Tag Archives: religion

Somethings In The Way – Woe To The Shepherds

Jesus saith unto them, “I AM the Way.” Is the Bible was so perfect and so clear to tell us that any man preaching the Word of God that was doing it for a living didn’t know the Lord? What if they were accepting donations? What if they were selling what they have learned in books or within their ministries? What did Paul teach us? What did Jesus say? Will we believe the Word of the Lord, or will we follow after blind guides, leading us to the abyss?

In Acts 14, we learn that Paul was a tent maker, as he had the same occupation as Aquila. Paul tells us, “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.” – Acts 20:34-35.

We also learn in 2 Thessalonians 3, “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labor and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”

We learn from the Gospel of Mark, “Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.” – Mark 10:21. We are also told, “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.”

Is there even more evidence? Could there be even more proof of this fact within the Bible? When you go to the Lord with all sincerity, desiring to know only the Truth, even as difficult as it may be, if you are willing to listen to what is being said, you will find the answers that you are looking for.

So, wait a minute. You are telling me that any one preaching for a living be it donations, books, ads, monetization, or for any other financial means or gain doesn’t know the Lord God? “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.” “He that forsaketh not all that He hath, cannot be my disciple.” “Go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.” Will you continue to believe what man is teaching you, or will you believe the Word of the Lord?

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

Abstinence – Called To Be Holy

What is it that the New Testament teaches us about sex and abstinence? Many of us as Christians may have wondered about this very question. The one thing that I learned is that before we can go diving through the Epistles for understanding, we first need to understand the teachings and very words of Jesus Christ. For through Him and By Him, everything stands. So whatever the Messiah is telling us, it has to be true. We can then build our foundation off of the principles that He taught us. Finally, we can compare them to the Epistles and understand how they were saying the same thing.

We are told by Jesus in Matthew, Mark, and Luke to deny ourselves and take up our cross. So what is one thing that the Messiah is referring to? What is so important about these words that Jesus rephrases it differently throughout the Gospels? As we will further look into this by looking at the root words, I want you to consider what Paul tells us in Romans 2:12-15.

“For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.” Paul is basically telling us that most know the difference between right and wrong. Most people know that adultery is a bad thing. Although, why would the Lord be telling us to deny ourselves of something that we already know we shouldn’t be doing? Let’s now look at Luke 9:23 where Jesus says, “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.” Below is the KJV Bible with the original Greek translated for further understanding. Take the time to read what it says, digest it, and think upon it.

Jesus just told us in the Bible to, deny utterly, abstain, and disown ourselves. He said we are to do it daily through self denial. He finally told us that we all need to accompany Him as His disciple, by being the same way He is, and by following Him. One very important Scripture that Jesus says, which very few are even knowledgeable of, is Luke 14:33, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” So, based on the words of Jesus as our original foundation, as the author and finisher of our faith, the beginning and the end, should we be having sex? The answer is no, period.

Jesus tells us, “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.” Another interesting verse to consider from Jesus is, “If any [man] come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” In any of Jesus’ teachings, did He give any room for but or although? The answer once again is no. We are told by the Messiah to disown ourselves, abstain, and to forsake everything. And we are told that this isn’t a one and done deal. We are to deny ourselves daily. The Bible says, “they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”

After knowing what the Lord told us, most of us should know that we are all to be Judged out of the Bible. What if we are told by an Apostle, that he himself is speaking, and not the Lord? First, and most importantly, it’s not the Lord speaking. Second to that, we need to take everything into context and look at all that is being said. Let’s now look at 1 Corinthians 7:1. “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” What does the word good mean in the original Greek?

The word for good means beautiful, valuable, virtuous, honest, meet, well, worthy, and better. Paul goes on to talk about them struggling with being able to contain themselves. He says in verse 6, he is stating this by permission, and not of commandment. His desire is for them eventually to become as he is. Let’s look at these verses here.

We have Paul telling us that he is familiar with the struggles that they are all going through because he himself, is in the flesh. And he specifies that he isn’t speaking as an authority on the matter, by a decree, or by commandment. In 1 Corinthians 3, we learn that the church at Corinth is an inferior church. “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” In his attempt, he is trying to get them to move beyond their flesh to become as the Savior is. But in a slow manner, because of all the struggles that they are having as a body of believers.

Let’s now look further at some of the additional things that Paul states in 1 Corinthians 7. After going through a long speech about sex, he says in verse 26, “I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.” He finishes this in verse 29 with, “But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none.” Once again reaffirming that they should be moving away from this. After going again over the fleshly side of things, he summarizes with, “And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.”

Why don’t we take what Paul was teaching this carnally minded church, which was still being fed with milk, and compare it to one of his teachings elsewhere. “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God.” Does it say to abstain form adultery? No, we all know that adultery is a sin. Below, is the definition of concupiscence, as well as some synonyms.

I will now ask you this question. Should we be abstaining from sex? What is the meaning of concupiscence? Did Jesus say, “He that forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be my disciple?” What else do we learn on this subject in the Bible, from Peter? “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” Below is 1 Peter 2:11-12 with the translated text. Pay attention to what the words conversation, and honest mean.

We are told by Peter to be abstaining pertaining to the flesh. He left no room for a but or although either. He tells us to have our behavior better, more honest, and more virtuous than everyone else. It is the same word that Paul uses in the very beginning of 1 Corinthians 7. Why did Peter say this? Most importantly, outside of the Lord telling us this, it is required for our sanctification of the Spirit. Paul was pushing the carnally minded church at Corinth towards this very thing. As in 2 Corinthians 11:2-3, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” You can’t be a chaste virgin to Christ if you are still having sex with your spouse, can you? Now, watch this video…

At this point, the evidence is overwhelming, and the Truth speaks for itself. Yet, there are still some that make an attempt to negate everything that Jesus said and throw this verse at you, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” Paul goes in length in the book of Hebrews about the New Testament, or the new covenant, between Christ and His church. Or, I should specify, Christ and His bride. He speaks on the fulfillment of the Law, and Jesus being a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. The word for bed means cohabitation and Paul is speaking upon the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Part of the great mystery concerning Christ and His Church. If you become married to Christ, would you even conceive of continuing to have sex with your earthly spouse? “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.” – Romans 7:4.

What does the Book of Revelation say about the 144,000 which are to be redeemed from the earth, as firstfruits of Christ? Why do so many believe that the rapture is going to be millions, if not billions of people?

“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” – Revelation 14:1-5.

Let’s recap and add some more. Does Jesus give us the parable of the five wise and five foolish virgins? Are they virgins? Does Jesus tells us to disown and utterly deny ourselves? Are we told by the Messiah to forsake everything? Does the First Epistle of John say the same thing? We are told to walk as Jesus walked, as well as, those who are born of God, their seed remains in them. We are told By Jesus and the teachers in the New Testament to become as little children. Do little children have sex? Was Paul and Peter teaching us to abstain from sex? Yes. Every teacher in the New Testament, even Jude was teaching the exact same principle of the Gospel. The question is whether you are willing to listen, and to receive it.

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ… But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.”

And it goes on and on, over and again, once you have understood and fully believed this principle of the Gospel. May you all find that in which you seek. “He that forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be my disciple.” – Jesus Christ. It’s time to let go of it all brethren. Stay blessed.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

Check out the eBooks, a complete foundational Bible Study on the Messiah’s ministry, as well as all the recent posts. All glory goes to the Author and Finisher of my faith, The Lord God.

The Whole Armor Of God

In the Book of Ephesians, we are told this by Paul, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Paul is telling us to walk as the Lord did. In the power of his might means, in his ability, and his strength. We know that Jesus lived a sinless life while He was here on the earth. We should be striving to do better each day than the day before. As the obstacles we face sometimes cause us to fail, we have the Lord to go to and ask for forgiveness. We are battling a spiritual war against the rulers of darkness.

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 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.”

Now, we will look at Ephesians 6:13-15, take a walk through the Bible, and see where the Spirit can take us. In a previous post, we covered where Jesus told the paralytic man to rise, take up his bed and walk. Peter also tells us in the Book of Acts, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” Although, what Spiritual significance does this have? “And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed And he arose immediately.” Jesus tells us, “if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Are you beginning to see a connection there yet? Let’s tie this back into the verses we just looked at. Peter also tells us, “grid up the loins of your mind, and be sober.”

Paul tells us this as well, “for this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication.” Is the Bible telling us in a whole, and not just by looking at one verse here, or one verse there, that we shouldn’t be having sex? Yes. Now, we will look at these two verses even further, using the Strong’s Concordance. “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.” Pay close attention to the highlighted words, read the translation, consider what is being said, and think upon all of the scriptures that we just looked at.

Here, once again, we are taught about abstinence. Paul tells us, put a girdle around our procreative power. How is that done, you may ask? By no longer having sex with your spouse. As Paul continues on he says, “keep on the garments of justification, and righteousness, by being innocent, holy, and equitable. “Be ye Holy, for I am Holy…” Let us look at these words below.

Are we told elsewhere within the New Testament this same principle? Yes, in numerous places. Let’s look at a few of them. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness…” Notice how adultery and fornication are separated. “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.” Once again, the word chambering means sex. So, to put it as plain as possible so that it even a child can understand it, if we are still having sex, or believe that we can still be having sex, we aren’t going to Heaven. “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Let us finish with the Triumphal entry of Jesus Christ in Mark 11. “And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him. And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go. And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.”

“Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me.” “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.” “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.” “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments,” and his commandments are not burdensome. Stay in Him in all things and let your light shine before men.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

A Good Soldier Of Jesus Christ

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. – 2 Timothy 2:1-3

Are we spending too much time entangled with the affairs of this life? “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Will you be made whole? Jesus said to the impotent man, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.” “And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.”

Jesus saith unto them, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Once we have understood the foundational principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we are all given one single task. It is a very simple task. Although, it comes with a price, and a burden to bare. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” “Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” We are all to carry our own crosses by walking as He walked, not after the flesh but after the Spirit. And teaching others what we have been blessed to receive.

As we strive for masteries and the command of our own vessels, we are to be sharing the Truth that we know. At whatever stage we are at. “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.” – 1 Corinthians 3:6-10. Now, we will build even more on these scriptures. Let’s watch this video, which takes the above verses, and expands on the original languages. It also layers additional supporting Scriptures with visual aids.

As we have seen, and have hopefully learned, the Lord wants to use us at whatever step we are at. “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” If we were hit with everything all at once, as in the download of a computer program, most of us would be executing error messages within ourselves. The Spirit doesn’t operate this way. It’s like a rinse and repeat theme as we grow in our faith, casting our cares upon Him. Quite literally, being washed by water of the Word.

May the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the fulness therein, find it’s root within you.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

Walk After A Godly Sort – As A Saint

In the Book of Colossians it says, “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;  Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.” How is it that we are to walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, while being fruitful in every good work?

I believe that the best place to start would be by looking at the meaning behind some of these words. Let’s begin by going into the KJV Bible and look at a few of the original Greek words. We will start by looking at the word walk, and then we will see the meaning of the word worthy. Pay close attention to what is being highlighted. Consider other scriptures that may pop up in your mind while looking at the definitions. Let the Spirit guide you with the understanding that you already have. I will also add to what you may have heard, with possibly the same verses, or even different verses that come to mind.

As we see, the word walk means, “to tread all around, that is, walk at large (especially as proof of ability); figuratively to live, deport oneself, follow (as a companion or votary): – go, be occupied with.” Now let’s start tying some together, such as, to tread all around and to deport oneself. Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” He said this as well, “He that forsaketh not all the he hath, cannot be my disciple.” By deporting ourselves, we are separating from the lusts of the flesh, and the pride of life. It also means the same thing as, to tread all around.

For example, squashing a bad habit under your feet and saying good riddance. Another scripture that comes to mind is, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Hmm, ponder that for a minute. The second thing that we will tie together will be to walk, and to follow. As we consider this, let us also consider where the Bible says, “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked,” and the near countless times when Jesus says to “follow” Him. As we expand on this, we can also look at, as a companion and a votary. The word votary means someone who has taken a vow, such as a monk or a nun.

Here are only a couple additional verses. “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.” “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Wow, that’s seems like a lot. Although that is only a few of the many. To be occupied with, as in the above definition simply means the same thing, yet we can go even deeper. Think of it as your “temple.” The second word that we looked at for further understanding was worthy. Worthy means, “appropriately: – as becometh, after a godly sort, worthily.” Consider again, the above provided Scriptures. Consider being a Saint for the Lord and what His requirements are.

Now, many have misunderstood the word fornication within the Bible and only a very small few that I am aware of, are even teaching this. Although the fact of the matter is, the Bible is proof, Jesus’ own words are proof, and the Truth doesn’t lie. Jesus and the Apostles were teaching them to abstain from sex, period. If is required for our sanctification. Sex equals fornication. It is separate and different from adultery. They are two totally separate words. Are you ready for even more proof that only the LORD and His Spirit can reveal? Let’s go back to a verse that I just mentioned and we will break it down, “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.” What could chambering possibly mean? Why don’t we all take a look together.

Ponder, think, and consider… What is it that we just read? What specifically does it say? Is the Bible true? Does the Lord God lie? Is He the same today, yesterday, and forever? So, based on the verse, should we be abstaining from sex? “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor.” “Abstain from fleshly lusts which was against the soul.” “He that forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be my disciple.” And the list goes on…

The final highlighted word in Colossians, which we haven’t looked at yet, is the word work. It means, “to work; to toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication an act: – deed, doing, labor, work.” Below is a cropped picture to allow for easier viewing in your browser. You can also search for this online by typing, “Strong’s Concordance Greek 2041.”

What is this labor? What is this toil, as an effort or occupation? What is the act? Number one is to continue to let go of our flesh, as we allow the Spirit to fill us, abstaining from self, and becoming even better. Number two becomes very apparent after we are fully converted and we have His Life to guide us. Let us consider the word act. What is the Book of Acts about? Is it a toil, a labor, and a work, that they all as a body were performing? Were they preaching the Gospel, teaching the Word, showing the Kingdom, leading people in the way, the truth, and the life? Yes they were. We’re they being paid for it? No, they were not. “It is better to give, than receive.”

“And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” – Isaiah 30:20-21. Stay blessed. All glory is the Lord’s.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

Are You Ready For The Lord?

Jesus said, 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. – Luke 12:35-37. Are you a Watchman for the Lord Jesus Christ?

That is a question that all of us should be asking ourselves during this current world that we are now facing. What, if anything, can we extract from the above verses to help us understand one of the things that we are all supposed to be doing while we are awaiting the Messiah’s return? Let’s take the simplicity of the Gospel and look at Luke 12:35 in detail. “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning .” We will take the KJV Bible and compare it to the original Greek. As we do so, we can specifically see what these words mean, and what Jesus was saying to us.

Jesus is specifically telling us that we should be fastening our belts around our procreative power. What does that mean? “He that forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be my disciple.” “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Jesus, in the easiest to understand language is telling us that we need to abstain from sex. All of the teachers of the New Testament were teaching this very principle. “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.” – 1 John 2.

In the crisis that we are all now facing, what is most important to you? Your eternal salvation or the lusts of your flesh? “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.” Please consider looking at the Bible Study With The Word to find many answers to the questions which we wonder the most about. There are additional posts on this same subject using additional verses, breakdowns, and references. You can use the featured menu to the right of the screen as well as the Recent Posts located at the top right of this page. The only desire of my heart is that we all could come to the Way, the Truth, and the Life, before the opportunity to do so is gone forever. May you be blessed in seeking it out.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

Why Was Jesus Christ Crucified At Golgotha?

Golgotha is an Aramaic word translated, the place of the skull. What are the chances that there is some deeper and even more profound significance behind where the Messiah was crucified?

Jesus was crucified between two thieves. “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby… For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” – Ephesians 2.

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ).”

As we consider the place of the skull, or more specifically, what Paul is telling us in the Book of Ephesians, watch the below video, and ponder just how significant Golgotha truly is.

“Henceforth, be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” – Ephesians 4:14-15.

May the blessings of the Eternal Father, and the everlasting Gospel of Salvation find a place within your heart.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

Fit For The Kingdom Of Heaven?

Jesus shines a new light on many of the teachings of the Old Testament. In Proverbs 22:6, Solomon tells us, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” In numerous places throughout the New Testament we are told by the Messiah one simple thing, “Follow me…” Let’s take His message and apply it to Proverbs. And we will add even more light to the previous post, About my Fathers business. We will be looking at Luke 9:57-62.

 “And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 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.”

We see in these verses that they all have excuses for why they are not wanting to do as Jesus put it, “he that forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be my disciple.” Are you holding on to possessions? Are you worried about your family? Are you spending too much time looking at and dwelling on earthly things? Are you truly letting go and giving the Lord everything that you have? I could give other examples but there is one very simple golden rule, WWJD, What Would Jesus Do? If He wouldn’t be doing it, chances are, we should be working at getting away from those things, as we draw closer to Him.

We may take time in doing so. Some things will be more difficult then others. Although, as we draw near to Him by putting our full trust in Him, He draws near to us. Let’s now look deeper at the teachings of Jesus from Luke and tie them into Proverbs 22:6. To follow the Lord means to be in the same way with, down a road, to accompany Him as His disciple. We will be looking at the original Greek here in a minute. Christ also tells us, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” As previous posts have covered in depth some of the understandings and principles of this verse, we will focus in on when Jesus says, “but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” He tells us, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God .” Let’s look closely at the word follow and the word fit.

As we have learned or are learning the Way of Life which is Jesus Christ, we are given a very specific commandment. “Go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” As well as a warning. “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God .” The word fit means, well placed, appropriate, or meet. If we aren’t sharing His good news, who we are, what we are doing here, what He did for us, how He set us all free, and teaching the principles and the ministry of the Messiah, there is a good chance that we are still holding on to something. Because we aren’t loving our neighbor as ourselves, and showing them what the Spirit is revealing to us. As we consider Lot’s wife, we don’t know for sure why she was still holding on, but she was. It is time to let go. It is time to put our full faith and trust in the Lord God. Forsake everything. Does it truly matter what is happening in the world? Does it matter what your friends and family are doing? Don’t you just want to go home, to our Heavenly Home?

As we are letting go of our flesh, our lusts, our passions, our desires, and our wants, He fills us. As we are seeking Him, He leads us. As we spend time in His Word, He guides us. Luke 9:58 is about total abstinence. “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication (sex).” See the Bible Study page, read the first three articles, watch the videos, and you will begin to understand why. Luke 9:59 is about asking for the liberty to get rid of all of the problems that you have before you go and share His Word. Why, because we are of our father the devil. Paul made it abundantly clear, “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I… O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” None of us are 100% without flaws. “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.” And Luke 9:61 is about letting go of your friends and family. “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Brethren, go and share the Good News of the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ. As we do, we fully understand, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Or, we have the words of the Messiah to ponder once again, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Don’t be as Lot’s wife. The Lord starts with us where we are. He changes us from the inside. He will transform us by the constant renewing of our minds, “that we may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” As a child is molded by their parents, we are molded by the Lord. As we grow through faith, letting go, we age. As the principles, understanding, and the Spirit grow within us, we learn more and more what it means to walk in the Spirit. And we, “Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God,” so that those around us may pluck and eat from the everlasting Gospel of Peace.

May you be blessed in a full understanding of the Love of God: “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

About My Fathers Business

In Hebrews 6 we are told this by Paul, “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God… But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.  And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” We have put our full faith and trust in our Father in Heaven.

When we accompany Jesus as His disciple and have understood the principles of the Gospel, we then begin learning what it truly means to, walk as He walked. “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. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.” – 1 John 2:5-9. As a child, when we are first learning to walk, we are guided as we take our first steps. As we have gained balance within ourselves, our hands are soon let go. We may stumble, we may fall, but there is always someone there to help us get back up and try again.

And try again we do. We have learned that walking is more freeing then crawling. We are able to do more. We have accomplished something. Now we may find our hands in the cookie jar, or we are in a place where we should not be. Yet, even then, we are guided, ever so with patience. As I have learned the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and know the way, the truth, and the life, many things within me started to change. This world has no power over me anymore.

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” – Galatians 5:16-18. I no longer desire to see what the next big thing is in the news, or the media, or with the power of states. I may check in on occasion, yet, I find myself more and more just wanting to dwell in Him. I am learning more adequately the perfect law of liberty. “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” – James 1:25.

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48. “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.” Peter tells us this, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.” Let’s further look at these verses using the Strong’s Concordance.

We are told to be Holy in all manner of our behavior. See brethren, once we begin letting go of this world, letting go of the things that we once did, letting go of ourselves, we are only about one thing… “Know ye not that I am about my Father’s business?” We shouldn’t be arguing or complaining. We shouldn’t be worrying about that next big sale. We shouldn’t be thinking about an upcoming movie. We shouldn’t be thinking about this world at all. We are to be in the world, but not a part of it. “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

“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.” “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Are you converted? Are you awake? Do you know the Way? Do you know the Truth? Do you know the Life? “So when they had dined (to take the principal meal, to understand the Gospel), 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.”

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

Do you love the Lord God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind? Then love your neighbor as yourself and get out there spreading the Word. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. “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.” May His Love carry you wherever you go. May His Peace go before you with every step. May the everlasting Gospel make it’s way to every lost sheep.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

Find Your Way Home – Jesus Christ

Jesus teaches us in the Bible certain principles. If we are to follow them, we will have life, and have it more abundantly. “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” – James 1:25-26

“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.” 1 John 2:3-6

We will be looking in detail at many of the Messiah’s words and comparing them with one another. We will also compare these teachings with the words of the Apostles to gain even more of an understanding. Let’s look at 1 Corinthians from Paul and then further break down what his message was in the following video.

“Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 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? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” – 1 Corinthians 6:15-20

Once we gain the full understanding of the WAY and the TRUTH, and repent, we have understood the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet, even after our conversion, something far more beautiful begins to take place inside of us. We move unto perfection. “Be ye Holy, for I am Holy.” The next post will be on the Life, and the full understanding of walking as Jesus walked, and being followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.” – Hebrews 6:1

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:3-4. May the blessings of the everlasting Gospel of Peace continue to take root in your minds, in your hearts, and in your souls.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner