The Grace of God

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

Posts Tagged ‘obey’

Hear & Do the Sermon on the Mount

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 30, 2014

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (Matt. 7:24-29)

Thus ends the “Sermon on the Mount” which began in Matthew 5.

When Jesus instructed His listeners to “hear these sayings of Mine” and DO them, or else be destroyed, He was teaching them as “one having authority.” Do His sayings carry that much weight? They do.

So what are the sayings we must do from the Sermon on the Mount? (If you’d rather read Jesus’ actual words than my summary following, please read Matt. 5-7, then skip ahead to the bold type at the bottom of this writing. Otherwise, keep reading.)

Here is a summary of what we must do, in my own words:

1. We must be “poor in spirit” to enter the kingdom of heaven. (5:3)

2. We must mourn appropriately to be comforted. (5:4)

3. We must be meek to inherit the earth. (5:5)

4. We must hunger and thirst for righteousness to be filled. (5:6)

5. We must be merciful to obtain mercy. (5:7)

6. We must be pure in heart to see God. (5:8)

7. We must be peacemakers to be called sons of God. (5:9)

8. We must be willing to suffer for righteousness’ sake to gain heaven. (5:10-12)

9. As “the salt of the earth,” we must not lose our flavor and become good for nothing. (5:13)

10. As “the light of the world,” we must be willing to challenge the darkness with our light, rather than hiding it away as if ashamed. (5:14-16)

11. We must not break “the least of these commandments” or teach men so. (5:17-19)

12. Our righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees and scribes; we must be inwardly clean, not just outwardly clean. (5:20)

13. We must go beyond the letter of the law to the Spirit of it in our obedience. Example: in addition to not murdering or committing adultery, we must not allow hatred or lust in our hearts. (5:21-28)

14. We must attempt to be reconciled to our brother if he has something against us, or else our worship of God will not be accepted. (5:22-26)

15. We must deal with our own temptations and sins to the point of hurt unless we want to be cast into hell. (5:29-30) “Make no provision for the flesh” (Rom. 13:14). “You have not yet resisted to bloodshed striving against sin.” (Heb. 12:4)

16. Except in cases of sexual immorality, we must not divorce lest we cause another to commit adultery. (5:31-32)

17. We must not swear by anything; we must be people who keep our word. (5:33-37)

18. We must not “resist an evil person,” but turn the other cheek even if he is violent. “Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” is not to be the creed of the New Covenant Christian. (5:38-39)

19. If we are sued, we must be willing to give up more than was asked. (5:40)

20. If we are compelled to go a mile, we must be willing to go two. (5:41)

21. We must not turn away from those who ask for charity or to borrow from us. (5:42)

22. We must love our enemies, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who use or persecute us. We must go beyond the “goodness” of the world, which loves friends and hates enemies. We must emulate the Father, who blesses both good and evil people in this life. (5:43-48)

23. We must not do charity with a motive of being praised by men, but instead a motive to please God. Secrecy is a safeguard against hypocrisy. (6:1-4)

24. Our prayers must not be motivated by a desire to look spiritual before men, but to please the Father. Secrecy is a safeguard against hypocrisy. (6:5-6)

25. We must not pray with “vain repetition” as if, by it, we can coerce God with many words. (6:7-8)

26. Our prayers should acknowledge God’s glory and kingdom, our submission to His will, our trust in His providence, active forgiveness of others and asking forgiveness, and asking for strength to overcome temptation. (6:9-13)

27. We must forgive others, or we will not be forgiven! (6:14-15)

28. Fasting must not be used as a show of pretended spirituality, but is between us and the Father. Secrecy is a safeguard against hypocrisy. (6:16-18)

29. We must value and store up heavenly treasure rather than earthly treasure. (6:19-21)

30. We must keep “a good eye” (focus on what is heavenly) lest we be filled with darkness. (6:22-23)

31. We must not attempt to serve both God and money. We must love one and hate the other. (6:24)

32. We must not worry about even necessities (food and clothes), but trust God will provide what is needed. (6:25-32)

33. We must have as our highest priority the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, not our basic necessities. (6:32-34)

34. We must not judge others hypocritically, while ignoring our own sins. (7:1-5)

35. We must discern to whom we should “cast pearls.” Forcing truth on those who do not value it will only hurt us. (7:6)

36. In our pursuit of God’s kingdom and righteousness, we must ask, seek, and knock, trusting that God will respond by giving us the good things we need. (7:7-11)

37. We must consider how we want to be treated, and treat others accordingly. Sincere benevolence toward God and men fulfills both the Law and the Prophets. (7:12)

38. We must choose the narrow way and difficult road that leads to life, even though only comparatively few others will be on it. To choose the easier, more popular way will end in destruction. (7:13-14)

39. We must beware of false prophets, and judge them by their fruits, lest we be destroyed like sheep ravaged by wolves. (7:15-20)

40. We must go beyond calling Jesus “Lord” and prophesying/doing wonders in His name. We must do the will of God and refuse to practice lawlessness/disobedience. Otherwise we will not be allowed entrance into heaven. (7:21-23)

These are the sayings from the Sermon on the Mount that we must hear and do lest our house be destroyed!

I have been told that I take this Sermon “too literally.” I am urged to accept either the American version or the Dispensational version of this Sermon, instead of the actual Sermon Jesus delivered.

The American version twists it to make it more accessible to the lawless, the haughty (proud to be an American), the non-meek (who take the earth by force), the unmerciful, the non-peacemaker, the lover of earth’s treasure, the pretender at spirituality, the despiser of the poor and the stranger, the unforgiving, and the one who places his own earthly needs above the kingdom of God. It does this by claiming Jesus did not mean what He said, but meant something different. Meekness, peacemaking, mercy, etc., are said to be applicable only in situations where being such doesn’t cost much. How very convenient! (One commenter on this blog said that if I would not literally pluck out my tempted eye, then I also did not have to literally love my enemies. This ridiculous logic is destructive and reveals a purposeful disobedience to Christ.)

The dispensational version of this Sermon simply claims that only physical Jews need obey it! Even more convenient! With this version, we don’t even have to rationalize away this or that uncomfortable part; we can just reject the whole thing outright as long as we are Gentiles. Oh, how the western church has sought out many inventions!

I reject those adulterated versions of Christ’s Sermon as lies from the devil!

I reject the notion that I can take Jesus less seriously than I do, and still live.

I reject the notion that Jesus respects self-centered American ideals more than He respects the selfless ideals of His own kingdom.

I reject the notion that we can try to have both, and still please the King of heaven.

I reject the notion that Christ’s words are for some other people group other than those who hear His words.

The words of Jesus are spirit and life. If I hear them and do them, my house will stand firm. If I do not, my house will be destroyed. I believe the same applies to YOU, no matter who you are.

As Jesus would say, “He that has ears to hear, let him hear.”

And let the one who hears also DO–lest, hearing only, he deceive himself!

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Posted in Apostasy, Christian Life, False Teachers | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Reciprocal Love

Posted by israeliteindeed on February 16, 2014

Many of us know what it is to receive reciprocal love. When we take care of a pet, and that animal voluntarily comes and shows affection toward us when it could run the other way, we are warmed inside by this “free will offering” of love. When our children do for us some act of kindness that goes over and beyond the rules, we experience the thrill of being truly cared for by them. There is something very precious about voluntary reciprocal love–not only to us, but to God.

God is love, and God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. While we were yet sinners–not concerned in the least about what God deserves–Christ died for us. While we still hated God, God cared to the point of His own hurt. While we were friends of the world, carnal, and enemies of everything good, God was working out a Way to redeem us and save us from our self-destruction.

What does such a God deserve? Does He not deserve sincere reciprocal love from us?

“We love Him because He first loved us.” (I Jn. 4:19)

And what does this love look like?

There are thousands–perhaps millions–of people who claim to love God while they live and behave in ways that make God sick and angry. Not only do they not reverence Him or do anything He says, they hate and hurt one another (sometimes even claiming they are doing it for God–John 16:2). But did not Jesus say, “He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves me”? Yes, and He also said, “He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love Him and manifest Myself to him.” (John 14:21)

God loved us through the sacrifice of Jesus. We owe Him love and gratitude in response to that gift, and our love will be evidenced by our keeping His commands. Our keeping His commands is the key to abiding or remaining in His love (John 15:10). Our reciprocal love toward Jesus will be met with MORE reciprocal love from God toward us.

The Apostle John wrote, “This IS the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” (I John 5:3) In this statement, John has written for us a very clear definition of the love of God. It has been, since the beginning of time, God’s will for men to heed His voice. This is only as it should be. He is the self-sacrificing Shepherd; we are the sheep. He is the benevolent Father; we are the children. He is the wise Potter; we are the clay–only useful to Him and others if we yield to Him.

However, men given over to the lusts of their own flesh despise authority. They want to be in charge of their own lives so they can do whatever seems good to them. Since they also want to be religious, they have decided for themselves that the love of God is something other than what the Word of God says. They have re-defined the love of God to be something that they find easy to fulfill. For some, going to church on Sunday fulfills their commitment to love God. For others, wearing a gold cross on their neck, or trying to be nice and agreeable (tolerating sin) is “proof” of their love for God, even while they ignore the things God says. But this “worship” toward God is not in Spirit and Truth, and God does not accept it.

For the person who has been truly born again by God’s Spirit, the commandments of God are not burdensome, because whatever is born of God overcomes the world (I John 5:3-4). True faith manifests as obedience to God because true faith recognizes that God is the wisest, kindest, and best Authority there is; and the only correct response to that authority is obedience.

David wrote in Psalm 40:8, “I delight to do your will, O my God, and your law is within my heart.”

This is a far cry from a reluctant attempt to appease God here and there while still trying to live for ourselves as we please. If we are still trying to please ourselves, we have not yet been crucified with Christ to this world and our flesh. This is why we have no resurrection power to overcome the world. No one can serve both God and self. If self is still allowed to rule, we demonstrate that we do not yet recognize how criminal this usurpation of authority is. As rebels, we are contributing to the world’s problems rather than being helpful to the world. And despite any lipservice we give to God concerning the Sacrifice He has made, we show by our disobedience that we do not value that Sacrifice at all.

If we are playing at religion while harboring love for the world–and our temporal lives in it–in our hearts, we need to come clean and admit we are enemies of God (I John 2:15-16). We need to sorrow over this sorry condition we are in, and commit to seeking God until we are completely changed from the heart.

God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. And His grace has the power to teach us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present age (Titus 2:11-12). In other words, God’s grace–if it is not received in vain by a hard, stubborn heart that doesn’t care–has the power to produce in us a sincere reciprocal love for God that manifests itself in obedience to His commands. And only those who love Him in this manner will escape the curse of damnation that is coming on this world (I Cor. 16:22).

Posted in Christian Life, Once Saved Always Saved, Repentance | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Believer’s Relationship with Jesus

Posted by israeliteindeed on August 21, 2011

Knowing God and Jesus Christ is eternal life (Jn. 17:3), and eternal life is found in Jesus Himself (I Jn. 5:11; 20). There are several pictures in Scripture that illustrate the relationship we must have with Jesus Christ if we desire to have eternal life, and each depicts a different aspect in that relationship.

First, we are clay in the hands of a Potter, all of us being the work of God’s hands (Isa. 64:8), and woe to the clay that resists the Potter’s influence (Isa. 45:9). In Jeremiah 18, the prophet was instructed to go watch a potter at work. He noticed that when the clay vessel became ruined in the potter’s hand,  he started over and made it into another vessel. God likewise reserves the right to do exactly that with any lump of clay that He is working with which becomes ruined in His hands by resisting Him, but He gives the vessel a choice. It is written, “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.  But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.   If a man therefore purge himself from these (dishonorable works), he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (2 Tim. 2:19-21)  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph. 2:10)

Second, we are branches abiding in a Vine (Jesus), and it is His life that is flowing up from the Vine itself to give us life. If there is a severance of this closeness, there will be no life, for remember:  eternal life is in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Branches that remain connected to the Vine and produce fruit will endure pruning so as to produce even more.  Branches that do not remain connected to the Vine and become fruitless, will be cut off and receive no further benefit from the Vine–no eternal life.

Third, we are body parts directly connected to and under the authority of our Head (Jesus).  Just as the physical brain is the seat of authority in the body, and all body parts obey the commands of the brain and cannot remain alive if there is a separation between the head and body, just so we are utterly dependent on Jesus Christ to guide us and keep us alive and functioning properly. We also enjoy and benefit from interdependent body life, receiving nourishment from other body parts as each one functions in his/her own gift.

Fourth, we are a Bride-to-be being prepared and made ready for our Groom (Jesus), who has gone to prepare a place for us, and will soon return to take us to Himself. Just as a bride focuses on making herself as perfect as possible for her coming wedding, and remains faithful in her behavior and solely focused on the one she loves; so every man who has the hope of final redemption purifies himself just as Jesus is pure (I Jn. 3:3), being diligent to be found of Him in peace, without spot and blameless (2 Pet. 3:14).

Fifth, we are citizens of a kingdom of which Jesus is the King. Just as citizens of any earthly country must obey and serve the authorities over them, Christians give 100% total allegiance to King Jesus, remembering that He will send forth His angels to gather out of the kingdom all things that offend and them which do iniquity (Matt. 13:41). Not only do we do the things that please our King, we act on His behalf as ambassadors to earthly men, beseeching them to be reconciled to God through Jesus (Eph. 2:19; 2 Cor. 5:20).

Sixth, we are individual stones in a great spiritual temple which is being built for a habitation of God.  The foundation of this building is Jesus, the Chief Cornerstone without which the whole building falls, and the apostles and prophets who gave to us His written Word and instructions (Eph. 2:19-21).  As stones in a building lean and rely upon the first-laid cornerstone, so we lean and rely upon Jesus Christ. Only those who hear and do His words will be properly founded upon the Rock and be saved from destruction (Matt. 7).

Seventh, Jesus is the Apostle and High Priest of our profession (Heb. 3:1) and our High Priest of good things to come, by the greater and more perfect tabernacle, who has Himself–as the Passover Lamb–obtained eternal redemption for us by His own blood (Heb. 9:11-12). Not only are we the redeemed from the earth, we fulfill the kingdom of priests and holy nation God has always desired (Exo. 19:5-6), being called by Peter a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, and a peculiar people (I Pet. 2:9)Like the priesthood in the Old Testament which serves as an example of heavenly things (Heb. 8:5), we priests offer up spiritual sacrifices, presenting our own bodies a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God;  and we lead outsiders to our High Priest Jesus–the only mediator between God and men–that they might be forgiven and restored.

Eighth, we are sheep following a Shepherd–not just any hireling who is in it for personal gain and abandons the sheep at first sign of danger, but a Good Shepherd who has already laid down His life for His sheep. Jesus said His sheep hear His voice and follow Him, and He gives to them eternal life (John 10:27-28). Psalm 23 wonderfully paints the details of how our Shepherd cares for our needs as we continue to follow Him. When any sheep goes astray, He is faithful to seek for the one which is lost, and rejoices greatly with all of heaven whenever a lost sheep is found and brought back under His care! (Luke 15:4-7)

Ninth, Jesus is the Bread of Life to us, and we must be partakers of Him to live. He is the Word of God made flesh, and man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God (Lk. 4:4). He is the living bread which came down from heaven and gives life to the world (Jn. 6:51).   We must, like the prophet Ezekiel, eat the scroll, feeding upon the Word of the Lord to the health of our spiritual man. We must take in this daily bread–this manna–that may not be as titillating to our flesh as the leeks of Egypt, but nevertheless is exactly what is needed to nourish us up in the words of faith and good doctrine (I Tim. 4:6).  Jesus instructed us to labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you (Jn. 6:27).

May Jesus be glorified as we properly relate to Him as our Potter, our life-giving Vine, our Head, our Groom, our King, our foundational Rock, our High Priest and Passover Lamb, our Good Shepherd, and our Daily Bread.

God bless you!

Posted in Christian Life | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Spiritual Blindness

Posted by israeliteindeed on November 28, 2009

Spiritual Blindness is a curse reaped by one who has sown disobedience to the voice of the LORD:

Deuteronomy 28:15, 28-29 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee…The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: and thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee.

Zephaniah 1:17 And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.

Isaiah 56:10-11 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.

Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Isaiah 59:9-12 Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men. We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them.

Repentance–turning from sin–is necessary before God will restore spiritual sight:

Isaiah 59:20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.

Isaiah 42:6-7, 16 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house…And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

Isaiah 29:18-19 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

To the meek, the poor in spirit, those who turn from transgression:

Isaiah 35:1-10 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Jeremiah 31:8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.

Luke 4:18-19 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Jesus healed many physically blind people:

Matthew 9:27-28 And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.

Matthew 12:22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.

Matthew 15:30 And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them:

John 9:25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.

Jesus testified to John the Baptist:

Matthew 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

Jesus’ physical miracles pointed to His ability to heal and restore the soul.

Lazarus was not raised from the dead simply to live 40 more years on this earth, but to demonstrate that Jesus IS the Resurrection and the Life (able to give spiritual life).  Likewise in Luke 5, the paralytic was raised physically in order to show what Jesus could do for a man spiritually:

Luke 5:23-25 [Jesus speaking] Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.

When we recognize we are spiritually lame, blind, dumb and maimed, let’s cast ourselves at Jesus’ feet!

Matthew 20:30-31, 33-34 And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David. And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David…They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

CRY OUT TO JESUS—HAVE MERCY ON US, LORD!! He will have compassion on us and heal our eyes too.

What about those who do not recognize their blindness, and refuse to repent? Jesus said of the Pharisees:

Matthew 23:5-7 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

Matthew 23:11-13 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.  (God resists the proud,But gives grace to the humble JAMES 4:6) But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

  1. Matthew 23:16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!
  2. Matthew 23:17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?
  3. Matthew 23:19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?
  4. Matthew 23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
  5. Matthew 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

JESUS SAID OF THESE MEN, WHO EXALTED THEMSELVES AND THOUGHT THEY KNEW SO MUCH, THAT THEY WERE BLIND—5 TIMES!

Luke 6:39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?  WALK BY THE LIGHT—JESUS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD—THY WORD IS A LAMP UNTO MY FEET—JESUS IS THE TRUE LIGHT THAT GIVES LIGHT TO EVERY MAN, JOHN 1:9

John 9:39-41 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. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

John 12:35-36 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.

WARNING!!! IF YOU DON’T WALK IN THE LIGHT AND BELIEVE IN THE LIGHT WHILE THE LIGHT IS WITH YOU, DARKNESS WILL COME UPON YOU!!! YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN BLINDNESS!

John 12:37-40 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: that the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

John 12:44-46 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. (spiritual sight) I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. (spiritual blindness)

Paul, speaking of the Jews who rejected Jesus the Messiah:

2 Corinthians 3:14-15 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.

The veil/blindness is done away in Christ! Those who come to Him will be healed of their blindness.

Isaiah 25:7 And He will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations.

Satan blinds the minds of the lost (but we are still responsible for our blindness.)

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Romans 1:21-24 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (THOSE WHO EXALT THEMSELVES WILL BE ABASED) And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

After being saved and having our eyes opened, we can return to blindness!

Ephesians 4:17-19 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

Jesus and Peter (among others) taught that a previously healed person could return to an even worse condition through SIN:

John 5:14 See, you have been made well [physical healing]. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.

2 Peter 2:20-22 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ [spiritual healing], they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

Peter and John admonished Christians as to what they should do so they would not return to blindness:

2 Peter 1:1, 5-10 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…And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 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. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. [UNFRUITFUL = BLIND] Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.

1 John 2:10-11 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

Loving our brother will include keeping God’s commands:

1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

Jesus Christ, speaking to the church of Laodicea concerning their blindness:

Revelation 3:15-19 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 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: 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. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

According to Jesus, if we–after being saved–pass into a state of spiritual blindness, we can be restored through repentance!  Jesus will give us “eyesalve” for our blind eyes, if we admit our blindness and our need for His healing.

Psalms 146:8-9 The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous: the LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

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