"Mark 16:15 preach the gospel to every creature. Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded: Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega .. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, .. they .. have right to the tree of life, and .. enter .. the city."
I am a retired pastor of
the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
This page editorial help: Sister Lynn near Atlanta, GA
Jesus taught his disciples to call God as their Father. But, when the zealous religious Jews said that they are the children of God, Jesus confronted them and corrected them saying that they are the children of the devil. Jesus Christ may say the same thing to religious Christians also.
Jesus Christ lived as a man, leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps. Even though Christians do not follow his steps, they can learn many important facts from his life. One striking point is that he was not a part of the organized Judaism. But, he attended the temple, ceremonies, customs, festivities, etc. His profession was carpentry. He did not get a single endorsement from any prominent from the religious circle, that is scribes, priests, high priest, etc. The word of God has said many things about him, and John the Baptist did endorse him. And, John the Baptist was in the wilderness, living like a wild man. His disciples were, fisher-men, tax collector, and common men, but there were none from religious group like clergies. The religious group became his enemies, including the high priests. They crucified him. The temple was under their control. They were the embodiment of God, and was taking care of all the business of God. At present, organized church leaders, pastors and evangelists took their place and running the business of God. They represent God. Jesus Christ refers the synagogues people as the hypocrites in many occasions. Most church people are also the same.
Jesus Christ chose his disciples from fisher men, tax collector, and from common men. They sincerely followed him, calling him as their master. Jesus taught them how to be the children of our Father, which is in heaven, Who is God. He refer God as their Father most of the time, and told them to call God as their Father. He did not tell this to others. In this context, let me tell my experience. I have received many questions and arguments from my videos about perfection. They argue that nobody can become perfect. I answer them like this. I begin by quoting Matthew 5:48. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Then, this is the advise of Jesus Christ to his disciples, but not to other people. God is Father to his disciples, but not to all, in a strict sense. So, the children can become like the Father, but others cannot be like him. So, I tell them that if they cannot become as perfect as God, it is very understandable and it is not a point of discord. So, call God as Father, is to become like the Father in certain aspect of life. There are more than 60 verses says that Jesus refers God as the Father to his disciples. And so, the teaching belongs to his disciples. One more example that I like to give is this: Almost all Christians have known the "Lord's Prayer." In the prayer, we all address God as our Father. But, it is actually to the disciples. It is not sin to think God as our Father, in the sense that he has created us all; but in the real sense as Jesus calls him the Father, God is not our Father if we are not his disciples.
Let me quote a discussion of Jesus Christ with the Jews. "John 8:38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. 39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. ... 41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. ... 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not." Verse 38 determines who our Father is by the word we speak. If we speak the truth, that is the word of God, then God is our Father. If we twist the word of God and speak lies, then our father is the devil. Verse 39 says that we will do the works of our father. So, our works will determine our father. If we live in sin, our father is the devil. And, if we live in holiness, the our Father is God. In verse 41, they affirm that they are their Father is God. In verse 44, Jesus Christ spelled out to them that the father of the religious hypocrites are the devil. They speak lies. Jesus says that haven or hell is according to what they have done. But they preach that it is not according to what we do, but it is by accepting that Jesus was crucified for our sins. "Revelation 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." Jesus Christ says, if we live in sin, our father is the devil. And, if we obey God's commandments, our Father is God.
Please look at this link that will give information: "Good or Evil", "Works! Godly or Religious." Thank you.
God Bless You