The First Chapters
The first teaching in this volume of writing is written with the intent to share with people what the details are on how to be saved, and it will use the Scriptures to help answer some questions that are often asked concerning salvation. It will also answer questions that some people are currently not understanding concerning salvation. There are many statements in the Holy Scriptures that will shed light on precisely what it means to be saved, and this part will cover many questions such as: What must a person do to be saved? Can a person who is saved lose their salvation? What rewards are there that accompany salvation? Is there a fullness of salvation? Are there trials that one must endure in the process of salvation? The Gospel of Christ is "good news for all people" (Luke 2:10) as declared by the angel, so let us always remember that!
Common salvation is the first step of experiencing and partaking of the life of Christ, and it only happens by the faith and grace of Jesus Christ, and not by our own works (see Ephesians 2:8-9). Once a person believes in their heart on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and confesses Him as Savior and Lord as having risen from the dead, they are now born of God as a new creature, and as the Apostle Paul wrote, they are “sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption” (Ephesians 1:13). It is a free gift of God; it doesn’t require going to church necessarily, or being religious or sanctimonious, infant water baptism, confirmation classes, or fleshly sacraments which, even though they aren’t bad or wrong, yet are part of a dry or old tradition.
God only requires belief in the heart on Jesus and being born again by believing and receiving in our hearts the Lord Jesus Christ and through asking and receiving the Holy Spirit as a daily Guide in life. Once a person is born again, they are now God’s child, and it is up to them to grow in the Word through studying, prayer and continuing in the faith unto the full stature of Christ, in which there is laid up unsearchable treasure for those who come to the finish line (Ephesians 3:8, 2 Corinthians 4:17). They are now a chosen member of the Body of Christ, and must consider walking on the strait and narrow path of life with Christ in their heart. Some have asserted that common salvation is the greatest gift; I would say it is of chief importance to get born again, and live in the kingdom, but also to grow and seek to win the race of life into the Promised Land. Here are some Scriptures that will show the proof:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” - Romans 10:10
“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.” - 1 John 5:1
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” - John 3:3
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” - 1 Peter 1:23
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” - Romans 3:24-26
So after looking at a few of these salvation scriptures, it is very clear that the only thing that a person needs to be born of God is FAITH and CONFESSION of the Lord Jesus as being the Messiah and the Son of God who died for our sins, was buried for two days, and rose on the third day, all in accordance with God’s grace and election. As Paul taught in the Scriptures, “Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:9). Salvation is the greatest gift that God can give, and once we confess Jesus as the Christ, it is an unshakable revelation of the Truth, and God will see to it that the gates of hell do not prevail against His chosen and faithful people (Matthew 16:18). Paul also wrote, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6) Common salvation is a thing that lasts forever, but after we have the revelation of Jesus being the Savior and the Messiah, we must decide to follow Him diligently unto the end of the race, and attain the fullest measure of salvation. It is possible to momentarily lose our way, be distracted from our course, or lose rewards, but we cannot lose our status as a child of God, regardless of how we may feel.
Sin will always try to sneak in and cause us trouble during our race, but we must arm ourselves with the full armor of God if we want to stand against the powers of evil and be victorious (Ephesians 6:11-13). The more of His Truth and faith that dwells in our hearts, the more joy and victory we will have over the evil forces (1 John 5:4). One of the devil’s greatest weapons is keeping people ignorant and unknowledgeable. God’s Word says, “My people perish for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6) and also, “fools die for lack of wisdom” (Proverbs 10:21). So it’s important to feed upon the written Word as a daily practice, and not only that, but learn the value of Wisdom! So the final thing that can be said about common salvation, is that it is ultimately through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and His blood of atonement (see Romans 3:24-26). God is the one who chooses us and redeems us, it is not by our own works, or religious devotion, but because God chooses to show mercy on a willing and repentant soul. Our devotion to Christ starts AFTER we are born again, and it is then that the race begins, and as babes they may grow day by day.
Can A Believer Lose Their Salvation?
The Holy Scriptures talk a lot about the principal of salvation, and what happens after we are saved. The simple answer to whether a man or woman can lose their salvation is “NO”. Once a person is truthfully born of God by faith and grace, they cannot lose their status as a child of God. There are some who claim to belong to Christ, but they do not know Him if they are not born of His Spirit. The children of God can suffer various things, and they may even believe they’ve lost the fight at times, but they have not been forsaken by God, as the Apostle Paul wrote, “Sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14).
The reason we waver in our faith, is because we are growing, progressing, and learning the difference between good and bad, and often this battle is right in our heart, soul and mind, and the devil is sometimes given permission to buffet us at times to test us. The world is completely unaware of these truths, because they do not believe in the truth, but they choose to live in unbelief and ignorance. But God’s children are fighting the fight of faith, and seeking a land of promise, and they are sometimes thinking if it is possible to lose their salvation. This question often comes by ignorance of what is written in the Scriptures; I know because I have questioned this thing many times. I’ve experienced feelings of damnation, some chastisement, and perdition in my soul at times, but as I cast off the lies, and look in the good promises of the written Word, I find out that it is impossible to truly lose my place in heaven or in God’s Kingdom, because of His covenant of grace.
There are a few Scriptures that talk about suffering various things as Christians; what most people don’t know is these are written express statements of righteous judgment by the Spirit of God, and should not be taken according to the “letter of the law”. There’s no such thing as “endless” suffering, but as written, “God is good to all people, and His tender mercies are over all His works” (Psalm 145:9). The Lord Jesus Christ warned five Churches in Revelation of their sins and shortcomings (see Revelation 2 and 3), and their need of repentance, and the reward if they overcome; so He desires people to turn to Him to avoid being snared by the enemy.
Judgment is real from God’s hand, and there could still be painful experiences after being saved, but as it says in Scripture, mercy is always greater and triumphs over judgment (James 2:13). When the Father chastens His people, He also comforts them with the sweetest comfort (2 Corinthians 1:4). There is nothing that God’s children will encounter that is stronger than God’s Grace and wisdom, as the Lord has told me over the years and is confirmed in His Word and prophecies. Here are a few Scriptures that discuss the unchanging power of salvation.
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” - Ephesians 1:13
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.” - John 10:27-29
“Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” - 1 Corinthians 3:13-15
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” - 1 Timothy 2:3-4
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” - 2 Peter 3:9
So here are a few Scriptures that refer to the sealing power of God for His children. It’s important to know that His children who are born unto Him cannot permanently lose anything, because God turns our failings into blessings, and He gives us supernatural joy in the midst of trials. (See 2 Corinthians 7:4) Any loss that happens in their life is only temporary, and they for sure cannot lose their status as a child of God. 1 John is a good epistle to read as a reference for the infallibility of the truth and difference between a child of God and one who is not saved. For John wrote, “He that is born of God doth not sin: for his seed remaineth in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1 John 3:9)
So here you see this Scripture states that because a man is born of God, his new nature is contrary to sin, and will not let him sin (or he is not liable for sin), because his nature is now renewed through being born of Jesus Christ. Another Scripture is 1 John 3:6, which says, “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.” So there are many witnesses in the book of 1 John that testify of the certainty of those who are saved and how they differ from the unrighteous who do not know Him yet, and Jesus gave us this epistle so that His Church would not be ignorant. The Scriptures also teach that the Lord will cause all men to come unto repentance, even if it is in the resurrection, they will have to stand before the Lord.
It’s also important to note that it is our new man that does not sin; as long as people have not died with Christ unto sin (which is baptism), their heart can still cause them to sin if they are immature or rebellious. The difference is they are no longer under law or under the power of sin, but they have faith and grace through their regenerated heart and soul to overcome all things. (1 John 5:4-5)
Saved to the Uttermost
Being “saved to the uttermost” is an expression that is used in the epistle of Hebrews to describe what Jesus purposes to do in a believer’s life, if they are willing and obedient till the end. There is a certain expectation of the creation of God to come to a full measure of glory and blessing by the power of the Creator, and even though it is a long process for Him, those who are the beneficiaries of this Gospel and Inheritance will be exceedingly blessed if they endure to the place of God’s promises being fulfilled in their life. Having faith and living by the faith of Jesus Christ on the path of the Father’s will, will undoubtedly bring joy. It also takes renouncing sin, confessing faults and the need for God's help, and ridding the soul of any hindrances that block the Presence or sensitivity to God in our life.
Many people are simply too proud to repent and confess their faults. They won’t immediately enter the promised land if they still allow sin to run their life and are not willing to ask the Holy Spirit for help. Those who love God will experience wonders that no human eye has seen, neither has the ear ever heard before (1 Corinthians 2:9). They will feel and know joys that no mortal human has ever felt before. Why? Because the Holy Spirit quickens the mortal body of His people, so they can know Him in every way (Romans 8:11). Being saved to the uttermost is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ for His Bride, who will learn to reign and share His glory by the power of grace and faith (see Romans 5:17). The Eternal God has treasures and wealth beyond anything the natural man can know, so it is important that the Bride and Church have the spirit of revelation in their heart, so they can know the glorious things they have inherited from God.
“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” - Hebrews 7:25
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”- 2 Corinthians 4:17
“For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end” - Hebrews 3:14
“Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” - John 6:27
“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” - 1 Peter 1:8
So many of these Scriptures do talk about a final “END” for faith, when we attain the promise of God. It doesn’t necessarily mean the end of our earthly life, it just means we have endured the testing period and the Lord is able to put His seal upon His chosen people. His chosen Remnant of Grace will hear the voice of Christ and receive the blessings as they ENDURE the time of testing and wilderness experiences. As we recall, there was a wilderness that separated the glorious land of Canaan and the slavery land of Egypt, and that is where Israel received the Law and were tested greatly, and many of them died because they didn’t keep the faith. The Lord will perform the same feat today among the Body of Christ, as they are gathered together as one people of God, and the Lord will work with them to prepare for His Kingdom.
This is no small thing that God is preparing for, this is the restoration that has been fore-told by His prophets and apostles for thousands of years. But it will take dedication and commitment, and people will have to seek the will of the Father every day, because there IS a reward that is in His hand, and it is far greater than the sacrifices that are made. There IS abundant life in Jesus Christ, for those who walk as Abraham walked; namely, by faith and not by sight. There IS a glorious land and a glorious city for the Saints of the Most High. As His people put aside the worldly cares, and the selfish ambitions, and commit to God their works, then they will have a great inheritance and they will have a glorified and redeemed life as they finish their training. “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” (Psalm 37:4-5) This promise should be kept before the Saints, that they will indeed have their highest heart’s desire fulfilled if they keep the faith of Christ till the end; this is the abundant life He promised in the land of Canaan, which represents heavenly places in Christ.
God’s Love and Forgiveness
One thing that is important to know about the Gospel, is that God has freely loved all people through His Son, and He has freely forgiven all people on a provisional level. (See John 3:16 and Frances J. Roberts - Come Away My Beloved “The Gift of Forgiveness”) Repentance and confession of faults is still important after a person is born again, but the first step is belief on Jesus as the Messiah and Only Begotten Son. It’s important to know that Jesus has reconciled the world to God through the atonement of the Cross, and the free gift did come upon all men as written by the Apostle Paul. (See Romans 5:18)
A lot of people are unsure of this good news, so it’s good to remember the essence of the Gospel is reconciliation to God, as the angel declared at Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, “These are good tidings of great joy which shall be for all people… glory to God in the highest, peace on earth and good will toward men” (see Luke 2:10-14). Some people may look at the last 2,000 years of Church age, and might not understand that God has forgiven and reconciled us. There are so many religious systems and denominations that bring some confusion, but the truth is, God hasn’t changed His mind. The flesh and blood of Christ was our means of reconciliation to God; it is a finished work. (2 Corinthians 5:19, John 4:34)
As Jesus said, “all the sins of men are forgiven unto the sons of men and their blasphemies” (Mark 3:28). People must understand that if all people repent, and turn to Jesus, they can be restored and forgiven. As Frances J. Roberts penned, in essence, “God has a great supply of forgiveness, and always remember the supply is greater than the need” (On the Highroad of Surrender - “Faith Reaches Beyond”).
Some people feel self-condemned and assume they can’t be forgiven, but that isn’t true at all! The only sin that keeps people from God is their unbelief in Jesus the Messiah. Unless people believe in their heart on Jesus, then they are still in their sins, so it’s important that Christians give the word of reconciliation as Paul wrote. Jesus spoke in the Gospel of John, that the Holy Spirit will convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. (John 16:8-11) They will be told that their sin is unbelief on Jesus, that their righteousness is in their faith (not seeing, but believing on Jesus), and that the judgment of the prince of this world has already happened on the Cross. Having a correct message of deliverance and redemption is important, and knowing that the Gospel of grace and restoration is the key.
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” - 2 Corinthians 5:19
“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.” - Romans 5:10
“Therefore as by the offence of one [Adam] judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [Jesus] the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” - Romans 5:18
What the Apostle Paul wrote is “justification of life”, which means just as Adam sinned and brought all men into condemnation and mortality, so Jesus obeyed God in the finished work of atonement, and brought all men into a place of justification of life. God does not impute sin to people who have no knowledge of the law of God (Romans 5:13), so it is referred to as a trespass if people are ignorant. It is still important to believe the Gospel, believe on Jesus Christ, repent of any known sins, which will bring more health to His people.
Grace is able to lift God’s people into a life of faith, and faith is the only way to truly please God according to Hebrews 11:6. Nothing can truly happen apart from God’s grace and mercy, it is the way in which a sinner is lifted into obedience and righteousness. The proverb says “the righteous has hope in his death” (Proverbs 14:32). There is hope for people who die in Christ, as there is a heavenly home for them with all manner of blessings and comfort for eternity. (See Psalm 16:11) As Frances J. Roberts penned, there is no permanent loss for God’s children, because all apparent failures can be reversed into victories, and that is what God does for His people because He loves us more than we can ever know. (See - Frances J. Roberts
The reason I am writing this chapter is because the Sabbath may be one of the most misunderstood commandments in the Bible. The literal interpretation for the Jews was that they did not do any physical work on the Sabbath day, which in our calendar, is Saturday. They were stoned to death for the transgression of this written law. But when Christ died, the Law of Moses was now fulfilled and ended, and any interpretation of the Sabbath commandment is now spiritual and not literal, which is why Paul said, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body (substance) is of Christ.” (Colossians 2:16-17) See, Paul is teaching that the Sabbath day in the Jewish Old Testament was a shadow that represented a spiritual truth, but it was not actually the spiritual truth. The only way to keep the Sabbath in the New Testament is by growing into the spiritual stature of the Lord Jesus Christ, and learning to REST from our own works as God did from His works on the Seventh Day (Hebrews 4:4, vs 9-10).
Learning how to rest in the Lord and abide in His will is the key of the Sabbath day spiritual meaning. If people go about their Christian walk doing their own works that God did not ordain, or giving themselves too much to frivolous activities, then they are not abiding the Sabbath that is in Jesus Christ’s salvation. Only by daily communion with God can this SABBATH commandment be kept with any real faith (see Isaiah 58:13-14). If people have lost communion with God, then it is impossible to abide in His rest. So it’s important if people want to reign in life as a king, they must keep the Sabbath day, and be committed to doing nothing of themselves or in their own effort, but standing still and letting “God perform all things for them” (Psalm 57:2).
It is sometimes sad to see certain self-appointed Christians continue to work and labor in their Christian service, through self-will, or promoting themselves as a teacher, or thinking they are sent by God, when in fact they need to repent and pray to find their assignment from the experience of knowing God. If a person has never heard from the Lord in a personal way, they need to confess their need and repent and ask Him for help, because if anyone follows Jesus He will manifest Himself to them in a personal way as it is written in John 14:21-23.
“And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the LORD, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein; Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever.” - Jeremiah 17:24-25
“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things…” - Acts 17:24-25
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” - Colossians 2:16-17
Another thing people need to know, is that attending Church on Sunday or Wednesday or any particular day is not necessary unless people want to. Sometimes church going can be just another method of religious ritual which brings bondage, but there needs to be daily devotion to God in our heart and household where we learn and invite the Holy Spirit to teach us.
Before I was 20 years old I went to some church services a lot and they were not always interesting, but some of the people of God I met were a blessing to me. A lot of churches simply are not always legitimate, and some of them have the wrong idea about God, because many of them don’t have sound doctrine. The Church is not a building made with human hands, nor is it an organization run by men, but the Church is the Body of Christ led by the Holy Ghost. The Church is the flesh and bone of Jesus Christ, and not another word for “organized religion”.
The apostles never taught rigid Church attendance, on the contrary, they taught that people should not forsake the assembling of the members of Christ, in breaking bread and learning of Christ’s doctrine (Hebrews 10:25, Acts 2:42-46). They taught that His people need to be one Body with many parts, and to be ordered by the Holy Ghost, and not by man’s vain traditions. Sadly, there are still people who try to make others feel guilty for not attending their church services.
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob never attended Church and they did great in life; the LORD took pleasure in their faith and devotion as written by Scripture. (Deuteronomy 10:15) The redeemed human body is the true Temple and Church of God (1 Corinthians 6:19), so we don’t need to entertain false notions of what “church” really is. If people want to worship God they need to go to their prayer closet, or open the Bible, or talk to God and think upon His Word, and give praise and thanksgiving for all things, and not forget to bear witness to the lost that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the truth and the promised Messiah.
Bible study is something that I felt I needed to mention in this book. When people come together for Bible study, they need to be sure that they do not waste time, and be sure to invite the Holy Ghost who is the only true Teacher of the Body of Christ. The main truth about Bible study, whether in a small group or by yourself, is to ENJOY the Word of God and the writings given by the Holy Ghost. If Bible study becomes a chore, then I am doubtful that God would be pleased at such a thing. People must come to God and His Word, because they need their souls refreshed, and to truly delight in the Truth. It’s important to lay aside any disputing, and just let each member of Christ share what the Lord is showing them.
The purpose of Bible study is not to have a bunch of social time, but to profit from the spiritual things of God. It’s also not always necessary for there to be a “leader” who decides the topics; but learn to be led by the Spirit into what HE wants to discuss. However, if there is a teacher of the Gospel in the Bible study, it would be good to have a mental list of topics of Scriptures that have a higher priority. Like I said before, people must ENJOY sharing the Gospel, and progress day by day. After all, it is the Good News and it is vast enough to fill eternity. People should be rejoicing in the truth and the love of God as they eat of His Word.
If you attend a Bible study and there is dryness in it or a lack of enthusiasm for God’s Word, then it is not a good one. Dryness is a sign of lack of spiritual things and lack of the Holy Spirit inspiration. If a person is serious about knowing God they must walk with others who are wise men, or serious students of the Bible, and they must have a sense of GRACE if they are to learn correctly. It is sometimes hard to find a perfect Bible study, which is why the Lord will sometimes have some of His disciples walk alone with Himself until more people gather together and come to maturity in His Body. Grace Saints are not called to be lawless people, but rather following the law of Christ, which is fulfilled by love and consideration for others.
“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” - 1 Corinthians 11:28
“But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” - Psalm 1:2
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” - Matthew 18:20
“How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.” - 1 Corinthians 14:26
Some good Bible study topics for most people will be the basic principals of Christ, such as His love, His forgiveness, and confession of faults if needed, that the Lord can heal people who are broken. The words of Jesus Christ are what the Lord commanded us to emphasize in the word of prophecy by Frances J. Roberts (Come Away My Beloved - “Give no Substitutes”). The Lord is able to restore anyone who believes on His name, and calls upon Him in truth, so people must keep that in mind, and have Scriptures to remind ourselves of what God promises.
Also each member of Christ should be giving or receiving of the Words of life and grace, and giving thanks and amen to His Word. Reminding people of favorite Scriptures that are relevant to the conversation is one of my favorite things to do. Beholding the mysteries of Christ should be one of our favorite joys as redeemed humans. Expounding a topic of the Gospel is also something each person should have a right to do. As Paul taught, we must all have the same mind and judgment in the Body (1 Corinthians 1:10). It is not a competition to see who knows more, but a time to wait for one another, and share the words of God, and edify one another with the good news of Christ.
As Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 11:28, the holy communion of the Lord is a time to study, to break the bread of life, and to eat of the words of Jesus Christ, but also to reflect on our own lives, to see if there is anything to confess or give unto God, or any area to make progress in our walk with God. I will say also, there are many who do not ever confess their faults, and that is a not a great idea, because God will heal and forgive people who repent. Confession of faults is necessary to every Christian on their road to the perfection of soul. The best place to confess faults is when someone is alone with God, and the Lord will forgive them and help them overcome. Not everyone needs to know our sins at Bible study, but James did write, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16), which is a different thing. If people have a fault, they must admit it to God or their trusted friends, to have a chance to deliver them.
The purpose of Bible study is to sow seeds of the Gospel, and build one another up in the truth and the grace of God, and to pray for one another in the name of Jesus. Jesus said, “Where two or more are gathered together in My name, there I am in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). So His disciples must know that HE is with them, when they gather together in His name. It is good to ASK the Holy Spirit for help in searching our hearts, so He can show us where we need to repent and confess sins; otherwise if we don’t take advantage of His help, then we cannot be perfected or ready for the coming of Christ. As David wrote, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24) It is good to pray this prayer when we are alone with God, the Holy Ghost was sent to prepare a Bride for the Son, and having a clean conscience is something God is able to help us have.
Courage is a message that is needed at this hour. There is no telling how impressed the Almighty is when people take courage, because it is a big part of a life of faith. Like Caleb and Joshua, they believed because God was with them, they could take the land of promise and destroy the Canaanites (Numbers 13:30). And guess what, they were the only two people out of over 600,000 Israelite men who entered the land of Canaan after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. God rewards the courageous and believing heart. Just as with King David; when all of the Israelites cowered in fear, then arose David, who had no problem destroying and humiliating Goliath the giant Philistine. God rewarded David, He gave him riches and wives and an everlasting covenant and a kingdom, pretty much anything he wanted! At the center of David’s courage was his devotion and love for the Lord God of Israel.
God would have all men be as David, if they can just ask God for help, and follow Jesus Christ, they will eventually be just as He is (Zechariah 12:8). The sons of God are the highest order in heaven or earth, because as they overcome by faith they will possess all things that God made (Revelations 21:7), and behold mysteries, and experience joys beyond anything possible in the world. As penned by Frances J. Roberts, “The Lord Himself is our courage”, so the more of the Christ-life that dwells in the heart, the more boldness and courage should be manifested, as He said, “Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.” (Proverbs 3:25-26) So when we are afraid, we have to remember the Scripture, that those who wait upon the Lord, He will be their confidence in the time of trouble, and will deliver them. “He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.” (Job 5:19)
The key is understanding that because God is with you, you have no reason to fear any evil, as it says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) A disciple of Christ has no need to carry weapons to protect him, and in some ways, it is unbelief if they do seek to protect themselves. It glorifies God when people trust Him and rely on the hosts of angels and the glorious Presence of God that shields a man of God. Fear is another way of saying “preservation of self”; there is no need to preserve oneself in the Kingdom, even on earth; there is nothing to fear when people keep their mind on God and refuse to be weighed down with the cares of this life.
Remember Jesus said, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 16:25) The best thing to do is “lose yourself” in Jesus Christ, and give Him ALL THINGS, for the Scripture says, “The LORD is thy keeper. The LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand” (Psalm 121:5). Give yourself to His gospel in FULL commitment, and as the Scripture says, you will eventually overcome all things by faith (see 1 John 5:4-5). Does not the Lord promise that if you lose yourself to Him, you will find your life again? He came to bring mankind a better life, as Frances J. Roberts penned, “a one-thousand fold better and liberated life”, but only as they become a disciple of the Lord and continue from faith to faith will they find this perfect state of life. (See John 10:10, Romans 1:16-17)
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” - 1 John 4:18
“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” - Deuteronomy 31:6
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” - Joshua 1:9
I’ve learned over the years that Love itself is the source of courage. If people have the love of God in their heart, they have the root of all virtues and joys that comes with His presence. Courage becomes more natural as people grow into His likeness and learn His truth. As John wrote in the Bible, to have the love of God is to be bold and courageous in the day of judgment (1 John 4:17). To abide in the love of God is to be unafraid of judgment, because Christ has atoned for our sins and forgiven all of us, and as we grow and endure trials, we will eventually have a glorious life.
It’s important to meditate in the teaching of God day and night, as it says in Psalm 1:2, so people can know His ways, and allow the Holy Ghost to minister His truth to our hearts. No one was as courageous as Jesus Christ. To wait for thousands of years in God’s Presence, before being born as a baby in Bethlehem, to become a sacrifice for our sins. He did it for love, in order to manifest the greatest love possible, and to redeem His creation and purchase a Bride for Himself. The price He paid will be realized in the eternity of joy and pleasure He has with the Bride.
Religion: a Loss for Christ
There are many sayings of the Apostle Paul where he tries to loosen the hold that religion had on the people of God. The purpose of this chapter is to clarify the futility of religious devotion that many people in this day are currently clinging to, and to know that such devotion to religion is a loss for Christ. As Paul was once a Pharisee named Saul of Tarsus, who was highly devoted to the Jewish religion, and he ended up confessing in his epistle to the Philippians (vs 3:3-7) that all of his religious zeal, including his Hebrew heritage, his status as a Pharisee, his blamelessness in the law of Moses; all of these things were considered a “loss for Christ” because they were a means of self-righteousness.
In today’s culture, there are many equivalent things among the different denominations of Christianity. A lot of people emphasize infant water baptism, church attendance, confirmation, etc. All of these things, as long as they are depended on for salvation, are a loss for Christ. They are not related to faith, holiness or salvation, but are traditions of men. Even normal water baptism is a dead work as long as people don’t have an understanding of the spiritual meaning, and water baptism doesn’t save anyone, but only the faith and grace of Christ.
Jesus said “he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved”. (Mark 16:16) The baptism that saves us is our understanding of the death and resurrection of Christ that has happened in us, as the Apostle Peter wrote, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21). The word says, “the law is not of faith” (Galatians 3:12). It is true, if people want to have God’s best, they must keep His commandments, written on their heart, and seek to understand the spiritual meaning of His Truth, but that does not require being religious or following a strict written code, otherwise known as religion.
It means His people must allow the Holy Spirit to write the Word of God upon the heart and mind, and be circumcised in heart, not by the letter of the Gospel, but by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:6, Romans 2:29) It is true, the only thing that God requires from His people is daily obedience to His voice, but we must not mistake that for obedience to the written law, or to a pastor or priest, or to the strictness of the letter of the law, when Christ came to deliver us from the bondage of the letter of the law. God wants His disciples and followers to wait upon Him daily so they can fly on eagles wings up HIGH with true love in their hearts, and not be bogged down in religious duties and men’s doctrines that are a big part of the religious systems of Christianity.
“Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” - Philippians 3:4-7
“Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” - Galatians 3:3-5
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” - Romans 10:4
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” - Galatians 2:16
So above there are a few Scriptures from the Apostle Paul about Christ being the end of the Law for the purpose of righteousness. Instead of following a written code, Jesus simply wants people to believe on Him and His atonement for justification (see Romans 3:24-26). Jesus wants us to LIVE according to His new nature indwelling the heart and mind of a born again person, and be freed from the law of sin and death.
As Paul also stated, “the law is not of faith” (Galatians 3:12), which means it doesn’t require faith to keep the outward performance of the Law, which is why the Pharisees thought they were indeed righteous. But Jesus showed them that their inner man is corrupt in the Sermon on the Mount, which in their unbelieving hearts was where sin was a major problem in Israel. Christ came into the world to bring FAITH into our lives, which according to Hebrews 11:6, it’s impossible to please God without faith; it’s the only way to please God. So when Christ came into Israel, and did His finished work of atonement, and rose from the dead, He sent His apostles into the world to preach forgiveness of sins and faith on His name.
He also sent a special witness named Paul, who would bear witness to the Gentiles of the Gospel of Grace, which his preaching was in great disagreement with the previous dispensation of Law which the Jews were following. The Law of Moses is FULFILLED in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, and now we are FREE from the Law in its outward forms and fleshly ordinances. We are still needing to understand the spiritual things in the Law (such as types and shadows), which do not bring bondage, but liberty.
The better we understand the things of the Spirit of God, the better our reward will be, even the full reward of God’s blessings to those who walk in faith (2 John 1:8, Galatians 3:14). The key is found in the book of Romans, where Paul says we are dead with Christ, and delivered from the law, having died with Christ to the law, as he wrote, “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of Spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” (Romans 7:6) This is one of the most important truths in the New Covenant, because we no longer follow the letter of the law, but the Spirit of truth. Jesus even said, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63)
Spirit, Soul, and Body
In this chapter I’d like to discuss the differences that I’ve learned in the understanding of the spirit, the soul, and the body. A lot of people already have studied this, but there are many who still wonder what these three avenues of expression are. The body of a Christian, as we are taught in Scripture, is the temple and house where God dwells (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19). As there are five senses in the natural body, there are also five spiritual senses if the body is quickened (made alive) in a spiritual way by the Holy Spirit.
The body is our connection to the physical world, and it is a great gift from God. There is not as much to explain about the body since it is the most self-evident and visible part of our person, but it is important to know that the body will respond to what is in the heart and spirit, as Jesus said, “Make the inside of the cup clean, and the outside will be clean also.” (Matthew 23:25-26 ) If people want to be beautiful in their body, they must commit to the Gospel and seek to be transformed into His same image from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).
One thing the Lord said in Frances J. Roberts is that Praise does indeed transform us, spirit, soul, and body (On the Highroad to Surrender - “Praise Transforms”). As people come into a life of praise and thanksgiving, their face and body will be transformed also by the Spirit, as the Lord said, “The Lord takes pleasure in His people. He will beautify the meek with salvation.” (Psalm 149:4) The Lord Jesus received an immortal body the day of His resurrection, and His body was no longer subject to the laws of nature (as He materialized at times, and changed His appearance). It is the work of translation to be changed into His image, which is something that God will give to His Body, which is the Church. People of God must realize, according to Romans 6, this blessing of the resurrection glory of the Father, is for now, as people press into His Kingdom and grow with patience into the full stature of Christ.
Ask Him for BIG things, and learn to praise and worship in the Spirit, because He will only respond to people if they ask in faith as a child; He wants His Church to know that only through Him their blessings come. Nothing is impossible with God, and nothing is impossible for those who believe; as Jesus said, Christians will have whatever they ask or speak in faith (Matthew 20:17, Mark 9:23, Mark 11:23). However, the body is the 3rd layer of our human being, and the outward blessings sometimes seem pretty important, but they are not as important as the fortitude on our inner man, where God’s kingdom dwells, so I will discuss another thing of more importance.
The soul is what I’d like to write about next. Just as the Temple in Jerusalem had three separate areas, so does our human temple have three areas. The soul is the union of the spirit with the body, as was written by Watchman Nee in his book “The Spiritual Man”. The soul is the “inner court” of our temple and it is the union between spirit things and earthly things, the union between the spiritual life and the natural life. When we eat food or drink a beverage, it blesses our soul temporarily. Even listening to music, or watching a good program on T.V., or beholding the wonders of nature with our eyes, or anything done by the physical body, even romantic intimacy, can bless the soul. But the key to the soul life is receiving the spiritual benefit from heaven by the indwelling life of Jesus Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit. That is called “spiritual food” and “spiritual drink” which helps to enhance our soul life as a REDEEMED human vessel, and also our physical life will be benefited from the Word of life, as the proverb says, “For they [His Words] are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” ( Proverbs 4:22)
As Jesus said “abundant life” is the goal of the Christian faith, and that only comes by the ministration of the Spirit of God, which is also called “the Spirit of Life” (Romans 8:2). The soul is our animated life, as it says, “Adam became a living soul”, but Jesus, as the Last Adam, became a “life-giving spirit” (quickening spirit) (1 Corinthians 15:45). Jesus Christ had a tough role to play in human history, but Jehovah God glorified Him forever as the SOURCE of all spiritual life, power and victory, so that no person under heaven can be saved except by the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). The soul is any place that the spirit and the body unite as one, such as the mind, the will and the emotions.
That is why the New Testament writers emphasize the endurance of trials and faith till the end (1 Peter 1:8, 13, Hebrews 3:6), because a lot of the things in our soul need to be converted and transformed unto the life and mind of Jesus Christ, instead of the life and mind of the fallen race of Adam which brought spiritual death. That is why Isaiah said, “You will see the travail of your soul, and be satisfied” (Isaiah 53:11), because the life of Christ will save the soul of one who takes up the cross and seeks and waits upon God every day. He endures the trials of faith until the redemption of the body, which is the purchased possession of Christ. (Ephesians 1:14)
The spirit man is the holiest place of our temple, which temple is the body. As it is written, “The spirit of a man is the candle of the Lord” (Proverbs 20:27). It is the place where the Lord lives and He lights up the place with Himself if we allow ourselves to be lit by His light. That is why sanctification of our life is so important to God, because if we are lit by the Lord Jesus Christ, then our soul and our body will also reflect this beautiful light. It is truly amazing! Sometimes you will just know someone has the Light of Christ in their heart just by virtue of seeing it in their face or their life witness. That is why it is so important for people to believe on the name of the Son of God, so they can have this perfect life dwelling in them, and as they grow in spiritual things and “put off the old man and his deeds” (Ephesians 4:22), they will be even brighter in their testimony.
Watchman Nee wrote that the three parts of the spirit man are “communion, conscience, and intuition”, and my heart can come to an agreement with that, because after I was born of the Spirit, I could all of the sudden experience these three things which were previously absent in me. In the natural man, the first Adam, the spirit life is absent, but when they receive the new birth in Jesus Christ, they should now have full operation of the spiritual connection to God. The tree of life is now in their heart, as the good tree that cannot bear corrupt fruit, so they now have the life of God in them in the spirit man if they are His child and when the Lord has lit the candle. Just as when the veil was torn in the Temple in Jerusalem, so when Christ comes, He lights up the spirit of a man, and gives him eternal life through the means of His atonement and washing away our sins as His provision of salvation.
The last thing I’d like to write is that the vessel of the human life is one unit with three avenues of expression, so the spirit, the soul, and the body are one unit, and each of these affects the other. In the redeemed human life, to touch one’s body, you are also connecting to his or her soul and spirit, and vice versa, that is why Paul said, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Romans 8:11)
In the old creation, the mortal life, man is dead to spiritual things, but now in Christ Jesus, he is now alive with spiritual life. This spiritual life in his spirit man has power to affect his soul and body, so that is why people who desire the redemption of the body must wait upon the Lord to work in their vessel to bring it to perfection. It will be a “great and marvelous work” that the Father does to redeem the human race, and it will show forth the power of God, and so every knee will in that day bow, and every tongue will confess the name of Jesus (that He is the Lord of lords and King of kings) and the Godhead. (Philippians 2:10-11)
Temperance is a very important virtue when it comes to overcoming all things of the old creation. It is something that Paul preached on a lot, and Frances J. Roberts prophesied that “Temperance is the ultimate goodness” (Progress of Another Pilgrim - “The Father’s Husbandry”). A lot of people think food, or drink, or sexual pleasure, or music, or entertainment is the ultimate goodness, but actually, it is the ability to abstain, when needed; the ability to control oneself, is the ultimate goodness. Because if we do not have this fruit of the Spirit, called “temperance”, then we truly can’t enjoy to the fullest those blessings of the outward man or have the peace of being a balanced vessel.
Temperance keeps a man in check, so he doesn’t give himself to excessive indulgences or making idols or harmful addictions of things. Indulgence is okay at various times, but the Holy Spirit will not allow the believer in Christ to be overtaken by the pleasures of this life, or to be controlled by lust leading to sin. It is a very beautiful thing how God keeps us, if we yield to Him! “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (1 Corinthians 6:12)
Yes, Jesus is our example of how to control the human vessel, as it is written, He had no sin in His soul, and He never yielded His vessel unto sin or temptations. The definition of sin is in the epistle of James, where it starts with temptation to one’s own lust and enticement , and after one has lusted and it conceives, it brings forth sin, and sin, when it is fully grown, brings forth death (James 1:15-16). But as Paul wrote, “Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh, with its lusts and passions” (Galatians 5:24), so now they are better able to exercise self-control by the power of the Holy Spirit, because the sinful flesh has been cut off at the Cross.
There are times when some would yield to foolish decisions about money, but eventually the Lord helps a person gain more control of himself in certain decisions by having more of His Spirit dominating in their heart. If we are in control of ourself by the grace of the Lord, then it is not lust or sin in operation. But if we yield to an unrighteous desire, then it allows sin to conceive in us, and death also. That is why the Lord says temperance is the “ultimate goodness”, is because we can really enjoy anything in life a lot better and fuller when the pleasure we get is healthy pleasure, and not the pleasure of sin. The Lord promises that in His Presence is fullness of joy and endless pleasures, but they are at His right hand (see Psalm 16:11), which means they are righteous and holy pleasures based on being in His will and receiving His waters of life.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” - Galatians 5:22-25
“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” - 1 Corinthians 9:25-27
“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” - Philippians 4:5
The amazing truth about the writings of Paul, is that they will bring more liberty than you ever had, but only if people rightly understand them. As long as people are following the surface meaning of the Word, (which is called the milk), they may miss the bigger picture that the Lord is showing people in His Word. People must learn to yoke wisdom and obedience with their liberty, because the Spirit of the Lord will bring people liberty in their heart and soul, but the Lord will only give people an abundant life as they grow in understanding of the things of God. As it is written, there is no quick way to become rich (Proverbs 28:22); people must labor in spiritual things, and in sound doctrine, so they can grow in stature. If they want to do mature things and have more freedoms, such as marriage with Christ, they must be of a full age in Jesus Christ and abide in the graces and disciplines of the Spirit.
All anyone has to do is ASK for what they desire, and the Lord will give what they ask at the time that is right, and they will find what they are seeking for (Deuteronomy 4:29, Matthew 7:7, John 16:23 ). But as they come to full age, or greater heights, they must still practice self-discipline and temperance. No one had more discipline than Jesus, because He was obedient unto the death of the Cross, and He proved He could drink the Father’s cup, and He didn’t even answer a word to His enemies while He was being questioned and scourged (Matthew 27:14). If He wanted, He could have asked for angels to destroy His enemies, but He did not; He did the will of the Father in the face of great pain, because He knew it was righteous and would bring glory and salvation to all of God’s creation. The Scripture says, “He learned obedience by the things He suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8) Even so, we must learn obedience through suffering with Christ, and abiding in Him through trials, knowing He will bring us into a wealthy place, and bring us through with ease and the joy of faith. (Psalm 66:12)
Happiness and the Blessing of the Lord
This next portion of this book, I would like to write some things the Lord has shown me are important concerning faithfulness in little things. So many people want to be promoted or find a big role to play in society, but they might not realize that isn’t always what they truly want. Sometimes our greatest joys in life are in the private life or devotion and rejoicing in little pleasures of the day. If people are ungrateful for small thing in their life, then why would God keep promoting them into bigger things? I’m hoping this portion of the book is a great blessing to those who are of small stature or large stature in life.
Accepting Our Assignment
In the Body of Christ there are many different roles to play. The goal is to find God’s will for our individual life in the Body. The Lord says we must learn to be faithful in little things, and He will promote us based on our faithfulness in our current assignment. There are many people who have prominent positions, and some have lesser positions, but the Lord delights when people are faithful in little things. There is no one insignificant in the Body of Christ, as the Apostle Paul wrote, that there is “no schism in the body”. (1 Corinthians 12:25). People may have a job in the world, and it is important to serve as unto the Lord, and know that the Father is watching whether we are faithful or not. The boss may not be easy to please, but the Lord is the righteous Judge, who will reward His servants.
Our assignment in life is often where God wants us to be, but also where our gifts will shine and cause us to prosper. Sometimes it takes years of preparation, study, and prayer before people are really finding their purpose in life. The point of this chapter is to give hope to those who feel insignificant in the world, and to know that there is a Heavenly Father who watches over us, He is omnipresent and omniscient and omnipotent. He is able to help people continue faithful in their assignment, and as children of God, sometimes there is suffering, but there is also vindication and abundant Grace. People of God must not think no one is watching us, for we know that God sees us, and is cheering us to our desired goals and completion of our present tasks.
Whether someone is a husband, a wife, a son, a daughter, a brother, or sister, people must know that we must be faithful in our communication and ability to live in a family. God is the God of all families, and one way to be faithful in little things, is to be humble and at peace with one another. Submit to the authorities and laws of the land, and follow a simple life of grace and faith. God promises nothing will ever hurt a child of God. (Luke 10:19) For instance, even being faithful in the home life, in cleaning our rooms, organizing our life with a schedule of blessings, and also finding our daily duties, work and recreation, is all part of the little things. Jesus said if we are faithful in little things, then we will be more prepared for bigger things. If we are thankful for little blessings, we will be prepared for bigger blessings. Ingratitude is one of the main reasons some people never make it very far.
The last thing to say in this chapter, is that children should be taught the Scriptures among the families of Christ. To have the testimony of Jesus and the Bible and not share it with little children is missing a great opportunity to pass down the life-saving message of grace and truth. I know some people wouldn’t be good at sharing it, but whatever knowledge of Christ that parents have is good to share graciously with the offspring. Children don’t always need institutions and religious systems, but they need the bread of life and the words of grace and truth. Christian faith is the way into the heavenly places, and the words of life and grace will transform people who cling to them. The Church of Jesus Christ is the only vehicle that carries the testimony of Christ on earth, so it is important to trim the wick, and become salted with fire for God, so the people really enjoy God’s presence in their lives.
Reliving the Good Memories
One of the best things in life, especially during moments of trial, is to remember the good times of life. That is one of the things I have found great joy in doing as a child of God, is when people think they are missing out, then the Holy Ghost reminds us of the precious moments of life. Even when people die and go to heaven, they can rejoice in the good moments of their life. The Scripture says, “The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works” (Psalm 145:9). So, everyone on earth does have something good to remember; moments of happiness that prove God’s faithfulness in their life. Some people do have more happiness in their life, and others may be struggling more or less, but Christians are called to go through life with a rejoicing heart. We are called to forget the times of sorrow and pain, and rejoice in both the future promised blessings and also the past victories as well.
Some people have a difficult time going forward, but the key is being BORN AGAIN and then the children of God can see clearly that God has been leading us, and that God has been faithful throughout our life. The best way to make life count and meaningful is to be thankful for the little things. Every day will hold some pleasure or some joy that some people do not have any gratitude for. Life is an amazing thing; the Psalmist wrote “the earth is full of Thy riches” (Psalm 104:24) and “the earth is full of Thy goodness” (Psalm 33:5). A Christian does not need to go to heaven to experience God’s wonders and joys; they just need to be aware of His omnipresence and handiwork that is all around us. Joy is the natural climate of heaven, but we can have that here on earth also, if we choose to empty out the negative and live in Christ’s full blessing. A lot of amazing things are in the Bible and it is corroborated by world history; endless stories of heroics and bravery. The key is SAVORING the good moments of life, as Frances J. Roberts penned, those who see and experience God’s love coming to them during every moment of happiness, will multiply their joy 1,000 fold! ( ). The key is having a constancy of joy, love and contentment based on our faith and trust in God.
One thing I have noticed is that sometimes reliving a priceless memory with a friend or family member is just as good as the event itself, maybe even better! God promises us “JOY unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8), and one of the ways we experience this is by reminding ourselves of the goodness of the past, present, and the eternity of future blessings that are promised in the Bible as well. (See Psalm 16:11) Yes, as written by Revelation 4:11, all things were created for God’s joy and pleasure, so we must understand that is a great part of life’s journey, is finding endless pleasures that are healthy and normal. The more we look inwardly for wisdom and blessing, the better our outward experiences will be. The more peace and joy we find in Christ dwelling within us, the more God will reward us openly in our public life. And for the record, life really is about discovering endless blessings. Pain and sorrow do not last forever, but as written, in the city of new Jerusalem there is no pain, sorrow, crying, or death, but only joy and happiness. (Revelation 21:4)
The last thing to say is that people of God need to forgive and forget. There are many bad memories in life that people can cling to, but they must be forgotten once we enter into the glory. Just as a woman in childbearing forgets her pain and sorrow after the child is delivered, so must we forgive and forget. The Holy Spirit sometimes causes us and helps us to forget the days of sorrow and pain. That is one of God’s great works is not only forgiving sin, but also forgetting sin, as it was promised “I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more”. (Jeremiah 31:34) The blood of Christ has washed our sins away, and He has made us new creatures in Himself. (2 Corinthians 5:17) To hold grudges and have unforgiveness or resentment is not Christian faith at all. In fact, some of those things can cause more problems if they aren’t surrendered to Christ. Christ wants nothing but victory for the Christian family, and that victory is through faith and also courageously moving forward without any resentments. People who hold grudges tend to be insecure and not having the joy of victory.
The Laws of Honor
One thing that Dr. Mike Murdock mentions a lot in his ministry, is the law of honor, and that notion stuck with me over the years. Every broken commandment in the Bible is rooted in dishonor. Dishonoring God, or dishonoring parents, or dishonoring our fellow brother or sister or neighbor, even belittling our youth or children to the point of provoking them to anger. Dishonor is something that is rooted in many places in our culture, and also a lack of respect for authority. It’s true, the proverb says “honor is not fitting for a fool”…believe it or not, not every person is honorable in their works and lifestyle, so it is natural to understand why they are dishonored more often than not. Jesus Christ faced dishonor from his home town of Nazareth, and surrounding cities, even though He was showing forth great miracles and fulfilling the ancient prophecies concerning Himself.
But the essence of the Bible is how to live a life of honor. There are many people in the Bible who lived a life of honor and dignity, such as Abraham, Joseph, Solomon, or Daniel. They were all followers of God’s wisdom and discretion, and had humility in them. Those are just a few people who God chose to promote and bless, and they made a significant difference in the world. It’s not always easy to honor those who continually sow strife and dishonor, so people need to walk in a manner that is a highroad of surrounding to Christ. As God’s children, we are justified forever; we aren’t capable of sin according to the Apostle John. Any faults we have are confessed and forsaken, but the righteousness God gave us is perpetual and everlasting.
Jesus did say “he who serves Me, him My Father will honour”. It’s important to realize that whether in the Church age, or the Kingdom Age, all who serve Christ will be honored by God, preserved by God, and kept in peace by God. Eventually all nations and tongues will serve the Lord Jesus Christ and confess that He is the Lord. But every day as a Christian we have a choice to live in honor or not. It is possible to attempt to love people, and not mixed with honor. As Rosalie said, “fear, manipulation, control, and lust” are all behaviors of people who try to love without honor. Honor always gives people choices, and doesn’t overbear on them. Honor is deferential and prefers others over self.
Lastly, honour is the essence of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must not judge others who seem dishonorable, because they may be facing situations we don’t know about. But as Paul taught “overcome evil with good”. Loving enemies is a way to honor God, and hope that they turn to Jesus in their hour of need. As C.S. Lewis said in “Mere Christianity”…we don’t need to associate with our enemies who walk in spiritual darkness, but at least be kind and wish them well from a distance; hope they come to their senses and humble themselves which is the solution from God’s Word.
Happy is the Man (Part 1)
There are several scriptures in the Bible that refer to happiness and what the Word says causes Christians to be happy. It’s important to examine the Scriptures and see what the Bible says about the matter of happiness. If the Word of God says “happy is the man…” we need to know those Scriptures, and keep them in front of us. How can we be unhappy when the Bible declares that WE ARE happy for finding Him and His wisdom?
“Happy is the man who finds wisdom and the man that gets understanding…She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.” (Proverbs 3:13, 18).
If the Bible says we are happy for finding wisdom, then we are happy. The Word of God is unfailing truth about life, and if we discover wisdom every day, and apply ourselves to knowing her, then we will be happy. We will have found the root of happiness. Wisdom is called a tree of life for those who keep and retain her, and happiness is found with Wisdom.
“Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:” (Psalm 146:4)
Simply by having a right relationship with the God of Jacob, and also through our Lord Jesus Christ, there will be happiness deeply rooted in our souls. According to this Psalm, happiness is found simply by having the God of Jacob as our help and hope. According to the Bible, Jehovah is the only true God and Creator of heaven and earth, and He is the sole Being of worship for Israel and the Church, but we must learn to relate rightly to Him and seek to please God above all else. If we are found in right relationship to God, we will indeed be happy in our soul, and find a consolation that the world doesn’t often have.
“…whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.” - Proverbs 16:20
Above is a small proverb of Solomon, but it is very profound in that it teaches us that happiness is found in trusting the Lord. If we indeed are trusting the Lord more than any arm of flesh, than we will be happy. God sees our hearts, and what we are trusting for deliverance and salvation. Some people have face trials and unhappy times due to trusting the wrong thing, but we who trust God and look to Jesus Christ should be kept safe from harm. We must not have superficial trust though, in that we forget the times of study and prayer, but claim we seek the Lord first. If we believe and trust the Lord, we will keep Him always before us.
“O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.” - Psalm 137:8-9
One of the intriguing usages of happiness is found in this above verse, in which David describes the punishment upon Babylon. Babylon always represents that system that opposes God’s true worship, and perverseness, and pride. It denotes killing any semblance or offspring of such a system, such as false beliefs and false doctrines. The prophets and apostles of the Bible has mentioned God’s promise to rid the earth of the Babylonic systems, and replace them with the beauty of Zion and God’s perfect Bridal company of Saints who follow Christ fully.
Happy is the Man (Part 2)
“Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.” - Genesis 33:29
Here is another Scripture that talks about how Israel was called to be a HAPPY people, due to the fact that Jehovah had chosen them to be His peculiar people. Even though Israel failed at times throughout their history, yet God has not forsaken them. Israel will always be the most peculiar people and ethnicity, simply because of their godly heritage. They still need to come to believe on the name of their Messiah, who is Jesus Christ, but the Bible says they will have to accept His rulership during the Millennium. How happy will Israel be to know that they are God’s only true original people, by whom the world knew about God and His Son!
“Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.” - 1 Kings 10:8
Above is a saying of the Queen of Sheba unto King Solomon, who was always full of wisdom. Solomon treasured God’s Wisdom, and therefore God loved him and promoted him. The point is though, that Israel was happy due to the blessing of Wisdom. They were happy to hear the wisdom of God and to have God’s favor upon them. God gave many Scriptures unto the Israelite nation, they collected and preserved them over the years and centuries, and there is a great collection in the Bible of wise sayings given to King David and King Solomon. So the key is knowing we are HAPPY for hearing the truth and wisdom of God. Happiness can come through hearing the Lord speak and receiving His message daily.
“Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty” - Job 5:17
Another good biblical promise of happiness is in chastening from God. If the Father chastens His children, it is for their benefit and it is because He loves them. If a Father truly loves His children, they will experience chastening from time to time, and God promises there will be wholeness on the other side. There is a cleansing away of evil when the Lord lays His rod of chastening on us, if needed, and that is a very good thing to have dealt with. (Proverbs 20:30) We are promised in this verse happiness, and that we will better understand good and bad behavior if we experience chastening.
“As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” - Psalm 127:4-5
A Psalm of David is concerning having children, and that those who have many children will be happy. The purpose of Israelite children in God’s purpose is often to raise up great witnesses of God and His kingdom. Jesus loves children, and He compares them to His Kingdom in which there is such innocence and simplicity of heart and mind. Jesus went as far to say he who receives a little child in the name of Jesus will receive Him. (Matthew 18:5)
Happy is the Man (Part 3)
"He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.” - Proverbs 14:21
According to the Bible, there is happiness for every one who shows mercy to the poor. This is important to know, that there are many promises attached to alms-giving. Over and over God commands His Church to be generous to the poor, and seek to give them what they need and desire for well being. It’s tough sometimes, because there seems to be so many people hoarding their riches, and not believing the Good News of the Gospel, in which God would help and bless anyone who distributes to the poor. Sometimes we just have to accept God’s Truth on happiness, and one of those truths if generosity. If we give, we are happy…period!
“He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.” - Proverbs 16:20
Here is another promise of the Bible concerning happiness connected with trusting the Lord. In other words, if we just let go and let God take the wheel of our life, we won’t be disappointed. He can give us vision to see the bigger picture, that we are clay on the Potter’s wheel, and that He is fashioning our vessel over the years. Sometimes it seems hard to trust God, if things aren’t going our way, but as we do press in to the promise of Scripture, and look to Jesus alone, then we are kept safe and happy.
“Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.” - Proverbs 28:14
One of the newer translations says “fear to do wrong”. I think it’s good to remember the fear of the Lord, but also being a careful person in life is important. We are counted HAPPY if we fear the Lord, and take heed to His Word. It’s not like we are truly afraid of making mistakes, but it’s that we walk in reverence toward God and man, and be respectful of authority and life itself.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” - Proverbs 29:18
Here is another good word about happiness, and that we are counted happy if we “keep the law”. Many people think of the Law of Moses, but they forget, that we are not under the Law anymore. The Law we keep is the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, which liberates us. We follow the law written by the Spirit, and not the letter of the law, as New Testament Christians. Another way to put it, is knowing our boundaries as Christians. We follow the code of conduct that Christ lays out in the New Testament. We abide the perfect law of liberty, which sets us free to live in righteousness and holiness by Jesus Christ. People who sin or yield to folly are slaves in some sense, but we are not slaves if we are born of God, we are free men and women.
Fullness of Joy and Perfect Peace
Fullness of joy and perfect peace are both absolute promises of God in His Word. It’s important to believe in His promises, and cling to them, and know them well; because they are important in keeping the full blessing of God going in our life. As long as people believe in Jesus Christ, as it is written, they should have access to full joy and perfect peace, so long as they keep His sayings and do them. As it says in 1 John 5:4-5, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” So this is definitely a Scripture to be memorized by Christians who desire to overcome all things in the world, is understand that the FAITH of Jesus Christ is the victory. Faith is our immediate access to victory, to hope, to peace, to joy, and to be put into God’s Presence.
One of the things that can interfere with full joy and perfect peace is sin, which is why Jesus commanded His disciples to confess their sins and forsake them, and they will be forgiven (Proverbs 28:13,1 John 1:9). The primary reason many Christians fail is because they aren’t humble enough to confess their faults, so they sometimes face trials that could easily be avoided had they humbled themselves before God. Pride, self-satisfaction and also an unthankful heart are all ways that God’s blessing is being blocked, so if God’s people are shown that they have this, they need to confess and forsake it before the Lord, and allow Him to give life to you. There are many trials a person can have, but full joy and perfect peace are guaranteed to those disciples and followers who are keeping their mind on God, in faith and love which is in Christ.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength” - Isaiah 26:3-4
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” - Psalm 16:11
“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” - John 15:11
Above are a few Scriptures that people need to be reminded of, that contain God’s promises. There is nothing better than being FULL of joy and a possessor of PERFECT peace, and they are fulfilled in us by abiding in Jesus Christ and His Gospel, and also prayer. As we talk to God, and pray in secret with our mouth, the Lord rejoices and gives us His joy of fellowship. If we are in secret praying, it shows we believe the Father is present and listening, and He delights in such faith and promises to reward us openly. (Matthew 6:6)
The path of delight is one that is walking hand-in-hand with God the Father and He also promises eternal pleasures at His right hand. (Psalm 16:11) There is never a day or month that should go by without knowing the Lord’s pleasures, because they are endless. They are at His right hand, which means they are not the unhealthy pleasure, but rather the pleasures of His righteousness that are healthy and life-giving and are connected to all five senses of our redeemed soul and body. They are essentially better than anything in the world, but they are also not experienced fully until we are delivered from sin and death by continuing to walk in Christ’s Gospel.
Paul says, “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” ( Romans 8:23-25) So here is one of the key Scriptures of waiting on the Lord God for a greater treasure, and the union of the redeemed spirit, soul and body, which brings perfect joy. Joy is a very important thing to have in the Christian faith, and we must walk in joy at all times, as Jesus said, “And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” (John 16:22)
So basically, knowing Jesus Christ after the resurrection and in the Spirit, we will have fullness of joy. Jesus said they initially had sorrow, because of the Cross of Jesus Christ, but as they endure the Cross, they will be glorified and joyful as Jesus was on Easter morning. As they study the Word of God, their carnal nature will be dealt with by the letter of the Scriptures, but the Lord will give them increase in the Spirit and the grace of Christ will lift them into victory and faith. Jesus compared the salvation experience to childbearing, that a woman has sorrow before delivery, but great joy when she sees her child born (John 16:21). A woman’s sorrow and pain is due to sin in the beginning, and so likewise Jesus died on the Cross and rose from the dead for the purpose of dealing with sin and giving mankind a newness of life and glory that comes from the Heavenly Father.
Abiding in Prayer
One of the most important things for any believer in Christ is to abide in prayer. Prayer with the mouth, or prayer in the heart, or meditation on the things of God, are all acceptable ways of communing with God. God is a jealous God, and He desires to be first place in our thoughts and desires; that is essentially what worship is, it is daily and full devotion to the Most High God. There are many people who are prayerless people, and they are missing out on the immediate rewards that prayer brings. Prayer brings enlightenment, strength and joy to those who are believing and trusting in God; I know because every time I pray in my secret place, I leave strengthened by the Lord, because talking to God as a friend, a son, a daughter, or even a Bride, is a joyful experience!
Jesus commanded His disciples to pray in secret, and if they do that, the Father will reward them openly (Matthew 6:5-6). God always has more blessings and more ways of giving us abundant life and joy, and these are impossible to receive outside of daily prayer. Prayer is not an obligation, but a way of enjoying God’s company and opening one’s heart to Him. You can’t hide anything from God, He sees clearly everything in the deepest recesses of our soul, so it’s important to be open with the Holy Spirit in the things we pray about or even desire of Him. It’s important to pray for other people, with the prayer of faith, and give them up to God’s hands. As you give prayers for others, God will bless you. (Ephesians 6:8)
The Apostle Paul is the one who wrote, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), which means, always keep communion with God throughout the day, because truly we are never alone and we must acknowledge God’s hand in every part of our life. Offer everything we have and are to God every day; let God have our burdens and stresses, and instead receive His peace and joy. Frances J. Roberts had a lot to say about prayer, that it “brings more enlightenment than books”, and that it is like the sap in a tree, that keeps vitality in the tree (Progress of Another Pilgrim - “Spiritual Dependency”). I do agree, if people lose connection with God, then there is loss of rapport and oneness, and also we can lose our peace if we do not keep our mind on God.
You don’t have to be perfect to be one with God, you just have to have a clean conscience and living a life of seeking His face. Private prayer is also a time to confess sins or offenses to the Holy Spirit, who is able to forgive and restore fellowship. We must not allow the ego to decide if we have sin or not, but let the Holy Spirit search us to find if there is anything blocking the way, and He will let us know (Psalm 139:23). People have to remember that obedience is still the only thing God requires of us, and it’s impossible to be obedient if God’s people harden their heart and refuse to confess sin. The blood of Jesus was shed to cleanse and wash away sin from our conscience, so it’s important to take advantage of God’s salvation. It is a mystery as to why God made mankind so weak in himself, but He wants us to be drawn to Him in our weakness, and the goal is to avoid self-righteousness, and to discover that only God is righteous, and so are we as we believe on His Son and follow Him.
"The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.” - Proverbs 15:29
“Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” - Isaiah 56:7
“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” - Matthew 21:22
“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving” - Colossians 4:2
“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” - James 5:15-16
There are many sayings of Jesus concerning prayers and petitions unto the Father. He said if we abide in His Word, and ask in the name of Jesus, the Father will give unto us whatever we ask (Matthew 21:22, John 15:7). If we abide in His Word and grow in spiritual things, from grace to grace, faith to faith, glory to glory, He will lead us into an increasingly abundant life (John 10:10, Romans 1:16-17). The life of Christ in our heart is an ever-increasing Kingdom, so prayer becomes a necessity for anyone who desires to make progress, also learning to offer praise and thanksgiving to God. All of these deeds will shower God’s blessings upon a believing soul, who is a child of God, which will bring refreshment to the spirit and soul of a man or woman.
It is only the Grace of God that can cause a man or woman to follow Jesus fully, and inherit the promises, as Paul wrote, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10) As Peter wrote, God’s promises make us partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), so that is another reason why prayer is important. Prayer is not a big part of the natural man, because they aren’t born again, but it is a great force for the spiritual man in walking under grace and faith.
Prayer should not be a burdensome duty or a religious ritual, but an ongoing fellowship with the Father and Son and the Holy Spirit, knowing that each of us is the apple of His eye (Psalm 17:8, Zechariah 2:8). The Lord will pour out His love upon those who pour out themselves to Him! (See Psalm 37:4-5) As long as people entertain the cares of this life and get distracted by the vain things of the world, they will miss being in the CENTER of God’s will, which has far better rewards. Even if we do recreational things, or go out to eat with friends, God wants people to enjoy His Presence everywhere they go, and to give thanks to His name for all good things.
Eating and Drinking
There are many things to say about eating and drinking, and there are many legalists who still do not understand the liberty that Christians have in this area of life. It is the Apostle Paul who covers many of these topics in Romans 14, and also 1 Corinthians 8, that Christians are a free people who are not under law when it comes to eating and drinking. Solomon wrote, “And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.” (Ecclesiastes 3:13) The truth is, what Jesus said is the truth, that “It’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, that defiles a man” (Matthew 15:11, vs 17-19).
Nothing that goes into the mouth of a man or woman can cause them to lose their righteous standing before God, whether it be wise to eat or drink doesn’t matter; it may be good or foolish, but it won’t cause them to lose their place in God one bit. There are many Christians who still think alcohol is not good, when in fact the Bible says it is an okay thing if people practice moderation.
If people use moderation and have the Holy Spirit in their heart, then they will not be brought to destruction, as Paul also wrote (1 Corinthians 6:12). Jesus served wine as His first miracle in Cana to a wedding crowd who had already been drinking wine (John 2:10), and He was even called a “wine bibber” by the religionists, but why would it be wrong for Jesus to drink? (Matthew 11:19) He is without sin, it was not possible for Him to yield to sin because He is the Lord.
Food and drink can also figuratively mean things we partake of in life, such as movies, television, books, games, music; basically the content that we engage and find enjoyment in can be the same as food and drink. Paul says, as long as people have pure hearts and a good conscience, most things are acceptable to that person’s conscience (Titus 1:15).
But if someone thinks otherwise, then they also have to be respected for using restraint or wisdom if it defiles their conscience or makes them feel uncomfortable or weak. It is unwise to eat and drink poisonous things on purpose, and for some people who have less faith or a different belief, some of these are esteemed to be of the evil sort. Nobody should be pressured to eat and drink anything, because that is not love (Romans 14:15).
The only true spiritual food and drink is the Gospel and doctrine of Jesus Christ, and to minister in the things of God, people must be sent by God. Paul wrote in Romans 14:20, that “all things are indeed pure” but if people think something is evil, then they must be respected. If people do not gain the knowledge of God, then they will be weaker in faith and their enjoyment of life. Paul wrote, “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.” (1 Timothy 5:23) In other words, wine can represent a means of earthly enjoyment and relaxation. God doesn’t want us to focus on spiritual things only with no rest; there must be rest and recreation for people who serve God, otherwise our heart can be overwhelmed.
“And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household.” - Deuteronomy 14:26
“And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.” - Psalm 104:15
“Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.” - Ecclesiastes 9:7
“Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” - Matthew 15:11
“For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” - Romans 14:20-23
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” - Romans 14:17
So there are many more Scriptures than these, but I think these are sufficient to witness to the truth of a Christian’s liberty when it comes to eating and drinking. Paul even goes as far as to say, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (1 Corinthians 6:12) Paul is saying the Holy Spirit dwelling in us does not allow us to be out of order, and even if we stumble, He brings us back into the center of God’s will.
In the flesh, it is easy for some to get addicted to certain pleasures, but people must rely on the anointing of the Holy Spirit to keep them free from bondage. We must also remember that Israel was allowed to drink alcohol and strong drink, and rejoice before God’s Presence. (See Deuteronomy 14:26) It was part of a celebration to eat and drink, and even in the time of the Law, God blessed them in such things. A modern alcoholic is one who is dependent on alcohol, but for those who worship God, it is not possible for God to forsake us to such things as addiction; He is our victory over the world through faith (see 1 John 5:4-5).
It’s important to keep these Scriptures in the heart and soul by the Holy Ghost if people desire to prosper and reign in life. A soul or mind that is bound by legalism cannot fly high above like an eagle. Those who wait upon God every day will eventually rise like eagles and let the winds of the Spirit guide them (see Isaiah 40:31). The Bible is not an invitation to sin or stumbling due to the grace doctrine, but to live the most free life by the Spirit, which is ONLY possible by knowing the truth of all things.
As long as people are contemplating about alcohol, or certain foods, or movies, then it is important to walk in wisdom and moderation. There is much to learn still about grace; but it is true that some enjoyments are for adults and not necessarily for children, even according to their growth in Christ. If people abuse things, or live an unhealthy and excessive life, it could bring pain and sorrow for awhile. But God can lift people out of their addictions, and people must learn to ask God for their freedom and help in staying healthy. People must be free to choose abundant life, and if they have wisdom they will be blessed to make wise and healthy decisions.
Persecution is one thing that God says could happen to godly people, but He also promises us that we will triumph in Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14). If one desires to be a disciple or follower of Jesus Christ, they have to understand it may be a sacrifice and a cost of separation to learning and prayer. The prize of God is a heavenly and upward call in Christ Jesus, and an ever-progressing life in Him (Philippians 3:14). The Lord has often said that the world will sometimes misunderstand and misinterpret God’s movings in His children, because they are delivered from the outward law and are a free people by the Grace of Christ. In history, there have been men rise up against the prophets of God, or His kings, and start divisions and lies against the righteous. It is also possible to walk in wisdom and have great peace if people are dedicated to humility and spiritual growth. (Psalm 4:8, Proverbs 1:33)
The Apostles of Christ faced a lot of persecution at various times, because they were part of a new doctrine of grace, and it was counter to the Jews who were killing and imprisoning Christians for what they thought was a dissent from the ways of the Law of Moses. The good news is, these are the days of restoration fore-told by God, so it is no longer a time to let persecution bother us, as we have full joy and perfect peace in the mind of Christ.
These are the days of full blessings in the Gospel, and a time to make others jealous who need God. Those who are willing and obedient will have a far better life, reigning in life, and having life abundant. (See John 10:10) As the Father said, those who rise up against His Bride, could be destroyed (Psalm 89:23, Isaiah 54:15). Isaiah said, “No weapon formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that rises against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn, for this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 54:17). The Lord Jesus said, “I will give you a mouth and wisdom which none of the adversaries can resist or contradict” (Luke 21:15).
Those who do not have part in the Book of Life may misunderstand some of God’s children, but the Lord said in the book of Proverbs we can have peace with our enemies if our ways are pleasing to God (Proverbs 16:7). There are many people who want to stay neutral in this battle of good and evil, and truth and error, but this is only another way of siding with the world, and displeasing the Lord Jesus Christ, as He said, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” (Matthew 12:30)
As long as people do not gather with Christ, and acknowledge His truth as born again children, then they are not yet part of the light. The true righteous people are bold, and are not afraid, because they are SECURE in the Love of God. They care more about the truth, then they do about having a politically correct position. The only People we should seek commendation from in this generation is the Holy Spirit of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Heavenly Father. As long as people seek to please the world, which is a fallen world, then they are not yet fulfilling the true mission of God.
“Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.” - Matthew 13:21
“Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.” - 2 Timothy 3:11
“As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.” - Galatians 6:12
“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” - John 15:20
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” - Matthew 5:44
The main persecution comes in the larger movements of God, where people have the Holy Ghost manifestations and the power of God; the Lord said the heathen will always rage against the righteous, but that is when the spirit of glory rests upon the soul, as Peter wrote, “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.” (1 Peter 4:14). As God said concerning David who loved Him, “And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him.” (Psalm 89:23)
As long as people are in a love covenant with God and His Son, then you don’t have to worry about being defeated, the Lord will destroy every enemy that rises in our life, as long as His people walk uprightly by His grace and truth, as Jesus said, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19) What a promise of Jesus! Nothing shall hurt us if our names are written in heaven! Paul is the one who wrote that those who are born of the Spirit are often persecuted by those who are born after the flesh, so people have to be prepared to have a different mindset from those who are not belonging to Christ (Galatians 4:29).
Transformation by His Spirit
There are many things to say about being transformed by the Lord and His Spirit. There are many Scriptures that refer to being “transformed” into His same image (2 Corinthians 3:18, Romans 12:2). It’s an important doctrine to understand, because the way things are in the natural are not how they will remain. The Spirit of God and the Word of God both have the power to transform His people, as they behold the face of the Lord, they are changed. That is something a follower of Jesus Christ needs to always remember, is He is changing us from faith to faith, glory to glory, grace to grace, strength to strength, as long as we are pressing into His Kingdom as our first commandment and know Him as First Love. Frances J. Roberts also wrote a prophecy called “Praise Transforms” and the message shows how praise and worship is a means of transformation, if people can learn how to do it, because it is the Holy Spirit’s FAVORITE thing.
The plainest face will be made beautiful, as people learn to worship and praise the Almighty God. That is one of the beautiful truths of the Gospel of Christ, is that even if some men and women do not like their natural body or if they have a sense of ugliness, they must be aware that the sinful condition is a “vile body”, but as people are delivered from sin and glorified by the Spirit of God, they will be beautiful in the glory of God (Philippians 3:21). But the body is the last thing that the Lord changes. The first thing He wants is a new spirit and a new heart, which He gives as we are born again, as Ezekiel wrote, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26).
Paul commands the Church to not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2). It is truly a New Testament truth, because the Holy Spirit outpouring causes transformation, and that was not accessible in the Old Covenant. Also when it comes to the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His Church, Paul wrote that it will happen in the “twinkling of an eye”, which means instantaneously we shall be transformed by the power of God our Savior (1 Corinthians 15:52). The Holy Spirit is an UNLIMITED power to transform and do miracles; as long as people know and believe that, they will be blessed with the fullness of God.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” - Romans 12:1-2
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” - 2 Corinthians 3:18
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” - 1 Corinthians 15:52
“For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.” - Psalm 149:4
“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” - Philippians 3:21
“That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” - Ephesians 5:27
So here you have several Scriptures that I posted, to remind the Church that we have a great hope of transformation by His Spirit. His Holy Spirit is an unlimited power to change and perform miracles. What an awesome God we have! As long as we press into Him as our First Love, and learn to walk in an upright manner, we shall have the Holy Spirit attend to our needs. He is preparing us for the wedding of the Lamb of God, so we must be cleansed of sin and unrighteousness before we can enter to the holiest place.
As the Word says, no one who is unrighteousness will be able to inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9), but that is why Christ came and died on the Cross, was to open the way into God’s Presence, through His forgiveness and grace. There is also the chastening of the Father which will bring momentary suffering but it always is followed by His comforting balm of healing after we are delivered out of our trials (Hebrews 12:11). If people do desire this new and glorious body, they must follow the process of salvation, and take up the Cross and wait upon the Lord God every day, as Jesus said to do (Luke 9:23, Matthew 16:24). Jesus even said to “strive to enter the strait gate” (or in other words, give serious attention in seeking Him daily), which is the narrow path of life, because to have a single eye is the only way to find the path of life (Luke 13:24, Matthew 6:22).
As long as people are distracted by the earthly cares and they enjoy earthly cares above the things of God, then they will not be able to inherit the highest glory and the greatest joy of God. There are BETTER THINGS than the beggarly elements. Just learning to walk humbly under grace according to the faith of Jesus Christ and learning to let God work in us effortlessly.
God promises to give us financial help; don’t forget the “wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just” (Proverbs 13:22, Isaiah 60). Also as it says in Job, “Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart. If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles. Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver.” (Job 22:25)
If God gave Jesus Christ, His Son, as an offering for our sins, will He not give us everything else we need? (See Romans 8:32) Indeed, He will give us everything if we endure as sons and daughters of God, and we will have an amazing life if we can just endure and be transformed by believing and receiving the Gospel. God will work among us if we just use our faith (Hebrews 11:6), so it is important to not only BELIEVE His Word, but also commit to finding His best life for us.
The last thing in this chapter I’d like to discuss is speaking words of grace and truth. Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). There are many Scriptures that talk about speaking words, or uttering words, and that they must all be with grace and with saltiness (Colossians 4:6). The Apostle Paul says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29)
If we are transformed by the Holy Spirit, we must seek to only speak good words and not let ourselves be overcome by the evil communication of those around us in the world. It may be a difficult thing to do at first, but as we study the Word of God and pray always, God will transform us into holy people. It may not mean that certain words are bad, but it is the manner in which we speak that God cares about.
We must think good and just thoughts toward our neighbor, and good words must be in our hearts and mouths. “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” (Colossians 3:8) I believe Paul is referring to the fleshly anger and wrath that is common to man. As we gain spiritual fortitude and Christ-life then we will have more appropriate emotions that are the nature of Jesus Christ and God the Father. A lot of messages of Paul are commanding the death of the flesh and sinful life, and allowing God to bring us His resurrection life in the Holy Spirit.
Gifts and Offerings
One of the new realizations I have had about offerings, is how God will bless people with great joy if they learn to make all their offerings unto God alone. Paul wrote that since Christ died for us, and rose again, we ought to live for Him alone (2 Corinthians 5:15). It is true, our offerings in praise, and money, and time, need to be made with the knowledge that God rejoices in us when we do all for Him. The one-hundredfold blessing is based giving up all things into God’s keeping: our house, wife, children, brothers and sisters, our mother and father, for the sake of Christ and the Gospel (see Matthew 19:29). As long as people live for themselves, they will miss out on God’s best offering for us. If we give to the poor or to those in need, we are in truth blessing God. A gift is not a credit, but it is something that does not require being paid back.
This world is different because everything they do is based on exchange, trade, and indebtedness. The Kingdom of God is a place of free gifts, miracles, and giving praise and thanksgiving for every good thing, knowing that every good thing comes from God. As long as God’s people are thankful, they possess the seed for more of His blessings. Unthankfulness is an unfortunate condition, and it may be blocking a lot of God’s blessings from entering a person’s life.
As long as a Christian is thankful, then there is nothing preventing God from giving them more of His goodness. Another thing God delights in is when people celebrate in His Presence. He is a Jealous God, and He wants to be included in all of our good things, even eating, drinking, music, romantic love between husbands and wives; His Presence makes everything better, because those who are rewarded with His Presence are spiritually alive in Christ. As long as God’s people enjoy their joys outside of God’s Presence, they could be less satisfying. As long as God’s people live in the Spirit, they will always have the best experiences of life, to be remembered as a sweet memorial to God.
“And thou shalt offer peace offerings, and shalt eat there, and rejoice before the LORD thy God.” - Deuteronomy 27:7
“Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments.” - Psalm 119:108
“Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” - Isaiah 56:7
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” - Malachi 3:10
“The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.” - Jeremiah 33:11
It is a simple truth, to sacrifice and to offer our life and our works to God. Nobody gives unto the Lord and doesn’t receive His blessing (see 1 Corinthians 9:6-11, Malachi 3:9-10). As Paul wrote, there is fruit to our account when we offer to God (Philippians 4:17), and he also said whatever we do in word or in deed, or in eating or drinking, it should be done in the name of Jesus, and for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 3:17).
As long as His people live their life for the glory of God, and seek to do work that pleases and honors Him, then you can be sure He will approve our works. Paul wrote an important Scripture, “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:5) This Scripture of the Apostle Paul is a key to living for Jesus Christ and the glory of God, and not for the self-life. As long as people live with this mindset, then their offerings will have God’s blessing upon them, and He will reward us with amazing joy and blessings.
As Jesus said, “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.” (John 7:18) So it’s basically a way of living in which God alone gets the glory, and that He will “perform all things for us” (Psalm 57:2), as we seek His face, and learning to LOVE and GIVE generously and hilariously, and God will give the same way to us. Even dancing, singing, worshipping, are all considered offerings and sweet memorials to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ.
The Gentiles will also learn how to offer their sacrifices as a sweet incense to God’s Throne, as it is written, “For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 1:11) The love and praise we offer to God and to one another, and our work in helping and ministering to the poor, is like an incense to God’s Throne, that His work is being accomplished.
Also the love between a husband and a wife, and the love of families, can create an incense to God’s Throne. The most important thing to God is Praise; the song of melody and grace from the heart. It doesn’t matter what genre it is, as long as people make their offering to God with skill and melody. Things will be powerful in the last days, as the sons of God learn how to sing the “new song” unto God and the Lamb, as it is written, “And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.” (Psalm 40:3)
Strategies for Personal Bible Study
Anyone who is called upon by God to seek Him and be a disciple or follower of Jesus Christ, will have to spend much time studying the Scriptures. The most important Person helping to understand the Scriptures is the Holy Spirit, who is the one who inspired the Word of God given to the prophets and apostles. This is a time to ask God the Father, in the name of Jesus, for wisdom as it says in James 1:5-6.
As people pray and ask for wisdom, the Father will give liberally His wisdom and understanding just as He did to Solomon and the Apostle Paul and other prophets. So long as our pursuit is real, He will be found by us, and give us the same blessings that Solomon had in abundance. Solomon wrote in proverbs, “Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom” (Proverbs 4:7). Wisdom will cause people to know the value and weight of many things, and give them understanding in the things of God, but this chapter is about strategies that will help His people fight the battle of spiritual things.
Understanding the types and shadows of the inspired Scriptures is a very important work, because often God uses certain characters to represent spiritual things, and the Levitical offerings of Israel represent and typify different aspects of the Messiah. It is important to understand that the Bible contains many parables, dark sayings, expressions, metaphors and figures of speech; God often hides the meaning from the plain sight of the natural man, so that people have to search diligently to understand His Word and have the Holy Spirit as their Guide, as it is written, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)
Paul wrote that there are many writings in the Old Testament that are meant to teach an eternal truth about God and His righteousness, or His holiness. God had to deal with many evil people, and even among Israel, there were many who were hard-hearted people whom God wanted to destroy, but Moses helped defend them (Deuteronomy 9:19). The things written in the Law of Moses, the Psalms, the Proverbs, the Prophets; anything in the Old Testament can have types and shadows that teach a spiritual reality. The New Testament writers often referred to stories of the Old Testament, such as Noah and Lot, Balaam and Israel, Elijah and Jezebel, Cain and Abel, and Moses lifting the bronze serpent; all of these stories have deeper meanings, and it’s important to let the Holy Spirit teach the deeper truths of the Word.
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” - Romans 15:4
“Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.” - 1 Corinthians 10:6
“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” - 1 Corinthians 10:11
“For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.” - Hebrews 10:1
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” - Colossians 2:16-17
One of the most important types and shadows that is important to understand is that of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, which three men represent the holy trinity. Abraham represents the Father, Isaac represents the Son, and Jacob represents the Holy Spirit, which is why in Genesis 18:1 the LORD visits Abraham in the form of three men, or in reality, three heavenly men who came down to speak with Abraham and Sarah before they conceived Isaac.
My point is everything in the Old Testament represents something spiritual, to teach people the ways and nature of God, and there is an endless amount of hidden meaning in the Scriptures. The flood of Noah represents baptism, and Noah represents the new creation, and the new man; the rainbow represents God’s everlasting covenant of grace with mankind. Abraham represents faith, and Sarah his wife represent Grace, and their heir, Isaac, is a type and figure of Jesus Christ who was offered on the Cross.
Jacob also represents the new man, elect of Grace (not merit) who supplanted the old man, which is represented by his twin brother Esau, who took lightly his birthright. The Babylonic captivity is something mentioned a lot, which took place in around 600 B.C. God led the Jews into Babylon to suffer for 70 years, and Babylon always represents the depravity of false religion, even a strange counterfeit to the true worship of God, trying to reach heaven through their own works. David represents Christ in battle and subduing His enemies, while Solomon represents the peace of the 1000 year reign of Christ, having a full measure of wisdom and blessing. Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers, represents the Branch of the Lord, the fruitful Bough, who was exalted to feed the world during a famine, and to bring temporal salvation to all the people, including his brothers. Christ, being the Vine, is the Source of life and wisdom for the Branch, which are those of the Bride of Christ, or New Jerusalem. (John 15, Psalm 80:15)
Jesus said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.” (Luke 12:42-44) Between Noah, and Joseph, and Solomon, and Daniel; these are a few men of God who were rulers over world powers, but men like these were promoted into such positions by God. Same with the Lord Jesus Christ, reigning in Zion, will be promoted into being the Head of world powers in the time of the Millennium, which is why Jesus spoke of the blessing of those who watch at the gates of Wisdom and learning sound doctrine (Proverbs 8:34, Titus 1:9).
Jesus said concerning the last days, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” (Luke 21:36) There is an eternal weight of glory for the Bride of Christ, and when the assembly of the Bride reads the Scriptures, it is good to pray for spiritual understanding and revelations of the Holy Spirit, for such things will give her abundant life and joy in God.
Overcoming Lust Leading to Sin and Death?
One of the things written in the epistle of James is the definition of sin. A lot of people, if they want to do battle against sin, they have to know what exactly sin is. According to James 1:15, sin is only conceived by lust and enticement, and once sin is finished, it brings forth death. Another Scripture that defines sin is 1 John 3:4, which says “Sin is the transgression of the law”. So it is important to understand that before sin occurs, or temptations are yielded to, there is lust, or enticement of something forbidden.
It is best to strike at the source of the problem, which is the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the heart. A lot of people talk about “indwelling sin” but many do not understand how it is overcome. It is by the Cross of Christ destroying the belly and the lust of the flesh, and growing into the spiritual nature of Christ Jesus, and living by the mind of the Spirit, which is the mind of Christ. As long as God’s people enter into a covenant with Jesus Christ, and give the Holy Spirit consent to work perfection in them, they will be perfected, as the Psalmist wrote, “The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me” (Psalm 138:8).
Romans 7 is the Scripture chapter that talks about the nature of sin, how that before we knew the Law, the principle of sin was dead (Romans 7:8). Now that we know the Law of God, the principal of sin is active and must be purged out of our vessel. Paul wrote that our mind with Christ is to do good, but with the flesh, we naturally do evil, due to our fallen nature inherited from Adam and Eve. So basically, as long as a human doesn’t have control of his vessel by the power of the Spirit, then he will yield to sin by nature, even if he desires to do good. The more of God’s work is accomplished in our heart, the better we will be at not yielding to sin, or lust, or foolishness. Although each person’s conscience has a different level of the knowledge of good and bad, based on how much studying and growth in wisdom we have.
The true nature of a redeemed and holy man or woman, is love, kindness, meekness, faith, and other fruits of the Spirit. As long as the Spirit is filling the believer and the nature of Christ is being formed, they will be perfected by God’s grace. As long as our souls are fixed on God until the end and we keep the vision of His exceedingly great reward, we will be blessed, and will overcome all things by the faith of Jesus Christ in us (1 John 5:4-5).
So the key word is “yielding”; what are we yielding to every day as a habit? As long as we have no power to yield to God and His righteousness, then we need to press into the Kingdom until we find the power to yield to Him. Fasting is a discipline of abstinence from good things, in order to find God’s blessings, revelations and spiritual growth. God wants His people to fast from the cares of this world, in order to find the Kingdom and its perfect joy and peace. There is a great reward for obedience to the Gospel, and there is wealth beyond our fondest dreams, and it is worth denying our own self to find it!
“But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” - Romans 7:8-12
“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” - Romans 7:14-25
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” - Romans 8:1-2
“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? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” - Romans 6:16-18
These are a few Scriptures that discuss the inability of the carnal nature or the sinful body, to fulfill the demands of God’s Law, which is why Christ was sent as a sacrifice for us to believe in, and also why the Holy Spirit was sent to give us new resurrection life from the dead. Paul, in Romans 7, is speaking of the futility of the lust of the flesh, and that it would not permit him to fulfill the demands of righteousness in his own flesh and self-life, but it would require God’s grace and the righteousness that comes from the Spirit of God.
As long as the Holy Spirit is motivating the child of God, then they will have power to yield themselves to righteousness, and be free of sin, and a servant of righteousness. As long as people have been crucified with Christ, their flesh is no longer in control of their life, and they are free to follow the Spirit, wherein is freedom and no condemnation. It is impossible for the child of God to be justified by the Law, but only by the grace and faith of Jesus Christ in their heart. (Romans 3:24-26, Titus 3:7)
As Paul wrote in many of his epistles, the righteousness and holiness that we have is Christ Himself dwelling in our hearts, and as we abide in Christ, we will bear much fruit for the Father’s Kingdom. (John 15) As we abide in the love of Christ, and keep His commandments, we will have whatever we ask in faith, and we can be used by God in the Kingdom. The ultimate truth and seal of overcoming sin is having a Holy Spirit led control of oneself, just as Jesus had, in which it was not possible for Him to yield to sin. Likewise, our new nature in Christ cannot sin, but our fleshly members, lusts, and our self-life need to be mortified before we are a vessel of usefulness. (1 John 3:9, 2 Timothy 2:21)
As James wrote, sin occurs when we yield our vessel to disobedience to God. Not necessarily disobedience to His law, for we are not under law, but to His Spirit and His faith and Gospel, which these rise above the law. To follow the written code of commands requires no faith; many Pharisees did that and Jesus said they were still evil. But the Spirit of the Lord is life and righteousness and peace, and as long as the Spirit is reigning in us, then we are justified thereby, in faith and the grace of Jesus Christ.
Waiting Upon God unto Fruitfulness
As God’s people learn to WAIT upon Him daily, they will be shown many amazing things. It is a work of separation and consecration of God’s remnant people. As long as people are constantly busy and focused on the cares of this life, they won’t find the fullness of God, which is the enjoyment of heavenly romance between the Saints who possess the life of Christ. It is the goodness of God that will lead the nations and the Jews to repentance, and in the case of men, the most precious gift is the love and attention of a virtuous woman. That is what man’s goal is on earth, is to find true love. No man is “looking” for Christ, it is Christ who is looking for us, and He uses our weaknesses to bring us to repentance and the acknowledgement of the eternal Godhead.
Without God and Christ, there is no real absolute truth. Men seek for money and pleasure, and all of these things are given to Christ’s disciples as they take up the Cross and follow Him till the end. That is why the Apostle Peter said it is the loveliness of the wives in the Body of Christ who will draw men unto repentance and salvation (1 Peter 3:1-4). Not just any wives, but the modest and chaste wives in the Body of Christ, who have true beauty, holiness, and a meek and lowly heart as Christ has. The only way to attain this is through the ministry of Christ and seeking His face
A redeemed man or woman might not be interested in worldly people, or in other words, those who do not have the nature of Christ or the development in the life of Christ. The Grace and maturity in Jesus Christ will make people more beautiful with the fruit of the Spirit, and in their redemption, than anything attained in the old creation. Even though the natural life is called “very good” in the beginning by God, it is still imperfect without the work of Christ’s atonement and Priesthood, and the corruption of mortality is swallowed up by the life of God. (1 Corinthians 15:54)
As we wait upon the Lord, each of us may have different experiences, but there is an ultimate END to those who follow Christ, as it is written, “For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.” (Proverbs 23:18) It is a life of eternal and upward progress in heavenly joys and experiences. As long as God’s people are idle, then they have missed the point of the eternal purpose. An idle soul will suffer hunger, says the Word, and it’s because they aren’t committed to the Gospel yet (Proverbs 19:15).
The only way there is an eternal purpose, is if there is a walking forward in progress and the knowledge of God and through His Wisdom. As Isaiah wrote, “Those who wait upon the Lord, will renew their strength and rise up with eagles wings…” (Isaiah 40:31). As David also wrote, “God satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.” (see Psalm 103:5). This will cause us to live abundantly in union to Christ throughout eternity.
As Paul wrote as a New Covenant truth, that every man will have his own wife; someone God has joined together by His hand (1 Corinthians 7:2). As long as God’s remnant people repent of their folly and follow Jesus fully, and seek to obey His voice and understand His Word, they will walk on a path of growing light unto the perfect day (Proverbs 4:18). As the Psalmist wrote, “No good thing will God withhold from those who walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11) There is much goodness that God has for His Bride, who will be called His remnant Church, and His elect people of Grace. (Romans 9:11-13)
There is great hope for His people in this generation, such as we have never known, as Jeremiah wrote concerning the City of Zion, “And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.” Also Jeremiah said, “And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.” (Jeremiah 30:19)
These are great promises to remember in the book of Jeremiah, that God will multiply His people through His covenant, and God will pour out His Spirit upon our seed and also our seed’s seed, forever and ever. God has reversed the curse of sin that was in Adam and Eve, and has brought forth a blessing in Christ. As it is written in the Bible, God will multiply His people, and sin will no longer be among the children of God as they grow into the full stature of Christ in spirit, soul and body. (Jeremiah 50:20)
“As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.” - Isaiah 59:21
“For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses. One shall say, I am the LORD'S; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel.” - Isaiah 44:3-5
“Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.” - Deuteronomy 28:4
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:23
As people wait upon God, they must also rejoice in Him always. He is an omnipresent God; there is not a single place in creation that He does not see with His eyes, and there is not a single human heart and mind that He does not read perfectly well. There is no need to hide any thought from God, because He knows our thoughts, as David wrote, “Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.” (Psalm 139:2) We are never lost after we are born of God, because we are always aware of His Presence. Even when people suffer, they know He is present.
Eternal Life is always to be lived in the present moment. Eternal is who God is and it is always in the Present moment that He lives with us, so it’s important to put our hope in Christ to lead us moment by moment, keeping our mind on Jehovah God, who is our loving and doting Father, and seek to please Him in our daily walk. Holiness is not about wearing long robes or being a good person in ourselves, but about allowing the Holy Spirit to reign in our vessel.
Holiness is not an outward form or appearance, it is not a feeling or a pretentious state of mind, but as Frances J. Roberts wrote, it is a lowly and obedient heart (Come Away My Beloved - “Cherish My Words” ). It is Christ Himself who makes us holy, so long as we choose to be doers of the Father’s will. (Matthew 7:21). Frances J. Roberts gives a great definition of holiness, when the Lord says, “holiness is a tender heart, and a sensitive and attentive spirit” (Come Away My Beloved - “Sincerity”). These are things that prove we are holy and have spiritual vitality.
There is much to be said about the city of the New Jerusalem. The Holy Bible does not declare where the city will be located, nor does it say where the Saints will be gathered in the last days. We know the city is a heavenly city, but that doesn’t mean it is the current heavenly city, because according to Paul, Sarah is the figure of the heavenly Jerusalem (Galatians 4:26), whereas the New Jerusalem is the wife of the Lamb of God. I would say that the redemption of Zion is also the city of New Jerusalem.
This was also fore-told in the Bible, in the book of Isaiah, but it was not spoken plainly; Isaiah basically said the land that is “far off” will be the land of the Lord (Isaiah 33:17). So in the Bible, it fore-tells that America is the land that God will use to gather His Saints, and Jesus even told the Jews that God will give the Kingdom of God to another nation, who is bearing the fruits of it (Matthew 21:43). To sanctify a land as HEAVENLY, then you have to practice the faith of Jesus Christ fully and the spiritual life that is in Him alone.
Jesus told the Jews that many will come from east, west, north, and south, and enter the Kingdom, but some of the sons of the Kingdom will be cast out (Luke 13:28-30), meaning, it will occur on earth in the sight of everyone. People have to realize, the new heaven and new earth will have all sorts of fun and enjoyable things. People who have been to heaven have reported that there are cities, country sides, water parks, mountains, amusement parks, arts and people learning new things. Whatever earth currently has for enjoyment that is good and healthy, will dwell in heaven also. Heaven I’ve been told is a place of joy as the natural climate, and relationships, and family. Whether people inherit land on earth, or in heaven, there will be joy, family, loving relationships, and joy unspeakable and full of glory. (1 Peter 1:8)
“Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.” - Isaiah 33:17
“In that time shall the present be brought unto the LORD of hosts of a people scattered and peeled, and from a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of the LORD of hosts, the mount Zion.” - Isaiah 18:7
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” - Revelation 21:2
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” - Revelation 21:4
“And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” - Revelation 21:24-27
“Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” - Matthew 21:43
So here are many Scripture verses to ponder about the fact that God is giving a spiritual and organized Kingdom and gathering of Saints unto the people of God scattered among the Gentiles, in order to make the Jews, which are His covenant people (Isaiah 50:1), and other nations jealous for the Kingdom and its riches. The New Jerusalem is essentially the Bride-City, but in order to have power, they must also have stakes of land to purchase.
It’s important that people do things as God commands, because this will be a City of refuge for those who need the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who is the God of all grace and comfort. (1 Peter 5:10, 2 Corinthians 1:3) This city will not be a religious city or one that practices denominational Christianity, but a FREE people who serve Jesus Christ in the earth. The city will welcome those who are kings and princes, and the glory and honor of the nations of those who are saved will be welcome into it. (Revelation 21:24)
There have been some narrow views in Christianity, and people with that kind of bigotry will not be living inside the New Jerusalem. It’s also important to know that unrighteous lifestyles will not be written in the city, only those who are found in the Book of life and the book of remembrance, those who love God and keep His teachings in their heart, and who pondered His ways as born again children. (Malachi 3:16).
Any discovery of man, or any accomplishment worthy of the big wheel of eternity, will be welcome in the New Jerusalem, because the Creator God has a claim on all good things, and His city is a city of truth. Everywhere the Saints go in the earth is given to them, but the redeemed land of Zion will be a special place of God’s blessing and grace, and it is a Kingdom that has no end. (Isaiah 9:7)
List of Amazing Christian Books and Authors
This is a list of authors and books that have profited me in the Christian faith very much over the years. A lot of Christian books have common messages of Gospel truth, but these authors all have unique and necessary messages for the Church of Jesus Christ, the Remnant people of God.
— Frances J. Roberts has five books of prophetic words. They are: 1. Come Away My Beloved, 2. Make Haste My Beloved, 3. On the Highroad to Surrender, 4. Progress of Another Pilgrim 5. Dialogues with God. I recommend having all five of these books in your library, because they are powerful messages filled with the Spirit and wisdom and prophecy.
— Mike Murdock has hundreds of books of the Wisdom and anointed teachings of God. His Church is called “The Wisdom Center”, and I have profited a lot from his ministry. He is a lover of God’s Wisdom and has a lot of anointed books at his store, and a lot of good music too. I can safely recommend his books because I’ve read many of them and they all blessed me. www.thewisdomcenter.tv
— Smith Wigglesworth has many good books. Smith was a Pentecostal prophet of God who had a great power of the Spirit to do miracles. I recommend all of his books, or as many as you can find, because they will amaze you at some of the “greater works” that were done through his ministry. Not many people had the gift of healing like Smith; thousands were healed by the power of God that was in him. His understanding of Grace and the Holy Spirit will greatly bless people.
— Rosalie Willis Storment has many good books. I recommend her books, as she is one of the few modern people who has as good of prophecies as Frances J. Roberts, and Frances even put a forward in one of her books. Her books “Walking on with Jesus” and also “Walking with Jesus” are some of the most powerful books I’ve ever read, and they are precious words of grace and truth that the Children of God need.
— Watchman Nee is one of the most profound Christian teachers of Gospel truth, and his books will greatly profit any hungry Christian. Those who have the Spirit in them will profit from his books and I recommend as many as you can find. His books, in essence, have a great teaching of Jesus Christ and the Gospel of Grace.
— Andrew Murray has many classic Christian writings and they really give a good explanation of the need to empty oneself and be filled with the Spirit. He teaches to abide in Christ and I recommend Andrew Murray books in increasing your spiritual life and understanding.
— Joseph Prince is a great preacher of the Gospel of Grace. He really understands many mysteries of God as revealed by the Holy Ghost. I can gladly recommend his book “Destined to Reign” and others of his, because he really knows that Grace and Faith are the effortless way to success.
— Grace and Glory Bible College - Mary Bodie and A.S. Copley both have incredible teachings on the types and shadows in the Bible. They have profited my faith in Christ greatly over the years, giving spiritual substance and spiritual understanding to the written Word. www.gracegod.net