How can someone put God to the test?

If you don't read it how can you have faith.

Written By Lee Stevenson

 

This was inspired by something someone said to me. They were eating foods that are known to cause chronic illness. They said that they could eat what they wanted because God would protect them. Jesus would not willfully put himself in harms way to test God and we should follow his example. By willfully putting ourselves in harms way then we are testing God which is something we are told not to do.

Why would Jesus not test God? What harm would it do? Why our trials and tribulation should not cause us to put Jehovah to the test.

As you read the scriptures you will see two examples of how Israel tested God. They tried tempting him and they also lacked faith and constantly ask for proof that he could do as he promised. It also includes whether we believe God’s word is true or not. Jesus had no doubt about the truth of God’s word and quoted it to show Satan the Devil that he did not doubt what Jehovah could do and did not doubt Jehovah’s word.

(Matthew 4:5-7) 5 Then the Devil took him along into the holy city, and he stationed him on the battlement of the temple 6 and said to him: “If you are a son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written: ‘He will give his angels a command concerning you,’ and, ‘They will carry you on their hands, so that you may not strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus said to him: “Again it is written: ‘You must not put Jehovah your God to the test.’”

Testing God is a sin, it is saying we do not believe him and that we do not have faith that he can or will save us and fulfill his promises.

(Psalm 78:16-22) 16 He brought streams out of a crag And caused waters to flow down like rivers. 17 But they continued to sin against him By rebelling against the Most High in the desert; 18 They challenged God in their heart By demanding food that they craved. 19 So they spoke against God, Saying: “Can God spread a table in the wilderness?” 20 Look! He struck a rock So that waters flowed and streams flooded out. “Can he also give us bread, Or can he provide meat for his people?” 21 When Jehovah heard them, he became furious; A fire blazed against Jacob, And his anger flared up against Israel 22 Because they did not put faith in God; They did not trust in his ability to save them. . .

Many in Israel seen Jehovah’s miracles first hand and still lacked faith. It was their sins and vanity that caused their lack of faith. This often times resulted in Jehovah having to destroy them because they were spreading their sinful nature and causing others to lose faith.

(Numbers 14:20-24) 20 Then Jehovah said: “I forgive them according to your word. 21 But on the other hand, as surely as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of Jehovah. 22 However, not one of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness and yet have kept testing me these ten times and have not listened to my voice 23 will ever see the land about which I swore to their fathers. No, not one of those treating me without respect will see it. 24 But because my servant Caʹleb had a different spirit and kept following after me wholeheartedly, I will certainly bring him into the land where he went, and his offspring will take possession of it.

(Psalm 106:14-18) 14 They gave way to their selfish desires in the wilderness; They tested God in the desert. 15 He gave them what they requested, But then struck them with disease that made them waste away. 16 In the camp they grew jealous of Moses And of Aaron, the holy one of Jehovah. 17 The earth then opened up and swallowed Daʹthan And covered those assembled with A·biʹram. 18 A fire blazed among their group; A flame consumed the wicked.

These things happened as an example to teach us not to listen to murmurers who are causing division or causing us to lose faith. Those who listened would continually put Jehovah to the test. We need to be like A’haz he refused to put Jehovah to the test.

(1 Corinthians 10:8-11) . . .. 9 Neither let us put Jehovah to the test, as some of them put him to the test, only to perish by the serpents. 10 Neither be murmurers, as some of them murmured, only to perish by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for a warning to us upon whom the ends of the systems of things have come.

A’haz’s faith was very strong , he refused to put Jehovah to the test even though there were very fearful things happening. We are going to experience very fearful things very soon but we must stay strong and just as A’haz refused to put Jehovah to the test he held tight to his trust in Jehovah’s ability to save those remaining loyal and obedient to Jehovah.

(Isaiah 7:3-12) 3 Jehovah then said to Isaiah: “Go out, please, to meet Aʹhaz, you and your son Sheʹar-jaʹshub, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool by the highway of the laundryman’s field. 4 You must say to him, ‘Take care to stay calm. Do not be afraid, and do not lose heart because of these two stumps of smoldering logs, because of the hot anger of Reʹzin and Syria and the son of Rem·a·liʹah. 5 For Syria with Eʹphra·im and the son of Rem·a·liʹah have plotted harm against you, saying: 6 “Let us go up against Judah and tear it apart and conquer it for ourselves, and let us appoint the son of Tabʹe·el as its king.”  7 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: “It will not succeed, Nor will it take place.  8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, And the head of Damascus is Reʹzin. Within just 65 years Eʹphra·im will be completely shattered and cease to be a people.  9 The head of Eʹphra·im is Sa·marʹi·a, And the head of Sa·marʹi·a is the son of Rem·a·liʹah. Unless you have firm faith, You will not be firmly established.”’” 10 Jehovah continued speaking to Aʹhaz: 11 “Ask for a sign from Jehovah your God; it may be as deep as the Grave or as high as the sky.” 12 But Aʹhaz said: “I will not ask, nor will I put Jehovah to the test.”

Through our tribulation God is teaching us , building our endurance and helping us to endure things most could not dream of enduring and surviving. Those who tested Jehovah in the past left their imperfections guide their actions. We have Jehovah’s word to guide us and now more then ever it is very important to write it on our hearts because very soon it will be taken from us and all we will have left of his word is what we have written on our hearts. We know it is his word that is going to carry us through all this.

(1 Peter 5:6-11) 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time, 7 while you throw all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. 8 Keep your senses, be watchful! Your adversary, the Devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone. 9 But take your stand against him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by the entire association of your brothers in the world. 10 But after you have suffered a little while, the God of all undeserved kindness, who called you to his everlasting glory in union with Christ, will himself finish your training. He will make you firm, he will make you strong, he will firmly ground you. 11 To him be the might forever. Amen.

(James 1:12-15) 12 Happy is the man who keeps on enduring trial, because on becoming approved he will receive the crown of life, which Jehovah promised to those who continue loving Him. 13 When under trial, let no one say: “I am being tried by God.” For with evil things God cannot be tried, nor does he himself try anyone. 14 But each one is tried by being drawn out and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then the desire, when it has become fertile, gives birth to sin; in turn sin, when it has been carried out, brings forth death.

We are not promised it will be easy but because we know God can and will save his loyal ones we have a peace that will help us endure many types of trials and tribulation.

(Philippians 4:4-7) 4 Always rejoice in the Lord. Again I will say, Rejoice! 5 Let your reasonableness become known to all men. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.

Jesus stated the student is no better then the teacher. The world and the wicked one hated him and it will hate those who faithfully follow Jehovah and submit to the authority given his only begotten son Jesus. So one who worships faithfully in truth will be treated no better then our teacher and king Jesus Christ. It does not mean you fell out of favor if you are suffering or if you are being attacked though many who false reason believe that to be so.

(1 Peter 4:12-14) 12 Beloved ones, do not be surprised about the fiery trials that you are experiencing, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 On the contrary, go on rejoicing over the extent to which you are sharers in the sufferings of the Christ, so that you may rejoice and be overjoyed also during the revelation of his glory. 14 If you are being reproached for the name of Christ, you are happy, because the spirit of glory, yes, the spirit of God, is resting upon you.

(2 Timothy 3:11-13) . . .I endured these persecutions, and the Lord rescued me from them all. 12 In fact, all those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted. 13 But wicked men and impostors will advance from bad to worse, misleading and being misled. . .

When we suffer trials it exposes our weaknesses so we can work on them and become spiritually stronger and wiser.

(Deuteronomy 8:1-5) . . .. 2 Remember the long road that Jehovah your God made you walk these 40 years in the wilderness, to humble you and to put you to the test so as to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. 3 So he humbled you and let you go hungry and fed you with the manna, which neither you had known nor your fathers had known, in order to make you know that man does not live by bread alone but man lives by every expression from Jehovah’s mouth. 4 The clothing you wore did not wear out, nor did your feet become swollen these 40 years. 5 You well know in your heart that just as a man corrects his son, Jehovah your God was correcting you.

(James 1:2-8) 2 Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you meet with various trials, 3 knowing as you do that this tested quality of your faith produces endurance. 4 But let endurance complete its work, so that you may be complete and sound in all respects, not lacking in anything. 5 So if any one of you is lacking in wisdom, let him keep asking God, for he gives generously to all and without reproaching, and it will be given him. 6 But let him keep asking in faith, not doubting at all, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and blown about. 7 In fact, that man should not expect to receive anything from Jehovah; 8 he is an indecisive man, unsteady in all his ways.

For those who like videos here is a wonderful video on examples of when others have put Jehovah to the test.

https://www.jw.org/en/publications/videos/respect-jehovahs-authority/#?insight%5Bsearch_id%5D=bcef40fa-582c-4593-a3c6-d9eb88af008a&insight%5Bsearch_result_index%5D=10

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Jesus showed us how to conquer the world and not let the world conquer us.

Bible
How to use.

 

To learn to conquer the world in the context Jesus was talking about we need to understand what he was referring to when he referred to the world. When you read in the bible often times you see it is referring to the people in the world and the rebellious system of the world which is run by the people and influenced by Satan.

(John 1:29) 29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and he said: “See, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

(1 John 2:1, 2) 2 My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not commit a sin. And yet, if anyone does commit a sin, we have a helper with the Father, Jesus Christ, a righteous one. 2 And he is a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins, yet not for ours only but also for the whole world’s. . .

Since Adam and Eve who were perfect brought this sinful rebellion into the world it took a perfect human to show us the way out and for a ransom of a perfect human to be provided to cover those sins.

(2 Corinthians 5:18, 19) 18 But all things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of the reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was by means of Christ reconciling a world to himself, not counting their offenses against them, and he entrusted to us the message of the reconciliation.

(Romans 5:18, 19) 18 So, then, as through one trespass the result to men of all sorts was condemnation, so too through one act of justification the result to men of all sorts is their being declared righteous for life. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one person many will be made righteous.

So when the bible says the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one it is referring to the people and this system of rebellion of man choosing to rule themselves and decide right from wrong for themselves. So it is referring to man and man’s system of things.

(John 12:31) 31 Now there is a judging of this world; now the ruler of this world. . .

(2 Corinthians 4:3, 4) 3 If, in fact, the good news we declare is veiled, it is veiled among those who are perishing, 4 among whom the god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through.

Jesus Conquered the world.

In order to conquer the world we need to follow the one who conquered the world, God’s only begotten son Jesus. The ruler of this world has already been defeated and judged. Jesus stayed focused on the things above and not on the worldly things.

(John 16:33) 33 I have said these things to you so that by means of me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage! I have conquered the world.. . .

(John 16:8-11) 8 And when that one comes, he will give the world convincing evidence concerning sin and concerning righteousness and concerning judgment: 9 first concerning sin, because they are not exercising faith in me; 10 then concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 11 then concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. . .

(Colossians 3:1, 2) 3 If, however, you were raised up with the Christ, go on seeking the things above, where the Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Keep your minds fixed on the things above, not on the things on the earth.

Things that can cause us to be conquered by the world.

Pride has been the downfall of many and it was the downfall of the king in Babylon in Daniels time. God does not take pride lightly. It has caused the downfall of many kings.

(Proverbs 16:18, 19) 18 Pride is before a crash, And a haughty spirit before stumbling. 19 Better to be humble among the meek Than to share the spoil of the haughty. . .

(Daniel 4:30-32) The king was saying: “Is this not Babylon the Great that I myself have built for the royal house by my own strength and might and for the glory of my majesty?” 31 While the word was yet in the king’s mouth, a voice came down from the heavens: “To you it is being said, O King Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar, ‘The kingdom has gone away from you, 32 and from mankind you are being driven away. With the beasts of the field your dwelling will be, and you will be given vegetation to eat just like bulls, and seven times will pass over you, until you know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that he grants it to whomever he wants.

(Acts 12:21-23) 21 On a set day, Herod clothed himself with royal raiment and sat down on the judgment seat and began giving them a public address. 22 Then the people who were assembled began shouting: “A god’s voice, and not a man’s!” 23 Instantly the angel of Jehovah struck him, because he did not give the glory to God, and he was eaten up with worms and died.

So we can see those who become haughty from pride Jehovah opposes but he favors those who are humble.

(James 4:6) 6 However, the undeserved kindness that He gives is greater. So it says: “God opposes the haughty ones, but he gives undeserved kindness to the humble ones. . .

(Proverbs 3:34) 34 For he mocks those who ridicule, But he shows favor to the meek. . .

(Psalm 37:11) But the meek will possess the earth, And they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.

(Psalm 138:6) Though Jehovah is high, he takes note of the humble, But the haughty he knows only from a distance

Jesus set a pattern of humility for us to follow and he demonstrated this by washing the apostles feet something that a servant usually would do. Even though he knew he would be seated on the thrown in the heavenly kingdom and was the only begotten son of God he did not let that go to his head and remained humble and was happy to serve others in a way that pleased his heavenly father.

(John 13:14-17) 14 Therefore, if I, the Lord and Teacher, washed your feet, you also should wash the feet of one another. 15 For I set the pattern for you, that just as I did to you, you should also do. 16 Most truly I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, happy you are if you do them. . .

(Luke 9:48) and said to them: “Whoever receives this young child on the basis of my name receives me also; and whoever receives me also receives the One who sent me. For the one who conducts himself as a lesser one among all of you is the one who is great.

Avoid being conquered by hatred.

Our actions show whether we are filled with love or filled with hatred. We know we are in the last days and that men will do many hateful and selfish things. The bible has warned us what the last days would be like many times.

(2 Timothy 3:1-7) 3 But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, 3 having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, 4 betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, 5 having an appearance of godliness but proving false to its power; and from these turn away. 6 From among these arise men who slyly work their way into households and captivate weak women loaded down with sins, led by various desires, 7 always learning and yet never able to come to an accurate knowledge of truth.

Hatred is a very serious sin. If we have hatred in our hearts it forfeits our chances of eternal life.

(1 John 3:14, 15) . . .. The one who does not love remains in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has everlasting life remaining in him. . .

This contrast the fruits of the spirit in which love is one of them.

(Galatians 5:22-24) 22 On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Moreover, those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed to the stake the flesh together with its passions and desires. . .

Love would be an identifying mark of those who worship in truth. This love would be so deep if necessary they would give their lives for each other.

(John 13:33-35) . . .I now say it also to you. 34 I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are my disciples—if you have love among yourselves.. . .

(John 15:11-13) 11 “These things I have spoken to you, so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be made full. 12 This is my commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you. 13 No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his life in behalf of his friends.

We are not to show impartiality, Jesus demonstrated this in his treatment of the Samaritan women. Samaritans were very good at counterfeiting legal documents. They would counterfeit documents of their human linage. So no one was certain if they were really jews or gentiles. They were not trusted and for the most part avoided. The Samaritan was aware that the gentiles would also be welcomed to worship the true God and be considered part of the nation of Israel. Jesus revealed to the Samaritan woman would be a spiritual nation he also revealed to her that he was the messiah who would fulfill the things she had mentioned.

(John 4:7-26) 7 A woman of Sa·marʹi·a came to draw water. Jesus said to her: “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone off into the city to buy food.) 9 So the Sa·marʹi·tan woman said to him: “How is it that you, despite being a Jew, ask me for a drink even though I am a Sa·marʹi·tan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Sa·marʹi·tans.) 10 In answer Jesus said to her: “If you had known of the free gift of God and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 She said to him: “Sir, you do not even have a bucket for drawing water, and the well is deep. From what source, then, do you have this living water? 12 You are not greater than our forefather Jacob, who gave us the well and who together with his sons and his cattle drank out of it, are you?” 13 In answer Jesus said to her: “Everyone drinking from this water will get thirsty again. 14 Whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty at all, but the water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water bubbling up to impart everlasting life.” 15 The woman said to him: “Sir, give me this water, so that I may neither thirst nor keep coming over to this place to draw water.” 16 He said to her: “Go, call your husband and come to this place.” 17 The woman replied: “I do not have a husband.” Jesus said to her: “You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’ 18 For you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. This you have said truthfully.” 19 The woman said to him: “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. 20 Our forefathers worshipped on this mountain, but you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where people must worship.” 21 Jesus said to her: “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, because salvation begins with the Jews. 23 Nevertheless, the hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshippers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for indeed, the Father is looking for ones like these to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit, and those worshipping him must worship with spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him: “I know that Mes·siʹah is coming, who is called Christ. Whenever that one comes, he will declare all things to us openly.” 26 Jesus said to her: “I am he, the one speaking to you.. . .

(Acts 10:34, 35) 34 At this Peter began to speak, and he said: “Now I truly understand that God is not partial, 35 but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. . .

Jesus also set the example of love by praying for those persecuting him. He commanded us to love our enemies, many love those who love them that is easy but to truly follow in Jesus foot steps we must love those who hate us.

(Luke 23:34) 34 But Jesus was saying: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Furthermore, they cast lots to distribute his garments.

(Matthew 5:43-48) 43 “You heard that it was said: ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good and makes it rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have? Are not also the tax collectors doing the same thing? 47 And if you greet your brothers only, what extraordinary thing are you doing? Are not also the people of the nations doing the same thing? 48 You must accordingly be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

(Galatians 6:10) 10 So, then, as long as we have the opportunity, let us work what is good toward all, but especially toward those related to us in the faith.

Are we to pray for all sinners? The answer is no. There are sins that incur death and they are sins against the holy spirit. We are not to pray for those who are sinning against the holy spirit.

(1 John 5:16) 16 If anyone catches sight of his brother committing a sin that does not incur death, he will ask, and God will give life to him, yes, to those not committing sin that incurs death. There is a sin that does incur death. It is concerning that sin that I do not tell him to make request. . .

(Mark 3:29) But whoever blasphemes against the holy spirit has no forgiveness forever but is guilty of everlasting sin.

Love the only begotten son and our heavenly father Jehovah.

The way we react to the bibles teachings and apply them in our lives shows whether we love Jesus and our heavenly father. It will not be easy because being no part of the world means you will be hated and persecuted by the world. Jesus warned us many times of this. By following Jesus teachings and applying them in our lives we will be in union with Jesus and our heavenly father.

(John 14:21) 21 Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. In turn, whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will clearly show myself to him.”

(John 15:17-20) 17 “These things I command you, that you love one another. 18 If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were part of the world, the world would be fond of what is its own. Now because you are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, for this reason the world hates you. 20 Keep in mind the word I said to you: A slave is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have observed my word, they will also observe yours.

(John 17:15-19) 15 “I do not request that you take them out of the world, but that you watch over them because of the wicked one. 16 They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world. 17 Sanctify them by means of the truth; your word is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I also sent them into the world. 19 And I am sanctifying myself in their behalf, so that they also may be sanctified by means of truth. . .

(John 16:27, 28) 27 For the Father himself has affection for you, because you have had affection for me and have believed that I came as God’s representative. 28 I came as the Father’s representative and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and am going to the Father.. . .

So observing God’s commands and having faith we can conquer the world.

(1 John 5:2-4) . . .. 3 For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome, 4 because everyone who has been born from God conquers the world. And this is the conquest that has conquered the world, our faith. . .

Jesus did not say it would be easy.

Jesus warns those living in harmony with him and our heavenly father will be persecuted. He tells us the student is no better then the teacher. If the world hated him they would also hate those who loyally follow him.

(2 Timothy 3:12, 13) 12 In fact, all those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted. 13 But wicked men and impostors will advance from bad to worse, misleading and being misled. . .

Many will not heed our warning and will ridicule us.

(2 Peter 3:2-4) . . .. 3 First of all know this, that in the last days ridiculers will come with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires 4 and saying: “Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep in death, all things are continuing exactly as they were from creation’s beginning. . .

(Jude 17-23) 17 As for you, beloved ones, call to mind the sayings that have been previously spoken by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18 how they used to say to you: “In the last time there will be ridiculers, following their own desires for ungodly things.” 19 These are the ones who cause divisions, animalistic men, not having spirituality. 20 But you, beloved ones, build yourselves up on your most holy faith, and pray with holy spirit, 21 in order to keep yourselves in God’s love, while you await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ with everlasting life in view. 22 Also, continue showing mercy to some who have doubts; 23 save them by snatching them out of the fire. But continue showing mercy to others, doing so with fear, while you hate even the garment that has been stained by the flesh.

We must be careful this ridicule can cause us to let down our guard and we could be lured into the world. This is also why we are warned not to become unevenly yoked with the world.

(Luke 21:34-36) 34 “But pay attention to yourselves that your hearts never become weighed down with overeating and heavy drinking and anxieties of life, and suddenly that day be instantly upon you 35 as a snare. For it will come upon all those dwelling on the face of the whole earth. 36 Keep awake, then, all the time making supplication that you may succeed in escaping all these things that must occur and in standing before the Son of man. . .

(2 Corinthians 6:14-17) 14 Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what sharing does light have with darkness? 15 Further, what harmony is there between Christ and Beʹli·al? Or what does a believer share in common with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement does God’s temple have with idols? For we are a temple of a living God; just as God said: “I will reside among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 17 “‘Therefore, get out from among them, and separate yourselves,’ says Jehovah, ‘and quit touching the unclean thing’”; “‘and I will take you in.. . .

The world views people by their status in society if we pursue things of the world and we risk becoming like them which can cause us to become bias towards those who are in need and develop an incorrect view of them. They even show favoritism towards those who are well off, something we are warned not to do.

(James 2:1-4) 2 My brothers, you are not holding to the faith of our glorious Lord Jesus Christ while showing favoritism, are you? 2 For if a man with gold rings on his fingers and in splendid clothing comes into your meeting, but a poor man in filthy clothing also enters, 3 do you look with favor on the one wearing the splendid clothing and say, “You take this seat here in a fine place,” and do you say to the poor one, “You keep standing” or, “Take that seat there under my footstool”? 4 If so, do you not have class distinctions among yourselves, and have you not become judges rendering wicked decisions?

Ephesians lays out the complete way to protect ourselves by putting on the complete armor of God. The belt of truth with is the truth in God’s word will protect and guide us. Be remaining blameless it protects us. Our faith is our shield, and putting our faith in our redeemer and the hope of salvation is our helmet. Also taking in God’s word and applying it is the Sword of the Spirit. And praying and asking God in times of trouble help us.

(Ephesians 6:10-13) . . .. 11 Put on the complete suit of armor from God so that you may be able to stand firm against the crafty acts of the Devil; 12 because we have a struggle, not against blood and flesh, but against the governments, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places. 13 For this reason take up the complete suit of armor from God, so that you may be able to resist in the wicked day and, after you have accomplished everything, to stand firm.

The bible does not promise wealth or that we would live in comfort. We must remember if we follow in Jesus foot steps will will be falsely accused, many will hate and turn on us. Many of us will go without food. All these things would not stop us from enriching people spiritually.

(2 Corinthians 6:3-10) 3 In no way are we giving any cause for stumbling, so that no fault may be found with our ministry; 4 but in every way we recommend ourselves as God’s ministers, by the endurance of much, by tribulations, by times of need, by difficulties, 5 by beatings, by imprisonments, by riots, by hard work, by sleepless nights, by times without food; 6 by purity, by knowledge, by patience, by kindness, by holy spirit, by love free from hypocrisy, 7 by truthful speech, by God’s power; through the weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left, 8 through glory and dishonor, through bad report and good report. We are regarded as deceivers and yet we are truthful, 9 as unknown and yet we are recognized, as dying and yet look! we live, as punished and yet not handed over to death, 10 as sorrowing but ever rejoicing, as poor but making many rich, as having nothing and yet possessing all things.

When we endure patiently it may draw others to the bible truths. We must do our best not to let the world shape who we are but to let Jehovah and his word shape us, it will protect us from being conquered by the world. In doing so we conquer the evil with the good.

(2 Timothy 2:23-26) 23 Further, reject foolish and ignorant debates, knowing that they produce fights. 24 For a slave of the Lord does not need to fight, but needs to be gentle toward all, qualified to teach, showing restraint when wronged, 25 instructing with mildness those not favorably disposed. Perhaps God may give them repentance leading to an accurate knowledge of truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the Devil, seeing that they have been caught alive by him to do his will. . .

(Romans 12:9-21) 9 Let your love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is wicked; cling to what is good. 10 In brotherly love have tender affection for one another. In showing honor to one another, take the lead. 11 Be industrious, not lazy. Be aglow with the spirit. Slave for Jehovah. 12 Rejoice in the hope. Endure under tribulation. Persevere in prayer. 13 Share with the holy ones according to their needs. Follow the course of hospitality. 14 Keep on blessing those who persecute; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. 16 Have the same attitude toward others as toward yourselves; do not set your mind on lofty things, but be led along with the lowly things. Do not become wise in your own eyes. 17 Return evil for evil to no one. Take into consideration what is fine from the viewpoint of all men. 18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, be peaceable with all men. 19 Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath; for it is written: “‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ says Jehovah.” 20 But “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing this you will heap fiery coals on his head.” 21 Do not let yourself be conquered by the evil, but keep conquering the evil with the good. . .

Our endurance and faith shows our love for Jesus and his father. In remaining faithful and strong we set on example for others. Jesus did not say it would be easy he warned that to follow him we would have to endure the same things as he did. Just as they falsely accused him , persecuted him in many ways so those who follow him in truth will be treated. God did not promise us wealth as a matter of fact Jesus did not have a home to sleep in.

(James 1:2-4) 2 Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you meet with various trials, 3 knowing as you do that this tested quality of your faith produces endurance. 4 But let endurance complete its work, so that you may be complete and sound in all respects, not lacking in anything. . .

(Matthew 10:24-31) 24 “A student is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25 It is enough for the student to become as his teacher, and the slave as his master. If people have called the master of the house Be·elʹze·bub, how much more those of his household? 26 So do not fear them, for there is nothing covered over that will not become uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 27 What I tell you in the darkness, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, preach from the housetops. 28 And do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, fear him who can destroy both soul and body in Ge·henʹna. 29 Two sparrows sell for a coin of small value, do they not? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So have no fear; you are worth more than many sparrows. . .

(Matthew 8:20) But Jesus said to him: “Foxes have dens and birds of heaven have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay down his head.

Those who put their faith in the world and things of the world cannot put faith in God and will not learn to love him. It can hinder their relationship with God. These things will all be gone soon and all we will have is our relationship with God. If we do not have a relationship with God we will not fair well when this system collapses.

(1 John 2:15-17) 15 Do not love either the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him; 16 because everything in the world—the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life—does not originate with the Father, but originates with the world. 17 Furthermore, the world is passing away and so is its desire, but the one who does the will of God remains forever. . .

Exercising Faith.

The bible tells us to exercise faith showing we have to work to build our faith. In doing so we will receive the power from God to endure the things that will occur. Many had faith in Jesus but did not want to lose their status in society so they would not acknowledge him. Jesus warned them that the things he said were given as commanded to him by God. To disobey his commands we would be disobeying God which shows a lack of faith.

(John 14:1) 14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Exercise faith in God; exercise faith also in me.

(John 12:42, 43) 42 All the same, many even of the rulers actually put faith in him, but they would not acknowledge him because of the Pharisees, so that they would not be expelled from the synagogue; 43 for they loved the glory of men even more than the glory of God. . .

(John 12:47-50) 47 But if anyone hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I came, not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 Whoever disregards me and does not receive my sayings has one to judge him. The word that I have spoken is what will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken of my own initiative, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment means everlasting life. So whatever I speak, I speak just as the Father has told me. . .

(Romans 3:28-31) 28 For we consider that a man is declared righteous by faith apart from works of law. 29 Or is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also the God of people of the nations? Yes, also of people of the nations. 30 Since God is one, he will declare circumcised people righteous as a result of faith and uncircumcised people righteous by means of their faith. 31 Do we, then, abolish law by means of our faith? Not at all! On the contrary, we uphold law. . .

We can see that exercising faith means that we adhere to the teachings of Jesus and follow his example.

(John 3:16-21) 16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world for him to judge the world, but for the world to be saved through him. 18 Whoever exercises faith in him is not to be judged. Whoever does not exercise faith has been judged already, because he has not exercised faith in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. 19 Now this is the basis for judgment: that the light has come into the world, but men have loved the darkness rather than the light, for their works were wicked. 20 For whoever practices vile things hates the light and does not come to the light, so that his works may not be reproved. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that his works may be made manifest as having been done in harmony with God.”

We need to work towards strengthening our faith because it will help us to endure. The things we endure teaches and strengthens us and those who lack faith give up but we endure things through our faith that is beyond normal.

(1 Peter 5:6-11) 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time, 7 while you throw all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. 8 Keep your senses, be watchful! Your adversary, the Devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone. 9 But take your stand against him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by the entire association of your brothers in the world. 10 But after you have suffered a little while, the God of all undeserved kindness, who called you to his everlasting glory in union with Christ, will himself finish your training. He will make you firm, he will make you strong, he will firmly ground you. 11 To him be the might forever. Amen.

Exercising faith means we would have such a deep love for God and his son Jesus that we will give testimony about them even if it may cost our lives.

(Acts 20:24) Nevertheless, I do not consider my own life of any importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear thorough witness to the good news of the undeserved kindness of God

(Luke 9:24) For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake is the one who will save it.

(Revelation 12:11) And they conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their witnessing, and they did not love their souls even in the face of death.

We have a helper.

Jesus told the apostles he would send a helper. This helper is the spirit of truth from God.

(John 14:25, 26) . . .. 26 But the helper, the holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach you all things and bring back to your minds all the things I told you. . .

(Matthew 10:19, 20) However, when they hand you over, do not become anxious about how or what you are to speak, for what you are to speak will be given you in that hour; 20 for the ones speaking are not just you, but it is the spirit of your Father that speaks by you

(John 14:16, 17) 16 And I will ask the Father and he will give you another helper to be with you forever, 17 the spirit of the truth, which the world cannot receive, because it neither sees it nor knows it. You know it, because it remains with you and is in you.

If we do not have the spirit of truth we cannot worship God in spirit and truth because our minds will be set on material things.

(Romans 8:5) 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit, on the things of the spirit.

Getting too caught up in the world can lure us in and we may start drinking of the cup of the devil which would inhibit our receiving the spirit.

(1 Corinthians 10:20, 21) 20 No; but I say that what the nations sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers with the demons. 21 You cannot be drinking the cup of Jehovah and the cup of demons; you cannot be partaking of “the table of Jehovah” and the table of demons.

We do not just receive the spirit we must ask for it. How would a parent know your needs if you do not ask. We have to let God know we desire and need his helper.

(Luke 11:12, 13) . . .? 13 Therefore, if you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!. . .

How do we know when we have received the spirit? Because we will produce the fruits of the spirit. Love will guide all we do, we will find joy even though we will be heavily persecuted and have to endure much tribulation, we will have an inner peace , we will be more patient , we will strive to be good, our faith will increase, we will be known for our mildness and self-control.

(Galatians 5:22, 23) 22 On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. . .

Of the fruitage of the spirit love is the most important one. It can cover a multitude of sins. Love should guide all we do. It is the love God has for us that drove him to provide a ransom sacrifice for us. If we do not love we cannot know God.

(1 Corinthians 13:4-7) 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous. It does not brag, does not get puffed up, 5 does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. 6 It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. . .

(1 John 4:8-10) 8 Whoever does not love has not come to know God, because God is love. 9 By this the love of God was revealed in our case, that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world so that we might gain life through him. 10 The love is in this respect, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins. . .

(1 Peter 4:7-9) 7 But the end of all things has drawn close. Therefore, be sound in mind, and be vigilant with a view to prayers. 8 Above all things, have intense love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.

Our salvation depends on the fruits we produce. It is an expression of our love for Jehovah and his only begotten son Jesus Christ.

(1 Peter 1:8, 9) 8 Though you never saw him, you love him. Though you do not see him now, yet you exercise faith in him and are greatly rejoicing with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9 as you attain the goal of your faith, your salvation. . .

(Romans 6:21-23) 21 What, then, was the fruit that you used to produce at that time? Things of which you are now ashamed. For the end of those things is death. 22 However, now that you were set free from sin and became slaves to God, you are producing your fruit in the way of holiness, and the end is everlasting life. 23 For the wages sin pays is death, but the gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord.

We can see it is not the status of someone that determines their status with God but the fruits they produce and it is an identifying mark of those worshiping in truth. False prophets will produce bad fruits. We learned this in 2 Timothy 3:1-8 which speaks of the last days and the results of false teachings.

(Matthew 7:15-20) 15 “Be on the watch for the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. 16 By their fruits you will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they? 17 Likewise, every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, nor can a rotten tree produce fine fruit. 19 Every tree not producing fine fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Really, then, by their fruits you will recognize those men.

Jesus promised us peace.

Jesus promised us peace but it would not be peace as man knows peace but it would be an inner peace because of our faith and the hope in the future promises. We would have an inner peace because we would not live in fear as many others do now days. Fear can be used to deceive people and manipulate them. Because we do no live in fear it cannot be used as a weapon against us. We also have the peace of knowing all can now worship God in truth through the ransom sacrifice of God’s only begotten son Jesus Christ. This ransom sacrifice removed all barriers.

(John 14:27) 27 I leave you peace; I give you my peace. I do not give it to you the way that the world gives it. Do not let your hearts be troubled nor let them shrink out of fear.

(Ephesians 2:13-18) 13 But now in union with Christ Jesus, you who were once far off have come to be near by the blood of the Christ. 14 For he is our peace, the one who made the two groups one and destroyed the wall in between that fenced them off. 15 By means of his flesh he abolished the enmity, the Law of commandments consisting in decrees, in order to make the two groups in union with himself into one new man and to make peace, 16 and to reconcile fully both peoples in one body to God through the torture stake, because he had killed off the enmity by means of himself. 17 And he came and declared the good news of peace to you who were far off, and peace to those near, 18 because through him we, both peoples, have free access to the Father by one spirit.

This peace that we receive guards our hearts. If you read Psalm 27:1-14 you will see why Jesus had peace even though he was heavily persecuted. His faith was in Jehovah so it gave him the courage and strength to endure. This drove Jesus to teach the good news of the heavenly kingdom which give a future hope of better things to come.

(Philippians 4:6, 7) 6 Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus. . .

(2 Timothy 1:7-10) 7 For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but one of power and of love and of soundness of mind. 8 So do not become ashamed either of the witness about our Lord or of me, a prisoner for his sake, but take your part in suffering adversity for the good news by relying on the power of God. 9 He saved us and called us with a holy calling, not because of our works, but because of his own purpose and undeserved kindness. This was given to us in connection with Christ Jesus before times long ago, 10 but now it has been made clearly evident through the manifestation of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has abolished death and has shed light on life and incorruption through the good news,

(Revelation 21:1-4) 21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. 2 I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”

Destruction of the wicked.

We must be patient and endure because God desires none to be destroyed but wants all to have the opportunity to know him and to repent. So we must do our best to warn others and to teach them about the one true God while we patiently wait knowing that many of our spiritual brothers and sisters are still out there waiting for someone to show them the way out. Sharing God’s word, being persistant in prayer will help keep us awake so that we will be ready when the destruction of the wicked comes. We know it will happen suddenly and at a time people least expect.

(2 Peter 3:8-10) . . .. 9 Jehovah is not slow concerning his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance. 10 But Jehovah’s day will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar, but the elements being intensely hot will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be exposed.

(Revelation 16:15) 15 “Look! I am coming as a thief. Happy is the one who stays awake and keeps his outer garments, so that he may not walk naked and people look upon his shamefulness.. . .

(Matthew 24:43, 44) 43 “But know one thing: If the householder had known in what watch the thief was coming, he would have kept awake and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 On this account, you too prove yourselves ready, because the Son of man is coming at an hour that you do not think to be it.

Those who conquer the world their name will not be blotted out and they will be remembered. This will be those who have figuratively washed their robes. In other words they have repented from the ways of the world and have drawn closer to God.

(Revelation 3:4, 5) . . .. 5 The one who conquers will thus be dressed in white garments, and I will by no means blot out his name from the book of life, but I will acknowledge his name before my Father and before his angels. . .

(Revelation 22:13-15) . . .. 14 Happy are those who wash their robes, so that they may have authority to go to the trees of life and that they may gain entrance into the city through its gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and those who practice spiritism and those who are sexually immoral and the murderers and the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices lying.. . .

This gives us courage beyond what is normal because we do not fear those who can kill the body. We know the heavenly father and his son love us and would not forget the work we have done and the love we have shown for Jehovah’s great name.

(Matthew 10:28-31) 28 And do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, fear him who can destroy both soul and body in Ge·henʹna. 29 Two sparrows sell for a coin of small value, do they not? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So have no fear; you are worth more than many sparrows.

(Hebrews 6:10-12) 10 For God is not unrighteous so as to forget your work and the love you showed for his name by ministering and continuing to minister to the holy ones. 11 But we desire each one of you to show the same industriousness so as to have the full assurance of the hope down to the end, 12 so that you may not become sluggish, but be imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

This is why now more then ever we need to put God’s word into our hearts to better equip us for the work ahead. Just a while longer and the bad memories will be gone they will be replaced by the good memories of the fulfillment of the future promises.

(2 Timothy 3:16, 17) 16 All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.

(Isaiah 65:17) 17 For look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be called to mind, Nor will they come up into the heart. . .

(2 Peter 3:11-13) 11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, consider what sort of people you ought to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, 12 as you await and keep close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah, through which the heavens will be destroyed in flames and the elements will melt in the intense heat! 13 But there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell. . .

(Psalm 37:28, 29) 28 For Jehovah loves justice, And he will not abandon his loyal ones. ע [Ayin] They will always be guarded; But the descendants of the wicked will be done away with. 29 The righteous will possess the earth, And they will live forever on it.

We can find comfort in knowing nothing not even death can separate us from the love that Jehovah has for us and the love his only begotten son our heavenly king has for us.

(Romans 8:35-39) 35 Who will separate us from the love of the Christ? Will tribulation or distress or persecution or hunger or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 Just as it is written: “For your sake we are being put to death all day long; we have been accounted as sheep for slaughtering.” 37 On the contrary, in all these things we are coming off completely victorious through the one who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor governments nor things now here nor things to come nor powers 39 nor height nor depth nor any other creation will be able to separate us from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We must remember to continue to pray for those persecuting us remembering that the apostle Paul also once persecuted those who worshiped in truth.

(Acts 7:54-8:1) 54 Well, at hearing these things, they were infuriated in their hearts and began to grind their teeth at him. 55 But he, being full of holy spirit, gazed into heaven and caught sight of God’s glory and of Jesus standing at God’s right hand, 56 and he said: “Look! I see the heavens opened up and the Son of man standing at God’s right hand.” 57 At this they cried out at the top of their voices and put their hands over their ears and rushed at him all together. 58 After throwing him outside the city, they began stoning him. The witnesses laid down their outer garments at the feet of a young man called Saul. 59 As they were stoning Stephen, he made this appeal: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then, kneeling down, he cried out with a strong voice: “Jehovah, do not charge this sin against them.” And after saying this, he fell asleep in death. 8 Saul, for his part, approved of his murder. . .

(1 Timothy 1:12-16) 12 I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who imparted power to me, because he considered me faithful by assigning me to a ministry, 13 although formerly I was a blasphemer and a persecutor and an insolent man. Nevertheless, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and with a lack of faith. 14 But the undeserved kindness of our Lord abounded exceedingly along with faith and the love that is in Christ Jesus. 15 This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these, I am foremost. 16 Nevertheless, I was shown mercy so that by means of me as the foremost case, Christ Jesus might demonstrate all his patience, making me an example to those who are going to rest their faith on him for everlasting life.

This link is a good article explaining how to recognize true worship so we do not make the same error Paul made.

https://www.jw.org/en/publications/books/good-news-from-god/recognize-true-worshippers/#?insight%5Bsearch_id%5D=80147093-0f96-400a-9756-6f29ef57a5d9&insight%5Bsearch_result_index%5D=2

Have you drawn close to God for nothing?

IMG_20140719_205356It may seem like God has forgotten those of us who are trying our best to be obedient. It seems those who do not care, who will not help the down trodden and who do many bad things live in peace and comfort. We have to keep in mind God is listening and taking note. We may even question why we have done our best to cleanse ourselves and obey God.

(Psalm 73:3-13)  3 For I became envious of the boasters, [When] I would see the very peace of wicked people.  4 For they have no deathly pangs; And their paunch is fat.  5 They are not even in the trouble of mortal man, And they are not plagued the same as other men.  6 Therefore haughtiness has served as a necklace to them; Violence envelops them as a garment.  7 Their eye has bulged from fatness; They have exceeded the imaginations of the heart.  8 They scoff and speak about what is bad; About defrauding they speak in an elevated style.  9 They have put their mouth in the very heavens, And their tongue itself walks about in the earth. 10 Therefore he brings his people back hither, And the waters of what is full are drained out for them. 11 And they have said: “How has God come to know? And does there exist knowledge in the Most High?” 12 Look! These are the wicked, who are at ease indefinitely. They have increased [their] means of maintenance. 13 Surely it is in vain that I have cleansed my heart And that I wash my hands in innocence itself.

Many have felt this way. God does take note of who is obedient and who is not. This system is temporary but the new system is forever. Those written in the book of remembrance will be rewarded by God and it will be an eternal reward.

(Malachi 3:14-16) 14 “YOU have said, ‘It is of no value to serve God. And what profit is there in that we have kept the obligation to him, and that we have walked dejectedly on account of Jehovah of armies? 15 And at present we are pronouncing presumptuous people happy. Also, the doers of wickedness have been built up. Also, they have tested God out and keep getting away.’” 16 At that time those in fear of Jehovah spoke with one another, each one with his companion, and Jehovah kept paying attention and listening. And a book of remembrance began to be written up before him for those in fear of Jehovah and for those thinking upon his name. . .

Those who have washed their outer garments and acknowledged the one true God will not be blotted out of his book.

(Revelation 3:4, 5) . . .. 5 He that conquers will thus be arrayed in white outer garments; and I will by no means blot out his name from the book of life, but I will make acknowledgment of his name before my Father and before his angels. . .

(Philippians 4:2, 3) . . .. 3 Yes, I request you too, genuine yokefellow, keep assisting these [women] who have striven side by side with me in the good news along with Clement as well as the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

During the resurrection those who have done bad and thought it went unnoticed will receive their reward which is the lake of fire and those who were obedient will be rewarded with eternal life.

(John 5:28, 29) 28 Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment. . .

(Revelation 20:11-15) . . .. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. But another scroll was opened; it is the scroll of life. And the dead were judged out of those things written in the scrolls according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up those dead in it, and death and Ha′des gave up those dead in them, and they were judged individually according to their deeds. 14 And death and Ha′des were hurled into the lake of fire. This means the second death, the lake of fire. 15 Furthermore, whoever was not found written in the book of life was hurled into the lake of fire.

We know we are in the last days. The time is very near for scoffers who follow their own sinful desires to be done away with. We need to stay strong we only have a little longer it is a sign salvation is near.

(2 Peter 3:2-7) . . .. 3 For YOU know this first, that in the last days there will come ridiculers with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires 4 and saying: “Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep [in death], all things are continuing exactly as from creation’s beginning.” 5 For, according to their wish, this fact escapes their notice, that there were heavens from of old and an earth standing compactly out of water and in the midst of water by the word of God; 6 and by those [means] the world of that time suffered destruction when it was deluged with water. 7 But by the same word the heavens and the earth that are now are stored up for fire and are being reserved to the day of judgment and of destruction of the ungodly men. . .

 

We are to lift our heads because it means deliverance is near.

(Luke 21:25-28) 25 “Also, there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth anguish of nations, not knowing the way out because of the roaring of the sea and [its] agitation, 26 while men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 But as these things start to occur, raise yourselves erect and lift YOUR heads up, because YOUR deliverance is getting near.”

Bible tells us we are not saved by works alone, yet it says faith without works is dead. Seems contradicting but is it really?

If you don't read it how can you have faith.

To fully understand what the scriptures are telling us you have to consider what the works are. Their are various forms of work concerning any situation in life. It is the same for our spiritual part of our lives. In Ephesians it is saying we have to be saved through faith not by works. Yet it also says we are to do good works. So clearly it is speaking of two different works.

(Ephesians 2:8-10) 8 By this undeserved kindness, indeed, YOU have been saved through faith; and this not owing to YOU, it is God’s gift. 9 No, it is not owing to works, in order that no man should have ground for boasting. 10 For we are a product of his work and were created in union with Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared in advance for us to walk in them.

Now if you remember the pharisees believe by memorizing God’s laws and by appearing to be the most righteous they would achieve salvation.

(Matthew 23:1-13) 23 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying: 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the seat of Moses. 3 Therefore all the things they tell YOU, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds, for they say but do not perform. 4 They bind up heavy loads and put them upon the shoulders of men, but they themselves are not willing to budge them with their finger. 5 All the works they do they do to be viewed by men; for they broaden the [scripture-containing] cases that they wear as safeguards, and enlarge the fringes [of their garments]. 6 They like the most prominent place at evening meals and the front seats in the synagogues, 7 and the greetings in the marketplaces and to be called Rabbi by men. 8 But YOU, do not YOU be called Rabbi, for one is YOUR teacher, whereas all YOU are brothers. 9 Moreover, do not call anyone YOUR father on earth, for one is YOUR Father, the heavenly One. 10 Neither be called ‘leaders,’ for YOUR Leader is one, the Christ. 11 But the greatest one among YOU must be YOUR minister. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. 13 “Woe to YOU, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because YOU shut up the kingdom of the heavens before men; for YOU yourselves do not go in, neither do YOU permit those on their way in to go in. . .

Now it is becoming clearer what some of the works is. Works of law. So the pharisees thought the law was their way to salvation. But Jesus stated many times we must exercise faith.

(Romans 9:30-32) 30 What shall we say, then? That people of the nations, although not pursuing righteousness, caught up with righteousness, the righteousness that results from faith; 31 but Israel, although pursuing a law of righteousness, did not attain to the law. 32 For what reason? Because he pursued it, not by faith, but as by works. . .

But does this mean we do not have to obey the laws of the bible? It seems to say this is so. But how can we exercise faith which Jesus stated many times we needed to do if we do not apply God’s laws in our lives to guide us.

(Galatians 3:10-14) 10 For all those who depend upon works of law are under a curse; for it is written: “Cursed is every one that does not continue in all the things written in the scroll of the Law in order to do them.” 11 Moreover, that by law no one is declared righteous with God is evident, because “the righteous one will live by reason of faith.” 12 Now the Law does not adhere to faith, but “he that does them shall live by means of them.” 13 Christ by purchase released us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse instead of us, because it is written: “Accursed is every man hanged upon a stake.” 14 The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham might come to be by means of Jesus Christ for the nations, that we might receive the promised spirit through our faith. . .

We know that one exercises faith with the heart and we make a declaration of our faith. So how do we acquire the skills to exercise faith in our hearts?

(Romans 10:10) 10 For with the heart one exercises faith for righteousness, but with the mouth one makes public declaration for salvation.

So we are to write God’s word on our hearts. In other words we are to live by his word and let it guide all we do.

(Proverbs 7:1-3) 7 My son, keep my sayings, and may you treasure up my own commandments with you. 2 Keep my commandments and continue living, and my law like the pupil of your eyes. 3 Tie them upon your fingers, and write them upon the tablet of your heart. . .

(John 14:15-17) 15 “If YOU love me, YOU will observe my commandments; 16 and I will request the Father and he will give YOU another helper to be with YOU forever, 17 the spirit of the truth, which the world cannot receive, because it neither beholds it nor knows it. YOU know it, because it remains with YOU and is in YOU. . .

So it is not by obeying the laws that will save us but faith in God and his laws, also faith in his son and our King Jesus.

(Romans 2:13) For the hearers of law are not the ones righteous before God, but the doers of law will be declared righteous

Now another dilemma faith without works is dead. Now what works could this be? We know that is takes more then learning God’s laws and obeying them but what are the other works? We can look to the book of James for that answer.

(James 2:14-17) 14 Of what benefit is it, my brothers, if a certain one says he has faith but he does not have works? That faith cannot save him, can it? 15 If a brother or a sister is in a naked state and lacking the food sufficient for the day, 16 yet a certain one of YOU says to them: “Go in peace, keep warm and well fed,” but YOU do not give them the necessities for [their] body, of what benefit is it? 17 Thus, too, faith, if it does not have works, is dead in itself.

Now it becomes clear we do not only have to learn the law and live by it but we must do certain works. Works of compassion.

(Matthew 25:34-46) 34 “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, YOU who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for YOU from the founding of the world. 35 For I became hungry and YOU gave me something to eat; I got thirsty and YOU gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and YOU received me hospitably; 36 naked, and YOU clothed me. I fell sick and YOU looked after me. I was in prison and YOU came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous ones will answer him with the words, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and receive you hospitably, or naked, and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to you?’ 40 And in reply the king will say to them, ‘Truly I say to YOU, To the extent that YOU did it to one of the least of these my brothers, YOU did it to me.’ 41 “Then he will say, in turn, to those on his left, ‘Be on YOUR way from me, YOU who have been cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. 42 For I became hungry, but YOU gave me nothing to eat, and I got thirsty, but YOU gave me nothing to drink. 43 I was a stranger, but YOU did not receive me hospitably; naked, but YOU did not clothe me; sick and in prison, but YOU did not look after me.’ 44 Then they also will answer with the words, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them with the words, ‘Truly I say to YOU, To the extent that YOU did not do it to one of these least ones, YOU did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will depart into everlasting cutting-off, but the righteous ones into everlasting life. . .

Now we know that we must have some works , works of compassion not works of the law. What is faith? We know faith is involved in the works. In James we learned we must have works and faith. We cannot see faith. How do we acquire it?

(Romans 8:24) For we were saved in [this] hope; but hope that is seen is not hope, for when a man sees a thing, does he hope for it?

(Hebrews 11:1) 11 Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld. . .

The bible tells us we must keep our eyes on the things unseen, not the things seen to build out faith.

(2 Corinthians 4:18) while we keep our eyes, not on the things seen, but on the things unseen. For the things seen are temporary, but the things unseen are everlasting

(2 Corinthians 5:7) for we are walking by faith, not by sight

Without faith it is impossible to please God so it is very important to acquire faith.

Hebrews 11: Moreover, without faith it is impossible to please God well, for whoever approaches God must believe that he is* and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.

We learn faith follow the things heard. So we must take in God’s word and listen attentively at meetings to make sure we put God’s word on the tablet of our hearts. It should guide all we do.

(Romans 10:17) 17 So faith follows the thing heard. In turn the thing heard is through the word about Christ. . .

2Timothy 3:16  All Scripture is inspired of Goda and beneficial for teaching,b for reproving, for setting things straight,* for disciplining in righteousness

We must do personal research to verify that all we are being told is true. We must look deeply into God’s word.

Acts 17:11 11  Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thes·sa·lo·niʹca, for they accepted the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

We learn that faith is a fruit of the spirit so faith comes from God as a blessing of the holy spirit. How do we acquire the spirit. By asking our heavenly father.

(Luke 11:12, 13) . . .? 13 Therefore, if YOU, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to YOUR children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!”

(Galatians 5:22, 23) 22 On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. . .

Once we acquire faith we must exercise it by speaking to others about the reason for our faith.

(Romans 10:10) 10 For with the heart one exercises faith for righteousness, but with the mouth one makes public declaration for salvation.

(Hebrews 13:15) 15 Through him let us always offer to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which make public declaration to his name.

So it is not through works we are saved but through our faith and our showing our faith. The works would be the results of the fruits of the spirit. So we can see it is not the works of the laws of God but the works of our faith.

Colossians 1:9, 10) . . ., 10 in order to walk worthily of Jehovah to the end of fully pleasing [him] as YOU go on bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the accurate knowledge of God. . .

(Matthew 5:16) 16 Likewise let YOUR light shine before men, that they may see YOUR fine works and give glory to YOUR Father who is in the heavens. . .

So the work we must do is make sure we represent God in a righteous way so as not to smear his good name and prove our faith.

(Ephesians 5:6-12) 6 Let no man deceive YOU with empty words, for because of the aforesaid things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partakers with them; 8 for YOU were once darkness, but YOU are now light in connection with [the] Lord. Go on walking as children of light, 9 for the fruitage of the light consists of every sort of goodness and righteousness and truth. 10 Keep on making sure of what is acceptable to the Lord; 11 and quit sharing with [them] in the unfruitful works that belong to the darkness, but, rather, even be reproving [them], 12 for the things that take place in secret by them it is shameful even to relate.

Hopefully if we please God we will escape the destruction that is coming upon this wicked system and those who are causing God’s good name to be spoken of abusively.

(Titus 2:6-8) 6 Likewise keep on exhorting the younger men to be sound in mind, 7 in all things showing yourself an example of fine works; showing uncorruptness in your teaching, seriousness, 8 wholesome speech which cannot be condemned; so that the man on the opposing side may get ashamed, having nothing vile to say about us. . .

(2 Peter 2:1-6) 2 However, there also came to be false prophets among the people, as there will also be false teachers among YOU. These very ones will quietly bring in destructive sects and will disown even the owner that bought them, bringing speedy destruction upon themselves. 2 Furthermore, many will follow their acts of loose conduct, and on account of these the way of the truth will be spoken of abusively. 3 Also, with covetousness they will exploit YOU with counterfeit words. But as for them, the judgment from of old is not moving slowly, and the destruction of them is not slumbering. 4 Certainly if God did not hold back from punishing the angels that sinned, but, by throwing them into Tar′ta·rus, delivered them to pits of dense darkness to be reserved for judgment; 5 and he did not hold back from punishing an ancient world, but kept Noah, a preacher of righteousness, safe with seven others when he brought a deluge upon a world of ungodly people; 6 and by reducing the cities Sod′om and Go·mor′rah to ashes he condemned them, setting a pattern for ungodly persons of things to come;

So the works of are works faith in which we can read about those who did just hat in God’s word and some were mentioned in Hebrews chapter 11. There are many examples of those who trusted God and had faith he would fulfill the future promises and would do what is best. They held fast to Jehovah no matter what they had to endure. They worked to educate and guide others and set examples to follow. We need to work towards what is right in God’s eyes and not mans. In doing so we express our faith in our heavenly father and his son our king Jesus. So the works we are to do are an expression of our faith.

Being able to identify when others show the fruits of the spirit will make it harder for those appearing as angels of light to deceive us.

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Fruits of the spirit. No matter how spiritual someone may seem if they are not showing fruits of the spirit then be cautious. If we are not or those we associate with are not showing the fruits of the spirit then it shows we or they need to write God’s word on our hearts and let it guide us. We must remember Satan will put wolves among us and they will be hard to identify but they will not show the fruits as those who are applying God’s word and writing it in our hearts.
Galations 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Of all the fruits love is the most important one.
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
Joy comes from remaining faithful no matter what we endure. Joy because we know we have salvation. We have faith that our king will save us. So if the person is a complainer or cannot see the good but only the bad be cautious. Also try and help them to learn to put faith in the promises of the future in store for those who remain faithful.
James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
1 Peter 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. We build the joy by sharing God,s word and doing his will.
Knowing God’s word and being able to give an answer for our hope gives us happiness.
Proverbs 15:23 A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word!
Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the torture steak, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. How to have complete joy.
We need to keep in mind this is all temporary and things will get better much better.
John 16:22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
God wrote his word because he knew what we would endure and he knew we would need guidance to get through it and assurance of the future.
Psalm 119:111 Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.
Peace our future hangs on pursuing it. If we see acts of violance and see people planning to do harm and we do not report it then we are not persuing peace. We are avoiding the possible persecution that may come from it. Pursuing peace means we do not return the acts of violance.
Psalm 37:37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace. Being peaceable helps keep us from stumbling. We must completely trust Jehovah. This gives us an inner peace no matter what we endure.
Psalm 119:165 Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Peace from God protects our minds.
Philipians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. God’s people would be peace makers. So they would not incite, condone in or tolerate acts that would promote violence.
We need to pay attention does the person strive for peace or do the stir up contentions?
Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Anyone can love those who love them but ot takes a true person of God to love those who do not love them.
Do they let love guide all they do?
Matthew 5:43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbori and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Forbearance the quality of someone who is patient and able to deal with a difficult person or situation without becoming angry.
James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
Because we are in the last days we may as well be patient and suffer as righteous and not unrighteous so we will have a future hope. So a lack of patience is not a good quality and is not a fruit of the spirit. Patience and endurance is are fruits of the spirit.
1 Peter 2:19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. If we are nut patient it shows we are not humble. Ecclesiastes 7:8 Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. We have to keep in mind Jehovah is patient and has given us an oppurtunity to repent, other have the same oppurtunity.
We need to be patient with those who do not yet know the truth they may be a spiritual brother or sister some day.
2 Peter 2:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. Those who refuse that oppurtunity will reap their reward. Revelation 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Being kind can be difficult in these times but stop and think if we are kind to those who are not which one will God judge? If both people are cruel who will be judged?
Proverbs 11:17 A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.
Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.
We are to be kind to everyone.
Galations 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
If we are not kind we could be cut of from the future promises.
Romans 11:Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.
I have found this to be true no matter how down and out I am when I do acts of kindness it picks me up.
Acts 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
We should keep in mind in mind that God performed the ultimate act of kindness so we should do our best to imitate his kindness.
Romans 5:But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
When someone is burdened down we are to bear some of that burden when possible. Even if all we have to give them is an ear to listen. Having someone to talk to in times of trouble means more then most realize. So when someone is going through tough times do we show the fruits of the spirit and pick them up or do we avoid them and look down on them? Avoiding someone who is in need is not a fruit of the spirit.
Galations 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
1 Timothy 6:18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, If someone needs help and we do nothing it is a sin to not offer our kindness.
James 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
Romans 15:1 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
In the bible where goodness was referred to it meant deliberate preference of right to wrong, the firm and persistent resistance of all moral evil, and the choosing and following of all moral good. So it pretty much means blameless. One of the things we must do is not complain or argue.
Philipians 2:14Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
Guarding our tongues is very important but it says we must speak the truth in our hearts, so we should never justify things with false reasoning in our hearts. If we give an oath or promise we are to stick to it no matter how difficult. If we do those things the bible says we will not be shaken.  Do we or someone we associate with guard their tongue?
Psalm 15:1 Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? 2 The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; 3 whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; 4 who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; 5 who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken. The tent of Jehovah is a prize worth working for.
Revelation 7:15 15 That is why they are before the throne of God, and they are rendering him sacred service day and night in his temple; and the One seated on the throne will spread his tent over them.
Revelation 21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. 2 I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”
Faithfulness, the apostle Paul defined faith. Do we or others we are concerned about put faith in God’s word or do they seek answers from man.
Hebrews 11:1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. We are to believe in our hearts. If we let our jearts be filled with things like gear anger resentment or any other negative things how could we have room for faith, then how could we have the courage to share that faith?
Romans 10:10 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. We aquire faith by learning and hearing Gods word and listen to the teachings of Christ.
Do we or those we are associating with seek more wisdom in God’s word or do they rely on their own understanding? Putting faith in oneself or man is not a fruit of the spirit. When criticized or persecuted for their faith do they remain strong or shrink back. Those who have the fruits of the spirit will have strong faith.
Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. We should not put our faith in man many times mans solutions are short lived orvplagued with problems. Only God has the power and wisdom to give real answers and solutions.
1Corinthians 2:5 That your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. If we do not have faith we will not be accepted by God. Which stands to reason. It is no different then saying we do not believe him. Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Hebrews 10:38-39 But my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. If we have real faith we will work towards that faith.
Do you are others you associate with have works that show they have faith? If they do not share the truth or shrink back when challenged on their faith it is showing a lack of the fruits.
James 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
If we do not share our faith continue to build on it by studying and hearing God’s word our faith will die. We must also apply that faith by always doing Jehovah’s will and not succumbing to doubts or fears. If a person has doubts or fear it is not a fruit of the spirit.
James 2:17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Thessalonians 1:2-3 “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Gentleness means we won’t even speak of bad things let alone
do them. Gentleness means we don’t force things on others but we will give them gentle answers. If someone likes to argue or debate that is not a fruit of the spirit.
Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.
2 Timothy 2:24-26 quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
Galations 5:23 Gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. If we are gentle we are precious to God.
We are to figuratively wear gentleness. So a fruit of the spirit is being gentle and kind. Not firm and harsh.
1 Peter 3:4 But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. We are to be gentle with everyone.
1 Peter 2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.
Self-control involve overcoming our human imperfections like anger, selfishness, greed, the list goes on. Our temper.
Proverbs 11:A fool always loses his temper, But a wise man holds it back.
Do they put physical things over spiritual. Putting physical things first is not a fruit of the spirit.
1 Thessalonions 4:3-7 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God
1 Corinthians 7:9 But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
Watching what we say. A tongue that stirs up contention, or does not offer comfort is not a fruit of the spirit. Also one who holds a grudge is not showing the fruits of the spirit.
Proverbs 21:23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles Proverbs 18:7 A fool’s mouth is his ruin, And his lips are the snare of his soul. Not getting violent.
Matthew 5:39-40 “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.
Controlling hatred not even letting it into our hearts. Hating others or looking down on them is not a fruit of the spirit.
Luke 6:27-29 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. “Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.
Fear is not a fruit of the spirit.
Isaiah 35:3 Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; 4 say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
Do they have inner peace when under tribulation or persecution? Inner peace is a fruit of the spirit.
John 14:27 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Fear of death is not a fruit of the spirit. It involves faith in the future promises.
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in the firey pit.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
To live again we must live by spirit. Do we or those we associate with live by spirit letting God’s word guide them?
Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Materialism is not a fruit of the spirit.
Fear of losing what we have. 1 Timothy 6:7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.
John 5:28 28 Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, and those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.
Do we or those we associate with have complete faith or do we have doubts. Doubt is not a fruit of the spirit.Controlling doubt If we let Jehovah’s word guide us and do his will we have no reason to have doubts. If we have doubts we will tend to lean on our own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5-8 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. If we have doubts it will it will cloud our thinking, it could hinder us from making the right decisions. We will be easily swayed like wave on the ocean when blown by the wind.
James 1:5-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Matthew 21:21 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I could go on and on but if you are blessed with the spirit we are to produce fruits from the spirit. That means we will do what we can to obey Jehovah’s laws and teach others also. Our fruits will speak for us. We are commanded to bear fruits.
Matthew 3:8 “Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; Matthew 12:33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.
You will know a true person of God by their fruits. What is it like around them? Do they try to work toward peace and live peacefully with others? Do they strive to teach others God’s word and help build their faith are do they only worry about themselves?
Matthew 7:16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Gentleness.
James 3:13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.
Helping others
Titus 3:18 Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful.
James 2:14-26 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
Do they show they are letting the wisdom from above guide them? When the seed does not grow and produce fruit it is not showing the fruits.
James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
Draw other to the truth.
Matthew 13:23 “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” Spiritual things and Gods will will come first.
Romans 8:13-14 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Galations 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Over coming our errs. Looking at our reflection in the mirror of God’s word and seeing our error and working to overcome them is a fruit. If someone is avoiding overcoming their error they are not showing the fruit.
Romans 6:11-14 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Increase in knowledge and applying it is a fruit.
Collossians 10: so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Their actions will demonstrate their love.  Do their actions and deeds show they know love and are truthful.
1John 3:18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
Characteristics of those producing the fruits.
James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
Do they try and draw others to God’s word so they can know him and have faith? Do they acknowledge God’s name and declare it?
Hebrews 13:15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
Love would guide all they do.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
Joy and peace no matter what their circumstances.
Romans 15:13 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
They will have endurance and patience.
Collossians 1:11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,
Bragging, harshness, those are not fruit of the spirit. We should be humble and gentle.
Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Does the person persevere under trials and tribulations or do they complain and struggle to hold their faith? They would be able to persevere.
2Peter 1:5-7 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.
Their trust in God will be clear they will not turn to man or immoral things or the world but to Jehovah and let his word guide them and will do his will not their own. In doing so they will know what to do and will not be easily moved from doing Gods will.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,whose confidence is in him.They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
They will have no doubt about God’s and Jesus love.
Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We do not want to be one of those not producing the fruits. Matthew 7:19 Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is cut down, and cast into the fire.