Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. –John 14:12
“You will receive power” (Acts 1:8a). “Eagerly desire the greater gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:31a). Anything that God has ever done for a soul He will do for anyone else, if the conditions are met. The Lord who blessed these men that I spoke about, and the thousands who followed them but whose names are not known, is willing to do the same for us as He did for them.
Unbelief says: Some other time, but not now; some other place, but not here; some other people, but not us. Faith says: Anything He did anywhere else He will do here; anything He did any other time He is willing to do now; anything He ever did for other people He is willing to do for us! With our feet on the ground, and our head cool, but with our heart ablaze with the love of God, we walk out in this fullness of the Spirit, if we will yield and obey. God wants to work through you!
The Counselor has come, and He doesn’t care about the limits of locality, geography, time or nationality. The Body of Christ is bigger than all of these. The question is: Will you open your heart? The Counselor, 121.
“This thought is very convicting, Lord. I know I’ve been guilty of praising You for Your power and goodness, while secretly doubting that You were really going to work in my present situation. Forgive me that duplicity, Lord, and give me faith to believe You for Now, for Here, for Me. Amen.“
Many tender-minded Christians fear to sin against love by daring to inquire into anything that comes wearing the cloak of Christianity and breathing the name of Jesus. They dare not examine the credentials of the latest prophet to hit their town lest they be guilty of rejecting something which may be of God. They timidly remember how the Pharisees refused to accept Christ when He came, and they do not want to be caught in the same snare, so they either reserve judgment or shut their eyes and accept everything without question. This is supposed to indicate a high degree of spirituality. But in sober fact it indicates no such thing. It may indeed be evidence of the absence of the Holy Spirit. Gullibility is not synonymous with spirituality. Faith is not a mental habit leading its possessor to open his mouth and swallow everything that has about it the color of the supernatural. Faith keeps its heart open to whatever is of God, and rejects everything that is not of God, however wonderful it may be. Try the spirits is a command of the Holy Spirit to the Church. We may sin as certainly by approving the spurious as by rejecting the genuine. And the current habit of refusing to take sides is not the way to avoid the question. To appraise things with a heart of love and then to act on the results is an obligation resting upon every Christian in the world. And the more as we see the day approaching.
The Holy Spirit: Wild-eyed Fanatics
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.—1 Thessalonians 5:19-21
This is a crude illustration, but let me tell you what we did after planting a field of corn when I was a young fellow in Pennsylvania. To save the field of corn from the crows, we would shoot an old crow and hang him by his heels in the middle of the field. This was supposed to scare off all of the crows for miles around. The crows would hold a conference and say, “Look, there is a field of corn but don’t go near it. I saw a dead crow over there!”
That’s the kind of conference that Satan calls, and that is exactly what he has done. He has taken some fanatical, weird, wild-eyed Christians who do things that they shouldn’t, and he has stationed them in the middle of God‘s cornfield, and warns, “Now, don’t you go near that doctrine about the Holy Spirit because if you do, you will act just like these wild-eyed fanatics.” The Counselor, 63.
“Keep us, Lord, from shying away from such valuable truth and experience as the ministry of the Holy Spirit because of the excesses of a few fanatics. We lose too much, and we can’t afford the loss. Amen.”
“This is what our age needs, not an easy-moving message, the sort of thing that makes the hearer feel all nice inside, but a message profoundly disturbing. We have been far too afraid of disturbing people, but the Holy Spirit will have nothing to do with a message or with a minister who is afraid of disturbing. You might as well expect a surgeon to give place to a quack who claims to be able to do the job with some sweet tasting drug, as expect the Holy Spirit to agree that the tragic plight of human souls today can be met by soft and easy words.
Calvary was anything but nice to look at, blood-soaked beams of wood, a bruised and bleeding body, not nice to look upon. But then Jesus was not dealing with a nice thing; He was dealing with the sin of the world, and that is what we are called upon to deal with today. Soft and easy words, soft-pedaling will never meet the need.”
“Father we pray: Bless thou this truth. Oh God, thy mercies are abundant. Are not thy mercies full and free, and have they not, oh God, found out me? We thank thee for thy mercies, thy many, abundant, full mercies. Now we pray that thou will help us to lean back upon thy mercy and trust, and not be afraid; heed sin and love righteousness, flee from iniquity and follow after godliness, but always know that in all that we do mercy is around us like the air; underneath us as the earth; above us as the stars, and we live in a merciful world and serve a merciful God; live and swim and move and have our being in the abundant mercies of the triune God. Graciously grant us, we pray thee, properly to understand this and to apply it to our hearts, and we give thee praise through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
The notion that we enter the Christian life by an act of acceptance is true, but that is not all the truth. There is
much more to it than that. Christianity involves an acceptance and a repudiation, an affirmation and a denial.
And this not only at the moment of conversion but continually thereafter day by day in all the battle of life till the
great conflict is over and the Christian is home from the wars. To live a life wholly positive is, fortunately,
impossible. Were any man able to do such a thing it could be only for a moment. Living positively would be like
inhaling continuously without exhaling. Aside from its being impossible, it would be fatal. Exhalation is as
necessary to life as inhalation. To accept Christ it is necessary that we reject whatever is contrary to Him. This
is a fact often overlooked by eager evangelists bent on getting results. Like the salesman who talks up the good
points of his product and conceals its disadvantages, the badly informed soulwinner stresses the positive side
of things at the expense of the negative.
It may be said without qualification that every man is as holy and as full of the Spirit as he wants to be. He may not be as full as he wishes he were, but he is most certainly as full as he wants to be.
Our Lord placed this beyond dispute when He said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Hunger and thirst are physical sensations which, in their acute stages, may become real pain. It has been the experience of countless seekers after God that when their desires became a pain they were suddenly and wonderfully filled. The problem is not to persuade God to fill us, but to want God sufficiently to permit Him to do so. The average Christian is so cold and so contented with His wretched condition that there is no vacuum of desire into which the blessed Spirit can rush in satisfying fullness. Born After Midnight, 8.
1 John 5:4-13
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—- our faith.
5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
8 And there are three who bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.
9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son.
10 He who believes in the Son of God has witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.
11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
Peace with God
through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Joy in Tribulation
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, know that tribulation produces perseverance;
and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Salvation from God’s Wrath
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be save from wrath through Him.
For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Contrast of Righteousness and Condemnation
Therefore, just as through on man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—-
(For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.
And the gift is not like that which come through the one who sinned. For the judgement which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses rusulted in justification.
For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
Therefore, as through one man’s offence judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through on Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,
so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life thorough Jesus Christ our Lord.
How amazing it is to know that no matter how great our sins, if we accept Jesus into our lives and proclaim him our Savior, that our sins will be washed away and we will appear before God washed clean. By His giving of His blood we have a future, where otherwise we would have been condemned. Not by anything we do other than having faith and be willing to ask for forgiveness and accept God’s grace.
And yet how sad that there are so many who still refuse to see, and are not willing to give up that control. And how sad it is that there are so many that, like Satan himself, wish to control those around them. Whether they do so in ignorance or willful disobedience, it does not matter. The end results are the same, and the loss in forever.
I pray for those that are in leadership positions, whether from the very top to the parent of a child. Please understand that one day you will stand in judgement before God. What you do will be judged by Him, but if you do not accept Him into your life and ask Him for forgiveness, He will not see you. No matter how good you think that you are, no matter how worthy your goals, if they do not include Him, they will be forever forgotten and you will face eternity damned for your lack of action.
When Nebuchadnezzar was restored he said
“And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever:
For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom is from generation to generation.
All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
He does according to His will in the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand or say to Him “What have You done?”
I will give fair warning that some people might find this post offensive and it is not my intent to offend. What my intent is is to bring to the forefront a problem that is only spoken about with people you trust to a certain degree and a problem that is covered up and plastered over in political correctness to another degree.
Let me start by saying that I am awaiting God‘s Kingdom where we can all live together and that immigration itself is a great thing. What I do have a problem with is the open border mentality that seems to say, let anyone come across no matter their purpose. Not everyone who enters this country wants either the best for themselves, or the best for the people of this country. As parents we have a responsibility for our children to protect them from harm. From drugs, from those who would molest or rape them, and from those who would use them in many other ways for evil. Turning a blind eye to the evil that comes across the border simply enables even more of it to come across.
There are those who say, yes, but it isn’t Christian to block people from entering the best country in the world! And I agree! However, God Himself tells us that we should obey the law does He not? Those that come here illegally are not following God’s will, does that make their actions right? There is a process to obtain entrance to the country, but like other laws, there are some who think that it doesn’t apply to them. They want what they want and they will take it regardless of the cost to others or the rights that they infringe upon.
Another question to ask is are we truly aiding those who want to come here for a better life. If by our actions we are allowing them to be abused and used by others for an evil purpose, in my mind this tells me we are doing the work of evil and not good. The use of drugs and the use of innocents to carry and distribute those drugs has increased and will continue to increase if we simply turn a blind eye to it. Spreading out from that is murder, rape, robbery, and all other immoral actions. We see increased costs to everyone, not in money, although that is a factor, but in lives lost and heartache as well.
Laws are established by a government in order to protect the borders and people within that country. We as citizens have a responsibility to follow the laws or work with in the system to change them. We as Christians owe first to God! This is not a question of God over government, this is a question of respect for God’s will over people’s desire. People desiring to do harm to others do not have the right, nor do we owe them the opportunity, to break the laws of the country that we live in, in order to fulfill their desires. If we do this, we are saying that lawlessness should prevail!
God bless you, watch the video below, consider the cost and the loss, then if you see fit add to the discussion!
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love,which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdomthrough psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Avoid Divisive Persons
17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus[a] Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Oh, taste and see the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions suffer lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the LORD shall not
lack any good thing.
Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many days, that he may see good;
Seek peace, and pursue it.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-12
for you know what commandments we save you through the Lord Jesus.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification;
that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,
not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God;
that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and tesetified.
For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.
Therefore he who rejects this does no reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.
But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;
and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more;
that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind you own business, and to work with your own hands as we commanded you,
that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.
and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness.
Therefore, putting away lying, each one speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.
“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
nor give place to the devil.
Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for the necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
2 Timothy 4:6-8
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,
that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height–
to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,
who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
For this reason I also suffer these things, nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermongenes.
The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiporus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain;
but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very diligently and found me.
The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day— and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus.
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.
Therefore be followers of God as dear children.
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;
neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving thanks.
For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolator, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Therefore do not be partakers with them.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
(for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),
proving what is acceptable to the Lord.
And have no fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.
What can cause a church to lose the grace of the Holy Spirit? I was reminded of one of those very things when augustinehippo1 commented on my post Doctrine of False Teachers in part, with Galatians 1:6-9 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
This is a very stern warning on what happens if a false gospel is taught, it is a serious departure from grace.
Read on a little further Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Unfortunately this is exactly what is happening in many churches today, they have forgotten their reason for existence. They spend their time trying to please man instead of God. In doing this they are bringing damnation on the very souls that they are professing to save.
Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Matthew 7:15-20 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
“You will know them by their fruits.
Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
“Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire.
“Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
A church that is teaching the true gospel and doctrine of Christ will have good fruit. It’s people will have changed their lives and put on the new man and the old man will have died.
Ephesians 2:1-3 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
The evidence as to whether a church is teaching the gospel, the doctrine of Christ, is in it’s people. I am not telling you to judge, that is up the Jesus when He returns and there are many that He has already told us that when they knock He will tell them He doesn’t know them.
What I am telling you to do is use your eyes. If you believe in God the Father and accept His Son, Jesus as your Savior, He will open your eyes to the false teachings and you can move on to a church that does preach the gospel. If any church were acceptable to Him, He would not have given us the Word to teach from and He would not have sent the Holy Spirit in order that we might have the grace to see what the truth is.
Justifying Our Way to Hell
Everyday we make choices, some small, some large, that we know before we choose them that they are wrong. And yet, we choose to do them anyway. We justify them by saying “Oh, this is just a little sin, God won’t condemn me on just a little sin.”
What fools we are! There is no difference between a little sin and a big sin. We cannot justify it away! Jesus died for all our sins, but when we continue to choose sin, deliberately, we make a mockery of Him.
Do we truly believe that when we stand before God on judgment day that He will simply overlook our transgressions? We are justified by grace, forgiven by the blood that Jesus shed, but if we ourselves have turned our back on that, do we honestly believe that we are still under that grace?
2 Thessalonians 1:8 tells us that when Jesus returns from heaven “in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,” that 1:9 “These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,” 1:10 “when He comes, in that Day, to be glorifed in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.”
So, how much do you believe if you choose to disobey? And if we choose to disobey a Word given by our Lord and Savior, are we still under His grace? If we choose to turn our backs on Christ‘s example and live according to Him, are we deliberately saying that the Holy Spirit did not enter us? How far will we go in denying Christ? And how far can we go and still recieve His mercy
2Thessalonians 2:8-12 “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Do we have the “love of the truth,” that we might be saved? Or are we wilfully and blindly choosing deception in order that we may take “pleasure in unrighteousness”?
2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.”
If we know the Word is the truth, we have an obligation to follow the Word, to “stand fast and hold the traditions” that we are taught. We always retain that choice, in following God, if we have been saved by the Grace which came down through the Holy Spirit, we are changed and we become new. We know because we are told that we will be tempted, Jesus Himself faced that temptation. Sometimes we falter, we are only human, but we are also told that we have a way out, if we let Him, God will help and He will not allow us to be tempted more that we can bear.
So, when we deliberately choose to give in to temptation and justify it by saying that it is “no big deal,” who are we fooling? Not, God! “But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3
Consider your actions, my friends! Consider your future! Consider those who watch you and make their own decisions on whether to follow Christ based on what they see in you. If you are willingly choosing sin, what are you telling the world? Above all, what are you telling God and His Son?
This is not a condemnation of any who follow Christ, this is an exhortation to you and to me, to remember. 2 Thessalonians 3:13 “But as for you brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.”
Blessed be the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the beloved. Ephesisans 1:3-6