Saturday, January 31, 2015

GRACE

It is very important that every child of God fully understand the meaning of “grace.”
Consider carefully the words used to define grace.

Dictionary definition: GRACE, the free unmerited love and favor of God; Favorable influence of God; divine influence or the influence of the Spirit, in renewing the heart and restraining from sin.

Strong’s Exhaustive Dictionary:  NT:5486 charis (khar'-ece); from NT:5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): KJV - acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).

NT:5486 charisma (khar'-is-mah); from NT:5483; a (divine) gratuity, i.e. deliverance (from danger or passion); (specifically) a (spiritual) endowment, i.e. (subjectively) religious qualification, or (objectively) miraculous faculty: KJV - (free) gift.

NT:5545 chrisma (khris'-mah); from NT:5548; an unguent or smearing, i.e. (figuratively) the special endowment ("chrism") of the Holy Spirit: KJV - anointing, unction.

I want to draw your attention to the part of the definition which say “especially the divine influence upon the heart, and it reflection in the life.”  I want you to know and understand that grace is the power of God bringing a divine, transforming influence upon the heart and life.  When you are blessed with the grace of salvation, it will change the way you think and act. This power to change does not come from within your own self.  Grace is an external influence coming from God.  It will cause you to become a new person. 

There are many people who are claiming to be Christian; but, they have not been changed by the grace of God.  They are self-willed, refusing to submit to the commandments of God.  They continue in their sins and have no power to overcome temptations.  They are servants of evil and not servants of righteousness. 

These people, either knowingly or ignorantly have been influenced by some man to believe that they have become sons of God without having experienced the grace of God which transforms a person from being a sinner to being a saint.  They do not believe that they can say “No” to all temptations and live holy in this present world. 

Titus 2:11-15
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;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

God is faithful and merciful.  There is only one true God.  There is only one Son of God who has made it possible for you to have this grace, this divine influence in your life.  If someone comes to you bringing another God and another Christ or another gospel than that which I have shared with you, do not believe or follow that person.  I am telling you the truth and I will prove my message to you by the witness of the Holy Scriptures. 

Paul tells Titus that our God, who is faithful, has appeared to all men to give them understanding of the “grace of God that bringeth salvation.”  God has sent the Holy Spirit to speak to the heart of every person, teaching them that they cannot be disobedient to the commandments of God and also have fellowship with God.  If you have caused yourself to believe that you can refuse to obey God and still have fellowship with God, you have deceived your own self.  

John 1:17
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

The knowledge of grace and truth has been given to us by the Spirit whom Christ has sent to teach us all things.  If you are a responsible adult and you do not remember the Holy Spirit telling you that you must resist temptation and submit to God; then, you have forgotten what the Holy Spirit has spoken to you.  Many people have chosen to forget what the Holy Spirit has spoken to them.

James 1:19-26
19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

God’s grace will not be given to a rebellious person who makes excuses for not obeying the commands of God.

You must be swift to hear and a doer of those things which the Holy Spirit teaches you.  If you are a forgetful hearer, it is because you do not love God more than you love your own way.  You choose to disregard the truth and postpone your obedience and make excuses for not doing what you know you should do. 

However, God is still able and powerful to deliver you from all unrighteousness, if you will let Him have control of your life.

Jude 20-25
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Can God’s grace deliver you from all your sins and keep you from falling back into your past unrighteousness?  The answer is “Yes” if you will humble yourself and obey His commandments.  When we testify that we live without committing sin, we are not boasting in something we have done, we are testifying to what God has done for us.  We can not effectively resist Satan in our own strength.  But, by the grace of God we can do all things

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Philippians 2:13-15
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

By God’s grace we can live holy.
By God’s grace we can say “No” to every temptation.
By God’s grace we have the power of love, faith and hope working together in our life.
By God’s grace we are not fearful, we are not faithless when trials and persecutions come.
We are not fearful of what the world can do, because we are “sheltered safe in the arms of God.”

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.

OT:7682 HEBREW> sagab (saw-gab'); a primitive root; to be (causatively, make) lofty, especially inaccessible; by implication, safe, strong; used literally and figuratively KJV - defend, exalt, be excellent, (be, set on) high, lofty, be safe, set up (on high), be too strong.

Matthew 8:23-27
23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

Revelation 21:6-8
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

If you have put your faith and trust in God who loves you and has promised to meet all your needs, then do not be afraid of what the world or Satan can do.  God is greater than all the world; and He is greater than Satan. 
 
Satan wants you to be afraid of sickness and disease.  God has promised to heal all your diseases.
Satan wants you to be afraid of danger.  Jesus Christ is Lord of the whole earth and all power belongs to Him.
Satan wants you to doubt the truth.  Not one word of God’s commandments and promises will fail.

Luke 16:17
And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

Matthew 5:18
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

2 Corinthians 1:18-22
18 But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay.
19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.
20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

2 Peter 1:1-4
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.

The grace of God is the power of God working in you and on you and for you.  It will change you and make you a new man in Christ Jesus. 

Genesis 18:9-15
9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.
10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
13 And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
14 Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.
 

Is any thing too hard for the Lord?

Did God create this world by His word?  Is that too hard for you to believe?

Did God make man from clay?  Is that too hard for you to believe?

Did God cause the walls of Jericho to fall?  Is that too hard for you to believe?

Did Elijah pray and it rained not for three years and six months?  Is that too hard for you to believe?

Was Jesus born of a virgin?  Is that too hard for you to believe?

Did Jesus and his disciples heal the sick, cast out devils and raise the dead?  Is that too hard for you to believe?

Did Jesus rise from the grave after three days?  Is that too hard for you to believe?

When God promises to give you grace and power and might for all the situations in your life so that you can live holy and blameless, is that too hard for you to believe? 

THE STANDARD OF HOLINESS

It seems that many people today have become convinced that they can do wrong and still be right with God.  False prophets have told them that everybody commits sin and if you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God then you are on your way to heaven.  Listen to what the scriptures say:
James 2:16-20
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
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?

Do Devils do good works?  No.  Yet, they do believe that there is one God.  Devils do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  But their believing does not lead them to repentance and to good works. 

Matthew 8:28-29
28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

It is very evident that the devils acknowledging that Jesus is the Son of God did not result in their conversion from evil to good.  Your belief that Jesus is the Son of God is not enough to purchase eternal salvation for your soul.  All of God’s children are righteous and holy. 

Luke 10:25-29
25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

You will never find deliverance from your sins and salvation for your soul if you are looking for an excuse to do it your way instead of submitting to the will of God and all His righteous standards.   The standard of the church of God is the true principles of both the Old and New Testament.  Therefore, it is our duty to study the Word of God in order to know the true principles of the Bible. 

Is there a different standard for different people?  The answer is “No” if you are asking does the standard change.  The answer is “Yes” if you are asking does God require more of one person than He may require of another.  What God requires in obedience depends upon what God has revealed to you and given you enlightenment.   The only reason a prophet, pastor or teacher must live by a higher standard would be because God has given the spiritual leaders and elders in the church a greater level of knowledge, revelation and enlightenment.  The standard never changes; but, a person’s understanding and knowledge will change as he matures and grows in the righteous principles of God.   

The obedience of a child of God must be equal to his knowledge and understanding. 

Luke 12:47-48
47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

1 John 1:5-10
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness [willful sin or evil] at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness [committing willful sin], we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light [obeying all revealed truth], as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8 If we [who have need of confessing sin] say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we [who have need of confessing sin] say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

The comments which I have interjected, brings these verses into agreement with other scriptures.  I have not added to the word of God because what I have written is the proper understanding of the scriptures.  If you love God, you will seek to know and obey His commandments.  Listen to what Jesus said:

John 14:22-26
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
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.
25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Do you love God and live by His standard?  If you love God you will keep the sayings, the words and the commandments of the Bible.  God is holy and all His children are holy. 

Leviticus 20:7-8
7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God.
8 And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the Lord which sanctify you.

1 Peter 1:14-17
14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

Holiness is the standard of God for all His people.  Holiness begins with a broken and contrite heart for the sins committed.  This godly sorrow is followed by repentance and faith that God is able to keep you by His Grace.  When God forgives you, He regenerates your soul so that you become a new creature in Christ Jesus.  After you have been regenerated (born again), God wants you to receive His Holy Spirit.  (See an example of the sequential works of grace in Acts 8:5-17).  The Holy Spirit will sanctify your nature and you will become partakers of God’s divine nature.  These two works of Grace upon the soul will enable you to resist and say “No” to every temptation and live a consistent and continual holy life all the days of your life.  You need never to return to those sins which are past.  Thank the Lord for full salvation. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

THE HOLY CITY

What do you think of when you hear the words “The Holy City”?
What do you think of when you hear the words “Jerusalem” or “New Jerusalem”?
What is and where is “Mount Zion”?

What if I would tell you that the church of God is that heavenly city, that New Jerusalem and that Holy Jerusalem.  Study the word of God with me and let us know and understand what God has spoken about this subject.

Mathew 5:13-16
13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Who is the salt of the earth?  The Jews?  Sinners?  No, the believers who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the saints are the salt of the earth.

Who is the light of the world?  The saints are the salt of the earth.  We are candles in a dark place.  We are a city which is set on a hill for all to see. 

Hebrews 11:8-10
8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
 

What city was Abraham looking for?  The church of God whose foundation and builder and maker is God.  He was looking for a city and that city is the church of God. 
 

Hebrews 12:18-24
18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
 

We are not come to a mountain which can be touched because we are come to a spiritual mountain.
We are not come to a city which can be touched because we are come to a spiritual city.

We are come to Mount Sion which is Mount Zion, which is the city of the living God; and, it is the heavenly Jerusalem.  It is not the literal Jerusalem.  The kingdom of God is not a literal kingdom of this world.  It is a spiritual kingdom which has no end.
 

Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 
 

The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom.  The city of God is a spiritual city.  If you are a born again, child of God then you are part of that city. 
 

Galatians 4:22-26
22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
 

There are many allegories and parables in the word of God.  You must be able to discern when a lesson is being taught using an allegory.  Satan wants people to spiritualize those things that are literal and literalize those things which are spiritual.     
 

Revelation 3:12        Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
 

The new Jerusalem is not the old Jerusalem.  The new Jerusalem is not a literal city; but rather, it is a spiritual city, a holy mountain.
 

Revelation 11:2        But the court which is without the temple leave out, and  measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they  tread under foot forty and two months.

The forty-two months (42x30=1260) is the number of years during which the Roman Catholic Church ruled over kings and nations, being both a secular and a religious form of government.
 

Revelation 21:2-3    And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and  God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
 

Revelation 22:19      And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city , and from the things which are written in this book.
 

If your name is in the book of Life, then you are in the holy city.  If your name is not in the book of Life, then you are not in the holy city. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

THE ROAD TO WISDOM

Knowledge leads to understanding and understanding leads to wisdom; if you choose the light of truth which the Holy Spirit brings to you.  Wisdom is the right use of knowledge.  To be wise, one must first have knowledge of the true facts.  To use knowledge, you must have knowledge.  To choose truth, you must know truth.  If you have been taught error and you believe that error to be truth, then you will choose error and miss the truth. 

In times of stress, trials and temptations, a person will make decisions which are influenced by the lessons of the past, by the things which have been previously learned and accepted.  To choose wisely and to choose truth, a person must have committed to memory those things which are true.  The mind operate on past input.  To effect a change in your mind and thoughts, you must listen to the Holy Spirit who is sent to teach us all things. 

If a person does not know the right choice to make, they should wait on the Lord.  They should pray and ask God for guidance before they make a decision which carries moral importance. The Bible teaches us that “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”  (Romans 14:23).  If a person is confused, they should be still and wait on the Lord to show them the proper way forward.  Satan will try to cause confusion.  We must learn patience and recognize the danger of making decisions when confused.  To be confused is when you cannot think clearly or when the truth cannot be clearly known.  During such times, we must pray and seek the knowledge of truth which comes from God. 

1 Corinthians 14:27-33
27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

God is not the author of confusion.  God will send the Holy Spirit to teach you what you need to know so that you are not confused.  Don’t be hasty to act when confused.  In the Corinthian congregation, there were members who spoke many different languages.  It was a very ethnically diverse city through which flowed the commerce of many nations.  As a result of the multiplicity of languages and nationalities, they were exhorted to be patient with one another as they endeavored to express what they believed and to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was essential that they understand one another.  Paul taught them to speak one at a time with the use of an interpreter.  If there was no one there to interpret what a person wanted to say, then they had to submit to being silent to avoid confusion.  To speak without an interpreter and without others understanding what you say would be to sound like a barbarian.  A barbarian is one who appears to be uncivilized and unable to communicate with others. 

Acts 4:29-35
29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

This passage in Acts chapter four speaks of the social environment in which knowledge and wisdom are both expressed and exhibited.  In this Christian environment of love and compassion the peaceable fruit of godly knowledge and godly wisdom is truly evident in the lives of those who are righteous and holy.  There is no wisdom outside of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

1 Corinthians 2:4-10
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.
6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Man’s wisdom is very different from the wisdom which comes from heaven.  The wisdom which we speak as Christians is a mystery to all those in the world who do not and will not acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Master of the whole earth.  But, if you will believe in Jesus Christ and believe on Jesus Christ, then the Holy Spirit will begin to reveal truth, knowledge and wisdom to you. 

Exodus 31:1-11
1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah:
3 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,
4 To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
5 And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.
6 And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee;
7 The tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle,
8 And the table and his furniture, and the pure candlestick with all his furniture, and the altar of incense,
9 And the altar of burnt offering with all his furniture, and the laver and his foot,
10 And the cloths of service, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest's office,
11 And the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded thee shall they do.

By this passage, we see that all talents and abilities are the gift of God.  God is the giver of every good gift.  If you have a special talent or ability, you did not get that by yourself, God gave it to you.  God has enabled you to learn every good thing you can do.  Don’t take this glory to yourself.  Give the glory to God.  Don’t be deceived with Satan’s temptation to become proud and self-exalted.    

Leviticus 4:22-29
22 When a ruler hath sinned, and done somewhat through ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord his God concerning things which should not be done, and is guilty;
23 Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish:
24 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the Lord: it is a sin offering.
25 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering.
26 And he shall burn all his fat upon the altar, as the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall make an atonement for him as concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him.
27 And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty;
28 Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned.
29 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering.

Please note that this is an Old Testament scripture which is dealing with people under the Old Testament covenant.  The key subject in this passage is the “sin of ignorance.”  I would counsel you and warn you not to apply this scripture to yourself and your acts or attitudes of moral iniquity.  We now live in the dispensation of the gift of the Holy Spirit.  A child of God should progress quickly from the justified state to a sanctified state.  As a sanctified child of God, possessing the indwelling Holy Spirit there should be no sin of ignorance on that level of moral iniquity. 

Under the Old Testament covenant, the people of God did not enjoy the deliverance from their carnal nature which constantly tends to pull people away from holiness and into satisfying the flesh.  The works of the flesh are enemity to the works of the Spirit.  Without the infilling of the Holy Spirit there was a continual remembrance of sin in the lives of the people.  Without instruction and without grace, the Old Testament people often gave into the desires of the flesh.  When they were made aware of these failures, they were required to repent and offer the appropriate sin sacrifice. 

Under the New Testament day of grace, we have the abiding, indwelling, faithful Holy Spirit to control and influence our decisions, our actions and our attitudes so that we do not fall into moral sins of which we can rightly claim ignorance.  They Holy Spirit will check you and alert you to the evil act or attitude before it becomes a reality or a choice.  The sanctified child of God is capable of making a mistake in judgment, but he will not willfully or knowingly commit an immoral act of sin. 

Deuteronomy 1:34-40
34 And the Lord heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying,
35 Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers,
36 Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the Lord.
37 Also the Lord was angry with me for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither.
38 But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.
39 Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.
40 But as for you, turn you, and take your journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea.

The road to wisdom always leads through obedience.  Disobedience will always lead to destruction and loss of blessings and goodness.  The only way through and out of the wilderness is by following the Spirit of God and all His instructions.  If you refuse and rebel, the blessings of God will be taken from you and given to another generation.    

Proverbs 2:1-12
1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.
9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
10 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;
11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;

The road to wisdom must be walked, there is no free ride.  You will not always be carried through the difficult places.  There are steep places to climb and dangers along the way.  But the Holy Spirit will guide you and give you strenght if you are diligent and obedienct.  Sometimes you may need to go forward on your knees.  At times you may cry out to God on your bed.  When you are confused, stand still and see the goodness of God for He will appear to you and lead you forward.

Proverbs 9:7-10
7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.
8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Don’t try to force people to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Don’t try to win an argument with an unbeliever or scorner.   In the power of God’s love, live holy and you will make people hungry and thirsty for the way of truth.  Be an example of the believer and let others follow you of their own choosing. 

Proverbs 12:1
Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.

To get wisdom, you must first get knowledge.  Study and be willing to learn from others. 

Jeremiah 3:14-15
14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:
15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

If God would bless you by sending someone into your life to be a pastor for you, be willing to humbly submit to his instruction.  If he is living holy, trust him.  If he is not living holy, don’t follow him, because God does not send out unholy, un-sanctified pastors. 

1 Timothy 2:1-7
1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher…

It is the will of God that all people come to the knowledge of truth.  Like the Apostle Paul, I am ordained a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ which is the Truth.  I invite you to prove me and prove the doctrine I teach.  I believe that you will find truth, knowledge and wisdom.

2 Timothy 3:1-7
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

We are living in these last days and perilous times.  Many false prophets and hypocritical professors of Christianity have deceived multitudes of people.  They study and learn to do evil.  It seems that they are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  Why?  In their heart, they are selfish, proud, coveteous and will not submit to the voice of the Holy Spirit who would lead them out of darkness into the glorious light of truth and wisdom. 

Hebrews 10:24-26
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

Where there is no knowledge of the law of righteous principles, there is no sin.  However, the Holy Spirit has been given to make sure that we do know the will of God

2 Peter 1:1-8
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.
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.

It is not the will of God that any of us be ignorant of His righteous principles or of Satan’s evil devices.  We must not be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  If we seek for the truth, we will find the truth.  If we want the wisdom of God working in our life, we will have it. 

Provebs 4:7
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Amen!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

RIGHTEOUS CORRECTION

Recently I was asked the following question:  “What would happen if we just let go of judgment and replaced it with love?  What could happen?   Think about it.”  I replied, “Love is not the absence of judgment but rather the constant influence of righteousness and mercy.”  To which I received this response:  “I choose to forgive and release judgment.  I choose to only love and release those I once judged into the divine light of God.  I trust the divine Mind to lead us all into unity, which can only occur through love and acceptance.  You continue to judge if you”d like, but it is no longer for me or a part of my beliefs or thoughts.“   I replied, “People confuse the righteous judgments of God with human judging.  I judge no person.  Neither will I be judged by any man.  Jesus is my judge and their judge.  Jesus will judge every person with righteousness and mercy.  As a minister of Jesus Christ, I have no responsibility or duty to judge a person’s soul.  However, I do have a responsibility and duty to warn people when their conduct or attitude is contrary to the teachings of Jesus.”  To which I received this reply, “I choose to release what you think because you say you judge no one and yet you continue to judge.”  This person seems to have totally misunderstood what I was trying to explain.  Perhaps this person did not want to be corrected. 

Few people want to be corrected.  They want you to accept them just as they are without any point of disagreement.  If you disagree with them then they believe that you are judging them.  I can disagree with a person without judging or condemning their soul or their relationship with God.

All great learners want to be corrected.  I want to be corrected.  However, I do not want to exchange my errors for your errors.  I want truth.  I want to replace that which is wrong with that which is right. 

I have been asked to forsake my beliefs and submit to the beliefs of another person; even though I disagree with the other person’s position.  It is both unrighteous and unjust to demand that a person submit to and accept a doctrine or practice which he believes to be false or contrary to the Word of God.  When people sincerely want to know the truth, Holy Ghost inspired teaching will sweep away all false doctrine and opinions.  For this reason we must be patient and longsuffering with others while the Holy Spirit leads them in the right path. 

I have been asked to submit my belief in a future great Christian revival, and exchange it for the belief that there will be no future great Christian revival.  I have been asked to submit my belief that the 7th Seal earthquake (which is the 3rd spiritual revival recorded in Revelation 16:17-18) is yet in our future, and accept the belief that this 3rd earthquake happened in the decade of 1960-1970.  It was required by the fellowship of ministers with whom I associated and dearly loved, that I accept the belief that all prophecies of the Bible have been fulfilled and the next great event in the future of the church of God is the second coming of Jesus Christ.  Since I could not accept their position on this subject, I was labeled a false prophet and a Babylonian minister.  There was no attempt to correct me with a sound exposition of the Holy Scriptures. 

I have been asked to give up my burden for evangelistic and missionary work in Africa.  I was told that I must submit to working only in the local ministry of Knoxville, Tennessee.  I was told that I could not communicate or support any of the brethren with whom I had labored in Kenya.  What scripture could be given to correct me so that I should withdraw from the fellowship of the precious saints in Africa?

I have been asked to give up my belief in the two distinct and definite cleansing works of grace in full salvation.   I was told that in order to have fellowship with certain brethren, I must accept, believe and teach that a person is justified, sanctified and filled with the Holy Spirit in one initial work of grace.  There is an abundance of New Testament scriptures which support the truth of two works of grace.  Acts 8:4-17 is crystal clear that these two works of grace occur at separate times.  Justification follows repentance; and, sanctification follows after being born again.  When a person is regenerated, born again, he receives the mind of Christ.  A sinner cannot receive the indwelling Holy Spirit until the soul is purged clean by the redemptive blood of Jesus Christ.  John 17:16,17.

In many instances, people have asked me to give up my convictions and adopt someone’s convictions which are contrary to mine.  Unless I can be instructed by the Word and the Spirit that my convictions are contrary to the Bible; then, I would be risking the possibility of submitting to error by adopting their convictions.  

Hebrews 8:10-12
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

Correction employs the judgments and righteous standards of God’s Word.  Correction is not equal to judgment or condemnation.  We do not come to condemn, but to teach and to lead by example. 

1 Thessalonians 5:14,15.
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

No, I did not overlook the part which says “warn them that are unruly”, but did you overlook the part which says “support the weak and be patient toward all men.”

James 4:10-12.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
 
A justified and sanctified person can obey the counsel of James.  If you exalt yourself to sit in the judgment seat of souls, you are yet carnal and not sanctified.  A sanctified person will teach with all longsuffering and patience.  There will be the constant effort to establish others in the sound doctrine of truth.  The spirit of preeminence and dominion will not be found in the sanctified minister. 

Can you be corrected?  Do you want to be corrected?  Listen to the Holy Spirit.  He is faithful to teach you all things that pertain to salvation and the Kingdom of God. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

PREPARE TO DIE

Jesus Christ came into this world to bring the grace of God to prepare us to live holy.  He also came into this world to bring us salvation which prepares us to die holy.

If you live holy, you will die holy.  If you live as a sinner, you will die as a sinner.   This lesson is not given as a prophecy that someone will die soon; but rather, it is given that we may be sober minded about how we live because as we live so shall we die.

John 9:1-5
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

When the night of death comes, there will be no more opportunity to do the works of repentance and salvation.  Sleeping people do no work.

Ecclesiastes 9:10
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

There is no work to be done in the grave.  Salvation is a work of grace.  There is no work of grace to be done after the moment of your death.  Whatever you are going to do; you must do it now, while there is life in your body.  Again I say:  Sleeping people do no work.

Ecclesiastes 11:1-6
Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.
Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.
If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.
He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.
As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.
In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.

Verse three tells us that “in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.”  The instruction given to us in this passage is that when death comes there is no more changing the conditions of our position before God.  If we die in disobedience, we will be lost forever.   If we die being faithful and obedient, that also will not change when we stand before God. 

Matthew 10:16-22
16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

There is no crown given to the quitter.  There is no reward given to those who do not finish the race.  There is no discharge in the Army of the Lord.  We are all “lifers” who have committed our entire lives to the Lord.  If you want to inherit eternal life, you must endure to the end. 

Philippians1:12-26
12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;
13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;
14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;
26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.

Dying in the fellowship of Jesus Christ is better than living in this world.  However, it is necessary that we live in this world to be a teacher and an example to those who are lost in the bondage of sin’s darkness. 

2 Kings 20:1-7
In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.
Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, saying,
I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying,
Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord.
And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.
And Isaiah said, Take a lump of figs. And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.

Perhaps, it may have been better if Hezekiah had died when the Lord told him to prepare to die.  He latter acted unwisely and we do not have a clear testimony of his relationship to God when he died.  When God tells you that it is your time to leave this world, don’t insist on more time and run to the doctors and give all that you possess to live a few more months.  Sinners are willing to give all that they possess to live just one more day. 

 Jonah 4:1-11
But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.
Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.
Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?
So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.
And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.
But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.
And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.
And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.
10 Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:
11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

Jonah was so mindful of conditions in his world that he could not tell the difference between the value of a gourd and the value of 120,000 souls with whom God wished to show mercy. 

Do you see the value of what you are doing for the Lord?
The Bible teaches us that the value of one soul is worth the whole world.

Romans 8:18
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

This earth is not our home.  We have a home in heaven and it is more glorious and more to be desired than anything is this world.  Do not fear that physical transformation which will come upon you to take you from this time world into eternity with our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:54-58
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

The sting of death is sin.  But, praise the Lord, sin has been removed from our record and our actions.  We have lived in holy obedience to our Lord and we are prepared to leave this world to be with Him forever.  Be not afraid of the sleep which is to come and separate you from this world.