Monday, September 26, 2016

INCREASING FAITH

Satan would like for us to forget some very important truths about our soul and our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Satan would like for us to forget what certain words mean. He would like for us to forget that we can and we will increase in faith. The longer we stay saved, keeping the commandments of God, the stronger our faith will become. We will exercise ourselves in believing and trusting God; and because we do endeavor to increase, God will help us to increase.

1 Thessalonians 3:6-10
6 But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:
7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:
8 For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.
9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;
10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?

Think about Paul's statement to the congregation of the church of God at Thessalonica. Paul said that he had a burden to visit with them again so that he could “perfect that which is lacking in your faith.” This statement is embedded in the question, “what thanks can we render to God again for you?” The answer to the question is that God will give Paul the opportunity to visit them again and minister to them so that their faith can be increased.

I have two questions to ask you.
  1. Can you be patient with a brother or sister who is weak in faith and not condemn them for their weakness?
  2. Can you resist the temptation to be envious and covetous of a person who has stronger faith than you do?
1 Corinthians 2:1-8
1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
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.

It is our objective to establish your faith upon the witness of the power of God. A gospel without power to deliver people from their sins and their diseases, is not of God. The rulers, ministers and princes of this world who do not know the wisdom of God will not exalt the Lord or edify the body of Christ. Jesus Christ still has a ministry who are anointed to preach the gospel according to the command of Jesus:

Matthew 10:7-8
And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”

If we do not see the fruit and evidence of a sanctified ministry, called and anointed by the Holy Spirit, then we need to “dig a little deeper” as brother Cleve Green used to sing the song, “Dig A Little Deeper.” We must spiritually dig until we find that “wellspring” that never will run dry.

2 Corinthians 10:12-18
12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
13 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.
14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ:
15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,
16 To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand.
17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.

We have preached to you the rule of righteousness, mercy and judgment. We have ministered to you according to the commandments of the Word of God. We have not taught you the traditions and opinions of carnal men, but rather the rule of holiness which is required of all those who profess salvation through Jesus Christ. Now, when your faith is increased to believe and understand what we have given to you, we will see the evidence, the proof and the fruit of our gospel which is according to the power of God.

2 Thessalonians 1:1-6
1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;

How do we know that our faith is growing? We rejoice in “your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:” How is your attitude and conduct when persecutions and tribulations come? We will suffer many things, both in our fleshly body and in our soul.

James 1:1-8
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

When God allows Satan to test you with some hardship, don't be fearful or doubtful:

1 Peter 4:12
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:”

1 Peter 1:6-9
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Perhaps you need to memorize verse 7. We must not forget that God allows His dear children to be tested and tried with temptations and hardships. These temptations and hardships are not proof or evidence of disobedience. These sufferings do not mean that God is displeased with you. Examine your heart and know yourself. If there is no willful disobedience in your life, then you must stand and not be moved by the lies of Satan.

2 Peter 1:1-12
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.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
God wants us to add virtuous character traits to our faith. These virtues will add to our faith and cause our faith to increase. The more we abound in these virtues, the greater our faith will become.

Remember the words which Moses spoke to the children of Israel:
Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

Remember the words which the Apostle Paul spoke to the congregation of the church of God at Corinth:
1 Corinthians 16:13-14, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity.”

If you are a man, woman or young person; when trials, tests and tribulations come your way, act like a strong man. Jesus Christ in you is stronger than all the powers of Satan.

Let your hardships and difficulties make you strong in faith, increasing day by day until you reach your heavenly reward. The end of your faith is eternal life with Jesus Christ.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

FELLOWSHIP AND UNITY

What do we mean when we speak of fellowship with one another and unity with one another? Do we have fellowship and unity with everyone? Are there certain conditions which must be met before fellowship and unity can be enjoyed? Where do we find the rules and requirements for fellowship? Jesus told some people in:

John 5:37-40
37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

Do you want to know and understand the true meaning of fellowship and unity? Then, search the scriptures. The scriptures will testify of Jesus Christ. The Holy Bible is what we live by. We do not live by men's ideas and opinions. There are many religious people who will not come to Jesus. They have their own way of rules, judgments and traditions. There are many who want to build their own criteria for fellowship. Every just and righteous rule must have a righteous principle upon which it has its authority.

Ephesians 4:1-16
1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

What does the scripture mean when it says, “by that which every joint supplieth”? A “joint” is what connects one member of the body to another member of the body. The spiritual joints are the (SEC: NT:860) ligament and the tendons which connect us to one another.

Ephesians 4:20-25
20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

In the church of God which Jesus purchased with His own blood, it is the truth which joins a man to his neighbor. We are joined together by the Word and the Spirit. Whatsoever is more than this is evil and leads to carnal conduct.

Psalms 94:14-23
14 For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.
15 But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.
16 Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
17 Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.
18 When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.
19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.
20 Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?
21 They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.
22 But the Lord is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.
23 And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the Lord our God shall cut them off.

The “throne of iniquity” the rule of a carnal man, shall not be our guide. The Lord is my defence and my refuge. I will run into Him and be safe from the unrighteous authority of carnal men. The ligaments and tendons of truth will hold me fast and I shall not fall.

Acts 2:38-47
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

The “apostles' doctrine and fellowship” was not the invention of the apostles. Their doctrine and fellowship was established upon the words of Jesus Christ. The doctrines of Jesus were established upon the words of God, for Jesus received them from His Father and gave them to us. Likewise, the doctrines and fellowship which God's true ministers preach and practice are not based upon the changing customs of society, but upon the unchanging and righteous rules of God.

1 John 1:1-7
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
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 at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, 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.

Our fellowship with one another is first established upon our fellowship with Jesus Christ. We can not and will not have fellowship with each other if we do not have fellowship with Jesus Christ. If a person is walking in darkness, causing strife and division, the child of God can not have fellowship with that person.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

The children of God can not have fellowship with the children of Satan. We can not eat of the same bread. As it is written in Proverbs 4:17 concerning the sinner, “For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.”

Ephesians 5:8-13
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

What is this light which “doth make manifest”?
John 8:12, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
John 3:21, “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
Luke 11:35-36, “Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.”

Are you living your life according to the light of truth which is the words, the doctrine and the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Are you being guided by the infallible counsel of the Word and the Holy Spirit?
Are you sure that you are not walking in the desires of your own flesh and heart?

Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.”
We cannot have not fellowship with the self-centered works of the carnal man.
I pray that the Lord will show you to yourself. Know yourself, whether you are walking in the Spirit or in the flesh. Establish all things upon the Word and the Spirit. They are the two witnesses which will safely guide you through the dangers which lie in your pathway to eternity.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

DIVINELY INSPIRED MEMORY

The following quotations are well stated and submitted to you for your consideration and understanding.

Knowledge is the state of awareness and understanding gained from experience and education and acquiring specific information about various phenomenons taking place around us. A well educated and well informed human being can make intelligent decisions based upon their understanding and awareness of everyday situations and overcome difficult conditions prevailing at a particular time...power is said to be the ability or capacity to act or perform effectively; and without knowledge, this ability to perform effectively, is not possible at all.” - Leshay Adams

This is a question that has been bothering me for a long time. It seems to be a really deep question as I ask myself “how do I know something?” and “how do they know something?” and “how can we be sure our knowledge is correct?”  These are important questions if we’re going to point our lives in the right direction, precisely because we’d like to be sure we “know” which direction is the right one."

In Wikipedia, the definition of knowledge is;
Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something, which can include facts, information, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. It can be implicit (as with practical skill or expertise) or explicit (as with the theoretical understanding of a subject); it can be more or less formal or systematic. In philosophy, the study of knowledge is called epistemology; the philosopher Plato famously defined knowledge as “justified true belief.” However, no single agreed upon definition of knowledge exists, though there are numerous theories to explain it.
Knowledge acquisition involves complex cognitive processes: perception, communication, association and reasoning; while knowledge is also said to be related to the capacity of acknowledgment in human beings.
So it seems like I’m not alone. There is no agreed upon definition of knowledge and several theories trying to explain it. Here are my thoughts on the subject.
To learn something fundamentally new, some original knowledge that nobody else yet knows, can only (?) be done in these ways;
  1. From observation and contemplation
  2. From personal experimentation and contemplation
  3. From contemplation alone...”  End Quote.
To these three means, I, Jim Storts, would add:
  1. By divine inspiration
By divine inspiration, I am speaking of that which is known and becomes part of our acquired base of knowledge by way of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the most reliable source of knowledge. It is true that some things may be known by the means of the first three methods listed above. However, # 4 is the most preferred, accurate and true.

John 14:25-26
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.

How did we get this wonderful book we call The Bible? It did not come into existence just because some men decided to record some religious events. This book is not the work of intelligent men working out their own will and their own thoughts. This book is the result of the Holy Spirit inspiring and stirring up the minds of the Apostles to record the events as the Holy Spirit brought them to their memory. They would not have remembered these things if the Holy Spirit had not put these words into their mind.

1 Timothy 4:6
If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

It is the duty of men of God to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ so that the Holy Spirit can take the spoken word and cause the hearers of the word to remember and understand the will of God. The final conclusion is this: All truth, all knowledge is a divine revelation and gift of God. You may learn something true from another person; however, “original knowledge” which is true, righteous and holy has always come from God. The “original knowledge of evil” came through Satan's temptation and man's disobedience. There is no good thing in the knowledge of evil. All sin is the personal choice to know some evil thing.

2 Timothy 1:1-7
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

The Holy Spirit caused Paul to remember certain things. Paul then caused Timothy to remember certain things. This is a divine work; it is the divine inspiration of the mind.

2 Peter 3:1-2
1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

In the Kingdom of God, the Lord Jesus Christ has given divine inspiration to His ministers to teach and preach the Word of God so that the people will remember and not forget. If we do not stir up your memory, you may very well forget what you have been taught.

Jude 5
I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

It is human to forget. For this reason, we must pray, study and listen to what “thus saith the Lord” by the Holy Spirit and the ministry of the church which Jesus purchased with His own blood.

John 2:15-17
15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;
16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

Did the disciples remember by their own cognitive exercise of thinking, reasoning and remembering?
The answer is NO!
When you “remember” something, where did that thought come from? Did it originate within your own mind? Or, was that thought put there by some external, spiritual being, i.e. the Holy Spirit or Satan. Satan will remind you of your past to criticize you, but God will not remember your past against you if you have repented and turned from the deeds of your past.

John 2:18-22
18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
21 But he spake of the temple of his body.
22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

The disciples remembered and wrote down what the Holy Spirit caused them to remember. The word of God is not a record made according to the thoughts of some men. It is a divinely inspired record.

2 Timothy 3:14-17
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

If a book is divinely inspired, can it be faulty or erroneous? Does the Holy Spirit make mistakes when He stirs up the memory and mind of a person to record special events and instructions? The answer is and must be NO!

John 16:4
But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.

What Jesus told the disciples and what He taught them are the very same things which the Holy Spirit caused the disciples to remember and write for our instruction and understanding.

If you are justified and sanctified, then you have the gift of the Holy Spirit who is able to cause you to remember what thus saith the Lord and do those things which the Lord has commanded you to do. You are not left alone to struggle against the wiles of Satan. Neither are you left alone to struggle against the lack of understanding which exists as a result of a lack of knowledge. The Holy Spirit will teach you all things. He will bring things to your remembrance, if you are willing and obedient. Be patient and be obedient to the voice of God.

Jude v.24 and 25
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, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Counsel of God

Learn to listen to the voice of God.
The Holy Spirit has been sent to teach you all things.

John 14:26
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.

I believe some people never learn to listen to the Holy Spirit. They do not pray and ask God for the spiritual discernment to recognize which spirit is talking to them. We must learn to recognize the voice of Satan and the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Luke 12:10-12
10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.
11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:
12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.

The Holy Ghost has been sent to teach and guide the children of God into all truth. If a person blasphemes the Holy Ghost, then who will teach that person? They are without hope, because they have rejected the counsel of God which says that the Holy Ghost shall teach you all things. Is it any wonder that so many people who have refused the Baptism of Fire are walking in darkness and confusion?

1 John 2:23-27
23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.
25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it [Him, the Holy Spirit] hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

This anointing of the Holy Spirit is our safety against all spiritual error and false doctrine. Hold fast to the truth which you have heard and known to be true. Don't let Satan and his devils steal your confidence, your faith and your victory.

Galatians 1:6-9
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

We must be so convinced and settled in the truth that we can not be moved to believe things contrary to the truth we have already received. Regardless of their charisma and their fair speeches, if their words are contrary to the truth you have heard, then let them be accursed. We have two witnesses and we must know the truth as presented by these two witnesses, the Word and the Spirit. They never contradict each other. The Holy Spirit will tell you the same thing that the Holy Word teaches.

A common error of our day is to believe that traditions have the same value and spiritual authority as the commandments of God. God has warned us in His Word to not add to or subtract from the commandments of God. When ministers begin to add their personal judgments to the commandments of God, trouble begins. These human interpolations are opinions which become traditions. After years of observance these opinions become equal to the commandments of God. An example of a current issue with some church of God congregations is the issue of “facial hair” on men. Some ministers are willing to cause division over whether or not it is a sin for a man to have a beard or facial hair. What does the Bible and the Holy Spirit say about men having facial hair? Absolutely nothing that forbids any man to have a beard or facial hair. How then did it become a test of fellowship? Answer: Some minister believed it was worldly; so he forbid men in his congregation to have facial hair. Then it spread to other congregations. This is the way human traditions become spiritual issues.

Luke 7:29-30
29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.
30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.

Some of the Jews justified God by believing and being baptized. Others rejected the counsel of God by refusing to believe John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. It is a very serious matter to know the truth and hesitate or refuse to accept the truth.

Isaiah 1:16-23
16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.
22 Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:
23 Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.

Will you reason with God and follow His counsel? Is your will more important than His will for your life? Can you make better decisions without God than you can by listening to Him and following His counsel? When people will not listen to the voice of God, they will be turned into confusion which will lead to disobedience and separation from God and His people.

Revelation 3:14-22
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

God's counsel to us, in this evening time of the gospel day, is to buy from Jesus the grace of a holy experience of obedience which has endured the fiery trials and tests of this life. If you know the counsel of God for your life; and, you do not submit to the will and counsel of God; and, you die in that condition of disobedience, you will be lost eternally.

Deuteronomy 32:28-29
28 For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them.
29 O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!

Will you understand the counsel of God? Will you consider how you will die and where you will spend eternity? The way you live in this life will determine where you live in eternity.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

LEARNING PATIENCE

Have you ever prayed this way: “Lord give me patience and help me right now.”?

Webster Dictionary: definition of patience/patient: able to remain calm and not become annoyed when waiting for a long time or when dealing with problems or difficult people; done in a careful way over a long period of time without hurrying.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance: cheerful and hopeful endurance.
It takes the love and grace of God to produce patience which meets the criteria of cheerful and hopeful endurance. A justified person who has not been purged of his carnal nature will have difficulty producing this vital fruit of the Spirit. With great effort he must control his emotions and not become resentful, annoyed and critical of that situation which tries his patience. The carnal person will be strongly tempted to criticize and condemn before he has the necessary understanding to discern the truth of a matter. A sanctified person will find a greater measure of grace to remain calm and helpful in dealing with problems or difficult people.

Luke 21:16-19
16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.
18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

When you are betrayed and hated, you will need patience to possess your soul. If you seek revenge and retaliate when you are persecuted, you will lose your salvation and become like those who are against you.

Luke 8:15
But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

You will need patience to bring forth good fruit. If you can not bring forth good fruit, then you are not good ground. Out of an evil heart comes evil. Out of a good heart comes good. It can not be otherwise. Regardless of what men may think, believe or say, the law of sowing and reaping can not be changed. Whatever is sown is like that which is reaped. The fruit must be like the seed that is planted. You can not bear the fruit of wheat if you have sown tares in the field.

James 1:3-4
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Let patience have her perfect work. Let it! Don't hinder patience. Wait for it and wait with it. Have confidence that God is able to uncover and reveal the truth. Jesus is the head of the church. He does not need you to control everything and everybody. We have been called to be an example of the believer. Jesus wants us to be a living epistle, a living book which may be read of all men. Show me how to live holy by your actions as well as your doctrine. Many religious people know the doctrines of the church of God, but they are carnal and can not restrain their own spirit to wait patiently on the Lord.

James 5:11
Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

Were Job's prayers answered instantly and immediately? Did Job wait on the Lord? What happened to Job while he waited. His friends accused him of being a sinner. His wife told him to curse God and die. His children were killed. All his earthly possessions were stolen or destroyed. He was reduced to poverty. But, his testimony was this:
Job 1:20-22
20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, [it does not say that Job fell down and complained or murmured against the Lord. HE WORSHIPPED.]
21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; bless
ed be the name of the Lord.
22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

This is an example which God has given to us for our instruction. Job is an example of a man of God whose trust and confidence was entirely in God. The song poet said, “whether I live or die; whether I wake or sleep; I am the Lord's.”

Romans 5:1-5
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Tribulations, trials, hardships, persecutions; all these things will teach you patience if you let the Lord exercise His grace in you to be patient. With patience you will have a profitable experience which will produce hope and a strong expectation of God's goodness and faithfulness to meet all your needs. All these things will make you happy and have no sorrow of evil.

Romans 8:24-25
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Do you have hope that the Lord will meet all your needs? The Christian hope is a joyful expectation that God will help us in every time of need. The Holy Spirit is with us and in us, to guide us in the way of victory and peace.

Romans 15:4-7
4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

Are you patient “one toward another”? Did Jesus judge and condemn His disciples when they did not act or think the way He wanted them to think and act? No, He taught them the right way. He took them aside and expounded His doctrine to them. He prayed for them until they were sanctified and filled with the Holy Spirit.

Colossians 1:10-11
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

What a powerful scripture with which Paul challenged the Colossians to be holy: pleasing the Lord, being fruitful in every good work, increasing, strengthened, patient, longsuffering and joyful. This is the true description of a child of God.

1 Timothy 6:11-12
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

Are you following after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness? The sanctified person will have a good measure of these characteristics of the Holy Spirit filled child of God. If you, with patience, let the Lord lead and guide you; then, you will increase in all these characteristics.

2 Timothy 3:10-14
10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

Paul was able to present himself as an example of a patient minister of God. Can you present yourself to the public for examination and show that you possess these traits?

Titus 2:2
That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

Older men and women who have lived a life of obedience to the Lord must have this testimony which Paul describes to Titus. Remember the words of Jesus, “ In your patience possess ye your souls.

Hebrews 10:35-39
35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

If you need something, God is able to supply what you need. Do you need more patience? God will bring into your life those circumstances where you can learn patience and practice patience. Don't rebel against the instructions and lessons of God.

Hebrews 12:1-4
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

Let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”
Accept this challenge and do it. If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.

2 Peter 1:3-12
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.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

This is the way of salvation. Walk in it. Don't allow the enemy of your soul to cause you to be impatient and resent the trials and tests God permits to come to you.