Etikettarkiv | obey

The parable of the TWO SONS – who said one thing and did the opposite – Matt. 21:28-32

repent2”He repented and WENT” (Matt. 21:29)

We are supposed to ”walk the talk” instead of just paying lip-service to God’s request of being obedient. The first idiom means ”performing actions consistent with one’s claims” and the second one means ”giving approval or support insincerely”. There are numerous parables in the Bible and while they might each convey different principles, most of them also show that we are justified by works and not only by faith (Ja. 2:24). This is normally the opposite story of what you might hear in church due to the teachings of men like John Calvin and Martin Luther.

1 Cor. 7:19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters. (NKJV)

Matt. 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall EXCEED the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Here is the parable (KJV) about the two sons who said one thing and did the opposite:

Matt. 21:28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.29 He answered and said, I WILL NOT: but afterward he REPENTED, and WENT.30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I GO, SIR: and WENT NOT.31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, REPENTED NOT afterward, that ye might believe him.

These sons can represent anyone of us, but they might also represent two distinct  groups. The first son might represent those pharisees/Jews who claim to obey God but do not, and the other son might represent the publicans/harlots (or gentiles) who choose to obey God after having repented of their deep sins. During the time of Jesus, there were Jewish leaders who claimed to be obedient to God but did not show it with their life style. They might automatically have thought that they were the never-ceasing obedient ones since they viewed themselves as the chosen ones, the first-born, the sons of Abraham, the group of privilege, etc.

The Jewish leaders likely identified themselves with the first son who obeyed God, but Jesus disagreed (Matt. 21:32). They forgot that the this son repented of his thoughts and turned around (unlike themselves). Also, when Jesus says publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you”, he does not promise that sinners can enter heaven without the need to change their lives. The reason why they were stronger candidates for God’s kingdom than the pharisees, is because they were more likely to confess their sins and repent – which the pharisees felt they had no need for.

This parable might make us think about the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee in Luke 18. Many misunderstand this parable and believe that the main teaching is that you should at all costs avoid thinking that righteousness has anything to do with salvation (it does), but rather that you should trust the idea that the sinners can be labelled righteous despite their sins, and righteous people can be labelled awful sinners just because of their conviction that they are righteous. This is not what the parable is saying. Just like in the parable of the two sons, repentance is still required for forgiveness and salvation. The point in the parable of Luke 18 is rather that the pharisees/Jews should not trust in their salvation just because they are born as Jews as though this would automatically make them righteous and accepted. They should rather confess their sins, repent and walk in the steps of that faith of Abraham (Rom. 4:12). The Pharisee in the parable did not even feel that he even needed to be saved from sin due to being convinced of that he lacked it. The publican on the other hand confessed his sins from a humble heart (he wanted to be freed from sin), and since repentance is a requirement for salvation, this confession must be viewed as part of this repentance. Righteousness (your own and not someone else’s) is not the same as self-righteousness.

This is what the publican did:

1 John 3:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 3:If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

John 8:11 (Jesus)— go, and sin no more 

In the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15, it is the oldest son who is usually regarded as the one representing the Pharisees/Jews (but the parable applies to anyone where the shoe fits). The great principle in that parable is that the Father always stands ready with open arms to welcome back his disobedient son, but he does not go out and force him back. It is the son who finally admits his sins, repents and chooses to return back to his Father. The son went from life, to death, to life again. Too many people are eager to get the forgiveness part of the story, without the ceasing from sin part.

Peter understood the mission of Jesus:

Acts 10:35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.

The parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Matt. 25) tells the same story. Some virgins took action by bringing extra oil to their lamps, and this enabled them to join the bride groom in the wedding – not the others. The parable of the talents shows that obedient servants will enter into the joy of the Lord: ”Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” The parable of the sheep and the goats also shows the same principle. The sheep were called the righteous ones, and the reason for this is because they provided food, drink, shelter, clothes and visits (good deeds) to their fellow-man, and they therefore also inherited the kingdom of God – not the others.  

The other parable in Matt. 21:33 (apart from the one about the two sons), concerns at least two main teachings. One concerns the importance of accepting Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the son of God and the corner-stone. The other concerns the importance of being a good servant and render him (God) the fruits in their seasons”.

Matt. 21:33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you,and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

dove 2Matt. 21 also contains this marvellos promise:

Matt. 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Something else to think about if someone claims that it is a sin to be too righteous (because of the weird idea that it would make you a self-righteous Pharisee who clings to works-based salvation):

2 Tim. 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. —3 — false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Is. 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Which laws / commandments must we obey according to Jesus / New Testament?

law

We are not supposed to live in lawlessness

There have always been commandments to obey:

  • Between the time – from Adam and Moses
  • Between the time – from Moses to Jesus (the Jewish law)
  • Between the time – from Jesus to present

The moral laws which applied from the very beginning still apply – maybe apart from the commandment to not eat of the forbidden fruit, something we cannot even do due to no access. Nevertheless, numerous Christians tend to believe we are somehow free from the burden of having to obey God because Jesus died on the cross and resurrected, and because of the idea that he ”took our sins on himself” and died instead of us. The Bible however tells us that we are slaves to the one we obey, so if we obey sin we are slaves to sin and not free at all. We are still risking God’s wrath.

What does Jesus say?

In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus lists the following things which we must do to get eternal life:

  1. not murder
  2. not commit adultery
  3. not steal
  4. not bear false witness 
  5. honour your father and mother
  6. love your neighbour as yourself

Matt. 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

In the gospel of Mark he has a slightly different order, and he adds ”defraud not”, and skips ”love your neighbour as yourself”.  This of course does not mean that the authors are in disagreement even if they highlight different things. To love God and our neighbor as ourselves is self-evident and the foundation of the Jewish faith. In the gospel of Luke, we can again see the same five commandments (similar as in Matthew and Mark), but also Luke seems to assume that loving God and our neighbor is self-evident for a Jew and this foundation does not even need to be mentioned.

We also know from the rest of the story that the young man continued talking to Jesus, and claimed he had kept all those commandments from youth (true or false?). What else did he lack? Well, Jesus said that if he wanted to be ”perfect”, then he should sell all that he had and give to the poor, which would give him a treasure in heaven. He also said to the young man to follow him. We cannot be sure what sort of ”perfect” Jesus is talking about here. In Matt. 5:48 we are requested to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect, but it is also possible to be perfect in other ways, such as physically perfect (which evidently Matt. 5:48 does not refer to). If the young ruler would accomplish the perfection that Jesus was talking about here, he could expect ”a treasure in heaven”. Is obeying the mentioned commandments necessary to ”get eternal life” while getting rid of the other obstacle (selling possessions which distract from God) necessary if we want to be perfect and get an extra treasure in heaven? Jesus does indicate that it is very hard for rich people to enter the kingdom of God, so if possessions hinder us to focus on God then they might also hinder us to get eternal life. It is safe to assume that Jesus could not have meant that the young man must get rid of 100% of all his belongings, because not even Jesus and his disciples accomplished that. We know of great many people in the Bible who also had many possessions, but who were also fully committed to God. Jesus probably sensed that this young man had many possessions enticing him, and therefore phrased himself the way he did. For this man the many possessions seemed to be holding him back, and he likely placed his possessions before God.

In the gospel of Mark the story is similar, but it adds the information that Jesus loved this young man. Jesus felt that this young man lacked one thing, and again it was the many possessions which were in the way. Jesus did not say it was impossible for the young man to be saved, but for many rich people it seems a lot harder.

Mark. 10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

According to Luke (assuming it is the same young man), we get the information that he is a ruler (ἄρχων, Strong’s 758)

Luke 18:18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.

Some might say Jesus mentioned the above commandments while the Mosaic law (as per the old testament) still applied since he had not yet died on the cross and resurrected, but again the moral laws still apply. Sin will continue to separate us from God, and Satan will always be wrong for suggesting the opposite (that sin will not lead to death).

One commandment covers all of the commandments

Jesus of course mentions other examples of things we must ”do” to get eternal life, but those things can all be wrapped up in ”Love God before everything else, and love one another”. If we obey this one commandment, we automatically obey all the rest.

Luke 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

Matt. 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?37 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.38 This is the first and great commandment.39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Mark. 12:28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.

Rom. 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

Ja. 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well

Jesus specifically tells his disciples (and all of us) to go out and teach all nations to observe all things whatsoever he has commanded them. 

Matt. 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

James advice about which laws gentiles should obeylaw of God

Below we can read that James does not feel that they should trouble the gentiles when it comes to which laws which should apply for them when it comes to the Jewish law, except that they should abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. ”Immorality” (πορνείας/porneias, Strong’s 4202) can also have the meaning of ”fornication”. (According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon πορνεία can be used metaphorically referring to the worship of idols and/or the defilement of idolatry as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols).

Clearly James, Paul and the other disciples did not claim that gentiles are exempted from obeying any commandments at all. They are specifically talking about the Jewish law in relation to new gentile Christians. Apart from the moral law (the commandments which have always applied ever since Adam, and which Jesus repeats above), James proposes that the only Mosaic laws which they should also obey are to abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from fornication (probably with the meaning as per the Greek lexicon above). They do not list murder, adultery, theft, etc, because they are included in the moral commandments and it is self-evident that Jews and gentiles alike must continue to avoid such things until the end of times.

Acts 15:13 And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, “Men and brethren, listen to me: 14 Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:16 ‘After this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;I will rebuild its ruins,And I will set it up;17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the Lord who does all these things.’18 “Known to God from eternity are all His works.19 Therefore I judge that we should NOT TROUBLE those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, 20 but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality*, from things strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.” (NKJV)

Acts 21:18 On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. — 20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law; 21 but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs.—   24 Take them and be purified with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads, and that all may know that those things of which they were informed concerning you are nothing, but that you yourself also walk orderly and keep the law. 25 But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should observe no such thing, EXCEPT that they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.” (NKJV)

How do we KNOW that we are the children of God?

child of GodAccording to the Bible, we can actually ”know” when we are the children of God  

Believing, obeying and loving God, have lots to do with it.

1 John. 2: 3 And hereby we do know that we know him, IF we keep his commandments.He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever DOETH NOT RIGHTEOUSNESS is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in DEED and in truth.19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.—24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.—18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

Mark. 12: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely  this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. 

The word ”know” above, and in the verses below, comes from the Greek word ginóskó (Strong’s 1097), and it means to know, especially through personal experience. It’s for example used in Luke 1:34 when it comes to the virgin Mary and the issue of ”knowing” someone really close and intimately – which she said she had not done, resulting in her amazement that she would soon be getting a son. It can also mean to just be aware of something. Naturally Jesus had knowledge of sin (he knew the meaning of it), but he never engaged  in sin, and therefore he knew no sin.

2 Cor. 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Jesus knew all men, because he knew what was in man’s heart. You can’t fool God.

John 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

It’s possible  to know God enough to realize his power and to know who he is, but in order to  really know God – as in having a close relationship with him – something more is needed. In order to be his children we also need to  glorify him, be thankful for what he has done, walk in his light, know him as he truly is, worship him, retain him in our knowledge, etc.

Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,—25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.—28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

There is a difference between knowing about someone, and knowing someone intimately. We have all been given the light, and we are all able to get know God. The world did not know God intimately, but if we love God and believe in him (and show it by our actions) then we are known by him. If we are not acknowledged by God, we are in big trouble.

John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

1 Cor. 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

1 Cor 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

1 Cor. 8:3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

John 16:3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.—6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.—21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

It’s something positive for us to call on God, to prophesy, to cast out devils and do miracles, but if we mix this with not doing the Father’s will (i. e. being disobedient), then we are not known by God. We are not among his children, because his children are those who ”doeth the will of my Father”.

Matt. 7:21 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.22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?23 And then will I profess unto them, I never KNEW you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

A person can’t be known by God unless he keeps his commandments, according to what we have learned, and yet it’s possible for such a known person to return to a spiritual place where he is in bondage (like the ceremonial laws).

Gal. 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

Jesus knows his sheep, and the sheep know him, so salvation is based on synergism. Jesus sheep can be identified through their hearing of his voice and through their following of him, which is something they do by free will.

John 10: 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.—27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:—38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

2 Tim. 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.—20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

”He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father”

Joh. 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.—20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

We can know the tree by its fruit, and it’s up to us how we choose to make our tree. The children of God are those who do good – show good fruit.

Matt. 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Luke 6:43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

Peter truly believed Jesus was the son of God. He was sure of it (he knew it).

John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

”If you CONTINUE in my word, then are ye my disciples.” ” If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.”

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.—34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.—39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.—42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.— 51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.—55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. 

We are all expected to know God’s ways.

Hebr 3:8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.

To know God is also to accept that Jesus is come in the flesh. If Jesus came in the flesh, he did not always in the flesh, and that is also what the Bible says. Jesus has always been together with his Father in the trinity from eternity past. Yet again, we can see that we love God if we show it by our actions.

1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:—6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.—11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.—20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

And finally, here is 1 John. 2-3 again, with a broader context. alla6

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.— 13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.—17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. —24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. —28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.—6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.—14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

Another form of ”know” is the Greek word eidó (Strong’s 1492) with the meaning to know or remember:

Matt. 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Is PERFECTION Attainable In This Life? Yes and No – Jesse Morell

Biblical Truth Resources

I got an email from a fellow street preacher who needed some legal help because he had been arrested. After connecting him with a Christian attorney, we began to dialog more through email. He asked a theological question relating to the doctrine of Christian perfection. He wrote to me and said:

I`d like to say that before I began preaching the way that I do today, which was a few years ago, I had a lot of influence from your bold videos. I didn`t really see such boldness until I saw your vids. So thanks for being faithful, lots of seeds you`ve planted and even watered…

(Quick off topic)

I did though, to be honest, back when I was watching a lot of your vids, wasn`t so sure about the `Perfect` Christian to the context that you say. I know the context according to what Paul is saying, and how…

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Did God move King David to make a census, or did Satan? Sin or no sin?

censusIn 2 Sam. 24 it says that God moved David to make a census of Israel’s military power, but in 1 Chron. 21 it says that Satan moved him to do so. Can these two statements be combined, or are they mutually exclusive?

One solution is that it concerns two different kinds of censuses, and another solution is that David did not perform a census the way God had described a proper census as per Ex. 30. A third option is the one described below.

Israel was already under God’s judgment to begin with, so there were no innocent men involved in this particular story. God is angry with Israel and punishes them by allowing Satan to ”unleash” David’s illegitimate pride to create a rift between them.

2 Sam. 24:1 And again the ANGER of the Lord was kindled AGAINST ISRAEL, and he moved David AGAINST THEM to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.2 For the king said to Joab the captain of the host, which was with him, Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people.3 And Joab said unto the king, Now the Lord thy God add unto the people, how many soever they be, an hundredfold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing?

1 Chron. 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.2 And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it.3 And Joab answered, The Lord make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?

God sometimes bestows evil consequences (physical evil, or calamity) upon man’s evil actions (you reap what you sow). He also chooses what kind of evil to bestow, and if he would like to take the chance to bestow evil by means of other people (or Satan) who are already set on doing harm. Satan is often accusing both Israel and believers for various things, and he seeks to get God to punish his people. In 2 Samuel, it says that God was angry with Israel (due to the recent revolt under Sheba in I Chron. 20 and other acts by Amnon and Absalom), and this would be a good reason for God to allow Satan to do what he always wants to do – cause harm!

Here are a couple of examples of when it’s possible to suggest that God and/or Satan perform the evil:

In I Kings 22 (and. 2 Chronicles 18) which you can read about in this article, God decides to kill the evil king Ahab, and asks the heavenly hosts as to how to entice Ahab to enter into a battle in which he will die. A spirit volunteers to be a ”lying spirit” in the mouth of Ahab’s false prophets, and God accepts the offer and allows him to do it. Nevertheless, God is not guilty of lying (there is no darkness in God), but merely gives Ahab what he deserves (Jer 24.7).

In I Sam 16, after repeated failures to submit to God’s leadership, Saul is rejected as king. He remains on the throne and continues his non-committed lifestyle and reign – even indulging in sorcery and seances. God punishes him by sending an ”unclean spirit” to trouble him.

The motivation to cause calamity is a bit different in the book of Job, but God allows Satan to attack Job and he later confronts Satan with Job’s failure to sin even though we can read ”you incited me against him to ruin him”. In other words, Satan was the ”ruiner” but God was also a ”ruiner” – so sometimes it’s actually not a big difference to suggest that ”God moved a person to do this and that” or ”Satan moved a person to do this and that”. The idea of God acting through agents -for reasons of judgment, of mercy, of testing, etc – occurs a few times in scripture, but nowhere does it say that God acts in this way ALL THE TIME. When it comes to Joseph and his brothers, there were evil human intentions (Joseph’s brothers sinning by selling their brother), with God’s overarching purpose for good.

1 Sam might be understood in this way:

  • God is angry with Israel’s sin (and David’s handling of the royal family issues).
  • Satan sees his opportunity, accuses them of wrongdoing, and wins approval to inflict David’s and Israel’s wrongdoing back on themselves.
  • God, knowing that the punishment is well deserved, that the example of correction/contrition on David’s part will be recorded in Scripture forever as an example, and that He will be gracious ‘ahead of schedule’ and reveal the site of his temple/crucifixion, agrees to turn David and Israel over to him, for this specific punishment (cf. I Cor 5.5).
  • Satan, with this permission from God, moves David to begin the Census.

Moreover, there was no order from God to David to NOT count the men, and the taking of a census was allowed in the law

Ex. 30:11 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,12 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the Lord, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the Lord.14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the Lord.15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the Lord, to make an atonement for your souls.16 And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the Lord, to make an atonement for your souls.

Had the numbering been done correctly (with the census tax for atonement), then undoubtedly no plague would have been sent, and the people would have benefited from the atonement. The fact that Joab knew that David was doing this out of pride (and even to bolster his military ranks, 1 Chron 27.2,4) instead of out of some religious sentiment, gives an indication of that the religious guidelines were not going to be followed. Joab specifically knew that what he was ordered to do was wrong (1 Chron 21.3), so the issue might not have been the census itself but that it was done without regard to the religious dimension and proper process. The observation made in 1 Chron 27.23-24 about God’s promise to make Israel numerous, could be taken as a reference to the population-reducing judgment of God. Punishing people by giving them over to their own will (see the case with Pharoah and the statements in Romans 1) can sometimes be seen in scripure, but it is never done without plenty of prior opportunity to change and to open up to goodness and truth.

In 2 Sam 24.16 we can read: ”When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the LORD was grieved because of the calamity…”. God’s justice is always angry at sin, and his love is always grieved over the misery that sin causes.

You can read more in this article from christianthinktank.

Is the HOLY SPIRIT also GOD?

spirit 4

The Holy Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son to work in our hearts, and to reprove the world of sin. He fills the christian hearts with his presence, and he is a big aid for us to live holy lives and to enable us to be good disciples who spread the true word of God to others. The Holy Spirit helps us to understand the scriptures and the deep things of God, and he also gives us spiritual gifts so that we can build up ourselves and others in the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit is described as a person who has a will, who hears, speaks, has feelings, wisdom, and who has a relationship with us. The Bible came about thanks to holy men of God who wrote down the message of God through inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, REPENT, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the HOLY GHOST.

If the Holy Spirit is exactly synonymous with either God/the Father/Jesus Christ, then we must ask ourselves why those names are not used instead? The Holy Spirit seems to be different from the Father and Jesus Christ, but also the same as though share the same source. Only the trinity could solve something like this, because if 1) God the Father, 2) God the son and 3) God the Holy Spirit, are different persons in the same godhead (and there is only one God), then it all makes sense. We could also visualize that only the Father and Jesus Christ are in the godhead, with the Holy Spirit as another manifestation of them, which boils down to the almost the same thing. When the Holy Spirit is operating on earth, then it’s God operating.

It might feel like a burden to understand exactly how the persons in the godhead work in their divine state and in the trinity, but we don’t have to understand exactly how they interact with each other in order to be saved. We only have to accept that these persons/manifestations are in our only God and that they are each called God – 1 pile of sand can be divided into 3 piles of sand, and back again. God can be in several different locations at the same time, and the Holy Spirit can be in each of us christians at the same time. Neither do we have to understand exactly how a car engine works in order to drive, even if it’s for our benefit if we have some knowledge about it – like; where it’s placed, what the purpose is, how to make maintenance, what the indications are that something is wrong, etc. At least we know that the inventor/manufacturer knows how it works, and he knows it in great detail and has it all under control.

There is a theory put forth in some of the apocrypha/lost books which suggests that demons/evil spirits have a source in the fallen angels that we can read about in Genesis (the sons of God), och who came down to earth to produce gigantic babies (nephilim) together with certain females. When the fallen angels eventually died, they are said to have left evil spirits of themselves which could trouble human beings – which we have some examples of in the Bible. If this is true, and if the Holy Spirit works in a similar way (naturally with a source in God), then this could explain why Jesus had to be glorified and leave the earth before the Holy Spirit could make an entrance and fill our hearts. If demons/evil spirits can be called Satan (precisely for being manifestations of Satan), the Holy Spirit could be called God for the same reason – because he is a manifestation of God. This, however, is only speculation about the invisible and spiritual world, and it’s not something that is essential for our salvation to know about – as long as we worship the only true God. It’s for instance utterly important to accept that Jesus is the IAM, and the word that was with God and who was GOD and lived among us in flesh. Read more about the trinity here.

If Jesus and the Holy Spirit are synonymous, then it would not make sense to have different names for the very same person, and it would be difficult to understand why Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as another Comforter (helper) who can’t make his entrance into this world unless Jesus makes an exit. The Holy Spirit is not referred to as ”it” (as some kind of a neutral force) but the pronoun ”he” is used. The Holy Spirit will testify of Jesus and glorify him, and if Jesus is not God it would have been more logical to let the Holy Spirit glorify GOD. Especially since we can read in Isaiah 42:8 that God doesn’t share his glory with anyone. The Holy Spirit will speak what he hears, and this is another indication of that he is separate from the one who tells him what to speak. If the Holy Spirit is the same as the Father, it’s strange that we can read that he will proceed from the Father, because that makes them separate:

John 16:But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for IF I GO NOT AWAY; THE COMFORTER WILL NOT COME UNTO YOU; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:Of sin, because they believe not on me;10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me

Apg. 1: 1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

GOD created the heavens and the earth, but the SPIRIT of GOD moved upon the face of the waters. They seem separate:

Gen. 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Our fellowship is with the Father and the son, according to John, but Paul says our fellowship is with the Spirit. They are both right as usual:

1 John 1:That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Phil. 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind

If the Holy Spirit is only some kind of ”force” or ”power” and not God itself, then it’s odd that the Holy Spirit can be more offended if someone offends it, than Jesus Christ if someone offends him, considering that Jesus is a real person. So here, again, we can see that there is a difference between Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, because the punishment differs if someone blasphemes them. Moreover, we can grieve the Holy Spirit, which shows he has emotions.

Luke 12:10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.

Matt. 12:31 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.32 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.

Eph.  4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Isaiah 63:10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.

When we read the story about Jesus baptism, we can see that a voice from heaven is heard saying ”Thou art my beloved Son”, and the Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus like a dove. These things occur at the same time, and it was God the Father who spoke from heaven, to God Jesus Christ on earth, at the same time as God the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus as a dove. All three persons in the godhead are in action at the same time:

Mark 1:And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

The Holy Spirit can bear witness that we are the children of God, and he also helps our infirmities and makes intercessions for us. He that searches the heart knows what is the mind of the Spirit, and the Spirit chooses to adhere to the will of God – showing they are separate but still the same:

Rom. 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God

Rom. 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

We are to keep the word of JESUS and if we obey him, he and his Father will come to us and abode with us. How do they accomplish this – being in all of us christians – unless they do this through the Holy Spirit? Jesus Christ can be in us, but naturally not in fleshly form. We are encouraged to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and if the Holy Spirit is inside us and acts as a divine Helper,  it results in that our bodies are his temple:

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

2 Cor. 13:Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Eph. 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit

1 Cor. 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

Here we can learn more about the Holy Spirit and that he is different from God but yet the same. The Spirit searches all things including the deep things of GOD – as though they were separate. Each christian can get the Holy Spirit at the same time as God remains in his heaven:

1 Cor. 2:Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.14 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.15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.

The Lord is Spirit, says Paul, and the Lord could be God the Father or Jesus. They are both called Lord of Lords. It appears there are three Lords in the godhead, and of course that’s quite possible.

2 Cor. 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

The Holy Spirit is the one to give us gifts of the Spirit, and who make it possible for us to speak with different tongues and to prophesy. The gifts are given as ”he will”, showing again that he has a will. If the Holy Spirit is synonymous with God (and not one of three persons in God), then why didn’t Paul simply say that GOD gives us these gifts? Just to confuse us? ”The same Spirit...”, ”the same Lord…”and ”the same God”. Sounds like they are different again, but yet the same.

Acts 2:And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

1 Cor. 12:Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Ananias and his wife chose to let Satan fill their hearts, and this resulted in lying to the holy Spirit, which is the same as lying to GOD. By their actions they tempted the Spirit of God. If there is only one God with no dimensions or different persons, one wonders why Luke didn’t choose to write ”God” in all those places concerning him. Why alter between ”God” and ”the holy Spirit”? Probably because they are different and yet members of the same God:

Apg. 5:But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

Peter says that the Holy Spirit is the one who moved holy men of God to write the scriptures, och Paul says that the scripture is given by inspiration of GOD. They seem to be the same:

spirit 3

2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

2 Tim. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness

The Holy Spirit can speak and give instructions.

Acts 8:29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

Acts 11:11 And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me.12 And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house:

Acts 13:As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

We have a free will and we are not forced to obey the Holy Spirit, but if we are attentive for how the Holy Spirit wants to guide us, we can say that he encourages us and hinders us from doing certain things. Then the starting point is that we have made a decision to adhere to the Holy Spirit instead of our flesh. The Holy Spirit can ”forbid” us to do something, but we must decide whether to obey or disobey.

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

Acts 16:Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia

Below we can see that 1) the holy Ghost 2) the spirit of the FATHER, 3) JESUS, who will be speaking through us in times of trouble and persecution. So which one is it? Or is it all three as in the trinity?

Mark 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the HOLY GHOST.

Matt. 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.20 For it is not ye that speak, but THE SPIRIT OF YOUR FATHER which speaketh in you.

Luke 21:14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:15 For I WILL GIVE YOU A MOUTH and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

Jesus and the spirit…

2 Cor. 3:16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.17 Now THE LORD IS THAT SPIRIT and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Hebr. 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

We are apparently told to baptize in three names, and what is the reason for this if God is one and the same and with no distinct persons in the godhead?

Matt. 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

1 John 5:For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Godhead Strong’s 2320 theotés

Colossians 2:For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power

(Acts 17:29 and Rom. 1:20 do not use this Greek word, but 2304 and 2305 respectively)

Abraham showed his faith by obedience and was therefore righteous

(An excerpt from Jesse Morell’s upcoming book, ”The Vicarious Atonement of Christ.”

abrahamThere was a problem in Israel of thinking that righteousness consisted in external works of the law, which notion Paul needed to confront. There were Israelites who thought that they were righteous before God as long as they obeyed the Torah, even while sinning in their hearts. Jesus said our righteousness needed to exceed that of the Pharisees who obeyed the outward requirements of the Torah but were sinful inwardly. In context Jesus expounded upon the sins of the heart and not mere outward action, in regards to our righteousness exceeding that of the Pharisees.

Paul argued for a circumcision of the heart by faith in order to be righteous. Paul argued that Abraham was righteous and justified before the Torah was given through Moses, so that the external works of the law that the Torah demanded cannot possibly be what true righteousness consisted of. It could not be the means through which we are made righteous or justified in character. Paul argued that by faith in God Abraham was righteous and consequently justified, and so that is how Gentile believers are made righteous and are justified too.

In his heart Abraham trusted God so that in his life Abraham obeyed God. Faith of the heart was the seed to real obedience of life, so God imputed (reckoned or considered) Abraham’s faith as righteousness, as that was what it really was. A heart of faith is a righteous heart. Faith, which results in obedience, is what real righteousness is. Righteousness is not merely being circumcised or keeping the dietary requirements of the Torah. It is what comes out of the mouth that defiles a man, not what goes into it. It is not by obeying the external requirements of the Torah and having outward works, even with selfish motives to be praised by men, which makes a man righteous before God.Real righteousness is not a work of the law at all, but is faith in God.

However, there is a problem in the church today just like there was in Israel. That is a problem of thinking that righteousness consists in works of the law or obedience to the Torah. Like the Pharisees who thought that they were righteous on a technicality, by observing the outward requirements of the Torah while still sinning in their hearts, the Theologians of today are teaching that you can be righteous before God on the same technicality as well. They teach that Christ obeyed the Torah or the law for us on our behalf as our substitute, so that His works of the law are imputed to us. In light of Christ’s works of the Torah being imputed to our account, they say, we are made righteous in the eyes of God and are consequently justified even though we are still sinful in heart and character. This is identical to the problem Paul had to confront when he argued that we are not righteous or justified by the works of the law but by a faith in Christ that purifies the heart. Paul was confronting this Pharisaical notion of being technically righteous before God by outward obedience to the Torah while still sinning inwardly in your heart.

The Pharisees and reformed theologians are both wrong in assuming that righteousness does not consist in works of the law, either performed by the individual or performed by a substitute on their behalf and imputed to them. There is no righteousness by works while still sinning in heart. It is a faith in Christ, a trusting of the heart that results in obedience of life, that is real righteousness in the eyes of God. When a man is sinning in his heart, he is not trusting God in his heart. But when a man is trusting God in his heart, he will not be sinning in his heart or life, and so God will impute or consider his faith as righteousness. It is by faith that our heart is purified so it is by faith that we are made righteousness.