’t want to obey Him first. This is the point of Acts 5:32. The Holy Spirit is only given to those who want to obey God. Jesus also said regarding the Holy Spirit, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.” John 16:7-11 NASB. The work of even wanting to obey God comes from the Holy Spirit! You cannot want to obey God or love Him, without the aid of the Holy Spirit! So the work of reforming your life, obeying God, is all God’s doing, you can just accept His work in your life and allow it to happen, and choose to do what He asks, or you cannot have all this peace, love and joy that He wants to give you. And you must also choose to spend time with Him in prayer and in much Bible study, learning His will for your life. When you delight in studying His word, and pouring out your heart to Him in prayer, this is how you get to know Him. This is how you get the power to obey Him, because faith comes through hearing or reading the word of God. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 KJV.
If you love Jesus, keep His word, which is to keep His Father’s commandments, including the Law of Love, the 10 Commandments of Exodus 20. If you love Jesus, the Father will love you, and you will be filled with the Holy Spirit! Amen! Then you will be loving your neighbor as yourself, and will be loving God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul! Then your life will be sweet with the dew of Heaven, because you will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and will delight in loving God and serving Him.
May the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
#Love #Jesus #Keep #Word #Obey #God #Holy #Spirit #Commandment #Born #Again #Truth #New #Rivers #Living #Water #Flesh #Life #Peace #Joy
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
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 D. T. Bourdeau
"The tongue," says James, "is a little member, and boasteth great things.Behold, how great a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell." James iii, 5, 6.
This is said of an unsanctified tongue, and shows that though the tongue is a small member yet it exerts a mighty influence. It sustains a relation to and exerts an influence over the whole body. It is compared to bits that we put in the horses' mouths and by which we turn about the whole body; and to a helm by which the mighty ships are turned whithersoever the governor listeth. Verses 3, 4. Such is the importance that James attaches to governing the tongue that he declares, "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able to bridle the whole body." "If any among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain." Verse 2: Chap. i, 26. And Solomon must have been forcibly struck with the necessity of governing the tongue when he wrote, "Life and death are in the power of the tongue." Prov. xviii, 21.
The tongue, as an instrument of speech, is one of
those prerogatives which exalt man above the beast, and was designed by the Creator to express holy and virtuous thoughts. It is an index to the heart; "for out of the abundance of the heart," says our Saviour, "the mouth speaketh." Matt. xii, 35. The use that is made of the tongue indicates the moral condition of the heart, and consequently the character of the whole man; and there are as many ways in which men sin with their tongues as there are in which they sin with their thoughts, tempers and actions.
It is readily seen that the sanctification of the tongue is a vast subject. But we will confine ourselves to some leading principles and thoughts, and to some of the many Bible instructions on the subject.
And first, the tongue is rightly used in speaking of and addressing the Creator with reverence, according to his holy and exalted perfections and our dependence upon him. If we do this from the heart we shall not be guilty of taking God's holy name in vain. We shall realize his goodness and love, and will not be inclined to murmur against him, but will be grateful to him for his dealings with us, and for the least blessing we receive at his hand.
But while the tongue is properly used in speaking of, and addressing, God in a manner compatible with his holy perfections and our dependence upon him, it should speak of, and address, others with respect, according to the relations they sustain to us and the Creator. In speaking of the wrong use of the tongue, James says, "Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing My brethren, these things ought not so to be." James iii, 9, 10.
It is not a small matter to curse others with the tongue. If we curse our fellow creatures who are made in the image of God and have God for their Father, we offend God, and are not in a condition to bless or exalt him, and he cannot accept a blessing from us, Indeed, he cannot look on any thing that we can say to exalt him as a blessing. What we say of him proceeds from the same heart that leads us to curse those whom he has created, and over whom his care, love and mercy are extended. This is clearly illustrated in the following verses: "Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh." Verses 11, 12.
Cursing is the opposite of blessing, and we can curse others in various ways. And the ungodly are not the only ones that are guilty here.James is here admonishing and correcting his "brethren."
We curse others with the tongue in slandering and backbiting.The unsanctified tongue is said to be full of deadly poison, and its deadly and poisonous influence is felt by others. It would be considered a heinous crime to put a portion of strychnine or arsenic into food prepared for others; but many consider it a light thing to poison the character of others, and injure their feelings by slandering, backbiting or talebearing. By these, thousands of innocent characters have been shamefully and maliciously martyred.
Many professed Christians are not guarded enough, and fail on this point. If they are tried with a brother or sister, and see or hear any thing unfavorable about them, they are sure to tell it to others, and perhaps in their tried condition they will put a wrong construction
on what they have learned; and if their remarks take and they are not checked, they will tell it to others, and then to others, and so on; and some are not satisfied till they have spread their slanderous reports among the enemies of truth. And then the poor, blinded, deceived souls may think they have done a noble work. But what have they done? They have got the sympathy of some, who will perish with them unless they repent. They have blown on and fed the fire of hatred which they in weakness suffered Satan to kindle in their breasts, till it has grown and kindled a great matter, and others have been set on fire of hell. They perhaps have discouraged weak and well-meaning brethren, who have not sufficient experience to meet their influence, and some of whom may never recover from the shock they have received. They have caused the good way to be evil spoken of, and some may have been shut out of the kingdom. The Spirit and lovers of peace have been grieved, and Satan and his contentious host rejoice.
It is not strange that those who know not God, and the power of his truth, should indulge in slandering and backbiting; but for those who profess to know God and his truth, for professed followers of Jesus Christ, to backbite and slander, is shameful and criminal in the extreme.
But thank God, those sins need not exist in the church of God, if gospel order and discipline are carried out. Says Christ, "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone," etc. Matt. xviii, 15-17. Here is the proper course marked out by the Saviour. First go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone. He does not say, go and tell his fault to everybody
in the church and to everybody in the world. Those who do this err, and need to be immediately labored with themselves. If those who are tried with their brethren, would go directly to them with their grievances, they would not have so much to say, and much trouble might be saved.
But some will here say, if ever wisdom is needed it is in doing this duty. This is true. But James says, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him;" chap. i, 5; and he describes heavenly wisdom as follows: "The wisdom that is from above, is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." Chap. iii, 17. If every trait of this wisdom were fully examined, and strictly followed, this would be an easy duty to perform.
The following scriptures show how God looks upon slandering, backbiting and talebearing: "He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is fool." "Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes." "Whoso privily slandereth his neighbor, him will I cut off." "For I fear, lest when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults." "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer
among thy people. . . I am the Lord thy God." "He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth (or enticeth, margin) with his lips." "Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out; so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth." Prov. x, 18; Ps. 1, 20; ci, 5; 2 Cor. xii, 20; Lev. xix, 16; Prov. xx, 19; xxvi, 20.
One of those sins of backslidden Israel over which Jeremiah was grieved, and which ripened Israel to receive the lingering wrath of Jehovah, was slandering. Jer. ix, 1-4. And when David undertakes to describe the man who will abide in the tabernacle of the Lord, and dwell in his holy hill, among other things he says, "He that backbiteth not with his tongue." Ps. xv, 1-3.
We should never use the tongue in speaking of others in any way to injure them. We should guard against bearing false witness. This is often done unintentionally by exaggerating. It is better to say nothing about the faults of others, than to speak of them in a manner to defame the character. When it becomes necessary to speak of the sins of our fellow creatures, we should show that while we hate sin, we love and pity the sinner. When we are about to speak concerning the faults of others, we should ask ourselves questions like these:Will what I am about to say benefit any one? Will it be rightly handled? Will it benefit the cause? Am I going to speak as I would like to have others speak of me if I were in the same condition?
Evil-speaking is strictly and repeatedly prohibited by the Scriptures; and under the head of evil-speaking, is speaking evil of dignities. Jude 8. The
evil of this sin is not realized by all. Some are liable to overlook the sacred position of those whom God calls to help in leading out his people toward the rest that remains for the children of God. Like ancient Israel, they look upon these agents as though the work with which they are connected was merely a human work, and speak accordingly. Some, like Korah, Dathan and Abiram, and a host of others, not realizing the weight and responsibilities of this work, will envy the position of those who are called to it. Num. xvi. They think they are of consequence and that the servants of God take too much upon themselves. They despise dominion, attribute the cause of their trials to dignities, and murmur when they are corrected for their sins. By pursuing this course they despise God, and murmur against him."He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me." Luke x, 16.
The fate of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and the punishment of others spoken of in the Scriptures, are sufficient to teach us how God regards this sin. But besides this, we have in the backsliding and fall of many within our own recollection, a clear demonstration of God's disapprobation for this sin, and of the necessity of guarding against it.
We curse others with the tongue in speaking angry words, in freting and scolding. No good has ever resulted from so doing. Angry words, fretting and scolding, have never benefited any one. They have often proved a curse and a source of much evil. They may overpower and intimidate the fearful for the time being; but they will never reform them. They are destructive of peace, affection, and
happiness. Peace and angry words do not exist together, and who can love habitual fretters and scolders with a love of approbation? Such are more dreaded than loved.Even the meek will feel an uneasiness while in the society of such. Though they may bear with, and pity them, they will feel as if among nettles and thistles.
[Editor removed: ‘
On the’ preceding ‘they have often’]
Thousands of families are made miserable and unhappy by irritating words. In many instances, parents fail here. Instead of speaking kind and cheerful words; they complain and fret and scold. As they do this, they are shut up to each others' faults. The husband sees no virtue in his wife, and the wife sees no virtue in her husband. Separation often follows. Many a husband has been driven to the tavern by a fretful and peevish wife, and many a wife has been discouraged / and made miserable by a fretful and complaining husband.
But the evil is not confined to the heads of families: the children generally imitate their parents. They do not obey them through love, but through fear and dread, and perhaps to not be annoyed by their fretting and scolding. Some children will conceal from their parents important matters, and tell falsehoods to avoid a scolding.Home has no attractions to such children; and many in discouragement will leave their parents.
Prov. xii, 18: "There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health." While the unsanctified tongue causes discord, sorrow, gloom, discouragement and death, the sanctified tongue brings peace, joy, light, courage, health and life to those who use it, and to those who eat of its fruit.
It is quite an easy matter to speak pleasant and
cheerful words to the meek, to those who always bless us; but it is more difficult to speak words of pleasantness to those who address us with angry words, to such as curse and revile us. But we are expressly commanded to bless them that curse us, to bless and curse not, to not render railing for railing. Luke vi, 28; Rom. xii, 14; 1 Pet. iii, 9. "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye should follow in his steps. . . . Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." 1 Pet. ii, 21-23.
"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." Prov. xv, 1. In our intercourse with our fellow-creatures, a spoonful of oil is better than a quart of vinegar. By taking revenge of an injury we are only even to our enemy; but by passing it over we are superior. And a more glorious victory cannot be obtained over another than to return injury with kindness. Those who give away to anger and speak angry words, manifest real weakness of soul. They may at times think they gain victories over their enemies; but they are overcome by Satan and their own corrupt propensity. They are apt to say things that they would be ashamed of if they were in their right mind. For instance how liable some are to call others fools, devils, etc., when they are angry with them. But Christ shows in what light he views these rash and irritating expressions when he says, "Whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca (or vain fellow, margin), shall be in danger of the council; but whosoever shall
say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." Matt. v, 22.
Christ pronounces a blessing upon peace-makers. He says, "They shall be called the children of God." Matt. v, 9. In striving to make peace they imitate their Creator, who has done so much to bring peace into this revolted province, and to reconcile us unto himself. God sacrificed his dearly beloved Son for this object, and can we not deny ourselves a little, by not indulging in angry expressions? Can we not encourage and enforce the principles of peace by a meek and godly conversation?
The tongue is wrongly used in lying, and should be employed in telling the truth. The Lord has spoken clearly and repeatedly on this point, both in the Old and New Testaments, showing the evil that is caused by lying, and setting forth the awful consequences that await liars, and the advantages and blessings that result from telling the truth.
Lying originated with the Devil, who is the father of lies, and a liar from the beginning. He lied to Eve and beguiled her, and since then, lying has been practiced in many ways, and for various purposes.
But the lying tongue cannot be relied upon. It is ever looked upon with suspicion by the prudent. But it is considered safe to confide in those who are always known to tell the truth. He that sets out to tell a lie is not sensible of the task he undertakes; for he may be forced to invent many more to support it.
Lying is often practiced to get gain. This is seen in buying and selling.It has almost become a universal custom for those who sell to speak too highly of the articles they hold out for sale, and to say little or nothing about their defects, thus making an impression
that these articles are worth more than they really are; and for those who buy to undervalue the articles they wish to buy, and to say little or nothing about their qualities, thus conveying the idea that they are worth less than they are in reality.
And just here we would notice the case of Ananias and Sapphira.They sold their possession, and kept back part of the price, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet. They lied in trying to convey the idea that they had brought the whole price. But what language was used to convey this false idea? Peter said to Sapphira, "Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea for so much." Acts. v. And the fate of Ananias and Sapphira is known to all Bible students.
Doubtless if many at the present time were in the condition of Ananias and Sapphira, and were permitted to live and speak for themselves, they would justify themselves somewhat as follows: Why, I did not lie: I said I sold it for so much. I did sell it for that and something else. But would such be more justified than were Ananias and Sapphira?And will not the punishment of such be as certain as was theirs?
One common way of lying is to attempt to uphold error by the word of the Lord. Those who do this knowingly, or ignorantly when they might have known but refused to know, may be classed among liars. In order to give force to what they say, and make their remarks appear truthful, they must intimate or affirm that the Lord has spoken when he has not spoken; that the Bible says thus and so when it does not.
Cases of lying spoken of in the Bible are sometimes referred to, to prove that guile may be used on certain
occasions to bring about a good end; and falsehoods are often told to cover sin. But the Bible nowhere justifies lying. It teaches that we should not do evil, that good may come. None of those who used guile in Bible times were blessed of God for lying; but such as were blessed of God, were blessed for good traits that they possessed; and their lives would shine brighter in the heavenly records if they had not spoken guile.
No consideration should lead us to practice deceit. It is better to frankly confess our sins than to tell falsehoods to cover them, and to lose by telling the truth, than to gain by using guile. Of the holy Pattern we read, "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth." 1 Pet. ii, 22. And of the last church it is written, "The remnant of Israel shall do no iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth." Zeph. iii, 13. "And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God." Rev. xiv, 5.
The tongue is wrongly used in speaking vain and idle words. "But I say unto you, That for every idle word that men shall speak they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." Matt. xii, 36, 37. If all were duly impressed with the truthfulness of this solemn declaration of the Saviour, vain and idle words would be fewer than they now are. But men will have to give account for their idle words in the day of judgment, whether they realize it or not. By our words we will either be justified or condemned in that day.
"How careful then ought we to live,
With what religious fear,
Who such a strict account must give
Of our behavior here."
By D. T. Bourdeau, from his book: “Sanctification - SANCTIFICATION OR, LIVING HOLINESS”, 1864, p. 55 - 67.
"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thess. v, 23.
Blog Article edited by John Foll
#Tongue #Fire #Hell #Curse #God #Holy #Bless #Backbiting #Talebearer #Bitter #Slander #Peace #Spirit #Love #Shame #Fault #Private #Strife #Wrath #Angry
By John Foll, 12/8/2016.
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down His life for His friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.” John 15:13-14 NASB. Jesus is the good shepherd who laid down his life for His friends!Jesus said, “Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46 NASB. We are Jesus’ friends if we do what He says. Doing everything that He said is doing everything that He has commanded us.
What did Jesus command His friends? “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” John 15:12 NASB. How do we love one another? By keeping the Law. Paul says that “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of thelaw.” Romans 13:10 NASB. What law is Paul talking about here? The 10 Commandments. “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, ‘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. Paul is listing some of the 10 commandments here, but not all of them. But we believe that even though he is not mentioning all of them, or that he specifically is not mentioning any of the commandments regarding how we should treat God, that he is meaning them as well. Thus we see that the fulfillment of the Law is love.
Jesus told us that if we are His friend, that we will do what He has commanded us. If we refuse to do anything that He has commanded us or do not ask for His help to keep His commands, we are not His friend. What has He commanded us? “And He said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."” Matthew 22:37-40 NASB. Jesus clearly states here that all of the Law, which are the 10 Commandments, and the Prophets are dependent on loving God first, and then loving everyone else second; there are no laws greater than these. Thus love is the fulfillment of the Law, as Paul stated in Romans 13:8-10. We cannot love our neighbor as ourselves if we do not first love the Lord our God with all of our heart, all of our mind, all of our soul and all of our strength. See also Mark 12:29-31.
If you are Jesus’ friend, you will want to keep all of His commandments, which are to love one another. If you are Jesus’ friend, that means that you love Him. If you love Him with all of your heart, and all of your mind and with all of your soul and with all of your strength, then you are keeping the first great commandment that Jesus commanded. Jesus laid down His life for His friends, which will be you, if you love Him. You cannot be Jesus’ friend, if you do not love Him or want to do everything that He has commanded.
How can you love Jesus? “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.’” John 14:23-24 NASB. Is that what you want? Do you want to keep Jesus’ word? Then Jesus and the Father will make their abode in you!This is the secret to how you can love Jesus! When you learn that you are a sinner and in need of Him, and that He laid down His life for you, then you will learn to love Him, if you choose to believe it! There can be no greater love than Jesus, the Son of God laying down His life for you, except for the love of the Father who gave His only Son Jesus to die for your sins! “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17 NASB. So we see that the Father greatly loves us too, for He gave His only Son Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sins!
How do you prove that you are Jesus’ friend and do everything that He commanded, which is to love Him and one another; which is to keep the 10 Commandments? It is God’s gift to you, if you will accept it.
The Holy Spirit will produce this desire in your heart, if you will let Him! See John 16:7-11 for more on how the Holy Spirit will give you the desire to be Jesus’ friend, by convicting you of sin. The Holy Spirit will also give you the ability to do everything that Jesus’ commanded, if you invite Him into your heart and make a confession of all your sins. Jesus promised that if anyone would keep His word, that He and His Father would come and make their abode in them! Oh precious sweet promise
! Jesus wants to abide in your heart, if you will ask Him to! This is how you can keep His word, the only way: If Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit abide in your heart continually. God so longs to give you this precious gift!
“We love Him [God], because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 KJV. When you finally see your great need of Him, and that He is your only hope, and that He will provide all the help that you need, then you will love Him. Let God’s love penetrate your heart, and come boldly to Him before the throne of grace, that you may obtain help and mercy in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16. Amen.
#holy #spirit #happy #love #peace #God #Salvation #riches #joy #life #mercy #friend #word #command #greater #secret #commandments #Jesus #perish #believe
Peter said, “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 obedience to God is the condition for receiving the Holy Spirit! There is a true Holy Spirit, and there is a counterfeit. How do you know which Holy Spirit is the real Holy Spirit? If you are obeying God in what He has revealed in the Bible, or if you want to obey Him, He will give you the help you need and the continued desire to obey Him in everything He has said. If there is any resistance to what God has said, you can be sure that this soul does not have the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Acts 7:51-53. If someone is disobeying any of God’s commandments willingly from the Bible, you can be sure that they don’t have the Holy Spirit. The fake outpouring of the Holy Spirit is ‘another Gospel’ (2 Corinthians 11:4), and can never satisfy the soul’s longing for peace, love and purity that God placed inside of everyone. God never compels any, but only those who want to love Him, and want to serve Him and obey Him, will be given the Holy Spirit in full. Sometimes the soul doesn’t want all of this when it first starts out, but just wants to be clean and pure before God, but the heart will be given the desire to love Him, and serve and obey Him, once the soul starts to cooperate with Him, and decides that they love Him more and more! This is the sign that the Holy Spirit is taking up residence in full in their heart! There is no compulsion, but there is a very sweet, strong desire to serve and obey God once you get the Holy Spirit in full! There is a sweet joy in communion with God that none but those who have experienced it can ever know or understand. This helps the heart to submit and completely surrender to God. Then what joy and love and peace will flood their soul! Then no trouble or perplexity will ever be able to dim their love for God!
Peter was brought back to the Council and the high priest at Jerusalem by the captain of the guard in Acts 5:26-28, after God had delivered him and the Apostles miraculously from prison (Acts 5:18). “When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, saying, ‘We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man's [Jesus’] blood upon us.’” Acts 5:27-28 NASB. But Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost when he told them: “But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’” Acts 5:29 NASB and “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.
What was Peter referring to when he said that the Holy Spirit is given to all that obey Him?Obeying God in every way. In this instance Peter was referring to the command by Jesus to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20; Acts 1:4-5, 8-9), but more specifically in this circumstance it was: “But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said, ‘Go, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life.’” Acts 5:19-20 NASB. Now ‘the angel of the Lord’ can refer to God or Jesus Himself (one example of many is Genesis 22:15), but it can also refer to an angel, but the command by the angel of the Lord for Peter to preach to the people in the temple the words of life was a command from God none the less. The rulers and high priest of Israel didn’t want the Apostles to preach the news of Jesus dying on the cross, because it put them in the spotlight as murdering Jesus, the Prince of Life! Obeying God is not just the command to preach the Gospel to the whole world of God’s love, but is also for every word contained in the Bible, for all of it is love for the human race, because God is love, and all of His words are love! 1 John 4:8. Jesus Himself said, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:4, which was a quote from one of the books of Moses (i.e. the Law), Deuteronomy 8:3. Thus to obey Jesus or God, means to obey every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God in the Bible. But this is the Law of love, as Jesus stated in Matthew 22:36-40! Jesus came not to do away with the Law, which is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your mind, and all your soul and to love your neighbor as yourself, but to fulfill it. He came to provide a way for us to keep the Law! “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17 NASB. And in Acts 1:4-5, 8-9, Jesus tells His disciples to wait in Jerusalem, until they receive the promise of the Father for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit! Once they received this power from God, the Holy Spirit, they then had the power from God not only to preach the gospel of Jesus and His Father’s love for the world and salvation (words of life, Acts 5:20), but to live a holy life for God and to keep His law. This ability to keep God’s Law of love was prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31-34, where God promised to write His Law of love in the hearts of His people, so that all of them from the least to the greatest of them would all know Him; and He would forgive their iniquity, and He would remember their sin no more! Thus we see that obedience to God and the desire to obey Him in everything He has commanded, is the requirement for the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit!
The idea that we can have the Holy Spirit, but not obey God in all that He has commanded in the Bible is another gospel than what Jesus, Peter, John and Paul preached, and another spirit! This another gospel is a lie from the spirit of the Father of lies, not the right spirit! The right Spirit brings obedience and peace, but the wrong spirit tries to get you to disobey God and bring you no peace.
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 KJV.
Those that love God will not get deceived by ‘another gospel’ from ‘another spirit’, and will want the real outpouring of the Holy Spirit, not the counterfeit.
In the same way as the Apostles were to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father for the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so we too in our day are to wait before the Lord for this full refreshing of the Holy Spirit, by making our heart right with God and with others by confession of all sin. Yes God has promised the Holy Spirit to all Christians who would repent and receive Him! Acts 2:38-39. Then we will receive this wonderful power too, and we will have the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit to help us keep His Law, and to proclaim His love to the world! Pray for it, seek for it, yield your heart to God for it, and you will be richly blessed with peace, love and joy, and the desire and the power to obey Him!
#Holy #Spirit #Obey #Peter #Witness #Witnesses #Apostles #God #Counterfeit #Know #deceived #Law #true #Love #commandments #conditions #eternal #life #another #gospel