Tag Archive: obedience


Don’t Deceive Yourself

Those who say we don’t need to keep God’s Commandments and ‘all we need to do is keep the two greatest commandments’ . . .

‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:36-40)

. . . seem to forget that GOD defines how we are to love Him:

‘If ye love me, keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15)

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.’ (1 John 5:3)

Love is not a FEELING! It is a pattern of action towards another. And God says that the pattern of actions that demonstrate our love for HIM is to keep His Commandments.

‘He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.’ (1 John 2:4)

So there you go. This is how God will judge whether or not we really loved Him.

‘And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:’  (1 Peter 1:17)

‘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.’ (Matt. 7:21)

‘But be ye DOERS of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.’ (James 1:22)

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Friends, God did not create the Sabbath (for the Israelites) when He gave Moses the Ten Commandments.  He CREATED the Sabbath on the seventh day of creation!!  The Sabbath was a holy day all the way back to Adam and Eve!

‘And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God BLESSED (1) the seventh day, and SANCTIFIED (2) it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.’  (Genesis 2:2-3)

(1) To bless something is the opposite of cursing it.
(2) To sanctify something is to set it apart as sacred, consecrated, and holy.

The Sabbath has always been, and always will be*, a holy, set-apart day.

WE do not MAKE the Sabbath through our choice to keep it.  It already exists and is holy, apart from us and our actions.  It is a day that God has declared, FROM THE BEGINNING, to be holy and set apart for Him.  Therefore, if we choose NOT to recognize and honor it, then we are guilty of PROFANING the Sabbath.

The Fourth Commandment does not tell us to MAKE the seventh day the Sabbath.  Instead, it tells us to REMEMBER the Sabbath (which was already in existence) and to KEEP it holy (as God already made it holy, in the beginning).

‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.’  (Exodus 20:8)

The Sabbath is the day that God has appointed to meet with His people–it is a holy appointment (convocation) that He has declared.

‘Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an HOLY CONVOCATION; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.’  (Lev. 23:3)

This does not mean that you must attend ‘church’ on Saturday!!  The practice of the early Church was to meet on Saturday nights, which according to their calendar was the beginning of the first day of the week (‘later called Sunday’–a new day began at sundown).  They met to fellowship and encourage one another, as well as to study God’s word.

The Sabbath, on the other hand, is about you resting and meeting with God.  You can meet with God together WITH other Christians on the Sabbath if you choose, but the focus is to be on Him–not so much on one another.

Knowing what you know now, and with the added conviction of the Holy Spirit, if you continue to ‘do your own pleasure’ on the Sabbath, it reveals that you are not fully submitting yourself to God.

Many of you will say–‘but I must work on the Sabbath’!  I understand that for many of you that is a difficult situation.  However, we must obey God rather than men.  You cannot serve both God and Mammon (money).  You display a serious lack of faith in God when you put your trust in money and willingly disobey God to ‘keep your job’.  If your faith in money (your job) causes you to disobey God, then who is really your Lord: God or Mammon?  Find a different job if you must–God will surely provide for you as you act in obedience to Him!

‘Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. BUT SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; and all these things shall be added unto you.’  (Matt. 6:31-33)

Others of you will say ‘Jesus is our Sabbath rest’.  Friends, Jesus is also the ‘bread of life’, yet we have not given up eating!  Understand: the Sabbath rest was used to illustrate how we rest from working for our own justification, once we put our faith in Christ.  This is NOT a declaration that the Sabbath has been abolished!  (In fact, if the Sabbath was abolished, the illustration would make no sense–understanding the principle of resting from our works is based on a familiarity with resting on the Sabbath.)

Whether from fear, misunderstanding, or rebellion, many of you profane the day that God has set apart as holy.  That is between you and God–He is your judge.  I will not judge you, because I am not your master, but I cannot refrain from telling you the truth.  At the very least, I will say that you are missing the blessing that is promised to those who keep the Sabbath:

‘If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.’  (Isaiah 58:13-14)

Come judgment day, many of you will hang your head in shame:

‘Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.’  (Matt. 5:19)

I urge you to prayerfully consider what has been said

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* Keeping the Sabbath will be a central feature of the Millennium:

‘For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one SABBATH to another, shall all flesh COME TO WORSHIP before me, saith the LORD.

And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.’  (Isaiah 66:22-24)

ALL people will go to worship Jesus, on His holy mountain, EVERY SABBATH!  He is indeed the ‘Lord of the Sabbath’

‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . ALL THINGS WERE MADE BY HIM; and without him was not any thing made that was made.’  (John 1:1, 3)

‘For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.’  (Matt. 12:8)

 

Please note:  this author in no way recognizes, supports, or condones the Seventh Day Adventists or Hebrew Roots movement.

The Difference

There’s a HUGE difference between a true Christian and a ‘believer’.

A true Christian lives a life that is obedient to God, and soon sincerely repents if they stumble.

A believer . . . well . . . a believer doesn’t do much besides believe. Believe in Jesus . . . believe what the Bible says . . . but somehow it never seems to translate into obedient action.

‘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.’ (Matt. 7:21)

Why Are So Many Deceived?

The widespread deception we see in ‘Christianity’ today, is NOT because a bunch of born-again Christians are reading the Bible on their own, prayerfully trusting the Holy Spirit to lead them, and then coming up with crazy ideas. NO!

(And yet, that is what organized ‘Christianity’ leads you to believe will happen if you don’t regularly attend ‘church’ and put yourself under the (supposed, but unscriptural) ‘spiritual covering’ they claim to provide.)

‘But I would have you know, that the head of every man is CHRIST . . . ‘ (1 Cor. 11:3)

The widespread deception is because people have set aside the Scriptures that tells us that the former example is PRECISELY how we are supposed to learn!

‘But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’ (John 14:26)

‘But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.’ (1 John 2:27)

Likewise, it has never been God’s intention for one man to rule over any group of people, whether it be a local church, or a nation. And yet, there again, we see that most ‘churches’ today have a pyramid shaped design with the ‘lay people’ at the bottom and a pastor at the very top.

The mainstream Christian ‘churches’ are now revealing the poison fruit of their disobedience and unscriptural practices. There are hundreds (thousands?) of denominations, all in various degrees of apostasy and doctrinal error.

Meanwhile, those people who have rejected this system and ARE prayerfully reading their Bibles, leaning on the Holy Spirit to teach them, are finding a remarkable unity in understanding.

Disobedience to God’s design will not bring God’s blessing. And in this case, it will put you in extreme danger of being caught up in deception. I hope that you will heed the instructions in God’s word, and that you will pray about the best way that YOU can be in obedience to God’s design. It could be a matter of spiritual life or death for you and your family.

WARNING!! DANGER!!

‘But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt. 6:15)

‘And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.’ (Matt. 18:34-35)

There is no ‘wiggle room’ here. Jesus was giving us a very literal warning.

Friends, if your neighbor comes banging on your door at 2 am and tells you your house is on fire, you don’t simply respond ‘Thank you. I believe in you!’ and then go back to bed. No! You pull your sleeping family from their beds and drag them out the door!

Likewise, faith in Jesus is much more than just believing that He existed, died, and rose again. Believing in Jesus means believing in His WORDS–AND OBEYING THEM!!

There are no options and compromises allowed here–we MUST forgive others, else we forfeit OUR hope of being forgiven and saved.

[There is NO magic incantation (‘Sinner’s Prayer’) you can say that will enclose you in a protective bubble and transport you to the end of your life unscathed. We must walk (and perhaps even crawl at times) along that ‘narrow path’ until we reach our destination. There are trials and temptations all along the way. We must walk IN THE SPIRIT (obedience to God) in order to overcome them.]

I truly believe that God is testing and preparing His people now. I am not perfect, but I am not a person given to holding grudges. However, in the last few weeks, God has been bringing people to my constant remembrance who I have had even the slightest little thing against in years long past. He is urging me to be sure that I have completely forgiven them, from my heart.

Friend, if you are harboring a grudge against anyone, you are walking in the flesh, not the Spirit. This will be a great detriment to you–perhaps even hindering your prayers.

God HATES hypocrisy. To claim to be forgiven, while we refuse to forgive someone else, is a grand form of hypocrisy. It shows that we do not understand the mercy and forgiveness of God. His forgiveness comes, not because of any worthiness on our part, but because of His great love. So likewise, His Spirit living within us will lead us to pour out that same great love on others, by forgiving them–even when they are unworthy.

We MUST walk in the Spirit to reach our destination.

Examine Your Foundation

I can’t impress upon you enough, how important it is to be sure you have a strong foundation!! Let me explain this foundation, and then I’ll tell you why.

  1. Be sure that you are born again–not just through faith, but also through REPENTANCE and confession.
  2. Be sure that you walk in OBEDIENCE.
  3. With the help of the Holy Spirit (that you CANNOT have until you complete step #1), study the word!!
  4. Discern false teachers and don’t waste your time.  Some say to ‘chew the meat and spit out the bones’.  I say: don’t waste your time!–you may CHOKE on a bone!  Instead, study the 100% pure, trustworthy word of God with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Shut out the other voices so that you can hear HIS voice.
  5. Check EVERYTHING against the word of God.  When you hear a new idea, do NOT accept it until you have checked it out thoroughly.  Erosion is a powerful force.  One drop of water at a time is all it takes.  So it is with the deceptions that are now coming at us from every side.  They chew away at the foundations of your faith like little termites.  One core belief after another will be challenged, and stripped away if you allow it.

One other thing about false teaching: they play on your FEARS and on your PRIDE.  Two things they will use:

  1. ‘if you don’t believe THIS, you’ll end up in hell’ (fear)
  2. ‘the road is narrow and we/I have found it’ (pride).

Strong, hurricane force winds of false doctrine are beginning to blow.  Thoughts and doubts assail us, seemingly from within our own minds (but are actually ‘thought darts’ sent to us by the evil one).  Others are giving voice to these false teachings . . . even well reasoned arguments sometimes.  For those who have entertained the ‘thought darts’ in their own minds for awhile, hearing the same false doctrine from someone else is enough to convince them.

I am convinced that this is the work of hordes of demonic, seducing, lying spirits that have gone forth.  My (unfounded, unproven) OPINION, is that when people adopt these false doctrines, demons are attached.  I believe these demons then inspire and empower much of what the person says AND go forth and try to influence other people around them (through sending them ‘thought darts’).  I have wrangled with enough of these folks to recognize the demonic spirit that rises up, and becomes very ugly, when it is met with resistance or confronted with the word of God.

I am AMAZED at the things that are being said, by people who presumably once heard and accepted the truth!

Some now believe that Jesus is not God!  Others believe that if we don’t use some specific Hebrew name for God and Jesus, God will not listen to our prayers or humble repentance!

Others have even gone so far as to say that Jesus is a demonic, territorial spirit that has higher authority than others, and for that reason demons can be cast out in His name.  THIS is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.  They may not realize that is what they are doing, but if they have not already consigned themselves to the pit of hell for saying such things, then they are dangling over the edge with a slippery rope! (This is tantamount to the Pharisees of accusing Jesus of casting out demons by Beelzebub  (Matt. 12:22-32).)

‘Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy [against] the [Holy] Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the [world] to come.’  (Matt. 12:31-32)

After sitting under false teachings and/or entertaining these implanted thoughts for long enough, these horrendous lies now make sense to their rational mind.  But they are completely wrong!!  I can only suspect, since they PROFESS to be searching for truth, that they do not have the Holy Spirit to guide them.  This may very well be a result of spending years in a modern, American church listening to the false ‘all you have to do is believe’ (so-called) gospel that leaves out repentance.  I will say it again:  without repentance, you may be a ‘believer’, but you are not yet born again!

Please, be SURE your foundation is in order!  You absolutely MUST have the indwelling Holy Spirit in order to properly understand the word of God

‘But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.'(1 Cor. 2:14).

The only way you are going to have the Holy Spirit, is if you come to God humbly, in repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

Some people these days, promoting false doctrines, will be quick to say ‘the road is narrow’ to insinuate that you must follow THEIR path to make it to Heaven. Let’s be clear, that the way is narrow does NOT mean that the way is HIDDEN and only few will be able to figure it out. The way is NARROW, because it is the ONLY way acceptable to God, and it is necessary to do it according to GOD’S directions (no substitutions allowed).

The Bible is CLEAR, and the explanation of the narrow path is SIMPLE. How to become saved, how to walk in obedience, and how to endure to the end are spelled out over and over again. There is no secret to it. To find the narrow gate, you must seek GOD’S will rather than your own. This is why most people pass on by, in favor of taking the broad path. It always comes down to will. Few people are willing to surrender their will to God. But whoever controls one’s will is their master.

It is true that walking the narrow path is NOT simple. It requires complete surrender. Outside of complete surrender to God, and His Spirit empowering you, you will NOT be able to endure the steep climb. Again, this is why most people REJECT it, in favor of the broad path.

The broad path includes all of the ALMOST correct ways to God. The broad path may substitute works instead of faith. The broad path may leave out repentance or obedience. The broad path may allow you to follow a ‘higher power’ rather than Jesus Christ–God and son of God the Father. The broad path is the way taken by all who REJECT the simple way that is laid out in the Bible for us to follow . . . they reject doing it GOD’S way.

The lawlessness in the American churches has reached epic proportions. I can understand why people that truly love God would want to distance themselves from the abominations they see there.

Because of this, many have swung to the other extreme and have gotten caught up in the Hebrew Roots movement. They want to demonstrate true devotion to God by doing whatever they can to please Him. Sadly, they have fallen into another one of Satan’s traps.

WE ARE NOT TO PUT OURSELVES UNDER THE LAW! Being ‘Torah observant’ is exactly that: going back under The Law.

‘For sin shall not have dominion over you: for YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because WE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW, but under grace? God forbid.’ (Romans 6:14-15)

‘But if ye be led of the Spirit, YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW.’ (Galatians 5:18)

If someone tries to tell you that you need to be ‘keeping Torah’ or be under the dietary laws, hold up your hand and tell them to stop. If you are born again, YOU ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW.

So many people come to the crossroads, where the ‘broad path’ has apparently diverged in two direction, and they don’t know what to do. On the one hand, they can’t stomach the ‘easy believism’, ‘easy grace’, and ‘once saved always saved’ heresy that is preached in most churches. On the other hand, they know they aren’t supposed to go back under The Law, but it seems the better option. So they go tentatively in that direction, planning not to put their trust in The Law . . . but Satan, through fear and clever subtlety convinces them, little by little, that they must.

STOP!! If you find yourself at that fork in the road, just stop. Do NOT go to the left. Do NOT go to the right. Look behind you and you will see that you have been on the BROAD PATH. In other words, you missed your turn awhile back. The BROAD PATH of destruction is NOT going to connect you with the NARROW PATH. You need to get OFF the broad path and find the narrow path. By the grace of God, you will find it, if you will seek it.

The narrow path is not the path of licentiousness and ‘do as thou wilt’, in the name of ‘liberty in Christ’. Nor is the narrow path the constraining, all-consuming task of trying to be justified by keeping the requirements of The Law (a yoke which neither the Jews nor their fathers were able to bear; Acts 15:10).

Jesus’ yoke is easy and His burden is light. Keep the (ten) Commandments, love God, and love one another. Give yourself 100% to this lifestyle–not just outwardly, but from the heart–and you will satisfy God’s righteous requirements.