God’s perfect creation was marred when Lucifer, who was at the throne of God, and those who followed him, rebelled against their Creator. By their own free will they separated themselves from Him, forcing Him to bring into operation a plan to restore perfection to His creation. The plan involved the creation of man on planet earth. No sooner had God put His plan into operation by creating Adam and Eve, (who were to populate the earth, thus restoring the number lost in rebellion, that Lucifer – now Satan – again thwarted God’s plan by causing Adam to transgress God’s law). This sin of Adam resulted in mankind being born out of harmony with their Creator thus losing their right to life. Consequently, instead of being born to live for ever, mankind is born to die for ever. However, God had prepared yet another course of action for just such an emergency – JESUS! With Jesus having died on the cross of Calvary, after living his life without sinning, the penalty for all our sin was paid. This sacrifice of Jesus gives God the LEGAL right to offer mankind eternal life once more. It is left for us to CHOOSE to accept His offer, on His terms. “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore CHOOSE life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” – De 30:19. Jesus, then, has done what we are unable to do. He has made salvation available for all. But we must do what Jesus cannot do for us. We must make ourselves available for salvation by choosing to live. If we do not choose life, we have chosen death, and Jesus will never override our choice! Salvation is offered to all, but on condition. And what is that condition? There are only two groups of people on earth – those who choose to do the will of God, and those who do not. Only those who carry out His will CAN be saved. We must understand, clearly, that “doing the will of our Father” does not provide salvation for us – we are not saved by works! Jesus has provided salvation for us – we are saved by HIS works! All we can do, is to accept with gratitude the salvation He has provided, on condition that we choose to – “Do the will” of our Father. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH THE WILL of my Father which is in heaven. MANY will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Mt 7:21-23. Only a FEW, the minority, are not deceived. We see from the above passage of scripture that MANY, the majority, sincerely believe that they are going home with Jesus only to discover, when it is too late, that they are lost. Can anything be more tragic than that? How is it that the few are not deceived? Why are the majority deceived? The answer is that the few obey the Gospel of God. They have been seeking and since God promised that he who seeks WILL find, (Matt. 7:7,8), they have found what the will of God is for mankind. The many have not been seeking. They have believed without questioning what they have heard from the pulpit and are thus deceived into believing a false gospel. This, in spite of the solemn warning from God – “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.’ 2 John 1:9-11. And again: - “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17.
We are warned that Satan uses ministers of the churches, ministers whom he has misled and deceived to preach falsehoods – to preach another Jesus, another gospel with false doctrines: - 2 Cor. 11:4 says, “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” And verses 13-15 read: - “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” It is therefore VITAL that we establish beyond any doubt what the TRUE gospel teaches so that we are no longer “…tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, …” – (Ephesians 4:14). We must know exactly what God’s will for us is so that we can “Do His will” and so be prepared to meet Jesus when He comes – (Matt. 7:21). In searching for God’s will, WE MUST FIRST DECIDE THAT WE WILL OBEY NO MATTER WHAT HE REQUIRES OF US. He will then keep His promise to give us the Holy Spirit: -Acts 5:32 “And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them THAT OBEY HIM.” John 16:13 says: - “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth… and he will shew you things to come.” How? When we – “Search the scriptures… and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39). We are told in Heb. 5:9 “That Jesus being made perfect, became the author of eternal salvation unto all them THAT OBEY HIM;” Obedience, then, is loyalty to God, and is the condition upon which Jesus can LEGALLY save us. Eph. 2:2 reads “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: “ Disobedience on the other hand, is rebellion against God, and it prevents Jesus from LEGALLY applying His sacrificial death in order to save. But how do we know whether we are being obedient or disobedient – loyal or disloyal? In Old Testament times, God used obedience to the Sabbath day as a test of our loyalty – (read Exodus 16:4,27,28 – but read the entire chapter). Since He is the same God today, and we are still the same human race, we can be assured that He is still using obedience to the same Sabbath day as the test of our loyalty to Him. The EVERLASTING GOSPEL in Revelation 14:7 calls upon all to worship HIM that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. The One who made these, did so in six days and rested on the seventh day, thus making the Sabbath. Since He also spoke at Sinai, making the seventh-day Sabbath the fourth of the ten commandments, only those who wish to come into harmony with His law can claim to be loyal to Him, not so? How sad that almost all on earth reject this one commandment.
Nearly all claiming to be Christian accept and defend, vehemently, the first day of the week, Sunday-sacredness.
How sad, when God says – “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination. – Prov. 28:9. Can we see why the MANY will say Lord, Lord, and be lost? In our search for God’s will for us, let us look to Jesus our example: “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” – 1 Peter 2:21. What was God’s will for Jesus? In answer to this question, let us consider the following: Man was created in God’s image. He lost that image through sin. In his own strength, he is unable to live without sinning. Jesus was born on earth – a human. He constantly surrendered his own free will to that of his Father. As a consequence, he was able to live without sinning and thus proved that anyone with a surrendered will can also live without sinning. Anyone living without sinning, has allowed God to restore His image. In Psalm 40:8 we read Jesus saying: “I delight TO DO THY WILL , O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” With the law in his heart, Jesus, as a man, surrendered his own will in order to “do the will” of his Father. Thus his Father enabled him to live a sinless life and this in turn, made possible the sinless sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. So by “DOING THE WILL” of our Father, Jesus made eternal life possible for us – (Hebrews 10:9,10.) God longs to restore in us the image of Himself – the image in which He had created us – Genesis 1:27. Jesus came and did just that! “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” – Col. 2:9. God’s will for us, in this life, is that we surrender our own free will to Him, thus allowing Him to live His life in us. This will restore in us the image in which we were created – we will live as Jesus lived on earth. The following scriptures bear this out: - “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” - 1 John 2:6. “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” - 1 John 3:3. “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” – 1 John 3:7. “The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.” – Lu 6:40. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” – Matt. 5:48. “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” – John 17:23. “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:” – Eph. 4:13. Regarding God’s Will for us? We are admonished in Romans 12:2: - “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Our minds must be renewed; we must have the mind of Christ: Phil. 2:5 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” Like the apostle Paul, we must die daily, surrendering our wills and so allowing Jesus to live His life in us: Gal. 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Just like for Jesus, God’s will for us is that we must be a living sacrifice to His honour and glory: “I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Ro. 12:1. Only by means of a surrendered will, can God enable us to accomplish this.
The church of God consists of the wheat and the tares which will grow together until the harvest, when Jesus comes – Matt. 13. Nobody wants to be a tare. Therefore we must examine very, very carefully, to which group we belong. The tares are PROFESSING Christians – no doubt sincere and very religious, but blind and thus deceived. They are hearers only of the Word, and not doers, deceiving themselves – James 1:22. The wheat are PRACTISING Christians. They study the Word, and, through a surrendered will, they allow Jesus to live out the principles of the Law in their lives.
Galatians 2:20. The Word of God sums up His will for us: - “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” - Mic 6:8 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27. <WE> cannot keep ourselves unspotted from the world. Only <GOD> can keep us unspotted from the world – but in order to do that, He needs a surrendered will. It is by SURRENDER that we keep ourselves unspotted from the world.
The story is told of two boys. They looked very much alike, the one being two years older than his brother. The older boy was well liked; everybody loved him. He was kind, honest, helpful and showed sympathy to all who suffered. But his younger brother was the proverbial black sheep; always in trouble and quite insensitive to those around him. One day, in yet another street fight, he fatally stabbed his young opponent. Being chased by others who had witnessed the fight, he ran home. Inside, he quickly removed his bloodstained shirt, placed this together with the knife into the hands of his astonished brother, and ran out into the night. His brother was caught red-handed, arrested, tried, found guilty and sentenced to death. Just before his brother’s execution, he received a letter from him in which he said – “You and I both know what really happened. I have no regret in dying in your place. I ask only one thing of you. PLEASE, will you live in my place?” Rushing to the prison, he arrived there just too late. This story, of course, is just an allegory. The sinless Jesus, our older brother, died in our place, and asks – PLEASE, won’t you live in my place! This is indeed God’s will for us – that we live our lives for Jesus. We read in Philippians 1:20, that Paul did just that: - “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also CHRIST SHALL BE MAGNIFIED IN MY BODY, whether it be by life, or by death. By complete surrender, our Father will fill us with the Holy Spirit – the latter rain – so that we can “DO HIS WILL” and allow Jesus to return. “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” - 1 John 2:17. “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because AS HE IS, SO ARE WE in this world.” – 1 John 4:17.
“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to this saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; WHICH IS CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:” Col 1:26-18.
“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in
his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever.” Amen. – Heb. 13:20,21
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