106 God’s Calling

The Way to Peace and Eternal Life

God created man with an awesome purpose.  God intends to grant humanity the gift of eternal life in peace and prosperity.  Therefore God first made mankind flesh so that man can learn through experience that he does not have the experience and wisdom to decide everything for himself.

As every person or groups decides right and wrong for themselves they clash because other individuals or groups decide differently. 

We need an ultimate moral authority which:

  • All people will respect and obey,
  • Who has the experience and wisdom to decide correctly.
  • Who loves all people deeply and equally so as to be uncompromisingly just and fair, and
  • He should have the power to enforce his decisions if that is required.

The ONLY way to lasting peace and prosperity is for every person and group of people to accept such an ultimate moral authority. 

Yet every person or group wants to decide for themselves, and to decide and to have their own ways for themselves; and that leads to strife and much sorrow. 

God made man flesh so that man could experience every person living according to their own ways and the strife and sorrow that such behavior brings.  It is through this experience that mankind will learn that the true way to life, peace and prosperity comes through all people believing, respecting, obeying and following one ultimate moral authority. 

Mankind belongs to God by virtue of being created by God, yet God has such passionate love for all people, that the Father gave up the life of his only begotten son and the son gave his own life to reconcile all repentant people to God. 

God the Father and the Son have proved their love for mankind and together they are the only ultimate moral authority with the experience and wisdom of the ages.  The two Beings of God the Father and the Son are in full complete and perfect unity of character, nature and purpose with one another. 

At this time their mission and purpose to bring humanity into the same full, complete, perfect unity of character and nature with themselves which they have with one another. 

To accomplish that purpose people must be allowed to experience bot their own ways and God’s ways so that they can make an informed decision to follow and live by every Word of God which brings life eternal in peace and prosperity, or to do whatever seems right to us with our limited experience. 

The choice is: 

  • Do as we please and reap the results of doing so, or
  • Do as God says and reap the rewards for doing so.

To properly prepare people to make that choice, God allowed Adam and Eve to decide for themselves instead of forcing them to obey him, and since that time mankind has been allowed to decide his own ways for himself.  

For the past six thousand years people in the flesh have largely lived and died by their own decisions.  Where is there any hope for these people? God’s arm is not shortened nor his power limited that mankind should perish with the flesh!  The hope of all humanity is that God will resurrect us from the dead! 

Physical fleshly people who have died in godliness will be resurrected not back to flesh but will be raised up as eternal spirit!  While those who have died in their own ways will be resurrected to flesh and given a chance to sincerely repent and be reconciled to God and godliness!

To illustrate this marvelous thing we have been given the caterpillar which lives its life and then enters its cocoon figurative of death to break forth into new life as a wonderfully beautiful butterfly. 

This is the ultimate future of mankind for those who are reconciled to God:  The death of the old sinful person to be reborn as something so much more beautiful that we could not imagine it by looking at the present flesh; and more than a person could think that a worm could become a butterfly if he did not already know!   And even better than the butterfly the spirit body which is God’s gift to a repentance humanity is permanent!

For the past six thousand years since Able was called to God the Father through the Son, God has been calling selected persons to himself through the son. 

Those who have sincerely repented and persevered to internalize the character and nature of God through learning and living by every Word of God will be resurrected an d given a new body composed of eternal spirit at the end of the six thousandth year. 

Later all those who have lived and died and were not yet called to reconcile with God will be raised back to physical life and then given their opportunity to decide to live by every Word of God and receive eternal life in peace with God and man, or to continue to go their own ways which leads to sorrows, decay and death.  

Why a few called to God ahead of time?  So that they can help to bring the vast numbers to God when their time comes! 

This early and latter harvest of mankind is explained in the Spring and Fall Festivals books.  The purpose of this book to explain the way to salvation and eternal life on a personal level for all people regardless of when they are called to God. 

The question being answered in this volume is: “What must we do to inherit eternal life?” 

 

The way to, and peace with and reconciliation to God and eternal life:

  1. God calls people to himself through the Son
  2. Some believe the Word and begin to act on what they learn
  3. As they begin to put aside past misconduct and turn to live by God’s Word faith grows, until
  4. They are ready to make a formal commitment to live by every Word of God
  5. They then make a baptismal commitment to live by every Word of God
  6. The sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ is then applied paying the debt of all past sins sincerely repented of and they are justified before God and reconciled to God the Father
  7. The gift of God’s Holy Spirit is provided, enabling one to retain and understand God’s Word and empowering us to live by God’s Word through the Spirit dwelling in us
  8. We do not know all things instantly and from this point we must diligently study and ask God for growth in understanding of his Word and Will, which will be increased as we APPLY what we learn
  9. We must then persevere in internalizing the nature of God through continually learning, growing and living by every Word of God as long as we live.

God’s Calling

Humanity has been cut off from God the Father by our sins.

Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Sin Separates Humanity From God, Requiring an Intercessor (Is 59:1)

Mankind being separated from God the Father by their sin;  humanity needed a High Priest [A Mediator between humanity and God the Father] to reconcile humanity back to God the Father!  

God, knowing that man could sin and would therefore need reconciliation, from the very beginning the two Beings who became the Father and the Son, together established the means that such a reconciliation could be effected.  

That plan of reconciliation between man and God required the sincere repentance of the sinner,  an effective sacrifice for sin, and a commitment by the repentant to stop sinning and sin no more.   The plan also called for a Mediator or High Priest to reconcile the repentant sinner to God the Father.  

This spiritual High Priest Intercessor between God the Father and humanity appeared to Adam and Eve in the form of a man and spoke with Cain, Noah, Abraham and doubtless others.  

The last time we hear of him in the scriptures before he became flesh, was by the name of Melchizedek when he spoke to Abraham, and later a few times he was seen by Ezekiel and certain prophets.  Later this spirit High Priest of God was made flesh and known as Jesus Christ the Lamb of God allowed himself to be sacrificed for the sincerely repented  sins of humanity, thus opening the way for reconciliation with God the Father. 

The plan for the harvest of created humanity involves the two harvests in Judea with a smaller spring harvest and a much larger main harvest.  The Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures God calling out a small number of people for seven thousand years from righteous Abel.  This is studied in the “Spring Festivals” book.   

The purpose of calling a few people to God and allowing them to live in a wicked world is so they can learn to love godliness and to hate and loathe evil, and to train and prepare them to be resurrected to become laborers to help bring in the main harvest.  For this reason many are called but most of them will fail and only a few will be chosen to have a part in the resurrection to spirit of this early harvest of humanity. 

Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Once changed to spirit they will become kings and priests of God. 

The godly priesthood of the resurrected chosen is the priesthood of Jesus Christ, and works to reconcile the sinner to God the Father by teaching people to live by every Word of God.  The priests are the teachers of godliness reconciling the people to God by calling all people to God and to the reconciling atoning sacrifice of Christ.   

Godly kings are righteous judges and administers over the physical needs of the people.

From righteous Able to the end of the seventh thousandth year God calls people to Christ and to himself.  At the end of six thousand years a resurrection of the chosen takes place and ten over the remaining one thousand years God’s calling will expand to include all flesh then living, and those who were chosen at the end of the first six thousand years will work to bring in the millennial harvest,during which millennium every person will be changed to spirit at the age of 100 or destroyed if they will not sincerely repent. 

The word “call” or “calling” refers to opening the mind of a person to godliness.  During the first six thousand years only a very tiny number will have their minds opened to godliness while the vast majority of mankind will live out their lives with no understanding of the things of God.  Then during the millennium God will call all humanity then living by pouring out his Spirit on all flesh (Joel 2:28).

After that time the main harvest of humanity who have not yet been called to God  as pictured by the High Days and Festivals of the fall main harvest, will be resurrected back to flesh and will also be called to sincere repentance and godliness in their billions.

 

Calling and Reconciliation to God the Father

Jesus Christ is the Door (John 10) which controls access to God the Father.  This is because access to God the Father can come ONLY through sincere repentance and the atoning sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.  Only by the application of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ can we be reconciled to and access God the Father. 

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

No person can understand godliness and sincerely repent, coming to accept the application of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, unless God the Father draws or calls him to himself through Christ and sincere repentance.

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Only God the Father chooses those individuals whom he wants to call to sincere repentance and reconciliation to himself, through the sacrifice of the Lamb of God Jesus Christ. 

How does this work?

The first step in the reconciliation of any individual to God the Father, is that we must be called out of bondage to sin, just like physical Israel was called out of physical bondage in Egypt.  They could not deliver themselves just as we cannot deliver ourselves from sin.

Sin has separated mankind from God and being cut off from God, human beings cannot understand spiritual things

The mind of man, cut off from God; simply cannot understand spiritual things:

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded [cut off from God] is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity [hostile against] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

How then can mankind be called to follow Jesus Christ out of bondage to sin?

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

God the Father himself calls us to sincere repentance and to follow Christ’s example in living by every Word of God, by sending his Spirit to work with people opening up an initial understanding of the way of life eternal.  At this point God’s Spirit does not dwell in us, but works with us revealing to us the transitory nature of physical life  and the need for something more.

 

Sowing the Seed of the Word of God

We are called to reconciliation to God the Father through Jesus Christ the Lamb of God, yet God tells his faithful to spread the seed of the Word of God and God sends the Holy Spirit to call and work with individuals.  At this point God’s Holy Spirit is not IN a person but is outside the person; working with the person by opening minds to a very slight initial understanding of the Word of God.  It is God that calls people and opens minds, men can only spread the Word, no human person has ever called anyone to salvation. 

Very many have studied the scriptures all of their lives and have not found the way, although they longed for it, and many have even had these things explained to them by God’s servants and have not understood.   

Sometimes people say “I was called by such a person and I will remain loyal to him.”  Is it wise to follow the messenger and not the God who sent the message? 

It is God the Father who calls us to sincerely repent and to live by every Word of God, so that the redeeming blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God may be applied to us; thereby reconciling us to himself!  We are not called to follow messengers who are mere mortal men subject to error! 

We are called to live by every Word of God (Mat 4:4), and to follow men ONLY as they are faithful to follow Jesus Christ and to live by every Word of God (1 Cor 11:1).  We are to prove all things and to be faithful to live by every Word of God (1 Thess 5:21) and to be as the Berean’s (Acts 17:11).

 

The Parable of the Sower and the Seed

Luke 8:4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:

8:5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. 8:6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture [spiritually the water of God’s Word]. 8:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. 8:8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

8:9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

The explanation begins with explaining that the seed is the whole WORD OF GOD; ALL SCRIPTURE; not just some talk of a coming kingdom.

8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

Some hearers immediately forget or dismiss what they have heard. These are those who turn away from the message, which is most of humanity; and refuse to sincerely repent because they have NOT been called by God the Father and do not understand.

8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

Some who hear initially respond with repentance and a baptismal commitment, but later fall under trials and stress.  These are people, many of whom have been called to repentance by God, but Satan brings trials and persecutions on them and they fall away.

Baptism and membership in some corporation is NO GUARANTEE of salvation; for many are called but few remain faithful to the end and are chosen.

Matthew 22:11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 22:12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment [is not clothed with the righteousness of godliness]  And he was speechless. 22:13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

It is zeal for all the things of God, and a diligent study of God’s Word, together with faithfully living by every Word of God, through every temptation and even through serious trials and persecutions if necessary: which brings eternal salvation.

The sacrifice of Christ will only be applied to and will only justify: Those who live by every Word of God!

Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Luke 8:13 They on the rock [the seed falling on the stony ground are those] are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

Many, who are called by God and respond positively with repentance and baptism, are later tempted back into sin by the pleasures of this society.  They hedge on God’s Sabbath to save a job or make money or they pollute the Sabbath for their own pleasures.  They are unable to cope with trials or lust after physical pleasures etc; or they follow men and their traditions rather than living by every Word of God.

8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

It is those who live by every Word of God persevering and overcoming through the strength of God’s Holy Spirit dwelling in them who shall be resurrected to eternal life!

8:15 But that [which falls] on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

 

What are we called to do?

The vast majority of people in corporate assemblies attend services and are involved with a church congregation because of the social benefits and because they want to avoid God’s correction or to gain a reward. 

Most people just go along for the social benefits and because they want eternal life and a reward of leadership over others for eternity.   The brethren are constantly reminded of these rewards for holding fast and continuing with their organization.  

Of course this is a deceit, for all spiritual reward comes from God and is given by God, because of our loyalty to God; and not because of any loyalty to any idol of men or corporate entities. 

The statement that “We are God’s chosen leaders and you must obey us” becomes nonsense as soon as such men depart from the Word of God: Were not king Saul and Judas Iscariot chosen leaders of God? 

Those episodes were recorded for us so that we would learn to prove all things by the Word of God and NOT to follow any man into sin. 

Back to the purpose of our calling 

What is the godly purpose to which all of the called out have been called to focus on?  Was it really this selfish “GET” motive of acquiring eternal life and a kingdom and dominating others?  NO! 

Yes, God’s kingdom will come and it will be glorious and it would be great to have a part in it; but we are putting the reward before the job! 

Eternal life and an office of responsibility is the reward; and that is great to remember; but we cannot allow this reward to be a distraction from the purpose of our calling! 

The destination is wondrous, but the key issue for us is The Getting There, which is achieved only by learning to live by Every Word of God and by fully internalizing the very nature and Spirit of godliness!

We have been deceived into a certain idea that if we just obey the elder we have a ticket to enter eternal life and the kingdom of God. 

No, we must each work out our own salvation personally through sincere repentance and living by every Word of God; and we will each be held accountable for what we personally do, and the excuse that “I was only following the elder” is not going to get us anywhere at the judgment. 

Jesus warned that just going through the motions and doing what we feel we must; is NOT ENOUGH!  (Luke 19).

We must consistently and diligently seek spiritual treasure in heaven [eternity].  We must focus on overcoming all sin and on becoming LIKE God our Father in heaven and becoming LIKE the Son!

Brethren, our calling is to the hard work of internalizing the very nature of God the Father!

Which comes through a continual night and day zealous study of, and meditation on, God’s Word; and through passionately living by every Word of God, and through teaching the Word of God to others beginning with our children. 

We must be practicing for the job of setting an example for the rest of mankind, for leading the nations to righteousness as kings and priests, and practicing to be teachers of the Word of God to humanity forever!

Yes, keep the goal in mind, but do not neglect the job at hand; which is to: 

 

Our Calling

We are called to: 1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation [conduct]; 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Leviticus 19:2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.

Holiness means “of or pertaining to the God who cannot sin”, therefore holiness is purity and freedom from sin:  To be holy is to become like God, to internalize the very nature of God, so that we think and act as God would!

Brethren put out all sin from among you and be pure from all sin, just as God is pure from all sin.

Leviticus 11:44  For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy:  

1 Peter 1:15   But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation [conduct]; 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

 

Belief
The good ground are those who wholeheartedly BELIEVE the Word, and begin to work to learn and to diligently live by every Word of God, enduring all trials and patiently persevering to the end of their lives.

We are to let the light that God has lighted in us shine forth; and we are to live as an example of true godliness which will light up the world!

God sends messengers to spread the Word of God and those who respond positively and receive the Word with joy; BELIEVING God’s Word and hungering and thirsting after every Word of God to learn it and to live by it; will learn and grow, being led by God’s Spirit to a point of conversion where a decision is made to STOP sinning and to go forward living by every Word of God.

 

What is God calling us to do?

First God calls on us to BELIEVE the Gospel, to BELIEVE every Word of God! God’s calling  is foundational to belief, and belief is foundational to faith and the works of faith, which are sincere repentance from all sin and a dedicated commitment to live by every Word of God forever more!

How can we follow Christ to live by every Word of God if we do not believe in him? and how can we obey God if we do not believe the Word of God?

Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 1:5 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

 

Summary 

  1. People are cut off from God by sin, therefore they cannot understand spiritual things,
  2. God must call people out of sin and does so by granting an initial small understanding, 
  3. If we respond to God’s calling by hungering and thirsting for more understanding and by acting on what we learn, more understanding will be given, until
  4. We reach a point where we believe God’s Word and we are ready to make a solid sincere commitment [sincerely repent] to stop sinning and to begin to live by every Word of God,
  5. We then make a baptismal commitment to continually work to internalize the very nature of God, to become holy as God is holy, rooting out all sin, and
  6. Then Jesus Christ will apply his atoning sacrifice to us, reconciling us to God the Father,
  7. Who will then give us the gift of the indwelling of his Spirit enabling us to live as Christ lived, by every Word of God, and
  8. If we remain faithful throughout our lives, continually overcoming and growing more and more in godliness, God will give us the gift of eternal life!
  9. God is calling out only a very few over the fist six thousand years of human history, then
  10. After Christ comes God will call all humanity then living, and
  11. Finally God will resurrect back to flesh and will call all of humanity who have not yet had their chance, during the Feast of Tabernacles main harvest.

Belief and Faith

A person is called out of bondage to sin, and to reconciliation with God the Father, by being given an initial limited understanding of spiritual things.  God the Father calls us to himself through the Door [the atoning sacrifice] of Jesus Christ  (John 10). 

The called of God, are called to reconciliation with God the Father, they are called to become like God, by internalizing the very nature of God through learning and living by every Word of God. 

When a person is called to God his mind is opened to understand certain basic spiritual things.  He learns that as a transitory physical being living according to his own will, he has no lasting hope and is subject to decay and death 

See the “Ecclesiastes Job” book.

When people hear the Word of God, they must choose to believe it, or to reject it. 

If they recognize the value of God’s Word and the hope of deliverance from Satan, sin and the grave into eternal life and they actually BELIEVE the Word of God, they will quickly begin seeking greater and greater spiritual understanding.  They will want to devour the words of HOPE contained in the Word of God like a starving person desires food, hungering and thirsting after every Word of God (Mat 5); and they will be blessed with more and more understanding.  

At some point belief will become FAITH.   The King James folks translated the meaning somewhat awkwardly as:   

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

True godly faith is to believe every Word of God and to completely TRUST in the Word and promises of God; trusting enough to actually follow and obey every Word of God!  After all, why would we obey God if we did not trust that his Word is true and his promises unshakable?  On the other hand, if we do trust that God’s Word is true and that God’s promises are unshakably sure, we are full of faith that God will perform what he has set out to do!

Then if we believe God and the Word of God we must act on that faith and perform the works of faith, which are sincere repentance and a commitment to stop living contrary to the Word of God and to start living by every Word of God. 

The word “Repent” means to deeply regret having done something, to regret it so much that we STOP doing it and start living differently! 

Faith is a gift of God, and faith comes by obedience, which is the works of faith.

Then after we begin to stop sinning and start to live a godly life, God’s gift of faith increases and grows through a process of believing and living by every Word of God and learning through practical experience, that God knows best!

When we believe and then we obey, we LEARN and we GROW in godly faith! Without the study of God’s Word and without belief in that Word, there can be no obedience; and with no obedience there will be no faith.

Faith is a sure and certain knowledge that God’s Word is TRUE and that God keeps all of his promises; which faith is learned and grows through much experience in obedience to God.

God’s chosen will have an unfeigned dedicated faith in God, coupled with the works of faith.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.

The entire chapter of Hebrews 11 is about a great company of men and women who lived believing and obeying every Word of God; and grew in faith while proving their faith by the works of faith.

 

Faith in Action; the Works of Faith are Obedience to Live by Every Word of God 

James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 2:16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble [but they will not repent and STOP rebelling against God].

2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works [the works of faith], when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God [and Abraham acted on that belief and obeyed God], and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

2:25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

The natural man is cut off from God, so that he may through experience learn the sorrows of sin and never again be tempted to sin once he is delivered.

God instructs his faithful to teach all men to live by every Word of God, and in this way the seed of God’s Word is spread and God calls people to reconciliation with God.

God calls us by opening up our understanding and giving the gift of belief and faith in God and in every Word of God.  The gift of faith does not initially come through keeping the law; it is the gift of God to those that God is calling.  Nevertheless the gift of faith brings with it a desire to live by the law of God and by every Word of God, because if we believe God we will want to please him. 

God’s gift of faith then, is the foundation of law keeping, and the more we internalize the very nature of God the Father through living by every Word of God, the more our initial faith grows.  How?  Because in the process of learning and of LIVING in a godly manner, we experience godliness more and more; and as we do so we learn to trust and believe God more and more, which is an increase of faith. 

Now if we believe God we will have faith that God loves us and that his Word if for our good, therefore we will want to do what God says.  We will also believe in the promises of God, and believing in the resurrection of Jesus Christ to eternal spirit, we can also believe God’s promise that if we persevere in godliness we will also be raised up to eternal life.

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

 

Which is Greater; the Message and the God who sent it, or the men who helped to spread that message?

I must ask: When a messenger spreads the Word of God; who is the greater; the messenger or the author of the Word being spread, God Almighty?

I must ask this because many have fallen astray by idolizing the messenger and not exalting the author of the message. What do I mean? Many have said that “I was called by such a person and I will always be loyal to him.”

This is just NOT true:  we were not called by any person!  We are called to God, by God the Father to come to him through Jesus Christ!  We may have heard the word from some person, but we never would have understood and turned to godliness unless God the Father had called us and opened up our understanding.

Brethren this exalting messengers above the author or the message is the sin of idolatry, exalting the messenger above the message and the author of the message.   Teachers of the Word of God are only human and at times make mistakes, and how can one discern false teachers from true teachers except by holding them up to the standard of every Word of God?

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  1. James, you wrote that: “…To illustrate this marvelous thing we have been given the caterpillar which lives its life and then enters its cocoon figurative of death to break forth into new life as a wonderfully beautiful butterfly…”

    And most people, it seems, believe the myth that a caterpillar “magically” changes into a butterfly; however, I’d like to provide a little constructive criticism here b/c a caterpillar does not change into a butterfly. For example, a white black & yellow caterpillar with a mouth, bites and chews leaves,has 6 small eyes, 2 very short antennae, 8 pairs of legs, no wings…does not change into a white black 7 orange Monarch butterfly with a proboscis, only drinks nectar, has 2 compound eyes, 2 long antennae, 3 pairs of legs, and has wings, respectively.

    I will now quote some information from chapter 3 (The Monarch Butterfly) of a short book titled “God in Creation,” ISBN 0-8024-3027-9,by Bob Devine

    “…Is the caterpillar slowly changing into a butterfly? No, scientists tell us. Biologists have discovered tiny “nests” of anlagen butterfly cells inside the larvae. Those cells contain butterfly genes, the building blocks for a butterfly…Actually, that is the monarch butterfly growing inside the caterpillar. Scientists call it “an embryo inside an embryo.”…

    …None of the caterpillar’s body parts change into butterfly parts. They are all new and different. They came from the tiny “nest” of anlagen cells that were always inside the caterpillar’s body. As they began to grow, they developed into the pupa. That took energy from the caterpillar’s body, and when it grew so large that it cracked the larva’s skin, the caterpillar was drained of its energy and died, but the pupa was very much alive.

    When Mrs. Monarch Butterfly laid her eggs, there were two kinds of genetic information in them: caterpillar and butterfly. It was the Creator’s plan that the anlagen butterfly cells should live inside the caterpillar larva…”

    That is all I will quote from the book at this point.

    FWIIW, metamorphosis means to change form….more like a tadpole changing into a frog.

    John

    Thank you very much John, this is fascinating. In light of this the caterpillar is an even better analogy, because human beings are spiritual embryos which must grow to be born again as spirits with God effecting the change from flesh to spirit. James

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