As one who knows the Lord, have we truly given Him all that is required? Have we counted the cost? Have we pondered all of His sayings? Do we know the way? Do we know the truth? What is the life? A few years ago, quite honestly, I didn’t know any of these things. Until something in my own life drastically changed. At an age, where I still had most of my adulthood ahead of me, I found out that I had a massive brain tumor that was nearly obstructing all of my fourth ventricle. It was devastating. What happened afterwards, was far worse.
Upon waking from the surgery to remove the brain tumor, I had awoke with the room spinning vertically, which still continues in one form or fashion even to this day. I lost the ability to breath without a tracheostomy. I lost the ability to swallow. I lost most of the use of my tongue. The majority of the nerves within my head, and elsewhere feel as if they are on fire. My hands, feet, and portions of my arms and legs are numb. I discovered later on that my vocal chords had become paralyzed, my throat was twisted upon itself, and that I had suffered a stroke and cerebral hemorrhage during the procedure. I have severe light sensitivity. My eyes and nerves have somewhat calmed down since, yet not entirely, and still a very big daily struggle for me. I drool excessively. I use a suction machine to the very depths of my throat. I produce massive amounts of mucus. Sleeping is difficult and sobering. None of these were present prior to the operation. And, this isn’t even everything that I struggle with physically on a daily basis. Thankfully, the Lord allowed one grace upon me with my physical infirmities. I am able to eat once again. The word suffering when doing so doesn’t equate the task itself. And, suffering daily amidst all that I go through, has become my allotment in life. After many months of rehab, I was able to regain the swallow function. It isn’t a pretty sight to watch me eat, given everything else that physically is wrong with me.
Saying all of this isn’t an attempt to cause any of you to feel sorry for me. It is quite opposite. In the Lord’s infinite wisdom and goodness, he has allowed me to obtain something that all of us desire at our innermost being. I had to lose everything to self to find the truth. I had to let go of everything else to find the way and the life. Although, many may not understand these principals, that is the purpose of Lift Up A Banner. To share with all of you what the Lord God has told me to be true. And He didn’t just tell me as if some person was standing next to me speaking in my ear. He told me in the whisperings of His Spirit with His Word. He didn’t just confirm it to me once, or twice. His word confirms it more times, and in more places, than I can realistically count anymore.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
After I had let go, and began taking the first steps of my walk with the Lord, He led me to a man who was teaching who we are, where we come from, and the painful fact of what we all did to the Lord, which would equate an eternity of punishment. I followed this man for some time, always curiously digging through what he was teaching, and what he was saying. Yet, even from the very first moment, “that I saw men walking as trees,” something didn’t feel right. Something was still missing. The Spirit kept reminding me, “this isn’t the way.” I found a dear friend and a brother along the way, where we could bounce certain scriptures off of each other, so that we could seek it out with the Lord ourselves. Even from the very beginning of us finding each other, we always saw and heard the same things from the Lord.
“Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me… And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”
After what I would call a defining moment, it was as if, all of this mans teachings, sayings, verses, and videos, began consuming my mind all at once. As if a long played video was just downloaded in a single moment of time. The Lord had impressed upon me in one instance, all of the errs in his teachings, all of the subtleties where he had been misled. Everything that I heard from the Spirit of All Truth from the very moment that I repented and opened my eyes had been true. And this man had been wrong, deceived by pride, arrogance, and his own flesh. John the Baptist went teaching the Gospel of Repentance to a group of Jews who fully believed that they were religiously following the ten commandments. Yet in this man’s ministry, you go right back to living the way that you once were, never moving onto perfection, never bearing any fruits, and never repenting.
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.”
“Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.”
As in John the Baptists mission, that is the first key in being baptized by the Spirit. One of the biggest subjects on this website is abstinence. It is the requirement of being sanctified by the Spirit. It is a large part of us being fully converted. Without it and without fully believing it, you never are converted. How can you become as a child, when you are still having sex? This is something that nearly no one is teaching. I am aware of a very small number who know it, but who is teaching it? We are told by Jesus that once we are converted, we need to strengthen the brethren. We are called to be servants. We are called to be disciples. We are called to find His lost sheep. We are commissioned as his laborers in the vineyard to plant, prune, and water. As we do so, He esteems us as friends and no longer servants. And the Father honors us when doing so. When we follow the Lord and do as He did and walk as He walked, we are purified, we are sanctified, and we are freed.
The following is a short video that builds upon most of the abstinence lessons here, and with others on the YouTube channel, but the first one that comes to mind is, “The Days Of Noah – Have You Counted The Cost?” Watch the video below. It ties perfectly into where I will be going next.
Most of us who read the Bible, know that the world will be the same at the return of the Lord, as it was in the days of Noah. What was your takeaway from that video that you just watched? What did you hear? I didn’t know what it meant until I learned the way, the truth, and the life. Yet now, I understand it perfectly. What it says, is exactly what it means. As is the case with the Bible in nearly every instance. The simplicity that is Christ gets me every time. Always trying to interject or interpret what is being said instead of just reading it for what it says.
At that time, everyone who was living in the world, “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,” all got destroyed by the flood. That should be a pretty sobering experience for anybody, when you realize that is exactly what’s going to happen. Let’s now build upon that video, the understanding of abstaining from our flesh and sex with our spouse, and add even more of Jesus’ words to the last video. Here is the most recent video on the YouTube Channel, “Are You Accounted Worthy To Obtain That World & The Resurrection From The Dead?” Watch it and consider what you just saw and heard in the previous video.
Within the pages of this website are dozens upon dozens of Scriptures that bear this out. Please, take the time to thumb through all of the lessons. Scroll all the way back to the very first post. There are more lessons on abstinence than there is anything else on this website. Go through the Bible study on the homepage. It begins by laying a foundation in the truth, and builds briefly upon the way and the life. Read the 6 free Christian eBooks. Watch all of the videos. Watch the additional videos that are on the YouTube channel that are not on this website. Your faith will be increased, your eyes will be enlightened, and your ears will hear. If, you only let go, and become as a little child.
As much as I want you all to believe everything that you see and hear, we all individually need to put our own work in with the Lord and with the Spirit. In doing so, you will understand that what I am saying is true. It is by the very word’s of Jesus Christ that the whole Church is built. If we do not know His words, even all of them, we may never find eternal life. If we don’t abide in them, how can we say that we know Him?
Maybe, I am child like for believing that there can be a body of believers at the end of this age, just as there was at the time of Christ. Maybe I am hoping for something that isn’t achievable in this day or time. Or maybe, I know the key of “brotherly love.” “As I have loved you, love one another.”
Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner