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
, 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
By John Foll
, finished 3/31/2018
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
“Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10 NASB.
A well of water springing up into eternal life!
Is this not as true today as when Jesus first spoke it to the woman at the well? How many really know the gift that Jesus wants to give them? How many really know Jesus Christ, who has offered His life as a ransom for all? How many really know how much God and Jesus His son love them? Jesus is the gift that God gave to the world! John 3:16. And Jesus promised everyone that they could have this gift of living water, which is none other than the full indwelling of the Holy Spirit, if they desire it! The Holy Spirit is God’s 2nd gift that He gave to the world! Together they are God’s two most precious gifts to mankind! With these two gifts, everything you could ever want or need will be supplied.
Dear reader, do you know my Jesus? Do you know who He is? Do you know how much He loves you? Have you asked Him to give you that drink of living water?
He wants so much to give you this drink, if you would have it. If you are thirsty and hungry for a better life, and want to have peace, love and joy, than ask Him to give you this drink. If you know who He is and what He wants to give you, ask Him to give you this drink, that you will never thirst again!
If you know the gift of God, and Jesus His Son, the one who will give it to you, you will ask Him and He will give you living water to drink, springing up unto eternal life! "Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” Isaiah 55:1 NASB. Yes, all who are thirsty, come to the fountain of living water and drink from the well that will never run dry! Everyone who drinks from this well will be forever satisfied with Jesus and His Father’s love. Is that what you want? Then ask Jesus to give you this drink, that you will never be thirsty again! You will never regret it, we promise you!
Yes, Jesus, the precious Lamb of God who takes away your sin, and the precious Holy Spirit both make up the pearl of great price, that Jesus described in Matthew 13:45-46.
God supplies everything we need in this life and in the life to come! He gave us life when we were born, He gave us talents, food, clothing, shelter and resources. Then He gave us new life when we confessed our sins, turned our life over to Him, and received the precious Holy Spirit. Yes, we have much to thank God for in all the rich gifts He has bestowed on us, that we do not deserve. Let us thank and praise Him forever, for His abundant kindness and mercy.
“And he that sat upon the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And he said unto me, ‘Write: for these words are true and faithful.’ And he said unto me, ‘it is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.’” Revelation 21:5-7 KJV.
If you continue to drink the water of life that Jesus offers you, you will overcome and inherit all the beautiful things that God has promised to those who overcome! The water of life will be in you a well of water springing up unto eternal life, and you will be filled with joy forever! Yes, Jesus and the Father will both make all things new. They will make you a new person, fit for Heaven, if you keep drinking this water of life they have offered to you freely. If you are thirsty, take this drink that they want to give you; it is offered to you without money and without cost.
Ho! Everyone who is thirsty! Come and buy the bread of heaven and the water of life, without money, and without cost. It is freely offered to all who would have it!
May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all! Amen.
#Jesus #Living #Water #Gift #Holy #Spirit #Drink #Well #Never #Run #Dry #Fountain #Eternal #Life #Bread #Heaven #Peace #Love #Joy #New
By John Foll
, in full partnership with the Holy Spirit, finished writing 9/28/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
Please believe exactly what we are telling you: Jesus wants to forgive you, cleanse you of all unrighteousness and give you the most precious gift – the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit!
If you could know, even for a moment, how wonderful this is, how could you turn it down? If you were ever to know the joy that we know right now, and lose it, you couldn’t live with yourself until you got it back! A few times we sinned and lost our connection for a few hours – we got so depressed! We never want that to happen again!
You could live many lifetimes on this earth and accumulate all its wealth and power, and all of its pleasures, but it could never equal one minute of the happiness and joy of yielding completely to the Holy Spirit! Much less than the joys of heaven for all eternity! No human being can fathom the joys of heaven for those who love God and Jesus. But many people are ready to turn it down for a momentary sin or pleasure, never knowing the true peace, love, joy and power of God. And many Christians are living a sickly, lukewarm Christian existence, when they might have the vibrant new life the Jesus has promised to all who want it. We feel pity for them. What can we do to convince you that it is worth every sacrifice to give yourself completely to God and receive the Holy Spirit in full?
Jesus is offering this to you right now as a free gift, if you want it. Why would you turn it down? Will you get all of it now if you commit yourself to God? It depends on how soon you really yield all of your sins, habits and stop doubting and resisting God and procrastinating. But if you beg the Holy Spirit to come inside and totally cleanse you, it can happen very rapidly – if you will let Him! You can pray to God, ‘Be merciful to me a sinner!’ Luke 18:13. You can then ask Him to give you the Holy Spirit! Luke 11:13.
Please don’t turn down this special offer of mercy, help and comfort from God!
May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all!
#God #Wonderful #Offer #Holy Spirit #Ask #Forgive #Cleanse #Unrighteousness #Joy #Love #Happiness #Yield #Completely #Sacrifice #Power #Lukewarm #Christian #Sin #Pleasure #Sick
By John Foll, written between 7/25/2017 and 7/27/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
The Joy of a Fool or the Joy of the Wise? Which will you have? How can both the wise and the fool have joy?
“Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.” Proverbs 15:21 KJV. Now from the NASB: “Folly is joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight.” Proverbs 15:21 NASB.
Solomon declared that foolishness or folly is joy to the man who lacks understanding. The fool is compared with a man of understanding who walks uprightly, the wise man or the righteous man. Is there also joy for the righteous? Yes true joy! There are two paths to joy. Which one will you choose?
There are two paths: folly and wisdom, everyone must choose between them. We want to compare the supposed joy of folly with the true joy of wisdom, to see how the joy from wisdom leads to righteousness and infinitely exceeds folly. Study the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes for the folly of wickedness and why righteousness is the only wise course to choose. This idea of two paths can be found throughout the Bible, including the Psalms.
The path of true wisdom is to study everything the God has to say in the Bible, not just taking a few verses, a single verse or words here or there to base your beliefs on. Some confine themselves to just a portion of the New Testament of the Bible from a single apostle to build their beliefs, but this is not wise. But Solomon says that the wise study matters and want to get understanding in order to make the right decision. In chapter two of Proverbs, which can be viewed as an introduction to Proverbs, written to his son he sums up that we should treasure his commandments and listen to wisdom and want to get understanding: “My son, if you will receive my words And treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course.” Proverbs 2:1-9 NASB.
The Joy of the Fool:
Some try to live their life without the joy of the Lord in their life fully, and get grouchy and easily irritated with things that happen and with the mistakes and sins of others, and many times do not look to their own greatest need. Some of these are focused too much on the folly of others, while giving themselves a pass on their own folly. They don’t understand the strong desire that some have who have given themselves completely to God and are strongly motivated to serve Him and others. This desire and joy to serve God like this cannot be supplied by anything we can do, it is a gift only from God, given to those who desire to love and obey Him in all things. But since they don’t have that joy from the Lord for themselves or fully, they don’t have the same sweet motivation to serve and obey God that the soul who has given and devoted themselves to God has. They can only feel a sense of duty, and know that they should be doing something better or different, and know fear and guilt. But to have the joy that God wants everyone to have, it can only be had by yielding completely to God and obeying Him.
Many are not concerned too much about sin because the Bible teaches that we are ‘saved by grace alone’, and they have been taught to believe that this is the sum of what they need to know. But many of them are missing another essential part of what they need to know to be saved. They don’t know that those who are saved by grace should be so happy for this salvation that they would want to obey everything that God has commanded, so not much attention is given to trying to get victory over sin in their life by His power, because they have been blinded against this and other essential Bible truths. They think that living their life this way makes them happy and gives them joy, because they think they are freed from the need of living right, ‘no worries’. Have you heard this? But this is the path of folly because Solomon admonished us that we should consider the path we are traveling on and seek to do what is right. According to Solomon those who do not seek the path of wisdom and righteousness are on the path of folly. Most of those who are not too concerned will not listen to anything that is said regarding this. But this is as Solomon has already declared. What has been will be again. Those that love folly or those who are falsely comforted by the folly of error, will not hear anything else, because their heart is set on it. But the wise will see and hear the truth and understand when it is presented to them or study it in the Bible. Solomon has dealt extensively with the idea that there is a path of wisdom and a path of folly in his writings, which is the opposite of what many believe in our day! The teachings of folly in our day are widespread, from the pulpits to the theatre and many popular entertainments. Satan has been busy spreading the idea to some that it doesn’t matter what they do, because God will save them regardless, and to others he tells them not to worry about sin since they are ‘saved’: ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law’ as A. Crowley wrote, the self-proclaimed ‘wickedest man’ in the world. A. Crowley had a great impact on the development of the wicked entertainments in the music world and Hollywood too through his many followers and devotees. But what he wrote is not all that different than what is taught from many pulpits! [Please don’t read his writings, or you might be deceived too.]
What is folly?
It is doing the wrong thing, saying the wrong thing, or thinking the wrong thing, or believing something that is not right and living your life and basing your decisions in life on these falsehoods. It is anything that hurts or destroys you, others, or hurts God. It is hasty speech, not thinking things through, being too proud or too lazy to correct problems after they become known. It is also unkind words, hurtful things, addictions, unconfessed or unrepented sins, these will shut out the soul from eternal life and from peace, love, faith, joy and happiness forever that God wants everyone to have, unless they finally repent. It is folly to not humble your heart and repent and give your heart completely to God, since this leads to your salvation and all the peace, love, joy, faith, hope and happiness that God wants you to have, now and forever. Why would anyone not want what God has to offer? Yet God lets everyone decide what they will have; weather they will have life and peace and joy from Him and eternal life, or a nagging conscience, death, and be forever lost.
Now why would doing foolishness appeal to anyone? And why would being a fool and doing foolish things or saying or doing or thinking foolish things be a joy to anyone? Because the fool doesn’t want to think too much, but just to have a good time and always be in mirth and in laughter. I.e. ‘no worries.’ The foolish person does what feels good, and they don’t usually think very much about the consequences if at all; they just don’t care, even though some might think that they do.
Being a fool leads to wickedness.
Solomon said, “I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:” Ecclesiastes 7:25 KJV. Solomon said here that wickedness is folly, even foolishness. We are not sure why Solomon wanted to apply himself to folly, foolishness and madness like he said. He greatly sinned and had to repent of this once he came back to his senses, but it had a bad effect on the children of Israel that they never totally recovered from. What a different course the children of Israel might have had if Solomon hadn’t experimented with wickedness, folly, foolishness and madness! Solomon also warns us that: “Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.” Proverbs 16:22 KJV. Fools teach folly to all who will listen, teaching them to be a fool too. “Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.” Proverbs 17:12 KJV.
Note: In these Proverbs below Solomon tells what happens to the scoffer, which sounds similar to ‘the fool’ described in other places by Solomon and the Bible: “He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, and he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, reprove a wise man and he will love you.” Proverbs 9:7-8 NASB. Or ‘scorner’ as it says in the King James. And the psalmist Asaph compares the foolish with the wicked, and the proud: “I said unto the fools, deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, lift not up the horn: Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck.” Psalm 75:4-5 KJV.
The Joy of the Wise:
True joy comes only from salvation that Jesus brings you: “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:12 NASB.
True joy is a fruit of being Jesus’ disciple like He said before He died on the cross to His disciples: “Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy. Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world. Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” John 16:20-24 NASB. Paul also tells us that one of the fruits of the Spirit is Joy: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 NASB. Therefore to get true joy you must be born again (John 3:3, 5), which is also a requirement to be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven, which is how you get the Holy Spirit, who will also give you ‘the Fruits of the Spirit’.
It is important to know what true joy is and get it for yourself, because there is a counterfeit!
And to have true joy is an antidote against sin, because with it God helps you to want to be more like Him, serve Him, and if you continue cooperating with Him - you will get even more joy! Your cup will run over! Psalms 23:5. And the Holy Spirit, which brings true joy, is the antidote against being deceived by the counterfeit, or ‘another gospel’ or ‘another spirit.’ Some who think that they are born again and have the Holy Spirit may not in fact, have the Holy Spirit at all, but ’another spirit’ and believe in another gospel than what Jesus and Paul preached. “For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.” 2 Corinthians 11:4 NASB. “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9 KJV. This ‘another spirit’ preaches ‘another gospel’ which teaches you to stay in sin and get your joy from foolishness, this is ‘the spirit of error’, instead of having the true joy from the Holy Spirit. So there is a true spirit and a false spirit.
Why are we writing this article?
Because we don’t want you to miss out on the best thing in life that could ever happen to you, and lead to your salvation and eternal life! There are many today that think that because they are saved by grace that they cannot be lost, since they were baptized into the Christian faith and at one time took a public stand and gave their life to God. And also there are many people who think that because they believe ‘the truth’ and take a firm stand against the world and sin that this makes them good, when they are missing out on the very joy that all Christians are supposed to have. There is nothing wrong with wanting to take a firm stand against the world and sin by itself, but if someone is lacking the true born again experience that Jesus said that all are required to have to enter the kingdom of Heaven, John 3:3, 5, then it can be a detriment and turn others away from God. Many of them are also lacking true peace, love and true faith, etc. but are very zealous to keep God’s Law or His requirements (they think). Why are we picking on these two groups? Because we are hoping that if you have a problem in either of these areas that you will wake up. All of us have probably been in one of these two groups or the other in our life at one time, maybe both. We hope someone will be rescued from the pit of sin, and as many as possible by this article. We used to have problems in this area too and would still have them, but for the grace of God. In our past we were lacking the real peace, love, joy, faith, hope, and happiness that God wants all Christians to have. See also 1 John 1:4:20-21; 1 John 2:3-6 how to know if you know Jesus. We do not want to go back to that way of living that we used to live, there is no peace, hope, joy or power or assurance of salvation in either of those paths; the end of these paths are always death, unless the soul humbles itself before God and allows Him to help them. All need to know that Jesus came to give us life and more abundantly, and they need to know and have the hope that Jesus wants to give them. John 10:10. And to let Him make them free indeed from all addictions and sin. John 8:36.
We are also writing this article because there are some who think that they are born again and there are some who think that they have received the Holy Spirit, but their life is lacking the change that all who are born again should have. In any case, it is folly to try to live your life without yielding to God all the way and being fully born again. Some think that they have the Holy Spirit because there is a lot of excessive joy, fun and excitement in their life. And dare we say babbling? Those who think that excited babbling in languages unintelligible to others is proof that they have the Holy Spirit, need to think carefully about whether they really have the Holy Spirit or not. Those who think that they are born again should also think carefully about whether they are still born again, and all the way. And there are those who think that when they get a special feeling that this is God’s leading, without checking to know for sure. All who believe that they have received the Holy Spirit in full need to be especially on guard to make sure that they don’t have ‘the spirit’ that is contrary to sound reason or the Scriptures. Sometimes there is a problem with sin in the life that gets excused, because they believe that they can’t be lost since they are saved or because they have the Holy Spirit. Or they don’t think too much about their problems of sin or do not admit it to others, and are focused on ‘rooting out’ sin in other people or in other institutions, etc., in anyone but themselves. Is this really true? You bet.
Is there a false joy?
Yes, Solomon declared above in Proverbs 15:21 that a fool gets joy from his folly and foolishness.
This also leads to the question is there a false Spirit too?
Yes. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1 KJV. Are we to have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us? Yes. Paul says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19 NASB. Therefore we are all temples for the Holy Spirit to dwell in, if we would have Him; that means that the Holy Spirit should be there fully in everyone’s heart, this is the way God intended it to be. Should you test the spirit that is in you to see if it is the Holy Spirit or another spirit of the antichrist? Yes. 1 John 4:1-3. John also says, “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. Those who listen not to the apostles in the New Testament, or Jesus or the prophets in the Old Testament do not have the Spirit of truth.
Could a “wrong spirit” seduce any Christian who thinks they are saved or any who think that because they believe the truth they are saved?
Yes. Just because someone has seen miracles or had miracles happen to them does not mean that they have the Holy Spirit or still have the Holy Spirit. Also when someone gets the Holy Spirit, that does not mean that the devil stops harassing them or trying to trick them into sinning; the tempter never gives up while life lasts. If you think everything is going fine, then watch out! “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NASB. If you ‘have the Holy Spirit’, if you think you have had the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit be doubly on your guard! Joy and miracles are not proof of the Holy Spirit, but the proof is in peace and love in the heart for God and others, in addition to joy, and in having more and more victory over sin as time progresses. Are we trying to caution you against receiving the Holy Spirit? No way! We are advising you to be on your guard and pray diligently. If you have received the Holy Spirit this is the most wonderful thing you could ever experience this side of Heaven, and the Holy Spirit will help you to live a righteous life for God! There is no safety in your life, unless you have humbled yourself to God, and devoted yourself completely to Him and have received the Holy Spirit, and have had great changes in your life to help you to be an overcomer.
Now let us talk about the joy of the righteous that God wants to give everyone:
The joy that the righteous can experience on this earth, and later for all eternity with the Lamb, far exceeds anything that can be experienced on this earth. True joy is found in the path of wisdom; in knowing, loving and obeying God. “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Psalm 16:11 NASB. The righteous’ prayer to their Heavenly Father is: “I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.” Psalms 119:16 KJV. And “Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.” Psalm 119:35 KJV. Yes the righteous delight or receive joy from keeping God’s commandments; this is something that those that don’t think they need to or can’t keep God’s commandments will never know, unless they repent.
True joy is found in the things that the fool detests, and those with true joy detest folly. “The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.” Proverbs 13:19 KJV.
Those who have found the path of wisdom, peace and joy, know that they can count on God to take care of them and save them. “But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.” Psalm 5:11 KJV. This is the only basis for real joy.
Those who have found the path of wisdom, peace and joy are not afraid to give or serve God and help others, this is what they live for. They know that giving to God and to others will only increase their joy and eternal riches in Heaven, where the most blessed are the most unselfish, and the most giving. And they have great joy! “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." Luke 6:38 NASB.
God’s best gifts are given to those who love Him and are devoted completely to Him; His willing servants. This joy cannot be known except by those who know it, or only partially by those learning to yield to God. We can describe it, but it can’t be understood until you get it for yourself (if you don’t already have it). It is what makes life worth living, living for all eternity! But if you have given your heart to God at one time, you probably knew at least part of this joy if not more. Whenever this fully happens, it will change your life forever! It is very hard indeed to go back to your old ways without this peace, love and joy!
Now for the conclusion of the matter:
The joy of wisdom exceeds that of folly and sinful pleasures and indulgences. It is as far is the east is from the west, and as far as righteousness exceeds wickedness and as the day exceeds the night. Ecclesiastes 2:13.
My desire for all is that they would cease to find joy in folly, and want to be wise, seeking after the wisdom from God, and become born again, filled with the Spirit and with much joy!
May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you! And may your heart be filled with God’s inexpressible love and joy! Amen.
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.” Psalms 1:1-3 NASB.
#Joy #Fool #Wise #Wisdom #Folly #Path #Think #Consider #Study #Foolishness #Life #Peace #Riches #Happiness #Sin #Wickedness #Road #HolySpirit #Night #Day
By John Foll
, entered 11/29/2016 from notes and updated, and finished 6/10/2017 to 6/19/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
Jesus said, ‘But so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.’ John 14:31 NASB.
It’s time to get busy serving the Lord and carrying out His will. Get up, let us go from here! This is what Jesus said as He went out of the last supper with His disciples, to allow Judas Iscariot and the mob to arrest Him and take Him to Jerusalem, that He might die on the cross for our sins. Men did a lot of bad things to Jesus, but it was necessary for our salvation and for the world that He submit to all that Satan and evil men would do to Him; that He would drink this cup that the Father had given Him to drink and die on the cross for our sins, a most cruel death, but He did it out of love for His Father and for you and me! But He would see all the people who would be saved, and be satisfied with His sacrifice. “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” Isaiah 53:11 KJV. Never forget what Jesus did for you and the other sinners in this world! Meditate on this often, never let it depart from your mind.
In like manner, if we love Jesus and His Father, it is time, high time, that we go out from here to carry out God’s plan to save the world. God will give us the Holy Spirit and all of the gifts that we need to carry out His will, if this is our desire. We will not worry what people will say or do against us, but will proceed to carry out God’s will. And no matter what cross we have to bear, or what hardship we have to endure, or what comfort or need we forgo to have the funds and resources to help others get to know Him, it will all be worth it in the end, for we will see the work of our life in the souls we have helped and won God’s power and be satisfied, like Jesus was, who is our Master. There will be much joy in Heaven for those who have been faithful in serving God and their fellow man. This is the reward of the righteous. This joy will be compounded and accrued throughout eternity! What kind of price can you place on someone else’s soul; for their love, joy and happiness throughout eternity? Have you no thought or care for their needs? Look at what Jesus did for you and the eternal peace, joy and happiness He bought for you. Does this not bring forth gratitude and love in your heart for Him? How can you hold back this love and joy that He has given you? You cannot, if you have received His forgiveness and love into your heart.
Get up, let us go from here. The fields are white for the harvest. “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.’” John 4:34-36 NASB.
Jesus said, “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” John 15:8-11 NASB. Yes, God the Father would be glorified if you bear much fruit for Him; if you would lay everything on the altar and do everything that you can to win many precious souls for Him. How can you prove to be Jesus’ disciple? If you abide in His love as He abode in His Father’s love. This is how you keep His commandments, by abiding in His love. This is how you glorify His Father, like He did; by always doing exactly what He has commanded you to do. This is how you can have your joy made full, by abiding in Jesus’ love and bearing much fruit for God.
Do not worry if you are not sure how you can serve Him or think that you don’t have the skills or gifts needed. God will not ask you to do some great thing beyond your ability. Notice we didn’t say “current ability” or the gifts and abilities that you were born with. You might be surprised, if you have faith and believe, God is not limited in what He can do for you! He is your creator and loves you and can miraculously provide you with new gifts and abilities that you never had before, or help you to develop skills that you didn’t think that you had! Nothing good is impossible with God! Do not fear that God is asking you to do something that you cannot do. Do not say, ‘What can I do?” with the idea that you cannot do anything at all. Do not feel bad if you are not good at doing things that others feel are more important or that you should do. Do not look at what others are doing or not doing as your guide, but let your love for God and desire to serve Him fuel your efforts. Do not let others try to tell you what you should or should not do to serve God. Do not look to man to figure out what you should or should not do. Lean not to the flesh. Some may have wise counsel that you should listen to, if they know you well and are ‘Spirit filled’, but many people see things only as man sees them, not through the eyes of faith, for without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6. It is not wise to listen to those who have not yielded themselves fully to God and do not fully believe. Or to those who have not experienced the joys of serving God. Look to God who cannot fail. If the Christians that you are close to or observe are lukewarm and not doing anything, this will have no bearing on you, if you love Jesus.
If you love Jesus, you will be willing to serve Him, and ask Him for the help and direction needed to serve Him effectively. If you are willing, and trust Him, you will be given what you need to serve Him. In the verse before our passage above in John 15:8-11 Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7 NASB. If you listen to all of Jesus’ words, and meditate on them in your heart, and allow them to work their way through to your soul, you will be transformed into His likeness. Then you will ask what you will need to serve Him with, and it will be given to you, because you abide in His love. You can be very bold in your requests to God, if you are clean before Him and have yielded yourself fully to Him! He will always listen to your prayers if you truly love Him! If you love Jesus and His Father, do not be afraid to ask them for the help you need to glorify them and to help save the lost, or to help in whatever way they would be pleased for you to serve. The Father would be delighted to give you all the gifts that you need and the direction as to how you can best serve Him. If you yield to Him all the way, He will give you all the help you need to succeed! This is His promise to you.
Jesus told all who would be His disciples how they can receive the gifts that they need to serve Him with when He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:12-14 NASB. This asking of anything in Jesus’ name to the Father is not a blank check to ask for anything that you would want to ask, but is anything that would glorify Jesus and His Father, that is to do the ‘greater works’ than what Jesus did while He was on this earth. They are ‘greater works’ because of their extent throughout the world; various followers of Jesus would spread the good news of God’s love throughout the earth! Jesus has promised you, that if you ask anything in His name, He will give it to you. To ask in His name is to ask for what you need to carry out His will. You should know that if you have yielded yourself fully to Jesus and His Father, then your heart will become ‘knit’ with them, and you will ask them for all the gifts that you need to serve them with. God would be delighted to give you your requests, whenever you pray in Jesus’ name, believing in Jesus, as this passage plainly states.
Do you want to receive the wages of the reaper or the gatherer? Do you wish to serve Jesus in telling the world of His Father’s love? Then your food and drink will be to do the work that He has given you to do. Your greatest desire will be to serve Him and do all that you can to help others know and be saved too. Whether you are a sower or a reaper you will rejoice in being given a part to play in this great work of God’s love for the world, and you will have your reward. If you love Jesus and His Father, you will do exactly as He has commanded you: To go out and make disciples of all men, teaching them all things that He has commanded, and lo, He will be with you, until the end of the world. Matthew 28:18-20. Amen. Jesus has commanded all of His true followers, His disciples, until the end of the world to bear much fruit for His Father and win many souls for the kingdom. This brings honor and glory to God, for God is love! 1 John 4:8. And He is not willing that any should perish. 2 Peter 3:9.
Do you want to prove to be Jesus’ disciple? Then get up, let us go from here! Go out in His strength, and bear much fruit for His Glory! Amen.
#GetBusy #Serving #God #Go #Obey #Command #Meditate #Joy #Servant #Jesus #Food #Will #Disciple #Gifts #NoLimits #HolySpirit #Clean #Yield #Ask #Wages
By John Foll, Written between 04/03/2017 and 04/07/2017, and from 04/15/2017 to 04/18/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
If you have not already read our blog articles by W. W. Prescott, on the Divine Human Family on our Faith Blog, we recommend that you read them now. Here is the first article of three: The Divine Human Family 1 of 3.
Yes, we want to feed on the word of God!
We want to show you some of the wonderful things God has done and wants to do for you. We will feed on God’s word: that is what we are doing here in our Love of God Blog and in our Faith Blog – feeding on the word of God, and learning what He wants us to learn, so that we can clear the way for our heart to know such joy as the angels know and desire to look into (1 Peter 1:12), such joy as the Holy Men and Women of Old knew in the Bible. The purpose of our Ministry, our Blog articles, our books, and our messages that we preach is to break the Bread of Life, the Word of God, that you may feed on it, and become like God. If you continue like this you will learn to love Him all-the-way.
We believe that our books that you would be the most blessed by are: “The Love of God: God’s Plan To Save You!” Part 1: How To Have Righteousness By Faith and Part 2: How To Become the Bride of Christ! In these books we will break the bread of life to you: to show you the love of God, and how to get the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit for yourself! You will be so happy if you get this for yourself and blessed! It is our desire that as many people as possible would accept God’s invitation to be completely His, and be filled with His precious Holy Spirit. And it is our prayer, dear reader that this would happened to you, if it hasn’t already happened. And if you already know these joys, that you would greatly increase in love, joy, strength, and power to serve Him with; to be full and overflowing with His love! In these books we will also share with you some of our testimony from time-to-time, where needed, to help accentuate the points we are making. The main point of these books is to break the bread of life to you, so that you can experience the wonder, joy and peace of being a true son or daughter of God: That is what we were all meant to be – that God has promised to all who would believe and have it. Is that what you want? May the Grace of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you! Amen!
I want to share a few thoughts on the wonderful things God has done for me!
When I had the most wonderful experience of my life, where God showed me how much He loved me, and I gave my heart to Him with no reservations. In the days that followed I had great joy, but I also had a great struggle at the same time. But God sustained me and helped me through the struggle that my lower nature and the enemy of our souls was trying to overcome me with. I can only claim God’s love for me and help - that helped me make it through this struggle to yield fully to Him, and put down the doubts and opposition. But what a sweet release from the sore trials, what a sweet refrain from the struggle of self. I found that for the first time I had power, not my power but God’s Power to overcome. Why should I not love and trust Him? He filled my heart with His wonderful love, and then I felt that I could do anything He asked me to do! He helped me to trust in Him; that He would hear my prayers and grant my wish to be more like Him! In my life before this I hadn’t been satisfied with the way life had been going for me. But after I learned that He really loved me, because His Spirit told me so, I felt that I could trust Him for all of my needs and true desires; that He would listen to my petitions and requests. In my previous life, I had never been totally sure that my life pleased God; I would worry that I was good enough and did not have the assurance of my salvation with Him. I tried my best, but no matter what I did, I seemed to always fall short of the mark. But after I learned how much He loved me, He made it easy for me to believe that my salvation was secure with Him. And I had confessed all of my sins, repented, and threw myself on His mercy to save me. – He made me to know that my salvation was secure with Him, as long as I stayed humble and penitent before Him, and kept trusting in Him to carry me through.
When I was having this struggle, after I was starting to learn how much God loved me, my lower nature and our ancient foe wanted me back. The struggle between good and evil had always been going on in my life, but now I was most keenly aware of it. It seemed that every day there was some new attack on me, usually many. My scientific and rationalistic mind couldn’t believe what was happening to me, it was unsettled by all of this Spirit and power; that I could just talk to God and receive all this peace, love, strength and power for myself; something outside of the realm of human ability, reason, skill and will, and outside of the mundane and natural experiences that we as humans can know. It had a hard time dealing with this night and day difference between me, before and after my experience with God. I suppose that many of these things are still happening to me now, but I have just accepted them as part of our struggle against the powers and principalities of this world, but Jesus was the conqueror through every trial and perplexity, and that His strength is yours and mine, if we will just trust in Him and yield fully to His love and watch-care. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 KJV. Wonderful news! Jesus has overcome the world! If we will just make Him our Lord, He will help us to overcome too!
After I learned how much God loved me, and yielded myself fully to Him, I became very bold in my prayers and requests to Him. I believe that He heard my prayers and was delighted to give me the ones He wanted to give me, that were for my best and were His plan for my life. I was satisfied with the rich blessings He so wonderfully gave me, that I had never had before or never had with this strength and power, ‘my cup runneth over! Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me, all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever!’ Psalms 23:6 KJV. Even though I didn’t get the answers to all of my bold requests – yet, it was enough! He has made me so happy and been so wonderful to me; more than I could ever deserve! I had no clue that such wonderful peace, love and joy existed! I never thought it would be so wonderful to yield completely to God and volunteer to serve Him. Boy was I wrong! I am still praying for more of these gifts and power from Him to do more. I cannot take the credit for any of these wonderful things that happened to me, that He did for me or gave me; it wasn’t because of ANY of my goodness or natural ability or strength of character: it was solely of His doing, not mine. I see now that Jesus searched for me and found me, like in the parable of the good shepherd, and brought me to Himself. John 10:7-17; Matthew 18:11-14.
In my earlier life, many times I thought that I was OK, because I had been a Christian all of my life, although there were some times when I had drifted as a young adult and could have left the faith. But I still had a problem with sin in my life, and did not have the sweet assurance that you can only get when you yield yourself fully to Him. In my heart I knew that something was lacking; I did not have the peace, joy and the assurance of salvation that God has promised to all who really know and love Him.
I was born the son of a minister, who later became a college theology professor, and I had an interest in this line myself, though I never entered a theological seminary or majored in it in college. But I have learned since that none of the religious things that you can do matter, unless you have a living and vital connection with God.
In my previous life, after God had made a change in my life, but I wasn’t completely awake or transformed by His love yet, I wanted a little ministry to try to help others with their health, or some other “little” ministry, etc. I had thought about other things like learning to preach or other ministries that I could do. I say little, but I probably didn’t use the words “little ministry”. But since I hadn’t yielded to God all the way yet, I wasn’t totally devoted to Him yet and therefore not ready for a “bigger” ministry. But I did not know what God had planned for me. I wanted to have my own business and not make any waves, and try to make it through the end of time and be saved. You know keep “a low profile”; don’t attract too much attention. I had no clue that God’s love would get so strong a hold of my heart and that my greatest desire would be to become a fisher of men, and that my whole life would change, including my dreams and goals and what motivated me, and not care about the results that might happen if I were to follow Him all the way: that I would not be in fear of what people might say or think about me or be in fear of persecution. It was wholly the work of God. When I was a kid we used to sing, “I will make you fishers of men, fishers of men, fishers of men. I will make you fishers of men, if you follow me.” But could this be me too? To be honest, there were other times in my life before when I wanted to be a fisher of men, but I wasn’t ready then or didn’t really fully believe that it could happen to me like this now; I didn’t fully know or fully believe what God could do for me. In my previous life, I felt that something wonderful like this could happen to someone else, but not me, because I wasn’t good enough or talented enough. But this time it was different, because God helped me to believe that it was really possible and made it happen. But He had to first take away the shame of my sins, and help me to believe that He loved me, and believe in Him and His power to save. And He had to free me from the chains that bound me, before I could become a fisher of men and have the power to do it.
In my previous life I didn’t fully believe in the love and power of God, but I wanted a better life, and to be clean and pure before Him. How could I fully believe? This has to be experienced to be fully known, and I had not yet experienced it fully. I had not the power to be a fisher of men, even though there were several times that I tried to. My self got in the way, and my lower nature was resisting this dream and what God wanted to do for me, and there was some backsliding from what I had learned. But God was working steadily behind the scenes to remake me and give me the true desires of my heart that I had had as a boy and a young man.
Does it take special power from God to be His witness and win souls for Him? Yes it does. Are we able to be an effective witness for Him if we don’t have a vital connection with Him or haven’t yielded our heart fully to Him? No we can’t. You can be a witness for God before you have yielded fully to Him or have His wonderful power fully in your life, if you are temporarily yielding to Him, but not there yet. But until you get these missing ingredients in your life from Him all the way, there is no way for you to be a truly effective witness until you get this power from Him. Jesus said that ‘without me ye can do nothing.’ John 15:5. God will take you as you are. If your desire to serve Him is genuine, and if you cooperate with Him and allow Him to mold and shape you, He will make you into a useful tool for Him. 2 Timothy 2:21. But it is better to have your ‘upper room’ experience and ‘tarry at Jerusalem’ until you get power from on high, like Jesus commanded His disciples to do in Acts 1, which took place in Acts 2 where they received the full power of the Holy Spirit. No one has this power within themselves. Some people may think that what they have already is sufficient, to be a witness for Him, but it is not. Witnessing for God is not something that you can just try to do or to be, it’s something you are or are not. Everyone is a witness for or against God whether they realize it or not. Witnessing for God, like our salvation, is wholly the work of God; we cannot effect this ourselves. All that we can do is study God’s word and learn to love Him, confess our sins, yield fully to Him and decide to obey Him, but He supplies the change we need and the power to do all that He asks, including being His witness and preaching the gospel of His love to the ends of the earth! We must have the power of the Holy Spirit or the Comforter, whom Jesus said would reprove the world of sin, if we want to witness of Jesus and the gospel to the world. John 16:8. And we must love God and want to obey Him all the way, no holding back, if we want this special power. Acts 5:32; Matthew 22:36-37, 40.
I believe now that the young “ideal” man still inside of me “secretly” wanted to serve God. So God provided a way for me to serve Him. I am in no way deserving of this wonderful joy and privilege, but He has given it to me just the same, because He loves me. No one has ever deserved to be saved, live or be blessed by God, but He will do this and more to all who receive Him into their heart, because He is love! 1 John 4:8. I had asked God to make me an evangelist of His love, and to help me write a book on His love, and later for other books, and later to teach it to others, and later to write articles on it. When this wonderful change had taken place in my heart, I said to myself, ‘This is too good to keep to myself, I must tell it to others’. A few weeks after I had started to write, when I re-started my book in its new form that would later become the books: “The Love of God: God’s Plan to Save You!” Part 1 and 2 and some other little books, often a most wonderful feeling would flow through my entire being. This is hard to explain to other people for them to understand, or to make them believe that it happened and can happen, except to those who have experienced it themselves. Some may think that I am trying to make something out of myself. I had a hard time believing it was happening to me too, and was worried that I was making something special out of myself that I was not, you know bragging or pride. My lower nature would try to say, ‘You don’t have the Holy Spirit! Don’t try to make other people believe this!’ Or ‘yes you have the Holy Spirit, but just keep it quiet, keep it to yourself.’ i.e. False humility. My lower nature wanted me to be ashamed of what God was doing for me and tried to make me deny that power and glory that God can bless someone with. Ah! the abuse I had to put up with from my lower nature! But this struggle was worth it, because my old ways have absolutely nothing to offer that I want anymore.
This is ever the way the rationalistic thought goes for those trained by the world in the science of unbelief, that will ultimately cause someone to be lost, if they do not repent from this unbelief, since they deny God’s miracles and His power. I still have to pray to God on this one, because my lower nature and Satan do not let up on trying to put down my relationship with God, and say that it is false, and is the working of the wrong spirit, anything but accept what God has done and is doing for me. Satan does not want us to give God the credit or the glory, or to praise Him for His marvelous love or works, but wants us to attribute everything bad to God and everything good to our self (self-righteousness), or natural or mundane processes; anything to deny the power of God, and to keep other sinners from believing in Him and His mighty love and power to save! Satan doesn’t mind if you are a Christian, as long as you keep your Christianity and what God has done for you to yourself, as long as you don’t live a Christ-like life, do not have faith in Jesus or His Father’s mighty power to save, do not overcome sin, and as long as you express words of doubt about God to others as much as possible, leading them as much as possible into sin and self-destruction, and allow him to motivate you by his despicable, hateful character. But it is a sin to deny the power of God and the wonderful works that He has done, especially if you have a personal knowledge of His wonderful love and power. Dear reader, do not deny God’s miracles or power to save you! Do not deny God’s love by the way you live or by the testimony of Him that you give to others. You are giving a testimony of Him to others whether you are aware of it or not. If you practice the science of unbelief like I did, you will not be giving a true testimony of God or His Son to others of His wonderful mercy, awesome love and mighty power to save. Think about this. I had faith in God before this, but it was much watered down and indecisive. But God changed all of that when He drew me to Himself.
This wonderful feeling filling my being that was beyond words went on like this for days and weeks, as I was writing my books, but not necessarily this strong all the time. And it has continued on after this, as I was doing different aspects of the ministry that God has given me. I remember telling someone, ‘When does this joy stop? I should pinch myself to see if I am awake.’ And then a voice inside of me seemed to say, ‘Never’, then I told the person that I was talking to ‘Never’. (They may have said this too as soon as I posed this question.) This was the most wonderful thing that I have ever experienced in my life, but it hasn’t stopped happening yet, although it is not always this strong, and there is an ebb and flow to it. Conventional wisdom may say that ‘no one can be this happy for this long, there must be something wrong. No one has the right to be this happy or can be.’ I am sure that there is nothing on this earth that can produce this sweet overflowing experience of joy and love that does not end, but the Holy Spirit! This set my lower “logical” nature into a tailspin, because it could not accept what was happening to me, which contributed to my struggle. But for all who want to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, there is a cross that they must bear, and battles to be won. But we do not have to fight these battles on our own, Jesus has fought and won these battles for us, if we will just tap into His strength, He will deliver us. I had no one who I could confide with on this that I knew, who had also gone through this wonderful experience and terrible struggle with doubts, to give me advice as to the source of this experience and what to do about it. So I had to trust alone in God; that He was looking after my soul and would not let me be lost without trying to help me, if I went astray in any way or got too proud. Later I started to run into other people who had an experience with God too, but there experience was not exactly the same as mine.
God rewards those with love, peace, joy and kindness who yield fully to His love and make Him the Lord of their life. This is what fuels their ministry to serve Him with, and enables them to undergo great hardship, heartache, etc. and press on through trials, sore they be, to help seek and save the lost. This is likely how the apostles were able to do what they did. They were powered by the Holy Spirit and their love for Jesus to preach the gospel to the world. And they didn’t mind suffering or dying for Jesus, whom they greatly loved and adored! The motivation that allowed the disciples of Jesus to do what they did, and suffer what they did, cannot be fully understood by those who have never surrendered fully to Jesus’ love and been filled with the Holy Spirit. Those who have surrendered fully to Jesus’ love will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and will not be able to contain their love and joy; they will not be able to help themselves, but will want to share this good news with everyone they can! It is as natural as a baby duck takes to water, or a bird to flight!
Yes, there is great reward in yielding fully to the love of God and becoming His; when you become His you can’t help but want to be His servant, because the Holy Spirit will fill you with God’s love! “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.’” Matthew 16:24-25 NASB. Whatever sacrifice you make for Jesus and His Father, they will greatly appreciate it and you will have your reward. If you truly love Jesus you will not mind losing your life for Him; your strongest desire will be to do whatever is His will for your life! In fact, you may find yourself praying that He would give you the honor of dying for Him. What? Is this strange? To the unconverted heart this is complete foolishness! Why would someone want to die for Jesus or for their faith? In my former life, I was trying to figure out how to preserve my life as long as possible and avoid the persecution in the time of trouble at the end of the world; in those days I could not understand self-sacrifice. That is the world’s thinking. If you lose your life, which is to die to self, and are raised with Jesus in the baptism of His death, and renewed in newness of life, you will have life abundantly and find your life with God. “Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:” Romans 6:4-5 KJV. If you are serving God because you love Him, you will probably not mind it if you have to suffer great hardship, or are persecuted, or even lose your life. You want to bring honor and glory to His wonderful name, and to please Him. Those who are willing to lose their life and willing to give up all of their possessions for Jesus will find it. If you are willing to give your life to God all-the-way, which is losing your life from the world’s point-of-view, you will find it! And you will wonder why you didn’t lose your life to Him a long time ago!
Dear reader, why does it have to take so long to gain the blessings that God has wanted you to have your whole life? There is no reason to wait anymore, when you can have it now. You don’t have to wait 30 or 40 years, or wait until you are good or “better”, you can have it now! You don’t have to be a better person or be “perfect” before God will bless you like this. You don’t have to wait until you are able to be good before you can be what God wants you to be! Dear soul, why do you not have it now? It has been promised to you, and you may have it, if you will fall on your knees now and give yourself completely to God’s wonderful love!
The ability of serving God, like your salvation, is a gift from God and you do not deserve this wonderful joy and privilege, and will never deserve it. You can never serve God fully or perfectly in your own strength. It is solely the work of God, which He will be happy to do for you, if you want it and would claim your destiny. Just humble your heart before God, surrender to His love, and desire to obey Him in everything that He has commanded, and love Him with all of your heart, mind and soul, and He will help you to love your neighbor as yourself. As long as you continue like this, He will hear your prayers, and bless you with great peace, love and joy! It will fuel your ministry to serve Him and others with. He will remove the guilt of your sins and unfulfilled duties, and He will remove from you the idea that you are not good enough to be saved or to be His witness. He will give you the assurance of your salvation, and will take away your selfishness and sin if you will let Him, and will give you all the gifts you need to serve Him with. No need to be afraid or have guilt, when God wants to give you everything that you need. No reason to feel guilty or think that you are not good enough, or have not done enough for Him or others. No reason to have fear on whether you can serve Him, or how you can serve Him. Perfect love casts out all fear. 1 John 4:18. Just trust in your God who is mighty to save (Isaiah 63:1 KJV & NASB), and He will help you to do all that He is commanding you to do! Just believe! He loves you and wants to show you His mercy and love, and raise you up so that you can ride on eagle’s wings. Exodus 19:4. He wants to give you the reward of the righteous and make you happy! And give you the wonderful privilege of leading others to Heaven, where you will know joy throughout eternity, because your life pleased God, and because those whom you have helped will be so happy and will thank you for caring enough to share God’s love with them, so that they could be as happy as you are! Oh reader, do not miss out on this wonderful joy, this wonderful reward of the righteous! Oh reader, do not miss out on what makes life worth living, living for all eternity! In a word, love. Love makes life worth living, living for all eternity: the love of God! God will truly provide for all of your needs and help you to meet all of your duties; to serve Him and your fellow man! He will take away the shame and guilt of your life, and give you life and love throughout eternity if you will let Him. Amen!
#God #Wonderful #Experience #Peace #Joy #Love #You #Faith #Power #HolySpirit #Prayer #My #Testimony #Believe #Serve #Glory #Praise #Science #Unbelief #Rationalism
© 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.
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© Copyright 2017 John Foll
Jesus said, “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.” Luke 6:40 NASB.
Are you Jesus’ student? Have you been trained by Him? Are you still in training by Him? Be patient, if He is your teacher, and if you are a diligent student, you will be fully trained and will become like Him.He will take care of that for you, if you continue to let Him be your Master!
What does it mean to be like Jesus? How was Jesus? He was always loving, patient and kind. But because of His love this also meant that He had to warn those who were in grave danger of being lost, of their peril! This was the reason for His stern rebukes to some. He always knew the right approach for each person. Study His methods, be filled with His Spirit, and then you will be able to know which approach you should use with those you come in contact with.
God will also use trials and circumstances to train you, if you will let Him. “Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.” Hebrews 12:9-13 NASB.
A lot of the problems that Christians have are brought on by themselves, until they yield fully to Him because they love Him. There are two ways to be saved, the easy way and the hard way. The hard way is to try to be your own master, and give in to God now-and-then, and then have to go through excruciating trials until you agree to let Him lead and you follow Him or give up totally being a Christian, and the easy way, which is to learn how much He loves you, throw yourself on His great mercy, and let Him help you, then yield to Him fully! It is much easier for God to work with a contrite, totally yielded heart, because those that do this invite the Holy Spirit to dwell in their heart, and He will make it very easy for them to be like Jesus! This only happens when someone stops struggling against God, and invites Him to rule their heart. Why struggle? Why not make it easy on yourself and yield fully to His loving power now? You have nothing to lose but your sins, lack of peace, lack of faith, lack of hope, lack of joy, lack of self-control, lack of assurance of your salvation, and the deeds of the flesh.‘Those that practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.’ Galatians 5:19-21. Why would you want to hold on to any of these things? If you will just yield to Him now, all-the-way, He will make it easy for you! Galatians 5:22-23.
“For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:6-8 NASB. Do you want to please God? Why would you want to be hostile toward Him?If you are living in the flesh, you are hostile against God and cannot please Him, but if you want life and peace, set your mind on the Spirit like Paul says. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Romans 8:9 KJV. Do you want to belong to Christ?Then you must have His Spirit, and walk in His Spirit, or you are ‘none of His’, as the King James Version of the Bible puts it, or you do not belong to Him, as the New American Standard Bible puts it.
What they did to Jesus, they will do to His true followers who continue to be trained by Him and want to serve Him. Jesus says, “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they callthem of his household?” Matthew 10:24-25 KJV.
If they called Jesus the ‘prince of Demons’, what will they call His servants? Matthew 9:34; 12:24 KJV. Do not be afraid, Jesus and His Father love you and will take care of you! If you love Jesus, do not worry about those that can destroy the body but not the soul, but fear God in Heaven only! Matthew 10:28. Do not let what others might say or have said keep you from the joy of following in your Master’s footsteps and being His servant!
Now listen to this account of Peter and the apostles after they had been imprisoned (Acts 5:18), because they were following Jesus’ command (Matthew 28:18-20), and after they were released by the angel and ordered to preach again by God, as revealed to them by this angel (Acts 5:19-20): “And when they had brought them, they set thembefore the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.” Acts 5:27-28 KJV. * * * “And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” Acts 5:40-42 KJV. Before the rulers let them go, they were beaten and told not to preach anymore in His name again! So we see here that despite being imprisoned, beaten and being warned by the leaders of Jerusalem from preaching of Jesus, Jesus’ disciples rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His Name! How and why were they able to rejoice because they had suffered for Jesus? Is this a normal human behavior? Certainly not! No one likes to be abused, but they were so happy, because they loved Jesus so much, that they were able to rejoice because of this suffering! Because they knew it made Jesus and His Father happy, since they were willing to save the lost at all costs to themselves, just like Jesus was willing to give up all and Heaven forever for us! This is the Great Power of the Love of Jesus and of God!
It was the Holy Spirit that enabled the disciples to rejoice when they were persecuted, imprisoned and beaten! But why was it necessary that they should rejoice? Because it helped them to deal with the pain and shame of persecution. The joy that God gives all of Jesus’ disciples is part of the reward that He gives to those who love Him and belong to Him! Nothing brings greater joy to Jesus’ disciples than to bring others to the kingdom! This is because they have the Spirit of God, who is not willing that any should perish(2 Peter 3:9 KJV). Even though the devil doesn’t take it kindly when souls are won to God, and tries to destroy those who are helping God to free his prisoners, God enables them to press on and to do His work of love and mercy for the world!There is nothing that any human being or devil can do to take the joy of those who are serving God away! Yes, they might suffer cruel torture and death, and sometimes their suffering may not always appear to be joyful, but they will have joy many times on this earth, and they will have endless joy in Heaven throughout eternity, in helping others become as happy as they are and becoming saved! It makes all their suffering worthwhile! And like Jesus, they will see the travail of their soul and be satisfied, Isaiah 53:11, and count it all joy! (Of course not to the same degree as the infinite love of Jesus! But within their own human, finite limitations.)
We have cited Jesus’ declaration in this message that the servant is not above His master, therefore consider this: As the soldiers crucified Jesus, He said: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ Luke 23:34 KJV. And listen to what Isaiah proclaimed about our Lord: “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.” Isaiah 53:7 KJV. Jesus did not say anything to save Himself, or say anything against His accusers, or to those crucifying Him or causing Him pain, but prayed to His Father to forgive them! Jesus never did anything to deserve the treatment He received from sinful men, but He did this to pay the price for our sins and was willing to forgive those who did this to Him! Therefore all of His servants must be willing to forgive those who are abusing them and spitefully treating them too!This is proof that Jesus is their Master and that they have the Holy Spirit.
“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 24:44-51 KJV.
And we will repeat this same text in the New American Standard, in case you have difficulty understanding the old King’s English:
“For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that evil slave says in his heart, 'My master is not coming for a long time,' and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 24:44-51 NASB.
The faithful servants of Jesus will spend their time doing the work that God has given them to do, giving the lost their ‘meat in due season’ or ‘their food at the proper time’(i.e. they will help the lost receive the bread of life), and will not say that their Master delays His coming and will not tear into God’s other servants and people and will not live their life in drunkenness. This tells us that Jesus will not come as a thief in the night to those who are His faithful servants! We pray that you will so prove faithful to Jesus and keep doing His work until He returns! We pray that you will not eat and drink with the drunken, and not continually find fault with others, or repeat their sins to others behind their back, and will protect their reputations, so that Jesus will not come as a thief in the night for you.
So if Jesus is your Master, and you are His servant, then you will willingly follow in His footsteps, and forgive those who have wronged and hurt you, and maligned you in His name, even calling you evil, and do as He did - seek and save the lost.
Thus when a student of Jesus is fully trained, they will be like Him and will yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness, and count it all joy when they suffer for His name. They will be like their teacher, have love and give forgiveness to their accusers and the ones who cause them pain, and count it all joy to suffer for His sake. And they will not stop, even when commanded by those in authority, from preaching in His name! Amen!
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