Saturday, November 28, 2015

HOLINESS

Psalms 32:1-2
1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

What is the definition of “guile”?  The Merriam-Webster dictionary gives this definition:    the use of clever and usually dishonest methods to achieve something.

God will not accept the person who allows his heart to become deceitful, dishonest or hypocritical.  If you are deceitful or dishonest in judging your own soul, you are guilty of guile.  Likewise, if you are deceitful or dishonest in judging some other person’s soul, you are guilty of guile.  If you are guilty of guile, then you are guilty of iniquity and God will impute iniquity to you.  God will charge you with being sinful. 

John 1:47
Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!

There have been and there are presently in this wicked world those people “in whom there is no guile.”  They are true Christians.  They are holy and blameless, without sin in their heart or conduct. 

Psalms 119:127-133
127 Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.
128 Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.
129 Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them.
130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
131 I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments.
132 Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.
133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

With the exception of the matter concerning Uriah’s wife, for which David was punished by God and David repented; David lives a just and holy life before God.  The desire of David’s heart was to please God and keep His commandments.  He lived his life after the manner described in verses 127 through 133.  How are you doing?

Do you love the commandments of God above everything in this world?
Do you esteem all the precepts of God to be right?
Do you hate every false way?
Do you keep the testimonies of God and consider them wonderful?
Do you receive the word of God as the source for your light and understanding?
Do you open your mouth and heart to eat and drink the commandments of God?
Do you pray and ask God to order your steps in all the affairs of your life?
Do you ask God to give you grace and power to resist all the temptations of Satan and deliver you from all sins? 
Is there any sin/iniquity which has dominion over your will, whereby you yield to sin? 

Luke 1:67-75
67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

This is the plan and will of God: that all those who believe on His Son Jesus Christ shall “serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.”

As the apostle Paul said to the church at Rome, “let God be true, but every man a liar.”
When the words of men are contrary to the words of God, believe God.  When preachers make excuses for pleasing the flesh, don’t believe their counsel.  The Bible says that we must crucify the flesh and walk after the Spirit so that we may be saved. 

Luke 6:43-45
43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

A tree is used to represent a person in this parable.  A tree and a person is identified by the kind of fruit produced.  A good person will not produce evil fruit.  An evil person will not produce good fruit.  Even though an evil person may have certain actions which seem to indicate the presence of goodness, in reality his attitudes and conducts are deceitful in many ways.  Satan will the use the benevolent deeds of a sinner to influence others to think that God is putting His approval and acceptance on a sinner.   In the common affairs of living in this world, it rains on the just and the unjust.  When sinners enjoy certain pleasantries, it is no proof that God is approving of their heart condition. 

2 Corinthians 7:1
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Ephesians 1:1-4
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

1 Thessalonians 4:7
For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

What is holiness? It is:  the quality or state of being holy, morally good, free from sin.
Are you holy?  God has called us to be morally clean and holy. 
God has chosen the justified and sanctified child of God to be a temple for His Holy Spirit.  We must be holy.  God will not dwell in an unclean heart.  You cannot be disobedient and hypocritical and have the Holy Spirit in your heart. 

Hebrews 12:13-15
13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

When something or someone is “lame” out of proper order, it is the perfect will of God to heal that condition.  However, if the person involves is not willing to let it be corrected according to God’s laws, then it will be “turned out of the way.” 

Listen to the righteous counsel of God’s word.  Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.  If your objective and purpose is not to follow after peace with all men, you will not see the Lord in Heaven.  Don’t let some root of bitterness or trouble defile your soul.  You must be free from sin, free from iniquity, free from guile, free from hypocrisy.

1 Peter 1:14-16
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.

Can anyone deny this clear and emphatic challenge and requirement to be holy and God is holy?  If we expect to make heaven our eternal home, then we must be holy as God is holy, blameless and free from evil.  Christians are made holy by the grace and blood of Jesus Christ.  We are first made holy by our repentance and God’s forgiveness; which equates to “justification.”   And thereafter, we are made the “holiest of holies” by our consecration and self-mortification and God’s approval and acceptance that we have presented ourselves as a holy sacrifice unto God; which equates to “sanctification.” 

Having been conformed to the holy standards of God, through faith and obedience, we are made holy and have become perfect in the eyes of God.  When we speak of perfection, we are not referring to that measure of perfection which God possesses.  God never makes a mistake.  We are subject to mistakes because we are sometimes lacking in knowledge and understanding.  Yet, according to all the understanding and knowledge which we do possess as a divine revelation from God; we are obedient to all the light of truth which has been imparted to us. 

The following scriptures teach us that the children of God are perfect. 
Perfect defined as an adjective:  having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.
Perfect defined as a verb:  make (something) completely free from faults or defects, or as close to such a condition as possible

Genesis 6:9                           Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations
Genesis 17:1                         Abram...be thou perfect  [Note: This is a command]
Deuteronomy 18:13              Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.
Job 1:1                                   Job...that man was perfect
Psalms 37:37                        Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright:
Proverbs 2:21                       upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. 
Matthew 5:48             be ye therefore perfect
Matthew 19:21                      If thou wilt be perfect
Luke 1:6                                 walking in all...blameless
1 Corinthians 1:8                  that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:6                  among them that are perfect
2 Corinthians 13:9,11           “be perfect”, be complete and mature in your obedience
Ephesians 4:12,13               unto a perfect man
Philippians 3:10-16              “not” perfect in his relationship to his goal;
“is” perfect in his relationship with his God
Colossians 1:28                    present every man perfect in Christ Jesus
Colossians 4:12                    Stand perfect and complete in all the will
1 Thessalonians 2:10           holily and justly and unblameably
1 Thessalonians 3:10           perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
1 Thessalonians 3:13           he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God
2 Timothy 3:7             the man of God may be perfect
Hebrews 6:1                          Let us go on unto perfection
Hebrews 9:14                        purge your conscience from dead works
Hebrews 10:1                        make the comers thereunto perfect.
Hebrews 10:14                    he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Hebrews 12:23                     the spirits of just men made perfect
Hebrews 13:21                     Make you perfect in every good work to do his will
James 1:4                              ye may be perfect and entire
1 John 2:4,5                           in him verily is the love of God perfected

Salvation makes the child of God perfect before God.  The Christian is completely free from sin.  The quality of his character is free from moral defects. 


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Spirit of Intolerance

Intolerance is defined as the absence of the ability to allow someone’s understanding without consenting to agree with their understanding.  Of course “tolerance” is the opposite of intolerance.  What do the Holy Scriptures have to say about the subject of intolerance and tolerance?

Mark 9:38-40
38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
40 For he that is not against us is on our part.

It is human nature to be against something or someone when you do not know or understand all the facts.  You must learn to guard against rejection based on your lack of knowledge and understanding.  It takes grace and faith to hold something or someone in reserve until they are proven.  It is not necessary to agree or disagree until you have proven what is true.  Satan has caused much confusion and division in congregations by pushing people to condemn one another, being intolerant of spiritual differences.  Spiritual differences often exist even though no sin has been committed. 

Galatians 2:11-14
11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Peter was fearful of the Jews which were of the circumcision thinking that they would not understand or tolerate his relationship with the Gentiles.  Peter was afraid that the Jews would not accept the Gentile converts and therefore reject him as well.  Peter was afraid of the possible intolerance he expected to experience with the Jews. In his attempt to work with both the Jew and the Gentile, with their existing differences, Peter was badly mistaken in his course of action, and Paul reproved him for his error.  Peter’s actions had the strong appearance of hypocrisy.  Whether or not Peter was actually guilty of hypocrisy in his heart, the scriptures do not tell us that he had sinned.  It is my personal belief that he had not sinned, though his judgment was indeed harmful to the church body. 

3 John 9-11
9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

Diotrephes was an intolerant minister.  If you did not agree with him, he would cast you out of the church.  There are some ministers who are like that today, who claim to be appointed by and filled with the Holy Spirit.  They think they have been made responsible for the cleansing of the church.  Some are intolerant for less noble reasons.  They are covetous of the praise of the people and envious of anyone whom they think may excel above them in the gifts of the Spirit and the effectual work of God. 

There is a righteous intolerance.  We do not make excuses for sinful actions or sinful attitudes.  We do not tolerate excuses for willful disobedience. 

There is an unrighteous intolerance; whereby a person is not willing or able to be patient and longsuffering with someone who has not the same light and understanding which we have received. 

Matthew 18:21-22
21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

What kind and degree of tolerance was Jesus teaching?  Was Peter’s thoughts tending towards intolerance?  Peter, no doubt, was thinking that seven was a perfect number and quite appropriate as a limit to his tolerance for offenses.  Why did Jesus use such a large number to quantify our obligation to forgive and be tolerant of the offenses of others?  Twelve is one of God’s perfect numbers, why didn’t Jesus say, “You need to forgive at least twelve times.”  Or, twenty-four times would have been above and beyond sufficiency for anyone’s tolerance and forgiveness.  Four Hundred and Ninety; seventy times seven!  Isn’t that extreme tolerance?  No!  Quit looking at the numerical factor or the time factor.  Think about the beauty of reconciliation and fellowship which results from your patience, longsuffering and willingness to exhort, encourage and forgive. 

James 5:19-20
19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

When someone errs from the truth, backslides, falls away from the saving grace of Jesus Christ; what should we who are saved do for this person?   Shall we condemn him and cast him out of the congregation.  God forbid.  We who are strong should reach out to rescue the lost. 

Galatians 5:14-16
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

An intolerant person will bite and devour those who disagree with him. 
How do you treat people who disagree with you?
Can you love those who oppose you and have compassion on them for their soul’s sake?
Are you able to suffer offenses for the benefit and salvation of others?
Are you intolerant at the wrong time?
Are you tolerant at the wrong time?
The Holy Spirit is your only source of wisdom and discernment to know how you should respond to the actions and words of those who oppose you.

I pray that the Lord will give us more Holy Spirit filled men and women who can consistently and continually manifest the fruit of the Spirit.





YOUR ATTITUDE

Salvation is all about your attitude toward God, toward His laws, toward His people and toward the life work He has called you to do for His Kingdom.  People have rebellious attitudes.  People have resentful attitudes.  People have selfish attitudes.  Then, there are those people who love God and their attitude is humble obedience with gratitude and thanksgiving.  They have an attitude of worship and praise for God’s blessings, His mercy and His grace.  They have an attitude of a servant’s heart to serve one another in the Kingdom of God.  God knows all about your attitude.  We must know truly, sincerely and honestly what kind of attitude we have in everything. 

Attitude is defined as “the mental or moral disposition” of a person’s mind and soul. 

What position do you take towards the laws and promises of God?
What position do you take toward the children of God and the welfare of the church of God? 
Does your disposition reflect and bear the fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit?

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

This list of attitudes, virtues and character traits is a vital check list for each child of God who wants to conform to the perfect will of God.  If you do not want to conform to the perfect will of God, something is wrong with your attitude. 

Do you love God with all your heart?
Do you love all of God’s children?
Do you love your neighbor and your enemies?

How can you say that you love God if you do not love others with all the compassion, respect and honor which is due to them as precious souls? 
If you love someone, you will want to help them and not hurt them.  If you love someone, you will want to help them overcome the errors and faults they may have.  You will not condemn them and cut them off without prayer and endeavoring to reconcile them to God and His truth. 

Do you have the joy of salvation in your heart which overflows with praise and thanksgiving?  Can other people see that you are enjoying being an obedient child of God?  Nehemiah said in Nehemiah 8:10, “for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Rejoicing in your salvation relationship with God will make you strong.  Your joy will help you be a better soul winner.  People are not interested in a religion which makes people sad and unhappy.

Do you have peace in your soul?  When Jesus delivers you from all the power of sin and redeems you to Himself, you will have peace.  Peace is fully enjoyed by those who have been set free from the bondage and suffering of sin.  As children of God we have a peace which passes the understanding of people in the world.  To have lasting, enduring peace you must know the Prince of Peace. 

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

The peace which the world produces is very temporary.  It will not last. 
We must have the moral disposition to be a peacemaker. 

Matthew 5:9, Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

You cannot win a person to Christ if they see you as an enemy. 

Are you able to be longsuffering with those whom disagree with you?  We live in a world of people who are very impatient.  They do not have the grace to suffer long with people.  Many people are quick to judge and condemn the person with whom they are opposed.  Longsuffering is made possible by patience.  Many scriptures exhort us to be patient.
Luke 21:19 Jesus said:  In your patience possess ye your souls.

If you do not have the grace and virtue of patience, you will not be able to stay saved. 

Hebrew 6:12
That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

How about gentleness; do you have a disposition of gentleness?  Are you gentle in your words and conduct with others?  To be gentle is to be mild, meek and careful in your relationship with others.  When someone is confronting you with some opposing position, can you be careful to be gentle?  They are weak; you are strong; so, can you be gentle? 

1 Thessalonians 2:7-8
But we were gentle among you, like a woman caring for her little ones:
Even so, being full of loving desire for you, we took delight in giving you not only God's good news, but even our lives, because you were dear to us.

Do you treat the children of God like a loving mother treats her precious child?  Think about your attitude toward those who are weak in faith or slow to learn.  Think about those who have been abused, neglected and ill trained to understand the righteous way of salvation. 

And then we come to “goodness.”  Can others describe you as a person full of goodness?  Not your goodness, but the goodness of God which is profitable to the Kingdom of God and the people in your life.  The goodness which Paul mentions in this passage is equal to benevolence; the acts of kindness towards others.  Do you have a disposition to help others who need what you can provide, spiritually, emotionally or financially?

Is your attitude and disposition one of faith in God?  Can you have faith that God is in control of all things and there is nothing which will happen without God’s action or permission?  Without faith it is impossible to please God, so says Paul to the Hebrews. 

Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

To doubt the goodness or faithfulness of God is shameful. 

Meekness is not a weakness.  The judgments and opinions of people in the world are distorted and deceitful.  Do not allow their beliefs to cause you to doubt the necessity of meekness which is the same as humility.  God will always resist the proud and He will give grace to the humble.   If you want to walk with God and have His blessings, you must be humble and have complete victory over pride.  Pride will cause a person to fall and be destroyed.  Humility will give you favor with those who are wise. 

Matthew 23:12
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Proud and arrogant people are ugly, inside and out.  Regardless of their station in life and their physical beauty, they are still ugly if they are motivated by pride. 

Last, but not at all the least, there comes temperance.  A person has little temperance until he is entirely sanctified by the Holy Spirit.  Temperance is self-control.  A carnal person will not be able to exercise self-control indefinitely without the Holy Spirit’s cleansing of the carnal nature. 


All these virtues are the fruit of being filled with the Holy Spirit.  If you do not have one or more of these characteristics, should you question whether or not you truly do possess the Holy Spirit and He possesses you?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

SHAME ON AMERICA

Yes, I said shame on America.  The conservative and Christian majority in American have been guilty of political and spiritual indifference, carelessness and spiritual lukewarmness.  We have sat idle while the atheist, the agnostic and the humanist have been diligently educating our children to think like they think and do what they do.  For the last 100 years, we have allowed these political and religious liberals to pervert the minds of our children.  They have filled our congregations, schools and universities with anti-Christian philosophies.   

Pastors and parents have accepted the lie that we are all sinners, doomed to living a sinful life for which there is no deliverance from the bondage of sinful conduct.  Generations of American children have been taught the lie that they should not judge between good and evil.  Meanwhile, the political and religious liberals are judging everything people do and condemning those who would dare to disagree with their wicked ideals. 

The professing Christian of our day tends to be a pacifist while the liberals are very aggressive to the point of violence.   These powerless, professing Christians allow the wicked to rule while the poor and the meek mourn.  If there is any hope for America, it is high time for the people to rise up and resist the corruption which pervades our nation.  We must go to the voting booth and sweep aside these covetous, selfish politicians who seemingly have no understanding of the damage to our nation and the danger for our children.  VOTE. Help other to become active in selecting the leaders of our country.

Ask your pastor why he thinks that the grace of God in your soul is insufficient to enable you to resist the devil and say “NO” to temptation.  Stand up against those school teachers who indoctrinate your children with their lies and wicked philosophies.   Your children, who attend government schools, do not need to be instructed with perverted sexual immorality.  Find out what your children’s textbooks are teaching.  Talk to your children about what is happening at their school.  Get involved.  Quit being a bystander while your children are being bullied and corrupted. 

STOP being indifferent and careless.  Study to know the truth for yourself.  Most people should be ashamed of how little they know of the truth of the Holy Word of God.  Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  Be diligent.  Be faithful to your own soul and to those you love.  Stand in defense of the truth, regardless of the cost.  Quit believing everything your preacher says without proving it with a careful study of the scriptures.  Get a good dictionary and know what the Bible teaches.  If you do not know the meaning of words, how can you protect your soul against false prophets and false doctrine. 


God bless America.  He cannot bless us if we reject Him and His Son Jesus Christ.  If you love God, you will obey His commandments and His commandments are not hard.  The way of a transgressor is hard.  Wake up America, before your shame becomes your ruin.    

Saturday, November 7, 2015

WATCH

What does it mean to watch?  Dictionary definition:  “Look at or observe attentively over a period of time.”  Watch is very different from look.  To watch means to look attentively over a period of time.  A person may look at something and then look away.  The word of God teaches us that we must watch.  Watch for the safety of your soul.  Watch to be able to identify the difference between good and evil. 

Many automobile accidents happen because people are distracted and do not watch the traffic around them.  Many children grow up without proper parental guidance because the parents do not watch what they are doing and instruct them in the right way.  Many things we could name which go wrong because someone was not watching, looking at attentively over a period of time. 

Men and women, boys and girls are not watching.  They are not paying attention to the cause and effect of what others and themselves are doing. 

Mark 13:32-37
32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

WATCH, WATCH, WATCH!!!  Has Jesus given us sufficient warning?   He did not say “Look”, He said watch.  Are you watching or just looking?  Are you sleeping or watching?  Are you giving your attention to the way you are going and where the path you are on will lead?  Are you on the path to a blessing; or, are you on a path to destruction and sorrow. 

People are hasty to judge and hasty to act.  They do not take the time to watch and consider the consequences of their actions.  We should watch our thoughts, watch our words, watch our attitudes and watch our desires.  We should watch our ambitions, our plans and our past.  We should learn by observing for an extended period of time.   

Will Jesus find you watching?  Do you know why you believe what you think is true?  Is it true?  Have you watched the fruit and the consequences of those people who believe a certain doctrine?  Have you proved it by the confirmation of the Holy Bible and by your observations of actions and results?

Luke 12:35-40
35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;
36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.
40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Verse 35 speaks to us of a diligence to be prepared and ready.  Verse 36 teaches us that we should be alert to “open unto him immediately.”  Our lights must not be allowed to go out and cause us to walk in darkness.  When Jesus calls you out of this world, will you be ready?  Will He find you watching?  You do not know when your end will come.  You must live holy, obeying the commandments of God each and every day to be ready to meet Jesus Christ.  We live in a sleepy, lukewarm day when many people are sleeping and not watching for their own safety.  Their soul is in danger of being eternally lost and yet they are carelessly sleeping. 

Psalms 141:1-3
1 Lord, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee.
2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
3 Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

King David prayed that the Lord would set a watch at the door of his lips.  He realized the importance of watching what words came out of his lips. 
What standard will you use to measure the things you watch for?  Except you watch with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, you will err in judgment.  Some  people seem to be so busy watching others, they have neglected watching for their own soul. 

Matthew 25:1-13
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

People are not being exhorted or encouraged to watch for their soul.  They are not being told that they need to watch their attitude, their words or their conduct.  False prophets are satisfied with sleepy people who do not think about whether something is right or wrong. 

If your light has gone out; if your light has been extinguished by evil deeds; then, you will not be ready when Jesus comes.  If you are not ready when Jesus comes, there will be no second chances.  There will be no time to repent.  The Day of Judgment will be come and we will give an account for how we have lived. 

1 Thessalonians 5:5-8
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

The children of light and the children of the day walk in the light of truth.  They watch for righteousness.  They watch for the fruit of the Spirit which must be evident in the life of God’s children.  They watch for expressions and acts of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.  When people watch you, do they see the fruit of the Spirit? 

Revelation 3:10-11
10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

Satan will use people to tempt you to turn loose of your crown of salvation.  Satan wants you to doubt, give up and surrender to his accusations and temptations.  Watch and keep yourself from that person who would falsely accuse you and take away your confidence in your salvation. 

Revelation 16:15
Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Jesus is not speaking of a physical nakedness of the human body; but rather, a spiritual nakedness of not be clothed with a robe of righteousness.  Sinners are walking in the shame of their spiritual nakedness and many can see their shame, which they ignore and some even boast of their evil deeds. 

What do you watch for?
How attentively do you watch?
When do you watch?

Who is influencing your watching?  

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

THE INTENT OF THE HEART

The transgression of a righteous law which is imputed by God as sinful is always intentional.  The sin which separates a person from God is always willful, knowing and intentional. 

The word “intent” is defined as “having the mind bent on an object; eager in pursuit of; firmly resolved.”  The sin which separates a person from God is never a mistake or an act arising out of a lack of knowledge and understanding.    It is often stated that sin can be an act of commission or omission.  It must be understood that whether it is an act of commission or omission, it must be an intentional commission or an intentional omission.

Righteous judgment exists only when there is full proof of the intent of the heart.  A person can only be judged as guilty of sin when there is incontrovertible, unquestionable evidence of the intent to choose a morally evil course.  To judge and condemn a person as being guilty of sin, which is deemed to have separated that person from fellowship with God, without a full discovery of the evil intent of the heart, is also evil and wicked.

Unrighteous judgment has resulted in congregational divisions and the creation of sects and denominations.  Innocent men and women have been unjustly excommunicated from the fellowship of saints.   Marriages and families have been broken and destroyed because some minister has promulgated a false doctrine upon the people.  Doctrine has been elevated above charity.  Conformance has been elevated above discernment.  Men’s opinions have displaced Holy Spirit leadership.  While these unsanctified ministers claim to have divine understanding, they haste to judgment without a diligent search for the truth and the critical element of “intent.” 

Our world and the church stands in great need of leaders who will carry out the responsibilities of their administration with compassion and the perfect love of God.  Godly compassion and perfect love provide the bulwark of safety necessary for our voyage through the rough seas of life.  Sadly, many innocent folks have been carried away by the winds of false doctrine.  Others have been discouraged and turned aside by the desire of men to exercise unrighteous dominion over others.  Some men have demanded conformance regardless of understanding.  Patience and longsuffering have been hastily set aside in favor of forced obedience.  Seemingly, we have few people brave enough to stand against the unrighteous influence of people who value their favorite doctrine at the expense of an innocent soul.    

Hebrews 4:12-13
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Jesus Christ is the Word of God.
Jesus Christ is the one “with whom we have to do.”
The Word and the Spirit are the “discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  Judgment must be the product of divine discernment which brings forth the vital truth of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  According to the word of God, two or three witnesses must provide credible, unbiased, unprejudiced testimony of the evidence presented for judgment.  Confessions of wrong doing, obtained by duress are unacceptable and inadmissible.  Confessions of wrong doing which are the result of Satan’s work as “the accuser of the brethren” are also unacceptable.  A Holy Ghost filled minister will discern these faulty confessions and be able to provide wise counsel to the troubled soul.  How can any man judge another man when he does not know the thoughts and intents of the heart?  It is possible, and it has been well documented, that a precious soul under emotional stress may become spiritually weak and confess to sin, when in fact there was no intent to disobey the will of God.   

A carnal minister or religious professor will defend their selfish and personal agenda, rather than give place to mercy and justice.  These evils come from pride and covetousness.  They also are the result of an overly sensitive belief in their responsibility to protect and defend the church.  They seem to forget that Jesus is the Head of the church and is well able to protect and defend His Bride, the church of God.  Jesus said in John 7:24, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

Righteous judgment must have as its foundation a perfect understanding of the intent of the heart.  Every sin that a man commits is without the body.  Out of the heart proceed the issues of life. 

1 Corinthians 6:18, “…Every sin that a man doeth is without the body;…”

Mark 7:18-23
18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;
19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Our gospel, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ, is not based on dietary rules.  It is based on the intent and purpose of the heart.  It is not based solely on doctrine, but rather on obedience to the light of truth which has been revealed to the individual.  Dietary rules are important and useful.  Doctrine is essential.  However, God looks on the heart and so should His ministers and all His children.  Innocence is more important than intelligence (the ability to learn and understand things)
1 John 4:7-11
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

1 John the fourth chapter is one of the most beautiful chapters in the Bible.  It puts supreme emphasis on the perfect love of God which is the foundation for all that we do, all that we say, and all that we believe.  The love of God is “shed abroad” in the heart of man when he repents and is pardoned, in the wonderful work of regeneration and justification.  This holy love is perfected in the blessing of entire sanctification.  Therefore the sanctified person must manifest the grace to do all the works of love as they are set forth in the scriptures.  The fruit of the Spirit is spoken of in a singular sense and yet it bears all the character and virtue of the “fruit of the Spirit.” 

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

If you do not see the clear evidence of all nine of the characteristics of the Holy Spirit, then you should have reason to examine yourself to know whether or not you have been filled with His sanctifying power.

1 John 4:16-21
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19 We love him, because he first loved us.
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

The love of God is the most important virtue to be considered.  The love of God is synonymous with charity as it is described in 1 Corinthians chapter 13.  It is recognized by the attitude and actions of tenderness, kindness, gentleness, carefulness, helpfulness, longsuffering, patience, etc.  The love of God will bring us to repentance, forgiveness, justification, sanctification, the unity of the Spirit and the unity of the faith.  Love does not run hastily to hurt.  It does not seek revenge or condemnation.  Even in judgment, it is balanced with mercy, righteousness and justice.  It will not pass judgment or condemnation without full knowledge and proof of the intent of the heart.   

Jude 23
And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

When the glorious virtue of the love of God is truly become the possession of the soul, and the soul possessed by this perfect love; then, grace to manifest that love will be a powerful testimony of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  His power and grace and wisdom will be visibly active.  That person, who is filled with the Holy Spirit, will be able to put the needs of others ahead of his own needs.  He will make sacrifices of his own time, energy and resources to pull others out of the fire of sin’s destroying force. 

The sanctified person’s intent is to serve God and His saints.  He will reach out to the sinner, the backslider and the ones who have erred in doctrine.  He gathers; he does not scatter.  He is compassionate without compromise.  When the Christian minister fails to reach agreement with a sinner or someone who lacks understanding, he is able to submit the issue to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit without condemning the person.  Give God time to do the thing you cannot do.   Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit, not us.

2 Timothy 2:24-26
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

 The servant of the Lord, who has been entirely sanctified, will be easily entreated.  He will be gentle as he teaches other with patience.  In meekness he will instruct others in the way of truth, even when they are opposing themselves, not rightly dividing the word of God.  The servant of the Lord does not exercise dominion over the faith of others.  He does faithfully instruct those who have been caught in the snare of the devil, so that they may recover themselves.  All these things are done in loving humility and without false accusations or evil surmising. 

The intent of the heart must be evident that the Christian worker has the single purpose of leading people to Christ and to a clear understanding of their relationship to Christ. 


When you speak of God and His holy commandments, what is the purpose and intent of your heart?  When you share the gospel with another person, what is the purpose and intent of your heart?  Can you speak when God says for you to speak; and, then stop when God tells you to stop speaking?  Can you do the work of a soul winner without strife, pride and covetousness?