and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will
INVITATION FROM GOD
BY KEITH WINTEROWD
God Gave Us An Invitation Through Jesus
I really enjoy studying and have found some amazing things recently. My interests are the teachings and sayings of Jesus the Nazarene who said he came from God, whom he calls the Father.
He said that he has a message for all mankind from his Father, who is the God of creation. God also stated that Jesus is the only approved spokesman for him and no one else is. He announced this from the heavens on several occasions as witnessed by many people.
If that is true, and I think that it is, then I really need to pay attention to him and read his sayings seriously. Doing that is called listening to him and that is the only way to take him, seriously. Our everlasting life depends on it. There are only two paths. Those who follow Jesus only and those who do not follow Jesus only. Simple, is it not.
The fact is that I have made a decision to listen to Jesus and follow him in all my affairs. May the peace of Jesus be with you as you also pursue him.
Whatever I say is just me talking. The true, real authority is Jesus. Let us read the red print that we can find in the first four books of the New Testament of the Bible. In these four books we find the only authentic words of Jesus. Let us listen to him by reading his sayings there. The Old Testament and the four Gospels point to Jesus and he speaks to us telling us to follow him and his words home to the Father. Gospel means 'good news.'
So then the ultimate expression of God on earth is his Son, Jesus Christ.
Everything hinges on whether we believe him or do not believe him. If he really is the sole spokesman for God then the only rational thing to do is to pay close attention to what Jesus has to say to us.
A Summary of What Happened
Some of the people that lived with Jesus on the earth and those that followed him long ago, testified that they discovered Jesus to be the long awaited anointed one of God that was promised from ages past. They were looking for the one who was called the Messiah, a Hebrew term which means 'the anointed'. The Greek expression for 'anointed' is Christ. Messiah and Christ mean the same thing. They are not last names.
The early students were convinced that the words of Jesus were the actual words from the Father who sent the words to us through his Son. He was called Jesus the Nazarene. Some of his followers wrote about him and recorded his words as written in the four gospels.
We can discover the same words today by reading the good news of the kingdom of God that was written down by those early followers of Jesus. Today we may read the words of Jesus that were later transcribed and aggregated as the gospels.
Jesus was a real human being who lived approximately thirty three years. He was an itinerant preacher who preached in a circuit around Galilee and Judea in Palestine. He also healed and cast out demons. He called twelve men to follow him and had several followers. He spoke in illustrative language and performed signs and powerful works that attracted crowds far and wide. The main thrust of his message was the kingdom of God.
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; YOU people repent, and believe the good news. Mark 1:15
Jesus was extremely controversial among the church people and politicians of the day. These powerful men were envious of Jesus and his popularity with the crowds that gathered to hear him. The Devil was also envious and this played into his hands. This was the second time that Satan came to try to take control of Jesus.
The scene the Devil set up was a conspiracy to kill Jesus. The Devil really did not want to kill Jesus but he did want to cause Jesus to fear his death so much that he would yield to the preservation of his earth life rather than the Father's will. Satan's plan was carried out through the local power brokers, the church and state officials. They became, so to speak, the Devils henchmen.
The Devil did not understand that Jesus was hating his life as he had preached. All the offers Satan could make would be rejected. He was sure the offer to come down off of the crooked shaped torture stake would be immediately accepted by Jesus. However, Jesus had ransom in mind for all of those people who would follow him in God's saving harvest. They are called the of children of the resurrection to everlasting life, and the children of light. God's children.
Satan hoped Jesus would renounce his position and fail at God's plan of bringing the kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. The Adversary thought God would destroy his kingdom of fear in which he was prince. He ruled and reigned over earth through man's love of his own life and the fear of losing it through death. He of course ruled with an iron fist and the whole inhabited earth was dominated by him as earth bound and fear ridden prisoners.
Jesus was conspired against by the minions of the Devil. He was accused of sedition, tax evasion and inciting the populous against the establishment. He was also accused of saying he was a god and being the Son of God. Jesus was jailed, tried and sentenced to be killed by the religious and political officials. Jesus was put to death near Jerusalem and buried in a boulder sealed rock-mass tomb. Jesus was resurrected to life later by means of the glory of the Father our God, after spending three nights and three days among the dead ones in the heart of the earth.
Much later his followers discovered that he is the king of the kingdom of God that had come at the exact moment of his death. He was given some vinegar wine to drink, which is a product of the vine, just before he died while being tortured on the tree at Calvary. He was given all power on earth and in the heavens because of what he had accomplished. Most of his followers had run away from him because of the fear of the losing their lives. They had not yet understood Jesus words about the hatred of ones own life on earth to gain everlasting life with the Father in the heavens. However, Jesus had not done that to show us the Way at that point in time.
Through Jesus all those people who would follow him, had been ransomed from the imprisonment to the addiction to life on earth and and its corollary the fear because of that love of life. He did this also, to show us through his own fearless death that our fearless death like his, is the mediator of the hatred of our earth life to everlasting life with the Father. We ourselves must do the same if we want to attain to everlasting life with the Father. God wants us to love him beyond our own self centered love. He wants us to love our fellowman just as the Father loves us. We are to love them as our own self. Our enemies are our neighbors also.
You must love the Lord your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second [is] like it: You must love your neighbor as yourself. Matt 22:37-39
It took awhile for the sayings, events and scriptures to come to light for the the disciples. Prior to his ascension the Master opened their minds to the scriptures and recalled to the minds of his disciples certain events that related to fulfilling those sayings. These very disciples committed these sayings to mind as Jesus expanded their understanding.
Later, after the ascension of Jesus to the Father, the holy spirit was sent to guide his students. These students laid down in writing all the words Jesus gave to them to pass on to us under the protective urgings of the holy spirit. The spirit of God caused them to become able to remember and record the activities as well as the critical sayings from the Father that were brought to us through his Son, Jesus.
The holy spirit guides us into all the truth that God wants us to know at this time, by reading his words and sayings. We have those precious words aggregated in what is known now as the gospels.
The people that listened to, believed, followed and grasped a vision of Jesus' sayings were called disciples which means students. Jesus also calls us the same, but has amended our student status to sister and brother. We who follow him only have the same Father and God and live in union with him.
They called him Jesus, master and teacher or rabbi, which is Hebrew for teacher. We are not to be called by titles. We can call each other brother or sister. Real simple. His early students carried the good news of the kingdom everywhere. We are encouraged to do the same. Apparently the good news of the kingdom has not been spread to all the inhabited earth yet.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then the end will come.
Our web sites are a tremendous way of sending out the Jesus message of the kingdom of God to all the inhabited earth.
Jesus ascended to the right hand of power with the Father in heaven. He was given all power in heaven and on earth. The kingdom has come because God's will is being done now, on the earth as his will is being done in the heavens. God's will started being done when Jesus came to earth to show us the way of doing God's will. Before his coming God's will had not been done. That is why God sent Jesus, to show us the way.
We are doing God's will by listening to and doing the sayings of Jesus his Son. We become God's children by doing that. His words are spirit and life and we live off of those words. They are our nourishment. They change us. We become born from above by means of them. These words are the mediator now. Following and obeying those words is the same as following Jesus and are the mediators to everlasting life with the Father.
Before Jesus came God's will had not been known. All those who followed God's commands before him were called servants. After Jesus came God has been birthing children from above through the seed of his words given by Jesus to us. Those ones who take in those words and obey them are his children and become heirs of the kingdom of everlasting life in the heavenlies with the Father.
Jesus told us our primary purpose is to love the LORD our God with all of our whole being and secondly to love our neighbors as ourselves as we show mercy and forgiveness. We are to love our enemies and pray for our tormentors. God's will is that he wants us to come home to him on his terms and meet him there at God's Day of Resurrection to everlasting life with him.
We are to call only him, our Father.
Call no man on earth your Father.
Jesus condensed and simplified the Old Mosaic Law. He modified them and made them a tougher set of rules and commandments. God had Jesus bring them to us. These are recorded in the sermon on the mount and the sermon on the plain. This is the new law that Jesus has told us to obey as his essential commandments. These may be found in Matthew 5: 2f and Luke 6: 20f.
And this good news of the kingdom must be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all nations; and then the end will come. Matt 24:14
Jesus said that.
So we do need to spread the good news that the Kingdom of God has come. It is an ongoing thing right now; because, God's will is being done on earth right now, like it is being done in the heavens. Jesus started doing God's will over 2000 years ago and there has been a progression of brother's and sister's who have been doing the same thing by following Jesus sayings since then. There is not a massive number of us, however, we are doing God's will and God's kingdom is happening right now under our noses. It is not so much as to be observed as Jesus told us. The kingdom is more perceived than anything, by those who listen to him.
We follow Jesus words only and that gets it done. We are inviting you to do the same. We individually follow his sayings. The gathering of believers will be at the Day of Resurrection to everlasting life with the Father. That is where the gates of hell are not. That is where the called out ones will gather. We will meet together in the presence of the Father our God in his glory, in peace living in everlasting life at home at last.
Some Foundation Statements of Jesus From the Father
And Jesus answering said:
You must love the Lord your God with your whole heart, and with your whole soul and with your whole strength and with your whole mind; and, you must love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27
Jesus very plainly stated:
He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
Then said Jesus to his disciples:
If any one will come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his cross and follow me.
He further added:
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it: and, whoever wants to lose his life for my sake will find it. Matt 16:24 - 25
These are the principles we live by. We have his word for it not ours. Jesus said it, we believe it and that settles it. Jesus invites us to take up our own cross daily and follow his way home to the Father. No other way will cut it.
That's a tough invitation; but if we want his way of life that is what it takes to get in.
God's Witness From the Heavens and an Invitation To Listen
This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved; listen to him. Mt.17:5
PEACE BE TO YOU AND TO YOUR HOUSE