Tag Archives: Revelation

Am I My Brothers Keeper?

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…

NEW 2/4/22 – Download The Full Length eBook FREE Below

Am I My Brother’s Keeper

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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.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

As I Have Called You, Feed My Sheep

A Lift Up A Banner exclusive free Christian eBook is now available for download in PDF, As I Have Called You, Feed My Sheep. After many months of walking this out in faith, the free Christian eBook ties many things on this subject together in one place for easy viewing without the need for breaking things down. As followers of Jesus Christ, we all have a commandment. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves. The Bible tells us, “Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.” – Deuteronomy 13:4 We are also told this is 1 Peter 2:9-10, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”

“But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” – Matthew 9:36-38. “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” – 1 Peter 4:8. “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” – Deuteronomy 10:12.

As I Have Called You Feed My Sheep

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Faith without works is dead. “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.”

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

After taking the time to consider this free Christian eBook, also consider reading about another Gospel principle, Biblical chastity. Throughout both the New Testament and the Old, we are led to understand the fulness of what this saying of Paul means, “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.”

Biblical Chastity: Jesus, Abstinence, And The Bible

“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.” – Isaiah 34:16-17.

You can also see all of our free Christian eBooks by clicking the following link here: The Bible Revealed. Lift Up A Banner is 100% free from financial support. We also have no internal ads or ask for donations. We are told by Paul in 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.” We are 100% faith based and word of mouth. If any of the eBooks, articles, or videos within this website strike a chord within you, feel free to share what you know to be true. All of the links are able to be copied and pasted within any browser or social media for easy sharing.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

biblical abstinence

Biblical Chastity: Jesus, Abstinence, And The Bible

In this life, we may come to understand many things about the Truth. Jesus and the Bible teach us many things about abstinence. There is an abundance of Bible verses about purity and chastity. To begin with, we will look at the honest words of the Messiah, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” Let’s take Jesus’ advice, and do just that. What is it about little children? That is a key to understanding how simple it actually is. Trust in the Father, be willing to relearn all that you thought to be true, and believe what the Spirit is telling you. The flesh lusts against the Spirit and vice-versa. Everything that we have ever believed to be true, is mostly a lie. Jesus is the only Truth, and in His Word is eternal life. Stop trusting in those teaching you the Gospel. You are able to acquire understanding with only a little guidance. “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.” – Isaiah 34:16-17.

Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: – 1 Thessalonians 4:1-3. This is only the beginning of many Bible verses about purity.

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Jesus, in multiple places has said this in very similar ways, “But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest 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 (to deny utterly, that is, disown, ABSTAIN: – deny), and take up his cross (that is, SELF DENIAL), and Follow me (to be in the same WAY with. that is, to accompany, specifically as a disciple).” – Matt 16:23-24 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the WAY, the Truth, and the life.” Here are other Bible verses about chastity. See the below Screenshots for reference.

Why does Jesus, the Word of God, and the Apostles all tell us to abstain from fornication, or more specifically to abstain from sex? There are endless places within the Bible that bear out Biblical Abstinence. Why does 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 say this, “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?” Who is the god of this world? What does that actually mean? Why did Jesus as well say this in John 8:44-45, “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?” Now it is time to sit down, collect yourselves, fasten your seatbelts, and understand the profundity of Isaiah 61:1 which states, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” In which Jesus himself repeats in Luke 4:18, “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.”

I am going to ask a very simple question. One, that requires thought on your part. Who are the captives, who are the blind, and who are the bruised? Jesus knew the answer to this question. Do you? Did Jesus tell us the answers plainly? Did He explain everything that we needed to know within the four Gospels? Have we sought out the answers? Do we know them? During the time that Jesus Christ was preaching upon this earth, the Jewish nation was expecting a Messiah that would free them all from the Roman occupation. Yet, He did not. So, who are the captives? Where did these captives come from? Is it plausible than that we are all captives? What if we were all blind? What if we were all bruised? Would the Bible bear out in numerous places the answers to these questions?

In Luke 9:58, Jesus tells us, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” Let us know review the previous post, A Man Of Sorrows. “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” – Ephesians 5:14-21.

To add to A Man Of Sorrows, a good place to continue would be, What Is Truth In The Bible? The Bible tells us, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” What did we turn away from? Is it possible that we are all walking after our own way, after the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience? Let us finish this Bible Abstinence post with the following, “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. That sounds like some more Bible verses about purity and chastity.

My friend Jamie Black did a guest blog back in August titled, From The Beginning It Was Not So. The only question now is, are you ready to receive it?

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

The Coming Judgement

Arise (Joseph), and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life.. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene. – Matthew 2:20-23.

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.” – Isaiah 7:14-15. Within our own walks of faith, as our understanding of the Gospel grows, we also, should be learning to refuse the evil, and choose the good. As we learn to let go of our lusts, passions, and desires, we begin letting go of the old man as we put more of our trust in the LORD God. It isn’t the easiest thing to do. The LORD tells us this in Luke 5:39, “No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.” Let us expand more on something stated about the Church in the Book of Acts. “For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.” Let us look at the original word Nazarite in Hebrew.

The word Nazarite means, to separate, that is, consecrated as a prince or a Nazarite: to hold aloof, to distant ourselves, to withdraw, abstain from food and drink, from impurity, and even from divine worship (that is, apostatize); specifically to set apart to sacred purposes, that is, devote: – consecrate, separate self. Now my friends, take this Biblical journey of discovery with me, as we go deep into the Word of GOD.

We are told this by Paul in the Book of Galatians, “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. 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. 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. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” – Galatians 5:14-23.

Let us now look at only one word from above, uncleanness. We will look at the original word first and then the root from which the word is derived from.

The word uncleanness means, impurity (the quality), physically or morally, as well as profligate living, imprudent, reckless, irresponsible, prodigal. Let us now go further into the translation as we look at the root of this word.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments; Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14-18. Come out of her, my friends.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

The Preparation Of The Gospel Of Peace

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. 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; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. – Ephesians 6:12-18.

My friends, take hold of the Covenant, by passing between two pieces of flesh. We are to exchange one for the other. Each time that we let go of something in this life, it allows that much more of the Spirit to occupy our temples. “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from Heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” – 2 Corinthians 5:1-4.,

“Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.” 2 Corinthians 5:6-11.

“For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:13-21.

Remember Lot’s Wife? Don’t look back. “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” – Luke 17:33-36. “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.” – Isaiah 53:3. Strive to enter in at the straight gate. Forget those things which are behind, letting go, and reach forth unto those things which are before. Take up your cross daily, as we follow after the LORD together.

Review the following my friends, The Parable Of The Poor Widow. “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.” – Hebrews 10:5.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

Abomination Of Desolation

The Abomination Of Desolation

Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. – Luke 13:35. Read that verse once again. Read it until you have committed it memory. That is only one scripture of many that tells us the simplicity that is Christ. Yet, will you believe it? Now… as it is staring you directly in the face, simply believe it… We live in a world where the Scripture has been misunderstood and misinterpreted, put simply, by a whole bunch of people who have no fear of GOD.

In a post titled, The Tendency of Modern Christianity, we expanded on the vanity of man from the pages of Ecclesiastes. It may be a good place to begin your journey there. The Bible tells us in Isaiah 8, “Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.” Looking at the Scripture in a whole, how can the LORD be a sanctuary without being your fear and your dread? What is it that you fear the most? Take a moment, and really consider the question. Is it, fear of the unknown? Is it, fear of somebody or something? What about the fear of death? When you fully begin walking with the LORD, the fear and power of death have no foothold within you. Neither, does the fear of what is in this world.

During the ministry of the Apostles, after Christ’s death, simply by reading the Book of Acts, we see that at that time, death had no power over them either. So what is different about today? “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:” – Isaiah 29:13. Would you like to understand the Bible when reading it? Would you like to lie down in green pastures and drink from the fountain of living waters every time you enter in?

Begin this journey with me through the Living Word as we swim through the Old and New Testament, comparing Spiritual with Spiritual, and discover Mystery Babylon. Below is a playlist of approximately twelve hours that builds line upon line and layer after layer. Take a walk through the Word with me.

Now my friends, in the plainest words possible I will explain the building within the final few videos within this playlist. “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” – Matthew 24:15-21.

In this “modern” world we are taught about what I will refer to as the “rapture.” In laymen’s terms, it is not as described. There are not hundreds, thousands, or millions of people that are going to be taken away from what is to unfold before our very eyes shortly. When you as a follower of Christ, or as one who is going before (striving to become what we once were), once you can “see,” “hear,” and understand that humanity is the abomination of desolation, we are to fully let go of everything within this world. This is kind of symbolic of the final boarding call before the “crap hits the fan,” so to speak. This is our last chance to get sealed before the Great Tribulation begins. We, as followers of Jesus Christ are to fully let go, put our full faith in Him alone, and forsake everything in this world. We are to separate, isolate, and be very desolate. We are to take our flight to the mountains and dwell with the Father in Spirit. If you are still holding on to things in this world, NOW is the time to let go. Because, if you aren’t sealed to be a witness, you are free game for all that will unfold. You will be playing with a loaded deck stacked against you. And, unfortunately, there is no certainty of what tomorrow will bring.

Because, if your flight is in the winter or during the “storm,” you are still subject to all that will be unfolding. I am aware that most (the world) have no clue what is coming. There are less of us that know who we are and what we did, but never grasped abstinence. Beyond that are those who have grasped abstinence but haven’t fully let go of the world. And the purification within us came grinding to a halt. Either the cares of this world, distractions, etc., or the fear of those around us caused us to stop walking it out. “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” – Hebrews 10:38. There is no arrival. There is no end game. There is no moment that we get to relax and say, I am done. We have to fully commit to not loving our lives unto death. “Not as though I had already obtained, or were already made perfect, this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” How long did Paul walk with the LORD? Are we somehow better than he is? Are we somehow different?

It doesn’t end with knowing a truth, or portions of the truth. It doesn’t end with knowing the way or portions of the way. It is a daily battle and it is a daily struggle. “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. And, as I am continually pushing the one most important thing as we are understanding these things, I will do so, even now. “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.” – Matthew 5:19-20. There is no place in Heaven for the man who isn’t teaching men so. I began this journey with the Father with only one thought. I would rather be down here figuring it all out, sharing what I know to be true, while I am still letting go of my flesh with it’s lusts passions and desires, then to have no chance at all. As the days push forward, there is less of the old self here, and more of what the Father is filing me with.

“No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.” “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.” If your desire is still the old man, you aren’t being filled with the new.

Even Paul, after years, tells us about his own personal struggles. “I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” – Romans 7:21-25. Are we perfect? Will any of us, while we are still here in the flesh, prior to receiving our perfected bodies, ever be? Paul had to rebuke Peter for doing something wrong. People make mistakes. I have three kids at home. I am quick to admit my faults. Why? Because I know that the LORD sees right through it all, down to our very heart. To my dear friends who are still struggling, what is the life? What is the light of life? How are we to walk in the light of life, if our lights aren’t shining before men? No man can serve two masters, my friends.

Now, as the following has more than one meaning, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Consider, what happens the very moment that the Spirit fills your temple… “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. And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come.”

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

Workers Together With Christ

For we are laborers 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 3:9-10. I have considered this Chapter in 1 Corinthians and considered the following verses as well.

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:11-15. Let us consider the following video…

Even after Jesus’s death, there were descensions within the body of Christ. Consider Paul having to rebuke Peter for fearing those of the circumcision while teaching the Gentiles (Galatians 2). And, this was many years after Paul began his ministry. Peter walked for years with the LORD, and wasn’t without fault. Let is now consider Apollos. “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” – Acts 18:24-26.

As followers together of Jesus Christ, we all have a part to contribute. We all have our own work to do. “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we 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: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” – Ephesians 4:13-16. If we aren’t contributing our portion, even the greater portion of ourselves, we will inevitably fall short at the last day.

““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.” “The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.” Consider… your eternal lives my friends. “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Jonathan Heller – Lift up A Banner

The Good Shepherd – A Year Of New Beginnings

What is the New Testament? It is the Higher Law of the Old Testament personified in Jesus Christ. We are His workmanship, personified through Him. “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” – John 10:11-14.

My friends, sit down at the table with me as we break bread, together. “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” – John 6:35-40.

Previously we have looked at the meaning of the “name” of Jesus Christ. We will quickly review it now. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” – John 3:17-21. Below, we will look at the root meaning of the word name, as well as deeds.

During the ministry of the Messiah, He was teaching in a way that convicted down to the very soul. He was even crucified for it. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was a perfect seed. Here is something to consider from Cornell University, “Though placentas support the fetus and mother, it turns out that the organ grows according to blueprints from dad.” As we know about the differences between Genesis 1 and 2, Jesus had to come from the line of Adam and had to be “wrought of the Spirit,” hence, a perfect seed. Although born in the likeness of sinful flesh, he had to learn to choose the good and refuse the evil. “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.”

I can picture Jesus growing up looking at the world around Him, constantly making tough decisions. I am confident that many of the choices that He made were very difficult. Things in this world have an appeal to them, a luster about them, an appetizing enticement. It is the same for us today. “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.” Now, to get back to the words that we just looked at the meanings of; as Jesus learned to choose the good, He began a work within Himself that gave Him authority and a certain character. Remember brothers and sisters, “they that are in the flesh, cannot please GOD.” He learned to refuse the evil. He learned to refuse the flesh. I can also picture the days pushing forward, choosing the good, and how with each “act” that He was making, He was being led to the greater Good. His “deeds” were truly wrought in GOD. 

Let us now consider something that Jesus said to Peter concerning the matter. “But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” “They that are in the flesh, cannot please GOD.” Knowing that in the flesh, we are of our father the devil, let us now consider Paul’s words to the Ephesians. “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation (our behavior, to live, to busy oneself) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” As each one of us are considering our decisions in life, we have our own difficult decisions to make. We have to learn to choose the good over the evil. In the beginning, it may be as simple as rated R movies, which leads to no movies, and no television. Each step into the “good” leads to that which is better. As we continue our walk into that which is better, we begin to abhor those things that we thought were ok. We start growing in the Spirit, and begin to have His authority and character about us.

Let us now tie it together with John 6:40 and those which “seeth the Son.” “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” We will look at the meaning of seeth and walk it back to the root.

As we have seen, Jesus had to learn to choose the good over the evil. We also need to learn to be a spectator in this world, as we continue each day to choose that which is better. As we are walking with the LORD in Spirit, we experience those things that He also went through. We begin to have more discernment with our spiritual eyes and with our understanding. We begin taking heed to the promptings within us as we learn each day to crucify more of our flesh, with it’s lusts, passions, and desires, as we draw closer to the Father, forsaking all else. As we are doing so, more of His will becomes present within us and then, we understand this fully: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” We also, as followers of Jesus Christ begin laying our lives down just as He did for the needs and well being of others. We begin to teach. We begin to preach. We begin to loathe that which is evil, wanting nothing but the better, willing to sacrifice every bit of ourselves in the furtherance of the Gospel, even to the point of death.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” My prayer is a simple one this day. As one who has faith in the authority and character of Jesus Christ, my hope is that you will believe on Him and be persuaded by what we all have beheld here this day.

May the truthfulness of the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ find it’s way into your heart, and into your soul, my dear friends. What is the New Testament? It is the Higher Law of the Old Testament personified in Jesus Christ. We are His workmanship, personified through Him.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

Where The Spirit Speaks

For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him. – Isaiah 56:4-8.

There have been many times within my own life where I have believed that my accomplishments were a thing of value as if I had arrived somewhere. Now, I understand this completely, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.” From an early age, we learn about values, education, and what matters in this life. What if, just what if, everything that we had grown to understand, was a lie? No, really. I do mean everything. “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” – Philippians 3:7-11.

As a new day begins, as the light shines forth out of darkness, listen for the stillness amidst the chaos. The very foundations of the heavens and earth may shake, but our faith in GOD stands.

“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?” – 1 Kings 19:11-13. The following video will add a depth of knowledge and understanding that leaves me in awe of the LORD God. I pray that He blesses you as He continues to bless me. Before doing so, consider the following from Isaiah 33, “Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off. Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe? where is the receiver? where is he that counted the towers?”

Into The Fire – The Fire Is Winter’s Fruit – The Tower, The Wound, The Walk

After a video such as this, I have no other words my friends. Keep seeking Him, and Him only.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

A Not So Merry Christmas

When the Messiah blessed us all with His presence roughly 2000 years ago, He came into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, knowing what He was about to face. I can hardly even imagine being able to keep it together. Within my life, and especially these last couple of years, everything within me has changed. I have sought after the very heart of the LORD, and I have found that which was lost. When Jesus returns the second time, it will be very different. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.” – Revelation 19:11-16.

Wouldn’t it be wise to know what we all did that would require His death as a perfect sacrifice, and to know why He is returning with vengeance upon His Second coming? “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” – Psalm 51:7-13.

Would one have to know the way, the truth, and the life? Jesus did tell us that no man comes to the Father but by Him. Do you know the way? What about the truth? Where does our life come from? Is it simply believing in any water downed version of Jesus Christ that is being taught to the masses these days? Or, is there much, much more to it? Is there a once saved, always saved Jesus? Why does Paul tell us this, “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.” Why does the Bible tell us that the LORD God is not a respecter of persons? “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.” – Romans 2:13-15. Does that even make sense to you?

What is the way again? Why did Jesus say that He was the Truth? Why does the Bible say, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Do you KNOW the Word of GOD? To know the Word, means that you know Jesus. Have you been born again? Have you been converted and become as little children? Is your only desire to please the LORD, and to serve Him? Question after question, yet where am I going? Well, prepare yourselves. As a servant, you sit in the last chair, at the lowest table. As a servant, you take no claim to fame, nor seek anything of yourself. As a servant, you are not asking for donations. As a servant, all glory goes to the LORD God, the Author and Finisher of our faith. For He alone is worthy, and none of us are good, not even one.

“So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 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.”

Below is an eight part playlist (with potentially more to come) with roughly six hours of Biblical truth, layer after layer, built upon one foundation, with Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone. Take a journey of discovery with me, as we consider 1 Peter: “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

“In the way of righteousness is life: and in the pathway thereof there is no death. A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.” “Whoso despiseth the Word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.  The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.” Some of the things that I have come to understand, have come at a great cost. Especially some of the more recent ones. For my dear brethren and friends, in whom I esteem above myself…

“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.” – Matthew 5:19. Where is the place in Heaven for the man who isn’t teaching men so? “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” – Matthew 6:21-23. “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.” Matthew 5:14-16.

“But he that had received one (talent) went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.” “Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:” – Matthew 25. Remember, the parable of the sower, specifically the seed that was sown amidst the thorns. The cares of the world and the distractions of life came in and the thorns choked out the Word, bearing no fruit. “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”

As one who is very familiar with breaking the words down for deeper meaning, we already have all that we need, dear friends. “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words THAT I SPEAK TO YOU, they are spirit, and they are life.” “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Through faith he kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.”

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.”

Car 54 Where Are You???

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner