By Greg Turner
greg@sharingtheway.com

I write this letter because the Spirit is stirred up in me about things that I have witnessed and read about recently. I am troubled by the need for people to see signs, wonders and miracles. This speaks to a dead church. Thomas is an example of an unbelieving church:

John 20:24-29(KJV) But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 

How many miracles and letters in the scriptures are attributed to Thomas? Now, obviously Jesus picked him to be an apostle and sent him forth, but the New Testament and covenant is based upon faith. The word faith means belief. In Hebrews 1:1 faith “is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Jesus speaking to unbelievers said “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe“. Paul said “Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers”. Instead speaking to the church people of His day Jesus said “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand“. He did not say “look at my miracles, now repent and be baptized”. Instead He said “follow Me“. He did not say “see my miracles, now follow Me”. No, He said “he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” Are you truly taking up your cross and following Christ? Are YOU willing to lose your job, car, house, family and friends to follow Christ? Or are you being deceived by the churchianty system which tells you to come to church and everything will be ok? The church leaders say just take Jesus into your heart and everything will be ok. Do these people know who they are talking about? Isn’t it Jesus who says “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.“?

A relationship with God is not a one day a week emotional experience. God is creating sons and daughters for He says “Come out from among them[the world] And be separate[act differently], says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters” (2 Cor. 6:17-18 ). Do you only spend one day a week with your sons and daughters? Absolutely not. Each parent spends a lot of time each day carefully watching over and communicating with their children (at least they should be). So if you are having a real relationship with God then you too will spend a lot of time each day with God learning to walk like Him. Our children mimic us as parents. Do you mimic God? I would say no by looking around at society. This is why the call for revival is so strong. Revival means “renewal of interest” or “reawakening”. Someone who is a believer does not need miracles. If they are not living and mimicking God then they need to be reawakened. Jesus said the same thing. He says for I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:15-19 NKJV).

This attitude is the opposite of what Jesus said for you to have where “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.“. This means being willing to hear because little children are willing to listen in fact they crave it! Jesus is actually talking about a real relationship with Him and God! He says that you think you are rich meaning you think that you have a relationship with Him, but He says that you do not. He is telling you to listen to His voice. A real relationship with Him! How many of you have a relationship with your sons or daughters through a third person? So why do you think you need to go to a church to have a relationship with God? Your relationship with God can not be through a minister! It can NOT be one day a week. That minister will not stand before you on the day of judgment and can not cover your actions from the other six days of the week! You will stand before God on the day of judgment and be judged by what is written in the books (bible) and for what you have done. You must live by what God says for you to do. He is your parent. The minister at church is only a guide with whom you should “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct” assuming he is truly following God. This doesn’t mean show up at church and act all holy one day a week! It means to have the same conduct day in and day out during the week when you are truly tested and tried by all the things that go on in the world.

Jesus was asked what that conduct should be and He said in Matthew 22:37-40 “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” This is not some complicated and hard to understand doctrine. How many children will not follow their parents? If you are truly of God then follow Him. Once you are following Him then you will do the second part which is to treat your neighbor with love. This is not talking about some wishy washy emotional feeling. Jesus said “Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your traditionHypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me,  Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth[your actions], this defiles a man. Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying? But He answered and said, Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch. Then Peter answered and said to Him, Explain this parable to us. So Jesus said, Are you also still without understanding? Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated?  But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.  For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.  These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” (Matthew 15:6-20 NKJV).

What tradition? The tradition of the churches. Each church makes up a set of rules saying that if you follow these rules then you will be right with God. It is the same stumbling block that the Pharisees put on their believers as Jesus showed us in the following:

Matthew 23:13-15(NKJV) But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

The ministers of today are the scribes and Pharisees! They put on a great show (pretense) and have no problem taking all the widows donations and then they put the burdens of their church’s rules on the people telling them that their church is the one true church, thereby, capturing people and their money. Their religious systems create all kinds of hierarchies, temple systems (church buildings) and ministries that they now have to somehow pay for and maintain. Suddenly, they have a great need for money or it will collapse. Now they are pressured to capture more people to keep the money flowing in. This will automatically pervert the true message and true gospel to one that will focus on keeping people captured. It becomes a service to mammon! Jesus came to “preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them“. How is capturing people setting them at liberty? These two ideas are at odds! Jesus wants people to be free of a religious system (see also Gal. 2:4-5) so that they can have a true relationship with God and then be free from SIN. Then and only then will the people have a true relationship with their neighbors in love. Jesus said that those who are of Him WILL do the following “for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me“. Jesus said it above in Matthew 15:19 as to what the opposite of love is. Why is it in a nation that is 76% Christian that more than 50% are divorced? Divorce is murder! For no man can live if the head is separated from the body. From that comes adultery(getting married again), theft(from each other in divorce), false witness(against each other in the divorce proceedings), and blasphemy(showing those who are not of Christ that evil is ok) against God. This is not sacrificing oneself for one’s neighbor nor anyone else. It is purely serving the self and thereby breaking the first law of God. You break that law and you will never keep the second command.

Does the church need a revival? Yes, and more than that! God will send in the “John the Baptist’s” to preach repentance and plow the fields and then He will send the apostles to do the miracles, but here is what Jesus said about that:

Matthew 11:7-24(NKJV) As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You. Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, and saying: We played the flute for you, And you did not dance; We mourned to you, And you did not lament. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He has a demon. The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners! But wisdom is justified by her children. Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.

The cities (churches of today) of Israel will not repent today any more than they did during Christ’s time. Yet there will be a few that listen and come out of her. If you are looking for a miracle to prove to you that God is real then you do not believe in God. Your belief will be demonstrated by the actions that you take on the streets and not by how often you go to church! James said:

James 2:14-26(NKJV) What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled, but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus 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 without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Now don’t get all confused thinking that you need to do works to be saved. No, works make people complete or finished (perfect) – mature in the faith. How many children are considered mature adults? How can they be? They need to be trained and gain some life experience first. Once they have all that then they are considered mature. They also have maturity at different levels such as kindergarten to grade school, grade school to middle school, middle school to high school, high school to college, college to job and so forth. It NEVER ends! All James is saying is the same thing that Christ said above in Matthew 15:19 and that is that we must live and be like our Father in heaven and to follow Christ’s example. Jesus sacrificed His life for us and He said in Matthew 10:24-25 the “disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.” Be and live like Christ. Stop serving the self and repent! No one will be perfect (mature) immediately, but you can stop doing evil immediately. If you do not then you will fall into the same group as Matthew 11:22! If we are the sons and daughters of God then we need to act like it and stop looking for signs and wonders to make ourselves all feel good and warm and fuzzy. God is going to make you feel all warm and fuzzy if you do not repent for He says:

Hebrews 12:3-8(NKJV) For consider Him[Jesus] who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:  My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 

Furthermore Paul says in Ephesians 5:5-6For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” and also Paul said to the Colossians 3:5-8 to “Mortify[kill or subdue] therefore your members[human nature] which are upon the earth[focused on the earthly]; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:  For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:  In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them[before baptism]. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” How is it that we think these things do not apply to us now? I tell you the truth that judgment is NOW on the house(Christianity) of God and those who will not listen (repent – turn to God) to the “John the Baptists” (those sent to plow the fields) and the apostles (people sent by God to plant and teach) will be rebuked, chastened and scourged. MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT. If you do NOT wake up after all this then Jesus “will vomit[spew] you out of My mouth“.

I write these things because the Spirit is showing me that time is short and much danger will soon upon us. Those who trust in the world, themselves, or their own wealth will be caught unawares in the coming events. Recently I have been in sports bars, shopping malls, and movie theaters where many people are gathered and I have felt an overwhelming love for the people around me. I know this is God’s love, yet it is hard to explain. I want to reach out and show them all what I feel in the Spirit is coming, yet they will not listen because they are so tied up with this world’s works. This is why He is having me (and others) write these letters. Please turn to God NOW! Or are you someone who will only believe when they see a sign or a wonder?

With all love, in His name,
Greg Turner
greg@sharingtheway.com

 

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