By John Foll
, finished 5/5/2018.
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
“Then another came, saying, `Lord, here is your pound, which I kept laid away in a napkin; for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.' He said to him, `I will condemn you out of your own mouth, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money into the bank, and at my coming I should have collected it with interest?' And he said to those who stood by, `Take the pound from him, and give it to him who has the ten pounds.' (And they said to him, `Lord, he has ten pounds!') `I tell you, that to every one who has will more be given; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me.'" Luke 19:20-27 RSV.
The NASB has this as, “you worthless slave”:
"He said to him, 'By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow?” Luke 19:22 NASB.
Jesus’ words here apply to all who make the claim of being one of God’s people and have been in the church or the synagogue for years, who are not doing enough or anything at all to help others or show them how much He or His Father love them. They are ‘worthless servants’, ‘worthless slaves’. They knew what their master required of them, but did nothing about it. “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8 KJV.
Did you know that everyone is a ‘slave’ or a ‘servant’ to someone or something? Paul declares: “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16 KJV. So there are but two choices in this life, you can yield all the way to God and become His servant or you can become a slave or servant of sin and death. Which will you have? If you are a Christian that means that you are Jesus’ servant or disciple. Those who are not Jesus’ willing servant are not really a Christian at all. Jesus will especially judge all who ‘claim to be a Christian’ by higher standards than those who don’t. Out of their own mouth they will be judged. To know whose side you are on, you must know who you are yielding yourself a servant to obey. The Holy Spirit or ‘the flesh’. Once you know who you are yielding to, on a regular, daily basis, you will understand your life’s final destiny. That is why this parable of the worthless servant or worthless slave is so important! For God will hold all of His servants accountable in the day of Judgement as we shall see below.
This parable by Jesus in Luke 19:20-27 is an illustration of the coming judgement. The “worthless slave” and the “wicked servant” represent the people of God who do not let their light shine for His glory. Jesus called them a “worthless slave.” Also note what He said here: “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” John 15:8 NASB. In another related parable Jesus said: “And He began telling this parable: "A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper, 'Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?' "And he answered and said to him, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’ "” Luke 13:6-9 NASB. This parable represents the coming judgement. But it happens before the final judgement, because this was primarily a prophecy about the Jewish nation who were rejecting Him. We are not saying this to bash the Jews, for many Christians also are not bearing fruit for the Master. This prophecy applies to all ‘Christians’ as well who bear no fruit for Him. This parable is a warning to all of God’s people everywhere who are fruitless and lifeless. Eventually everyone’s life’s record comes up before God. He gives all a chance to repent and get to know Him and bear fruit for His glory. Of all who make the claim of being His people, He looks at them carefully, longing for His own to finally bear fruit for His glory. James says, “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” James 5:7 KJV. Here ‘The husbandman’ is God the Father. Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” John 15:1-2 KJV. Oh how our loving Heavenly Father waits for His ‘people’ to finally bear fruit for His glory! He has long patience for it. Every branch He prunes that it may bear more fruit (John 15:1-2) and every lifeless branch, gets cast into the fire to be burned. Jesus said, “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” John 15:6 NASB. And so all who do not abide in Jesus - they will not bear fruit for God’s glory, and sadly they eventually will be gathered up and cast into the fire to be burned.
James 5:7 is also making a reference to the coming judgement when he says, ‘Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.’ This message from James has a special application to all those who claim they are waiting for Christ’s Second Coming. Those who make the claim they are waiting for Jesus’ Second Coming, if they really believe it, will ask God to help them bear much fruit for His glory. Those who do not heed this message to bear much fruit for God will be in trouble. Jesus was repeating what the Father said when He said, ‘I have waited three years for it to bear fruit, cut it down.’ Jesus represents the gardener who said fertilize it and give it more time to bear fruit. Jesus represents the vineyard keeper in this parable in Luke 13:6-9, because he said, ‘I will fertilize it and dig around it – if it doesn’t bear fruit next year then cut it down.’ Jesus pleads with the Father to give His people more time to repent and bear fruit for His Father’s glory. Yes, the Father has long patience that His people would finally bear fruit for His glory, and if they would do all that He asks them to do, and seek Him with all of their heart. If they would seek after Him with all their heart, He would grant them the precious blessing of bearing fruit for His glory! “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 NASB. But make no mistake! The vineyard keeper or the gardener in the parable of Luke 13:-6-9, said, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’ Luke 13:9. Jesus said, leave the tree alone a year, until it has been fertilized, and if it bears fruit next year fine, but if not, ‘cut it down.’ This is in answer to God’s command and question: Cut it down, why does it even take up the ground? All of the true subjects of God’s kingdom are not ‘cumberers of the ground.’ They just don’t take up the ground, soaking up all the blessings from God, and the rich root of the vine, Jesus, but they bear much fruit for the Master.
Back to our original text in Luke 19:20-27: Jesus called that man a “wicked servant” in the King James Version. The NASB version calls the man a “worthless slave.” Both are right. Those who make the claim of following and believing in Jesus, yet do not bear fruit for the Father’s glory are not only a “worthless servant,” but a “wicked slave.” God has provided everything we need to love and serve Him with: He gave us Jesus His Son for the sins of the world (John 3:16-17), and He gave us the promise of the Comforter or the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 NASB. But those who will not take the time to get to know God, love and obey Him, will not have this blessing, and will not be able to live a righteous life, which makes them “wicked” and “worthless.” Those that are trying to work out their own righteousness by their own skill or will, or those who make the claim of being God’s people who are not too concerned about the sin in their life, alike will not receive the blessing of righteousness that God wants to give them through the Holy Spirit, and will be that “wicked servant” whom God will take away even what they don’t have. Both of these examples are self-righteousness, because real righteousness only comes from God. Those who will not bear fruit for God, who make the claim of being one of His children will eventually be judged for this. God will eventually say, “Why does it take up the ground! Cut it down!”
Unfortunately, someday soon these sad words will be uttered against all who refuse to let Jesus dig around the soil of their heart and receive the spiritual ‘fertilizer’ from Him, the dew of Heaven or the gift of the Holy Spirit. This would have given them the spiritual growth they needed in order to please the Master of the vineyard. This is what God will say someday to those wicked, worthless and lazy servants, unless they repent and allow Him to make a change in them that they cannot make themselves. Bearing fruit for God is not salvation by works, but the lack of good works in these “wicked servants” shows that they had no vital connection with God, did not know Him, and had not availed themselves of His many precious promises. “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:4 KJV.
All are promised salvation if they would only believe in Jesus, God’s only Son. And if they truly believe, they would get to know God, keep His word, and the Holy Spirit would be abiding in them, and then they would bear much fruit for Him. No! The wicked, worthless and lazy servants of God have not claimed His rich promises, nor believed in them, and have not been born again of the water and of the Spirit (John 3:3, 5), and will not enter the kingdom of Heaven. Then it will be a sad day for their soul, because at the end of their probation at the judgment they will be accounted with the enemies of God, as Jesus said: “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.’” Luke 19: 27 KJV. Those who will not avail themselves of the wonderful salvation that God has provided them through Jesus, and allow Him to fill them with the Holy Spirit, unless they repent, will become His enemies, and will be that “wicked”, lazy and “worthless” servant who doesn’t want Jesus or His Father to rein over them; they will not have God rule over their heart, because they do not love Him. Jesus reiterated this when He said: ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.’ John 14:23-24 NASB. So only those who truly love Jesus and His Father will keep Jesus’ word and have Him and His Father making their abode in their heart, through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
From the words of their mouth will God judge those wicked servants. They knew that their Heavenly Father wanted them to bear much fruit for Him, so at the very least they should have put His talents that He gave them out to “the exchangers” and traded with it to increase it in some way. They could have at least given money to God’s servants who were preaching the Gospel to the poor, and to His missionaries in foreign lands, instead of doing nothing. But instead, they hid their talents that God gave them, showing their disdain for Heaven’s blessings. While it is true that God is love, many people forget that they have a responsibility to others in this world to help them, and follow all of His commandments, which are to love Him more than anyone or anything else, and to love their neighbor as themselves. Matthew 22:36-40. If you do not want to be that “worthless” or “wicked slave,” ‘trade your talents’ in such a way as to enrich God’s kingdom and help it grow. This is to teach your neighbor of God’s love or help them in some way, so that God’s kingdom can grow. Those that do not love God enough to help Him grow His kingdom, do not really love Him or Jesus, and will eventually become that “wicked” “worthless” slave who is God’s enemy.
Be not like that “wicked,” lazy, and “worthless” servant of God who did not avail themselves of God’s many promised blessings, and allow Him to make them all that He wanted them to be. Let Jesus dig around the soil of your heart, allow the trials that He sends you to mold you and shape you. Allow Jesus to fertilize the soil of your heart, and give you the water of life, that you may become born again. When you become truly born again, and get the Holy Spirit for yourself, it will be the most natural thing in the world for you to bear much fruit for God, it will be your greatest desire! This will be proof that the Holy Spirit is in your heart and that you know God.
Let’s finish out that parable by going back to the beginning of it, which takes place in Heaven, as those who love God are ushered into the Pearly gates:
“When he [Jesus] returned, having received the kingdom, he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by trading. The first came before him, saying, `Lord, your pound has made ten pounds more.' And he said to him, `Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.' And the second came, saying, `Lord, your pound has made five pounds.' And he said to him, `And you are to be over five cities.' Luke 19:15-19 RSV.
And the Parallel passage from Matthew:
“And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:20-23 KJV.
So whether you have received 10 talents from the Lord, or 5 or 2 or even 1, invest them all for the glory of God, so that when Jesus comes back to take His people home He will say, ‘well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.’ Enter into the joy of Heaven, that Jesus has prepared for all those who love Him. And there will be much joy throughout the endless ages of eternity – for those who have invested the Master’s talents for His service that He gave them! Amen.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you, and give you the refreshing dew of Heaven, and grant you many precious fruits to bear for the Master. That you may enter into the joy of your Lord. Amen.
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By John Foll
, written between 9/15/2017 and 9/21/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.’” John 14:23 NASB.
‘If any man loves Me, he will keep my word.’ Is this really true? How can anyone doubt what Jesus said? But many today doubt whether they need to obey God, sometimes out of ignorance or because they were taught this way, not realizing that Jesus and His Father are one. John 10:30. Many don’t really understand everything He said, and have heard other parts of the New Testament taken out of context, or misinterpreted to say something different than what He taught. Therefore many are in fact doubting what Jesus said is true, whether they realize it or not! The truth of the matter is that if they don’t want to obey God, they cannot keep Jesus’ word either, because His word is really His Father’s word, as we learned in Part 1. Because only God is good (Luke 18:19), the only way they can be good is if they get the Holy Spirit. And since the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey God (Acts 5:32), if they don’t want to obey God, they cannot have the Holy Spirit. This means that they cannot keep Jesus’ word either, because none of us are good, and the only way anyone can be good is if God helps them to be good through His Holy Spirit.
But in this article, Part 2, we want to break it down further for you, especially if you are still undecided by what it means to keep Jesus’ word and whether God’s commandments are Jesus’ commandments or not. One thing is true that you can’t deny, that if you want to be born from above and filled with the Holy Spirit, you must want to keep Jesus’ word. Because if you love Him you will keep His word, and He and His Father will come to you and make their abode in you. This is how you become born again!
Jesus’ Commandments versus God’s Commandments:
Some say that Jesus’s new commandment that we love one another (John 13:34), and His other commandments to His disciples are different than what God commanded His people to do in the 10 Commandments of Exodus 20. And that we don’t need to keep the 10 Commandments any more (also known as God’s commandments), just Jesus’ commandments. But it is not possible to keep Jesus’ commandments without keeping God’s commandments, and if you keep God’s commandments, you are keeping Jesus’ commandments as well, because they are all about love! Those who break God’s 10 Commandments, and don’t confess these sins and repent of them do not love Jesus, and are not keeping His word.
No one who sins, knows God. “No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.” 1 John 3:6 NASB. No one who abides in Jesus sins. How do we know this? See the previous verse 5: “And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.” 1 John 3:5 NASB. The “He” here is clearly Jesus, because He appeared on this earth and died on the cross to take away our sin. And in “Him” there is no sin, because He was the spotless Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. John 1:29. And John declared that He came in order to take away sins. Therefore no one who abides in Jesus sins. Think on that, meditate on it, believe it. It is a most beautiful promise when you see it and believe it! Tarry with Jesus awhile and He will help you to live a righteous life, because no one who abides in Him sins. Better yet, why not abide with Him the rest of your life? What do you have to lose? He will help you to be a better, kinder and gentler person!
But what is sin? What does John say? “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4 KJV. So let’s feed this back into 1 John 3:6 to get a clearer meaning of it: “No one who abides in Jesus breaks the Law of God; no one who breaks the Law of God has seen Jesus or knows Him.” This is serious folks! We believe that this text is talking about habitual sin here, not just momentary sins or mistakes. But momentary sins can turn into repetitive sins, if the soul does not turn to God for help. Those who’s custom or practice is sin, do not really know Jesus or His loving Father!
But what is the transgression of the Law? It is being unloving, unkind, disrespectful, hurtful, and selfish towards God or others. Because Love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:10. So let’s restate 1 John 3:6 yet again, to feed in this meaning into it too: “No one who abides in Jesus says or does hurtful things against others, or thinks bad thoughts about them; no one who says or does hurtful things against others, or thinks bad thoughts about them has either seen Jesus or knows Him.” Again folks, this is serious! Think about what this text is really saying. “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.” 1 John 3:4-5 NASB. This tells us that those who practice sin are breaking God’s Law; breaking God’s law is the definition of sin. This also tells us that Jesus came in order to take away sin. So those who love God will want Jesus to take away their sins, i.e. to forgive them and help them to stop “practicing” lawlessness and breaking God’s Law.
“Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.” 1 John 3:7-10 NASB. Jesus appeared so that He could destroy the works of the devil. He wants to take away your sins from the books of heaven when you ask for forgiveness from God, and from your life, so that you can be pure.
Still think that you don’t’ need to keep God’s Commandments, and that you only need to keep Jesus’ Commandments? Read what John has to say here: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.” 1 John 5:2 KJV. Now in the pure context of this verse it is quite clearly talking about God’s commandments, not Jesus’ commandments! This is also important, because John is reiterating in slightly different words, Jesus’ command to love one another here when he said, ‘By this we know that we love the children of God.’ This is clearly the same thing as Jesus’ command to love one another, i.e. to love our Christian brethren. This statement by John makes a strong tie between Jesus’ new commandment to love one another, and keeping God’s commandments: it shows us that they are the same thing, just two different ways of looking at it. Because this is how you know that you love one another, when you keep God’s commandments: especially those in Exodus 20. All of Jesus’ disciples, including His modern day ones, will love one another and keep Jesus’ words. John makes it so clear, that if you read both of his books of John and 1st John and reason through it carefully with much prayer, that you need not miss it.
Again why is 1 John 5:2 talking about God’s commandments? Because we already saw in Part 1 of this article that Jesus’ commandments are actually God’s commandments, because God gave His Son Jesus a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. John 12:49. If anyone doubts what we are saying here, this is the testimony Jesus gave through His servant John and in other places. We also saw in Part 1 of this article that Jesus kept all of His Father’s commandments. If Jesus kept all of His Father’s commandments and loved Him, shouldn’t you too?
How do you know that John was Jesus’ servant, and wrote His words for you to read? Read what he wrote at the beginning of 1 John: “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life — and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us — what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.” 1 John 1:1-4 NASB. The King James has this last part as ‘And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” 1 John 1:4 KJV. Why did John write the books of John, 1st John and our passage of 1 John 5:2? So that your joy would be made complete or full, just as he stated. John’s fellowship was with the Father and with Jesus His Son. If your fellowship is with Jesus, then you will receive and believe John’s testimony here in our passage of 1 John 5:2, and everything else John wrote as well.
But how do you really know that this verse in 1 John 5:2 is talking about keeping God’s Commandments? Easy! Just read the verse before it: “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.” 1 John 5:1 NASB. Who begat Jesus? Who was Jesus the Son of? God. John 3:16. Then who is ‘God’ in 1 John 5:2? The Father. If you love God, you also will love His Son Jesus, because He proceeded from Him! If you love Jesus, then you will love His Father also. If you love to obey Jesus, you will also love to obey His Father. If you love Jesus you will keep His word. If you love Jesus you will also keep His Father’s word.
Do you love God? Do you love Jesus His Son? Then keep God’s commandments, which are Jesus’ word. Still doubt that Jesus was sent from God or that His words were from God, the Father? “Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do ye not understand My speech? even because ye cannot hear My word.” John 8:42-43 KJV.
So if God is your Father, you will love Jesus His Son, because He proceeded from Him. If you do not hear or believe our words or reasoning here, it is because you do not hear Jesus’ word.
Jesus’ Commandments are the Father’s Commandments:
Notice the similarity of these two messages from John. Notice that both are talking about love:
1) “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.” 1 John 4:20 NASB.
2) “The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:” 1 John 2:4-5 NASB.
Therefore to hate your brother is the same thing as breaking God’s commandments. From this it is clear that ‘to love’ means ‘to keep God’s commandments.’ That is why we say that keeping God’s 10 commandments are about love, for Love is the fulfillment of the Law. Romans 13:10. You cannot separate love from the 10 commandments, or the 10 commandments from love. The 10 Commandments are the summary of the way God wants us to treat Him and others. They are general and easy to understand. But their principles cover every aspect of life and help us to know how to love God and our neighbor as ourselves. You cannot keep the 10 commandments unless you have love for God and man. And you can’t keep the 10 Commandments or love unless you know God. It’s that simple.
How do we know if we have the love of God and have His love perfected in us? By keeping His commandments. This is how we know if we really know Him, or if we are just ‘blowing smoke’, saying that we are a Christian and know Him. If we really know Him, it will not be a big struggle or a burden to treat others with kindness, love and respect, and to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and all our mind and all our soul. It will only be natural. “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith.” 1 John 5:1-4 NASB. “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8 KJV. Whoever keeps God’s word and the 10 Commandments, the love of God has truly been perfected in them, for no one can really keep God’s word in their own strength and power.
The 10 Commandments are Jesus’ Commandments:
Jesus declared, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-19 KJV. Some people try to say that since Jesus fulfilled the law, we don’t have to. Even though Jesus definitely kept His Father’s law perfectly on our behalf, this idea that since He did it for us that we don’t need to keep it, still goes against what Jesus said, when He said He didn’t come to destroy it but to fulfill it. So if Jesus’ death on the cross means we don’t need to keep the 10 Commandments, then Jesus’ would be destroying the law. But Jesus did not contradict Himself. In Exodus 19 God promised blessings if His people would obey His voice and then He spoke the 10 Commandments to them in Exodus 20. So if Jesus did not come to destroy the Law, how is it that His death on the cross makes it so we no longer need to keep the Law? If that were really true, then Jesus would be destroying the Law, or making it of ‘none effect’ if we didn’t have to keep it from then on. But what does Jesus say? ‘I am not come to destroy’ [the Law]. And why did Jesus say: ‘Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?’ Matthew 15:3 KJV. He spoke this to the scribes and Pharisees of His day, but we believe that if He were walking on the earth again in our day, He would say the same thing to those who hold any tradition or teaching that causes people to transgress the laws of God. And those who teach that God’s 10 Commandments do not need to be kept any more are definitely teaching others to ‘transgress the law of God’, which is the same thing that Jesus reprimanded the scribes and Pharisees for doing. If it was wrong for the scribes and Pharisees to do, it is wrong for anyone in our day to do it as well.
The plain meaning of the word ‘fulfill’ is to replenish or make it full. Or to make it happen. Jesus’ death on the cross and the Father’s gift of the Holy Spirit provides the way for us to be forgiven, and to be cleansed from all unrighteousness, 1 John 1:9, so that we can love Him and our neighbor as ourselves.
Notice that Jesus declared that until heaven and earth have passed away, not even one jot or tittle, [not even the smallest of portion of the law], shall pass away. We know that some say that He fulfilled the law for us, so we don’t need to keep it, but Jesus, as if in anticipation of this, informs us quite clearly that unless Heaven and Earth pass away, not even the smallest portion of the commandments will be done away with. Are heaven and earth still here? Yes. Then not even the smallest portion of the 10 Commandments have been done away with. Some may say, ‘we are saved by grace’, meaning that we don’t have to keep God’s Law. [They imply it, but some even say that we can’t, and shouldn’t. Some even go as far as implying that it is a sin to keep God’s Law. Imagine that?] But this is clearly refuted by what Jesus declared above. Jesus also declared that all who shall break even ‘the least’ or smallest of the commandments [of the 10], shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. We believe that this is a curse. We don’t think that it is a good thing to be called ‘least in the kingdom of heaven’ by God. Why? Because Jesus contrasts this with His next statement: whoever shall do these commandments and teach them to others shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. We believe that it is clear that this is a blessing! Therefore the contrast of this blessing of being called great in the kingdom of Heaven is the curse of being called least in the kingdom of Heaven, because a curse is the opposite of a blessing. We want this blessing of being called great in the kingdom of Heaven, because this is what pleases God and we want to please Him. If anyone believes they don’t have to keep God’s law, they should keep it quiet! If they tell anybody else this lie, they will come under God’s displeasure! Of course if they break His law and don’t confess it, they will also come under His displeasure too.
David affirms this same truth that Jesus declared, that there is a great reward for those who keep God’s law: “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:7-11 KJV.
Dear reader, do you want to be converted so that you can be saved? Do you want to be warned so that you are not lost? Do you want the promised great reward? Then ask God to help you keep His law of love, the 10 Commandments and read and meditate on them. For when you study them out and meditate on them, you will be warned, and converted, if you humble yourself before God, and allow His love to fully penetrate your heart! Moreover by the 10 commandments are God’s servants warned, and in keeping them is great reward! And as Jesus said, in teaching others to keep them there is great reward! Dear reader do you want to be Jesus and His Father’s servant? Then keep their commandments of love to you, it’s that simple. The power to keep God’s word is in His commands. Those who have faith in God will understand this. Do you want the promised great reward? Then teach others to love and obey God too, it’s that simple. Yes, God’s 10 Commandment Law is perfect, and will last forever, since Heaven and Earth are still here, and Heaven will last forever.
Therefore it is clear that the 10 Commandments are also Jesus’ Commandments, not just God’s Commandments, since Jesus did not come to destroy the Law.
Still don’t believe that ‘the law’ that Jesus didn’t come to destroy is the 10 Commandments? Then proceed to our next section where we will go into this, to help you see that this passage in Mathew 5:17-19 is indeed referring to the 10 Commandments.
What is the difference between the 10 Commandments and Jesus’ command to love one another or to love your neighbor as yourself?
Without going into all of the details here, we want to show you what it means by illustrating it. For additional evidence beyond what we are going to say here, please read our many other articles regarding this, (especially ‘Who is my Neighbor Part 1’ and 2 https://whiteraimentevangelism.org/BlogLove/?p=15 and
https://whiteraimentevangelism.org/BlogLove/?p=14) or our book, ‘God’s Law of Love’. You owe it to yourself to have a full understanding of this subject, because there are many who misunderstand it and hold errors regarding it.
Is there a difference between the 10 Commandments and the command to Love our Neighbor as ourself and to love God with all our heart, mind and soul? No. We will show you why.
Jesus made it clear in Matthew 22:37-40, in answer to the lawyer’s question in verse 36, that ‘on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ Notice He referred to them as the two commandments, the ‘first and great commandment’ and “the second’ [great commandment]. Paul comes to our aid here to help us understand that these two great commandments that Jesus’ spoke of are the same thing as the 10 Commandments, when he said that ‘love is the fulfillment of the Law’ and mentions some of the 10 commandments in Romans 13:8-10. Here Paul says, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,’ and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:8-10 NASB. Notice that Paul mentions 4 of the 10 commandments of Exodus 20:1-17. And he quite clearly links it to the 2nd great commandment that Jesus talked about in Matthew 22:37-40. Thus in this passage, Paul clearly bridges the gap between what it means to love your neighbor as yourself (one of the two great commandments) and the 10 Commandments since he mentions several of them.
The 10 Commandments are a summary of God’s law of love, which was the point that Jesus was making here in Matthew 22:37-40. Though the 10 Commandments do not mention in detail every possible sin or wrong in every possible way, they summarize them. And Jesus summarized the 10 Commandments into 2 great commandments. But everything that is wrong that can be thought, said, or done is contained in at least one of the 10 Commandments, and many times more than one of them. If someone says anything hurtful against someone else, neglects to do good when it is needed, hurts themselves or others, they are breaking God’s Law of Love the 10 Commandments. Some people who think they are keeping God’s commandments, say bad or hurtful things or have bad thoughts, etc., and think that their ‘mere’ outward observance of the 10 Commandments is accepted by God, but it is not. Rest assured that no one who is unkind, unmerciful, unloving, or even neglectful of others or their needs, who are selfish are keeping the 10 Commandments, regardless of their claims. No way. Because love is the fulfillment of the Law. Romans 13:10.
Those who do not love God above anyone else (including themselves) and everything else in this world are breaking the first commandment as found in Exodus 20:3 and Matthew 22:36-38. Did you catch that? It is not enough to keep God’s Laws out of a sense of duty, but they must be kept because you love Him. This is the first commandment, which is also the most broken commandment because all other commandments in the Bible, not just the other 10 Commandments, are contained in it. And those who do not love their neighbor as themselves or say or do hurtful things to them, or neglect them are breaking at least one of the other 6 commandments of the 10, and possibly others too. The first four commandments deal with loving God more than anyone and anything, and the last 6 commandments deal with how to love your neighbor as yourself. If someone just tries to keep God’s commandments out of a sense of duty, they are not really keeping them completely, if at all. The only way you can keep His commandments is if you love Him, and if you love Him you will not lie, cheat or steal, or kill, etc.
The only way you can keep His commandments is if you ‘know’ God. 1 John 2:4. And if you know God, you will love Him supremely and love your neighbor as yourself. This is the proof that you know Him, because ‘God is love.’ 1 John 4:8. And those who know Him, He abides in them and they in Him, and He fills them with His precious Holy Spirit! Amen.
No Tears in Heaven:
There will be no tears in Heaven, sorrow, pain, or death. Revelation 21:4. Or anything that hurts in God’s Holy Mountain. Isaiah 11:9. Those who continue hurting God or others and don’t want His help to be better, will not be admitted into Heaven. This is because Heaven is all about love, joy, and happiness. But God will give a blessing to those who want to obey His law of Love. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14 KJV. And in the NASB it says: “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14 NASB. All those who hang on to sin and do not let Jesus wash their robes from sin, will not be in Heaven and would not be happy there, because they did not want all the love, joy and peace that God wanted to give them. God wants all of His people to learn to love Him and others on this earth; to learn how to submit to Him and receive the Holy Spirit, so that He can help them to be good, and fit them for Heaven. We repeat, Heaven is all about love. The purpose of this life is to learn how to love. This is what prepares one for Heaven. Those who don’t want to love the Lord their God with all their heart and all their mind and all their soul will not be happy in Heaven, and will not be admitted there. Because there will be none to hurt in all of God’s Holy Mountain.
God is love, 1 John 4:8, and will not allow the wicked into Heaven. Now we have all been wicked at least one point in our life, but God has provided the way for us to be there, by forgiving our sins when we confess them, and by helping us to overcome if we accept His help. God, who is rich in mercy and abundant in love, provided for our salvation by giving His Son to die on the cross for our sins, if we confess them (1 John 1:9), and by providing the Holy Spirit, if we want to obey Him. Acts 5:32. This fits us for Heaven. This is the gospel message, the good news. Dear reader, won’t you come and go with me to that bright and fair land in Heaven, where there will be no more hurt, suffering, sin, pain or death? Won’t you ask God to make you fit for Heaven? This is the Gospel! Amen.
If you want to keep Jesus’ word and be filled with the Holy Spirit, you must want to keep all the words He spoke, and keep all of His words that were spoken by His servants. Since His words come from God, you will also want to keep all of God’s words too, which include all of His servants in all ages.
Why are we making such a big deal out of Jesus commandments being God’s commandments and keeping God’s commandments? So that you will not be fooled and can become born again. Because the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey God or to those who want to obey Him. These are those who keep Jesus’ word, which is the same word that His Father gave to Him as a ‘commandment’ of what to say and what to speak. We are making a big deal out of this, because this is the only path of peace, love and joy! If you love God and obey Him (by His power) you will never regret it, we promise you!
If you love Jesus, keep His word, which is to keep His Father’s commandments, including the Law of Love, the 10 Commandments of Exodus 20. If you love Jesus, the Father will love you, and you will be filled with the Holy Spirit! Amen! This will help you to love your neighbor as yourself, and to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul! And your life will be sweet with the dew of Heaven, when you are filled with the Holy Spirit and delight in loving and serving God.
May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
#Love #Jesus #Keep #Word #Obey #God #Holy #Spirit #Commandment #Born #Again #Joy #Abide #Sin #Hate #Brother #Destroy #Law #Fulfill #Saved
By John Foll
, written between 4/13/2108 to 4/14/2018.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.’” John 14:23 NASB.
This text is the watchword of our ministry, White Raiment Evangelism.
Do you love Jesus? Then discover what Jesus meant when He said, ‘If any man love Me, he will keep My word.’
What is the source of Jesus’ words that we are to keep?
Jesus declared, “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment [the Father’s commandment] is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me." John 12:49-50 NASB.
So what is the source of Jesus’ words according to what He said? They are the Father’s words. ‘The Father gave Jesus a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.’ God’s words are eternal life, therefore Jesus spoke just as His Father told Him. Think about that.
Did Jesus say anything that was His own word and not from the Father? Jesus declared, "I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 5:30 NASB. “Jesus therefore said, ‘When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.’" John 8:28-29 NASB. So there you have it from Jesus’ own words: He spoke nothing on His own initiative, but the things that the Father taught Him and gave Him a commandment to speak. He always said and did the things that pleased His Father!
Why is the source of Jesus’ words so important? Because some people make a distinction between Jesus’ words and God’s words, between Jesus’ commandments and the Father’s commandments, between the Old Testament and the New Testament, between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. But this is incorrect, because all of Jesus’ words were not from Himself but from His Father, as John 12:49 clearly states. This is why Jesus is called the Word of God’ ‘made flesh,’ because He speaks for God. John 1:1-5, 10-14. It is important to understand this, because it will help save you from error, so that you can be happy in your love for God and not be confused about anything that He wants you to do. Jesus also declared: “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.” John 14:24 NASB. Who sent Jesus to this world that we might be saved? Jesus declared: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17 NASB. So who sent Jesus to this world? God, the Father. So according to Jesus, whose words did Jesus really speak? God’s words.
Think we are wrong on this? “We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:6 NASB. If our writings are not from God, they are of no value and please stop reading them. However, if they are from God, then they are the truth. If we are not from God, there is no value to our work – then stop reading our articles. But if our articles are the truth, they are from God, then please keep reading them. If you know God or want to know Him, you will listen to what we are writing, because the messages in our articles are from God, since they come from His Word, the Bible. By this you will know the spirit of truth from the spirit of error: if you know or want to know God, He will give you the Holy Spirit who will guide you into all truth. John 16:13. Then you will listen to what we are saying, if we indeed are from God. But if you do not listen to God, you will not listen to us. We are not trying to make something of our selves here, but we intend to be God’s messenger of love to the world, to do our duty because we love Him and don’t want anyone to be lost. God has made a wonderful change in our heart and life, and it is not a burden but a great joy to serve Him! We want you to know the truth of this and not be confused, because eternal life depends on listening to and knowing God’s will for your life; the essentials of salvation. And when you know the truth and love it, it will set you free. John 8:32.
We want you to get it, so we will deeply explore this concept that the words or commandments that Jesus spoke were from His Father, and that there is no difference or separation between them or their words or commandments, because ‘They are one.’ Jesus Himself declared: “I and my Father are one.” John 10:30 KJV. There are not two different gospels, the gospel of God and the gospel of Jesus. There are not two different truths on how to be saved, the truth for the Jews and Israelites of the Old Testament, and the truth for Christians in the New Testament. The conditions for Salvation have always been the same: We must believe that only God can save us, we must confess our sins, and love and obey Him, and let Him help and save us by His mighty power. Because no one can ever save themselves, it is only by faith in God that anyone is ever saved. This is what is taught in both the Old and New Testaments; it has ever been its theme, even though some people are confused on it, even in our day. (We are not talking about ‘the holy days,’ feast days, rites and ceremonies of either Israelites or Christians, or the order or format of your Church services here, but the essential, fundamental truths that God revealed to His people in both the Old and New Testaments; they are the same. They are all based on the word of God, when His people follow God’s word!)
Now let’s put our theme text with this meaning we have just learned:
‘If anyone loves Jesus, they will keep the word of God, and they will keep the commandments of God (as Jesus always kept His Father’s commandments and always did the things that pleased Him), and His Father will love them, and Jesus and His Father will come to them and will make Their abode with them.’ paraphrase John 14:23. We think this clearly refers to the 10 Commandments here, God’s Law of Love.
But wait, we also need to understand what Jesus meant when He said that He and His Father would come and make their abode in them.
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’ (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” John 7:37-39 KJV.
From this passage we see that all who believe in Jesus - out of their belly shall flow rivers of living water. Do you believe this dear reader? This has been promised to you, if you believe in Jesus all the way. Then you will love Him and His Father, and out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water. This is Jesus description of what it’s like to receive the Holy Spirit or the Holy Ghost. When this happens to you, you will be given life, and will be bubbling over with God’s love and spiritual blessings, more than enough for yourself, and you will just long to share it with others!
The importance of being born again:
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?’ Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’” John 3:3-6 NASB. If you are born fully of the flesh, and the Spirit of God is not working in your heart, you will be unable to understand what Jesus is saying here, because what is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is Spirit.
“And Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.’” Matthew 16:17 NASB. If you have received your testimony from the flesh, you will not understand this, but if flesh and blood did not reveal it to you but God, then you will understand it, because you will be born again or becoming born again. Jesus also declared, “’It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.” John 6:63-64 NASB. To be born of the flesh profits nothing, but to be born of the Spirit is life and peace! Romans 8:6. To be born of the Spirit leads to everlasting life and great joy! When this happens, you will be blessed beyond measure, and will have rivers of living water flowing through you!
Sadly there are many who do not believe, truly believe who name themselves a Christian, even though they have the testimony of Jesus in the Bible, and the testimony of His disciples and apostles. Truly the Spirit gives life, the flesh profits nothing. They allow other preachers and teachers to snatch away whatever testimony God has spoken to their heart or mind, and doubt the plain words of God. They reinterpret or ignore some of the plainest statements by Jesus, and instead accept what some theologian or preacher’s ‘interpretation’ of what the Bible teaches, based on a few verses in the New Testament. These “supposed” teachings of these few verses in the New Testament are usually taken out of context, or not properly understood by those who are untaught or unstable, who also distort the rest of the scriptures. Unfortunately many of these faulty interpretations of the scriptures are fairly mainstream or common in our day. This should not be. Please consider the testimony of Peter regarding this: “Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.” 2 Peter 3:14-16 NASB. Our recommendation: Do not interpret Paul in any way that contradicts Jesus. Do not take any lone statement by Jesus as a means of contradicting any of His other clear statements. Seek for the greatest harmony in the Bible. If you don’t understand something, at least give the majority of the scriptures the credence and authority, until you thoroughly understand any apparent discrepancies to it from the remaining portions. Don’t just latch on to any statement or word of any verse, and ignore the others. When in doubt, always stick with the clear words of Jesus, because God does not contradict Himself. Whatever any apostle taught always has to agree with Jesus, because Jesus is the Word of God, and because God is a God of order, and doesn’t make any mistakes or change His mind later. No human being has the authority to change any of Jesus’ words. God will never send a prophet, preacher or teacher who contradicts His word or tries to change it. This is the work of the adversary of our soul, not God. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20 KJV. According to the prophet Isaiah, how much light is in those who contradict anything that is in God’s Law or 10 Commandments (also known as the testimony in the Old Testament)? None. If a preacher, teacher or theologian says or writes anything contrary to the Law or Testimony, there is no light in them!
Now back to our main point: When Jesus and His Father abide in you, this is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit; this is how you become born again.
Now let’s update our theme text with this new understanding, to bring out its fullest meaning:
‘If anyone loves Jesus, they will keep the word of God, they will keep the commandments of God, and His Father will love them, and Jesus and His Father will fill them with the Holy Spirit!’ paraphrase John 14:23.
Why is this understanding so important? Because this is how you become born again! When Jesus and His Father come and make their abode in you, and fill you with the Precious Holy Spirit, you become born again! Peter tells us quite clearly that the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey God, in Acts 5:32. This agrees perfectly with what Jesus said, when He said: ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.’ John 14:23 NASB. You may not know the exact date or time when you start to become born again, but when this sweet influence manifests itself in your life and heart it becomes apparent! You become a new creature, your life and desires change for the better. We are not saying here that you must first keep God’s commandments, then you will get the Holy Spirit, because no one can obey God without His help. Isaiah 64:6; Matthew 19:17; Romans 13:12. Only God is good. God gives the power to obey, you supply your choice to obey Him. But when you get the Holy Spirit in full, God makes it very easy for you to obey Him, because your love for Him will outweigh every other consideration in this life. It’s only natural, if you love Him, to want to obey Him; it will be your sweetest desire! There can be no doubt that those who have learned to love God want to obey Him. And that they would never know this sweetest of joys, if they didn’t want to obey Him first. This is the point of Acts 5:32. The Holy Spirit is only given to those who want to obey God. Jesus also said regarding the Holy Spirit, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.” John 16:7-11 NASB. The work of even wanting to obey God comes from the Holy Spirit! You cannot want to obey God or love Him, without the aid of the Holy Spirit! So the work of reforming your life, obeying God, is all God’s doing, you can just accept His work in your life and allow it to happen, and choose to do what He asks, or you cannot have all this peace, love and joy that He wants to give you. And you must also choose to spend time with Him in prayer and in much Bible study, learning His will for your life. When you delight in studying His word, and pouring out your heart to Him in prayer, this is how you get to know Him. This is how you get the power to obey Him, because faith comes through hearing or reading the word of God. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 KJV.
If you love Jesus, keep His word, which is to keep His Father’s commandments, including the Law of Love, the 10 Commandments of Exodus 20. If you love Jesus, the Father will love you, and you will be filled with the Holy Spirit! Amen! Then you will be loving your neighbor as yourself, and will be loving God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul! Then your life will be sweet with the dew of Heaven, because you will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and will delight in loving God and serving Him.
May the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
#Love #Jesus #Keep #Word #Obey #God #Holy #Spirit #Commandment #Born #Again #Truth #New #Rivers #Living #Water #Flesh #Life #Peace #Joy
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
, entered 11/29/2016 from notes and updated, and finished 6/10/2017 to 6/19/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
Jesus said, ‘But so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.’ John 14:31 NASB.
It’s time to get busy serving the Lord and carrying out His will. Get up, let us go from here! This is what Jesus said as He went out of the last supper with His disciples, to allow Judas Iscariot and the mob to arrest Him and take Him to Jerusalem, that He might die on the cross for our sins. Men did a lot of bad things to Jesus, but it was necessary for our salvation and for the world that He submit to all that Satan and evil men would do to Him; that He would drink this cup that the Father had given Him to drink and die on the cross for our sins, a most cruel death, but He did it out of love for His Father and for you and me! But He would see all the people who would be saved, and be satisfied with His sacrifice. “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” Isaiah 53:11 KJV. Never forget what Jesus did for you and the other sinners in this world! Meditate on this often, never let it depart from your mind.
In like manner, if we love Jesus and His Father, it is time, high time, that we go out from here to carry out God’s plan to save the world. God will give us the Holy Spirit and all of the gifts that we need to carry out His will, if this is our desire. We will not worry what people will say or do against us, but will proceed to carry out God’s will. And no matter what cross we have to bear, or what hardship we have to endure, or what comfort or need we forgo to have the funds and resources to help others get to know Him, it will all be worth it in the end, for we will see the work of our life in the souls we have helped and won God’s power and be satisfied, like Jesus was, who is our Master. There will be much joy in Heaven for those who have been faithful in serving God and their fellow man. This is the reward of the righteous. This joy will be compounded and accrued throughout eternity! What kind of price can you place on someone else’s soul; for their love, joy and happiness throughout eternity? Have you no thought or care for their needs? Look at what Jesus did for you and the eternal peace, joy and happiness He bought for you. Does this not bring forth gratitude and love in your heart for Him? How can you hold back this love and joy that He has given you? You cannot, if you have received His forgiveness and love into your heart.
Get up, let us go from here. The fields are white for the harvest. “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.’” John 4:34-36 NASB.
Jesus said, “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” John 15:8-11 NASB. Yes, God the Father would be glorified if you bear much fruit for Him; if you would lay everything on the altar and do everything that you can to win many precious souls for Him. How can you prove to be Jesus’ disciple? If you abide in His love as He abode in His Father’s love. This is how you keep His commandments, by abiding in His love. This is how you glorify His Father, like He did; by always doing exactly what He has commanded you to do. This is how you can have your joy made full, by abiding in Jesus’ love and bearing much fruit for God.
Do not worry if you are not sure how you can serve Him or think that you don’t have the skills or gifts needed. God will not ask you to do some great thing beyond your ability. Notice we didn’t say “current ability” or the gifts and abilities that you were born with. You might be surprised, if you have faith and believe, God is not limited in what He can do for you! He is your creator and loves you and can miraculously provide you with new gifts and abilities that you never had before, or help you to develop skills that you didn’t think that you had! Nothing good is impossible with God! Do not fear that God is asking you to do something that you cannot do. Do not say, ‘What can I do?” with the idea that you cannot do anything at all. Do not feel bad if you are not good at doing things that others feel are more important or that you should do. Do not look at what others are doing or not doing as your guide, but let your love for God and desire to serve Him fuel your efforts. Do not let others try to tell you what you should or should not do to serve God. Do not look to man to figure out what you should or should not do. Lean not to the flesh. Some may have wise counsel that you should listen to, if they know you well and are ‘Spirit filled’, but many people see things only as man sees them, not through the eyes of faith, for without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6. It is not wise to listen to those who have not yielded themselves fully to God and do not fully believe. Or to those who have not experienced the joys of serving God. Look to God who cannot fail. If the Christians that you are close to or observe are lukewarm and not doing anything, this will have no bearing on you, if you love Jesus.
If you love Jesus, you will be willing to serve Him, and ask Him for the help and direction needed to serve Him effectively. If you are willing, and trust Him, you will be given what you need to serve Him. In the verse before our passage above in John 15:8-11 Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7 NASB. If you listen to all of Jesus’ words, and meditate on them in your heart, and allow them to work their way through to your soul, you will be transformed into His likeness. Then you will ask what you will need to serve Him with, and it will be given to you, because you abide in His love. You can be very bold in your requests to God, if you are clean before Him and have yielded yourself fully to Him! He will always listen to your prayers if you truly love Him! If you love Jesus and His Father, do not be afraid to ask them for the help you need to glorify them and to help save the lost, or to help in whatever way they would be pleased for you to serve. The Father would be delighted to give you all the gifts that you need and the direction as to how you can best serve Him. If you yield to Him all the way, He will give you all the help you need to succeed! This is His promise to you.
Jesus told all who would be His disciples how they can receive the gifts that they need to serve Him with when He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:12-14 NASB. This asking of anything in Jesus’ name to the Father is not a blank check to ask for anything that you would want to ask, but is anything that would glorify Jesus and His Father, that is to do the ‘greater works’ than what Jesus did while He was on this earth. They are ‘greater works’ because of their extent throughout the world; various followers of Jesus would spread the good news of God’s love throughout the earth! Jesus has promised you, that if you ask anything in His name, He will give it to you. To ask in His name is to ask for what you need to carry out His will. You should know that if you have yielded yourself fully to Jesus and His Father, then your heart will become ‘knit’ with them, and you will ask them for all the gifts that you need to serve them with. God would be delighted to give you your requests, whenever you pray in Jesus’ name, believing in Jesus, as this passage plainly states.
Do you want to receive the wages of the reaper or the gatherer? Do you wish to serve Jesus in telling the world of His Father’s love? Then your food and drink will be to do the work that He has given you to do. Your greatest desire will be to serve Him and do all that you can to help others know and be saved too. Whether you are a sower or a reaper you will rejoice in being given a part to play in this great work of God’s love for the world, and you will have your reward. If you love Jesus and His Father, you will do exactly as He has commanded you: To go out and make disciples of all men, teaching them all things that He has commanded, and lo, He will be with you, until the end of the world. Matthew 28:18-20. Amen. Jesus has commanded all of His true followers, His disciples, until the end of the world to bear much fruit for His Father and win many souls for the kingdom. This brings honor and glory to God, for God is love! 1 John 4:8. And He is not willing that any should perish. 2 Peter 3:9.
Do you want to prove to be Jesus’ disciple? Then get up, let us go from here! Go out in His strength, and bear much fruit for His Glory! Amen.
#GetBusy #Serving #God #Go #Obey #Command #Meditate #Joy #Servant #Jesus #Food #Will #Disciple #Gifts #NoLimits #HolySpirit #Clean #Yield #Ask #Wages
By John Foll, Finished writing from 05/20/2017 to 05/22/2017, and 6/3/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
Before we get into this article, have you read our Faith Blog article “God Will Never Allow the Righteous To Be Shaken! (Cast your burden upon the Lord)”? We recommend that you read it too, and you should also check out this other Faith Blog article: “Do you have faith? Do you have Assurance? Faith commeth by hearing the word of God!” These articles were written to help inspire your faith in God so you can have a new life with Him, or have it more abundantly if you already have it!
Now on to our article.
The Kingdom of God consists not in words but in Power!
Listen to what the apostle Paul says here:
“But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant, but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power.” 1 Corinthians 4:19-20 NASB.
Paul here was addressing a class of people among the Corinthian believers who were arrogant. 1 Corinthians 4:18. Evidently some people were causing problems in the Church, who were living without the power of God in their lives. Sound familiar? This problem and the solution addressed by Paul here is largely the same problem that we have today, and his solution is the same that is needed today. Let’s explore this concept further that Paul is trying to teach the Church. Yes, his counsel is for our day too, not just for the Corinthian church of his day.
Do you want God’s power in your life to help you be good and His gifts to serve Him with? Do you want the assurance of your salvation? Then get His power in your life.
Do you want to have sweet communion with Him every day? Do you want Him to take the shame of your sins away and give you the power to live a righteous life? Are you tired of the endless round of sinning and bad habits? Do you want a new life with Him? The kingdom of God consists not in mere words but in power. The power of Love. The power to be good. The power to live a good Christian life. Do you want this power?
A large portion of people in Christianity today are without power. Some try to excuse their lack, their sins, or say that it doesn’t matter since we are saved by grace (some of these may think that they have this power since they are ‘saved’). And there is another class who say they believe in obeying God, but they appear to lack the power to obey Him, though they might think that they are, but are only doing so from outward appearance. Many of these lack the ability of being kind, loving and merciful to others. Both of these groups are lacking the love, joy, peace, faith and hope and the power promised by God to all who believe. Jesus said in John 3:3, 5 that all must be born again to be able to enter the kingdom of God. But the kingdom of God consists not in words, but in Power, as Paul spoke above in 1 Corinthians 4:20. But not all want this power, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV. Are you being saved day-by-day? Do you have the power of God in your life?
Do you want this power? Do you want to personally experience the power of the Holy Spirit in your life like the early Christians did in the book of Acts? The Holy Spirit has been promised to you forever by Jesus and His Father (John 14:16), if you believe in Jesus (John 3:16-17), want to love and obey Him, and would seek this life from Him, the ‘Pearl of Great Price’. Matthew 13:46.
God is willing to give you new life with Him, with the power of the Holy Spirit if you meet the conditions. Yes, there are conditions. You must ask for it (or want it very much). Luke 11:13. You must hunger and thirst for it. Matthew 5:6. You must obey God (or want to obey Him). Acts 5:32. You must believe in Jesus for your salvation. John 3:16-17. You must have the Son of God. 1 John 5:12. You must confess your sins and believe that you have been forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9. You must search for this ‘Pearl of Great Price’. Matthew 13:46. You must allow God to make you meek. Matthew 5:5. You must forgive others. Matthew 6:12. You must be merciful to others. Matthew 5:7. You must allow God to make you pure in heart. Matthew 5:8. These texts are stating what is needed to receive salvation and the blessings of God in their fullness. This is the Gospel message that was taught by Jesus and His disciples. These are the most wonderful truths that you could ever learn, they will give you life, love, joy, faith, hope and eternal happiness. Is that what you want?
See also: John 8:42, 13:34,35; 15:12,17; 14:15, 15, 27; 15:9; 17:23; 1 John 3:23; 4:7, 11, 12; 2:3-6; 4:20-21; Luke 14:26-27, 33.
Are you tired of living a lukewarm Christian life? Then you need God’s power! Has your love for God or others grown cold or dim? Then you need God’s power. In Revelation 3:15-16, Jesus warns His people that He will spew them out of His mouth, unless they see their need of Him, repent and yield to Him all the way. This is a very serious condition that many of God’s people are in today! Those who do not listen to Jesus and see their need of Him and repent will be spewed out of His mouth and be lost. There needs to be a great change in a lot of Christians today. They have lost their first love of Jesus (or never had it), and need to get it back (or get it for the first time). The solution for all who are in this condition is to make a full confession to God in Jesus’ name for their sins, especially for being lukewarm and not putting Him first at all times. All who are lukewarm Christians should throw themselves on God’s mercy and ask Him to help them put Him first and love their neighbor as themselves, and stop dallying with the world!
If you would like this power, you must confess all of your sins and humble your heart before God, ask for the Holy Spirit, and yield yourself totally to God. Always do what God has asked you to do and want to do it. If you do not want to obey God in all things, or do not obey Him fully you cannot have the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit. If there is any part of the Bible that God has impressed on you that you should follow that you are resisting Him on, ask Him to help you change. Ask God to be merciful to you a sinner, this is something He will be happy to do! You will need to work through these issues with Him, trusting Him and in much prayer. When you get to the point where the last thing that you have been putting Him off on or resisting Him on has been given to Him, you should see a wonderful change in your life! Sometimes you may want His help but are not all-the-way there yet, but if you will hang in there and ask Him to help you to obey Him, and then obey Him, He will give you peace, more joy and more power and more love.
How long it takes for you to get the Holy Spirit in full depends on how soon you yield fully to Him and do all that He has asked you to do 100%. At a later date He may ask you to do more things, or make more changes, or to make something right with others. Always be willing to do everything He asks, pray for the ability of doing it and to be more willing. (This will shorten the time it takes for you to get this desired blessing from Him.) God will always help the penitent sinner who is genuinely asking for His help and willing to do what He asks, or to be made more willing. God gives His best gifts to those who love Him and are obedient to all of His wishes that He has revealed to them. He is mindful that you are but dust (Psalms 103:14), and doesn’t require more than you can bear (unless you have almost gone too far and are in eminent peril), but will always give you the help you need to do His bidding, if you want it and ask for it.
Here are some promises for you to claim:
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 NASB.
‘the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation’ 2 Peter 2:9 NASB.
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.” James 1:12 KJV.
Meditate on these next quotes if you wish to have God’s best gifts, and His best and sweetest rewards:
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:7-11 KJV.
Jesus said, “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:19 NASB.
Yes, there is a great reward for those who keep all of God’s testimonies and His Law of Love (Exodus 20:1-17; Matthew 22:36-40). If you want to be called great in the kingdom of Heaven, keep God’s commandments and teach others to do so. If you want to be converted and not be lost, make these teachings, the Gospel message in the New Testament, and the other teachings of the Bible your study and delight. And ask God for the help you need to do what He has asked you to do. Then you will have the confidence of knowing that He hears your prayers. Psalms 66:18; Proverbs 28:9. And you will have the promised great reward! Then you will have the sweetness of the Holy Spirit in your heart, and you will love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your mind and all your soul, and your neighbor as yourself!
Always start with the Bible, God’s word, to find out what He wants you to do. Be careful about asking people for their opinion, unless they can provide solid proof from the Bible for their views. If God has convicted you on something in the Bible, it is a dangerous thing to ask what other people think about it, unless they give you proof from the Bible that makes sense to you after much thought and prayer, proving your earlier convictions wrong. Pray that God will make it clear to you. Don’t put your soul’s destiny into someone else’s hands to decide for you. Your soul and eternal life are at stake!
One of the reasons why there are so many people who are not willing to obey everything in the Bible is because they surround themselves with teachers who quiet their conscience against the clearly revealed word of God. But the apostle Peter said that we ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29. You accept the opinions of others over the plain words of the Bible at your own risk, the risk of eternal loss! We recommend that you only go by the word of God, or study as much of it as you can understand yourself, then ask others who you trust that are living godly lives who have been born again and filled with the Holy Spirit for the Biblical proof of their views. Although someone can tell you the truth without living it 100%, it is best to trust only those who are living God’s love, obeying Him and born again from above, and contrite when they make a mistake. But their explanations must never contradict the Bible, and it should make sense. They should be able to prove everything they are teaching from the Bible. And you need to verify every step of their reasoning before believing their conclusions.
Some people offer “proof”, but when you check all of their proof texts or evaluate their reasoning carefully, many are fallacies, distortions, half-truths, or taken out of context to fit their theories. Some are preaching systematic error; i.e. multiple fallacies and multiple errors using a lot of Bible texts. Don’t let the fact that they have a lot of “proof texts” fool you into thinking that they are right. You need to check all of their texts and reasoning carefully, no matter how many texts they give, to see if it makes sense, and their conclusion sure. But also remember that they themselves might be well meaning, but in error. Many time fallacies and errors are used to “prove” other things. Every fallacy or error someone accepts into their thinking builds on the others they have accepted previously, making it harder to separate fact from fiction, truth from error. Don’t accept anything as the gospel truth unless it squares up 100% with what God has revealed to you from the Bible. If you find out that you have been in error in anything, simply recant your previous beliefs and let God help you to change and believe the truth. You must love God and want to obey Him, or you will eventually end up being deceived or seduced into sin and being lost. If you are wanting something to quiet your conscience, pleasing fables will fill the void. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12. So it is important to always be humble and contrite before God and have the desire to please Him, so you won’t be deceived by error.
What happens if you find out that you have been in error after reading the clear word of the Bible and the Holy Spirit convicts you of it? That is for you to decide. If you find out that you were doing or believing something wrong, then you need to make a change, if you would continue to be a son or daughter of God. If you have been in error, just confess your sins and ignorance and allow God to help you to change. He will be happy to help you. You are not held accountable for the truth if you did not know it or did not have it impressed on your mind to obey it.
You may ask, ‘How can I know the truth for sure? People I know and respect or family or friends believe the truth differently than the plain reading of the Bible.’ You can know the truth if you are Jesus’ sheep or become His sheep. If you are Jesus’ sheep, then you will listen to His words and He will lead you into all truth through the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit. John 16:13. You can trust in the Good Shepherd of the sheep to lead you all the way to Heaven’s peaceful shore. John 10:11, 14. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29 NASB. So there you have it, if you are Jesus’ sheep you will not have to worry as long as you follow where He leads and do what He says, and He will give you eternal life! No one can snatch you out of Jesus or His Father‘s hands as long as you want them to save you!
If you are still struggling with sin and doubt, just get to know God and study the promises of His love in the Bible and believe, asking Him to be merciful to you a sinner and He will surely bless you. Just hang in there! Don’t get discouraged. Remember that He loves you! When your heart is warmed more and more to His love you will know it, and when you verbally give your heart to Him all the way, He will fill you with great joy, love and power (and peace). And then you will know that you have the Holy Spirit. No one will have to tell you that you have the Holy Spirit because you will know! You will be so blessed, and your attitude towards God and others will change. And you will delight in obeying God and serving Him. And you will finally have power from God. Is this what you want?
It is high time that all Christians make a complete return to God, renouncing the world completely, asking Him for His help to break all ties with sin, worldliness, bad practices, and stop trying to justify sin and bad habits. God’s mercy for this world will soon run out, and all who do not love Him supremely will be cast out. But God will shelter all who are Jesus’ true sheep from this coming storm.
The Kingdom of Heaven and true Christianity consist not in words, but in power! It is time for all who are named a Christian to shed their powerless, joyless, faithless, hopeless, loveless Christian existence and man-made religion, for the perfect righteousness of Christ, and receive power from God to finally be a Christian with power, not lacking in any of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). This is to be Christ-like: to be meek, humble, lowly, pure, Holy, full of peace, love, joy, faith, hope: to be full of the Holy Spirit. This is my prayer for you dear reader! Amen!
#Kingdom #God #Power #Word #Lukewarm #HolySpirit #New #Life #Promise #Condition #Faith #Peace #Love #Great #Reward #Obey #Commandments #Conversion #Return #Repent
By John Foll, written between 5/6/2017 to 5/8/2017.
© Copyright John Foll 2017
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16 KJV.
Paul states the most essential question here: Whose servant are you? How do you know whose servant you are? Answer: Who are you yielding to? This last question answers whose servant you are. If you are yielding to your lower nature, you will reap a harvest of corruption. If you are yielding to God, you will yield a rich harvest for the Master. There is no in between: if you are yielding some to God, and then some to yourself or to our ancient foe, you are on the wrong side still. Trying to keep one foot in heaven and one foot on this earth will still cause you to reap a harvest of sin and corruption until you repent. God loves you and will take you just as you are, and give you a chance to repent and get to know Him and be saved. But if you want to have the assurance of your own salvation and have peace, love, joy, faith and hope, all the things that make life worth living, living for all eternity, you must yield yourself completely to Him. If you are yielding to the flesh, you cannot walk by the Spirit. If you are walking in the flesh, you ‘cannot please God.’ Romans 8:7 NASB. If you are not walking by the Spirit day-by-day, you cannot have life and peace. Peace comes by confessing your sins and yielding completely to God and continuing to walk with His Spirit. He will give you love, faith, hope, and much joy, if you would walk, and continue to walk by His Spirit!
At the end of the day, the question as to whose servant you are will decide your destiny. That is why this question is of the utmost importance to you and your life, to know what the final outcome of your life will be, if it continues on as it did today. Whose servant are you?
But you may say, ‘I am a Christian and have been one for some time’. Well that is all fine and good if you have yielded yourself completely to Jesus and His Father, but if you are not yielding to them on a day-by-day basis and are yielding to the flesh, your carnal nature, you are not truly God’s servant yet, but are still serving the flesh. To be everything a Christian is meant to be and to have that wonderful peace, love and joy you must yield fully to God, and then you cannot help but be His servant; it will be the most natural thing in the world for you. If you are thinking of yourself and what you want, or are yielding to bitterness or anger or unforgiveness, you cannot be His servant too. If you haven’t yielded totally to God, you are placing yourself or someone or something else above God. ‘Thou shalt have no other God’s before me.’ Exodus 20:3 KJV. We believe that this is the most broken of God’s commandments in the entire Bible! To be free from breaking this most broken commandment, humble your heart, and willingly yield fully to God. But you can only yield fully to Him if you love Him more than anyone or anything else. Matthew 12:29-30.
You cannot of your own yield to God. We are all born with the desire to yield to the flesh, but as God’s Spirit beckons you to want to be forgiven, have peace, and have a better life with Him, if you listen to His sweet voice, and want this more than anything else, wanting to be free from the guilt of your sins, and are tired of sinning and hurting God and others, then yield to the precious Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the only one who can enable you to yield to God. Jesus said, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper [or the Comforter or the Holy Spirit] shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; John 16:7-8 NASB. So God sent the Holy Spirit into this world to convict the world of sin, and of righteousness and judgment. No one on this earth is qualified to take over the functions of the Holy Spirit as enumerated here! You cannot decide that you will do your own thing today, and that on the morrow you will finally yield your heart to God all the way, to do the right thing and be His servant. It is only the Holy Spirit that can do this for you. Now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2. Do not put off for tomorrow what you know you should do today. Do not plan to have your own way today, and say that you will repent tomorrow. Only the Holy Spirit can convict you of sin, and not yourself. So if you are planning on doing your own thing today, and making a change tomorrow, there is no guarantee that you will feel convicted tomorrow to want to change. Do not play games with God. Do not tell Him that you are a Christian and belong to Him, if you are not giving Him your whole heart. You cannot lie to God. All things are open and bare before Him with whom we have to do. Hebrews 4:13. He reads your life like a book, but He loves you and is offering you a chance to repent and give up your half-way Christian lukewarm state, and exchange it for His life and peace. Is that what you want? Then yield yourself to Him and obey Him. He will listen to your prayer if you pray, ‘Be merciful to me God a sinner.’ Luke 18:13.
But you may say again, ‘I am a Christian and have been one for many years’. You have no claim to righteousness, therefore how long you have been a Christian and how many good things you have done for God or others do not matter, if you have not yielded your heart fully to Him. If you have not humbled and continued to humble your heart before God, yielding to Him fully, to obey Him in all things, you are in need of being born again, if you want life and peace, and ever want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 1 John 3:3, 5.
How do you yield to God? First and foremost, by confessing your sins. Secondly by humbling your heart before God, acknowledging that He is God and the only one who can save you, and praying to Him, asking for His help to be a better person. If you continue to do this, God will draw you closer and closer to Himself, and will bless you beyond measure! ‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.’ Matthew 6:24 KJV. Do you love God more than anything else, and despise sin? Then you have found life, and more abundantly! If you are trying to serve both God and self, you are living a half-way Christian life that God is not pleased with, unless you desire a better life. But if you are yielding to God, and continue to yield to Him, staying contrite and penitent before Him, you will have life and peace. This is what is meant by walking by the Spirit. When this happens to you all the way, you will be blessed with God’s sweet Spirit and much blessed, pressed down, shaken together, and running over! “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38 KJV. If you give sparingly of yourself to God, then your blessings from Him will also be sparse.
If you want to be good, you must yield yourself to God completely, and then you will be His servant! If you are not sure how to yield to Him completely, just give in to your desire to have this wonderful peace that He placed in your heart, and humble yourself before Him, confess, and study the many precious promises and faith and love building stories in the Bible, especially the stories about Jesus, and allow God to bless your heart! The thing that you have searched for so long, if indeed you have, is now within your reach! God is calling out to your heart now to accept the terms of His peace, love, joy and happiness, now and forever! Amen.
“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,” Romans 8:5-6 NASB.
#Whose #Servant #Fully #Yield #Obey #Confess #Life #Peace #Holy Spirit #God #Reap #Harvest #Destiny #Master #Death #Righteousness #Convict #Sin #Mercy #Love
By John Foll
, written between 03/11/2017 and 03/12/2017.
© Copyright John Foll 2017
Are there “extra rewards on top of getting to live eternally?” After thinking more on this, we now think that this is a good question! We had seen this article on Disqus.com for several days before responding to it, probably because it seemed extraneous or something like that. (We don’t remember exactly.) Maybe we thought that those who get to Heaven won’t care how they got there after the fact. But after thinking on this some more, a statement made by Jesus was presented to our mind, which we posted in this Disqus discussion:
To answer this discus main question, Jesus said that those who teach others to keep even the least of God's commandments shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 5:19. Those who have been moved with love and compassion to help erring ones to know and keep God's commandments, which are all love, will be called great in the kingdom of Heaven. Do you want this blessing? Then let God make a change to your heart and life, so you can bring honor and glory to His wonderful name, and teach others to love and obey God too! And you will get that promised great reward.
Are there any of God’s commandments that are too small for us to concern ourselves with? Are there any of God’s commandments that are too small for us to worry about keeping or too small for us to teach others to keep? No. Jesus says that those who keep even the least of these commandments and teach others to keep them will be called great in the kingdom of Heaven. What about those who keep God’s greatest commandments and teach others to keep them?Will they not have even a greater reward?
“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses thatof the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:19-20 NASB.
We don’t want to focus on this text in its typical manner, but focus today on ‘keeping these commandments and teaching others to do so’:those that do this ‘shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.’
What commandments does Jesus mean when He says “these commandments?”Jesus here plainly declares which commandments we are to keep and teach others in the preceding passage: “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” Matthew 5:17-18 NASB. The ‘commandments’ that Jesus is talking about here in Matthew 5:19-20 is “the Law and the Prophets”. This means not only the 10 Commandments of Exodus 20,but it also clearly means the entire Old Testament, because they were the only Scriptures when Jesus spoke this. But since the words that Jesus spoke are also the Word of God, and since He commissioned His disciples to preach the gospel to the whole world, we also include the entire New Testament as well to be the Word of God.
Jesus declared here that those who keep ‘these commandments’, contained in the Bible, and teach others to do so shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven. Yes it’s true, there is great reward in keeping God’s Law, the commandments, and in teaching others to do so, even though many in our day think that you shouldn’t keep them or can’t keep them, or shouldn’t teach others to do so! They try to say that this is works, and that we are under grace and thus should not keep God’s holy Law. Some of them even imply that you are sinning if you want to keep God’s Holy Law, since they say we are under grace, and equate all attempts to keep God’s commandments as self-righteousness. But the Bible clearly teaches that God can give us the power to keep His Law when He writes His Law in our Heart. Jeremiah 31:31-34. But what does the Bible say regarding God’s holy Law? “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORDis sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD aretrue and righteous altogether. More to be desired are theythan gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.Moreover by them is thy servant warned: andin keeping of them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:7-11 KJV. In keeping God’s 10 Commandments and other commandments in the Bible there is great reward! Do you want this great reward? Do you want to be warned so that you are not lost? Do you want to be truly converted so that you can go to Heaven? Do you want to be pure? Do you want to be clean? Do you want to be good and live a righteous life? Do you want your eyes to be enlightened? Do you want to rejoice? Are you simple but want to be wise? Do you want to taste of the good things to come from God, with all of the sweetness of the rich experience of the blessing of the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit? Acts 5:32. Then study God’s Law of Love, or the two Tables of the Testimonies or the 10 Commandments and all of His righteous judgements and commandments in the Bible, and ask Him to help you to keep them. In keeping them and teaching them to others there is great reward!
Now back to the question to be discussed: Is going to Heaven the highest reward? No.While many people will be happy just to get there, those who have fallen in love with God, will have great joy in teachingothers to love God too! They get a reward of joy in this life, from the ones that they know of whom they have helped, but in Heaven they will get a much greater reward of eternal joy, that lasts forever! This is because those whom they helped to get there will remind them of how thankful they were that someone showed them how to be saved, but more importantly Jesus and His Father will be happy with them! But the ones who get these higher rewards are not doing it just for the reward, but because they love Jesus and His Father!These rewards are above and beyond that of just going to Heaven. These rewards are something a selfish heart can never know or understand, unless it has a great change made in it.
We wish we could make everyone understand the great reward that God wants to give them, if they would only want to keep His Law, because they love Him and teach others to do so too! But alas, this great reward can only be known by those who want what God has to give them, before they have fully learned how precious it is.This reward of love can only be known by those who want to obey Him, because they have learned to love Him, and received His help to obey. There is no way to fully understand what God wants to give you until you experience it for yourself, because it has to be experienced to be understood! But we have tried and will keep trying our best to try to inspire you with the joy and wonder of loving and serving God all-the-way, as long as He gives us breath to praise His name and helps keep us on track with His love. God never fails!
Jesus also said: “For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.” Matthew 24:44-47 NASB. Here again,Jesus is promising that there will be a great reward in serving Him faithfully in giving His household their food (the word of God) at the proper time and season, which is the same thing as teaching others to keep God’s commandments: the reward for them will be to be put in charge of all of His possessions. This is not just talking about the eternal life that Jesus has promised to all who believe in Him, but the special blessings that come from serving Him willingly, and teaching others to love Him and His Father’s Law too: there will be blessings for this in this life and forever in the life to come!
And again, here is another place where Jesus declares that there is a great reward to be gained: “Butlove your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.” Luke 6:35 NASB. Why? Because God is also kind to ungrateful and evil men, so you will have a great reward if you love your enemies. If you do this, your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High! Just think about the honor that God is willing to bestow on you! “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” 1 John 3:1 KJV.
And what is another great reward that Jesus promised? “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” Luke 6:22-23 KJV. If you suffer for His sake and are persecuted, you will have a rich reward in Heaven, becauseyou will have shown others that He has the power to help all to obey Him! This same reward is spoken of in Revelation: “Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?’ I said to him, ‘My lord, you know.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.’” Revelation 7:13-17 NASB. So the ones who made it through the great tribulation and have washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb will have the great reward of serving Him day and night in His temple, and they will hunger and thirst no more, because He will satisfy their hunger for Him, and satisfy their need of His love and His righteousness! And He will shield and protect them!
At the Second Coming, Jesus speaks of the reward to be given to those who have done His work in helping others for Him: “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You somethingto drink? 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them,you did it to Me.'” Matthew 25:31-40 NASB. So Jesus will reward all those who helped others with their needs, or visited those who were sick, alone, or in prison, clothed and fed those who were hungry and in need, and preached the gospel to others; this reward will last for all eternity. All who are saved alike will share in this reward, but those who have given more or all for Jesus and served Him gladly, helping and teaching others to love and obey Him will have a greater reward.Notice that Jesus is addressing all of those who are on His right, which are all of those who are saved: that they have served Him by helping others. Thus it appears that no one who enters Heaven will do so without serving Him and helping others. So is there really an extra reward above being saved? Not if everyone is sharing in at least part of the reward of serving Him and helping others. But there still appears to be a choice of how much someone ones to do in loving and serving God and in helping others!Those who really love Him, will give all to serve Him, and will see no great sacrifice in doing this for Him, it will be their greatest desire! And it will be no great sacrifice for them to do everything they can to help others get to know Him, and to help them with all of their needs that are in their power to help. We believe that God sees this and will reward every man according to his works. Notice what Jesus says here in Revelation: “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12 KJV. Thus every faithful man or woman’s reward is according to their works or according to their love and devotion and service to God! Each is rewarded according to their works; this is above and beyond just being saved and going to Heaven! Here is another place in Revelation that declares that there is a reward that the righteous in Christ will get, because their works follow them: “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Revelation 14:13 KJV. We are not saying that their works saved them, only the blood of Jesus can save anyone, it is an act of Grace from God, but of all who love God, their works will follow them in the resurrection! And they will be rewarded according to their works.So some may have a greater reward than others, depending on their works, done by His power, as an act of love and devotion to Him!
Conclusion: Jesus says about this great reward that He promised to His faithful in Heaven:“His lord said unto him, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’” Matthew 25:21 KJV. Thus all may share in this great reward, if they will be willing to do all that they can to serve Him and help others. Then they will enter into the joy of their Lord, they will enter into Heaven and live forever with Him in eternal peace, love, joy and happiness! Amen!
#Heaven #Greatest #Highest #Reward #Eternal #Life #God #Jesus #Works #Good #Commandments #Kingdom #Least #Teach #Keep #Obey #Love #Serve #Second #Coming
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!
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“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'” Luke 14:26-30 NASB.
Are you able to finish the course that is set before you? Hebrews 12:1. You will be able to finish the course that is set before you, if you count the true cost, and the true value of the surpassing riches that God wants to provide you. “And raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:6-7 NASB.
Count the cost of loving, obeying and serving Jesus. Whenever you see the true value of serving Jesus with all the love, joy, peace, faith and all the other gifts that He wants to give you, and agree willingly to serve Him, then this will be what your soul wants, and you will get it. The value of what you get infinitely exceeds the cost that you will pay. But He who loves his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers or sisters, and even their own life more than Jesus, cannot be His disciple. When you calculate the true cost and value of giving your heart completely to God and serving Him, you will see that even though you may have to suffer much from friends, family and others, and may even make the ultimate sacrifice, that it will all be worth it in the end, for the rich bounty of love, joy and peace that you will reap for yourself and others whom you have helped, now and for all eternity in Heaven! God will call you His good and faithful servant, if you prove to be faithful to Him. So count the cost!
What kind of a price can you put on having peace, wonderful peace, and having this great love and joy that God wants to give you? Is there anything in this life that can equal it or compare with it in any way?No. God’s gifts that He wants to give you are priceless and beyond compare. All the riches of this world cannot compare to one moment of pure peace, love and joy that He will give you! And this peace, love and joy will continue throughout eternity, without end! Oh, the riches and bounty of God for us poor mortals!
Jesus also said, “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” Luke 14:33 NASB. If you give all of your possessions willingly and freely to Jesus, He will bless you and keep you. He may not ask you to sell or give away all that you have to the poor right away, like the rich young ruler thought He had asked him to do (Luke 18:22), but He will ask you to be a wise steward of your time, goods, means and talents, which you should willingly use to bless others as they have need. Matthew 25:14-30. The poor include not only the poor in this world’s goods, but those who are poor in the knowledge of salvation. Our heart should care about our poor brothers and sisters throughout this world that do not know Jesus yet, or those who don’t know Him all the way yet, that need to get to know Him better. Jesus knows you have needs and will take care of you! He is not necessarily asking you to sacrifice all that you have now, but to be willing to help others, as the need arises, from your store of resources. He is asking you to love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 22:39), because love is the fulfillment of the law.Romans 13:10. But whatever you do to help others, the cost is insignificant compared with the infinitely better riches and reward of love, happiness, and joy that you will accrue throughout eternity! Whatever sacrifice you make for God is definitely worth it, if you count the cost and the return on your investment that you will get forever in Heaven! Don’t think about what you will lose, think about what you will gain! When you have God’s love in your heart, you will find that the things of this earth have lost their hold on your heart, and you will willingly give to help others, even sacrificially. And you will be happy to do it!
If anyone does not love his neighbor as themselves, they cannot be Jesus’ disciple, because He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 NASB. And: “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” John 15:12-14 KJV. So if you want to be Jesus’ friend, you must do whatsoever He commanded you, which is to love one another, as He loves you. Therefore anyone who does not love his or her neighbor as themselves, cannot be Jesus’ disciple.
But if you find God’s Spirit stirring your heart with love and joy, and see the true value of serving Him, you will willingly yield your heart to Him! And then you will see that there is no sacrifice too great for your God, whom you love, for all the peace, love, faith, hope, and joy that He gives you, and from all the love and joy you get as you see someone else made happy when they give their heart to Him, and become as happy as you are! Enter into the joy of your Lord, enter into the kingdom of Heaven prepared for those who love Him! Matthew 25:21. Amen.
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