Monday, September 27, 2010

What Fruit Do You Produce?

What is fruit? Fruit is the finished product of the nature of some thing. In nature, fruit is the product of a particular plant growth. The word “fruit” is also used to refer to “the effect or consequence of an action or operation.” The fruit of something will always be determined by the nature of that thing. You can not have fruit contrary to nature. God has established laws which regulate and dictate the effect or consequence of every action or operation.

If you plant bean seeds can you produce corn? Can you force the bean seeds to produce corn? Has our great scientists ever been able to change the controlling nature of a bean seed to force it to produce corn? Man can manipulate certain minor characteristics and produce hybrids and grafted fruit, but they will never make a change in the nature of something.

God alone has the power to change the nature of a thing.
Only God can take clay and make the living flesh of a man.
Only God can make a donkey talk.
Only God can make an iron axe head float on water.
Only God can raise the dead back to life.
Only God can enable a man to walk on water.
There is only one God and He is the Creator who can change the laws of nature.
Salvation is all about changing your nature.

John 3:5-7
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Why did Jesus say “Ye must be born again”? Because you need to born of a different seed.
You need to born of the seed of God which is the Word of God.
You need to born of the Spirit of God.
You need your nature changed.

2 Peter 1:1-4
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

If you have not had your nature changed you will continue to produce the same fruit as you have from the beginning.

THE FRUIT OF GOOD AND EVIL TREES
Matthew 7:15-21
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

A false prophet may look like a sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Their nature is revealed in their inward heart condition. Because they are false prophets and not true prophets of God, they are proud and corrupt in their hearts.

John 15:1-8
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

THE FRUIT OF SIN
James 1:15-16
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

The finished product of sin is spiritual death. The nature of sin begins with the seed of an evil temptation. The power and strength of this temptation may affect the emotions and thoughts. It may influence certain outward actions by hindering thoughts or compelling enticements. When the power of a sinful temptation produces a conscious desire to disobey God’s word, sin is finished. It has produced the fruit of sin and death to the soul.


FRUIT OF THE WORD
Colossians 1:1-8
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,
2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Galatians 5:22-26
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Are you producing the fruit of the Holy Spirit?
If you possess the Holy Spirit in your heart, you will not be void of any of the characteristics of the nature of the Holy Spirit. Do you manifest the characteristics of the fruit of the Holy Spirit? The fruit of the Holy Spirit looks like this: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.

There are many people who are professing to have the Holy Spirit dwelling in their hearts and they are not manifesting the fruit of His nature. Instead, they have vain glory, not the glory of God. They provoke one another in a negative way and not with good works. They envy one another and disrespect one another.

Jude 11-12
11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain [envy], and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward [love of money], and perished in the gainsaying of Core [disrespect].
12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

Do you have envy, covetousness or disrespect working in your heart? Has Salvation changed your nature? Are you the same “old man” with a religious robe?

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

True or False

Satan uses disappointments and disagreements to produce disrespect and division. Multiple occurrences of these disappointments and disagreements strengthen their influence to damage a relationship. And then, Satan will bring two disappointed people together in agreement against the offender. Two are always stronger than one. Two people who agree in their testimony give the appearance of scriptural validity; because God has said that no man can be condemned to death except by two or three witnesses. These two can influence a group to lead them in a mutual condemnation of the alleged offender, regardless of his true innocence. If one or more ministers participate in agreement with the false charges the effect of the charges increase in power exponentially. In conclusion, folks arrive at an unjust judgment. False witnesses cause division in the body. Satan has triumphed over individuals and stolen their righteousness.

Sadly, I have witnessed congregants falsely accuse other members and ministers give their approval. I have also witnessed ministers pass unjust judgment against another minister, while other ministers withdraw themselves from the proceedings in fear of being put under a negative suspicion.

In most of Satan’s works, he will mix a little truth with a falsehood. He is a deceiver and a liar. Statements that describe a fault may be true. Those statements which are false accusations are false. None can hide his faults behind the false accusations. However, the false accusations do not elevate a fault to the level of sin. When truth and falsehoods are mixed together, you have poison in the pot.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Flesh and The Spirit

In the church of God we do not force you to obey the commandments of God. We teach that you have the privilege of voluntarily obeying God or you can choose to do whatever you want to do. This very privilege and opportunity to choose the way you will live and what you will do is also an opportunity for you to disobey and follow the will of your flesh.

Your life is a proving time to see if you will submit to the will of the flesh or the will of the Holy Spirit. We are not lords over your faith. You have the liberty and freedom to choose and you will be justified or condemned according to your choice.

Obey the flesh and be condemned to eternal punishment. Or, obey the Holy Spirit and live forever with the Lord Jesus Christ in Paradise.

The most important question to be asked and to be answered: Are you walking after the flesh or the Spirit?

Matthew 26:41
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

It is not enough; it is not sufficient; to want to serve God and walk after the Spirit, you must say no to the flesh and yes to the will of God. If you willfully disobey and do not keep the commandments of Christ then you do not love Him and you are not a child of God.

The Spirit is willing. Many people want to serve God but they do not want to strong enough to crucify the flesh and consecrate themselves to do the will of God. Their will to do what their flesh wants to do is stronger than their will to live holy.

John 6:63
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

The power of the Holy Spirit is the only source of life. The power of the flesh is death. Live after the flesh and you will die twice. Obey the Spirit and you will only die once.

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

If you listen to the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ and walk after the Spirit, you will not come under condemnation. You will come under accusations. Satan will accuse you. Your relatives and friends may accuse you. But God will not condemn you if you obey Him and keep the commandments of Christ.

If you give in to the desires and will of the flesh, be very sure you will be condemned.

Romans 8:5
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

What does it mean to “mind the things of the flesh?” Your human body and your human nature have desires. You like pleasant things. You like things that satisfy your senses. You like things that satisfy your internal personality. You like compliments, approval, acceptance. You like praise, success and physical comforts. You like the things which money can buy and provide for the pleasantries of life.
All these things are a snare. They are not sinful or wicked, but they can draw your heart away from God and entice you to seek those things instead of seeking after the perfect will of God which will certainly lead you to say not to the desires of the flesh.

Romans 8:13
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

You must “mortify the deeds of the body” to live for Jesus Christ. This is when you become your worst enemy. Your desires will sometimes be contrary to God’s desires for your life. When the Spirit tells you to say no to flesh and you override the Holy Spirit and give in to the flesh you become guilty of disobedience.

You will either crucify your flesh or you will crucify Christ. Hebrews 6:6 “If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Galatians 5:15-26
15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Paul gives a very clear contrast to the choice which is set before each of us. Either we will do the works of the flesh or we will do the works of the Spirit. You can’t do both at the same time. You will do one or the other. There is no neutral ground. There are only two choices. You have made one or the other. As long as you are in this world, you can change choices. However, you can only change choices when the Holy Spirit speaks to you and gives you that opportunity.

What choice have you made?

Joshua 24:14-15
14 Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.
15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Who is Jesus of Nazareth?

Who is Jesus of Nazareth? Who is this man? What did He do to bring so much attention to who He is?

Matthew 3:13-17
13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Matthew 17:1-9
1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.
8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.
9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

Josephus (37 – 100 AD/CE), also known as Yosef Ben Matityahu (Joseph son of Matthias) and Titus Flavius Josephus, was a renowned first-century Jewish historian. His writings are considered authoritative and provide an important historical and cultural background for the era described in the New Testament. Josephus was a contemporary of the birth of early Christianity. Books 18 to 20 of the Antiquities are the most important in this regard.

The following passage appears in the Greek version of Antiquities of the Jews book 18divisions 63-64

”Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
The first person to cite this passage of Antiquities was Eusebius, writing in about 324. In his Demonstratio Evangelica, he quotes the above passage.

1 Corinthians 15:3-9
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Question: "Did Jesus really exist? Is there any historical evidence of Jesus Christ?"

Answer: Typically, when this question is asked, the person asking qualifies the question with “outside of the Bible.” We do not grant this idea that the Bible cannot be considered a source of evidence for the existence of Jesus. The New Testament contains hundreds of references to Jesus Christ. There are those who date the writing of the Gospels to the second century A.D., more than 100 years after Jesus' death. Even if this were the case (which we strongly dispute), in terms of ancient evidences, writings less than 200 years after events took place are considered very reliable evidences. Further, the vast majority of scholars (Christian and non-Christian) will grant that the Epistles of Paul (at least some of them) were in fact written by Paul in the middle of the first century A.D., less than 40 years after Jesus' death. In terms of ancient manuscript evidence, this is extraordinarily strong proof of the existence of a man named Jesus in Israel in the early first century A.D.

It is wise to consider the weight of ancient historians who have written about this man Jesus the Christ and the Savior of the whole world. It is foolish and certainly un-scientific to refuse to acknowledge the preponderance of evidence that this man Jesus lived and was widely reported to be accepted as the Messiah of the Jews.

The first-century Roman Cornelius Tacitus (55-120 a.d.), who is considered one of the more accurate historians of the ancient world, mentioned superstitious “Christians” (from Christus, which is Latin for Christ), who suffered under Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius. Suetonius, chief secretary to Emperor Hadrian, wrote that there was a man named Chrestus (or Christ) who lived during the first century (Annals 15.44). An excerpt of his writings are stated thusly:

“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.”

Pliny the Younger, [(61 AD – ca. 112 AD) was a lawyer, author, and magistrate of Ancient Rome] in Letters 10:96, recorded early Christian worship practices including the fact that Christians worshiped Jesus as God and were very ethical, and he includes a reference to the love feast and Lord’s Supper.

"[The Christians] were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food--but food of an ordinary and innocent kind." Pliny added that Christianity attracted persons of all societal ranks, all ages, both sexes, and from both the city and the country. Late in his letter to Emperor Trajan, Pliny refers to the teachings of Jesus and his followers as excessive and contagious superstition.”

Julius Africanus [(c.160-c.240) was a celebrated orator in the reign of Nero and seems to have been the son of the Julius Africanus, of the Gallic state of the Santoni] quotes the historian Thallus in a discussion of the darkness which followed the crucifixion of Christ (Extant Writings, 18). "Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains away the darkness as an eclipse of the sun--unreasonably, as it seems to me." A solar eclipse could not take place during a full moon, as was the case during Passover season.

The Babylonian Talmud, a central text of mainstream Judaism, in the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history, (Sanhedrin 43a) confirms Jesus' crucifixion on the eve of Passover and the accusations against Christ of practicing sorcery and encouraging Jewish apostasy.

Lucian of Samosata [(c. A.D. 125 – after A.D. 180) was an Assyrian rhetorician and satirist who wrote in the Greek language ] was a second-century Greek writer who admits that Jesus was worshiped by Christians, introduced new teachings, and was crucified for them. He said that Jesus' teachings included the brotherhood of believers, the importance of conversion, and the importance of denying other gods. Christians lived according to Jesus’ laws, believed themselves to be immortal, and were characterized by contempt for death, voluntary self-devotion, and renunciation of material goods. An excerpt of his writings follows:

"The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day--the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. ... You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property." Lucian also reported that the Christians had "sacred writings" which were frequently read. When something affected them, "they spare no trouble, no expense."

Mara Bar-Serapion [a Stoic philosopher from ancient Syria, is the author of the Letter of Mara bar Serapion, notable for its containing what is believed by some to be one of the earliest non-Jewish, non-Christian references to a historical Jesus. The letter, the text of which is preserved in a 6th or 7th century AD manuscript (BL Add. 14658) maintained by the British Library and first edited in the 19th century by William Cureton, has been dated from the late 1st to the late 3rd century AD] confirms that Jesus was thought to be a wise and virtuous man, was considered by many to be the king of Israel, was put to death by the Jews, and lived on in the teachings of His followers. Mara Bar-Serapion writing between 70 and 200 AD from prison to motivate his son to emulate wise teachers of the past penned these words:

"What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as a judgment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burying Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise king? It was just after that that their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea; the Jews, ruined and driven from their land, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates did not die for good; he lived on in the teaching of Plato. Pythagoras did not die for good; he lived on in the statue of Hera. Nor did the wise king die for good; he lived on in the teaching which he had given."

Clement, elder of Rome, letter to the Corinthian church (95 AD):

"The Apostles received the Gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ was sent forth from God. So then Christ is from God, and the Apostles are from Christ. Both therefore came of the will of God in the appointed order. Having therefore received a charge, and having been fully assured through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and confirmed in the word of God with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth with the glad tidings that the kingdom of God should come. So preaching everywhere in country and town, they appointed their firstfruits, when they had proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons unto them that should believe."

Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, letter to the Trallians (110-115 AD):

"Jesus Christ who was of the race of David, who was the Son of Mary, who was truly born and ate and drank, was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate, was truly crucified and died in the sight of those in heaven and on earth and those under the earth; who moreover was truly raised from the dead, His Father having raised Him, who in the like fashion will so raise us also who believe on Him."

Ignatius, letter to the Smyrneans (110-115 AD):

"He is truly of the race of David according to the flesh, but Son of God by the Divine will and power, truly born of a virgin and baptised by John that all righteousness might be fulfilled by Him, truly nailed up in the flesh for our sakes under Pontius Pilate and Herod the tetrarch (of which fruit are we--that is, of his most blessed passion); that He might set up an ensign unto all ages through His resurrection."

"For I know and believe that He was in the flesh even after the resurrection; and when He came to Peter and his company, He said to them, 'Lay hold and handle me, and see that I am not a demon without body.' And straightway they touched him, and they believed, being joined unto His flesh and His blood. Wherefore also they despised death, nay they were found superior to death. And after His resurrection He ate with them and drank with them."

Ignatius, letter to the Magnesians (110-115 AD):

"Be ye fully persuaded concerning the birth and the passion and the resurrection, which took place in the time of the governorship of Pontius Pilate; for these things were truly and certainly done by Jesus Christ our hope."

Quadratus, to Emperor Hadrian about 125 AD:

"The deeds of our Saviour were always before you, for they were true miracles; those that were healed, those that were raised from the dead, who were seen, not only when healed and when raised, but were always present. They remained living a long time, not only whilst our Lord was on earth, but likewise when He had left the earth. So that some of them have also lived to our own times."

(Pseudo-)Barnabas, written 130-138 AD:

"He must needs be manifested in the flesh. ... He preached teaching Israel and performing so many wonders and miracles, and He loved them exceedingly. ... He chose His own apostles who were to proclaim His Gospel. ... But He Himself desired so to suffer; for it was necessary for Him to suffer on a tree."

Justin Martyr, to Emperor Antoninus Pius about 150 AD:

After referring to Jesus's birth of a virgin in the town of Bethlehem, and that His physical line of descent came through the tribe of Judah and the family of Jesse, Justin wrote, "Now there is a village in the land of the Jews, thirty-five stadia from Jerusalem, in which Jesus Christ was born, as you can ascertain also from the registers of the taxing made under Cyrenius, your first procurator in Judea."
"Accordingly, after He was crucified, even all His acquaintances forsook Him, having denied Him; and afterwards, when He had risen from the dead and appeared to them, and had taught them to read the prophecies in which all these things were foretold as coming to pass, and when they had seen Him ascending into heaven, and had believed, and had received power sent thence by Him upon them, and went to every race of men, they taught these things, and were called apostles."

Justin Martyr, in Dialogue with Trypho, around 150 AD:

"For at the time of His birth, Magi who came from Arabia worshipped Him, coming first to Herod, who then was sovereign in your land."

"For when they crucified Him, driving in the nails, they pierced His hands and feet; and those who crucified Him parted His garments among themselves, each casting lots for what he chose to have, and receiving according to the decision of the lot."
"Christ said amongst you that He would give the sign of Jonah, exhorting you to repent of your wicked deeds at least after He rose again from the dead ... yet you not only have not repented, after you learned that He rose from the dead, but, as I said before, you have sent chosen and ordained men throughout all the world to proclaim that 'a godless and lawless heresy had sprung from one Jesus, a Galilean deceiver, whom we crucified, but His disciples stole Him by night from the tomb, where He was laid when unfastened from the cross, and now deceive men by asserting that He has risen from the dead and ascended to heaven.'"

"For indeed the Lord remained upon the tree almost until evening, and they buried Him at eventide; then on the third day He rose again."


These are a few of the historical reports of the Jesus Christ whom I know personally. I do not need a witness to believe in someone whom I know personally. I have heard His voice speaking to my heart and mind. I have observed His power and control over events in my life. I have enjoyed the divine healing touch of His will to heal my sick body. I have been miraculously delivered from dangers too obvious to deny. Most of all I have experienced His deliverance from the bondage and power of sin and wickedness which were deeply rooted in my nature and habits of life. Who is this man Jesus? He is my Savior, Lord and Master. He is my Brother and Friend. He is the reason for all the joy and love and every good thing in my life.

We Need Righteous Judges

Woe to America for our rulers and our pastors have neglected the diligent search for righteousness, justice and mercy. They have followed after the thoughts of their own hearts and built upon the opinions of their own experiences. They have become as the rulers and people of Nineveh, a city of “more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand.”

It is my earnest prayer and plea to the Lord that He would give us judges who are able to discern the difference between right and wrong. This great gift is not of men but only of the Holy Spirit. It is not within man to direct his own path, nor the path of others. It is through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that we are able to know right from wrong. Satan is a great deceiver and he would deceive the very elect, if we do not stay committed to the sincere, diligent search for the TRUTH.

In the great market places of conversation, i.e. newspapers, internet, radio, television, Bible studies, networking professionals and group discussions, I continually hear the din of confusion and misinformation; people expressing themselves about things which they do not understand. They have accepted ideas and beliefs which are not true.

I hear people present the concept of sinning Christians. Sin and Christ-like are never connected in one heart at the same time. Sin and salvation are absolute and diametrical opposites. I hear people justifying war, revenge, hatred and unrighteous conduct with the claim that they are executing justice. I hear religious people judging and finding fault with one another without any evidence or proof of willful disobedience to the commandments of God. Division, strife and false witnesses have separated people into groups who have no true knowledge of the thoughts and intents of those whom they oppose.

I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will help us to put away hasty judgments, fault-finding and evil surmising. Lord, give us patience and kindness to search out a matter before we form our beliefs. Proverbs 18:13, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” How can we render righteous judgment before we have heard all the witnesses and considered all of the evidence? Will we condemn someone with only one witness? In great matters of life and death, have we fasted and prayed that we might know the mind of Christ?

The word of God contains an abundance of warnings and wise counsel to help us know the right way which we should follow. Meditate upon the following scriptures and ask the Holy Spirit to give you understanding.

Matthew 15:7-9, “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

John 7:24, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

James 2:4, “Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?”

Deuteronomy 1:16-17, “And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's:”

Deuteronomy 19:16-20, “If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong; Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days; And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you. And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.”

Deuteronomy 25:1, “If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.”

2 Chronicles 19:6-7, “And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.”

Job was being daily accused and falsely judged by his friends who had appointed themselves to be his judge. Job decried this great travesty of judgment.

Job 31:11, “For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges.”

It was a heinous crime to be judged by men who had not the righteous discernment of God. It is no small matter to condemn a person in whom God has not imputed sin. Even if a person confesses to sin under the pressure of false accusations and the “accuser of the brethren,” unless God has charged him with sin, there is no sin. Watch and pray, lest you fall into a snare of Satan and commit a heinous act of condemning an innocent person.

May the Lord of all heaven and earth have mercy on us. We need judges who are holy as He is holy. We need men and women who have the mind of Christ. Lord, deliver us from them who profess to have the mind of Christ but have not your virtues.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Reader's Questions and My Answers

I have a few questions. Would appreciate input if you have time.

QUESTION: Where is the visible Body of Christ? I see people in many church groups that God truly seems to be working through. BUT, they are few and far between. It seems hard to believe that there are only a handful of true groups around.

ANSWER: The visible Body of Christ has been obscured by the sleepy, lukewarm spiritual condition which has affected the entire body of the local congregations. This will soon be changed at the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet. I desire that it quickly come but that time is in the will and plan of God. We can't make it happen and we can't prevent it from happening. It is for the time near at hand when God will put His hand to restore the church for the last time before the second coming of Christ. It will be a great spiritual earthquake such as has never been seen before. It is prophesied in the Revelation and it will happen. There are precious born again saints in these congregations because the church of God has continued since the day of Pentecost and it has not ever been prevailed against to the point of anihilation. As individuals we must live holy and be obedient to all the truth we know during this time of the Evening Silence which has hindered the church since 1930. We must watch and pray and be ready to answer the call of God to do what His will is for us today. We are heading toward events which have never been seen in our day.

QUESTION: I realize that most people who consider themselves Christians here in the West are actually 'asleep'. Is there any sign that a revival will come about in America or, in your opinion, will it go the way of Europe?

ANSWER: Yes, the Western world has gone to sleep on God. And, because iniquity has abounded, the love of many has grown cold. I do not believe that America can not escape the consequences of her forsaking God. Be not deceived, God is not mocked, what you sow, you will reap. Israel forsook God and then God forsook Israel. America has forsaken God, and God will forsake America. But that is not the end of the story. Jesus Christ purchased the church of God with His own blood on the cross of Calvary. The church was built by Christ and empowered by the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost. The Bible speaks of two restorations. The first time was during the Sixth Seal from 1880-1930. He will put His hand a second time to restore the church at the time that the Seventh Angel shall begin to sound the final message of repentance, restoration and reconciliation. Some have stated and believe that the Seventh Angel has already sounded. However, I challenge you to search the scriptures and understand what God says will accompany the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet Angel. You can not find in the events of the last 80 years any proof that the Seventh Seal silence has been broken and the Seventh Trumpet Angel has sounded forth the message that will produce the effects which are prophesied in the Word of God. Revelation 16:17-18, "And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great." Revelation 11:15, "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever."

QUESTION: Will the affluence of the West be our spiritual downfall?

ANSWER: Yes, I believe that is very evident. Matthew 13:22, "...the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful." 1 Timothy 6:17-19, "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."

QUESTION: Why do most 'Christians' in the West not see the imperative of spreading the Gospel to the Third World? There are millions and millions of people in Africa, India and China that are desperate to learn and hear the Gospel. Some would give their right hand for a copy of the Bible. Here in the west we have no problem spending 10 million dollars to add an activity room to the church building but will hardly give a dime to spread the Gospel. Why is this?

ANSWER: The burden of the LORD has been lost during the sleepy, lukewarm day of the Evening Time Apostasy. The Protestant and denominational religions are searching all over the world to bring sinners into the bondage of a false Christ and a false gospel which has no deliverance from the power of sin and Satan. Meanwhile, the church of God has been busy trying to build local congregations and neglecting the call to go to "all the world." During the years from 2000 to 2006 I was making annual missionary visits to Africa to share the gospel with those precious, hungry souls. I was condemned by the ministry and the local congregation of neglecting the needs of the congregation. They commanded me to cease and discontinue all contact and support of the people in Africa. I could not submit to that counsel. Consequently, I was excommunicated as a false prophet because I held the opinion that there is a great spiritual revival in our fuutre. There are some saints and ministers who hold that we should be working in foreign fields. However, there is not the unity to support and sustain evangelists and missionaries needed to do this great work.

QUESTION: Do modern Christians still receive visions from God? This is a personal question...would like your understanding on the matter.

ANSWER: Yes, there is no reason why saints of God can not receive a vision from the Lord in our day. I do believe some have. However, this uncommon experience is also associated with the sleepy condition of the church. God will not give His glory to man. If men and women are not in a right condition to hear from God and give God the glory and recognition instead of taking the praise of men to themselves, God will not use them or give them visions which exalt men instead of God.

READER STATEMENT: I have a lot on my mind and a lot of questions but I guess this is it for now. I've been very disturbed for some time that it seems the 'church' in the west here seems to be running entertainment centers and has totally lost the concept of getting in the trenches and leading souls to Christ. It seems the fire is gone except for a few individuals and very small groups. Breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes.

Take care,
XXXXX
'Speak only when your words are an improvement on silence' - Quaker proverb.

The Lesson of Job

REMEMBER THE TRUE STORY OF JOB.

THIS IS NOT A PARABLE. IT IS A TRUE STORY ABOUT A MAN OF GOD AND HOW GOD SUSTAINED HIM, ALTHOUGH JOB WAS MIGHTILY TEMPTED AND TRIED. I DO NOT CLAIM TO HAVE BEEN AS NOBLE AS JOB; BUT HIS VICTORY AND EXAMPLE HAS HELPED ME GAIN VICTORY IN MY TEST.

“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.” SATAN DESTROYED ALL OF JOBS POSSESSIONS AND CAUSED A STORM TO KILL HIS CHILDREN WHILE THEY WERE HAVING A BIG PARTY.

"Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” HOW WOULD YOU HAVE HANDLED YOURSELF IN A TEST LIKE THIS? WHAT WOULD BE WRITTEN OF YOUR FAITH AND CONFIDENCE IN GOD?

“Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” EVEN JOB’S WIFE ACCUSED HIM OF FALSELY CLIAMING TO HAVE INTEGRITY AFTER SUCH OBVIOUS PUNISHMENT WHICH SHE PRECEIVED WAS FROM GOD. IS THE WIFE OF A PERFECT MAN ALWAYS A GOOD JUDGE OF HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD? PERHAPS SHE FOUND FAULT WITH SOME OF JOB’S DECISIONS AS DID HIS THREE FRIENDS WHO CAME TO ADVISE AND COUNSEL JOB.

“Then Job answered and said, How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words? These ten times have ye reproached me: ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strange to me. And be it indeed that I have erred, mine error remaineth with myself.” REPEATEDLY I WENT TO MY BRETHREN WHOM I TRUSTED AND HELD GREAT CONFIDENCE AND THEY REPROVED ME EVERY TIME. MY WORDS AND EXPLANATIONS WERE UNACCEPTABLE. IF I ERRORED, IT WAS ONLY IN MY OPINIONS AND NOT IN THE DOCTRINES WHICH I TAUGHT THE PEOPLE.

“If indeed ye will magnify yourselves against me, and plead against me my reproach: Know now that God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his net.” MY GOD HAS ALLOWED THOSE WHO HAVE FALSELY ACCUSED ME TO APPEAR AS VICTORIOUS AND I OVERTHROWN. GOD HAS ALLOWED ME TO BE CAUGHT IN A NET OF MEN’S IDEAS, UNRIGHTEOUS JUDGMENTS AND HUMAN FEARS.

“Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no judgment.” THIS IF FOR THE TIME NOW PRESENT. IN GOD’S FULLNESS OF TIME, HE WILL BRING ALL THINGS INTO THE PURENESS OF LIGHT AND TRUTH. NO FALSE JUDGMENT WILL STAND IN THAT DAY WHEN HE UNCOVERS AND EXPOSES THE ERRORS OF THOSE WHO HAVE PERSECUTED A CHILD OF GOD.

“He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he hath set darkness in my paths. He hath stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head. He hath destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and mine hope hath he removed like a tree. He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies.” OUTWARDLY, ACCORDING TO THE APPEARANCE OF THE EYE, GOD HAS BECOME MY ADVERSARY. BUT NO, HE HAS A PURPOSE FOR EVERY VESSEL AND THE VESSEL MUST NOT TELL THE POTTER WHAT TO DO. IF GOD CHOOSES TO BREAK ME THAT HE MAY BETTER USE ME, I GLADLY SUBMIT TO HIS DESTRUCTION THAT I MAY ENJOY HIS RESTORATION.

“His troops come together, and raise up their way against me, and encamp round about my tabernacle. He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me. My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me. They that dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger: I am an alien in their sight. I called my servant, and he gave me no answer; I intreated him with my mouth. My breath is strange to my wife, though I intreated for the children's sake of mine own body.” THE SAINTS HAVE BEEN INSTRUCTED TO SHUN ME AND GIVE ME NO AID OR COMFORT. THEY HAVE MADE ME TO BE AN ENEMY OF THE CHURCH. MY CHILDREN HAVE JOINED THOSE WHO FALSELY ACCUSE ME. MY WIFE HAS REJECTED MY BREATH, MY SPIRIT AND MY TESTIMONY OF RIGHTEOUS INTEGRITY. ALTHOUGH I HAVE PRAYED FOR THEM ALL AND CONTINUE TO CALL UPON GOD THAT HE MAY FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.

“Yea, young children despised me; I arose, and they spake against me. All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me.” THE LITTLE CHILDREN WHOM I HAVE HELD AND LOVED AND TAUGHT THEM THE WAY OF THE LORD HAVE SPOKEN AGAINST ME AND TOLD ME THAT THEIR PARENTS HAVE TOLD THEM NOT TO CALL ME “BROTHER” BECAUSE I HAVE LOST MY SALVATION AND AM NO LONGER WORTHY TO BE PART OF THE FAMILY OF GOD. MY DEAREST FRIENDS CALL ME “JIM” AS IF I WERE A STRANGER. THE ENDEARMENT “BROTHER STORTS” IS NO LONGER A SOUND I HEAR FROM THESE WHO HOLD SUCH A SPECIAL PLACE IN MY HEART.

“My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth. Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me. Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?” WHY WERE THEY NOT CONTENT TO REPROVE ME IN MY HUMAN ERROR INSTEAD OF EXCOMMUNICATING ME FROM THE FAMILY? IS THERE ANY WHO ARE FAULTLESS AND WORTHY TO CAST STONES OF JUDGMENT AGAINST ME? WERE MY FAULTS GREATER THAN THEIR’S? WHY DO YOU PERSECUTE ME AND JUDGE ME AS IF YOU WERE INFALLIBE IN DISCERNING THE THOUGHTS AND INTENTS OF MY HEART?

"Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!” THE LORD HAS GIVEN ME LIBERTY TO TELL MY TESTIMONY TO ALL WHO WILL READ IT. THE GROANINGS OF MY SPIRIT AND THE WORDS OF MY DEFENSE WERE KEPT PRIVATE WITH THE MINISTRY FOR THREE YEARS. THE LORD HAS SAID THAT IT IS TIME TO TELL THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY FOR SOME HAVE NOT HEARD IT. THERE IS A GREAT LESSON TO BE LEARNED. DO NOT CONDEMN MY ACCUSERS. PRAY FOR THEM THAT GOD WILL SHOW MERCY AND GIVE UNDERSTANDING TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN LED ASTRAY BY FALSE REPORTS AND THE ACCUSER OF THE BRETHREN.

“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” I HAVE FASTED AND PRAYED AND SOUGHT THE LORD WITH MANY TEARS AND GREAT SORROWS. I HAVE REPENTED OF MY LUKEWARM, SLEEPY CONDITION WHICH IS SO COMMON IN THIS LAODICEAN AGE IN WHICH WE NOW LIVE. PERHAPS THE LORD HAS CHASTISED ME THAT OTHERS MY LEARN AND FEAR HIM WHO IS ABLE TO BRING EVERY MATTER INTO RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT. I AM PREPARED AND READY TO STAND IN THE GAP. I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS AND HIM ALONE. THOUGH NONE GO WITH ME STILL I WILL FOLLOW. BUT, I SHALL NOT BE ALONE. SURELY THERE ARE MANY OTHERS WHO WILL AWAKE TO THE CALL OF GOD IN THIS END TIME OF THE GOSPEL DAY. IT IS TIME FOR US TO CARRY OUT THE DUTIES OF A MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION.

“But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me? Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.” “BUT YE SHOULD SAY WHY PERSECUTE WE HIM…?” I HAVE BEEN WEAK, BUT I HAVE DONE NO EVIL. MY ERRORS HAVE BEEN ERRORS OF THE MIND AND NOT THE HEART. I HAVE BEEN THE PRODUCT OF A SPIRITUAL ENVIRONMENT WHICH WAS NEITHER COLD NOR HOT. BUT MY GOD IS MERCIFUL TO CHASTEN ME AS A SON THAT I MAY BE AWAKENED TO A SPIRITUAL AWARENESS OF THE INFLUENCE OF AN AFFLUENT SOCIETY WHICH IS RICH AND INCREASED WITH GOODS AND HAVE NEED OF NOTHING.

THANK YOU FATHER FOR THE CHASTENING. REMAKE ME INTO A VESSEL OF HONOR THAT I MAY BE A PROFITABLE SERVANT IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD. GIVE ME GRACE TO HELP THOSE WHO OPPOSE ME AND THEMSELVES. LOVE THEM THROUGH ME. TEACH ME TO BE LIKE MY LORD JESUS CHIRST THAT I MAY EXALT HIM AND NONE OTHER.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Compassion

Compassion is the greatest expression and characteristic of LOVE.
Compassion is the direct opposite of Protestantism. I fear that many church of God saints have been led away captive as silly women into Protestantism. Rather than endeavoring together for the unity of the spirit and laboring with longsuffering for the unity of the faith, many have fallen in the snare of criticizing and protesting against one another.

Proverbs 6:16-19, “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

DISCORD: OT:4066 madown (maw-dohn'); from OT:1777; a contest or quarrel: KJV - brawling, contention (-ous), discord, strife.

The scribes and Pharisees who opposed Christ were spiritual Protestants without compassion. If you do not have true compassion then you are most likely a Protestant.

Compassion has a definite sense of “burden” for the good welfare of others. Compassion will enable and equip the child of God to endeavor for unity. Some people strongly favor unity and are against union. Unity will always produce a union. If you say you have unity, then I may ask with whom do you have unity. Unity is an noun which refers to a state of oneness and compatibility of two people. If two people are compatible and have unity, then they have formed a union. You can not have unity without forming a union. However, you can form a union without having unity. It will produce conflict and it will produce an explosion sooner or later.

Webster: Compassion: deep feeling for and understanding of misery or suffering and the concomitant desire to promote its alleviation: spiritual consciousness of the personal tragedy of another or others and selfless tenderness directed toward it.

Notice in this definition there is a union of two primary characteristics. First, there is a deep feeling for and understanding of misery or suffering. Second, there is a desire to promote its alleviation. These two elements must be combined in a full call to action to both understand and help. Some people understand but don’t want to help. Others may want to help but don’t understand. Compassion does not originate within you. It is a gift from God. God is love and He is the sole source of all compassion.

Fear, suspicion and being too self-centered will cause failure in being compassionate. There is such a strong feeling of mistrust in our world and in our congregations that the clear opportunity to show compassion is over-looked and neglected. Pastors and Christians are so afraid that someone from another group is going to contaminate and corrupt them that they are taught to regard everyone outside of their group with suspicion. The scriptural call to “prove all things” becomes a “find fault, judge and condemn all things”. There is very little real soul burden that produces compassion. There are some who have the right doctrine and the wrong spirit and there are others who have the right spirit and the wrong doctrine. It would be more beneficial if we would be more concerned with “what is right” instead of “who is right.” If we will find the Truth and what is right, the Holy Spirit will bring us together in unity and we will be with who is right. Instead, today, we find that “people” receive more attention and have more influence than do the “principles” of righteousness.

Matthew 9:35-38
35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

If we are to be true disciples of Christ, then we must also be moved with compassion on them who are lost, unsaved, afflicted, and suffering. We must have a strong burden to help those who oppose themselves and are in bondage to sin and false doctrine. Don’t be hasty to criticize and condemn another person. Do you really know the thoughts and intents of their heart? Are you able to justly and righteously judge and condemn another soul whom Christ died to redeem? Just because someone has been taught a wrong doctrine is not a reason for us to condemn and shun them.

Matthew 14:14-20
14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
15 And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
16 But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.
17 And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
18 He said, Bring them hither to me.
19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.

Were all of these people, whom Jesus blessed with food, worthy of the blessing they received? Did Jesus only help people who were worthy? I believe that we should honor all men and give double honor to them who are saved.

I would remind you that you can not know anything unless you listen to the Holy Spirit. It is only by Him that we have any knowledge of truth and understand what God wants us to do today, in our life. You (without the Holy Spirit) can not judge righteous judgment. You (without the Holy Spirit) can not discern right from wrong. Too many people are operating according to their knowledge and intellect without the divine guidance and discernment of the Holy Spirit. Too many people are judging the present circumstances based on their past experience. They inwardly assume, and this not consciously, that they do not need the Holy Spirit because they already know what to do because they have had a similar experience in the past. In matters of judgment we should never assume that we know something to be true without the witness of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 18:24-27
24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

Was the man who forgave the debt unwise in forgiving a man who would turn and be unforgiving with his fellowman? No!

Is Christ wrong to forgive a person who turns and commits some unrighteous act? No!

Will there be times when you reach out to help someone and they take advantage of your compassion and continue in their unrighteousness? Yes!

Does that mean that you did not and do not have Holy Ghost discernment? No!

Matthew 18:28-33
28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

How many people have been blessed by our compassionate Lord and then turned and acted without compassion toward others? Are we following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ; or, do we let fear and suspicion prevent us from being compassionate?

Matthew 20:30-34
30 And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.
31 And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.
32 And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you?
33 They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened.
34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

Compassion moves people to action. If you do not produce the acts of compassion then you do not have compassion. Compassion includes both the desire and the deed. Just as faith without works is dead; so are noble desires without the necessary deeds. Don’t judge yourself as being a compassionate person, if you are not following the example of Christ in your actions. Compassion is more than sympathy and empathy and emotions. Compassion is a tender attitude coupled with an earnest desire to benefit another person and the act of kindness to meet another’s need.

Romans 9:15-16
15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

Everything starts and ends with God. If God does not see the proper attitude in you, then He will not be moved with compassion to give you the opportunity to hear His voice and obey His commands. If you seek after God, He will give you an opportunity to do the right thing. If God gives you an opportunity to be compassionate and you pass it up, how will that affect your relationship with God? How can you be an example of the believer without the virtue of compassion?

Hebrews 5:1-4
5 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.
4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

We know that we have a High Priest who has lived in this world and suffered the things we suffer. He has given us an assurance that He knows how we feel. We can be confident that Jesus will have compassion on us in all of our trials and persecutions. Do unto others as you would have Jesus do unto you.

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

This is a great command to all of God’s children. It is the way we must live. If you want to be a Christian, if you want to be like Christ, you must have compassion, brotherly love, sincere pity and courtesy.

1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

The love of God will move you to have compassion. If you are not moved to compassion, you do not have the love of God in your heart. Don’t deceive yourself. Know yourself. Be very sure that you have been born again and have received the grace of God to be compassionate toward all men.