Sunday, June 26, 2011

I KNOW THY WORKS

In the book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ, Chapters two and three, we read that Jesus spoke the same words to each of the seven churches. He said, “I know thy works.”

Revelation 2:2 Ephesus “I know thy works”
Revelation 2:9 Smyrna “I know thy works”
Revelation 2:13 Pergamos “I know thy works”
Revelation 2:19 Thyatira “I know thy works”
Revelation 3:1 Sardis “I know thy works”
Revelation 3:8 Philadelphia “I know thy works”
Revelation 3:15 Laodicea “I know thy works”

God knows all about you. There is nothing hid from Him. He knows the very thoughts and intents of your heart and mind.

Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

When the Holy Ghost takes the Word of God and speaks to your heart, He is precise and exact. He makes no mistakes. He never falsely accuses. He knows exactly where you are in your examination of yourself. God loves you and He wants you to know yourself in truth. He does not want you to lie to yourself and excuse yourself for doing things you know you ought not to do.

Romans 2:14-16
14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

CONSCIENCE: SEC: NT:4894 suneidesis (soon-i'-day-sis); from a prolonged form of NT:4894; coperception, i.e. moral consciousness: AND suneido (soon-i'-do); from NT:4862 and NT:1492; to see completely; used (like its primary) only in two past tenses, respectively meaning to understand or become aware, and to be conscious or (clandestinely) informed of:

There are many religious people in our world who pretend to not know that God requires loving and faithful obedience in order to have salvation and a home in heaven. You can not be a sinner and a saint at the same time. You can not be disobedient and obedient at the same time. You can not be holy and wicked at the same time. God knows your works and He will judge you according to your works. You will not be judged according to your opinion. God knows the real you and He has told you whether He approves or disapproves of the real you.

God has spoken to you, “I know thy works.”

Titus 2:11-12
11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

If the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, has it not also appeared to you? Has not God spoken to you about the requirements of salvation? Have you read and studied the Word of God to see what you ought to do to obtain salvation and a home in heaven? Have you searched the scriptures to know how to escape the punishment of hell which has been prepared for those who disobey God’s commandments?

Did God know where Adam was when He called out to Adam in the garden: Genesis 3:9, “Where art thou?”
Did God know what Cain had done when He asked the question in Genesis 4:9, “Where is Abel thy brother?"
Did the Holy Ghost make known to the Apostle Peter the thing that Ananias had done?

Acts 5:1-5
5 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

Have you conceived something in your heart that is not true? Are you pretending to be saved when you know that you are not saved? God has said, “I know thy works.” Can you hide the things that you have done from God? Are you hoping that God will forget your sins even though you have not repented of those sins?

3 John 11-12
11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
12 Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.

We have a testimony and a report among many people. We are known by friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and many others. What kind of report do we have among all these people? Do they know us as being faithful and diligent servants of God? Or, Do we have a reputation of seeking worldly pleasure?

When God told Ananias the priest to go visit Saul, who had seen a vision of Christ and had been converted on the Road to Damascus, God knew the name of the street where Saul was staying. God knew the name of the man who owned the house. God knew all about Saul, both his past and his future.

Acts 9:11-17
11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

God knows all about you, and He has said, “I know thy works.”

Ephesians 1:12-15
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13 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,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

Paul said that he had heard of the faith of the saints at Ephesus. Their testimony and reputation had been spoken of in places far away from where they lived.

What do people say about you in some other state where your works are known?
What does God know about you? He knows everything.
There is nothing hid from the eyes of God.
A record is being made of all your words, your conduct, your attitudes, your intentions.
The very desires, purposes and goals you have hidden inside you are known to God

1 Peter 1:3-7
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

What will be revealed and found out about you at the end of time when Jesus shall come to judge the world?

Romans 2:16, “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”

What you was doing last Friday night at 9:00, God saw it and knows all about it.
What you was doing Saturday night at 10:00, God saw it and knows all about it.

God knows your works. Will you be honest with your one eternal soul and speak the truth to your own heart?

When God says, “I know thy good works and your faithful service in all things which I have commanded you to do.” Then, you can have peace in your soul.

However, if God says, “I know thy works, how that you have not kept my words but you have lived selfishly in your own way.” Then, condemnation and many sorrows will follow.

If the report of your life is not good; if God sees evil in your heart, repent while there is time.

Change your record today. Begin a new life, a new testimony, new works which God can record in His Book of Life.

Friday, June 17, 2011

NAKEDNESS DEFINED

Do you know the Bible definition of “nakedness?”
What part of the body is allowed to be uncovered and what part should be covered?

From generation to generation, Satan is always trying to corrupt the pure environment of the holy church of God. In our present day there is a great evil pushing into the congregations of the church of God to allow sensual and shameful styles of dress (or undress). There are many among us, both young and old, who have not discerned the danger of immodest dress. In this Laodicean, lukewarm, day in which we live there are too many professing Christians who have adopted the immodest apparel of the world. Too many saints and ministers have fallen into lasciviousness and fornication. Is there not a connection between this wickedness and the continual visual display of human flesh and human form?

In this lesson today, we will study important words such as: cover and uncover; naked and bare; leg and thigh, and also the various uses of the words naked and nakedness.

It is good for us to study the scriptures to know why we teach and believe the things of which we speak. Why do we believe that certain things are true and ordained of God as righteous principles which we should live our lives? Ministers of God must stand on the Word and preach only those things which the Word and the Spirit agree.

Genesis 3:6-7
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Adam and Eve made for themselves aprons to cover their nakedness. Was what they made to cover themselves sufficient to please God?

An apron is defined as a “belt for the waist.” It is very obvious that Adam and Eve, in their disobedient state, were not able to make good judgments without the influence of the Spirit of God. So what did God do about this condition?

Genesis 3:20-21
20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

God made them coats of skin. The Hebrew word which is here translated as coat is in other scriptures translated as garment and robe.

This subject of nakedness also was addressed in God’s instructions to the priests who were probably the first ones to wear trousers which God called breeches which many of us have translated into the word britches.

Exodus 20:25-26
25 And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.
26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.

The priest were charged with offering the animal sacrifices which the people brought into the outer court to be slain upon the brazen altar before the tabernacle. The brazen altar was raised up on a platform and the people watched the priest ascend the steps to offer the sacrifice. God did not want the people to see up the robe of the priest and see his nakedness. He did not want the nakedness of the priest to be discovered. The Hebrew word translated “discovered” means to show nudity in a disgraceful sense.

So what did God do about this condition where the people could see up the bottom of the robe and see the nakedness of the priest?

Exodus 28:42
And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:

Here is God’s clear instruction which provides a partial definition of what is nakedness.
Nakedness includes that part of the body from the loins to the thigh. It should be covered at all times when you are in the presence of anyone other than your spouse.

How do we make sure that our nakedness is covered? We make our dresses and trousers long enough so that at all times, standing, sitting, bending and climbing stairs, or any other activity, we do not expose that part of our body. Some people would argue about the area covered by the thigh. The thigh is that whole portion from the hip to the knee. If we can see above your knee at any time, then we can see your nakedness. We did not make up this standard. It is given to us in the word of God.

Leviticus 6:10
And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar.

To ensure that his nakedness was covered at all times the priest was commanded to put on his robe and his breeches. The breeches prevented the possibility of the people seeing his thigh as he ascended the steps to the brazen altar to offer the sacrifices. This was the modesty standard of God.

Ezekiel 44:15-18
15 But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord God:
16 They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge.
17 And it shall come to pass, that when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them, whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within.
18 They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat.

Here again we see the continual requirement for the priest to be modest. He must wear his linen robe and breeches when he is doing the service of offering the sacrifices.

This standard of modesty is not just for men. It is for men, women, boys and girls. Listen to the instructions which Paul gave to Timothy.

1 Timothy 2:9, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety.”

Let us look into the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words used in the Bible.
Uncover = SEC # 1540 O.T. Hebrew = to make nude, Especially in a disgraceful way
Apparel= SEC # 2689/2687 N.T. Greek = to put down, quell, quiet The intimate form of the body is subdued
Nakedness= SEC # 1320/6172 O.T. Hebrew = the pudenda, nudity near reproductive organs; the thigh is considered the part closest to the sexual organs.

Isaiah 52:10
The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

If the bare arm was considered nakedness and should remain covered, the holy scriptures would not express the willingness of God to make “bare His holy arm” for the deliverance and defense of His people. God would never express Himself immodestly.

To make bare is not shameful. To uncover is disgraceful and shameful.

Isaiah 47:1-3
1 Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate.
2 Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers.
3 Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man.

Notice the distinction between “make bare the leg” and “uncover the thigh.”
To make bare (cha’saph) does not imply shameful nakedness; uncover (ga’lah) does signify disgrace and shame.

Ezekiel 23:1-25 describes the spiritual fornication of Judah and Israel. It clearly teaches that the area of the breast has strong sexual connotations. Any pure minded person can easily be shown that this area of the body should be covered. If it is uncovered, it is nakedness. Collars (at the collar bone) are needed to prevent showing cleavage. Sleeves need to be of such a length as to prevent visual display of the torso. This standard is for men and women, boys and girls.

Ezekiel 23:1-5
23 The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother:
3 And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity.
4 And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah.
5 And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours,

The Holy Spirit will impress upon the mind of holiness people the necessity of modesty. We are easily entreated to dress in such a manner as to not purposely and intentionally attract the sexual attention of others.

1 Timothy 2:9, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety.”

The two words “modest” and “apparel” teach us the rule for proper attire of holy people. Our clothing should be modest, orderly and decorous.
Our clothing should meet the requirements of apparel, to quell or quiet and subdue the form of the body.

Modest = SEC NT:2887 kosmios (kos'-mee-os); from NT:2889 (in its primary sense); orderly, i.e. decorous:

Apparel = SEC # 2689/2687 N.T. Greek = to put down, quell, quiet The intimate form of the body is subdued

These things our found in the Word of God. They are not merely the thoughts and ideas of men. We ought to dress to please God. We ought not to dress to satisfy the fleshly desires of men and women.

When you get dressed, ask the Holy Spirit if He approves of what you have put on. If your conscience is uncomfortable with how you are dressed, don’t override your conscience.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP

I want to talk to you again today about Christian Fellowship.
The reason this subject is so important is that God will not manifest his great power with people who are divided and causing division. I don’t want to just talk about unity, I want us to endeavor to produce unity.

Jesus said in Matthew 18:19-20, “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

If Jesus is in the midst of people who are gathered together in His name, the power of God will be there to do the great works of salvation and healing.
There are too many times when people are gathered together physically, but they are not together in spirit.

If we are to expect God to bless our meeting together, we ought to be sure that the Love of God is in our heart toward one another. We must desire to good of others and be willing to serve one another.

Psalms 133:1
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

I once heard a definition of fellowship is this: Two fellows in one ship and the one is not trying to throw the other out of the ship.” That is true; but, our Christian fellowship goes deeper than just tolerance. Our fellowship is based on love for one another with a burden to see the blessings and approval of God upon their life.

We sing the song in which the song poet wrote, “We reach our hands in fellowship to every blood washed one.”

The challenge and cause of concern is: “Who decides who is blood washed and who is not blood washed.”

Should we accept every person’s testimony that they are a Christian at face value? Or, do we set requirements which they must measure up to before we accept them as a brother or sister in Christ?

Is a person innocent of sin until proven to be a sinner; or, are they a sinner until we see evidence of salvation?

Upon what grounds are we justified and righteous in condemning someone who claims himself to be a Christian?

Does the Word of God teach us the answers to these important questions?

Psalms 94:20-23
20 Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?
21 They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.
22 But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.
23 And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off.

Iniquity and righteousness can not have fellowship.
Sin and holiness can not exist together in the same temple.
When iniquity is present, we must let God expose it and cut it off.
We don’t go around cutting off the other members of the body.

It is a terrible thing to condemn someone as a sinner without irrefutable evidence of sin. Personal opinions have caused many divisions among God’s people.
Learn to wait on God. Jesus Christ is still the Head of the church.
“He shall bring upon them their own iniquity. The Lord our God shall cut them off.”

When things are in order according to the commandments of God we can expect to see God in action. God will not put His glory on any condition which is out of order with His commandments.

Exodus 40:32-35
32 When they went into the tent of the congregation, and when they came near unto the altar, they washed; as the Lord commanded Moses.
33 And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work.
34 Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

There are certain things which must be finished before the glory of the Lord will fill the temple. Remember, God will not put His glory on any condition which is out of order with His commandments.

I firmly believe that God is waiting on us to learn how to build the place of His habitation.

Ezekiel 43:7-12
7 And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.
8 In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger.
9 Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever.
10 Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.
11 And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.
12 This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house.

We serve an unchanging God. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. The plan of salvation was established from before the foundation of this world. In the fullness of God’s time, He sets up and He takes down. According to His eternal word, He opens the door and He closes the door.

What can we do to move God to open the door of His temple and bring the glory of God down to men? Answer: We must “measure the pattern” which God has given unto us and set all things in order according to His commandments.

Titus 1:5
For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

The people of God must be taught the standard of holiness which God has set forth in His word. Those things which are most surely believed among us. We must set in order those things which the Word and the Spirit support and confirm. I have some opinions which I may not be able to convince some people to believe. My opinion is not what the church is established on.

When Paul visited cities where the Holy Spirit sent him, he called the elders together and ministered to them. If the ministers can not agree, they can not work together. If the ministers are not in unity, the congregations will not enjoy the fellowship of kindred spirits.

Acts 20:17-21
17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
18 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,
19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,
21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 21:18-20
18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.
19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.
20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, …….

1 Peter 5:1-4
5 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Ministers must be able to teach before they can judge.
Ministers must be able to exhort without entering into condemnation. Jesus said He came not to condemn the world but to save the world. That must be our mission and purpose.

What will happen if we build according to the pattern?

Acts 2:46, 47
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Under the preaching of the true gospel of Jesus Christ, new converts will continue “daily with one accord.” The church will have gladness and singleness of heart. The church members will be found “Praising God, and having favor with all the people. AND, the Lord himself will add to the church daily such as should be saved."

If the Lord has not added you to the church, you are not in it.

If the Lord removes you from the church because of your sins and disobedience, I can’t keep you in the church. The church of God is not a man ruled organization.
We can write your name in a record book, but if you have not truly repented, forsaken all your sins and been pardoned by Jesus Christ, you are not part of the church which Jesus Christ purchased with His own blood.

Acts 20:28 says: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

I can’t put you into the church and I can’t put you out of the church.
Jesus Christ is the door and you make the decision of going in or going out for yourself. No one can drag you through that door into the church; and, no one can kick you out of that door and out of the church..

1 Corinthians 1:9-13
9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

Is the body of Christ divided? NO! The church of God is not a political or denominational body. If you are saved by faith and obedience to Christ, you are part of the church of God. If you are not saved by faith and obedience to Christ, you are not part of the church of God.

Let us look at the scriptures again.
We must take our instructions from the Word of God. We must not go beyond the word of God and add our own opinions and methods. We must seek the administration of the Holy Spirit and not the administration of men.

Acts 20:28-30
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Has this ever happened? Yes, many times. For the last 2,000 years, Satan has been deceiving men and women into drawing away disciples after themselves. They have influenced men and women into following their own brand of religion. Are they sincere and devoted people? Yes, but they are sincerely wrong. They have believed a lie and been led astray.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Are you able to produce unity with your brothers and sisters in the family of God?
It takes the grace of God in your life to produce unity. Without God’s grace you will put your own will ahead of God’s will and the will of others. You will be selfish.

Are you a peacemaker or are you selfish?
Do you promote unity or do you cause division and strife?
Are you saved and sanctified or are you carnal and stubborn?
Are you easily entreated or contrary and hard to get along with?
Do you ever try to throw someone else out of the ship?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

THE DOOR OF FAITH

There is a special door in the life of every person.
Some people may only come to that door one time.
Many people pass by the door numerous times.
Some have even gone in and out of this special door.

1 Corinthians 16:9
For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

Saints we have a great door and an effectual door opened to us.
We also have many adversaries who would hinder us from entering in through this door.

Some people fear what may be on the other side of the door of faith. What will be required of me or happen to me if I walk through that door? There are many who have chosen to walk past their opportunity to pass through the door of faith. They have chosen to live after the flesh rather than to live after the Spirit.

Revelation 3:20-4:1
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Revelation 4 :1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

We are standing at the threshold of the door which leads to triumphant victory.
We are standing at the threshold of the door of God’s great grace.
We are standing at the threshold of the door of faith.
Jesus Christ said to us, “I am the door.” “Come up hither, I will show you great things which must happen in the future.”

We must not let our past hinder us from entering the door of faith. We must believe and we must have faith in God. Satan is our adversary and he will tempt us to not trust in God and not trust His word and His promises.

Acts 14:27
And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.

The door of faith is a great door. Only the humble and obedient can enter it.
Only those who hear the voice of Jesus Christ and obey Him can enter it.
Only those who seek and find will enter it.
Only those who are sincere, honest, hungry and thirsty will enter it.

Notice that the disciples “rehearsed” all that God had done with them. It is very important that we testify of the acts of God. When God helps us with our needs, we need to talk about it with others. This encourages and inspires faith.

Matthew 25:10
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

Only Jesus opens the door; and, only Jesus shuts the door.
No man can open it and no man can close it.
Don’t let Satan or any other person shut your door of faith.
Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can not enter the door of faith which God has set before you. Take advantage of the opportunities in your life to trust God and have faith.
If you don’t enter when it is opened to you, you can not enter when it is shut.

Luke 13:23-29
23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.

Just because you know and believe in the historical Jesus does not mean that you know and believe in the Messiah, the Savior of Souls.
Your belief must be accompanied with obedience and a love to do the perfect will of God.
Good works will not take you through the door of faith to salvation. Obedience to the commandments of God is the way of salvation. Having faith is part of that obedience.

John 10:1-10
1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Yes Christ is the door. But the door of entrance may not always be in the place where you might expect. It may not always be opened at the time you wish it was open. Don’t be so foolish to think that the door of faith will always be there at your convenience. If you refuse to obey the call of God to come to Him when He calls, you may not receive that invitation when you want it.

Mark 2:1-5
1 And again he entered into Capernaum, after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.
2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.
3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.
4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

Sometimes you may need to put forth a lot of effort to find a door of entrance.
You may need to overcome a great obstacle to pass through the door of faith to reach Jesus and touch Him with your need. God allows our faith to be tested by difficult circumstances.

2 Peter 1:5-11
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Question: Under what conditions will this entrance be ministered?
Answer: When you are adding these virtues and increasing in grace and knowledge.
God will prove your heart and your motives. He knows why you do every thing.

Is there a door of faith opened to you, right now in your life?
Is God calling you to trust Him and let Him lead you to a new level of service?
Is God asking you to exercise faith to repent, to be reconciled to someone you have offended?
Is God asking you to have faith for material or physical needs?
The door of faith opens and closes according to the will of God, not according to your will.
You can only pass through that door when the Holy Spirit is calling you to come closer to Him.
If the Spirit is calling to you, you need to act now before that opportunity passes.