Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Essays on Africa

The web site links provided in this post below are like chapters in a book. They are sequentially related and should be read beginning with Part One through Part Seven and then the final essay titled “Africa the Third Time.”

It was at the Lakeland, Florida minister's meeting in the year 2004 that I shared these thoughts with the church of God ministers who met at the Lakeland campgrounds each year. Since my presentation to the ministry included the concept of a great revival of Christianity prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ; my position was labeled a “Babylonian message.” I was admonished to not preach this message anywhere or at any time. I accepted that council with the exception that I would take my liberty to share these thoughts with other ministers and with the congregation over which I was the pastor in Knoxville, Tennessee. I agreed to not teach this message from the pulpits of other congregations. Certain individuals took advantage of this difference of belief between myself and other ministers, then added a few of their own false accusations and all of this evolved into the move of the congregation asking for my resignation from being pastor of the congregation in Knoxville.

I have shared these thoughts with many ministers, including many in Africa. I have never heard the first effort to disprove my thesis by the means of scriptural opposition. Thirteen years ago, the ministry told me that the next significant event in the future of the church is the imminent return of Jesus Christ. They held the position that there would not be any great revival of Christianity before the end of the world. I was told that if I did not believe Jesus could return that very day, then I was a Babylonian preacher. I held that Jesus would not return until all the prophecies of the Bible were fulfilled. One minister told me that he knew that all the prophecies of the Bible had already been fulfilled. I could not accept that position. Therefore, in their opinion, I am a Babylonian preacher and not qualified to minister in any of their meetings. Their rejection and condemnation of me resulted in many factions and divisions which continue to hurt the universal body of Christ.

I continue to stand by the interpretation of Scripture which present the following portrait of end time events. Please read these postings prayerfully and seek that wisdom and understanding which can only come through divine revelation. May the Holy Spirit lead you and bless you.










REPENTANCE

The foundation for fellowship must begin with repentance.

Hebrews 6:1-3
1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3 And this will we do, if God permit.

In Matthew 3:2 John the Baptist preached saying “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

In Matthew 4:17 the Bible tells us “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

In Acts 2:38, we read, “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.”

Repentance is more than a decision.
It is a deliberate and meaningful act which comes forth from godly sorrow.
It is the expression and commitment of a broken and contrite heart.
True repentance is the response of a sinner to the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
Except God calls and draws your heart to Him, you can not humbly repent.
Repentance is based on godly sorrow and a commitment to turn from all sin to serve and obey the Lord Jesus Christ.

Merriam-Webster defines the repentance of man as: the act of turning from sin with sorrow, regret and contrition

Man’s repentance must consist of both confessing and forsaking all sin. Confession alone is not repentance. Sad to say, most religious people who attend church every Sunday, Sunday night and the weekly services, have not truly repented of all their sins. They admit that they are still sinners, saved by grace. A person who is a sinner will not have godly sorrow; except the Holy Spirit lead his heart into a sincere remorse for his past and present sinful conduct.

Isaiah 55:6-7
6 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Under the Old Testament and the New Testament God has always required people to turn to Him and forsake their wicked ways and unrighteous thoughts. We must not yield to Satan and his many temptations. God will give us grace to say no to temptation, if we will repent and turn to Him with godly sorrow.

Luke 13:1-5
1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Some people think that their sins are not so bad that God would require them to forsake their sinful ways. They hope that God is so loving and compassionate that He will accept them into heaven even though they have lived their life without repenting and forsaking all their sins.

Psalms 51:17
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

True repentance which is acceptable with God must have the characteristics of a broken spirit and a contrite heart. Do you know what that really means?

A broken spirit means that your heart is emotionally broken. You experience sincere regret, remorse, sadness and shame for your past sinful conduct. The experience of repentance is more than just making a decision on your knees. A dry-eyed trip to the altar with no tears of godly sorrow is highly suspect of being a decision of the mind only and not a decision from the heart.

It seems that the days when men and women, boys and girls experienced real Holy Ghost conviction while listening to real anointed preaching by the real Holy Ghost, have almost disappeared into history. Rare is the church service that ends with people at the altar weeping over the burden of guilt for the sins they have committed.

Matthew 3:1-2
1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
2 And saying, Repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
And in Matthew 3:8
Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

Our gospel message still begins with a call to repentance.
So, what are the “fruits meet for repentance?” They are that which the Holy Scriptures have taught us: godly sorrow and a broken and contrite heart.

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.

Repentance is the work of a sinner. Pardon and justification is the work of God. In both repentance and justification, it is the grace of God making salvation possible.

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

There is a sorrow of the carnal man; the sorrow of the flesh and pride. Many people have sorrow because of being exposed as an evil and sinful person. Their sorrow does not merit the forgiveness of God. He sees the heart and knows that they do not have true godly sorrow for their sinful transgressions. Although they may confess their sins; they are not forgiven or justified, because they have not truly repented, turned away from and forsaken all their sins.

Jeremiah 2:26, “As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed.”

To REPENT only when caught is not acceptable.

Hosea 14:1-2
1 O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.
2 Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.

Have you gone to the Lord with the words: “Take away all my iniquity.”?

Matthew 7:22-23
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Is that the report Jesus will give you at the Great Judgment?

Joel 2:12-15
12 Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
14 Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the Lord your God?
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:

Repenting and turning to God sounds like serious business. It is serious business. God is serious and you must be serious. This is not a casual experience. It involves a definite wholeheartedness. It includes fasting, weeping and mourning.

Sometimes people do not easily get loose from the bondage of their habits and addictions. If you can't get loose the first time you go to the altar, you should go home and do some fasting and mourning and praying.

So what must a sinner do? REPENT!!! If you don't, God will hide Himself from you.

Isaiah 1:15-20
15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
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.

Come now, and let us reason together.
Have you repented with godly sorrow and a broken and contrite heart?
This message is still the same message we have for people today.
Except you repent, you will perish.
If you die in your sins, you can not go to heaven and be in the presence of Jesus Christ and God the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Listen to the Holy Spirit now and do the works of repentance if you still have sin in your life.




Thursday, August 10, 2017

THE FOUNDATION FOR FELLOWSHIP

Christian fellowship is the most wonderful relationship possible for any and all people. There is no organization, club, fraternity, sorority, or religious sect which can compare with the Christian family. We are brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. The church is our mother and God is our father. We have been united together by a new birth whereby we are adopted into the loving family of God.

The new birth is the experience of being born again by faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. We are united by faith, by His blood and by His Word. There is no power greater than the power of God's love in salvation. We are the only ones who can break that fellowship. We make the decision to unite by obedience and we make the decision to separate by disobedience.

John 17:20-23
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

This fellowship and unity of the Christian family has never been equaled by any group of like-minded people in all the history of mankind. We must recognize the beauty and value of our fellowship in Christ and never let anything or anyone separate us from each other. We need each other to have the fullness of joy which God has ordained for His children.

Matthew 19:16-19
16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.


Having a loving attitude, a heart full of compassion and tenderness, meekness and patience will enable you to work with other people and enjoy this Christian fellowship. This life style has been imitated by other religions, but never duplicated. No other religion has ever been able to produce this heavenly fellowship.

There are some requirements which must be met to produce this Christian fellowship.

John 8:41-45
41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

You choose your father and your father then chooses your life. In order for us to have Christian fellowship, we must have the same Father. If God is your Father, then you will keep the commandments of Jesus Christ. You and I will live by the same family rules. God has the same rules for all His children. He does not teach His children contrary rules and doctrine.

Amos 3:3
Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

God is speaking to the children of Israel by the prophet Amos. In this passage of scripture, God is chastising the children of Israel for their rebellion and disobedience. He is telling them that they can not have fellowship with God because the people of Israel rejected the counsel of God and would not keep His commandments. If we don't believe God and obey God, we can not have fellowship with God or His people.

1 Corinthians 3:1-4
1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

Carnal people need to get sanctified and have that carnality purged or else it will always lead to envy, strife and division. Carnal people will not be able to consistently produce unity. A justified person will enjoy the unity of the body of Christ until his carnality causes him to prefer one brother over another which leads to envy, strife and division.

1 John 1:1-3
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.

John is confirming his conviction that He has seen and heard the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was John's desire to show this truth to others. Fellowship with John was built upon fellowship with Jesus Christ. If someone does not have fellowship with Jesus Christ, I can not have fellowship with them or they with me. Ye must be born again to have fellowship with the family of God. Many people are claiming to be born again but they can not have fellowship with people who are living holy. If someone is holy and you can not have fellowship with them, you must not be holy.

1 John 1:4-7
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.

Fellowship with Christ must be established first before people can have fellowship with each other. The church of God is an exclusive family. Many people want to make it an inclusive family. Many people think we ought to just accept everyone who claims to be a Christian even though they continue to commit sin and teach other people to reject the requirement of holiness.

There is no fellowship without holiness. You may have a religious organization without holiness; but, you can not have fellowship with Jesus Christ and His people without holiness.

No doctrine (except repentance, regeneration and remission of sin) is the initial test of fellowship. Doctrine is important and absolutely necessary. But fellowship begins with being born again. Justification puts us into the family of God and makes us holy, free from sin. Upon this foundation of holiness we can build fellowship. We can not build fellowship upon a sinful life.

For you to reject fellowship with me is a rejection of my testimony of salvation. By denying fellowship with me, you are making the charge that I am a sinner. The body of Christ can not be divided.

Ephesians 4:1-6
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.

First things must be first. There is a critical requirement that certain things must come first and be observed first. Before there can be a unity of the faith (i.e doctrine and instruction), there must first be a unity of the Spirit (i.e. the fruit of the Spirit:") 
Galatians 5:22-25
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.

Following this laying of the foundation of the fruit of the Spirit in justification, we continue to Paul's conclusion:

Ephesians 4:11-16
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.

This is the fellowship of the Christian family.
It should be enjoyed by all who have been regenerated, born again, justified.
It is the rightful privilege of every newborn child of God.
Woe be to the person who claims to be a Christian and denies fellowship to an innocent and holy child of God.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS

Who is responsible for your spiritual blindness? This is a very serious question. The cause of some people's ignorance is the honest lack of instruction, knowledge and opportunity to learn and know. However, the cause of some other people's spiritual blindness is their personal failure to walk in the light of truth which has at some point been revealed to them and they rejected the light because of some external influence or evil lust. Have you known the truth and then rejected it? Has the Holy Spirit spoken to your heart and mind and you refused to listen? People have often rejected truth because they were being taught a false doctrine. Even though the Holy Spirit warned them to refuse the teaching of a false doctrine, they accepted it and failed to heed the warning of the Holy Spirit. Who is responsible for your spiritual blindness?

1 Corinthians 2:12-14
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

People who are spiritually blind will not believe they are blind. They say they can see. They have deceived themselves by thinking they are saved and in fellowship with Jesus Christ while they are still committing sin. We blow the trumpet of truth in hopes that the message of holiness will wake them up to the reality of their blindness.

John 9:39-41
39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

When people are religiously blind, they say they see and understand things which they do not see and understand. But because they say they see and are determined to believe what they want to believe, Jesus told them that their sin is imputed to them and they are guilty. They will not walk in the light of truth; therefore, they are walking in darkness. If you are walking in darkness and you insist you are walking in light; then you will be judged responsible for your error. Your ignorance of the truth will not be an acceptable excuse, because you rejected the light of truth and would not obey truth.

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.

Jesus is the light of the world. We have His words and the words of His apostles to teach us the true light. If we reject the light of truth, then we are sinners.

John 11:9-10
9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.

There are certain consequences for walking in darkness. People who walk in darkness stumble and do not know what they stumble over. They do not understand and do not know that they do not understand. They are confused and do not know that they are confused.

Acts 14:15-16
15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:
16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.

God has allowed nations of people to walk in the darkness of their own choosing. They like their way better than God's way. God will let you do what you want to do. But there will be consequences for choosing to walk in the darkness of your way.

1 John 1:5-2:1
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.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Chapter 2, Verse 1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

Sinners walk in darkness. Saints walk in light. Sinners are children of the night. Saints are children of the day. Every person is either a child of light or a child of darkness. Every person makes the choice of which spiritual power will rule in their life, either Christ or Satan. The default is Satan. If you neglect to submit to Jesus Christ, Satan is your master. There is no neutral ground.

Romans 13:11-14
11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Paul did not say, “Make no provision for the flesh.” He qualified and explained that statement by adding “to fulfill the lusts thereof.” To lust after something is to have an excessive desire which leads to disobedience of a righteous principle. The children of light must not make provisions for the flesh in an excessive manner. We must exercise temperance in all things.

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.

Children of light must separate themselves from the worldly conduct of the children of darkness. We do not live in sin to the satisfaction of the flesh. We do not allow addictions and excesses in our daily life. We have power over the flesh so that we can live obedient to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Luke 23:33-34
33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

The religious Jews who crucified Jesus Christ were spiritually blind to the great sin they were committing. They knew they were doing wrong, but they did not know the fullness of the terrible thing they were doing. They were spiritually blind to the magnitude and severity of their sin. People who walk in the darkness of sin, do not realize the great sinfulness of their conduct; nor do they rightly consider the dire and eternal consequence of their sins.

John 15:20-24
20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

What has Jesus done in your life to take away your excuse for sin?
Have you seen enough light of truth to take away your excuse for sin?
Have you heard enough preaching of truth to make you responsible for your conduct and attitudes?
Have you chosen to walk in the light of truth; or, have you chosen to close your eyes to the truth?
God knows the thoughts and intents of your heart. If you willfully disobey God, he will send you a strong delusion and you will continue to walk in darkness and be eternally lost.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Satan is a liar. If you believe Satan instead of believing the truth, God will send you a strong delusion and you will believe a lie and be lost.

Believe God and let Him heal your spiritual blindness so you can see and know and understand the light of truth.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Full Soul

Let us begin our study today with some wise counsel found in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 27:5-7
5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
7 The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.

There is much wisdom in these three verses. If someone loves me and cares earnestly about my soul, I certainly will appreciate their wise rebuke. If they see me err and do not show me the path of righteousness, then their secret love is of no benefit to me. In reality, their failure to rebuke me and show me the truth is harmful to me and may put my soul in danger of being destroyed by my spiritual enemy, Satan.

On my part, if I am so satisfied with what I believe and what I do, that I will not receive their rebuke, then I am among those whom Solomon said have a full soul and hate the sweetness and goodness of truth.

Solomon said, “The full soul loatheth an honeycomb.” When a person is full, their appetite, their hunger and thirst is satisfied. They do not want any more. Even something sweet is no longer desirable. Have you ever heard someone say, “I am stuffed. I can not eat another bite.” Some people are stuffed on false religion, false doctrine and the pleasures of sin. They are completely satisfied to remain just as they are. Don't try to feed them another bite. They will reject the truth because their soul is full of their own selfish desires.

The full soul has no fear of hunger or thirst. Even though what they have eaten and drunk is not nutritional or beneficial to their health, they will reject healthy, nutritional food.

Drunkards are satisfied with just another drink of their alcoholic beverage.
Tobacco users are satisfied with just another cigarette, a pinch of snuff, a chew of tobacco.
Drug users, chemical abusers are satisfied with just another hit, another high.
Their physical body is crying out for nutrition and relief from the destruction; but no, they are satisfied to continue as they are.
The full soul is not looking, hunting, seeking. They want nothing more.
They have what they want. They are addicted and do not want anything more.

Psalms 42:1-2
1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

King David describes his desire for God with this allegory of a deer that has a strong thirst for the fresh water from the flowing, refreshing streams of the water brooks. Can you say “AMEN!!!” with King David when he cries out: “My soul thirsteth for God.”? How will we know that your soul really and truly does thirst for God? We will know by your conduct and speech.

Matthew 5:6
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Can people tell by your conduct and speech that you do hunger and thirst after righteousness? When you do hunger and thirst after righteousness, with what will God fill you? God will fill you with faith and wisdom. He will fill you with the Holy Spirit. He will fill you with grace and glory.

John 4:10-15
10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
[What causes a person to ask Jesus for the drink of water which satisfies the soul? You must know you need Him and thirst after Him. You must be thirsty for His presence and His fellowship.]
11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

It is my greatest desire to help people come to the place where they would ask Jesus to give them the water of life to drink.

John 7:37-38
37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Jesus is the only one who can satisfy the thirst of your soul.

Revelation 7:14-17
14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

The children of God are led unto living fountains of waters. Our thirst and our hunger is satisfied with spiritual blessings from God. But it is not so with sinners who die lost. Consider the rich man who neglected the needs of his neighbor Lazarus.

Luke 16:22-24
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

How will you be after you die?
Will your soul still be thirsty? Will your tongue burn with thirst?
Or, will you be perfectly satisfied with Jesus Christ in heaven's eternity?
Your thirst can be satisfied while you are alive in this world.
Your soul and your thirst will never be satisfied in hell's eternity.

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

It is my desire and duty to feed you. I have set a table of spiritual food before you, but I can not make you eat. You must hunger and thirst after the truth which is preached to you. I have obeyed God. I have done what I can. Now, it is up to you to do what the Holy Spirit calls you to do.

You have probably heard the expression, “I am fed up!”
They mean to let you know that they are fed up with what they are doing: or, what someone is doing. They don't want to hear any more. They are fed up. They do not want any more of any thing you have to say. They are not hungry or thirsty for the message you want to share with them.

Are you fed up?
Are you tired of hearing the truth?
I like what the song poet has written:
I love to tell the story:
For those who know it best,
Seem hungering and thirsting,
To hear it like the rest.

Are you hungry and thirsty? Or, are you fed up?