Friday, December 28, 2012

GOD'S GATHERING


Who does God gather?
Saints who are scattered and Sinners who repent.

Why does God gather?

It is not his will that any should perish.

When does God gather?

When people humble themselves, keep his commandments and worship Him.

Where does God gather?

He gathers them from the threshing floor into His barn the church of God.

How does God gather?

Through preaching the gospel and personal testimonies of salvation.

Isaiah 11:10-13
10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.
On the day of Pentecost, Jesus Christ established and empowered the church with His Holy Spirit. 

During the Sixth Seal, the Lord set His hand to gather His remnant, His people from Babylon, sin and false religion. 

During the Seventh Seal, the Lord will set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people. 

During the Sixth Seal, the time of the first gathering, not all nations and people were reached with this gathering.

During the Seventh Seal, the second gathering, all nationalities of people will be reached. 

Jeremiah 23:1-4
23 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord.
2 Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.
3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.
It is a great evil to scatter God’s people. 

When men try to rule the church of God without the Holy Spirit, they will always cause a scattering, a division and confusion. 

It is the will of God that all nations and countries be reached with this gospel. 

God wants to bring us into a place where there is no lacking of God’s blessings or His power. 

Matthew 13:27-30
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
A parallel is drawn between a literal harvest of wheat and the spiritual harvest of souls.  To understand the spiritual harvest you will be helped by an understanding of a literal harvest.   

Mark 4:29, “immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” 

Revelation 14:14-15
14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

After the sickle is put in and the harvest is reaped, it is brought to the threshing floor.  It is then beat, not by men’s condemnation, but by the judgments of Holy Ghost anointed preaching.  Then it is exposed to the work of the wind; and the wind separates the chaff and the tares from the wheat.  Since the chaff and the tares are lighter than the weight of the wheat, the wind separates them.  The reapers do not separate the chaff and tares from the wheat.  The power of God working through the wind which is the Holy Spirit is the force that separates. 

When does this harvest take place?  Rev 14:20 implies that it is at or by the space of 1600 furlongs.  240 furlongs equals one days journey.  (See TCR 3533)  1600 divided by 240 equals 6.66 which is the mark of man.  The number six has always been God’s indicator for man.  Six days should a man work.  Man was created on the sixth day.  Perhaps God has allocated man six days journey to walk upon this earth and then shall the final harvest come.   

Cubit                                                          1.5 feet
Furlong                                                       400 cubits (600 ft.)
Sabbath day’s journey                               5 Furlongs (3,000 ft.)
Mile                                                            10 Furlongs
Day’s journey                                             24 miles (240 Furlongs)
1,600 ./. 240 = 6.66 the number of mankind

Matthew 13:41-43
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
When the iniquity of a person is exposed and revealed by the preaching of righteousness, the sinner shall not stand in the congregation of the righteous. 

Psalms 1:4-5
4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 

Who drives away the ungodly and the sinner?  Not the reaper.  Not the harvester.  The wind, which is the Holy Spirit, separates the chaff and the tares from the wheat.  

Our problem in the congregations of our day is that there is not enough of the wind of the Holy Spirit to drive away the chaff.  We have too much chaff on the threshing floor.  We need more of the wind of the Holy Spirit to do the work of separating saints from sinners.   Men have tried to do this work of the Spirit and they have caused confusion and hurt. 

Matthew 24:23-31
23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Mourn:  Definition: NT:2875 “to beat the breast in grief.”

There is coming a day when all the nations and tribes of the earth will mourn, “beat their breast in grief.” 

There is a prevailing premonition around the world today that the end of time is near.  No one knows when that time will come.  What is 1% of time?  What is 1/10th of a percent of time?  What is 1/100th of one percent of time?  If this world and time continues for 60 more years, that is only about .01 of one percent of the time that man has journeyed upon this earth.  Will you be here in 60 years, or will the death angel come for you before the end of time?   

Jesus told his brothers in John 7:6, “My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.” 

Our time is today.  We have no promise or assurance of tomorrow.

Are you ready for the harvest?

Have you been gathered into God’s barn?

Or, has the wind blown you away?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

THE CHRISTIAN WALK


 The following study will clearly show the right conduct of a person who has experienced salvation from all his sins through faith in Jesus Christ.  If you examine your attitude and conduct and see that you do not conduct yourself according to the precepts of this chapter, then you need to humble yourself in true repentance and ask God to forgive you for not keeping His commandments. 

Ephesians 4:1-20
1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

This is the Christian code of conduct.  It is the way you must live your daily life.  Are you a Christian if you do not conduct yourself in this manner?

LOWLINESS
Having humility of mind, not self-exalting. 
The servant of others, not exercising dominion over another’s faith.

MEEKNESS
Mildness as a characteristic of humility.  Not violent, enduring injury with patience.

LONGSUFFERING
The disposition to bear injuries patiently.

FORBEARING ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE
 Refraining from the enforcement of something (as a debt, right, or obligation) that is due.

3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
Can you make peace where there is no peace?
Can you be the one to initiate the endeavoring for peace?

4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
The unity and oneness of the body of Christ, the Church, is the foundation of fellowship.  A born again child of God becomes a member of the family of God before he understands the doctrines of the church of God.  Doctrine is important, but it is not the essential foundation for fellowship. 

7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
With salvation comes the purity and innocence of heart which accepts the fellowship of every blood washed child of God.  Immediately upon becoming a child of God, it is natural to love every child of God.  We have become part of the family of God and we are grateful for the grace of God which brought us into this newness of life. 

The Holy Spirit then comes to you to: “beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;”

If you have lost this humility and brotherly love which enables you to be longsuffering and forbearing one another in love, then it is very likely that you have lost your salvation.

8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
Jesus Christ has finished the work of salvation.  He has made it possible for each individual to be led out of the captivity of sin and into the captivity of His Perfect Love. 

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Verse eight tells us that God has given gifts unto men.  These are the greatest gifts we will receive.  These ministerial gifts are given to teach us truth and bring us into the perfection of holiness.  These gifts will enable us to do the work of the ministry and edify the body of Christ.

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
The “unity of the faith” comes after the “unity of the spirit.”  The unity of the faith is a learning process which is the result of the Holy Spirit teaching you the true understanding of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.  The unity of the spirit is produced by the grace of God received at the time of being born again.  We must have unity of spirit from the moment of salvation, else we have not received the grace of God that brings salvation.  If you can not forgive others and love others immediately upon being pardoned and justified, then you have not found Christ. 

14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
The unity of the faith will bring us into a steadfastness which prevents us from being confused and moved from believing the truth to believing some error.  It is important to know the doctrines of Jesus Christ.  For this purpose we are exhorted by the apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Oh that every professing minister and child of God would “speak the truth in love.”  So many times people have forgotten to speak the truth in love.  Instead, they have spoken the truth with unjust condemnation and premature judgment.  They have not waited on the Holy Spirit or endeavored “with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.”  In their disagreements they have withdrawn the gentle hand of fellowship.   They have hastily passed judgment and condemnation before the proper time. 

16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Every child of God is a member of the body of Christ and has a responsibility to walk worthy of the vocation to which he has been called.  Each new convert and each mature Christian is expected to supply that part which he should give according to what he has received from God.  Each member of the body must edify, strengthen and build up the rest of the body with loving kindness.

17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
The child of God must conduct himself with the mind of Christ.  He can not operate in the vanity of the carnal mind, else he will do harm to the body. 

18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
The Gentile is that person who does not know Jesus Christ as his personal savior.  He is still walking in the darkness of sin and rebellion against the righteous commandments of God.  His heart is without the light of God’s love.  His heart is blinded by his own selfishness and pride. 

19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
The gospel of Jesus Christ does not teach us to be immoral or covetous. 

Those people who profess to be Christian and do not live according to the instructions of this chapter are in danger of being unacceptable at the Great Judgment.  They may think they are saved from sin and hell, yet be walking in the darkness of their own deception.  Oh, what an awful condition to think you are saved from sin when you can not humble yourself and serve your brother and sister in love.

2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

Thursday, December 20, 2012

THE JOY OF THE LORD

What is Joy? 
Joy is an emotion.
Joy is the expression of a state of happiness.
Joy has a source or cause.
Joy is a positive force to make you stronger, more confident and more motivated.

What is the source of our Joy?
The Joy of the Lord is my strength?  Why?
Because I love Him, I am strong in doing those things which please Him.
When I do those things which please Him, He blesses me with His divine power making me stronger.  If your heart loves something, then you enjoy doing it. 

I love sharing the good news of salvation with other people. 
When God is happy with you; then, you will be happy with you.
If you know that God is not satisfied with your works; then you will not be satisfied with your works and you will not have joy.
If you know that God is not satisfied with your service and consecration; then, you will not have joy.
God’s favor and pleasure with you is the source of your joy.

Luke 10:16-21
16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

Jesus said that we can rejoice if we know that our names are written in heaven.  Do you know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that your name is written in heaven?  Faith and confidence in your relationship with God is the source of your joy.  If you can rejoice in this knowledge of fellowship with God, you heart will be full of joy.

John 15:11-16
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

When you see the evidence of the power of God in your life, producing the fruit of holiness and good works, you will be happy and possess the joy of the Lord.

Acts 15:3
3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.

Nothing can compare with the joy of knowing that you have participated in leading some soul to repentance and salvation.  There is rejoicing in heaven and earth when a sinner repents of their sins and turns to serve Jesus Christ in righteousness.

I delight in His word and keeping His commandments.
Listen to the Psalmist David express the joy and attitude of the heart which is full of God’s love.
Ps 119:16
I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.
Ps 119:24
Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors.
Ps 119:35
Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.
Ps 119:47
And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.
Ps 119:174
I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight.

I enjoy talking to God in prayer.

Philippians 1:2-4
2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,

I enjoy working together with the saints to do the good work of preaching this gospel.

3 John 1-8
1 The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.
4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
5 Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers;
6 Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well:
7 Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.
8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.

I am so glad that I have found the wonderful treasure of salvation.

Matthew 13:44
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

Oh, how wonderful it is to be saved from all my sins. 
I love having a clear conscience and knowing that God is pleased with my life.
There is no sin in my heart; therefore, there is no guilt or condemnation for the things I have done.
I have that peace and joy in the Holy Ghost which the apostle Paul spoke of in:

Romans 14:17-18
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.

Nehemiah, the governor of Jerusalem said, “the joy of the LORD is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10
Have you found joy in Jesus Christ? 
Joy can only come when you repent of all your sins and obey His commandments in Love. 
Joy comes when you are confident that you have obeyed God.
Joy comes when you have done the works of God.  Just thinking about the works of righteousness is not enough to have joy.  You must be a doer of the word and not a hearer only.

John 14:23-24
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

Do you love Jesus?

If you love Him, you will keep his commandments.

If you love Him, you will be obedient to the knowledge of truth which has been given unto you.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Law of Restitution

Life is like being a passenger on a fast train.  Up ahead there is a switching station and you must make a decision and pay a certain fee to avoid taking the way which leads to an eternal hell and an eternal torment.

How much would you be willing to pay to purchase a ticket to Heaven and avoid the terrible Lake of Fire which awaits all who stay on the fast train to hell? 

If the fee was an apology to someone whom you had offended, would you make yourself apologize?  Would you humble yourself and take responsibility for the wrong you have done? 

If the fee was to repay a debt you owe, would you make yourself pay the debt?  Would you go to them and vow to repay them as soon as possible?

Whatever the offense and whatever the fee, are you willing to make it right? 

Millions are riding the fast train to hell, plunging into a lake of fire and torment, because they are not willing to pay the price to gain a ticket for Heaven. 

If you want to go to heaven, there is a price you must pay.

If you will choose to serve God and keep His commandments because you love Him, then the price He may ask you to pay will not seem too great. 

Oh, how sad it will be on that great judgment day when people who have lived a good life and done many good deeds hear the words:

 “Depart from me, I do not know you.  You were unjust.  I talked to you about it; and, you refused to make restitution to the person you wronged.  You sinned publicly but you refused to repent publicly.  You would not say, ‘I am sorry, I was wrong.  Please forgive me.’”   

You went to the altar and asked God to forgive you.  You told the congregation that you had failed God and the saints; but, you did not confess with your mouth the great sin you committed and the ongoing division it has caused in the family of God.  The congregation does not know that you defrauded your brother and sister and have not made it right.  The congregation does not know that you falsely accused your brother and sister.  They still believe the lie and the false report.  The person you caused the saints to shun is still an outcast.  The gossip you started is still circulating.  You have not done what is needed to heal the damage your influence has caused.   

How have you restored that which you destroyed?  Where is the restitution you must make, before God will accept your repentance?  Have you done works “meet for repentance?” Acts 26:20, “…that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.”

Luke 19:8-10
8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

What is the righteous principle taught in this scripture?      

It is Restitution.

Restitution is not too hard if you love Jesus.  Jesus gave His life for you.  What will you give for Him?   What is heaven worth to you?  What is deliverance from sin and Satan’s bondage and torment worth to you?   Remember the Bible says, “Before honor is humility.”  Can you humble yourself and restore that which you have ruined? 

2 Corinthians 7:10-11
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. 

CLEARING: SEC: NT:627  apologia (ap-ol-og-ee'-ah); from the same as NT:626; a plea ("apology"): 

Are you willing to humble yourself and apologize for the unjust thing you have done?  Beyond the apology, are you willing to do whatever it takes to repay, restore and rebuild that which you damaged?

1 Peter 3:15-17
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

GIVE AN ANSWER; SEC:627  apologia (ap-ol-og-ee'-ah); from the same as NT:626; a plea ("apology"):  KJV - answer (forself), clearing ofself, defence.

God has repeatedly instructed us to make apology, clear our self before others.  Set the record straight.  Tell the truth which has been hidden by false accusations.  Return that which was taken away by fraudulent deeds or words. 

Let us look at the Old Testament statement which tells us God’s opinion on RESTITUTION.

Exodus 22:1-7
1 If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.
2 If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.
3 If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
4 If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.
5 If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man's field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.
6 If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.
7 If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man's house; if the thief be found, let him pay double.     

A thief should be required to restore double what he took.  You must be willing to suffer twice as much as the suffering you caused the other person.  Don’t just repent and say you are sorry; but, make sure you take the reproach and suffer the damage for the unjust thing that you did. 

Leviticus 6:1-5
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour;
3 Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein:
4 Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found,
5 Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering.

The cost of restitution is greater than the loss inflicted upon the innocent person.  There must a penalty for the sin. 

Proverbs 6:30-31
30 Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;
31 But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.

Since we have seen various penalties levied against the offender, we should expect to make restitution in whatever degree the Holy Ghost would require.  Some offenses may be more damaging than others and therefore require greater restitution.

Ezekiel 33:14-15
14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;
15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.

The penalty for refusing to make restitution is death. The soul that sinneth, he shall surely die.  Will you die because you have refused to make restitution for the wrong you have done?

Romans 13:8
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

What do you owe another person?  It is a very serious matter to be guilt of an indebtedness in regards to which you have failed to perform your duty.

If you love God and others the way the gospel of Jesus Christ has taught, then you will have no desire to cheat, defraud or withhold what rightly belongs to another person. 

Are you willing to obey the righteous principle of restitution, to ensure the salvation of your eternal soul?  Will you pay the price which God has set? 

Matthew 5:23-24
23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

Heaven will be worth whatever price you have to pay. 

But, you can not go to heaven without making restitution.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

SAVING FAITH


Is your faith steadfast and strong enough to save your soul?

What is faith?  We have a Bible definition.

Hebrews 11:1-3
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  For by it the elders obtained a good report.  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

 We have a Webster Dictionary Definition:
1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction;

What is saving faith?
Romans 10:8-11
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Your heart and your mouth must agree. 
You must believe with your heart in the power of Jesus Christ to produce righteousness in your life.   And you must boldly confess this faith with your mouth.   If you are ashamed to boldly confess that you believe in Jesus Christ, then you are not saved.   

Luke 8:22-25
22 Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.
23 But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.
24 And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.
25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.

 Where is your faith, when the tests and trials and temptations come?
Do you trust God?  Do you believe His promises?  Do you wait on God? 
Do you ask God to help and bless you while you are in the very act of running to man for the help you need from God?  Do you really trust God, if you are so hasty to run to men for the very help you ask God to give to you?

1 Corinthians 2:1-5
2 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Why do so many people fail to trust God?  It is because they do not see the “demonstration of the Spirit and of power,” in the lives of the men who claim to be preaching the message of faith in God.

Colossians 2:4-7
4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.
6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Are you steadfast in your faith?  So many people in this spiritually lukewarm day in which we now live, claim to have faith in God; but, they are not steadfast in their faith in Christ.  If they have to wait longer than they think they should, they will run to men for help.  If they begin to suffer pain and discomfort more than they want, they will run to men for help.  If God does not work in the way that they want Him to work, they will look for deliverance from some other source.  They are not steadfast in their faith in Christ.

1 Peter 1:3-9
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:
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

This is the power of faith unto the salvation of your soul. 
That steadfast faith which can stand the fiery trial is much more precious than gold.   This faith is more valuable and more powerful than all your money and all the money you have ever owned or will ever own. 

You must believe His promises because of who He is. 
You must believe His promises because He can not lie; and, He can not fail.
He is the Creator; and, with Him nothing is impossible. 
If thou canst believe, all things are possible.

2 Peter 1:1-7
1 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.
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.

We must add to our faith those things which will support our faith. 
We must be strong in righteousness and give no place to Satan. 
We must study to show ourselves approved unto God, knowing His word and will.
We must allow our trials and test to teach us temperance and patience. 
We must show forth godliness by our brotherly kindness and tenderness.
We must allow the Holy Spirit to perfect us in love and charity. 

John 10:31-38
31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

Jesus was able to prove who He was by His works.  His works testified that He was the Son of God.  He did the works of His Father.   If you have been born again by the Spirit of God, then you will do the works of Jesus Christ.

John 14:12-15
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Are you doing the works which Jesus did? 
If we put this rule and means of identification on pastors and evangelists today will they meet the requirements of Jesus who is their example?

Luke 9:2, “And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.”

Luke 7:19-22
19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
20 When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
21 And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight.
22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.

Is this the criteria for ministers to be measured? 
Can your pastor stand against this plumbline (Amos 7:7,8) and not be found out of line?  Is it not high time that we fast and pray for our leaders?  It is time that we awake to righteousness and measure to the standard of faith and righteousness which Jesus has set for His people.

James 2:17-26
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Saving faith can not be inactive.  Is your faith strong enough to save your soul? 
Faith without works of righesousness and miracles is dead.
The end of saving faith is the salvation of your soul.