By John Foll, written between 2/23/2019 and 2/27/2019
© Copyright 2019 John Foll
Do you know the truth? Many people think or say that they know the truth, but do they really? We want to get to the bottom of this. What is the truth? And how do you know if you have found it? It’s important to know if you know the truth or not.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.’” John 14:6 NASB.
If someone doesn’t know Jesus, really know Him, then they really don't know ‘the Truth.’ Someone may think that they know ‘all truth,’ but not know ‘the Truth.’ Knowing right from wrong is a good place to start, but in order to do what is right you need a power beyond yourself. Many make the mistake of thinking that a mere knowledge of the truth and the belief in it is enough, but it is not unless they know Jesus, because He is the only way and the truth and the life. Without the power to be good, knowing the truth is not enough. If you don't know Jesus, you will not have that new life that He wants to give you, or have life more abundantly. John 10:10; 1 John 5:12. You need to know Jesus in order to be born again. Jesus declared that only those who are born again will be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven. John 3:3, 5. If you have the Son you have the life, if you do not have the Son you do not have the life! 1 John 5:12 NASB. If you want to know 'the truth,' you must get to know Jesus, because He is ‘the Truth.’ Otherwise you do not have it. This life from Him that He longs to give you is a vibrant relationship with Him, where He opens to you the way of the truth and gives you the power to do it! Do not be deceived, without knowing Him you cannot do or keep the truth and will stumble on the way.
What did Jesus mean when He said that ‘no one comes through the Father but through Me?’ Those who think that they are going to be saved because of their knowledge of the scriptures, or because of their knowledge of the truth as given by other inspired Christian authors, or because of their own good works, without having to go through Jesus to be saved will be in for a rude awakening at the second resurrection.
“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power ***” Revelation 20:6 KJV. But what is the second death? And why is it that we don’t want to be resurrected at the second resurrection? Because Jesus said, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:28-29 KJV. The two resurrections Jesus describes here are: 1) the resurrection of life, and 2) the resurrection of damnation. This is why Revelation 20:6 declares that ‘blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection,’ because the second death is the resurrection of damnation! The second death does not sound good, does it? We don’t want any part of that!
Many people think that a knowledge of the truth or their belief in it will save them, but it will not, unless they get salvation from Jesus. No one can be saved, except those who come through Jesus to get to the Father. Only Jesus’ blood forgives their sins and makes them acceptable to God.
There may be some people who are saved, who didn’t know Jesus or the basics of Christianity. God can choose to forgive them based on the blood of Jesus,’ this is His prerogative, since He is a God of love and justice and fairness. But doesn’t this contradict what we just stated? No. God doesn’t hold someone accountable for what they didn’t know and couldn’t learn in their lifetime. This is important to understand. People who don’t know about Jesus can still be saved by Jesus, not by anything that they have done or not done. We are all saved by the merits of Jesus’ blood alone. Are we saying that you don’t have to be a Christian at all to be saved? Not exactly. In the times of ignorance God winked, but He is now commanding men and women everywhere to repent and believe in Jesus. The apostle Paul declared: “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” Acts 17:29-31 KJV. Jesus loves poor sinners who don’t know Him, and will plead His blood for them if they were honest and doing the best that they could with what they knew. But no one can be saved without Jesus’ blood. No! It is impossible! That is what Jesus meant. But as Paul plainly indicated, even though that in the times of ignorance God winked, there will come a day when people who don’t know Jesus will be held accountable for their ignorance (including those who believe that they are Christians but don’t really know Him), if they fail to avail themselves of the opportunity of learning about Him, and they resist the Holy Spirit. So once they learn about Jesus, they need to come to Him for forgiveness and life, and not try to be saved in any other way, or through their own merit or goodness. It must be remembered, that the unpardonable sin for a sinner is resisting the Holy Spirit or failing to obey His pleading in their heart. John 16:8-11; Acts 7:51; Mark 3:22-30. The unpardonable sin is the one sin that will keep someone out of Heaven - which is resisting the Holy Spirit.
It is possible to study the truth of the Bible your entire life and not know the most essential truth of them all - Jesus. This is the one thing you cannot do without! How does this happen? It is done by doing your own thing, or by rendering less than a full consecration to God, and resisting the pleas of the Holy Spirit. If you cooperate with God and listen to the Holy Spirit, He will testify to you of Jesus, so that you can know Him. John 15:26. It’s your choice what you will do and whether you will have the new life that Jesus is offering you or not. Someone who “knows” the truth, who doesn’t know Jesus and has not devoted themselves to Him cannot help but have deep spiritual problems. When someone tries to keep the truth without knowing Him, they will either sink into a legalistic quagmire, or into a careless state that some folks have who think they can do what they like, since they are ‘saved.’ (This is the way they have been taught by the lukewarm professors of ‘the truth’, where ‘the truth’ is picked out and made to contradict other portions of the Bible and against itself.) A lot of God’s people seem to fall in either one of these categories. Neither of these groups know Jesus, because He plainly declared that if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 NASB. Jesus stated this in response to what took place here: “Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham's offspring, and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You shall become free?'” Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. And the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.’” John 8:31-35 NASB. Jesus’ response indicated that they needed to be made free. They believed that they were OK since they were descended from Abraham. But Jesus told them that since they had committed sin that they were slaves of sin, needing to be made free. Thus they were not really free like they thought they were. They were in as much need of being free as we are in our day! No human being is not in need of being made free; we all need this freedom which only Jesus can give. Those who have addictions to sin that they can't break out of are definitely not free indeed. Clearly these do not know Jesus yet, because He came to free the captives (Isaiah 61:1-8; Luke 4:18) and make them free indeed.
Therefore if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed! Just believe it. He cannot lie! If He has made you free, you will be free indeed! Has he made you free dear reader? This is the real gospel that Jesus and the disciples preached. Freedom! This freedom can be yours too if you greatly desire it! Jesus has promised this to you if you are tired of being a slave to sin! Why not claim this promise for yourself and finally be free? You owe it to yourself to do this! This is the best thing that will ever happen to you and will help you on your way to Heaven!
Those who do not know Jesus cannot be free indeed. Those who do not know Jesus cannot obey Him. Those who do not know Jesus cannot possibly please Him, regardless of how many Bible texts they try to stack up to indicate that there is no need to. They try to drown out God's requirements in the Bible that declare that the wages of sin is death [Romans 6:23] and that we need to live holy lives for Him [1 Peter 1:15-16], confessing our sins to Him. 1 John 1:9. And unfortunately many today also teach that confession of sin to God is not needed for someone who gets 'saved,' because they say 'it was finished' at the cross or some other mumbo-jumbo nonsense. But someone who knows Jesus will want to please Him! It is automatic. They won’t be doing it to save themselves, but because they love Him, and because He gives them the power to obey. Those who don’t love Him, don’t please Him and don’t obey Him. Maybe this is the problem.
The Bible should never be read or studied in such a way as to make it contradict itself; we should seek out the closest harmony in it, because God is a God of order. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” 1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV. And: “Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40 KJV. Yes you are saved by grace alone, not by your works. But this does not negate the rest of the Bible. Yes God offers forgiveness for your sins and mistakes when you confess them, but He wants you to live a holy life, and He has provided a way for you to do so, if you will become a partaker of the divine nature through Jesus. “For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” 2 Peter 1:4 NASB.
Jesus declared: “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48 NASB. Many people live, teach and act as if Jesus didn't mean what He said, and said what He meant here! They seem to think that it is impossible for them to live a good life this side of Heaven. But what did Jesus say? He said be ye perfect therefore as your heavenly father is perfect. This is a command, not something you can do if you want to. If what Jesus said was not true, this would make Him a liar! God forbid! Now who is the liar? The liar is the one who says we don’t need to concern ourselves with what Jesus said here; they use other scriptures to try to negate it. The liar is the one who says that Jesus didn’t come in the flesh (living as we do, tried and tempted as we are in all points, yet without sin [Hebrews 4:15] – thus showing us how to live). John writes: “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” 2 John 1:7 KJV. And: “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.” 1 John 2:22-23 NASB. Anyone who teaches that we don’t need to obey all of what Jesus taught, or that we can be saved by any other way than through Jesus is the liar. (Including that they can be saved merely through their knowledge and belief in ‘the truth.’) How can anyone be right, regardless of their quotes or reasoning if they contradict Jesus? Who does John say this is? The antichrist! There, I have done it! I have invoked the title of the arch evil one for that lie, for he is the father of lies! The liar is the one who contradicts Jesus. The liar is the one who says that we do not need to crucify the flesh with its sinful passions and desires. Paul declares, “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:24 NASB. The liar is the one who teaches others to not believe Jesus or teaches unbelief. There can be no misunderstanding of what Jesus stated here in Matthew 5:48 with someone whose mind is open to ‘the way, the truth and the life’ - Jesus. You don't have to have a doctor's degree in theology to figure out what He meant. He said be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect, and that is what He meant.
Jesus also stated that those who love Him keep His word, and that those who don't love Him do not hear Him or keep His word. “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; …’” John 14:23 NASB. And: “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. And: “Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. *** If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.’” John 8:42-47 NASB.
The problem here is that unbelief blocks the plain words of Jesus, making them seem obscure or something that is unimportant or something that cannot be right, without considering the ramifications of this view. Of course many people don't view this as making Jesus a liar, but it's true. Either what Jesus said is true or what they believe is true that contradicts Jesus. But they cannot both be right. Those who truly believe in righteousness by faith, learn true faith. When they learn that God is to be fully trusted, they start to take the word of God as it reads, and stop quibbling over what it says and simply believe it. All would do well to get to this point in their spiritual life, where they simply believe the word of God without any doubt. (Take the Bible as it reads, unless you are reading a passage which is clearly symbolic and needs interpreting, but then study other portions of the Bible to learn what it means. The Bible will explain itself if you let it and want to know ‘the Truth.’) But this language that Jesus used is so unmistakable, so unavoidable - a child should be able to understand it. So why is it that many adults cannot understand what He said? It is because of unbelief! People schooled in years of unbelief, stuck in addictions or trying to be good by themselves are those who come up with humanistic theories that contradict the plain word of God, such as the error that we do not need to be perfect or cannot be perfect. Jesus would not have commanded His followers to be perfect if it were not possible through His help to do so.
If you wish to be saved and please God, you must believe what is written in the Bible, because it is the word of God. You must believe in the promises of God to free you from sin and save you, otherwise you have no hope of being saved. John 3:16-17. Why waste your time with a religion that doesn't offer you hope? This is not the gospel of the Bible at all, but another gospel. 2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6-26. This is not the gospel that Jesus, Paul, David or John or the many cloud of witnesses in the Bible preached. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 KJV. But the devil's sophistry blinds people to the clear truth. If you want to be undeceived by his lies and deceptions, pray to God to be merciful to you a sinner and He will help you! Luke 18:13. This is something He will be happy to do! We promise you! And He will open your mind to ‘the Truth.’ Is that what you want? But what truth is that? That you would know the one and true God and Jesus His Son, who made the sacrifice for your sins, that you might be forgiven and be made free indeed! Jesus prayed to His Father for all of His disciples (which can be you too if you want to be His disciple): “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3 NASB. This is the true gospel! Everything outside of this is another gospel and not the truth. Stop wasting your time on spiritual rubbish or half-truths that are of no value (Isaiah 55:1-3), and learn where real life comes from, and where the real power comes from – Jesus. There is no other name than Jesus, given among men, whereby you must be saved. Acts 4:12. If you just get to know Jesus, your life will be changed forever, as long as you abide in Him. John 15:4-6, 9-10. God guarantees it!
All your righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6 KJV. But this does not mean that God cannot provide you a robe that is pure and spotless! Oh no, this is not true! For this is the promise of the Gospel! The gospel is useless if it cannot make you a better, kinder and gentler person. The gospel is more than forgiveness, it takes away your shame and gives you hope - that you don't have to be or continue to be a miserable failure! The way many preach ‘the gospel’ today is no gospel at all. The real gospel doesn't give you a pass on your sins, or just heap upon you legal requirements that you can never meet. The real gospel forgives your sins when you confess them. The real gospel helps you to keep God’s requirements and makes you happy! The real gospel provides a way to lift you up out of the mud and set you on high, in Heavenly places! If the Son has made you free, you shall be free indeed! When will people start to believe what Jesus said, that if He has ‘made you free, you will be free indeed?’ Why is it that so many people don't see their need of being free, or how or why Jesus will do this? Why can't people believe the word of God as it is written? Why is it that they can't see that Jesus wants to make them free? Have they not heard that He loves them? Have they not heard that He died on the cross for their sins? Have they not heard that He promised to give them freedom and change them and save them? Do they not love Him? Do they not desire these wonderful gifts for themselves? Or do they think that these are beyond the ability of Jesus to give? Or do they think that they can do this on their own without Him? - as many believe, because pride doesn’t have to take the back seat when the person does it themselves, instead of humbling themselves before God. But pride comes before the fall (Proverbs 16:18), and no one can be saved without humbling themselves before God and getting His forgiveness and help to live a good life for Him.
To summarize this lesson:
Jesus said, that He ‘is the way, the truth, and the life.’ Do you believe now? No one can enter into Heaven or get out of this world of sin, but through the blood He shed on the cross for their sins. No one can come to the Father except through Jesus. There is nothing you can do that will give you an entrance into Heaven, except through the atoning blood of Jesus for your sins. There is no way for you to know ‘the truth,’ unless you know Jesus. No one can know ‘the truth,’ if they first do not know Him, really know Him, and have given themselves to Him. No one can know ‘the way,’ unless they know Him. There is no universal salvation that everyone gets. There is no salvation that anyone gets without knowing ‘the Truth’ - Jesus. And no one can have ‘the life,’ if they do not know Him: It comes through Him alone. Salvation is given only to those who know the way, the truth and the life. Regardless of how many ‘truths’ someone learns from the Bible or by any other inspired writer, unless they know Jesus and are born again (John 3:3, 5) they will in no wise enter the kingdom of Heaven, regardless of which Bible texts they quote to show they can be saved in another way. The Bible doesn’t contradict itself, and nothing that contradicts Jesus is correct. Any interpretation of any Bible text which contradicts the plain words of Jesus cannot be the truth and is a lie, for He is ‘the Truth.’ Those who think that because they know and believe all of the truth in the Bible, who think that this makes them good and will save them, who haven’t been changed by Jesus and softened by His love and made into kinder gentler people filled with His Spirit, have deceived themselves. Jesus is coming back to save those whom He knows. Jesus declared, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day [the judgement], Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23 KJV. In the day of the judgment, those who do not know Jesus - will have to depart from Him, and will be cast out into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Dear reader, if you have found that you have relied on your own knowledge of the truth to save you, and did not really know Jesus, there is still time to repent and get to know Him. Dear reader, if you didn’t know that you needed to obey Jesus’ commands, you can now seek for God’s help today. This will bring you much joy and power! None of your Bible knowledge or anything else, no matter how correct it is, will save you unless you know Jesus and are born again. Unless you love Him and His Father, and have allowed Them to fill you with the precious Holy Spirit, you cannot know the way, the truth and the life, regardless of how much you have studied the Bible or what any minister has told you. God loves you and wants to save you. Do not resist Him! Put your full trust in Him, and in the merits of Jesus’ blood to atone for your sins, and allow the Holy Spirit to convict you of sin, fill you, and help you to live a righteous life for God. Let Jesus make you free indeed, breaking your slavery to sin and bad habits that are destroying you or hurting others. This is our prayer for you. Amen.
May the grace of God be with you, as you get to know ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ - Jesus! Amen.
#Essential #Truth #Know #Knowledge #Way #Life #Jesus #Father #Perfect #Abundant #Believe #Belief #Save #Legalism #Son #Made #Free #Gospel #Liar #Antichrist
By John Foll
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
My post on this Disqus: Monday 1/1/2018
Paul tells us clearly that we can gain the victory through Christ. "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:24 KJV. Then 2 verse later here he also says this: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1 KJV. And at the end of this chapter he says: "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39 KJV. Paul himself also died a conqueror: "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:6-8 KJV.
Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, and He is able to do what He says He will do for us. We need to believe that. None of us are good, not even one, but God is good all the time, as is Jesus His Son. God and His Son Jesus are more than able to deliver us and help us gain the victory, if we will seek after God with all our heart, and make Him our God, laying all on the altar to Him. Then, when He is our God, He will save us, just like He promised He would, and will help us to gain the victory. "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2 KJV.
‘But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 15:57 NASB.
And contrary to the opinion of some Bible teachers, it is possible to gain the victory through Jesus Christ. The Book of Revelation affirms that there will be a group of people who gained the victory through the Lamb. I want to be in that group. How about you? After the seven last plagues fall on this earth Revelation tells us about this group:
"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest." Revelation 15:2-4 KJV.
So we see here that Revelation predicts that there will be a group of people that get the victory, despite what this world and the Beast try to do to them. This is only by God's power, not by anything found in themselves. Let’s talk faith and live it, not acting like God is powerless to save His people from their sins. This promise of salvation runs throughout the entire Bible! Believe it! Receive it!
The prophet Isaiah also tells us there will be a group of people waiting for God to save them, and He does: (This is a representation of those who are alive when Jesus comes back in the clouds with great glory at the Second Coming): "And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." Isaiah 25:9 KJV.
If you have this desire, dear reader to have this victory, God will give it to you, if you will humble yourself before Him and give your heart to Him all the way, He would be delighted to give you this victory! "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Matthew 5:6 NASB. Jesus promised through this text the victory who would hunger and thirst after God's righteousness. Believe it!
#Victory #Over #Sin #Contrary #False #Teachers #Conqueror #Paul #Fought #Good #Fight #Jesus #Author #Finisher #Faith #Moses #Save #Salvation #Believe #Righteousness
The Unity of the Scriptures
By John Foll, written between 8/19/2017 and 8/23/2017, except for the start which came with Part 1. © Copyright 2017 John Foll
“To whom would He teach knowledge, and to whom would He interpret the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just taken from the breast? For He says, 'Order on order, order on order, line on line, line on line, a little here, a little there.' ” Isaiah 28:9-10 NASB.
In this article we want to show you how to understand the Bible, by applying the principles of order upon order, line upon line, precept upon precept. We want to show the unity of the Bible and why it’s important, which shows order in the Bible, because God is a God of order. “Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40 KJV. Colossians 2:5; Titus 1:5; 2 Chronicles 29:35; Psalms 119:133; Matthew 12:44.
For the details of important truths you need to know that are taught by the Bible, please check out our new blog: How To Please God: http://WhiteRaimentEvangelismObey.blogspot.com/ .
The articles in the series you are now reading: “Order Upon Order, Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept!” are designed to teach you the importance of studying the whole Bible and the principles needed to understand it. They are a good lead into our new blog: How To Please God, where we will study these precious truths of the Bible that you need to know in greater detail. Why is it important to study these doctrines? So you can know how to please God and be eternally happy! Why aren’t we including them in our Love of God or our Faith Blogs? Because not everyone is ready for these truths yet. In our Love of God and our Faith Blogs we are trying to focus on the essentials of the gospel and how to be saved, have peace, love, joy, faith, hope, and how to become born again and be filled with the Spirit. Without these most essential and basic truths of the Gospel message fully believed and put into practice, your Christianity will become a “hollow shell”, with either self-righteousness or a carelessness of not loving God with all your heart, mind and soul, or a carelessness of not loving your neighbor as yourself.
We have seen in some of our previous articles in our Love of God Blog: the Holy Spirit is given to all that obey God. Acts 5:32. What does this mean? We have thought about this a lot and have come to the conclusion that it is most important to believe, teach and live by all of God’s truth in the Bible, not just the pleasant things to think about like the Love of God. (We already knew this at least in part, but had not connected it fully with Acts 5:32.) It makes no sense to talk about getting the Holy Spirit, or to talk about getting peace, love, faith, hope or joy, etc. if someone doesn’t eventually want to obey God. He gives us time to get to know Him and choose of our own free will to give our heart fully to Him or not. If anyone wants the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus also refers to as ‘the spirit of truth’, instead of the spirit of error, they must want to obey God. John 14:17; 16:16; 16:13. Anyone can claim they have the Holy Spirit or that they are born again, but the proof in whether they are or not, and have the right Spirit, is if they love and obey God, and treat others with kindness, love and respect. This means to keep God’s commandments, which are to love Him with all your heart, mind and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:36-40. The only way you can understand the Bible, is if you are listening to the Holy Spirit. The only way you can obey God’s commandments is if you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in your heart continually. But how do you know if you have the Holy Spirit? You must apply the Bible tests, you must keep God’s Law of Love. John said about Jesus: “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” 1 John 2:3-6 KJV. The promise of the Holy Spirit is a precious promise given to the believer who yields themselves to God. The more you yield to Him, the more of the power of the Holy Spirit you will have. If you yield to Him fully, you will have the Holy Spirit in full, and your life will never be the same; then God’s will for your life will be your greatest desire! The Holy Spirit is a precious gift that all Christians need. The Holy Spirit is also a reward given to those who want to obey God and love Him with all their heart, the Pearl of Great Price! When you love God with all your heart, mind and soul, then you have the Holy Spirit in full. Then obeying God’s every wish and command will be a delight for you, not a burden. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3 NASB.
In case you are wondering, whose commandments is John talking about keeping here in John 2:3-6, Jesus’ or God’s? As we have shown in our previous blog article: Order Upon Order, Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept! Part 1 http://WhiteRaimentEvangelism.blogspot.com/2017/08/order-upon-order-line-upon-line-precept-upon-precept-part1.html, God’s commandments are Jesus’ commandments, and Jesus’ commandments are God’s commandments, because they are one. Jesus is the Word of God and came to this earth to reveal His Father’s will for mankind. But Jesus restated God’s Law of Love in Matthew 22:36-40, and in John 13:34. (Note: Jesus wasn’t stating a new truth here, even though it may seem so, because this truth was taught first by Moses in Deuteronomy 6:4-6 and Leviticus 19:18.)
You must listen to the Holy Spirit to understand the Bible, be born again or be saved, but you must also love and obey God’s word in the Bible in order to have the Holy Spirit. Therefore it is important for you to study the other doctrines of the Bible, to help you know all of what God requires. This is the reason for our new blog, “How To Please God”; to teach the other essential truths of the Bible, so you can please God and have the Holy Spirit in full!
Now back to our current article “Order Upon Order, Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept Part 2”:
We want to add to our order upon order, and line upon line doctrines:
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV. What scripture does Paul say is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and instruction in righteousness? All scripture. What scriptures were the scriptures in Paul’s day? Just the Old Testament. Paul didn’t start to write any of his epistles until a long time after Jesus had gone back to Heaven, and most likely his own writings, although inspired, were not considered on the same level as scriptures until a later date. We don’t want to take the time to try to prove this to you in this article. We have talked about this in our books and other blog articles, and there is more too learn of it.
We are making the point about the Old Testament being “all scriptures” because there are many in our day that are teaching that Jesus did away with the Old Testament or the 10 Commandments, etc. and that the Old Testament can be discarded in part, if not in whole, because some declare it to be “Old Covenant”. To many people anything that can be labeled “Old Covenant” should be discarded. The devil is well pleased with this thinking, because once people start down this road, they end up carving up the New Testament too, with some parts being labeled ‘old covenant’ and other parts being labeled ‘new covenant’. This is destroying belief in the New Testament. As we have said in some of our books, the New Testament uses the Old Testament to prove that Jesus is the Christ, and it is the starting point of the Christian Faith, and if it is discarded, it turns Christianity into a sham, because we must have confidence that Jesus is the Christ or the Messiah of the world. If the Old Testament is not valid anymore, it destroys the credibility of Jesus, because He spoke with favor on it. Many things that He spoke can be found in the Old Testament. We have also shown in some of our previous blog articles, in our Love of God Blog and in some of our books, that there are preachers in our day that are contradicting Christ by their incorrect views of what Paul taught in his epistles. They tend to place their ideas of what Paul taught above the clear testimony of Jesus! A careful study of Paul’s writings reveal that he did not contradict anything that Jesus said. What Paul was against was legalism, the effort to save one’s self by themselves, and he was for being a new creature, which is to be born again and walk by the Spirit, which is life and peace. Romans 8:5-10. But these are the same things that Jesus was for!
We are not saying that the New Testament is not the scriptures or ‘all scriptures’. Our point is to make you aware that the books of the Old Testament were the scriptures first, and they were the scriptures that Paul specifically referred to when he wrote the epistle of 2nd Timothy. (He may have also been intending that his epistles and some of the other books of the New Testament that were written were scriptures too, but we haven’t researched this to know if it is true.) Many people probably haven’t thought of it this way, and may not realize what Paul meant in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. This point is important to understand. Since Paul and the other Apostles had seen Jesus physically or in a vision and learned from Him, and received the Holy Spirit, their writings are also the word of God, thus ‘the scriptures’. Many Christians make the New Testament their main or only scriptures, and are unsure whether the books of the Old Testament are also ‘the scriptures’ that are necessary for them to study and follow. But to understand God’s complete will for man, and to have a full understanding of the plan of salvation, and to understand the future that lies ahead of us, i.e. Bible prophecy, the Old Testament must be studied and viewed as the word of God by every believer. The writers of the New Testament did not fully expound on or list all of the truths of the Old Testament in their writings, because the people were exhorted to study the scriptures. In their day, there was no question that the Old Testament was the word of God to the believer.
Paul also said, “Study to shew [or show] thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV. What does Paul mean by rightly dividing the word of truth? He means that we need to study the whole Bible (both the Old and New Testaments), know all of what it says, and know how to rightly divide it up by context to build valid doctrines without contradictions, and we also believe, comparing scripture with scripture, order upon order, line upon line, and precept upon precept, as our theme passage for this article series indicates. This method of rightly dividing the truth is the method that God approves of. Those who rightly divide the word of truth will not be ashamed in the Day of Judgment, when their life record is brought up and the fruit of their life is accounted for. There will be a great reward for those who have been faithful in honoring God’s law of love for mankind, and teaching others to do so, and teaching others the way of salvation! We don’t know about you, but we want that great reward that Jesus promised! Don’t you too?
See Matthew 5:19; 25:31-46; John 15:16; Matthew 10:32-33; 1 Samuel 2:30; 2 Timothy 2:11-13; Psalms 19:7, 11; Romans 1:16; 10:11; 1 John 2:28; 2 Timothy 1:12-14.
We need to seek for harmony in the Bible and see how the Old and New Testaments work together! And that without either of them, we have an incomplete understanding of all truth! We have also endeavored in our Love of God Blog and in our Faith Blog to show that it has always been about faith. In the days of the Old Testament, it was about faith that Jesus would one day come to redeem mankind from their sins, to pay the price for our sins, and for the salvation that He and His Father would bring through the resurrection, and take His people home to be with Him forever in Heaven in mansions of glory and endless delight, as *the song says. And this is true in our day! We have even more light of the scriptures shining on our path than the people in the days of the Old Testament had, but it is still about faith in Jesus and His Father, whereby we must be saved and always will be.
One of the purposes of this Order Upon Order, Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept series of articles is to help you have full confidence that all of the Bible is the word of God; so that you can believe it, be happy, please God and receive the Holy Spirit in full, because the Holy Spirit is given to all that obey God, Acts 5:32, and to those who want to obey Him.
* From the Hymn: ‘My Jesus I Love Thee’: Words by William Ralph Featherston, Music by Adoniram Gordon. Click on the link below to hear me singing this song on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX4x8FJP6fA
In addition to Christians wanting to get rid of the Old Testament as part of their rule of faith, atheism, for some time now, has been trying to destroy our belief that God was the creator, as the Bible says He was in the book of Genesis. And some Christians now are integrating “theistic” evolution into their beliefs; this goes along with their belief that the Old Testament is old covenant and not necessary for Christians. Our purpose in this article is not to debunk evolution here, but to point out that it is a big factor in the errors that are plaguing our world today.
What’s at stake? The unity of the Bible, and whether God really meant what He said, or whether He changed His mind and said something different at a later date. If you have been confused on this, we hope that you will want to learn the truth on the unity of the Bible, ‘all scriptures’. If you don’t agree with this you will have trouble with many of our articles, because this is an integral part of what Acts 5:32 teaches, that if we want the Holy Spirit we must obey God. And the only way we can obey God is if we want to obey everything He said in the Bible. So we must study all of it. There is a beauty and harmony with the truth, when it is understood with no contradictions; this is the only way to know true peace, and to have the Spirit of Truth that Jesus promised to all of His disciples. John 15:26; 14:15-17; 16:13-14.
Jesus declared that those who read the scriptures and do not see that they testify of Him, do not have God’s word abiding in their heart. “And ye have not His word abiding in you: for whom He hath sent, Him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me. And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life.” John 5:38-40 KJV. What scriptures was Jesus referring to when He said this? The Old Testament. How do we know this? Because the book of John was not written until about A.D. 90’s! See http://www.freebeginning.com/new_testament_dates/. It is impossible that the book of John could have been considered scriptures when Jesus spoke John 5:38-40! The first book of the New Testament that was written was most likely the book of Mark, which was written about 60 - 70 A.D. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Mark/ . So it is impossible that any book of the New Testament could have been scriptures when Jesus said this. Also it is impossible for any book of the New Testament to have been considered scriptures before that book was written. We believe that many Christians have not considered the fact that the Gospels or the book of Acts were not written until a much later date, after they took place. And the other books of the New Testament were also written many years after Jesus went back to Heaven!
The Old Testament scriptures declare the love of God and the plan of salvation. Throughout its pages, in its rites and ceremonies, laws, and stories, we see God’s mercy for our fallen world. We see the plan of how Jesus would be sent to die on the cross for the sins of the world, how to live and be born again, how God would send the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, and how Jesus would one day return at the second coming and raise the righteous from the dead, and take all of His people home to be with Him and the Father in the mansions He has prepared for them. We also see the second resurrection and the judgement of the wicked and their eventual complete destruction by fire. All of this was shown or predicted in the Old Testament in one place or another. Much of this was shown in the daily rites, the festivals and other yearly rites of the sanctuary services with what the Priests did. And there were many prophecies from Moses, David and the Major and Minor Prophets throughout its pages. To get a full understanding of the truth it is necessary to study the New Testament together with the Old Testament, comparing their teachings and Bible prophecies. It is not good for anyone to reject the authority or the inspiration of the Old Testament, or to try to put it down as not being needed anymore for Christians. Jesus said that the scriptures testify of Him, which were the Old Testament scriptures. How can anything that testifies about Jesus be bad? These are the same "all scriptures” that Paul also spoke about that are profitable for the Christian, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete and lacking in nothing.
Jesus said to the Tempter, when tempted to turn the stones into bread when He was hungry, near the end of his forty day fast: ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:4 KJV. If you study the words of Moses, and the writings of the Old Testament with an open mind, you will see that these are indeed the words of God! Jesus declared that we should not live by the bread that we eat for food alone, implying that we are not to live just by the works or the fruits of our hands; not just by how we earn our living or feed ourselves. But we are also to live by the words of God, all of them. We should take heed to all that God has said, unless it was of a temporary nature (not for our day), or conditional with conditions not met.
We also have this testimony from Jesus regarding the importance of listening to Moses and the Prophets in this parable of the Rich man and Lazarus: “"But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.' "But he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!' "But he said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.'"” Luke 16:29-31 NASB. Some may think that Jesus was only talking to the Jews here when He made this statement, and that we don’t need to be concerned about what He said here if we are a Christian. But what Jesus said here was His main point! If someone will not believe the writings of Moses and the Prophets (literally He is talking about the entire Old Testament here), neither will they believe if someone should rise from the dead and tell them to repent. Think about what Jesus meant here!
Do Christians have the Old Testament in their Bibles? Yes. Why? Because Christians throughout the ages since Jesus went back to Heaven have been blessed by the Old Testament in its stories of faith, and the great and wonderful works of God! So it has been included in their Biblical canon. Who has not been blessed by reading the Psalms? Those who are down and out and greatly need encouragement. And there are many wonderful promises about Jesus the Messiah, particularly as found in the book of Isaiah the prophet. Who has not been blessed by these prophecies? Do we as Christians have the testimony of Moses and the Prophets in our Bible? Again yes. Then you must accept the testimony of the Old Testament, because you have Moses and the Prophets, as Jesus said. If you don’t, neither will you believe if someone should rise from the dead telling you to repent! Jesus was not just speaking to the Jewish race here! David wrote: “the law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul, the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple”! Psalms 19:7 KJV. This is found in the Old Testament. If you want to be truly converted, do not reject any of God’s counsel for you in any part of the Holy Scriptures, be it the Old or New Testaments.
There is yet another point to be learned from Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus: Did someone rise from the dead and seek to tell His people to repent? Yes! Who? Jesus! Even though the Bible makes no mention that Jesus ever spoke to any of the leaders of the nation of Israel again after His resurrection, by proxy He did speak to them. Through the testimony of Peter, James and John, the rest of the Apostles, and of course Paul. They were all preaching that Jesus’ rose from the dead and that everyone should repent. One place is Acts 2. Did any of the Jews believe Jesus’ call to repentance after He rose from the grave? Yes, but not all. We do not know the number, but it was probably not the majority. Why? Because Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 NASB. Many did not receive this testimony that He was risen, that His death for their sins alone could save them, and that they should repent. Why? Because they had not truly believed Moses and the Prophets, who all testified of Him! If they had known and really believed these writings, they would have known Jesus too, for these writings prophesied of Him. So we think that Jesus was making a prophecy concerning Himself in this parable of the rich man and Lazarus, that when He would rise from the dead, those who did not truly believe Moses and the Prophets would not believe His testimony either, as given by His Disciples telling them to repent. This is quite a statement that Jesus made! We wish all Christians would understand this, that if they will not believe the testimony of Moses and the Prophets, neither will they truly believe Jesus’ testimony to repent.
Both of the Old and New Testaments are the Holy Scriptures that we as Christians need to study and ask God’s help to put into practice. We are to live by all of these words that proceed from the mouth of God! If we want to understand God’s will for us, we will want to study everything that He has revealed in His Holy Scriptures, both in the Old and the New Testaments, and compare them, order upon order, line upon line, precept upon precept. This is the way of peace, love, joy, happiness, and eternal life! If you would have life, search for Jesus in the Old Testament, as well as studying about Him in the New Testament, for all of the Bible testifies about Jesus, and His Father’s love for our world. Amen!
May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all!
We hope to write further blog articles on this subject.
#Understand #Principle #Bible #Doctrine #Order #Unity #Old #New #Testament #HolySpirit #Obey #Love #Scripture #Reproof #Testimony #Jesus #Harmony #Believe #Rise #Dead
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 and earlier.
“And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:39-40 NASB. “And He was saying, ‘For this reason I havesaid to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.’” John 6:65 NASB.
Wow! It’s the Father’s will, if you will give your heart to Him, that He will give you to Jesus, and Jesus will raise you up on the last day! Whoever believes in Jesus will have eternal life! How do you know that the Father has given or will give you to Jesus? If you behold Jesus and believe in Him, you will be given to Jesus as the text says, and He will raise you up on the last day. You cannot lose if you do this. How do we know this? Because Jesus said here that He will lose none of those who have been given to Him. The condition again? To behold Jesus, God’s Son, and believe in Him.
Stop thinking about your past failures and problems. Just believe that the Father and Jesus the Son love you. Just believe that the Father will give you to His precious Son Jesus, who will raise you up to eternal life. He will give you a wonderful spiritual life now and when you die, He will raise you up on the last day! No one can come to Jesus, unless the Father draws him (by the power of the Holy Spirit). This is what is meant by ‘all that the Father gave me’.
In the New Testament of the Bible there are many comparisons between baptism, death, the resurrection of Jesus and the resurrection of our heart to walk in the newness of life – but these are often an allusion to the literal resurrection of the dead, that is promised to all who believe. Jesus also said this in our passage above in John 6:39-40 that He will raise up all who are given to Him by the Father on the last day! Is that what you want? To be raised up by Jesus on the last day? Then behold Jesus and believe in Him, and let Him create a clean heart in you (Psalms 51:10), and ask God to help you to become born again, so that you can enter the kingdom of God. John 3:3, 5.
God promised through the prophet Jeremiah that He would make a New Covenant with His people (the house of Israel and Judah, which also includes all Christians who give themselves to God, see Galatians 3:29), which was to be fulfilled starting at Pentecost in Acts 2 and continue to our day: “"Behold, days are coming, " declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."” Jeremiah 31:31-34 NASB. In this promise, not only does God want to write His Law in our heart, He wants all to know Him from the least to the greatest – this is also a prophecy of Heaven, which is when this prophecy will have its sweetest, complete fulfillment! But we can all have the first part fulfilled now, where God will write His Law in our heart.
So there is a link between being baptized into Jesus’ death and resurrection and the New Birth of John 3:3, 5 and God promising to create a new heart in His people of Jeremiah 31:31-34, and when Jesus finally takes His people to Heaven, at the Second Coming.Baptism/death, raised from the water/raised into the Newness of Jesus’ resurrection through baptism, and to the resurrection of the dead on the last day. If we love Jesus and want to be saved we will want to die with Him, through baptism (and each day die to sin), and be raised to newness of life, and to be resurrected on the last day. “It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:11-13 NASB. Paul indicates that if we want eternal life, we should die with Jesus in baptism, and not deny Jesus. And in 1 Corinthians 15:31, he also adds ‘die to self’. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9 KJV. We should ask God for His Holy Spirit to help us to be faithful to Him, and not deny Him or His Son Jesus by our words, deeds, thoughts, or by the way we live, so that He will not deny us. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 KJV. God does not want to appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through Jesus, as Paul says above, and that waking or sleeping we should live together with Him. It is the will of the Father, as Jesus said above in John 6:40, that all believe in Jesus and obtain eternal life. Therefore believe.
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 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: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:3-11 KJV. If you are not walking in newness of life with God’s love in your heart, or do not love God more than anything and everything else, or do not love your neighbor as yourself, then you have not fully, truly been baptized into Jesus’ death and resurrection, or you have not truly beheld the Son Jesus or believed in Him, or you have not continued like this. But if you are walking in newness of life, life is good and sweet, even if you are going through great difficulties and trials, and your heart will long to serve God and tell others how much He loves them, and help them in whatever way you have in your power to do. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”Proverbs 3:27 NASB. And to whom is good do? To every child of God; every human being on this earth, good or bad, because God loves them all! If you are born from above, this will be your sweetest desire, to help all when it is in your power to do so.
If you know you are not yet where you should be, or are not walking in newness of life, and you have not truly beheld the Son nor believed in Him, or are not born again, there is still hope! The door of mercy is still open! Get on your knees and plead with God to have mercy on you a sinner, and ask Him to help you to become born again. Ask God to help you to be more willing, and yield yourself completely to Him. God will always hear your prayer when you beg Him for mercy and cling to Him for help like this!Deuteronomy 10:20, 13:4; Joshua 23:8; Psalms 63:8. And you can yet be born from above! Amen!
This is what we want and continue to want, to be raised in newness of life, and to be raised on the last day to be with Jesus and His Father in Heaven forever.There is a great joy and a great reward in loving God with all your heart and loving your neighbor as yourself, because love is the fulfillment of the Law! Romans 13:10, and Psalms 19:7-11. This is God’s promise to all who behold Jesus and believe in Him.
Finally, to end this article, we want to bring this final statement from Paul regarding our blessed hope:
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NASB.
#God #Jesus #Lose #Raise #Behold #Believe #Faith #Resurrection #Baptism #Death #Life #Buried #New #Spirit #Born #Again #Covenant #Condition #Heaven #Pentecost
“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with youalways, even to the end of the age.’” Matthew 28:18-20 NASB.
Jesus has paid the price for our sins, and has been given all authority in heaven and on earth.He commands all who are His to go and make disciples of all men. And He is with us until the end of the world. This is a wonderful promise! If we wish to go out and tell others about God’s love and the salvation that Jesus bought for us, Jesus will be with us until the end of the world! It is because of the price that He paid for our sins, that we can go out and help win others for the kingdom. Let us rejoice and be glad for the great salvation He bought for us!
This command that Jesus gave us is a promise, that He would give us the power to make disciples of all men. When Jesus said this it was very near Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit would be poured out without measure upon His people who were gathered there in that upper room, and would be given to all Christians who would repent and be baptized. This same power is also available to us now, if we wish to be Jesus’ disciple! Acts 1 also talks about this same event where Jesus gave His last message to His disciples before He ascended back into heaven. He said to His disciples, “He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.’” Acts 1:7-8 NASB. Here is the secret to how they could preach the gospel to the whole world: they would receive power from God, the Holy Spirit to do so!
Many people do not fully realize what Christ has been given since He died on the cross, and provided the victory for us. They don’t live their lives like they fully, really believe that He won the victory on the cross for them, and has now been given all power in Heaven and on Earth. They want to say that Christ only forgives us when we confess our sins, or that we are just saved, with not much of a change or difference in their life needed after their conversion. Many don’t realize the power from Him that they can claim. If anyone desires to do Christ’s bidding and go tell the good news of the gospel to the world, Jesus will be with them, even until the end of the world! He will provide them with the power to preach this message with power, and will help the hearers of the message want to be saved. The power to bring honor and glory to Jesus and His Father has been promised to all Christians, not just grace to forgive us after we sin. The power to not live a hypocritical life, the power to live a righteous life for Him and the power to give His testimony to the world. These were all promised to us by Jesus, since He was victorious over sin and death, and paid for our sins, now all power has been given to Him both in Heaven and on earth! Let’s live our life, like we believe what He said! Let’s not live our lives, barely eking out a spiritual existence, and feeling guilty that we are not doing enough for Him or the Father. Why should we starve or thirst, when the fountain flowing from the river of life is within our reach, and when we have been provided with the bread of life? Just take the bread of life and a deep drink from the river of life that He has provided for you, and have a new life with Him! But take this every day, and every time you hunger and thirst, and you will be filled and satisfied with the goodness of God! Don’t starve or thirst yourself, but be filled with God’s love, you need it!
Let us also believe that He will give us the power to be His witnesses, both in Jerusalem, and all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the remotest parts of the earth as He said in Acts 1:8. We don’t have to be worried, or worry if we are good enough to be saved, or whether we are a good enough preacher to preach the word to others, or good enough at whatever gift God has given to us that He wants us to use for Him. No reason for guilt or fear. Just trust and believe Jesus when He said that all power has been given to Him in Heaven and on earth, and go out with joy, and help others see how much He and His Father love them! This is the gospel message! This is the good news! It’s not about how good we are, or what we can do for Him, it’s about what He and His Father and the Holy Spirit can do for us! Just cooperate with God, yield your heart to Him, and be filled with the Holy Spirit! Pray for this, breathe this, and live for this! Then go forth with great joy and great power, after you have received power from on high, and bring honor and glory to God! He deserves it doesn’t He? What brings honor and glory to God?When someone is saved by the blood of Jesus and transformed from a son or daughter of perdition or a son or daughter of sin, into a son or daughter of God! But what even brings more glory to God, is when His own children reproduce is character of love and want to go out and show this to the world!Then He is delighted to grant them the full power, love and joy that the Holy Spirit brings to the soul who is devoted to Him; this is the power to make others the son or daughter of God too!
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all! Amen.
©Copyright 2017 by John Foll
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“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.” 1 John 5:1 NASB. The child born of Him represents primarily Jesus, the Son of God, but could also mean any child of God who is truly born again. If we are born of God, we will also love all others who are born of God too.
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. I.e. whoever believes that Jesus is the Savior of the world is born of God. He who is not truly born again or born of God does not truly believe that Jesus is the Christ. This is the test to whether we are born again or not or please God or not: whether we truly believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world! Do you believe that Jesus is the Savior of the World? Then you are born of God. Are you born of God? Then you are born again and are overcoming the world, have faith, and are keeping the commandments of God, and have life from God and this wonderful change in your heart. “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” 1 John 5:2-4 NASB. Are you overcoming the world? Are you keeping His commandments? Do you have Faith? Do you believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior of the world? Do you find God’s commandments to be burdensome? Or do you find that keeping them is a delight?If you are not fully born again and not fully born of God, you will be unable to do these positive things and consider the commandments to be a burden, because humanly none of us can fully keep God’s commandments without His help. Are you breaking God’s commandments?(By habit or by desire.) Then you are not yet fully born of God. Or do you confess your sins when you break His commandments? If you do not have that born again experience that Jesus said that all are required to have before they can enter the kingdom of Heaven (John 3:3, 5), then you don’t fully believe yet that Jesus is the Savior of the world, it’s that simple. But don’t give up, there is still hope. The door of mercy is still open for you, open it, receive God’s forgiveness and be cleansed from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9. So confess your sins, contemplate the love of God, and of Jesus His Son, and then you will believe and know that Jesus is the Savior of the world and you will become born again!
Again John the beloved breaks it down for us in such profound and easy to understand terms:
“The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” 1 John 5:10-12 NASB. With John there is no middle ground, either we are for God or against Him. Either we believe in the Son of God and give this testimony of Him of His love for the world, and are born again, or we are not and find God’s commandments to be a burden, because we cannot keep them or consider them to be a delight, until we have a change of heart by letting the Holy Spirit change us. Either we have the Son and have life or we have no life in us and do not have eternal life. Either we are born again and believe in Jesus or we make God out to be a liar and believe not the Son. There is no middle ground.
It is the Spirit that testifies, because this Spirit is the truth, or ‘the Spirit of Truth’. John 16:13. When someone wants to tell others ‘the truth’ they should testify of Jesus, and give a message in harmony with the Spirit of Truth. If anyone doesn’t testify the truth of Jesus and His Father’s love for the world, or are not telling the truth in love to others, they are not really giving a true testimony of Jesus, but a false one. It matters not how many of ‘the truths’ in the Bible that they believe or are correct on, if they don’t get this one truth, then they are not giving a true testimony of Jesus or the Father and are not born again and have not the Son and have not life. No one can give a true testimony of Jesus all the time, if they have not yielded their heart completely to God. If you are yielding your heart to God at the time you give a testimony of Jesus, then you can give a true testimony of Him, but it is much better to be consistent and yield yourself to God at all times, so that your life can be fully in harmony with Him. Unbelievers often look at the ‘so called’ children of God and mock them and think that there is nothing to this Christian faith. This is because often the “children of God” have not yielded themselves fully to God yet. Let’s pray for the power to consistently be a son or daughter of God, so that He will always be honored by our lives and the way we live, not just when we are trying to ‘tell’ others about God or ‘the truth’. And it is our faith that helps us to gain the victory over the world, and to appropriate God’s many and precious promises to help us in our time of need. To the true believer, what John says here is really true: “We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.” 1 John 5:18 NASB. If we are fully born of God, as long as we stay connected to the vine, Jesus, the evil one cannot make us go against God; God’s power is too great to allow the soul who trusts in Him to be snatched out of His hand.Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I giveeternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch themout of the Father's hand.” John 10:27-29 NASB.
“Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.” 1 John 5:5-6 NASB.
So let us believe the words of John and believe in Jesus, that we may be born again, born of God, and be an overcomer, and then we can have life from God and from above, and give a true testimony of Jesus! God’s promises are true, not some speaker or writer’s rambling or quailing over what the word of God says. Let God’s word tell you the truth, and do not let anyone confuse you. Study it much, and with much prayer, and the Holy Spirit will explain it to you. If you obey everything the Holy Spirit has revealed to you and made plain from the Bible, more of this truth will be revealed to you. God’s word, the Bible, says what it means and means what it says. It’s easy to understand, if you will just take it as it reads and in context (don’t just pick out part of a text, but read it in a larger section first), although there may be some parables and prophecies that you need to study more in depth to know what they mean. But the essentials of salvation are easy for all to understand who want to believe, and want the promised blessing of a new life with God and eternal happiness, peace, love and joy!
May the grace of God be with you!
#Born #God #Jesus #Savior #Messiah #Confess #Believe #Forgiveness #Cleansed #Spirit #Truth #Overcomer #New #Life #Testimony #Prayer #Peace #Love #Joy #Essential
By John Foll, 12-9-2016
“But Peter and John answered and said unto them, ‘Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.’” Acts 4:19-20 KJV. Their answer to the rulers at Jerusalem indicates that they were determined to keep the command of Jesus to tell of God’s love to the world (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; Acts 5:19-21), regardless of what their religious leaders told them. They didn’t mind the obstacles that were placed in their way to hinder them, or the mistreatment they received, but counted it all joy to suffer for Jesus’ sake. “And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicingthat they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” Acts 5:40-42 KJV. They didn’t stop preaching Jesus, even after they were beaten and warned to stop. The prophet Jeremiah states the desire to speak of what he had seen and heard of God like this: “But if I say, ‘I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name,’ then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it.” Jeremiah 20:9 NASB. Thus when you love Jesus, you cannot help but speak of what He did for others and for you, like the Apostles and the prophets of old did!
If you have heard and seen that Jesus and His Father love you, and that Jesus died to save you, and believe, you cannot help but tell it to others what God has done for you!If you have tasted and seen that the Lord is good (Psalms 34:8), and ‘have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come’ Hebrews 6:4-5 NASB, you cannot help but speak of these things that you have seen and heard to as many who will listen, or you will greatly long to show them His love or help them in whatever way God has given you the ability to do. Failure to do this will cause your wells of water and springs to run dry.
If you have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, it will be just as natural for you as it was for Peter, James, John and the other Apostles to speak of God’s love and the gospel to the world, as they did in the book of Acts. Or to do your part to help in whatever way the Spirit has given you the ability and the gifts to do. It will be your greatest desire! If you have not really seen, heard, or believed, then you will be unable to tell this truth effectively to others, unless you pray for God’s special blessing until you get it. God can still bless you before you have completely consecrated yourself to Him, but it is much better to taste the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit that God wants to give you! Once you have tasted of this wonderful gift of God, you cannot help but testify of Jesus and the Father’s love. And you will never thirst again, for Jesus said, “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14 KJV. “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.'" But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:37-39 NASB. So we see here that the gift to satisfy our thirst that Jesus promised, is the promise of the Holy Spirit, and it was to be given to all willing Christians, starting at Pentecost (Acts 1:4-5, 8) to the end of time, to all who are thirsty and believe in Jesus. These are the conditions. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”Matthew 5:6 KJV. These words are still true for us today, if we will hunger and thirst after God’s righteousness, we will be filled! Thus this promise of the Holy Spirit is for all who are thirsty for Jesus’ love, and hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled, if they believe in Him.
Now let’s recap and finish our passage in Hebrews 6: “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.” Hebrews 6:4-8 NASB. Jesus says something similar to this when He said, “If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”John 15:6 KJV. Again this reiterates that those who have tasted of the Heavenly gift of the Holy Spirit, and have not continued to abide in Christ, will become withered and they will eventually be gathered and cast into the fire at the judgement, unless they repent.
It is beyond our belief how someone could experience the wonder of the gift of being born again, receiving the Holy Spirit, and ever want to go back to their life without the Holy Spirit again, but Hebrews 6:4-8 says that it can happen. And in fact there were a few examples in the Bible where it did happen. Read about Balaam the prophet (Numbers 22, 24; 31:8, 16; 2 Peter 2:15; Jude 1:11), and the prophet who was slain by the lion. 1 Kings 13:11-30.
We also note that Samson, who had the Holy Spirit, lost Him through disobedience, but at the end of his life he prayed to God, and God heard His prayer and avenged His enemies, by allowing Samson to slay more in his death, of God’s enemies, than in his life.*We believe by faith that God forgave Samson, because he is mentioned in Hebrews 11:32, and because God heard is prayer at the end of his life and gave him his miraculous strength back, because we know that God heareth not sinners. John 9:31. See Judges 14:5-6; 19, 15:14; 16:20-21 for information proving that Samson had the Holy Spirit. Samson probably didn’t really appreciate the wonderful gift of strength that was given to him before he lost it and his eyes were put out. But we believe that he wanted the Lord’s help again just before he died, to serve God’s command for his life one last time. Judges 16:22-31. And God worked a miracle, so Samson’s life was not in vain, and used him to help His people out of their desperate situation with their enemies. Samson’s enemies had mocked his God by thinking that their gods were more powerful, because they had given him into their hands. But this wasn’t so, and God avenged his name among the heathen by Samson’s sacrifice of his life, when he enabled Samson to bring down the house on the lords of the Philistines and the people gathered there with them. So Samson hadn’t fully appreciated the gift of God he had been given, but later regretted it and God forgave him, when he turned back to Him in prayer.
*We want to thank our stepdad, David Jenkins, for reminding us of this wonderful fact about Samson in Hebrews 11.
So there is hope for you, if you used to have a born again experience with God, and you have let it slip away, if you will repent now. Maybe you didn’t fully know what you had? Maybe you have been in a lukewarm state for a long time, without the love of God fully in your life, or the joy that knowing Him brings? Do you long for the experience that you once had with God? How long has it been? God will take you back, if you will return to Him with all your heart! “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 29:12-13 NASB. But we believe that if you have lost it, that you probably hadn’t experienced it in its fullness, because Hebrews 6:4-8 says that it is hard to walk away, if you have ever fully tasted the fruits of God’s precious Holy Spirit in your heart in full force. It is the most precious thing you can ever experience in this life!
It is hard to walk away from this experience of knowing Jesus and His Father. Why would you want to? But it is also a most dangerous thing to live in a lukewarm Christian state, neither for God nor against Him, but in the middle. Revelation 3:14-17. That is why this passage in Hebrews 6:4-8 is given, for our instruction.
Jesus says to His Church today: “'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! Let it be so. When you hear Jesus knocking on the door of your heart, open it up and let Him come in. You will never regret it, we promise you! “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. Jesus promise to you is: if you will open the door of your heart, let Him come in and dine with you and you with Him, and if you will keep His Word, He and His Father will love you and come and make their abode with you! Oh precious promise! Amen!
#rejoice #suffer #joy #speak #heard #love #taste #God #good #abide #Born #Again #Holy #Spirit #disciple #believe #hunger #thirst #righteousness #gift
By John Foll, written between 12/16/2016 to 12/17/2016.
“Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;” 1 John 3:21 NASB.
The real question is why should our heart condemn us? God has promised us that ‘if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ 1 John 1:9 KJV. It is impossible for God to lie. ‘So that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.’ Hebrews 6:18-20 NASB. Since Jesus greatly loves us, suffered and died for us on the cross for our sins, and is now in Heaven as our High Priest, we do have an anchor indeed for our soul! He will plead our case with His Father because He loves us, if we will confess them to God. We can trust that if we confess our sins, that God not only has forgiven us, but that He will also cleanse us from all unrighteousness, that is to make us more like Him, because it is impossible for Him to lie! So just believe it! So there is no reason for anyone who knows this to have any guilt in their heart!Why would you want to carry this heavy load of guilt? Jesus bore it for you, oh sinner on the cross for you, if you will accept it and believe. So confess your sins, and let Him take that load of guilt off of you now. There is no reason for you to carry it for a moment. Just confess and be free and cleansed and be happy!
Could this be the reason why many do not have the confidence in God that they should have? Could it be because their own heart condemns them, and they know that they stand guilty before God? You cannot have peace until you have confessed all of your sins, including not loving God with all of your heart, mind and soul – yes, that’s a sin! “Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’” Matthew 22:37-38 KJV. This is the same thing as the First Commandment in Exodus 20:3. Of all of God’s commandments in the Bible, we believe that this is the most broken one! If you break any of God’s commandments, you are also sinning against Him by not loving Him more than anything else. So it appears that this could be the reason why many are not where they should be spiritually, even those who have been Christians for many years. Lack of full, specific confession to God may very well be indicated. This may also be the reason why many do not love Jesus or His Father enough to obey all of their commandments, because their heart is not clear with God. We must want to obey everything that God has told us to do, or revealed by His Holy Spirit to us personally, if we want to have full confidence before Him. (The Holy Spirit never contradicts the Bible.)
If we want to have confidence toward God, we must confess all of our sins and believe and want to obey Him. “But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:39 NASB. If we have confidence in God, then we will have confidence in our salvation that He is giving us, because it is impossible for God to lie. If we love God we should know that He loves us, and that our salvation is secure in Him, and no one can take it away from us but ourselves. Paul says, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 NASB. Are you in Christ Jesus? Then there is no more condemnation for you! But why would anyone want to walk away from the salvation that God is offering them?
If you know that you have not kept all of God’s commandments, the first step to fixing this (the first step), is to confess these sins to God, and let Him cleanse them from you, and He will. This is His work for you, not your own. If you wait until you are ‘good enough’, whatever that means, it will NEVER happen. Only God can produce this change in you, not yourself. All of our efforts to save ourselves are utterly useless. Only God can save. If you are tired of the guilt, and tired of the endless round of sinning, hurting yourself and others, then allow God to cleanse you and make you happy! It’s the only way you can be free and be happy!
Guilt may also be the reason why many do not love God as they should, for if they were free of this heavy load they would want to obey Him, or they do not fully appreciate this forgiveness. They have been forgiven little. Jesus said, “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins (Mary Magdalene), which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” Luke 7:47 KJV. Jesus was speaking this to a Pharisee named Simon, who had been healed of leprosy. See Matthew 26:6 for this other account that mentions that Simon was a leper, when Mary anointed Jesus’ feet, and Luke 7:36. While we don’t have proof that Jesus healed Simon, we have the fact that He and others were at his house, and that the Law of Moses forbids people from associating with lepers, Leviticus 13:45-46, because it says that the leper must cry ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ and must remain outside the camp, i.e. outside Israel, unless they are cured of leprosy. We also know that Jesus healed lepers (Luke 17:11-19), so it is natural to conclude that Jesus must have healed Simon of his leprosy, and that this man had invited Jesus to his home in gratitude. But apparently this man had some sins that hadn’t been forgiven, or maybe he had sins that he really didn’t want forgiven? Maybe he didn’t see all of his sins and his great need of forgiveness like Mary did? Whatever the case, he wasn’t truly grateful for his healing or for God’s forgiveness. (Yes, the fact that God was willing for him to be healed indicated that He had pardoned or wanted to pardon him, since He gave him a new lease on life by healing him of leprosy.) If he had truly believed that he was a sinner in great need of forgiveness and had been forgiven of all of his sins, he should have been as happy as Mary was, and even more so since Jesus had healed him from that living death of leprosy! Read the whole sad account in Luke 7:36-50 and in Matthew 26:6-13. Whenever someone sees their true guilt, and realizes that only God can pardon all of these sins, confesses and believes, then they will be so happy and be free! For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), so all must confess their sins to God if they want to be free and happy. Then they will love God greatly! So those who have been forgiven little, because they have confessed little, also love God little, and have little faith in Him. And they do not have confidence before Him that they would have if they had been forgiven much. It’s easy to love God, if you believe that you have been forgiven! It is the most natural thing in the world! You can’t help but love Him like Mary did when He removes that awful load of guilt from you and you are free! “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”John 8:36 KJV. There is no good reason why every Christian shouldn’t be free from the weight of sin, because Jesus has made all who believe in Him free by His death on the cross for our sins. John 3:16-17. Those that have been forgiven little, love God little, and have little faith, and their heart condemns them.
If you will confess all of your sins, God has promised to forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Then when you are free from guilt, you will be free to have confidence in Him. When you are free from all of your sins, then you can pray what John says next after our main text: “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” 1 John 3:22 KJV. This prayer is for all those who have confessed their sins to God, and are free and have confidence in Him. If we are free and love Him, He will help us to keep all of His commandments and do the things that are pleasing to Him, and He will hear our prayers. What a wonderful promise! You don’t have to worry on how you can be good, if you will just confess your sins, and allow God to cleanse you from all unrighteousness, He will do it for you! Amen!
John also says this in another way: “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7 KJV. So if we want to be cleansed from all sin, we must also walk in the light as God is light. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:” 1 John 1:6 KJV. If we say that we have fellowship with God, that is to say, if we say that we are a Christian, if we walk in darkness then we are a liar and the truth is not in us. To put this with what we quoted from in 1 John 3:21, earlier in this article: if we have confidence in God, then we are walking in the light, and have fellowship with one another, and then the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we walk not in the light, and do not have fellowship with one another, then we do not have confidence before God, and our sin remains.
If we have confessed all of our sins, we will believe that God has forgiven us, and cleansed us from all unrighteousness
, and we will be confident that He loves us, and we will walk in the light of His love, and we will have fellowship with one another, because the blood of Jesus has cleansed us from all sin! Therefore all who believe in Jesus should also have this confidence in God. So confess your sins and believe, and then your heart will not condemn you, and you will walk in the light of His love, because the blood of Jesus cleanses you from all sin!
#Happy #God #Lukewarm #Peace #Love #Joy #Saved #Guilt #Believe #Right #Condemn #Confidence #Promise #Forgive #Law #Commandment #Free #Cleanse #Confession #Obey
By John Foll
I am already a Christian, so why do I need to explore your site, articles or books? Some may think that because they have been a Christian for many years, that they have no need for what we are presenting; they may think that this information is only for new Christians, or for those who want to become one. While what we are presenting will certainly help new Christians or those who want to become one, this Ministry was actually created to help those who have been in the faith, who are not where they should be to have a new, vibrant life with God. Don’t be too quick to think that you don’t need this information, because God’s church in this age is characterized in general as being lukewarm. Whether you consider yourself to be a conservative, or believe that since you are “saved by grace” that you don’t need to worry about things too much, we hope that you would want to learn more of these wonderful truths that we are presenting. Please don’t take for granted that everything is OK, please put yourself where God’s Spirit can reach your heart and cooperate with Him! If you are on fire for God already, then our information may even inspire you more! Regardless of where you find yourself, you should come to our site and take a look around.
#Holy #Spirit #happy #love #peace #lukewarm #God #salvation #eternal #joy #life #believe #Jesus #missing #Christian #guilt #assurance #worry #habits #life