By John Foll
, Finished 6/9/2018, 6/10/2018.
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.’” Jeremiah 29:11-13 NASB.
No matter where you have been, or what you have done, or how much of a failure you have made of your life, don’t lose hope. God has a better plan for your life. He wants to give you a future and hope for a better life. Being able to be good and having eternal life are not beyond your reach, if you will grasp the Lord’s hands and allow Him to save you. If this is what you want, seek after God with all your heart, no holding back. Is that what you want? What do you have to gain by holding back yourself from this wonderful hope and peace that God wants to give you?
Do you feel like God doesn’t hear your prayers? Are you unsure of what your future holds, or whether you can be saved? Are you sure if you have what it takes to succeed and be the victor at last? Do you wonder if you are good enough, strong enough, smart enough, or wise enough, talented enough, and industrious enough to be able to provide for yourself and your family’s needs? Are you worried you will fail? Do you want to have the assurance of your own salvation? God declares here through His prophet Jeremiah that if you will search for Him with all your heart you will find Him. Much peace, hope, love and joy await you if you will just search for Him with all your heart. Then you will find Him. Are you tired of what your human nature and this world have to offer? Are you tired of its empty promises and lies? Are you tired of trying so hard and failing? Then it is time to try it God’s way, and search for Him with all your heart. When it is in your heart to do so, pray to Him and He will hear your prayer and answer it to the fullest! Oh so full! If you are not there yet, then come to Him as you are, sins, failures and all, and beg Him to help you. Don’t wait until you are ready all the way, or you never will be. But if you have been following Him and are ready to take your next step with Him, why not search for Him and seek to find Him with all your heart? What do you have to lose? If you are new to all of this, or a new Christian, or are not a Christian yet, why go through all the perplexity and trials of following God half-way and failing, when you can throw yourself on His side all the way and find Him and get all the power you need to succeed and to have a new life with Him? You will never regret it, we promise you. Cling to God, He is your only hope, Oh sinner! He is your path, your light and your life. Deuteronomy 10:20; 13:4 NASB. “But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29 NASB.
“Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.” Proverbs 8:32-35 KJV. What is Solomon talking about here? He is talking about wisdom. To be wise one must be willing to receive instruction. Wisdom is receiving instruction - learning what you need to know to get life and have it more abundantly, and then do it. Seek after it daily from God’s Holy word, the Bible, and through much prayer with Him. This is where you will obtain instruction from Him. This is how you will find life and obtain favor from the Lord, by receiving His instruction for your life. Note the counsel that king David gave his son Solomon: “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9 NASB. There is no hiding from God. There is no hiding your words, your actions or your thoughts from Him, He knows them all.
Now put it all together: If you wish to have life and not die, receive the instruction that you need to seek after God with your whole heart and a willing mind. If you will seek Him, He will let you find Him. Is that what you want, dear reader? Then seek after God with all your heart, and He will be found by you, and your whole life will change for the better.
As God told Abraham, ‘I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward’ Genesis 15:1 KJV, He also tells you, if you will seek after Him, He will be your shield and exceedingly great reward. Abraham was called the friend of God. James 2:23. Many people cannot understand those who want to live a life of love and devotion to God, to give up the sins and pleasures of this world, and it’s wealth and ‘baubles’, with a willingness to give themselves to God all-the-way and serve Him, living an unselfish life to serve Him and others – it seems like there is nothing in it for them. Why would they want to do it? But they have vastly underestimated the great reward in finding and knowing the Lord, a great reward indeed! God and His precious Son Jesus are both great rewards to those who love and serve Them. This great joy can only be known by those who seek after God with their whole heart. Those who only seek Him half way are shortchanging themselves, and will never know this sweetest, full joy. And those who do not seek after Him, and those who do not find Him will know an eternal loss.
God tells the saved that He is their great and exceeding reward. In contrast to this Paul tells us that the real loss of the lost - is to be forever shut out from the presence of the Lamb: “*** when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed — for our testimony to you was believed.” 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 NASB. Jesus and His Father are the source of life and of every blessing that you would ever need. They are your eternal security blanket, if you will just put your trust in Them. But those who will not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus, who do not accept His salvation, will be cast out from His presence, paying the penalty with eternal destruction, away from His loving presence that alone can bring peace, everlasting life, blessings, love and joy.
“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.” Isaiah 59:12 NASB. This is one of the chief reasons why God does not answer everyone’s prayers, and why He doesn’t hear them. There is no room for halfway measures, half-hearted love and devotion to God. Your sins have separated you from God until you confess, repent and humble yourself before Him. He will save you regardless of how bad you are or what you have done, if you will just throw yourself on His mercy, and seek after Him with all your heart. Half-hearted seeking is for all who would fail. If you have only sought after God half-way or have not been consistent in seeking Him every day with all your heart, you can still seek after Him with all your heart and find Him, there is still time! But wait not another day or for a convenient season. Do not be like Felix who said to Paul, ‘when it is a convenient season I will call for you – a season which never came for him. Acts 24:25 KJV. Now is the day of salvation, while you hear God’s voice, His call to your heart. “For He says, “AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.” Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION” 2 Corinthians 6:2 NASB. Harden not your heart against Him, He loves you! Listen to His counsel to you here: “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, to day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” Hebrews 3:7-12 KJV. Do not harden your heart against God, or have a heart of unbelief, not believing that He will save you or not wanting His salvation. Do not have a heart of unbelief, which is departing from the living God.
Consider Jesus’ message here:
“Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:5-13 NASB.
Consider the message that Jesus is trying to teach here: If you will be persistent with God, making your petitions known to Him for a new, better life with Him – wanting a change from the failure and the wreck that your life has been, He will hear your prayer. If you cling to God and persist in making your petitions known to Him for your desire to be saved and to be a better person, He will hear your prayer. God is not like your earthly parents, who sometimes made mistakes or sometimes forgot your needs or sometimes only thought of themselves, but God really cares. If your parents gave you good things in this life, how much more will your Heavenly Father give you the Holy Spirit when you ask Him? But you must ask Him, you must seek after Him, you must knock, and the door will be opened to you – the door to eternal life! You must be persistent and cling to God, not giving up, praying to Him and making all of your requests known to Him, of your desire to have a new life with Him, and for the spiritual blessings that He wants to give you, until you get these desired blessings. After God’s gift of His dear son Jesus for the world, His other most precious gift to those who belong to Him, is the gift of His precious Holy Spirit. He will give the Holy Spirit to all who ask, to all who seek after Him with all their heart. This is one of the gifts that all are required to have to enter Heaven and have eternal life. John 3:3, 5. All who wish to enter the Pearly Gates of Heaven will have to be born again of both the water (have the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ, symbolized by baptism in the water) and by the Holy Spirit. These gifts from God allow you to become born again, Oh sinner, that Ye might be saved and be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven, like Jesus said in John 3:3, 5. The Holy Spirit is a most precious gift and reward for those who seek after God with all their heart, no holding back. (Why would anyone want to hold anything back, not getting this sweetest of rewards? This is a great mystery.) Dear reader, why would you want to hold anything back and not get this sweetest reward for yourself?
The Conclusion of the Matter:
Everyone who seeks after God with all their heart will receive the joy of their salvation, and have great peace, love and joy! Everyone who seeks after God, and knocks, the door will be opened to them, the door to eternal life! Especially when they persist in clinging to God, and keep humbling their heart before Him every day, every hour, and learning to commune with Him in prayer. Everyone who asks, and really wants it, can receive the best gift from God after forgiveness, the Holy Spirit. They will receive the Holy Spirit, the pledge of their redemption (Ephesians 4:30 NASB), and have the assurance of their salvation, because God will tell them He loves them, and His precious Spirit will dwell in their heart and help them on their way to Heaven. They will have the continued assurance of their salvation, if they continue to seek after Him with all their heart, every day. But the presence of the Holy Spirit gives them the strongest inducement to want to keep all this peace, love, joy and hope that He brings them. When they have all this peace, love and joy and really value it, why would they want to give it up? We do not know why anyone would give up God’s offer of mercy, forgiveness, peace, love, hope – much less the wonder and joy of having the Holy Spirit in their heart, and know that their life is pleasing to God, because they are letting Him save them, and He is giving them the power to live a righteous life. What more could you want? This is everything your heart has been searching for! Just give yourself to God now, and forevermore and enjoy your new life with Him!
The secret to having a better life, with peace and hope for tomorrow, is to seek after God with all your heart, and then you will find Him! You will be so glad you did! We promise you, that if this is what you are searching for, you will be so glad you did, and God’s love for you will be a well of water inside of you springing up into eternal life! John 4:13-143. God will be delighted to give this to you!
May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
Songs For Today’s Message:
If you seek Me, You will Find Me: (Truth Songs)
If you seek Me, You will Find Me: (Hawaii Baptist Academy choirs)
#Lord #God #Plans #Hope #Seek #Me #Find #Search #All #Heart #Prayer #Love #Peace #Joy #Holy #Spirit #Half-way #Wisdom #Eternal #Life
By John Foll
, Finished 5/12/2018 – 5/13/2018.
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
Abide with Jesus awhile. Tarry with Him awhile. Abide with Him the rest of your life, why not?
Jesus said, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30 NASB. Jesus invites all who are weary of all the troubles and trials of this world, who are weary from their burdens, worries and guilt, to take His rest, to take His yoke upon them, because His burden is easy, and His burden is light. The yoke of love that Jesus offers you dear reader is much easier than struggling with your problems by yourself. It is a hard thing to try to order your steps and make all the right decisions and do all the right things and not make a mess out of your life. Or worry about how you can make your life a success. But Jesus can take all your worries about not being good enough, smart enough, or strong enough to succeed, and help you fight the good fight to receive the crown of righteousness in the end, if you will give all of these worries to Him. 2 Timothy 4:7-8. No reason to worry about failure. No reason to be afraid or be in bondage to addictions or sin anymore, because Jesus came to set you free, dear reader! He came that you might be free! Free from guilt, worry and shame and from the fear of failure. “If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 NASB. This is what Jesus promised to you dear reader and all who will “come” and allow Him to make them free. If He makes you free, ye shall be free indeed!
John declared, “And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.” 1 John 3:5 NASB. Jesus appeared on this earth and died on the cross to take away your sin. 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. John declared that He came in order to take away sin. Think on this, 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 be good and live a righteous life for Him. And He will give you rest! This is because He can break your yoke of bondage if you let Him. 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! --> Derived from our article: If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, Part 2 .
Dear reader, God says to you, “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. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance. Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, according to the faithful mercies shown to David.” Isaiah 55:1-3 NASB. What were the faithful mercies shown to David? David loved God but had lost sight of Him several times and sinned greatly against Him, but God forgave him, even though he deserved to die. But don’t we all deserve to die for our sins? “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 KJV. Not only did God forgive David, but chose to send Jesus His son through his lineage. This text in Isaiah, when it talks about ‘the faithful mercies shown to David,’ is talking about the promise made to David, that his throne would be established forever, which was a prophecy about Jesus, the Messiah, who would die for the sins of the world and would reign forever and ever. 2 Samuel 7:12-16, 25-29. What a promise God made to David! Not only did David not deserve this honor and privilege, but God was going to use his lineage, through Jesus, to save the world! No human that has ever lived has ever deserved God’s gift of His son to die for their sins. John 3:16-17. So even though David and no human being who has ever lived deserved God’s mercy, God still sent His only son to die on the cross for their sins. This is what it means when God declares that if you will listen to Him, He will make ‘an everlasting covenant’ with you ‘according to the faithful mercies shown to David.’ Do you want the faithful mercies shown to David? Do you know that you are a sinner? Do you want hope? Do you want to listen to God and accept His covenant of grace for you? Then Isaiah 55 is for you! Everyone who thirsts can come. All who are hungry can come. Turn no one away who is thirsty, hungry or weary!
It is especially noteworthy what Jesus proclaimed in the synagogue on the Sabbath: “And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book, and found the place where it was written, ‘THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE DOWNTRODDEN, TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.’” And He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed upon Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing’" Luke 4:16-21 NASB. After he closed the book and gave it back to the attendant all eyes were on Him! Here Jesus declared in so many words that He was the fulfillment of this prophecy from Isaiah. The Holy Spirit was trying to convict all who were there listening to Him, that He was the Messiah, the hope of Israel, that was why all eyes were fixed on Him after He read this passage and declared that this prophecy was fulfilled that day in their hearing! This was the event that the children of Israel had been waiting for, but sadly not all accepted Him. But what does this passage really mean? Study it carefully! Jesus came to preach the gospel to the poor, and to set the captives free! And to set free all those who are downtrodden. Jesus also declared, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” John 12:32 NASB. Yes, Jesus was lifted up on that cross for you, He paid the penalty for your sins. This act will draw all who will to Him who want it, who see their need and want His help. This is the power of the Cross! His death on the cross allows you to get rest and peace! Jesus proclaimed that His mission was to preach the Gospel (the good news) to the poor, to set the captives free, and to set free all those who are downtrodden. That is to say, He came to give you rest and to give you peace!
Oh soul are you weary? Do you long for rest? Do you long for peace? Do you long to be free? Free from all your guilt, sin and shame? Then let Jesus draw you to the cross, let His love move you, let it break your heart. Take His yoke upon you and He will give you rest. His yoke that is easy and His burden that is light is the sweet bond of love He has for you that binds you closer to Him. Oh such love! I cannot fathom it! No words I write can fully describe it! Oh hungry soul, there is a Balm in Gilead and the great Physician there who has healing for your soul if you want it. Why thirst for the water of life or the bread of Heaven, when He is within your reach? There is no reason to be thirsty or go around hungry anymore when He offers this life to you freely.
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6 KJV. Do you long for a new, better life? Then hunger no more, because Jesus wants to fill you. Just let Him! This promise is not for those who are happily filling themselves up with the spiritual “husks” of this world or with the false ideas that some have of how to be saved or to be happy, etc. This promise is not for those who don’t truly want it. But this promise is for all those who are tired of sinning, tired of living in shame, tired of failing, tired of hurting themselves and others, tired of guilt who just want a better life. Those who are tired of filling themselves up with the spiritual “husks” of this world, or with false ideas of how to be saved or be happy, can come, come to Jesus. To all whose desire is this – come! Come to Him that you might have life and have it more abundantly! Jesus said ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ John 10:10 KJV. Is this what you want?
“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. Yes, all who are thirsty come unto Jesus and drink, and out of their belly will flow rivers of living water! “And Jesus said ‘come to the waters stand by my side, I know you are thirsty you won’t be denied.’ And I saw every tear drop when in darkness you cried. And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died.’” * From the song: “For those tears I died”.
“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” Revelation 22:17 NASB.
So all who are thirsty, all who are weary, come and tarry with Jesus awhile. Abide with Him for as long as you will. He will supply all your needs according to the riches of His grace. “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NASB. And He will give you peace, and joy, and will take away your guilt and fears that you cannot make it; He will give you a new life! Is that what you want? He wants to give it to you! He wants to be in you a well of water springing up unto eternal life!
May the grace of God and the fellowship of Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit be with you all! Amen.
Songs for the Message Today:
Abide with Me:
Listen to Heritage Singers sing: ‘For Those Tears I Died’:
Read the lyrics to 'For those tears I died' here:
“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.
White Raiment Evangelism Revelation 3:18:
In Revelation 3:18 Jesus said, "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, and white raiment, and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest be clothed, that the shame of thy nakedness do not
#Abide #Tarry #Jesus #Rest #Peace #Weary #Heavy #Laden #Yoke #Burdens #Light #Free #Thirst #Hunger #Faithful #Mercy #Gospel #Captives #Downtrodden #Spirit
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
, written between 1/26/2018 to 01/27/2018
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
“But He [God] gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.’” James 4:6 NASB.
What does it mean when James says God ‘gives grace to the humble? Let us look at what it means.
The book of Psalms declares: “The humble have seen it and are glad; you who seek God, let your heart revive. For the LORD hears the needy and does not despise His who are prisoners.” Psalm 69:32-33 NASB. Evidently it must be important, because it says here that God hears the prayers of the needy, and of the prisoners who are His who cry for His help. Those who are saved cry to God for help, this is their secret! “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears.” Psalm 18:6 NASB. Do you want God to hear your prayers dear reader? This is so important! Then cry to Him for help. Many come to God in prayer with a list of things they want from God, but have they asked Him for help or confessed all of their sins to Him? Those who want God’s grace and mercy must first cry to Him for help; those who don’t cry to Him for help will probably not get helped, whether they prayed or not. What would you cry to Him about for help? If your problems are overwhelming you, if you have an addiction or something you do over and over that you know that you should stop doing. Or if you don’t feel like you are saved or good enough to be saved, or your sins keep coming up in your mind over and over again and you are weary of it all? Do you want that sweet peace, wonderful peace, and want the assurance of your salvation? Do you know that you are bad and have done wrong; where can you get relief? Then call upon the name of the Lord, cry out to Him for help and He will always hear you! Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 KJV. If you will just come to Jesus and tell Him all of your troubles, He will give you rest. Is that what you want, rest? Then cry out to the Father in Jesus’ name, and He will hear your prayer! Just confess your sins to Him. If you find that you are in need, tarry there awhile with Jesus in the quite of your own ‘prayer closet’, which is any quiet private place free from the noise and clamor of this world, perhaps in nature or in a quiet room by yourself, wherever you can find some quiet time with Jesus, He loves you! Matthew 6:6. And He will give you rest. For His burden is light, and His yoke is easy, it is much easier than that yoke of guilt and sins and addictions that keep dragging you down! His yoke is easy, because it is a yoke based on love. It is something you shouldn’t mind, because it will give you peace and bring you much love and joy, if you will continue to tarry with Jesus awhile in prayer and Bible study, meditating on God’s rich promises to save and bless you.
Listen now to Moses’ account of God leading the children of Israel in the wilderness for 40 years, after leading them out of Egypt where they were slaves: "You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD. Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.” Deuteronomy 8:2-5 NASB. In the same way as God disciplined the children of Israel as they made their way to the Promised Land, Canaan, God will also discipline you on your way to the Heavenly Canaan, the Promised Land, if you will just let Him do it for you, and not chafe under His kind hand. God will help you to be humble if you will just let Him. You may be proud now, and not know how you can get His grace for yourself for all of your past sins and failures, but if you will just let Him help you, and allow the discipline He gives you to work His will in your life through the trials you go through, He will help you to humble yourself before Him, so that you may receive His grace. Because God gives grace to the humble, which is for those who allow Him to humble them.
When does God give grace to the humble? When they cry out to Him for help, and only then. If you are satisfied with your life the way it is, or want to handle your burdens and problems by yourself, or in your own way, or just want to do your own thing, you will not find any rest or peace. It is not within any man’s or woman’s ability to be able to direct their own paths, or solve their own problems without the aid of God and have it turn out good. Whenever anyone attempts this, it is self-righteousness. Self-righteousness always leads to death, but crying out to God for help and confessing your sins to Him leads to life – eternal life. When the Lord sends the needed help, the humble will see it and be glad. The humble cry to Him for help. If you will humble yourself before God and cry out to Him in prayer, your heart will see His salvation and be glad! Is that what you want? Then read on!
“It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” Lamentations 3:26 KJV. “Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.” Micah 7:7-8 KJV.
So what are you waiting for? Cry out to Him for help now, so you can start to get your salvation! When you see your need of Him and what He wants to do for you, and decide to yield your pride to Him and confess your sins and cry out to Him for help, He will surely save you and give you His grace!
Being humble is the same thing or similar to being meek or gentle. Jesus said, “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5 NASB. The King James has this as: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5 KJV. This reminds us of a psalm David wrote: “Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land. Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; and you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.” Psalm 37:8-11 NASB. What is David talking about here? Those who humble their pride and allow God to take care of them, will inherit the land, and delight themselves in abundant prosperity. Has this fully happened yet here on this Earth? No. For the most part the world looks up to those who are the strong, the wealthy, the powerful, the famous, the infamous, the most beautiful, the smartest, the greediest, the wickedest, etc. While some of these are not necessarily wrong in themselves the others are, but they are often accompanied with great pride and wrongdoing, while the needs of the poor in this world’s goods or the poor in spirit are looked down on or trampled on. The ruler of this world, the prince of the air, has given the things the world values to those whom he controls. John 12:30-31; 14:30; 16:11. Matthew 4:8-11; Luke 4:5-8; Ephesians 2:2. So if the meek haven’t inherited the earth yet, when will it happen that the gentle, the meek, and the humble will inherit the land? Jesus is quite clear here that the meek will eventually inherit the earth as He promised!
Jesus declared: ‘Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’ Matthew 18:3-4 KJV. This is just as true today as when Jesus spoke this 2000+ years ago. Jesus said that you must be converted and become as a little child, if you would enter the kingdom of Heaven, which means to love and obey your Father in Heaven, as little children are to love and obey their earthly fathers. But you cannot do this, unless you first humble yourself before God in prayer.
So when will the meek and humble inherit the earth? The prophet Isaiah gives us a clue when he writes: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” Isaiah 11:6 KJV. You can equate this child leading the wolf, the lamb, the leopard and the kid (goat or sheep lamb) with what Jesus said, when He said that unless you become as little children you shall never enter the kingdom of Heaven, as He stated in our text above in Matthew 18. It is only someone who has humbled themselves as a little child who will make it there and lead the wolf and the lamb, the leopard and the kid in Heaven. Read this whole prophecy in Isaiah 11:1-9, especially verse 9: “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:9 KJV. Isaiah declares here that this will take place when their will be no more death and no more hurt on God’s holy mountain, when the knowledge of God will cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea. Has the knowledge of God yet covered the earth as the waters cover the sea, with no disagreement among all mankind, and has all hurt, killing and death stopped? No. Clearly this will take place only in Heaven. It says in Psalms, talking about this day in Heaven, after all the wicked are destroyed, “The LORD is King forever and ever; nations have perished from His land. O LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror.” Psalm 10:16-18 NASB. This is when the humble shall inherit the Earth, after all of the wicked have been destroyed by Him. This is all done by the grace of God, no one will deserve to be there. Therefore let us praise His wonderful name and pray that we all will be there, with as many of our loved ones as possible, inviting as many as we can to also go there with us.
Note the message that John gives us from God in Revelation talking about that great day in the future in Heaven, when the meek shall inherit the earth: “And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, ‘What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?’ And I said unto him, ‘Sir, thou knowest.’ And he said to me, ‘These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.’” Revelation 7:13-17 KJV. Talk about the perfect security blanket! How can anyone go wrong, if they will just follow the Lamb where ever He goes? Revelation 14:4. He will dwell with them forever, and feed them and quench their thirst from the river of life that flows endlessly from the throne of God! And nothing shall hurt or destroy them on God’s holy mountain, for the former things of this world are passed away, when all wickedness is gone forever.
Let us now sing God’s praises as we contemplate that great day in Heaven, when the meek will inherit the earth: “He [God] has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble. HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS; and sent away the rich empty-handed.” Luke 1:51-53 NASB. Do you hunger and thirst after righteousness? Then you shall be filled! Matthew 5:6. It says here in our passage in Luke 1 that God will fill the hungry with good things, but will send those who are rich away empty handed. Those who think that they are rich, who don’t see their need of God, will be sent away into the outer darkness where there will be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:36-43, 49-50.
Have you been on a journey too with God like the children of Israel were in their wanderings on their way towards the Promised Land? Have you had ups and downs in your struggles? Have you ever found it hard to say you were wrong to someone, or to give up something you wanted to get or to do that you know that God was asking you to stop doing or to give up? Did you have bad feelings towards someone, or feel bad for something you said or did and struggle with it? Did you get peace? Don’t give up, there is still hope! Has God been shaping your life, putting you through trials? Take courage! If you will allow God to mold and shape you, if you will cry out to Him for help, and will allow Him to humble you, all of these blessings He has promised will be yours! You can yet gain the blessings of eternal life, when the meek shall inherit the earth, because God will give you a greater grace, if you will allow Him to help you! Amen. Just allow Him to mold you and shape you.
So don’t be proud, humble yourself before God now in prayer:
Prayer is a song we all can sing,
A light that the blind can see,
Prayer is a gift the poor can bring,
However poor they'd be.
Prayer is a star that lights the way
For those who are in despair,
And when your heart kneels down to pray,
God will hear your prayer.
* From the song Prayer, by Alfred Bryan and Edward Lisbona.
Do you want God to hear your prayer? Then kneel your heart before Him in prayer, then He will hear your prayer. This means give your heart to Him in prayer as my wife said, when I read the lyrics of this song to her and pointed out those last two lines of it to her. I didn’t catch the meaning of those last two lines when I first heard this song, or when I first read these lyrics, but I eventually saw that it was not saying that we should bow our knees in prayer, but our hearts. But it is true when you give your heart to God, that you can be sure He has heard your prayer! For God gives a greater grace to the humble, i.e. those who will humble themselves before Him. He will show them His rich mercy! But those who will not give their heart to Him at all will not be helped.
Yes God gives a greater grace and mercy to the humble and they shall inherit the Heavenly Canaan, the Land which is fairer than day, the kingdom of Heaven!
“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.’ And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’ Then He said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.’” Revelation 21:2-7 NASB.
May the grace of God be with you, may you follow the Lamb of God wherever He goes, as He leads you to Heaven’s peaceful shore! So cry out to Him now for help that this may be your story. Amen.
Final Meditation, from a Psalm of David:
“Make me know Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.
Remember, O LORD,
Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
According to Your lovingkindness remember me,
For Your goodness' sake, O LORD.
Good and upright is the LORD;
Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in justice,
And He teaches the humble His way.
All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth
to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.
For Your name's sake, O LORD,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
Who is the man who fears the LORD?
He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
His soul will abide in prosperity, and
his descendants will inherit the land.
The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him,
And He will make them know His covenant.
My eyes are continually toward the LORD,
For He will pluck my feet out of the net.”
Psalms 25:4-15 NASB.
See also Psalms 34:1-8.
The song Prayer that we quoted part of above lyrics can be found at:
http://hebronum.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/May-June-2017.pdf . This pdf file contains both verses, search for ‘Prayer is a song we all can sing’. If you can ever get hear this wonderful song as sung by George Beverly Shae, listen to it over and over until the songs sticks in your head and you get what the song is saying.
https://www.discogs.com/George-Beverly-Shea-An-Evening-Prayer-Favorite-Hymns-For-The-Days-End/release/1853967 . This link has the album with this song on it track B1.
https://www.bear-family.com/shea-george-beverly-i-d-rather-have-jesus-2-cd.html . This cd has it I think.
An Evening of prayer: (Sung by George Beverly Shae):
Did you think to pray? (Sung by George Beverly Shae):
The Prayer Perfect (Sung by George Beverly Shae):
#God #Gives #Grace #Humble #Trials #Needy #Cry #Help #Burden #Easy #Light #Rest #Confess #Sins #Prayer #Love #Peace #Salvation #Heaven #Meek
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.
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By John Foll, Finished writing from 05/20/2017 to 05/22/2017, and 6/3/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
Before we get into this article, have you read our Faith Blog article “God Will Never Allow the Righteous To Be Shaken! (Cast your burden upon the Lord)”? We recommend that you read it too, and you should also check out this other Faith Blog article: “Do you have faith? Do you have Assurance? Faith commeth by hearing the word of God!” These articles were written to help inspire your faith in God so you can have a new life with Him, or have it more abundantly if you already have it!
Now on to our article.
The Kingdom of God consists not in words but in Power!
Listen to what the apostle Paul says here:
“But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant, but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power.” 1 Corinthians 4:19-20 NASB.
Paul here was addressing a class of people among the Corinthian believers who were arrogant. 1 Corinthians 4:18. Evidently some people were causing problems in the Church, who were living without the power of God in their lives. Sound familiar? This problem and the solution addressed by Paul here is largely the same problem that we have today, and his solution is the same that is needed today. Let’s explore this concept further that Paul is trying to teach the Church. Yes, his counsel is for our day too, not just for the Corinthian church of his day.
Do you want God’s power in your life to help you be good and His gifts to serve Him with? Do you want the assurance of your salvation? Then get His power in your life.
Do you want to have sweet communion with Him every day? Do you want Him to take the shame of your sins away and give you the power to live a righteous life? Are you tired of the endless round of sinning and bad habits? Do you want a new life with Him? The kingdom of God consists not in mere words but in power. The power of Love. The power to be good. The power to live a good Christian life. Do you want this power?
A large portion of people in Christianity today are without power. Some try to excuse their lack, their sins, or say that it doesn’t matter since we are saved by grace (some of these may think that they have this power since they are ‘saved’). And there is another class who say they believe in obeying God, but they appear to lack the power to obey Him, though they might think that they are, but are only doing so from outward appearance. Many of these lack the ability of being kind, loving and merciful to others. Both of these groups are lacking the love, joy, peace, faith and hope and the power promised by God to all who believe. Jesus said in John 3:3, 5 that all must be born again to be able to enter the kingdom of God. But the kingdom of God consists not in words, but in Power, as Paul spoke above in 1 Corinthians 4:20. But not all want this power, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV. Are you being saved day-by-day? Do you have the power of God in your life?
Do you want this power? Do you want to personally experience the power of the Holy Spirit in your life like the early Christians did in the book of Acts? The Holy Spirit has been promised to you forever by Jesus and His Father (John 14:16), if you believe in Jesus (John 3:16-17), want to love and obey Him, and would seek this life from Him, the ‘Pearl of Great Price’. Matthew 13:46.
God is willing to give you new life with Him, with the power of the Holy Spirit if you meet the conditions. Yes, there are conditions. You must ask for it (or want it very much). Luke 11:13. You must hunger and thirst for it. Matthew 5:6. You must obey God (or want to obey Him). Acts 5:32. You must believe in Jesus for your salvation. John 3:16-17. You must have the Son of God. 1 John 5:12. You must confess your sins and believe that you have been forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9. You must search for this ‘Pearl of Great Price’. Matthew 13:46. You must allow God to make you meek. Matthew 5:5. You must forgive others. Matthew 6:12. You must be merciful to others. Matthew 5:7. You must allow God to make you pure in heart. Matthew 5:8. These texts are stating what is needed to receive salvation and the blessings of God in their fullness. This is the Gospel message that was taught by Jesus and His disciples. These are the most wonderful truths that you could ever learn, they will give you life, love, joy, faith, hope and eternal happiness. Is that what you want?
See also: John 8:42, 13:34,35; 15:12,17; 14:15, 15, 27; 15:9; 17:23; 1 John 3:23; 4:7, 11, 12; 2:3-6; 4:20-21; Luke 14:26-27, 33.
Are you tired of living a lukewarm Christian life? Then you need God’s power! Has your love for God or others grown cold or dim? Then you need God’s power. In Revelation 3:15-16, Jesus warns His people that He will spew them out of His mouth, unless they see their need of Him, repent and yield to Him all the way. This is a very serious condition that many of God’s people are in today! Those who do not listen to Jesus and see their need of Him and repent will be spewed out of His mouth and be lost. There needs to be a great change in a lot of Christians today. They have lost their first love of Jesus (or never had it), and need to get it back (or get it for the first time). The solution for all who are in this condition is to make a full confession to God in Jesus’ name for their sins, especially for being lukewarm and not putting Him first at all times. All who are lukewarm Christians should throw themselves on God’s mercy and ask Him to help them put Him first and love their neighbor as themselves, and stop dallying with the world!
If you would like this power, you must confess all of your sins and humble your heart before God, ask for the Holy Spirit, and yield yourself totally to God. Always do what God has asked you to do and want to do it. If you do not want to obey God in all things, or do not obey Him fully you cannot have the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit. If there is any part of the Bible that God has impressed on you that you should follow that you are resisting Him on, ask Him to help you change. Ask God to be merciful to you a sinner, this is something He will be happy to do! You will need to work through these issues with Him, trusting Him and in much prayer. When you get to the point where the last thing that you have been putting Him off on or resisting Him on has been given to Him, you should see a wonderful change in your life! Sometimes you may want His help but are not all-the-way there yet, but if you will hang in there and ask Him to help you to obey Him, and then obey Him, He will give you peace, more joy and more power and more love.
How long it takes for you to get the Holy Spirit in full depends on how soon you yield fully to Him and do all that He has asked you to do 100%. At a later date He may ask you to do more things, or make more changes, or to make something right with others. Always be willing to do everything He asks, pray for the ability of doing it and to be more willing. (This will shorten the time it takes for you to get this desired blessing from Him.) God will always help the penitent sinner who is genuinely asking for His help and willing to do what He asks, or to be made more willing. God gives His best gifts to those who love Him and are obedient to all of His wishes that He has revealed to them. He is mindful that you are but dust (Psalms 103:14), and doesn’t require more than you can bear (unless you have almost gone too far and are in eminent peril), but will always give you the help you need to do His bidding, if you want it and ask for it.
Here are some promises for you to claim:
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 NASB.
‘the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation’ 2 Peter 2:9 NASB.
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.” James 1:12 KJV.
Meditate on these next quotes if you wish to have God’s best gifts, and His best and sweetest rewards:
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:7-11 KJV.
Jesus said, “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:19 NASB.
Yes, there is a great reward for those who keep all of God’s testimonies and His Law of Love (Exodus 20:1-17; Matthew 22:36-40). If you want to be called great in the kingdom of Heaven, keep God’s commandments and teach others to do so. If you want to be converted and not be lost, make these teachings, the Gospel message in the New Testament, and the other teachings of the Bible your study and delight. And ask God for the help you need to do what He has asked you to do. Then you will have the confidence of knowing that He hears your prayers. Psalms 66:18; Proverbs 28:9. And you will have the promised great reward! Then you will have the sweetness of the Holy Spirit in your heart, and you will love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your mind and all your soul, and your neighbor as yourself!
Always start with the Bible, God’s word, to find out what He wants you to do. Be careful about asking people for their opinion, unless they can provide solid proof from the Bible for their views. If God has convicted you on something in the Bible, it is a dangerous thing to ask what other people think about it, unless they give you proof from the Bible that makes sense to you after much thought and prayer, proving your earlier convictions wrong. Pray that God will make it clear to you. Don’t put your soul’s destiny into someone else’s hands to decide for you. Your soul and eternal life are at stake!
One of the reasons why there are so many people who are not willing to obey everything in the Bible is because they surround themselves with teachers who quiet their conscience against the clearly revealed word of God. But the apostle Peter said that we ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29. You accept the opinions of others over the plain words of the Bible at your own risk, the risk of eternal loss! We recommend that you only go by the word of God, or study as much of it as you can understand yourself, then ask others who you trust that are living godly lives who have been born again and filled with the Holy Spirit for the Biblical proof of their views. Although someone can tell you the truth without living it 100%, it is best to trust only those who are living God’s love, obeying Him and born again from above, and contrite when they make a mistake. But their explanations must never contradict the Bible, and it should make sense. They should be able to prove everything they are teaching from the Bible. And you need to verify every step of their reasoning before believing their conclusions.
Some people offer “proof”, but when you check all of their proof texts or evaluate their reasoning carefully, many are fallacies, distortions, half-truths, or taken out of context to fit their theories. Some are preaching systematic error; i.e. multiple fallacies and multiple errors using a lot of Bible texts. Don’t let the fact that they have a lot of “proof texts” fool you into thinking that they are right. You need to check all of their texts and reasoning carefully, no matter how many texts they give, to see if it makes sense, and their conclusion sure. But also remember that they themselves might be well meaning, but in error. Many time fallacies and errors are used to “prove” other things. Every fallacy or error someone accepts into their thinking builds on the others they have accepted previously, making it harder to separate fact from fiction, truth from error. Don’t accept anything as the gospel truth unless it squares up 100% with what God has revealed to you from the Bible. If you find out that you have been in error in anything, simply recant your previous beliefs and let God help you to change and believe the truth. You must love God and want to obey Him, or you will eventually end up being deceived or seduced into sin and being lost. If you are wanting something to quiet your conscience, pleasing fables will fill the void. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12. So it is important to always be humble and contrite before God and have the desire to please Him, so you won’t be deceived by error.
What happens if you find out that you have been in error after reading the clear word of the Bible and the Holy Spirit convicts you of it? That is for you to decide. If you find out that you were doing or believing something wrong, then you need to make a change, if you would continue to be a son or daughter of God. If you have been in error, just confess your sins and ignorance and allow God to help you to change. He will be happy to help you. You are not held accountable for the truth if you did not know it or did not have it impressed on your mind to obey it.
You may ask, ‘How can I know the truth for sure? People I know and respect or family or friends believe the truth differently than the plain reading of the Bible.’ You can know the truth if you are Jesus’ sheep or become His sheep. If you are Jesus’ sheep, then you will listen to His words and He will lead you into all truth through the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit. John 16:13. You can trust in the Good Shepherd of the sheep to lead you all the way to Heaven’s peaceful shore. John 10:11, 14. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29 NASB. So there you have it, if you are Jesus’ sheep you will not have to worry as long as you follow where He leads and do what He says, and He will give you eternal life! No one can snatch you out of Jesus or His Father‘s hands as long as you want them to save you!
If you are still struggling with sin and doubt, just get to know God and study the promises of His love in the Bible and believe, asking Him to be merciful to you a sinner and He will surely bless you. Just hang in there! Don’t get discouraged. Remember that He loves you! When your heart is warmed more and more to His love you will know it, and when you verbally give your heart to Him all the way, He will fill you with great joy, love and power (and peace). And then you will know that you have the Holy Spirit. No one will have to tell you that you have the Holy Spirit because you will know! You will be so blessed, and your attitude towards God and others will change. And you will delight in obeying God and serving Him. And you will finally have power from God. Is this what you want?
It is high time that all Christians make a complete return to God, renouncing the world completely, asking Him for His help to break all ties with sin, worldliness, bad practices, and stop trying to justify sin and bad habits. God’s mercy for this world will soon run out, and all who do not love Him supremely will be cast out. But God will shelter all who are Jesus’ true sheep from this coming storm.
The Kingdom of Heaven and true Christianity consist not in words, but in power! It is time for all who are named a Christian to shed their powerless, joyless, faithless, hopeless, loveless Christian existence and man-made religion, for the perfect righteousness of Christ, and receive power from God to finally be a Christian with power, not lacking in any of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). This is to be Christ-like: to be meek, humble, lowly, pure, Holy, full of peace, love, joy, faith, hope: to be full of the Holy Spirit. This is my prayer for you dear reader! Amen!
#Kingdom #God #Power #Word #Lukewarm #HolySpirit #New #Life #Promise #Condition #Faith #Peace #Love #Great #Reward #Obey #Commandments #Conversion #Return #Repent
By John Foll, written between 5/6/2017 to 5/8/2017.
© Copyright John Foll 2017
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16 KJV.
Paul states the most essential question here: Whose servant are you? How do you know whose servant you are? Answer: Who are you yielding to? This last question answers whose servant you are. If you are yielding to your lower nature, you will reap a harvest of corruption. If you are yielding to God, you will yield a rich harvest for the Master. There is no in between: if you are yielding some to God, and then some to yourself or to our ancient foe, you are on the wrong side still. Trying to keep one foot in heaven and one foot on this earth will still cause you to reap a harvest of sin and corruption until you repent. God loves you and will take you just as you are, and give you a chance to repent and get to know Him and be saved. But if you want to have the assurance of your own salvation and have peace, love, joy, faith and hope, all the things that make life worth living, living for all eternity, you must yield yourself completely to Him. If you are yielding to the flesh, you cannot walk by the Spirit. If you are walking in the flesh, you ‘cannot please God.’ Romans 8:7 NASB. If you are not walking by the Spirit day-by-day, you cannot have life and peace. Peace comes by confessing your sins and yielding completely to God and continuing to walk with His Spirit. He will give you love, faith, hope, and much joy, if you would walk, and continue to walk by His Spirit!
At the end of the day, the question as to whose servant you are will decide your destiny. That is why this question is of the utmost importance to you and your life, to know what the final outcome of your life will be, if it continues on as it did today. Whose servant are you?
But you may say, ‘I am a Christian and have been one for some time’. Well that is all fine and good if you have yielded yourself completely to Jesus and His Father, but if you are not yielding to them on a day-by-day basis and are yielding to the flesh, your carnal nature, you are not truly God’s servant yet, but are still serving the flesh. To be everything a Christian is meant to be and to have that wonderful peace, love and joy you must yield fully to God, and then you cannot help but be His servant; it will be the most natural thing in the world for you. If you are thinking of yourself and what you want, or are yielding to bitterness or anger or unforgiveness, you cannot be His servant too. If you haven’t yielded totally to God, you are placing yourself or someone or something else above God. ‘Thou shalt have no other God’s before me.’ Exodus 20:3 KJV. We believe that this is the most broken of God’s commandments in the entire Bible! To be free from breaking this most broken commandment, humble your heart, and willingly yield fully to God. But you can only yield fully to Him if you love Him more than anyone or anything else. Matthew 12:29-30.
You cannot of your own yield to God. We are all born with the desire to yield to the flesh, but as God’s Spirit beckons you to want to be forgiven, have peace, and have a better life with Him, if you listen to His sweet voice, and want this more than anything else, wanting to be free from the guilt of your sins, and are tired of sinning and hurting God and others, then yield to the precious Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the only one who can enable you to yield to God. Jesus said, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper [or the Comforter or the Holy Spirit] 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; John 16:7-8 NASB. So God sent the Holy Spirit into this world to convict the world of sin, and of righteousness and judgment. No one on this earth is qualified to take over the functions of the Holy Spirit as enumerated here! You cannot decide that you will do your own thing today, and that on the morrow you will finally yield your heart to God all the way, to do the right thing and be His servant. It is only the Holy Spirit that can do this for you. Now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2. Do not put off for tomorrow what you know you should do today. Do not plan to have your own way today, and say that you will repent tomorrow. Only the Holy Spirit can convict you of sin, and not yourself. So if you are planning on doing your own thing today, and making a change tomorrow, there is no guarantee that you will feel convicted tomorrow to want to change. Do not play games with God. Do not tell Him that you are a Christian and belong to Him, if you are not giving Him your whole heart. You cannot lie to God. All things are open and bare before Him with whom we have to do. Hebrews 4:13. He reads your life like a book, but He loves you and is offering you a chance to repent and give up your half-way Christian lukewarm state, and exchange it for His life and peace. Is that what you want? Then yield yourself to Him and obey Him. He will listen to your prayer if you pray, ‘Be merciful to me God a sinner.’ Luke 18:13.
But you may say again, ‘I am a Christian and have been one for many years’. You have no claim to righteousness, therefore how long you have been a Christian and how many good things you have done for God or others do not matter, if you have not yielded your heart fully to Him. If you have not humbled and continued to humble your heart before God, yielding to Him fully, to obey Him in all things, you are in need of being born again, if you want life and peace, and ever want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 1 John 3:3, 5.
How do you yield to God? First and foremost, by confessing your sins. Secondly by humbling your heart before God, acknowledging that He is God and the only one who can save you, and praying to Him, asking for His help to be a better person. If you continue to do this, God will draw you closer and closer to Himself, and will bless you beyond measure! ‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.’ Matthew 6:24 KJV. Do you love God more than anything else, and despise sin? Then you have found life, and more abundantly! If you are trying to serve both God and self, you are living a half-way Christian life that God is not pleased with, unless you desire a better life. But if you are yielding to God, and continue to yield to Him, staying contrite and penitent before Him, you will have life and peace. This is what is meant by walking by the Spirit. When this happens to you all the way, you will be blessed with God’s sweet Spirit and much blessed, pressed down, shaken together, and running over! “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38 KJV. If you give sparingly of yourself to God, then your blessings from Him will also be sparse.
If you want to be good, you must yield yourself to God completely, and then you will be His servant! If you are not sure how to yield to Him completely, just give in to your desire to have this wonderful peace that He placed in your heart, and humble yourself before Him, confess, and study the many precious promises and faith and love building stories in the Bible, especially the stories about Jesus, and allow God to bless your heart! The thing that you have searched for so long, if indeed you have, is now within your reach! God is calling out to your heart now to accept the terms of His peace, love, joy and happiness, now and forever! Amen.
“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,” Romans 8:5-6 NASB.
#Whose #Servant #Fully #Yield #Obey #Confess #Life #Peace #Holy Spirit #God #Reap #Harvest #Destiny #Master #Death #Righteousness #Convict #Sin #Mercy #Love
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!
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© 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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