Every Believer Must Do Good Works and Proclaim the Gospel

As opposed to bearing “bad fruit”, which means doing evil works,

…but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (Matthew 7:17)

Which are sins and transgressions, such as evil works that break any of these commands in the Law,

…if she begins to fornicate…she shall be burnt with fire. (Leviticus 21:9 [JB2000])

You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol…
(Exodus 20:3-4 [NASB])

You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14 [ESV])

A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak…
(Deuteronomy 22:5 [ESV])

If a man lies with a male as with a woman…they shall surely be put to death… (Leviticus 20:13 [ESV])

You shall not steal. (Exodus 20:15 [ESV])

You shall not covet…anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:17 [NASB])

You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people… (Leviticus 19:16 [NASB])

“‘Do not defraud or rob your neighbor… (Leviticus 19:13 [NIV])

 All who come to the belief of Jesus Christ must then begin to yield “good fruit”,

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:16 [ESV])

Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 7:19 [ESV])

Which means to do “good works”, hence,

so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, (Colossians 1:10 [NIV])

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8 [ESV])

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. (2 Timothy 2:21 [ESV])

that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:17 [ESV])

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13:16 [NIV])

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.
(James 3:13 [ESV])

who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:14 [ESV])

Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way and see that they have everything they need. Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.
(Titus 3:13-14 [NIV])

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10 [NIV])

They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, (1 Timothy 6:18 [ESV])

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:17-18 [NIV])

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, (Titus 3:1 [ESV])

remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:3 [ESV])

So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. (1 Peter 4:19 [NIV])

Also, the women are to dress themselves in modest clothing, with decency and good sense, not with elaborate hairstyles, gold, pearls, or expensive apparel, but with good works, as is proper for women who affirm that they worship God
(1 Timothy 2:9-10 [HCSB])

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58 [ESV])

but both first to those in Damascus and Jerusalem, and all the region of Judea, and to the Gentiles, I kept declaring to repent and to turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance. (Acts 26:20 [BLB])

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give aeonial* life. (Romans 2:7 [MODIFIED-NIV])*

Interlinear Links: *αἰώνιον (aeonial), Romans 2:7

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21 [ESV])

“‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. (Ezekiel 16:49-50 [NIV])

Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:12-14 [NIV])

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10 [ESV])

Share with the saints who are in need… (Romans 12:13 [BSB])

All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along. (Galatians 2:10 [NIV])

this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: that you be driven away from mankind and your dwelling place be with the beasts of the field, and you be given grass to eat like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven; and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes. And in that it was commanded to leave the stump with the roots of the tree, your kingdom will be assured to you after you recognize that it is Heaven that rules. Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.’ (Daniel 4:24-27 [NASB])

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, (Isaiah 58:6-9 [ESV])

Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered. (Proverbs 21:13 [ESV])

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”– when you already have it with you. (Proverbs 3:27-28 [NIV])

“Wash yourselves, and make yourselves clean; remove your evil behavior from my presence; stop practicing what is evil. Learn to practice what is good; seek justice, alleviate oppression, defend orphans in court, and plead the widow’s case. “Please come, and let’s reason together,” implores the LORD. “Even though your sins are like scarlet, they’ll be white like snow. Though they’re like crimson, they’ll become like wool. (Isaiah 1:16-18 [ISV])

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8 [NIV])

Where good works must accompany belief, for belief without works is dead and useless,

So also the belief, if it should not have works it is dead by itself. (James 2:17 [ABP])

Yet good works are performed not because works themselves save,

not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:9 [NIV])

For all have broken the Law of God and deserve to die,

They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:29-32 [ESV])

You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.(Deuteronomy 13:9-10 [NIV])

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23 [NIV])

And there are no works anyone could do to earn mercy or pardon for having transgressed the Law of God, hence why the favor of God is called a “gift”, because God grants mercy if he wants to, or does not if he does not want to,

For by favor you are being preserved through the belief; and this gift of God is not of you; (Ephesians 2:8 [ABP])

For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” (Romans 9:15 [NIV])

So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. (Romans 9:18 [ESV])

Where this choice of God to grant mercy came before the foundation of the world, which is why it is not of works that anyone is saved, but of the election of God,

So then it is not of the one wanting, nor of the one runningbut of the showing mercy of God. (Romans 9:16 [ABP])

though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” (Romans 9:11-13 [ESV])

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love (Ephesians 1:4 [ESV])
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30 [NIV])
Where God has chosen to grant mercy to those who merely believe,
He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. (Galatians 3:14 [NIV])
and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. (Philippians 3:9 [NIV])
he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, (Titus 3:5 [NIV])
Where as a result of having received mercy and pardon to not be condemned to death as the Law of God requires,
If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel. (Deuteronomy 22:22 [NIV])

 

“‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 [NIV])

and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery… “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:4-11 [NIV])

he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. (Psalm 103:10 [NIV])

A man then begins to perform good works, demonstrating his own belief, having been pardoned for previous sins,

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 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. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:14-26 [ESV])

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32 [ESV])

whom God set forth as an atonement through the belief, in the one of his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness through the letting pass of the preceding sins, (Romans 3:25 [ABP])

Which is the purpose of receiving favor and pardon, to subsequently begin to perform good works as instruments of righteousness, as opposed to doing evil works as instruments of unrighteousness,

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. (Romans 7:4 [NIV])

Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. (Romans 6:13 [ESV])

Where as opposed to evil works that the Law forbids, the Law also commands what good works to do,

If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. (Leviticus 25:35 [ESV])

If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the LORD against you, and you be guilty of sin. (Deuteronomy 15:7-9 [ESV])

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:18 [ESV])

Where all these commands define “righteousness”,

And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.” (Deuteronomy 6:25 [NIV])

Where the greatest example of a work of righteousness is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to bring salvation to others,

Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. (Romans 5:18 [NIV])

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 [NIV])

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13 [NIV])

Which is why whoever does not do good works, which is  commanded by the Law, will incur sin and transgression,

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. (James 4:17 [NIV])

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the aeonial* fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to aeonial* punishment, but the righteous to aeonial* life.” (Matthew 25:41-46 [MODIFIED-NIV])*

Interlinear Links: *αἰώνιον (aeonial), Matthew 25:41Matthew 25:46

For doing good unto others is doing good unto God, for man was created in the “representation” of God,

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27 [ESV])

Which is why serving others is how believers serve God,

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, (Matthew 20:26 [NIV])

The greatest among you will be your servant. (Matthew 23:11 [NIV])

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35 [NIV])

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Galatians 5:13 [ESV])

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:37-40 [ESV])

Which is why someone who serves money by pursuing wealth cannot possibly please God, because he is doing the opposite of what he should be doing, pursuing giving to others and serving others,

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24 [NIV])

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.
 (Luke 16:13-14 [NIV])

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:25 [NIV])

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10 [NIV])

Where the Law even reveals the hospitality to house foreigners that the righteous must also do,

And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” (Genesis 18:1-5 [ESV])

The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. (Genesis 19:1-3 [ESV])

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. (Hebrews 13:2-3 [ESV])

and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. (1 Timothy 5:10 [ESV])

…Practice hospitality. (Romans 12:13 [BSB])

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. (1 Peter 4:9 [NIV])

If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. (Leviticus 25:35 [ESV])

Hence why Lot is called “righteous”, because his righteousness is evident with his hospitality towards the angels that went to Sodom,

and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (2 Peter 2:7 [NIV])

And these are the matters of the Law that the Pharisees, scribes, and lawyers of the Law discarded,

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. (Matthew 23:23 [KJV])

25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit aeonial* life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor? 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37 [MODIFIED-ESV])*

Interlinear Links: *αἰώνιον (aeonial), Luke 10:25

Because they only concerned themselves with lesser matters of the Law, such as tithing, wearing tzitzit, wearing phylacteries, observing Sabbaths, observing Festivals, for although these matters of the Law must not be neglected, whether someone fulfills them literally or spiritually, depending on whether the command is merely a foreshadow of a future reality in Christ or not,

But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and behold, all things are clean to you. But woe to you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint, and rue, and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the others undone. (Luke 11:41-42 [WBT])

“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; (Matthew 23:5 [NIV])

and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” (John 5:10 [NIV])

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come;the reality, however, is found in Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17 [NIV])

The great matters of the Law are doing good works, which are actions of love and mercy towards others,

Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot endure; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary of bearing them. And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you: yea, when you make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make yourself clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do good; seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:13-17 [NLT])

For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6 [KJV])

For good works are in themselves the spiritual sacrifices and gifts that God desires from the elect, to be offered up to the temple that is in heaven, whose high priest is Jesus Christ,

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13:16 [NIV])

And ye yourselves also know, ye Philippians, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church had fellowship with me in the matter of giving and receiving but ye only; 16 for even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my need. 17 Not that I seek for the gift; but I seek for the fruit that increaseth to your account. 18 But I have all things, and abound: I am filled, having received from Epaphroditus the things that came from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God. (Philippians 4:15-18 [ASV])

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9 [ESV])

you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5 [ESV])

I call upon you, therefore, brethren, through the compassions of God, to present your bodies a sacrifice — living, sanctified, acceptable to God — your intelligent service; (Romans 12:1 [YLT])
Here is the main point: We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. (Hebrews 8:1 [NLT])
Where no one is to appear before God empty handed,

Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the LORD empty-handed: (Deuteronomy 16:16 [NIV])

Where more examples of good works include helping widows, helping orphans,

Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27 [BSB])

Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.
(1 Timothy 5:3-4 [ESV])

Visiting those in prison, looking after the sick, clothing those who are naked, giving water to the thirsty, giving food to the hungry,

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ (Matthew 25:34-36 [ESV])

does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment… walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully—he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord GOD.
 (Ezekiel 18:7-9 [ESV])

Performing works of the power of the holy spirit to heal those that are sick,

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. (Acts 3:6-8 [NIV])

Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.
 (Mark 3:4-5 [NIV])

And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
(Mark 16:17-18 [NIV])

Or any type of help to someone who is afflicted or has a need. And some will do more good works than others, since all will bear different measures of good fruit,

Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Matthew 13:8 [ESV])

Which is why after Jesus Christ revealed how men who wish to become his disciple must humble themselves, which was by “selling their possessions”,

When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions… (Luke 18:22 [NLT])

Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions… (Mark 10:21 [NLT])

Sell your possessions… (Luke 12:33 [NIV])

So therefore every one of you who does not give up all that he himself possesses, is not able to be My disciple. (Luke 14:33 [BLB])

They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. (Acts 2:45 [NLT])

that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. (Acts 4:34-35 [NIV])

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. (Matthew 13:44 [NLT])

 

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
(1 Peter 5:6 [ESV])

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:10 [ESV])

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 [NIV])

For the LORD, who is high and lifted up, looks upon the humble, but the proud he does not know.
(Psalm 138:6 [JB2000])

He then gave the next instruction, “give to the poor”, which is doing “good works”,

…and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Luke 18:22 [NLT])

…and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21 [NLT])

and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. (Luke 12:33 [NIV])

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.
(Luke 19:8-9 [NIV])

Which is also what the “saltiness” of salt symbolizes, “good works”,

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. (Matthew 5:13 [NIV])

And also what the light of a lamp symbolizes, “good works”,

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16 [ESV])

Which is why Paul instructs all to work to earn wages, that they may then have something to give to those in need,

Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. (Ephesians 4:28 [NIV])

You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. 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.’” (Acts 20:34-35 [ESV])

And even why Cornelius eventually received the holy spirit, because his righteousness, which means obedience to the Law, was accompanied by good works,

The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.” (Acts 10:22 [NIV])

At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. (Acts 10:1-4 [NIV])

Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor.
(Acts 10:30-31 [NIV])

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles.
(Acts 10:44-45 [NIV])

Where someone must then continue doing good works throughout the appointed time in this body, without ceasing, hence,

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 [ESV])

For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. (Hebrews 6:10 [ESV])

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. (Luke 12:33-36 [NIV])

And the Lord replied, “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. (Luke 12:42-44 [NIV])

Which relates to the parable of ten virgins, for the light of their lamps symbolizes “good works”, where their lamps must continue burning until the bridegroom comes, where if someone stopped doing good works, which is what is meant with running out of oil to keep a lamp lit, but then again began giving their money to the poor at the arrival of Jesus Christ, which is what is meant with buying oil to light a lamp again when the groom comes, its already too late,

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. (Matthew 25:1-13 [ESV])

Which also relates to the parable of talents, where the talents also symbolize “good works”, where the initial talents anyone receives are the “first works” anyone does as a newly appointed servant of the master, when first doing “sell your possessions and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven”,

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Revelation 2:1-5 [ESV])

“‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. (Revelation 2:19 [ESV])

For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master. (Matthew 25:14-23 [ESV])

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 [NIV])

Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21 [NIV])

Where an appointed servant must then continue to receive more talents, which means continue to do more “good works”,

But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. (2 Thessalonians 3:13 [NASB])

From the time he became appointed as a servant to the time of the return of the master, where talents, which have monetary value, are used in this parable because the measure of good works anyone does relates to the measure of reward anyone receives, as such, “talents” also symbolize “reward” as a result of “good works”,

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. (2 Corinthians 9:6 [NIV])

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. (Revelation 22:12 [NIV])

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:20-21 [NIV])

A wicked person earns deceptive wages, but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward. (Proverbs 11:18 [NIV])

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. (Revelation 3:1-2 [ESV])

Hence why the servant who was lazy and did not continue doing good works,

He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ (Matthew 25:24-25 [ESV])

Had his talent taken away, because he lost his reward from that one good work he initially did, because he didn’t continue doing good works to receive more talents,

But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed?… So take the talent from him… (Matthew 25:26-28 [ESV])

And rather, his share of reward from that one good work went to those who had continued doing good works and already had reward from their own good works, for those who who do not give up will have an abundance, hence,

…and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. (Matthew 25:28-29 [ESV])

Yet if this lazy servant had been wise, instead of earning more talents himself, he could’ve invested his talent with bankers to earn more talents,

Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. (Matthew 25:27 [ESV])

Which means to teach others to do good works, and thus the “talents” they produce because of the servant that is dedicated to teaching them to do good are accredited to the servant,

I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles. (Romans 1:13 [NIV])

Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. (Philippians 4:16-17 [ESV])

For although all are called to do good works, only a few are called to become teachers,

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1 [NIV])

Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? (1 Corinthians 12:29 [NIV])

To equip others to do “good works”,

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up (Ephesians 4:11-12 [NIV])

Where these teachers are laborers for the sake of the gospel, who correct, rebuke, and teach,

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. (Luke 10:2 [NIV])

We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 [ESV])

…Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. (2 Timothy 4:2 [NLT])

Let the elders ruling well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those laboring in the word and the teaching. (1 Timothy 5:17 [BLB])

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. (Hebrews 13:7 [ESV])

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Hebrews 13:17 [ESV])

Now I urge you, brothers—you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints— be subject to such as these, and to every fellow worker and laborer.
(1 Corinthians 16:15-16 [ESV])

and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:2 [ESV])

On account of this I left you in Crete, that you might set in order the things lacking and might appoint elders in every town, as I directed you, if anyone is blameless, the husband of one wife, having believing children, not under accusation of debauchery, or insubordinate. For it behooves the overseer to be blameless, as God’s steward; not self-willed, not quick tempered, not given to wine, not a striker, not greedy of base gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined; holding to the faithful word according to the teaching, that he may be able both to encourage with sound teaching and to convict those contradicting it. (Titus 1:5-9 [BLB])

I beg you therefore, be imitators of me. Because of this I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, even as I teach everywhere in every assembly.
(1 Corinthians 4:16-17 [WEB])

And are worthy to make a living from teaching,

If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:11-14 [ESV])

Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
(Luke 10:7-9 [NIV])

Yet as opposed to teaching, which only a few are called for, apart from all being called to do good works, all are called to also announce the gospel, for there is a distinction between teaching believers, which only a few should do, and announcing the gospel to unbelievers, which all must do,

proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. (Acts 28:31 [ESV])

But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and proclaiming the good news, the word of the Lord, with many others also. (Acts 15:35 [BLB])

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:15-16 [NIV])

Where the effective way of announcing the gospel to unbelievers, aside from telling them about it, is by doing good works that can be seen by them,

For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. (1 Peter 2:15 [ESV])

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:12 [NIV])

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October month of witches and spirits

October month and old religions

This week in many regions of the world attention is given to witch culture and spirits, non-corporeal substances contrasted with the material body. We come in a period when it becomes earlier darker and people love to tell ghost stories and look into the matter of incorporeal or immaterial beings, such as demons or deities. Several people love to come in contact with wandering spirits, daemon sprites, supernatural legendary creatures or ghosts.

The prince thanking the Water sprite, from The Princess Nobody by Andrew Lang

In our regions there came a time (Middle Ages) those who practised the Old Religion and worked with herbs and charms were largely ignored by the church and the Inquisition. After the scourge of the Black Death, witchcraft trials began to increase steadily throughout the 14th and 15th centuries.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the figure of the European witch was interpreted and reinterpreted in numerous ways, depending on the orientations of the scholars involved. They described her (typically) as variously an antisocial practitioner of malevolent magic; as a pro-social healer, midwife, and magician condemned by churches and universities; as a victim of mental illness or of accidental poisoning by mind-altering plants; or as a deliberate user of mind-altering plants who sought a shamanic “soul flight.”

Alleged murders by witchcraft and subsequent trials for witchcraft have not disappeared from the world scene, and the fear of cursing, hexing, and causing death by witchcraft remains very powerful in many nations. Black Magic murders have taken place in different states and times.

But some practices intrigued people and the will to know what happens when a person dies made that those intrigued found enough people who were willing to still their hunger to the unknown. fortune tellers always have found popularity and spiritists found always a groups of interested people to come together in private houses to have a special experience with a medium.

The unknown before and after life and Voodoo

Because of the attractive element of the unknown concerning before and after life, plus about the influences on our health, churches made use of the popular ideas of spirits and healing powers. Even in the 20th and 21st century some faith healing is performed in services conducted by the clergy of Christendom and there are communities which celebrate witch nights and halloween. The Noite Meiga (Witch‘s Night), held the last Saturday of August in the municipality Sarria which stands out in the Camino de Santiago for being the population centre with the largest offering of services, is also quite a spectacle and a grand feast in the so called Roman Catholic country of Italy. In many countries where they had negro slaves the pagan rituals and witchcraft melted into the Catholic traditions.

The spiritual practices and beliefs of those enslaved people from Africa and the Caribbean blended. Voodoo became a fusion of their religions which also incorporated Catholicism. {Voodoo in New Orleans}

In countries like Haiti the official religion along with Roman Catholicism is Voodoo, but they are both so interwoven you may find also in the Catholic Church in Haiti voodoo rites.

“In churches, there’s a lot of syncretism (or the combination of multiple religions),”

says David Vanderpool, a missionary and doctor in Haiti.
Vanderpool is the founder and CEO of LiveBeyond, a faith-based, humanitarian organization bringing medical and maternal health care, clean water, education, orphan care, community development and the gospel of Jesus Christ to the oppressed in Thomazeau, Haiti.

“Voodoo is the culture, the way they think. They view the world through a lens of voodoo, and it colours what they do, what they see. They bring it unwittingly into the church, and see mainstream denominations as no different from voodoo.”

Many do not see that they have elements of satanic worship which can be traced to colonization when the French demanded African slaves convert to Catholicism. Rather than fully converting, the slaves named their idols after saints, and the worship of the demons was incorporated into the church.

“The term voodoo,”

says Encyclopædia Britannica,

“is derived from the word vodun, which denotes a god, or spirit, in the language of the Fon people of Benin (formerly Dahomey).”

The most common depiction of the loa Erzulie Dantor is derived from this variant of the sacred icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa.

In Voodoo they may well tell there is only one god, one Supreme Being who created the universe, and this may link back to the Creator Deity in which the people of Israel also believed. The people who like to practice ‘Voodo art’ say this god elevated earthly beings to spirits known as the Lwa or Loa to run the day to day affairs of the world. It is this taking charge of nature and human nature which is in conflict with Bible teaching. For them there is for instance lwas of the winds, love and fisherman. {Voodoo in New Orleans}

They tell they can be master over demons who actively deceive mankind by means of spiritism, which can involve such things as magic spells, voodoo, and spirit mediums. (Deuteronomy 18:10-13; 2 Chronicles 33:6).

Wanting to get in touch with demons and spirits

This particular time of year many are proud to “get in touch with the demons” directly or through a human medium. This is called spiritism about which the Bible tells us we have to abstain from it. Voodoo, witchcraft, magic, fortune-telling, and inquiring of the dead are all forms of spiritism.

The Bible condemns these things, saying:

“There should not be found in you anyone . . . who employs divination, a practicer of magic or anyone who looks for omens or a sorcerer, or one who binds others with a spell or anyone who consults a spirit medium or a professional foreteller of events or anyone who inquires of the dead. For everybody doing these things is something detestable to Jehovah.”—Deuteronomy 18:10-12.

Among non-Christian religions there are voodoo priests, witch doctors, medicine men, and others who also do healing and incantation; they often employ magic and divination. Some “psychic healers” say that their cures have nothing to do with religion.

Coming closer to for many special days to remember spirits, spiritual beings and the dead many want to convince others that

The spirit world is concerned with each and every one of us.

and say that

Our guardian angels take no pleasure seeing us struggle, since they have all been there before. Even though, they comprehend that most times we need the suffering presented to us. But within the confines of letting us survive and learn from our trials, the spirit world actively guides and helps us {How we are assisted during our Trials by the Spirit World}

In the upcoming writings we shall show that there is no such spirit world and that we are not looked after by a spirit world. We also shall show that there is no such thing as a process of reincarnation, which others may confirm may be complex even after birth.  {How we are assisted during our Trials by the Spirit World}

Communicating spirits

It is not because our spirits (our minds) can communicate directly with other people that they would connect with other non-materialistic beings, called “spirits”. In our dreams, our thinking we certainly may learn a lot, but this does not mean that  during our slumber, we learn many valuable lessons from spirits and would “have various conversations with other spirits”. {How we are assisted during our Trials by the Spirit World}  No body was ever able to retain exact memories of such encounters. But some  awaken with general ideas and feelings, which is only because they are fed by such ideas.

If we search for the answer it will come, not because

The spirit world wishes to supply us with all of the tools and inspirations required to prosper while we live on earth. They fully realize the day-to-day problems we encounter, complications which hinder our ability to absorb the lessons we should learn. {How we are assisted during our Trials by the Spirit World}

It is not the spirit world which gently pushes us to the correct solution, but each person is created in the image of God and has an inner feeling implanted by the Supreme Being. We have to listen to our conscience, that governor of our behaviour, with years of experience in many lives, and perform our deeds with moral clarity.

Pagan Samhain and Halloween

Some people bring as excuse that they are unaware of the pagan origins of Halloween symbols, decorations, and customs, most of which are related to supernatural beings and occult forces. In many places meetings are given and people are called to witness a witch meeting or even a black mass. Thousands of Wiccans (practitioners of witchcraft), who follow ancient Celtic rituals, still call Halloween by the ancient name Samhain and consider it to be the most sacred night of the year.

“Christians ‘don’t realize it, but they’re celebrating our holiday with us. . . . We like it,’”

stated the newspaper USA Today when quoting a professed witch.

In shops we can find all sorts of costumes and in magazines articles about spirits which find their way to many homes.

Christians may not forget that celebrations like Halloween are in conflict with Bible teachings. The Bible warns:

“There must never be anyone among you who . . . practices divination, who is soothsayer, augur or sorcerer, who uses charms, consults ghosts or spirits, or calls up the dead.” (Deuteronomy 18:10, 11, The Jerusalem Bible)

10 There should not be found in you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire,+ anyone who employs divination,+ anyone practicing magic,+ anyone who looks for omens,+ a sorcerer,+ 11 anyone binding others with a spell, anyone who consults a spirit medium+ or a fortune-teller,+ or anyone who inquires of the dead.+ (Deuteronomy 18:10, 11, NWT)

see also

Leviticus 19:31:

31 “‘Do not turn to the spirit mediums,+ and do not consult fortune-tellers+ so as to become unclean by them. I am Jehovah your God.

Galatians 5:19-21:

19 Now the works of the flesh are plainly seen, and they are sexual immorality,*+ uncleanness, brazen conduct,*+ 20 idolatry, spiritism,*+ hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, dissensions, divisions, sects, 21 envy, drunkenness,+ wild parties,* and things like these.+ I am forewarning you about these things, the same way I already warned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom.+

Human Autumn traditions

We are living in this world were there are lots of traditions going on, but that does not mean we do have to take part in those traditional activities or do not have to let others know we do not want to take part in such activities.

From within our heart comes our feeling, which should in accordance to the Will of God. A copper-based alloy may deform in colour and so our being when it has a brazen conduct or “shameless conduct.” We should not be proud of a conduct which is not in line with the teachings of Christ and with the commandments of the Most High Almighty God. We have to cause ourselves and others to move in a certain direction, which is in line with the wishes of God. We do have to comport (oneself) in a specified way which is indicated in the Words of God and which everybody can find. We have to bear or conduct (oneself) in the Christian way, being in agreement, harmony, or conformity with the Word of God.

Mark 7:21, 22: 21 For from inside, out of the heart of men,+ come injurious reasonings, sexual immorality,* thefts, murders, 22 acts of adultery, greed, acts of wickedness, deceit, brazen conduct,* an envious eye, blasphemy, haughtiness, and unreasonableness.

The Bible warns us that people will go away from that Word of God and would prefer to do the things most people do.

Jude 4: My reason is that certain men have slipped in among you who were long ago appointed to this judgment by the Scriptures; they are ungodly men who turn the undeserved kindness of our God into an excuse for brazen conduct*+ and who prove false to our only owner* and Lord, Jesus Christ.+

Let us take that warning to heart that such people are not real lovers of God but they are ungodly or “wicked men” (UKJV).

They turn the grace of our God into uncontrollable lust and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 4:4 ISV)

We may not make the mercy of God an excuse for profligacy.

Those who like to participate in the October festivities of drinking lots of alcohol [The Oktober Fest: world’s largest Volksfest (beer festival and travelling funfair)], witch gatherings, Celtic Autumn meetings, Halloween celebrations, should know that many will follow their licentiousness, following their indulgences and because of them, carrying out every impurity with rapacity, the way of truth will be reviled or blasphemed.

Ephesians 4:19: 19 Having gone past all moral sense, they gave themselves over to brazen conduct*+ to practice every sort of uncleanness with greediness.

2 Peter 2:2: Furthermore, many will follow their brazen conduct,*+ and because of them the way of the truth will be spoken of abusively.+

Reincarnation, spirits and spiritism

Many spiritists believe in reincarnation. One spiritist publication states:

Reincarnation is the only doctrine that measures up to our idea of divine justice; it is the only doctrine that can explain the future and strengthen our hopes.”

Spiritists explain that at death the soul, or “incarnated spirit,” leaves the body—like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. They believe that these spirits are later reincarnated as humans in order to purge sins committed in an earlier life. But there is no recollection of those earlier sins.

“God considered it convenient that a veil be cast over the past,”

says The Gospel According to Spiritism.

“To deny reincarnation is also to deny the words of Christ,”

wrote Allan Kardec. But Jesus never preached incarnation. He knew that for God “reincarnation” is an atrocity and no human being should be busy with this at all. All Christians should see that the Bible tells clearly that at death our life comes to and end and than it is finished with us. Than we shall not be able to think or to do anything.
The sent one from God came to tell that there is hope for the living souls who believe in God and live according His Laws. For him it was clear that he could fulfil the promise made in the Garden of Eden and be the Messiah, bringing grace over mankind. For that reason Jesus taught the resurrection of the dead.

Persons coming out of the dead

During his earthly ministry, the Jewish Nazarene did some spectacular miracles. He also resurrected three people — the son of a widow in Nain, the daughter of the presiding officer of a synagogue, and his close friend Lazarus. (Mark 5:22-24, 35-43; Luke 7:11-15; John 11:1-44) They had been in the grave and had come back to life but had nothing to tell about some other world down in the earth or at some other place. Later they died again and their body decayed like any other body shall do when life goes out of it.

The world of the dead may be mysterious for us and many may be attracted to come to know “what is over there”. Some people, like witches may make use of that situation and present others some rites of passage.

In order to assist a soul cross over at the time of death, those of the Wicca (and those not of the Wicca – but other witchcraft traditions) have a number of rituals called “Crossings.” {Rite of Passage}

Witches, covens and their rites

Witch Riding Backwards On A Goat

Witch Riding Backwards On A Goat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The witches their coven or or covan, which is a gathering or community of witches, much like a congregation in Christian parlance, may present in the continuation of the Witch-Cult and may try others to believe certain herbs can give them special powers and with certain rites they also can come in contact with pieces of the soul that went on or could be left behind and which are prevented from passing on to the next level. Many wiccans feel it is their duty to help these spirits when they are able to assist with passage and transition.

According to the U.S. Census, the number of individuals professing to be Wiccans rose from the 8,000 reported in 1990 to 134,000 self-proclaimed witches in 2001. A study released in November 2001 by the Graduate Center of the City University of New York found that the number of adults who subscribe to a pagan religion was more than 140,000. {Wicca;Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained, 2003}

Those who follow Wicca, the craft of the wise, maintain that their faith qualifies as a true pagan religion with its beliefs and practices rooted in the processes of nature. {Wicca;Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained, 2003}

Because of Wicca’s rapid growth, however, some adherents now seek more formal organizational plans and credentialing of leaders (priests and priestesses), a trend resisted by those Witches who hold individual and small-group practice and experience to be primary. Wiccans often identify with a particular “tradition”—a school of teaching or an initiatory lineage—but the boundaries between traditions are loosely drawn, and new traditions are constantly being created. {Wicca; Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, 2001,The Gale Group Inc.}

Estimates of the number of Wiccans in North America in 2000 ranged from 300,000 to the low millions. Sociological studies of Wicca show its followers as tending to be younger and better-educated than the population overall. {Wicca; Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, 2001,The Gale Group Inc.}

Mmanifestations and phenomena

According to some sources wiccans do not believe that there is anything supernatural about the manifestations and phenomena associated with this extrasensory area of the mind, but others play with phenomena which are very curious. For them it are psychic powers which lie dormant in everyone, to a greater or lesser degree, and their disciplines are designed to develop these to the fullest.

Wicca conceives of spirit as part of the universal creative principle, existing as a thought form. In keeping with its transcendental nature, Wicca views spirit as the convenient expression for a certain kind of matter, which is thought to contain a dynamic energy of its own. This energy is capable of being transmitted by means of mental activity and can be used to transmute other forms of energy into matter. {Wicca;Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained, 2003}

Working with the Dead

The covens are usually jointly led by a High Priestess and a High Priest, though some are led by only one or the other. In more recent forms of neopagan witchcraft, covens are sometimes run as democracies with a rotating leadership. In the group all try to get control over the elements, how to “whistle up the wind” and call the rain, etc. {Council Cup} They also set out meals for those who are “gone from this world”.  They have a “Dumb Supper” which is a form of group necromancy where they think

the spirits of the dearly departed are set out a special meal (and a meal for yourself too) and is partaken of in silence in order to commune with our dearly departed. {Necromancy and the Dumb Supper}

In some covens, necromancy rituals are performed for 13 nights in a row to summon the appropriate and correct spirits. {Necromancy and the Dumb Supper}

For the wiccans it is a form of working with the Dead{Necromancy and the Dumb Supper} but according God’s Word the dead do know nothing and can do nothing because they are nothing but dust. The idea that a spirit part of humans survives at death and can communicate with the living in not according to God’s Word.

The death, dead people, wicked people, demons and spirits

Jehovah was the first to speak of death. He warned that Adam and Eve would die if they disobeyed him. (Genesis 2:17) What did that mean? Jehovah explained:

“Dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:19)

At death the body disintegrates; it goes back to the dust. Life ceases.

In the Holy Scriptures demons and spirits are mentioned. As an adult, Jesus encountered “wicked spirit creatures”. We are even told that they recognized Jesus and addressed him as the “Son of God.” Jesus likewise knew who they were. They were not spirits of dead humans. Rather, Jesus identified them as “demons,” or unclean spirits, people who were ill in their head, or had a disease. — Matthew 8:29-31; 10:8; Mark 5:8.

When there is spoken of Tartarus it is not a particular location, but a condition. Those whose breath goes out of their body are considered death by the Holy Scriptures. As soon as the brain does not function any more, life is gone out of a person and that person is belonging to the dead. The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around. Even the sick persons or the “possessed” or “demons” can no longer materialize and do not have any power or influence over minds and lives. It are the ideas of people which can continue to hover in the minds of folks. Those ideas can continue to grow in our mind and bring us unto other ideas. But it are not persons or some spiritual beings which do that.

The Bible tells us that

“The living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing at all . . . Their love and their hate and their jealousy [all of which they felt while alive] have already perished.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6)

Yes, the Bible teaches that the dead are just that—dead!
They cannot think, act, or even worship God.

“The dead do not praise [God]; nor do any who go down into the silence of death,” says Psalm 115:17.

When the breath goes out of our body we shall not be able to speak any more but also not be able to think or do anything. Everything shall be finished and nobody shall be able to contact us again. Then it is too late for us to do something to others and too late for others to do something for us.

The living and the dead

The living “are conscious”, but dead or not conscious any more. When living on this earth we can do things and shall have to sweat, but once we die it is all finished and we shall not feel anything any more. Having paid for our sins there shall be no need any more to suffer for what we have done wrong and we shall land up were everybody of this world will end, the grave (hell, sheol, sepulchre). Even if we would have lots of money or many titles, we shall not being able to escape death and to become something again.

Genesis 3:19: 19 In the sweat of your face you will eat bread* until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken.+ For dust you are and to dust you will return.”+

Psalm 104:29: 29 When you hide your face, they are disturbed. If you take away their spirit, they die and return to the dust.+

Ecclesiastes 3:20: 20 All are going to the same place.+ They all come from the dust,+ and they all are returning to the dust.+

Ecclesiastes 12:7: Then the dust returns to the earth,+ just as it was, and the spirit* returns to the true God who gave it.+

Job 34:14, 15: 14 If he fixes his attention* on them, If he gathers their spirit and breath to himself,+ 15 All humans* would perish together, And mankind would return to the dust.+

Psalm 146:3, 4: Do not put your trust in princes* Nor in a son of man, who cannot bring salvation. His spirit* goes out, he returns to the ground;+ On that very day his thoughts perish.+

Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20:19 for there is an outcome* for humans and an outcome for animals; they all have the same outcome.+ As the one dies, so the other dies; and they all have but one spirit.+ So man has no superiority over animals, for everything is futile. 20 All are going to the same place.+ They all come from the dust,+ and they all are returning to the dust.+

For our own welfare

For our own welfare, Jehovah warns us against all forms of spiritism. He loves and cares for people, and he knows that those who get involved with demons or spiritism are bound to suffer.

Jehovah God’s Law to the nation of Israel also said:

“There should not be found in you anyone . . . who consults a spirit medium or . . . inquires of the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to Jehovah.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)

The Bible also states that those who practice spiritism in any of its forms “will not inherit God’s Kingdom.”— Galatians 5:19-21.

Those who believe in god and believe in God His son, Jesus Christ, will have something positive to look forward, but it will not come to them straight ahead when they die. they shall be in the grave feeling and knowing of nothing, like they were before born. But there shall come a time that Jesus shall return to call the living and the dead together, to judge them and to open the gates to the Kingdom of God for all who lived according the Will of God.

+

Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one

Science, belief, denial and visibility 2

The Importance of the Prophetic

Autumn traditions for 2014 – 2 Summersend and mansend

Autumn traditions for 2014 – 3 Black Mass, Horror spectacles and pure puritans

Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God

Reaction on the worship of devils in the Kingdom of Essex

All Saints’ Day

All Souls’ Day

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Additional reading:

  1. Religions and Mainliners
  2. 2014 Religion
  3. Bible sayings about God
  4. Human Nature: What does the Bible teach?
  5. Your life the sum total of all your choices
  6. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  7. Dying or not
  8. Biblical Ambiguity on Death?
  9. Bible sayings on the situation and place for the dead
  10. What happens when we die?
  11. Ontbinding
  12. Souls and Religions with Nirvana and light
  13. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  14. Decomposition, decay – vergaan, afsterven, ontbinding
  15. Where does Satan lives?
  16. What is life?
  17. The business of this life
  18. The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around
  19. Fear and protection
  20. Fragments from the Book of Job #1: chapters 1-12
  21. Fragments from the Book of Job #2: chapters 12-20
  22. Fragments from the Book of Job #3: chapters 21-26
  23. Fragments from the Book of Job #4: chapters 27-31
  24. Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37
  25. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
  26. Self inflicted misery #6 Paying by death
  27. The Soul confronted with Death
  28. Phoenicians sacrificed infants
  29. Doctrine and Conduct Cause and Effect
  30. Faith antithesis of rationality
  31. Wishing to do the will of God
  32. This month’s survey question: Heaven and Hell
  33. Sheol, Sheool, Sjeool, Hades, Hell, Grave, Tomb, Sepulchre
  34. Departed Souls Await Judgment
  35. Two states of existence before God
  36. A time for everything
  37. We will all be changed
  38. The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ
  39. The one who makes us well and gives life
  40. Necessity of a revelation of creation 4 Getting understanding by Word of God 2

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Further reading:

  1. Witchcraft
  2. Witchcraft in Europe, 1450 to 1789
  3. Wiccan, wicca (masc., “wizard”) and wicce (fem., “witch”)
  4. Witchcraft Trials
  5. How Meditation Changes Our Brains
  6. Where is the great Beyond?
  7. My kind of Halloween!
  8. He who goes to a medium should go with a clean inner life!
  9. Voodoo!
  10. What is Vodou?
  11. Voodoo in New Orleans
  12. Voodoo Queen
  13. Devil’s Seed
  14. Things that went BUMP! in the night in15th century Poland
  15. Really?
  16. Adsense Arbitrage Voodoo Review – Hot Or Not?
  17. Voodoo head dies…
  18. Leader Of Haitian Vodou Religion, Max Beauvoir, Dead At 79
  19. Voodoo practitioners mourn the death of leader Max Beauvoir
  20. Old time relijun
  21. Dispelling the myths of Voodoo
  22. New Orleans Experience – Day One!
  23. The Spooky Cemeteries of South Louisiana
  24. 31 Days of Voodoo at Voodoo Farm
  25. The Left-Hand Path, Magic, and Voodoo
  26. Using Creative Arts to Train Haitian Spiritual Leaders on Therapy for “Crooked” Thoughts
  27. Voodoo in Blue
  28. Walker Wednesday – 30/09/15
  29. Voodoo Village: South Africa
  30. An African Village where Dead Children are Made into Voodoo Dolls
  31. Papa Legba
  32. Hollywood Has Zombies all Wrong
  33. The Dark Side of Grace by M.L. Cooper
  34. Voodoo Village: Haiti
  35. Satanic ‘Zombified’ Religion Making Inroads in United States — Charisma News
  36. Soul food with a Voodoo touch
  37. Dirty Hands and Green Thumbs
  38. The Harley Quinn Voodoo String Doll Key Chain Handmade
  39. Jack Sparrow Voodoo String Doll Key Chain Handmade Pirates
  40. Rudimentary Chucky Voodoo String Doll Keychain
  41. Spiritists: When You Sleep You are Being Assisted in Your Quest to Become a Better Spiritist
  42. NDE’s – What people were told
  43. Bronwen’s Two NDE’s and her discoveries
  44. The Life Beyond the Veil – A book Psychographed by an English Reverend – G. Vale Owen
  45. A Course on How to Give Passes
  46. Why we should gladly suffer through our trials here on earth
  47. Want to know the Other Side of the NDE Judgment Experience – Swedenborg has examples
  48. Divine Providence Constantly Makes Sure We See What is True
  49. Mediumship
  50. Dreams and how the Spirit World Assists Us
  51. Spirit court
  52. Spirits, the Dearly Departed … and Reincarnation
  53. Rite of Passage
  54. Incarnation – Necessary for the Progression of the Spirit
  55. Gold Finch [Carduelis Tristis] Symbolic Meaning
  56. Stories of Spirit…Cleaning House [unwanted spirits activity]
  57. Business or Personal Journalling with the Tarot
  58. Seth Speaks: the eternal validity of the soul
  59. The Fox Sisters
  60. Demons and the Unexplained: Demonic Mysteries
  61. Demons USA: Demons in Everyday Life
  62. End Times Quote: Don’t Hang Around Demons
  63. DEMONS: Don't hang around demons.
  64. Exorcism: 10 Observations on Casting Out Demons
  65. Halloween 2014 Quotes: Halloween is Satanic and Demonic
  66. Our Fractal Nature – physics spinning
  67. “P” Poison Has Its Uses #atozchallenge
  68. Grave Silence #art #horrorweek #horror
  69. Reflections #horror #flashfiction #PEN
  70. A Forgotten Life the conclusion Atom
  71. Part One the domino effect
  72. Part Two Strangers
  73. Regret: ‘The Lives We Live’ A Reality Show – 5th Dismissal
  74. Beneath the Tree #2 #Christmas #children #abuse #poetry
  75. Interesting-stuff
  76. Yom Kippur 5776 ~ The Day of Atonement
  77. Submission
  78. The Commands of Yeshua ~ Part 28
  79. CASTING OUT DEMONS: More are familiar with Hollywood rituals than the Bible.
  80. Exposition on Romans 1
  81. Exposition on Romans 2
  82. Departed Souls Await Judgment
  83. The Soul is Not Dead
  84. The “Living” Word
  85. The Whole Point
  86. Created For Responsibility
  87. No More Me but Thee Lord!

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