A Call to Prayer / I Timothy 2:1

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

To help in the explanation of what had been written for all believers I constantly use the the help of others in furthering the knowledge that we all will benefit from. As in the passage I’ve referred to, above, this fact remains. So, I will start off by having a point that we can ascribe to in better understanding what the Lord Yeshua Elohim is telling us.

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
I exhort, therefore – Margin, “desire.” The word exhort, however, better expresses the sense of the original. The exhortation here is not addressed particularly to Timothy, but relates to all who were called to lead in public prayer; 1 Timothy 2:8. This exhortation, it may be observed, is inconsistent with the supposition that a liturgy was then in use, or with the supposition that there ever would be a liturgy – since, in that case, the objects to be prayed for would be prescribed. How singular would it be now for an Episcopal bishop to “exhort” his presbyters to pray “for the President of the United States and for all who are in authority.” When the prayer is prescribed, do they not do this as a matter of course?
First of all – That is, as the first duty to be enjoined; the thing that is to be regarded with primary concern; compare Luke 12:1; 2 Peter 1:20. It does not mean that this was to be the first thing in public worship in the order of time, but that it was to be regarded as a duty of primary importance. The duty of praying for the salvation of the whole world was not to be regarded as a subordinate and secondary thing.

Supplications – It is not entirely easy to mark the difference in the meaning of the words used here, and it is not essential. They all relate to prayer, and refer only to the different parts of prayer, or to distinct classes of thought and desire which come before the mind in pleading for others. On the difference between the words supplications and prayers, see notes on Hebrews 5:7.

Intercessions – The noun used occurs only in this place and in 1 Timothy 4:5, of this Epistle. The verb, however ἐντυγχάνω entungchanō, occurs in Acts 25:4; Romans 8:27, Romans 8:34; Romans 11:2; Hebrews 7:25. See the meaning explained in the Romans 8:26 note; Hebrews 7:25 note. There is one great Intercessor between God and man, who pleads for our salvation on the ground of what he himself has done, but we are permitted to intercede for others, not on the ground of any merit which they or we possess, but on the ground of the merit of the great Advocate and Intercessor. It is an inestimable privilege to be permitted to plead for the salvation of our fellow-men.

Giving of thanks – That is, in behalf of others. We ought to give thanks for the mercy of God to ourselves; it is right and proper also that we should give thanks for the goodness of God to others. We should render praise that there is a way of salvation provided; that no one is excluded from the offer of mercy; and that God is using so many means to call lost sinners to himself.

For all men – Prayers should be made for all people – for all need the grace and mercy of God; thanks should be rendered for all, for all may be saved. Does not this direction imply that Christ died for all mankind? How could we give thanks in their behalf if there were no mercy for them, and no way had been provided by which they could be saved? It may be observed here, that the direction to pray and to give thanks for all people, showed the large and catholic nature of Christianity. It was opposed entirely to the narrow and bigoted feelings of the Jews, who regarded the whole Gentile world as excluded from covenant mercies, and as having no offer of life. Christianity threw down all these barriers, and all people are on a level; and since Christ has died for all, there is ample ground for thanksgiving and praise in behalf of the whole human race.

See Supplementary note, 2 Corinthians 5:14.

For the love of Christ – In this verse, Paul brings into view the principle which actuated him; the reason of his extraordinary and disinterested zeal. That was, that he was influenced by the love which Christ had shown in dying for all people, and by the argument which was furnished by that death respecting the actual character and condition of man (in this verse); and of the obligation of those who professed to be his true friends 2 Corinthians 5:15. The phrase “the love of Christ” (ἀγάπη τοῦ Χριστοῦ agapē tou Christou) may denote either the love which Christ bears toward us, and which he has manifested, or our love toward him. In the former sense the phrase “the love of God” is used in Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 13:13, and the phrase “love of Christ” in Ephesians 3:14. The phrase is used in the latter sense in John 15:9-10, and Romans 8:35. It is impossible to determine the sense with certainty, and it is only by the view which shall be taken of the connection and of the argument which will in any way determine the meaning. Expositors differ in regard to it. It seems to me that the phrase here means the love which Christ had toward us. Paul speaks of his dying for all as the reason why he was urged on to the course of self-denial which he evinced. Christ died for all. All were dead. Christ evinced his great love for us, and for all, by giving himself to die; and it was this love which Christ had shown that impelled Paul to his own acts of love and self-denial. He gave himself to his great work impelled by that love which Christ had shown; by the view of the ruined condition of man which that work furnished; and by a desire to emulate the Redeemer, and to possess the same spirit which he evinced.


Constraineth us – (συνέχει sunechei). This word (συνέχω sunechō) properly means, to hold together, to press together, to shut up; then to press on, urge, impel, or excite. Here it means, that the impelling, or exciting motive in the labors and self-denials of Paul, was the love of Christ – the love which he had showed to the children of men. Christ so loved the world as to give himself for it. His love for the world was a demonstration that people were dead in sins. And we, being urged by the same love, are prompted to like acts of zeal and self-denial to save the world from ruin.

Because we thus judge – Greek “We judging this;” that is, we thus determine in our own minds, or we thus decide; or this is our firm conviction and belief – we come to this conclusion.

That if one died for all – On the supposition that one died for all; or taking it for granted that one died for all, then it follows that all were dead. The “one” who died for all here is undoubtedly the Lord Jesus. The word “for” (ὑπὲρ huper) means in the place of, instead of; see Philippians 2:13 and 2 Corinthians 5:20. It means that Christ took the place of sinners, and died in their stead; that he endured what was an ample equivalent for all the punishment which would be inflicted if they were to suffer the just penalty of the Law; that he endured so much suffering, and that God by his great substituted sorrows made such an expression of his hatred of sin, as to answer the same end in expressing his sense of the evil of sin, and in restraining others from transgression, as if the guilty were personally to suffer the full penalty of the Law. If this was done, of course, the guilty might be pardoned and saved, since all the ends which could be accomplished by their destruction have been accomplished by the substituted sufferings of the Lord Jesus.

The phrase “for all,” (ὑπὲρ πάντων huper pantōn) obviously means for all mankind; for every man. This is an exceedingly important expression in regard to the extent of the atonement which the Lord Jesus made, and while it proves that his death was vicarious, that is, in the place of others, and for their sakes, it demonstrates also that the atonement was general, and had, in itself considered, no limitation, and no particular reference to any class or condition of people; and no particular applicability to one class more than to another. There was nothing in the nature of the atonement that limited it to anyone class or condition; there was nothing in the design that made it, in itself, anymore applicable to one portion of mankind than to another. And whatever may be true in regard to the fact as to its actual applicability, or in regard to the purpose of God to apply it, it is demonstrated by this passage that his death had an original applicability to all, and that the merits of that death were sufficient to save all. The argument in favor of the general atonement, from this passage, consists in the following points:

(1) That Paul assumes this as a matter that was well known, indisputable, and universally admitted, that Christ died for all. He did not deem it necessary to enter into the argument to prove it, nor even to state it formally. It was so well known, and so universally admitted, that he made it a first principle – an elementary position – a maxim on which to base another important doctrine – to wit, that all were dead. It was a point which he assumed that no one would call in question; a doctrine which might be laid down as the basis of an argument, like one of the first principles or maxims in science.

(2) it is the plain and obvious meaning of the expression – the sense which strikes all people, unless they have some theory to support to the contrary; and it requires all the ingenuity which people can ever command to make it appear even plausible, that this is consistent with the doctrine of a limited atonement; much more to make it out that it does not mean all. If a man is told that all the human family must die, the obvious interpretation is, that it applies to every individual. If told that all the passengers on board a steamboat were drowned, the obvious interpretation is, that every individual was meant. If told that a ship was wrecked, and that all the crew perished, the obvious interpretation would be that none escaped. If told that all the inmates of a hospital were sick, it would be understood that there was not an individual that was not sick. Such is the view which would be taken by 999 persons out of 1,000, if told that Christ died for all; nor could they conceive how this could be consistent with the statement that he died only for the elect, and that the elect was only a small part of the human family.

(3) this interpretation is in accordance with all the explicit declarations on the design of the death of the Redeemer. Hebrews 2:9, “that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man;” compare John 3:16, “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” 1 Timothy 2:6, “who gave himself a ransom for all.” See Matthew 20:28,” The Son of man came to give his life a ransom for many.” 1 John 2:2,” and he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

(4) the fact also that on the ground of the atonement made by the Redeemer, salvation is offered to all people by God, is a proof that he died for all. The apostles were directed to go “into all the world and to preach the gospel to every creature,” with the assurance that “he that believeth and is baptized shall he saved;” Mark 16:15-16; and everywhere in the Bible the most full and free offers of salvation are made to all mankind; compare Isaiah 55:1; John 7:37; Revelation 22:17. These offers are made on the ground that the Lord Jesus died for people; John 3:16. They are offers of salvation through the gospel, of the pardon of sin, and of eternal life to be made “to every creature.” But if Christ died only for a part, if there is a large portion of the human family for whom he died in no sense whatever; if there is no provision of any kind made for them, then God must know this, and then the offers cannot be made with sincerity, and God is tantalizing them with the offers of that which does not exist, and which he knows does not exist. It is of no use here to say that the preacher does not know who the elect are, and that he is obliged to make the offer to all in order that the elect may be reached. For it is not the preacher only who offers the gospel. It is God who does it, and he knows who the elect are, and yet he offers salvation to all. And if there is no salvation provided for all, and no possibility that all to whom the offer comes should be saved, then God is insincere; and there is no way possible of vindicating his character.

(5) if this interpretation is not correct, and if Christ did not die for all, then the argument of Paul here is a non sequitur, and is worthless. The demonstration that all are dead, according to him is, that Christ died for all. But suppose that he meant, or that he knew, that Christ died only for a part, for the elect, then how would the argument stand, and what would be its force? “Christ died only for a portion of the human race, therefore all are sinners. Medicine is provided only for a part of mankind, therefore all are sick. Pardon is offered to part only, therefore all are guilty.” But Paul never reasoned in this way. He believed that Christ died for all mankind, and on the ground of that he inferred at once that all needed such an atonement; that all were sinners, and that all were exposed to the wrath of God. And the argument is in this way, and in this way only, sound. But still it may be asked, What is the force of this argument? How does the fact that Christ died for all, prove that all were sinners, or dead in sin? I:answer:

(a) In the same way that to provide medicine for all, proves that all are sick, or liable to be sick; and to offer pardon to all who are in a prison, proves that all there are guilty. What insult is it to offer medicine to a man in health; or pardon to a man who has violated no law! And there would be the same insult in offering salvation to a man who was not a sinner, and who did not need forgiveness.

(b) The dignity of the sufferer, and the extent of his sufferings, prove that all were under a deep and dreadful load of guilt. Such a being would not have come to die unless the race had been apostate; nor would he have endured so great sorrows unless a deep and dreadful malady had spread over the world. The deep anxiety; the tears; the toils; the sufferings, and the groans of the Redeemer, show what was his sense of the condition of man, and prove that he regarded them as degraded, fallen, and lost. And if the Son of God, who knows all hearts, regarded them as lost, they are lost. He was not mistaken in regard to the character of man, and he did not lay down his life under the influence of delusion and error. If to the view which has been taken of this important passage it be objected that the work of the atonement must have been to a large extent in vain; that it has actually been applied to but comparatively a small portion of the human family, and that it is unreasonable to suppose that God would suffer so great sorrows to be endured for nothing, we may reply:

(1) That it may not have been in vain, though it may have been rejected by a large portion of mankind. There may have been other purposes accomplished by it besides the direct salvation of people. It was doing much when it rendered it consistent for God to offer salvation to all; it is much that God could be seen to be just and yet pardoning the sinner; it was much when his determined hatred of sin, and His purpose to honor His Law, was evinced; and in regard to the benevolence and justice of God to other beings and to other worlds, much, very much was gained, though all the human race had rejected the plan and been lost, and in regard to all these objects, the plan was not in vain, and the sufferings of the Redeemer were not for nothing. But,….

(2) It is in accordance with what we see everywhere, when much that God does seems to our eyes, though not to his, to be in vain. How much rain falls on ever sterile sands or on barren rocks, to our eyes in vain! What floods of light are poured each day on barren wastes, or untraversed oceans, to our eyes in vain! How many flowers shed forth their fragrance in the wilderness, and ‘waste their sweetness on the desert air,” to us apparently for nothing! How many pearls lie useless in the ocean; how much gold and silver in the earth; how many diamonds amidst rocks to us unknown, and apparently in vain! How many lofty trees rear their heads in the untraversed wilderness, and after standing for centuries fall on the earth and decay, to our eyes in vain! And how much medicinal virtue is created by God each year in the vegetable world that is unknown to man, and that decays and is lost without removing any disease, and that seems to be created in vain! And how long has it been before the most valuable medicines have been found out, and applied to alleviating pain, or removing disease! Year after year, and age after age, they existed in a suffering world, and people died perhaps within a few yards of the medicine which would have relieved or saved them, but it was unknown, or if known disregarded. But times were coming when their value would he appreciated, and when they would be applied to benefit the sufferer. So with the plan of salvation. It may be rejected, and the sufferings of the Redeemer may seem to have been for nothing. But they will yet be of value to mankind; and when the time shall come for the whole world to embrace the Saviour, there will be found no lack of sufficiency in the plan of redemption, and in the merits of the Redeemer to save all the race.

Now our thankfulness comes from our recognition of the great, and wonderful act of love the Creator of all things seen, and unseen, had executed to ensure all mankind the realization of life everlasting with Him. In creation the Lord God delighted in all that related to all of humankind, men and women inclusively; Proverbs 8: 310 Rejoicing in the world, His earth, And having my delight in the sons of men.

In spite of how most humans act, and react, He continues, because of His love for us, He provides, still, all of the air we breath, and all of our necessities in order to survive. Wisdom rejoices yet more in the world as inhabited by God’s rational creatures. (compare Isaiah 45:18). Giving joy and delight to God, she, WISDOM, finds her delight among the sons of men. These words, like the rest, are as an unconscious prophecy fulfilled in the Divine Word, in whom were “hid all the treasures of Wisdom.” Compare the marginal reference: in Him the Father was well pleased; and yet His “joy also is fulfilled,” not in the glory of the material universe, but in His work among the sons of men.

Continue in prayer – That is, do not neglect it; observe it at all stated times; maintain the spirit of prayer, and embrace all proper occasions to engage in it; compare the Luke 18:1; Ephesians 6:18; and 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
And watch in the same with thanksgiving – Watch for favorable opportunities; watch that your mind may be in a right frame when you pray: and watch, that when your mind is in a right frame you may not neglect to pray; see Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6.

NOT ONLY YOU AND I, BUT SO MANY OTHERS HAVE BEEN DECEIVED!

Why does my English Bible use The LORD?
by Rav Sha’ul

The LORD is not the name of the Creator. The LORD is the name/title for the Babylonian sungod Ba’al and is a pagan reference to just about all pagan “gods”… The LORD is a false god:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baal

Baal, also rendered Baʿal (Biblical Hebrew בַּעַל), is a Northwest Semitic title and honorific meaning “master” or “lord” that is used for various gods who were patrons of cities in the Levant and Asia Minor, cognate to Akkadian Bēlu. A Baalist or Baalite means a worshipper of Baal i.e. The Lord.

“Baʿal” or “The Lord” can refer to any god and even to human officials. In some texts it is used for Hadad, a god of the rain, thunder, fertility and agriculture, and the lord of Heaven. Since only priests were allowed to utter his divine name, Hadad, Ba‛al was commonly used. Nevertheless, few if any Biblical uses of “Baʿal” refer to Hadad, the lord over the assembly of gods on the holy mount of Heaven; most refer to a variety of local spirit-deities worshipped as cult images, each called baʿal and regarded in the Hebrew Bible in that context as a “false god”.

Etymology

Baʿal (bet-ayin-lamedh) is a Semitic word signifying “The Lord, master, owner (male), keeper, husband”,

Yahuah told Elijah and Jeremiah that the Israelites would adopt “the way of the pagans” in Babylon who worshipped Ba’al and forget His name Yahuah and use the title the LORD which is a reference to Ba’al.

1 Kings 18

18 “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned Yahuah’s commands and have followed Baal (The LORD).

Jeremiah 23

25 “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’ 26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? 27 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name through Baal (The LORD) worship

The LORD “Ba’al” was worshipped on Sunday the “day of the invincible sun” or Dias Solis and the sacrifice to the LORD “Ba’al” was the pig of Ishtar (Easter). The prophecies in 1 Kings that we would abandon Yahuah and follow Ba’al have come true in Christianity who calls on The LORD on Sunday and who put their faith in Easter. Just as Jeremiah foretold we would forget the name Yahuah and use the LORD as they did in Babylon.

We see below that the name Yahuah was regularly pronounced by His chosen until superstitious Jews who adopted the pagan practices of their captors changed the name Yahuah to The LORD coming out of Babylonian captivity:

The Encyclopedia Judaica, Volume 7, pages 680-682

Yahuah or Yahuah. The personal name of the God of Israel is written in the Hebrew Bible with the four consonants Yahuah and is referred to as the “Tetragrammaton”. At least until the destructions of the First Temple in 586 b.c.e., this name was regularly pronounced with its proper vowels (Yahuah), as is clear from the *Lachish Letters, written shortly before that date. But at least by the third century b.c.e., the pronunciation of the name Yahuah was avoided, and Adonai, “the Lord”, was substituted for it, as evidenced by the use of the Greek word Kyrios, “Lord”, for Yahuah in the Septuagint, the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures that was begun by Greek-speaking Jews in that century. Where the combined form Adonai Yahuah occurs in the Bible, this was read as Adonai Elohim, “Lord God”.

We also see below from the same source that the Jews replaced the proper vowel points in Yahuah with the vowel points in Adonai giving us the name Yehowah in ERROR and then uninspired Christian translators then came up with the totally foreign name Jehovah. Then later in a total disconnect from all reality, the Jews started just saying ha-Shem (the name) and totally abandoned the proper name of the Creator all together.

In the early Middle Ages, when the consonantal text of the Bible was supplied with vowels points to facilitate its correct traditional reading, the vowel points for ‘Adonai with one variation – a sheva with the first yod of Yahuah instead of the hataf-patah under the aleph of ‘Adonai were used for Yahuah, thus producing the form Yehowah. When Christian scholars of Europe first began to study Hebrew, they did not understand what this really meant, and they introduced the hybrid name “Jehovah”. In order to avoid pronouncing even the sacred name Adonai for Yahuah, the custom was later introduced of saying simply in Hebrew ha-Shem (or Aramaic Shemc, “the Name”) even in such an expression as “Blessed be he that cometh in the name of Yahuah” (Ps. 118:26).

This is an abomination! Yahuah gave us His name and He declares that it is His memorial for all generations:

Exodus 3:15

And Yahuah said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Yahuah the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

His name is not “The LORD” or “Adonai” or “Jehovah” or anything else. His name is YHVH (Yahuah) and that is His everlasting memorial by which He is to be called upon.

Our English Bibles use the title The LORD for Yahuah which is a violation of the command not to add to nor subtract from His Word not to mention it is idolatry calling upon the Babylonian god Ba’al. We, humanity, have totally forgotten the name of our Creator which was originally written in His Word over 8,000 times! We replaced every reference to it with The LORD (Ba’al). Below we see the Jews committed this abomination out of what I call “reverent stupidity” as they followed the way of the pagans in Babylon:

Unger’s Bible Dictionary, on page 665:

Lord (Hebrew, Adon), an early word denoting ownership; hence, absolute control. It is not properly a divine title. The Jews, out of a superstitious reverence for the Name Yahuah, always, in reading, pronounce Adonai (lord) where Yahuah is written.

Smith’s Bible Dictionary, 1872 Edition, states the following:

The substitution of the word Lord is most (sad); for, while it in no way represents the meaning of the Sacred Name, the mind has constantly to guard against a confusion with its lower uses, and, above all, the direct personal hearing of the Name on the revelation of Yahuah…is injuriously out of sight.

This is extremely important as the name of the Messiah contains the Tetragrammaton to fulfill the prophetic requirements of the one name under heaven whereby we may obtain salvation:

Acts 4:12

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

When I quote scripture in this book, no matter what translation I use, I will always replace the pagan reference and title of The LORD with Yahuah and Lord with King as it applies to Yahusha. I will always clarify in context the use of impersonal pronouns such as ‘he’ and ‘him’ by identifying the subject by name. I will turn the text from passive voice to active voice. I will demonstrate when the uninspired translations are corrected in this way; the truth comes shining through as to the real meaning of the text. In doing so many of the scriptures used to justify the false doctrines of the incarnation and The Trinity completely fall apart in light of the truth.

paint.net 4.0.13 is now available

paint.net blog

This is a minor update that fixes a few high priority problems that many people were bumping into.

As usual, you can download the update directly from the website, or you can use the built-in updater via Settings –> Updates –> Check Now.

Changes:

  • Fixed “Missing api-ms-win-core-timezone-l1-1-0.dll” error that was being seen on some Windows 7 systems due to partial install or uninstall of Microsoft’s Universal C Runtime
  • Fixed the layout for the File->New, Image->Resize, and Image->Canvas Size dialogs in all known situations (various languages, DPI sizes, font configurations)
  • Fixed: Old versions of PSD plugin couldn’t load due to removal of PrivateThreadPool
  • Fixed a crash when typing a negative number for a zoom level

Enjoy!

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AND TO THOSE WHO ARE LUKEWARM

Revelation 3:14-22

I was in my mid thirties when I received a dream while sleeping. I am nobody special, I’m not some important Church figure, or anything like that. I am an ordinary human being walking on this world just like everyone else. I had sinned, I still sin, and will continue to sin. As it’s written, my heart is deceitful, and only the Lord directs my steps. He chose me to do His bidding, and I’m only His clay that He molds everyday. He delivered a dream to me concerning my purpose.

I am standing in my parents kitchen with my parents, and my siblings. We were having a heated discussion, as usual. This dream was no different, except, suddenly, there were written 5 Holy Scriptures written on one of the walls in my parents kitchen. No sooner than I seen them they began to fade. In desperation, I ran around the kitchen table to retrieve any, or all of the Scriptures. By the time I arrived at the wall I was only able to grasp one. I had not ever read the writings of the Prophet Ezekiel. Ironically, many of the people I would encounter since my conversion from the Roman system of belief and worship were also of backgrounds in similar religious beliefs and practices.

In Ezekiel 3, I was told to,

  1. And he said unto me, Son of man, eat that which thou findest; eat this roll, and go, speak unto the house of Israel. 2) So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat the roll. 3) And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.

4) And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them. 5) For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of a hard language, but to the house of Israel; 6) not to many peoples of a strange speech and of a hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, if I sent thee to them, they would hearken unto thee. 7) But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are of hard forehead and of a stiff heart. 8) Behold, I have made thy face hard against their faces, and thy forehead hard against their foreheads. 9) As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house. 10) Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thy heart, and hear with thine ears. 11) And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.

And that brings me here, around 30 years latter, speaking to those who profess to follow the Lord Jesus. The question is, are any of us really practicing His commands that we know are true? No, none of us are. However, we need  to get back up, and continue our walk  with our Creator. He expects us to pick up our crosses to follow Him. We will be persecuted, even by family and friends, because of our willingness to center our lives around God’s ordinances, and precepts. We are to be separate from what the world teaches, and those who distort the truth of the Holy Spirit.

Are we to be blending in with the world, or are we to be set apart, looking, and acting differently?  Do we dress, act, and talk as our peers? And do we see ourselves doing the same with those we idolize in the entertainment industry?  Honestly, that is idolatry! We find it in the Church, but is more prevalent in the world. All the hero’s and heroines being worshiped is countless. It seems as though there is another stepping out on the stage for us to idolize.

I was there, and I still find myself slipping down that slippery slope and suddenly finding myself asking for forgiveness for my sins. I am eternally grateful for my name to be written in the book of life, yet, there is no credit that I can assume. I am a sinner, like you! Realizing His love for me, a creature made from dirt, a creature wonderfully made, yet filled with a sinful nature due to the sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden. My very thoughts  are sinful in most respects. Therefore, I must diligently seek His face to keep that hope that He gave to me so many years ago.

Our job is to die to the affections we have in this world and focus on pleasing our Father in Heaven. We are called to be disciples, followers of Christ. As we expect our spouse to honor us in our marriage, and relationship, so it is with our Father Who has designated us as one of His Church, His Spotless Bride! Let us attain holiness as our Father in heaven is Holy.

Laodicea was the last and worst of the seven churches of Asia. Here our Lord Jesus styles himself, “The Amen;” one steady and unchangeable in all his purposes and promises. If religion is worth anything, it is worth every thing. Christ expects men should be in earnest. How many professors of gospel doctrine are neither hot nor cold; except as they are indifferent in needful matters, and hot and fiery in disputes about things of lesser moment! A severe punishment is threatened. They would give a false opinion of Christianity, as if it were an unholy religion; while others would conclude it could afford no real satisfaction, otherwise its professors would not have been heartless in it, or so ready to seek pleasure or happiness from the world. One cause of this indifference and inconsistency in religion is, self-conceit and self-delusion; “Because thou sayest.” What a difference between their thoughts of themselves, and the thoughts Christ had of them! How careful should we be not to cheat our owns souls! There are many in hell, who once thought themselves far in the way to heaven. Let us beg of God that we may not be left to flatter and deceive ourselves. Professors grow proud, as they become carnal and formal. Their state was wretched in itself. They were poor; really poor, when they said and thought they were rich. They could not see their state, nor their way, nor their danger, yet they thought they saw it. They had not the garment of justification, nor sanctification: they were exposed to sin and shame; their rags that would defile them. They were naked, without house or harbour, for they were without God, in whom alone the soul of man can find rest and safety. Good counsel was given by Christ to this sinful people. Happy those who take his counsel, for all others must perish in their sins. Christ lets them know where they might have true riches, and how they might have them. Some things must be parted with, but nothing valuable; and it is only to make room for receiving true riches. Part with sin and self-confidence, that you may be filled with his hidden treasure. They must receive from Christ the white raiment he purchased and provided for them; his own imputed righteousness for justification, and the garments of holiness and sanctification. Let them give themselves up to his word and Spirit, and their eyes shall be opened to see their way and their end. Let us examine ourselves by the rule of his word, and pray earnestly for the teaching of his Holy Spirit, to take away our pride, prejudices, and worldly lusts. Sinners ought to take the rebukes of God’s word and rod, as tokens of his love to their souls. Christ stood without; knocking, by the dealings of his providence, the warnings and teaching of his word, and the influences of his Spirit. Christ still graciously, by his word and Spirit, comes to the door of the hearts of sinners. Those who open to him shall enjoy his presence. If what he finds would make but a poor feast, what he brings will supply a rich one. He will give fresh supplies of graces and comforts. In the conclusion is a promise to the overcoming believer. Christ himself had temptations and conflicts; he overcame them all, and was more than a conqueror. Those made like to Christ in his trials, shall be made like to him in glory. All is closed with the general demand of attention. And these counsels, while suited to the churches to which they were addressed, are deeply interesting to all men.

FAITH – VS. – WORKS

I’ve often been asked how can someone know the difference between works of the Holy Spirit and works of the law? Simply put, anything you do because you ” FEEL ” like it because you were told it’s the right thing to do, then it’s not done by faith. In, sometimes, desperation, we start out doing things thinking this will be looked upon by God to count towards our salvation. We are deceiving ourselves when we think and do things with that mindset. It’s like having a co-pilot of an airliner trying desperately to fly the plane, but despite his efforts, he can’t successfully maneuver it unless he listens to the pilot.
How then is faith taught by the Word? Those that minister the Word, by the commission by God, directs the Word to the ears of those looking for God’s mercy, or of man’s duty to God, ( II Timothy 4:2 ) The hearer receives the words and transfers the information to our understanding. But, we can’t understand what we hear, I Corinthians 2: 14) The natural man does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. For they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned: therefore the Holy Spirit goes along with the Word to allow us to understand what we hear.
The Holy Spirit inclines us, through our will, to welcome the Word, ( Phil. 2:13, Romans 7:14, Heb. 4:12 ). When we hear the Word we need to consider what we are doing. The thoughts that we have concerning the world must be dismissed, Neh. 13:19-20; also forget about our sins, James 1:21. If you would want God to pour you His blessing, pour out your spirit to God a blessing in prayer, Psa. 10:17; and 65:2. Pray for your ministers of the Word, Rom. 15:30, and also for yourselves, for God to reveal to you what He is saying, Isaiah 8:11. We need to have a raging desire to hear the Word with an immeasurable anticipation, and a strong desire to have the determination to practice what the Holy Spirit is speaking to us.
Let us be diligent, and meek, ( James 1:21 ), full of faith, ( Heb. 4:2 ), and apply the Word to our life, ( Job 5:27 ), continuing to lift your heart up to God in prayer. We should meditate on God’s Word, ( I Tim. 4:15 ), talk to others with like-minded hearts and minds, and live your life in a way that your life is a living testament of the Word of God, ( James 1:22, Matt. 7:24-25 ). But if we fail to try to cheat our entry into heaven the outcome is total destruction; Matthew 7:26
But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
Many do works what they deem to be moral, and in the moral direction they deem right for their lives, but all their work will be in vain and fail because they didn’t hear God’s voice, and obey His directions giving to Him all respect for the Divine Gift of the Holy Spirit, ” If you are evil and know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them who ask for Him?” ( Matt. 7:11 ). The Holy Spirit comes through the belief of what is heard of in the Holy Scriptures, and your works will prevent the Holy Spirit, but belief in what the Scriptures say, having faith that they are true, will open the door to the Holy Ghost.
FAITH AND WORKS:-
Someone might complain that they do not want this doctrine. They claim to want more morality and honesty. It brings to mind the little children. The child’s father planted bulbs to come up in the Spring. The child forgot that flowers don’t grow without roots. Flowers that are stuck into the ground without roots are babes, foolishness, and good works without faith are childish vanities. Faith is preached in order that good works may follow, and they do follow
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