If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another

By John Foll, finished writing on 5/27/2017 and 5/28/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll

But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7 NASB.

This text is so true! This is very important! Walk in the light as God is the Light. Jesus is also the Light, the way, and the truth and the life and He came to reveal the love of His Father to the World. John 3:16-17; 9:5, 24:6; 12:46, 35-36; Hebrews 1:1-3; John 1:1-3. There can be no sweeter fellowship than the fellowship with Jesus and the Father, with the Holy Spirit, and with others who also have true fellowship with God!

The disciples of Jesus were learning of Him, but were bickering among themselves about who would be the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven. See Matthew 18:1-4; Luke 22:24. But after Jesus’ death and resurrection, they were changed more into His likeness and imbued with His Spirit, and had fellowship with one another. Then the Holy Spirit was poured out on them in Acts 2.

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Acts 2:1 KJV. Jesus’ disciples were following His command in Acts 1:4-5 to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on High. So they waited, expectantly for the promise of Jesus. They were in one place, and they were in one accord. They were of like mind, in ‘one accord.’ This made their fellowship sweet, a place where the Holy Spirit would be happy to dwell in, since God is love. 1 John 4:8. This is the way all will be, who have given themselves to God, towards others of like mind; they will be in one accord. This is the only real unity that can be had that is of any value, unity ‘in the Lord.’ Only God can bring about this unity! He brings about this unity among those who are obedient to Him and have yielded fully to Him, because the Holy Spirit is given to all who obey Him. Acts 5:32. And to those who would speak His words, He gives the Spirit without measure! John 3:34 NASB. All those who are God’s are heeding Jesus’ counsel that they should love one another, and are Jesus’ disciples. John 3:34-35; 15:8, 10.

What is the basis for true fellowship?We who had sweet fellowship together walked in the house of God in the throng.” Psalms 55:14 NASB. This psalm is talking about the fellowship between fellow believers walking together in harmony, sharing the same beliefs, i.e. in ‘one accord’ like Jesus disciples in Acts 2:1 at Pentecost. ‘What fellowship has light with darkness?’ 2 Corinthians 6:14 NASB. That’s a good question! How can those who are ‘walking in the Light as God is light’ have fellowship with those who do not love God and do not devote themselves to Him? So true fellowship is between those who believe and devote themselves to God. “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42 NASB. Who are “they” in Acts 2:42? It says those who ‘gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.’ Acts 2:41 KJV. What did “these” do? They ‘continued steadfastly in the apostles teaching’, they studied and thought about what the apostles taught them and put them into practice. They had fellowship with each other, and ate meals together and prayed together. Their fellowship was based on the joy and gladness they had in Christ, i.e. they were “gladly” “baptized”, and steadfastly adhered to the truths taught to them by the apostles, which led to them walking in one-accord with each other. They had received God’s Spirit, the Holy Ghost. How do we know that they received the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit? Because in verse 38 of Acts 2 Peter says, ‘Repent and be baptized each one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:39 NASB. So all those who were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching, who had fellowship with one another with the breaking of bread and much prayer, were baptized by Peter or the other apostles and had received the Holy Spirit! They had had a wonderful change wrought in their heart and lives that was impossible for anyone to get by themselves apart from God. They received the infilling of the Holy Spirit as a pledge of their inheritance in Heaven, because they repented and were baptized! There is no good reason why this shouldn’t continue to happen this way now in our day! Paul here states this same wonderful truth that these early believers at Pentecost had:In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation – having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of Promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14 NASB. This statement by Paul shows that the Holy Spirit is given for your redemption and to seal you; your personal pledge from God of your inheritance in Heaven, reserved for you if you want it! See also 1 Peter 1:4.

Fellowship with one another:
John the Beloved is saying in 1 John 1:7 that if you want the blood of Jesus to keep cleansing you from sin, you must keep walking in the Light of God, allowing God to change you and remake you into His image. What image? Simply put love and obedience. Love is the fulfillment of the Law. Romans 13:10. If we have the love of God in our heart, we will have fellowship with one another. How do you get the love of God in your heart? First you must confess your sins to God and ask Him to help you. Then He will give you a wonderful change if you do not resist Him. Then you must continue to walk in this light, and go where He leads you, not struggling against His will or the truth He has revealed to you from the Bible or for your life. You must walk in the light, if you want the blood of Jesus to cleanse you from all sin! If any are not willing to do everything He wants, stop doing it, drag their feet, or stop asking for His help, they will no longer be walking in the Light, and will lose their ability of having sweet fellowship with the other true believers. If this continues the blood of Jesus will no longer cleanse them from sin. This is the progression. Unfortunately there are many who go to church who are no longer walking in the Light, as He Himself is the Light, or they are not fully walking in the Light of His love and truth. This is the cause of the lukewarmness that is almost universal in the Church which manifests itself. Those in this state are missing the divine spark of God’s love and willingness to obey Him in their life.

But if any want to have life, they will walk in the Light of God’s love, allowing Him to mold and shape them, making them a new creature! Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV. This is something no one can do by themselves, but if they want this, they will cooperate with God, and willingly give themselves to Him and desire to please Him. The only way anyone can have sweet fellowship with other believers, is to have God’s love in their heart and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Then the blood of Jesus will cleanse them from all sin, and they won’t be guilty of His blood, because they will be forgiven and be led by His Spirit, walking in the Light. 1 Corinthians 11:27. This is God’s wonderful gift that He gave through the gift of His Son, and through the gift of the Holy Spirit that He gives to His people. “Gathering them together, He [Jesus] commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, ‘Which,’ He said, ‘you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’” Acts 1:4-5 NASB. The Father promised to give all of Jesus’ disciples this gift, this promise is for you too if you want it! If you repent, wait and pray for this promise, you will get endued with this power! When you get this power, you will be able to go forth and preach God’s love to the world with the same power that Jesus’ disciples did in the book of Acts! This is walking in the Light, as He is the Light! This is the true fellowship with God and this is how you have true fellowship with His true believers! Amen.

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Foreknowledge and Foreordination (The Kindness and Love of God in the Choices He Gives Us!)

By E. J. Waggoner

"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." The word "predestinate" is the same as "foreordain," which is found in the Revised Version. Volumes of speculation have been written about these terms, but a few words are sufficient to set forth the facts. With respect to these, as well as the other attributes of God, it is sufficient for us to know the fact. With the explanation we have nothing to do.

That God knows all things is plainly set forth in the Scripture. Not only does he know the things that are past, but he sees the future as well.
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"Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world." Acts 15:18. "O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; thou understandest my thought afar off." Ps. 139:1, 2. Thus God can tell what people even yet unborn will do and say.

This does not make God responsible for the evil that they do. Some have foolishly thought it necessary to apologize for the Lord and to relieve him of the charge that if he is omniscient He is responsible for the evil if he does not prevent it, by saying that He could know if he wished, but that he chooses not to know many things. Such a "defense" of God is both foolish and wicked. It assumes that God would be responsible for the evil if he knew it beforehand and did not prevent it, and that in order not to be in a position to prevent it, he deliberately shuts his eyes from it. Thus their "defense" really puts the responsibility for all evil upon God. Not only so, but it limits Him. It makes him like a man.

God knows all things, not by study and research as man learns the little he knows, but because he is God. He inhabits eternity. Isa. 57:15. We can not understand how this can be any more than we can understand eternity. We must accept the fact and be not only content, but glad, that God is greater than we. All time, past, present, and future, is the same to Him. It is always "now" with God. The fact that God knew the evil that men would do, even before the foundation of the world, does not make him responsible for it, any more than
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the fact that a man can see by means of a telescope what a man is doing ten miles distant makes him responsible for that other one's actions. God has from the beginning set before people warnings against sin, and has provided them with all the necessary means for avoiding it; but he can not interfere with man's right and freedom of choice without depriving him of his manhood and making him the same as a stick.

Freedom to do right implies freedom to do wrong. If a man were made so that he could not do wrong, he would have no freedom at all, not even to do right. He would be less than the brutes. There is no virtue in forced obedience, nor would there be any virtue in doing that which is right if it were impossible to do wrong. Moreover, there could be no pleasure or satisfaction in the professed friendship of two persons if one associated with the other just because he could not avoid it. The joy of the Lord in the companionship of his people is that they of their own free-will choose him above all others. And that which is the joy of the Lord is the joy of His people.

The very ones who rail against God for not preventing the ills that he foresees since he is all-powerful, would be the very first to charge him with cruelty if he did arbitrarily interfere with their freedom and make them do that which they do not choose. Such a course would make everybody unhappy and discontented. The wisest thing for us to do is to stop trying to fathom the ways of the Almighty, and accept the fact that whatever he does is right. "As for God, His way is perfect." Ps. 18:30.

Predestination:
The text shows that "whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren." God's thoughts toward men are thoughts of peace, and not of evil. Jer. 29:11. He ordains peace for us. Isa. 26:12. We read nothing about men being foreordained to destruction; the only thing that God has predestinated is that men should be conformed to the image of His Son.

But it is only in Christ that we become conformed to His image. It is in him that we come "unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Eph. 4:13. Therefore it is that men are foreordained or predestinated only in Christ. The whole story is told in the following passage of Scripture :-

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good-pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved."

Everything is in Christ. We receive all spiritual blessings in Him; we are chosen in Him unto holiness; in Him we are predestinated unto the adoption of children; in Him we are accepted; and in Him we have redemption through His blood. "God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thess. 5:9.
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That is God's purpose and foreordination concerning man. Still further, "whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son." Whom did He foreknow? There can be no limit; He must have foreknown all. If there were any exception, then God would not be infinite in knowledge. If He foreknows one person, then He foreknows every person. There has not been a person born into the world whose birth God did not foreknow. "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight; but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." Therefore, since every person has been known to God even before the foundation of the world, and those whom he foreknew He predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son, it follows that God has purposed salvation for every soul that has ever come into the world. His love embraces all, without respect of persons.

"Then everybody will be saved, no matter what He does," some one will say. Not by any means. Remember that the purpose of God is in Christ. It is only in Him that we are predestinated. And we are free to choose for ourselves whether we will accept Him or not. Man's will has been forever set free, and God Himself will not presume to interfere with it. He holds sacred the choice and will of each individual. He will not carry out His own purpose contrary to man's will. His will is to give man whatever man decides will best please Him. So he sets before man life and death, good and evil, and tells him to choose which he will have. God knows what is best, and has chosen and prepared
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that for man. He has gone so far as to fix it beyond all possibility of failure, that man shall have that good thing if he chooses it. But the wonderful kindness and courteousness of the great God is seen in this, that He defers in everything to man's wishes. If man, in his turn, will but defer to God's wishes, there will be the most delightful and loving companionship between them.

Called, Justified, Glorified:

"Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified." This is completed action. We need not stumble over it, if we will but remember that everything is in Christ. In Christ we have already been blessed with all spiritual blessings. All men are called to that which God has prepared for them, but none are "the called according to His purpose" unless they have made their calling and election sure by submitting to His will. Such ones are predestinated to be saved. Nothing in the universe can hinder the salvation of any soul that accepts and trusts the Lord Jesus Christ.

And all such are justified. The death of Christ reconciles us to God. "He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:2. His death has secured pardon and life for all. Nothing can keep them from salvation except their own perverse will. Men must take themselves out of the hand of God, in order to be lost. Much more, then, those who accept the sacrifice, are justified. "God commendeth His love toward us, in that,
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while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son; much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." "And whom He justified, them He also glorified." Have we not read in the prayer of Christ for His disciples, not only for those who were with Him in the garden, but also for all them that should believe on Him through their word and therefore for us, "The glory which Thou gavest Me, I have given them"? Peter said that he was a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed. God has left nothing undone. Everything that Christ has we have if we accept Him. All that remains is that it should be revealed. "The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." When God asks concerning His people, "What could have been done more to My vineyard, that I have not done in it?" who shall presume to say that there is something that He has overlooked?

All Things Ours:

But we have anticipated the apostle. Hear him: "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not with Him also freely give us all things?"

How shall He not? That is, how can He avoid giving us all things? In giving Christ for and to us, God could not do otherwise than give us
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all things, "for in Him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through Him, and unto Him; and He is before all things, and in Him all things consist." Col. 1:16, 17, R.V.

"Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's." 1 Cor. 3:21-23. This, then, answers the question, "Who can be against us?" Everything is for us. "All things are for your sakes." 2 Cor. 4:15. A general once telegraphed to the seat of government, "We have met the enemy, and they are ours." This is what every child of God is privileged to say. "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Cor. 15:57.

"This is the victory that hath overcome the world, even our faith." 1 John 5:4, R.V. This is what makes us know that all things work together for good to them that love God. No matter how dark and forbidding the things may seem, if we are in Christ, they are for us, and not against us.

Blog Edited by John Foll.

If you were blessed by this article by E. J. Waggoner, you may want to check out some of our other articles by him or others on our Faith Blog: http://whiteraimentevangelismfaith.blogspot.com/.

A really good article on this site by E. J. Waggoner is: “Living by Faith Part 2 of 5: A Cause of Failure” http://whiteraimentevangelismfaith.blogspot.com/2016/10/living-by-faith-part-2-cause-of-failure.html 

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Whose Servant Are You?

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.

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