Did you know that the Bible calls up captives and slaves? A part of the Messiah’s mission included freeing the captives, according to Isaiah 61:1. Jesus read from this Book in Luke chapter 4:18-19. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” During His ministry, did He free them from the Romans? How can we all be captives? What makes us all blind? Why do we need to be set at liberty in the first place? These definitions imply we aren’t supposed to be here. These definitions are pointing out that this world is a prison. Are we captives? I am no longer a slave.
Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts: According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts. – Haggai 2:3-9.
What was this first house? Why does the LORD God say that He is the Beginning and the End? Why does it ask, “how do we see it now?” What is the Biblical meaning of a house or a temple? What are our bodies? When the Heavens and the earth shake, what will become of all of us? These are all questions that we need to find the answers to. The good thing is that the Bible provides the answers to life’s most difficult questions. We just need to know how and where to begin. It all begins in the Beginning. Are we slaves? Are we captives? I am no longer a slave.
Imagine the world as if nothing was as it seems. Imagine what would take place if Jesus Christ’s teachings were literally true. Our Lord explained to us that His primary mission was to free the captives, restore sight to the blind, show us the way, and also to raise the dead. What would happen if all these things were true? If we were all blind, what would happen? If we were all in prison, what would be the result? If we were all conceived dead, what would become of us? Consider what could happen if these things were true. Could Jesus have been right? Could they be false? Has the Lord ever lied? Did He reveal to us we are descended from Satan? “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do… And because I tell you the TRUTH, ye believe me not.” Could these things be true? Can we ignore them? How are we unable to get it as a culture?
Picture a scenario where somebody was telling us precisely what our identity was. Whenever we read through the Bible, we need to ask ourselves many questions and attempt to find the answers. The Messiah showed to us we had to be like kids. That’s what I’m asking you all to do. Jesus instructs us in John 10:34, “Is it not written in your law, I said ye are gods?” He was referring to Psalm eighty-two. Let’s look at it. “They know not, neither will they understand, they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. I have said ye are gods, all of you are children of the Most High. But, you are going to die like men, and fall like one of the princes.” Friends, that is what the Bible says. The LORD God doesn’t lie. The Bible is true.
Where did they all fall from? Why will they now die like men? Who are they? Why does the Bible tell us, “arise o’ sleeper wake up from the dead?” Didn’t we just read that it was Jesus’ mission to restore sight to the blind? Is the Bible true? Then, all these things are true. “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do… And because I tell you the TRUTH, ye believe me not.” Do you believe the Word of GOD? Do you believe in the teachings and ministry of Jesus Christ? Or do you put your faith and trust in the teachings of man? In the previous post, we covered a couple of verses from Jeremiah 10. It all ties together. “But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities. Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purpleis their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.”
In the free eBook, Jesus, Abstinence, & the Bible, we can see what the Messiah was teaching us. As well as the importance of complete biblical abstinence. I pray you take the time to read it. We, as the Body of Christ, have been called to be Holy. We have been called to be even better.
If your hope is to know why this is true and why we are supposed to be abstaining from sex and other earthly lusts, consider the following from Peter, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” Please read all of our free Christian eBooks for download. I have placed them in proper order for better understanding, as one builds upon the other. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of GOD. Jesus said that our father here was the devil. He said that He was telling us the truth. Jesus Christ is the only Truth. Why do you think that we all need to be born again?
“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” – Romans 7:4-6.
Let us consider this verse from Jeremiah 10: “But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities. Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.” Who is it that is covered in blue and purple? How are they all a doctrine of vanities? What makes them brutish and foolish? Who are the founders? What are they all covered with? Consider the heading of this post and read it again. Now, when I read these verses, the only thing that comes to my mind is our bodies. Do you know of anything else that could be covered in? Why are we told this in 2 Peter 2, “But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption.”
What is it they won’t understand? Who are they? Why are they called beasts? Why did Paul say, “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.” When you read the Word of GOD, do you ask yourself questions in prayer? Do you read more than a verse here and there? “Blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.” The Bible tells us the stone that the builders rejected has become the head of the corner. That statement alone holds more weight in understanding than obtaining many riches in life. What do you think that verse means? What if we were to compare it to Jeremiah 10? The Bible just told us that another or others found the world than the LORD God. Maybe that is why it tells us, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” – 2 Corinthians 4:4.
“And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!” – John 19:2-5. Behold… Humanity. Blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men. Jesus tells us in Luke 5, “No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.”
What is the reasoning for being born again if we are created in the image of the LORD God? He knows everything. He is perfect in all His ways. Why would He place His perfect creation in a world fallen in decay and ruin? Why would we all need to be redeemed? What are we being redeemed from? What did we all do in the first place? Blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.
“Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days. And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.” – Daniel 10:12-15.
But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities. Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they areall the work of cunning men.
A Guest post of Spiritual Inspiration from my sister in Christ, while walking, even as Jesus walked. Inspiration given in September 2021.
Announce in Judah, proclaim in Jerusalem and say Sound the Trumpet throughout the Land. Raise the SIGNAL to FLEE to ZION without delay! For Jesus Christ is bringing great disaster from the North, even terrible destruction. A Lion has come out of his lair, a Destroyer of Nations has set out. He has left his place to lay waste your land. Your towns will be in rum without inhabitants. So put on sackcloth and ashes for the Fierce Anger Of The Lord. Tell this to the nations, Proclaim concerning Jerusalem. A besieging army is coming from a distant land, raising a War Cry against the cities of Judah! Oh, my anguish, my anguish! I writhe in PAIN! Oh, the agony of my heart! My heart pounds within me. I cannot keep SILENT! For, I have heard the Sound Of The Trumpet. Isaiah 18!
Everyone will SEE it. Everyone will HEAR IT! The Bride Rises From the Wilderness, Song Of Solomon, Chapter 8. I have heard the BATTLE CRY. Disaster follows disaster! Jesus the Christ says, My people are fools. They do not know me. They are all senseless children. They are skilled at doing evil. They know not how to do good. Now, Jesus the Christ will pronounce His Judgements against them! A Cry! a Cry, as from a Woman in Labor, A Groan as From ONE bearing Her First Child. Groan and Lament for the News that is coming. Every heart will melt with Fear! Repent everyone! Jesus Christ, the Son Of God is Coming! He’s going to Burn the Earth with Fire. Isaiah 24. We are running out of time. Stand upon Mount Zion in the Spirit! The Ransomed Of The Lord Will Return! The Cup is Full! The Vessels are prepared! The Redeemed will Drink the Cup Of Salvation while the Wicked will Drink His WRATH! JEREMIAH 4!
Spiritual Inspiration Received September 2021 – My Sister In Christ
“Life is an arduous journey with many difficulties. Yet, the LORD God in His infinite wisdom gave us all a Way to return to Him. I pray we all find that which we seek the most: eternal life. This website, Lift Up A Banner is here for the exact purpose as witnessed in this guest post. As she had received this Spiritual Inspiration in September 2021, her decision was to make it a public proclamation to the world.” – Jonathan Heller. “Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles. I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness. The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.” – Isaiah 13:2-5.
The one and only Begotten of the Father, who is Jesus to you? Who is He to me? Was Jesus a socialist? Some in the Christian secular world may believe Him to be so. Although, too many people today are trying to interpret the Bible and they don’t even have the Spirit of GOD. It’s not possible for us to understand who GOD is unless He reveals himself to us. We need to read the Bible to see if we can gain a more perfect understanding. “I and my Father are one.” Jesus said to His disciples, “But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”
In this modern world, they have taught us a certain perspective on who Jesus Christ is. Although, during His time here on earth, he was loathed, even hated to the point of death. He had many followers for multiple reasons. In the end, there were only a few. If He were to come into the world today, would it be any different? They defined him as a radical. His followers were called a sect. He was teaching things that upset nearly everyone. “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” – Luke 9:23. “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.” – John 8:44-45. So, who is Jesus to you? Is He someone that we show lip service to on a Saturday or Sunday? Is He someone that will accept us as we are with no change or commitment on our behalf? Why did He teach repentance? Why did the Apostles?
We learn by reading the New Testament that Jesus is the only born Son of the Father and that He is the image of the invisible GOD. Let us now use some simple logic. If Jesus Christ is exactly who it says He is, how can we be created in His image? Why does it say this in 2 Corinthians 4, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Some things are not adding up here. The Bible is true, 100% of it. We can count on it. We can believe it. So what is it they have all been teaching us? Who is the god of this world? Why did Jesus say, “Ye are of your father the devil?” Whose image are we created in? How about this one, “They that are in the flesh cannot please GOD.” Or, “Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.” – Jeremiah 10:9.
Let us now tie it together with the Book of Revelation, “And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” – Revelation 17:4. What are we clothed with exactly? What color is our blood? Who are we? What was Jesus telling everyone that turned the entire world upside down? I know. Who is Jesus to me? The Bible tells us that our body is the temple. “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” – Matthew 21:12-13.
In the Gospels, Jesus harshly rebuked Peter when he, in his own mind, was attempting to assist the Messiah. “Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. 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?” – Matthew 16:22-26. Wait just a minute, didn’t Jesus say this again, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.” It seems as if we are seeing a theme here. Who is Jesus to you? Am I sounding somewhat like a dissident myself?
Jesus told us in John 10:34, “Is it not written in your Law, I said ye are gods.” What could He have meant by this? Have you seen that verse before? Have you looked it up in the Old Testament? “They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.” – Psalms 82:5-8. What, in fact, are we? Where are we from? Why did the LORD God have to come here in the likeness of sinful flesh and pay the price that no one else could? Jesus tells us, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me.” Are you aware of these truths? What we are touching on is a portion or it. Do you know the way? What if you were to fall short? What about the life? Are you reading your Bibles, or are you trusting in someone else?
As I consider what they have led us to believe and understand, this simple fact remains true: “all men are liars.” Looking at all the different images that portray the Messiah, none of them are correct. They have led us to understand that He was this good looking and handsome man. The Bible tells a much different story. If someone who society deemed a heretic, potentially looked like the picture to the left below, and came up to you preaching the Kingdom of God, what would your first reaction be?
“Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” – Isaiah 53:1-5. So, who is Jesus to you?
The Bible says that He is despised and rejected of men. “And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” What if this were still true today? What if things were exactly the same as they were 2000 years ago? Do you know the LORD? Do you have a relationship with Him? Do you know Him? “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. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.” -1 John 2:3-7.
Narrow Is The Way Which Leadeth Unto Life
Who is Jesus to me? He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is my Savior. He is my LORD. He is my GOD. Everything in this world is contradictory to how it should be. Jesus came explaining exactly who we are, where we come from, what we all did. As well as the requirements necessary to go back Home. He gave us the parable of the Prodigal Son. We named it a parable. Jesus was telling us the Truth. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” – Hebrews Hebrews 4:12-15.
Let the peace of GOD rule in your heart and always be thankful. How are we to let the peace of GOD reign within us? How are we to let go of the former self? How are we to put off the old man? Christians are called to eliminate their old sinful ways of thinking and to replace them with a completely new way of thinking. A life that’s possible due to the Holy Spirit living within us, the old man is symbolically replaced by Baptism. The new Man gets life by the receiving of Holy Spirit. What is the Baptism though? How are we to obtain the Holy Spirit?
The Bible tells us in Ephesians 5, “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” In a previous post, The Baptism of the Holy Ghost, we covered this principle in detail. Peter tells us in the Book of Acts, “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.” In order to let the peace of GOD reign within us, we need to repent. How does one repent? What is it that we are repenting from? Those are very good questions. That is precisely why it says that the Baptism of the Holy Ghost comes from the washing of water by the Word. We need to fill ourselves with the Word of Life. We need to know the Bible. To know the Word means to know Jesus. The Messiah said to Satan while He was tempted in the wilderness, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of GOD.”
To let the peace of GOD rule in your heart means that you have grown to know and understand the way, the truth, and the life. And, it all begins with repentance. After we have learned the principles of the Gospel, we then strive for mastery, or perfection as Paul puts it. As we are letting go of those things that were once holding us back, reaching forth unto those things that are before, there is less of that old man there. We begin to be filled with new wine, once we put off the old garment. Then my friends, we are fit for the Master’s use and the furtherance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
GOD is Love. We are to walk in that love and share the good news of the Gospel with others. It is something that is required of us. We are to love others as Christ loves us. To let the peace of GOD rule in your heart is the same as the two great commandments. We are to love GOD with our entire being, and love our neighbor as ourselves. Paul tells us, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
Once we begin doing so, only then are we able to let the peace of GOD reign within us. Giving the LORD the command of our earthly vessel is not something easily accomplished. And, I am certain, that we all fall short. We all make mistakes. None of us are perfect. Yet, we have a Mediator between GOD and man, the Man Christ Jesus. I pray that you take the time to consider the free eBooks, the many lessons, and videos that are contained within the pages of this website. Remember my brothers and sisters, always be thankful.
Why does GOD love me? These are two fundamental questions that we can seek out the answers to within the pages of the Bible. In Romans 5 we are told, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Now, wait just a minute. Why does it say that we were enemies? This is going to be one of those posts that I could go one of two ways with. Although, as I consider that GOD is Love and the time of the year that it is, I will stick to the theme. Does GOD love me? Why does GOD love me?
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive. – Jeremiah 29:11-14. I would like you to take a moment and consider what it is that we are looking at. Do you remember at the beginning, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life?” Why does the book of Jeremiah say that we have all been driven away? Why does it say that we were carried away captive? Why does the Bible refer to us as lost sheep? “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Why does GOD Love me?
The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry. Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat them as common things. For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God. – Jeremiah 31:3-6. As I consider my life and the mistakes that I have made, I have asked myself at times, does GOD love me?
Looking back, I can’t help but be reminded of these two chapters from Jeremiah, the life of Jesus Christ, his infinite love and ultimate sacrifice, His life of service fulfilling the needs of others. Why does the Bible refer to us as enemies? Why does it say that we were carried away captive? Why does it say that we are lost sheep? Why did Jesus say, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do, and because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not?” Why does Jeremiah 31 say that we will be adorned again with our tabrets? Wouldn’t that mean that we had them before and that we had lost them? How is it that we could be planted again? Where did we all come from? What is it that we all did that would require a loving LORD God to come here on our behalf, living the perfect sinless life, and pay with his own life with His death on a cross? Why is the parable of the prodigal son in the Bible? Where did he come from? Where did he go? Why is it exactly the same as what we are looking at and speaking on?
If Jesus is the LORD God’s only Son, who is our father? Why are we told this in the Bible? “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” – 2 Corinthians 4:4. Why does the Bible say that Jesus is the image of the invisible GOD? What does that make all of us? Who is our father? Who is it that Jesus said our father was? Why does it say, “They that are in the flesh can not please GOD?”
In 1 John 2 we are told, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” If up to this point, you have only been reading without looking deeper into any of the internal links, now would be a good time to read, The Bible: Fact or Fiction. It is time that we take off the cover and bring to light who we are and what we did that would require a perfect sacrifice for the penalty to be paid on our behalf. Why does GOD love me?
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.” – Isaiah 41:10-16.
“Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee. Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the LORD, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth.” – Isaiah 49:13-18.
Does GOD love me? “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.” 1 John 4:7-13.
I will leave you this day with one final question to ponder, Am I my brother’s keeper? I pray that the LORD God bless you and keep you, rooted and grounded in His Love.
Are we truly the Final Generation? Are we the last generation? Have you recently looked at the world around you? What does the Bible tell us the last days be like? “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” – 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
We also learn from 2 Peter 3, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” It would appear that we are the final generation. Isn’t it quite terrifying out there? Or, somewhat confusing? It is also horrible seeing what is happening to those around us. Are we the last generation?
As I look at my own children and the struggles that many kids have nowadays, things are much different than what they used to be. We are the last generation. It should be pretty evident to anyone who is aware of the signs of the times. The whole world is currently in a mighty uproar and I see fear in the eyes of most people that I come across. For example, the grocery store, a doctor’s appointment, or just about anywhere that you go. What happened? How did things did so bad so quickly? Just a couple of years ago, this world appeared to be normal. Now, it is not even close. Slowly seeing people lose their grip on what they define as reality. Are we the final generation?
“Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God?” – Isaiah 40:21-27.
I used to be someone who never read the Bible at all. To even attempt to try to understand the Prophets seemed alien to me. Now, they are some of my favorite books to read. Understanding the Word of God and being able to lie down in green pasture the very moment that we open the cover sounds like something pretty remarkable. Well, I can testify to this truth. It truly is. In some places, it is also quite terrifying.
“Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the LORD that rendereth recompence to his enemies. Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.” – Isaiah 66:4-7.
Biblical Revelation To The Last Generation – In The Father’s Shoes
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” – Isaiah 41:10-13.
As we look at the world and those around us, be reminded we are the final generation. I pray that you take the time to consider and digest all that is contained within the pages of Lift Up A Banner. A good place to begin the foundation of your understanding is with our completely Free Christian eBooks. On our website, there are no ads, and we don’t even accept donations. Remember the words of the LORD, “It is more blessed to give, than receive.” Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. Greet one another with an holy kiss. All the saints salute you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. – 2 Corinthians 13:11-14.
In the Gospel of Mark, we learn about the Parable of the Poor Widow. How are we to fully understand the lesson that Jesus was teaching within the Gospel? In the previous verses, Jesus denounces the self-righteous scribes who seek after the best seats in the synagogue and places of honor at banquets, which devour widows houses. Meaning, they take advantage of the most vulnerable in their society. Is that different than any church that is out there? Honestly ponder the question while we consider the words of Paul Acts 20, “I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” That pretty much debunks the myths surrounding the “body” of Christ and what the true temple is. It also throws a wrench into all teachers, pastors, ministers, and Christian “authorities” that gain off of their Gospel knowledge.
As we learn within the Parables of Jesus, He is teaching us many valuable lessons. The Parable of the Poor Widow is no different. He even tells us one of the requirements as followers of His. And, it is a pretty big one. We learn from the Messiah in Matthew, “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 neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Did you know that this is a part of the lesson within the Parable of the Poor Widow?
Let us now dive into the deeper meaning behind the Parable and see precisely what Jesus Christ was teaching His disciples.
The Parable Of The Poor Widow
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Have you counted the cost as a follower of Jesus Christ?
After reading and digesting the lessons within the free eBook, I would like to present to you an additional teaching which ties the Parable of the Poor Widow into the Parable of the Sower. Sit back, open your eyes and ears, and pay attention to what we are watching together.
Within the pages of Lift Up A Banner are many Bible Studies, lessons, videos, and free eBooks which simplify the teachings from the Bible. I pray that you take the time to explore all that is contained herein and share what you have been led to understand. A good place to start would be at the beginning, the very beginning. You can read all of the Free Christian eBooks in order and then continue your journey through the posts and videos on the Homepage. There are countless posts, videos, and lessons which can be accessed in detail by scrolling through all of the recent posts at the top right of the screen.
We learn of the story of the ten virgins. Five of them were wise and five were foolish. First, we understand the importance that they are all virgins. So they must be aware of what the Bible teaches on this subject. Second, we learn that the wise virgins have their lamps filled with oil. How does one who knows the LORD, always make sure that their own lamps are full? Jesus tells us this, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” An oil lamp is always meant to be lit to give light to the house and those that are around it. We are told by the Messiah once again, in another way, the same thing. We are also told this by Him elsewhere, “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.”
Knowing the truth isn’t enough. Walking it out in faith to the very end is what is required of all of us. “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.” – Philippians 3:12-16.
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” – Matthew 6:24-25.
There are many valuable lessons that we can learn throughout the Bible. And, the LORD doesn’t disappoint with how quickly we can begin understanding the teachings of Jesus Christ by looking at the Old Testament. One such story is that of Cain and Abel. We first understand that Abel was a keeper of the sheep and Cain was a tiller of the ground. In the end, a rhetorical question applies to all of us, Am I my brother’s keeper? Let us begin by reading it and tying it into some of the teachings and parables of the Messiah.
And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? – Genesis 4:1-9.
We will start by looking at the differences between Cain and Abel. In John chapter 21, after Jesus rose from the dead and began appearing to His disciples, Peter and a group of followers decided to go fishing. As had happened previously when the Messiah came to them, they went out in a boat and caught nothing that entire night.
“But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.” – John 21:4-7. This is the very moment that the LORD began restoring Peter for the ministry that lay before him. It is something that applies to us all. Jesus tells us in Revelation 16, “Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” What could this possibly mean?
One of the Gospel Principles covered within the Bible is complete abstinence. The Bible tells us in Isaiah 34, “Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them. And he hath cast the lot for them, and his hand hath divided it unto them by line: they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell therein.” We are also told this by Jesus Christ, “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.” – Matthew 19:12.
Jesus also tells us this in Luke 12, “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” Paul, when speaking about placing on the whole armor of GOD, he tells us, “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” Paul also teaches us more on Biblical Abstinence. “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:3. These are only a few examples that point to being chaste unto the LORD. Another one from the Old Testament in Exodus 19 says, “And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.” Let me ask you a question, what day was the LORD raised from the dead? Jesus tells us, “the Kingdom of GOD is within you.”
As a foundation has now been laid, Peter put on his “fishers coat” by girding himself about, understanding this principle of the Gospel. He then cast himself into the “sea of humanity.” Jesus confirms this meaning while restoring Peter in the following verses in John 21. After they had arrived to shore with the “fishes” that were caught, they dined with the LORD. Jesus expanded upon them the meaning of Scriptures. After Peter had gained understanding we are told this, “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.”
As we understand, an example was given of what was happening before it was explained. This happens quite often within the Gospels and the parables of the Messiah. Simply by reading a whole chapter or what is before and after, the similarities are mind-boggling in some places. The misinterpretations that we have today are that people tend not to read their Bibles. They put all their faith on only a verse here or a couple of verses there. Jesus tells us, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of GOD.” There are two commandments given to us by Jesus Christ. “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 neighbor as thyself.” – Matthew 22:36-39.
What does this have to do with Am I My Brother’s Keeper, and the story of Cain and Abel? The answer is everything. Jesus tells us in Luke 5, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink? And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.” What is the Biblical meaning of fasting? Is it to go 24 hours without food and drink? Is it to be spending time with the LORD studying while doing so? Is fasting something that only pertains to our own spiritual growth?
“Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” – Isaiah 58:3-11.
It is only after drawing ourselves out to those in need that our light will break forth, our health will return, and the glory of the LORD will be our rereward. If we stop living in the flesh, making excuses, pointing the finger, speaking nothingness, and sharing what we know to be true, that the LORD will continually be our guide. Out of our belly will flow living waters.
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” – Luke 9:23-26.
Jesus prays to the Father in John 17, while laying out our mission. “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 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. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 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.”
I will now ask you a question? Am I my brother’s keeper? Are we all our brother’s keeper? If we are one who knows the way, the truth, and the life, or portion’s of it? What if we are still trying to figure it out? What are the two great commandments? With the story of Cain and Abel, we are only given two options. There has been left no room for doubts, questions, or what if’s. Jesus confirms this as well when He uses the phrase, “follow me,” throughout numerous places in the Gospels.
“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.” – Matthew 19:21. In Luke chapter 9, we are told by Jesus that He has no temple to dwell in. “And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:58-62.
Another prime example is the Parable of the Sower and meaning behind the thorns choking out the person from being fruitful. Let us look at it now. “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” – Matthew 13;22. We are told by this by Jesus, “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. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” – Matthew 6:31-34.
With the parable of the sower and the seed sown amidst the thorns, it shows us that the worries in this life, the cares, and the distractions in life get in the way and we stay barren. Yet, the seed which is sown on the good ground, “Is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” Once again, the parallels tie directly back into, Am I My Brother’s Keeper? We understand that Abel was a keeper of the sheep. Meaning, that he was one who had understanding. He was one who was led by the LORD God. What does it mean to be a keeper of the sheep?
Paul gives us an example in the Book of Hebrews. “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” – Hebrews 5:12-14. To be a keeper of the sheep means to guide those with the knowledge and understanding that you have obtained. It means to be a teacher. It means to be a servant of the LORD. Jesus gave His life as the ultimate sacrifice, thereby showing us the perfect example of what to do and how to follow.
Throughout the New Testament, when we are learning of the different miracles of Jesus Christ, we learn of the loaves and fishes. It is quite unique to point out that it is Jesus who “prepares” the meal, blesses it, brakes up the loaves and the fishes, and then gives the meal to the disciples. After that, it is the disciples who give the meal to the multitudes. Once again, it ties back into, Am I My Brother’s Keeper. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
“If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” – John 15:6-11. Now, we can look at the other side, Cain.
We have seen an abundance of similarities with Abel and how to be a keeper of the sheep. What does it mean to be a tiller of the ground? Paul teaches us, “they that are in the flesh cannot please GOD.” The Apostle Paul was a Pharisee before being converted on the road to Damascus. He was one who knew very well the letter of the Law. He never thought twice about persecuting or even killing those of the Sect of the Nazarenes. What was it though, that was different about this specific group of people who followed the teachings of Jesus Christ? Why were they all so upset, to the extremity of putting someone to death for being a follower of the Way?
Let us begin by looking at a parable of the Messiah. We can take His words, and His message, and compare it to the understanding that Paul had obtained by walking in newness of Spirit, and not in oldness of Letter. We will be looking at Mark 7:14-23, using the KJV Bible. “And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” – Mark 7:14-16.
Before we continue, as some may begin to think that they know what Jesus is speaking about, let me ask you a question. Is he only talking about your mouth? What about your heart? What about both? What if there was even more here that most of us aren’t even aware of? Let us continue. “And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable. And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.” – Mark 7:17-20. These verses, very few would even dispute over what is being said. But, what about what Jesus says next?
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” – Mark 7:21-23. Why does He mention fornications? Why does He mention covetousness? Why does he mention lasciviousness? Why are they sperate from adulteries? Are they not one in the same? Couldn’t it just be summed up with that one word? The answer is no. Paul was taught by the Spirit of All Truth, and not after the tradition of men. He already knew the Law. After his conversion, he was teaching the new covenant, or what we all know as the New Testament. Were you aware that there was another law, a higher law? Have you taken the time to read the Book of Romans? What about Hebrews? Does some of it sound like gibberish? Have you glossed over a lot of it? I know that I used to. The majority of it presented itself to me in much of the same way prior to my own conversion. Now, I understand all that I ask the Father about, with perfect clarity. At least I can say, with the amount of His Word, which has now become the greater part of me.
What does all of this have to do with Cain and being a tiller of the ground? Paul tells us in Romans 7, “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” “They that are in the flesh, cannot please God.” Let us now take Paul’s understanding to solidify the teachings of Jesus Christ, and those who were followers of The Way. Before doing so, I will add to the Old Testament, and the New. Within the Old Testament, we have the Law, or what most of us would call the ten commandments. Although, the New Testament translated, literally means, the new covenant. There are two separate laws. There is the natural man, and there is a spiritual man. There is a carnal mind, and a spiritual mind. There is a Levitical priesthood, and a Melchizedek priesthood. There is a natural law, and a spiritual law. Paul tells us in Galatians, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” There are the “Cain’s” and there are the “Abel’s.”
Romans 8 begins as such, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
Let us now backtrack to Romans 7, and build further upon, what we all have just gazed at. “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” The Old Testament, and the New. The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, and the law of sin and death.
“And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.” – Luke 5:37-39. “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.” “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” Jesus Christ gave us the Way. He is the Way. He taught us how each of us need to walk, in order to please God. He taught us not to live under the Law, but to live even better. He taught us about abstinence. It is necessary for our eternal salvation, and for our own conversion.
To sum everything up, we all have something to offer the LORD. Everyone has at least one talent. The interesting thing is, the person with only one talent, never did anything at all with it. All of the others, gained other talents. So, the question now my brothers and sisters, are you a keeper of the sheep, or a tiller of the ground? Will you continue to walk after the ways of the world, living in the flesh, holding on, and looking back? Or, will you let go, trust in the Father to lead and guide you, not worrying so much about tomorrow, bills, things to do, places to go, and sights to see, while together, we continue to crucify our flesh with all of it’s lusts, passions, and desires, taking the LORD’s yoke upon us, as it is easy and light?
Jesus gave us the Way, the Truth, and the Life within the Gospels. If you don’t know the Messiah’s words, you can’t fully understand the epistles. Jesus Christ is the whole foundation of the church, and we live or die off of what he said. Not our understanding of only one or two verses elsewhere. Especially if we don’t know what is being said. The epistles of Paul are given as an example to different churches in their own conversion process, and with their own level of understanding. Once you read all of 1 Corinthians 7, and understand the “folly” of the carnally minded church in 2 Corinthians, you see how Paul even says this towards the end when speaking upon sex, “But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none.” He says more than once in the chapter that he is speaking and not the Lord, and not as an authority of the subject. The Apostles even say this when Jesus is teaching about the most misunderstood word, “fornication,” in this final Biblical age, “If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.” Yet, here is the real punch in the gut when you know this. “But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. 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.”
I pray that this will find root within good ground, as it is planted with love. In the Book of Revelation we are cautioned in regards to the Church in Ephesus and Sardis. The church in Ephesus is told, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” The church is Sardis is told, “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.”
It all fundamentally boils down to the two great commandments. Love GOD with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. “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. 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.” – Matthew 5:19-20. Am I my brother’s keeper? We all are…
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As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them. – Numbers 6:23-27.