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What is the truth of Jesus?

 

A.E.N.T. Netzari Press LLC, 2010, based on the oldest known pre-Greek manuscript, about 167 AD:

Revelation 1:1-6;  " THE Revelation of Y'shua the Mashiyach, which Elohim gave to him to show to his servants the things that must shortly occur: and he signified (it) by sending, through his Messenger to his servant Yochanan: who bore witness to the Word of Elohim, and to the testimony of the words of this prophecy, and keep the things that are written in it; for the time is near.  (From) Yochanan to the seven assemblies which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; and from Y'shua the Mashiyach, the Witness, the Faithful, the First-born of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth; who has loved us, and released us from our sins by his blood;  and has made us a Kingdom of priests to Elohim the Father: to whom be glory and power, forever and ever.  Amen."

 

)Note: kingdom of priests, as God desired originally for Israel, not 'kings and priests' as translated from the Greek and found in the KJV and NKJV)

 

John the Baptist came to prepare the way for Jesus and identified him as the 'lamb of God' who came to take away the sins of the world.  John also testified that His words are above the words of any other man in history.  Whoever who has read or heard His teachings make their own decision as to whether they believe what he taught.  If what Jesus taught is the actual eternal truth that men will be judged by, our decision should be made from careful consideration of what he taught, rather than presuming on what we've heard others say.  It's commonplace today to merely believe Jesus as the Messiah and that we only need to 'trust' in what he did on the cross.  If this is what Jesus taught, there should be ample record of  this fact as taught by Jesus throughout the gospel accounts, but it is not there!   John the Baptist came to testify of Jesus as the Lamb of God, but first he preached the need to repent, for the kingdom of God (Heaven) was at hand.  In keeping with the principle to 'dig down to the rock' of what Jesus taught, some basic understanding of what John and Jesus meant by the 'kingdom of God' or 'kingdom of heaven', as many people are not studied enough in the Scripture to know.  The 'kingdom', as taught in Scripture, does not mean 'heaven' (disciples are said to possess the kingdom), and it doesn't mean a political nation, as the Jews wanted to crown Jesus as their king just a week before the crucifiction and Jesus testified that 'My kingdom is not of this world.'  The first mention of 'kingdom' from God is found when the covenant was given to Israel that related to the promises made to Abraham and his descendants.  The last references say that all things are under His subjection until His enemies become His footstool, and that He sits at the right hand of the Power on High until His return.  The Accuser was judged and cast from heaven, and 'this gospel of the kingdom must be preached to the whole world, and then the end will come.'  Just as His righteousness and Spirit have certain fruits, so also do the fruits of the Evil one, and both are 'ripening' quickly in the world today.  Apparently the time for the harvest of God is very near, so lets make sure what we believe is the truth - not a half truth.

 

Exodus 19:3-6;  "And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, 'Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles wings and brought you to Myself.  Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people, for all the earth is Mine.  And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.  These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."  Also, we find in Deut. 28:15 that the covenant is conditional.  A similar covenant relationship exists between a husband and his wife - and is commonly noted to swear the union between the two and that each will put the other before or equal to themselves as they forsake all others - meaning steadfast faithfulness to their relationship between each other, and not with anyone else.  In the economy of God each has defined roles that were given from the beginning and affirmed by Jesus and the Apostles.  The roles and faithfulness required is no less today than it was then in marriage or to be found in covenant relationship with God - the covenant being His covenant with Abraham, through whom He brought forth His people, preserved and made known His word, and through whom the Messiah came to fulfill all things written of Him.  He is pledged to be faithful and true - and we should also pledge to be faithful and true to Him - 'indeed'.

 

As noted previously, Jesus taught: 'If you abide in My word, ye are My disciples indeed.'  Deut. 28:15 also testifies that the covenant was also conditional to Israel, that they keep the covenant 'indeed' (Deut. 28:15).  "But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statues which I have commanded you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you."  (side bar - note the curses when His people reject His covenant with them - Hebrews warns of  the justice of God and the greater need to keep the word of Jesus because there will be greater condemnation of those who reject Him and His testimony from God Himself)  The covenant made to Abraham is the point of the gospel message - that the Seed has come by which all the nations of the earth may be blessed, but the blessing can only be obtained through faithfulness in being hearers and doers of what He taught.  - disciples indeed - being careful to note what He has said.  An added benefit is found in His words that when we are disciples indeed: 'And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.'  It isn't just about living 'by the Spirit' and not knowing what He taught!  In fact, Ezekiel 36:26,27 says that God gave His Spirit that He could write Torah - His instructions in righteousness - on our hearts, that we would be drawn to keep His word from our hearts.  Those who say they live by the Spirit and reject His word only show complete ignorance of His promises and truth from the beginning to the end.

 

The 'kingdom' Jesus taught is that He is king, and we are His subjects who obey Him.  As He said, the kingdom does not come with observations that 'it is here, or it is there', but it is within discipleship to Him and abiding in His words that lead to eternal life.  Never forget that He said not to think He came to destroy or set aside Torah, the Psalms or Prophets - He came to fulfill them - that He must do whatever they said He must do - just as He said those who love Him will keep His commandments, just as He loves the Father and keeps His commandments - even to death on the cross.

 

Going back to the principle of the kingdom as taught from the beginning, Israel rejected God as their King when they wanted a man to rule over them as the other nations had.  God called them to be His kingdom of holy priests as a testimony to the nations, but Israel had rejected Him.  The true Israel of God are those who believe Him, that He has kept His promises, and the branches broken off that tree that were unbelieving have allowed believing branches to be grafted into the tree, but the roots of that tree sustain all the branches that continue to abide in His word.  Those which do not bear the fruits intended will be broken off and cast into the fire.  Those that bear fruit will be pruned that the bear more fruit.

additional reading: Jeremiah 11 and Romans 11; Acts 3:22,23; I Samuel 8 (Gideon refused to be made king of Israel, but Israel rejected God); Hosea 13:11; I Samuel 15; II Samuel 7 - the coming Seed of the eternal kingdom with the fruits of Justice and Righteousness; Matthew 21; I Peter 2 - the new nation to whom the kingdom is given.

 

A disciple of Jesus needs to become familiar with his teachings, and starting with the first sermon  in Matthew 5-7 may well be the best place to start serious study of his word.  At the  end of his first sermon  (Matt. 7:24-27) Jesus said:

"Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.  But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand; and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell.  And great was its fall."

According to Jesus Christ, as well as those who heard His sermons, His doctrine is what He taught.  He then promised His chosen disciples  that the Holy Spirit would enable them to remember all that He had taught them, and blessed those who would believe on Him through their testimony of Him - this is the purpose of the New Testament.  Luke starts his gospel account by identifying the purpose of the book is 'so that you might know the certainty of the things in which you are being instructed.'  Disciples were being instructed in the life and teachings of Jesus.  "My word shall by no means pass away."  The testimony of those chosen men is still with us today, as are the teachings that providence has preserved for our knowledge of the teachings that He said were given by the Father in heaven.   His teachings don't need restoration if they are imperrishable, nor do we need claimed ' new revelations' of what Jesus taught while on earth to people other than the twelve disciples, but we do need to see and recognize the importance of the words that lead to life eternal.  "If you abide in my word, ye are My disciples indeed."   Jesus blesses those who hear, believe, and willfully seek out His words to abide in them and grow in their truth.


The time has begun that Jesus warned about in the parable of the ten virgins and the great tribulation.  The works of Satan, to lie, steal, kill and destroy are upon the world and things will surely be just as prophesied in Scripture.   Men will not endure sound doctrine, but will pay false teachers to tell them what they want to hear.  The love of many will grow cold because of the prevalence of evil.  Gold will corrode in the hands of those who thought it would deliver them. Yet for all the trouble to come upon the world, disciples of Jesus can be encouraged to know that the bride of Christ will make herself ready for His return and purifies herself and continues on in doing righteousness - in doing what He said she should do.  We also know that those whose faith endures to the end have the most wonderful promises given by God in all of the Holy Scriptures.  From Revelation we know that there are links between keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and of abiding in the teachings of Anointed One - Jesus Christ. 

Revelation 3:10;  Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.  Behold, I am coming quickly!  Hold fast to what you have, that no one may take your crown.  He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more.  I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God.  And I will write on him My new name.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

 

Revelation 12:17; "And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."

13:5-10;  "And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.  Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.  It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.  And authority was given to him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.  All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.  If anyone has an ear, let him hear.  He who leads into captivity shall go into captivitiy; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword.  Here is the patience and the faith of the saints."

14:12,13;  "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.  Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, 'Write: "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on."  "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors and their works follow them."

 

Jusus told us not to fear that which is coming upon the earth, but to fear God, who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell.  "Let not your hearts be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me."  He promised that if we build our life upon being both hearers and doers of what He taught,  we will endure the storm to come and our house will not be shaken, undermined and destroyed.  The time has come to re discover the old pathways, the 'Original Jesus',  and to enthrone Him as our Lord, King, Prophet and Teacher.  You can't buy this truth.  You have to become a disciple of Jesus, a faithful follower, if you expect to make it out of this world alive.  Those who die in the Lord Jesus will save their lives intact for the new heavens and earth.  Those who reject Jesus as Lord of thier life and do not harken to whatever Jesus said will be destroyed.  Luke 19:27; "But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me."

Jesus said, "Sanctify them by Thy truth; Thy word is truth."   This Truth is not based upon what comes from our hearts, nor is it what we reason, but Truth is that which God has declared through His only begotten Son.  "I am the way, the truth and the life."  These same words are light. This light enables us to see things the way God sees them and are the words by which Jesus said we will be judged. 

Matthew 28: 18-20; "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen."

John 8: 31,32; "Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

51; "Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death."

Matthew 5:13-20; "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whosoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."

The sureness of the commandments of God is perhaps the most neglected teaching in the Church heading into the twenty-first century. He said that not everyone who calls Him "Lord" will be saved. He said there will be those who call Him "Lord," but that they are workers of iniquity, or lawlessness.  Did Jesus say we are to live by grace apart from what He taught?  Did Jesus teach we are to live by a faith that ignores or neglects doing what He taught?

First, let’s consider another place where Jesus spoke about "the commandments". In Matthew 19 the rich young ruler approached Jesus and wanted to know "what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" Jesus reply was "keep the commandments." He then added that if he wanted to be perfect he should sell all that he had, give it away to the poor, that he have his treasure in heaven, and to come and follow Him. What relationship does the law have to the gospel?  And, more importantly, what relationship do the teachings Jesus gave have to the gospel charge to abide in His word?

 

Luke 4:18,19 (Isaiah 61:1,2)

"‘And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

"The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,

Because He has anointed Me

To preach the gospel to the poor;

He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to the captives

And recovery of sight to the blind,

To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD."

Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."’

John said, "Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God." John also said, "For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy that to hear that my children walk in truth."   The truth John spoke of is the truth of what Jesus Christ taught His disciples.   "I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father."  Perhaps John said it most clearly when he told us, "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor great him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds." Dare I say that the doctrine of Christ is not merely that Jesus is Christ, or the Trinity doctrine, or merely that Jesus was manefest in the flesh, but all that He taught - those very words by which He said we would be judged and which He said could by no means pass away.

If there are but two commandments  why did Jesus have so much to say about the law and prophets and telling us about what is true and righteous and  the very words of life? 

What does Jesus expect from His disciples?

Surely Jesus wants us to be as familiar with His teachings as we are with the gospel message of the cross. The two should not be separated according to the Great Commission of Jesus Christ: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."   Why did Jesus gave us the very words of God?   First that we be called to Him by God and be made pure by hearing them, second that we invite Him into our lives by doing them, which is our testimony that He is true, that God is true, and that He is in us and we are in Him.  If we love Him we will keep His commandments. Yet these things are not to be a burden to us, but out of love allow them to infuse us with the knowledge of the love and will of God, and in knowing the love of God towards us that we love ourselves as we know God loves us, and that as we better grasp these things that we will love those that God loves as we love ourselves. There are goats amongst the sheep and wolves roaming around to devour are things Jesus warns us of, yet these things must be until His return so that the good is not torn out with the bad. Even trials of life are made mighty in the purposes of God. This is evident from the lives of Joseph and David, yet most profoundly told in the very gospel message of Jesus Christ.  Isn’t this the very purpose of the gospel?  "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

To show the points more clearly let’s consider the words of Jesus Christ and those spoken about Him.  Second to His Person, consider that God through the Holy Spirit and eyewitness accounts have little to say of His life before the beginning of His ministry. What is said is meant to give understanding of the life that pleases God. Jesus served God in youth, as is evidenced by the trip to Jerusalem and His discussions with those at the Temple. Secondly, His life was such that it showed growth in wisdom, stature and favor with men. Thirdly that of Mary when she told those at the wedding feast, "Do whatever He tells you to do." Simpler and truer words have never been spoken by any woman or man.  To think there is a need to believe fanciful stories about the childhood life of Jesus is certainly going beyond the purpose of the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Holy Scriptures.

In the next scene of the gospels Jesus is preaching the "Sermon on the Mount."  Jesus affirmed that the words of God are everlasting and imperishable by any means. Jesus came to fulfill, but not to destroy them.  Jesus spoke to the liberty He came to proclaim that was foretold by the law, Psalms and prophets. In the little book of James we find gems of truth that relate directly to the teachings of Jesus, not the least of is found in James 1:22-25;

"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does."

The matters are shown beyond the gospel accounts. Jesus gave the final revelation of Himself to John. There is a blessing given to those who hear the message of this book as well as a curse to anyone who would change it in any way. The opening passages are given as messages to the seven churches of Asia.  These teachings/commandments apply to all. They are words of encouragement and blessing, as well as words of rebuke and coming judgement upon those who are not living as He said to. I make no pretension to know it all, but the things are so obvious that it must be mentioned here and we’d be remiss to neglect this fact of the Christian faith. This is not mentioned to condemn, but to remind us of the complete revelation of those things  of Jesus that gave that pertain to life as a disciple of Jesus Christ.Read the book for yourself and be blessed as He has promised.

Starting with Revelation 1;(NKJV)

"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants - things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

"John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

"Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

"To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

To Ephesus was written:

"I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place - unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God."

How can we not judge if we are to test those who make claims to be apostles of Jesus Christ and find them to be liars?  We must be about the business of truth and love by the words of God, not of ourselves. Abide in the love of God. Jesus plainly said: "If you love me you will keep My commandments".

"And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life; "I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death."

"And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

"He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone, a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it."

"And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,

"These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass. I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience, and as for your works, the last are more than the first. Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immoralty, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

"Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. But hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations -

‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron;

They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’ -

"I also have received from My Father, and I will give him the morning star.

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

"And to the angel of the church in Sardis write,

"These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: I know your works, that you have a name that your are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,

These things says He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts and shuts and no one opens. I know your works. See, I have set before you and open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but he - indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

"And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

"These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich; have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ - and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked - I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

Revelation 16 finds a blessing; "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame." This is near found in relation to the pouring out of the sixth bowl of the wrath of God associated with Armageddon. I can understand why many see the warning to the Laodiceans as the end time church.

Finally the revelation of Jesus Christ ends with His words, "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."

The mercy of God is great. Repentance is turning to God to do His will and not our own. True life is growing in our knowledge of God in Christ and that Christ in us is our hope of glory.  Jesus Christ has promised that if loose our life for His sake that we will not loose it, but instead save and preserve it in Him. To who else can we go for the words of eternal life? Many put their trust in tradition. Many put their trust in following the paths of their fathers. Many put their trust in living for themselves and pleasure or destruction of the life God has given them, but those who do  these things will never come to know the life that is possible by giving Jesus Christ the place He deserves.  Indeed, why call Him ‘Lord’ and not do what He says? As we see Jesus in His words to us, let’s look at ourselves in truth. Let’s not forget how we look in comparison to the One we are to emulate. Let’s be honest not only to God, but to ourselves, as we grow in hearing and doing the ‘whatsoever’ Jesus taught and decreed.










 

What are His commandments, precepts and judgements?




Life may be hard, some teachings may be hard, but when we abide in what Jesus told us, He promises the storms of life will not destroy us. That men had made a mess of the matters of God was summed up in His teachings of "You have heard it said....but I say to you." Jesus brought clarity to the matter. Jesus condemned those who went beyond what God had said in addition to those who ignore Gods word. From what I’ve read of His teachings, the greatest anger was towards those who were religious hypocrites. So it seems important to me not speculate much, except as is needful, and that we grow in our knowledge of the doctrine of Jesus Christ - the words He said are given to us from God. John had some choice words on the topic.

1 John 2:3-6;

"Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked."

2 John 9-11;

"Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds."

I can hear it now, ‘But the commandments of Jesus Christ, according to 1 John, is the golden rule, that we love God and our fellow man.’ My friend, if that were so, why did Jesus have so many other things to say? The matter is that the golden rule is the commandment that all the others hinge/hang upon/from. If we take the time to truly study the teachings of Jesus it is inescapable that He gave us much more. Let’s not nullify the words of God by our desire for simplicity. We should instead go on to knowing the fulness of His teachings and grow in them to the point of having the mind of Christ in us. Love is the greatest commandment. If we love the Lord we will keep His words - all of them, not just the easy ones, although there are some that are only for those who are able to bear them. It must be a new way of life as we are in Him and His ways.


Matthew 23:8-12;

"But you, do not be called ‘rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Jesus prayed that we love one another that the world might know that God sent Him. Let’s not do harm to the desire of Jesus for each of us, and at the same time each must be willing to surrender their will and viewpoints to those of Jesus Christ. Truth trumps love, and love covers a multitude of sins.

As we are on a particular topic here - that of how fellow servants treat each other, let’s first regard the parables of the servants. Matthew 18:22-35;

"Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, and released him, and forgave him the debt.

"But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him; saying ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due him.

"So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses."

We really should be honest with ourselves in the commandment being taught here. The fact is that to fall into the judgment of an angry God is the most fearful fate possible. That God sent His Son to pay the price for our sins on the cross by giving His life in our stead must not be overlooked or presumed upon. That is such a great dept that has been paid that all of mankind in unable to match it. Instead we wonder at the depth of the love of God and the grace of God towards those who see the gift of God in the Son and respond in love and obedience to the Son. So what can one of us do to the other that can compare? Our very life is owed to the Lord, let alone the realization that all we have is His which has been entrusted to our use and stewardship.

On the flip side of the coin is the matter of what has been come to be called the ‘prosperity doctrine’ of the gospel - ‘name it and claim it’ in some circles. The fact is that the promises of God are centered in the new heavens and earth wherein righteousness dwells. Hebrews 11, the chapter of the ‘faith hall of fame’ clearly speaks that those who lived by faith did not receive the promise in this life, but will in that which is to come. It is true Jesus spoke of gain in this life, but that was for those who leave all to follow Him, and I’m not convinced what He said was literal in the sense of earthly gain, but gain in more spiritual matters of fellowship than deeds to homes.

Returning to basics and a link to Hebrews 11, as well as to the ‘father of faith’, Abraham. For years I considered the law was something God gave Israel by Moses - the ten commandments. Going back to Genesis 26:2-5;

Then the LORD appeared to him and said; ‘Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My Commandments, My statutes, and My laws."

Even with Abraham, God found favor with those who keep His commandments, statutes, laws, charge and voice. Going all the way back to Adam we still find God giving commandments and that He is sorely displeased by anyone who chooses to go against what He decreed, as well as possible danger in adding to what He said. The matter is just as sure in the testimony of Jesus Christ, and in fact a matter that should be feared more - to count as worthless the blood of His Son or the testimony He has given of God. So to see that what Jesus gave us needs due consideration in our priorities and path in life, even to the very purpose and core of our life, such is the need to make careful accounting of the things He has given us and to take heed to them in all things. I started by going back into the gospel messages and highlighting everything Jesus said which could be accounted to being a: commandment, precept, principle, truth, or promise. The more I looked into the words of Jesus the more I was convicted of my need to learn more from Him. Then it was harder for me to find anyone who understood my concern that the record of His words are what the gospel rests upon instead of the precepts of men in taking the words of the apostles or prophets apart from what Jesus decreed to us. In fact I’ve felt quite a drive to put some of my understanding into this writing. I really don’t think you’ll hear many a church say that their doctrine is to learn and do everything Jesus said for us to do if we are His disciples - yet that is clearly what Jesus commanded in the ‘Great Commission.’ I hope that no matter what ‘church’ you find yourself worshiping at, that you will find great gain to return and study His words of eternal life, as well as gaining the sureness of faith that is imperishable.  Then His words will become a personal testimony from God  as you do what Jesus said to do that you will know it is from God, and that in knowing you please God by doing what He said, that you will gain confidence in God as you keep His word and are abiding in His promises. 

The words of Jesus are the words of eternal life; they are the bread of life come down from God, they are the manna of God, and might I also say that they contain ‘hidden manna’ for those who live by them. The teachings are found in the gospels. As you study them you will quickly find that the different writers gave slightly different accounts. Jesus preached from town to town, so I take the matter in that of related teachings to various towns as well as to focus on the matters at of the heart of the teaching.  One example is of His teaching about divorce. In Matthew 19 it is clear that the teaching was not for all men, but only some. All too often we are subject to hearing only part of the story instead of, as Paul Harvey said, ‘The rest of the story.’ Be faithful to trust His words and if a matter seems to be hard, it will become more clear as you abide and grow in your understanding. The teachings of Jesus should be gained, as the bible says of Gods word, ‘line upon line, precept upon precept.’

We have a record of what He said, and He gave the teachings in a variety of ways and that they have context in which they were given. There is great pleasure in simply reading and believing them. It is somewhat a chore to undertake the task of considering the number of them, but there is great value to be gained in making an accounting of what He taught so that we can ensure we are in agreement with Him and know that what we do is done of God.

As an example, if you go to the page that lists all the teachings of Jesus (not categorized at this time), you can see that there are hundreds of things for us to consider if we are truly His disciples.