The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

Posts Tagged ‘obey Jesus’

Avoiding Persecution at the Expense of the Gospel

Posted by israeliteindeed on August 3, 2016

Ever since I began to read the Voice of the Martyrs magazine* years ago, I have had the conviction that the western Church has much to learn from the Church in the rest of the world, and particularly from the suffering Church. This is not to say that the non-western Church has no errors or weaknesses. We know from reading Revelation 2 & 3 that churches can have both. They need rebukes, exhortations and continual guidance by the Great Shepherd. Sometimes they go so far astray, they are under threat of having their lamps darkened forever.

However the non-western Church has an advantage, in that her faith has survived wars, poverty, social upheaval and persecution. In most cases, she has not learned that persecution must be avoided at all cost, or that Jesus died to give her prosperity and earthly security. Jesus did not lie when He said it was hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God, and we in the west are rich. There is a great blindness and apathy that seems to accompany prosperity and ease, unless we are very careful to cast it off. I believe that listening to these foreign disciples–and watching how they live out their faith–is akin to going to Jesus for some much-needed eye medication.  We have much to learn.

With that in mind, I’d like to share a message with you from a Christian evangelist who works in Tyre, Lebanon among 95% Muslims. He was born a Muslim himself, but became a follower of Jesus at a young age, due to the influence of a Christian church in his neighborhood. He lived for some time in the USA, after being flown here when his life was threatened because of his preaching. But he went back, and he opened a mission which openly admits with a sign that it exists to proclaim the gospel.

Mohammad Yamout tells his story and delivers some powerful exhortations to the western Church in the video below. Here is a transcription of part of it:

“Any Christian who thinks he can avoid persecution, I think that is not possible…We’re in the devil’s den. You’re attacking the fortress of the devil. The devil is not going to kiss you if you attack him. He’s going to attack back…

And any time you will try to avoid persecution, you have to do it on the expense of the gospel. You will compromise your stand in order to avoid persecution. I don’t want to compromise my stand. I don’t want to compromise the gospel to avoid persecution.

Many people, under the pretext of wisdom, say, ‘You have to be wise.’ I don’t know how wise you can be. I don’t think you can be more wise than Jesus Christ. He came, and He had to be persecuted. And He had to die. There was no other way.

For the gospel to spread out, and for people to know the truth, we have to die too. For the Muslim people to know Christ, we have to die. There has to be a line of martyrs in the future, I think, before these people understand that there’s a God that loves them. If we’re not ready to pay that cost, I don’t think anything’s going to happen….

Christianity was spread in the first century church by the blood of the martyrs. People died, that’s how Christianity was spread. That’s how we conquered.

Today in order to conquer, we have to be ready to die. People ask me in churches, ‘What makes a good missionary?’ And my answer is always, ‘Are you ready to die?’ If you’re not ready to die, pack it and go home…This was the life theme of every successful missionary–they were ready to die for Jesus.”

I hope you will set aside time to watch the entire video. God bless you.

*Note: While I credit the VOM magazine for helping me to better understand the worldwide church, and I respect its founder Richard Wurmbrand, I can no longer promote the ministry due to some revelations that Richard Wurmbrand’s son brought to light.

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Striving Against Sin

Posted by israeliteindeed on July 26, 2016

30217You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. Heb. 12:4

My family knew a man who told us he was “struggling against the sin of pornography.”

It turned out he kept a big box of porn under his bed. He opened it when the urge hit, and then he felt some guilt afterward because he knew it was wrong, but his guilty feelings never drove him to change. When challenged with Scripture, he justified his sins by saying we all sin.

My friends, this is not striving against sin. This is making provision for the flesh and living after the flesh. He provided for his flesh by keeping the box beneath the bed when he already knew it was wrong. And he lived after the flesh by repeatedly obeying the urge to open the box. This man deceived himself that he was a Christian involved in the “struggle against sin.” He was actually a repeat-sinner in ongoing rebellion against God, experiencing worldly sorrow–a sorrow that does not lead to repentance and salvation (I Cor. 7:9-11).

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Rom. 13:14)

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Rom. 8:13)

Can it get any clearer? Unless we put on the LORD Jesus Christ, and put to death and mortify the deeds of the body, we will die. Period.

I could post the whole chapter of Romans 6 here. But here are some highlights–

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (1-2)

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. (5-7)

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (12-16)

Either we are dead to sin and no longer living in it, or we are still obeying sin and headed to an eternal DEATH. We have a choice to make. To whom will we present the members of our bodies?–Sin or God? To truly be under grace is to be freed from the dominion of sin. If you are under the dominion of sin, you are separated from grace and need to die with Christ that you may also live with Him.

Jesus depicted the struggle against sin very graphically–

If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Matt. 5:29-30)

If you are offering your eye, your hand, your mouth, or your mind to sin, dare you believe that Jesus will accept your excuses after this stern warning about the peril of sin and its consequences?

“We all sin…”
“If my spouse/parents/children/problems were different, then I’d be different…”
“People hurt me, so I can’t help…”

Jesus won’t accept these excuses. He said cut off the hand or pluck out the eye. Do whatever you have to do to escape being cast into hell. Because you WILL be cast into hell unless you get the victory over sin. And the victory over sin comes through Him, but He doesn’t hand you victory on a silver platter while that wicked box is still under your bed, friend. Until you truly sorrow over your sin to the point that you are ready to fight to the death, the victory will not come.

Do you want to strive against sin and win? Here’s what that looks like–

March into your bedroom and pull that wretched box out. Take it outside and set it on fire. Confess to the Lord that you have done wicked things He hates. Confess that you deserve His judgment and there is no excuse. Ask Him to break your heart as His is broken over sin. Ask Him to show you how your sin exploits and hurts others (He will). Call up a strong Christian and tell him what you just did. Ask him to check up on you regularly and hold your feet to the fire. Give him access to your future internet searches. Search out and find every verse that exposes and condemns that sin, and post them around the house. Memorize verses about holiness, obedience, and victory in Jesus. Make a covenant with your eyes that you will not look lustfully at women (Job 31:1), and daily walk out that covenant. When you want to stop at the convenience store that sells dirty magazines, REFUSE to stop. In fact, don’t go to those stores. Don’t hang around people who look at porn. When you drive past a seductive billboard or half-dressed woman, train your eyes to look away, refusing to offer your eyes to unrighteousness. When you accidentally see an image that tempts you, immediately replace the image with Scripture or a remembrance of what Jesus did for you on the cross. Pray and take the way out by obeying Jesus no matter how strong the temptation is. Teach others that porn will take them to hell. If the internet is a problem, GET IT SHUT OFF. This is not too harsh, friend. This is not yet resisting to blood, and you have to be serious in the fight if you want to overcome.

When’s the last time you fasted from food and meditated on Scripture all day, so as to bring your body completely under subjection and get the victory over that evil thing you keep doing? It may take that. Do whatever it takes.

When you’re engaged in this kind of struggle, you can be sure that the Lord will come down and fight for you. He will not let you be tempted beyond your endurance, but will provide a way out. But too many are offered a way out and don’t take it. You must train yourself to take the way out. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Sin crouches at the door and desires to rule over you, but YOU MUST RULE OVER IT. You must! And you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, but if you ignore the way out provided and make provision for your flesh, you will fail of the grace of God.

I was delivered from cigarettes many years ago, when I cried out to the Lord and He told me to crush my cigarettes to bits and discard them. I had been praying for deliverance for a couple months, while asking my spouse to leave me a few cigarettes per day. As long as I made that provision for my flesh, I couldn’t quit.  But when I acted on the Lord’s command and crushed them up, told my spouse not to leave me any more, and also refused to ever buy a pack ever again, that was it. I never smoked again.

Of course the tempter tried to get me to return to my vomit. A few months later, I woke up on a summer night. The first thought that popped into my mind was, “There’s a pack of cigarettes on the counter (my spouse still smoked.) If you get up and smoke one on the porch, no one will ever know.” At that point, I had a choice to make. I could smoke it and blame my spouse for tempting me. Or I could resist the devil and REFUSE to even get out of bed. I chose the latter. Staying in bed was the way out. And I’m happy to say the tempter fled and the urge passed. God’s Word is true.

A dog  feeling a bit sad about devouring his vomit, and a washed pig “sorry” to have fallen in the mud again, is not a struggling Christian. Such a person was better off before knowing the truth–

For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 2 Pet. 2:20-21

Now maybe you don’t drink, smoke or chew, or go with girls who do. Maybe you pride yourself in that porn is not a problem for you. My question to you is this:  How is your character? Is it like the character of Jesus Christ? Are you rude to your coworkers? Do you steal time from your employer by being lazy? Are you impatient with your spouse or children? Do you let ungodliness come out of your mouth when you’re irritated? Do you have road rage? Do you harbor unforgiveness toward others? Do you threaten others, rather than entreat them? It’s easy to judge ourselves by a few externals and think we are doing ok compared to others. But comparing ourselves to others is not wise. Let us compare ourselves to Jesus, and the standards given to New Testament believers. Let us not be happy with external changes if our hearts are still darkened. White washed tombs are still filled with death. Let us pray that God will show us any wicked way in ourselves, and then begin to earnestly strive against sin.

If you are lustful, angry, violent, unthankful, lazy, greedy, impatient, unkind, etc., it’s time to crucify your flesh with its passions and desires. It’s time to fight like you’ve never fought before. It’s time to cry out to Jesus like you never have before. It’s time to flush your deceitful excuses and make humble confession to those you’ve been hurting. It’s time to stop hiding in the shadows and step into the light; God is not fooled, and those close to you are probably not fooled either. It’s time to fill your mind with all the Scriptures that apply TO YOU, not to your neighbor. It’s time to meditate on the Word day and night, and stop letting your mind fill with thoughts that lead to sin. It’s time to figure out what the way out looks like, and start taking it. It’s time to cut off the hand, pluck out the eye, memorize Scripture, become accountable to strong believers, fast, agonize, make it right with all those you’ve offended, and learn to do good.

If you continue in sin,

Your professed faith in Christ won’t save you.
Your excuses won’t save you (ie “The woman you gave me…”)
Your church attendance won’t save you.
Your exposure of false churches won’t save you.
Your doctrinal knowledge won’t save you.
Your Christian friendships won’t save you.
Your good reputation before others won’t save you.
Your exposure of OTHER people’s sins won’t save you.
Your “balancing the scale” with some good works won’t save you.

You might even have a blog like this one, and work hard to expose all sorts of things. You might witness on the streets or give money to missionaries. But if you don’t deal with that sin that you know about, and if you don’t change your behavior, Jesus’ stern warning about hell applies to you.

Sin desires to have you, but YOU MUST RULE OVER IT (Genesis 4:7). It is not those who hear the Word of God, but those who do it, who will be saved.

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Insight From Balaam’s Prophecy #3 — The King of Israel

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 15, 2014

Balaam was telling the pagan king Balak what Israel would do to his people in the latter days (Num. 24:14). He was given a glimpse of the future of Israel, as well as the future of pagan nations (which would be destroyed).

He shall pour water from his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters. His king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted. God brings him out of Egypt; He has strength like a wild ox; He shall consume the nations, his enemies; He shall break their bones and pierce them with his arrows. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; and as a lion, who shall rouse him? “Blessed is he who blesses you, and cursed is he who curses you.” (Num. 24:7-9)

I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; a Star shall come out of Jacob; a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and batter the brow of Moab, and destroy all the sons of tumult. And Edom shall be a possession; Seir also, his enemies, shall be a possession, while Israel does valiantly. Out of Jacob One shall have dominion, and destroy the remains of the city.” (Num. 24:17-19)

Some important points to highlight from this prophecy:

1. Israel’s king will be higher than other kings and His kingdom will be exalted

2. Israel’s king will consume the nations, His enemies

3. Israel’s king is likened to a lion

4. Whoever blesses this king will be blessed; whoever curses Him will be cursed

5. Out of Israel, One Person shall have dominion

6. Israel’s king is said to be a Star come out of Jacob

7. This king possesses the Scepter (authority to rule)

This prophecy applies to none other than Jesus, the Messiah. I will expound on each point below. Please take the time to read the Scriptures for yourself.

1. Israel’s king will be higher than other kings and His kingdom will be exalted.

Jesus is “King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Rev. 19:16) While David’s earthly kingdom was exalted for Israel’s sake(2 Sam. 5:12), it was not everlasting in the strictly physical sense. Jesus’ kingdom–or the kingdom of God–is everlasting (2 Pet. 1:11, Psa. 145:14, Dan. 4:3), continuing from one generation to the next without fail (Dan. 4:34). This kingdom possesses ALL peoples, nations and languages, and cannot be destroyed (Dan. 7:13-14). Jesus is the King of Israel and He did not deny it (Matt. 27:11), but He qualified His kingdom by saying it was “not of this world” (John 18:36). This is why His servants did not fight to put Him on an earthly throne.

2. Israel’s king will consume the nations, His enemies.

Jesus is the King who will consume all His enemies. Out of His mouth goes a sharp sword with which He smites the nations (Rev. 19:15). In the day of His wrath, He will execute kings, judge among the nations, fill the places with dead bodies, and execute the heads of many countries (Psa. 110:5-6). He will consume the lawless one with the breath of His mouth and the brightness of His coming (2 Thess. 2:8).

3. Israel’s king is likened to a lion.

Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5).

4. Whoever blesses this king will be blessed; whoever curses Him will be cursed.

Whoever blesses Jesus by caring for those who belong to Him, will be counted as a sheep of His and blessed. Whoever does not will be told, “Depart from Me you CURSED, into the everlasting fire…” (Matt. 25:31-46) Whoever does not love the Lord Jesus, let him be anathema/accursed. (I Cor. 16:22)

5. Out of Israel, One Person shall have dominion.

Jesus is the One Person who rose from Israel having all dominion and authority. (Matt. 28:18) He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him, and His enemies will lick the dust…all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him (Psa. 72:8-11). Jesus is the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting (Mic. 5:2). While David had temporary dominion on Israel’s throne, he acknowledged that the Lord’s dominion endures throughout all generations (Psa. 145:13). Jesus is both the root and offspring of David (Rev. 22:16), therefore His eternal rule perpetuates “David’s throne,” and fulfills the promise to him that his throne would be established forever (2 Sam. 7:16). Peter declared, by the Spirit, that Christ was the fulfillment of that promise to David (Acts 2:29-36). The angel told Mary that Jesus would possess the throne of his father David forever (Lk. 1:32-33). Believers have come to Mount Zion–the city of the great King, the heavenly Jerusalem, the kingdom which cannot be shaken. (Psa. 48:2; Heb. 12:22-28)

6. Israel’s king is said to be a Star come out of Jacob.

Jesus is the Star who came from Jacob. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined. (Isa. 9:2) He calls Himself the bright and morning star (Rev. 22:16). As the stars’ unchanging position guides sailors safely toward their destinations, Jesus is the only unfailing guide by which to escape destruction. He is the light of the world and whoever follows Him shall not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (Jn. 8:12). It is interesting that a star led men from the East to come worship “the King of the Jews” and the one who would “shepherd my people Israel.” (Matt. 2:1-6) This star seems to have been a sign that the prophecy was being fulfilled; the wise men certainly believed so.

7. This king possesses the Scepter (authority to rule).

King Jesus possesses the scepter of Israel. All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (Matt. 28:18) This fulfills another prophecy also–The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people. (Gen. 49:10) Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. (Psa. 45:6) Jesus has been raised from the dead and is now seated in heavenly places far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. (Eph. 1:20-21) Notice that He is already ruling in this age–as His ambassadors then, sent to earthly kingdoms, believers have the duty to urge people to be reconciled with the ruling King while the opportunity for mercy still remains, for He is angry with the wicked everyday. Psa. 2 declares that the King has been established on the holy hill of Zion, and we must Kiss the Son/bless Him lest we perish/are cursed (see #7 above). The Word of God has always been in charge, both before and after He was begotten as the Son, and He will have the final victory regardless of how many earthly kings and kingdoms rise and fall.

While the ancient nation of Israel did win victories over the pagan nations surrounding it, these types and shadows pale in comparison with how Jesus–King of Israel–would overcome every enemy and rule forever and ever on David’s throne. Truly all things written in the Law and the Prophets concern Him and His eternal kingdom! (Luke 24:44, Acts 28:23)

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Jesus is Life

Posted by israeliteindeed on May 28, 2014

And it shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom…Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses went into the tabernacle of witness, and behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds. (Num. 17:5,8)

As High Priest, Aaron was a type and picture of the Messiah who was to come. After each tribal leader had offered up his own rod, God sent a sign to signify “the man whom I choose” by causing Aaron’s rod to blossom and bring forth ripe fruit in one day–quite the miracle, considering a cut stick cannot do anything but wither and die under normal conditions.

God has signified the Man whom He chooses as our final authority by raising Jesus from the dead. No other man has ever risen from the dead, except those whom THIS MAN called forth. The Father has set His seal on Him, and only the food which He gives (the manna of His very self) can give us everlasting life (Jn. 6:27).

Jesus testified of His own life, “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” (Jn. 10:18) He made this wonderful declaration about His power over life and death, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” (Jn. 11:25-26)

The apostle John testified of Him, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (Jn. 1:4) And also, “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (I Jn. 5:11-12)

The Psalmist testified, “For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. (Psa. 36:9)

The apostle Paul wrote to fellow believers, “When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Col. 3:4)

Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” (Jn. 10:27-28) False teachers twist the end of verse 28 by teaching that even if we stop following Jesus, we will never perish. But the person who is listening to the Spirit of God will see that the sheep who never perish continually follow Jesus, and as they follow Him, He gives them eternal life. A Shepherd cannot feed the sheep who have wandered away; He only feeds those sheep who are with Him. The eternal life is in Jesus, and when the sheep become disconnected from Jesus, they are disconnected from eternal life. Jesus said this another way in John 15, where He warned that apart from connection to the Vine/Himself (the only source of life) a branch will be fruitless, wither and die.

All over the world, people are searching for life in places where there is no life. They search for it in money and the things money can buy. The eyes of man are never satisfied, however, and anyone who loves the world separates himself from the love of the Father (Prov. 27:20, I Jn. 2:15). Searching for life in riches ends in destruction (I Tim. 6:9).

Many search for life in preserving and beautifying their physical bodies. While it is wise to be clean, eat healthful foods and exercise, a pursuit of true life in these things will yield disappointment. These bodies are sown in corruption, dishonor and weakness; such as they are, they cannot inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor. 15:42-54). Consider how the celebrities “perfect” themselves with plastic surgeries, only to die in the end–their secrets exposed to the whole world on the pages of tabloid magazines. A well that can hold no water–no matter how beautifully formed and painted on the outside–is still a lifeless, empty well. The only way we can truly contain Life–and possess an “incorruptible inheritance” (I Pet. 1:4)–is to be born again and have the Spirit of God living in us.

The only source of true life is Jesus. He is the Rod that budded and produced fruit even after being dead and buried. “Whoever drinks of this [physical] water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (Jn. 4:13-14)

Dear reader, do you have in you “a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life”? Do you have the witness of the Spirit of God continually guiding your steps, correcting you when necessary, comforting you in your sorrows, empowering you to be a witness to His eternal truths?

Some people–who follow Jesus for a while–find that His teachings begin to disturb them, and they leave Him. (Jn. 6:60, 66) They don’t always confess that they have left Him. Often they just begin to twist or ignore His words, while still professing to be His sheep. But in their hearts they have left Him, for His unadulterated Word finds no place in them. They suppress the Truth because of their love for unrighteousness.

When Jesus turned to the twelve disciples and asked, “Do you also want to go away?” Peter responded–

Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. (Jn. 6:68)

Indeed…no matter what perils and disappointments we may face in this life, to whom–besides Jesus–shall we go? There is no one else who has the words of eternal life. There is no other Messiah, no other Way that won’t destroy us, no other source of Living Water, no other sustaining Bread of Life, no other Word without a hint of falseness, no other Rod which has miraculously budded and produced such glorious fruit. Whoever lives [because of connection with Him] and believes in Him shall never die. Do you believe this? These are spiritual words which only a spiritual man can receive. If you are that spiritual man, keeping hearing His voice and following Him. He is our Life!

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Whatever He Says, Do

Posted by israeliteindeed on March 3, 2014

So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do.” (Gen. 41:55)

Here, Joseph is an Old Testament picture of the Son of God. When all the world is famished and on the brink of perishing, there is only one Savior capable of giving true help. “Go to Joseph” or “Go to Jesus; whatever he says to you, do.”

Mary, falsely worshiped by catholics as co-redeemer and co-mediator, recognized this truth about Jesus.

His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” (John 2:5)

Do we have to do the things Jesus says to be saved from perishing? Remember His teaching about the man who hears Jesus’ sayings and does them, versus the man who hears Jesus’ sayings and does not do them. The first man’s life is preserved, while the disobedient man’s life is destroyed. (Matt. 7:24-27)

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. (Matt. 7:21)

But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? (Lk. 6:46)

Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the Lord of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts. “Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets preached, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds.”’ But they did not hear nor heed Me,” says the Lord. (Zech. 1:3-4)

Now therefore, amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; then the Lord will relent concerning the doom that He has pronounced against you. (Jer. 26:13)

It is wholly true that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (Matt. 4:4) A man at variance with God’s Word is still abiding in death. It doesn’t matter how religious he is, or how many times he has prayed the prayer, or whether his whole church accepts him as a man of God. If he is not in submission to God’s chosen King–Jesus–he is still dead in trespasses and sins.

Jesus, God in flesh, demonstrated His absolute obedience to the Father’s will, giving us an example of the Spirit-led life. He did nothing and said nothing but what His Father told Him to do and say (Heb. 10:9; Jn. 5:17, 19; Jn. 4:34; Jn. 7:16). The Holy Spirit is given to all who obey God (Acts 5:32) and He leads us into all Truth, both in doctrine and practice. Everything we do and everything we say/teach is to be guided by the Father through the Spirit of Jesus in us. Any other “Christian life” is a counterfeit.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Rom. 12:2)

Why do we need to prove what is the will of God?–So that we can do it. Peter said–

But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. (Acts 10:35)

Today we have multitudes of teachers saying that we can do as we please, and as long as we give lip-service to God (calling Him Lord but refusing to work the righteousness that is His will), He still accepts us. Or they demonstrate–by accepting anyone into their churches that tithes or signs a piece of paper–that outward conformity is enough to be accepted. Not so. Unless a man is born again, and there is evidence of all things becoming new (as they come into conformity with God’s commands), that man is not yet in the Kingdom of God. He can’t even see it, let alone be part of it. Many attend church on Sunday mornings who don’t even seek out the will of God, let alone set the course of their lives to do it. Such people are not accepted by God.

And how is a man born again?–By the incorruptible Word of God when it is received into an obedient heart (I Pet. 1:22-23). And now we are to be “obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’” (I Pet. 1:14-16) The holiness required is the fruit that comes from the union of the Word of God and an obedient heart, out of which will naturally flow practical, observable righteousness.

If there is no obedience, there will be no life.

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (Jam. 1:21-25)

Therefore, dear reader, whatever Jesus says to you, do it!

*A word of caution: there are some that create a Jesus of their own imagination. This Jesus is always whispering in their ear things that are questionable when held up to the light of the Written Word. Remember we have the “more sure word of prophecy,” the Scriptures. Test the spirits–test all voices in your head–test every voice that comes through a speaker–by the written Word. Jesus Himself demonstrated a reliance on what was already written when He was tempted (Matt. 4:1-11). We must do likewise.

There are many commands already written in Scripture that are easy to understand. There is much–again, already written–to be obeyed. Some run ahead of the doctrines of Christ and seek out “new revelations” so that they can appear more spiritual to themselves and others. They are deceiving themselves by focusing on unclear things rather than obeying what is already clear. They claim to be obeying Jesus, but in reality they are obeying a created idol in their imaginations that keeps them always learning but never knowing the Truth. Beware that the voice you are hearing never contradicts what is already written. (See I Jn. 4:1; Isa. 8:20)

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A Consumption Determined Upon the Whole Earth

Posted by israeliteindeed on December 3, 2011

The Lord Jesus said the end of this world and His coming will be as the days of Noah were.

For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,  and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Matt. 24:37-39)

Noah worked out his own salvation with fear and trembling for 120 years. It isn’t as though he saved himself, for it was the Lord who gave him the plan of salvation by which he and his family could live. But when Noah was warned by God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, he prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Heb. 11:7)  God shut him in the ark at the end, just before destruction came, and watched over that family for their good–BUT, had Noah not dedicated his life to obeying the instructions God gave him for salvation, he and his family would have been finally destroyed with everyone else.

Contrary to the example of Noah, there are many professing “Christians” today who are not moved with fear at the warnings of God, but have been lulled into carelessness by teachers who tell them what their itching ears want to hear. They are in the gravest of eternal dangers. How many warnings in the Scriptures have you passed over, being told by some teacher that the warning does not apply to you?  Be not deceived, dear reader. Every warning in Scripture is for you. Paul wrote that the Old Testament was written for our learning, upon whom the ends of the world have come (I Cor. 10:1-12), and the entire  New Testament was written and preserved for us as well.  The warnings of Jesus are not merely for the Jewish people, and the writings of Paul for only Gentiles–this is another lie designed to rob the fear of God from men. This lie has people avoiding the Scriptures that they ought to simply obey.

When Jesus said to cut off the offending hand or foot rather than risk eternal fire (Matt. 18:8), He meant it, and He meant you to heed the warning and remove from your life the things that are making you stumble.

When Jesus said whoever denies Him before men will also be denied before the Father in heaven (Matt. 10:33), He meant it, and He meant you to heed the warning and unashamedly stand for Him in word and deed.

Paul himself taught that what counts is the keeping of God’s commands (I Cor. 7:19) and only those who patiently continue in doing good will receive eternal life (Rom. 2:6-11).  His message agrees with the teaching of Jesus.

How did Noah condemn the world?–by preparing an ark. Christian, if you spend your life obeying the Lord by preparing an ark, you too will condemn the world. By your fear of God and obedience to Him, you demonstrate that the world is without excuse. If Noah could fear the Lord and obey His instructions for salvation, so could everyone else. If Noah could stand out as a preacher of righteousness before his ungodly neighbors, and if Noah could reject the eat, drink, and be merry mentality; so could everyone else (2 Pet. 2:5).

The difference between Noah and his neighbors was that Noah feared the Lord and heeded His warnings, while his neighbors didn’t fear the Lord nor harken to His warnings.  If you do as Noah did, the world will feel condemned, and they will hate you for it. They wish you would run with them in the same flood of dissipation [intemperance, indulgence in sensual pleasure, wasteful consumption, amusement] they run in, and they will speak evil of you for your careful obedience to God (I Pet. 4:4); nevertheless, deny yourself and follow Jesus, knowing that the ark you are preparing will be to your deliverance in the day of wrath.

I Peter 3:20 says the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was preparing. What was God waiting for?–He was waiting for the people to repent of their wickedness at the preaching of Noah. I believe the longsuffering of God is waiting today for the last few people to repent at the preaching of modern-day Noah’s, and get on board the only way, truth and life there is. But unfortunately for many, because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. (Eccl. 8:11)  They mock, “Judgment is coming?–You’ve been saying that for 100 years!”  And even professing Christians mock at the righteous who are laboring in the narrow way, denying themselves and following Jesus. They jeer, “You think you can earn your salvation! You think Jesus died in vain!” Their view of Jesus is that He delivered them from the eternal principle of reaping what is sown, so they can continue to do abominations without judgment! (Jer. 7:10)  Woe to them!

Today, God has His Noah’s before this modern wicked generation. God has given instructions for salvation, and the Ark in which man can be saved is Jesus Christ. The instructions include repentance toward God (turning away from everything God calls sin) and faith toward Jesus (trusting that Jesus is your salvation, and therefore following Him and doing what He says to the end.)  Jesus taught that if a man obeys the Word of God, he will be saved from destruction, but if he doesn’t obey, he will be destroyed when the flood of judgment arrives (Matt. 7:21-29).  Listening to the Word of God is not enough; without obedience to it, a man is only deceiving himself to think he will be saved (James 1:22-25). Going to church, doing some good things, visiting Christian blogs, etc., cannot save you–you must, by faith, carefully obey the instructions of God if you want to be saved. By faith Abraham obeyed (Heb. 11:8).

While the Lord Jesus can come on any day and require the soul of any man (Luke 12:20), the Bible clearly teaches that there is a day coming when the Ark of salvation will be shut for good and the whole earth will be consumed. Final salvation and final destruction will arrive on the same day. Don’t be deceived by the Left Behind lies of some teachers, who say you will have seven years to repent after the rapture. Jesus has stated emphatically that the end will come as in the days of Noah. The same day Noah entered the Ark, destruction fell; and the same day Lot left Sodom, the wicked were consumed (Luke 17:26-27). When Jesus appears with power and glory, He will gather His saints to Himself and destroy the wicked.

Peter wrote the following about the end of this world:

But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.  (I Pet. 3:7-14)

Indeed, in the face of such warnings, what manner of persons ought you to be?  Are you a mocker, living carelessly as the day approaches, or are you like Noah, diligently preparing for the day that will surely arrive?

Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.  (Isa. 28:22)

God bless you.

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