Order Upon Order, Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept! Part 2: The Unity of the Scriptures

The Unity of the Scriptures

By John Foll, written between 8/19/2017 and 8/23/2017, except for the start which came with Part 1. © Copyright 2017 John Foll

To whom would He teach knowledge, and to whom would He interpret the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just taken from the breast? For He says, 'Order on order, order on order, line on line, line on line, a little here, a little there.' ” Isaiah 28:9-10 NASB.

In this article we want to show you how to understand the Bible, by applying the principles of order upon order, line upon line, precept upon precept. We want to show the unity of the Bible and why it’s important, which shows order in the Bible, because God is a God of order.Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40 KJV. Colossians 2:5; Titus 1:5; 2 Chronicles 29:35; Psalms 119:133; Matthew 12:44.

For the details of important truths you need to know that are taught by the Bible, please check out our new blog: How To Please God: http://WhiteRaimentEvangelismObey.blogspot.com/ .

The articles in the series you are now reading: “Order Upon Order, Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept!” are designed to teach you the importance of studying the whole Bible and the principles needed to understand it. They are a good lead into our new blog: How To Please God, where we will study these precious truths of the Bible that you need to know in greater detail. Why is it important to study these doctrines? So you can know how to please God and be eternally happy! Why aren’t we including them in our Love of God or our Faith Blogs? Because not everyone is ready for these truths yet. In our Love of God and our Faith Blogs we are trying to focus on the essentials of the gospel and how to be saved, have peace, love, joy, faith, hope, and how to become born again and be filled with the Spirit. Without these most essential and basic truths of the Gospel message fully believed and put into practice, your Christianity will become a “hollow shell”, with either self-righteousness or a carelessness of not loving God with all your heart, mind and soul, or a carelessness of not loving your neighbor as yourself.

We have seen in some of our previous articles in our Love of God Blog: the Holy Spirit is given to all that obey God. Acts 5:32. What does this mean? We have thought about this a lot and have come to the conclusion that it is most important to believe, teach and live by all of God’s truth in the Bible, not just the pleasant things to think about like the Love of God. (We already knew this at least in part, but had not connected it fully with Acts 5:32.) It makes no sense to talk about getting the Holy Spirit, or to talk about getting peace, love, faith, hope or joy, etc. if someone doesn’t eventually want to obey God. He gives us time to get to know Him and choose of our own free will to give our heart fully to Him or not. If anyone wants the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus also refers to as ‘the spirit of truth’, instead of the spirit of error, they must want to obey God. John 14:17; 16:16; 16:13. Anyone can claim they have the Holy Spirit or that they are born again, but the proof in whether they are or not, and have the right Spirit, is if they love and obey God, and treat others with kindness, love and respect. This means to keep God’s commandments, which are to love Him with all your heart, mind and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:36-40. The only way you can understand the Bible, is if you are listening to the Holy Spirit. The only way you can obey God’s commandments is if you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in your heart continually. But how do you know if you have the Holy Spirit? You must apply the Bible tests, you must keep God’s Law of Love. John said about Jesus: “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” 1 John 2:3-6 KJV. The promise of the Holy Spirit is a precious promise given to the believer who yields themselves to God. The more you yield to Him, the more of the power of the Holy Spirit you will have. If you yield to Him fully, you will have the Holy Spirit in full, and your life will never be the same; then God’s will for your life will be your greatest desire! The Holy Spirit is a precious gift that all Christians need. The Holy Spirit is also a reward given to those who want to obey God and love Him with all their heart, the Pearl of Great Price! When you love God with all your heart, mind and soul, then you have the Holy Spirit in full. Then obeying God’s every wish and command will be a delight for you, not a burden. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3 NASB.

In case you are wondering, whose commandments is John talking about keeping here in John 2:3-6, Jesus’ or God’s? As we have shown in our previous blog article: Order Upon Order, Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept! Part 1 http://WhiteRaimentEvangelism.blogspot.com/2017/08/order-upon-order-line-upon-line-precept-upon-precept-part1.html, God’s commandments are Jesus’ commandments, and Jesus’ commandments are God’s commandments, because they are one. Jesus is the Word of God and came to this earth to reveal His Father’s will for mankind. But Jesus restated God’s Law of Love in Matthew 22:36-40, and in John 13:34. (Note: Jesus wasn’t stating a new truth here, even though it may seem so, because this truth was taught first by Moses in Deuteronomy 6:4-6 and Leviticus 19:18.)

You must listen to the Holy Spirit to understand the Bible, be born again or be saved, but you must also love and obey God’s word in the Bible in order to have the Holy Spirit. Therefore it is important for you to study the other doctrines of the Bible, to help you know all of what God requires. This is the reason for our new blog, “How To Please God”; to teach the other essential truths of the Bible, so you can please God and have the Holy Spirit in full!

Now back to our current article “Order Upon Order, Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept Part 2”:

We want to add to our order upon order, and line upon line doctrines:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV. What scripture does Paul say is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and instruction in righteousness? All scripture. What scriptures were the scriptures in Paul’s day? Just the Old Testament. Paul didn’t start to write any of his epistles until a long time after Jesus had gone back to Heaven, and most likely his own writings, although inspired, were not considered on the same level as scriptures until a later date. We don’t want to take the time to try to prove this to you in this article. We have talked about this in our books and other blog articles, and there is more too learn of it.

We are making the point about the Old Testament being “all scriptures” because there are many in our day that are teaching that Jesus did away with the Old Testament or the 10 Commandments, etc. and that the Old Testament can be discarded in part, if not in whole, because some declare it to be “Old Covenant”. To many people anything that can be labeled “Old Covenant” should be discarded. The devil is well pleased with this thinking, because once people start down this road, they end up carving up the New Testament too, with some parts being labeled ‘old covenant’ and other parts being labeled ‘new covenant’. This is destroying belief in the New Testament. As we have said in some of our books, the New Testament uses the Old Testament to prove that Jesus is the Christ, and it is the starting point of the Christian Faith, and if it is discarded, it turns Christianity into a sham, because we must have confidence that Jesus is the Christ or the Messiah of the world. If the Old Testament is not valid anymore, it destroys the credibility of Jesus, because He spoke with favor on it. Many things that He spoke can be found in the Old Testament. We have also shown in some of our previous blog articles, in our Love of God Blog and in some of our books, that there are preachers in our day that are contradicting Christ by their incorrect views of what Paul taught in his epistles. They tend to place their ideas of what Paul taught above the clear testimony of Jesus! A careful study of Paul’s writings reveal that he did not contradict anything that Jesus said. What Paul was against was legalism, the effort to save one’s self by themselves, and he was for being a new creature, which is to be born again and walk by the Spirit, which is life and peace. Romans 8:5-10. But these are the same things that Jesus was for!

We are not saying that the New Testament is not the scriptures or ‘all scriptures’. Our point is to make you aware that the books of the Old Testament were the scriptures first, and they were the scriptures that Paul specifically referred to when he wrote the epistle of 2nd Timothy. (He may have also been intending that his epistles and some of the other books of the New Testament that were written were scriptures too, but we haven’t researched this to know if it is true.) Many people probably haven’t thought of it this way, and may not realize what Paul meant in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. This point is important to understand. Since Paul and the other Apostles had seen Jesus physically or in a vision and learned from Him, and received the Holy Spirit, their writings are also the word of God, thus ‘the scriptures’. Many Christians make the New Testament their main or only scriptures, and are unsure whether the books of the Old Testament are also ‘the scriptures’ that are necessary for them to study and follow. But to understand God’s complete will for man, and to have a full understanding of the plan of salvation, and to understand the future that lies ahead of us, i.e. Bible prophecy, the Old Testament must be studied and viewed as the word of God by every believer. The writers of the New Testament did not fully expound on or list all of the truths of the Old Testament in their writings, because the people were exhorted to study the scriptures. In their day, there was no question that the Old Testament was the word of God to the believer.

Paul also said, “Study to shew [or show] thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV. What does Paul mean by rightly dividing the word of truth? He means that we need to study the whole Bible (both the Old and New Testaments), know all of what it says, and know how to rightly divide it up by context to build valid doctrines without contradictions, and we also believe, comparing scripture with scripture, order upon order, line upon line, and precept upon precept, as our theme passage for this article series indicates. This method of rightly dividing the truth is the method that God approves of. Those who rightly divide the word of truth will not be ashamed in the Day of Judgment, when their life record is brought up and the fruit of their life is accounted for. There will be a great reward for those who have been faithful in honoring God’s law of love for mankind, and teaching others to do so, and teaching others the way of salvation! We don’t know about you, but we want that great reward that Jesus promised! Don’t you too?

See Matthew 5:19; 25:31-46; John 15:16; Matthew 10:32-33; 1 Samuel 2:30; 2 Timothy 2:11-13; Psalms 19:7, 11; Romans 1:16; 10:11; 1 John 2:28; 2 Timothy 1:12-14.

We need to seek for harmony in the Bible and see how the Old and New Testaments work together! And that without either of them, we have an incomplete understanding of all truth! We have also endeavored in our Love of God Blog and in our Faith Blog to show that it has always been about faith. In the days of the Old Testament, it was about faith that Jesus would one day come to redeem mankind from their sins, to pay the price for our sins, and for the salvation that He and His Father would bring through the resurrection, and take His people home to be with Him forever in Heaven in mansions of glory and endless delight, as *the song says. And this is true in our day! We have even more light of the scriptures shining on our path than the people in the days of the Old Testament had, but it is still about faith in Jesus and His Father, whereby we must be saved and always will be.

One of the purposes of this Order Upon Order, Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept series of articles is to help you have full confidence that all of the Bible is the word of God; so that you can believe it, be happy, please God and receive the Holy Spirit in full, because the Holy Spirit is given to all that obey God, Acts 5:32, and to those who want to obey Him.

* From the Hymn: ‘My Jesus I Love Thee’: Words by William Ralph Featherston, Music by Adoniram Gordon. Click on the link below to hear me singing this song on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX4x8FJP6fA

In addition to Christians wanting to get rid of the Old Testament as part of their rule of faith, atheism, for some time now, has been trying to destroy our belief that God was the creator, as the Bible says He was in the book of Genesis. And some Christians now are integrating “theistic” evolution into their beliefs; this goes along with their belief that the Old Testament is old covenant and not necessary for Christians. Our purpose in this article is not to debunk evolution here, but to point out that it is a big factor in the errors that are plaguing our world today.

What’s at stake? The unity of the Bible, and whether God really meant what He said, or whether He changed His mind and said something different at a later date. If you have been confused on this, we hope that you will want to learn the truth on the unity of the Bible, ‘all scriptures’. If you don’t agree with this you will have trouble with many of our articles, because this is an integral part of what Acts 5:32 teaches, that if we want the Holy Spirit we must obey God. And the only way we can obey God is if we want to obey everything He said in the Bible. So we must study all of it. There is a beauty and harmony with the truth, when it is understood with no contradictions; this is the only way to know true peace, and to have the Spirit of Truth that Jesus promised to all of His disciples. John 15:26; 14:15-17; 16:13-14.

Jesus declared that those who read the scriptures and do not see that they testify of Him, do not have God’s word abiding in their heart.And ye have not His word abiding in you: for whom He hath sent, Him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me. And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life.” John 5:38-40 KJV. What scriptures was Jesus referring to when He said this? The Old Testament. How do we know this? Because the book of John was not written until about A.D. 90’s! See http://www.freebeginning.com/new_testament_dates/. It is impossible that the book of John could have been considered scriptures when Jesus spoke John 5:38-40! The first book of the New Testament that was written was most likely the book of Mark, which was written about 60 - 70 A.D. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Mark/ . So it is impossible that any book of the New Testament could have been scriptures when Jesus said this. Also it is impossible for any book of the New Testament to have been considered scriptures before that book was written. We believe that many Christians have not considered the fact that the Gospels or the book of Acts were not written until a much later date, after they took place. And the other books of the New Testament were also written many years after Jesus went back to Heaven!

The Old Testament scriptures declare the love of God and the plan of salvation. Throughout its pages, in its rites and ceremonies, laws, and stories, we see God’s mercy for our fallen world. We see the plan of how Jesus would be sent to die on the cross for the sins of the world, how to live and be born again, how God would send the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, and how Jesus would one day return at the second coming and raise the righteous from the dead, and take all of His people home to be with Him and the Father in the mansions He has prepared for them. We also see the second resurrection and the judgement of the wicked and their eventual complete destruction by fire. All of this was shown or predicted in the Old Testament in one place or another. Much of this was shown in the daily rites, the festivals and other yearly rites of the sanctuary services with what the Priests did. And there were many prophecies from Moses, David and the Major and Minor Prophets throughout its pages. To get a full understanding of the truth it is necessary to study the New Testament together with the Old Testament, comparing their teachings and Bible prophecies. It is not good for anyone to reject the authority or the inspiration of the Old Testament, or to try to put it down as not being needed anymore for Christians. Jesus said that the scriptures testify of Him, which were the Old Testament scriptures. How can anything that testifies about Jesus be bad? These are the same "all scriptures” that Paul also spoke about that are profitable for the Christian, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete and lacking in nothing.

Jesus said to the Tempter, when tempted to turn the stones into bread when He was hungry, near the end of his forty day fast:It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:4 KJV. If you study the words of Moses, and the writings of the Old Testament with an open mind, you will see that these are indeed the words of God! Jesus declared that we should not live by the bread that we eat for food alone, implying that we are not to live just by the works or the fruits of our hands; not just by how we earn our living or feed ourselves. But we are also to live by the words of God, all of them. We should take heed to all that God has said, unless it was of a temporary nature (not for our day), or conditional with conditions not met.

We also have this testimony from Jesus regarding the importance of listening to Moses and the Prophets in this parable of the Rich man and Lazarus: “"But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.' "But he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!' "But he said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.'"” Luke 16:29-31 NASB. Some may think that Jesus was only talking to the Jews here when He made this statement, and that we don’t need to be concerned about what He said here if we are a Christian. But what Jesus said here was His main point! If someone will not believe the writings of Moses and the Prophets (literally He is talking about the entire Old Testament here), neither will they believe if someone should rise from the dead and tell them to repent. Think about what Jesus meant here!

Do Christians have the Old Testament in their Bibles? Yes. Why? Because Christians throughout the ages since Jesus went back to Heaven have been blessed by the Old Testament in its stories of faith, and the great and wonderful works of God! So it has been included in their Biblical canon. Who has not been blessed by reading the Psalms? Those who are down and out and greatly need encouragement. And there are many wonderful promises about Jesus the Messiah, particularly as found in the book of Isaiah the prophet. Who has not been blessed by these prophecies? Do we as Christians have the testimony of Moses and the Prophets in our Bible? Again yes. Then you must accept the testimony of the Old Testament, because you have Moses and the Prophets, as Jesus said. If you don’t, neither will you believe if someone should rise from the dead telling you to repent! Jesus was not just speaking to the Jewish race here! David wrote: “the law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul, the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple”! Psalms 19:7 KJV. This is found in the Old Testament. If you want to be truly converted, do not reject any of God’s counsel for you in any part of the Holy Scriptures, be it the Old or New Testaments.

There is yet another point to be learned from Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus: Did someone rise from the dead and seek to tell His people to repent? Yes! Who? Jesus! Even though the Bible makes no mention that Jesus ever spoke to any of the leaders of the nation of Israel again after His resurrection, by proxy He did speak to them. Through the testimony of Peter, James and John, the rest of the Apostles, and of course Paul. They were all preaching that Jesus’ rose from the dead and that everyone should repent. One place is Acts 2. Did any of the Jews believe Jesus’ call to repentance after He rose from the grave? Yes, but not all. We do not know the number, but it was probably not the majority. Why? Because Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 NASB. Many did not receive this testimony that He was risen, that His death for their sins alone could save them, and that they should repent. Why? Because they had not truly believed Moses and the Prophets, who all testified of Him! If they had known and really believed these writings, they would have known Jesus too, for these writings prophesied of Him. So we think that Jesus was making a prophecy concerning Himself in this parable of the rich man and Lazarus, that when He would rise from the dead, those who did not truly believe Moses and the Prophets would not believe His testimony either, as given by His Disciples telling them to repent. This is quite a statement that Jesus made! We wish all Christians would understand this, that if they will not believe the testimony of Moses and the Prophets, neither will they truly believe Jesus’ testimony to repent.

Conclusion:
Both of the Old and New Testaments are the Holy Scriptures that we as Christians need to study and ask God’s help to put into practice. We are to live by all of these words that proceed from the mouth of God! If we want to understand God’s will for us, we will want to study everything that He has revealed in His Holy Scriptures, both in the Old and the New Testaments, and compare them, order upon order, line upon line, precept upon precept. This is the way of peace, love, joy, happiness, and eternal life! If you would have life, search for Jesus in the Old Testament, as well as studying about Him in the New Testament, for all of the Bible testifies about Jesus, and His Father’s love for our world. Amen!

May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all!

We hope to write further blog articles on this subject.

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Order Upon Order, Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept! Part 1

By John Foll, written between 8/3/2017 and 8/9/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll

To whom would He teach knowledge, and to whom would He interpret the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just taken from the breast? For He says, 'Order on order, order on order, line on line, line on line, a little here, a little there.' Indeed, He will speak to this people through stammering lips and a foreign tongue, He who said to them, "Here is rest, give rest to the weary," And "Here is repose," but they would not listen.” Isaiah 28:9-12 NASB. [Or as it says in the KJV: “this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.”].

Yes that is the question: To whom will God teach knowledge? Would He want to keep having to teach us over and over the basics of the truth when we should have already learned it long ago? God prefers that His people advance closer to His ideal for them, instead of being “stuck in neutral” or backsliding.

In this article, we want to discuss some important Bible study principles to help you to know how to properly study and understand the “saving truths” that you need to know, and not be deceived into the many errors that plague Christianity today and modern man. We want to help equip you to know the truth if you don’t already know it. But we believe there is ever more to learn. It’s time to get beyond the basics, but to get beyond the basics the errors must be unlearned and true faith learned by all who would want to be weaned from spiritual infancy.

God is a God of order and changes not; He is always a God of Order. He wants all to understand the order and precepts in the Bible and the beautiful harmony that exists between them without contradiction. Order upon order. There needs to be an order to the way the Bible is studied, and there needs to be an order to the way truths are put together to make up the doctrines we believe. Our beliefs should not be haphazardly put together, but there should be a beautiful order, harmony and symmetry to them. We need to have order in our lives, God’s order, and not be blown about by every “wind of doctrine”. Ephesians 4:14.

In our theme passage of Isaiah 28:9-10 we see that the key to a full understanding of the truth is order upon order, line upon line, precept upon precept. We should always study the Bible carefully and in context. The time has come to study the great themes and topics of the Bible together, not in a disconnected manner. The way to do this is to compare scripture with scripture, command with command, to come up with the correct understanding of what the Bible means, not discarding any of God’s precious light that He blessed us with; to remove apparent contradictions. The truth should not contradict itself. God is perfect and makes no mistakes. All of His works, including His teachings in the Bible are perfect. A greater and greater unfolding of the truth occurred as the books of the Bible were written and completed, by His design, as mankind was able to use what God had given them. God’s prophets and writers may have made revisions to their words when writing, because they were human and needed to think about what they were writing, when the words were not dictated to them by God. But the words and thoughts were given to them by God and were always perfect, and He was guiding His messengers with His Spirit. “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: He is a buckler [or a shield] to all them that trust in Him.” 2 Samuel 22:31 KJV. When the truths of the Bible are studied like this they really shine and a greater knowledge is gained, and faith is strengthened.

We believe that verse 12 of our theme text, a prophecy by Isaiah, is referring at least in part to when Jesus walked the earth and taught the people more about the love of God and how to be saved and died for the sins of all mankind. This ‘refreshing’ for His people was completed with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, when His disciples and followers received power from on high, or a ‘spiritual refreshing.Is that what you want? A spiritual refreshing? May God bless you greatly if this is your desire! If you would be spiritually renewed and refreshed, learn the vital truths that are necessary for your soul, love and obey God. This is our prayer for you.

God’s desire is that all would grow up into spiritual adults, as Isaiah indicated above. This same truth was also stated by Paul when he said, “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?” 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 NASB. What Paul is saying is still true today unfortunately. Many in our day are still spiritual infants, and need to be taught the same basic truths over and over again. It is also time for everyone to make progress and shed the errors that they believe and become born again, born from above, a new creature in Christ.

The writer of Hebrews said, “Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” Hebrews 5:11-14 NASB. It’s time to learn to discern good and evil, discard all error, trust God all the way, and receive all of the blessings that He wants to give you. Are you ready to receive these blessings yet? Are you ready to take the next step in your walk with God?

Now back to our theme of order upon order, line upon line, precept upon precept:

There are some Christians who believe that there are sections in the New Testament that should be discarded or reinterpreted. Why are we bringing this up in this article? Because if you want to make spiritual progress you need to learn the truth and discard fallacies and falsehoods when you are convicted by the Holy Spirit. If you already know and believe all truth this is good. But are you born again? Do you have God’s power in your life to be good? If you know that you are not where you should be with God, keep on the narrow road, and learn to yield yourself more and more to Him, and love and desire to obey Him, asking for His help until you gain His power in your life. May God be with you if this is your desire! This is our prayer for you.

If you believe what some people teach or say, everything in the Bible is to be judged by whether it is “New Covenant” or can be labeled “Old Covenant”. Once something is labeled as “Old Covenant” by anyone whosoever, it can be discarded they think as a useless ‘relic’ of religion and cast on the trash heap. They don’t realize this is a big dishonor to God! Do they really think that God is pleased with them putting down His word and thinking that He couldn’t get it right the first time and had to change it for the better later? Or do they think that there is no need to be concerned if they are doing what God says anymore, since we are now under grace? Those who put down any of the words of Jesus, that He spoke prior to His death on the cross, are greatly dishonoring Him and are acting as His judge. Some people like to “cherry pick” the teachings that Jesus spoke as being for new covenant Christians or not. But this is not good. We are disturbed by what some are saying or doing with His words.

God said that all who honor Him He will honor, as the prophet Samuel declared. 1 Samuel 2:30. And in the Psalms it admonishes us that we should hide God’s word in our heart, treasuring it greatly, that we might not sin against Him:Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11 KJV. We believe that Jesus lived by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God, as He told Satan. “But He [Jesus] answered and said [to Satan], "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'" Matthew 4:4 NASB. And we believe that Jesus especially hid His Father’s words in His heart that He might not sin against Him. Jesus said, ‘if ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.’ John 15:10 KJV. We are to keep Jesus’ commandments as He kept His Father’s commandments. And the commandments that God gave to His people in Exodus 20 are the same thing as Jesus’ commandments or God’s law of love (Matthew 22:36-40), because Jesus said, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 6:38 NASB. Be it known that it was God, the Father, who sent Jesus. And: “So Jesus said, ‘When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” John 8:28-29 NASB. “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.” John 12:49-50 NASB. And: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.” John 14:10 NASB. “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.” John 14:24 NASB. And Jesus prayed to His Father for His disciples saying: “for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me.” John 17:8 NASB. And John the Baptist said, which he most likely meant about Jesus, “For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure.” John 3:34 NASB. Can there be any doubt that Jesus’ words and commandments are God’s words and commandments? Can there be any doubt that God’s words and commandments are Jesus’ words and commandments? Hebrews 1:1-3 NASB tells us that Jesus is the radiance of His Father’s glory, and the exact representation of His nature. Can there be any doubt among those who truly love Jesus and His Father that they are truly one and teach the same truth? John 10:30; 17:11. Listening to and believing in Jesus [John 3:16] and everything that He said is the secret to getting the victory, the power of God in your life, and eternal life! [*Also God gave special commandments or directions to Jesus, as He directed Him.]

You should study everything that Jesus said in the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and commit His words to your memory (at least the ideas), and ask God for the strength and power to do all of them. If this is your desire, our prayer for you is that you will be richly blessed by God! Amen. Blessed are you if you do all the words that Jesus commanded or advised His people to do, and avoid the things He said we should not do. Jesus said at the last supper, “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. John 13:17 NASB. You are blessed if you do what things? Everything He told them to do at the last supper, but also everything else He had spoken to them that they should do or abstain from. How blessed are you if you do them! Jesus was and is the word of God (John 1:1-5; 10-17), and everything He spoke is to be treasured by His people, not to be discarded as being ‘old covenant’ because He spoke them prior to His death on the cross, or because some think they don’t apply in our day since we are now living under grace. What Jesus spoke, He spoke for all people until they end of time, it was not just for the Jews! John the Baptist and the Apostle John both bore witness that Jesus was the Son of God and was sent from God, the Word of God. Can there be any doubt among those who love Jesus that He was and is the Word of God? If you want all the blessings from God that He wants to give you, that you will not be able to contain them all, then ask Him to help you keep His word and obey His precepts in the Bible, and not discard anything He or His Son told you to do. Don’t ignore anything that some label as ‘old covenant’, unless you can clearly prove that it no longer applies to Gentile Christians after Jesus’ death.


[We wrote about this in our book: “The Ceremonial Law & Sacrificial System: What does it mean to the Gospel Message? For Those Who Want To Know How the Law of Love and the Mosaic Law Relate to Christians Today.” Also check out our book, “God’s Law of Love: For Those Who Want To Know Why God’s Law of Love Is Important.”]

Summary:
So what did we learn in this article? God is a God of order. We should study His word with order, and have an orderly way of putting the doctrines of truth together from the Bible, always being careful to take things in context, and seeking for harmony between all of the scriptures, not contradictions. And to not put down any of God’s words. And that Jesus’ words are God’s words, and God’s words are Jesus’ words. And we should study out the four gospels in the New Testament, believing and desiring to obey everything that Jesus said, trying to commit them or their ideas to our memory. God will honor all those who honor Him, and not those who dishonor Him.

And to add to this in closing, Jesus said: “Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.” Luke 12:8-9 KJV. And as Matthew puts it: “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33 NASB.

It is our prayer, dear reader, that you will learn to truly love Jesus and His Father, and desire to do everything that they want you to do, and get help from them to do it, not seeking to deny them or to deny their words as being valid for you today. May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all!

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The Joy of a Fool or the Joy of the Wise?

By John Foll, written between 7/25/2017 and 7/27/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll

The Joy of a Fool or the Joy of the Wise? Which will you have? How can both the wise and the fool have joy?

Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.” Proverbs 15:21 KJV. Now from the NASB: Folly is joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight.” Proverbs 15:21 NASB.

Solomon declared that foolishness or folly is joy to the man who lacks understanding. The fool is compared with a man of understanding who walks uprightly, the wise man or the righteous man. Is there also joy for the righteous? Yes true joy! There are two paths to joy. Which one will you choose?

There are two paths: folly and wisdom, everyone must choose between them. We want to compare the supposed joy of folly with the true joy of wisdom, to see how the joy from wisdom leads to righteousness and infinitely exceeds folly. Study the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes for the folly of wickedness and why righteousness is the only wise course to choose. This idea of two paths can be found throughout the Bible, including the Psalms.

The path of true wisdom is to study everything the God has to say in the Bible, not just taking a few verses, a single verse or words here or there to base your beliefs on. Some confine themselves to just a portion of the New Testament of the Bible from a single apostle to build their beliefs, but this is not wise. But Solomon says that the wise study matters and want to get understanding in order to make the right decision. In chapter two of Proverbs, which can be viewed as an introduction to Proverbs, written to his son he sums up that we should treasure his commandments and listen to wisdom and want to get understanding: “My son, if you will receive my words And treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course.” Proverbs 2:1-9 NASB.

The Joy of the Fool:
Some try to live their life without the joy of the Lord in their life fully, and get grouchy and easily irritated with things that happen and with the mistakes and sins of others, and many times do not look to their own greatest need. Some of these are focused too much on the folly of others, while giving themselves a pass on their own folly. They don’t understand the strong desire that some have who have given themselves completely to God and are strongly motivated to serve Him and others. This desire and joy to serve God like this cannot be supplied by anything we can do, it is a gift only from God, given to those who desire to love and obey Him in all things. But since they don’t have that joy from the Lord for themselves or fully, they don’t have the same sweet motivation to serve and obey God that the soul who has given and devoted themselves to God has. They can only feel a sense of duty, and know that they should be doing something better or different, and know fear and guilt. But to have the joy that God wants everyone to have, it can only be had by yielding completely to God and obeying Him.

Many are not concerned too much about sin because the Bible teaches that we are ‘saved by grace alone’, and they have been taught to believe that this is the sum of what they need to know. But many of them are missing another essential part of what they need to know to be saved. They don’t know that those who are saved by grace should be so happy for this salvation that they would want to obey everything that God has commanded, so not much attention is given to trying to get victory over sin in their life by His power, because they have been blinded against this and other essential Bible truths. They think that living their life this way makes them happy and gives them joy, because they think they are freed from the need of living right, ‘no worries’. Have you heard this? But this is the path of folly because Solomon admonished us that we should consider the path we are traveling on and seek to do what is right. According to Solomon those who do not seek the path of wisdom and righteousness are on the path of folly. Most of those who are not too concerned will not listen to anything that is said regarding this. But this is as Solomon has already declared. What has been will be again. Those that love folly or those who are falsely comforted by the folly of error, will not hear anything else, because their heart is set on it. But the wise will see and hear the truth and understand when it is presented to them or study it in the Bible. Solomon has dealt extensively with the idea that there is a path of wisdom and a path of folly in his writings, which is the opposite of what many believe in our day! The teachings of folly in our day are widespread, from the pulpits to the theatre and many popular entertainments. Satan has been busy spreading the idea to some that it doesn’t matter what they do, because God will save them regardless, and to others he tells them not to worry about sin since they are ‘saved’: ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law’ as A. Crowley wrote, the self-proclaimed ‘wickedest man’ in the world. A. Crowley had a great impact on the development of the wicked entertainments in the music world and Hollywood too through his many followers and devotees. But what he wrote is not all that different than what is taught from many pulpits! [Please don’t read his writings, or you might be deceived too.]

What is folly?
It is doing the wrong thing, saying the wrong thing, or thinking the wrong thing, or believing something that is not right and living your life and basing your decisions in life on these falsehoods. It is anything that hurts or destroys you, others, or hurts God. It is hasty speech, not thinking things through, being too proud or too lazy to correct problems after they become known. It is also unkind words, hurtful things, addictions, unconfessed or unrepented sins, these will shut out the soul from eternal life and from peace, love, faith, joy and happiness forever that God wants everyone to have, unless they finally repent. It is folly to not humble your heart and repent and give your heart completely to God, since this leads to your salvation and all the peace, love, joy, faith, hope and happiness that God wants you to have, now and forever. Why would anyone not want what God has to offer? Yet God lets everyone decide what they will have; weather they will have life and peace and joy from Him and eternal life, or a nagging conscience, death, and be forever lost.

Now why would doing foolishness appeal to anyone? And why would being a fool and doing foolish things or saying or doing or thinking foolish things be a joy to anyone? Because the fool doesn’t want to think too much, but just to have a good time and always be in mirth and in laughter. I.e. ‘no worries.’ The foolish person does what feels good, and they don’t usually think very much about the consequences if at all; they just don’t care, even though some might think that they do.

Being a fool leads to wickedness.
Solomon said, “I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:” Ecclesiastes 7:25 KJV. Solomon said here that wickedness is folly, even foolishness. We are not sure why Solomon wanted to apply himself to folly, foolishness and madness like he said. He greatly sinned and had to repent of this once he came back to his senses, but it had a bad effect on the children of Israel that they never totally recovered from. What a different course the children of Israel might have had if Solomon hadn’t experimented with wickedness, folly, foolishness and madness! Solomon also warns us that: “Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.” Proverbs 16:22 KJV. Fools teach folly to all who will listen, teaching them to be a fool too. “Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.” Proverbs 17:12 KJV.

Note: In these Proverbs below Solomon tells what happens to the scoffer, which sounds similar to ‘the fool’ described in other places by Solomon and the Bible: “He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, and he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, reprove a wise man and he will love you.” Proverbs 9:7-8 NASB. Or ‘scorner’ as it says in the King James. And the psalmist Asaph compares the foolish with the wicked, and the proud: “I said unto the fools, deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, lift not up the horn: Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck.” Psalm 75:4-5 KJV.

The Joy of the Wise:
True joy comes only from salvation that Jesus brings you: “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:12 NASB.

True joy is a fruit of being Jesus’ disciple like He said before He died on the cross to His disciples: “Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy. Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world. Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” John 16:20-24 NASB. Paul also tells us that one of the fruits of the Spirit is Joy: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 NASB. Therefore to get true joy you must be born again (John 3:3, 5), which is also a requirement to be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven, which is how you get the Holy Spirit, who will also give you ‘the Fruits of the Spirit’.

It is important to know what true joy is and get it for yourself, because there is a counterfeit!
And to have true joy is an antidote against sin, because with it God helps you to want to be more like Him, serve Him, and if you continue cooperating with Him - you will get even more joy! Your cup will run over! Psalms 23:5. And the Holy Spirit, which brings true joy, is the antidote against being deceived by the counterfeit, or ‘another gospel’ or ‘another spirit.’ Some who think that they are born again and have the Holy Spirit may not in fact, have the Holy Spirit at all, but ’another spirit’ and believe in another gospel than what Jesus and Paul preached. “For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.” 2 Corinthians 11:4 NASB. “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9 KJV. This ‘another spirit’ preaches ‘another gospel’ which teaches you to stay in sin and get your joy from foolishness, this is ‘the spirit of error’, instead of having the true joy from the Holy Spirit. So there is a true spirit and a false spirit.

Why are we writing this article?
Because we don’t want you to miss out on the best thing in life that could ever happen to you, and lead to your salvation and eternal life! There are many today that think that because they are saved by grace that they cannot be lost, since they were baptized into the Christian faith and at one time took a public stand and gave their life to God. And also there are many people who think that because they believe ‘the truth’ and take a firm stand against the world and sin that this makes them good, when they are missing out on the very joy that all Christians are supposed to have. There is nothing wrong with wanting to take a firm stand against the world and sin by itself, but if someone is lacking the true born again experience that Jesus said that all are required to have to enter the kingdom of Heaven, John 3:3, 5, then it can be a detriment and turn others away from God. Many of them are also lacking true peace, love and true faith, etc. but are very zealous to keep God’s Law or His requirements (they think). Why are we picking on these two groups? Because we are hoping that if you have a problem in either of these areas that you will wake up. All of us have probably been in one of these two groups or the other in our life at one time, maybe both. We hope someone will be rescued from the pit of sin, and as many as possible by this article. We used to have problems in this area too and would still have them, but for the grace of God. In our past we were lacking the real peace, love, joy, faith, hope, and happiness that God wants all Christians to have. See also 1 John 1:4:20-21; 1 John 2:3-6 how to know if you know Jesus. We do not want to go back to that way of living that we used to live, there is no peace, hope, joy or power or assurance of salvation in either of those paths; the end of these paths are always death, unless the soul humbles itself before God and allows Him to help them. All need to know that Jesus came to give us life and more abundantly, and they need to know and have the hope that Jesus wants to give them. John 10:10. And to let Him make them free indeed from all addictions and sin. John 8:36.

We are also writing this article because there are some who think that they are born again and there are some who think that they have received the Holy Spirit, but their life is lacking the change that all who are born again should have. In any case, it is folly to try to live your life without yielding to God all the way and being fully born again. Some think that they have the Holy Spirit because there is a lot of excessive joy, fun and excitement in their life. And dare we say babbling? Those who think that excited babbling in languages unintelligible to others is proof that they have the Holy Spirit, need to think carefully about whether they really have the Holy Spirit or not. Those who think that they are born again should also think carefully about whether they are still born again, and all the way. And there are those who think that when they get a special feeling that this is God’s leading, without checking to know for sure. All who believe that they have received the Holy Spirit in full need to be especially on guard to make sure that they don’t have ‘the spirit’ that is contrary to sound reason or the Scriptures. Sometimes there is a problem with sin in the life that gets excused, because they believe that they can’t be lost since they are saved or because they have the Holy Spirit. Or they don’t think too much about their problems of sin or do not admit it to others, and are focused on ‘rooting out’ sin in other people or in other institutions, etc., in anyone but themselves. Is this really true? You bet.

Is there a false joy?
Yes, Solomon declared above in Proverbs 15:21 that a fool gets joy from his folly and foolishness.

This also leads to the question is there a false Spirit too?
Yes.Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1 KJV. Are we to have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us? Yes. Paul says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19 NASB. Therefore we are all temples for the Holy Spirit to dwell in, if we would have Him; that means that the Holy Spirit should be there fully in everyone’s heart, this is the way God intended it to be. Should you test the spirit that is in you to see if it is the Holy Spirit or another spirit of the antichrist? Yes. 1 John 4:1-3. John also says, “We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:6 NASB. Those who listen not to the apostles in the New Testament, or Jesus or the prophets in the Old Testament do not have the Spirit of truth.

Could a “wrong spirit” seduce any Christian who thinks they are saved or any who think that because they believe the truth they are saved?
Yes. Just because someone has seen miracles or had miracles happen to them does not mean that they have the Holy Spirit or still have the Holy Spirit. Also when someone gets the Holy Spirit, that does not mean that the devil stops harassing them or trying to trick them into sinning; the tempter never gives up while life lasts. If you think everything is going fine, then watch out! “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NASB. If you ‘have the Holy Spirit’, if you think you have had the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit be doubly on your guard! Joy and miracles are not proof of the Holy Spirit, but the proof is in peace and love in the heart for God and others, in addition to joy, and in having more and more victory over sin as time progresses. Are we trying to caution you against receiving the Holy Spirit? No way! We are advising you to be on your guard and pray diligently. If you have received the Holy Spirit this is the most wonderful thing you could ever experience this side of Heaven, and the Holy Spirit will help you to live a righteous life for God! There is no safety in your life, unless you have humbled yourself to God, and devoted yourself completely to Him and have received the Holy Spirit, and have had great changes in your life to help you to be an overcomer.

Now let us talk about the joy of the righteous that God wants to give everyone:

The joy that the righteous can experience on this earth, and later for all eternity with the Lamb, far exceeds anything that can be experienced on this earth. True joy is found in the path of wisdom; in knowing, loving and obeying God.You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Psalm 16:11 NASB. The righteous’ prayer to their Heavenly Father is:I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.” Psalms 119:16 KJV. And “Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.” Psalm 119:35 KJV. Yes the righteous delight or receive joy from keeping God’s commandments; this is something that those that don’t think they need to or can’t keep God’s commandments will never know, unless they repent.

True joy is found in the things that the fool detests, and those with true joy detest folly.The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.” Proverbs 13:19 KJV.

Those who have found the path of wisdom, peace and joy, know that they can count on God to take care of them and save them.But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.” Psalm 5:11 KJV. This is the only basis for real joy.

Those who have found the path of wisdom, peace and joy are not afraid to give or serve God and help others, this is what they live for. They know that giving to God and to others will only increase their joy and eternal riches in Heaven, where the most blessed are the most unselfish, and the most giving. And they have great joy! “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." Luke 6:38 NASB.

God’s best gifts are given to those who love Him and are devoted completely to Him; His willing servants. This joy cannot be known except by those who know it, or only partially by those learning to yield to God. We can describe it, but it can’t be understood until you get it for yourself (if you don’t already have it). It is what makes life worth living, living for all eternity! But if you have given your heart to God at one time, you probably knew at least part of this joy if not more. Whenever this fully happens, it will change your life forever! It is very hard indeed to go back to your old ways without this peace, love and joy!

Now for the conclusion of the matter:
The joy of wisdom exceeds that of folly and sinful pleasures and indulgences. It is as far is the east is from the west, and as far as righteousness exceeds wickedness and as the day exceeds the night. Ecclesiastes 2:13.

My desire for all is that they would cease to find joy in folly, and want to be wise, seeking after the wisdom from God, and become born again, filled with the Spirit and with much joy!

May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you! And may your heart be filled with God’s inexpressible love and joy! Amen.

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.” Psalms 1:1-3 NASB.

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