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The Gardener’s help and discerning the “present time”

 Jesus said to the people, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘a shower is coming.’ And so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens Luke 12:54. While it looked like He was commending their power to forecast rightly, He hit them hard unreservedly—without respect for political correctness in verse 55 “You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”

For Jesus, the important thing that generation should have discerned was the “present time”,  season or situation they were in. We in this present generation also need to learn a lesson in this matter of discerning the “present time” and not be deceived into inventing liturgies to suit man’s ever evolving and unstable culture. What exactly did Jesus mean by the phrase “present time” in verse 54 of Luke 12?

The parable of the “fig tree planted in a man’s vineyard” as told by Jesus in Luke 13:6 can help us understand His usage of the phrase “present time”. In this parable, it is said, that the “man came or visited” (which is an indication of present time) later described clearly in the passage as a “three years” visiting time verse 7 and, a “one year” that will culminate to a pleasant or wrathful visitation verse 8 Luke 13:7-8.

The purpose of the vineyard owner’s visitations for three years (present time) was clearly defined. It was to reap fruit from the fig tree verse 7. Hence, what was and still is paramount is the fig tree knowing or discerning its state and cooperating with the Gardener (Holy Spirit). Rightly forecasting “climate change” is of least importance.

In the Gardener’s reply to Christ, a “one year” period was solicited and scheduled verse 8. This one year “present time” is a time of mercy and grace for the fig tree to engage in repenting and cooperating with the Gardener to please the “owner of the vineyard” by bearing fruit. The privilege of admission into the vineyard must be justified.

Now, the question is this: What will our 21st century generation do with this “present time”? What will you and I do with it? What are the youths being taught to do with this “present time”.

The Gardener’s responsibility is to dig and manure the vineyard and not to force the fig tree in the vineyard to yield fruit. Therefore, He reaffirms to the “vineyard owner” to keep up His responsibility relentlessly verse 8.  Nevertheless, the Gardener concludes His speech by saying, “… if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down” verse 9. The lack of presumptuousness on the side of the Gardener is striking! Gentle and unassuming is characteristic of the Gardener. The fig tree of the vineyard can’t be passive as modern “Christian revelatory teachers are selling”.

Paul, like the rest of the apostles, recognized the all important work of the Gardener and the response needed. It inspired His admonition to the saints thus, ‘Do not grieve the Spirit but rather cooperate with Him’ Ephesians 4:30. The redemption of saints is nearer than ever before and it is tied to the work of the Gardener.  Therefore, any predicting of the future, and analysis of present world events that does not culminate to this one thing—that is, cooperating with the Holy Spirit “in this one year season” is merely being religious, a waste of time and energy or life.

Hence, in Ephesians 5: 15-16, saints are both exhorted and admonished thus; “… be careful to live your life wisely, not foolishly. Take advantage of every opportunity because these are evil times”.

On the one hand, it is evil times because the “vineyard owner” is ready to cut down the fig tree if it does not bear fruit and on the other hand, Satan is at his best with deception to discourage the fig tree from cooperating with the vineyard Dresser or Gardener. As a fig tree, check out what comes out from you when you fail to submit to God (cooperate with the Gardener) and restrain or resist the evil one. The Church restrains evil and the evil one victoriously only through the Gardener’s work in and through her Zechariah 4:6. This re-emphasizes the indispensable place of the Gardener in the vineyard.

Therefore, the heavens, world events, earth and the sky that man is so good in predicting are joined together in pleading with those without Christ in this age and to the saints: Yield to the Gardener—that is, choose life and if you have already done so, then, live the abundant life in this age at this “present time” John 10:10. But to disobey Him persistently is choosing death and the wrath of God. What is God’s advice to us in all of this?

His advice is this: Now, (signifying chance for a fresh start)  “… choose life—so that you and your descendants will live— by loving the Lord your God, by obeying his voice, and by clinging to him. That’s how you will survive and live long on the fertile land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors: to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Verse 19-20 of Deuteronomy Chapter 30 (CEB).

This fertile land has a character of flowing with milk and honey! And it has a mystery too—which is this: Its maker and builder is the Architect of the universe, Christ Jesus Himself. The one to who all spirits in heaven, on earth and beneath the earth are subject to. And to whom all glories belong, the Head of the Church of the Living God, Father of all creation. He is speaking about this “present time”. Let all who have ears listen—listen to what the Spirit is saying. Within the period of the “one year” of Christ’s visitation, it can happen that we leave this world into His pleasant or wrathful presence. Therefore, man ought not to boast of tomorrow. Today is the best to bear fruit unto God.

This “present time” is a “one year” (not literal one year) of friendship with the Gardener who leads us into all the mind of Christ and participation in Christ’s suffering—in the face of multi-dimensional battles. It is a great call to perseverance and humbleness. It is a time of friendship with the One who leads us to fruitfulness and resounding victory.


The Day of the Lord


Rich Exhortation and Admonition from George H. Warnock

It certainly appears to me that we are close to the Day of the Lord. – A ‘Day’ that is described in scripture as a time of gross darkness in the world about us…yet holds forth the promise of a glorious Light that will shine upon His people.The prophets spoke much of this “Great” yet “Terrible” Day – when great darkness shall engulf the earth, while His people walk in the Light of the Lord Jesus. God wants us to “walk in the Light” now lest we presumptuously think all is well because we have good doctrine, and attend a good church.

We must have true faith, lest in our presumption we find that Day to be one of darkness… and we “stumble on the dark mountains”, and look for the light that is not there. No matter how dark the night may be surrounding us, “the children of the Light” will walk in the Light of God. When gross darkness covered the whole land of Egypt…there was “Light” in the homes of the people of God.

As God’s wrath is poured out on a world of iniquity, God has made every provision for the children of Light – and that provision is nothing less than the “whole Armor of God”. (Eph. 6), described in Romans as “the Armor of Light” (Rom.13:12).

The climatic battle of the ages is closing in upon us, and God will have a Gideon army whose only weapons were – a trumpet and a pitcher…with a lamp inside the pitcher. Right now they seem to be doing nothing for God–as they sit in the darkness on the hillside. But in that Day they will break their pitchers and hold their lamps high; and with trumpet blast (a sure, clear voice from God) they will declare their victory- with no other weapons than the Armor of God.

Gideon’s army shouted aloud, “The Sword of the Lord and of Gideon…!” — and panic and fear griped the hearts of the enemy until they fled in terror. There were many volunteers in Gideon’s army at first…32,000 of them… But God sent most of them home, choosing to use only 300, whom He knew would give Him all the glory.

I emphasize these things because it seems to me that God’s people for the most part do not care to become involved with God’s battle plan…but choosing to be mobilized by some outstanding church leader rather than knowing the voice of the Lord God for themselves. Some do not even want to be around on the Day of the Lord…because they read of the terror of that Day…and fail to see the Light that will engulf the darkness.

They talk about God ‘sparing’ them from His wrath – yet fail to understand that God “spares” His people, by clothing them with “the whole Armor of God”.

We have ample teaching from the Lord Jesus and His apostles, admonishing us concerning that Day. Be alert! Be awake! “Let us not sleep”…said the apostle, but “Let us watch and be sober”… Put on the whole Armor! This is God’s provision for us in that Day: “The breastplate of faith and love.” …”and for an helmet the hope of salvation, for God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (See 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8)

Many just brush aside this teaching of the Day of the Lord, or view it as something too controversial to meddle with. Then there are many who remember the stories they heard from their parents or grandparents of how they anticipated the ‘end-times’…60 -70 or 80 years ago. “But we’re still here!” they say. True enough, but we are 60 – 70 – 80 years closer to it now that we were then.

Let’s consider a possible scenario in the days of Noah. Here’s a group of people taunting Noah for his folly. “Noah, you have been talking about God’s judgments for 119 years. When are you going to forget that wild dream you had?” But the next year it happened!

We are farther along in God’s program that we were 80 years ago… and as Jesus predicted because of this lapse of time, there is now a generation in the “church” …that has become careless, indifferent, insensitive to the times…and are saying (not verbally but with their actions), “My Lord delayed His coming”.

The apostle Peter said ‘scoffers’ would arise in the last days, saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since our fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation” (2 Pet. 3:4) Some of us recall that kind of scoffing, many decades ago. But we are farther along now than the time Peter spoke about.

I recall an engineer who worked in a place where I once worked, who would use the expression, “He’s slower than the second coming!” (referring to a slothful man on the job). We know all about the scoffers! Yet none of them are saying, “All things continue as they were…” We have moved beyond the point Peter referred to — in just the last two or three decades.

Nobody is saying it now! Scientists are not saying it. Environmentalists are not saying it. Educators are not saying it. Politicians are not saying it. The “Press” is not saying it. Even ordinary scoffers are not saying it! There are frequent references in the news about “Armageddon” …as one catastrophe follows another. Planet earth has become a worrisome topic by men in high places.

A year ago I heard a panel of eminent scientists declare that the ocean would be ‘fished out’ within 10 years if the nations don’t get together and make enforceable conservation laws to save our fish…endangered as they are by pollution, as well as by high tech ocean farming.

Our beautiful pine forest in British Columbia could be wiped out, if we cannot control the beetle! Men of science and knowledge fear that Planet Earth’s oxygen supply is in serious danger of being depleted. Peter spoke about end time scoffers who say, “All things continue as they were since the beginning.” We are far beyond that time now.

Still many of God’s people, who have lost the vision of His Appearing continue to think like the crazy world in which we live – “There’s nothing we can do about it; so let’s live it up!”

I say it’s time we think about God’s holy Armor!…time to polish it up and put it on!

This holy Armor of Light will be our victory in this awesome Night that is closing in upon us. Can we not hear Him knocking at the door? “Please let Me in…Please open the door and invite Me to come in. I want to sit at your table and eat with you, and you with Me.”

Yet, we are saying by our nonchalant actions.. “O, He can come in if He wants to…Surely He knows we love Him, and we are working hard to see the promotion of His Gospel in the earth.”

I am not a pessimist by any means…except when it concerns the purposes of men. Was it pessimism when word got around on the Titanic, that this unsinkable vessel had struck an iceberg and was sinking? Some thought so, and carried on with their music, dancing and games.

They simply believed the engineers were right: they were on a boat that was unsinkable. The captain himself turned a deaf ear to the news that icebergs were near at hand. He must have this wonderful legacy of steering the most beautiful, unsinkable Queen of the Seas to America in record time, before he retired.

When reality struck home the optimism vanished, the wild and happy music and laughter subsided—and the orchestra began to play; “Nearer my God to Thee”.

When will God’s people learn that Titanic earth has struck a ‘berg’ and is sinking?

Were Jeremiah, Isaiah and Joel pessimists because they saw the people of God doing their own thing, with no fear of God in their hearts, heedless of the One who had separated them unto Himself to be a Holy Nation? I know God will continue to reach out to His people. But it seems there are very few in our land or in the U.S., who are earnestly calling upon God, confessing their sin and making Him Lord of their lives.

Instead they think their outreaches and works will be accounted unto them as righteousness. The music says it all, “We are a happy, jovial, people praising the Lord.” Away with solemn songs bidding the Lord of Glory to come to His holy Temple; to cleanse us, purge us, and make us to be totally separated unto Him.

For the most part we hear these words, spoken or implied, : “We are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing.” How does the Lord of the Church respond to that? He looks upon us and says, “Thou art wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked” …and we simply will not accept that verdict.

He offers to us the true riches; Gold, tried in the fire…Eyesalve to anoint our eyes that we might see…White raiment to clothe ourselves with His own garments of holiness, purity and grace. We just go our way, choosing to clothe ourselves with the filthy garments of our good works, works of our own choosing.

In the midst of the dearth, we know our God is preparing a “willing People” for the Day of His Power. He is preparing a Joseph in a prison-house for the Day of Famine; a Moses in the wilderness of Midian, who will go forth with no weapon but a stick in his hand to deliver a whole nation of slaves; an Elijah people who will “stand before God” and hear words from His mouth, and effectively call a people to repentance ; a John the Baptist arising in the midst of a stream-lined and proud religious order, calling men to repentance, be they religious or profane.

And in the outcome of it all, God will have a “glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing”….A HOLY Bride that will cry out, in union with the Spirit of God, to the poor, wretched and needy of the earth: “Come! Come!. Whosoever will, let him take of the Water of Life freely”.

May the Lord help us all in these awesome times, to draw closer and closer to our Lord Jesus. For only in union with Him will we have unfailing supply of “oil” to keep our lamps burning in the midnight hour that is closing upon us.


In the Spirit on the Lord’s day

The book of Revelation in the Bible speaks of the past, present and future in one breath making it difficult to comprehend.wind6 Selah! While all the books of the bible are inspired by God, pains were taken to notify whoever reads Revelation that it was written inspirationally—that John, who was already a Christian (had the spirit of Christ), was caught up in the Spirit to be able to receive the words of this book Revelation 1:10. This is interesting!

How anyone not caught up in the spirit can understand the book of Revelation is unimaginable. The writer was a Christian as we are today. He was lifted up in the Spirit to write to as many as would be lifted up in the spirit (those who were Christians and those who will become Christians).

Before Christ’s resurrection and the out pouring of the Holy Spirit (Whom John was lifted up in on the Lord’s day), Jesus’ disciples did not know where they were coming from, where they were or where they were going as can be clearly seen in the canonical gospels. Though they were with Christ Jesus physically and heard the sound of His voice, they hardly ever understood what He was telling them. Jesus declared that Peter’s accurate confession of Him as the Son of God was because Peter was lifted up in the Spirit at that moment Matthew 16:17.

The book of Revelation as well as the rest of the 65 books of the Bible is truly an interesting gift from God. It carries three dimensional blessings.  A blessing for just reading it, blessing for listening to its prophesy and finally, another blessing for obeying what is written in it—that is, what Christ says Revelation 1:3 KJV. In reading Him, a measure of power and faith is imparted, in listening to Him another measure and in obeying Him, yet a fuller measure is imputed to the bride to finish the course.

He that obeys Him gets more grace to obey Him the more while the disobedient lose even that measure given James 1:22. He who buries the grace of God loses out completely while those who honor Him by using the grace given get imparted with more grace.

Obedience to what is written or what He says leads to an increasing knowledge of what He wants both doctrinally and in practice John 7:17. To this intent and purpose, He invites us to buy the wine and milk (oil) without money that above all other purposes our lives may be sweetened or our light may continually burn!

So the book of Revelation is saying, darkness and night has been increasing and will yet increase. Therefore it is encouraging this one purpose above all other purposes that we “let our light shine, let it burn”, drink the oil– it is without cost—it is paid for. Let nothing else occupy or consume our minds other than the oil. The key being, you, let the grace of God in you burn and give out the light. Don’t neglect to use the oil or use it unwisely which leads to burn-out which can be avoided Matthew 25:9. The five wise virgins knew they did not have inexhaustible oil. So in truthfulness and compassion, they kindly advised those that needed oil to go buy though it became too late for them Matt 25:10, Ecclesiastes 3:1.

The grace of God as oil is raining on the earth, whoever will stand under its rain by faith and be soaked will be saved. Now is the time—which is the message of the book of Revelation. The sin the world needs to repent of is their rejection of Christ Jesus, the grace and oil of God.

And for those engrafted into the commonwealth of Israel (born again), we need to repent of all iniquities by retaining the fire of our first love for Christ not just doing good deeds. Can we have the Spirit of Christ, good deeds and yet, shrink back from loving His Spirit? Yes!

According to the book of Revelation, despite the commendations from God about the good deeds of the Ephesians church Revelation 2: 2-3, 2: 6, they had backslidden from their first love for the Holy Spirit Revelation 2:4. This should not be confusing because all of their mentioned good deeds can be found with “some good people” who do not have the Spirit of Christ and the fire of love for the Spirit in their heart and soul. In other words, there are hardly any good deeds Christians can engage in—in this life that some natural good people don’t do. This is why the difference between the body of Christ on the earth and those outside His body is the possession of His Spirit and an unrelenting love for His Spirit. So, one can have the Spirit of Christ but begin to relent or withhold loving the Spirit. And God does not take it kindly Revelation 2:4-5.

Therefore, we are called upon to measure our oil and not presume. Presuming caused the foolish virgins irreparable loss Matthew 25:10. This calls for a humility that eradicates laziness—buy when the oil is low and patiently wait on God all the time. There is a sudden mercy and graces as it were that lifts us up in the Spirit as we practice obedience and waiting on the Lord on the Lord’s Day (everyday) —though we are in the spirit. Amen!

God is eager to help all of those who have the Spirit of His Son in every way spiritual and temporal. This is why, the past, present and future has always belonged to the sons of God.

If you are yet to receive the Spirit of Christ, know assuredly that you are the reason He was born, died and resurrected—receive Him today into your heart. Gain life in Him, in Him alone!

And “If”, we have the Spirit of Christ Jesus, let us walk with Him as He walks with us daily. For most assuredly, the past, present and future was and is designed for our salvation to the utmost.


Rejoice Always

Rejoice in the Lord

The Christian antidote against sleeping—that is, being spiritually idle and near death, is to watch and be sober at all times. How? It is by rejoicing always in the Lord.

How do we rejoice always in Him? It’s being spiritually minded Rom 8:6. How do we do that? It’s by thinking or looking to Jesus always Heb 12:2.

How can we look to Jesus Christ always?

It’s by meditating on His nature that is in us 2 Pet 1:3. This is the reason, He has given us great and precious promises so that, we might participate in His nature in us 2 Pet 1:5-7, Phil 4:8. The same joy that was set before Christ which helped Him endure all things and pleased His Father is the same joy set before us Rom 8:17.

Now, Christ is glorified and seated at God’s right hand and we, in Christ, are seated in glory–what an unstoppable joy! Joy flowing down from heaven and reaching back to heaven! A supernatural joy!

The Philippine Church was rich in love, prayer and eagerness for the advancement of the gospel. Their love for Jesus went beyond theory to them actually giving from their resources for the gospel of Christ their Saviour. But, it appeared they lacked discernment of the advantage of rejoicing always in the Lord. Their rejoicing was intermittent and as such, they flagged when they faced opposition from those that troubled them.

Therefore, Paul exhorted them thus; “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice”. Phil 4:4.

Of what advantage was “rejoice (or be glad) in the Lord always” to them, in the face of their troubles and for us today? The answer is vital for the Church upon whom the end of time have come. The knowledge that the things which happened to Israel (the people of God of old), are the same things the Church (new creations in Christ) are facing today is crucial.

We have to walk a path (His way) we have not known before just like the Israelites of old.

Many times, they were overwhelmed, deviated from the One leading them in the journey and neglected good friendship with the compass (Torah) given to them by God. This made them carnal minded people rather than God minded people. For these reasons, they had seasonal joy.

Because they didn’t persist in the joy of their God, they were immensely weakened and their lives were threatened individually and corporately. No strength was left in them to face their enemy who instigated other nations against them.

Given the individual and corporate loss of joy and the attacks on them, they could hardly remember one another’s needs (physical and spiritual well being) since each one focused on his or her survival. With their joy gone, physicalism took them over.

But, God in His love for them as always, brought His word through Nehemiah, Ezra the priest and scribe and the Levites—“The joy of the Lord is your strength” Neh 8:10. His word delivered their minds from the bondage of physicalism. As a compass, His word encouraged them to walk the path to their destination (destiny) which far exceeded matter. This flooded them again with light.

Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians, “rejoice in the Lord always” is doubtless, birthed by his experience and knowledge from the Old Testament that, joy or rejoicing in God gives strength to His people. Rejoicing always, always infuses God’s kind of strength to His people. The Philippine Church needed it and, the end time Church needs it even more.

Meditate on this: the joy of the Lord is our strength individually and corporately. While many of us who are in Christ and in different gatherings of His people know that prayer is a source of strength, few are aware of the enormous strength joy generates in us.

Paul, speaking to the Philippine saints said, “Always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy” Phil 1:4. Earlier, he had exhorted them to “rejoice always in the Lord” and as if to emphasize its importance, he repeated it in the same sentence, “again I will say rejoice”.

To rejoice, we must hold Christ dear in our hearts with all He has done for us.

And of a necessity, we need to grow in grace and obedience to Him while relentlessly wrestling against sin which attempts to make mockery of Christ’s work in us. We should not be like the hypocrites who battle outward sins in others but neglect the sins in their own hearts.

How do we wrestle against sin and glorify Christ in our own hearts? By casting down sinful thoughts that come through the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. When we fail to cast-down wrong thoughts, they make us submit to them, enslave us and act as our master rather than Christ our new Master 2 Cor 10:5 KJV, Rom 12:2.

What happens when we fail to arrest sinful thoughts—give in to sin and are enslaved? Well, that brings us back to rejoice in the Lord which leads to repentance.

Even in a bad spiritual state, still rejoice in Him—in His ever abiding presence to deliver and save from the miry clay and to set you and I on Him, the Rock of Holiness, righteousness and salvation!

Remember, the instruction is for us to rejoice always! It is in the failing to rejoice and yielding to guilt, shame, hypocrisy, denial and covering of sin that we completely lose strength. This could lead us to give in to living in sin— an abomination that causes desolation in our lives and our gatherings.

Nothing that stands in opposition to God and us His people, can defeat us if we will only rejoice in Him as He is rejoicing over us Isa 62:5.

We are more than conquers through Christ Jesus—the Lord who lives in us Phil 4:13. Therefore, rejoice then in Him and again I will say, rejoice always! For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

In conclusion, be reminded you are to rejoice in the Lord always as an individual.

This is the patterned order—find your rejoicing in the Lord not in Christian communities. Then, take your joy in Him and join with others who’re rejoicing in Him. The result will be fellowship with God, His Christ and one another in the power of the Holy Spirit 1 John 1:3. This is real Church—the bride of Christ Jesus.

May His grace and peace lead you to abound in joy in the Holy Spirit. Amen


Baptism: Into Christ and in Water

Salvation or regeneration is predicated on one thing and one thing alone—that is, believe in Jesus Christ. This means a person in an aircraft that is about to crash can repent or turn the heart to believe in Jesus for his or her soul to be saved and God will hear their heart’s prayer and save the soul from eternal condemnation and punishment in hell, though they may die in the crash.

The fact the person is not baptized in water will not nullify the person’s regeneration (baptism into Christ Gal 3:27, Eph 4:5, 1 Pet 3:18-22). However, it does not cancel the truth that baptism in water is a commandment from God. The truth that this command is not a prerequisite for salvation does not diminish its importance. Jesus obeyed it Matt 3:13-16 and so must every believer whom God gives the opportunity (to remain on the earth after being regenerated).

The thought here is this, baptism in water is an important outward symbolism of the unseen death and resurrection (regeneration) of a believer. What it symbolizes or represents detail how it should be done (by immersion). Given it is a command from God and its importance, refusing to obey it will pass as lawlessness (or sheer disobedience). Being adamant to obey this God’s command could possibly be pointing to an absence of regeneration (the replacing of the heart of stone with the heart of flesh) and a conscience sprinkled by the Blood of redemption (Christ).

One of the responsibilities given to the body of Christ by Christ is, “baptizing them (those that come to believe the gospel) in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit” (signifying the three that wroth the work of salvation in the person) Matt 28:19. However, because salvation is given in the name of Jesus Christ alone Acts 4:12, if baptism is done in His name alone is done in the stead of the trinity. So, there is no difference Acts 2:38. The Father is perfectly pleased in the Son and the Holy Spirit perfectly works in accord with the Son even resurrecting Him to be the author and finisher of salvation.

The only basis for baptizing a believer is upon their own confession or profession of faith. Subtle or overt investigation is not required. In Acts 10:24 and 44, Cornelius gathered his kinsmen and friends who were not necessarily believers but when they believed, they were immediately baptized in the Holy Spirit in one stretch. Then, Peter, knowing that some of the brothers who came with him where yet to grow up and out from institutional mentality said this, “Can anyone object to their being baptized now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” Acts 10:45 and 47.

Religious institutions have long been a stumbling block to the simple but profound ways of God. Unfortunately, the same problem is still with us today. Based on human experience of people who pretend to believe while they don’t, investigation (queries of a proof of salvation have) long been instituted in church organizations. Well, given that organizational ethos or dogmas maintain human pride, help push our objective to make Christianity attractive and bring in people into our enclaves; repentance “to God’s ancient ways” may come hard. God help us!

The all wise, loving and faithful Creator of the world and mankind has predicated salvation on what is at the reach of all—which is, faith and the grace of the sacrifice of Christ Jesus. Faith, which all mankind have enables us to believe though many pitiably put theirs elsewhere.

In Romans 10:10KJV, we are told, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Rom 4:3KJV makes the same announcement, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Then, Mark 16:16KJV says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

We note that believing is done not with the mouth but the heart and it gives righteousness or  imputed righteousness (Christ’s life- salvation) and the mouth is used to declare it. Also, in verse 16 of Mark 16, “but” is introduced to indicate that baptism is consequential rather than a basis for salvation.

Therefore, believing in Christ Jesus is entirely sufficient for the saving of the soul to the utmost. The scriptures repeatedly and vehemently warn believers to continue to believe or abide in Christ. All good deeds must proceed from the imputed deed of Christ within the believer else, it’s a filthy rag. So then, baptism in water must be an act of faith based on the circumcision of the heart Rom 2:29KJV. Hebrews 11:6 says “And it is impossible to please God without faith”… Romans 14:23NLT affirms it by saying, “…For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin”.

In conclusion, looking at James 2: 14-19, we know that faith here speaks of having Christ—our imputed righteous. Who Himself, authenticates His presence both to God and man with evidence of His fruit. In other words, He continues to do with any temple (body) He lives in, the same things He did while He was physically on the earth. He is the gift or the fleshy heart which believing has given His people.

Those with fleshy heart (believers) possess the most expensive gift on earth and in the heavens apportioned to humans. Therefore, they love to submit to God. It is their default spiritual disposition though they may occasionally stumble Rev 2:5. But, because it is not their new heart’s nature to rebel against God; they fall back quickly to His propitiation as the Spirit corrects, disciplines, revives and restores graciously 1 John 2:1, 1:9, Heb 12:7-8.

We gladly proclaim as in Rom 6:4, and Col 2:12, “we’re dead, buried and risen with Him” praise God. Let us also gladly show it in joyful obedience through being baptized in water to the praise and glory of His Holy Name! Amen.