Jesus Christ Prison Ministry

February 2016 Newsletter

  • The Body of Christ
  • Time with Jesus
  • Prison Mission Report
  • Testimony for God's People
  • Ministry News

The Body of Christ

My Dear Family in Christ,

“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:27.

This concept of being the “body of Christ” is awesome. I am not sure we have truly investigated this concept to our advantage. For most people the “body of Christ” is their church; their denomination. Therefore, what you have is one part of the “body of Christ” fighting and arguing with another part of the “body of Christ”. Is that possible? Can the “body of Christ” or the “Church of Christ” fight and argue with itself and still be considered the “body of Christ”? Of course not. Jesus commands us to “be one, just as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.” John 17:21. I don’t remember Jesus arguing with His Father. Therefore, in order to justify our fighting and arguing with others who claim to be the “body of Christ”, we simply say that they are not the “body of Christ” and we are. Finger pointing is so convenient. Let us study into this and see who truly is the “body of Christ”.

The entire Bible is written in order to hide deep truths. “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.” Proverbs 25:2. The obvious of the Bible is written in such a way that it can also be used as an allegory. A dictionary definition of “allegory” goes something like this, “a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.” It is in understanding the “allegory” of the factual parts of the Bible that we are able to find the deep and hidden truths of God. “But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.” 1 Corinthians 2:7.

The Israelites, when called by God out of Egypt, became a “body of Christ”. (1 Corinthians 10:2-4) They were now His special people and as such they needed to learn how to take care of this new “body of Christ”. This new “body of Christ” was also used by Christ as an “allegory” for future generations. As we study the Israelites and their relationship with God, we are able to search out the will of God for ourselves in today’s “body of Christ”.

The first item on our agenda is to distinguish “who” is the “body of Christ”? For most it is simple, “My church”, or “My denomination”, and that settles that. But when we study God’s Word we find our concepts to be very flawed and selfish. After all, the last Commandments is, “Thou shalt not covet.” If you are “coveting” your church or denomination as the “body of Christ” you are breaking the Ten Commandments and are no longer the “body of Christ”. Therefore, let us study for truth and see what the Bible says.

“But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:31. There it is. So simple. Those who believe in Jesus as the Messiah have life. As soon as we believe we become the “body of Christ”. Therefore, every church, every denomination, every pastor, every single person on the face of the earth who “believes” in Jesus as the Messiah is part of God’s body. “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” “For the body does not consist of one member but of many.” 1 Corinthians 12:12; 1 Corinthians 12:14. That is correct, not one church is the “body” or “member” of the “body of Christ”. Not one denomination is the “body”. Everyone who believes is the “body of Christ”.
That is why Paul explained this “body” by saying, “If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?” 1 Corinthians 12:15-17.

How true. Just because the Mormon church doesn’t belong to the Baptist church doesn’t make it any less the “body of Christ”. Just because the Catholic Church doesn’t belong to the Seventh-day Adventist church doesn’t make it any less the “body of Christ”. The same goes with every church and denomination on earth. Simply by believing we become the “body of Christ”. “But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as He chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.” 1 Corinthians 12:18-20.

In the eyes of God, all humanity is part of God’s “family”. Their “bodies” may not belong to His “body of Christ” but they are still His “family”. God loves His family. We have all come from Adam who was the head of humanity on earth. Therefore, it is our duty to treat each and every member of “God’s family” with great love, respect and honor. “For God so loved the world (His family), that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. But the “body of Christ” is different. It is those who “believe” in Christ. That is why there should be “no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” 1 Corinthians 12:25, 26.

Ok, those who “believe” are all the same “Body of Christ”. However, some parts of the “body” may be a bit farther from the “Head” than others. The toes may be farther way from the “Head” than the eyes. Our mission is to make sure that the toes stay connected and not get cut off. This is where the illustrations and allegories of God’s dealing with the Israelites come into play.

As I was reading the Pentitude, I became aware of this hidden wisdom. When the Israelite “body of Christ” came out of bondage, I realized that it was an allegory of our coming out of sin. It had to be a total separation in order to be the “body of Christ”. Of course, from time to time, there were those “member parts” of the Israelite “body of Christ” who griped and complained and wanted to go back to their old sinful way of living. You might say that they, as a group, moved from being close to the heart to being a toe. They moved farther away from the “Head” of the “body”. But each time a “member” of the “body” moved farther away from the “Head” severe consequences followed. You might say that as the members moved farther away from the Head, the “blood” flowing to them was slowed down and they became so infested with the gangrene of sin that they had to be “cut off” from the “body of Christ”. I began to see that it is not wise for us to let our minds and feelings return to our old sinful ways. God has a new life for His “body”. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17. In other words, in order to be the “body of Christ” we must no longer live in our old worldly body of sin. We must live in a “new” body without sin. Continuing in our old gangrenous bodies will get us “cut off” from the “body of Christ”.

In the desert of Sinai God set up health rules for His people. The reason for these health rules was to keep them healthy. God gave specific instructions to the Israelites about examining any outward indications of a sickness or disease on a person. It was to be taken very serious since the “body of Christ” could be easily infected and the infection could spread rapidly through the “body of Christ”. Leviticus chapters 13 & 14 are two chapters which lay down the rules of what is to happen to infected persons. They must be quarantined and set apart from the “body of Christ” so as not to infect the rest of the body. If the infection was contagious and had no cure, that person was “cut off” from the “body of Christ”. However, he was still loved, treated with respect and taken care of by his family as best they could while quarantined.

In our spiritual “body of Christ” we are also to watch carefully for any eruption of sin and “quarantine” the person from the “body of Christ” until the infection is eliminated. If the infection cannot be eliminated, that person must be ejected from the “body of Christ” until the infectious sin is removed from that person. As Jesus stated, “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members (of the “body of Christ”) than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” Matthew 5:29, 30.

Paul explained this concept when he was writing the church, or “body of Christ”, at Corinth. There was a member of the “body of Christ” who was caught up in sexual immorality and had moved farther away from the “Head”. Paul stated, “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-11. Basically, Paul is saying, anyone who sins is to be cut off from “the Body of Christ” until the sin is removed. Sin is very contagious in the “body of Christ”.

You see, our churches and denomination get all upset and concerned with the pagans and what the world is doing in their sins. But Paul is telling us not to be concerned or gossip about what the pagans are doing in their sins. We point fingers at the world and their sins while we sit in our churches accepting and eating with church members who are sinners and are continuing in their gangrenous sins. In the Bible God required “sinners” to be cast out of the “body of Christ” until that sinner repented of his sin, turned from it and stopped sinning. Once he stopped sinning, “you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him.” 2 Corinthians 2:7, 8. Do you see how far our churches have fallen? How they love the sin and hate the sinner. Jesus loved the sinner and hated the sin.

Does sitting in a “church” or having one’s name on the roles of a church or denomination make one a member of the “body of Christ”? From my study I have had to come to the realization that it does not. Individual members may be part of the “body of Christ”, but the church membership or denomination is not. As Paul said, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:27. He didn’t say, “and as a ‘church’ member of it.” The true “body of Christ” is a “spiritual” church and not a physical church. Therefore, we are not to look for a denomination or a church or a pastor who claims to be the “body of Christ” or “remnant”, but we are to look for individuals who are the “body of Christ”. And how do we do that?

One day, Jesus was tired, hungry and very thirsty. He had been traveling from Jerusalem and was far from home. He sat down by a well to rest. His disciples went to the nearest town to procure the needed items for their journey. As Jesus was sitting at the well longing for a drink of water, a “pagan” who was not, as the Jews taught, a member of the “body of Christ”, came to draw water. As Jesus saw her coming, the Spirit of God revealed to Him the heart of this “pagan” lady. She was a Samaritan and as such it was illegal by the standards of the church for Jesus to have any association with her. After all, she was a “sinner”! But Jesus read the heart. He saw in her one who was not only longing for physical quenching of thirst, but a spiritual quenching of her old life. Jesus offered her that which only can satisfy the longing of the heart. John 4:6-14. As our example, Jesus did not point fingers at her. After all, she was not a member of the “body of Christ”. He did not condemn her for she was not a member of the “body of Christ”. Therefore He could accept her for who she was, a sinner in need of His life changing truth.

During the conversation the woman wanted to know what “church” or “denomination” she was to belong to in order to get this new life and “water” that Jesus was offering. Jesus did not tell her that she had to belong to any “church” or “denomination” for her eternal life. He stated, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain (your denomination) nor in Jerusalem (their denomination) will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. (That salvation which God had handed to Moses: the Ten Commandments.) But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:21-24.

Jesus was explaining to the woman that belonging to a church or denomination was not what would save her. What saves is an individual faith which leads to obedience to the Ten Commandments. Romans 1:5. We are to worship God in “spirit” or spiritual obedience to the commands of God. As Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15. Nothing there about belonging to a “church” or “denomination”. Salvation is an individual, spiritual act of obedience to Jesus and not to a church or denomination. Those churches and denomination who set themselves up in place of Jesus as the “body of Christ” or the “remnant” are the “anti” Christ since they have positioned themselves “in place of” Christ. The “body of Christ” consists not of buildings or man-made denominations, committees or church beliefs. Catholicism is any organization that “claims” you must belong to it in order to belong to the “body of Christ”.

To become a member of the “body of Christ” we are to “Take, eat; this is My body.” Matthew 26:26. “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” 1 Corinthians 10:17. “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” 1 Corinthians 10:16. The “symbols” of the wine and bread represent the “body of Christ” that was broken for us. They are not a “symbol” of any church or denomination. We also must be “broken” and sacrifice our lives for the good of the “body of Christ”. Each member of Christ’s body is an extension of ourselves. No walls, no denomination, no church and no belief is to stand in the way of our sacrifice to other members of the “body of Christ”. When we sit down at our tables and eat our daily meals, we should see each bit as the “body of Christ”. The food we eat and what we drink are all blessings provided by the broken “body of Christ”. If Christ had not loved us so much in giving His life for us, we would have no food to eat and nothing to drink.

What makes our churches and denominations so frightful is they tend, as they did with the Jews, to limit our understanding and vision of the “body of Christ”. As long as one is sitting under “my church roof” he is a member of the “body of Christ”. Then we tend to treat “us” differently from “them”. But that is not correct. The “body of Christ” is made up of individuals. Each individual must be tested to see if he or she is in the “body of Christ”. Remember what Paul said? “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33. Each of us will stand before the “Judge” of all the earth and individually get the reward we have earned. No church or denomination will be standing beside you to make excuses for you and your sins because you belonged to them. We do not test a “church” or “denomination”, we test individuals. However, we can look at the accumulative effect of individuals who belong to a church or denomination in order to have an understanding of that “church” or “denomination” to which they belong. We can judge the “church” and “denomination” by the people it calls “members” and not by its creed, 28 Fundamental Beliefs or Catechism.

Therefore, it is important to know what the “test” is for judging. That test is found in 2 John 1:8-11. “Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.”

First point: watch yourself that you do not lose what you have worked for. Is the church you belong to teaching you to “work” for your eternal salvation? If not, it is not of God. Philippians 2:12.

Second point: only those who abide in the teachings of Jesus have God. Those who do not have the teachings do not have God. What are those teachings of Jesus?

a. Stop sinning. John 5:14

b. Be perfect. Matthew 5:48

c. Keep the Ten Commandments to get your eternal life. Matthew 19:17

Third point: we are not to associate with those who call themselves “Christian” but are not living according to the teachings of Jesus.

Now, look around your church, is it of the “body of Christ”? If it is not you must either start teaching the teachings of Christ to them or get out. Your job is not to got to church for the potluck, but to individually eat and drink from the “body of Christ”, His teachings, and to be nourished by Jesus only. Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples.” John 15:1-8.

Over and over and over again Jesus is making it very plain, Jesus and Jesus only is our nourishment, not a church or denomination. No church or denomination is the “vine”. The nourishment of Christ is His words: Be perfect, stop sinning and keep the Ten Commandments to get our eternal life. It is in individually sucking on those words, obeying them, putting them deep into the mind and heart that we “might not sin against God” in order to belong to the “body of Christ”. Psalm 119:11. As Jesus said, you must “prove to be My disciples.”

Those who are the true “body of Christ” are individuals who are individually eating and drinking of the “sap”: words of Jesus. Then, “where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20. By eating and drinking of His words and obeying them, you become the true “church” of Christ. But the world has up-ended God’s plan and the devil has made the “church” god. Now the “church” or “denomination” teaches that we must come “home” to it and drink and eat from it. Therefore, the Bible says, that the churches and denominations of the world today are “anti” Christ; “Anti” meaning “in place of”. And so they are. They have all stepped in between you and Jesus. You must come out of the church or denomination you are belonging to if it is not teaching you how to live the perfect, sinless, commandment keeping life of Jesus. If your church pastors, leaders or church papers are telling you that you are “saved by grace”, or “you can’t be perfect” you must get out. They are not of God.

The true church of God will “control his own body in holiness and honor.” 1 Thessalonians 4:4. In order to belong to the true church of God and be part of His “body” we must be “crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” Romans 6:6. Therefore you are not to let sin “reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.” Romans 6:12. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” “That there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.” “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 12:25; Ephesians 4:5.

And that is the point. Is your church full of “division”? Why? Could it be that your church is not following the teachings of Jesus? Could it be that your church is not teaching the teachings of Jesus to its members? Is your church only teaching and promoting itself while it throws in the name of Jesus every now and then just to make you think they are following Jesus? Does your church let every member think and do as they please and still be accepted into their fellowship?

You, as a member of the “body of Christ”, have an obligation to call out sin in the “body of Christ”. You are to point out the “gangrene of sin” and make sure it gets cut out of the “body of Christ” so that the body is not infected. You are to sound the alarm when sin enters the “body of Christ” so that the sin can be removed. You are to be part of the immune system of the “body of Christ” to fight against all foreign invaders. “You must no longer walk as the Gentiles do.” Ephesians 4:17. If a member of the “body of Christ” is sinning he is to be “removed from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:2. “Let not sin therefore reign” in your “body of Christ”. Romans 6:12. “Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” 1 Corinthians 5:6. “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?” 1 Corinthians 5:12.

And so it is. But is that what your church is doing? Too often we sit in our churches and are “judging outsiders” instead of those “inside the church”. But then, we don’t want to judge those inside for we know that we ourselves are not living as Christ commands. Therefore, we defend our churches and denominations because they are our private country clubs to please us and tell us what we want to hear and not what Jesus commands us to hear. We pay them well to tell us what we want to hear. It is much easier to go to church and be involved with services, ceremonies, and traditions than to change our sinful lives.

The “body of Christ” is to glorify God. But that is not what our churches are doing. No, they lift up man, show off man, promote man in order to take the eyes of man off of God and place them on the church. How Catholic. Instead of a church teaching all manner of doctrines and human wisdom, God “gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Ephesians 4:11-16.

But that is not what our churches and denominations are doing. No, now they are widening their tents to let in all beliefs, “winds of doctrine” and “schemes”, in order to enlarge their membership and income. The churches and denominations are no longer teaching truth to the saints in order for them to “attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” There no longer is any “unity of the faith” only a “unity of name” in a denomination or church. As long as we call ourselves by the “name” of our church or denomination we think we are members of the “body of Christ”. How deceived we are. That is why we must get out of our churches and denominations before it is too late to see clearly to “cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8.

“There is need of a more thorough preparation on the part of candidates for baptism. They are in need of more faithful instruction than has usually been given them. The principles of the Christian life should be made plain to those who have newly come to the truth. None can depend upon their profession of faith as proof that they have a saving connection with Christ. We are not only to say, ‘I believe,’ but to practice the truth. It is by conformity to the will of God in our words, our deportment, our character, that we prove our connection with Him. Whenever one renounces sin, which is the transgression of the law, his life will be brought into conformity to the law, into perfect obedience. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. The light of the word carefully studied, the voice of conscience, the strivings of the Spirit, produce in the heart genuine love for Christ, who gave Himself a whole sacrifice to redeem the whole person, body, soul, and spirit. And love is manifested in obedience. The line of demarcation will be plain and distinct between those who love God and keep His commandments, and those who love Him not and disregard His precepts.” {6T 91.4}

But with all the warnings from God, the majority is continuing to sit smugly in church and their denominations patting themselves on their backs thinking they belong to the “body of Christ” and will be saved. But Jesus says, “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. That is not about church, denomination or “belief”. It is about individuals who listen and obey Jesus and His teachings to be perfect, to stop sinning and to keep the Ten Commandments for their eternal life.

“Let church members bear in mind that the fact that their names are registered on the church books will not save them. They must show themselves approved of God, workmen that need not be ashamed. Day by day they are to build their characters in accordance with Christ’s directions. They are to abide in Him, constantly exercising faith in Him. Thus they will grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ—wholesome, cheerful, grateful Christians, led by God into clearer and still clearer light. If this is not their experience, they will be among those whose voices will one day be raised in the bitter lamentation: ‘The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and my soul is not saved! Why did I not flee to the Stronghold for refuge? Why have I trifled with my soul’s salvation, and done despite to the Spirit of grace?’

“‘The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly.’ Zephaniah 1:14. Let us be shod with the gospel shoes, ready to march at a moment’s notice. Every hour, every minute, is precious. We have no time to spend in self-gratification. All around us there are souls perishing in sin. Every day there is something to do for our Lord and Master. Every day we are to point souls to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world.’” 9T 48.

“God’s servants are not excused if they shun pointed testimony. They must reprove and rebuke wrong, and not suffer sin upon a brother. You have often stretched out your hands to shield persons from the censure which they deserved, and the correction which the Lord designed they should have. If these persons fail to reform, their lack is set to your account. Instead of watching for their danger, and warning them of it, you have cast your influence against those who have followed the convictions of duty, and reproved and warned the erring.

“These are perilous times for the church of God, and the greatest danger now is that of self-deception. Individuals professing to believe the truth are blind to their own danger and wrongs. They reach the standard of piety which has been set up by their friends and themselves, they are fellowshiped by their brethren, and are satisfied, while they entirely fail to reach the gospel standard set up by our divine Lord. If they regard iniquity in their hearts, the Lord will not hear them. But with many it is not only regarded in the heart, but openly carried out in the life; yet in many cases the wrongdoers receive no rebuke. {1T 214}

 

TIME WITH JESUS

Physical Decline of the Race

The book of Genesis gives quite a definite account of social and individual life, and yet we have no record of an infant being born blind, deaf, crippled, deformed, or imbecile. There is not an instance upon record of a natural death in infancy, childhood, or early manhood. There is no account of men and women dying of disease. Obituary notices in the book of Genesis run thus: “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died.” “And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years; and he died.” Concerning others, the record states: He lived to a good old age; and he died. It was so rare for a son to die before the father that such an occurrence was considered worthy of record: “And Haran died before his father Terah.” Haran was a father of children before his death.

God endowed man with so great vital force that he has withstood the accumulation of disease brought upon the race in consequence of perverted habits, and has continued for six thousand years. This fact of itself is enough to evidence to us the strength and electrical energy that God gave to man at his creation. It took more than two thousand years of crime and indulgence of base passions to bring bodily disease upon the race to any great extent. If Adam, at his creation, had not been endowed with twenty times as much vital force as men now have, the race, with their present habits of living in violation of natural law, would have become extinct. At the time of Christ’s first advent, the race had degenerated so rapidly that an accumulation of disease pressed upon that generation, bringing in a tide of woe, and a weight of misery inexpressible.

The wretched condition of the world at the present time has been presented before me. Since Adam’s fall, the race has been degenerating. Some of the reasons for the present deplorable condition of men and women, formed in the image of God, were shown me. And a sense of how much must be done to arrest, even in a degree, the physical, mental, and moral decay, caused my heart to be sick and faint. God did not create the race in its present feeble condition. This state of things is not the work of Providence, but the work of man; it has been brought about by wrong habits and abuses, by violating the laws that God has made to govern man’s existence. Through the temptation to indulge appetite, Adam and Eve first fell from their high, holy, and happy estate. And it is through the same temptation that the race have become enfeebled. They have permitted appetite and passion to take the throne, and to bring into subjection reason and intellect.

The violation of physical law, and the consequence, human suffering, have so long prevailed that men and women look upon the present state of sickness, suffering, debility, and premature death as the appointed lot of humanity. Man came from the hand of his Creator, perfect and beautiful in form, and so filled with vital force that it was more than a thousand years before his corrupt appetites and passions, and general violations of physical law, were sensibly felt upon the race. More recent generations have felt the pressure of infirmity and disease still more rapidly and heavily with every generation. The vital forces have been greatly weakened by the indulgence of appetite and lustful passion.

The patriarchs from Adam to Noah, with but few exceptions, lived nearly a thousand years. Since the days of Noah, the length of life has been tapering. Those suffering with disease were brought to Christ from every city, town, and village for Him to heal; for they were afflicted with all manner of diseases. And disease has been steadily on the increase through successive generations since that period. Because of the continued violation of the laws of life, mortality has increased to a fearful extent. The years of man have been shortened, so that the present generation pass to the grave, even before the age at which the generations that lived the first few thousand years after the creation came upon the stage of action.

Disease has been transmitted from parents to children, from generation to generation. Infants in the cradle are miserably afflicted because of the sins of their parents, which have lessened their vital force. Their wrong habits of eating and dressing, and their general dissipation, are transmitted as an inheritance to their children. Many are born insane, deformed, blind, deaf, and a very large class are deficient in intellect. The strange absence of principle which characterizes this generation, and which is shown in their disregard of the laws of life and health, is astonishing. Ignorance prevails upon this subject, while light is shining all around them. With the majority, their principal anxiety is, What shall I eat? what shall I drink? and wherewithal shall I be clothed? Notwithstanding all that is said and written in regard to how we should treat our bodies, appetite is the great law which governs men and women generally.

The moral powers are weakened, because men and women will not live in obedience to the laws of health, and make this great subject a personal duty. Parents bequeath to their offspring their own perverted habits, and loathsome diseases corrupt the blood and enervate the brain. The majority of men and women remain in ignorance of the laws of their being, and indulge appetite and passion at the expense of intellect and morals, and seem willing to remain in ignorance of the result of their violation of nature’s laws. They indulge the depraved appetite in the use of slow poisons, which corrupt the blood, and undermine the nervous forces, and in consequence bring upon themselves sickness and death. Their friends call the result of this course the dispensation of Providence. In this they insult Heaven. They rebelled against the laws of nature, and suffered the punishment for thus abusing her laws. Suffering and mortality now prevail everywhere, especially among children. How great is the contrast between this generation, and those who lived during the first two thousand years! {FE 22-24}

 

PRISON MISSION REPORT

Dear Ron,
Hello. My friend Steven received your introductory issue and we read it together. I would like to get one of your “Change Your Life Biblically” books.
Rodrigo, NC

Hi Ron,
I just got moved from reception. I passed out all the flyers I had including the ones in the newsletters and talked to others who will share your address as well. Those guys heading from reception to all over California and some out of state, so it should help spread the Word. We had just started a Bible study at yard the day before I left so I’m hoping it keeps going. I’m unclassified until I see my counselor and the committee so no yard yet. But I get dayroom so I’m looking for Christians here and it’s known that I am a believer. I’ve had a conversation with a couple guys about Jesus and what the Scripture says. So I’m sure I’ll meet others to study and fellowship with and share your address too. I was praying God would move me here. And He did. God put me here just at the right time. I know He will guide me and put me with other Christians here too. Hope all is well with you. I received “the Great Controversy”. It is a good book.
Ken, CA

Hello,
I’m currently doing a 5 year sentence. I no longer have any friends or family to correspond with and would be grateful for a pen-pal.
Chess, NC

Dear Ron,
I wanted to start by saying, ‘Thank you’ for getting the introductory issue to me in such a timely manner. I am a new child of Christ. I am very intrigued by your Bible study. Can you please send your book, “Change Your Life Biblically” to me so that I may begin to learn and understand the Bible and the truth of Jesus Christ. I have also sent a request for a fellow Christian who actually just left prison. I believe the true Word of God would do wonderful things in her life. Thank you for taking your time to read m letter. I cannot wait to start your Bible study. Sorry that I do not have anything to donate at this time, but if there is any way that I can assist your ministry without monetary ways, please do not hesitate to ask. Thank you for doing God’s work and for spreading God’s Word. May God bless you Ron and your ministry.
Christopher, NY

Dear Brother Ron,
I’m sorry that it took me so long to write you this letter. I don’t get money at all. I would love to study about the biblically times. I’m letting you know that I might be coming up for parole this year or next year. Can you please send me the “Change Your Life Biblically” so I can study, please?
Jesse, TX

Dear Brother Ron,
I have enjoyed working on my book and will continue to do so until I am done. It has been a big help in understanding the Word of God. When I have a new address I will send it so I can keep in touch with you all.
Eric, CA

Hello,
I was given your address concerning a pen-pal network. But I was told by completing a Bible study i could probably get on the site for free.
Steven, CA

Dear Christian Training Center,
I am writing for information concerning services you might have for inmates to participate in. I am a Christian and would like to increase my spiritual knowledge and walk with Christ. Do you have workbook titled, “Change Your Life Biblically”?
Darwin, CA

Dear JCPM,
Thank you for the Introductory Issue! Really loved it. If it’s ok with you ron, may I receive the “Change Your Life Biblically” please? I hope to read it, live it and show others how God is in control. For me, it is hard to understand everything, but I keep at it and pray. I believe that all things are possible with Christ who gives me strength. Thanks for the “2nd Peter’s 8 Steps” as well. I hope I get the book soon. God bless you and the JCPM.
Herbert, CA

JCPM,
I would like to receive courses that you may provide through the mail. I want to keep growing through Christ. I hope to hear from you.
Rafael, CA

Dear JCPM,
I was given your address to write to you for this workbook to learn more about the Bible and grow spiritually. I would like to have a closer relationship with Jesus Christ my Lord and my Savior. I want this peace and joy that I see other people having that are following Christ. I read my Bible, but I feel like I haven’t truly come to the full knowledge of Christ and all that He means to me. I have a hard time comprehending the Bible at times. I ask for help to understand it so I’m hoping this book can help me open my understanding.
Jerry, CA

Dear Brother John,
You asked for me to share what I’ve learned from volumes 2 & 3 and how I’m putting those principles into practice in my life. Well, to begin with, I’ve learned so much within your book that I’ve never known. Just by knowing these truths within the book has opened my eyes and sharpened my mind to a higher level of understanding. From the “judgment” to the “Law” to the date that the Sanctuary is to be cleansed and to the prophecies of Daniel all the way to the Historical facts that explain with truth and certainty that the things in the Bible did take place. As I read and understand your book, it shows the plan of salvation all through it. What you have shared with the world are hidden secrets that only a child of God can see. It breaks down the evil plan that Satan has plotted with the government to destroy God’s chosen people. Also, since reading and studying your book I now have an understanding of the pagan holidays and why they were established. Since learning these truths I no longer celebrate any holidays because I know now that they are of the devil. I have an understanding about why back in the Old Testament when they used to sacrifice lambs in the temple it was all a shadow of the things to come as far as when Jesus would be crucified as the Lamb of God. So many of us have been taught false teachings for so long that we become blinded to the truth. But I thank God for leading me to your book because now not only do I have the knowledge, but I apply it to my life by walking in the truths of Scripture with an understanding of the plan of Salvation. I show and teach others around me that what we have been taught for so long is false. I show and teach those around me that the only way to be as Christ was is to be perfect. And the only way to be perfect is to live and walk and talk His truths. I look at the world today and see that everything that was written by you in your book is true. The only way that I can apply these things to my life is sharing these truths to those that are blinded by the false teachings of the churches of today. I apply it to my life by living in the truths and obeying the commands of God. So you see brother, your book in a whole has really enlightened my mental state of darkness that I was once in. Now I share that same light with others. I show them the proof. I show them that I’m a living proof that by walking in the footsteps of Christ and using the knowledge from your book one can change. Thank you for leading me on this new path of righteousness and sharing these secrets that was hidden from me.
Aaron, NC

JCPM,
I asked the chaplain here in solitary if she knew of where I could get a Bible from. I received your address. I’m new to Christianity and well, it’s rough trying to live a life differently from what I’ve always known. I know it’s all part of the process, so I’ll strive. Anyways, if you have a soft cover Bible I could have, I would really be grateful.
Thomas, OR

Dear Jesus Christ Prison Ministry,
Last Sunday I went to the first Bible study I have attended in the whole five years here in prison. A friend approached me with this book and said it changed his whole thought process and taught him a great deal. He handed out free pamphlets for the book, “Change Your Life Biblically”. But he ran short. I am graciously asking for a copy of this book.
Michael, IL

To Whom It May Concern,
I happened to come across your flyer and decided to send it to receive a workbook titled “Change Your Life Biblically”. I would be honored to receive and complete the workbook and go forward in this ministry upon parole.
Rosendo, CA

Dear JCPM - Ronald John,
Wow, thanks for “2nd Peter’s 8 Steps to a Richer Fuller Walk”! Ron, it was like going to a fellowship Bible study. I really think I read it like four times and looked at the Bible verses too. I can hardly wait for the book! I sent two fliers out and put postage on them, so more requests are coming your way. The study has helped me to look at cross references more. A lot of questions that I would have, sure as can be, were right there all along. This helped me to bring Old Testament into my reading more as well. I can now see how the whole Bible is the standard. What a blessing that the Lord gave us Jesus. More than ever, I feel closer to Him. I like Peter because he really was very concerned about getting the right message. I am applying the 8 Steps because there is more focus with your help. Your story touched my heart.
Herbert, CA

Dear Ron,
I have completed the Introductory Issue that was sent to me and am interested in the book that will change my life biblically. I’m sending this insert from the introductory issue to obtain it.
Colby, CA

JCPM,
I am a brother who loves God. I heard one of the Christian brothers speak about a book that changed his life. So I am writing you hoping and praying that I can get that book that’s called, “Change Your Life Biblically”.

Hello,
I would like to know if I can please have one of your books, ‘Change Your Life Biblically’? Please. I started to read my friend’s book and I think it is an awesome book and I need my own to study. I just did a 7 year term and two years later I’m back again. I need to change my life. Thank you.
Tanya, CA

Sir,
I would like to take your Bible study. Would you send it to me? Also, I need a Bible. I am knew to this and do not have a Bible. I see I need something in my life and I’m thinking I would like to see if maybe God is what I need. I have been locked up for 25 years now and need to do something with my life.
Bobby, TX

To Whom It May Concern,
I would like to receive some Bible studies that I may do to keep me focused on the Great Word of God. I really could use a Bible. I don’t have anyone to send me money but I need the Word, please.
Gregory, PA

To Whom It May Concern,
8 months ago I gave my life to God and my Saviour Jesus Christ. Before that I was a 4th degree Wiccan Priest with over 15 years practicing ceremonial magic and witchcraft. So to go from that to this is a blessing. I finally heard my Saviour’s knock and opened the door. I came across your address and figured I would write.
Richard, CA

 

Testimony for God's People

My Dear Family,

God, through His modern-day prophet, has given each of us our “marching orders”. None of us are to sit back in a church and think “let others do the work”. We cannot be saved sitting in a church. You must “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. Philippians 2:12. You must reach out to your neighbors, not in a listless manner, but with energized power knowing that if they do not accept the truth, they will be lost eternally. Can you face Jesus? Have you done enough?

God designs that His precious word, with its messages of warning and encouragement, shall come to those who are in darkness and are ignorant of our faith. It is to be given to all, and will be to them a witness, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear. Do not feel that the responsibility rests upon you to convict and convert the hearers. The power of God alone can soften the hearts of the people. You are to hold forth the word of life, that all may have an opportunity of receiving the truth if they will. If they turn from the truth of heavenly origin, it will be their condemnation.
We must not hide the truth in the corners of the earth. It must be made known; it must shine in our large cities. Christ in His labors took His position by the lakeside and in the great thoroughfares of travel where He could meet people from all parts of the world. He was giving the true light; He was sowing the gospel seed; He was rescuing truth from its companionship with error, and presenting it in its original simplicity and clearness, so that men could comprehend it.

If we claim to be Christians, we cannot sit in church. The example of Jesus was out working the lakeside, the thoroughfares, the homes and the businesses. He went to the people. He is our example in all things. Our one and only purpose on earth is to let the truth of God be known to the world. Everything else we do is secondary and only as a vehicle to make known that truth. Are you hiding it under a bushel?

The heavenly Messenger who was with us said: “Never lose sight of the fact that the message you are bearing is a world-wide message. It is to be given to all cities, to all villages; it is to be proclaimed in the highways and the byways. You are not to localize the proclamation of the message.” In the parable of the sower, Christ gave an illustration of His own work and that of His servants. The seed fell upon all kinds of soil. Some seed fell upon poor soil, yet the sower did not therefore cease his work. You are to sow the seeds of truth in every place. Wherever you can gain access, hold forth the word of God. Sow beside all waters. You may not at once see the result of your labors, but be not discouraged. Speak the words that Christ gives you. Work in His lines. Go forth everywhere as He did during His ministry on the earth.

And therein lies most of the problems with our churches. We speak the words of church and invite people to church, but that is not what Jesus commands us to do. You, you are to know your Bible as well as Jesus did and you are to teach your neighbors, workers, friends and families the truth. You are not to lead them to church, you are to lead them to Jesus. But to do that, you must get out of your church and open your Bible and learn it with the power of the Spirit of God guiding and teaching you.

The world’s Redeemer had many hearers, but few followers. Noah preached one hundred and twenty years to the people before the Flood, and yet there were few who appreciated this precious, probationary time. Save Noah and his family, not one was numbered with the believers and entered into the ark. Of all the inhabitants (about 2 billion) of the earth, only eight souls received the message; but that message condemned the world. The light was given in order that they might believe; their rejection of the light proved their ruin. Our message to the world will be a savor of life unto life to all who accept it, and of condemnation to all who reject it.

The Messenger turned to one present and said: “Your ideas of the work for this time are altogether too limited. Your light must not be confined to a small compass, put under a bushel, or under a bed; it must be placed on a candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in God’s house—the world. You must take broader views of the work than you have taken.” {7T 35-36}

Our workers are not reaching out as they should. Our leading men are not awake to the work that must be accomplished. When I think of the cities in which so little has been done, in which there are so many thousands to be warned of the soon coming of the Saviour, I feel an intensity of desire to see men and women going forth to the work in the power of the Spirit, filled with Christ’s love for perishing souls.

Oh yes, “going forth to the work”, not to church. The work of God is all around you. Are you “going to work” for Jesus? Or are you “going to sleep” in the Laodicean church?

Those in our cities—living within the shadow of our doors—have been strangely neglected. Organized effort should now be put forth to give them the message of present truth. A new song is to be put into their mouths. They are to go forth to impart to others now in darkness the light of the third angel’s message.

However, as we have been studying, since the churches today no longer know what the “third angel’s message” is, how can they teach it. They talk about it but they have no idea what the meat of the message is. How sad. Please folks, go to our Bible studies and videos and listen to what the Spirit of God has been dictating and directing for your salvation. Learn what the true “third angel’s message” is and then proclaim it loud and clear. Your salvation depends on it.

We all need to be wide awake, that, as the way opens, we may advance the work in the large cities. We are far behind in following the light given to enter these cities and erect memorials for God. Step by step we are to lead souls into the full light of truth. And we are to continue the work until a church is organized and a humble house of worship built. I am greatly encouraged to believe that many not of our faith will help considerably by their means. The light given me is that in many places, especially in the great cities of America, help will be given by such persons.

That “humble house of worship” is not the churches of today. If you read deeply you would find that after it was built, the members were to be taught how to get out and follow the example of Jesus in taking the gospel to others. The “house of worship” was to be a training center. Now it is a “sleeping center” where we go to feel good in our sins.

Workers in cities should read carefully the tenth and eleventh chapters of Hebrews and appropriate to themselves the instruction that this scripture contains. The eleventh chapter is a record of the experiences of the faithful. Those who work for God in the cities must go forward in faith, doing their very best. As they watch and work and pray, God will hear and answer their petitions. They will obtain an experience that will be invaluable to them in their after work. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1.

My mind is deeply stirred. In every city there is work to be done. Laborers are to go into our large cities and hold camp meetings. In these meetings the very best talent is to be employed, that the truth may be proclaimed with power. Men of varied gifts are to take part. One man has not all the gifts required for the work. To make a camp meeting successful, several workers are needed. No one man should feel it his prerogative to do all the important work.

Oh how we love to sit back and let the “leaders” do the work. We are lost if we, personally, are not bringing people to the teachings of Jesus: to be perfect, stop sinning and to keep the Ten Commandments for our eternal life.

As in these meetings the speakers proclaim the truth in the power of the Spirit, hearts will be reached. The love of Christ, received into the heart, will banish the love of error.

The problem? Truth is no longer taught. That is why there is no “power of the Spirit”. People are being converted like the pagans were to the Jewish religion. It made sense. But the church religion does not enter “into the heart” to change the life. It only changes the church pew.

There is need of camp meetings like those held in the early stages of the work, camp meetings separate from the business work of the conference. At a camp meeting the workers should be free to give the knowledge of the truth to those who attend from outside.

At our camp meetings arrangements should be made so that the poor can obtain wholesome, well-prepared food as cheaply as possible. There should also be a restaurant in which healthful dishes are prepared and served in an inviting manner. This will prove an education to many not of our faith. Let not this line of work be looked upon as separate from other lines of camp meeting work. Each line of God’s work is closely united with every other line, and all are to advance in perfect harmony. {7T 40-41}

However, our camp meetings, church services and other meetings are designed and organized to keep you from witnessing, sharing and bringing people to Jesus. It is all about “we talk and entertain, you shut up and listen”. The leadership is Catholic in their organizations in order to promote the church instead of Jesus in our lives. The churches no longer are doing “God’s work”. How far they have fallen. It is nothing but show, entertainment and power, money-hungry activities.

Even our “do-good” organizations have become corrupted. Those who believe they have a message for this time of earth’s history are not to be involved in “do-good” organizations unless that organization is specifically teaching the people the “everlasting gospel” to be perfect, stop sinning and to keep the Ten Commandments to get eternal life.

The Lord has marked out our way of working. As a people we are not to imitate and fall in with Salvation Army methods. This is not the work that the Lord has given us to do. Neither is it our work to condemn them and speak harsh words against them. There are precious, self-sacrificing souls in the Salvation Army. We are to treat them kindly. There are in the Army honest souls, who are sincerely serving the Lord and who will see greater light, advancing to the acceptance of all truth. The Salvation Army workers are trying to save the neglected, downtrodden ones. Discourage them not. Let them do that class of work by their own methods and in their own way. But the Lord has plainly pointed out the work that (commandment keeping people) are to do. Camp meetings and tent meetings are to be held. The truth for this time is to be proclaimed. A decided testimony is to be borne. And the discourses are to be so simple that children can understand them. {8T 184.3}

How far the church has fallen. We have become like Israel of old. We are following the practices and devices of the worldly religions and have let go of the truth as was given for our day. As Jesus stated, “Let the dead bury their own dead. But you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:60. Let the world take care of their own. Let them spend their money and funds on the poor, disasters and famines, etc. Jesus was not being callous or indifferent. His heart of love recognized that all the money and compassion in the world will not prepare the heart for heaven. We can take care of the external, but unless we are sharing the gospel, that people must stop sinning, be perfect and keep the Ten Commandments to get eternal life, all the “do-good” works will do nothing to prepare them for the close of probation.

ADRA, and all the other church organization are doing nothing to teach people how to get ready for the close of probation. God’s money, energy and time are wasted helping the devil. They may bring people into the church, but the church no longer teaches what is needed to change hearts. We have just become “good” people like the “good” people of the world. There is no organization on earth that does more good than the Catholic Church. But the people are not being prepared for the close of probation.

Do you think he will take those who are indulging skepticism and infidelity, who, when he sends a message, stand back and refuse to accept it? Yet many have done this. When we speak of the grace of God, of Jesus and his love, speak of the Saviour as one who is able to keep us from sin, and to save to the uttermost all who come unto him, many will say, “O, I am afraid you are . . . doing after the Salvation Army.” Brethren, you need not be afraid of the plain teachings of the Bible. Do not fear to go where the voice of Jesus is heard saying, “Follow me;” for this will lead you right. Do not let any man or woman, or any council or party, lead you to suppress the precious light that God has permitted to shine from heaven in regard to the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus. You need more, much more, of the Spirit of Christ, to take the coldness and iron out of your hearts. Jesus humbled himself. His whole life was one of humiliation and suffering. He was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. And all this he bore, that sinners might be redeemed. This is the spirit that must dwell in our hearts.

The object of our faith, hope, and love, should be Jesus,—Jesus always, Jesus only. A mere profession of faith will not save us; we must have real faith in Christ. Then the heart will be renewed; we shall be born again. Christ takes our sins upon himself, and imparts to us his righteousness.

In the revival work that has been going forward here during the past winter we have seen no fanaticism. But I will tell you what I have seen. I have seen men who were so lifted up in themselves, and so stubborn, that their hearts were enshrouded in darkness. All the light that Heaven graciously sent them was interpreted to be darkness. When the enemy presents a device of his own, some are ready to accept that; but they have been so very cautious that they would not receive the light which would have made them wise unto salvation. The mission of God’s servants was to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God. The bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, if received, would have illuminated the soul-temple, and driven out the buyers and sellers, the pride of opinion and the lust of the flesh. But there are some who have criticized and depreciated, and even stooped to ridicule, the messengers through whom the Lord has wrought in power. {GCDB April 13, 1891, par. 31-33}

Telling people “Jesus is coming” does nothing to prepare them for the close of probation that takes place seven months before the coming of Jesus. The message of 1844 through 1865 was different from that which came after. At one time the message of 1844, under a misunderstanding, did change hearts and brought people face to face with the possibility of the immediate coming of Christ. Therefore, their hearts were changed and they became perfect and put away all sin to meet the Lord.

However, after correcting the misunderstanding and realizing what happened in 1844, the prophet of the Lord is very plain that our mission is now to prepare people for the close of probation.

When the work of investigation shall be ended, when the cases of those who in all ages have professed to be followers of Christ have been examined and decided, then, and not till then, probation will close, and the door of mercy will be shut. Thus in the one short sentence, “They that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut,” we are carried down through the Saviour’s final ministration, to the time when the great work for man’s salvation shall be completed. {CIHS 106.2}

Before His crucifixion the Saviour explained to His disciples that He was to be put to death and to rise again from the tomb, and angels were present to impress His words on minds and hearts. But the disciples were looking for temporal deliverance from the Roman yoke, and they could not tolerate the thought that He in whom all their hopes centered should suffer an ignominious death. The words which they needed to remember were banished from their minds; and when the time of trial came, it found them unprepared. The death of Jesus as fully destroyed their hopes as if He had not forewarned them. So in the prophecies the future is opened before us as plainly as it was opened to the disciples by the words of Christ. The events connected with the close of probation and the work of preparation for the time of trouble, are clearly presented. But multitudes have no more understanding of these important truths than if they had never been revealed. Satan watches to catch away every impression that would make them wise unto salvation, and the time of trouble will find them unready. {DD 36.3}

That is our job, to prepare people for the close of probation and the time of trouble just before us. Telling them that “Jesus is coming” does absolutely no good if they do not know the requirements for meeting Jesus. They must be perfect, without sin, blemish or spot. They must be “overcomers” of all sin in their lives. Are you being taught the teachings of Jesus? Is your church exhorting you, admonishing you and teaching you to live the perfect, sinless and the commandment keeping life? If not, get out and run for your life to Jesus and live in obedience to His teachings.

 

Ministry News

Thank you folks for your love and support of this very tiny ministry. Your love and support help us to reach thousands of people with the gospel, preparing them for the close of probation.

Love in Christ,

Ron