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Overjoyed does not fully express the way the Psalmist King David felt, when he received this revelation about God's master plan going out to all nations. "Oh, praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! For His merciful kindness is great toward us. And the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!"
A disciple of Jesus Christ must always remember this! That true freedom is faithfully learning to abide in the word of God, living it the same way Jesus Christ lived it! This is how a disciple truly praises the Lord. "Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, 'If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free'" (John 8:31-32).
For emphasis, let it be plainly stated again. That a disciple remains free and will become complete or be made perfect, if the disciple continues in the keeping of God's word. Living actively by it, and walking in the truth, the same way Jesus Christ walked. "But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked"(1 John 2:5-6).
Being in the body of Jesus Christ (which is the Church), a disciple must constantly be aware that the father of all sin is vanity. What is vanity? Vanity is everything that is against God's way of life. It entered the first parents of the human race when they ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Vanity is emptiness, futility and nonsense, which leads to death.
And needless to say, all sin is vanity, as God inspired the Preacher King Solomon to write. "The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 'Vanity of vanities, all is vanity,' says the Preacher; 'vanity of vanities, all is vanity'" (Ecclesiastes 1:1-2).
Remember, there was no vanity ever in Jesus Christ. Yet, Satan the devil is the father of vanity. And it is through the spirit of vanity that the devil deceives. Satan is so crafty, by making vanity appear good and right in the eyes of a disciple.
Therefore, a disciple must battle against it, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. "You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please Him who enlisted him as a soldier" (2 Timothy 2:3-4).
The Apostle Paul reminded Timothy to be always aware of the deadliness of vanity. It was through vanity, that many disciples stumbled at the teachings of the Apostle Paul and suffered shipwreck. "This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme"
(1 Timothy 1:18-20).
Thankfully, God's time has now arrived to put an end to one of man's most stupid statements: "God does not see, all things continue as always, nothing will change". "Yet they say, The Lord does not see, nor does the God of Jacob understand. Understand, you senseless among the people; and you fools, when will you be wise? He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see? He who instructs the nations, shall He not correct, He who teaches man knowledge?" (Psalms 94:7-10).
Only the humble in the Lord, know who teaches man knowledge. "Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the lovingkindness of the Lord" (Psalms 107:43).
God has endured patiently with the sentence He gave mankind. With righteous longsuffering, God has remained faithfully in control, as He allowed mankind to parade itself in perverted arrogance and in intellectual haughtiness, even to the point of boasting out in loud rage, such a foolish statement as: "There is no God!".
Now, understand this please! Almighty God has spoken! The sentence of mankind ruling himself under the influence of Satan, is about over. This world of Satan's, with all of mankind's perverted intellectual haughtiness against God, is going to be literally shaken out, and removed from God's earth. "Now this, yet once more, indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain" (Hebrews 12:27).
Notice, it is after all of man's perversions are removed, that God will then rightfully take back what belongs to Him. God will then remove Satan and his demons from earth's throne and then take control by establishing the literal Kingdom of God on this earth. "According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear! For thus says the Lord of hosts: Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; And I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine, saith the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former, saith the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, saith the Lord of hosts" (Haggai 2:5-9).
After John the Baptist was put in prison, Jesus Christ began His ministry from Galilee. "Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel" (Mark 1:14-15).
Why did Jesus Christ go to Galilee to begin His ministry? Why not Jerusalem? Why not Bethlehem? And why of all places - Galilee? Only God's Church understands why Christ started His ministry from there, saying, "The time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand".
Mayor Kollek of Jerusalem
King Hussein of Jordan
Notice Jesus' message to humanity is bold, direct, and simple. What He said to mankind is not complicated! It is not difficult to understand! "Repent" simply means: Stop! Give up your ways of deciding for yourself, what will be right and what will be wrong. "Believe in the gospel" simply means: God is Ruler! Start having living faith in the good news of the coming Kingdom of God.
Repent and believe in the gospel (notice Christ did not say plural gospels, but singular - the gospel), is the plain truth teaching of our Saviour's message! It is directed to all humanity! The gospel is plain talk! It is clear! The gospel is very powerful! It is the most forceful command that speaks today to every living human being on planet earth! The gospel then, is the true Light of the good news of the coming literal Kingdom of God.
Therefore, the Light was to be announced through John the Baptist, a messenger sent by God to bear witness that the Light is the Son of God. "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe" (John 1:6-7).
What? Can that be so? Think on it! John the Baptist was a man sent by God. Why did God make such a clear statement? Does God have a purpose for making it? Is God telling humanity that they should always be prepared to discern His true witnesses, though by sight, their appearance may be strange?
In John's day, Annas and Caiaphas ruled as high priests, and they must have thought it very strange that the word of God would come through John and not them. "Annas and Caiaphas being high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight" (Luke 3:2-4).
This voice of one crying in the wilderness became so strange to them, they had to send their investigators to find out: "Who is this man?". "Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who are you? He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Are you Elijah? He said, I am not. Are you the Prophet? And he answered, No. Then they said to him, Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself? He said: I am The voice of one crying in the wilderness; Make straight the way of the Lord, as the prophet Isaiah said" (John 1:19-23).
The clear facts, all through history, have testified that mankind has constantly failed at discerning the true servants of God. As it always seems in history, again history repeated itself. Humanity, living in John's day, did not discern John as a man of God. Therefore, through lack of discernment, the world of John's day, could not then discern the true Light, Jesus Christ. "He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man who comes into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him" (John 1:8-10).