Jesus Christ Prison Ministry

March 2019 Newsletter

  • The Journey
  • Prison Mission Report
  • Testimony for God's People
  • Ministry News

Acropolis

Acts: The Journey

 

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Up to this point in Acts, the early Christians had been floundering, getting their footing.  The transition from a “member of a church”, controlled and ruled by man to becoming a “member of God’s family”, His ekklēsia, was not easy.  It took several years to get their bearings.  God recognizes that we are human, with minds that need to be educated, not controlled.  His Spirit was sent to educate.  The church was created by Lucifer to control.  The Spirit of God, through metaphors, divine appointments, persecutions, study of Scripture, discussions and lots of prayer, open up to the ekklēsia the simplicity of God’s salvation.  They began to realize that for the first three thousand years of earth’s history, there was no “church”.  Adam and the “sons of God” never went to “church”.  As exampled by Enoch, they communed with God in nature and mostly on an individual basis.  The purpose of this “communion” was to develop the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life God required for their eternal life.  That can only come about through a personal, experimental relationship with Jesus Christ.

After the flood, Noah and his family continued the tradition of communing with God, individually, in nature and never developed a “church”, religion or denomination.  They could never have imagined putting God in a “box” and selling Him. 

However, it was not long before the grandkids and their descendants became discontented with God and began developing their own religions to satisfy their egos and pride.  Pagan temples (churches) were built and the simple sacrifice God instituted, to remind them of their sins and their need of a Savior, was adulterated and formalized into religious services.

Abraham was called to separate, ekklēsia, himself out from among them.  God needed someone to keep the simplicity of His worship alive in the world.  He didn’t build one church or start any religion.  He talked with God out in nature, under the stars and on the hills of Palestine.  God came to visit him, not in a “church” but, at his home.  He was to keep alive the communion which developed the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life.  Genesis 26:5.

In all your church-going experiences, when was the last time Jesus came to visit you in your home?  How about angels?  I have had that experience.  It has nothing to do with church, but a willingness to serve God as He commands.  He never commanded you to go to church.  He commands you to go to Him and live the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life.

However, with the enslavement of the Israelites in Egypt, the simplicity of God’s worship was soon whipped out of them.  Surrounded by pagan and idolatrous church worship systems were eroding the knowledge of God’s plan for the salvation of the world.  They were forgetting how to commune with God.  They were forgetting how to live the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life.  God had to take drastic measures to assure the survival of His salvation plan for the world.

With the exodus, ekklēsia, of the Israeli people, God isolated them from the pagan and idolatrous nations for 40 years in order to reorient them to His simple plan of salvation.  In the wilderness, He instructed them to build Him a sanctuary.  This was not a “church”.  The people did not congregate in the sanctuary.  In fact, unless you were a priest making an offering, you were not permitted anywhere near the sanctuary.  You would be struck dead just for looking at the articles in the sanctuary.  The priests, those who represented Jesus in His priestly duties, were the only ones who could look upon the sanctuary furnishings.  They had to cover them before the Levities could carry them. The sanctuary was for Jesus to dwell in.  The people were able to look at the sanctuary from a distance and see the glory of God shining out from it.  They were able to look at the glory of God as they held personal communion with God out in nature.  They were reminded that they were to live the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life for their eternal salvation. 

The temple services and rituals were to be constant reminders of the holiness of God and their need of a Savior.  But the temple services, feast days and rituals had nothing to do with “church” or their salvation.  The Temple services, feast days and rituals were only for Israel.  There were no church buildings anywhere in Israel before the Babylonian exile.  This was to keep the Israelites from breaking up into factions.  The feast days were to be kept only where God commanded them to be kept.  (Deuteronomy 12:5).  This was for the purpose of bringing the Israelites together three times a year as a nation-family.  They were to be reminded during these feast days (only three times a year) that they were a distinct and separate nation-people from the idolatrous nations around them.  In a sense, the three feast were the equivalent of the New Testament “ekklēsia”, the coming out.  They were to “come out” from their everyday businesses and associations, and from the nations around them and meet only in Jerusalem to reaffirm family ties and national commitments.  Those commitments included the commitment to keep the Ten Commandments perfectly and to live sinlessly.

With the death of Jesus, and the tearing of the temple curtain from top to bottom by the unseen hand of an angel, the complete temple system came to an end.  As Jesus exclaimed on the cross, “It is finished”.  Since God has never commanded us to keep the feast days or any of the temple rituals, services or traditions anywhere else, they ceased to exist.  Everything related to the temple services, feast days, sacrifices, rituals and traditions are “finished”.  Israel would no longer exist as a nation under God since they had rejected their God for Caesar.  Type had met anti-type.  The sacrificed lamb met the sacrificed “Lamb of God”.  The theocracy ended.  The substance met the shadow. Even in the Old Testament Jesus did not want them.  He said of them, “As for your New Moons and your appointed festivals, I abhor them. They've become a burden to me; I've grown weary of carrying that burden."  Isaiah 1:14.  He never said He abhorred His Ten Commandments.  Only the Ten Commandments are necessary for eternal life.  But churches make the system their god and refuse to live as God commands: perfect, sinless and commandment keeping.

Therefore, the Christians were to go back to the original concept, the plan practiced by “Christians” before the Egyptian bondage.  They were now to “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.”  Jeremiah 6:16.  But the Jewish church members were not willing to go back to the original plan of God.  “But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”  Jeremiah 6:16.  Therefore, God went to the Gentiles.

It has now been about 23 years after the resurrection of Jesus.  The Christians are finally getting it together.  The jigsaw puzzle of the Old Testament was finally fitting together and making a beautiful picture.  As they stood by the road and looked for the ancient paths, the paths their ancestors, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had taken, they found the rest God offered their souls.  Now they were ready to go and share the fullness of the gospel with the world.  Not just the concept of Jesus as the Messiah and the “Lamb of God”, but to bring the people to ekklēsia, to come out from the church and religious systems of both the Jews and pagans.  They were to worship God and serve Him in truth - living in obedience to the Ten Commandments.  They were to listen to Jesus and Jesus only.  The truth was finally settling in that He truly was the only Way, the only Truth to the only Life.  Nothing else was to come between the sinner and Jesus.  Not even a church.  When Jesus stated, “Come unto Me”, He meant exactly what He said.  Each individual is responsible for his own eternal life.  No one will be saved by groups.  We are to go, individually, to Jesus to learn from Him, through the Holy Spirit and the reading of the Bible, our own duties and responsibilities for Heaven.   It had been a long journey from the resurrection of Christ to where the full understanding was sinking in.  But the Christians were ready now to take the “whole” picture to the world.  The journey began.

Acts 17:1 - Acts 18:22

Paul and Silas traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.  As usual, Paul entered there and on three Sabbaths discussed the Scriptures with them. 

Interesting to note, he did not discuss church doctrine, which church was the “right” church, church services, traditions, feast days or ceremonies.  He “discussed the Scriptures with them”.  There was no arguing, yelling, trying to “one up” them.  He “discussed” and explained who Jesus was by Old Testament Scriptures.  That is not done today.  Our churches are so full of themselves, everything in our churches and denominations are in some way trying to prove “our” church is better than “your” church.  But none of it is proving that you must get out of your church, turn to Jesus and live as He taught, the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life.

The Sabbath, years after Jesus had risen, was still kept by the Christians.  It is a part of the Ten Commandments and cannot be broken or changed.  Jesus kept the Sabbath as all true Christians will do, following in His footsteps.  If Jesus had broken the Ten Commandments by breaking the Sabbath, He would have become a sinner.  Jesus never broke the Sabbath; nor has He authorized anyone to change it.  Those who attempt to change or break the Sabbath are fighting against Jesus.  Have nothing to do with them.  Adding or subtracting from the Ten Commandments is a sin.  Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32.

He explained and showed them that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead: “This very Jesus whom I proclaim to you is the Messiah.” 

The church that claimed to be “of God” and “looking for the coming Messiah” had completely missed Him.  They had been blinded by their church organization.  They were not able to see past their church and see the God whom they believed they loved and worshipped.  And why did the Messiah have to “suffer and rise from the dead”?  Because He lived the perfect, sinless life of the Old Testament.  If you live it, you also will suffer for His name and “rise from the dead” when Jesus comes.  “For you have been given the privilege for the Messiah’s sake not only to believe in Him but also to suffer for Him.”  Philippians 1:29. 

It is interesting that in all these examples of Paul preaching the Word of God, not once will you find him trying to persuade people to go to church or stop keeping the Sabbath.  The Sabbath was simply accepted as fact, since it was part of the Ten Commandments and kept by Jesus.  Paul taught people to live in obedience to the Ten Commandments: all of them.  Not once will you hear him trying to persuade anyone to break the Ten Commandments into pieces.  As Paul later wrote, “Do we, then, abolish the Law by this faith? Of course not! Instead, we uphold the Law.”  Romans 3:31. 

Some of them were persuaded and began to be associated with Paul and Silas, especially a large crowd of devout Greeks and the wives of many prominent men. 

This ministry, after 21 years of teaching the truth about Jesus, is beginning to persuade some that all we need is Jesus.  They are listening to the Spirit and learning that all we need to do is live in obedience to Jesus.  Not many church members, but many of the unchurched.  God is filling the ranks of His “Ekklēsia” with those who want nothing to do with the churches and denominations of this world.  All they want is Jesus and the life He offers.  They do not want any Catholic-church-invented-system to come between them and Jesus.  That would be “anti” Christ.

But the Jews became jealous, and they took some contemptible characters who used to hang out in the public square, formed a mob, and started a riot in the city. They attacked Jason’s home and searched it for Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the people. 

Oh yes, of course, the church was not pleased.  The church became jealous that people were turning to these independents instead of to “church”.  How dare they!  Did the people not know that their church was of God?  That God Himself had raised it up and set in motion the temple laws and services?  After all, the church was the one preserving the knowledge of God and His Word.  How would people learn of “God” without a church?  However, preserving the Word of God on parchment was not the same as preserving the Word of God in the heart.  In actuality, all church was preserving was ego, pride, arrogance, power, forms, rituals, traditions and position.  “Look at me!”

When they didn’t find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials and shouted, “These fellows who have turned the world upside down have come here, too, and Jason has welcomed them as his guests. All of them oppose the emperor’s decrees by saying that there is another king—Jesus!” 

And that they were doing, turning “the world upside down”.  The world of “church” was being turned on its head.  The Synagogue (church) system, along with the pagan systems, all adulterated by man, were being dismantled by these independents.  The synagogue (church) system, copied from the pagans while the Jews were in their Babylonian captivity, had been perfected to keep church members in line.  But if members followed Jesus, how would the church system maintain control over the people?

Therefore, the church needed civil help.  In order to gain the support of the civil government, they had to find a common denominator.  That common denominator was “authority”.  Since the independent and “offshoot” preachers refused to bow to the authority of the church, we will claim they are opposing “the emperor’s decrees by saying that there is another king -- Jesus”.  That should do the trick!  And oh yes, we will gather up a mob of undesirables to help us in our “holy war”.

The crowd and the city officials were upset when they heard this, but after they had gotten a bond from Jason and the others they let them go. 

However, as always, it isn’t God’s people who cause the commotions and disturbances.  Jesus has told us to obey the civil government as long as it does not interfere with the keeping of the Ten Commandments. It is the wicked church people who are always fighting for their “rights” and “power” and “authority”.  True Christians live in service, obedience, love and respect.  Therefore, since the Christians were not the ones causing the commotion, the city officials bonded Jason and let the others go.  God brings peace.  Church brings turmoil.  Interesting to note, the Bible never teaches us to be “obedient to a church”.

That night the brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the Jewish synagogue. 

Talk about looking for trouble.  You would think Paul would have learned his lesson by now and stopped going to the churches.  All you get is hate, destruction and trouble from church.  But Paul still had hope that church members would accept Jesus as their Messiah and turn from church to the living God.  Here in Berea, Paul found church members willing to put aside their church and listen to Scriptures.

These people were more receptive than those in Thessalonica. They were very willing to receive the message, and every day they carefully examined the Scriptures to see if those things were so.  Many of them believed, including a large number of prominent Greek women and men. 

How I pray that someday church members will put aside their church policy books and manuals, stop looking to church “leaders” and sit quietly, carefully examining the Scriptures for their own eternal life.  I get letters from both inmates and those who are not, who are always talking about their church, this minister or pastor or some other church entity.  But they never talk about obeying Jesus.  It is all about church.

But when the Jews in Thessalonica found out that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul also in Berea, they went there to upset and incite the crowds. 

This is Thessalonica 2.0.  The church from Thessalonica was not pleased that the church members in Berea were actually studying the Scriptures on their own.  How sinful!  No, we must send a mob over there to “upset and incite the crowds”.  Let us take the minds away from searching Scriptures and put them back on the church.

A friend of mine shared with me the following.  She had left her church and after some time, her minister asked why she was not going to church.  She explained how she was enjoying the peace and quiet of studying the Bible on her own.  He stated that it wasn’t a good idea for her to study the Bible by herself.  And this was a minister of a Sabbath, church-going denomination.  How sad.  The Sabbath denomination that was raised up by God to bring people back to the Bible no longer wants people going to the Bible without “Catholic” church help.  You don’t need church to teach you the Bible.  All you need is the Holy Spirit.  Since the church has driven Him away, stay out of church and let the Spirit teach you.

Then the brothers immediately sent Paul away to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed there. 

It appears that Paul had enough and left Silas and Timothy to continue the work.  Paul understood that it was he who was the focus of their hate.  After all, he was a “traitor” to the church.  He had been a high ranking member of the Pharisee party and was now teaching people to leave the church and follow Jesus.  What heresy!  

The men who escorted Paul took him all the way to Athens and, after receiving instructions to have Silas and Timothy join him as soon as possible, they left. 

Paul is now in Athens.  Here was the center of learning for the world of his day debasing itself with idolatry.  It was here, about 385 BC, that Plato founded the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. (Wikipedia).  Paul was well aware of Plato, Socrates and Aristotle who were great world philosophers and moral thinkers.  The information from Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel must have been well known to the Greek philosophers also.  The Jewish God was not foreign to them.  Paul was now in Athens to share the truth that Plato philosophized about.  “Plato once disclosed this knowledge to the public in his lecture On the Good (Περὶ τἀγαθοῦ), in which the Good (τὸ ἀγαθόν) is identified with the One (the Unity, τὸ ἕν), the fundamental ontological principle.”  Wikipedia.  Interesting to note, about four hundred years after Plato, Jesus stated, “No one is good except One—God”.  Matthew 19:17.  

While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was deeply disturbed to see the city full of idols. 

As he looked out over the city of Athens from the Acropolis, he began to see more clearly the parallel between the church and the pagans.  Church was just another “idol” the church members were worshiping and bowing down to.  No different than the pagan idols.  Each were taking the eyes of the people from God and placing them firmly on man.  The Greek word “anti” means, “in place of”.  Their idols and churches were not only taking the place of God, but in the process, were setting themselves up against God.  But none of it was changing their characters to live with God.

So he began holding discussions in the synagogue with the Jews and other worshipers, as well as every day in the public square with anyone who happened to be there.

Are we today as willing to share our love of Jesus and His truth with the church and “other worshipers”?  Do we, “in the public square” of life bring Jesus to those around us?

Some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also debated with him. Some asked, “What is this blabbermouth trying to say?” while others said, “He seems to be preaching about foreign gods.” This was because Paul was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 

The truth about Jesus may make you look like a “blabbermouth” to those around you, but so what.  Is not their eternal life more important than what people think about you?  What Christians are to be teaching truly is about “foreign gods”.  The churches of the world today have no idea who Jesus is and what He taught.  He is as foreign to the churches of today as He was to the church and the pagans of Paul’s day.

Once again, what was the “good news” to Paul?  Paul taught what Jesus taught.  Jesus taught the good news to stop sinning, be perfect and to keep the Ten Commandments in order to attain to the resurrection.  That is strange to the churches and the world today.  They have never heard it.

Then they took him, brought him before the Areopagus, and asked, “May we know what this new teaching of yours is?  It sounds rather strange to our ears, and we would like to know what it means.” 

That is all Paul wanted.  He just wanted to be heard.  It wasn’t about whether or not they would believe him.  It wasn’t about how many converts he would make.  He spoke up because he loved Jesus and wanted to share the gospel.  If they believed, great.  If they didn’t, nothing he could do about it.  Are you sharing the teachings of Jesus to all around you no matter what the outcome?  And yes, it will sound “rather strange” to their ears.  They have never heard it in their churches.

Now all the Athenians and the foreigners living there used to spend their time doing nothing else other than listening to the latest ideas or repeating them. 

That sounds like most Christians today.  That is all they do, spending “their time doing nothing else other than listening to the latest ideas or repeating them”.  Television, radio, on-line, flyers, papers, churches, phones and any other media outlets, it is all gossip.  Around and around and around it flows, but nothing from it has anything to do with knowing Jesus and living as He commands: perfect, sinless and commandment keeping.

So Paul stood up in front of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I see that you are very religious in every way. 

Today, we might stop there and say, well, they are religious and believe in “god”, let God deal with them.  But Paul understood that being religious or belonging to a church, or believing in “god” did nothing to bring you eternal life.  He had to bring them the One and only Way to that eternal life.

For as I was walking around and looking closely at the objects you worship, I even found an altar with this written on it: ‘To an unknown god.’ So I am telling you about the unknown object you worship.  The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth. He doesn’t live in shrines made by human hands, and he isn’t served by people as if he needed anything.

Oh, oh, this was a slap at the church who believed that God did live in their “shrines made by human hands”.  Those shrines they called “synagogues” and a temple in Jerusalem and what we today call churches.  God doesn’t need anything from you or your church.  All He wants is our obedience to His laws.

He himself gives everyone life, breath, and everything else.  From one man he made every nation of humanity to live all over the earth, fixing the seasons of the year and the national boundaries within which they live, so that they might look for God, somehow reach for him, and find him.

Paul did not tell them they had to go to church, or make a new church or denomination in order to find God.  Paul was only following the example of Jesus.  When Jesus sat on the “Mount of Blessing”, He did not organize the people into churches or denominations.  He did not appoint leaders to “take charge” of the people.  He taught them how to live, individually, the sinless, perfect and commandment keeping life.  You don’t need a “church” to do that.  God can be found anywhere you look, if you are willing to “see”.  It is the churches that have obscured God and have made it almost impossible to find Him.

The Athenians understood this perfectly.  They were philosophers who had been philosophizing for over 400 years on this topic: How to live the perfect life.  How to find the “Good” or the “One” way of living.  Therefore, Paul is “philosophizing” with them and showing them how to find Him.

Of course, he is never far from any one of us.  For we live, move, and exist because of him, as some of your own poets have said: ‘For we are his children, too.’  So if we are God’s children, we shouldn’t think that the divine being is like gold, silver, or stone, or is an image carved by humans using their own imagination and skill. 

That is so correct.  Our churches, no matter how well built “by humans using their own imagination and skill” can never bring you to Jesus.  “He is never far from” you.  We are all His children and He wants to make Himself known to you personally.  But for that to happen, you must separate, ekklēsia, yourself from the churches and idols of this world and sit quietly with Jesus reading His Word.

Though God has overlooked those times of ignorance, he now commands everyone everywhere to repent, because he has set a day when he is going to judge the world with justice through a man whom he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” 

And there it is.  “God has overlooked those times of ignorance” when the people needed the temple sacrifices, feast days and ceremonies to point to Jesus.  But those days are gone.  They are “finished”.  Jesus came and died and God raised Him from the dead.  Now all He commands is for “everyone everywhere to repent”, leave the churches and separate from the sins in your life.  God will judge the world with justice.  Jesus will simply ask, Did you obey Me?  “When the Son of Man comes in His glory and all the angels are with Him, He will sit on His glorious throne.  All the nations will be assembled in front of Him, and He will cull them out, one from another, like a shepherd separates sheep from goats.  He will put the sheep on His right but the goats on His left.  Then the king will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who have been blessed by My Father! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, because I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you welcomed Me.  I was naked, and you clothed Me. I was sick, and you took care of Me. I was in prison, and you visited Me.’”  Matthew 25:32-36.  Nothing there about going to church.  Jesus did not command us to go to church or build a church.  Who are you obeying?  On which side of Jesus will you be standing?

When they heard about a resurrection of the dead, some began joking about it, while others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 

And so it is today.  When people hear that they must stop sinning, be perfect and keep the Ten Commandments to get their eternal life, some begin to joke about it and others blow it off.  Their pride, opinions and church are more important than the teachings of Jesus.

And so Paul left the meeting.  Some men joined him and became believers. With them were Dionysius, who was a member of the Areopagus, a woman named Damaris, and some others along with them. 

Just because Jesus warned us that very few would be saved, does not give us the right to sit in church with a smug look on our faces thinking we are one of those few.  If you sit in church you are lost.  You are not following in the footsteps of Jesus or the disciples who were out teaching people about the good news.  They didn’t calculate the probability of how many would accept before “sharing”.  They just stepped out and shared.  If you are too embarrassed to share the good news with those around you, Jesus will be too embarrassed to present you to the Father.  You will die in your comfortable church.

After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 

We do what we can, and then we move on.  God cannot force anyone to learn and obey the truth.  We are individually responsible for our eternal death or eternal life.  Sitting in church will not get you any closer to eternal life, but it will definitely take you closer to eternal death.

There he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to visit them, and because they had the same trade he stayed with them. They worked together because they were tentmakers by trade. 

Aquila and Priscilla were Christians.  They obeyed the government and left Rome.  They didn’t riot, protest or file grievances.  When we become Christians, we recognize that God is working for our good through the circumstances of life.  God is moving events and we need to just go with the flow.  God will work it all out.  But if we are trying to manipulate and make things go our way, God cannot work in our lives.

When Paul was able, he did what he could to work and earn funds for the work.  But that happened seldom.  Most of Paul’s journeys were financed by the ekklēsia who loved him and supported his work.  

Every Sabbath he would speak in the synagogue, trying to persuade both Jews and Greeks. 

Paul was not a member of the church.  He simply went there because that is where the Jews were.  However, instead of trying to become a member, or sit quietly listening to the Rabbi, he worked the members “trying to persuade both Jews and Greeks” to leave their church and religious systems and be united with Jesus.

But when Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself entirely to the word as he emphatically assured the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah. 

Have you found yourself lately “emphatically” assuring your church members, family, co-workers and friends that Jesus is the Messiah and we need to live in obedience to Him?  That was the example of Jesus and the disciples.  Who are you following?

But when they began to oppose him and insult him, he shook out his clothes in protest and told them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the gentiles. 

He finally had had enough.  After years and years and years of trying to bring the truth of Jesus to his own church, he turned his focus in another direction.  There is only so much one can do.  Fortunately, Paul did not sit down in the church and give up.  He didn’t give in to the church.  He found another sector of society that was far more willing to accept the truth than those who claimed to be “God’s church”.  How fooled they were.

Then he left that place and went to the home of a man named Titius Justus, who worshiped God and whose house was next door to the synagogue. 

If the church wasn’t going to listen, he went to the home of Titius Justus and opened up his own “university of the Scriptures”.  Notice, Paul didn’t go build a church or set up a denomination.  It was in a home he taught the teachings of Jesus and how to be obedient to them.  He did not start a “church” or take memberships.  He did not organize them into “church” leadership positions for fame or glory.  Jesus and Jesus only was his message.  Will you open up your home and do the same for Jesus?

Now Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, along with his whole family. Many Corinthians who heard Paul also believed and were baptized. 

By refusing to let the church cower him, Paul was able to find a few who believed in Jesus and were baptized.  That belief, represented by baptism, was put into practice by obedience to the teachings of Jesus.  You can’t believe “in” the Lord if you are not being “obedient” to the teachings of the Lord.  They became a part of the ekklēsia and came out of their church and/or pagan associations and became obedient to the teachings of Jesus.  “Through Him we received grace and a commission as an apostle to bring about faithful obedience among all the gentiles for the sake of His name.”  Romans 1:5.  If you belong to Jesus, you will receive “a commission as an apostle to bring about faithful obedience” from those around you.  If you sit in church, you do not belong to Jesus.  You may bring people to church, but they are far from Jesus.

One night the Lord told Paul in a vision, “Stop being afraid to speak out! Don’t remain silent!  For I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you or harm you, because I have many people in this city.” 

Yes indeed, Jesus had “many people in this city” and they were not sitting in church.  They did not belong to the church.  I pray for the day when we will “stop being afraid to speak out” and tell people the truth.  It may cost you your family, your best friend and even your job, but so what?  Jesus did not command us to “go make friends”, He commanded us to speak the truth.  If we incur the enmity of family and friends, then walk alone.  You cannot be a friend of Jesus and a friend of the world.

So Paul lived there for a year and a half and continued to teach the word of God among the people there. 

Again, over and over again God is trying to get through to people who read the Bible that it isn’t church you are to be teaching.  It isn’t church you are to be taking people to.  It isn’t church you are to be promoting and belonging to.  You are to “teach the Word of God among the people”.  That’s it.  And keep in mind, that “Word of God” was not the New Testament.  The New Testament would not be compiled for another 300 years.  The “Word of God” was the Old Testament.  That is what the Christians read and obeyed for 300 years after Christ for their salvation.  Sitting in church is only obscuring your vision.  Get out and open your eyes and see the Light.

While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews gathered together, attacked Paul, and brought him before the judge’s seat.  They said, “This man is persuading people to worship God in ways that are contrary to the Law.” 

And again, the church tried to use the authority of the pagan civil government to destroy the truth.  And these were those who claimed to be “God’s people” representing “His Church”.  After all, they went to church on God’s holy Sabbath day.  Wow, weren’t they “holy”.  Sound familiar?  Get out of your church, go home and open your Bible, starting in Genesis, and read the “Word of God” for your eternal life.

Paul was about to speak when Gallio admonished the Jews, “If there were some misdemeanor or crime involved, it would be reasonable to put up with you Jews.  But since it is a question about words, names, and your own Law, you will have to take care of that yourselves. I refuse to be a judge in these matters.”  So he drove them away from the judge’s seat. 

“Christians” sit in church smugly thinking they are of God, but it was the pagan civil governor who was “righteous” and did what was right.  The “Sabbath keepers” were totally under the direction and control of the devil.  They had rejected God while sitting in church.  They wanted civil authority to enforce their religious beliefs.  Sound familiar?

Then all of them took Sosthenes, the synagogue leader, and began beating him in front of the judge’s seat. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this. 

There are no wickeder people than religious people.  Under the name of “god” they will go to any wicked length to protect their wicked church system.  The hate they have for those who follow Jesus is beyond belief.  The laws of the land are now preventing them from expressing the fullness of that wickedness.  But be assured, if they are not living as Jesus commands, perfect, sinless and commandment keeping, they are of the devil.  All you have to do is tell them the truth about their church and you will see the hate.  Watch how powerfully they defend their church.  How Catholic!

After staying there for quite a while longer, Paul said goodbye to the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. He had his hair cut in Cenchrea, since he was under a vow.  When they arrived in Ephesus, he left Priscilla and Aquila there. Then he went into the synagogue and had a discussion with the Jews. 

Paul never fully gave up on his fellow Jews.  They had been brainwashed by the church, intimidated by the leaders of the church, pressured by the church and “convinced” by the church to sit in church.  They had rejected Jesus and the truth.  Church was their “god” and curses be on anyone who dared to say a word against their church.  But Paul continued, as he was able, to preach the Word of God to those who made church more important that obedience to God.

They asked him to stay longer, but he refused.  As he told them goodbye, he said, “I will come back to you again if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus.  When he arrived in Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem, greeted the church there, and then returned to Antioch. 

A few accepted the truth of God over the church.  Very few will accept truth.  Most accept some Bible facts, facts taken out of context, in order to justify their prideful church and opinions.  But to accept the teachings of Jesus, not at all. 

Paul was tired from his journey and he “went up to Jerusalem, greeted the ekklēsia there, and then returned to Antioch”.  The journey was hard and he needed to be with friends and family who loved the teachings of Jesus.  People who lived in obedience to the teachings of Jesus and where his soul could find peace, rest and contentment.  Soon, after his rest and renewal, he would again set out on his final journey, following in the footsteps of his Master, sharing the gospel that Jesus taught to a world living in darkness.

I pray that we will follow in the Master’s steps.  Let us renew our souls with the teachings of Jesus and live in perfect, sinless obedience to the Ten Commandments. 

 

Prison Mission Report

  • To Whom It May Concern,
  • I am locked up for murder.  The jury recommended the death penalty for me.  I was given the death sentence.  I believe in God.  I write because I would like to receive some Bible studies.  I don’t have any family or friends to write to.  If you all could help me find some pen-pal, would be very appreciative.
  • Donald, OK

 

  • Hi,
  • A friend gave me the address to this ministry and said that Bible studies and pen-pals may be available.  I could use a friend to help with studies and pass the time.  I’ve given my life to Jesus and I’m working on building a strong foundation on God’s Word.  I’m hoping to grow in God’s Word to help others who may be in the shoes I was in before getting locked up.  It was the fast life and it took me nowhere good.  I hurt others and myself.  Now I just want to help. 
  • Keith, TX

 

  • Dear Ron,
  • I received your introductory issue and I have read it several times.  I’ve decided I want what you have!  A profound love of our Lord Jesus Christ.  I’ve tried other Bible studies, but I just don’t believe I’ve been taught the truth about Jesus or taught in a way that helps me to understand better.  But with you, I believe I can get the learning that I seek since we both have been down the same roads.  It will help.  I would be honored if you and the Lord would allow me to continue in the studies.
  • Terry, TX

 

  • Hi,
  • Just writing these few lines to say that I’m really enjoying my book, “Change Your Life Biblically”.  I’m learning so, so much!  I should be sending you the answers in a few weeks.  I love it.  It’s one book that I will be keeping a re-reading every chance I get.  Continue doing what you do.  The Lord is using you in a great way.  I know you are touching and changing so many lives.  I pray for you every day and night and I pray for God to bless you abundantly. 
  • Maria, TX

 

  • JCPM,
  • I recently heard about your study course called, “Change Your Life Biblically”.  I desperately need a new way of thinking and a new way of life.  Please send me the Bible studies so I could gain more growth and knowledge of Jesus Christ. 
  • Sorina, CA

 

  • JCPM,
  • I read through the history of the ministry and read “2 Peter”.  I would like to continue my learning.  I want to continue your Bible studies.  Please send me the Bible study on “2nd Peter’s 8 Steps”.  I look forward to the “Change Your Life Biblically” book to help me change my life.
  • Shellby, CA

 

  • Dear JCPM,
  • I was handed this from another inmate so I thought I would find out more about it.  I was told that you would send me free Bible studies.  I am a lifer and I don’t have anyone out there that helps me, so I am doing my time alone. 
  • Hank, WI

 

  • Dear Ron,
  • The “church” chapter in this book was my favorite.  The entire third volume of this awesome book I liked the most as well.  For me growing up in a single mother run Christian home and going to church on a regular basis for the first fifteen or sixteen years of my life, I always felt there was something very wrong with such an establishment.  Church services, even to me at an early age, were much too formal and organized and under too strict formats and time restraints.  I didn’t see how such a service could ever really bring anyone closer to God at all.  I now see much more fully that church services and chapel gatherings are no longer for me as I have been enlightened to come out of her and its much adulteries and fornications.  Yes, the church chapter in your book is the most underlined and highlighted chapter for me.  I, as a direct result of this most difficult and also most beneficial, useful and most rewarding study of yours, will see the Holy Scriptures in a new and more revealing light. 
  • Travis, CA

 

  • JCPM,
  • Your book is amazing!  You are a child of God and filled with the Holy Spirit!  I feel it from this book.  I feel like a new man with the “Truth” now.  Thank you so much brother.  It means so much to me.  I was down in the library and God directed me straight to your book.  I didn’t hesitate and checked it out.  This book is the best book that I ever read that has to do with God and His Word!  I felt the Spirit upon me and even shed tears reading this book.  I do thank you and I do believe everything that is written in this book.  I am blessed through Christ on guiding me to this book.  Now, I know the truth and understand a lot about the different churches, just so much that I have learned.  I had done this work from a donated library book that was next to the trash.  I can’t wait to get my personal book,  “Change Your Life Biblically”.  I’ve been locked up since I was 19 years old.  I am now 35 years old.  I want to serve the Lord and proclaim His Word truthfully.  By this book, I can.  This book breaks a lot down.  I could not stop reading it. 
  • Philip, KS

 

  • Ron,
  • Please send me whatever you have in order to get me started in your studies.  I am a 51 year old man who has a 60 year sentence, for now.  I have been locked up for over 12 years.  I read a Jesus Christ Prison Ministry Introductory Issue recently and got your address.  Thank you for the work you do by being obedient to the Spirit of God.
  • Emanuel, CT

 

  • Brother Ron,
  • I really enjoy the fact that the certification process involves essays and ministry outreach.  This study has been extremely beneficial and fulfilling.  In 4 years I’ve not yet found a Bible course that teaches truth as JCPM - CYLB does.  I look to see if the study has Jesus as the topic and His Word as the study because everyone has gone astray.  Thank you so much for this opportunity and thank you for teaching others that Jesus is the way and the ONLY WAY.  I will also speak to others in this facility and present them with the CYLB course.  I will continue to bring the truth to others and assist them as best as I can.  One brother seemed to be willing to listen to reasoning and I plan on finding many more. 

"GRACE"

Grace that is taught through the CYLB study is the type of grace that I was taught since a young age.  What I was taught that CYLB also confirms is that grace is not an eternal salvation.  For many years I have struggled with the teaching “Saved by Grace”.  Society today insists on following this trend.  I personally have never agreed.  Grace, properly discerned and understood to me is simply to understand the fact that God loves us so much that He does not want anyone to perish.  This being that He gives grace to all so that when we do sin and separate ourselves from Him, that we have the opportunity to not die immediately or eternally.  But are able to come back to Him in repentance and turn away from selfishness and sin.  Grace is our gift from God that shows we are worthy of His forgiveness, but we have to understand and accept that faith is an action and by acting in faith we turn to God and commit to His way of doing things, not our way.  Obedience from faith is the action and the application of grace.  By me being obedient to the Commandments and doing the will of God, I am showing that I accept and understand grace.  If I were to continue in sin, then I am only denying grace and taking advantage of God’s graciousness and His mercy.  As Romans states, “So what then, shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?  Certainly not”.  To me this shows that sin’s wage is death and we should not continue to try and die (kill ourselves) by free will, but should let God’s grace be sufficient for us and wise up to the obedience of God.  I had to discontinue a ministry study and let them be aware that they are wrong for teaching “Hyper Grace”.  Our Lord Jesus never taught us to accept false teaching of “one prayer and grace saves all”.  He told us to take up our cross, stop sinning, be perfect and follow.  In my studies, I have come across many interpretations of “grace”.  But none have explained or divided the word like CYLB has.  So, to say for myself, in my own words, “I only trust what Jesus taught and lived”.  JCPM has brought to us the simplified meaning of grace to its readers.

“Plan of Salvation”

The plan of salvation is the core sum of what the Bible is pointing out to me and every believer in Jesus Christ.  This section and understanding of this plan has made a tremendous impact on my life.  I truly enjoy how it is laid out in the CYLB study.  This “Plan of Salvation” is not some over thought difficult and confusing process that we must search high and low for.  It was a plan since the beginning of creation that is so simple to understand that even children understand it if properly “lived and taught”.  As a child, I was taught to “lead by example”.  This is the same concept that Jesus showed us in His life on earth.  In the beginning, the enemy confused things and humans complicated them for no reason.  In every step and in every moment Jesus plainly showed us the Plan of Salvation in the way He lived life on earth.  It was so simple to understand that He explained everything by Word to us as He lived it out.  As simple as this plan is, it is not a onetime deal.  This plan is a lifestyle and an everyday sacrifice and moment by moment we must be vigilant to live and follow this plan. 

“WORKS”

  • The subject of works is an awesome topic to go over as an essay.  By gaining extra insight and more knowledge of the proper way to examine what “works” means is amazing because in many ways it is misinterpreted.  Using the CYLB study is a great tool in understanding what Scripture is conveying to us as followers of Christ.  “This is love for God: to obey His commands.  And His commands are not burdensome.”  1 John 5:3.  This section of Scripture is great because it reveals that we must put forth action and faith in the Word of God to show that we love God.  When good works are involved, God gives us the strength to complete His will to His specifications and at His time of completion.  With the Spirit we can do all things and we have the confidence that what we do is for the glory of our Lord.
  • Jon, CO

 

  • JCPM,
  • I am new in my faith.  I want to change.  I want to learn how to live my life by the Word of God.  Wow, what a blessing.  Please help me learn how to do this. 
  • Tamara, CA

 

  • JCPM,
  • Thank you for putting this book together so I can understand the work of God and understand the Word of God.  I would like to get a copy of the book.  It would be appreciated.  Thank you again.
  • Emanuel, CA

 

Testimony for God's People

 

My Dear Family in Christ,

The following letter is a letter of love.  It is a letter of encouragement to those who are struggling against sin, evil and temptations.  God loves His children.  We are a family.  Each of us are to encourage each other to remain faithful to Jesus and His teachings.  Never are we to let a church, family, friends or society discourage us from our duties to our “family” in Jesus.

This world will soon pass away.  Heaven is for eternity.  The devil has truly conceived a world of temptations to keep our minds occupied.  Church is no substitute for a personal walk with Jesus.  Church is “anti” Christ, where “anti” in the Greek means “in place of”.  Church truly stands “in the place of” Jesus.  The churches no longer teach us to pick up our cross and follow Jesus.  Now it is all “Come to church and be entertained.  Wear the cross, come to church, but don’t expect us to tell you to live in obedience to Jesus.  That is too much for you.  Just sit in our church and you are saved.  Hallelujah!”

“Truth” is a hard concept for many to understand.  Most confuse “truth” with “facts”.  Facts and truth are not the same.  Most churches, denominations and religions take Bible “facts” out of context in order to build a false “truth”.  Then they propagate it and lead many to forfeit their eternal life.  By doing that, they make the Bible a lie.  Their “facts”, taken out of context, turn other Bible facts into lies.  Truth, on the other hand, are Bible “facts” kept in context and understood in a way that brings harmony to all the teachings of the Bible.  Bible truth can never make Jesus a liar.  Bible truth will never disagree with other Bible facts and truths.  Those who study deeply, with the Holy Spirit as their Teacher, will find that truth brings harmony to the Bible. 

A Cross in Accepting the Truth

Dear Sister (Christian),

I am somewhat acquainted with your peculiar temperament, your caution, your fears, your lack of hope and confidence. I sympathize with you in your sufferings of mind, as you cannot see everything in regard to our position and faith as clearly as you could wish. We know you to be strictly conscientious, and have not a doubt that, could you have the privilege of hearing on all points of present truth, and of weighing the evidences for yourself, you would be established, strengthened, settled, so that opposition or reproach would not move you from the sure foundation. As you have not had the privilege, as many others have, of attending meetings and experiencing for yourself the evidences attending the presentation of the truth we hold sacred, we feel the more solicitous for you. Our hearts are drawn out after you, and our love toward you is sincere and fervent. We fear that amid the perils of these last days you may make shipwreck. Be not grieved with me for thus writing. You cannot have a full sense, as I have, of the wiles and sophistry of Satan. His deceptions are many; his snares are carefully and cunningly prepared to entangle the unwary and unsuspecting. We want you to escape his wiles; we want you to be fully on the Lord’s side, loving, and waiting and earnestly longing for, the appearing of our Saviour in the clouds of heaven.

Back in the 1860’s, the “meetings” were educational meetings sharing the truth as God was revealing it to the world.  The meetings were places you went to learn how to live without sin in your life.  But today, those “new” truths are no longer “new” and have become “oh hum” and seldom taught.  The churches, all of them, have become nothing but routine traditions, ceremonies and rituals that are doing nothing to teach people how to live the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life.

Since your first efforts to keep the Sabbath, many things have arisen to discourage you; yet we hope that these things will not divert your mind from the important truths for these last days. Although the advocates of the truth do not all do as they should, because they are unsanctified by the truths they profess, the truth is the same; its luster is undimmed. Although these may stand between the truth and those who have not fully taken hold upon it, and their dark shadow may appear for a time to cloud its bright luster, yet it does not in reality; the truth of heavenly origin is undimmed. Its purity and exalted character are changeless. It lives; for it is immortal.

My beloved sister, cling to the truth. Obtain an experience for yourself. You have an individuality. You are accountable only for the manner in which you, independent of all others, use the light that shines upon your pathway. The lack of consecration in others will be no excuse for you. The fact that they pervert the truth by their wrong course of action, because they are unsanctified by it, will not render you less responsible. A solemn obligation rests upon you to exalt the standard of truth, to bear it aloft. Even if the standard-bearer faints and falls, do not leave the precious standard to trail in the dust. Seize it, and bear it aloft, even at the peril of your good name, your worldly honor, and your life, if required. My much-respected sister, I entreat you to look up. Cling fast to your heavenly Father’s hand. Jesus, our Advocate, lives to make intercession for us. Whoever may deny the faith by their unholy lives, it does not change the truth into a lie. “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His.” “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” At times I fear that your feet will slide, that you will refuse to walk in the humble, straight, and narrow way which leads to eternal life in the kingdom of glory.

Again and again and again, the prophet of God lays out the fact that our salvation is not in a church or denomination.  It is not in baptism or any other church sanctioned ritual.  Our salvation is attained only by our personal acceptance and obedience to the truth as taught by Jesus.  We are admonished to “look up”, not at church.  Get out of your church and stop making the “unsanctified by the truths they profess” your excuse for not following in the footsteps of Jesus.  Following the “unsanctified” will only make you unsanctified and lost with them. Gather with those who love Jesus and are putting sin out of their lives.  Open your home, meet in a park or somewhere you can encourage each other in living the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life.

I present before you the life of self-denial, humility, and sacrifice of our divine Lord. The Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, left His riches, His splendor, His honor and glory, and, in order to save sinful man, condescended to a life of humility, poverty, and shame; “who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame.” Oh, why are we so sensitive to trial and reproach, to shame and suffering, when our Lord has given us such an example? Who would wish to enter into the joy of their Lord while they were unwilling to partake of His sufferings? What! the servant unwilling to bear the humility and shame and reproach which the Master bore unselfishly for him! the servant shrinking from a life of humility and sacrifice which is for his own eternal happiness, by which he may finally obtain an exceedingly great, an eternal reward! The language of my heart is: Let me be a partaker with Christ of His sufferings, that I may finally share with Him the glory.

And what was it that made Christ suffer?  His living the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life.  Try it!  Then you will be a “partaker with Christ of His sufferings” so you “may finally share with Him the glory”.

The truth of God has never been popular with the world. The natural heart is ever averse to the truth. I thank God that we must renounce the love of the world, and pride of heart, and everything which tends to idolatry, in order to be followers of the Man of Calvary. Those who obey the truth will never be loved and honored by the world. From the lips of the divine Teacher, as He walked in humility among the children of men, were heard the words: Whosoever will be My disciple, let him take up his cross, and follow Me. Yes, follow our Exemplar. Was He seeking for praise and honor of men? Oh, no! Shall we then seek for honor or praise from worldlings?

Get out of your church now.  I know of no church that is teaching people to live as Jesus lived.  Churches today are nothing but hotbeds of pride, self, idolatry, love of the world and ego.  Just look at the cars, suits and dresses of those going to church.  I don’t think they have “renounced the love of the world”.  Get out and “follow our Exemplar” if you want eternal life.

Those who have no love for God will not love the children of God. Listen to the words of heavenly instruction: “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you.” “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven.” “But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.” In the Gospel of John we again find the words of Christ: “These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.” “I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”

When this ministry brings the truth, the teachings of Jesus to churches, they hate, condemn, speak evil and separate me from their company.  Since the prayer of Jesus is to “keep them from the evil”, should we not comply with that prayer and get out of our churches?  “Those who have no love for God will not love the children of God.”  If you are in church, you have no love for the children of God who are bringing you the truth, the teachings of Jesus.  And yet, look at how hard the churches are working to make themselves “loved” by the world.  Churches want nothing more than to be friends with the world.

In First John we read: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” In Paul’s Epistle to the Romans he beseeches them, by the mercies of God, that they present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is their reasonable service. “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.” And James declares: “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

If your church is not teaching “what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”, it is time to get out.  When was the last time your pastor told you how to live the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life?  When was the last time your pastor stood up in the church and admonished church members to stop sinning?  Did he point out their sins and rebuke the evil in those who were sinning?  Or, does your pastor speak pleasing words to his members?  Is your church joining with other churches to celebrate pagan holidays: Christmas and Easter?

I entreat you to carefully consider the instructions in Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians: “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” I fear that you are in great danger of making shipwreck of faith. You consider that you have sacrifices to make to obey the truth. We believe that you have made some sacrifices, but had you been more thorough in this work, your feet would not now be stumbling, your faith wavering. I do not refer now to sacrifice of means(money), but to what comes closer than this, to that which would cause you a more painful conflict than to give your means, to that which touches self especially. You have not yielded your pride, your love of the approbation of an unbelieving world. You love to have men speak well of you.

Boy, get out of your church now.  How church members love the “approbation of an unbelieving world” and the pride they get when the church speaks well of them.  But are they sacrificing their pride, yielding their opinions, beliefs and very lives to the teachings of Jesus to live perfect, sinless and commandment keeping? 

You have not received and practiced the truth in its simplicity. You have, I fear, felt somewhat as though you were condescending to receive the unpopular truth as advocated by Sabbathkeeping Adventists. You have sought, to quite a degree, to retain the spirit of the world and yet adopt the truth. This cannot be. Christ will accept of nothing but the whole heart, the entire affections. The friendship of the world is enmity with God. When you desire to so live as to shun reproach, you are seeking a position above your suffering Lord; and while engaged in this, you are separating from your Father in heaven, exchanging His love for that which is not worth obtaining.

This was written around the 1870’s.  Back then, those who were called “Sabbathkeeping Adventists” actually did keep the Sabbath holy in obedience to the command of God.  Not many church buildings had been erected and those who kept the Sabbath holy did so, not by going to church, but by actually keeping the day holy in their lives.  They were living the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life Jesus taught and lived.  Today, those who claim to keep the Sabbath holy only go to church, like good Catholics, but refuse to keep the day holy as required by God.  Going to church does not make the day “holy”.  The Seventh-day Adventist Church of today is not the same as the “Sabbathkeeping Adventists” movement back then.

I have felt pressed in spirit in regard to you, my sister, and also your husband. As I have taken my pen to write, your cases have been clearly brought before me. I am fully aware of your dangers, of your state of perplexity and doubt. Everything has been unfavorable for you, Sister (Christian), since you have sought to obey the law of God. But nothing has been as great a hindrance to you both as your pride. You are both fond of display; this has no part in good, humble religion. I saw that you both had a fiery ordeal to pass, that you would be tested and proved. In this conflict, Satan would strive hard to blind your eyes to your eternal interest, and would present the advantages of the present time, this little, short life which is so uncertain. You would see charms in this life, and unless you parted with your love of show and the favor of the world you could not retain the love of God. Jesus was presented to me, pointing to the charms of heaven, seeking to attract your eyes from the world, and saying: “Which will ye choose, Me, or the world? You cannot have Me and the love of the world, too. Will you sacrifice Him who died for you for the pride of life, for the treasures of the world? Choose between Me and the world; the world has no part in Me.”

The churches are so full of pride.  People do not go to church to worship God.  Those who worship God are out with God in nature or at home learning how to live His perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life.  “Nothing has been as great a hindrance to” Christians as is the church.  There is no greater force for keeping you out of heaven than the church.

I saw your feet faltering, your faith wavering. Doubt and unbelief were enclosing you about, and the light of Jesus was departing. Vanity is one of the strongest principles of our depraved natures, and Satan will constantly appeal to it with success. Persons have not been wanting who were ready to aid Satan in his work—to flatter you, to present your ability and the influence you could have in society, to urge that it would be a great pity for you to unite your interests with a people of humble faith and mingle in a class of society, as they regard it, beneath you. It has seemed to you that you were making a great sacrifice for the truth. It is true that the masses who possess influence do not choose to sacrifice their worldly ambition, to separate their affections from the world, and turn their footsteps into the narrow, humble path traveled by the suffering Man of Calvary. They consider their talents and influence too precious to be devoted to the cause of God, too precious to be given back to glorify the Giver who lent them these talents to be improved upon and returned to Him, both principal and interest. For the temporal advantages they hope to gain they will sacrifice the eternal. For the flattery of men they will turn from the approval of the Lord, the Maker of the heavens and the earth, and will forfeit all right to the honor which cometh from above. How few know what is for their best interest! You do not appreciate this. Jesus, through a life of unexampled suffering and an ignominious death, has opened a way whereby man may follow in His footsteps, and finally be exalted to His throne, and receive the reward of immortality and eternal life. For a life of obedience he will receive an immortal inheritance, a treasure undefiled that fadeth not away.

Get out of your church now!  Do not delay.  Do not let your pride and the praise of your church delay your escape.  Do not look back as Lot’s wife did.  Only through a “life of obedience” will you “receive an immortal inheritance, a treasure undefiled that fadeth not away”.  Why, oh why, will you delay?  There is nothing in church that has anything to do with your eternal life.  Flee to Jesus and cast yourself at His feet, giving up all your pride, opinions, beliefs and desires - then listen to His still small voice tell you what you should do.  Read your Bible!

In the First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians we read: “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence.” You have the example of Christ, His unpretending life without display or grandeur. Is the servant above his Lord?

And what was the “example of Christ”?  Of course, He lived the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life.  Then He commanded us to follow in His footsteps.  He commanded us to go and teach to the whole world how to live in obedience to what He commanded us.  Are you or your church following the “example of Christ”?

Dear sister, you have a good mind and can do good. You can be as an anchor to your husband and a strength to many others. But if you stand halting between two opinions, unreconciled to the humble work of God, your influence in connection with your husband’s will be exerted in a wrong direction. How reads the word of God? Turn from the opinions of men to the law and to the testimony. Shut out every worldly consideration. Make your decision for eternity. Weigh evidence in this important time. We surely need not expect to escape trial and persecution in following our Saviour; for this is the salary of those who follow Him. He plainly declares that we shall suffer persecution. Our earthly interests must be subservient to the eternal. Listen to the words of Christ: “Then Peter began to say unto Him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed Thee. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” Eternal interests are here involved.

Get out of your church.  Sound the battle cry!  “Turn from the opinions of men to the law and to the testimony.”  The churches no longer teach people to live according to the Law and the Testimony of Jesus.  The Testimony of Jesus was to live the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life.  To live as perfectly as His Heavenly Father.  Do not flatter yourselves that you are saved sitting in church.  The mercy of God is coming to a close against all who sit in church listening to man instead of going to Jesus and living in obedience to Him.  If you stay in church you “turn from God, He will turn from you”.

Do not flatter yourselves that if you should yield the truth all obstacles to your acquiring property would be removed. Satan tells you this; it is his sophistry. If God’s blessing rests upon you because you surrender all to Him, you will prosper. If you turn from God, He will turn from you. His hand can scatter faster than you can gather. “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

You, my dear sister (church member), need a thorough conversion to the truth, which shall slay self. Cannot you trust in God? Please read Matthew 10:25-40. Please read also, with a prayerful heart, Matthew 6:24-34. Let these words impress your heart: “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” The better life is here referred to. By the body is meant the inward adorning, which makes sinful mortals, possessing the meekness and righteousness of Christ, valuable in His sight, as was Enoch, and entitles them to receive the finishing touch of immortality. Our Saviour refers us to the fowls of the air, which sow not, neither reap, nor gather into barns, yet their heavenly Father feedeth them. Then He says: “Are ye not much better than they? ... And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” These lilies, in their simplicity and innocence, meet the mind of God better than Solomon in his costly decorations yet destitute of the heavenly adorning. “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” Can you not trust in your heavenly Father? Can you not rest upon His gracious promise? “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Precious promise! Can we not rely upon it? Can we not have implicit trust, knowing that He is faithful who hath promised? I entreat you to let your trembling faith again grasp the promises of God. Bear your whole weight upon them with unwavering faith; for they will not, they cannot, fail. {2T 489-496}

Many inmates are working so hard to “parole” from prison.  They do not understand that if they would make their service of God first and supreme, God will do what is best.  He can open doors or close them shut.  I experienced that in my life.  I could have spent my life in prison.  But when that time came and the powers that be were making that decision, I went on a 7 day fast.  I had committed my life to God seven years before and at the time I needed Him, He honored it.  The door opened and I was released. 

I pray that all of you will shut the doors to church, this world and everything that comes between you and living the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life.  God will bless you.  You have nothing to fear from a God who gave His life for you.

 

Ministry News

I thank each one who is working for Jesus by supporting this little ministry, sharing the material we are putting out and bringing others to the truth Jesus is teaching. Let us take the 3 Angels’ Messages, that we are to stop sinning, be perfect and keep the Ten Commandments of God, to all the people around us. The book, “Change Your Life Biblically” has been computer translated into Spanish. If you wish to help us put it into the hands of Spanish speaking inmates, we are going to need more financial help.
Love in Christ,
Ron