|Matthew 7 |
1 "Judge not, so that you are not judged.1
2 For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged; and with what measure you use, it shall be measured to you in return.
3 Why do you look at the spec that is in your brother's eye, but do not consider the log that is in your own eye?
4 Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me pull the spec out of your eye;' when look, a log is in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite, first get the log out of your own eye; and then shall you see clearly to remove the spec out of your brother's eye.2
6 Do not give what is holy to the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and tear you.3
7 Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. [The Lord told us to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness as the highest priority of our life. Mat 6:33. Then he told us us how, the one thing that is needed; to sit at His feet and listen to His words that he speaks to us, Luke 10:39-42; we sit at his feet by waiting in humble silence, listening, and watching while thinking of the name of Jesus. When we obey what we hear Him tell us to do, we are following Jesus. From the Word of the Lord within: "In humble silence we sit and wait. Think on His name. Sit with me, and I will make you clean. Sit with me, and I will reveal all. Follow me as fast as you can; you start by sitting. If those who hear will obey, their progress will be swift."]
8 For everyone who asks receives; and he who seeks [persistently] finds; and to him who knocks it shall be opened.4 [From the Word of the Lord within: "He told us it was not enough to seek God, we must seek with all our heart and soul. You will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart." John carefully states: "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him." 1 John 5:14-15. Unless you have crucified your sinful nature, to receive his Spirit in sufficient measure to reveal His will, you have no idea what His will is. This is why the vast majority of prayers, made in the carnal minds of beginning believers, are never answered. When we can do His will, we hear what to pray from Him, and we know for sure such prayers are heard and will be granted. A true Christian is crucified and purified by the grace of God, able to do God's will on earth as it is done in heaven; that is a true Christian's sole purpose: to pray, to speak, and to act as God directs, thus to bring pleasure, honor, and glory to God. From the Word of the Lord within: "Pray only as you are told."]
9 What man is there of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?
11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him?
12 Therefore, in all things, whatever you desire that others should do to you, you do the same to them; for this is the law and the prophets.5
13 Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction,6 and there are many who go in that way.
14 Because narrow is the gate and compressed is the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it.7 [From the Word of the Lord within: "Few will be saved because of their love of life." He who loves his life shall lose it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal. John 12:25]
15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.8 [ — self-appointed ministers posing as authorized by Christ who solicit your money and Lord it over you. Christendom's ministers are the false prophets Jesus warns about. Deceiving billions, they promise heaven to anyone who believes, ignoring salvation's stated exclusions, requirements, and qualifying conditions. When you see how Christendom is nothing but Babylon, you will be both sad and angry: Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination, 'Hear the word of the LORD,' Because they have seduced my people saying, 'Peace!' when there is no peace... you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad, and have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not return from his wicked way, by (falsely) promising him life. Eze 13:2,10,22.]
16 You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?
17 Even so, every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. ["Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by its fruit." Mat 12:33. From the Word of the Lord within: "A tree that is holy is a good one."]
19 Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 Therefore by their fruits you shall know them.
21 Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but [only] he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.9 [To do the will of God, you must stop fulfilling your own desires; you cannot do the things you wish. To know the will of the Father, you must hear Him teach you with commands tailored to your life's circumstances. To hear Him you must wait in humble silence while listening and watching; then you must obey what He commands you to do. The first commands you hear will require your repentance. That is the beginning of doing His will. You must progress until you are totally led by Him: only thinking the thoughts He provides, only speaking the words He tells you to speak, and only doing what He commands; then your words and deeds show the love of God to the world and bring glory to God.]
22 Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name cast out demons? And in your name done many wonderful works?' [You can call Him Lord; you can call Him Master; but so did Judas. Calling Jesus Lord does not make Him your Lord. He is your Lord only if He has freed you from all sin, if he has destroyed your carnal mind, if He has purified you, and if He supplies all your words to speak, all your thoughts, and all your actions to be done. If you are still sinning, you are a slave to sin, John 8:34; and if you are sinning, Jesus cannot be your Lord because you cannot serve two masters. Every man is judged by their words and works, including those who claim to be Christians; God shows partiality to no man. Because they are still sinning when they die, Jesus will reject many people who think they are Christians and call him Lord; including even those who had prophesied, cast out demons, and performed many wonderful works in his name. Of course Jesus knows everyone, everywhere, including the fact that these people were still sinning when they died; his denial is a denial of knowing them and a denial of any part in their prophesying, casting out demons, and wonderful works, which they claimed to be done "in his name." To be in his name, a person has to be free of sin, in union with Him, and sitting in heaven with Him; they were not, as he plainly states below.]
23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you who work iniquity'10 [sin, lawlessness, or wickedness]. [Unless cleansed by the Lord's Spirit that destroys sin within man, every man's heart starts filled with evil, filled with sin, defiled, and disqualified for heaven. All defiled men are banned from heaven. This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Mark 7:6. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lack of restraint, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within a man and defile him. Mark 7:21-23. And in no way shall there enter into it [heaven] anything that is defiled...Rev 21:27. The Lord is warning those who think they are Christians and still sin: 1) he doesn't know you, and 2) he will cast you into outer darkness, banned from heaven at judgment. The Lord only knows those who hear his voice and follow him. John 10:27. To follow Him is to obey what you hear Him command you to do; to hear, you must sit, think on his name, and then wait in humble silence while listening and watching. From the word of the Lord within: "Everyone is expecting Jesus to be their excuse. Remember, every person who sins denies Him as Lord and Master. If you are still sinning, you belong to sin and not to Me. No man is promoted or excused that repeats sin. Only a heart that is purged of sin is acceptable to God. All men are without excuse; if I were silent, they would have an excuse. All men have heard the call to repent. People must stand the price for their very brazen behavior." Those anonymous calls all men have heard to turn from evil, which if ignored, will be their judge, John 12:47-48; at their death every word will be played back, heard, and remembered to their great shame and sorrow.]
24 Therefore whoever hears [not reads] these sayings of mine, and does [obeys] them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house upon a rock. [Reading the Bible is not hearing the Lord speak to you by His Spirit. You must patiently and persistently wait on the Lord to speak to you, as you listen for His sayings, watch for His revelations, and then obey them. The words you hear that He speaks to you imparts the life of God to you: It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life-giving. John 6:63.]
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house; and it did not fall because it was built upon a rock.
26 And everyone who hears these sayings of mine, and does not do [obey] them, shall be likened to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand.
27 The rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house; and it fell. And great was the fall [destruction] of it."11
28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at his doctrine.
29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
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1 Judge not, so that you are not judged. You can't correctly judge someone because you have not walked in their shoes, but God has from the time they were born; he has witnessed every word, every thought, every action, every incident in their lives. So only He can understand everyone's background enough to make correct judgments. For example, there was a study made of prostitutes, (male and female), on the streets of San Francisco, and the overwhelming majority of them had been raped by a member of their family at an early age. A child that is raped often feels that they were somehow partially guilty for what happened; then they begin thinking that they are no good and only fit to repeat the error with others. Even our neighbors, who seem to be much like us, have had significantly different experiences in their lives, of which only God is aware, and so only He is capable of rightly judging others' behavior.
As William Penn wrote: "When your neighbor wrongs you, do not resent him; rather have pity for his lack of wisdom and understanding that would prevent his wrongful acts. We should make more haste to do right to our neighbor, than we do to wrong him; and instead of being revengeful, we should leave him to be judge of his own satisfaction or dissatisfaction with his unjust acts."
When you judge others, you judge the law; when you judge the law, you have judged yourself the judge; when you make yourself a judge, you have stolen His-only role and right. Therefore you judged yourself.
This does not mean that you cannot judge what is evil behavior vs. good; this does not mean that you cannot judge doctrine in error vs. sound doctrine. Rather you are not supposed to criticize someone else in particular because your criticism is passing judgment on someone else; you shouldn't even think critically or resent someone else's actions, rather you should strive to bypass anger against them to sadness for them. Nor should you avoid constructive criticism of your children, (while they will still listen to you), or employees under your authority.
This does not mean that you cannot write or speak about something in general being wrong, a lie, error, or sin; it just means you are not supposed to criticize someone else in particular. When you have sufficient Spirit of God within you, you may be prompted with words from God to pass judgment on someone else in particular; but that would not be you judging, that would be God. Just like Jesus did not judge himself: Of my own self, I can do nothing. I judge only as I hear; John 5:30... whatever I speak is just as the Father tells me to speak. John 12:49-50... the Son can do nothing of himself [by his own will]; but only does what he sees the Father do. John 5:19
A further reason you can't criticize others is because every man has a tangle of problems, and only the Lord knows which problem to address with a man in what order. You may see an obvious problem, but you cannot see the many others that are not apparent; and it is likely that there are other problems that must be addressed and repented from first, before the problem you see can be addressed. Only the Lord knows the order to address these problems in each man, and only the Lord can give the person strength to become different. So until you are prompted by the Spirit of God as to exactly what to say and when, and until the Spirit of God is standing by to impart strength to that person, any criticism is totally ineffective. When you criticize others you are only hardening their hearts from hearing the true judgments of God, and so you incur condemnation in proportion to the problems you cause. From the Word of the Lord within: "Never speak critically of any individual or any organization, no matter how deserving of criticism they are;" and "be blind to others' faults." In particular, be blind to your fellow believer's oppressive faults, which we all have until we have been purified.
Does this mean we are always supposed to be blind to all of others' faults, regardless how serious? Suppose someone you know has a habit of stealing things. Now suppose that person lists you as a reference on a job application, and the prospective employer calls you. Are you supposed to be blind to that person's faults? Absolutely not! Common sense and the Golden Rule say: do for others what you would have them do for you. Mat 7:12; so you warn the prospective employer of that person's history. Or worse, if you were a child care provider, and a known child molester applied to work for you, are you supposed to be blind to their faults? Absolutely not! Common sense and the Golden Rule say, decide for those children as you would have someone else decide for you if you were one of those children.
You are particularly not to judge someone outside the church; per Paul: For while I have no business judging those who are outside the church....those who are outside the church, God judges. 1 Cor 5:12-13
But as for those inside the church, you are supposed to be careful to not associate with those who exhibit continued lawlessness: But now I write to you not to keep company with anyone who calls himself a Christian and is sexual immoralor covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an oppressive cheater; do not even eat with such a person. 1 Cor 5:11. Now if you are forbidden to even eat with them, is it not much worse to fellowship with them?
And the Lord tells us how to deal with someone in the church who is sinning: they are supposed to be kindly warned by one person who is spiritually mature enough to speak words supplied by the Spirit, then warned by two or three, then censured by the whole body of believers — and if they fail to repent of their error, they are supposed to be expelled and shunned. Mat 18:15-17
But again, as for oppressive faults that we all have until we have been reproved and cleansed by the Lord, don't criticize your fellow believers. Without clear and specific instructions from the Lord don't criticize anyone; and don't try to interpret sin, beyond its clearly stated scriptural definition: i.e., don't use sexual immorality to include censuring the length of a woman's dress; leave that decision to the Lord speaking to that person's conscience. Criticism eats the body of Christ like cancer; rather build up the body: encouraging your fellow believers, noting their improvements, and praising their good deeds. Every newly convinced believer starts immersed in Egypt and Sodom, and the Lord must lead each of us out of them in a unique way, tailored to each person's history and bondages; obviously, we cannot be perfected instantly, so blindness to your brother's oppressive faults is required. Your brothers are those who share your hope in the true gospel and who are seeking to follow God by waiting and listening for his commands.
From the Word of the Lord within:
2 Don't try to take the spec out of your brother's eye until you remove the log from your own. When you get the log out of your own eye, (by being purified), you can see clearly how to remove the spec from your brother's. So he wants us sinless and purified so we can help our brothers, but until then, we can't even see how to help — and if we think we can, we are more blind than the person we are trying to help — we have a log in our eye, and he only has a spec — who is more blind? Only when Christ has perfected us, can we remove that spec; only then can we preach or teach, after we are purified, restored, specifically authorized; then we can help — until then we just harm those we try to correct. To be restored, is to be renewed into the image of God, as was man before the fall in the Garden — which is Christ's job with all of us — to reconcile the whole creation back to God, as it was, even better, than before it fell due to the disobedience of Adam. For we cannot be reconciled back to God in our fallen state, we must be purified, restored, perfected before union can take place — union that is only possible between two like beings. So until you are prompted by the Spirit of God as to exactly what to say and when, and until the Spirit of God is standing by to impart strength to that person, any criticism is totally ineffective. When you criticize others you are only hardening their hearts from hearing the true judgments of God, and so you incur condemnation in proportion to the problems you cause.
3 Do not give that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and tear you. What is holy is the understandings that you have received from Christ himself, by his revelations, by his voice, by his visions, by both, or by the deep understanding that surrounds you like you are submerged in it. These understandings will usually directly and seriously contradict the religious culture that is dependent on outward forms of ritual, with no obedience to the inner voice, with no reliance on the voice of God, with no reliance on being personally taught by the Holy Spirit.
In the Old Testament, dogs licked the blood of dead men, as preachers and priests today feed on the life and sustenance of their congregations, who are dead to the life of God, living in sin; they fleece the sheep. Dogs were preachers who fed themselves, never getting enough. Dogs were blind, dumb, ignorant, watchmen (preachers) unable to sound a warning, lying down, loving to slumber. In the New Testament Paul referred to Judiazer dogs who preached circumcision, whose confidence was in works of the flesh. Dogs were those who preached the outward form and observations of religion, trying to preserve and justify the man of sin continuing in his selfish, sinful, fleshly nature. So today, dogs would be the preachers and teachers of Christendom. The works of the flesh that today's dogs teach are: the sinner's prayer, water baptism, bread and wine ceremony, infant baptism, tithing, hail Marys, our Fathers, confessional, pray the rosary, study the Bible, etc. Dogs of Christianity have written tens of thousands books telling you how to live as a Christian, but without a clue as to what a true Christian is. Dogs also tear the lambs; they are fleshly men, (still in their sinful natures), who persecute those born of the spirit. The priests and ministers of the Baptists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Puritans viciously whipped, beat, imprisoned, and killed the early Quakers in England and America; and when the Spirit of Christ is revealed in the true believers of this age, the ministers and priests, (the dogs), will similarly persecute Christ again. Dogs also can be proponents of Hare Krishna, or Hinduism, or Buddhism, or Islam. If you tell them your holy understandings, it is a waste of time, because all they want to do is convert you to their way of thinking. So you keep your peace. You don't try to educate the wise or correct those who think they can see, but can't. From the Word of the Lord within: "The leaders of Christianity are dogs — blind, dumb, ignorant dogs; professing to know everything, they know nothing; professing to know everything, they live their lives as fools." George Fox said his era's ministers' spiritual progress was less than that of Balaam's ass because the ass spoke the Word of the Lord, but the ministers could not even hear the Lord's voice, much less speak the Word of the Lord; they could only quote the Bible; exactly like the ministers today.
Revelation 22:15 states: For outside the city are dogs, and sorcerers, and the impure, and murderers, and idolaters, and whoever loves the deception of lies and cheating. The dogs, sorcerers, impure, murderers, idolaters, and liars are the leaders of Christendom and priests of the world's religions. (See Footnote 1 in Revelation 22 for the details of how.)
Swine are those who live for their own appetites, whose god is their stomach, who serve their lusts, and who are happy doing so. If you cast your pearls, (your understandings, your wisdom, your revelations), in front of these people, they will ridicule them, they will mock and scoff, and their reproach will only hurt you. So, we keep our pearls to ourselves and only pass them on to those who share our commitment in fellowship. And even there, when sharing, we must speak in humility and without pride of having received the understanding, or the understanding will be missed by others and our pride in speaking will damage us.
George Fox writes in his Journal of a vision he had of the priests eating their followers like dogs eat flesh from bones.
I was under great sufferings at this time, beyond what I have words to declare. For I was brought into the deep, and saw all the religions of the world, and people that lived in them, and the priests that held them up; who were as a company of man eaters, eating up the people like bread, and gnawing the flesh from off their bones. But as for true religion and worship, and ministers of God, alas! I saw there was none among those of the world that pretended to it. For they that pretended to be the church, were but a company of man eaters, men of cruel appearance, and of long teeth; who, though they had cried against the man eaters, (Indians), in America, I saw they were in the same nature. And as the great professing Jews did 'eat up God's people like bread,' and the false prophets and priests who then preached peace to people, so long as they 'put into their mouths and fed them;' but if they did not feed them, they prepared war against them; 'they ate their flesh off their bones, and chopped them up for the cooking pot;' so these that profess themselves christians now, (both priests and professors), are not in the same power and spirit that Christ and the holy prophets and apostles were in. Instead they are in the same nature that the old professing Jews were in, and are man eaters like them too.
4 For everyone who asks receives; and he who seeks [persistently] finds; and to him who knocks it shall be opened. This scripture, taken by itself, illustrates the common error of Christendom, which takes a few scriptures out of context, creating false doctrines such as: to believe that all you have to do is knock, and it is opened; or just ask, and it is granted; or seek and you will find; or anyone who believes is saved; or anyone who calls on the name of the Lord is saved, or anyone who says "Jesus is Lord" is saved.
Regarding asking to receive: John carefully states, "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him," 1 John 5:14-15; but unless you have crucified your sinful nature, to receive his Spirit in sufficient measure to reveal His will, you have no idea what His will is. This is why the vast majority of prayers, made in the carnal minds of beginning believers, are never answered. Until you are able to pray always in the Spirit, (hearing what the Lord desires you to pray immediately before praying), sit and wait in humble silence, hopeful of eventually becoming righteous: able to pray, praise, worship, speak, and act perfectly according to the will of God. From the Word of the Lord within: "Pray only as you are told. If told what to pray for, they can be extremely effective; to pray as heard — righteous expectation. Master following. Follow precisely; do not deviate. Everyone hear what the Spirit says; this you do. You do as God has directed and only that; we do as He tells us." There is an exception heard from the Lord by a reader of this site, as loud as someone standing next to him, and there is scripture to prove it: "I only hear a prayer of a righteous man and a prayer of a sinner who comes to repent." God does not hear sinners, John 9:31; God does not hear sinners complacent in their sins, who are not striving to repent and turn from their evil ways. But if a sinner goes to God in humility, and asks for his help to become free from evil, or even asks God to show him if there is anything standing between them, then God will certainly hear and answer. For he would have us all to be free from sin to enter his kingdom.
Regarding knocking or calling him Lord: Afterwards the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open the door for us to enter.' But he answered and said, 'Truly I say to you, I do not know you.' Mat 25:11-12. Obviously their knocking at the door did no good.
Regarding seeking: seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things will be added to you. Mat 6:33
Seek the LORD your God, and you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deu 4:29
he rewards those who diligently seek him. Heb 11:6. Yes, you will find God if you seek him as the highest priority in your life, if you seek him with all your heart and all your soul, and if you diligently (continually attending to and striving to achieve a goal; laborious; persevering) seek him. How do you seek Him? Not by going to sect meetings; not by reading about him; not by talking to Him; but by waiting on Him: The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. Lam 3:25. You must wait, watch, and listen for His words to be spoken to you. From the Word of the Lord within: "He told us it was not enough to seek God, we must seek with all our heart and soul. You will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart. Seek first the kingdom, and all else will be provided — provided you stay on course."
Further regarding calling him Lord: Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but [only] he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven... I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you who work iniquity' [sin, lawlessness, or wickedness]. Mat 7:21-23
Jesus said, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Mark 7:6
Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you? Luke 6:46-49. Obviously, calling Jesus Lord did these believers no good, who in His name had cast out demons and performed many wonderful miracles; they lost everything and were banished from his presence — sent to darkness, sent to Hell.
When you read a contract, don't you look for the qualifying conditions and then the exclusions? Do the same with the promises of God. Don't let the fast talking salesmen (preachers) take your money for something they cannot make good on their promise; you are paying money for bread that is not bread and you labor without satisfaction. Isa 55:2
5 Therefore, in all things, whatever you desire that others would do to you, do the same to them; for this sums up the law and the prophets. Mat 7:12, Rom 13:8-10, Gal 5:14, Lev19:18 - strive to always obey this.
6 for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction. What destruction? In what is commonly called Hell, the soul is destroyed and the small measure of God steps out from those who failed to enter through the narrow way that leads to life, (the life of God). In Hell after destruction of the soul, the spirit of man continues to live through a painful education of what is the true gospel, the true hope, love vs. lust, sin vs. righteousness, turmoil vs. peace, humility vs. pride, good vs. evil, light vs. darkness, bitter vs. sweet; the pain is proportional to the mistakes one has made in their lifetime. From the Word of the Lord within: "A lot of pain with unexpected love; a lot of pain to be made fit for reconstruction." After destruction, pain, then reconstruction; but the reconstruction results in life that is a dimension below those who enter the narrow way of repentance to purity on the inward cross of self-denial on earth, (the inward cross is also painful, but less so, and with greater reward). See Is There Hope for All for more on how all flesh shall see the salvation of God, Luke 3:6, and how Jesus is the savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 1 Tim 4:9-10
7 Jesus tells us that few will be saved — few will find the narrow way, we know many will try to enter and be unable. Why is it so hard to find and enter through the narrow way? Largely because of false prophets, which he warns us about in the next verses. These false prophets deny that you must lose your life to find it, that we must suffer like him to reign with him, that we must take up our cross of self-denial daily to follow him — but since Jesus commanded it, we know it is possible. Possible, providing: 1) we have faith that God exists, that he rewards those who diligently seek him, 2) we have the hope of the true gospel, and 3) we know how to seek him and know how to carry our cross. To read the details on how to seek God and carry our cross see: How to Receive the Changing Power of God.
From the Word of the Lord within: "Narrow, indeed, is the way. Strive to enter through the narrow gate. Few will find it. Men have stopped trying. They have plunged themselves into iniquity. Few will be saved because of their love of life."
Once you have found the true way of the cross, still it is too hard for many to travel; so few will enter the narrow gate. It is not easy to lose your life. It is not easy to persistently and patiently sit in humble silence and wait on God as you listen, watch, and then obey completely. It is not easy to look at your will and what is in your heart as the Lord shows it to you. To understand the reasons why people give up, see the parable of the sower and the word. To be successful, first you have to have been drawn in love; you cannot come to the Lord and suffer through the cross just to avoid Hell. From the Word of the Lord within: "People can't come in fear; they have to come in love;" the Father has to have drawn you with a revelation that instills a hunger in you for more because the love of God and hunger for more-of-Him is the only lasting motivator. Those who have not been drawn by God with a spiritual experience that gives you a taste and hunger for more, you must turn from evil as best you can, distribute liberally to the poor, and pray to God to give you that experience, promising in return that you will seek Him with your best effort. Even after being drawn and given the hunger, many cannot bear the cross to the end because they love their life too much to let it all go. So count the costs before beginning, and be sure you are willing to give all, if and when ordered.
8 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. Ravenous for what? Anyone who is a hired hand is hungry for your money, hungry for your admiration, and longing to lord it over you. Jesus said the false prophets would come. John said the antichrists had come. Peter saw the false teachers had come. Paul saw the false apostles had come, and warned the brothers night and day for three years of more coming. And in Revelation, John saw where the whole world was to go after the false prophets and the false church, which occurred shortly afterwards. The false church is Revelation's whore of Babylon, riding the beast of many names [41,000 sects in Christendom], with horns like a lamb [resembles the true church], but who speaks like a dragon instead of speaking words supplied by the Holy Spirit, as Jesus and the Apostles did.
Many people think prophets only foretell the future, but Paul tells us, "he who prophesies speaks to men for edification, and exhortation, and comfort." 1 Cor 14:3. All preachers and teachers prophesy. If they have not been sent by God and if they do not speak the words God has told them to speak, they are false prophets: I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran [ahead of me]. I have not spoken to them, yet they have prophesied. Jer 23:21. "The prophets prophesy lies in my name. I did not send them, neither have I commanded them, nor spoken to them. Jer 14:14. The false prophet(s) are the ministers of Christendom, not taught by the Lord's voice and light, not perfected by the Lord, not gifted with an authorized ministry, not sent by the Lord, and not speaking words from the Spirit of the Lord; rather they speak from their carnal minds, the nature of death, and preach their vain opinions from the imagination of their evil hearts.
The following is what the word of the Lord within has spoken concerning the false prophets of Christendom today:
"Beware of false prophets. There are millions of blind guide preachers. How can the ministers claim to be mine, when inside they are full of deceit and hypocrisy? They do everything for show. The gregarious make a living teaching the scriptures. Those who preach against perfection have a lack of earnest faith. False prophets appeal to unstable souls. I am against the shepherds, who have prophesied a false salvation. They have taken the Bible and made it an unholy thing used to justify their immersion in sin. They have trivialized the Bible. They gutted what Jesus had to say; Jesus is ad tunes. They forget about me and teach errors. They teach the commandments of men; in vain do they worship me. They throw the word 'righteousness' around without any understanding of what it means. There is no hope; there is no guidance, other than 'study the scriptures.' Woe be to them, for they have coupled an external form between the love of God to man. Ten words from Him are better than ten copied letters. They cannot understand what the Spirit is doing. Their preaching only conveys the pride of Samaria. Outside the faith, they are teaching an equilibrium between good and evil. The leaders of Christianity are dogs — blind, dumb, ignorant dogs; professing to know everything, they know nothing; professing to know everything, they live their lives as fools. Those who follow the advice of these unpurified leaders, their life is like a bubble. I refuse to answer them. We deliberately ignore those of great repute. The leader of their army is Lucifer. They want to be sons; they recognize the scripture, 'he that is born of God has no sin,' but they blithely go on. These people are far from me, living in sin and teaching others the inevitability of sin until death. I further decry those who make a living preaching the scriptures."
Although Babylon's false prophets are very difficult to discern, the elect are not deceived because their love of the truth overrides their being impressed with demonstration of power accompanied by lies.
There is a web page, How to Identify a Blind Guide or False Prophet, devoted to the doctrines of false prophets/blind guide preachers vs. true prophets/ministers to help you distinguish a true preacher/teacher from a false preacher/teacher.
Between 1650-1700 Christianity, (Baptists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, et al.), pointed to this scripture and claimed the Quakers were the false prophets of this scripture: wolves dressed in sheep's clothing. Further, Christianity claimed the Quakers were the antichrists to appear in the last times, (yet 2000 years ago John said antichrists had appeared, and it is the last time). From the Word of the Lord within: "The Christians feared the early Quakers, just as the Jews feared Jesus." Why? Because in a few short years, entire Christian churches were emptied of listeners to preachers repeating the words of the Bible, to become listeners of Christ in Quaker silent meetings. George Fox wrote of Christianity's false accusations, which only showed their lack of understanding the scriptures:
Christ said they should come, and that they should be ‘inwardly ravening wolves,’ but would be clothed with the sheep's clothing; he told his disciples this, and before the disciples' decease they saw that they were come, the false prophets and the antichrists, as in 1 John 2:18, which went from them. And in the Revelations he said, ‘all the world went after them:’ all ‘the world wandered after the beast,’ and the false prophets. And the beast had power over all nations, and kindreds and tongues, and peoples. And the beast and false prophet made war against the saints, and overcame them. And so you false prophets and antichrists have had the sheep's clothing, but have been the wolves ravening and devouring the lambs. You would not have been able to deceive people, if you had not had the sheep's clothing upon you; and so the beast has his many names, which has had power over all nations, kindreds, and tongues. So the beast and whore have been upon your tongues, (which makes you orthodox men), which John calls waters; here have been the beast and his names, who have had power over all nations. And all nations have drunk of the cup of the mother of harlots, the great whore; the inhabitants of the earth are drunk with the wine of her fornication; and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her; and she sits upon the waters, and the waters are peoples, and tongues, and nations, and multitudes. You have told the poor people long, that the false prophets are just now coming, and the antichrists are only now coming, and told them to see Mat 7:15 and Mat 24:24, and so have showed your ignorance of the scriptures, which say they had already appeared before the apostles' decease, as in the first epistle of John; they went forth from the apostles; these were the false prophets, antichrists, and false spirits, which Christ said should come, and the world since has gone after them. Now does your ignorance of the scriptures appear, and that your are not men able to divide the word aright. The discerning now is risen among people, that they begin to see and know who divides the word aright. And to have told people go to Mat 7 and Mat 24 and say false prophets should come, all this has been but for pretence. Now we see you to be one with those John spoke of when he said, ‘they were come, and all that dwelt upon the earth went after them.’ You have had the form of godliness, but the power has been denied; and so you have burst into names, and heaps, and sects. But now are the vials, and thunders, and plagues, and trumpets sounding and going forth, and the seven woes going out; and now are the kings of the earth, and false prophets, and antichrists, and the mother of harlots, and the beast, and his names and horns, gathering together, with the old deceiver the devil, to battle against the Lamb, and the saints of the Lamb. But the Lamb and the saints have got the victory, and the rivers of living waters are opening to all that thirst. Sing and rejoice, let us give glory to God, for now has the marriage of the Lamb come.
Christianity of England imprisoned over fifteen thousand Quakers; over 869 Quakers died in prison; others died after Christian mobs attacked them in their silent meetings; and tens of thousands Quakers had their property plundered. They were punished for refusing to swear as forbidden by Jesus' and James' commands, not taking off their hats in court, traveling on the Sabbath, holding meetings not in accordance with the Episcopal liturgy, and refusing to pay tithes to their neighborhood Christian sect, (even when they did not attend that sect). The Bible-believing Puritans of America imprisoned the Quakers, brutally whipped them, cut off their ears, and hung four of them, including one woman. The beast was given power to overcome the saints, Rev 13:7. Yet the Quakers never harmed anyone, and prayed for their persecutors, even as they died. Do sheep kill wolves? No, wolves kill sheep; and so the wolves of Christianity killed the Quaker sheep of Christ just as Jesus predicted: Yes, the time is coming when whoever kills you will think that he is doing a service to God. John 16:2. Christianity had become, and still is, the Whore of Babylon, drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
When the true church of Christ comes out of the wilderness to be seen and heard again, Christianity will point to this scripture and claim the Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of Satan in sheep's clothing, (just as the Quakers were accused by Christianity then of being the Satanic antichrist); and despite scripture clearly stating 2000 years ago that the end time "is" and antichrists "had" appeared, Christianity will again say it is the end time and antichrist has just appeared. Christianity will again persecute the true church of Christ; but this time, when the persecutions cease, the saints will be avenged, Babylon falls, all sin is purged from the earth, and (from the Word of the Lord within:) "the saints will spread and populate the entire face of the earth."
9 Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but [only] he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but [only] he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name cast out demons? And in your name done many wonderful works?'
And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you who work iniquity' [sin, lawlessness, or wickedness]. Mat 7:21-23
This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Mark 7:6
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lack of restraint, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within a man and defile him. Mark 7:21-23
And in no way shall there enter into it [heaven] anything that is defiled...Rev 21:27
You must obey Jesus to do the will of the Father. And how is one to do the will of the Father, and thus to go to heaven? Then there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to, believe, and obey him.” Luke 9:35. The Father speaks to us through Jesus, whom He has designated to be our Lord. "Listen to and obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you will be my people; and walk completely in the ways that I command you, so that it may be well with you." Jer 7:23. Jesus did nothing in his will, only by the Father's will; this is what it means when you pray: thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. We have to learn and be changed to be able to only do the Father's will on earth, the same as the Father's will is done in heaven by the angels. Jesus only spoke, judged, and did as He was prompted and ordered by God. In order to go to heaven, we also must be able to only speak what we hear Him order us to say and only do what we are prompted to do by God — to do nothing of ourselves — to only say what we hear the father tell us to say — to only do what the Father shows us to do — to only judge how we are told to judge by the Father. So, we are not to think for ourselves — we are to only follow the promptings of the Father, which requires us to have our carnal mind destroyed and replaced with the mind of Christ; then we are able to speak and act from the promptings of the Spirit of God; this is the end of obedience — to think, speak, and act according to God's promptings. The Father's will is for you to only think the thoughts He provides, only speak the words He tells you to speak, and do only what He commands.
With hope in the promise of the gospel, with sincere regret for our past sins, we go to God to receive his heart and soul purifying grace, by the inward cross of self-denial, to be delivered from sin, and then to have Jesus raised in us to be our ruling Lord of thoughts, words, and deeds — sin free, doing the will of the Father. The cross crucifies your will and your carnal mind to be replaced with the mind of Christ.
John said it another way: Little children, let no man deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. 1 John 3:7. Jesus only spoke, judged, and did as He was prompted and ordered by God. Jesus only spoke, judged, and did as He was prompted and ordered by God; to practice righteousness we also must be able to only speak what we hear Him order us to say and only do what we are ordered to do by God. The Father's will is for you to only think the thoughts that He provides, only speak the words He tells you to speak, and do only what He commands; that is practicing righteousness as He is righteous because the Father is ordering everything in your new life. This ability only comes after we have crucified our selfish spirit, as sin has been destroyed by the Spirit through bearing the inward cross of self-denial; then we are walking the same way He walked and in the world as He was with the mind of Christ, perfection, purity, holiness, and righteousness.
Doing the will of the Father, we become slaves to righteousness, slaves to perfection, slaves to perfect love, slaves to kindness, slaves to mercy, slaves to goodness, slaves to humility, slaves to faithfulness, slaves to holiness, slaves to peace, slaves to wisdom, slaves to glory, slaves to power, and slaves to virtue; as servants whose words and deeds are always perfect, virtuous, loving, merciful, wise, pure, holy, and truthful. As slaves to perfection and righteousness, we have boundless enthusiasm, unspeakable joy, peace beyond understanding, everlasting confidence, and pleasures at His right hand forevermore — to this we are called. (Is there any other comparable goal for your life?) Therefore having these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Cor 7:1. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold firm the beginning of our confidence to the end. Heb 3:14.
Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you? Luke 6:46. For Jesus to be your Lord, you have to obey him. A Lord or Master tells his servant what to do; a servant listens to his Lord and Master and then obeys him. From the Word of the Lord within: " The King is where he is king." We call Him Lord while failing to even seek to hear His words to direct us; instead we tell Him everything we want Him to do for us, we talk about Him, we sing about Him, and we read about Him in a book, thinking that is how to please Him. As Jesus said: You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and they are those that testify of me. But you will not come to me, so that you might have life. John 5:37-40. To come to Him is to think on his name as you patiently and persistently sit in humble silence, waiting on Him as you listen, watch, hear, and obey. The words you hear Him speak to you are Spirit and impart the life of God to you as they are engrafted into your heart. John 6:63, James 1:21. When we wait on Him to hear Him and obey Him, we show our love for Him.
10 Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name cast out demons? And in your name done many wonderful works?' And then I will declare to them, I never knew you Depart from me, you workers of iniquity! Because they are still sinning when they die, Jesus will reject many people who think they are Christians and call him Lord; including even those who had prophesied, driven out demons, and performed many wonderful works in his name. They did not obey him: Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Luke 6:46. Truly, Truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. John 8:34. If we are a slave to sin, he can't be our Lord. We cannot serve two masters. Mat 6:24, Luke 16:13. Jesus said these so-called-Christians with great faith to perform miracles will be rejected because they were still sinning; they had not crucified the sinful nature on the cross, which is necessary to belong to Christ Jesus. Gal 5:24. Paul tells us about those who claim to know God, but deny him by their sinful lives: They profess that they know God; but they deny him by what they do, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work, Tit 1:16; (good works are those that God directs a pure man to perform). You can call him Lord, you can call him Master, but so did Judas, even kissing Him. It is not what you say that makes Jesus your Lord or Master, but your deeds — your obedience to his teachings and commands. By your deeds you either acknowledge him or deny him as your Lord and Master. If you sin, you effectively deny him as your Lord and Master. A Lord or Master rules His servant, and Jesus does not rule over commission of sin. Until you are free of sin, He is not your Lord or Master. You are the slaves of him whom you obey; whether of sin that leads to death, or of obedience that leads to righteousness. Rom 6:16.
Their works were wonderful only in their opinion, not in the Lord's. Why not? Because they were not works the Lord ordered them to do; they were not according to the Father's will; their works were initiated by their own will, which are dead works. And what they did was not "in the name of Jesus;" to do anything "in the name of Jesus" means you are in union with Him, totally freed from sin, translated into the kingdom, and sitting with Him in heaven. From the Word of the Lord within: "He who is in my name is part of my body."
The Lord is warning those who think they are Christians and still sin: 1) he doesn't know you, and 2) he will cast you into outer darkness, banned from heaven at judgment. The Lord only knows those who hear his voice and follow him. John 10:27. To hear, you must dedicate yourself to silent listening to hear his voice, and then you must obey. If you listen and obey the word of God in your heart, your soul is purified by obedience to the truth, 1 Peter 1:22; and your heart is purified by faith that obeys. Acts 15:9. Jesus said: "There is only one thing needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her — to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his word." Luke 10:39-42. Surely he loves the people; all your holy ones are in your power. And they sit at your feet, each receiving your words. Deu 33:3. Christendom tells their members they can remain in sin and enter heaven when they die, but this is a lie and shows Christendom is Babylon; come out of her my people.
The Lord never knew them because they had not been listening to his voice and not following his commands, and so were not part of the truth: Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice. John 18:37. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27 If you don't hear his voice and follow him, he doesn't know you. And if he doesn't know you, he will shut the door, refusing to open it, saying "I tell you, I do not know you or where you come from" and at judgment he will say to you "depart from me you who work iniquity, for I have never known you." Mat 25:11-12, Luke 13:24-27, Mat 7:21-23.
John says: by this we know that we know him: if we keep [obey] his commands. The only way you can keep his commands is to listen to his voice, hear, and obey — until the sinful nature within you has been crucified. For you cannot love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, until you have been given a new heart and mind by the love of God, received from Him over time, as you abide in his Word and Light, with obedience.
There are many "Christian" healing ministries with great show, great pomp, great words of vanity, and loud and raucous services; but you will know them by the fruits they obviously lack: self-control, peace, gentleness, humility, etc. Never accept any demonstration of power as necessarily coming from God. Remember Jannes and Jambres, the Egyptian Magicians, who cast down their rods that turned into serpents, and who turned the waters of Egypt to blood. The miracle workers of Christendom, who preach the false gospel of instant grace as a license for excusing continuation of sin, or preach the gospel of prosperity, derive their power from Satan. However, the power of Satan is not limited to false Christian ministers; it is also frequently demonstrated in other religions.
And in Revelation, we are told the spirits of demons would be working miracles. Rev 16:14; and the demons work miracles through men who put on a great show of being religious.
Smith Wigglesworth of several years ago, (still highly praised by the Pentecostals), had a faith healing ministry where he slugged people in the stomach to heal them, saying he was slugging the devil in them, not them; one man he slugged so hard that he died, but of course the minister then raised him from the dead; you will know them by their fruits, and violence is not a fruit of the spirit, but gentleness is. A current televangelist, who is widely acclaimed and praised by the leadership of the Pentecostal movement, heals by slugging people, kicking people, and slamming people on the forehead, as he staggers around like a drunk shouting his message.
William Branham was a preacher who performed great miracles, died in a car crash in 1967, still has many dedicated followers today, and has been greatly lauded by Pentecostal and Charismatic leaders like Kenneth Hagin, Oral Roberts, and Benny Hinn — all because of his ability to perform miracles. Branham had many prophecies, received from angels, including that the United States would be destroyed and Jesus would return in 1977. Branham was misogynistic, teaching a very negative message about women in general, while claiming that Eve had sex with the Serpent in the Garden of Eden, which resulted in the birth of Cain and that Cain’s descendents are reprobates, the scientists, and educated people of today. His doctrine is totally false for:
Yet, because Branham had so many miracle healings across the world, some of followers visit his grave every Easter, expecting him to be resurrected.
Although Babylon's false prophets are very difficult to discern, the elect are not deceived because their love of the truth overrides their being impressed with demonstration of power accompanied by lies.
There is a web page, How to Identify a Blind Guide or False Prophet, devoted to the doctrines of false prophets/blind guide preachers vs. true prophets/ministers to help you distinguish a true preacher/teacher from a false preacher/teacher.
11 Jesus concludes the greatest sermon ever preached with a critical warning! Do not disregard his teachings! You must obey them all to be saved. If you fail to obey, great will be your ruin and destruction. Only those who do the will of the Father enter the Kingdom of heaven. Mat 7:21. Jesus said he only did as he was commanded, not his will; Jesus only did the will of the Father. The will of the Father is obedience to his commands. You must wait, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey to ever be able to do the will of the Father instead of your own will.
To confess (say) Jesus is Lord is not enough. Jesus said he would reject many who claim to be saved Christians; many who called him Lord, who had prophesied, and even performed miracles in his name. So here are people who call Jesus Lord and do miracles in his name. They claim he is their Lord and think they are in Christ. But he told them he never knew them because they had never come to him to learn and be changed by him directly; instead they read the Bible, and listened to their blind-guide preacher. Yet he warns us: You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to me that you may have life. John 5:39-40. See Jesus Wants to Teach You Himself for more on this failing. Confess means to acknowledge that Jesus is in control of your mind, mouth, and actions; you confess him as your Lord in thought, word, and deed. In many verses below Paul shows that believing Jesus to be Lord or God is not salvation, writing to churches of believers:
And Peter echoes the same message that salvation is not just believing or faith, rather salvation is the end of faith's obedient journey and requires growth :
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