If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, Part 2

Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees

A student is not above his teacher; but everyone, after they have been fully trained, will be like their teacher.

If our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God

These things I have spoken to you that My joy may be in you.

What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?

Time is Short: An Appeal To Give Your Heart To God!

What Lack I Yet?

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 worldour 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.

Conclusion:

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.

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By John Foll, finished writing 1/8/2018
© Copyright 2018 John Foll

It takes more than having the correct theory of the truth to be saved.

* This blog is not for everyone, but some may especially need to hear this message. If you are looking for a nice easy-going article that tells you that you are OK and just makes you feel good, this article is not for you. We are sorry if it appears too strong. But there are problems with the way many people believe about how they are saved. Since Jesus gave this message or a similar one to it, it still needs to be heard! But if you are not ready for it, then don’t read this article. If you would like to find out what you may lack or need to do to be saved, read on.

“And Jesus said to them, ‘Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’” Matthew 16:6 NASB. “Then they [Jesus’ disciples] understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Matthew 16:12 NASB.

Jesus’ statement here is still valid today! We need to beware of the leaven of the modern Pharisees and Sadducees!

Today there are two basic groups within Christianity: the left and the right.
(We are not talking about Christian denominations here.) We are not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings or put down anyone, but today there is a “general” condition of lukewarmness in many Churches that seems very hard to wake people up to, or it’s a cold spiritual state or it’s a party like happy-go-lucky state – no worries. They just don’t get it. This is similar in some ways to when Jesus walked this earth warning His Disciples against the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. What can be done to wake people up to their peril? This is our desire and ministry objective: Help people lose their lukewarm Christian state.

In our day some have been taught to presume on God’s great mercy, that everything is taken care of by grace … they don’t need to choose to let God help them, renounce the world, or make the changes He wants them to make, or they are taught that once they are saved that they cannot be lost. Some don’t think their choice plays any role in their salvation once they have become ‘saved’: it is automatic after this. Some believe that they don’t need to give themselves to God daily or don’t think this needs to be their concern, since they are ‘saved’ or because of ‘grace’ or whatever. Or they don’t give it any thought at all, since they are falsely comforted by their teachers. And many of them are taught that they don’t have to obey God; that if they try to obey Him this is works and bad. There are multiple variations and layers of this teaching, depending on which Christian denomination they are from. But the end result of all of them will be the same, unless a miracle happens and they change. There is not as big a difference between the variations of these beliefs as many might think, the end result is the same: trick people into thinking that they are safe, when they are not, so that they will be lost. Trick people into thinking that since they have ‘the truth’ or the correct beliefs, that they are good and will be saved. Some of them won’t admit that the points we are making apply to them. They hide behind their belief that because they believe ‘the truth’ or because of something that they have done or are doing that they will be saved in the end. Some people seem to think church membership is a membership into a club of the saved.

And in our day there are others who claim that they ‘know the truth’, and probably think that they are keeping it. But they really aren’t and they are often harsh and critical with others, not knowing their true need of God. Some believe that they are right because they believe ‘the truth’ and take a firm stand for it, and think that this alone makes them goodgood enough to be saved. And they think that if you don’t agree with them and do as they do, that you don’t get it, implying that you are lost. They think that this is good behavior: talking about the sins and mistakes of others, but it is in fact, a terrible sin that will shut them out of Heaven, unless they repent of it. Others think that their salvation is secure because of grace, but if you don’t believe like they do, you are ‘under the law”, implying that you are lost. So this other side also believes that their belief saves them.

Many have a theory of the truth but do not have a vital connection with God, or their connection with Him is inconsistent. Many claim that the other side is in error without knowing that they are in error too. There is nothing you can learn that will save you by itself, even if it’s the truth, without the need to humble yourself before God, confess all your sins, yield to Him all the way moment by moment, and be fully converted and born again. What can be done to wake people up to these delusions? Many don’t realize that belief alone will not save them, weather it is the truth or not. Or they may think they are saved without having to yield to God, because they are saved or were saved at one time.

Do you believe?
You do well, the demons also believe and tremble! James 2:19. The belief in the truth is a good place to start, but unless you are daily converted and born again it is not enough. But do you believe in all the truth, or just what has been “cherry picked” for you by your teachers? Have you studied out all that the Bible has to say, the whole thing, and tried to learn everything that it teaches, without trying to force it through what you have been taught to make it fit? Jesus says that we are to beware of the leaven or teaching, or the doctrines of the Pharisees (on the right) and the Sadducees (on the left). We believe that Jesus would still say in our day to beware of ‘the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees', if He were here walking and teaching on this earth. He would warn us that we are to beware of their teachings and attitudes that do not line up 100% with God’s word in the Bible. And all attitudes that do not line up 100% with God’s love or are not compatible with it, should be discarded. (We are not saying here that God will not eventually carry out justice here against the unrepentant sinner, or that rebuke to sinners is not necessary sometimes, but it is always to be given in love.)

Many think that they know the truth, but if they are not changed by it to be kinder, gentler, more forgiving, more compassionate to others, more devoted to God, and more obedient to Him, it is of little value. You must be born again to enter the kingdom of Heaven, regardless of whether you believe the truth or not. John 3:3, 5. These are not my words, but Jesus’ words.

Jesus also said to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy:
“Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things, and do not do them.’” Matthew 23:1-3 NASB. Jesus’ definition of hypocrisy is when people say things and do not do them. Notice Jesus didn’t say that everything that the Scribes and Pharisees were saying were wrong. He clearly indicated that the things that they taught from the Bible should still be done, but that we are not to do as they do, because they said things and did not do them. Why? Because they had no vital connection with God, and no one can live a righteous life apart from Him. All their righteousness was pretended. We think this adequately describes many of those on the left, as well as many on the right in our day too. Did you catch that? Yes you heard that right! All their righteousness is pretended.

Many on the left ‘claim’ that they believe that they are saved by grace, or that they believe in righteousness by faith, while they do not really know what saving faith is, or what it means to be born again, or they have forgotten or lost it. And they believe that since they are saved by grace, that this is all that is needed. They have a theory of part of the truth, but not the practice. (Yes, we are saved by grace!) But the way many of them live is really a form of self-righteousness (or no righteousness at all), just like those on the right who are not born again. Anyone who does not have Christ’s righteousness has either self-righteousness or no righteousness at all. No one can be good before God standing in the robe of their own righteousness or filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6. Only those who are confessing their sins and allowing God to cleanse them from all unrighteousness appear good in the eyes of God. 1 John 1:9. Because Christ will be their righteousness, He will give it to them. Philippians 1:11; 3:9; Romans 8:10. Only those who are yielding to God step-by-step, day-by-day are where God wants them to be.

Many on the right seem to think that because they believe ‘the truth’ and take a vigorous stand for it, and put down those who do not do what they say, and those who don’t agree with their views on everything, that this makes them good. What a joke. Many of them also say bad things about others behind their back, and try to assassinate their characters. (Many on the left do this too.) But this behavior is anything but good. Jesus declared:If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” Matthew 18:15-17 NASB. The King James Version for this passage says that we are to ‘tell him his fault between thee and him alone.’ But even though Jesus said this, it has fallen on deaf hears, for many do not seem to know that He said it, or they just ignore what He said. This is such a big problem! This can cause souls to be lost and can divide churches! (This could cause the soul of the person being talked about to be lost, as well as those who are talking about them, unless they repent.) Belief in the truth is never enough by itself, there must also be a change of heart and a love for lost sinners, not desiring to hurt any - that all would come to repentance. It takes more than a theory of the truth! The truth must take possession of the heart. The attitude must change. What truth especially? The truth of God’s love for humanity and desire to save everyone!! We believe that some on both sides have parts of the truth, but it is not complete or is just a theory to them.

‘Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers’ Philippians 3:2 NASB:
Beware of the false teachings and bad attitudes of the left and the right. To some, the left appear to be more correct, because they talk much of God’s grace and love, which is true and can be found easily in the Bible. But to others, the right appears to be more correct and in line with more Bible truths. (Some on the right believe that they are saved by grace too.) But many Christians are not born again or have lost it, and think that because they believe ‘the truth’ and try to keep it that that it is enough to be saved, or for others who do nothing at all, because they think that all works are bad and are careless of God’s requirements. Those who are not listening to God do not know their own true spiritual condition: that they are blind, miserable, and naked. Revelation 3:15-20. Those who don’t see their need to obey God’, or seek His help to obey Him are blind to their true condition. But God’s Holy Spirit is given to all that obey Him (Acts 5:32) and to those who want to obey Him. And those who don’t want to obey Him (or don’t think that He can help them obey) most certainly do not have the Holy Spirit and are not born again. If someone is not wanting to obey, or do not think that they can obey Him by His power, you can be sure there is a big problem in their life that they need to confess, repent and forsake. There is nothing too hard for God that He wants to do for His people, if they want His help. Jeremiah 32:17, 27. If you are born again you will have the love of God in your heart for others, and will have pity for those who are erring, and will not talk bad about them. And you will also love to obey God, and be sorry when you make a mistake or sin. You will not seek to excuse sin, but get forgiven, and receive God’s sweet Holy Spirit into your life again. When you are born again, sharing God’s love for others is a delight for you, and your life is oriented around unselfish service to God, and for the salvation of souls, or for doing whatever God has given you to do to help others. (God gives different gifts to each person who belong to Him.)

The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees are the partial truths, the half-truths, and the falsehoods that they believe are the complete truth, without knowing they are missing something essential. For some of them, it is their attitude towards others that is wrong, more than their beliefs. These beliefs make them think that they are safe, OK, and right with God, when in fact they are not. They surround themselves with teachers who tell them they are OK as long as they have the correct beliefs. They both believe that they are right and that the other side is wrong. They say some things which are true, but do not do them. Both need to be born again, or re-born again. This is one of the ways the devil confuses people, he gets them into focusing on someone else as being in error, while they ignore their own errors. He holds up another group as being wrong, and gets them on a crusade against them. Unfortunately a lot of people in both of these groups are lacking the Holy Spirit dwelling in their heart, that all are required to have in order to be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven. John 3:3, 5. You must be born again to enter the kingdom of Heaven. This is not a statement about someone’s beliefs, but a statement about what they are or are not – born again or not born again. Belief will not save anyone, being born again will. (We are not talking about faith here, just people’s beliefs.)

Beware of the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees!
Beware of those who say they believe the truth but do not do it!
Beware of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees!
Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers.

It’s not ‘what you know’, but ‘Who you know’ that saves you:
Jesus says, ‘depart from Me, ye that work iniquity’ ‘for I never knew you’. “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'” Matthew 7:21-23 NASB.

Do you know my Jesus? Do you know my friend? Have you heard He loves you? And that He will abide till the end?‘ Oh sinner, waste not a precious moment! Make the Savior your friend before your life is over. No one knows how much time they have left on this earth. Don’t believe for a moment that you are OK because you know the truth or that you are automatically saved by grace, and that you do not have to make a choice to humble yourself before Him, love, serve and obey Him.

* From the song ‘Do you know my Jesus?’ by Vep B. Ellis and William F. Lakey

‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ Acts 16:30 KJV.
If you know that you are not born again, or find that you have been in error on any of the points we discussed in this article, or any others, and God is convicting you on it, you can get a clean slate right now with God! * He is always willing to forgive! Just humble yourself before Him right now, and tell Him you are sorry that you didn’t love Him enough to yield to Him all the way before, and obey Him in everything He asked you to do, or for putting it off. Tell Him you are sorry that you haven’t given your heart completely to Him before. Ask Him to help you be born again and fill you with His sweet Spirit. Ask Him to help you to love and obey Him in all things. Ask Him to help you become meek, gentle, lowly, and kind. Always obey Him willingly whenever He asks you to do something; ask Him for the help to do it. If you want to do your own thing, God will not force you to change or stop you from doing it, but it will make Him sad, because He loves you! If you decide to go your own way you cannot have this wonderful peace, love and joy in your heart that He wants to give you, and you will lose your earthly and heavenly security. But there is no reason for you to do this when you can have all the eternal riches that God wants to give you! And you can start to gain some of them right now! Do you want these eternal riches dear reader? They are yours if you will claim them! Give your heart to God now and every day and they will be yours! You will be so glad that you did! There will be a sweetness in your life that you probably never had or noticed before. Your attitude will change towards others who used to get you upset before, and you will want to obey God. And there will be Son-shine in your heart! Amen!

May the grace of God be with you, as you decide if you want to give your heart to God all the way. We hope and pray that you do. We want to see you in Heaven, and know the joy of the eternally saved! Amen.

* From the Song ‘He’, music written by Jack Richards, with lyrics by Richard Mullan.

Final Note:
There is a way to tell from the Bible if you are born again or not, if you will study it out. You should, your eternal life depends on it. But it must be more than a theory to you, you need to allow God to change you and you must give yourself to Him all the way. It must be your desire and practice. I.e. what you do, not just what you say. Only God can do this for you, but you must submit to Him completely, every day, if you want to be born again and stay that way. Amen, let it be so!

#Beware #Leaven #Pharisees #Sadducees #Hypocrisy #Left #Right #Liberal #Conservative #Grace #Truth #Lukewarm #Saved #Good #Harsh #Critical #Backbiting #Choice #Humble #BornAgain

By John Foll, finished writing 02/25/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
Jesus said, “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher. Luke 6:40 NASB.
Are you Jesus’ student? Have you been trained by Him? Are you still in training by Him? Be patient, if He is your teacher, and if you are a diligent student, you will be fully trained and will become like Him.He will take care of that for you, if you continue to let Him be your Master!
What does it mean to be like Jesus? How was Jesus? He was always loving, patient and kind. But because of His love this also meant that He had to warn those who were in grave danger of being lost, of their peril! This was the reason for His stern rebukes to some. He always knew the right approach for each person. Study His methods, be filled with His Spirit, and then you will be able to know which approach you should use with those you come in contact with.
God will also use trials and circumstances to train you, if you will let Him.Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.” Hebrews 12:9-13 NASB.
A lot of the problems that Christians have are brought on by themselves, until they yield fully to Him because they love Him. There are two ways to be saved, the easy way and the hard way. The hard way is to try to be your own master, and give in to God now-and-then, and then have to go through excruciating trials until you agree to let Him lead and you follow Him or give up totally being a Christian, and the easy way, which is to learn how much He loves you, throw yourself on His great mercy, and let Him help you, then yield to Him fully! It is much easier for God to work with a contrite, totally yielded heart, because those that do this invite the Holy Spirit to dwell in their heart, and He will make it very easy for them to be like Jesus! This only happens when someone stops struggling against God, and invites Him to rule their heart. Why struggle? Why not make it easy on yourself and yield fully to His loving power now? You have nothing to lose but your sins, lack of peace, lack of faith, lack of hope, lack of joy, lack of self-control, lack of assurance of your salvation, and the deeds of the flesh.‘Those that practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.’ Galatians 5:19-21. Why would you want to hold on to any of these things? If you will just yield to Him now, all-the-way, He will make it easy for you! Galatians 5:22-23.
For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:6-8 NASB. Do you want to please God? Why would you want to be hostile toward Him?If you are living in the flesh, you are hostile against God and cannot please Him, but if you want life and peace, set your mind on the Spirit like Paul says. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Romans 8:9 KJV. Do you want to belong to Christ?Then you must have His Spirit, and walk in His Spirit, or you are ‘none of His’, as the King James Version of the Bible puts it, or you do not belong to Him, as the New American Standard Bible puts it.
What they did to Jesus, they will do to His true followers who continue to be trained by Him and want to serve Him. Jesus says, “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they callthem of his household? Matthew 10:24-25 KJV.
If they called Jesus the ‘prince of Demons’, what will they call His servants? Matthew 9:34; 12:24 KJV. Do not be afraid, Jesus and His Father love you and will take care of you! If you love Jesus, do not worry about those that can destroy the body but not the soul, but fear God in Heaven only! Matthew 10:28. Do not let what others might say or have said keep you from the joy of following in your Master’s footsteps and being His servant!
Now listen to this account of Peter and the apostles after they had been imprisoned (Acts 5:18), because they were following Jesus’ command (Matthew 28:18-20), and after they were released by the angel and ordered to preach again by God, as revealed to them by this angel (Acts 5:19-20): “And when they had brought them, they set thembefore the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.” Acts 5:27-28 KJV. * * * “And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” Acts 5:40-42 KJV. Before the rulers let them go, they were beaten and told not to preach anymore in His name again! So we see here that despite being imprisoned, beaten and being warned by the leaders of Jerusalem from preaching of Jesus, Jesus’ disciples rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His Name! How and why were they able to rejoice because they had suffered for Jesus? Is this a normal human behavior? Certainly not! No one likes to be abused, but they were so happy, because they loved Jesus so much, that they were able to rejoice because of this suffering! Because they knew it made Jesus and His Father happy, since they were willing to save the lost at all costs to themselves, just like Jesus was willing to give up all and Heaven forever for us! This is the Great Power of the Love of Jesus and of God!
It was the Holy Spirit that enabled the disciples to rejoice when they were persecuted, imprisoned and beaten! But why was it necessary that they should rejoice? Because it helped them to deal with the pain and shame of persecution. The joy that God gives all of Jesus’ disciples is part of the reward that He gives to those who love Him and belong to Him! Nothing brings greater joy to Jesus’ disciples than to bring others to the kingdom! This is because they have the Spirit of God, who is not willing that any should perish(2 Peter 3:9 KJV). Even though the devil doesn’t take it kindly when souls are won to God, and tries to destroy those who are helping God to free his prisoners, God enables them to press on and to do His work of love and mercy for the world!There is nothing that any human being or devil can do to take the joy of those who are serving God away! Yes, they might suffer cruel torture and death, and sometimes their suffering may not always appear to be joyful, but they will have joy many times on this earth, and they will have endless joy in Heaven throughout eternity, in helping others become as happy as they are and becoming saved! It makes all their suffering worthwhile! And like Jesus, they will see the travail of their soul and be satisfied, Isaiah 53:11, and count it all joy! (Of course not to the same degree as the infinite love of Jesus! But within their own human, finite limitations.)
We have cited Jesus’ declaration in this message that the servant is not above His master, therefore consider this: As the soldiers crucified Jesus, He said: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ Luke 23:34 KJV. And listen to what Isaiah proclaimed about our Lord: “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.” Isaiah 53:7 KJV. Jesus did not say anything to save Himself, or say anything against His accusers, or to those crucifying Him or causing Him pain, but prayed to His Father to forgive them! Jesus never did anything to deserve the treatment He received from sinful men, but He did this to pay the price for our sins and was willing to forgive those who did this to Him! Therefore all of His servants must be willing to forgive those who are abusing them and spitefully treating them too!This is proof that Jesus is their Master and that they have the Holy Spirit.
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 24:44-51 KJV.
And we will repeat this same text in the New American Standard, in case you have difficulty understanding the old King’s English:
For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that evil slave says in his heart, 'My master is not coming for a long time,' and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 24:44-51 NASB.
The faithful servants of Jesus will spend their time doing the work that God has given them to do, giving the lost their ‘meat in due season’ or ‘their food at the proper time’(i.e. they will help the lost receive the bread of life), and will not say that their Master delays His coming and will not tear into God’s other servants and people and will not live their life in drunkenness. This tells us that Jesus will not come as a thief in the night to those who are His faithful servants! We pray that you will so prove faithful to Jesus and keep doing His work until He returns! We pray that you will not eat and drink with the drunken, and not continually find fault with others, or repeat their sins to others behind their back, and will protect their reputations, so that Jesus will not come as a thief in the night for you.
So if Jesus is your Master, and you are His servant, then you will willingly follow in His footsteps, and forgive those who have wronged and hurt you, and maligned you in His name, even calling you evil, and do as He did - seek and save the lost.
Thus when a student of Jesus is fully trained, they will be like Him and will yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness, and count it all joy when they suffer for His name. They will be like their teacher, have love and give forgiveness to their accusers and the ones who cause them pain, and count it all joy to suffer for His sake. And they will not stop, even when commanded by those in authority, from preaching in His name! Amen!

#Student #Master #Teacher #Jesus #Saved #Hard #Give #Lack #Faith #Joy #Flesh #Holy #Spirit #Fruits #Death #Life #Forgive #Servant #Thief #Night

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! Amen.

#Happy #God #Lukewarm #Peace #Love #Joy #Saved #Guilt #Believe #Right #Condemn #Confidence #Promise #Forgive #Law #Commandment #Free #Cleanse #Confession #Obey

By John Foll, 12/3/2016

Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. John 15:11 NASB.

Jesus spoke the word to His disciples in John chapters 14 to 17, but they still apply to us today, if we are His disciple! The words that Jesus has spoken to us, not only are they life to our soul, but they will bring us much joy! He loves us so much and longs for our joy to be full! We can only have this fullness of joy if we are His disciple and listen to His words of love to us. Our joy is made full when we are His disciple! This is where not only true peace is, but true joy! It is found only in the love for Jesus and following all of His words.But since He came to magnify His Father and His Father’s commandments (John 15:10), it is found in the pages of the entire Bible, not just the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John!
What were the words that Jesus spoke to His disciples before our passage, John 15:11?
You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruitof itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. 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. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. By this is My Father glorified,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. John 15:3-10 NASB.
If you want to have that full joy that Jesus wants all of His people to have, then ask God to help you become Jesus’ disciple. What does it mean to be Jesus’ disciple?It means to listen to and keep all of His words, and to bear much fruit for God and thus prove to be His disciple!If you abide in Him, as He was in His Father and His Father was in Him, you will bear much fruit, and become His disciple. Then when you are Jesus’ disciple, you will be able to pray to Godand ask whatever you wish, and it will be done unto you. This promise of Jesus was not given to the crowds that were following Him around, but to His disciples only. It was not given for selfish gratification or for anything outside of God’s will. But if you are Jesus’ disciple, you will only want God’s will, and selfishness and sin will be banished from your heart. If you want to be Jesus’ disciple, and abide in Him, you will become His disciple and then these words of Jesus will be for you, but only as you abide in Him, as He was in His Father and His Father in Him.  
Final thought on the love of God and the joy He wants to give us:
But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, That those who love Your name may exult in You. For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD, You surround him with favor as with a shield.” Psalm 5:11-12 NASB.


#Joy #Wonderful #Peace #Full #Believe #Happy #Saved #Truth #New #Life #God #Holy #Spirit #Jesus #Disciple #Clean #Abide #Fruit #Obey #Pray


By John Foll, written 11/22/2016, updated 11/28/2016.
“Therefore they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.’” John 6:28-29 NASB. What shall we do that we may do the works of God? Believe in the one God sent, Jesus. Yes, we repeated it. When you want to really understand a text, it is often helpful to read it again, because the Bible explains itself. Both the question and the answer are both contained in this text. This is another way of stating righteousness by faith!
How can we, who are sinners by nature, do the works of God? You can only do the works of God if you believe in Jesus, whom God has sent to be the Savior of the world!This is the real reason why many Christians do not live the way that they should and are falling into sin over and over again. Then they conclude that it is too hard to do what is right, and hear a sermon telling them that they do not have to worry about this, because they are under grace, and they are falsely comforted. Yes, you are under grace if you have confessed your sins.The requirement for God’s grace to be given to you is IF you have confessed your sins. 1 John 1:9. Why is it that people fall into sin over and over again? Could it not be because there is not a full belief in Jesus in whom God sent, as Jesus says above? Yes, for if they really believed, then they would work the works of God! Jesus also said, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:34-36 KJV. Jesus here plainly states that whoever commits sin is the servant of sin, and that ‘the servant abideth not in the house for ever,’ meaning that they will die. ‘But the Son abideth ever.’ Since Jesus ever lives to make intercession for us, He is able also to save us to the uttermost who come to God by Him. Hebrews 7:25. [My paraphrase from the KJV.] Therefore all who come to Jesus and truly believe will be free indeed,because this is what Jesus came to do! Just believe it!
If you believe in Jesus, whom God sent to this world, you will be given the power to work the works of God! Some think that ‘works’ is a dirty word, since we are not saved by works. While it is true that you are not saved by works, if you believe in Jesus you will do the works of God, and can’t help but do them. If anyone does not do the works of God, that means that they do not fully believe in Jesus, if at all. For if they believed in Jesus, they would be given the power from God to have good works. Jesus declares here that believing in Him is the work of God. [i.e. it produces good works.] Thus we see that works are good, if the person doing them believes in Jesus. But does this mean that all Christians are good or doing good works? No it doesn’t. Sadly not all Christians really fully believe in Jesus, even though they may make this claim. If they believed fully in Jesus, they would have the power to live a righteous life and would be working the works of God as Jesus said, and then it would not be self-righteousness. The fact that there are self-righteous Christians does not annul what Jesus said, because only those who really fully believe in Him will be doing the works of God! Everyone else who attempts to do the works of God, will always be self-righteous. All those who claim to be a Christian and think that it is OK to break His law because we are covered by grace, are also self-righteous, since they did not receive God’s righteousness. [If they had received Gods’ righteousness, then He would have helped them to keep His law.]
Someone who is intentionally or unrepentantly breaking God’s Law, and not loving their neighbor as themselves, cannot possibly be doing the works of God, which means that they do not really believe in Jesus. People who are doing bad things, or hurting other people are most definitely not working the works of God, and do not really believe in Jesus His Son, for all of God’s works are love and for the good of humanity! Yes, if you are not trying to do good works, because you think that God’s grace covers you, this is also a form of self-righteousness. Nobody can be good or acceptable to God if they do not have His righteousness! Only God’s righteousness is real righteousness, everything else is fake.So you shall observe to do just as the LORD your God has commandedyou; you shall not turn aside to the right or to the left.” Deuteronomy 5:32 NASB. Neither the left nor the right have real righteousness, only those who follow exactly as God has commanded, and turn neither to the right nor to the left. But God’s righteousness is a gift that will be given to you, if you will believe fully in Jesus His Son to save you. If you have God’s righteousness in your life, then you will be working the works of God for real.
Let’s face it, the only way we can be forgiven (John 3:16-17), be righteous and acceptable before God, is if we fully believe in Jesus His Son. Then and only then will we be able to do the works of God without hypocrisy. This is how you may work the works of God, by truly believing in Jesus as your savior, whom the Father sent to this world to save you from your sins!Amen. If you desire to work the works of God, they are within your reach, for if you will just believe that Jesus the Son of God is your Savior, whom God sent, He will make you free indeed!This is a wonderful truth for all who love God and are tired of disappointing themselves and others by continual falling. God will make you better if you will just trust in His Son Jesus to save you from your sins! Then you will be free indeed! This is the true, complete gospel message that Jesus taught. Amen.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17 KJV.

#Good #Work #Works #Believe #Happy #Saved #Essential #New #Life #God #Jesus #Sin #Faith #Belief #Free #Servant #Accepted #Holy #Spirit #Righteous



By John Foll, Written 11/4/2016

 
The time so long waited for by God’s people is almost here, the Second Coming of Christ. Soon it will be too late to give your heart completely to God, and prepare for the Second Coming. Do you not hear Him calling to your heart now? Have you put off doing or forgotten anything that God has asked you to do? Have you lost your first love for Him? Jesus and the Father greatly love you, and are even now calling to your heart to yield yourself to their love, and receive help and mercy while they still can be found. Why not give your heart to Him now? Yes, the corruption in the world has about passed the divine limits, and soon Jesus will arise and come and terribly shake the earth, when He comes back in the clouds with great glory, and every eye shall see Him, even those that pierced His side, taunted Him, and put Him on the cross! This is you and I as well, for it was our sins too that placed Him on the cross. But if you will only yield your heart totally to Jesus and the Father, they will shield you from the wrath to come. ‘And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come.’ 1 Thessalonians 1:10 NASB. And then when Jesus returns to the earth, you will not shrink back in fear, because He is the one you adore. “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.
Food For Thought:
“Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘If a man love me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.’” John 14:23 KJV.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Romans 8:9 KJV.
If you are where you need to be with God, you will keep Jesus’ words, and He and the Father will love you, and will come and make their abode with you. Then God will fill you with His precious Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of Christ, and then you will belong to Him and His Son Jesus, and then they will shield and protect you. The only safety is yielding your heart completely to Christ. How do you know if you have yielded yourself completely to Him? You will have this great joy in your heart to serve and obey Him, and will have love for your poor erring brother and sister, and will greatly desire the salvation of the world! You will put all of your life and plans willingly on the altar and offer them to God, because you love Him. 99.999% is not enough, but God will take even this, if it is given from your heart, and will work on you gently to persuade you to give your heart to Him all the way. God only accepts the service and obedience to Him that is rendered to Him out of love.God is a God of love, and will nevercompel any. But if you get to know Jesus and His Father, you will find their love irresistible!  And then you will find it very easy to give your heart completely to them, in fact it will be your greatest desire! And then you will belong to Jesus, and will be given His Spirit! And then when He comes back in the clouds with great glory you will not shrink back in fear from Him, whom you greatly adore! Yes we repeated this again, we want you to get this! This is so important! If you do not have the Spirit of Christ in you, you are none of His. But if you have His Spirit, you will not be living in the flesh anymore, but have life and peace! So why not give your heart to Him now, that you might have life and peace, and great joy? And then you will have the assurance of your salvation, that no one can take away from you! And your whole attitude in life will change! Truly then you will have life and peace! Is this what you want? It’s yours, if you will just claim it!

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1 KJV.

#Time #Short #Believe #Happy #Accepted #Saved #Essential #Truth #New #Life #God #Second #Coming #Judgement #Yom #Kippur #Jesus #Appeal #Repent #Wrath

“And, behold, one came and said unto Him, ‘Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?’ And He said unto him, ‘Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He saith unto him, ‘Which?’ Jesus said, ‘Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, honour thy father and thy mother: and, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ The young man saith unto Him, ‘All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?’ Jesus said unto him, ‘If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come andfollow me.’ But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.” Matthew 19:16-22 KJV.
This rich young man did not have the love for others that he should have had. He claimed that he was keeping all of God’s commandments, but Jesus plainly stated that we need to ‘love our neighbor as ourselves,’ in Matthew 22:39, and in Mark 12:31, which includes helping the poor. And Moses revealed this truth that we are to help the poor too: “If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the LORDyour God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.” Deuteronomy 15:7-8 NKJV. If this young man had been willing to give to the poor, and to follow Jesus, this would have proved to be the remedy of his soul! If he would have had God’s Spirit in his heart or wanted to have God’s Spirit in his heart, he would have willingly done this. After thinking about it, he went away sorrowful, because it wasn’t worth it to him to give up all of his possessions to love his neighbor as himself. Jesus didn’t indicate that the young man had a problem with all of the commandments, because he didn’t state all of them to this young man. But in reality, the young man was breaking the first commandment too, because he wasn’t loving his neighbor as himself, because everyone belongs to our loving Heavenly Father in Heaven. If we love God, then we will love our neighbor too. Paul states this same truth when he says: “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,’ and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:8-10 NASB. This young man had made the claim of keeping God’s law, but Paul’s statement here declares that this young man was in fact breaking God’s Law, because he did not love his neighbor as himself.
Was this young man wanting to come and follow Jesus? No, perhaps because it required giving up all of his wealth, or maybe it was because he didn’t want to forsake all and come and follow Jesus? This was an even bigger problem! But praise the Lord there were some who wanted to follow Jesus, who left everything to follow Him, who preached to those who came before us the gospel message, Jesus’ Disciples! After this rich young man left, in response to Jesus’ statement ‘with men it is impossible to be saved, but with God all things are possible’ [including salvation] Peter questioned Jesus: “Then answered Peter and said unto Him, ‘Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?’ And Jesus said unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’”Matthew 19:27-28 KJV.
So what was this young man really lacking? He was lacking love for God and love for His neighbor! If he was willing to love his neighbor, by helping the poor out of his worldly goods, to relieve their needs and suffering, this would have shown his love for God.
So likewise, if you don’t love your neighbor as yourself, or are not willing to leave everything and come and follow Jesus, you will be in the same boat as this young man!Anyone who speaks unkind words about someone behind their back, or harsh critical words to them, certainly does not love their neighbor as themself, and are not keeping the first commandment to have no other gods before God, Exodus 20:3. It does not matter if someone says that they know the truth, all of the truth, and claim that they follow it or not. If they do not love their neighbor, they are a transgressor of the law, and are lacking the knowledge of the truth of God’s love. If you love your neighbor as yourself, that means that you are Jesus’ disciple, for the only way you can love your neighbor as yourself, is if you love Jesus and are willing to forsake all and follow Him. God will provide everything you need if you are willing to come and follow Jesus.
When God’s love is dwelling in your heart, it changes the way you speak to others and what you say about them, and it will help you to not want to damage their reputation; kindness will be in your words and thoughts about them. You will seek for their good, and not seek to expose their sins and weaknesses to others. “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3 NASB. When God’s love is dwelling in your heart, it will change the way you view the needs of your neighbors, and you will seek to help them. Yes, you are not only your ‘brother’s keeper’ (Genesis 4:9), but you are your ‘neighbor’s keeper’ too!
Do not be like this rich young man, who thought he had it all, but was missing something big! When he found that he needed to give everything he had to help the poor and come and follow Jesus, he went away sorrowful, for he had many possessions. If any do not love their neighbor as themselves, this is what they lack! If this is the case, then they most certainly do not love their Heavenly Father as well, as the first commandment requires. And they do not know Him, because our Heavenly Father most certainly loves everyone on this earth, and is doing everything to help and save them, and so should all who truly love Him. Any who are not thinking enough of the needs of their neighbors should now confess this sin to God, to receive pardon, and grace for help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16), and allow God’s sweet Spirit to animate their heart and life, then they will come and follow Jesus, and have no lack of any good thing that they need! No one who loves God, can turn away from the needs of others, when it is in their power to help them! “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”Proverbs 3:27 NASB. This will be a blessing to you if you always help others, when it is in your power to do so!
If you know you fall short in this area, and what you lack is love for your neighbor, there is good news for you! If you will confess your sins to God, and ask Him to cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9), and willingly yield yourself to Him, then He will forgive you and bless you with new life from Him. No one need stay in this state of lacking the most important thing in their life, love, if they will allow God into their heart, to mold them and shape them. If you are having trouble believing or yielding your heart to God, you can pray, ‘Lord be merciful to me a sinner’ (Luke 18:13), and He will hear your prayer and smile from Heaven on you! And be sure to tell Him you are sorry for not putting Him first, and breaking the first commandment, and make Him the Lord of your life! All this and more your Heavenly Father wants to do for you now!

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