Along with this attitude grew up the concept that we are to receive praise for everything we do: the “Age of Entitlement”. It started in grade schools around the 80’s. The children were deemed too sensitive to handle “winners and losers”, therefore, everyone received a prize, trophy or ribbon. Again, this concept originated in the church around the same time as “victimhood”. You no longer had to take responsibility for going to Heaven, no, now it was taught that everyone would go to heaven. The churches saw us as “victims” and therefore it was the “duty” of Jesus to make sure you got there since it was not your responsibility. After all, He loves everyone and no one is at fault for “missing the mark”. You are “entitled” to Heaven. Remember, “Saved by Grace”!
With that attitude, children grew up thinking they could break the laws and not be held responsible for their actions. Politicians could steal, lie, cheat and not be held responsible. After all, the pastors were teaching the same in their churches. Why not apply it to all society? Jesus was responsible for our eternal life, government was responsible for our life and happiness on earth. No responsibility at all on our part. We could eat, drink or smoke anything we wanted, do anything we wanted and government, through the health care and welfare systems, would make up for any sickness or adverse consequences of our behavior.
Wherever the Bible is taught in truth, personal responsibility is taught. Self-control, duty and responsibility is prized more than material wealth. Character development is taught by parents to their children. There is no “victimhood” in the Bible. There is no “free pass” taught in the Bible. Every action will be accounted for in the judgment.
Luke 7:1 to Luke 7:50
When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant.
Jesus was a Jew. The centurion was a Roman soldier. The pagan Romans were hated by the Jews. Here was this pagan Roman officer who “valued highly” his servant. The Jews refused to value highly the Servant Jesus, their God. The centurion upon hearing of Jesus and the power He possessed, did not think of himself worthy to petition Jesus, a Jew, personally. Even though he was the authority and power in the land, this pagan humbly requested elders of the Jews to petition Jesus.
In our lives, do we think we are “worthy”? And if people don’t treat us as “worthy”, do we claim victimhood and blame sexism, racism or any other “ism” to justify our hurt feelings or failures? And talk about “hurt feelings”, if you say anything that hurts the feelings of another, than it is considered “hate speech”. Let us not take responsibility for our own feelings, no, we must stop others from speaking truths we don’t want to hear. The devil is shutting down every avenue possible to keep a sinful world from hearing salvation truths.
When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” So Jesus went with them.
The centurion did not rely on power, pride or “authority” to “win” over the Jews. He, a pagan, built them a synagogue. He supported their local activities. He took personal responsibility to build a bridge of trust between himself and those he “policed”. Therefore, when the time came and he needed their help, they were willing to comply with his request. After all, you don’t say “No” to your biggest donor.
However, Jesus didn’t go “with them” because they asked. He didn’t go because the centurion had built them a synagogue. He went because the centurion had been developing a worthy character of humbleness, love and respect for others. So much so that he even loved and cared for a meaningless servant. Servants back then were only slaves to the Romans and had absolutely no standing before the law. They had to obey every order, request and demand placed upon them or they could be killed without as much as a care. But this pagan centurion had allowed the Spirit of God to enter his heart and Jesus was about to reward him for his character development.
How different from the Jews. With the Law of Love sitting in their temple, their synagogues, their homes and businesses, they had not developed hearts of love, respect or sympathy. The centurion loved his servant. The Jews hated their Servant Jesus. The centurion built a synagogue for the Jews. The Jews were destroying the temple of God and their own nation with their own hearts of hate.
He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
This pagan centurion understood his duty more than the Jewish leaders. He counted himself unworthy of the gracious act of Jesus in coming to his home. The Jews did not want Jesus coming into their “home”. The centurion humbled himself while the Jews puffed themselves up. Jesus could not do for the Jews what He was about to do for this pagan centurion.
Also, this centurion understood obedience and the chain of command. He was under the authority of Rome. His soldiers were under his command. His servants were under his command. He was responsible for the lives of those under him in making sure the laws of Rome were obeyed. However, the Jews did not understand the chain of command they were under. They refused to live in obedience to the Law of Heaven. They looked upon the outward, this homeless vagabond who was nothing to look at, while the centurion saw Jesus for who He was. However, Jesus was respected by the pagan centurion while rejected by those who went to church and claimed to love God.
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.
What faith was that? Faith in Jesus! The God of the Jews was standing before them and none of them had faith in Him. The centurion never saw Him, and yet believed and humbled himself before Him. Luke is contrasting here the bigoted teachings of the Jews and their church, and the unbiased love of Jesus who accepted anyone who had faith in Him.
Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”
This woman may have heard of Jesus, but without funds to send servants or Jewish leaders to petition Jesus, she consigned herself to the death of her son. However, Jesus was instructed by the Spirit of God to approach the town gate. The situation was revealed to Him. The son was the only support for his mother. He had been taking personal responsibility for the support of his mother. She would be left destitute without her son.
Jesus is full of sympathy. In the Old Testament He read where we are to take care of widows. “Don’t cry” He tells us when tragedy strikes home. Whatever difficulties come in this world of sin, pain and sorrow, “Don’t cry”, Jesus can turn the terrible events of this world into joy and happiness. Just believe and do your duty. As we fulfill our responsibilities and duties, carrying on with self-control and discipline in our lives, God can then do His work in our lives. Trust and obey! Are you looking with sympathy towards those around you? Do you have the heart of Jesus?
Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
There were no incantations, no screaming, and no chanting. Jesus did not resort to loud, long prayers. Jesus did not ask the mother if she believed the 27 Fundamental Beliefs of the church or its Catechism. He didn’t even ask if she was a faithful member of the church, paying her tithes and offerings in support of the church. All He did was stop the bier from continuing on, then said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” Simple enough! Those who are not connected with Jesus must put on a show. Those of us who are connected to Jesus simply give the word and Jesus fulfills His Word.
Jesus didn’t ask the young man to thank Him or recognize Him as the Messiah. He didn’t ask the young man to do anything for Him. He just “gave him back to his mother”. I love Jesus. He has given back my life many times. That is why I love and serve Him. I owe Him everything.
They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.
Interesting that they didn’t claim “God has come to help His people” when the servant of the centurion was made well. Oh, how stupid of me, he was a pagan, not a Jew. Sorry, I must have lost my head to think we praise God when God blesses those who are not a part of our church, denomination or religion.
John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
Unless you have spent time in prison you have no idea what John was going through. Yes, he saw the Spirit of God descend on Jesus. Yes, he heard the voice of the Father speak to Jesus. Yes, he knew Jesus was the Messiah. Yet “knowing” can be pushed to the background under very trying situations and our feelings and emotions can emerge. I’m sure it has happened to most who are reading this. How many times have we doubted Jesus? I have more than I would like to admit.
When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’”
I am sure Jesus was pained when He heard the doubt of John. Yet, in His love for John He did not chastise him or curse him or make snide remarks about him. No, Jesus forgave his humanity. Instead of “telling” John He was the Messiah, He gave demonstrations that John would have been able to compare with Scripture. John could die in peace knowing.
Also, it is possible that John was concerned for his disciples. What would they do after his death? Where would they go? How was he to prepare them? Even though John enjoyed the company of his disciples, he sent them to Jesus letting them spend the day watching Him in His interactions with the people. The disciples of John would see for themselves who Jesus was. Their faith needed to be strengthened. After John’s death they would go to Jesus.
At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
Do we get angry when people don’t believe we are “Christian”? Do we fight, argue and condemn those who don’t believe in us, our church or what we believe? Maybe it would be better if we demonstrated our “Christianity” and trustworthiness instead of fighting and arguing over it. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people were blessed on account of us instead of stumbling over us? Which are you?
When Jesus instructed John’s disciples to “report to John what you have seen and heard”, He then illuminated their minds with what He had done that day. What He had done that day was exactly what the Old Testament said He would do. Therefore the disciples of John, who had spent much of their time studying the Old Testament with John, were able to see for themselves the fulfillment of prophecy. Their faith was strengthened. We need to spend more time in the Old Testament with Jesus.
After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written:
“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’
I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
What are you expecting? Do you want to see miracles? John never performed a miracle. Are you looking for preachers with “fine clothes”, fancy cars, jets and big homes? John had none of those. What do you go to church to see? What you are looking for isn’t found in churches, denominations or religions. You must go to Jesus to find the sinless, perfect and Commandment keeping life. Are you following the example of John and preparing the way before Jesus? Is your life exemplifying the life of Jesus in order for people to see Jesus in you? By looking at you, will they want to be in Heaven with you?
As “great” as we may think John was, or as great as those in his day thought him to be, those who do nothing “great” but raise their children to know God, give to the worthy poor and needy without fanfare or show, yes, they will be considered greater than John in Heaven. Do you want to be thought of as “great” in God’s eyes? Begin living as Jesus commands: perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping. I praise God for the “least” of these who support this ministry. Quietly, without fanfare and show, they keep this ministry supplied with the funds necessary to keep it operating for Jesus.
(All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)
I find the same concept true in this ministry. Inmates, and those who have been rejected by the church, acknowledge that “God’s way was right” when they read the material from this ministry. They are not interested in getting praise from men, but from God. Yet church people want the praise the church offers, therefore, they are not interested in God’s way. Being filled with the Spirit of God will change your life. Being filled with the spirit of church will destroy your eternal life.
Jesus went on to say, “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:
“‘We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.’
Church people are like children showing off and trying to impress each other. They put on musicals, plays, shows and other entertainment to be seen by men. But no one is really happy. No one is really satisfied with the show. Their hypocrisy is amazing. If they would only step outside of their church “box” and let the Light of Jesus shine into their hearts, what joy they would have.
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by all her children.”
And there it is. Church people are always pointing fingers. First one way, then the other. All to make themselves look good. Always griping, complaining and criticizing those who are not like themselves. But “wisdom is proved right by all her children”. Jesus was giving birth to children of the kingdom. People were beginning to leave the church and follow Love.
When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.
The love of Jesus was no respecter of people. Jesus didn’t care about the status of any single person. Rich or poor, high rank or low, pagan or Jew, Jesus loved them all. Because He belonged to no church, no religion and no denomination, He was free to love all. Are you free to love all? Have you escaped from the chains of church?
A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
How sinful are you? Do you even recognize your sins? Do you sit down each day to assess your life for that day to see if you lived a righteous life? Do you take the time to review the day to see how you related to everyone you came in contact with? Did you selfishly steal someone’s time, pride or integrity? Did you covet something you saw? Maybe someone’s fame, ability or wealth? Did you look lustfully at anyone? Did you find unjustified hate for someone because of your own selfish desires? Did you do everything that day perfect? Maybe it is time for you to fall at the feet of Jesus and wet His feet with your tears, wipe them and kiss them. Are you to proud for that? Only the humble will be in Heaven.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
If only church people understood that Jesus came to save sinners, not prideful church people who don’t think they have any sins. This ministry ministers to inmates for that very reason, they are sinners, like me, and they need to know there is a Savior who loves them and will help them stop their sins and become children of God.
I find interesting, “if this man were a prophet”. Well, for what reason did the Pharisee invite Him to dinner? Did he stop thinking of Jesus as a “prophet” when Jesus allowed the “sinner” to touch Him? Do we stop thinking of those sent by God as “God’s messengers” when they say or do something we don’t think they should?
Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
Church people believe they only owe God “fifty” denarii. They look upon themselves as pretty good. They go to church, listen to church songs, eat the church food and wear the church clothes. Yep, we make Jesus happy!
Do we ever listen to Jesus? I am the one who owed the five hundred denarii. My debt was forgiven by God. I love Him more than just going to church to satisfy my ego and pride. I sacrifice my whole life to live in this tiny trailer, here in this ministry, to bring the love of Jesus to others. I listen very carefully to Jesus and what He says. Then I put forth every effort to put that listening to work in my life.
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
“Do you see this woman?” Most of us would rather not “see” sinners. We would much rather sit in church pretending that everything in “my life” is just fine. Simon thought his life was wonderful. He went to church! In fact, he was a leader in the church, a Pharisee. He even put on a dinner for Jesus. How magnanimous! Yet, how often we forget to give water, give a kiss, give oil or pour perfume unto others. How much have you been forgiven? Are you giving the “Water of Life”? How about a kiss of friendship? Do you give oil of sympathy to help smooth out a person’s life? Do you pour perfume into a person’s life to give it a fragrant odor? Or are you arguing and fighting over “doctrine”?
Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Appreciation! That is all Jesus is looking for. He went to the cross for us. He took the floggings, beatings and condemnation for us. Is it really too much to show our appreciation through our love to others?
The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
Actually, that is the question, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” He is Jesus! He is God! He is to be “Lord” of our lives. He has the authority to forgive. We are all unforgiven unless we repent, turn from our sins and live the perfect, legalistic, sinless and Commandment keeping life. Forgiveness isn’t automatic. Not all are forgiven. All have the opportunity to be forgiven, but only those who humble themselves to accept Jesus into their lives will be forgiven. Interesting observation, there is no record of the woman ever saying “I’m sorry”, or “forgive me”. I think it is too easy to speak the words without heartfelt belief in them. This woman put her heart into action and work, not her mouth.
Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
That is a profound statement. “Your faith has saved you”. Jesus didn’t say, “I have saved you”. Do you understand? Jesus can’t save any of us eternally. If He could, He would have to save all of us. But He can’t. We save ourselves by our own actions that come from our faith. We will be judged by what we do. Jesus has opened the door to salvation, which we can’t do, but we must do our work of walking through that door onto the narrow way into that salvation, of which He can’t do for us. Few are listening to Jesus. Most have been lied to by their pastors, ministers and churches. Everyone wants Jesus to save them. He can’t. If He could change the character of just one person, then He would have to change the character of every person. Character development is on us. That is our part to accomplish. Jesus did His part, now it is up to us to live in obedience to Jesus and live as He lived: perfect. When we do that, we can “go in peace”.
We have peace because we have a God of peace. He is in control of everything within the universe, or, as may be the case, universes He has created. Even “science” and mathematics are under His control. The Laws God has created to govern the animate and inanimate objects, seen and unseen, also govern the religious universe. For example, in Euclid's Elements Book I, Common Notions, we have the following:
1. Things which equal the same thing also equal one another.2. If equals are added to equals, then the wholes are equal.3. If equals are subtracted from equals, then the remainders are equal.4. Things which coincide with one another equal one another.5. The whole is greater than the part.
1. Since God equals the Ten Commandments, if we equal the Ten Commandments then our character equals the character of God. Let that sink in. 2. As we repent and become equal to the Ten Commandments, then we are added to the equals of those who equal the whole and become whole ourselves. 3. If we were equal to the Ten Commandments, but then subtracted ourselves from it, the remainders continue to be equal to the whole. 4. If God and we coincide, agree with each other, we are equal to one another. “That they may be one, as we are one.” John 17:11The whole of God and His Ten Commandments is greater than any part and therefore is worthy of our worship, respect and obedience in order to become whole, oneness with God: Atonement.
Prison Mission Report
Brother Ron,I’ve been pretty busy myself, working on these answer sheets for part 3. I love this book, CYLB. I tell everybody about it. I feel that everyone needs to read this book. I just gave the address to the ministry to my aunt and my uncle. I told them about the book and mentioned how powerful it is and how it has affected me and my life. I hope they write and ask for a copy. My girl Jen told me that she wrote and asked for a copy. I really hope she is able to get into it the way I have. I know she will. We talk about it. I’ve pretty much told her all about it. She’ll read it. I enjoyed re-reading the book in this way. I learned a lot the second time around. I’m going to start over and go through it again. I’m learning a lot and I feel like something really good is going to happen. I’m seeing God doing a lot in my life right now. Thanks Ron for your letter and for all that you do. Gregory, CA
Brother Ron,I want to say “Thank you” for taking the time to send the Bible study and telling about yourself. It is a real good thing you are doing by introducing people to Christ. Especially those of us who are incarcerated. I am 26 years old. I pray your Bible study will help further my knowledge in Christ. Christopher, TX
Dear Ron,All I have to say is “Wow!” I’m still shocked. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned from these pages. Facts after facts. Reading this book is one thing, but searching each Scripture in the Bible is a game changer. Ok, let’s get real. I didn’t believe what you were writing. So, I kept looking up every Scripture you wrote. And I had no choice but to smile in disbelief. I would tell myself, “This can’t be true. Never heard this before”. Everything I see that is religious in this life does the opposite and I’ve been accustom to seeing what I thought was right. This whole time God has been shaking His head and Jesus has been broken hearted. Read! Learn! Study for truth! I’m addicted now and I’ve been seeing and feeling myself doing righteous things. I saved the best for last: the Ten Commandments. I honestly always heard of these but never knew them. I now do. I now understand the way to heaven. The Ten Commandments is the blueprint to eternal life. Daniel, IL
Hello,I heard about your walk with the Lord through another inmate. The facility that I am at doesn’t do much for us religion wise. So, I would like to get involved with Jesus Christ Prison Ministry. Richard, CO
Dear Ron,I recently came across one of your books. I would love to have my own copy of “Change Your Life Biblically”. I really enjoy studying everything on our Lord. Your book seems like a really good one with a lot of information that will be very helpful for me. Eric, CA
To Whom It May Concern,I am writing you in regards to “Change Your Life Biblically” book. I am very interested in learning more about Jesus. To have the relationship with Him. Another inmate told me about you. Lisa, WI
Hello,The reason for this letter is because I read about this ministry and the book. I would like to read it and do the Bible studies. If possible, and available, I would prefer Spanish.Ervey, TX
Ron,I am interested in your workbook. I have a friend in here that works it, but won’t allow me to look through it. It piqued my interest and I want to have a better understanding of Jesus Christ and what He did for me. I somewhat know the basics, but that is about it. I want to know Jesus intimately. Darrick, TX
Dear Brother,I have learned so much from your book about being brainwashed. I put myself in and I’ve learned a lot about myself. The love and devotion this book has given me to just sit back and stop and think about all my wrong doings is helping learn the keys in righteousness. Blaise, LA
Brother Ron,Thank you for this book. It was very helpful. There was a lot of things in this book that I did studies on in the past. But there were also things that were kind of new to me. You could not have sent this book at a better time. We have been on lockdown so this book gave me something to do. I read all three volumes so I will give you a breakdown on all three. The brainwashing part is so true. I see it on a day to day basis. There’s so many different religions in prison and everybody wants their religion to be the right one. I tell brothers all the time it is important to do their own study and to not get caught up worshiping the wrong god or gods. I have learned obedience and what things I have to follow in order to be obedient to Jesus. I will allow this book to work in my life so I can reach out to others. I know it will be a struggle, but I work every day to become a better follower of Christ. Christopher, TX
Dear Ron,I received the packet that you sent out. I’m not sure how it came about but I take it Jesus’ hand is in it and a sign that He’s trying to get my attention. Well, He got it. I respect what you are doing for God and I want your help. Please allow Jesus to be an example in your walk. Please send the book, “Change Your Life Biblically” so I can begin the process of getting closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. I need all the help I can get.Gregory, TX
JCPM,I would like to have some information on your Bible courses, please. If possible, could you send all courses to me at one time?Marcelino, FL
Hello Brother Ron,I want to thank you for the love and support with the loss of my mom. Also, for the encouragement and for my new buddy, Butch. He really does appear to be on the path to being a big dog. Huge paws! I want to extend my gratitude and thank you for being a blessing to me and other people like me. I know that God is the main force behind JCPM. I just wanted to thank you for doing a great job in doing God’s work. I have never read anything close to the CYLB workbook. Everything is dead on and supported by facts. There is no doubt in my mind or heart the CYLB is from God. I am learning that being a missionary truly does require a lot of patience. I do thank you for the material that you sent my sister and dad.Ricardo, TX
Dear JCPM,I am looking forward to enroll into your Bible study program. Another inmate gave me your address and mentioned to me about your Bible Study and correspondence program. I want to grow as well in my faith. Noe, CA
Hi,May I please receive a free book of “Change Your Life Biblically”. Thanks for your time. I appreciate your help.Joe, NE
Sir,Sam came into my cell last night and showed me your book, “Change Your Life Biblically”. I haven’t read it of course, but upon scanning through it I find myself interested in your Bible study. I think what I like most about it is that it was written by an inmate just like me. It solidifies that God uses all walks of life no matter of our past or mistakes. Joe, TN
Dear JCPM,Thanks for sending me a copy of your workbook. I’ve just received it and begun reading it recently. Upon reading the 1st few pages of “Change Your Life Biblically” I noticed you wrote about the same things that are going on with this modern “Christianity” think. These organizations are sending people to hell. I agree with you. I began to do personal Bible research. Most people don’t do that or care to know their Bible. That analogy you gave on page 4 of the workbook about obedience with prisoners is the best analogy I’ve ever read in my entire life! True faith leads to obedience. The true freedom Jesus spoke of is freedom from disobedience. I’ve only read the 1st 8 pages, but your “Change Your Life Biblically” workbook is amazing!Brian, TN
JCPM,Just here writing to thank you so much for the nice book you sent me. I would like to ask you for a big favor in sending the same thing to my ex-wife. I would like for her to read your book. It has touched my heart a lot. I am very sure it would help her too. Thank you.Raul, TX
Hello,I’ve been locked up for 36 years. I have recently been trying to get closer to God. I’d greatly appreciate it if I could have your Bible study to help me.Thomas, NJ
Testimony for God's Children
We are drawing closer and closer to the coming of Jesus. Day by day the noose of deception is tightening around the world. Warnings after warnings are being given to keep us out of that noose. This ministry is here to give you the encouragement you need to stay closer to Jesus. We must change our lives. We must make sure that every aspect of our characters are in line with the perfect, sinless life of Jesus.
The following was directed at the youth of its day, the 1800s. But all of us can assimilate the testimonies into our own lives. “Youth” is a designation that all of us feel in our hearts. Let us listen to the words given below and wrap our “youthful” hearts around the admonition given.
Dear Youth,From time to time the Lord has given me testimonies of warning for you. He has given you encouragement if you would yield your hearts’ best and holiest affections to Him. As these warnings revive distinctly before me, I feel a sense of your danger that I know you do not feel. The school located in . . . brings together many young people of different mental organizations. If these youth are not consecrated to God and obedient to His will, and do not walk humbly in the way of His commandments, the location of a school in . . . will prove a means of great discouragement to the church. This school may be made a blessing or a curse. I entreat you who have named the name of Christ to depart from all iniquity and develop characters that God can approve.
Substitute “school” for “home” or “church”. Is your home a blessing or a curse? Are you striving to “depart from all iniquity and develop characters that God can approve”? I think we have departed far from the characters that God can approve. Just because we think we are “OK” doesn’t mean we are. That is why we must look into the Ten Commandments and carefully meditate on each requirement and make sure we are living in strict obedience. Claiming that “Jesus is in me” or “I have the Spirit” or “Christ in me”, doesn’t make it so. Light and darkness cannot live together. If we are not living in obedience to the Ten Commandments, Jesus is not living in us.
I inquire: Do you believe that the testimonies of reproof which have been given you are of God? If you really believe that the voice of God has spoken to you, pointing out your dangers, do you heed the counsels given? Do you keep these testimonies of warning fresh in your minds by reading them often with prayerful hearts? The Lord has spoken to you, children and youth, again and again; but you have been slow to heed the warnings given. If you have not rebelliously braced your hearts against the views that God has given of your characters and your dangers, and against the course marked out for you to pursue, some of you have been inattentive in regard to the things required of you that you might gain spiritual strength and be a blessing in the school, in the church, and to all with whom you associate.
We are in real trouble! Today, we are not “reading them often with prayerful hearts”. Personally, in our homes, in our schools, in our churches, we are not reading the Testimonies. We are following the Catholic Church by living lives of rituals, ceremonies, traditions, feast days and services but not filling the mind with truth. We are in great danger. As the people of the United States of America are in great danger of losing their freedoms, so too, those who claim to be Christian are in danger of losing their eternal life. We must take personal responsibility for our own eternal life.
Young men and women, you are accountable to God for the light that He has given you. This light and these warnings, if not heeded, will rise up in the judgment against you. Your dangers have been plainly stated; you have been cautioned and guarded on every side, hedged in with warnings. In the house of God you have listened to the most solemn, heart-searching truths presented by the servants of God in demonstration of the Spirit. What weight do these solemn appeals have upon your hearts? What influence do they have upon your characters? You will be held responsible for every one of these appeals and warnings. They will rise up in the judgment to condemn those who pursue a life of vanity, levity, and pride.
That was written about 150 years ago. Today we are totally engrossed in “vanity, levity, and pride.” We no longer have “heart-searching truths presented by the servants of God in demonstration of the Spirit”. Now it is all demonstration of feelings, emotions, entertainment of a spirit not from Heaven.
Dear young friends, that which you sow, you will also reap. Now is the sowing time for you. What will the harvest be? What are you sowing? Every word you utter, every act you perform, is a seed which will bear good or evil fruit and will result in joy or sorrow to the sower. As is the seed sown, so will be the crop. God has given you great light and many privileges. After this light has been given, after your dangers have been plainly presented before you, the responsibility becomes yours. The manner in which you treat the light that God gives you will turn the scale for happiness or woe. You are shaping your destinies for yourselves.
You all have an influence for good or for evil on the minds and characters of others. And just the influence which you exert is written in the book of records in heaven. An angel is attending you and taking record of your words and actions. When you rise in the morning, do you feel your helplessness and your need of strength from God? and do you humbly, heartily make known your wants to your heavenly Father? If so, angels mark your prayers, and if these prayers have not gone forth out of feigned lips, when you are in danger of unconsciously doing wrong and exerting an influence which will lead others to do wrong, your guardian angel will be by your side, prompting you to a better course, choosing your words for you, and influencing your actions.
If you feel in no danger, and if you offer no prayer for help and strength to resist temptations, you will be sure to go astray; your neglect of duty will be marked in the book of God in heaven, and you will be found wanting in the trying day. There are some around you who have been religiously instructed, and some who have been indulged, petted, flattered, and praised until they have been literally spoiled for practical life. I am speaking in regard to persons that I know. Their characters are so warped by indulgence, flattery, and indolence that they are useless for this life. And if useless so far as this life is concerned, what may we hope for that life where all is purity and holiness, and where all have harmonious characters? I have prayed for these persons; I have addressed them personally. I could see the influence that they would exert over other minds in leading them to vanity, love of dress, and carelessness in regard to their eternal interests. The only hope for this class is for them to take heed to their ways, humble their proud, vain hearts before God, make confession of their sins, and be converted.
Our pastors, churches, denominations and religions “indulged, petted, flattered, and praised” their members until they are totally lost. “Their characters are so warped by indulgence, flattery, and indolence” they are unfit for Heaven.
Vanity in dress as well as the love of amusement is a great temptation for the youth. God has sacred claims upon us all. He claims the whole heart, the whole soul, the whole affections. The answer which is sometimes made to this statement is: “Oh, I do not profess to be a Christian!” What if you do not? Has not God the same claims upon you that He has upon the one who professes to be His child? Because you are bold in your careless disregard of sacred things, is your sin of neglect and rebellion passed over by the Lord? Every day that you disregard the claims of God, every opportunity of offered mercy that you slight, is charged to your account and will swell the list of sins against you in the day when the accounts of every soul will be investigated. I address you, young men and women, professors or nonprofessors: God calls for your affections, for your cheerful obedience and devotion to Him. You now have a short time of probation, and you may improve this opportunity to make an unconditional surrender to God.
Our churches have completely destroyed our “cheerful obedience and devotion to Him”. Now, we celebrate cheerful obedience and devotion to our churches, religions and denominations. But we are taught that obedience to the Ten Commandments is “legalistic” and unwanted.
Obedience and submission to God’s requirements are the conditions given by the inspired apostle by which we become children of God, members of the royal family. Every child and youth, every man and woman, has Jesus rescued by His own blood from the abyss of ruin to which Satan was compelling them to go. Because sinners will not accept of the salvation freely offered them, are they released from their obligations? Their choosing to remain in sin and bold transgression does not lessen their guilt. Jesus paid a price for them, and they belong to Him. They are His property; and if they will not yield obedience to Him who has given His life for them, but devote their time and strength and talents to the service of Satan, they are earning their wages, which is death. Immortal glory and eternal life is the reward that our Redeemer offers to those who will be obedient to Him. He has made it possible for them to perfect Christian character through His name and to overcome on their own account as He overcame in their behalf. He has given them an example in His own life, showing them how they may overcome. “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The claims of God are equally binding upon all. Those who choose to neglect the great salvation offered to them freely, who choose to serve themselves and remain enemies of God, enemies of the self-sacrificing Redeemer, are earning their wages. They are sowing to the flesh and will of the flesh reap corruption.
Those who have put on Christ by baptism, by this act showing their separation from the world and that they have covenanted to walk in newness of life, should not set up idols in their hearts. Those who have once rejoiced in the evidence of sins forgiven, who have tasted a Saviour’s love and who then persist in uniting with the foes of Christ, rejecting the perfect righteousness that Jesus offers them and choosing the ways that He has condemned, will be more severely judged than the heathen who have never had the light and have never known God or His law. Those who refuse to follow the light which God has given them, choosing the amusements, vanities, and follies of the world, and refusing to conform their conduct to the just and holy requirements of God’s law, are guilty of the most aggravating sins in the sight of God. Their guilt and their wages will be proportionate to the light and privileges which they have had.
We see the world absorbed in their own amusements. The first and highest thoughts of the larger portion, especially of women, are of display. Love of dress and pleasure is wrecking the happiness of thousands. And some of those who profess to love and keep the commandments of God ape this class as near as they possibly can and retain the Christian name. Some of the young are so eager for display that they are even willing to give up the Christian name if they can only follow out their inclination for vanity of dress and love of pleasure. Self-denial in dress is a part of our Christian duty. To dress plainly, abstaining from display of jewelry and ornaments of every kind, is in keeping with our faith. Are we of the number who see the folly of worldlings in indulging in extravagance of dress as well as in love of amusements? If so, we should be of that class who shun everything that gives sanction to this spirit which takes possession of the minds and hearts of those who live for this world only and who have no thought or care for the next.
Christian youth, I have seen in some of you a love for dress and display which has pained me. In some who have been well instructed, who have had religious privileges from their babyhood, and who have put on Christ by baptism, thus professing to be dead to the world, I have seen a vanity in dress and a levity in conduct that have grieved the dear Saviour and have been a reproach to the cause of God. I have marked with pain your religious declension and your disposition to trim and ornament your apparel. Some have been so unfortunate as to come into possession of gold chains or pins, or both, and have shown bad taste in exhibiting them, making them conspicuous to attract attention. I can but associate these characters with the vain peacock, that displays his gorgeous feathers for admiration. It is all this poor bird has to attract attention, for his voice and form are anything but attractive.
The young may endeavor to excel in seeking for the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, a jewel of inestimable value that may be worn with heavenly grace. This adorning will possess attractions for many in this world, and will be esteemed of great price by the heavenly angels, and above all by our heavenly Father, and will fit the wearers to be welcome guests in the heavenly courts.
The youth have faculties that, with proper cultivation, would qualify them for almost any position of trust. If they had made it their object in obtaining an education to so exercise and develop the powers that God has given them that they might be useful and prove a blessing to others, their minds would not be dwarfed to an inferior standard. They would show depth of thought and firmness of principle, and would command influence and respect. They might have an elevating influence upon others, which would lead souls to see and acknowledge the power of an intelligent Christian life. Those who have greater care to ornament their persons for display than to educate the mind and exercise their powers for the greatest usefulness, that they may glorify God, do not realize their accountability to God. They will be inclined to be superficial in all they undertake and will narrow their usefulness and dwarf their intellect.
I feel deeply pained at heart for the fathers and mothers of these youth, as well as for the children. There has been a lack in the training of these children, which leaves a heavy responsibility somewhere. Parents who have petted and indulged their children instead of from principle judiciously restraining them, can see the characters they have formed. As the training has been, so the character inclines. 3T 362-367.
Many an inmate has been raised by a “lack in the training of these children”. They have had no “choice” since every avenue around them was evil. The only choices they had were between this evil or that evil. There was no good path for them to choose. This ministry is attempting to provide that good path for them to choose. It is very hard for them to comprehend it. Even though the path they have been following leads to such pain, sorry and prison, at least it is familiar and known. The good path is totally incomprehensible. It truly takes a leap of faith for inmates to walk on it. I want to thank all of you who are helping this ministry help inmates find the good path.