Do you see what Paul is doing? He is taking people back to the Old Testament as their example in righteousness. Abraham did not build a church. Abraham did not involve himself in the church rituals or the traditions of the pagans. Which, by the way, is where our church rituals, systems and traditions come from. No! How did Abraham find his justification before God?
For if Abraham was justified by actions, he would have had something to boast about—though not before God.
Even though God had called Abraham, he was not “justified” by what He did. All his works, no matter how “righteous”, could never “justify” Abraham before God.
For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Abraham believed that God was his Savior. He believed that God would pay the penalty for his sins by offering Himself in place of the “Lamb” Abraham had been offering morning and evening on the altar of sacrifice. It was his “faith”, his “belief” in the blood of God to cover his past sins that gave Abraham the righteousness of God through JUSTIFICATION. This was also demonstrated when he offered up his son Isaac.
Now to someone who works, wages are not considered a gift but an obligation.
If it were possible to “work off” our death obligation to the law in order to earn our justification, so be it. We could all work and work and work, toiling day and night to pay off our deserved death penalty. However, that would put some at a disadvantage. Some could do more work than others. What would be just? If a man killed another man with intent, how much “work” should he do to pay for that sinful act? Would it be so much that a child could not do it? Would it be so hard that a woman could not do it? What would be the right amount of “work” to “justify” and pay that penalty?
Now you see why we can never work off our death-penalty. It goes to the state of character. We all deserve death. Not one of us has what it takes to give back the life we have taken. That is why the murderer was to be put to death. Today, with all this soft, liberal insanity, wickedness is kept alive to breed and spread more wickedness. And so it is. And since one sin requires death, we all deserve nothing but death.
However, to someone who does not work, but simply believes in the one who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.
We are, or were, “ungodly”. All have sinned. We cannot work off our death-penalty. We have all broken the law. However, the grace of God provided a way of escape. Instead of initiating the death penalty the moment we sinned, God provided a grace period to allow us to continue living in order to give us the opportunity to develop faith in Jesus as our substitute. Once we recognize we deserve nothing but death, we humble ourselves and accept the death of Jesus as our substitute in justification. Then the righteousness of Christ begins the sanctification process within us. Now we live in obedience to the Law and never want to break it again. Now we walk, not as we want to walk, but as Jesus commands us to walk in order to keep the righteousness He gave us at justification and earn our eternal life through sanctification.
Justification and sanctification are two very distinct and separate types of “work” in the Christian life. The first work will do us no good. We can’t work off the fact that we have sinned. We can’t turn back the clock on the sins we have committed. Therefore, only by faith in the “Lamb of God” can we be forgiven for our past sins and attain justification. Justification is when God looks at us as if we had never sinned. He sees us in the perfection of Jesus.
By looking to the “Lamb of God” to pay our penalty for past sins, we now have an obligation to Jesus to live the perfect, righteous and holy life by never sinning again. Now we are to “work out our salvation” by living in sanctification. Why? Because we have to change our sinful characters to mirror the character Jesus sees us in JUSTIFICATION.
Likewise, David also speaks of the blessedness of the person whom God regards as righteous apart from actions: “How blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered! How blessed is the person whose sins the Lord will never charge against him!”
Again, Paul is referring back to the Old Testament for our instruction in righteousness. We deserve nothing but death. How blessed we are to have a God who loves us so much that He is willing to dismiss the charges against us if we believe in His work to pay the penalty for our sins. All the churchgoing you do won’t pay off your death-penalty. All the good you do won’t pay it off. You must surrender your life to Jesus and accept His death as your substitute.
Now does this blessedness come to the circumcised alone, or also to the uncircumcised? For we say, “Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness.”
All the baptisms in the world will never pay for your debt to the Law. Belonging to a church, denomination or religion will never pay that debt. You can’t buy your justification. No amount of work, money, tithes or offerings will pay the debt you owe. Abraham did not belong to the Jewish church. He wasn’t a Jew.
Under what circumstances was it credited? Was he circumcised or uncircumcised? He had not yet been circumcised, but was uncircumcised.
Abraham had already proved his loyalty to God and His Law. He had obeyed God in everything God had commanded him. Abraham had faith in God to pay the debt he had accumulated in his life by his disobedience to the Law. Therefore, he believed God and turned his life around and lived in obedience to the Law to show his love to God. Circumcision was simply a physical sign of that commitment to keep and live the Ten Commandments. Sin brings pain to the heart of God. Abraham did not want to bring any more pain to the One who was going to take that pain to the cross.
Afterward he received the mark of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. Therefore, he is the ancestor of all who believe while uncircumcised, in order that righteousness may be credited to them.
Righteousness was “credited” to him. He wasn’t righteous until he began living the righteous life. But God’s righteousness was “credited” to him through justification when he accept Jesus as the substitute for his own death. Then he “worked out” his own salvation by living the sanctified life through obedience to the Law of God. “Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” Genesis 26:5.
He is also the ancestor of the circumcised—those who are not only circumcised, but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
We are to believe as Abraham did. We are to walk and work as Abraham did. He humbly repented of his past sins, looked to Jesus as the “Lamb” to take the penalty for his sins and then walked and worked as God required him to walk: no more sin. But none of that had anything to do with an organized religion, church or denomination.
For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the Law, but through the righteousness produced by faith.
Because we were born into sin, none of us have been able keep the law. Our natures have been defiled by sin. The promise of eternal life, and the world to come, are beyond our human natures. No amount of keeping the Law of God will get us into Heaven. Why? Because we HAVE sinned and sinners can’t go to Heaven. Therefore, the PROMISE of eternal life, the world to come, can only be achieved by faith in God to change our human natures into the divine nature. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.” 2 Peter 1:3. Once we have that understanding, and faith in God, we then go to work changing our lives through the power and promise of God by living as He has commanded us: obedience to His laws. That is why Paul stated that we are to “bring about the obedience of faith”. Romans 1:5.
But again, the “law” mentioned in the verse is not the Ten Commandment law. It is the “Jewish” law of belonging to the nation of Israel through circumcision. Abraham did not receive the promise of eternal life by belonging to a church, religion, or through any temple rites, ceremonies, traditions or sacrifices. He received it by faith that produced obedience to the Ten Commandments.
For if those who were given the Law are the heirs, then faith is useless and the promise is worthless, for the Law produces wrath.
We have to keep in mind that Paul is talking to people who were still coming to terms with the fact that the lamb was no longer needed and that Jesus was the Lamb. The Jews had the temple laws, but they had rejected the “Lamb of God”. “Having” the temple laws, church, circumcision, rituals, traditions, ceremonies, ordinances and even the Ten Commandments, does nothing for our eternal life without faith in the one who paid the penalty for the breaking of the Ten Commandments. No matter how much church-going you do, you are still a sinner and need to accept the “Lamb of God” as your Savior. Otherwise, your pride and ego will try to “work” your own way into heaven without recognizing that only God can pardon your past sins. Once you have humbled yourself before God and make the commitment to live in obedience to His Ten Commandment law, then He will provide your commitment with the power to live the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life.
Now where there is no Law, neither can there be any violation of it.
That is correct. The Jews were still thinking you had to belong to their church to be saved. That if you violated their church laws, rules, ceremonies, traditions and rituals, you would be in violation of God and have no eternal life. But Abraham was used as an example that he had the promise of eternal life even though the temple laws had not yet been given. However, Abraham was under God’s Law, the Ten Commandments. Paul is showing that there has to be a Law, because if there was no Law, there would be no violation of it, and hence, no need for a Savior.
Therefore, the promise is based on faith, so that it may be a matter of grace and may be guaranteed for all of Abraham’s descendants—not only for those who were given the Law, but also for those who share the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.
Paul wants to make it very plain that just because the Jewish nation, the church, was given the temple laws, that did not guarantee them the right to belong to God. Just because they were Abraham’s descendants, that did not guarantee them the right to belong to God. Just because they were given the Ten Commandments, that did not guarantee them the right to belong to God. Only faith in the “Lamb” to take away their sins, living as Abraham had in obedience to that “Lamb” would they be children of God. All were included who had that faith in the “Lamb”. You didn’t have to belong to the Jewish religion or church. You didn’t have to go through any special services, rituals or traditions. All you had to do was have faith in the “Lamb of God” and live in obedience to Him as Abraham had.
As it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations.” Abraham acted in faith when he stood in the presence of God, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence things that don’t yet exist.
God, Jesus Christ, gave His life for us and will then give “life to the dead” when He comes again. The Jews thought this was only for them. Paul is trying to make it very plain that the salvation God offers is for everyone who is obedient as Abraham was. His obedience made him the “father of many nations” who would obey the Ten Commandments as Abraham did. Not only that, but because God “calls into existence things that don’t yet exist”, therefore, He can call into existence a righteous life that did not exist from your old sinful life.
Hoping in spite of hopeless circumstances, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” just as he had been told: “This is how many descendants you will have.”
As Abraham hoped for Isaac when it was humanly impossible for him to have children, so we are able to hope for our eternal life in our hopeless circumstances as dead men. We deserve nothing but death. Our only hope is our faith in Jesus. That hope, that faith, will move us to change our lives from living a life of death in sin to a life of righteousness in obedience to the Law. God can call out of our wretched, sinful bodies a pure, holy and righteous life.
His faith did not weaken when he thought about his own body (which was already as good as dead now that he was about a hundred years old) or about Sarah’s inability to have children, nor did he doubt God’s promise out of a lack of faith.
When we surrender our lives to Jesus and live as He lived, perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping, we too, as Abraham, can live in hope of the promise of God that we can have eternal life. We thank Jesus for His gift and therefore, we will now show our thankfulness by obedience. In order to live that eternal life we must live by the rules of that eternal life. We must believe that we are able, through the power of Jesus, to live His righteous life. That is our hope.
Instead, his faith became stronger and he gave glory to God, being absolutely convinced that God would do what he had promised.
Absolutely! We must be convinced that God will do what He has promised us. He has promised us eternal life if we live in obedience to His Law. The “Law” can’t save us, but obedience to the Law will. Once we have accepted the blood of Jesus, His sacrifice for our past sins, we now live in obedience to the Law because Jesus has asked us too and we believe Him. We want the righteousness that comes from obedience to the Ten Commandments. If we show our faith in Jesus, He will “credit” to us His righteousness for our past sinful life. But now, we must continue in His righteousness to gain the promise of eternal life.
This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Because our past sins have made us sinners and “un” righteous, we need to have “righteousness” credited to our past sinful lives. Once our past sinful lives have been obliterated in the sight of God by faith and hope in the sacrifice of Jesus, we now want to keep our present and future lives righteous through obedience to the Law. It is all about changing the character. That is why we can’t keep on sinning after justification. “For if we choose to go on sinning after we have learned the full truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” Hebrews 10:26.
Now the words “it was credited to him” were written not only for him but also for us. Our faith will be regarded in the same way, if we believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.
If we have faith in Jesus to pay our penalty, then we will believe in Him and obey what He has commanded: to stop sinning, be perfect and keep the Ten Commandments to get our eternal life. Jesus must be our Lord. If we accept Him as our Savior in His death, we must now accept Him as our Lord in His resurrection and live as He commands us.
He was sentenced to death because of our sins and raised to life to justify us.
Our sins put Jesus on the cross. He loved us so much He was willing to die for us. If we believe in Him, and have faith in His promises, then His resurrection will justify us before God and God can allow us to live eternally.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus the Messiah.
Now that we have faith in Jesus to do away with the penalty for our past sins, we have peace with God. Our past sins no longer exist. Stop worrying about them. We now strive to work at living as Jesus commands us, perfect and sinless by keeping His Ten Commandments so we don’t abuse the death of Jesus in our lives. He now becomes our Lord and we live in obedience to Him. Our past has been JUSTIFIED.
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace by which we have been established, and we boast because of our hope in God’s glory.
God did not have to give us eternal life. We lost it on our own. We disobeyed the Law of God and deserve nothing but death. Only by the grace of God was a door opened for our salvation. But we have to advantage this grace by our faith. That faith leads us to put away our sins and to live in obedience to the Law so we can achieve the hope that God has for us: eternal life. As we live the sinless, perfect and commandment keeping life, we are now “established” in the hope of “God’s glory” of eternal life.
Not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope.
By living the righteous, holy, sinless, perfect and commandment keeping life, we will encounter sufferings. The world is under the control of Lucifer. The world hates those of us who defend and live by the Ten Commandments no different than it hated Jesus. But so what? Eternal life is far more important than what this world thinks of us or does to us. We must produce characters fit for Heaven. We must live as those in Heaven live: perfect. We must live as Jesus lived: perfect. We must live as our Heavenly Father lives: perfect. John 5:48.
The other aspect of that is, there will be lots of suffering in our lives because of the work it will take to undo years of sinful habits and practices. But that “suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
Now this hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Since we believe and have faith in the blood of Jesus to cleans our past sinful lives, we live by the Spirit of God in perfect, sinless obedience to the Ten Commandments. God’s love for us is now to flood our hearts with the desire to live perfectly. That is how we know we have the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is perfect, and we who have Him in our lives want to be perfect. Those who do not want to be perfect, do not have God. 2 John 1: 8-11.
For at just the right time, while we were still powerless, the Messiah died for the ungodly.
We were powerless to attain eternal life. We had sinned and deserved death. But Jesus took our penalty.
For it is rare for anyone to die for a righteous person, though somebody might be brave enough to die for a good person. But God demonstrates his love for us by the fact that the Messiah died for us while we were still sinners.
What love! What love! We did not deserve His love. He could have wiped us out of existence. Be Jesus demonstrated His love for us by sending Himself on a very expensive errand to make a way for us to come back into oneness with the family of Heaven. He paid the price for our past sins so that if we live in obedience to the Law of Heaven we can join them in eternal living. But that love can’t save us.
Now that we have been justified by his blood, how much more will we be saved from wrath through him!
We no longer have to fear death. We no longer have to fear His wrath. He has shown His love for us by JUSTIFYING us by His own blood. All we have to do now is live in obedience to that blood. Live as Jesus lived and we will “be saved from wrath through Him!”.
For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life!
As we accept the life of Jesus as our own, we have the assurance that we too may live eternally. Jesus showed us how it is done. He lived the perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping life in order to demonstrate how we can make it to Heaven. His life points the way. That is how His life saved us. We live as He lived.
Not only that, but we also continue to boast about God through our Lord Jesus the Messiah, through whom we have now been reconciled.
Now instead of fear, we can “boast” about what God has done through Jesus for us. The old, sinful life has been reconciled to God by the death of Jesus. Now we can stand up in His righteousness and live His righteous Law through His power. Our will - His power.
Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death resulted from sin, therefore everyone dies, because everyone has sinned.
Paul is hitting this theme over and over again. It doesn’t matter what church, denomination or religion you belong to. It doesn’t matter what rituals, services or traditions you perform. It is only “through one Man” that you have hope of eternal life. Look only to Him. Paul is telling the new Gentile converts that they do not have to belong to the Jewish church to get eternal life. All they have to do is have faith in the sacrifice of Jesus and live in obedience to Him.
Certainly sin was in the world before the Law was given,
Paul is using the word “Law” to represent the Jewish nation. Even before God handed the Ten Commandments to Moses on the mountain of Sinai, or gave the Temple “laws” to Israel as a nation, sin was in the world. Why?
but no record of sin is kept when there is no Law.
Because the Ten Commandments have always been. Just because they were handed to Moses doesn’t make them “new” at that time. The Law of God has always been. Without Law, there can be no sin. Just because God handed the Ten Commandments to the Jewish nation, it didn’t make them any better off than the rest of the world.
Nevertheless, death ruled from the time of Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the same way Adam did when he disobeyed. He is a foreshadowing of the one who would come.
It is not about the “way” Adam sinned that counts, it is the fact that he “disobeyed” that counts. Any disobedience of the Ten Commandments results in sin and death. That is why death rules. We have all sinned. We have all broken the Ten Commandments. None can claim to be “righteous” on their own.
But God’s free gift is not like Adam’s offense. For if many people died as the result of one man’s offense, how much more have God’s grace and the free gift given through the kindness of one man, Jesus the Messiah, been showered on many people!
God’s free gift is not like Adam’s offense. That is correct. When Adam sinned, it effected every person who would ever be born in the future. There was nothing anyone could do about that. All would die eternally if no way of escape could be found. All the church-going, all the temple rites, ceremonies, services, ordinance and sacrifices could not give you eternal life.
On the other hand, the free gift of God, unlike Adams offense, does not save everyone. It only saves those who believe. Grace does not save us eternally. Grace saves us from the immediate effect of sin, which is death, that we may learn faith in order to earn our eternal life.
Nor can the free gift be compared to what came through the man who sinned. For the sentence that followed one man’s offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift brought justification, even after many offenses.
Adam’s sin brought condemnation to all. God’s free gift has brought justification to all who will accept it; no matter how many offenses were committed before you accepted God’s free gift.
For if, through one man, death ruled because of that man’s offense, how much more will those who receive such overflowing grace and the gift of righteousness rule in life because of one man, Jesus the Messiah!
Correct! For “those who receive” the overflowing grace of the gift of righteousness, the Ten Commandments of God into their lives, will have life in Jesus Christ. Those who continue in sin will not go to Heaven. We must believe that Jesus paid the penalty for our past sins, and in that belief, change our lives to live as Jesus commands for eternal life. Since Jesus has cleansed us, now we must keep ourselves from getting dirty.
Consequently, just as one offense resulted in condemnation for everyone, so one act of righteousness results in justification and life for everyone.
Every single person who will accept the free gift God offers, may have the life He offers. All can be “justified” by the death of Jesus. It doesn’t matter what church, organization or denomination you belong to. It doesn’t matter if you are baptized or circumcised. All that counts is faith that produces obedience to Jesus.
For just as through one man’s disobedience many people were made sinners, so also through one man’s obedience many people will be made righteous.
How true that is. Not “all”, but “many” will be made righteous. We are “made” righteous through: 1) Our accepting Jesus as the Lamb of God - Justification, and 2) our hard work of living in obedience to the commands of Jesus to live the sinless, perfect and commandment keeping life - Sanctification. As Jesus lived in obedience to the Ten Commandments, so those who accept Him as their Savior and Lord will now live in obedience to the Law.
1. Savior: He saved us from the penalty of death. He died in our place. Justification2. Lord: Now we are to obey Him in obedience to the very Law that destined us to eternal death. Through obedience, that Law now destines us to eternal life.
Now the Law crept in so that the offense would increase. But where sin increased, grace increased even more, . . .
In our everyday lives, we can be driving down the road enjoying the music or conversation with a passenger. But, in our distraction, we might break the law. And then the “Law crept in” when we see the blue and red lights behind us. Oops, now we are caught as lawbreakers. After the ticket, we become more attentive to our driving.
In our spiritual lives, we also can be distracted and find ourselves as lawbreakers. We deserve death. But once again, the grace of God keeps us alive so we can turn our face to Jesus, have faith in His sacrifice, turn from our sinful lives and return to the Ten Commandments and live the sinless, perfect and commandment keeping life.
. . . so that, just as sin ruled by bringing death, so also grace might rule by bringing justification that results in eternal life through Jesus the Messiah, our Lord.
We are justified by the death of Christ. But to attain to the “results” of that justification, we must live the sanctified life in order to get our eternal life. All of that could only have happened because of the love and grace of Jesus. Let us love Him and live as He commands and demonstrated in His life: perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping.
Prison Mission Report
Dear Ron,First off, I just want God to bless you and the Jesus Christ Prison Ministry. I read the pamphlet about your story and I am blown away. God is awesome. I was raised in the church. But as I got older, I fell into a life of drugs and trouble comes with drugs. I am incarcerated in jail. I feel it in my heart that God is the answer. So, I feel just like you did when you came back. I feel that this is my opportunity to get close to God and change my ways. I feel like your book would help me tremendously. Jeremiah, TN
Brother Ron,First of all, I want to say that this book has shown me a lot. At first, I’ll admit, I was very reluctant to believe it, until I read the Scripture you provided for confirmation. I’ve always believed I was saved by grace. And that once I accepted Jesus, and got saved, that grace carried me. There was no further actions required on my part. Now I see, and believe, that I must put my good works into action and show everyone the power and the love that is flowing through me. Now the Scriptures are more alive to me. They are beginning to make a lot more sense to me. Now I want to know how much more I have been brainwashed. Now I believe, hold and keep Saturday as the Sabbath. To see it said so logically and frankly in your book, “Just because you claim the name or go to church or carry the Bible does not make you a Christian” really scared me. It made me put everything I’ve been taught into question. I can’t afford to be wrong. Ricky, MI
To Whom It May Concern,I’m currently in a Super Max Prison where I am locked down 24/7. My rec and even my shower is done in my cell. All my family stopped having anything to do with me when I got locked down in the Super Max. I gave my life to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Since then I’ve tried to get my hands on everything that can help me know Jesus. Someone gave me a slip to fill out for “Change Your Life Biblically”. With that said, I’d like to do your studies.Jack, AR
Brother Ron,God bless you and handsome ol’ Duke. I am so glad to hear that you have someone helping you. What a blessing. Tell him I said “Thank you” for the help in sending us our newsletters and everything he is helping you with. I will send out the sign-up sheet for your book as I find women around here who would like to learn from it. Also, I’m sending my tithes to you this month. It’s not much, but I hope it helps you get some more books made, or wherever it is needed. I’m still working on the book you sent me. I saw the new ones you have been sending out. Very fancy. I still have the little guy. But I’m enjoying him. Ashlei, AZ
Dear JCPM,I would like to learn more about Jesus and His teachings. I read the history behind your ministry and want to learn more about what your ministry can offer me spiritually. I gave some of the fliers out to some of the guys in here. Bao, TX
Dear Publisher,I have read your book and it is one of the best books that I ever read while I have been incarcerated since January 2014. I would like to take the book “Change Your Life Biblically” to my home. Alejandro, IL
Dear Brother Ron,I was greatly inspired by your testimony in the “History of the Ministry”. I had to reach out to you as soon as humanly possible. I’ve been praying for some genuine believer to be sent by our loving and gracious God into my life.Ivan, NJ
To Whom It May Concern,I’m 52 years old and need a change in my life. I ran into a fellow inmate who let me check out a book called “Change Your Life Biblically”. I thought it was to good to be true. I like what I saw and would like to get a copy for myself if possible. I would really like to get this book so I can start working on it. I am so tired of all the crime books, etc. I want to start working on me and make a better life. So, the sooner the better. Thank you for all the help that you provide for us to make the changes possible. Randall, CA
Hello Brother Ron,I got your letter and the picture of Duke. I must say, “Thank you”. It is great to hear the encouragement. Knowing now that people can go online and read the book is amazing. I’ve sent them all the information for them to do so. I’ve been shocked to learn how the history I learned has all been directly tied to the Bible. The section of investigations and sentences, I never thought of it in the legal since. Now that I have, I am having a better and more open understanding of God. The prophecies of Daniel 7 and the break down of them with their connection to historic points opened my eyes and learning. How the Catholic Church is not really a Bible based church really opened my eyes. I’m a volunteer missionary for Jesus and I want people to know Him and His true teachings. Just in these 92 pages, I’ve learned more in them than I have in my entire life in going to church. Bradley, IL
Dear Brother Ron,One of the first things I’ve learned from this book, that I can remember, was about in Genesis 1:1, that in Hebrew, the translation for “God” was plural. Everything all of a sudden just kind of clicked. It is crazy how that one little piece of information made my doubts about all three Persons disappear. Another thing I can think of, is when you said, “If your first thought is wrong, all is wrong after that”. That simple statement is so true. It got me thinking about every time something has went wrong in my life. Because I wasn’t right with God, all my thoughts were wrong. Therefore, everything I did was wrong. I now know that my thoughts need to align with God in order for me to succeed at anything I do. This book, so far, as taught me so many things. One of those things is that when we read the Bible, we must be careful to pay attention and to read verses in their entirety. If we take our time and look closely, the Bible explains itself. I always thought that I only had to believe in Jesus to be saved. This book has shown me that the Bible is a puzzle that needs to be put together. The Bible tells me I must believe in Jesus to be saved, but it also says that I must turn from my wicked ways. So, without finding the puzzle pieces and putting them together, I will not truly understand what the Bible is teaching. I’ve learned that being saved means I need to be doing good works for Jesus. We all will be judged according to what we have done here on earth. If we claim to be Christians, we must walk the walk and talk the talk. To show Jesus my thanks, I am repenting of my sins and striving every day to become more and more like Christ. This book has helped me and opened my eyes in so many ways, and I’m only getting started.Robert, VA
Testimony for God's Children
Training is so important. We send our children to school to get “training” to fit them for a world of usefulness. But how little do we think of their “training” to fit them for Heaven. We send them to church thinking the church will prepare them, but it has failed. Training our children is the responsibility of the parents. Let us listen now as God shares His thoughts on this subject.
Importance of Home Training
I inquired if this tide of woe could not be prevented and something be done to save the youth of this generation from the ruin which threatens them. I was shown that one great cause of the existing deplorable state of things is that parents do not feel under obligation to bring up their children to conform to physical law. Mothers love their children with an idolatrous love and indulge their appetite when they know that it will injure their health and thereby bring upon them disease and unhappiness. This cruel kindness is manifested to a great extent in the present generation. The desires of children are gratified at the expense of health and happy tempers because it is easier for the mother, for the time being, to gratify them than to withhold that for which they clamor.
The same is true of our churches. Our churches, denominations and religions are idolatrous and indulge “cruel kindness” toward their members. Instead of teaching what Jesus taught to prepare church members for Heaven, they are teaching them “goody-goody” lies to gratify them and keep them sitting in the pews to get their money. Not only are the churches not teaching their members to conform to physical law, but they refuse to teach them to conform to the moral Law, the Ten Commandments.
Thus mothers are sowing the seed that will spring up and bear fruit. The children are not educated to deny their appetites and restrict their desires. And they become selfish, exacting, disobedient, unthankful, and unholy. Mothers who are doing this work will reap with bitterness the fruit of the seed they have sown. They have sinned against Heaven and against their children, and God will hold them accountable.
How true. Our churches a sinning against Heaven and against their members and God will hold them accountable. Get out of your churches. Turn off the religious and denominational media. Go to Jesus and learn from Him how to restrict your desires and live the sacrificial life of Christ.
Had education for generations back been conducted upon altogether a different plan, the youth of this generation would not now be so depraved and worthless. The managers and teachers of schools should have been those who understood physiology and who had an interest, not only to educate the youth in the sciences, but to teach them how to preserve health so that they might use their knowledge to the best account after they had obtained it. There should have been connected with the schools, establishments for carrying on various branches of labor, that the students might have employment and the necessary exercise out of school hours.
For the last hundred years, all schools have been busily teaching the sciences. Now we are reaping the results. The students of today have no moral sense. They have no understanding of what is right and what is wrong. It is all about “what I want”. Look at the Congress of the United States of America. It no longer has any understanding of what is right or wrong.
When I went to La Sierra College in 1971, it was known for its theology department. A whole building was devoted to preparing young men for ministry. Now that building is dedicated to teaching languages for business. The dairy was replaced with sports teams to attract more students. Our “Christian” schools have lost their way. Just as the Bible has warned, the campus looks beautiful, but the hearts are unprepared for living the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life. As our churches, medical and educational institutions become more beautiful on the outside, the soul is rotting to the core on the inside.
The students’ employment and amusements should have been regulated with reference to physical law and should have been adapted to preserve to them the healthy tone of all the powers of body and mind. Then a practical knowledge of business could have been obtained while their literary education was being gained. Students at school should have had their moral sensibilities aroused to see and feel that society has claims upon them and that they should live in obedience to natural law so that they can, by their existence and influence, by precept and example, be an advantage and blessing to society. It should be impressed upon the youth that all have an influence that is constantly telling upon society to improve and elevate or to lower and debase. The first study of the young should be to know themselves and how to keep their bodies in health.
Oh no, the youth are rising up to march, burn and destroy. They have no sensibilities to the claims of society upon them. They have not been taught their moral sensibilities and therefore, they are producing children out of wedlock. Children are being raised by the state or the street. Chaos is now rising. It is all about feelings, emotions and “what I want!”
Many parents keep their children at school nearly the year round. These children go through the routine of study mechanically, but do not retain that which they learn. Many of these constant students seem almost destitute of intellectual life. The monotony of continual study wearies the mind, and they take but little interest in their lessons; and to many the application to books becomes painful. They have not an inward love of thought and an ambition to acquire knowledge. They do not encourage in themselves habits of reflection and investigation.
The same could be said of our churches. Members go and sit and sit, listen and listen, learn and learn, but few are actually “learning” anything. Members go “through the routine of study mechanically” but could no more understand what God is saying than a dog. They are not taught to reflect and investigate for themselves the teachings of Jesus. Most, probably, could not recite all the books of the Bible.
Children are in great need of proper education in order that they may be of use in the world. But any effort that exalts intellectual culture above moral training is misdirected. Instructing, cultivating, polishing, and refining youth and children should be the main burden with both parents and teachers. Close reasoners and logical thinkers are few for the reason that false influences have checked the development of the intellect. The supposition of parents and teachers that continual study would strengthen the intellect has proved erroneous, for in many cases it has had the opposite effect.
This also goes for church members. They are in need of proper education. They have been deceived, lied to and put to sleep by the churches. “False influences have checked the development of the intellect” of church members. They may have great standing in the world, their work or profession, but in the eyes of God, they are a waste of time. The training church members have received as been “misdirected”.
In the early education of children many parents and teachers fail to understand that the greatest attention needs to be given to the physical constitution, that a healthy condition of body and brain may be secured. It has been the custom to encourage children to attend school when they are mere babies, needing a mother’s care. When of a delicate age they are frequently crowded into ill-ventilated schoolrooms, where they sit in wrong positions upon poorly constructed benches, and as the result the young and tender frames of some have become deformed.
The disposition and habits of youth will be very likely to be manifested in mature manhood. You may bend a young tree into almost any shape that you choose, and if it remains and grows as you have bent it, it will be a deformed tree and will ever tell of the injury and abuse received at your hand. You may, after years of growth, try to straighten the tree, but all your efforts will prove unavailing. It will ever be a crooked tree. This is the case with the minds of youth. They should be carefully and tenderly trained in childhood. They may be trained in the right direction or in the wrong, and in their future lives they will pursue the course in which they were directed in youth. The habits formed in youth will grow with the growth and strengthen with the strength, and will generally be the same in afterlife, only continually growing stronger.
All churches are deforming their members. The training church members are receiving in church is not bringing them to Jesus, but to the church. They are taught to look to the church instead of turning to Jesus and living in obedience to Him. There are very few left who look to Jesus. At the end, only 144,000 will be living in obedience to Jesus. All the world will be living in obedience to their churches.
We are living in an age when almost everything is superficial. There is but little stability and firmness of character, because the training and education of children from their cradle is superficial. Their characters are built upon sliding sand. Self-denial and self-control have not been molded into their characters. They have been petted and indulged until they are spoiled for practical life. The love of pleasure controls minds, and children are flattered and indulged to their ruin. Children should be so trained and educated that they will expect temptations and calculate to meet difficulties and dangers. They should be taught to have control over themselves and to nobly overcome difficulties; and if they do not willfully rush into danger and needlessly place themselves in the way of temptation; if they shun evil influences and vicious society, and then are unavoidably compelled to be in dangerous company, they will have strength of character to stand for the right and preserve principle, and will come forth in the strength of God with their morals untainted. If youth who have been properly educated make God their trust, their moral powers will stand the most powerful test.
Church members “have been petted and indulged until they are spoiled” and unfit for Heaven. They have no self-denial or self-control. Their characters are “built upon sliding sand”. They are unable to resist temptation or get out of the way of it. They willfully rush into danger with the influences and viciousness of society. Oh how churches love the company of the world. They have not made “God their trust”.
But few parents realize that their children are what their example and discipline have made them, and that they are responsible for the characters their children develop. If the hearts of Christian parents were in obedience to the will of Christ, they would obey the injunction of the heavenly Teacher: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” If those who profess to be followers of Christ would only do this, they would give, not only to their children, but to the unbelieving world, examples that would rightly represent the religion of the Bible.
If churches would live in “obedience to the will of Christ”, members who profess to be followers of Christ would know how. Jesus never commanded us to go to church. He never commanded us to set up a church. He commanded us to “come to Me” and to live in obedience to Him. The Catholic and pagan rituals, services, traditions and ceremonies of our churches are of the devil, not Jesus.
If Christian parents lived in obedience to the requirements of the divine Teacher, they would preserve simplicity in eating and in dressing, and would live more in accordance with natural law. They would not then devote so much time to artificial life, in making for themselves cares and burdens that Christ has not laid upon them, but that He has positively bid them shun. If the kingdom of God and His righteousness were the first and all-important consideration with parents, but little precious time would be lost in needless outward ornamentation while the minds of their children are almost entirely neglected. The precious time devoted by many parents to dressing their children for display in their scenes of amusement would better, far better, be spent in cultivating their own minds in order that they may be competent to properly instruct their children. It is not essential to the salvation or happiness of these parents that they use the precious probationary time that God has lent them, in dressing, visiting, and gossiping.
Wow! Churches are “making for themselves cares and burdens that Christ has not laid upon them”. Talk about display, what did the shoes your children are wearing cost? Jesus didn’t tell us to go to church. He didn’t tell us to hold services. He asked us to stop sinning, be perfect and keep the Ten Commandments to get your eternal life. Jesus is asking our churches, “Why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?” Matthew 15:3.
Many parents plead that they have so much to do that they have no time to improve their minds, to educate their children for practical life, or to teach them how they may become lambs of Christ’s fold. Not until the final settlement, when the cases of all will be decided, and the acts of our entire lives will be laid open to our view in the presence of God and the Lamb and all the holy angels, will parents realize the almost infinite value of their misspent time. Very many will then see that their wrong course has determined the destiny of their children. Not only have they failed to secure for themselves the words of commendation from the King of glory, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord,” but they hear pronounced upon their children the terrible denunciation, “Depart!” This separates their children forever from the joys and glories of heaven, and from the presence of Christ. And they themselves also receive the denunciation: Depart, “thou wicked and slothful servant.” Jesus will never say “Well done” to those who have not earned the “Well done” by their faithful lives of self-denial and self-sacrifice to do others good and to promote His glory. Those who live principally to please themselves instead of to do others good will meet with infinite loss.
Our churches, schools, denominations, religions and religious institutions will also hear the “terrible denunciation, ‘Depart!’”. They were too busy teaching man-made wisdom, getting degrees, pleasing the world and going through rituals, traditions and service. And yes, salvation is “earned”. We “earn” our eternal death or our eternal life. What are you doing today to clean up your life, get out of your church and sit at the feet of Jesus.
If parents could be aroused to a sense of the fearful responsibility which rests upon them in the work of educating their children, more of their time would be devoted to prayer and less to needless display. They would reflect and study and pray earnestly to God for wisdom and divine aid to so train their children that they may develop characters that God will approve. Their anxiety would not be to know how they can educate their children so that they will be praised and honored of the world, but how they can educate them to form beautiful characters that God can approve.
So let me get this straight, we are to devote more time to prayer and less time to church and the needless display, services, rituals and traditions church gives us. I just don’t see people in our churches who “reflect and study and pray earnestly to God for wisdom and divine aid”. No, it is about entertainment. After all, we are “saved by grace”. Who needs to “earnestly” seek wisdom and divine aid from God? And yes, our churches are very anxious as to how to educate their members so they will praise and honor the world and the church. But none are educating their members to form beautiful characters of perfect and sinless commandment keeping lives.
Much study and earnest prayer for heavenly wisdom are needed to know how to deal with youthful minds, for very much depends upon the direction parents give to the minds and wills of their children. To balance their minds in the right direction and at the right time is a most important work, for their eternal destiny may depend on the decisions made at some critical moment. How important, then, that the minds of parents be as free as possible from perplexing, wearing care in temporal things, that they may think and act with calm consideration, wisdom, and love, and make the salvation of the souls of their children the first and highest consideration! The great object which parents should seek to attain for their dear children should be the inward adorning. Parents cannot afford to allow visitors and strangers to claim their attention, and by robbing them of time, which is life’s great capital, make it impossible for them to give their children each day that patient instruction which they must have to give right direction to their developing minds.
Parents cannot afford to allow the church, visitors, strangers, teachers, schools, TV, computers and cell phones to claim their attention. Did I just hear people falling to their knees, weeping for God to forgive their sins? Probably not. This world is more important than what Jesus thinks.
This lifetime is too short to be squandered in vain and trifling diversion, in unprofitable visiting, in needless dressing for display, or in exciting amusements. We cannot afford to squander the time given us of God in which to bless others and in which to lay up for ourselves a treasure in heaven. We have none too much time for the discharge of necessary duties. We should give time to the culture of our own hearts and minds in order that we may be qualified for our lifework. By neglecting these essential duties and conforming to the habits and customs of fashionable, worldly society, we do ourselves and our children a great wrong.
I would say, going to church is conforming to the worldly standards of “Christianity”. What are you doing in church?
Mothers who have youthful minds to train and the characters of children to form should not seek the excitement of the world in order to be cheerful and happy. They have an important lifework, and they and theirs cannot afford to spend time in an unprofitable manner. Time is one of the important talents which God has entrusted to us and for which He will call us to account. A waste of time is a waste of intellect. The powers of the mind are susceptible of high cultivation. It is the duty of mothers to cultivate their minds and keep their hearts pure. They should improve every means within their reach for their intellectual and moral improvement, that they may be qualified to improve the minds of their children. Those who indulge their disposition to be in company will soon feel restless unless visiting or entertaining visitors. Such have not the power of adaptation to circumstances. The necessary, sacred home duties seem commonplace and uninteresting to them. They have no love for self-examination or self-discipline. The mind hungers for the varying, exciting scenes of worldly life; children are neglected for the indulgence of inclination; and the recording angel writes: “Unprofitable servants.” God designs that our minds should not be purposeless, but should accomplish good in this life.
That is the problem with church and our religious denominations and institutions. We want them to excite us and make us “cheerful and happy”. God has promised to give us joy in the heart if we love and serve Him. But since we love and serve the church, we have none. Therefore, we require the church to “make” it for us. Our duties and responsibilities to God and to our own character development is being squandered and neglected for the “indulgence of inclination”. Our churches and church members are “unprofitable servants”.
If parents would feel that it is a solemn duty enjoined upon them of God to educate their children for usefulness in this life; if they would adorn the inner temple of the souls of their sons and daughters for the immortal life, we should see a great change in society for the better. There would not then be manifest so great indifference to practical godliness, and it would not be so difficult to arouse the moral sensibilities of children to understand the claims that God has upon them. But parents become more and more careless in the education of their children in the useful branches. Many parents allow their children to form wrong habits and to follow their own inclination, and fail to impress upon their minds the danger of their doing this and the necessity of their being controlled by principle.
Children frequently begin a piece of work with enthusiasm, but, becoming perplexed or wearied with it, they wish to change and take hold of something new. Thus they may take hold of several things, meet with a little discouragement, and give them up; and so they pass from one thing to another, perfecting nothing. Parents should not allow the love of change to control their children. They should not be so much engaged with other things that they will have no time to patiently discipline the developing minds. A few words of encouragement, or a little help at the right time, may carry them over their trouble and discouragement, and the satisfaction they will derive from seeing the task completed that they undertook will stimulate them to greater exertion.
I don’t ever remember my parents saying, “I love you” to me. Never did I hear any “words of encouragement” from them. My father hated me from birth. I had absolutely no training from my parents. They were far too busy with their own worlds. As a result, my life has been filled with trouble and discouragement. Only Jesus has been by my side strengthening me, encouraging me and training me. I guess that turned out to be far better in the long run.
Many children, for want of words of encouragement and a little assistance in their efforts, become disheartened and change from one thing to another. And they carry this sad defect with them in mature life. They fail to make a success of anything they engage in, for they have not been taught to persevere under discouraging circumstances. Thus the entire lifetime of many proves a failure, because they did not have correct discipline when young. The education received in childhood and youth affects their entire business career in mature life, and their religious experience bears a corresponding stamp. 3T 141-148.