(Part 16 of 20)
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WHAT IS A CHRONOLOGICAL 4 GOSPEL BIBLE?The Chronological 4 Gospels are the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, with a few verses from Acts and 1st Corinthians, combined in chronological form. This enables a person to read and study all four as a unit. One can read Matthew’s account of an event, and then read the same event in the other accounts. There are certain events that are only presented in one or two, but others are presented in all 4. A student of the Bible can now read and study how and when all the events occurred in relation to each other. Thus, a person’s knowledge and understanding of God’s Word should increase as the Holy Spirit gives the understanding.
Mt 4:18 (pt 1), Mk 1:16 (pt 1).
Mt 4:18 (pt 2).
Mt 4:18 (pt 3).
AND ALL BARE HIM WITNESS (or spoke well of Him–NIV), AND (WERE AMAZED) AT THE GRACIOUS WORDS WHICH PROCEEDED OUT OF HIS MOUTH. AND THEY SAID, IS NOT THIS JOSEPH'S SON (or everyone was speaking well of Him and marveling that such appealing words were coming from His mouth. They were even asking, "Can this be Yosef's son?"–JNT)?
AND HE SAID (TO) THEM, (YOU) WILL (NO DOUBT) (QUOTE) (TO) ME THIS PROVERB, (DOCTOR), HEAL (YOURSELF): (WHATEVER) WE HAVE HEARD DONE IN CAPERNAUM, DO ALSO HERE IN (YOUR) (HOME TOWN) (as well).
AND HE SAID, (YES) I SAY (TO) YOU, NO PROPHET IS ACCEPTED (or welcome) IN HIS OWN (HOME TOWN).
BUT I TELL YOU OF A TRUTH (or I assure you), MANY WIDOWS WERE IN ISRAEL IN THE DAYS OF ELIJAH, WHEN THE HEAVEN (or sky) WAS SHUT UP (or sealed off) THREE YEARS AND SIX MONTHS, WHEN (a) (SEVERE) FAMINE WAS THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND;
BUT (TO) NONE OF THEM WAS ELIJAH SENT, (EXCEPT) (TO) (ZAREPHATH), A CITY (or region) OF SIDON, (TO) A WOMAN THAT WAS A WIDOW.
AND MANY LEPERS (or people with serious skin diseases–JNT) WERE IN ISRAEL IN THE TIME OF (ELISHA) THE PROPHET; AND NONE OF THEM WAS CLEANSED, (EXCEPT) NAAMAN THE SYRIAN.
AND ALL THEY IN THE SYNAGOGUE, WHEN THEY HEARD THESE THINGS, WERE FILLED WITH WRATH (or rage, or fury),
AND (they) (GOT) UP, AND THRUST (or cast, or drove) HIM OUT OF THE (TOWN), AND LED (or took, or dragged) HIM (TO) THE (EDGE) OF THE HILL (or cliff) WHEREON THEIR (TOWN) WAS BUILT, THAT THEY MIGHT (THROW) HIM DOWN HEADLONG (down the cliff).
BUT HE PASSING THROUGH THE MIDST OF THEM (or walked through the middle of the crowd and–JNT) WENT (on) HIS WAY,
Commentary scriptures continue on pg. 627
AND LEAVING NAZARETH (or Natzeret), HE CAME AND DWELT (or settled, or lived) IN CAPERNAUM, WHICH IS (BY) THE (LAKE) (or a lakeshore town), (NEAR) THE BORDERS (or regions, or area, or boundary) (BETWEEN) (ZEBULUN AND NAPHTALI):
(This happened) (TO FULFILL WHAT) WAS SPOKEN (THROUGH) (ISAIAH) THE PROPHET, SAYING,.
THE LAND OF ZABULON (or Zebulun), AND THE LAND OF NEPHTHALIM (or Naphtali), BY THE WAY OF (or toward) THE (LAKE), (ALONG THE) JORDAN, GALILEE OF THE GENTILES;
THE PEOPLE (LIVING) IN DARKNESS SAW (a) GREAT LIGHT; AND TO THEM (LIVING) IN THE REGION (or land) AND (in the) SHADOW OF DEATH (upon them) LIGHT IS SPRUNG UP (or dawned).
Commentary scriptures continue on pg. 634
AND JESUS, WALKING (BESIDE) THE (LAKE) OF GALILEE, SAW TWO (BROTHERS), SIMON
(who was) CALLED PETER,
AND ANDREW HIS BROTHER, (they were) (THROWING) A NET INTO THE (LAKE): FOR THEY WERE (FISHERMEN).
AND (He) SAW TWO (BOATS) STANDING BY THE (edge of the) LAKE: BUT THE FISHERMEN (HAD) GONE OUT OF THEM, AND WERE WASHING THEIR NETS.
AND HE ENTERED INTO ONE OF THE (BOATS), WHICH WAS SIMON’S, AND (ASKED) HIM (TO) (PULL) OUT A LITTLE (way) FROM THE LAND. AND HE SAT DOWN, AND TAUGHT THE PEOPLE (from) OUT OF THE (BOAT).
NOW WHEN HE HAD (FINISHED) SPEAKING, HE SAID (TO) SIMON, LAUNCH OUT INTO THE DEEP (water), AND LET DOWN YOUR NETS FOR A (CATCH).
Commentary scriptures continue on pg. 643
Since that time, Satan has used his people to do everything imaginable to bring doubts about the Bible, to destroy it. Since the first Bibles were printed, so many have been destroyed, that it can’t be counted. Multitudes of people that have professed they believed in Jesus have been killed all over the world. It continues to go on at this very time.
There is a price to be paid for following Jesus. It can cost you your life, your reputation, your friends, even everything you own. You might be put in prison on trumped up charges.
If the Moslems had their way, every born again Christian in the world would be executed.
Indeed, during the tribulation every person that gets saved that can be found (which will be a great multitude) will be hunted down, undoubtably tortured, and then beheaded unless they worship the image of the antichrist.
The world has always hated Jesus. The Christians have always been the few, while those not saved have always been the many.
Jesus quoted Isa 61:1,2–The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2–To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn. Jesus stopped at the words “of the LORD”. The day of vengeance is the day Jesus returns at Armageddon.
The days leading up to Armageddon, called the tribulation are very close. To our knowledge, there is not one single born–again prophecy scholar that is worth his salt that does not believe this. This is because the signs of the times that God's Word gives us are almost all in place. If you are not ready, your time is fast running out.
The verses continue–
Lk 4:22. AND ALL BARE HIM WITNESS (or spoke well of Him–NIV). They all understood what He said but they did not believe Him–
AND (WERE AMAZED)
AT THE GRACIOUS WORDS (or it may be said His Words of grace),
OUT OF HIS MOUTH.
Every person goes through a spiritual battle. It is a battle between truth and error. It is a battle between what God’s Word says, and the thoughts that the devil puts in our mind that runs counter to God’s Word. Both God's Word and the thoughts Satan gives us are processed by our heart. What comes out of the heart is what we believe. If we have a wayside type of heart, we reject God’s Word and we believe the lies of Satan, just as Eve did. Satan is able to take the Word of truth out of our heart–note Mt 13:3–23Mk 4:3:20; Lk 8:5–15. God’s Word takes a back seat to disbelief and doubts.
If we have a stony or thorney type of heart, we may believe God’s Word for a while. Afterward, however, we turn aside when temptations, persecutions, personal desires, or other things become stronger than our belief of God's Word. Many people then distort the Scriptures in their hearts to justify themselves.
If we have a good, honest, and pure heart, we should believe God’s Word (according to God’s time schedule), and hold fast till the end. This is certainly true is we love God and love the brethren.
Jesus had spoke the truth. Satan had then put lying thoughts in the people’s minds.
One of Satan’s tactics is to immediately put in a person’s mind that such and such is not true, because.
One lie that Satan puts in people’s hearts today is the lie of evolution. Both schools and colleges now teach this lie as a fact of truth. It is all a continuing effort of Satan’s follows to stamp out the Bible which has been going on since it existed. Then the hearts of people with a wayside heart willingly choose to disbelieve the truth of God’s Word.
The verse continues–
AND THEY SAID,
IS NOT THIS JOSEPH’S SON (or everyone was speaking well of Him and marveling that such appealing words were coming from His mouth. They were even asking, “Can this be Yosef’s son?”–JNT)?
Satan is now at work sowing doubt in the people’s minds, just as he did in Eve’s mind, and billions of people since then. They could not comprehend that this Jesus, whom that had known from a young child, could possibly be the Messiah, certainly not the son of a carpenter. Obviously, none there knew the circumstances of His birth.
Approximately 18 months later in this same city of Nazareth the people said when He taught there again: Mk 6:2–6–MANY HEARING HIM WERE ASTONISHED, SAYING, FROM WHENCE HATH THIS MAN THESE THINGS? AND WHAT WISDOM IS THIS WHICH IS GIVEN UNTO HIM, THAT EVEN SUCH MIGHTY WORKS ARE WROUGHT BY HIS HANDS? IS NOT THIS THE CARPENTER, THE SON OF MARY, THE BROTHER OF JAMES, AND JOSES, AND OF JUDA, AND SIMON? AND ARE NOT HIS SISTERS HERE WITH US? AND THEY WERE OFFENDED AT HIM. BUT JESUS SAID UNTO THEM, A PROPHET IS NOT WITHOUT HONOUR, BUT IN HIS OWN COUNTRY, AND AMONG HIS OWN KIN, AND IN HIS OWN HOUSE. AND HE COULD THERE DO NO MIGHTY WORK, SAVE THAT HE LAID HIS HANDS UPON A FEW SICK FOLK, AND HEALED THEM. AND HE MARVELLED BECAUSE OF THEIR UNBELIEF.
The verses continue–
Jesus sensing their doubts and opposition then prophecies, and gives two examples in which the prophets gave great acts of grace while Israel was yet in unbelief. The verses continue–
Lk 4:23. AND HE SAID (TO) THEM,
WILL (NO DOUBT) (QUOTE) (TO) ME
PHYSICIAN (or DOCTOR). This is another name for Jesus. The verse continues–
HEAL (YOURSELF). This prophecy appears to be talking about the time when Jesus would be crucified. The verse continues–
(WHATEVER) WE HAVE HEARD DONE IN CAPERNAUM,
DO ALSO HERE
IN (YOUR) (HOME TOWN) (as well). Sounds like they wanted to see a miracle. This is a second prophecy that Jesus made of things that the people would say to Him. It may be said that Jesus was telling them their thoughts. This prophecy that Jesus made about what they would say regarding Capernaum, appears to be futuristic. He knew their thoughts.
He had gone to Capernaum shortly after he did the first miracle in Cana–ref Jn 2:12, with his mother, brothers and disciples. If He had done any miracles there at that time is not mentioned. It is also possible He had been at Capernaum another time and done miracles but such is not mentioned.
Also, before he had come to Nazareth, he had returned to Cana a second time and healed the nobleman’s son which was sick at Capernaum.
The verses continue–
Lk 4:24. AND HE SAID,
(YES) I SAY (TO) YOU,
IS ACCEPTED (or welcome)
IN HIS OWN (HOME TOWN). It is difficult for people that grow up around someone they have known, to accept that this person is now a prophet of God. It is much easier for people to accept a person that is a prophet that is from some other area. It may be much easier for someone to think a notable person is from a great city than from a little town.
Yet Jesus was not only indicating He was a prophet, but that He was the fulfillment of the one that was to come–the Messiah, the only begotten Son of God. This, the people could not accept.
There is no mention of His mother or (his supposed) father being present, or His brothers or sisters.
The verses continues–
Lk 4:25. BUT I TELL YOU
OF A TRUTH (or I assure you),
MANY WIDOWS WERE IN ISRAEL
IN THE DAYS OF ELIJAH,
WHEN THE HEAVEN (or sky)
WAS SHUT UP (or sealed off)
THREE YEARS AND SIX MONTHS,
WHEN (a) (SEVERE) FAMINE
WAS THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND. This famine is mentioned in 1 Ki 17:1. This happened beginning approximately 882 B.C. This was during the time of Ahab. He did evil in the site of the Lord above all that were before him. He served Baal. The Northern Kingdom, Israel was very evil.
Before Elijah fled the area, before the heaven was shut up, did any widows come to Him for help. Is not recorded that they did. No faith.
It is fast becoming the same in the U.S., and throughout the world. As birth pangs of a woman it will continue to be this way, however, during the first part of the tribulation there will be a great revival. However, most of those that get saved will be slaughtered. And when Jesus finally returns, the question is presented WHEN THE SON OF MAN COMETH, SHALL HE FIND FAITH ON THE EARTH?–ref Lk 18:8. The world will be partially successful in eradicating the knowledge of the God of heaven, but then Jesus returns with power and great glory and all of the saints with Him. The earth is terrified. Men's hearts will fail them for fear. In one single day, the earth is cleansed. Most people on planet earth are killed. The blood at Armageddon will be to the reigns of the horses for a distance of about 180 miles. The greatest weapons of the world can do nothing against Jesus. The antichrist and false prophet are cast into the lake of fire. Satan is cast into the bottomless pit and a seal is put on him so he can deceive the nations no longer.
The verses continue–
Lk 4:26. BUT (TO) NONE OF THEM
WAS ELIJAH SENT. There was no faith in Israel. Thus, Elijah was sent to none of the widows there but to a Gentile woman. The verse continues–
(EXCEPT) (TO) (ZAREPHATH),
A CITY (or region) OF SIDON.
(TO) A WOMAN THAT WAS A WIDOW. As stated, this was a Gentile widow.
Note 1 Ki 17:10–24. The woman did as Elijah had said. She received him and fed him even though she and her son were initially, nearly out of food and ready to die. Afterward, her food never failed all the days of the famine. Then her son became sick and died, but Elijah healed him. The woman then knew this was a man of God and the Word of the Lord was in his mouth and is truth. However, Nazareth did not receive one that is greater than Elijah. The verses continue–
Lk 4:27. AND MANY LEPERS (or people with serious skin diseases–JNT)
WERE IN ISRAEL
IN THE TIME OF (ELISHA) THE PROPHET;
AND NONE OF THEM WAS CLEANSED. Did any leper from Israel come to Elisha by faith to be healed? It is not reported that any did–
(EXCEPT) NAAMAN THE SYRIAN. Note 2 Ki 5:1–19. Naaman was also a Gentile and a leper. Naaman was healed when he obeyed what the man of God named Elisha commanded him to do, but he obeyed reluctantly. As a result of being healed, he, a Gentile, believed that there was no God in all of the earth except in Israel. However, Nazareth did not believe or receive the Words of one that is greater than Elisha. Both lived during times of much unbelief in Israel. This happened approximately 864 B.C. Note, Jesus showed the people of His hometown the error of their way with Scripture.How sad it is, as it is written: Jn 1:10–11–HE WAS IN THE WORLD, AND THE WORLD WAS MADE BY HIM, AND THE WORLD KNEW HIM NOT. HE CAME UNTO HIS OWN, AND HIS OWN RECEIVED HIM NOT.
Lk 4:28. AND ALL THEY
IN THE SYNAGOGUE,
WHEN THEY HEARD THESE THINGS,
WERE FILLED WITH WRATH (or rage, or fury). Being filled with wrath as they were is usually the result of unbelief.
Did the people repent that heard Jesus speak. No! With all that Jesus had said, and also mentioning Gentiles receiving God’s blessing rather than the Jews, rage filled the hearts of those that had heard Him. He was declaring that God’s mercy and grace was not only to the Jews, but also to the Gentiles.
The church and the religious folk are sometimes the ones that persecute God children the most. They claim they know God, but in truth they do not. The one they know and follow is the devil, but they are so spiritually blind they can’t see the truth.
Jesus had showed those of Nazareth the error of their ways, but instead of being grateful, they were filled with anger. Next they demonstrate the evil in their hearts as they attempt to kill God’s anointed. This was the second attempt to murder Jesus. The first was by Herod shortly after He had been born. It is the same in many people’s hearts today. When they are corrected and are shown they are wrong, instead of being grateful and repenting, some react in a hostile way. A repentant heart should seek for correction. A hard, or self centered, or wayside heart does not.
They did not like the fact that Jesus had claimed to be the Messiah.
When Jesus showed through God’s Word that two Gentiles were not rejected by God, yet a rebellious Israel was, they were filled with rage.
Correct a hard hearted person with man’s wisdom, and he may become irritated. Correct the same person with God’s Word and he may become mad or even hostile (example Stephen correcting the rebellious people with Scripture before they stoned him–ref Acts 7:1–60). God’s Word is sharper than any twoedged sword. It pierces even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The verses continue–
Lk 4:29. AND (they) (GOT) UP,
AND THRUST (or cast, or drove) HIM OUT
OF THE (TOWN),
AND LED (or took, or dragged) HIM
(TO) THE (EDGE) OF THE HILL (or cliff)
WHEREON THEIR (TOWN) WAS BUILT,
THAT THEY MIGHT (THROW) HIM DOWN HEADLONG (down the cliff). Nazareth is situated on a mountain with some steep embankments or cliffs in the vicinity.
They had been waiting for the Messiah. He is here, in the flesh, but they try to kill the only hope for salvation they could ever have. They try to kill one that did only good, healing the sick, raising the dead.
Satan had tried to stop the Messiah from coming forth by killing Able. It didn’t work.
Satan had tried to kill the baby Jesus by having multitudes of child killed. It didn’t work.
Satan again tries to kill Jesus with a lynch mob. Surely he will succeed this time. It didn’t work.
Satan tries again in Jn 10:39.
Ultimately he succeeds, but to his own downfall with the crucifixion.
One of Satan’s priorities in stopping Christians is to make hinder their work so effectively, they may give up.
If that doesn’t work he searches what is in a person’s heart and uses it to deceive them and turn them from God’s path.
If that doesn’t work use persecutions, cares of this life, deceitfulness of riches, various kinds of lusts and temptations, or and the pleasures of this life.
If that does not work, then he tries to make them afraid.
If this does not work, then he may try to put them in jail.
If this does not work, then he tries to kill them.
The verses continue–
Lk 4:30. BUT HE (which is Jesus)
PASSING THROUGH THE MIDST OF THEM (or walked through the middle of the crowd and–JNT)
WENT (on) HIS WAY.
Consider how great a miracle this was. For a person to be able to get away from a lynch mob that is determined to kill them would seem impossible. Then afterward, the people couldn’t seem to find Him It is as if he became invisible to them and they could no longer hold him.
One can only imagine what they must have thought afterwards. They must have wondered–where did He go? How could He have escaped and disappeared? We had a hold on Him. We are many, he is only one.
People do not ever escape lynch mobs unless they are rescued by someone to our knowledge. How can a person escape?
There are, what appears, to be three other times when Jesus also escaped. They are in Jn 7:30; 8:59; and Jn 10:39.
Over and over Satan tries to kill Jesus, but it was not yet His time.
It is noted when He returned to Nazareth, about 18 months later, they made no attempt to kill him a second time–ref Mk 6:2–6.
No mention appears to have been made about His disciples during this time. The last time His disciples were mentioned appears to have been at Samaria after Jesus had witnessed to the woman at the well.
The Scriptures have just told us about Jesus telling the people that He was the fulfillment of the prophecies in Isa 61:1,2. When Jesus indwells a person, when He enters into a person, what happens?
WHEN.The “WHEN” Bible study (When He Enters N) covers various subjects relating to a transformed, Born again, fruit bearing Christian as well as to those that resist God because of the blindness of their heart.
THE W.H.E.N. Message
When He Enters N
Table of contents
1–Consider The Following. Your choice
2–When all is going wrong
4–Tell a person these things and beware of the feedback
6–Follow Jesus. God commands it. Follow those Jesus puts over you
7–The requirements and the price
8–Examples of following Jesus
9–Warnings about turning from God
How many people are there that are going to inherit eternal life? The answer is only a few.
How many people are there that think they are going to inherit eternal life? The answer is many.
Consider the following:
You belong to Christ.
You are His purchased possession.
You do not belong to yourself, and thus you cannot any longer do the things that you would.
You are not to be your own boss.
You are not under your own authority.
You are a bond–servant to Jesus.
You are to forsake everything.
You are to die to yourself now so you can live forever later.
Or you may have the good things of this life now, but be dead to Christ forever.
Have we forgot the early church–They had all things common. They died to themselves. Two people that kept back some things and refused to lay it at the apostles feet and then lied, they died. The church feared God. Do you?
Some people might say that if the apostles lived today and demanded this of the people, they would be called a cult that tries to brain wash and control the people. Indeed, God’s Word does control the people that will submit to Him.
Throughout history spiritually unlearned people have spoken about God’s ways as the ways of a cult. Paul’s so called cult (or sect) was called the Nazarenes which was spoken against everywhere. Now Paul is in heaven with Jesus and those that called him a cult are in hell unless they repented.
And likewise, that multitude of Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, lawyers, scribes, religious people, skeptics, unbelievers, accusers, the fearful, and excuse makers, and the people in high places that persecuted and spoke against Paul, against the apostles, against Jesus, and against those that obey the Gospel, these also are now in hell being tormented as they await the final Great White Throne Judgment, unless they repented.
The ways of the world are not the ways of God. The ways of God are not the ways of the world. Your worldly nature is against doing things God’s ways, and God’s shall ultimately destroy the world’s ways when He returns.
You are to allow God to live through you. It is a voluntary submission which carries with it the promise of eternal life or eternal torment. There is no in–between.
God makes you the offer. Surrender all to Jesus now, love the brethren and live, or do your own thing now and then die the second death. God has set before you life and death. Therefore choose life.
Stop resisting God.
Stop putting your will first, and say with thankfulness in your heart–Thank you God for calling me, your humble servant. Thy will be done.
When the day comes that every fiber in your mind and body wants more of Jesus,
when you are so desperate that you will hear and can receive correction about yourself from God’s Word as a little child in brokenness, humbleness, meekness, and with no more pride and self centeredness, and with no personal desires, except to be more like Jesus–then there is hope,
and when you have a willingness to follow Him wherever he leads,
and under whatever circumstances He puts you in, and live wherever He wants you to live with no remorse, but only thankfulness–then there is hope.
When all your personal desires and hopes are all centered in one word—Jesus, and not in self,
and when you have crucified your personal desires and flesh,
and have denied yourself, but yet are thankful–then there is hope.
If you can totally repent with a repentance not to be repented of,
and have a God fearing, and Christ like attitude in what you both think and do—then there is hope.
Few people will yield to Christ as the Scriptures say. Few inherit eternal life. They want heaven, but they want to reign over themselves now. Forsake everything, including all your hopes, and ambitions, and follow Jesus with no worldly baggage, never looking back. Examine yourself in His love, and in the fear of God. Trust in Him and be ready to fight the good fight of faith.
Satan knows how to tempt a person with the desires of their heart that they have not repented of. Few survive Satan’s many schemes and cleaver deceptions. If there is anything you do not want to let go of or forsake (I said anything), expect Satan to use it to against you. And because it is a desire of a person’s heart, they seldom recognize or seldom will admit that Satan is using it to deceive them. Thus when correction comes from God through His Word, they reject the correction and justify themselves. The rich merchant refused to forsake all he had, even though he kept God’s commandments from his youth. He perished. Will you follow him or Jesus?
You might say, “Are you expecting me to just forsake everything–my personal dreams, my personal plans, my things, my riches, and just follow Jesus?” My answer would be, “What does God’s Word say?”
Are you here to follow your dreams, your hopes, and the idols you have created? These idols you have chosen to follow can include people you love, pleasures you have or want, your plans, your desires, your things, your cares or obligations, your lusts, your money, your security, your self esteem, your status, your pride, and your good name. If you follow Jesus your good name might become spoken of as evil. Is your appearance an idol, or your clothing, or hair, or shoes, or house, or car, or job, or your denomination, or church, or your mouth which can’t stop talking, or complaining, or accusing or gossiping? Is what people think about you an idol? All of these idols in your life can be the opposite of humbleness, brokenness, meekness, trusting in God and God alone, and repentance.
Are you here to follow some of those idols or are you here to follow Jesus and do His will? The answer to that may well determine your eternity. To those few that overcome all things by faith which works by love—it is those few that will inherit eternal life, have everlasting rewards, and forever be with the Lord. The course God has chosen for you to travel right now may seem very difficult. The course God chose for His Son Jesus, was far more difficult. Follow Jesus.
This life is only temporary. It is a time of testing to see if your faith and love is genuine according to the Scriptures. It is a time of testing to see if you will follow Jesus or self interests.
It is a time of testing to see which voice you will follow. Will you follow God’s Word or will you follow the voice in your thoughts that causes you to believe that God’s Word does not mean exactly what God meant it to mean. Do you hear and believe a voice in your head that first causes you to doubt what God’s Word really means (HATH GOD SAID?). Then do you hear the same voice giving you a reason to believe God’s Word does not mean exactly what He meant it to mean–a voice that uses the desires or fears, or rejection that is in your heart to challenge God’s Word Or do you hear and believe a voice that uses other Scripture to mislead you?
And if you think you are following God–are you following God the way He has chosen for you to follow, or are you following God the way you personally have chosen? At the judgment will the things—you think, and say, and do, and the motives of your heart, stand the test of TRUTH– – –when judged by God’s Word?
Your life will soon be gone as a puff of smoke. The next life is forever and forever. Which is more important to you right now? Jesus shall return. AND DISCERN BETWEEN THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED, BETWEEN HIM THAT SERVETH GOD AND HIM THAT SERVETH HIM NOT–Mal 3:18.
Which truth do you follow? Is it the truth of God’s Word as it is meant to be—or is it the truth of your deceived heart?
Repentance may be defined in this manner. It is a total sacrifice and surrender of oneself to obey and submit to the Word of God in all situations and with a Godly, and thankful attitude. Anything short of this is sin. Dependence on ones own efforts apart from God is sin.
It means deny self, and take up your cross daily and follow Jesus–ref Lk 9:23.
Nevertheless, God in heaven is directing each person and each ministry as He sees fit to accomplish His purpose around the world. At the same time, He is dealing with each saint to help them to deny self and draw closer to Him. Regretfully many resist and become stubborn, rebel and fall away to their own eternal destruction. They become unfruitful and unprofitable servants as Satan tempts them. They become blind as they once were. They seldom know this because if they did they should certainly repent. They become hardened to correction so it is very difficult to reach them anymore with the truth of the Gospel. The darkness blinds their eyes. They go their own way and forget how they were before they fell–ref Ja 1:24.
Eph 2:2,3–WHEREIN IN TIME PAST (in which you used to live) YE WALKED ACCORDING TO THE COURSE OF THIS WORLD, ACCORDING TO THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR, THE SPIRIT THAT NOW WORKETH IN THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE: AMONG WHOM ALSO WE “ALL” HAD OUR CONVERSATION IN TIMES PAST IN THE LUSTS OF OUR FLESH, FULFILLING THE DESIRES OF THE FLESH AND OF THE MIND; AND WERE “BY NATURE” THE CHILDREN OF WRATH, EVEN AS OTHERS. Note, in times past, when we were not born–again, we walked according to the course of this world…fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind. This is the way of the world. This is the way most people walk and desire to walk. However, to be born–again, we must repent, and begin walking by faith. We are to begin doing what is pleasing in the sight of God. We are to deny self and stop doing those things that are wrong. Few people have truly denied themselves and are walking in the ways of God. Few there be. Few people are truly born–again, although many say and think they are.
Ro 12:2–BE NOT CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD: BUT BE YE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, THAT YE MAY “PROVE” WHAT IS THAT GOOD, AND ACCEPTABLE, AND PREFECT, WILL OF GOD. We are not to walk according to the course of this world. We are not to be conformed to this world. We are to be transformed. We must be converted. We must be born–again. We must repent. We must begin to do the will of God. We must do these things, or we will surely perish. We need our mind renewed by God’s Word. We need to hear and study God’s Word, and “do it.” We must become childlike (or soft) to correction from the Word of God. We should become like a dry sponge soaking up God’s wonderful and holy Word. As we do, the Word should change us from the inside just as water changes a hard dry sponge to a soft pliable one. As we soak up God’s Word, we need to stop absorbing much of the filth, garbage, and pornography that is on TV, in the movies, in books and magazines, and on the Internet.
AND OF THE SPIRIT. Jesus is telling Nicodemus that being born again is to be born of (1) water and of (2) the Spirit. To be born of the Spirit simply means that a person receives the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. A person is converted, or regenerated. He should begin to change from the inside. He puts on Christ–ref Gal 3:27. The person should begin to think and act more like Jesus. His fruits should begin reflect this inner change as he grows in Christ as it is written in Eph 3:20–THE POWER THAT WORKETH IN US. Phili 2:13–FOR IT IS GOD WHICH WORKETH IN YOU. Ro 8:9–NOW IF ANY MAN HAVE NOT THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST, HE IS NONE OF HIS. The person should become a spiritual person which loves God and His Word far above all. The person begins to deny self and begin to obey the Gospel. An evil, corrupt heart begins to see things in a whole new light. The person is born again, renewed, made new.
Truly believing in and following Jesus as the Scriptures state results in repentance, and a changed life through the power of God. Regretfully, the life (or fruits) of most that claim they are saved, reflects no evidence of being born again. Their life reflects no conviction of sin and trust in Christ and Christ alone as their only hope of salvation. They do not deny self and trust in Christ in difficult times when trust is needed. Self does not decrease so Christ can increase. They do not put off self (the old man) and put “on” Jesus Christ–ref Ro 13:14. They do not surrender all to Him. They do not have the mind of Christ. Their life reflects their personal desires–not Christ. They continue to be the lord of their own life. Jesus is not the Lord of their life. Many claim they know Christ but seldom pray over their meals, tithe, study God’s Word faithfully, or obey it. Their daily conversation and the way they act around other people gives little indication that Christ is the center of their life. A person’s trust in Him should be a daily, even hourly, even minute by minute trust. Our mind should be stayed on Him–ref Isa 26:3. Born again people are to follow Jesus.
Most people's understanding of the Bible is at best, very shallow or Lukewarm, and their obedience to God's word is lacking. The evidence of their belief and trust in Jesus Christ is lacking. Titus 1:16–THEY PROFESS THAT THEY KNOW GOD; BUT IN WORKS THEY DENY HIM, BEING ABOMINABLE, AND DISOBEDIENT, AND UNTO EVERY GOOD WORK REPROBATE.
When God calls a person, and they surrender their life to Jesus, their faith (or trust) is small. They are as a little tree that has just sprouted. As time passes, and the person hears and studies God’s Word and obeys it, they should grow in faith (or trust) even as the little tree grows strong if it has good soil and water. This should lead a person to surrender himself more and more to deny self and obey God’s Word as it is written in 2 Cor 10:15–YOUR FAITH (or trust) IS INCREASED. True faith loves God. True faith seeks fellowship with the brethren. True faith loves the brethren. True faith fears God. True faith does not live by bread alone, but lives by every Word of God. True faith should not lie, cheat, deceive, practice sin, accuse, and complain. True faith should learn patience and obedience.
Christ died for those that would follow Him in a life of denying self, trust, obedience, submission, humility, and thankfulness
Following Jesus includes bringing your thoughts into captivity to God's Word. It includes bringing your conversation, how you dress, where you live, how you act, where you go, what cloths you wear, what jewelry you put on, how you keep your hair, and with whom you fellowship, what you do with your money, what you do with your possessions or riches, all into compliance with the Word of God. To follow Jesus even means God tells you what you should hear and what you should not hear. There is guidelines for every part of your life in God’s Word. Once you come to Jesus, your life no longer belongs to yourself. You are bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus, and God tells you clearly, Follow Me. This is how you are to act; this is what you are to do and not do, this is where you are to go and not go, and if you refuse, you are in rebellion to God, and if you rebel against God too much and for too long, your final destiny is eternity apart from God.
God has a plan your life.
It is a life of learning to deny self now so you can follow Jesus.
It is a life of sacrifice now, yet ultimately possessing everything.
It is a life of giving up now but gaining great rewards which shall never fade away.
It is a life of crying now, but there will be no more tears for eternity.
It is a life of hurts now, yet great joy.
It is a life of temptations now, but learning to overcome through trusting in Christ.
It is a life of getting rid of the hardness, rebellion, and stubbornness in your heart, and replacing it with soft, pliable clay which can be remolded by the Potter’s hand.
It is a life of being humbled and broken now, so you can be rebuilt into something fit for the Master’s use.
It is a life of learning to conform to the image of Christ now so you can be with Christ for ever and ever.
God has a plan for your life.
It is a life of getting rid of the angry and accusing attitude in your heart, and replacing it with God’s love and forgiveness.
It is a life of overcoming all things by faith and Godly love whereby in the past you were being overcome by the world, and it's sin.
It is a life of overcoming the devil’s deceptions and lies, the world’s pleasures, it’s cares, its lusts, and its desires for riches, success, and better things and replacing these with God’s truth, God’s peace, Godly trust.
It is a life that puts off the fears of this world, and puts on the fear of God.
It is a life of surrender to Jesus which enables you to not surrender to the devil.
Your plans are to become null and void. In other words, you are to scrap your plans for your own life and follow God’s plan. Love God and follow Him and live, or rebel and perish.
You might say that this is hard teaching. Yes, it is hard teaching for those that do not love God and believe His Word as they ought, but it is not hard teaching for those that are grateful that God has loved them so much that He saved them for eternity and now will give them a new direction and a purpose for the rest of their life and for eternity.
To follow Jesus means your entire life and life style needs to change. Your need to go through a complete transformation. You need to deny yourself and begin submitting to God’s Word and do all this with a right attitude. You need to put off the old man and his ways and put on the new man which conforms to the image of Jesus.
Try to tell some men in all their pride what God’s will for their life is, and note the resistance.
Try to tell some women what they can wear, what jewelry she can or cannot use, how to do their hair, and watch the sparks fly.
Try to tell a woman who she can and cannot fellowship with, and watch the fire ignite. Try to tell a woman–do not accuse, do not to gossip, be slow to speak, and live modestly and decently in this perverse world and run for cover.
Can a wife in this lukewarm generation be told that the head of the wife is her husband, in the same way that Christ is the head of the church (ref Eph 5:23)?
Can the wife be told that she is subject to her own husband in everything, even as the church is subject unto Christ (ref Eph 5:24)?
Can the wife be told that following Jesus includes submitting herself to her husband as unto the Lord (ref Eph 5:22; Col 3:18)?
Can the wife be told that following Jesus includes being in subjection to her husband (ref 1 Pe 3:1)?
Can a wife be told that in the old time the holy women were in subjection to their own husbands? (ref 1 Pe 3:5)?
Can the wife be told that following God is to be as Sara who obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. (1 Pe 3:6).
Tell a wife that her husband is to rule over her (ref Gen 3:16) even as Abraham did over Sarah and watch the fire ignite, and the forest and course of nature burn.
Tell a husband that they are to love their wife even as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it, and do not be bitter against them, and watch the excuses come forth as sparks of a fire flying in their air (ref Eph 5:25; Col 3:19).
Tell the people that they should be addicted to the ministry of the saints and they should submit to such (ref 1 Cor 16:15,16) and watch people’s anger arise.
Command the people to tithe, and to obey them who by God’s authority have the rule over them, and watch their blood pressure go up and their faces turn colors (ref Heb 13:17).
Tell the proud to submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake (ref 1 Pe 2:13) and watch the person boil.
Tell the speeder to obey the speed limits, come to complete stops at the signs and do not run red lights or get upset with other drivers, and watch the person’s resistance (ref Heb 13:17).
And likewise, tell the younger to submit themselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble (ref 1 Pe 5:5). And when a person tells them this, note the rebellion and stubbornness in their demeanor.
How few there are that will humble themselves and with a right attitude and submit to God’s Word with a good and honest heart.
How few there are that will inherit the kingdom of God.
Have you not read THEY WOULD NOT THAT I SHOULD REIGN OVER THEM. So they perished. Jesus is to be your Lord, not you yourself. You are not to do the things which you want, but you are to do the things that He wants.
Tell a child to obey their parents in the Lord in all things: for this is right, and he might get upset–ref Eph 6:1; Col 3:20.
Tell the people to honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) that it may be well with them, and that they may live long on the earth, and they may rebel–ref Eph 6:2,3.
Tell the fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, lest they be discouraged: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and they may refuse because they themselves won’t follow Jesus–ref Eph 6:4; Col 3:21.
Tell the servants (or employees), to be obedient to them that are your masters (or employers) in all things according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, fearing God, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, and they may laugh at you–ref Eph 6:5–7; Col 3:23.
Tell the people that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free, and it may do no good–ref Eph 2:8.
Tell all that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ–ref Col 3:24.
Warn the people that the person that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons–ref Col 3:25.
Also tell the Masters (or employers or people in charge), to give unto your servants (or employees) that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven and he may show you the door.
And tell the masters (or employers, or people in charge), to forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him, and they may get upset and throw you out–ref Eph 2:9.
The world’s ways are not God’s ways, and God’s ways are not the world’s ways. Which will you follow? Which do you follow?
You are in training right now (if you are saved) for eternity. If you start following a wrong path, God should have put over you an overseer that should help you by pointing out your errors. And if you resist the correction from one that God has put over you as He is speaking God's Word by the Spirit, then you are resisting God's himself. And if you will not receive correction as a humble, broken, little child, and with a right attitude, then you are also resisting God. And if you resist God, too long, and too much, then you can expect to perish. If your heart does not desire to be corrected, then your love of God and His Word is not as it ought to be. If the words you are hearing or reading right now are not a joy to you, then something is wrong. We are not here to please ourselves. We are here to do those things which are pleasing to Him. What idol is in your life that hinders you from surrendering all to God? What sin is there that you will not give up which is deceiving you? Is it your money, a possession, a hope, a dream, a religion, your pride, sex outside of marriage, homosexuality, the false view of evolution, or something else?
If you follow Jesus, eternity is planned out for you just as your life right now is already planned out by Jesus. You are part of the family of God which includes people all over the world. This is your eternal family. You are to love God with every fiber in your body, and also love all the family of God. To resist is eternal death. To comply with the right attitude means His mercy abides with you, His Spirit will lead you, and there will be joy unspeakable for eternity for so shall you ever be with the Lord.
This is not what most churches will teach you because they have agendas which are of this world, but it is what God's Word teaches both in Word and in example. Few people, very, very few people understand what you have just read or heard. Few people will give up their life that they now have and allow Jesus to reign over them living a life of sacrifice, persecutions, sufferings, and self denial. There is no fence riding for a person that follows Jesus. You are either for Jesus or you are not. Follow Jesus now and receive eternal life. Follow your own ways now, and reap eternal death. It is a life of compliance and submission to God’s Word in all things and in all ways.
Consider everything very carefully everything you choose to say and do. The choice all those people now in hell want, you have right now. Will you be faithful in all things to God with a right attitude?
This teaching is not for everyone. It is only for those few that truly seek God with all their heart and are willing to let Jesus rule and reign over them in every part of their life.We might say your eternal destiny is your choice. You may have been called, but will you also be chosen and hear the Words, Well done THOU GOOD, AND FAITHFUL SERVANT. THOU HAST BEEN FAITHFUL–ref Mt 25:21.
Acts 20:21–Following Jesus begins with REPENTANCE TOWARD GOD, AND FAITH TOWARD OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Phili 2:21–FOR ALL SEEK THEIR OWN, NOT THE THINGS WHICH ARE JESUS CHRIST’S.
Do you seek your own ways and things rather than the things which are Christs as most people do?
ExcusesLk 9:59–62–AND HE SAID UNTO ANOTHER, FOLLOW ME. BUT HE SAID, LORD, SUFFER ME FIRST TO GO AND BURY MY FATHER. JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, LET THE DEAD BURY THEIR DEAD: BUT GO THOU AND PREACH THE KINGDOM OF GOD–ref Mt 8:21. Jesus is to be more important to us than anything. We are to love Him above all people and all things. We are to follow Him. We are not to allow anything to turn us aside from doing His will.
Are you an excuse–maker? When Jesus calls a person to follow Him and obey Him, the only right answer is YES. Thine will be done. Excuses takes a person away from God. Obedience with a right attitude draws a person closer to God. We have seen many people that God called to attend a Bible school. They obeyed. But then after they arrived and began learning by His grace, they had some sort of a thought why they had to leave for a few days, or just over the weekend. When they arrived back home Satan was waiting for them. They never returned. As I recall, one of them may have died. As time went by many that left the Bible school and made excuses never showed the true fruits of repentance. They only displayed the fruits of excuses as God tried to deal with them. When God calls you, don’t look to the left or right, but go straight toward God with a single eye. The double minded person is unstable in all his ways.
Lk 9:61, 62–AND ANOTHER ALSO SAID, LORD, I WILL FOLLOW THEE; BUT LET ME FIRST GO BID THEM FAREWELL, WHICH ARE AT HOME AT MY HOUSE. AND JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, NO MAN, HAVING PUT HIS HAND TO THE PLOUGH, AND LOOKING BACK, IS FIT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD. No person that begins to follow Jesus but then looks back is fit for the kingdom of God. Remember Lot’s wife. After being delivered by the Lord, she looked back and perished. Remember the children in the wilderness–they said WOULD TO GOD WE HAD DIED BY THE HAND OF THE LORD IN THE LAND OF EGYPT, WHEN WE SAT BY THE FLESH POTS, AND WHEN WE DID EAT BREAD TO THE FULL; FOR YE HAVE BROUGHT US FORTH INTO THIS WILDERNESS, TO KILL THIS WHOLE ASSEMBLY WITH HUNGER–Ex 16:3. Complaining about the direction that God is leading you and looking back can be very dangerous. A person might find themselves wondering in the wilderness for 40 years. A person might find that God will not be with you when your enemies come upon you. A person could find that their prayers are hindered.
What fellowship is there between the light and darkness? Will a born again Christian share their hardships and difficulties with a person that has fallen just because they might be an old friend? Will a Christian seek advice from a person that has turned back from God, or was never saved? Will a Christian try to comfort a fallen person and undo what God is doing as God is trying to chastise them to bring them to repentance? The blind cannot lead the blind, else they both will fall into the ditch. Will a person that is following Jesus seek counsel from one that is not? God forbid. If a good tree seeks fellowship with a fallen tree, the good tree must come down to the fallen tree’s level. When a born again Christian disobeys God’s Word, they give a place for Satan to attack them. Those in the dark seek to have other people join them, for the darkness they follow is light to them. And if the light that is in you is really darkness, oh how great is that darkness. What fellowship is there between the real light and darkness? He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear. Those that follow Jesus will dwell in the land of the living. Those that follow a false Jesus, or their own distorted understanding of God’s Word–they shall dwell in the land of the second death forever.
The requirements and the price. Separation
2 Cor 6:14–18–Following Jesus includes BE YE NOT UNEQUALLY YOKED TOGETHER WITH UNBELIEVERS: FOR WHAT FELLOWSHIP HATH RIGHTEOUSNESS WITH UNRIGHTEOUSNESS? (or what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?–NIV) AND WHAT COMMUNION (or fellowship) HATH LIGHT WITH DARKNESS?
AND WHAT CONCORD (or harmony) HATH CHRIST WITH BELIAL? OR WHAT PART HATH HE THAT BELIEVETH WITH AN INFIDEL? (or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?–NIV). 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.
Now God gives a very direct command to those that repent and follow Him. God said: WHEREFORE COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM, AND BE YE SEPARATE, SAITH THE LORD, AND TOUCH NOT THE UNCLEAN THING; AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU, AND WILL BE A FATHER UNTO YOU, AND YE SHALL BE MY SONS AND DAUGHTERS, SAITH THE LORD ALMIGHTY. The Scripture gives a clear indication that disobedience to this command can effect whether God will receive you and if you will be a son or daughter of God.
Following Jesus does not include finding an excuse to disobey these Scriptures.
So what is an excuse when it comes to doing God's will? It is nothing more than saying—what I personally want to do is at this moment more important than what God wants me to do. It is saying I want my own will for my life at this time more than I want God's will. It is saying—I don't believe God is telling me to do this or that at this time. Excuses are a display of a lack of understanding of God's Word and who God really is. Excuses are a display of a lack of faith. Excuses are a reflection of the condition of a person's heart. Using excuses when confronted by Godly counseling is these things also.
Hell has multitudes of excuse–makers. Heaven does not.
Lk 14:16–21–THEN SAID HE UNTO HIM, A CERTAIN MAN MADE A GREAT SUPPER, AND BADE MANY: AND SENT HIS SERVANT AT SUPPER TIME TO SAY TO THEM THAT WERE BIDDEN, COME; FOR ALL THINGS ARE NOW READY. AND THEY ALL WITH ONE CONSENT BEGAN TO MAKE EXCUSE.
THE FIRST SAID UNTO HIM, I HAVE BOUGHT A PIECE OF GROUND, AND I MUST NEEDS GO AND SEE IT: I PRAY THEE HAVE ME EXCUSED. Does a person buy a piece of land before he sees it? The person made an excuse. He was buying and trying to get ahead in the world. There was no place for Jesus in his life.
AND ANOTHER SAID, I HAVE BOUGHT FIVE YOKE OF OXEN, AND I GO TO PROVE THEM: I PRAY THEE HAVE ME EXCUSED. Does a person buy oxen or a vehicle without trying it first? He made an excuse. His mind was on the world, not on following Jesus.
AND ANOTHER SAID, I HAVE MARRIED A WIFE, AND THEREFORE I CANNOT COME. Old testament teaching tell us that WHEN A MAN HATH TAKEN A NEW WIFE, HE SHALL NOT GO OUT TO WAR, NEITHER SHALL HE BE CHARGED WITH ANY BUSINESS: BUT HE SHALL BE FREE AT HOME ONE YEAR, AND SHALL CHEER UP HIS WIFE WHICH HE HATH TAKEN–Deut 24:5. The command to follow Jesus takes precedence over all. If a person will not follow Jesus now, they will not have the chance to follow Jesus in the next life.
SO THAT SERVANT CAME, AND SHEWED HIS LORD THESE THINGS. THEN THE MASTER OF THE HOUSE BEING ANGRY SAID TO HIS SERVANT, GO OUT QUICKLY INTO THE STREETS AND LANES OF THE CITY, AND BRING IN HITHER THE POOR, AND THE MAIMED, AND THE HALT, AND THE BLIND.
Are you an excuse–maker as most people are? Is God angry with you as He was with these excuse–makers?
What does God say of those people that He speaks to, but they will not hear. Such people are usually full of excuses.
Deut 1:42–45–THE LORD SAID.SAY UNTO THEM, GO NOT UP, NEITHER FIGHT; FOR I AM NOT AMONG YOU; LEST YE BE SMITTEN BEFORE YOUR ENEMIES. SO I SPAKE UNTO YOU; AND YE WOULD NOT HEAR, BUT REBELLED AGAINST THE COMMANDMENT OF THE LORD, AND WENT PRESUMPTUOUSLY UP INTO THE HILL. AND THE AMORITES,…CAME OUT…AND CHASED YOU, AS BEES DO, AND DESTROYED YOU IN SEIR, EVEN UNTO HORMAH. AND YE RETURNED AND WEPT BEFORE THE LORD; BUT THE LORD WOULD NOT HEARKEN TO YOUR VOICE, NOR GIVE EAR UNTO YOU.
What does God say of those people that He speaks to, but they will not hear. Such people are usually full of excuses.
2 KI 17:13–23–YET THE LORD TESTIFIED AGAINST ISRAEL, AND…JUDAH, BY ALL THE PROPHETS, SAYING, TURN YE FROM YOUR EVIL WAYS, AND KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.WHICH I COMMANDED. NOTWITHSTANDING THEY WOULD NOT HEAR, BUT HARDENED THEIR NECKS,…AND THEY FOLLOWED VANITY,…THEREFORE THE LORD WAS VERY ANGRY…AND REMOVED THEM OUT OF HIS SIGHT.
Zech 7:13–14–THEREFORE IT IS COME TO PASS, THAT AS HE CRIED, AND THEY WOULD NOT HEAR; SO THEY CRIED, AND I WOULD NOT HEAR, SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS:…BUT I SCATTERED THEM WITH A WHIRLWIND AMONG ALL THE NATIONS WHOM THEY KNEW NOT.
A person needs to ask himself: Am I following Jesus in all that I do? Am I following those people and fruits that I am commanded to remember and follow?
Commands to follow Jesus:
Mk 10:21–THEN JESUS…LOVED HIM, AND SAID.FOLLOW ME.
Mt 16:24–26–THEN SAID JESUS UNTO HIS DISCIPLES, IF ANY MAN WILL COME AFTER ME (or we may say, follow Me), LET HIM
2–AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS,
3–AND FOLLOW ME.
It is not enough to say you are saved. It is not enough to say a sinner’s prayer. You must repent and follow Jesus. You must be transformed. You must follow and continue in the course Jesus has laid down for you to follow. You must follow His Word, His ways, His example, His love, even to the death of the cross.
Commands to follow Jesus:
Mk 8:34–AND WHEN HE HAD CALLED THE PEOPLE UNTO HIM WITH HIS DISCIPLES ALSO, HE SAID UNTO THEM, WHOSOEVER WILL COME AFTER ME (or we may say, follow Me), LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS, AND FOLLOW ME. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus talks to His disciples. In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus speaks to both the people and His disciples.
Mt 4:19–FOLLOW ME AND I WILL MAKE YOU FISHERS OF MEN.
Mt 8:22–FOLLOW ME; AND LET THE DEAD BURY THEIR DEAD.
Mt 9:9–FOLLOW ME.
Mt 16:24–FOLLOW ME.
Mt 19:21–FOLLOW ME.
Mk 2:14–FOLLOW ME.
Mk 8:34–FOLLOW ME.
Mk 10:21–FOLLOW ME.
Lk 5:27–FOLLOW ME.
Lk 9:23–FOLLOW ME.
Lk 9:59–FOLLOW ME.
Lk 18:22–FOLLOW ME.
Jn 1:43–FOLLOW ME.
Jn 10:4–AND…THE SHEEP FOLLOW HIM: FOR THEY KNOW HIS VOICE.
Jn 10:27–MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE, AND I KNOW THEM, AND THEY FOLLOW ME:
Jn 12:26–IF ANY MAN SERVE ME, LET HIM FOLLOW ME; AND WHERE I AM, THERE SHALL ALSO MY SERVANT BE: IF ANY MAN SERVE ME, HIM WILL MY FATHER HONOUR.
Jn 21:19–FOLLOW ME.
Jn 21:22–FOLLOW THOU ME.
1 Pe 2:21–HEREUNTO WERE YE CALLED: BECAUSE CHRIST…SUFFERED FOR US, LEAVING US AN EXAMPLE, THAT YE SHOULD FOLLOW HIS STEPS.
Lk 14:27–AND WHOSOEVER DOTH NOT BEAR HIS CROSS, AND COME AFTER ME (or we might say, follow Me), CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE. If a person does not follow Jesus (God’s Word) in both speech, deed, and in truth, how can he be a disciple of Jesus? If a person is not a disciple, how can he say he is a Christian?–ref Acts 11:26.
The command is to follow Jesus and bear his cross. The price is that a person is not to follow himself. The warning is a person cannot be a disciple of Jesus, if he does not obey this.
(REMEMBER AND FOLLOW THESE PEOPLE)
Follow and remember those God puts over you that are an example of Christ and give you God’s Word.
2 Thes 3:7–FOR YOURSELVES KNOW HOW YE OUGHT TO FOLLOW US: FOR WE BEHAVED NOT OURSELVES DISORDERLY AMONG YOU (and we) MAKE OURSELVES AN ENSAMPLE UNTO YOU TO FOLLOW US.
Follow and remember those God puts over you that are an example of Christ and give you God’s Word.
Heb 13:7–REMEMBER THEM WHICH HAVE THE RULE OVER YOU, WHO HAVE SPOKEN UNTO YOU THE WORD.
The requirements and the price. Follow after these fruits:
1 Tim 6:11–FOLLOW AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS, GODLINESS, FAITH, LOVE, PATIENCE, MEEKNESS.
2 Tim 2:22–FOLLOW RIGHTEOUSNESS, FAITH, CHARITY (or love), PEACE, WITH THEM THAT CALL ON THE LORD OUT OF A PURE HEART.
Heb 12:14–FOLLOW PEACE WITH ALL MEN, AND HOLINESS, WITHOUT WHICH NO MAN SHALL SEE THE LORD.
3 Jn 1:11–FOLLOW NOT THAT WHICH IS EVIL, BUT THAT WHICH IS GOOD. HE THAT DOETH GOOD IS OF GOD: BUT HE THAT DOETH EVIL HATH NOT SEEN GOD.
(YOUR WORKS DO FOLLOW YOU)
The requirements and the price. Your works for Christ do follow you.
Some may say you were born with nothing, and you shall die with nothing.
This is not true. For the unsaved when they die they shall be tormented for ever and ever.
For such as these, it would have been better if they had never been born. For those in Christ, all their good works for Christ shall not be lost. They will follow the believer to the judgment and then every man shall receive a reward according to his works.
Rev 14:13–AND I HEARD A VOICE FROM HEAVEN SAYING UNTO ME, WRITE, BLESSED ARE THE DEAD WHICH DIE IN THE LORD FROM HENCEFORTH: YEA, SAITH THE SPIRIT, THAT THEY MAY REST FROM THEIR LABOURS; AND THEIR WORKS DO FOLLOW THEM.
There is a price to pay for each person that chooses to follow Jesus. There are the ways of the world versus the ways of God.
Just how much of an emotional burden that price is depends on each person's love and attachment to the world, to himself, to his personal desires and plans, to his possessions, to the world system, to the things of this world, to his friends and family, to riches, to pleasures, to the cares of this life, to the lusts of the world and the flesh just to mention some.
Contrary to the world, is a person’s love for God and the brethren, his fear of God, his trust in God, and his belief and understanding of God’s Word just to mention some.
Is a person willing to make sacrifices now, in order to follow Jesus and inherit eternal life? Is a person’s faith in Jesus Christ genuine, or is it only superficial? Will a person follow Jesus no matter where He leads, or will he fall away? That will be determined by the many things a person will be called to go through and endure, from the time he says YES to Jesus until God determines his time is up. Will a person say yes to Jesus, but then draw a line as to how far he will go on the journey that Jesus has planned for him?
For the most part, the world does not want the truth of the Gospel. They do not want Jesus and His Word to reign over them. Millions deceive themselves and think they are going to heaven. Yet they perish for a lack of knowledge or understanding of God’s Word. When God sends someone to them with His Word of correction, they reject it with some excuse, or they twist the Word to please their evil and deceived heart.
The price a person has to pay is not reading a Scripture now and then? It is not turning over a new leaf or making a New Year’s resolution.
It is not going to church now and then and hearing what your itching ears want to hear. It is not going to church and enjoying all sorts of worldly stories an little Scripture. It is not going to church to be entertained. It is not becoming involved in all sorts of church activities. It is not singing hymns. It is not being saved just because a preacher says you are. It is not being part of a certain denomination. It is not confessing your sins to a priest, doing good works, or giving lots of money. It is not being assured by some spiritually blind clergy that your loved one has now gone to a better place, when the deceased is actually in hell and is being tormented in the flame–ref Lk chapter 16.
The price you pay is being suddenly burdened with your sin, turning from your sin and trusting in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, as your only hope of being saved. It is hating every evil way. It is humbling yourself. It is fearing God. It is being eternally thankful for God’s mercy and compassion. It is wanting to be more like Jesus. It is love. It is God loving you. It is you loving God and demonstrating that love by keeping His commandments by the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells within you. It is loving the brethren.
It is suddenly having an awareness of your lost condition, of beginning to understand the basics (or milk) of God's Word. There is an overwhelming thirst for God’s Word. It is a deep and continuing hunger and desire to learn more of Jesus and of changing with His help.
This results in getting into God’s Word like a person that hasn’t eaten for a long time gets into food. It is craving God’s Word like a newborn baby craves pure milk. It is not living by bread alone, but by every word of God.
The price that each person has to pay is called SURRENDER AND CHANGE. It is called being born–again. It is called conversion. It is putting off the old man with his ways and putting on the new man, which is to CONFORM to the image of Christ. It is repentance. It is being buried with Jesus in baptism and coming out into the newness of life. It is dying to yourself and becoming alive to God. It is no longer being the center of your own universe, but allowing Jesus to become the center of your universe. It is wanting to do the will of God. It is putting off the way you were and once thought and putting on God’s ways and having the mind of Christ.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Put off the old and put on the new:
Eph 4:22–24–Following Jesus includes THAT YE
(1) PUT OFF CONCERNING THE FORMER CONVERSATION
(2) THE OLD MAN, WHICH IS CORRUPT ACCORDING TO THE DECEITFUL LUSTS; AND
(3) BE RENEWED IN THE SPIRIT OF YOUR MIND; AND
(4) THAT YE PUT ON THE NEW MAN, WHICH AFTER GOD IS CREATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUE HOLINESS.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Forsake all:
Lk 14:33–SO LIKEWISE, WHOSOEVER HE BE OF YOU THAT FORSAKETH NOT ALL THAT HE HATH, HE CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE.
The price and command is that a person is to forsake everything. The warning is that a person cannot be a disciple of Jesus, if he does not obey this. You need to forsake your desires, your hopes, your everything, even your own self, otherwise you cannot be saved–that is, you cannot be a disciple of Jesus.
Mk 10:28–29–THEN PETER BEGAN TO SAY UNTO HIM, LO,
WE HAVE LEFT ALL (or, we may say, have forsaken all),
AND HAVE FOLLOWED THEE–ref Mk 10:28,29; Mt 19:27.
JESUS refers to leaving or forsaking the following FOR MY SAKE, AND THE GOSPEL’S (OR FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD’S SAKE)–ref Mk 10:21–24; Lk 18 28,29. Those things include:
AND RICHES (or money).
Jesus also talks of forsaking or denying self, forsaking your will to do His will.
The Bible teaches on forsaking everything.
(BE LIKE JESUS)
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Walk as Jesus walked:
1 Jn 2:6–Following Jesus includes the following. HE THAT SAITH HE ABIDETH IN HIM OUGHT HIMSELF ALSO SO TO WALK, EVEN AS HE WALKED.
The price and command is that a person is to walk as Jesus walked. Jesus’ walk was one of completely denying self and doing the will of His Father which is in heaven. It included no personal worldly desires. It included totally trusting in His Father and loving the brethren to the ultimate degree. It included totally serving His Father, being persecuted, arrested, beaten, and then crucified.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Conform to the image of Jesus:
Ro 8:29–Following Jesus includes undergoing a great change in one’s life. FOR WHOM HE DID FOREKNOW, HE ALSO DID PREDESTINATE TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON.
The price you must pay is denying self and conforming to Jesus–to God’s Word. A person needs to allow God to change them from the inside out to be more like Jesus.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. As Jesus is, so should you be:
1 Jn 4:17–Following Jesus includes the following. HEREIN IS OUR LOVE MADE PERFECT,.BECAUSE AS HE IS, SO ARE WE IN THIS WORLD.
The price you must pay is surrendering yourself. Two things are mentioned. 1–Perfect love, and 2–being as Jesus was in this world. In other words, being conformed to Jesus and going through many of the things He went through.
(YOU BELONG TO JESUS–NOT SELF)
The requirements and the price. Surrender. You are bought by Jesus. You belong to Christ:
1 Cor 7:23–Following Jesus includes: YE ARE BOUGHT WITH A PRICE.
(DON’T LIVE FOR SELF)
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Don’t live for self:
2 Cor 5:15–Jesus didn't die for everyone, but rather FOR ALL, THAT THEY WHICH LIVE SHOULD NOT HENCEFORTH LIVE UNTO THEMSELVES, BUT UNTO HIM (or, we may say, follow Him).
The price to be paid is not living for yourself, but living for Jesus. Christ died for those that would repent and no longer live for themselves, but for Jesus. Few professing Christians live unto Christ, and few will be chosen. Christ did not die for those that refuse to live unto Him.
(DON’T SEEK THESE THINGS)
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Don’t seek after your own heart–deny self:
Num 15:39–…1–REMEMBER ALL THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD,
2–AND DO THEM;
3–AND THAT YE SEEK NOT AFTER YOUR OWN HEART
4–AND YOUR OWN EYES. Both the Old and New Testaments have the same message of living for Him and following Him, rather than living for self and your own desires and eyes. Note: Do God’s commandments, do not seek after your own heart and eyes. Pv 27:20–HELL AND DESTRUCTION ARE NEVER FULL; SO THE EYES OF MAN ARE NEVER SATISFIED.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Don’t seek to please yourself:
Ro 15:1,3–WE THEN…ARE…NOT TO PLEASE OURSELVES. FOR EVEN CHRIST PLEASED NOT HIMSELF. To follow Jesus is not to please ourself or to follow after our own heart or eyes.
(YOU MUST DECREASE, GIVE UP, SURRENDER, PURGE SELF, DENY SELF, LIVING SACRIFICE)
The requirements and the price. Surrender. You must decrease:
Jn 3:30–Following Jesus includes humbling oneself more and more. It is written: HE MUST INCREASE, BUT I MUST DECREASE.
The price is that you need to decrease, to humble yourself. The warning and implication is that if a person does not do this, Jesus cannot increase in your life. There is not room for two of you. One person must be in charge of your life. It is either you or Jesus. If it is you, then expect to perish. If it is Jesus, expect through His mercy to have eternal life. A person needs to die to himself. When a person becomes smaller, Jesus can become bigger. When the center of one’s universe is self, then there is no room for Jesus.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Deny self:
Mk 8:35–36–Following Jesus includes dying to self or denying yourself, or forsaking all, or letting go of your life, or surrendering your life, or losing your life for Jesus’ SAKE AND THE GOSPEL’S. The person that does this SHALL SAVE IT. FOR WHAT SHALL IT PROFIT A MAN, IF HE SHALL GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD, AND LOSE HIS OWN SOUL?
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Purge yourself from these: 2 Tim 2:21–Following Jesus includes the following. IF A MAN THEREFORE PURGE HIMSELF FROM THESE: The verses previous to verse 21 refers to the following. v.11–dying to oneself and being dead with Christ; v.12–suffering with Christ; v.14–don’t strive about words; v.15–study God’s Word; and rightly divide God’s Word; v.16 shun profane and vain babblings; v.19–depart from iniquity. If a person does these:
1–HE SHALL BE A VESSEL UNTO HONOUR,
3–AND MEET FOR THE MASTER'S USE,
4–AND PREPARED UNTO EVERY GOOD WORK.
The price you need to pay is purging yourself from yourself, from the world, and the things that are in the world. The rewards are the 4 items listed.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Don’t count your life dear to yourself:
Acts 20:24–Following Jesus includes BUT NONE OF THESE THINGS MOVE ME, NEITHER COUNT I MY LIFE DEAR UNTO MYSELF.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Sheep for the slaughter:
Ro 8:36–Following Jesus includes: FOR THY SAKE WE ARE KILLED ALL THE DAY LONG; WE ARE ACCOUNTED AS SHEEP FOR THE SLAUGHTER.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Don’t be conformed to this world:
Ro 12:2–Following Jesus includes the renewing of your mind. BE NOT CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD:
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Present your bodies a living sacrifice:
Ro 12:1–Following Jesus includes, I BESEECH YOU…BRETHREN THAT YE PRESENT YOUR BODIES A LIVING SACRIFICE, HOLY, ACCEPTABLE UNTO GOD, WHICH IS YOUR REASONABLE SERVICE.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Follow Jesus, not riches:
Mk 10:21–THEN JESUS BEHOLDING HIM LOVED HIM, AND SAID UNTO HIM, ONE THING THOU LACKEST:
Mt 19:21–JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, IF THOU WILT BE PERFECT,
1–GO (THY WAY) AND SELL (WHATSOEVER) THOU HAST,
2–AND GIVE TO THE POOR, AND THOU SHALT HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN:
3–AND COME (AND TAKE UP THE CROSS) AND FOLLOW ME–ref Mk 10:22–24.
These are among the only verses in the Bible where Jesus tells a person to do something first before following Him. If a person tries to follow Jesus with great riches, his trust will be in his riches and not in Jesus. When Jesus multiplied the fish and bread, the rich man might have said that he would go and buy the things that were needed. It is next to impossible for a rich man to enter heaven, as his trust and heart is with his assets. He has never learned to deny self. He has never learned to walk even as Jesus walked. If he was falsely accused, he would undoubtedly hire the best defense attorneys to defend him. If he had no place to lay his head, he could go to the best hotel. If he got tired of walking after Jesus, he could hire an animal to ride on. It would be difficult for him to learn to fight the good fight of faith. It would be difficult for him to understand that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal or worldly. If a person was sick, he would probably try to use his money to hire the best doctors. It would be difficult for him to change. He had probably worked very hard to get to the high position he had attained. Where a person’s riches and possessions are, their heart and mind will also be. A person cannot serve God and money.
Thus, Jesus put conditions on the rich man regarding following Him. He had to give up and sell his great possessions, which were a sort of security blanket to him. Then he had to give all that money away to the poor. And only then should he follow Jesus. Although the rich man had kept the commandments since his youth, this command he refused to obey.
So it is today. Today’s lukewarm churches seldom preach this to their rich people. After all, some of these rich people may support their building programs. They may give lots of money to the church.
So it happened to a minister that this author personally knew of. He had several very wealthy men in his church. He told them they were all going to hell unless they repented as I understand. They stopped giving, and his building program came to a halt. Later on, that minister was used to reach many more souls with the Gospel through an international outreach.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Warning–obey:
Mk 10:21–24–Jesus told the rich young merchant to sell what he had, give to the poor, and take up his cross and follow Him. But he went away sad, because he had great possessions. Jesus then made it known how hard it is for them that trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God.
This person could have still followed Jesus around the countryside and kept his possessions and thought to himself he would still go to heaven. Yet because he refused to obey what Jesus told him to do, when he died he would have perished. And that is what many people do today. They say they follow Jesus. They may witness. They may sing in the church choir and do other church work, yet because they refuse to obey Jesus' Word, they will be rejected. Because they refuse to do what Jesus said to do, in the way Jesus said to do it, and when Jesus said to do it, they will perish. Yes, Jesus is compassionate, but He is not the author of salvation to the rebellious–for rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft–ref 1 Sam 15:23.
Jesus became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him–Heb 5:9.
The Holy Ghost is given to them that obey Him.–Acts 5:32. Fear God and do what He says.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Cast down wrong thinking:
2 Cor 10:5–Following Jesus includes the following.
1–CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS,
2–Casting down.AND EVERY HIGH THING THAT EXALTETH ITSELF AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD,
3–AND BRINGING INTO CAPTIVITY EVERY THOUGHT TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST (or to the obedience of God’s Word).
The price you need to pay is surrendering your imaginations, your thoughts to be controlled by God not self.
It may be said that every person that begins following Jesus, but turns aside, does not obey these Scriptures. They do not bring their thoughts into captivity to obey the Gospel. Their own wrong thinking, desires, hurts, fears, and emotions rule them rather than God’s Word.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Seek the Kingdom of God. Thinking:
Lk 12:31–34–Following Jesus includes seeking God first rather than seeking other things. BUT RATHER SEEK YE THE KINGDOM OF GOD; AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU.
Mt 6:33–BUT SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Seek the Kingdom of God. Thinking:
Mt 6:30–32, 34– Following Jesus includes bringing your thinking in line with God’s Word. God’s Word promises (God cannot lie) that if you will seek Him first, you don’t have to worry about your clothing, your food, and what you shall drink. God will make a way. And whatever He seeks to give you, don’t complain.
WHEREFORE, IF GOD SO CLOTHE THE GRASS OF THE FIELD, WHICH TO DAY IS, AND TO MORROW IS CAST INTO THE OVEN, SHALL HE NOT MUCH MORE CLOTHE YOU, O YE OF LITTLE FAITH? THEREFORE TAKE NO THOUGHT, SAYING, WHAT SHALL WE EAT? OR, WHAT SHALL WE DRINK? OR, WHEREWITHAL SHALL WE BE CLOTHED? (FOR AFTER ALL THESE THINGS DO THE GENTILES SEEK:) FOR YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER KNOWETH THAT YE HAVE NEED OF ALL THESE THINGS. TAKE THEREFORE NO THOUGHT FOR THE MORROW: FOR THE MORROW SHALL TAKE THOUGHT FOR THE THINGS OF ITSELF. SUFFICIENT UNTO THE DAY IS THE EVIL THEREOF.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Clothing:
Mk 1:6–Following Jesus includes wearing whatever God tells you to wear. JOHN WAS CLOTHED WITH CAMEL’S HAIR, AND WITH A GIRDLE OF A SKIN ABOUT HIS LOINS.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Food. Eat what Jesus gives you to eat:
Mk 1:6–Following Jesus includes eating whatever God gives you. JOHN…DID EAT LOCUSTS AND WILD HONEY.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Walk not in the vanity of your thoughts:
Eph 4:17, 18–Following Jesus includes THAT YE HENCEFORTH WALK NOT…IN THE VANITY OF (your) MIND.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Fear not:
Lk 12:32–Following Jesus includes trusting in God and His Word rather than fearing. FEAR NOT, LITTLE FLOCK.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Thoughts renewed:
Ro 12:2– Following Jesus includes being TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND.
(THINKING–DON’T COUNT LIFE DEAR)
The requirements and the price. Thinking. Don’t count your life dear to yourself:
Acts 20:24–BUT NONE OF THESE THINGS MOVE ME, NEITHER COUNT I MY LIFE DEAR UNTO MYSELF, SO THAT I MIGHT FINISH MY COURSE WITH JOY, AND THE MINISTRY, WHICH I HAVE RECEIVED OF THE LORD JESUS, TO TESTIFY THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD. This is following Jesus.
(THINKING: FORGET THE PAST)
The requirements and the price. Forget the past. Reach for the future which God has for you. Press toward the prize of God:
Phili 3:12–14–I FOLLOW AFTER, IF THAT I MAY APPREHEND THAT FOR WHICH ALSO I AM APPREHENDED OF CHRIST JESUS. …THIS ONE THING I DO, FORGETTING THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEHIND, AND REACHING FORTH UNTO THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEFORE, I PRESS TOWARD THE MARK FOR THE PRIZE OF THE HIGH CALLING OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS. Lk 17:32–REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE.
(WHERE TO LIVE)
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Live where Jesus tells you to live:
Mt 8:20–22–Following Jesus includes living wherever God tells you to live and under whatever circumstances God tells you to endure. This can include not even having a place to live or sleep. THE FOXES HAVE HOLES, AND THE BIRDS OF THE AIR HAVE NESTS; BUT THE SON OF MAN HATH NOT WHERE TO LAY HIS HEAD–ref Lk 9:58.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Live where Jesus tells you to live:
Lk 1:80–Following Jesus includes living wherever God tells you to live and under whatever circumstances God tells you to endure. AND THE CHILD (John the Baptist) GREW, AND WAXED STRONG IN SPIRIT, AND WAS IN THE DESERTS TILL THE DAY OF HIS SHEWING UNTO ISRAEL.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Don’t serve the world. Serve Jesus:
1 Cor 7:23–Following Jesus includes: BE NOT YE THE SERVANTS OF MEN.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Don't serve the world. Serve Jesus:
Mal 3:18–THEN SHALL YE RETURN, AND DISCERN BETWEEN THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED, BETWEEN HIM THAT SERVETH GOD AND HIM THAT SERVETH HIM NOT.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Be in one accord. Fellowship with each other:
Acts 1:13–14–Following Jesus includes learning to be and being in one accord. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. Those that are not in one accord with the body of Christ that follows Jesus are themselves not in one accord with Jesus. It is written in 1 Jn 1:6–7–IF WE WALK IN THE LIGHT (or we may say in the Word), 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.
Your heart should find it has far more love and fellowship for the brethren in Christ than for your blood relatives who do not follow Jesus. If a person finds they have more fellowship with their unsaved relatives than their brothers and sisters in Christ, then something is very wrong. It is a strong indication that they are not walking in the light as Jesus is in the light. It is a strong indication that the blood of Christ does not cleanse them from all sin. There are many who have relatives that claim they are a Christian, but are really following a stranger’s voice. Remember, Satan’s followers masquerade and transform themselves as followers of Christ and followers of righteousness, when in reality they follow deception. The spiritually weak Christian often becomes deceived and led astray by such relatives. Sometimes the spiritually weak Christian has such a strong hope that their relatives are saved, that it blinds them to the reality that they are not.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Attitude. Love:
1 Pe 3:8–Following Jesus includes LOVING AS BRETHREN.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Serve God with a right attitude:
Acts 20:19–20–Following Jesus includes:
1–SERVING THE LORD WITH ALL HUMILITY OF MIND,
2–AND WITH MANY TEARS,
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Attitude. Humble yourself:
Mk 1:7–Following Jesus includes being humble. (John) PREACHED, SAYING, THERE COMETH ONE MIGHTIER THAN I AFTER ME, THE LATCHET OF WHOSE SHOES I AM NOT WORTHY TO STOOP DOWN AND UNLOOSE.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Humble oneself:
Pv 26:12–Following Jesus includes repenting of conceit (or pride). SEEST THOU A MAN WISE IN HIS OWN CONCEIT? THERE IS MORE HOPE OF A FOOL THAN OF HIM.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Attitude. Slow to wrath:
Ja 1:19–Following Jesus includes letting every man be SLOW TO WRATH (or anger).
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Attitude. One mind:
1 Pe 3:8– Following Jesus includes being all OF ONE MIND.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Attitude. Compassionate:
1 Pe 3:8–Following Jesus includes having COMPASSION ONE OF ANOTHER.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Attitude. Courtesy:
1 Pe 3:8– Following Jesus includes BEING COURTEOUS.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Attitude. Don’t accuse when accused:
1 Pe 3:9–Following Jesus includes NOT RENDERING EVIL FOR EVIL, or RAILING FOR RAILING (or accusing for accusing).
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Attitude. Suffer–happy:
1 Pe 3:14–Following Jesus includes–if ye SUFFER FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS’ SAKE, HAPPY ARE YE: AND BE NOT AFRAID OF THEIR TERROR, NEITHER BE TROUBLED. FOR IT IS BETTER, IF THE WILL OF GOD BE SO, THAT YE SUFFER FOR WELL DOING, THAN FOR EVIL DOING. FOR CHRIST ALSO HATH ONCE SUFFERED FOR SINS, THE JUST FOR THE UNJUST, THAT HE MIGHT BRING US TO GOD.
(DON’T KNOW WHAT LIES AHEAD)
The requirements and the price. Surrendering to Jesus sometimes means you have no idea what lies ahead.
Acts 20:22–Following Jesus includes …NOT KNOWING THE THINGS THAT SHALL BEFALL ME.
(PROBLEMS MAY LIE AHEAD)
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Chains and afflictions:
Acts 20:23–Following Jesus can include BONDS AND AFFLICTIONS ABIDE ME.
(WOMEN AND WIVES)
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Outward appearance for women:
1 Pe 3:3–Following Jesus includes: YOUR BEAUTY SHOULD NOT COME FROM OUTWARD ADORNMENT–NIV.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. A woman’s attitude:
1 Pe 3:3–5–Following Jesus includes: YOUR BEAUTY SHOULD…BE THAT OF YOUR INNER SELF, THE UNFADING BEAUTY OF A GENTLE AND QUIET SPIRIT, WHICH IS OF GREAT WORTH IN GOD’S SIGHT. FOR THIS IS THE WAY THE HOLY WOMEN OF THE PAST WHO PUT THEIR HOPE IN GOD USED TO MAKE THEMSELVES BEAUTIFUL–NIV.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. A woman’s attitude:
1 Pe 3:3–6–Following Jesus includes: THE HOLY WOMEN OF THE PAST WHO PUT THEIR HOPE IN GOD…THEY WERE SUBMISSIVE TO THEIR OWN HUSBANDS. LIKE SARAH, WHO OBEYED ABRAHAM AND CALLED HIM HER MASTER. YOU ARE HER DAUGHTERS IF YOU DO WHAT IS RIGHT AND DO NOT GIVE WAY TO FEAR.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. A woman’s attitude:
1 Tim 2:9,15–Following Jesus includes guidelines for a woman's attitude. I WILL…THAT…WOMEN…CONTINUE IN (FAITH, LOVE, AND HOLINESS, WITH SELF–CONTROL–NKJ).
The requirements and the price. Surrender. A woman’s authority:
1 Tim 2:12–Following Jesus includes guidelines for a woman's authority. BUT I SUFFER NOT A WOMAN TO TEACH, NOR TO USURP AUTHORITY OVER THE MAN, BUT TO BE IN SILENCE (she must be silent–NIV). FOR ADAM WAS FIRST FORMED, THEN EVE. AND ADAM WAS NOT DECEIVED, BUT THE WOMAN BEING DECEIVED (and became a sinner–NIV) WAS IN THE TRANSGRESSION.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. A woman’s authority:
1 Tim 5:14–I WILL THEREFORE THAT THE YOUNGER WOMEN…GUIDE THE HOUSE.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Clothing for women:
1 Pe 3:3,5–Following Jesus includes guidelines for what women wear. They ought not wear extravagant clothing. LET (your beauty) NOT BE.(the) PUTTING ON OF APPAREL (or fine clothes). FOR AFTER THIS MANNER IN THE OLD TIME THE HOLY WOMEN ALSO, WHO TRUSTED IN GOD, ADORNED THEMSELVES. Those that do not fear God may do otherwise.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Clothing for women:
1 Tim 2:9–10–Following Jesus includes guidelines for what women wear. IN LIKE MANNER…WOMEN ADORN THEMSELVES IN MODEST APPAREL,…(I…want women to dress modestly–NIV) NOT WITH…COSTLY ARRAY (or expensive clothes–NIV); BUT (WHICH BECOMETH WOMEN PROFESSING GODLINESS).
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Clothing for women:
1 Tim 2:9,10–Following Jesus includes guidelines for what women wear. It is written: I…WANT WOMEN TO DRESS…WITH DECENCY–NIV. The sexual enticing, indecent ways many women dress in this lukewarm generation is not acceptable with God for holy women following Jesus.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Conversation for women:
1 Pe 3:2–Following Jesus includes wives having CHASTE (or respectful and pure) CONVERSATION (or behavior) COUPLED WITH FEAR (or reverence). The women that fear God will indeed have a life that follows Jesus in this way. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves. Those that do not fear God may do otherwise.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Conversation and attitude for wives:
1 Pe 3:1,5–Following Jesus includes how the conversation of the wives should be. LET IT BE THE HIDDEN MAN OF THE HEART, IN THAT WHICH IS NOT CORRUPTIBLE, EVEN THE ORNAMENT OF A MEEK AND QUIET SPIRIT, WHICH IS IN THE SIGHT OF GOD OF GREAT PRICE. Wives that follow Jesus are to have conversation which is not corruptible. They are to have a spirit and conversation which is meek or humble, and quiet. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves. The women that fear God will indeed follow Jesus in this way. Those that do not fear God may do otherwise.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. A woman’s outward adornment:
1 Pe 3:3,5–Women Following Jesus includes guidelines for their hair. WHOSE ADORNING LET IT NOT BE THAT OUTWARD ADORNING OF PLAITING (or braiding) THE HAIR. FOR AFTER THIS MANNER IN THE OLD TIME THE HOLY WOMEN ALSO, WHO TRUSTED IN GOD, ADORNED THEMSELVES. Those that do not fear God may do otherwise.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. A woman’s outward adornment:
1 Tim 2:8,9– Following Jesus includes guidelines for a woman’s hair. It is written: I WILL THEREFORE THAT…WOMEN ADORN THEMSELVES…NOT WITH BROIDED HAIR.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. A woman’s outward adornment:
1 Pe 3:3,5–Women Following Jesus includes guidelines for their jewelry. YOUR BEAUTY SHOULD NOT COME–NIV.(the) WEARING OF GOLD (jewelry). FOR AFTER THIS MANNER IN THE OLD TIME THE HOLY WOMEN ALSO, WHO TRUSTED IN GOD, ADORNED THEMSELVES. Those that do not fear God may do otherwise.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. A woman’s outward adornment:
1 Tim 2:8,9– Following Jesus includes guidelines for a woman’s jewelry. It is written: I WILL THEREFORE THAT…WOMEN ADORN THEMSELVES…NOT WITH GOLD, OR PEARLS OR COSTLY ARRAY.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. A woman’s works:
1 Tim 2:9,15, 10–Following Jesus includes guidelines for a woman’s attitude. I WILL…THAT…WOMEN…CONTINUE…WITH GOOD DEEDS, APPROPRIATE FOR WOMEN WHO PROFESS TO WORSHIP GOD–NIV.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Guidelines for women:
1 Tim 5:14–I WILL THEREFORE THAT THE YOUNGER WOMEN MARRY, BEAR CHILDREN.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Be careful—Give no occasion to the Adversary:
1 Tim 5:14–I WILL THEREFORE THAT THE YOUNGER WOMEN…GIVE NONE OCCASION TO THE ADVERSARY TO SPEAK REPROACHFULLY.
The requirements and the price. Surrender for women. Final:
Regarding the Scriptures for Christian women to follow: Some women professing Christ will find every excuse under the sun to try and nullify the commands that they do not want to follow. But only a few will receive God’s Word exactly as the Spirit of God meant it to be. The bottom line is many women just will not obey God’s Word. Their emotions and deceived thinking dictate what is right and wrong to them, rather than God’s Holy Word.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. A man's attitude:
Eph 5:25–Following Jesus includes HUSBANDS, LOVE YOUR WIVES, EVEN AS CHRIST ALSO LOVED THE CHURCH, AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR IT.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. A man’s attitude:
Col 3:19–Following Jesus includes HUSBANDS, LOVE YOUR WIVES, AND BE NOT BITTER AGAINST THEM.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. A man’s attitude:
1 Pe 3:7– Following Jesus includes GIVING HONOUR UNTO THE WIFE, AS UNTO THE WEAKER VESSEL, AND AS BEING HEIRS TOGETHER OF THE GRACE OF LIFE; THAT YOUR PRAYERS BE NOT HINDERED.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. A man’s responsibility:
1 Tim 3:12–LET THE DEACONS BE THE HUSBANDS OF ONE WIFE, RULING THEIR CHILDREN AND THEIR OWN HOUSES WELL.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Swift to hear:
Ja 1:19–Following Jesus includes letting every man be SWIFT TO HEAR.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Slow to speak:
Ja 1:19–Following Jesus includes letting every man be SLOW TO SPEAK.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Slow to speak. Warning:
Pv 29:20–Following Jesus includes how we speak. SEEST THOU A MAN (or a woman) THAT IS HASTY IN HIS WORDS? THERE IS MORE HOPE OF A FOOL THAN OF HIM.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Speech:
1 Pe 3:10–Following Jesus includes refraining YOUR SPEECH FROM EVIL.
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Speech:
1 Pe 3:10–Following Jesus includes SPEAKING NO GUILE (or deceitful speech).
The requirements and the price. Surrender. Speech. Be ready:
1 Pe 3:15,17,18–Following Jesus includes being READY ALWAYS TO GIVE AN ANSWER TO EVERY MAN THAT ASKETH YOU A REASON OF THE HOPE THAT IS IN YOU WITH MEEKNESS AND FEAR (or gentleness and respect).
The requirements and the price. Don’t lay up riches:
Mt 6:19–21–To follow Jesus is to obey the following. LAY NOT UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES UPON EARTH, WHERE MOTH AND RUST DOTH CORRUPT, AND WHERE THIEVES BREAK THROUGH AND STEAL: BUT LAY UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES IN HEAVEN, WHERE NEITHER MOTH NOR RUST DOTH CORRUPT, AND WHERE THIEVES DO NOT BREAK THROUGH NOR STEAL: FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO. The rich merchant had laid up many treasures. That was where his heart was.
The requirements and the price. Lay up riches in heaven:
Lk 12:33, 34–Following Jesus includes selling THAT YE HAVE, AND GIVE ALMS; PROVIDE YOURSELVES BAGS WHICH WAX NOT OLD, A TREASURE IN THE HEAVENS THAT FAILETH NOT, WHERE NO THIEF APPROACHETH, NEITHER MOTH CORRUPTETH. FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO. This is what Jesus told the rich merchant who obeyed God's commandments from his youth. But he would not do it, as he had great riches.
The requirements and the price. Can’t serve God and money:
Lk 16:13–To follow Jesus is to obey the following. NO SERVANT CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS: FOR EITHER HE WILL HATE THE ONE, AND LOVE THE OTHER; OR ELSE HE WILL HOLD TO THE ONE, AND DESPISE THE OTHER. YE CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON (or money). The rich merchant loved his riches more than he loved Jesus. Often people love the thought of having the better things of this life. So they strive and work to have the things in this life that their heart desires. They love the things of this world more than they love God and obeying His Word. They may serve God, but their heart is not with Him. Neither does their heart love the brethren as it ought. This is clearly a wrong attitude as illustrated in Acts 20:24.
The requirements and the price. Hate these things:
Lk 14:26,27–IF ANY MAN COME TO ME (or we might say follow Me), AND HATE NOT HIS FATHER, AND MOTHER, AND WIFE, AND CHILDREN, AND BRETHREN, AND SISTERS, YEA, AND HIS OWN LIFE ALSO, HE CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE. We are to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind (or understanding), and strength, and love our neighbor as ourself–ref Mk 12:33; Lk 10:27,28.
Ro 7:15–Paul says: WHAT I HATE, THAT DO I.
Ps 119:104–HATE EVERY FALSE WAY.
Ps 119:113–HATE VAIN THOUGHTS.
Ps 119:163–HATE AND ABHOR LYING.
Pv 8:13–THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS TO HATE EVIL: PRIDE, AND ARROGANCY, AND THE EVIL WAY, AND THE FROWARD MOUTH, DO I HATE.
Amos 5:15–HATE THE EVIL.
Zech 8:17–Hate the following: IMAGINE(ing) EVIL IN YOUR HEARTS AGAINST HIS NEIGHBOUR.
Zech 8:17–Hate every FALSE OATH.
Ps 97:10–HATE EVIL.
Pv 6:16–19–HATE the following 6 things. Let all seven be an abomination to you. A PROUD LOOK, A LYING TONGUE, AND HANDS THAT SHED INNOCENT BLOOD, AN HEART THAT DEVISETH WICKED IMAGINATIONS, FEET THAT BE SWIFT IN RUNNING TO MISCHIEF, A FALSE WITNESS THAT SPEAKETH LIES, AND HE THAT SOWETH DISCORD AMONG BRETHREN.
(UNSAVED–THEIR GLORY IS THE WORLD).
The requirements and the price. Many unsaved:
Phili 3:18, 19–(FOR MANY…ARE THE ENEMIES OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST:…WHOSE GOD IS THEIR BELLY, AND WHOSE GLORY IS IN THEIR SHAME, WHO MIND EARTHLY THINGS.) Their glory is in their appearance, their taste, their possessions, their achievements, their dreams, their own desires, their thoughts, and their ignorance. Their glory is who they are, what they are, and who they know. Their glory is their friends, their relatives, their job, their school, or their college. Their glory is where they have been, where they hope to go, or what they plan to do or buy. Their glory is in sinful things. Their glory is in the vanity of their mind. Their glory is in their church, their denomination, or their religion. Their glory is of this world and in their thoughts regarding this world. Their glory is pride and being something now. Their glory is in resisting Christ and in the blindness of their heart. Their glory is in things that have no eternal value. Their glory is not in following Christ.
But for those that are in Christ, those that are born again, whose fruits are the fruits of Christ, who have made a covenant of sacrifice, who have been broken, crushed, humbled, and remodeled—of these people—their glory is of one thing, and one thing only. It is centered in one name—JESUS CHRIST. For such as these, to live is Christ, as it is written: Phili 1:20–21–ACCORDING TO MY EARNEST EXPECTATION AND MY HOPE, THAT IN NOTHING I SHALL BE ASHAMED, BUT THAT WITH ALL BOLDNESS, AS ALWAYS, SO NOW ALSO CHRIST SHALL BE MAGNIFIED IN MY BODY, WHETHER IT BE BY LIFE, OR BY DEATH. FOR TO ME TO LIVE IS CHRIST, AND TO DIE IS GAIN.
Phili 1:27–29–…LET YOUR CONVERSATION BE AS IT BECOMETH THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST:…STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT, WITH ONE MIND STRIVING TOGETHER FOR THE FAITH OF THE GOSPEL; AND IN NOTHING TERRIFIED BY YOUR ADVERSARIES: WHICH IS TO THEM AN EVIDENT TOKEN OF PERDITION, BUT TO YOU OF SALVATION, AND THAT OF GOD. FOR UNTO YOU IT IS GIVEN IN THE BEHALF OF CHRIST, NOT ONLY TO BELIEVE ON HIM, BUT ALSO TO SUFFER FOR HIS SAKE.
Example. This is forsaking everything–no greed, no covetousness. This is self denial. They had all things common:
Acts 4:32–AND THE MULTITUDE OF THEM THAT BELIEVED WERE OF ONE HEART AND OF ONE SOUL: NEITHER SAID ANY OF THEM THAT OUGHT OF THE THINGS WHICH HE POSSESSED WAS HIS OWN; BUT THEY HAD ALL THINGS COMMON.
Example. Sell all you have, deny self, forsake everything. They sold their possessions.
Acts 4:34–37–(The multitude), NEITHER WAS THERE ANY AMONG THEM THAT LACKED: FOR AS MANY AS WERE POSSESSORS OF LANDS OR HOUSES SOLD THEM, AND BROUGHT THE PRICES OF THE THINGS THAT WERE SOLD, AND LAID THEM DOWN AT THE APOSTLES' FEET: AND DISTRIBUTION WAS MADE UNTO EVERY MAN ACCORDING AS HE HAD NEED.
Example. Sell all you have, deny self, forsake everything:
Acts 4:36,37–AND JOSES, WHO BY THE APOSTLES WAS SURNAMED BARNABAS, (WHICH IS, BEING INTERPRETED, THE SON OF CONSOLATION,) A LEVITE, AND OF THE COUNTRY OF CYPRUS, HAVING LAND, SOLD IT, AND BROUGHT THE MONEY, AND LAID IT AT THE APOSTLES' FEET.
Example. Warning about a lack of self denial, forsake everything. Ananias lied and died:
Acts 5:1–5–A CERTAIN MAN NAMED ANANIAS, WITH SAPPHIRA HIS WIFE, SOLD A POSSESSION, AND KEPT BACK PART OF THE PRICE, HIS WIFE ALSO BEING PRIVY TO IT, AND BROUGHT A CERTAIN PART, AND LAID IT AT THE APOSTLES’ FEET.
But then he committed a sin. Satan filled his heart to lie about whether he had given all the money to the apostles. Satan had also filled his heart to keep back part of the money he had received. PETER SAID, ANANIAS, WHY HATH SATAN FILLED THINE HEART TO LIE TO THE HOLY GHOST, AND TO KEEP BACK PART OF THE PRICE OF THE LAND? It is very difficult for a person to trust that Jesus will meet all their needs when they have lots of money in the bank to turn to. Indeed, the rich young merchant was told to sell all he had and then afterward to come and follow Jesus.
Peter said, WHILES IT REMAINED, WAS IT NOT THINE OWN? AND AFTER IT WAS SOLD, WAS IT NOT IN THINE OWN POWER? WHY HAST THOU CONCEIVED THIS THING IN THINE HEART? THOU HAST NOT LIED UNTO MEN, BUT UNTO GOD. AND ANANIAS…FELL DOWN, AND GAVE UP THE GHOST: AND GREAT FEAR CAME ON ALL THEM THAT HEARD THESE THINGS.
Example. Warning about a lack of self denial, forsake everything. Ananias' wife lied and died:
Acts 5:7–11–(Then Ananias’) HIS WIFE, NOT KNOWING WHAT WAS DONE, CAME IN. AND PETER ANSWERED UNTO HER, TELL ME WHETHER YE SOLD THE LAND FOR SO MUCH? AND SHE SAID, YEA, FOR SO MUCH. THEN PETER SAID UNTO HER, HOW IS IT THAT YE HAVE AGREED TOGETHER TO TEMPT THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD?.THEN FELL SHE DOWN STRAIGHTWAY AT HIS FEET, AND YIELDED UP THE GHOST:…AND GREAT FEAR CAME UPON ALL THE CHURCH, AND UPON AS MANY AS HEARD THESE THINGS.
Example. Paul gives an example of not looking back:
Phili 3:13–15–Following Jesus includes not looking back. BRETHREN, I COUNT NOT MYSELF TO HAVE APPREHENDED: BUT THIS ONE THING I DO, FORGETTING THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEHIND, AND REACHING FORTH UNTO THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEFORE, I PRESS TOWARD THE MARK FOR THE PRIZE OF THE HIGH CALLING OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS. LET US THEREFORE, AS MANY AS BE PERFECT, BE THUS MINDED.
Example. Deny self, forsake everything. Paul counted all things as worthless, so he could win Christ:
Phili 3:8–Paul said: YEA DOUBTLESS, AND I COUNT ALL THINGS BUT LOSS FOR THE EXCELLENCY OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST JESUS MY LORD: FOR WHOM I HAVE SUFFERED THE LOSS OF ALL THINGS, AND DO COUNT THEM BUT DUNG, THAT I MAY WIN CHRIST.
An example for you to consider:
Eph 4:17,18–The unsaved are those that have their UNDERSTANDING DARKENED,…THROUGH THE IGNORANCE THAT IS IN THEM, BECAUSE OF THE BLINDNESS OF THEIR HEART.
Note the wording: Because of the blindness of their heart and their ignorance, their understanding is darkened. Their correct understanding of Biblical things that affects their eternity is null and void. They have a deceived understanding. They think they understand, but they do not. They do not understand that they are on a road or journey that is leading them to hell and the lake of fire. There is no power on earth, no form of persecution, no proof that can be given to convince them that they are wrong. The only possible hope for the unsaved is that God intervenes and opens their heart so they will be convicted by their sin and understand God’s Word the way God intended it to be understood, so they can repent and trust in Jesus as their only hope. Otherwise, the blindness and darkness that is in them, which comes from Satan, will continue to be their light (which in reality is really darkness). The harder they are to correction and childlikeness, the greater the blindness and darkness is in their heart.
I believe it can be said–of the billions of people that are currently in hell awaiting the final judgment, probably none of them actually realized they would one day be there; just as some of you reading this now may not either.
Examples. Consider Matthew’s example of following Christ:
Mk 2:14–AND AS (Jesus) PASSED BY, HE SAW LEVI (also named Matthew) (a publican or tax collector) THE SON OF ALPHAEUS SITTING AT THE RECEIPT OF CUSTOM (or tax office, or tax booth), AND SAID UNTO HIM, FOLLOW ME. AND HE AROSE (AND HE LEFT ALL) AND FOLLOWED HIM–ref Lk 5:27–32; Mt 9:9–13. Little did he understand or suspect what was ahead.
Lk 5:29–31–AND LEVI (also named Matthew) MADE HIM (Jesus) A GREAT FEAST IN HIS OWN HOUSE: AND THERE WAS A GREAT COMPANY OF PUBLICANS AND OF OTHERS THAT SAT DOWN WITH THEM.
BUT THEIR SCRIBES AND PHARISEES MURMURED (or complained, or accused)…HIS DISCIPLES, SAYING, WHY DO YE (and) (YOUR MASTER) EAT AND DRINK WITH PUBLICANS (or tax collectors) AND SINNERS? Note the persecutions, the complainings, the accusations are already starting by the religious authorities that are highly esteemed by the people. Matthew was doing a nice thing, but he was being accused in a derogatory manner, because he was a tax collector and a sinner. Yet did Matthew, or Jesus, or his disciples get offended and leave? No.
AND JESUS ANSWERING SAID UNTO THEM, THEY THAT ARE WHOLE NEED NOT A PHYSICIAN; BUT THEY THAT ARE SICK. BUT GO YE AND LEARN WHAT THAT MEANETH, I WILL HAVE MERCY, AND NOT SACRIFICE: FOR I AM NOT COME TO CALL THE RIGHTEOUS, BUT SINNERS TO REPENTANCE–ref Mt 9:12,13. esus did not come to call those that think they are righteous. Jesus did not come to call those that say they have no sin for they deceive themselves and the truth is not in them. Jesus did not come to call those that say they have not sinned, for they make God a liar. His Word is not in them–ref 1 Jn 1:8,10.
What ever happened to the money Matthew left behind?
Was an arrest warrant issued by the authorities against Matthew to put him in jail, because he was a government official and walked off his job?
Did the soldiers come to arrest Matthew, because he did not turn in the tax money and left behind tax records?
Did all those that had paid their taxes to Matthew file lawsuits against him, because they may not have been credited for paying their taxes? It seems Matthew must have had these thoughts bombarding his mind as he forsook everything. An intense spirit of fear must have tried to come on him, saying, “What if this, or that, happens to you? You can get in a lot of trouble for walking out on your government job. How will you survive?”
When a person decides to follow Jesus, Satan is waiting to oppose him in the most unexpected ways. It is a life that will reveal whether a person’s trust in God, and love for God and the brethren are genuine or not. Jesus has a purpose and plan for each person's life, and it begins with studying God’s Word; as it is written: TAKE MY YOKE UPON YOU, AND LEARN OF ME; FOR I AM MEEK AND LOWLY IN HEART: AND YE SHALL FIND REST UNTO YOUR SOULS–Mt 11:29.
Matthew made a great sacrifice by faith. It is the kind of sacrifice that few people will make. Was it worth it?
He forsook everything to follow Jesus. He forsook his job, his income, his security, and any pension he might have received, plus any benefits that went with his job. In addition, his friends might have thought he was nuts. He forsook everything including a very comfortable life, for a life of persecutions and poverty. Ultimately, it is believed that he suffered a violent death.
Paul also left the very comfortable lifestyle of being a Pharisee. He was also the son of a Pharisee–ref Acts 23:6 and had much power–ref Acts 26:10. Paul described the life he went through, during the time he followed Jesus, as a life of difficulties. It was a life of learning to conform to the image of Christ. It was a life of dishonor. It was a life of people giving evil reports about him. It was a life of being chastened. It was a life of being sorrowful, yet rejoicing; of people thinking he was a deceiver, yet he spoke truth. It was a life of poverty or as being poor yet making many rich. It was a life as having nothing, yet possessing all things–ref 2 Cor 6:8–10. This is not the kind of life that most people today are willing to endure in return for eternal life.
This is not the kind of life that today’s lukewarm church teaches. Today's preaching tells people they can have the good things of this life now and eternal life also. They seldom prepare the new Christian for the hardships, persecutions, self denial, sacrifices, and surprises that lie ahead. When the end of most people's life comes, they are not still glorifying God, and they have not finished the work God gave them to do the way God told them to do it–ref Jn 17:4. They did not fight the good fight of faith, or finish the course God gave them to follow, and they did not keep the faith, nor do they die in faith–ref 2 Tim 4:7; Heb 11:13. When most people die, the judgment will reveal they were not a good and faithful servant unto the end in following Jesus, but rather they fell by the wayside, or their stony or thorny heart deceived them.
God’s Word, through Paul and others, warns the church: stand fast, don’t look back, hold fast, and be not deceived. 1 Pe 5:6–9–HUMBLE YOURSELVES…CASTING ALL YOUR CARE UPON HIM; BE SOBER, BE VIGILANT; BECAUSE YOUR ADVERSARY THE DEVIL, AS A ROARING LION, WALKETH ABOUT, SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR: WHOM RESIST STEDFAST IN THE FAITH, KNOWING THAT THE SAME AFFLICTIONS ARE ACCOMPLISHED IN YOUR BRETHREN THAT ARE IN THE WORLD–1 Pe 5:6–9. John warns us that the devil deceives the whole world–ref Rev 12:9. Understand that when a person is deceived, he doesn’t know he is deceived or he would repent. The multitudes in hell right now didn't know they were deceived and on the wrong path until they died.
Paul spoke of some things he went through in 2 Cor 11:23–33. He talked of labours (or we may say of doing difficult work and being overworked). He spoke of being weary (or tired), of being hungry, thirsty, and being cold. Paul spoke of being beaten above measure, in prison frequently, and near death often. He talked of receiving 39 stripes five times. Can we imagine the incredible pain he suffered, and no medicines to help him as we have today. He was beaten with rods. He was stoned and left as dead, and 3 times he was shipwrecked, plus spent a night and day in the deep. He was often in danger in his journeys from robbers and his own countrymen. It appears everywhere he went, he was in perils. He talks of being in pain and naked. In addition, he was often worried and even tormented about the churches, if they were holding fast or had gone astray. In Damascus, the governor tried to arrest him, but Paul escaped in a basket. He never turned from the Lord no matter what he went through. Rather he depended on the Lord to give him strength to endure. Ultimately, he was sent to Rome and died a violent death. This, friend, is faith. Is this the kind of faith you have? Are you willing to live and die as Paul did? Are you willing to follow Jesus and live and die as He did?
What reward did Matthew have in exchange for forsaking everything? He became one of the twelve original apostles and is now with Jesus. He will forever be with the Lord with rewards beyond comprehension.
And what of Paul? The picture comes forth of Paul that his body was greatly scarred for all he had been through. He and his followers were spoken against everywhere. The religious community hated him and spoke lies about him. They said, His bodily presence was weak, and his speech contemptible and rude–ref 2 Cor 10:10 and 11:6. He was often treated as a criminal, yet he did nothing wrong. He must have been in frequent pain, not to mention the thorn he had in the flesh.
Yet, now, he is with the Lord for eternity with rewards unspeakable. There is no more crying. There are no more tears. There is no more hurt. There is no more hatred and rejection by the world. There is peace. There is joy unspeakable. For a billion times a billion years, all that follow Jesus will be rewarded, and it shall never end.
But for those that refuse to follow Jesus, they have their rewards now. But, for a billion times a billion years, they will be tormented day and night, and it shall never end. Thus, it is written, and thus, it shall be. You can strive for the good things of this life now and be tormented later; or you can suffer for a little season now, but be rewarded for eternity. This, friend, is your choice. Most people choose to strive for the better things of this life now, but is this the right choice? There are billions of people now in hell awaiting the final judgment who would agree that it is too late for them. They all made the wrong choice. The message here is this—Follow Jesus.
1 Ki 9:6–9–BUT IF YE SHALL AT ALL TURN FROM FOLLOWING ME,…AND WILL NOT KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS AND MY STATUTES WHICH I HAVE SET BEFORE YOU,…THEN WILL I CUT OFF…I CAST OUT OF MY SIGHT;…AND THEY SHALL SAY, WHY HATH THE LORD DONE THUS…AND THEY SHALL ANSWER, BECAUSE THEY FORSOOK THE LORD THEIR GOD.
Lk 14:34,35–SALT IS GOOD: BUT IF THE SALT HAVE LOST HIS SAVOUR, WHEREWITH SHALL IT BE SEASONED? IT IS NEITHER FIT FOR THE LAND, NOR YET FOR THE DUNGHILL; BUT MEN CAST IT OUT. HE THAT HATH EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR.
Mt 16:25–FOR WHOSOEVER WILL SAVE HIS LIFE SHALL LOSE IT: AND WHOSOEVER WILL LOSE HIS LIFE FOR MY SAKE SHALL FIND IT.
FOR WHAT IS A MAN PROFITED (or advantaged), IF HE SHALL GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD, AND LOSE HIS OWN SOUL (or be cast away)? OR WHAT SHALL A MAN GIVE IN EXCHANGE FOR HIS SOUL?–ref Lk 9:25.
It is only those that are dead with Christ that shall live and reign with Him.
The end of the WHEN message.
The verses continue–
Mt 4:13. AND LEAVING NAZARETH (or Natzeret),
AND DWELT (or settled, or lived)
IN CAPERNAUM. As best as we can determine, they had just tried to kill Jesus in Nazareth. Now he goes to Capernaum–
WHICH IS (BY) THE (LAKE) (or a lakeshore town),
(NEAR) THE BORDERS (or regions, or area, or boundary)
(BETWEEN) (ZEBULUN AND NAPHTALI). Capernaum is mentioned in the New Testament about 16 times. Jesus may have spent more time in Capernaum, than any other place. It appears that this became the headquarters or center of Jesus’ ministry. It is located on the northwest shore of the sea of Galilee. For more information on Capernaum, note Jn 2:12 on page 224.
It is reported that one of the borders of the tribe of Zebulun was nearby Capernaum, and Naphtali bordered it on other sides.
The verses continue–
Mt 4:14. (This happened)
(TO FULFILL WHAT) WAS SPOKEN
THE PROPHET, SAYING.
Mt 4:15. THE LAND OF ZABULON (or Zebulun),
AND THE LAND OF NEPHTHALIM (or Naphtali),
BY THE WAY OF (or toward) THE (LAKE),
(ALONG THE) JORDAN. There are sources of water that combine together to form the Northern Jordan River including one near Mt Hermon. These flow into the northern part of the sea of Galilee–thus reads BY THE WAY OF THE LAKE ALONG THE JORDAN. At the southern end of the Sea of Galilee the waters flow south in the southern Jordan River to the dead sea. It is the southern Jordan that Jesus was baptized in.
GALILEE OF THE GENTILES. These words were taken from Isa 9:1 which reads: Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
It has been stated that there was a road of the Romans from Damascus that went to the area of the Sea of Galilee. This is in reference to Galilee of the Gentiles.
It has been stated that this area was inhabited by the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali after Joshua’s time. The verses continue–
Mt 4:16. THE PEOPLE (which were in Capernaum)
(LIVING) IN DARKNESS
SAW (a) GREAT LIGHT. Jesus is the great light that would now shine to the people of Galilee.
The people were spiritually dead, living in spiritual darkness. When Jesus came there they saw light. They saw the Way, the Truth, and the Life. They saw the one and only way to the Father. They saw the one and only way to enter the kingdom of heaven. The verse continues–
AND TO THEM
(LIVING) IN THE REGION (or land)
AND (in the) SHADOW OF DEATH (upon them)
LIGHT IS SPRUNG UP (or dawned). The people in the surrounding areas, were in the shadow of death. The shadow of death is upon all that do not repent and come to Jesus in faith–faith which is evidenced by the fruits of the Spirit and fruits of their works. But because Jesus came to the area, Light sprung up to them. They also had the opportunity to see the Way, the Truth, and the Life. But did the people of Capernaum repent?
It has been said that this city was a Roman settlement and ruled over the northern area of Israel.
It was a prosperous city. It was a city of wise people in the ways of this world, but ignorant in the ways of God. It was a city of pride. It was not a city that would humble itself. Jesus did miracles there that were so great that even Sodom would have repented, yet they did not repent. The city of Capernaum no longer exists as it once did. Quite a few excavations have been done there which can be seen by tourists. There are only a few buildings there. At times, there have been boat tours that go out onto the Sea of Galilee from what was once was Capernaum.
Approximately 12 months later, Jesus spoke these words regarding Capernaum. Mt 11:23–27–AND THOU, CAPERNAUM, WHICH ART EXALTED UNTO HEAVEN, SHALT BE BROUGHT DOWN TO HELL: FOR IF THE MIGHTY WORKS, WHICH HAVE BEEN DONE IN THEE, HAD BEEN DONE IN SODOM, IT WOULD HAVE REMAINED UNTIL THIS DAY. BUT I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT IT SHALL BE MORE TOLERABLE FOR THE LAND OF SODOM IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT, THAN FOR THEE. JESUS…SAID, I THANK THEE, O FATHER, LORD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, BECAUSE THOU HAST HID THESE THINGS FROM THE WISE AND PRUDENT, AND HAST REVEALED THEM UNTO BABES. EVEN SO, FATHER: FOR SO IT SEEMED GOOD IN THY SIGHT.
NO MAN KNOWETH…THE FATHER, SAVE THE SON, AND HE TO WHOMSOEVER THE SON WILL REVEAL HIM. As Jesus had said, if they would have repented, they would have remained to this day, but they chose not to believe Him. Thus, as Jesus prophesied, they were brought down to hell.
The message for all of us regarding this is as follows: Heb 9:27–IT IS APPOINTED UNTO MEN ONCE TO DIE, BUT AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT. If we refuse to believe the Word of God, as it was meant to be understood by God, and also refuse to obey it, then we are in danger of being brought down to hell. Fear God and depart from evil.
Take note: The more a person is involved in the world, the less he will be involved in Jesus. The more person is involved in this world, or clings to this world, the slower the person may grow spiritually to be more like Jesus.
1–To grow to be more like Jesus, a person has need to dwell in God’s Word.
After first meeting Jesus, Peter and some other disciples only followed Jesus partially. But them after Jesus did the miracle of catching the multitude of fish, He called them to follow Him and catch men. They obeyed.
As a person grows in Christ, they should be putting off the world more and more, and should be following Jesus more and more. The foundation is study, study, study God’s Word and as God gives you understanding, obey it. Little study, little growth, little faith, little obedience, and little love.
Submerge yourself in Bible reading and study, morning, afternoon and night. Also surround yourself with listening to God’s Word on your cassette players, if possible.
Don’t be so foolish as to read the newspaper, and listen to television, at the expense of reading and hearing God’s Word. For where your heart is, that is where you shall be.
Mt 4:16 had used the Words: THE PEOPLE (LIVING) IN DARKNESS SAW (a) GREAT LIGHT;…LIGHT IS SPRUNG UP (or dawned). Jesus is that light. Note God’s Word on this subject from the New Testament.
Lk 2:32–Simeon spoke of Jesus and said, A LIGHT TO LIGHTEN THE GENTILES, AND THE GLORY OF THY PEOPLE ISRAEL.
Jn 1:3–4–ALL THINGS WERE MADE BY HIM; AND WITHOUT HIM WAS NOT ANY THING MADE THAT WAS MADE. IN HIM WAS LIFE; AND THE LIFE WAS THE LIGHT OF MEN.
Jn 1:5–AND THE LIGHT SHINETH IN DARKNESS; AND THE DARKNESS COMPREHENDED IT NOT.
Jn 1:6–10–THERE WAS A MAN SENT FROM GOD, WHOSE NAME WAS JOHN. THE SAME CAME FOR A WITNESS, TO BEAR WITNESS OF THE LIGHT, THAT ALL MEN THROUGH HIM MIGHT BELIEVE. HE WAS NOT THAT LIGHT, BUT WAS SENT TO BEAR WITNESS OF THAT LIGHT. THAT WAS THE TRUE LIGHT, WHICH LIGHTETH EVERY MAN THAT COMETH INTO THE WORLD. HE WAS IN THE WORLD, AND THE WORLD WAS MADE BY HIM, AND THE WORLD KNEW HIM NOT.
Jn 3:19–AND THIS IS THE CONDEMNATION, THAT LIGHT (which is Jesus) IS COME INTO THE WORLD, AND MEN LOVED DARKNESS RATHER THAN LIGHT, BECAUSE THEIR DEEDS WERE EVIL.
Jn 3:20–FOR EVERY ONE THAT DOETH EVIL HATETH THE LIGHT (which is Jesus), NEITHER COMETH TO THE LIGHT (which is Jesus), LEST HIS DEEDS SHOULD BE REPROVED. BUT HE THAT DOETH TRUTH COMETH TO THE LIGHT (which is Jesus), THAT HIS DEEDS MAY BE MADE MANIFEST, THAT THEY ARE WROUGHT IN GOD.
Jn 8:12–THEN SPAKE JESUS.SAYING, I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD: HE THAT FOLLOWETH ME SHALL NOT WALK IN DARKNESS, BUT SHALL HAVE THE LIGHT OF LIFE.
Jn 9:5–AS LONG AS I AM IN THE WORLD, I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.
Jn 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.
Jn 12:46–I AM COME A LIGHT INTO THE WORLD, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH ON ME SHOULD NOT ABIDE IN DARKNESS.
1 Jn 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.
Isa 42:5–7–THUS SAITH GOD THE LORD, HE THAT CREATED THE HEAVENS, AND STRETCHED THEM OUT; HE THAT SPREAD FORTH THE EARTH, AND THAT WHICH COMETH OUT OF IT; HE THAT GIVETH BREATH UNTO THE PEOPLE UPON IT, AND SPIRIT TO THEM THAT WALK THEREIN: 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.
Regarding the subject of light: consider the following. A totally blind man from birth can see no light. He sees only darkness. His understanding of what light is, is only in his imagination. He can’t understand colors or shadows. He can’t understand what a fan looks like when it is turning. He can’t understand what the sun looks like in the day, and the moon at night. Even though a person would spend hundreds of hours trying to explain to him what light is, how can he understand?
So it is with the light of God’s Word. People are not born saved. A church, a religion, or a denomination, does not save people.
A person must come to a place in their life where God opens their understanding and they truly repent, they turn from their sins to Jesus Christ, and trust in Him and Him alone as their only hope of salvation. They must surrender their life to Jesus, pick up their cross, and follow Jesus. Jesus needs to become the center of their universe, not self. A person is to turn control of their life over to Jesus, and not lean to their own understanding. God's Word is to become the center of their life, for indeed, it is God's Word that will judge us at the judgment. They are to Love God and also love the brethren. God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints–Ps 89:7.
Once a person does humble them self, repent and believe on Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, Who is come in the flesh, they are under commandment to be baptized by FULL IMMERSION in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost–ref Ro 6:3–8, Col 2:12, Mt 28:19, Mk 16:16, Acts 2:38. They greatly desire the sincere milk of God’s Word so they can grow–1 Pe 2:2. (Note, those churches which teach and do sprinkling baptism do greatly err).
From the beginning, a person’s Biblical understanding of spiritual darkness and spiritual light is null and void, no matter how much a person tries to explain it to a person. God, in His mercy, must open a person’s spiritual eyes of understanding. He must open their spiritual eyes to see and their spiritual ears hear and understand.
Billions of people have attended so called Christian churches. However, the majority of these “so called” Christian churches are in reality blind leaders of the blind. They are called “Christian”, but are Christian in name only, not in reality. Jesus is not inside most churches, but is on the outside. They sometimes look like the real thing. They sometimes sound like the real thing but they are not the real thing.
God’s Word puts it this way. 2 Cor 11:13–15–FOR SUCH ARE FALSE APOSTLES, DECEITFUL WORKERS, TRANSFORMING THEMSELVES INTO THE APOSTLES OF CHRIST. AND NO MARVEL; FOR SATAN HIMSELF IS TRANSFORMED INTO AN ANGEL OF LIGHT. THEREFORE IT IS NO GREAT THING IF HIS MINISTERS ALSO BE TRANSFORMED AS THE MINISTERS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS; WHOSE END SHALL BE ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS.
Mt 15:14–THEY BE BLIND LEADERS OF THE BLIND. AND IF THE BLIND LEAD THE BLIND, BOTH SHALL FALL INTO THE DITCH.
Mt 23:27, 28–WOE UNTO YOU, SCRIBES AND PHARISEES, HYPOCRITES! FOR YE ARE LIKE UNTO WHITED SEPULCHRES, WHICH INDEED APPEAR BEAUTIFUL OUTWARD, BUT ARE WITHIN FULL OF DEAD MEN’S BONES, AND OF ALL UNCLEANNESS. EVEN SO YE ALSO OUTWARDLY APPEAR RIGHTEOUS UNTO MEN, BUT WITHIN YE ARE FULL OF HYPOCRISY AND INIQUITY.
Verse 29 shows us these false ministers, priests, rabbi, preachers, missionaries, Sunday school teachers, denominational leaders, prophets, popes, etc., do many things that make themselves look good and they appear to be God’s ministers.
Verse 30 show us that they really believe they are God’s servants.
Verse 31 and 32 shows us that they, however, do not, in reality, love God, Jesus Christ, God’s Word of correction, God’s prophets, and God’s born again children.
Jesus says of these religious leaders in verse 33: YE SERPENTS, YE GENERATION OF VIPERS, HOW CAN YE ESCAPE THE DAMNATION OF HELL?
God’s Word shows us that the number of people that perish are many, many, many, but the number of people that inherit eternal life are only a few–ref Mt 7.
Then there are also those that do attend on of the few Bible believing, Bible teaching, God fearing Christian churches that teach the whole Bible including the Revelation. However, even in such churches, there are usually some or even many that have never humbled themselves and come to the knowledge of the truth–2 Tim 3:7. There are also those that have fallen and have resisted God’s lifeline of correction to help them up. Paul, in many ways and in many epistles warns us about falling and tells us all to examine ourself to see if we be in the faith–ref 2 Cor 13:5.
There are many that reject the light. They do not understand the light. As a blind man or a deaf person, so these also are spiritually blind and deaf, but the darkness they are in blinds them from understanding this. So many go about thinking they are saved. They stand in pulpits on Sunday mornings and read Scripture. They sing in the choirs. They take up collections. They give tithes and offerings. They work in the church. They seem like they are good and moral people. They feed the poor. The look righteous to people. The world looks at them as if they are God’s spiritual leaders and theologians, but in reality they are as the scribes who make copies the Bible, the Pharisees, the Herodians, the Sadducees, the lawyers, and their followers. Some even die for their religion and their false beliefs. Some are so blind that they kill others and think they do God service–ref Jn 16:2. They are of the many that perish to hell.
God does not open their spiritual eyes to see, nor their spiritual ears to understand, as inside their hearts are hardened. Some are angry inside. They are deceitful inside. They are hypocrites. They are proud. They are self centered. They want their own way. They do things to be seen and admired of men. They are not humbled, meek, or childlike to Godly, Biblical correction. They do not love the brethren (the true born again servants of God, especially when such a person tries to correct them). They are murmurers, accusers, complainers and fault finders. They have unforgiveness in them. They hold on to grudges. They hold on to deceit. They hold onto bitterness. Their universe is not centered around Jesus. They have their own ways of doing things, their own plans, their own goals. Their righteousness is their in their deceit.
As has been said, such are blind but they think they see. The world accepts them, but God rejects them.
Jesus said: Rev 3:20, 22–Behold, I STAND AT THE DOOR, AND KNOCK: IF ANY MAN HEAR MY VOICE, AND OPEN THE DOOR, I WILL COME IN TO HIM, AND WILL SUP WITH HIM, AND HE WITH ME. HE THAT HATH AN EAR, LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH UNTO THE CHURCHES.
So it is with many churches that call themselves Christian. So it is with people that attend these false churches of God–and where does that leave you???????
The verses continue–
Mt 4:18 (pt 1), Mk 1:16 (pt 1). AND JESUS,
WALKING (BESIDE) THE (LAKE)
OF GALILEE. This would have been on the western side of the lake, the Capernaum side. He–
SAW TWO (BROTHERS), SIMON
Mt 4:18 (pt 2). (who was) CALLED PETER,
Mt 4:18 (pt 3), ref Mk 1:16 (pt 2). AND ANDREW
(they were) (THROWING) A NET
INTO THE (LAKE):
FOR THEY WERE (FISHERMEN). Simon Peter, Andrew, Philip, Nathanael were first mentioned in Jn 1:35–45. (Note pages 204 to 209). That was approximately 62 days into His ministry. John, although not mentioned by name may have also been present. They appear to have been with Jesus at His first miracle in Cana. It appears they were baptizing people as they traveled with Jesus in Jn 4:1. Although not mentioned by name, it appears they were present as Jesus finished talking with the Samaritan woman at the well–ref Jn 4:7.
Just how much they were with Jesus up to this time, is not certain. We note that the Scriptures indicate that they were with Jesus beginning from the baptism of John right up to the time Jesus was taken up.
Acts 1:15–19, 21–22–AND IN THOSE DAYS PETER STOOD UP IN THE MIDST OF THE DISCIPLES, AND SAID, (THE NUMBER OF NAMES TOGETHER WERE ABOUT AN HUNDRED AND TWENTY,) MEN AND BRETHREN, THIS SCRIPTURE MUST NEEDS HAVE BEEN FULFILLED, WHICH THE HOLY GHOST BY THE MOUTH OF DAVID SPAKE BEFORE CONCERNING JUDAS, WHICH WAS GUIDE TO THEM THAT TOOK JESUS. FOR HE WAS NUMBERED WITH US, AND HAD OBTAINED PART OF THIS MINISTRY. NOW THIS MAN PURCHASED A FIELD WITH THE REWARD OF INIQUITY; AND FALLING HEADLONG, HE BURST ASUNDER IN THE MIDST, AND ALL HIS BOWELS GUSHED OUT.
WHEREFORE OF THESE MEN WHICH HAVE COMPANIED WITH US ALL THE TIME THAT THE LORD JESUS WENT IN AND OUT AMONG US, BEGINNING FROM THE BAPTISM OF JOHN, UNTO THAT SAME DAY THAT HE WAS TAKEN UP FROM US, MUST ONE BE ORDAINED TO BE A WITNESS WITH US OF HIS RESURRECTION.
The disciples are not mentioned as being with Jesus in Nazareth when the people tried to kill Him. Thus it appears from Samaria, they went back to their fishing as Jesus went on to Nazareth which was about 10 months into the ministry of Jesus.
The verses continue–
Lk 5:1. AND IT CAME TO PASS,
THAT, AS THE PEOPLE PRESSED (AROUND) HIM
TO HEAR THE WORD
OF GOD. Note the “Word” here. It is not the word, but it is the WORD—OF GOD. People should be in “awe” for the chance to here the actual Word of Him that created all things. It is written: Isa 66:5–Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word.
The verse continues: (Jesus)–
HE STOOD BY (the shore of)
THE LAKE OF GENNESARET (or what we call the Sea of Galillee–ref Jn 6:1, or the Sea of Tiberius–ref Jn 21:1). (Gennesaret means garden of the prince).
Missionaries that travel to some countries of the world find that the poor people, even today, will gather around them to hear the Word of God. Some will even travel long distances on foot under difficult situations. However, in America and other prosperous countries, this is rare.
This lake is mentioned several times in the New Testament. It is also known as the Sea of Chinnereth–ref Num 34:11, the Sea of Chinneroth–ref Jos 12:3, the lake of Gennesaret–ref Lk 5:1, and the sea of Tiberias–ref Jn 6:1, 21:1.
Today: it is a large, beautiful, freshwater, lake with an elevation of about 700 feet below sea level. It had been dropping somewhat in recent years. It is about 7 miles wide at its widest part facing an east and west direction), and about 12 to 14 miles long (facing a south and north direction). There are some nice modern day tourist cabins and lodgings on the western side and hotels on the eastern side.
The mostly deserted remains of the city of Capernaum is on the northwest coast, and the city of Tiberius (ref Jn 6:23) (app pop 40,000) on the southwest coast. It receives its water from the northern Jordan river which comes from the north area of Mount Hermon. It's waters flow south into the southern Jordan river and ends up in the dead sea which is over 1300 foot below sea level. The dead sea is also known as the Salt Sea–ref Num 34:12. The deepest part of the dead sea is about 2300 foot below sea level. There is no outlet from the dead sea. As a person would look across the Sea of Galilee from west to east or east to west, one can see in the far distance the other side on a clear day (about 7 miles). Looking from the north to the south or vise–versa one can see the opposite shore if on the side of a hill (about 13 miles). It is much longer (north to south) than it is wide. As a person would travel into the hills somewhat surrounding the lake, there are spectacular views, especially from the eastern side. It is about 700 feet below sea level. It is on the western side of the lake on a hill that Jesus preached the sermon on the mount. It offers a beautiful view of the lake also. There are sometimes boat rides available to tourists. On the eastern side there are some nice resort areas with cabins. Recently, the level of the lake has been dropping.
It is an interesting experience to travel from Jerusalem (elevation about 2400 to 2600 feet above sea level) down to the dead sea (about 23 miles east). It might be a bit chilly in Jerusalem, but hot down at the dead sea. The dead sea can be seen in the distance from the taller buildings in Jerusalem on a clear day.
Regarding the dead sea, there are resort areas where a person can stop and go and float in the dead sea. It is, to our knowledge, the saltiest body of water that exists. A person can be lying on his back, floating, and do a full turn and not get his hair wet. It is virtually impossible to drown. As a person would stand upright in the water, the water only comes to the middle of their chest. Because of the high content of chemicals in the water, when a person gets out they are expected to take a shower to wash them off. Showers/and or shower rooms are provided. Some people cover themselves with the dead sea mud as they believe it has special properties.
The dead sea is much larger than the Sea of Galilee. There are no fish in the dead sea.
Should a person wish to view the entire dead sea, the top of Masada is recommended. One can reach the top of Masada by a steep pathway or cable car. The verses continue–
Lk 5:2. AND (He) (which is Jesus)
SAW TWO (BOATS)
STANDING BY THE (edge of the) LAKE. It has been estimated that there may have been thousands of boats on the sea of Galilee during these days, and tens of thousands of people living in this area. Regarding the boats–
BUT THE FISHERMEN
(HAD) GONE OUT OF THEM.
AND WERE WASHING THEIR NETS. The fact that they were washing their nets, indicates that they were finished fishing at this time.
As a person walks with God, He will provide whatever a person needs to accomplish the purpose God had called him to do.
Lk 5:3. AND HE ENTERED
INTO ONE OF THE (BOATS),
WHICH WAS SIMON’S.
Note that Simon Peter owned his own boat. He also appeared to own his own house–ref Lk 4:38. He also had a wife–ref Mk 1:30. His mother was also alive and was at his house–ref Mk 1:30. Jesus met him back in Jn 1:40, after which he followed Jesus intermittently. However, after what was about to happen, Peter will forsake all and follow Jesus. The verse continues–
AND (ASKED) HIM
(TO) (PULL) OUT A LITTLE (way) FROM THE LAND. 1–Jesus was seeking to use Simon’s boat. 2–He was also asking for Simon stop working on his nets. 3–He was also asking for Simon to pull the boat out away from the land. Simon could have been stubborn and refused, as he may have had lots of work to do. Nevertheless, he obeyed what Jesus had asked him to do.
All that follow Jesus will be asked at various times to do certain things for the Lord. Some will refuse. Some will say yes. These are tests to see if we will be obedient in love or harden our heart and make excuses. Some tests are small, others are huge. Consider the consequences of what Peter did. If he would have made an excuse and refused, he would probably have never have been called to follow Jesus the rest of his life. However, in saying yes to Jesus, it was, in part, the beginning of his life being changed for eternity. The verse continues–
AND HE (which is Jesus)
THE PEOPLE (from)
OUT OF THE (BOAT). As a result of Simon Peter’s obedience, others also had the opportunity to hear God’s Word.
In the early 1900s, in the United States, there were well known evangelists who traveled. It was not uncommon for some to enter a factory where men were working. The owner might let everyone stop to hear the Word of the living God come forth. But today, more than likely, this would not happen as men’s hearts become harder and harder as the tribulation draws closer.
The world today is turning a deaf ear toward God. It is turning to all manner of wickedness and sin in the name of tolerance. It is making laws to protect the immoral and those that hate God, and making it more difficult for those that preach against immorality. The world is going in a direction that condemns those that preach against immorality. Many ministers of God these days, preach a message that is pleasing to people’s sinful hearts and ears. It is difficult these days to find any place where the Word of God is brought forth as it was by Jesus and the apostles.
The Scriptures clearly show that as the tribulation and Armageddon draw near, immorality will increase. As the days of Sodom, Gomorrah, and Noah were, so shall also the days of the return of Jesus be. Violence and immorality filled the earth. Bible prophecy clearly states that the latter days will get worse and worse. The people that love God have a deep need to draw closer and closer to God and to others of like faith as the signs of the times continue to unfold. If they don't, it is likely that they will be swept away by the flood of immorality and lukewarm, immoral teaching that will continue to go downhill.
Yes, judgment upon the immoral is coming, but first world conditions will get worse and worse as the coming of the antichrist and tribulation draws closer.
It is written regarding the time period of the tribulation which is soon to come: Rev 9:20–21–AND…THE MEN…REPENTED NOT OF THE WORKS OF THEIR HANDS, THAT THEY SHOULD NOT WORSHIP DEVILS, AND IDOLS OF GOLD, AND SILVER, AND BRASS, AND STONE, AND OF WOOD: WHICH NEITHER CAN SEE, NOR HEAR, NOR WALK: NEITHER REPENTED THEY OF THEIR MURDERS, NOR OF THEIR SORCERIES, NOR OF THEIR FORNICATION, NOR OF THEIR THEFTS.
The verses continue–
Lk 5:4. NOW WHEN HE HAD (FINISHED) SPEAKING. What Jesus spoke is not recorded. Then–
HE SAID (TO) SIMON,
INTO THE DEEP (water),
AND LET DOWN YOUR NETS
FOR A (CATCH). Jesus now makes two more requests of Simon Peter. 4–Launch out into the deep water. 5–Let down your nets for a catch. It has been said that the fish were in the shallow waters when it is dark, but would go to deeper waters during the day which were more difficult to reach with their nets. Thus, Peter fished during the night. However, Jesus was telling Peter to go to the deep water in the day.
In addition, Jesus tells all those that follow Him at times to launch out into the deep, into the unknown. He tells all His children to follow Him and trust in him, no matter how deep the problems seem to be. There are times we launch out into the deep and there is a great catch. There are times we launch out into the deep, and it may cost us our life, but even then it is a victory, as eternity with Jesus lies ahead. Ja 5:10,11–TAKE, MY BRETHREN, THE PROPHETS, WHO HAVE SPOKEN IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, FOR AN EXAMPLE OF SUFFERING, AFFLICTION, AND OF PATIENCE. BEHOLD, WE COUNT THEM HAPPY WHICH ENDURE.
Each person that decides to follow Jesus must also launch out into the unknown. Little do most of us realize what this means. There is joy, peace, rejoicing, and love, but there are also battles to be fought against the powers of darkness. There are Golliahs to overcome. Persecutions, temptations, sufferings, problems, and the unexpected lie ahead. There is a war to be fought against our own desires, our flesh, and our own wrong thinking. There are struggles ahead, and doubts to overcome as we try to row upstream against the strong current that is going down stream. Our faith (or trust in God) will be tested to see if it is genuine (ref 1 Pe 1:7) as we go through many unexpected things, and what seems to be impossible situations. We are called to overcome through Jesus. As we fight the good fight of faith, as we struggle against what seems to be the impossible, God is with us and in us. Our biggest battle is against ourselves and within ourselves. It is against our own fears, wrong thinking, our emotions, looking back, denying ourselves, and our own desires which run contrary to God's Word. We are called to deny self, follow Jesus, to study and obey His Word, to conform to His image, and to serve Him. We will not be tempted beyond that which we are able to endure–ref 1 Cor 10:13.
There are times when we will feel like there is a huge rope pulling on our right hand and another pulling in the opposite direction on our left hand. We will feel like we are being torn apart. The battle rages in our thoughts, in our flesh, and in our emotions. We may cry and yell out to Jesus to save and help us as we sink. And He will, but, we need to learn patience. In this struggle, some people turn away from God, while others turn more to God. The person's heart makes that decision which way he will go. As Jesus suffered, we are called to suffer–ref Ro 8:17.
And beware, because Satan deceives the whole world–ref Rev 12:9. Satan, uses false religions, your love for a certain church or person, money, lusts, cares of this life, pleasures, pride, possessions, your personal desires, fears or worries, rejection, hurts, even love, anger, and unforgiveness, plus many other devices, to try to make you believe certain Scriptures do not mean what they say. He succeeded with Eve. Will he deceive you also? Through such deceptions many people have left the Lord and God’s calling on their life.
While there is darkness all around us, we have the Light. And as a result as we let down our nets, there will be a catch. Our nets may break. We may cry out for help. We may even be arrested and killed for our faith, but we have the victory of eternity with no more tears if (we) continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel–ref Col 1:23. We are called to overcome all things–ref Rev 2 and 3, but we cannot do this apart from Jesus.
We need to fight the good fight of faith and endure to the end. If we keep our eyes and faith centered on Jesus; if we look forward to being with Him for eternity; and if we look for the city called–New Jerusalem, and if we remain humble and receptive to God’s correction, not looking back, we should one day hear the words WELL DONE, GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT–ref Mt 25:23. If we look at our problems, unbiblical desires, and look back at our past, we can expect to fall by the wayside. When riding a bike, if you keep looking back, you can expect to crash. When a person disobeys God's Word, (such as looking back), he opens a door for Satan to attack him.
The Bible has much to say on this battle inside you. Regretfully, this kind of teaching is seldom found in the churches of today. But this and also the falling away was prophesied in God’s Word in Rev 3:14–22; 2 Thes 2:3 and other Scriptures also.
Eph 6:10–11–Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 1 Cor 16:13–Watch ye (be on your guard), stand fast in the faith, quit you like men (be men of courage–NIV), be strong.
The Bible clearly teaches the follower of Jesus is to overcome the devil and the world, with its temptations and enticements. He is to overcome the cares of the world, the lusts of the flesh and of the world, the pleasures of this life, and the deceitfulness of riches. He is to overcome the temptations put before him by people, things, emotions, and circumstances. He is to overcome the temptations put before him by relatives, loved ones, friends, employers, and his enemies. The born–again Christian is to deny himself, pick up his cross and follow Jesus. He is not to be entangled in the affairs of this life. He is not to fellowship with unbelievers. He is called to obey the Gospel and be an example of Christ. The Christian is nothing more than a sheep for the slaughter in this world at this time. The follower of Jesus—his world, is the world to come. It is eternity with Jesus. However, those that do not overcome all things–their future world is hell, then the Great White Throne Judgment, then the eternal lake of fire. The born–again Christian is not to do the worldly things that he wants or the worldly desires of his heart, but he is to do the things which Jesus wants.
The born–again Christian’s hope and trust is not to be centered in himself, but in the person of Jesus Christ which gives him strength. The more a person is involved in the things of this world, the more he is not involved in the things of Jesus. The more a person looks back and thinks about his past hurts, rejections, and other things, the more he does not look forward to Jesus and his future with Christ. The more a person does what the unsaved wants him to do, the less he is doing what Jesus wants him to do and the less he is overcoming as God commands him to do.
Note God’s Word on this subject: Mt 6:21, 23–25, 33–WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO. Is your treasure in your parents, your children, your friends, your husband or wife, your job, your personal desires, your money, or some other thing?
IF THEREFORE THE LIGHT THAT IS IN THEE BE DARKNESS, HOW GREAT IS THAT DARKNESS! If you think you are following God, but you are not, that darkness that is in you is very, very great; and you are very deeply deceived. NO MAN CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS: FOR EITHER HE WILL HATE THE ONE, AND LOVE THE OTHER; OR ELSE HE WILL HOLD TO THE ONE, AND DESPISE THE OTHER. Expect Satan to continually try to set up circumstances that cause you to compromise your walk with God. Expect him to often place before you two choices. One choice is to follow Jesus which may seem wrong to your emotions and circumstances, but the other choice is to follow another direction which seems right to your emotions and circumstances. To follow Jesus often seems like it will not be the right thing to do, and it will not accomplish what you want to accomplish. To follow another way will appear to you as a right way which will accomplish what you want to accomplish. Often there will be two choices placed before you as you encounter various situations. Will you follow your Master, who should be Jesus and His Word, or will you follow a different master, a different direction? When two choices are placed before you, you may wind up hating the one choice and loving the other; or you may want to hold to the one choice and despise the other. Will you overcome the wrong choices, or will you compromise, because your emotions think the wrong choices are the right ones?
Perhaps you need money. Perhaps you need security. Perhaps you are fearful of being rejected by loved ones. Perhaps you need to help someone out. Perhaps you need to buy something. Perhaps you need to go somewhere. Will you compromise your walk with Jesus, in some way, in order to get the money, or to help someone out, or to buy something, or to go somewhere or be someone special? Or will you overcome these temptations and follow Jesus and His calling. Will you serve God, or will you obey your emotions and serve the unsaved? Which master do you follow when Jesus calls you to do something? Which calling is more important to you? Is it God’s calling or is it man’s calling? Which commitment is stronger? It is to Christ or something else?
God speaks to your heart to go to a Billy Graham revival or read certain things on this site. But then, the phone rings or someone comes by to see you–distractions. What will you do?
You are called to witness to someone, But it interferes with your favorite radio or TV program. What will you do?
You are called to serve God, but you have another commitment. What will you do?
An opportunity opens up for you to do something Jesus would have you do, which agrees with God’s Word; but then an opportunity to do something you always wanted to do opens up. The one interferes with the other. What will you do?
A great looking girl or guy has just asked you for a date. Oh, how you want to go, but it is at the exact time God has called you to do something. What will you do? Our life is a life of choices. Some of these choices can determine our eternity.
This struggle, this war inside you, every person has to go through. It is a battle between God and Satan. It is a battle between God’s will and your will. It is a battle that takes place in your heart, in your mind, and in your emotions. Every person in hell right now would tell you that following Jesus would have been the right way. Every person in heaven right now would tell you that obeying God’s Word is the only way. Every person in hell right now would tell you, they were wrong–Everyone. Do you have ears to hear before it is too late??????? You cannot serve God and this world and have eternal life. Following Jesus is never easy if your heart is partially into pleasing what the unsaved and the world wants you to do. The unsaved—they are of the world, therefore they speak of the world, and they speak of the world’s solutions to solve problems. But they that are of Christ–their conversation is of Christ and what they do is pleasing in the sight of God. It is not those that claim they know Christ that will go to heaven. It is those that follow Christ by faith, who endure the abuse of their friends and relatives because their life, both in public and behind secret doors, reflects Christ. If Christ would not do it, the follower of Christ should not do it. If Christ did it, the follower of Christ should do it. As it is written, he that is not with me is against me.
Are you a 50/50 Christian that is like a wave, a lukewarm or nominal Christian, or are you totally committed to Christ and His Word that He has called you to do? The 50/50 Christian doesn’t make it, as he does not overcome all things by trusting in God. Followers of God are called to overcome all things: the world, its temptations, lusts, cares, riches, and pleasures. The Christian is called to overcome all the temptations of everyone that would seem to cause them to go a little to the left or a little to the right from God’s straight gate and narrow path. As has been said, YOU cannot serve both God and your family, friends, relatives, or the world. It is 100% God, or it is death. Fear God, not man or circumstances. Depart from following the unfruitful works of darkness. Surrender yourself to God entirely. Compromise is death. Is Jesus your Lord or is your lord your parents, your relatives, your friends, your employer, your personal desires, your lusts, the cares of this life, or some other things? Do you seek for the world’s approval or God’s approval? Are you afraid to say no to someone, because you don’t want to hurt their feelings? The world’s approval might gain you an advantage now, but it is the lake of fire later. If you are not faithful in something small God has called you to do, neither will you be faithful in something big. It is a choice you and I have to make, perhaps every day. As for me and my house, we will serve and follow the Lord. Will you do the same???????
…THEREFORE (God says) UNTO YOU, I am the only One you are to serve–ref Mt 4:10. TAKE NO THOUGHT FOR YOUR LIFE, WHAT YE SHALL EAT, OR WHAT YE SHALL DRINK; NOR YET FOR YOUR BODY, WHAT YE SHALL PUT ON. IS NOT THE LIFE MORE THAN MEAT, AND THE BODY THAN RAIMENT?
Mt 6:33–34–BUT SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU. TAKE THEREFORE NO THOUGHT FOR THE MORROW: FOR THE MORROW SHALL TAKE THOUGHT FOR THE THINGS OF ITSELF. SUFFICIENT UNTO THE DAY IS THE EVIL THEREOF.
Luke 16:9–15–But to those that will perish, God says–MAKE TO YOURSELVES FRIENDS OF THE MAMMON OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS; (or make to yourselves friends of the unsaved) THAT, WHEN YE FAIL, (or when you fall) THEY MAY RECEIVE YOU…
The people that follow Jesus now and are faithful in obeying God in little things, will also be faithful in many things. The people that are unjust in obeying God now in little things, will also be unjust in obeying God in much–ref Lk 16:10. If you have not been faithful to God now when you are tempted, do not expect God to give you the true riches in heaven.
Lk 16:13–NO SERVANT CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS: FOR EITHER HE WILL HATE THE ONE, AND LOVE THE OTHER; OR ELSE HE WILL HOLD TO THE ONE, AND DESPISE THE OTHER. You cannot serve God and the world. You cannot serve God and the unsaved. The more you follow the advice of the unsaved, the more you are not following Jesus. What do those deceived people that claim they know Jesus do? What do those that are blind to the things of God do? They get upset at these words. They begin to justify themselves. But all their self–justifying does no good at the Judgment for God knows your heart, that it is evil. But can an evil heart admit it is evil? Can a lying heart admit it is a lying heart? The unbiblical things that you do and that you esteem to be right are, in the sight of God, an abomination.
Lk 11:21–22–WHEN A STRONG MAN ARMED KEEPETH HIS PALACE, HIS GOODS ARE IN PEACE: BUT WHEN A STRONGER THAN HE SHALL COME UPON HIM, AND OVERCOME HIM, HE TAKETH FROM HIM ALL HIS ARMOUR WHEREIN HE TRUSTED, AND DIVIDETH HIS SPOILS.
The born–again Christian’s armour is Jesus. His armour is his faith (or trust) centered in Jesus, his love for God and the brethren, and his obedience to God's WORD. If these are in place, he should never fall. He should not be overcome by the devil's many tricks, traps, devices, and schemes.
2 Pe 2:19–WHILE THEY (the people that look like they are saved, but are not), PROMISE THEM LIBERTY, THEY THEMSELVES ARE THE SERVANTS OF CORRUPTION: FOR OF WHOM A MAN IS OVERCOME, OF THE SAME IS HE BROUGHT IN BONDAGE. Beware, lest you be deceived. Beware of false apostles, deceitful workers, that transform themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness–ref 2 Cor 11:13–15. There are far more people that are unsaved, than there are saved. Yet there are far more people that think they are saved than unsaved. Satan deceives the whole world.
Jn 16:33–THESE THINGS I HAVE SPOKEN UNTO YOU, THAT IN ME YE MIGHT HAVE PEACE. IN THE WORLD YE SHALL HAVE TRIBULATION: BUT BE OF GOOD CHEER; I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD. The amount of peace you have in Jesus can be directly related to the amount of trust you have in Jesus and in the degree that you believe and obey His Word.
1 Jn 2:13–I WRITE UNTO YOU, YOUNG MEN, BECAUSE YE HAVE OVERCOME THE WICKED ONE.
1 Jn 2:14–15–I HAVE WRITTEN UNTO YOU, YOUNG MEN, (1) BECAUSE YE ARE STRONG, (2) AND THE WORD OF GOD ABIDETH IN YOU, (3) AND YE HAVE OVERCOME THE WICKED ONE. LOVE NOT THE WORLD, NEITHER THE THINGS THAT ARE IN THE WORLD. IF ANY MAN LOVE THE WORLD, THE LOVE OF THE FATHER IS NOT IN HIM. Born–again Christians are to overcome the devil and the world. A person that loves this world, the love of God is not in him.
True born–again Christians, they that believe that Jesus is the Son of God as it is written, these overcome the world with all of its money, pleasures, temptations, cares, lusts, sex, lies, fears, deceit, and many other devices. These overcome the devil with all of his tricks, schemes, and temptations. These overcome their fears to obey God. These overcome their emotions that run contrary to God’s WORD. These overcome all things.
1 Jn 5:4–5–FOR WHATSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD OVERCOMETH THE WORLD: AND THIS IS THE VICTORY THAT OVERCOMETH THE WORLD, EVEN OUR FAITH. WHO IS HE THAT OVERCOMETH THE WORLD, BUT HE THAT BELIEVETH THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD? The Bible talks of no faith, little faith, faith as a wave, great faith, etc. Which best fits you?
1 Jn 4:3–6–YE ARE OF GOD, LITTLE CHILDREN, AND HAVE OVERCOME THEM: BECAUSE GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN YOU, THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD. Who is “them?”