Monday, January 23, 2017

An Invitation from Jesus Christ to His Discipleship

This is an invitation from Jesus Christ to his discipleship: will you hear it?

KJV Luke 6:20-49
 20 ¶And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
 21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
 22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
 23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. 
 24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
 25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
 26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. 
 27 ¶But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
 28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
 29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
 30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
 31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
 32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
 33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
 34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
 35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
 36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
 37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. 
 39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
 40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
 41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
 42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.
 43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
 44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. 
 46 ¶And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
 47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
 48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
 49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
As we learn from Matthew 16:18, Jesus's church is built upon the rock and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  We see from Luke 6:46-49 that we as individuals build upon the rock by both hearing and doing these things which the Lord has commanded.  Therefore the Lord is here saying, in part, that they who hear his sayings and do them are his disciples and church, and those who hear his sayings and do not do them are neither his disciples nor his church.

The invitation Jesus Christ makes to his discipleship is, then, the invitation to begin now to do the things which the Lord has herein commanded, such as giving to every man that asks, lending to all comers hoping to not get paid back, turning the other cheek, judging not, and so forth, that the house of your soul may be established upon the rock of Jesus Christ, that you may be his disciple and his church.

A Lament and a Warning

Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, 
for which I was tormented with the pains of hell. 
Yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God 
and that I had not kept his holy commandments.
Yea, and I had murdered many of his children
-- or rather led them away unto destruction -- 
yea, and in fine, so great had been my iniquities 
that the very thoughts of coming into the presence of my God 
did rack my soul with inexpressible horror.

=====

He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts.
For behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up
for a light unto the world, 
that they may get gain and praise of the world, 
but they seek not the welfare of Zion.  
Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing.

Wherefore the Lord God hath given a commandment 
that all men should have charity, which charity is love. 
And except they should have charity, they were nothing. 
Wherefore if they should have charity, 
they would not suffer the laborer in Zion to perish.  
But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; 
for if they labor for money they shall perish.

=====

O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, 
why have ye built up churches unto yourselves to get gain? 
Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God
that ye might bring damnation upon your souls? 
Behold, look ye unto the revelations of God, 
for behold, the time cometh at that day 
when all these things must be fulfilled.

Behold, the Lord hath shown unto me great and marvelous things 
concerning that which must shortly come, 
at that day when these things shall come forth among you.
Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present 
-- and yet ye are not -- 
but behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, 
and I know your doing.
And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts.
And there are none, save a few only, 
which do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts 
unto the wearing of very fine apparel, 
unto envying and strifes and malice and persecutions, 
and all manner of iniquities. 
And your churches -- yea, even every one -- have become polluted 
because of the pride of your hearts.
For behold, ye do love money and your substance and your fine apparel 
and the adorning of your churches 
more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.

O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, 
ye teachers which sell yourselves for that which will canker, 
why have ye polluted the holy church of God? 
Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? 
Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness 
than that misery which never dies?
Because of the praise of the world?
Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, 
and yet suffer the hungry and the needy and the naked 
and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you and notice them not?
Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain 
and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, 
and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, 
and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands 
to cry unto the Lord from the ground for vengeance upon your heads?
Behold, the sword of vengeance hangeth over you; 
and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, 
for he will not suffer their cries any longer.