Do you have to repent to receive Jesus?

I have often heard TV preachers proclaim you must repent, and then you can receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. They would say you must turn from your sinful ways, and God will forgive you. Did Jesus instruct those that heard him speak, to first stop sinning and then they would be right with God? “ And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be 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.” Mathew 9:10-13. Is this passage indicating that the righteous are already accepted by God, and Jesus has come to minister only to those in sin? Romans 3: 9-11 has this to say, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” And in the book of Isaiah it is written, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6. Jesus was fully aware that no man is righteouse in God’s holy eyes. To emphasize this point again Paul writes, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23. The so called righteous of Jesus day were the Pharisees. They were sure of their right standing with God, because of the meticulous way they attempted to keep the law of Moses. It is this attitude of self righteousness that Jesus was speaking of, when he told those around him they needed to repent. “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14

God does indeed want us to repent of all our sins, but it is in no way a pre-requisite to receiving Jesus into our life. God knows that all forms of sin are harmful, but God invites us into his family joyfully, with open arms, with hugs and kisses, just as the the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15 illustrates. There are plenty of modern day Pharisees, who want to point out your sins and faults, and proclaim you have to get right with God, before he will forgive you. This is most certainly putting the cart before the horse. God wants you to come to him with a humble heart. He wants to begin to lavish upon you all his goodness, love and blessings. You are righteous and holy in His eyes the minute you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Romans 3: 21-22 “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe…” Both the Old Testament law and prophets, point toward a time when man is made right in God’s eyes through a personal Savior, who would die in their place. Jesus was the manifestation of the Old Covenant. No amount of good living, or good deeds, or right thinking will put you right with God. Unholy man without God’s Spirit is incapable of pleasing God. But we receive God’s Holy Spirit when we repent of our rebellion against His one and only plan of salvation, which is his Son Jesus. It is only then that we can begin to truly repent of all the other sins in our life, by first beginning to see His love for us all. John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

Anger Angry Bible Christ Christian Christianity faith Faith in God Father fear gift God good news Healing health Holy Holy Spirit how to increase faith Jesus Kingdom law Lord Moses new age Paul power of words promises of God punish punishment Religion revelations righteous salvation Satan saved sin spirituality Testament theology Thoughts Trust Trust in God truth works wrath

How to properly fear God.

Most Christians are good at fearing God. We see him as a stern Father, who is pleased with us when we are good, and is ready to serve up quick and severe punishment when we sin, or are out of line. This is perhaps one of the biggest stumbling blocks that prevent us from receiving all the blessings our Father wants us to enjoy. It is impossible to please God in the flesh. No matter how hard we try, we cannot un-know, the knowledge of good and evil. Our conscience will always tell us when we fall short of a life that reflects Jesus. If we do not properly know how to fear God, we will always be nervously looking for the punishment that we expect to follow. Rom.3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

To properly fear God, is to believe the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus. To believe that our own efforts lead to death, and an eternity separated from God. But to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, leads to blessing in this life, and an eternity spent in the family of God. When Jesus was born the angels proclaimed, Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” The angels were announcing peace and good will, toward men, not among them. God is not angry with anyone who has received Jesus as their Lord and Savior. When God looks at you, he sees Jesus perfect sacrifice on the cross. Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, they recognized they were naked, and hid from the presence of God. Jesus took the shame and punishment upon himself. Now we can run to the open arms of a loving Father, in good times and in bad. When we do good, and when we fall short. We no longer have to fear our Father, and hide from his presence. We have made a conscious decision to partake of the tree of life, Jesus, and not of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It is this knowledge that gives us a unhealthy fear of God. Phil. 3:9 “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” We are righteous and holy in our Fathers eyes because of the righteousness of Jesus. We can relax and know God is not angry with us, and we have nothing to fear.

What did Jesus free us from?

truth sets free

John 8:31-32 “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” We have all heard it said hundreds of times, “the truth shall make you free.” It is used by politicians, and religious leaders, TV commercials and anyone trying to get you to believe what they are selling. But what specifically was Jesus referring to? The Jews of that day were in bondage to the law, taste not, touch not. They were in constant fear of disobeying the law, but worse, they used the law of Moses to criticize and accuse others. Paul wrote this to the Galatians, Gal.5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Jesus wanted his followers to know that they could be freed from the Old Covenant rule of the law, and delivered into the New Covenant law of Grace. Phil. 3:9  “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

      But is that all Jesus was referring to? Jesus said, “if you continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” Jesus knew that it was through the study of his word, that we can learn to spot the lies of Satan, and come to know the promises of God. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, through lies and manipulation, the good life Jesus has paid for with his sacrifice on the cross. Satan wants us to focus on his material world, and deny, or be unaware, of the spiritual world, that Jesus would have us focus on. The Bible clearly states that Satan, is the god of this world. He uses the material world and everything in it, to distract us from who we are in Christ Jesus. Sickness, disease, poverty, mental and emotional despair, fear, anger, these things, and many others, are all things Jesus came to free us from. The Holy Bible is full of promises of deliverance from all these conditions, to those who have received Jesus as their Lord and Savior. But it is only through reading the word, and believing those promises, and not the lies of Satan, and his world, that we can break free from the bondage of corruption, and enter into the Kingdom within us. Then we can begin to draw upon the living water, that is the perfect Spirit of God, that dwells inside a believer. A spirit of love, joy, peace, good health, prosperity, faith,  balance, and all the good promises of a loving Father!

You have been taking the Lord’s name in vain.

TakeTheName

The third commandment God gave to Moses was, to not take his name in vain. You might be surprised to find you, and I, and everyone you know, takes God’s name in vain multiple times every day!  When God spoke to Moses, and appeared as a burning bush. He instructed Moses to lead the people of Israel, out of the land of Egypt. Moses asked God, whom shall I say sent me, when they ask? What is his name? And God told Moses to tell the people, I Am, has sent me unto you. Later in the New Testament, Jesus spoke, and tried to explain to his Jewish audience who he was. He concluded by saying, “before Abraham was, I am.” And they took up stones, to stone him. John 8:58.  God has many names in the Holy Bible. They help us to understand his nature and character.  God made man in his image and likeness. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We are born again. We are now part of the very family, of the great creator God. We have become holy and righteous, in the site of God. Every curse has been taken away. Christ became a curse for us. Galatians 3:13. Our righteousness is of Christ, and not our own. God looks down upon us, and sees Jesus in us! If Jesus is holy, we are holy. If Jesus is blessed, we are blessed. If Jesus is righteous, we are righteous. To say anything less, is to contradict the very word of God. Theses things are true, because God’s word proclaims them to be true. When as children of the most high, washed clean and made holy by the blood of our Lord Jesus, we say things like: I am a failure. I am no good. I am not worthy of this thing or that. I am poor. I am cursed. I am ugly. I am sick. We are taking the I Am name of the Lord, in vain! Let’s read God’s holy word, see who we are in Christ, and proclaim the truth about ourselves! I am beautiful! I am healthy! I am a lender and not a borrower! I am the head and not the tail! I am above and not beneath! I am blessed in everything my hand finds to do, because of my Lord Jesus!

For whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

imagesWhat did the Apostle Paul mean when he wrote in his letter to the Romans, “for whatsoever is not of faith is sin?”  I believe he was trying to convey the idea that apart from faith we can not please God. All we do, all our good deeds, despite what lofty thoughts we may have, are often consciously, or unconsciously, performed with ulterior motives. We are trying to find favor with God, or man, or simply trying to make us feel better about ourselves.  Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”  God is not pleased or displeased with us according to our actions, but according to our heart. Our righteous acts are not what put us right in his eyes. Isaiah 64:6  “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” It is our faith in Jesus that makes us right with God. He looks at a Christian, and sees the obedience and good works of His only begotten Son. If this were not the case, then we would have reason to be prideful of our actions, thinking we are earning our way to heaven.  Romans 3: 27-28Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”  The law of Moses was given to us, so we could see our need for a Savior, not to save us!  Romans 3:20 “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” When we come to an understanding that we are all sinners, in need of a Savior, we are at a place where God can begin to work with us. Matthew 9:13 “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.” If we think we are righteous, we are delusional, we are fooling ourselves, but not God. Repentance begins with repenting of our pride and self worth, not of any actual sin. Knowing how much God loves us, being the sinners we are, gradually leads us to become more like him.  Romans 2:4Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”

Lukewarm Christians.

the-lukewarm-church1Is it possible to identify a lukewarm Christian? Jesus had this to say about the church of Laodicea. Revelations 3:15-17 “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”  This group thought they were spiritually  and financially rich, and in need of nothing. God wants us to look to him, for both our physical, and spiritual needs. Many in the body of Christ point to a person they perceive as a casual Christian, as being lukewarm. They are not on fire, for Jesus. “Look, I go to church every Sunday, bible studies on Wednesday evenings, I am praying and studying fervently, I fasted last week for two days, I am an usher, and a member of the band. I formed the group that helps preach the Gospel to the homeless. Yes I am on fire for the Lord!” This mindset is boastful, it defines a lukewarm heart. Isaiah 64:6But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Jesus did not suffer and die on the cross, so we could point to our behavior and say, look how hot I am for you, see how on fire I am, in your service. Ephesians 2: 8-9For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” 

     The first thing we need to keep in mind is, we should not be trying to decide who among us is hot, who is cold, and who is lukewarm. 2 Corinthians10:12For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” Only God knows our heart. A lukewarm Christian, is quite likely, the very person who is sure they are not!  A lukewarm Christian may be financially well off. They could easily think, “God has blessed me financially for my faithfulness, for my generous giving of time and money.”  1 Timothy 6:5Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” Many have mistaken wealth or financial ease, as a sign of godliness, Paul instructed Timothy to withdraw himself from such, and referred to them as perverse!  James 2:5Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?”  On the other hand, a person may be doing a great many good deeds in Jesus name, with a totally humble heart and mind. Only God knows.  A lukewarm heart, is one that thinks anything “they” do, puts them right with God. We do not please God by our good works, they are fruits that come from knowing what a good and generous and wonderful God we serve. God is pleased with us, because of our faith in what our friend, and brother, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, did for us on the cross. 

 

The power of I Am.

infinity One of God’s name is I Am. The most powerful name, or word for that matter, in any language is Jesus. Philippians 2:9-10 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.” Peter gave us an example of how we are to use Jesus name, with authority, to heal, and bring glory to God. Acts 3:6-7 “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.” But what about the name I Am, does it also have power to do good in our lives? I am here to tell you yes. And many of us have been misusing and abusing this power without knowing it.  We first see this odd name or title in Exodus. God is speaking to Moses, and Moses asks God whom shall I tell the people has sent me? What shall I tell them is his name? And God responded, Exodus 3:14 “And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.” Jesus refers to himself as I Am in the Gospel of John, and was nearly stoned to death for using this name. John 8:58-“ Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” 

Now let’s look at how to correctly use this powerful name, or title of God, to bring health, happiness, peace and prosperity to our lives.  God has given us power, if we have accepted Jesus into our lives, over his creation. Speaking of man, David wrote, Psalm 8:5-6For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.”  As we read earlier, when Peter healed the cripple in the temple, we are given this power through our words, and faith in those words.  Proverbs 18:20-21A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”  God states here, that even life and death are in the power of the tongue.  And in Isaiah we read this, Isaiah 57:19 “ create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him.” God creates the things we speak!  We can read in Genesis how God spoke the entire Universe into existence! As children of God, he has given us similar power and authority.  His desire is for us to become more and more like himself. And to that end, he has given us the power to create and mold the world around us, with our words and thoughts.

Finally how do we do this, and how is I Am used to create our world to be more like God’s kingdom? Many of us know, and have recited, the Lord’s prayer. In it we have repeated many time , “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  By reading God’s word, and believing those things we read, we come to see that God’s will for us is not sickness, disease, pain, suffering or poverty. These things do not exist in heaven, neither are they a part of his kingdom. Jesus instructed his disciples to heal the sick, and told them, Luke 10:9 “And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” We must then, use the power and authority of our thoughts and words, given to us as children of God, to always make our minds, our bodies, our surroundings, and those we come in contact with, more and more like the kingdom of God. Whenever we speak the words I am or I’m, let it be in a positive context. Read God’s word, and search out every good gift and promise, that are made to those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Every positive scripture you come across, in the old or new testament, are promises God has made to you, as one of his children! Begin to feel and know God’s love for you. Know that when he looks down at you, he sees Jesus in you, and none of your imperfections. And begin speaking all God’s good promises into your life! I am healthy, I am blessed in everything my hand finds to do, I am not fearful, I am full of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. I am at rest, I am sure God shall supply, all my needs, according to his richness and glory, through Christ Jesus.  Put away all the old I am’s you have been using in the past, I’m sick, I’m tired, I’m poor, I’m a failure, and on and on. If these things are true, remember we have the power to create the fruit of our lips. Begin to speak only good I am’s into you life. And use the power of I Am. To change your life, and the life of others, to reflect God’s kingdom. 

God wants us to act like his adult children.

boy bikeNo matter what our age, we will always be our parents children.  When we were very young we depended on our parents for everything. To feed us, burp us, and change our diapers. As we got a little older, we began doing a few thing for ourselves. Our parents, began to expect, or even demand, that we do things for ourselves. “Mom can you get me a drink”, was answered with, “your a big boy or girl, get it yourself”. The same is true with our Father in heaven. When we were new Christians, we looked to God for help with everything, in our new life of faith. As we become more mature, God wants and expects us, to become more and more like himself. Doing spiritual things, for ourselves. By this, we become brighter and brighter, in an ever increasingly dark world. Bringing glory to God our Father, and our Lord Jesus. 1 Peter 2: 1-2 “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” Peter explains we grow as Christians, by studying his word.  2 Peter 3:18  “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” Peter again tells us to grow, in grace and knowledge. That knowledge of who Jesus is, what he has done for us, the victory we have received through him, and who we now are in Christ, all comes from his word. 

What do I mean specifically, when I say God wants us to do more for ourselves?  When we stop regarding,  the false news Satan spreads, and start believing the Good News, Jesus and his apostles spread, our faith will grow and grow. Until nothing that is in line with God’s will, is impossible for us. Jonah 2:8They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.” Lying vanities are anything we perceive with our five senses, that is contrary to the Word of God.  Sickness, disease, fear, hopelessness, are all lying vanities. Six billion people on the face of this Earth, who believe there is another way to eternal life, aside from Jesus, are all lying vanities. One of the most misquoted verses in the entire bible is, “the truth shall set you free.” Jesus told his disciples, it was his word, that is truth, and that would set them free. John 1: 31-32 “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  John 17:16-17They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” God’s word, as revealed through his Holy Bible, is truth. When Jesus fed well over five thousand, with a few loafs of bread, and a few small fish, the first thing he told his disciples was, you feed them. Matthew 14:16But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.” Jesus was testing their faith. Jesus knew they could have fed the multitudes, if they had the faith to do so. Jesus told his disciples, they would do the things he did, and even greater things. John 14: 12-13 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.  And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”  It does not bring glory to Jesus, or our Father, if we continue to act as little children. Peter started out with little faith, he feared what men would do to him, to the point he denied Jesus three times on the night of his arrest. Did Peter’s faith remain so weak? No, of course not.  Peter went on to become a pillar of faith, and of good works. It would not be a stretch to say his healing power surpassed Jesus, because Jesus is in Heaven, and wants to see tremendous growth in us. Acts 5:14-16 “And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.” Peter went from a trembling liar, denying he even knew Jesus, to one whose very shadow healed the sick and infirmed!  God our Father and our Lord and Brother Jesus, want to see that kind of growth in all of us. Jesus is incapable of lying. If he said it, then it’s true. Jesus commanded his disciples to do this. Matthew 10: 7-8 “And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” We are the Lord’s disciples today, as much as any that followed him two thousand years ago. Jesus also told his followers they could move mountains! The first mountain we must remove, is the mountain of doubt and lies, Satan and his world of deception has placed before us. Command doubt to leave your mind, and it will obey. Matthew 21:21-22Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.  And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”

How to recognize the wheat from the tares.

wheat    In the 13th chapter of Matthew, Jesus gives a parable of wheat and tares. Matthew 13:24-30Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:  but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.  But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?  He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?  But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Jesus is asked latter in the same chapter, to explain the parable to his disciples, he gives his explanation in Matthew 37-43. “He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;  the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;  the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.  As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

Is it possible to distinguish wheat from tares? It is explained that they look almost identical. Perhaps we can tell them apart from their works. Good wheat must be doing good works, and the tares are probably not being very serious about their Christian calling. Matthew 7:21-23 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Here Jesus explains that even those who do many wonderful and mighty works, and miracles in his name, will not enter his kingdom. It looks like it may be even more difficult than it first appeared, to tell the good wheat from the tares. We could ask our Pastor, Minister or Priest, to help us. They, we would asume, have studied theses things much more in-depth then we have time for. Perhaps they can help us to spot the wheat from the tares. 2 Corinthians 11 :13-15For 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.”  Satan himself, would be almost impossible to detect, if he gave a sermon at your church next week. So how can we possibly detect good wheat in our churches, or in the world as a whole, from bad tares?  The answer is Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life. He is the answer to all our questions. In the previous verse Jesus explained that not those that say Lord, Lord, or that do many mighty works in his name will enter the kingdom, but those that do the will of his Father. John 6:28-29 “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” Jesus said the works of God are not works we do. If this were the case, then we would have something of ourselves to boast about. He said the work of God is to believe in Him. Romans 3:27-28 “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Jesus made it abundantly clear, he is the only way to enter into his kingdom. Paul emphasized over and over, that faith in Jesus, and not our own works, is what saves us. Ephesians 2:8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” Jesus said, he was the only way to the Father. John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” 1 Timothy 2:5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 

If anyone preaches there are many ways, and paths to heaven, including the Pope, or Oprah, or an angel himself, apart from, Jesus, and faith in him, this is a tare, and not good wheat. Galatians 1:8 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Hindu, Muslim, Buddhists and many Christians are about to be merged into a one world religion. The message will be, we all worship one God, and many paths lead to him. The tares will go along willingly. The wheat will remain faithful unto death, proclaiming, “Jesus alone is the way, the truth, and the life!”

The Secret.

imagesThe Secret, was a popular book written in 2006 by Rhonda Byrne. The book attempts to explain the natural law of attraction. Its primary claim is, if we think and visualize negative thoughts and feeling, and verbalize them, this is what we will inevitably attract. Inversely, if we think and visualize positive thoughts and verbalize them, we will attract these positive forces into our lives. Is this New Age thinking? Or is it based on a much older wisdom? Finally and most importantly, is it a waste of time, or does it actually work?

I am here to tell you, that most of the principles spelled out in this book are based upon the Holy Bible. Wisdom that God has provided to those that seek it, for thousands of years. Proverbs 3:13-14 “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.” The Secret highlights gratitude and visualization as the two most powerful processes to help make one’s desires manifest. It claims that being grateful both lifts your frequency higher, and affirms that  as you believe you will receive that thing you desire. Visualization is said to help focus the mind to send out the clearest message to the universe. 

God speaks about negative thoughts bringing about negative results in Jeremiah 6 :19 “Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.” Our thought are very powerful, for good and for evil. Numbers 14:27-28 we read, “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:” Negative thoughts, and an ungrateful spirit, do not attract positive results. Positive thoughts, and most importantly positive, faith filled words, bring about positive results. Proverbs 16:3 “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” God says he will establish our thoughts. Giving thanks is also an important ingredient in God’s will for us, and in attracting positive results in our lives. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” We need to learn to be thankful for the good things in our life, in good times and in bad. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we need to learn to speak uplifting, positive, productive and encouraging word about our health, our finances, our marriage, our jobs, our spouse and children, and our lives in general. This is where some will interject, saying, this is just wishful thinking, or whistling in the dark. Or, it is a lie to speak good, of my miserable circumstances. If this is how you feel, do not give up, do not give into negative thoughts and feeling. If you do not immediately see improvement in your situation remember, Romans 4:17 “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.” Paul is writing about Abraham, who had to wait patiently for his son Isaac. Also God spoke of him several times as the father of many nations, when he and Sarah were childless, and well advanced in years.

The Holy Bible is full of passages that encourage us to be positive, to think positive, to speak positive and to be patient for good results. James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” I conclude this article by citing a few examples the Holy Bible gives of the power of our words. Isaiah 57:19 “I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him.” Proverbs 18:20-21 “A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 15:4A wholesome tongue is a tree of life.” Lets remember to thank God for all his blessing, think on, and speak what we want, not what we see. And we will all begin to unlock the Secrets of God.