Jesus Christ Prison Ministry

December 2016 Newsletter

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Church built on sand

Matthew: A Church Built on Sand

 

My Dear Family in Christ,

As we continue in the book of Matthew, we are finding that what Jesus taught was very different from what the church teachers and leaders taught. The church leaders and teachers were more concerned about the physical and social health and welfare of their church than the spiritual health and welfare of its members. They were more involved with putting on a show than making sure the heart was filled with spiritual substance. Making people look the part was more important than teaching people how to live the part. Therefore, Jesus continued with His teachings that touched the heart. Again, remember, Jesus never taught church. Jesus never instructed anyone to “go to church”. Church was like a mad dog, ready to bite and devour anyone who got in its way.

Matthew 7:6 - Matthew 9:38

Don’t give to dogs what belongs to God. They will only turn and attack you. Don’t throw pearls down in front of pigs. They will trample all over them.

The tithe-paying, Sabbath church-going leaders were the ones trampling all over the teachings of Jesus. As Jesus attempted to feed them the Word of Life, truth that would save their souls, they turned and attacked Him. It is the same with this ministry. God has dictated and directed to this ministry “present truth” for our day to prepare people for physically going to Heaven. As this ministry attempts to share it with church people, most trample all over it and attack it. If it doesn’t come from their church, they disdain it. Few are willing to test and investigate in order to see if the teachings are truly of God, no matter what the source.

This concept is very important for inmates in particular. Good Christian inmates have a good heart and desire to help others. The other inmates take advantage of their Christian love and work their conscience to get everything they can from them. Christians are not to waste God’s material blessings on those who would not appreciate it. Inmates have food, clothes and drink. You don’t need to give them yours just because they play the game on you. That would be throwing your pearls before pigs. However, you can use your material blessings to entice other inmates to come and learn the truth of Jesus. You can let it be known that you will throw a spread for those who have come to listen and learn what you are learning. Use what God has given you wisely. God requires that of you. You are to be good managers of His things. Only the “worthy” poor are to be helped. Give only as it will glorify God and not the work of the devil. The devil may want your stuff, but he doesn’t need your support. Don’t let him “steal” it.

The same is true for those not in prison. God wants them to open their homes and use His material blessings to “entice” people to come for Bible studies. By using the material God has dictated and directed to this ministry, you can bring many souls to Jesus.

Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. Everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And the door will be opened for everyone who knocks. Would any of you give your hungry child a stone, if the child asked for some bread? Would you give your child a snake if the child asked for a fish? As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give good things to people who ask. Treat others as you want them to treat you. This is what the Law and the Prophets are all about.

As bad as you are”. Jesus is talking to church people. If He were standing in our churches today, whether Sabbath or Sunday churches, He would be saying the very same thing. When will we wake up?

Ask, search and knock. Many have not learned how to accomplish this concept. Instead of asking, they demand. Instead of searching, they ravish and bulldoze. Instead of knocking, they beat the door down. God will not respond if you are not respectful of His authority in your life. An inmate would understand this. If he went before the judge to ask, search and knock for a pardon, he would not go barging in, demanding a pardon while knocking everything off the desk of the judge. No, he would approach very humbly, with a carefully worded statement that was limited only to the case at hand. He would respectfully present his petition and with reverence, honor the judge.

But how many stand before God, who holds their very life in His hands, and yell, scream, shout, demand and act as if they control their own destinies. They bang on the door and attempt to break it down while bulldozing over every request and command that God has given them to do. It is amazing how many shout and proclaim the “Love of God” while they refuse to give back “Love to God”.

God is ready and willing to give good gifts to His children. But you must be one of “His children”. “A son honors his father and a servant his master. So if I’m a father, where is my honor?” Malachi 1:6. The fifth commandment commands children to obey, reverence and fear their parents. If we revere, obey and fear our Heavenly Father, asking, seeking and knocking with all humility and respect, fulfilling the requirements He has laid down, He will give us whatever we ask for. I am learning this in my life. In other words, do unto God as you would have Him do unto you. Treat God as you want Him to treat you. Give to God as you would want Him to give to you. Love God as you would want Him to love you. As we do unto others, you do unto God.

Go in through the narrow gate. The gate to destruction is wide, and the road that leads there is easy to follow. A lot of people go through that gate. But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it.

I do not understand why people are not listening to Jesus. Especially those who claim to be “God’s special people”. For some reason, they equate going through the doors of their church with going through the “narrow gate” to heaven. Not possible. Why? Because going through a church door is very easy. Everyone can do it. But to get to heaven, you must turn around, walk out of your church and walk on God’s narrow road. That is very hard to do. The power of the church influence is hard to break. We love our idols. Very few are on the road to Heaven. It requires a character that not one church is producing. It requires an obedience that not one church is teaching. It requires a love for Jesus and Jesus only that not one church is practicing. Churches are not willing to give up their power and authority over you. They want your obedience. Churches are not teaching you how to give your life to God. Churches follow the Catholic model for power and money.

Watch out for false prophets! They dress up like sheep, but inside they are wolves who have come to attack you. You can tell what they are by what they do. No one picks grapes or figs from thornbushes. A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. Every tree that produces bad fruit will be chopped down and burned. You can tell who the false prophets are by their deeds.

Good deeds! Why is it, while God is working so hard for our salvation, we refuse to even admit that we have any responsibility to work hard for our own salvation. If you are not producing the good fruits of the Ten Commandments in your life, you are producing bad fruit. If you are feeling the chop-chop of the ax in your life, maybe it is time to start producing the good fruits of the Ten Commandments. Why do we listen to our churches and pastors, the false prophets, the wolves in sheep’s clothing, who tell us that we can’t work our way into heaven? Why? Why not listen to Jesus who tells us what we must do, obey, work, strive in order to enter Heaven? How many claim to have “faith in Jesus” and yet that “faith” has absolutely no life. Their faith has no power to obey Jesus to do, obey, work, strive in order to enter Heaven. James is right, their faith is dead. And so are they.

Not everyone who calls me their Lord will get into the kingdom of heaven. Only the ones who obey my Father in heaven will get in. On the day of judgment many will call me their Lord. They will say, “We preached in your name, and in your name we forced out demons and worked many miracles.” But I will tell them, “I will have nothing to do with you! Get out of my sight, you evil people!”

Every church, every pastor, every denomination teaching that we are “saved by grace”, that we “can’t work our way into heaven”, that all we have to do is “have faith” or “believe” to be saved, is evil. It is the work of “evil people” to keep you from believing in the teachings of Jesus. They are attempting to flood out the truth with evil, good sounding lies.

On the day of judgment church people will stand before Jesus and claim, “We preached in your name”, we went to church on Sabbath, we read the church Sabbath School Lessons, why are you destroying us”? He will respond, ““I will have nothing to do with you! Get out of my sight, you evil people!” “I never asked you to go to church. I never asked you to read the Sabbath School Lesson. I asked you to stop sinning, be perfect and to keep the Ten Commandments to get your eternal life.”

Anyone who hears and obeys these teachings of mine is like a wise person who built a house on solid rock. Rain poured down, rivers flooded, and winds beat against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on solid rock. Anyone who hears my teachings and doesn’t obey them is like a foolish person who built a house on sand. The rain poured down, the rivers flooded, and the winds blew and beat against that house. Finally, it fell with a crash.

All pastors, churches and denominations are crashing. They no longer obey the teachings of Jesus to be perfect, stop sinning and to keep the Ten Commandments to get your eternal life. Get out now before they crash on you. If you are not standing on the Rock, Who teaches us the way to salvation, that Rock will crush you for eternity.
When Jesus finished speaking, the crowds were surprised at his teaching. He taught them like someone with authority, and not like their teachers of the Law of Moses.

The messages Jesus has given this ministry are not like the teachers of the churches of today. No, this message, dictated and directed by the Holy Spirit, is from the authority of God. All who reject it reject Jesus. The ax and the curse of God will fall on all who reject it.

When Jesus came down from the hillside, large crowds followed him. Suddenly a leper came up to him, fell down before him, and said, “Sir, if you want to, you can make me clean.” So Jesus reached out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do want to. Be clean!” And instantly his leprosy was made clean. Then Jesus told him, “See to it that you don’t speak to anyone. Instead, go and show yourself to the priest, and then offer the sacrifice that Moses commanded as proof to the authorities.”

Here was an “unclean” leper who had real faith. The majority of church people today have no faith. What they have is a sick, “unclean” emotion of “goody, goody” feelings that have nothing to do with true faith. But here was a leper who was forbidden to be close to people. He was forbidden to let anyone touch him. However, he had faith that motivated him to act. He did not care what his church taught or did. His faith motivated him to search out and find Jesus. His faith motivated him to stand in the presence of a crowd with the possibility of being stoned to death, and asked Jesus, an outcast from the church, to heal him. How many in the crowd were sick? How many claimed to have “faith” in God, but refused to ask Jesus for healing? How many were so chained to their denomination that they refused to believe the evidences right before their eyes? But the “unclean” leper, who was an outcast from his denomination, he had no trouble seeing and believing.

For Jesus to touch such a person was a death sentence. According to the church He would be forbidden to work in public or to touch anyone else. He would be excluded from all religious services, gatherings and ceremonies. How sad that the church had fallen so far it had no idea what true Christianity was all about: loving and healing sin-sick people. Jesus was not afraid of sin or the effects of sin. Why are we so afraid to stand up and meet sin head-on? Maybe because it is hard to confront sin when we love it so much. We are very comfortable in our churches and don’t want to make waves. That is not following Jesus.

Jesus told the man not to tell anyone but to go straight to the priest and offer the sacrifices necessary for cleansing. Why? Because Jesus did not want the news of how the man was healed to prejudice the outcome of the decision the priest had to make. He wanted the priest to make a fair and honest decision that the man was clean. How sad. Even today, people are so prejudiced by their church teachings and influences that they are not able to see and acknowledge the truth of Jesus standing before them. Like Cain, their church-way of doing things is more important than listening to Abel telling them the truth. How many hate those “Abels” Jesus is sending them to correct their selfish opinions, beliefs and actions! Church people would kill “Abel” today if the laws permitted it.

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a centurion came up to him and begged him repeatedly, “Sir, my servant is lying at home paralyzed and in terrible pain.” Jesus told him, “I will come and heal him.” The centurion replied, “Sir, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed, because I, too, am a man under authority and I have soldiers under me. I say to one of them ‘Go’ and he goes, to another ‘Come’ and he comes, and to my servant ‘Do this’ and he does it.”

Again, how sad that the church who claimed to be “God’s special people” refused to accept their God. They had made up their own god and refused to accept any proof to the contrary. And yet, here was a pagan, a man of secular authority, coming to Jesus and begging Him repeatedly to heal his servant. The same is true today. While church leaders and members treat this ministry with disdain, the “pagan” rejected outcasts of society are coming to be physically and spiritually healed by God’s power.

But not only did the Roman, pagan centurion, come, he let it be known that he, a man of wealth, influence and who had command of a hundred men, did not consider himself worthy to stand in the presence of God or to have Jesus come under his roof. He begged before Jesus while the church leaders offered only insults. His faith was so strong that all he needed was a “word”. How unlike the church leaders who kept demanding “a sign” from Jesus to prove His authority. How arrogant, prideful and wicked the church was. How like our churches, pastors and denominations of today. They just refuse to accept the teachings that God has given to this humble, simple and unworthy ministry.

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and told those who were following him, “I tell you with certainty, not even in Israel have I found this kind of faith! I tell you, many will come from east and west and will feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom from heaven. But the unfaithful heirs of that kingdom will be thrown into the darkness outside. In that place there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

How true! “Not even in Israel (modern “Christian” churches of today) have I found this kind of faith.” Those who claim to be “God’s special church” and “the Remnant” “will be thrown into the darkness outside” for their unfaithfulness. But inmates, “sinners” and those rejected by the church will “feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom from heaven”. When will the church members wake up and get out? When will they realize that they are acting this part, right now, today? Why do they go on sleeping in their fantasies?

“Go,” Jesus told the centurion, “and it will be done for you, just as you have believed.” And his servant was healed that very hour.

No problem with the faith of the pagan. No problem with the faith of a Roman Centurion. No problem with the faith of an “unclean” outcast. Big problem with the faith of the church and its members. You want to be healed? You want to have the blessings that come from God? Get out of your church and go to Jesus, humbling yourself and recognizing that you are not worthy, and be obedient to every word that comes from His mouth.

When Jesus went into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed, sick with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her. Then she got up and began serving him. When evening came, people brought to him many who were possessed by demons. He drove out the spirits by speaking a command and healed everyone who was sick. This was to fulfill what was declared by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “It was he who took our illnesses away and removed our diseases.”

What if Peter had been influenced by the church of his day and was intimidated and took Jesus somewhere other than his home? Would his mother-in-law have been healed? Are we doing the same today? We sure love our churches. We let in all kinds of evil under the guise of “religion” and under the name of our church and denomination. But have we invited Jesus into our homes? Jesus and sickness cannot dwell together. Think about that!

By now the people who had been under the influence of their church could no longer be held back. However, the church regulations about the “Sabbath” were so strong that the people waited until the Sabbath was over before they came for healing. How sad. The Sabbath was made for the healing of man. If they had been taught right by their church, they would have realized that the Sabbath was made to make man whole. That is why God gave it to us. Those who properly keep the Sabbath won’t be going to church, but will be found being healed and healing the sick in Jesus.

Like my sister, how many go to the church to be healed. They want the church leadership to pour oil over them, pray over them and to preform all kinds of “Catholic” rituals for them. If the church can’t heal, they go to doctors. Why not just go to Jesus? He is our Physician. He has promised to heal all who come to Him. But to come to Him, you must accept Him and what He teaches: to be perfect, stop sinning and keep the Ten Commandments to get your eternal life.

When Jesus saw the large crowds around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus then had to leave in order not to let the devil tempt Him with pride, ego and a desire to stay and bask in the adulations of the church crowd. How unlike our pastors of today. They love the fame, glory and adulations of the crowd. Church leaders travel all over the world and from one church to another to get glory, fame and adulations. But Jesus was on a mission. Impossible though that mission was, He had to go and continue giving His life for the good of those who would kill Him.

Just then, a scribe came up and told him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus told him, “Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to rest.” Then another of his disciples told him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

How typical, when all is going well and the crowds are giving praise, a member of the church leadership steps forward to “follow”. Isn’t that the way it is today. We love to follow fame, pride, ego and success. But when the crowds stop cheering and there is no more “pride” in following, people turn away to find the next “in thing”. That is why they love their churches. Churches simply reflect our own pride, arrogance, ego and desires.

Then there are those who want to “follow” but they have so many burdens that it is impossible. How many inmates “wanted” to come work in this ministry! However, they could not because they had so many “dead things” in their lives to “bury” first. Unless we are ready to give up everything and follow Jesus without any conditions, we will never make it to Heaven. Leave the world and church alone and let them bury their own dead.

When Jesus got into the boat, his disciples went with him. Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat began to be swamped by the waves. Yet Jesus kept sleeping. They went to him and woke him up. “Lord!” they cried, “save us! We’re going to die!” He asked them, “Why are you afraid, you who have little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. The men were amazed. “What kind of man is this?” they asked. “Even the winds and the sea obey him!”

When we work for Jesus, stepping out into the unknown can be very violent and filled with storms. The devil hates those of us who walk by faith every day. Every day we step into our little boats and set out onto a sea that is unstable and filled with dangers. But if we ride with Jesus, firmly planted on the Rock, we have nothing to fear. Even though, I will admit, my human nature has feared many times in this ministry. But as I look back upon the 26 years of riding into the unknown with Jesus, I see great growth in my faith and confidence in my Lord and Savior. He has never let me or this ministry down. I too have been “amazed” at the storms in my life, and in this ministry, that Jesus has rebuked and calmed with His gentle voice. Many times I thought this little “boat” would be swamped and sunk. Never give up. No matter how rough the storm, keep your eyes on Jesus, be obedient and He will calm the storms that come against you.

When Jesus arrived on the other side in the region of the Gerasenes, two demon-possessed men met him as they were coming out of the tombs. They were so violent that no one could travel on that road. Suddenly they screamed, “What do you want with us, Son of God? Did you come here to torture us before the proper time?” Now a large herd of pigs was grazing some distance away from them. So the demons began to plead with Jesus, saying, “If you drive us out, send us into that herd of pigs.” He told them, “Go,” and they came out and went into the pigs. Suddenly, the whole herd rushed down the cliff into the sea and drowned in the water.

The devil and his agents will always stand in the way of God’s work. The devil did not want Jesus to demonstrate His healing powers in that region. He was determined to keep Jesus out. However, whatever the devil throws at us, God will always turn it around and use for good, if we work in conjunction with Jesus. Never are we to do it our way or the way of the church, but through God’s methods.

The disciples turned and ran from the work of the devil. Jesus stood His ground. Righteousness should never turn and run from the work of evil. However, we are not to defeat the work of evil with evil. We are not to use our own power, wisdom or force. We are to stand our ground in loving kindness and gentleness, and watch the power of God.

As long as we are doing the work of God, not sitting in our churches, we have the power of God. Jesus wasn’t sitting in a church, He was out doing the work God had commanded Him to do. Therefore, He had all the power of God at His disposal. Instead of using worldly methods to subdue and control the situation, He used His Father’s power of love. Jesus did not want to hurt, He came to heal. He did not direct the men to a psychologist, or a counselor. He did not direct the men to a half-way house or a therapist. He did not suggest the men go to church. After allowing the demons to demonstrate their power, Jesus showed the difference between evil and righteousness. Evil was destroying the lives of the men, Jesus came to give them back their lives. Evil took away their “right” mind, Jesus came to give it back. Evil took away their ability to control themselves, Jesus came to give them back their manhood and self-control.

Knowing that they were defeated, the demons asked to be let loose upon a heard of pigs. Evil always wants to destroy. Since these pigs belonged to Jews, the demons wanted to make Jesus responsible for their economic loss. In this way the devil hoped to turn the people against Him. Why did Jesus allow the demons to go into the pigs? Because in the Old Testament, the “Bible” for the Jews at that time, God explicitly commanded to have nothing to do with pigs. But the Jews had become very good church members and turned their backs on the truth of God in order to become wealthy church supporters. Pig raising was big business. Church is big business. Sin under any disguise is always big business.

Now when those who had been taking care of the pigs ran away, they came into the city and reported everything, especially what had happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the whole city went out to meet Jesus, and as soon as they saw him, they begged him to leave their region. After getting into a boat, Jesus crossed to the other side and came to his own city.

Sure enough, as soon as the towns’ people heard of what had happened, they came out and would have stoned Jesus if it had not been for the power of God to control their emotions. Their business and livelihood had been ruined. God came to bring them a better way of living, but they were not able to see past their present economic loss. All they could do, while under the power of God, was ask Jesus to leave their country. Jesus does not force Himself upon anyone. He must be invited in. He turned and left.

In the book of Luke, we are told that a man Jesus healed wanted to go with Jesus. He felt safe with Him. He did not want to leave the side of Christ. But Jesus knew what was best for the man. He needed some “backbone”. He needed to develop a character which he had failed to form in his former life. Therefore, He instructed him to go back to his home and to pick up where he had left off, but this time, saying “no” to the evil practices that had taken control of him. Jesus did not send him to church. He sent him to work. He did not suggest he become a good church member. He instructed him to go and tell what good things Jesus had done for him.

The same in our lives. God brings us over and over again the same ground which we have failed in the past in order to teach us how to overcome. No one can get to Heaven unless he overcomes. In the process of overcoming, the men became new creatures through obedience and self-control. At the same time, they would be sharing the good news as a testimony of what Jesus had done for them. They would be explaining to people how they had become filled with evil through disobedience to the commands of God. They would teach people to stop sinning, to be perfect and to keep the Ten Commandments in order not to become as they were. Jesus knew the people would listen. Are people listening to your testimony? Maybe people are not listening to you because you have no witness or testimony to make. Maybe all you have is church. Maybe you need to get out of your church and find the power of Jesus in your life. We will pick up the rest of this story later in Matthew. Jesus left and went across the lake and went “home”.

All at once some people brought him a paralyzed man lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he told the paralyzed man, “Be courageous, son! Your sins are forgiven.” Then some of the scribes told themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking, replied, “Why do you have such evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so you will know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...” he told the paralyzed man, “Get up, pick up your stretcher, and go home!” So the man got up and went home. When the crowds saw this, they became frightened and glorified God for giving such authority to humans.

Why is it, when God attempts to do a good work, it is always the church people who stand in the way? Church leaders and members are so selfish, prideful and jealous of their church that anything done outside of it is considered to be of the devil. What they don’t get is, it is just the opposite. This ministry is doing the works of God and church people “have such evil thoughts in your hearts” about it.

This paralyzed man had looked to the church for support, comfort and mercy. All he got was contempt and pronouncements of “you are a sinner and under the condemnation of God” and with that the church people smugly turned away from the man and back to their church rituals and ceremonies.

Therefore, when he heard of Jesus and His mercy to sinners, there was only one thing to do in his mind, he had to get to Jesus. Now, being paralyzed, he could not do this on his own, he had to enlist the help of friends. How wonderful to have friends. Would to God there were more “friends” to bring “sinners” to Jesus and not to a church. They helped the man to Jesus. In the process they received a blessing that nothing of this earth could have accomplished. They were able to see the power of God in a friend restored to health.

But the church officials and leaders where not very happy to see health and healing restored to the man. They did not want to see people going to Jesus instead of church. After all, the people could see the difference between their church “love” and God’s “love”. All healings and miracles had to come from within their church. Everything had to uplift the church. While the church talked of love, Jesus went about demonstrating that love. Why is it that those who talk so much about the “love of God” do not show “love to God”? Therefore, the church leaders had to find a way to denounce Jesus before their good church members. Remember, for church people, it is all about protecting the church. So they leveled the charge of “blasphemy”. And of course, they were right. Technically speaking, if Jesus had only been a “man”, He was a blasphemer. Only God can forgive sins. This “sin” is not the same as if someone had sinned against you. You can forgive that sin. That is your duty and right. But sins against God, only God can forgive. In the end, all sins must be forsaken in order for God to forgive them and cleanse us of all our sins to get to heaven. Jesus proved He was God by not only restoring him to perfect health, but in that act, He proved His authority to cleans the man of his sins.

How sad that churches refuse to let Jesus into their organizations. They do nothing but talk about Jesus. To allow Jesus in would destroy the church system and restore God’s original “church” system that is not being experienced today. That system would teach members how to work for Jesus instead of sitting in church. It would teach them to love Jesus by obeying Jesus who said, “If you love Me, keep My Commandments.”

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s desk and told him, “Follow me.” So he got up and followed him. While he was having dinner at Matthew’s home, many tax collectors and sinners arrived and began eating with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard that, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a physician, but sick people do. Go and learn what this means: ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice,’ because I did not come to call righteous people, but sinners.”

Matthew, a Jew, was looked down upon as a traitor to his “church”. He was working for the Romans collecting taxes from the Jews. To the Jewish church that was about as low as one could get. He was thought of as a “sinner” with no hope of being accepted by God since he was “betraying” the church. But Jesus saw his heart. Jesus knew that Matthew longed for a better life. He had heard of Jesus and would have followed Him gladly, but thought that Jesus, righteous as He was, would never accept him.

Matthew was surprised and delighted to be called. The Pharisee spies who followed Jesus were aghast at such behavior by Jesus. To accept a man the church had rejected, and called a “sinner”, was too much for them.

Matthew was so excited he prepared a dinner and invited the only friends he had, more tax collectors and “sinners”. Good church people would not be found dead in Matthews home. But Jesus gave Matthew respect, courtesy, love and dignity. The church spies wanted to make an example out of His behavior. After all, it was not “church sanctioned”. Wanting to drive a wedge between the disciples and Jesus they began a whispering campaign asking why Jesus would sit with tax collectors and “sinners”.

After allowing the whispering to circulate among the guests, Jesus spoke up. It was time to set the church people straight. Jesus did not come to save church people. Jesus did not come to save those who felt no need of a Savior. Jesus did not come to save those who felt their church was what God wanted of them. Those who think themselves healthy are not looking for a doctor. They could go back to their church services, rituals and ceremonies. Very carefully and with great emphasis, Jesus let it be known that His mission was to save sinners. His mission was to bring healing to the sick. The Pharisees accused Him of doing exactly what God had called Him to do. Jesus said, ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice’. Jesus wants us to bring sinners to Him, not church. All the “sacrifice” of church going will do you no good in the judgment. The work Jesus was doing was the work the church people were supposed to be doing, but refused. Church membership, rituals, ceremonies and services were far more important than healing “sinners”.

Then John’s disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples don’t fast?” Jesus asked them, “The wedding guests can’t mourn as long as the groom is with them, can they? But the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

Having operated my own wedding photography business for 10 years before God called me to this ministry, I understand very well what Jesus was saying to John’s disciples. At the wedding feast the guests are all happy and full of joy for the married couple. For a few hours the guests can forget about the troubles and problems of their lives. But when the couple drives off and the party is over, there are those who are sad. The party has come to an end and now they must return to their mundane lives. More importantly, many of the groom’s bachelor friends understood that they would no longer have the same relationship with him as they had before. That would make them sad. The groom now has a closer relationship with another person.

There is trouble enough in the world. Trials and problems will come along that will seem to separate us from Jesus. At those times we may be sad and need to fast. But when we have Jesus by our side and can spend time with Him, rejoice and be happy, be full of joy for the good times you can spend with Jesus uninterrupted by the world or church.

“No one patches an old garment with a piece of unshrunk cloth, because the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results. Nor do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will spill out, and the skins will be ruined. Instead, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”

Before the days of “pre-washed” material and pre-shrunk cloth, if you took a new patch and sewed it into an old piece of clothing, after washing, the new piece would shrink making the tear even worse. Oh the blessings of modern living! Both of these metaphors referred to the “new” teachings of Jesus against the “old” traditional church teachings. The people loved their “old” raggedy traditional clothes of the church. To the people of the Jewish church, the teachings of Jesus were very “new”. The “new” teachings of Christ were “unshrunk” and very hard for them to put on without tearing, even more, their old traditional clothes. Attempting to put the “new” teachings of Jesus into their old church system would not work. The “new” teachings of Jesus would eventually tear and destroy the old church system. They had to take off the old in order to understand and accept the “new”.

The same was true with the “new” wine in old wineskins. The people preferred sitting in church drinking from the “old” wineskins of the Pharisees. They had acquired a taste for the “old” wine and were not prepared to receive the “new” wine from Jesus. Trying to put the “new” wine of Christ’s teaching into their “old” church thinking would not work. The majority would prefer the “old”. It was satisfying. “New” was not what they wanted.

“Christ does not lessen the claims of the law. In unmistakable language He presents obedience to it as the condition of eternal life—the same condition that was required of Adam before his fall. The Lord expects no less of the soul now than He expected of man in Paradise, perfect obedience, unblemished righteousness. The requirement under the covenant of grace is just as broad as the requirement made in Eden—harmony with God’s law, which is holy, just, and good.” {COL 391.2}

How true of those who first hear of this message. How “new” and startling it is. John said he was teaching a “new” love, even though it was the old original love of God presented in the Old Testament, but new to the people. They had never heard of it. The church had erased what God had been teaching and had put man-made wisdom and church doctrine in its place. 1 John 2:7, 8. Jesus and all the New Testament writers were only teaching Old Testament truths, again. But to church members, that was “new”. It is the same today. Most return to their church vomit. It is comfortable and requires no sacrifice or hard work. The “new” teachings of the original “Old Testament” that Jesus taught are not wanted today anymore than the Jews wanted it in the days of Christ.

While Jesus was telling them these things, an official came up and fell down before him. “My daughter has just died,” he said. “But come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” So Jesus got up and followed him, along with his disciples. Just then a woman who had been suffering from chronic bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel of his garment, because she had been saying to herself, “If I just touch his robe, I will get well.” When Jesus turned and saw her, he said, “Be courageous, daughter! Your faith has made you well.” And from that very hour the woman was well. When Jesus came to the official’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he said, “Go away! The young lady hasn’t died but is sleeping.” But they ridiculed him with laughter. When the crowd had been driven outside, he went in, took her by the hand, and the young lady got up. The news of this spread throughout that land.

At times God must allow a very traumatic experience to happen in our lives to get us up and out of our comfort zone and to Jesus. As long as everything is moving along smoothly, church is great, who needs God. Life was going smoothly for the official in his church, his belief system and life. He didn’t need Jesus. God attempts to wake us up by allowing events that motivate us. In that process, there may be obstacles and hindrances, but at no time are we to let those minor annoyances deter us from our quest. I can just see the official standing by Jesus doing everything in his power not to grab Jesus and pull Him away from that low-class woman who was taking precious time from his dead daughter. Every moment must have seemed like hours. In our lives, do we want to rush Jesus? It was through the delay that the greater part of the miracle was demonstrated. If Jesus had shown up when the girl had “just died”, it would have been thought that the girl truly was just “sleeping” and not dead. By waiting there was no confusion as to the “death” of the girl. It was in the delay that the official and his family were able to fully appreciate Jesus.

Let us never rush Jesus. I can tell you from experience, it is better to wait on the Lord and develope the patience we need for Heaven than to be impatient and rush the Lord. God will never let us down if we wait on Him. If we are living in obedience God will bring about that which is necessary for our character development. And by the way, don’t let the crowd of ridiculers keep you from listening to Jesus. Your church may ridicule you trying to keep you “in church” and away from Jesus, but don’t. Get off the sinking sand of human wisdom and step up to Jesus on the Rock. Sit at His feet and wait patiently. He, not church, will work all things out for your good.

As Jesus was traveling on from there, two blind men followed him, shouting, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he had gone into the house, the blind men came to him. Jesus asked them, “Do you believe I can do this?”They told him, “Yes, Lord!” Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith, let it be done for you!” And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly told them, “See to it that nobody knows about this.” But they went out and spread the news about him throughout that region.

Those sitting in “the box” of church are truly “blind”. Church people have no idea where they are going. When God called me to this ministry, I was truly blind. I had no idea where I was going. Church was my life. It was Jesus who gave me sight. We may think we know where we are going, others may think we have it “all together” in our lives, but there comes a time when the air gets knocked out of us and we realize that we need to “see”. All you need to do is recognize that you are blind, recognize that only Jesus can open your eyes and then believe and it will be done “according to your faith”. Their “faith” was a faith of action. They did not call out to the church. They did not go to church. Their belief motivated them to get off the sinking sand their church was built on and go to Jesus, call out to Him and obey Him.

As the men were going out, a man who couldn’t talk because he was demon-possessed was brought to him. As soon as the demon had been driven out, the man began to speak. The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel!”

If you have been following along, you have been noticing how, little by little, the faith of the people was growing. Little by little, the influence of the sinking church was being replaced with the influence of the Rock of Love. More and more were seeing the difference between a sinking church system of ceremonies, rituals and observances and that of a real Life living the truth. More were coming to Jesus. If you are being controlled by the devil, sitting in church unable to speak the teachings of Jesus, get out, drive out that demon and you will also begin to speak of Jesus.

But the Pharisees kept saying, “He drives out demons by the ruler of demons.”

How sad. Every time God works through His servants to do good, the church and its members do everything in their power to stand in the way. How many have requested that I take their names off our mailing list. How many quibble and strain out gnats while swallowing camels and stop supporting God’s little ministry. The devil entices them to hurt this ministry, while God is testing their hearts. The church system just can’t stand having God work outside of it. It wants the glory, the praise and power over men. Therefore, it will do everything in its power to repudiate the power of God in the eyes of its members.

Then Jesus began traveling throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every illness. When he saw the crowds, he was deeply moved with compassion for them, because they were troubled and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he told his disciples, “The harvest is vast, but the workers are few. So ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”

Many will say, “See, Jesus went to church”. No, Jesus didn’t “go to church”, Jesus went “teaching” in their churches. He didn’t go to sit or become a member. He went to teach them. Why, because when He looked upon the church members, “He was deeply moved with compassion for them, because they were troubled and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd”. And when He did teach them in their churches, they threw Him out.

Even more true of church members today. They are troubled, helpless and like sheep without a shepherd. The “shepherds” they do have are wolves in sheep’s skins. All church members are being “fleeced” and robbed of their physical and eternal life. Jesus has come to offer us life more abundantly. But how few are willing to stand up, get off the sinking sand and go to the Rock of Jesus to receive that abundant life.

Are you willing to be a worker in His harvest? Are you willing to request a case of books to hand out so others can find that abundant life? Or maybe you have not yet found that abundant life? If not, please, lay down your prejudice, pick up the book, “Change Your Life Biblically” and find what pleases the Lord and obey. Your eyes will be opened and your old, dead life, will be raised up into a new life. God is alive today. He is working, just not in your church. Stop going to church and go to Jesus. Hear Him speaking individually to you, personally.

To be continued

 

TIME WITH JESUS

Young ladies frequently give themselves up to study, and to the neglect of other branches of education even more essential for practical life than the study of books. After they have obtained their education, they are frequently invalids for life. They neglected their health by remaining too much in-doors, deprived of the pure air of heaven, and the God-given sunlight.
These young ladies might have come from their schools in health, if they had combined with their studies household labor and exercise in the open air.

Health is a great treasure. It is the richest possession mortals can have. Wealth, honor, or learning is dearly purchased, if it be at the loss of the vigor of health. None of these attainments can secure happiness if health is wanting. It is a terrible sin to abuse the health God has given us. Every abuse of health enfeebles for life, and makes us losers, even if we gain any amount of education.

Poverty, in many cases, is a blessing; for it prevents youth and children from being ruined by inaction. The physical as well as the mental should be cultivated and properly developed. The first and constant care of parents should be that their children may have firm constitutions, that they may be sound men and women. It is impossible to attain this object without physical exercise. Children, for their own physical health and moral good, should be taught to work, even if there is no necessity as far as want is concerned. If they would have virtuous characters, they must have the discipline of well-regulated labor, which will bring into exercise all the muscles. The satisfaction children will have in being useful, in denying themselves to help others, will be the most healthful pleasure they ever enjoyed. Why should the wealthy rob themselves and their dear children of this great blessing?

Parents, inaction is the greatest curse that ever came upon youth. Your daughters should not be allowed to lie late in bed in the morning, sleeping away the precious hours lent them of God to be used for the best purpose, and for which they will have to give an account to God. The mother is doing her daughters great injury in bearing the burdens the daughters should share with her for their own present good and future benefit. The course many parents pursue in allowing their children to be indolent and to gratify a desire for reading romance, is unfitting them for real life. Novel and story-book reading is the greatest evil that youth can indulge in. Novel and love-story readers always fail to make good practical mothers. They live in an unreal world. They are air-castle builders, living in an imaginary world. They become sentimental, and have sick fancies. Their artificial life spoils them for anything useful. They are dwarfed in intellect, although they flatter themselves that they are superior in mind and manners. Exercise in household labor will be of the greatest advantage to young girls.

Physical labor will not prevent the cultivation of the intellect. Far from this. The advantages gained by physical labor will so balance the mind that it shall not be overworked. The toil will then come upon the muscles, and relieve the wearied brain. There are many listless, useless girls who consider it unladylike-like to engage in active labor. But their characters are too transparent to deceive sensible persons in regard to their real worthlessness. They will simper and giggle, and are all affectation. They appear as though they could not speak fairly and squarely, but torture all they say with lisping and simpering. Are these ladies? They are not born fools, but were educated such. It does not require a frail, helpless, over-dressed, simpering thing to make a lady. A sound body is required for a sound intellect. Physical soundness, and a practical knowledge in all the necessary household duties, is never a hindrance to a well-developed intellect, but is highly important for a lady.

All the powers of the mind should be called into use, and developed, in order for men and women to have well-balanced minds. The world is full of one-sided men and women, because one set of the faculties is cultivated, while others are dwarfed from inaction. The education of most youth is a failure. They overstudy, while they neglect that which pertains to practical business life. Men and women become parents without considering their responsibilities, and their offspring sink lower in the scale of human deficiency than they themselves. Thus we are fast degenerating. The constant application to study, as the schools are now conducted, is unfitting youth for practical life. The human mind will have action. If it is not active in the right direction, it will be active in the wrong. And in order to preserve the balance of the mind, labor and study should be united in schools.

There should have been in past generations provisions made for education upon a larger scale. In connection with the schools should have been agricultural and manufacturing establishments. There should have been teachers also of household labor. There should have been a portion of the time each day devoted to labor, that the physical and mental might be equally exercised. If schools had been established upon the plan we have mentioned, there would not now be so many unbalanced minds.

I have been led to inquire, Must all that is valuable in our youth be sacrificed in order that they may obtain an education at the schools? If there had been agricultural and manufacturing establishments in connection with our schools, and competent teachers had been employed to educate the youth in the different branches of study and labor, devoting a portion of each day to mental improvement, and a portion of the day to physical labor, there would now be a more elevated class of youth to come upon the stage of action, to have influence in moulding society. The youth who would graduate at such institutions would many of them come forth with stability of character. They would have perseverance, fortitude, and courage to surmount obstacles, and principles that would not be swerved by wrong influence, however popular. There should have been experienced teachers to give lessons to young ladies in the cooking department. Young girls should have been instructed to manufacture wearing apparel, to cut, make, and mend garments, and thus become educated for the practical duties of life.

For young men there should be establishments where they could learn different trades, which would bring into exercise their muscles as well as their mental powers. If the youth can have but a one-sided education, and it is asked, Which is of the greater consequence, the study of the sciences with all the disadvantages to health and life, or the knowledge of labor for practical life, we unhesitatingly say, The latter. If one must be neglected, let it be the study of books. There are very many girls who have married and have families who have but little practical knowledge of the duties devolving upon a wife and mother. They cannot cook, but they can read, and play upon an instrument of music. They cannot make good bread, which is very essential to the health of the family. They cannot cut and make garments, for they did not learn how to do these things. They did not consider these things essential, and they are in their married life dependent, as their own little children, upon some one to do these things for them. It is this inexcusable ignorance in regard to the most needful duties of life which makes very many unhappy families.

The impression that work is degrading to fashionable life, has laid thousands in the grave who might have lived. Those who perform only manual labor frequently work to excess, without giving themselves periods of rest, while the intellectual class overwork the brain, and suffer for want of the healthful vigor physical labor gives. If the intellectual would share the burden of the laboring class to a degree, that the muscles might be strengthened, the laboring class might do less, and devote a portion of their time to mental and moral culture. Those of sedentary and literary habits should exercise the physical, even if they have no need to labor so far as means is concerned. Health should be a sufficient inducement to lead them to unite physical with their mental labor.

Intellectual, physical, and moral culture should be combined in order to have well-developed and well-balanced men and women. Some are qualified to exercise greater intellectual strength than others, while others are inclined to love and enjoy physical labor. Both of these should seek to improve where they are deficient, that they may present to God their entire being, a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to him, which is their reasonable service. The habits and customs of fashionable society should not shape their course of action. The inspired apostle adds, “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.” [Romans 12:2.]

Thinking men’s minds labor too hard. They frequently use their mental powers prodigally; while there is another class whose highest aim in life is physical labor. The latter class do not exercise the mind. Their muscles are exercised, while their brain is robbed of intellectual strength; and the brain-workers neglect exercising the muscles, and rob their bodies of strength and vigor. Those who are content to devote their lives to physical labor, and leave others to do the thinking for them, while they simply carry out what other brains have planned, will have strength of muscle, but feeble intellects. Their influence for good is small in comparison with what it might be if they would use their brains as well as their muscles. This class fall more readily if attacked with disease, because the system is not vitalized by the electrical force of the brain to resist disease.

Men who have good physical powers should educate themselves to think as well as to act, and not depend upon others to be brains for them. It is a popular error with a large class, to regard work as degrading. Therefore young men are very anxious to educate themselves to become teachers, clerks, merchants, lawyers, and to occupy almost any position that does not require physical labor. Young women regard housework as demeaning. And although the physical exercise required to perform household labor, if not too severe, is calculated to promote health, they will seek for education that will fit them to become teachers, clerks, or learn some trade which confines them in-doors to sedentary employment. The bloom of health fades from their cheeks, and disease fastens upon them, because they are robbed of physical exercise; and their habits are perverted generally, because it is fashionable. They enjoy delicate life, which is feebleness and decay.

True, there is some excuse for young women’s not choosing housework for employment, because those who hire their kitchen girls generally treat them as servants. Frequently their employers do not respect them, and treat them as though they were unworthy to be members of their families. They do not give them privileges as they do the seamstress, the copyist, and the teacher of music. But there can be no employment more important than that of housework. To cook well and to present healthful food upon the table in an inviting manner, require intelligence and experience. The one who prepares food that is to be placed in our stomachs, to be converted into blood to nourish the system, occupies a most important and elevated position. The position of copyist, dress-maker, or music teacher, cannot equal in importance that of the cook.

The foregoing is a statement of what might have been done by a proper system of education. But time is too short now to accomplish that which might have been done in past generations. But we can do much, even in these last days, to correct the existing evils in the education of youth. And because time is short, we should be in earnest, and work zealously to give the young that education which is consistent with our faith. We are reformers. We desire that our children should study to the best advantage. In order to do this, employment should be given them which would call into exercise the muscles. Daily, systematic labor should constitute a part of the education of youth even at this late period. Much can now be gained in connecting labor with schools. The students will acquire, in following this plan, elasticity of spirit and vigor of thought, and can accomplish more mental labor, in a given time, than they could by study alone. And they can leave their schools with their constitutions unimpaired, with strength and courage to persevere in any position in which the providence of God may place them.

There are many young men whose services God would accept if they would consecrate themselves to him unreservedly. If they would exercise the powers of their mind in the service of God, which they use in serving themselves, and in acquiring property, they would make earnest, persevering, successful laborers in the vineyard of the Lord. Many of our young men should turn their attention to the study of the Scriptures, that God may use them in his cause. But they do not become intelligent in spiritual knowledge as in temporal things, therefore they fail to do the work of God which they could do with acceptance. There are but few to warn sinners and win souls to Christ, when there should be many. Our young men generally are wise in worldly matters, but not intelligent in regard to the things of the kingdom of God. They might turn their minds in the heavenly and divine channel, walking in the light, and going on from one degree of light and strength to another, until they could turn sinners to Christ, and point the unbelieving and desponding to a bright track heavenward. And when the warfare is ended, they might be welcomed to the joy of the Lord.

Young men should not enter upon the work of explaining the Scriptures and lecturing upon the prophecies, when they do not have a knowledge of the important Bible truths they try to explain to others. They may be deficient in the common branches of education, and fail to do the amount of good they otherwise could do, if they had had the advantages of a good school. Ignorance will not increase the humility or spirituality of any professed follower of Christ. The truths of the divine word can be best appreciated by an intellectual Christian. Christ can be better glorified by those who serve him intelligently. The great object of education is to enable us to bring into use the powers which God has given us, in such a manner as will best represent the religion of the Bible and promote the glory of God. For all the talents which God has intrusted to us, we are indebted to him who gave us existence.—“Testimony,” No. 22, first published in 1873. {CE 15-23}

 

PRISON MISSION REPORT

 

Hello,
I’m 22 years old and I’m currently incarcerated. A friend of mine here in my dorm gave me your address and told me a little bit about the book, ‘Change Your Life Biblically”. I got to read a little bit of it before he got released. Unfortunately, he took it with him. I want to continue studying and would love it if you could send me a copy of the book, please. It would be a blessing and help me learn how to change my life for the better by living biblically. I am also very interested in the “Career Opportunity” you have available and would like if you could send me some info on that as well. I would love the chance to work and serve Jesus once I’m released from custody.
Anthony, CA

JCPM,
I am currently housed in prison doing some time. I would like to receive the newsletter you offer to inmates. Can you send me a copy of your book, “Change Your Life Biblically”, please? Also, can you please send my cellie the book as well so we can do it together?
Aaron and William, PA

Dear Ministry,
Thank you for this. By “this” I mean the books and guides to help better build my walk with God. I’m happy and filled with joy the more I learn and how God speaks to us and teaches us through Christ. My walk with God is nothing but joy.
Shane, CA

Brother John,
1st and foremost let me extend my utmost respect for you. I pray daily for you that God will keep His blessings on your ministry. You definitely gave me a challenge on these essays. I don’t know how good I did on them, but I did give you my honest feelings. I can’t wait to hear back from you. I truly wish I could meet somebody here that I could study with but that seems to be hard to find. I spend a lot of time in my Bible daily. I am just really hungry right now for God’s Word.
Daniel 7 - Little Horn: This chapter I thought was very well written. I liked how you put in all the outside resources that you used. There is a lot of information in this chapter that I didn’t know and now in the process of getting other information to help me dig deeper and learn more about these subjects. I am talking about the crusades and the inquisition. It is fairly clear the papacy was the little horn. Every time I see the Pope on TV it amazes me to see how all these people worship the guy like a superior being. Now that I have read, not only this chapter but other chapters in your book, I see what this guy, or should I say, the church has done. The Pope says he can forgive our sins and his definition on faith or moral problems should become doctrine. He has set himself up basically as “God” on earth. Now people are seeking his approval and not our all mighty God. Now I move on to the Inquisition and the Crusades. It said the Catholic Church during its rule killed over 75 million people, all in the name of God. Which “God” were they serving? It was the meek serving Jesus that I worship. The 10 Commandments was written on stone for a reason. They can never be changed. The Catholic Church worships the Pope. The Pope wears the sun god image on his head, then they want to make everyone worship god on Sunday and they have succeeded at this. All this Daniel prophesied about along with the years they would rule, 1260 years - a time, times and a half time. This chapter woke me up to so much of what I have been taught and just brings me closer to the Lord. I keep my Sabbath dedicated to God and I make it top priority in my life now to keep God’s Law.

October 22, 1844: This was a hard chapter at 1st for me because I didn’t understand completely about the Sanctuary. The more I read over it and asking the Holy Spirit to open my understanding to it, I have come to like this chapter a lot. I talk to the other fellows here about this and try to get them to understand that we are close to meeting our Lord. We can watch the news and all you see is fires destroying millions of acres of land, floods, hurricanes, massive explosions and mass murders. This world is full of evil. Then once again we are introduced to this Master of Intrigue. I was shocked when I saw the picture that you showed of the Pope with the symbol of the pagan sun-god on his head. He does cause deceit to prosper. I can see how people can get confused with the term, “End of Time”. I like how it was explained in this chapter. Now I understand that end of time doesn’t necessarily mean the “End of Time”. I can have an end of time which would be when I go home to my children. Thank you brother for your teachings. I am trying to learn so I can bring more people into fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ. I was just thanked today from a young man downstairs for helping him get one of your books.
Sean, CA

JCPM,
I am writing in regards to your prison ministry and wondering what it is about and all that you have to offer inmates. I am struggling because I need help with my walk and all the help is awesome. So anything you can help with will be cool.
Michael, WI

 

Testimony for God's People

Prayer for the Sick

In the case of Sister F, there needed to be a great work accomplished. Those who united in praying for her needed a work done for them. Had God answered their prayers, it would have proved their ruin. In such cases of affliction, where Satan has control of the mind, before engaging in prayer there should be the closest self-examination to discover if there are not sins which need to be repented of, confessed, and forsaken. Deep humility of soul before God is necessary, and firm, humble reliance upon the merits of the blood of Christ alone.

Unfortunately, the criteria to “pray for the sick” seems to be whether or not they belong to your church. How much money they give. What is their “standing” in the church. All of it is about ego, pride and arrogance. Church is the devil’s playground. Church does nothing to bring people into obedience to the teachings of Jesus so we can be healed.

Fasting and prayer will accomplish nothing while the heart is estranged from God by a wrong course of action. “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 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.”

When in prison, God gave me an opportunity to lay hands on a young man who had accepted Jesus while studying the Bible with me. Within minutes he was healed. A few years back, my dog, Rebel, became sick. He was at the point of death. Having no money to take him to the vet, all I could do was cry out for Jesus to save him. Rebel brings me such joy, happiness and is a true friend and companion. He loves me. All of a sudden he perked up and was healed. God’s love and care extends to all of His creatures. If we are serving Jesus, living as He commands, trusting in Him and not a church or man, God will answer our prayers. God wants us to glorify Him, not man or a church.

It is heartwork that the Lord requires, good works springing from a heart filled with love. All should carefully and prayerfully consider the above scriptures, and investigate their motives and actions. The promise of God to us is on condition of obedience, compliance with all His requirements. “Cry aloud,” saith the prophet Isaiah, “spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of Me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and Thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and Thou takest no knowledge?”

Making a high profession of being a Christian, going to church, doing all the church activities will not have any influence with Jesus. Today, God hates our churches. They are “anti” Christ. They take the eyes of the people away from Jesus and places them firmly on man and the church. Jesus wants a people who will listen to Him and be obedient to Him alone. He wants them to stop the sin in their lives and live His perfect, Ten Commandment life. To “show My people their transgression”. But this is not what the churches are doing. We go to church putting on a show as if we were seeking God and delight in approaching Him. But God will not listen. The hearts are not humbled in obedience to God’s Laws.

A people are here addressed who make high profession, who are in the habit of praying, and who delight in religious exercises; yet there is a lack. They realize that their prayers are not answered; their zealous, earnest efforts are not observed in heaven, and they earnestly inquire why the Lord makes them no returns. It is not because there is any neglect on the part of God. The difficulty is with the people. While professing godliness, they do not bear fruit to the glory of God; their works are not what they should be. They are living in neglect of positive duties. Unless these are performed, God cannot answer their prayers according to His glory.

In the case of offering prayer for Sister F, there was confusion of sentiment. Some were fanatical and moved from impulse. They possessed a zeal, but not according to knowledge. Some looked at the great thing to be accomplished in this case and began to triumph before the victory was gained. There was much of the Jehu spirit manifested: “Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord.” In place of this self-confident assurance, the case should have been presented to God with a spirit of humbleness and distrustfulness of self, and with a broken and a contrite heart.

Churches are so proud. They make such great and loud boasts. “We are ‘God’s Special People’”. “We are the ‘Remnant’”. “We are the church for the last days”. “We keep the Sabbath”. All of it, no different than the Jews of Christ day. They believed that in order to receive the blessings of God you had to belong to their church. And while all this boasting was going on, Jesus was working quietly, humbly and mightily outside of their church organization.

I was shown that in case of sickness, where the way is clear for the offering up of prayer for the sick, the case should be committed to the Lord in calm faith, not with a storm of excitement. He alone is acquainted with the past life of the individual and knows what his future will be. He who is acquainted with the hearts of all men knows whether the person, if raised up, would glorify His name or dishonor Him by backsliding and apostasy. All that we are required to do is to ask God to raise the sick up if in accordance with His will, believing that He hears the reasons which we present and the fervent prayers offered. If the Lord sees it will best honor Him, He will answer our prayers. But to urge recovery without submission to His will is not right.

An example of this is the history of Hezekiah. If he and submitted to the will of God and died in peace, what a difference the history of the Jewish nation might have been. But because he wanted God to extend his life, God answered His prayer as an example to show it is not wise to work outside of God’s ordained will. Because Hezekiah was restored to life and allowed to live another 15 years, his son Manasseh was the reason for the destruction of the Jewish nation.

What God promises He is able at any time to perform, and the work which He gives His people to do He is able to accomplish by them. If they will live according to every word He has spoken, every good word and promise will be fulfilled unto them. But if they come short of perfect obedience, the great and precious promises are afar off, and they cannot reach the fulfillment.

If your church is not teaching you how to live in “perfect obedience” to “every word He has spoken” God can’t answer your prayers. If your church isn’t teaching you how to live without sin, it is taking you to hell. That is why, at this time in earth’s history, God commands us to come out of our churches and come to Him. Your church is the reason you will not be in Heaven. Get out of your sand-filled church and come to the Rock, the truth as Jesus teaches it and find the power you need in your life.

All that can be done in praying for the sick is to earnestly importune God in their behalf, and in perfect confidence rest the matter in His hands. If we regard iniquity in our hearts the Lord will not hear us. He can do what He will with His own. He will glorify Himself by working in and through them who wholly follow Him, so that it shall be known that it is the Lord and that their works are wrought in God. Said Christ: “If any man serve Me, him will My Father honor.” When we come to Him we should pray that we may enter into and accomplish His purpose, and that our desires and interests may be lost in His. We should acknowledge our acceptance of His will, not praying Him to concede to ours. It is better for us that God does not always answer our prayers just when we desire, and in just the manner we wish. He will do more and better for us than to accomplish all our wishes, for our wisdom is folly.

How far the churches have fallen. Because they no longer teach their members to be obedient to the teachings of Jesus: stop sinning, be perfect and keep the Ten Commandments to get your eternal life, they have to make up fairy tales as to why God did not answer. But God has promised to answer and hear our prayers if we are in compliance with Him, not your church. Therefore, instead of asking your church why God did not answer you, go to God and make sure you are living as He commands: perfect, sinless and commandment keeping. Then ask in faith, nothing wavering, and it will be done according to His will.

We have united in earnest prayer around the sickbed of men, women, and children, and have felt that they were given back to us from the dead in answer to our earnest prayers. In these prayers we thought we must be positive and, if we exercised faith, that we must ask for nothing less than life. We dared not say, “If it will glorify God,” fearing it would admit a semblance of doubt. We have anxiously watched those who have been given back, as it were, from the dead. We have seen some of these, especially youth, raised to health, and they have forgotten God, become dissolute in life, causing sorrow and anguish to parents and friends, and have become a shame to those who feared to pray. They lived not to honor and glorify God, but to curse Him with their lives of vice.

The problem is, when God does restore health to a person, is the church teaching that person how to continue in a life of perfect obedience to Jesus? No! That is why there is very little answered prayer. God knows that if He should answer prayer, people simply get proud, egotistical and forget to humbly seek after God to do His will. If we would earnestly teach people how to live as Jesus commands: perfect, sinless and commandment keeping, we would see more healings.

We no longer mark out a way nor seek to bring the Lord to our wishes. If the life of the sick can glorify Him, we pray that they may live; nevertheless, not as we will but as He will. Our faith can be just as firm, and more reliable, by committing the desire to the all-wise God, and, without feverish anxiety, in perfect confidence, trusting all to Him. We have the promise. We know that He hears us if we ask according to His will. Our petitions must not take the form of a command, but of intercession for Him to do the things we desire of Him. When the church are united, they will have strength and power; but when part of them are united to the world, and many are given to covetousness, which God abhors, He can do but little for them. Unbelief and sin shut them away from God. We are so weak that we cannot bear much spiritual prosperity, lest we take the glory, and accredit goodness and righteousness to ourselves as the reason of the signal blessing of God, when it was all because of the great mercy and loving kindness of our compassionate heavenly Father, and not because any good was found in us.

How true! That is why our churches are so deadly. They are not “united” and therefore, so full of sin, pride and covetousness that God abhors the church services and those who take part in them. He wishes they would shut the church doors and go home and bow before Him and seek out His pleasure and be obedient.

We should ever exert an influence which will be sanctifying on those around us. This saving, ennobling influence has been very feeble at (church). Many have mingled with the world and partaken of its spirit and influence, and its friendship has separated them from God. Jesus has passed a day’s journey in advance of them. They can no longer hear His voice of counsel and warning, and they follow their own wisdom and judgment. They follow a course which appears right in their own eyes, but which afterward proves to be folly. God will not allow His work to be mixed with worldly policy. Shrewd, calculating men of the world are not the men to take leading positions in this most solemn, sacred work. They must either be converted, or engage in that calling which is appropriate to their world-loving inclinations, and which does not involve such eternal consequences. God will never enter into partnership with worldlings.

Christ gives everyone his choice: Will you have Me or the world? Will you suffer reproach and shame, be peculiar, and zealous of good works, even if hated of the world, and take My name, or will you choose the esteem, the honor, the applause and profits the world (church) has to give, and have no part in Me? “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” {2T 145-149}

Get out of your churches now. It may seem “right in their own eyes” but you cannot be prepared for Heaven sitting in church. God has promised to spew out of His mouth those who sit in churches today. Why will you not listen and obey. If you are sick, having economic problems, your life in a mess, get out of your church, stay home, open your Bible and begin reading from Genesis and live as God commands. Listen to the voice of Jesus and Jesus only. Then your light will shine forth. Your health and prosperity will arise. God is waiting for a people who will rise up, cast off the world, the churches and proclaim in their lives the perfect, sinless character of Jesus.

 

Ministry News

I thank each and every one of you who loves Jesus so much that you continually, every month, sacrifice for this, His little ministry. So few love the truth. Your help is greatly needed at this time. Please remember us at tax time.
Love in Christ,
Ron