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Break Up the Fallow Ground (4th in Sowing Series)

July 10, 2010

Jer: 1:1-6: If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove. 2: And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory. 3: For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. 4: Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings. 5: Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities. 6: Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction.

I believe the largest mistake that the church is making is how they are handling the call to salvation. In fact today, it appears that most of those who evangelized are trying to make God’s plan even simpler–telling the hearer that all they have to do is believe that Jesus is the Savior and confess it with their mouth.

Some will say: Well isn’t that what Rom: 10: 9-10 says? No, not exactly. It says if you confess Jesus as Lord and believe God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  The key word there is Lord. If you do Romans 10:9-10–that is: confess His Lordship in your life and walk it out, you will be saved. But too many are just agreeing with their mouth that Jesus is the Savior and are therefore hoping to go to heaven without having repented of their ways and turned to His.

As I was saying, if the call were handled correctly, I think at least three fourth of the church’s problems would be solved. Let me show you what I mean.

Though this should have been the first article in my sowing and reaping series, since it deals with preparing the ground, the inspiration came now, so it will have to be the fourth in the series.

In the above passage of scripture God calls the people to repent. He wants them to assemble and humbly repent and confess Him as Lord. He has Jeremiah refer to this as breaking up the fallow ground. That is what is not being done in the modern call to salvation.

Before the call to salvation is made, the hearers should be thoroughly convinced of their own inability to save themselves, and of their own inability to walk in agape love without God’s indwelling, and with their own inability to handle their own affairs the way God calls them to successfully, and they should be convinced that Jesus is the only way to God and the only way to eternal life.

This is breaking up the fallow ground. Now that the hearer is convinced that they can only have eternal life and live successfully by receiving Jesus as their Lord and savior, they are probably ready even eager to receive Jesus, but they still need to see just how destructive selfishness and rebellion are. This is done by reading scriptures that show agape love in practice.

All of God’s commandments and mandates are agape love in practice, but the hearer must understand that the carnal nature or self serving nature is at enmity with God and will not and can not please Him i/e they cannot walk in agape love without a complete makeover.

Next the hearers must be shown God’s remedy for all of this. This is found in Romans 6-8. God arranged for the carnal nature to be crucified with Christ and then He made it possible for the receiver to be resurrected with new life—a life in Christ and Christ in them.

Then they should be called up front to be led in a sinner’s prayer—make it severe and thorough. There is a great advantage to a person to being broken-hearted over their sin. (Jas: 4:8-10: Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.9: Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10: Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.)

They should be made to understand their upcoming baptism. The evangelist needs to explain that when they are immersed they are acting out their crucifixion and when they come up out of the water, they will be testifying to their resurrection from the dead into new life in Christ.

They should be made to understand the covenant that they are entering. They are covenanting to receive God as their Father and God, promising to trust and obey Him. This is not something that was meant to take a lifetime to learn. At the time of salvation, a person is to repent of disobedience and rebellion and receive God’s authority in their life. God is covenanting to be the person’s Father in every sense of the word. He will take care of them, shelter them, teach them, provide for them, help them, heal them, and feed and clothe them.

Think about what kind of congregation a church would have if this was how the call was handled. This is the true way.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

Choose Life

March 25, 2010

 

 

 

 

Deut: 30:19-20: See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

Gal: 3:13-14: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

(From that passage one would assume that when we choose Jesus, we choose life and are therefore free of curses, yet we hear good preachers telling us we can bring curses upon ourselves by foolish practices.

Both thoughts are true and here is the explanation: When one chooses Jesus, they are choosing life and are immediately born again of the eternal life Spirit. Then, being spiritually alive, they are free to make righteous choices. All they have to do is seek to please God and walk by the spirit, no longer seeking to please the lower nature. (Rom. 8:1-15) That’s how you get and stay free from the curse of the law–abide in Christ.)

Jn: 15:5-10: teaches us about abiding. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

(So you see that we must deliberately determine to abide in the vine. Why? Because there is a thief who is always going about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1Pet: 5:6-9

Once you’ve chosen Jesus, you must choose daily to walk by the spirit and not by the carnal nature. You choose whether you will put on the full armor of God. You choose whether you will abide in the vine, firmly united. You choose whether you will take up your cross and follow Jesus. You choose whether you will serve God or your own appetites.

When God gave you the free gift of righteousness, he did not take away the power to choose death; he gave you the power to choose life. If you abide in Jesus, you are free from all curses–but if you choose to live carnally, you are not, taking advantage of your gift from God and you forfeit the blessings and live under the curses, because they are the inevitable result of making wrong choices.)

© Sylvia Huffnagle

Be Ye Transformed

March 25, 2010

 

 

 

 

Rom: 12:1-2: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

(How can one be transformed? By the renewing of your mind. This is very important. So many confessing Christians are not renewing their mind with the written Word of God which is to be quickened unto them by the Holy Spirit. (1Jn: 2:27-29) By neglecting this duty these confessing Christians are rocking the boat. They are the cause of disunity in the body and they are the cause of ineffectiveness of the body. I will show you what I mean.

The next five verses of Paul’s exhortation reveal definite attitudes that come from a right spirit and renewed mind that are a must for church unity.)

3-8: For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4: For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6: Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7: Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8: Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

(Notice what Paul says here–there is more to Christ’s body than hands and feet.

These next verses tell the body of Christ how to love one another.)

9-16: Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

10: Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

11: Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12: Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13: Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14: Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15: Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16: Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

17-21: Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18: If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19: Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20: Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21: Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

(To have unity and love for one another we must be of the same mind–a renewed mind that is trained to take up the cross daily and follow Him.)

© Sylvia Huffnagle

True Repentance

March 18, 2010

Acts: 2:38-39: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Amp. V. says: Repent–change your views, and purposes to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it.)

This article is to show what true repentance is and what it will do.

 Hos: 7:1-2: When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and the wickedness of Samaria: for they commit falsehood; and the thief cometh in, and the troop of robbers spoileth without. 2: And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now their own doings have beset them about; they are before my face.

(Notice that God intended to and would have healed them, but sin interfered.)

 Matt: 9:2: And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

 Mk: 4:12: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. (When one has truly repented, it fixes this problem.)

(God wants people to know that He sees and takes into account their transgressions. Why? So that they can feel guilty and have torment? No. So that they will have an added incentive to follow the instruction book and put on the full armor of God.

Some will say: We were taught that God doesn’t remember our sins, past, present, or future. That is true for one group only–those who truly repented of sin and truly received Jesus Christ.)

1Tim: 5:24: Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.

Heb: 10:26: For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

1Jn: 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Rev: 2:5: Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Dan: 9:5-13: We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: 6: Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 7: O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. 8: O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. 9: To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; 10: Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11: Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.  12: And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. 13: As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.

(Notice Vs 13, in order to understand God’s truth one must turn from sinful ways. True repentance prepares the way for the Lord. A right heart can receive truth.)

Repentance has been misunderstood. It has been preached and taught as if all that need be repented of is what humans call bad sins. But let’s look at what the Bible says:

 Isa: 55:8-9: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Matt: 3:1-12: In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

 1Kings: 3:14: And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.

 1Kings: 11:33: Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father.

 1Kings: 11:38: And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.

Ps: 81:13: Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!

This is what God wants:

Ps: 95:10: Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

Prov: 8:32: Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

Prov: 23:26: My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

Isa: 58:2: Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

Mal: 2:9: Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.

Matt: 7:14: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Matt: 21:32: For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: . . .

Matt: 22:16: And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.

Lk: 1:79: To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Lk: 3:5: Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;

Jn 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Acts 16:17: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.

Acts: 2:28: Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

Acts: 14:15-17: And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.

Acts: 18:25: This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

Acts: 26:20: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

Rom: 3:12: They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Heb 3:10: Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

2Pet: 2:15:  Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

2Pet: 2:21: For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

Rev: 15:3: And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

So God wants people to repent of doing things their way and to turn to Him and learn His ways. The things that Jesus taught are God’s Ways. If the people had this understanding the church would enjoy a far different outcome.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

Saved By Grace

March 2, 2010

The church learned, some time back, that we are saved by grace and not by works. This understanding has made a tremendous impact on today’s church. But there is more to it than that–there are conditions that go with grace and for good reason.

(Jude: 1:4: For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.)

In order to be reconciled to God a person must repent of their ways and turn to God’s ways, because Adam and Eve chose to do their own thing. Their choice was the initial big mistake that started all the suffering in the earth. Their choice separated mankind from the Father God. (Ps: 81:13, 95:10, Prov: 8:32, 23:26, Isa: 58:2, Mal: 2:9, Matt: 7:14, 21:32, 22:16, Acts: 14:15-17, 18:25)

Jesus came to fix what Adam and Eve ruined. Therefore He chose to obey God the Father. Jesus’ choices made a way for us to be reconciled to the Father God. Our choices either reconcile us to Father God or alienate us from Him.

If you receive Jesus into your heart, His blood will wash away your sins, past, present, and future. Grace is for those who want to be reconciled to Father God not to those who merely wish to escape hell after they have lived here by their own rules.

It is written: 1Jn: 5:11: that God gave us eternal life and this life is in His Son and Col: 1:27 says that Jesus in us is our hope of glory.

Rom: 8:1-14: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3: For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5: For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6: For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7: Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8: So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9: But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10: And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11: But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12: Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13: For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

It goes like this:

GRACE: unmerited love and favor with God was bought for the believer by Jesus Christ.

Eph: 2:8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

His shed BLOOD washes away the believer’s sin.

Heb: 9:14: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Heb: 9:22: And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

FAITH in the finished work will give us the victory. Read all of Heb. 11.

Gal: 2:16: Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Eph: 2:8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

Col: 1:21-23: And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22: In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

It is the WORD put to work in our lives that will save our soul.

Jas: 1:21-22: Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22: But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23: For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

To be ADOPTED back as a child of God a person must repent, that is turn from doing things their way and turn to doing things God’s way and they must choose Jesus as their Lord. You can choose the Adam way or the Jesus way. The Adam way leads to death. The Jesus way is eternal life.

2Cor: 5:19: To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Eph: 1:5: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

How it works:

Hear, Believe, Repent, Receive, Learn, Apply, Overcome

The objective of this article is to declare that you must have Jesus in your heart to be saved from hell and go to heaven. Your works or deeds will show whether you have Him in your heart or not.

Rom: 2:6-8: Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

© Sylvia Huffnagle
 
 

 


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