Continuing Faith

 

Have you noticed with the use of computer software like Windows, how often after you make an initial decision by way of a click with the mouse, that a little window comes up which says to verify, or do you wish to “continue”?  So, it is with “continuing faith” that goes beyond an initial faith and a tradition of faith, to a continuing of the present and the future.  The bottom line of so much of the Bible, which might also be saved is part of the 50% of the Bible often ignored or overlooked, is the half that continuing salvation requires continuing belief.  Effectively what God through the Holy Spirit–convicting of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment–does in the life of every “called” Christian {and “many are called but few are chosen”}, is to each year over a period of forty years or so, say to the believer, “Do you wish to continue in faith?; or “Do you wish to continue to believe”.

There is nothing new from Bible Reports, although it may sound new to you as the half of the Bible on the Security of the Believer have dominated your life and faith, while the half of the Bible that your salvation is not complete with a continuity of faith has been neglected.  You see both are true:  both the Security of the Believer and “departing from the living God”, to borrow a few words from the Bible in Hebrews 3:12, are true doctrines of the Bible; and they are completely compatible, if we give them a chance to talk to us.  What is being said here, that we have been heeding and listening to half of our Bibles.  Well, those on “departing from the living God” after an initial faith are right there in the same Bible as the Security of the Believer; however, we have only been listening to the half that we want to hear, primarily because if we listened and heeded it would interfere with the type of life style that we have chosen.  To show you how old the Bible reports are on this fundamental concept of “departing from the living God”, often in favor of other non-living gods such as possessions, it has been there all along in the Gospel of John, a Gospel most often considered as primarily for the children and for evangelism and initial salvation; it has been there all along as part of the primary gist of this book on BIBLE REPORTS FOR BELIEVING, although at least half of American church members have never caught onto the difference between “believe” as in the past, and “believing” as in the present and the future; and my goodness, it is the second and essentially half of the very stated purpose of John 20:30,31, that after an initial “in order that you might BELIEVE that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” comes the rest of your lifetime of forty or more years during which you must “and that by BELIEVING you might have everlasting life”.  Does this mean that there are two steps to salvation?  Yes, at least; and three if you include the final redemption of your spirit and body at the Second Coming of Christ, when “we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is”  (I John 3:2).

22-1:  Two Steps of Salvation in BELIEVE and BELIEVING of John 20:30,31.

You see how it has been right there in the stated purpose of John 20:30,31 all along, although we have slighted over it in our Bible Reports and reading, although we have seldom heard this part of continuing faith for continuing salvation preached, or we just plain are afraid of it because of the way we chose to live and want to live.

“…but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”  (John 20:31)

  1. What part of the two steps of salvation do you not see here? First there is the “Believe” as in “believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God”, something you did years ago and hold to as the sole necessity for your eternal salvation; but then there is the more weighty matter that takes a lifetime of faith to complete, in fact takes beyond that you an eternity of life, the “and that BELIEVING you may have life in His name.”  In short, while you as a church member have been “called” to salvation, you have not been “chosen”–like God’s original people who were called out of Egyptian bondage and saved from that fate to a new life in the wilderness for 40 years but then not “chosen” after 40 years of “an evil heart of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:12), unless you have added to that instantaneous and one-time act of faith long ago in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God.  Would that it was so easy to be both “called” and “chosen”; but the chosen takes a long lifetime work of faith, and it is far more difficult to live by faith for over 40 years than it is to in one glorious moment in the past make an initial profession of faith.  How did we ever get to such a concept and practice of faith and salvation, whereby it is so easy and so permanent to do something in one instant that will last a whole lifetime and eternity, without the work of faith required from John 20:31 of continuing faith, or which for simplicity we will call the second big step of salvation.  And if initial faith and salvation is a little step, and certainly it is as it only takes one day or one hour of one day, as most of you know, then the second of continuing faith would have to be the giant step of salvation and everlasting faith.
  2. And even as we have overlooked the “continuing” in faith of the “believing” in John 20:31, along with the half of the Bible Reports that teach and preach that you must “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12), so we have also overlooked the “LIFE in His name” as being the span of our live all the way from initial salvation and faith to eternity.

(1).  This “LIFE” is for well over 40 years of living, and by the way “an abundant life” of a fully developed life that includes the religious dimensions of personality reported on in the last chapter.  Remember, as Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly”.  (John 10:10)  True only the Apostle John uses this “abundant life” concept of the religious dimensions of personality but remember that it came from Jesus; and it is only one of the teachings of Jesus that John chose to take you all the way from the initial salvation of “believe” to the continuing salvation of “believing”.

(2).  While we have learned and been taught well the everlasting aspect of faith encompassed in the “believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God”, it seems as though we have made a leap over “believing” to get all the way form “believe” to everlasting life.  In other words, to state the real  meaning of John 20:31 just by a faithful exegesis of the verse itself, also reinforced by the larger context of the whole purpose and meaning of the Gospel of John, and the even larger context of the whole 50% of the Bible that has been neglected:  you must continue to believe, “believing” has an ING on the end of it for a lifetime of continuing, in order to have both an abundant life of religious dimensions of personality and an everlasting life.

NOTE:  This chapter is about that other 50% of the Bible, and of John, and of John 20:31, about the “believing” of “believe”, that we have neglected in our Bible Reports.  Even as Reports in the Bible begs the issue of what you hear and what you have heard in the Bible you have received, even begs the issue of what you have read and heeded in your Bible readings and listening, so you have not heeded the admonition that “ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God” and it profitable… until you face up to the meaning and message of the other 50% of the Bible on “believing”.

22-2:  “Evil Heart of Unbelief in Departing from the Living God” (Heb. 3:12)

It is much like the chicken and the egg puzzle, which comes first, as we try to untangle the Bible here in Hebrews 3:12 on whether the “evil heart” as a religious dimension of personality comes before the “unbelief”, or whether “unbelief” comes in a Christian life before “an evil heart” dimension.  Untangle as a word and concept is used respectively here, having recognized as always that the Bible is the Word of God–divine in origin, absolute in authority, sufficient in its message, high fidelity in communication, and self-interpretative–what is meant by the use of the word “untangle” is like the Apostle Peter said of what others do with the other Scriptures given from God through the Apostle Paul, how some “wrest to their own destruction”; with the except, that we by a proper “search {of} the Scriptures” (John 5:39) as Jesus taught, we might wrest out of Hebrews 3:12, with the help of the Spirit and in total Bible context, above all adding the ALL SCRIPTURES that have been neglected and continue to be neglected, what is needed to keep this destruction of coming on our own lives that happened to everyone of God’s people that came out of Egypt, except for a few and almost all of those under the age of 21.

  1. When any Christian or church member “departs” from the living God, that departure has been inspired by another kind of “god”, most often a material god given priority over the real and living God, to take the place in life demanded by the only God the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ and Creator of this universe. Let us quickly enumerate some of these other gods, which while they do not have names like “Baal”, “Astoreth”, and “Moloch” that the children of Israel went whoring after, they have other and more modern names like those listed below.

(1).  Material possessions can be a god in our lives that take the rightful place of the Living God in our life, and for 40 or more years, which is about the terminal point at which God will stop putting up with such behavior from one of His creatures.

(2).  Our job, reputation in the community, and other forms of status in American society and community can be a god that takes the place of the Living God in our lives for 40 years.  You see, there is the stress of the long time of 40 years; as God is patient as He waits and waits and watches and watches, as He “tests and proves” His own people as He did in the wilderness, to see whether there is real faith there, and continuing faith, or a faith that is a superficial, non-life changing as that of the devils, “who believe in God and tremble”  (James 2:19)

  1. What does an evil heart do to your religious dimensions of personality?
  2. Which happened first in your life: an evil heart as an absence of thinking about and priority for the living God in your life, or many years of unbelief.
  3. We must in order to properly “wrest” Scriptures, at least the 50% we have neglected, see how from God’s perspective that “unbelief” is as evil, if not more evil than adultery, murder, and other sins like discrimination against individuals based on clothing, status, and money.

22-3:  Covetousness Causes a Straying from Faith and Personality Destruction.

All sorts of bad things happen, like today in the collapse of the American economy, not only to the rich but in the words of the Apostle Paul in I Timothy 6:9 when Americans “desire to be rich”.  You immediately think of the three categories of Americans who with greed have precipitated this economic crisis:  (1) those who are filthy rich with millions and billions and keep working hard to accumulate even more, the 10% of Americans that spend 50% of the American money; (2) the other half of stock market investors, still working and retired, of over 250,000, who would “desire to be rich”; and (3) millions more of Americans with a dedication to the popular Gospel of Prosperity {believed by over 60% of church members and formerly in the history of American Thought called “The Gospel of Wealth” and “the corollary of success”} are daily saying I “desire to be rich”.

  1. Paul writes about the heart-felt attitudes and dimensions of human personality that can prevent this straying from faith and personality destruction caused by the “love of money” (I Timothy 6:10).

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain.”  (I Timothy 6:6)

NOTE:  Now here are the religious dimensions of personality and character that can eliminate straying from the faith and personality destruction:  (1) godliness considered as “great gain”, or success in life, over the gain of money and the things which it brings; and (2) contentment.  You might call this contentment “happiness”.  Did you know that original in the Declaration of Independence where it was written “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as the inalienable rights given by God to men, was originally written “live, liberty, and the pursuit of property”?  No doubt it seemed too worldly and materialistic by those attempting to original form one new nation under God, so what Americans have learned to practice as dominant in the American Dream, a Dream turned into covetousness and greed, has in reality made happiness as synonymous with the “pursuit of property”.

  1. What initially happens to the personalities of Americans when they “desire to be rich”? It at first, before 40 years of departing from the living God and with “an evil heart of unbelief”, starts somewhat innocently, as many unsuspecting Americans are enticed by the examples of the wealthy and financial leaders {also their own spirit that lusts to envy and Satan} as they:

(1).  “fall into temptation and a snare” (I Timothy 6:9).  And here from the Apostle Paul, or really the Word of God through the Apostle Paul, you get the picture of rabbits or beautiful birds, and innocent ones at that, who motivated and enticed by the “desire to be rich” get trapped by these temptations that relate to money and what money can buy as possessions, status, and pleasures.

“But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare…”  (I Timothy 6:9)

(2).  also, as they “desire to be rich” they inevitably, as we have seen in a tragic way in present American history and economy, they fall not only into “temptation and a snare” but also “into many foolish and harmful lusts” (I Timothy 6:9)

“But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.”  (I Timothy 6:9)

  1. This greed and covetousness inevitably “drowns” men and women’s personalities in destruction and also inevitably leads to everlasting “perdition”.

NOTE:  You have noticed the ups and downs of the Stock Market as one day those below 250,000 per year sell their stock to get out of the market in order to rescue their money and profit from more loss, and then the next day as the wealthy 10% with 50% of the money gluttonously gobble up that stock which did belong to their neighbors in order to buy cheap and profit greatly later, much like the rich man who build bigger barns.  Here, the barns are more and better stock.

22-4:  Misunderstood “Covetousness” has two basic Meanings in the Bible.

Covetousness as a sin, as a wrong against God, neighbor, and an investors own personality has been neglected in American religion and business.  Today, increasingly leaders are admitting the end result of covetousness in “greed”; although not to see too religious they are using the word “greed” instead of covetousness, and many like Bush who will not admit guilt and responsibility refer to the follies of American businessmen that caused this collapse as “mistakes”.  {Remember it was Bush who promoted national leadership to get Americans away from Social Security and into the stock of 401k’s,  Quickly, we will look at the two basic meanings of “covetousness” in the Bible, the first from the New Testament and from the Greek language of the New Testament, and the second from the Old Testament and the Hebrew word of the Old Testament.

  1. Covetousness in the New Testament Greek is literally translated as “the desire to have more”. {You can check it in any Analytical Concordance like Young’s.}   And do you not see that this “desire to have more”, more of the American pie and more of the American Dream, more of the happiness thought property and money and stock, is what created this economic collapse, at least one of the three causes according to the Bible.
  2. Covetousness in the Old Testament with the Hebrew word of “betsa” literally means “dishonest gain”; and do you not think that when the executives of World Com and Enron, a precursor of what happened on a larger scale in this more recent economic collapse, were selling their own company stock to protect their wealth and leaving their fellow employees to lose their retirements as the 401k’s, disappeared…do you not think it was dishonest, and dishonest gain?

22-5:  Covetousness is Destructive:  (1) nationally to neighbors; and (2) to self.

Covetousness destroys both neighbors, the people in the land up all the way up to the national level as we are witnessing now in the limping American economy; and destroys the individual personality as:  (1) it leads the “lover of money” away from faith (I Timothy 6:10); (2) as it inspires “greediness”; and (3) as it “pierces”  the individual passionately through “with many sorrows”.

NOTE:  On a lesser scale, you heard about the teacher of university finance, who stated how badly he felt for encouraging students to get into investments with such recently failed financial institutions as AIG, and etc.  Yet all of the ads of these businesses were designed to entice Americans into a false sense of confidence that they had all the financial answers; and so most Americans thought, and so most government leaders thought and practiced.

“For the love of money {and stock, we might add as the more modern form of money} is a root of all kinds of evil {you know as Bush tried for us 8 years ago to define “evil” in terms of the axis of evil, we are sure that stock and money were not included in his definition even as incompetence and greed are not now included in his explanations of what happened, Bush knowing where his bread is buttered}, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”  (I Timothy 6:10)

  1. Covetousness and Greed creates a straying from Christian faith.
  2. Covetousness, alias the love of money and what it can buy in status, creates greed and “greediness”.
  3. Covetousness and greed causes the destruction of human personality, from the least to the greatest, as these human personalities self-pierce–”pierced themselves through with many sorrows”–their own personality with sorrow, sorrow for themselves and their wealth and personality as well as sorrows for national neighbors and students for whom they were bad examples.
  4. “To covet” and “covetousness” often condemned as wrong and sinful and destructive in the Bible of Old and New Testament, unfortunately still today has been thought of what you do against God and your neighbors, without though that it has a destructive effect on individual personality. To covet is bad for you; and over a period of 40 years taking the place of your faith will disintegrate your personality like the American economy has been collectively disintegrated.  When the physicist stated “entropy” as the destruction in the physical universe of system and order, which by the way will happen at the Second Coming of Christ as the destruction of this old earth ushers in God’s creation of a New Earth for a new people, they did not have in mind the social application of this concept to the American economy and American personality; but wow, here it is!

22-6:  What Caused the Recent Destruction of the American Economy?

Even in this time of economic collapse on both Main Street and Wall Street, those below 250,000 a year and those above, when it seems that there are absolutely no experts on finance and the American Economy, it is again a comfort to know like on all issues we can find an answer to what caused this collapse in the words of the Bible.  Today on TV was a routine program entitled “Make a Fortune from Real Estate Foreclosures”, a testimony to more greed and the taking advantage of the people in the American land that lost their homes and real estate to foreclosure.  {Surely you see this as a covetousness of what is your neighbors homes and property, a new collective violation of a command from God as a forbidden wrong.  You should see more in this leadership on covetousness this Christmas as American leadership entices the American people to:  (1) buy more; and (2) borrow more.  Also, in spite of the Bible admonition, “Do not loan money with usury”.}

  1. It is not that some leaders in government, Bush excluded, failed to recognize the realities of “GREED” and covetousness as the cause of the financial collapse. Men that have been admired as knowledgeable and trustworthy as CEOs of large companies have gone beyond mistakes, and incompetence, into the religious realm of greed and covetousness.  You can easily say that those of the banks, those of real estate, those who desired larger and more comfortable homes, did not exercise the Bible admonition of “godliness with contentment is great gain.”  The gain they sought was money and the things that money can buy.
  2. You can summarize the causes according to the Bible of economic collapse as: (1) the inevitable result of so much accumulated greed, among the greatest and the least, over so many years, as individual greed became collective, social, and national greed; (2) the natural human spirit within every American, like all humans, which Pastor James says “lusteth to envy” (James 4:5); and (3) the curse of calamities that God has placed on this nation since 911, no doubt, building up from the lesser calamities of fires and floods, the larger and more widespread effects on American people of hurricanes and droughts; and finally like the plagues that God brought on Pharaoh and the land of Egypt, to the extent that it effected every home and person in America in a pinch on the living standard and pocket book.  It would seem that God, after many futile efforts since 911 to get the attention of the American people toward righteousness {covetousness and greed are the opposite of righteousness} and prayer, finally sent a plague or calamity on this nation that would get the attention of the American people.  However, if we fail to see the real causes, the probability of getting a proper solution through righteousness and prayer in the churches of America, is impossible!

22-7:  Covetousness in America Has Made of Churches a “Den of Thieves”.

Even if you could see so many recent calamities on the United States since 911, such as hurricanes, fire, and floods, as calamities as part of a curse from God {the opposite of a blessing or blessings from God}, you probably gullibly thought that the recent calamities of the economy on Main Street and Wall Street had nothing to do with the responsibility of God’s people and the churches.  Well, if so, please read again the Temple Message of the Prophet Jeremiah, or really God through Jeremiah, as God labels such houses of God as today in America as a “Den of Thieves” and as a HIDEOUT FOR BAD HABITS.  You know now that you had a “Den of Thieves” in these large business institutions as they profited at the expense of their own employees and other Americans, exercising greed and decisions which eliminated the homes and retirement 401k’s, of millions; but although most of these executives are church members, if not all, and typical of their lesser counterparts in churches who also “desire to be rich”, and who soothe that desire over with the Gospel of Prosperity, also have make into a “Den of Thieves” what was originally intended to be houses of prayer and righteousness.

  1. All this covetousness and other unrighteous violations of the ten commandments (Jeremiah 7:8,9) have continued as a normal life style of American church members at the same time each Sunday they go into their own houses of prayer and God to effectively say that God is blessing us to do all these “abominations” (7:10) of violations of the commandments of God.
  2. You see, this is what is so bad, when the church is made a HIDEOUT FOR BAD HABITS, it is as if in their own mind as stated by Jesus and Jeremiah, that God has blessed them for being so greedy and gluttonies. {Isn’t that the real message of the Gospel of Prosperity adopted by over 60% of American church members, that part of our faith and church membership is that God blesses us with greed and covetousness?}. And much of it started during the last 50 years as so many evangelists rationalized their own wealth and seeking of wealth as a blessing from God, leading and preaching for other church members to believe and practice the same Gospel of Prosperity.

“…and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered to do all these abominations. Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your own eyes?’  ‘Behold I, even I, have seen it’ {you are not hiding in that church as much as you think, and your cover ups are not working as God still sees and knows all about it}, says the LORD.”  (Jeremiah 7:10,11)

  1. The nesting of Dens of Thieves in American churches started, like in the case of these evangelists of the Gospel of Prosperity, with doctrine and beliefs of “lying words”.

“Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit.”  (Jeremiah 7:8)

Even worse than the misplaced trust in financial institutions of investment like AIG {and the leaders who lead to trust in them}, which turned out also to be “lying words”, is the trusting of lying words from evangelists and pastors of the lying words of the Gospel of Prosperity.

  1. Those same “abominations” (Jeremiah 7:5-9) of Den of Thief churches are present in American churches today as Paul testified for such “perilous times” as these in I Timothy 3:1-8 as he listed the follies and bad habits of church members. And did you notice that number one in the bad habits as these churches make their own church a HIDEOUT FOR BAD HABITS is (1) love of money and number two is, surprise, (2) covetousness.
  2. Please notice also in Jeremiah 7:5,6 the obvious warning to business and governmental leaders {the problem with so many of our leaders in government is that they also are among that of incomes over 250,000 a year, and therefore naturally have their commitments and loyalty to this group, the “world knows its own”, sort of thing} because they have “merchandised” the people of God in their own nation. There is in Jeremiah 7:5 a positive way out of the dilemma from God, “For it you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if your thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor”; and then in Jeremiah 7:6 with more specifics of what the government, business leaders, and church members must do by way of a true execution of justice and judgment:  (1) “if you do oppress the stranger”, (2) “the fatherless, and the widow”; (3) if you do not shed innocent blood; and (4) if you do not walk after other gods to your hurt”, recalling that any entity placed in the life before God, like money, status, greed, and covetousness is a false god.

22-8:  Cover Up of the State of the American Economy Eclipsed by Churches.

As frustrated as Americans are over the sudden revelation of all these problems in the American economy, should be the frustration and concern of Americans, especially church members, over the cover ups {hideouts} of a lack of righteousness and effective prayer in American churches that lead to this collapse.  Yes, the American churches are responsible to the American people for the condition of the American people that lead to this most destructive calamity in the series of calamities since on this nation since 911.  Yes, you will not get them to take responsibility like the government leaders, religious leaders of the temple, and the people of God would not take responsibility for their own concept of “Den of Thieves”, nor for the destruction that was about to come on their own nation.

They had already lost the favor of God.  God told Jeremiah that no longer did He want to hear prayers on the behalf of these people of God.  God would no longer listen; and the rest of the plague or curses on the nation would naturally follow from the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.  It does not matter whether you chose to think of the “curses” of the Bible as (1) an absence of blessings from God, which of course they are anyway; or (3) a series of calamities from God because favor with God for a nation of God’s people has been lost.  The result is the same in calamities!

22-9:  Saving and Continuing Faith versus “Believe and Tremble” by James.

Surely in our religious dimensions of personality, we do not want a faith of the sort that the devils have, where they “believe and tremble”?  How can such fear as trembling every be good for our personality, welfare, and development?  Certainly, it is not good for our eternal salvation, since we know the ultimate fate of the devils, Satan included as the head devil, as they are cast into the “lake of fire and brimstone” for eternity.  Let us briefly but closely look at the very blunt and practical teachings of Pastor James in the book of James on this important distinction between SAVING FAITH and DEAD FAITH.  While saving faith, according to James and the rest of the Bible, will does marvelous things for your personality–”eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who live Him”  (I Corinthians 3:9)–dead faith can kill you; and in fact will in this life and for the life to come in what is called in the Bible “the second death”.

22-10:  Reconcile “workout your salvation” with salvation “not by works”.

Both Ephesians 2:8,9–”For by grace are you saved through faith, not of works lest any man should boast”–and Philippians 2:12–”work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”–are Scriptures from the Word of God, and true doctrine and teachings from God, and by the way also both given by God through the Apostle Paul as Paul wrote both the book of Ephesians and the book of Philippians from the earthly standpoint.  Now you know, certainly, that the Apostle Paul had these two seemingly contradictions of Christianity worked out in his own mind so that he also would not wrest the Scriptures to his own destruction, certainly the ones that he himself put on paper, or parchment, with pen and ink.

  1. Salvation by grace, not of works of Ephesians 2:8,9.
  2. The “work” in “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” of Philippians. Incidentally, how close do you think the extent of this recommended “trembling” in the Word of God is to the trembling that the devils do as “they believe in God and tremble”  (James 2:19)

(1).  Never, ever, forget that Pastor James, the half-brother of Jesus and the Pastor of the first church in Jerusalem until martyrdom, wrote “faith without works is dead”.  (James 2:20)

(2).  Since we are really reconciling Scriptures from Paul with Scriptures from James, as well as two different Scriptures and in context from Paul in Ephesians and Philippians, both of whom were Apostles with the commission to write oracles from God and consistent with and based on the teachings of Jesus, we use naturally use some of the original teachings of Jesus as a basis for reconciliation.

22-11:  “With the Holy Spirit”, the Place of the Spirit in the Bible Reports.

What we would get at here is really the place and activity of the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, on your own human spirit, the very seat and heart of your personality and character.  What, in other words, does He do for you in the creation of good religious dimensions of personality versus the destructive and bad religious dimensions of personality.

  1. When we have read or heard about the work of Satan who “goes about as a lion seeking whom he may destroy” {I Peter 5:8), how often have we thought of this destruction as the bad destruction of our religious dimensions of personality. To put it bluntly, Satan as the opposite of God and everything God represents in truth and righteousness, does not want you to be what God intended, created, and designed you to be, in this life and for eternity; and also bluntly, Satan will do everything in this world, subtly and overtly, to destroy your good, religious dimensions of personality, starting of course, with the darkened of your mind like has happened to whole civilizations as in Romans 1.
  2. What the Holy Spirit, based on Bible Reports, will do for good and for your religious dimensions of personality.
  3. How the Holy Spirit can practically and realistically keep your salvation and spirit in the good religious dimensions of personality.

22-12:  Back to the “Fear and Faith” of I John 4:18.

Fear along with distrust in American leadership, business and government, has dominated the thinking of the American public since the truth hit home that our economy is in almost as much trouble as during the Great Depression of the 1930’s, if not as much or more!  Does the Bible have any message for this fear?  You looked at this subject “Fear and Faith” in the previous chapter of chapter 19, now hopefully it has even more meaning to you in terms of your own good religious dimensions of personality, that of the faith and fear that builds up your personality in this life and naturally leads to everlasting life!

  1. Really, it must be added that the Apostle John in I John is making an appendix to the “believing” of John 20:31 and of the Gospel of John, a commentary if you would on the second step of salvation beyond only “believe”, the believing of salvation and faith; and in doing so, although you have never quite thought of it like that, John is helping you through the Holy Spirit develop the good religious dimensions of personality.

(1).  For example, in “perfect love casts out fear” (I John 4:18).  What would that do for your personality if you were able to achieve perfect love, a love like the Apostle John had for Jesus and vice versa, that is to eliminate all fear and dread from your life!

(2).  Even as this kind of perfect love is almost impossible to achieve, since there are just not that many Apostle Johns around, and in fact will not be fully achieved as with all the best personality traits until we see Jesus, “and we shall be like Him because we will see Him as He is”  (I John 3:2), just the goal of such an achievement and the progress away from fear and into more faith will do so much for us in this present life, as we patiently wait and work toward the full achievement of it on the New and eternal life on the New Earth.

  1. You must understand “faith and fear” of I John 4:18 in the total context of I John as well as in the total context of the Bible, especially the Gospel of John, where John and the Spirit developed in the “believing” of John 20:31, the very foundation of the second and giant step in salvation.

(1).  The Believing is synonymous with the “Be Baptized” concept of the “Believe and Be Baptized” which summarizes in many ways the 14 letters from the Apostle Paul.

(2).  I John 4:12.

“No one has seen God at any time.  If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.”

(3).  I John 4:17.

“Love has been perfected among us in this that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.”

(4).  That “You May Continue to Believe in the name of the Son of God”, I John 5:13.

“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may CONTINUE TO BELIEVE in the name of the Son of God.”  (I John 5:13)

Wow, if you did not see in John 20:31, the second step of salvation, the “believing” of a lifetime right up to eternity added onto the initial believe of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, then you must see it here in the “continue to believe”  of I John 5:13 above.

22-13:  Today, Chose God’s Eternal Rest over Any Unbelief!

You can hardly count on tomorrow, so that only today is what you have to:  (1) halt the trend of unbelief and unrighteousness and ineffective prayer; (2) correct that “evil heart of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:12) that causes a “departure from the living god” in favor of gods which do not profit and which really do not exist as gods, although sometimes such material realities as status, possessions, and stock; and (3) to halt any more departure in your life from the living God, and thoughts of the living God and His kingdom; and (4) to stop any more “hardening” from “the deceitfulness of sins” which can in a lifetime reap the destructive consequences of “strong delusion” (Hebrews 3:13).

“Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”  (Hebrews 3:15 and Psalm 95:7,8)

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Makes.  For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.  Today, if you will hear His voice; ‘Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion,” as in the day of trial in the wilderness, when your fathers tested Me; they tried Me, though they saw My work.  For forty years I was grieved with that generation, and said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts {there is that evil heart of unbelief with something as simple as covetousness, greed, alternate gods, and unbelief}, and they do not know My ways.’ {Obviously the ways of God come from the Bible Reports, many in this book, that God has given us to know and understand the right way and ways!}  So, I swore in My wrath {and no wrath is like it, patient and yet when vented full of destructive and everlasting wrath and death}, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’”  {That rest of the New Earth where God dwells eternally with a new people, created in righteousness and worship with effective prayer, and wipes away all sorrows, tears, death, and no unrighteousness can enter into the gates!}  (Psalms 95:6-11 and Hebrews 3:12)

As usual you are welcome to free download this blog/message at

http://sungrist.org/ContinuingFaith.pdf

 

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