Skip to content

Day Of Reconciliation – December 24

I may have said or done something that offended you.  I may have said or done it out of hurt, or anger, or fear, or jealousy, or who knows what.  Maybe it wasn’t me who did it.  But I’m laying down any presumed right I thought I might have to place blame.  Maybe you or I don’t even know why we seem to be at odds with each other.  I miss sharing my life with you.  Can’t we please just be friends, or brother, sister, mother, father, son or daughter?  Please?

Jesus Will Not Marry The Bride Based On A Prenuptial Agreement

(I haven’t decided if the following will be in the book or not.  To read the book Amazing Promise – How Sweet The Sound online for free, click here: Authonomy.com.)

In Matthew chapter 25 is recorded Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins.  Let’s take a look at the point He was trying to get across.

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose 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, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

Matthew 25:1-13 (NKJV)

In Jesus’ Jewish culture, everyone was familiar with how weddings were done.  So there would have been virtually no inclination for His listeners to interpret this parable figuratively.  I don’t think we should either.  I also feel that this and all of the parables should be interpreted in a way consistent with the rest of the Bible.  The single point Jesus was trying to get across is that everyone must be ready for His return because no one knows when that will be.  It’s a parable about entering the Kingdom of Heaven and not missing out on it.  It’s about not missing out on Salvation because you’re not prepared.  Jesus was sharing the Gospel.

Yes, the Church is the Bride of Christ, but this parable is not about Christ’s marriage to the Church.  The bride is not mentioned.  It’s about each person’s responsibility, individually, to be ready for Christ’s return.  This explains the wise virgins’ refusal, even inability, to take on the foolish virgins’ responsibility to make themselves ready.  So those who were ready couldn’t save those who were not.  The foolish virgins were congregating with those who were ready.  From outside appearances, they were doing all the right things that those who were ready were doing.  But the foolish virgins’ appearance of righteousness and their association with the wise virgins wasn’t enough to save them.  They were even fooling themselves.  They thought they were ready all along, but they were not.  The foolish virgins desired to meet the bridegroom and celebrate with the wedding party.  But their desire was not enough to save them.

Entering the Kingdom of Heaven to be with the Bridegroom requires preparation.  And none of us are guaranteed our next breath.  We must be ready.  What struck me was that the wise directed the foolish to go and buy some more oil for themselves.  So, why didn’t the foolish buy extra oil earlier while it was still daylight?  The conclusion I came to is that the foolish virgins were seeking to meet the bridegroom on their terms instead of on his terms.  And that will never work with Jesus.  That’s not the Gospel.  There’s nothing and no one else who can save us.  We can’t do anything to save ourselves; Jesus has already done it all.  We can’t be good enough, we can’t do enough good deeds, and we can’t earn salvation in any way.  Jesus has already paid it all – paid for all of our sins with His own blood!  HalleluYAH!  Amen!

It appears that the foolish virgins were unwilling or reluctant to take the time or spend the money to buy the oil ahead of time, to do whatever it takes, to be with the bridegroom.  They were holding back.  They were holding out on the bridegroom.  They were unwilling to surrender all to be with him.  That’s not the Gospel.  Being with Jesus, having Jesus, having salvation, requires total, unconditional surrender of everything we are and everything we have to Him.  In the scripture below, I don’t think Jesus’ focus was on being a martyr, but on surrendering totally to Him and to the Gospel, the Good News of His eternal love for us.

For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

Mark 8:35 (NKJV)

 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

Matthew 7:21-23

The words: “Lord, Lord” and “I do not know you” in the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25, sounds a lot like the “Lord, Lord” and “I never knew you” in Matthew 7.  Jesus is saying many are fooling themselves into thinking they are ready to meet Him when in reality they are not.  To accept the Gospel as anything less than total surrender of one’s whole heart to Jesus is to risk Jesus telling you that He never knew you – that you never allowed Him to know you fully, intimately.  It’s senseless to take that risk.

The surrounding parables are about the Kingdom of Heaven as well.  Nobody knows when a thief will come, so be ready.  A wicked, hypocritical servant cannot live one way and present himself as something different to the Master because the Master will come as a surprise and find him out.  The servant who isn’t compelled by Love to further the Master’s Kingdom of Love is not ready for the Master’s return.  The servant who isn’t loving others with the love of the LORD doesn’t have God’s Spirit of Love, His seal of redemption, inside his heart and isn’t ready for the Master’s return.  All of these parables are about being truly ready for Jesus’ return.  So, let me ask you, are you truly ready for His return?

“So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.”

Matthew 25:13 (NLT)

Jesus’ Brilliant, Ten Word, Gospel Presentation

(Excerpt from Carl’s book: Amazing Promise – How Sweet The Sound.  Read it free online at: Authonomy.com.)

Let’s look at another time when Jesus presented the Gospel.  In this account, Jesus was not asked by someone how to be saved.  Rather, Jesus explained the Gospel by indicating how He would die and by explaining that total surrender is required.

            When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Mark 8:34-38 (NKJV)

Jesus starts by saying “Whoever desires to come after Me.”  “To come after” Jesus means to pursue Him, to seek Him, and to find Him – to pursue Life and to receive Life, including Eternal Life.  This is what He is talking about based on what He says soon afterwards about saving and losing one’s life, about saving and losing one’s soul, and about what will happen on the last Day.  Jesus is presenting the Gospel.

Jesus said that in order to truly live, including receiving Eternal Life, you must first deny yourself.  Does that mean we should refrain from giving ourselves what we want or even need? That doesn’t sound like Good News to me!  Or, what exactly about ourselves are we to deny?  Think about it this way: If you were to deny Christ, what would that mean?  To deny Christ is to believe, to admit, that He can’t save you.  So, to deny yourself is to believe and admit that you can’t save yourself, that only God can do that.  This is a huge step for everyone because it involves denouncing any and all faith you have in yourself that you can save yourself, that you are able to get and give yourself what your heart really needs: God’s unfailing love.  To deny yourself is to trust in and place all of your faith in Jesus alone to save you.  It’s relying on Jesus alone to give you everything your heart truly needs both now and forevermore.

Then Jesus says that to have Eternal Life you must take up your cross.  Luke’s Gospel account adds that you must take up your cross daily.  On the surface this sounds like being a Christian is going to be a huge, heavy burden that we’re going to have to always carry around with us.  It’s sounds like we’ll always be carrying around the burden that we’re on our way to suffer for being a Christian, that being a Christian is going to make our lives difficult, if not miserable.  But this can’t possibly be what Jesus means because there is no greater joy to be found in this life, and in the next, than in living with and for Jesus.  Another reason this can’t be what Jesus meant is because He also said that His burden is light.  I would describe a cross in many ways but none of them would be “light!”

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

Some people think that taking up one’s cross daily means that they will be persecuted daily for following Jesus.  That’s simply not the case for many followers of Jesus.  If that’s what this means, then unless we are being persecuted daily, we are not being obedient to Christ.  God’s Word makes it clear that those who live all out for Him will be persecuted.  But nowhere is it stated that Christians will be persecuted daily.

Some people interpret taking up one’s cross daily to mean that they must endeavor to die to themselves daily, that they must put their old self to death every day.  The truth is that we don’t have any true, lasting power apart from God’s grace to overcome our old sinful ways.  If we did, we wouldn’t need Jesus in the first place!  It’s not until we are in Christ and have Christ living in us that we will have the Power to overcome our old sinful nature.  By the way, this supports the truth that Jesus accepts us unconditionally, just as we are, when we turn to Him to save us.  And He NEVER stops accepting us just as we are!  And with so much of His Grace, His Spirit, inside of us, we can’t help but become more and more like Him.

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Romans 8:13-14 (NKJV)

I contend that the only cross you and I are guaranteed is the one Jesus died on!  He died on my cross, and He died on your cross.  He paid for our sins so we don’t have to.  He experienced hell, all of God’s wrath, so we don’t have to.  Your cross is the cross on which Jesus died – if you believe it, if you’re willing to accept His sacrifice for all of your sins.  God fully accepted it, so why shouldn’t you?  Truly, out of everyone at the crucifixion scene, Barabbas had the best perspective of the cross.  That’s because it was on his cross that Jesus died.[1]  Jesus said:

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13

This means that your cross, the one Jesus died on in your place, is the greatest love that you can ever be shown.  So, to take up your cross daily means to let go of whatever you’re holding onto that keeps you from fully grasping, fully comprehending, fully experiencing, fully taking hold of, fully embracing His love for you that put Him on your cross.  In order to let go of what you’re holding onto that’s not Jesus, you’re going to have to surrender everything that’s taking His place in your heart.  If you haven’t surrendered every idol, every false love that temporarily comforts your heart, how can you say you’ve placed all of your faith in Him?

Jesus is asking you to get out of your boat of assurance – whatever you’re holding onto that you think has a chance of saving you – and simply go to Him by faith.  If you’re holding onto idols, worldly things that temporarily comfort your heart that seem so very necessary in your life, maybe it’s because God doesn’t seem like He can be fully trusted in every area of your life.  But what part of “I’ll give up infinite riches in Heaven” and “I’ll let my Son be killed in your place” makes you think you can’t fully trust in the LORD, in the Amazing Promise of His unconditional love?  If the LORD has proven anything to us, it’s that He loves us forever and that He’s worthy of not just our trust, but our all.  Satan’s biggest lie of all time, and even before time began, is that God’s heart cannot be trusted.  The very foundation, the very essence, of the Gospel is The Promise that God’s heart can always be trusted. The fulfillment of that Promise is Jesus!

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

So, the next time you come upon the temptation you typically say “yes” to because you think you “need” it, instead of following through with that sin, whisper a prayer to God telling Him you want to fully trust Him to meet that need.  And ask Him to empower you to avoid that temptation.  God will honor that request.

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

You see, every temptation, every trial, every need, every desire, every longing of your heart is one more opportunity for you to answer the question “Can God’s heart be fully trusted?”  And this is the very question the Gospel asks of everyone.  The gift of His Son’s life in exchange for yours says His heart can be fully trusted.  When you’re tempted, how you respond is your answer to God.  Temptation is not a test of self-control; it’s a test of whether God is in control.  It’s a test of your faith in God.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

1 John 4:9

The love that we are to grasp is God’s love for us, the Holy Spirit.  But that’s simply not possible if you’re still tightly clinching something else that you think will give you that which only God’s True Love can give you.  Grasping His Love requires that you first let go of what you’ve been holding onto to get love.  And so, for your heart to be filled with the Holy Spirit, God’s love, requires total surrender of every ungodly thing that you’re using to get false love.  You must let go of your false “lovers.”  When we take up our cross, we are claiming and holding onto the love and the life that Jesus laid down for us.  And when we grasp the love He has for us, it empowers us to let go of all else.

Then Jesus says “Follow Me.”  Many believers have a difficult time with this command.  If you deny yourself and take up your cross daily, you will become empowered by His Spirit to follow Him.  If you’ve emptied your heart of what’s not of God and your heart has been filled with God’s love, God’s Grace, the Holy Spirit, then following Jesus is relatively easy.  You simply need to follow your heart, your new heart that He has given you.  Following Him is letting His love, His Holy Spirit, lead your life.  Nothing besides the Holy Spirit living in you has the power to overcome your sins (trying hard does not work), the power to overcome your fears (weapons will not work), and the power to guide you in following Jesus (using your eyes and mind will not work).

“In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed.  In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.

Exodus 15:13


[1] Tommy King Sermon March 27, 1994, Tyler, TX.

Hear The Unperverted Gospel Of Grace Over And Over!

(Excerpt from Carl’s book: Amazing Promise – How Sweet The Sound.  Read it free online at: Authonomy.com.)

One of the reasons I’ve shared my story with you is because I truly believe that God wants everyone to hear the life giving message that He has been trying to tell you all along – that His love for you endures forever!  That Word, that Promise of all promises, that greatest Promise of all that Jesus completely fulfills, that Jesus is, has to be heard repeatedly before it can transform you.  And it must be heard clearly without being mixed, without being perverted, with anything else.  What I found in my own life is that it has to be clearly heard over and over before you’ll place all of your faith in it.  Unfortunately, we all typically hear the Gospel of Grace mixed with some portion of works – things we’re told we must do to be acceptable to God.  These are lies!  Mixing in even a little requirement to do good, to do works, into the Gospel of grace ruins the entire gift.  Perverting the Gospel makes it impossible for people to choose the real Jesus, to choose Grace.  Their only recourse is to choose to live under law instead of under grace.  No matter how good a person is, they are still lost if they are not fully trusting in God’s Grace to save them.  It’s so easy for people to wind up thinking that they’re trusting only in God’s Gift of Salvation while, unknown to them, they are partially trusting in what they’re doing for salvation.  And, although it’s subtle but just as deadly, some people are trusting in their love for God instead of trusting in His love for them.  In addition, mixing grace into the Law rids the Law of its ability to bring people to the end of themselves so they can see their desperate need for Jesus.  This is why the apostle Paul placed a double curse on anyone who perverts the Gospel of Grace.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

Galatians 1:6-9

Salvation is always accompanied by the Holy Spirit, the Lord’s seal on His people.  Therefore when a perverted Gospel is preached, even if fully believed, it doesn’t have God’s power to save and it won’t result in people being filled with the Holy Spirit.  A perverted Gospel, even if fully believed, cannot save anyone and will actually prevent those who believe it, even entire churches, from receiving the Holy Spirit.  So, the reason why churches are not exploding with the Holy Spirit and in many being saved is because the one and only Gospel is being perverted.  Only ONE Gospel is the power of God to save people and no others are!

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

Romans 1:16

In addition, most people, even those who attend church regularly, seldom if ever hear God telling them how much He loves them.  And it’s so easy to be lulled into believing any number of the false promises that the world repeatedly tells you.  It’s often these lies that people listen to and lean on for their sense of self worth, to feel that they are loved and worthy of love, instead of fully trusting in God’s truth.  The truth is that He already loves you with all of His Being forever and no matter what – no matter what you’ve done, no matter where you’ve come from, and no matter where you’re at right now!  And in the process of believing a lie, many people miss the powerful, transforming song of love that God is singing over them.  Note that the phrase “Whoever has ears, let them hear” is recorded 14 times in the New Testament indicating that the Word, the Promise, must be heard and is for everyone to hear.  It’s so sad when people never hear the sound – when they never hear God’s Promise of unending love for them – when they could have been speaking it all along with their own mouth!

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

Romans 10:17

Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.  I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David. So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:3, 11

 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”

John 5:24

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13

Additionally, even if people hear God’s Amazing Promise of Grace over and over, they can still miss out on its power, on its ability to totally transform their lives.  This can happen by listening to God’s Promise AND to Satan’s lies at the same time – by continuing to listen to grace defeating messages from others, from yourself, or from both others and yourself.  The devil is the accuser.  And his greatest weapon is the law.  So, every time you fail; every time you make a mistake; every time you sin in any way, in what you say, do, or think; and every time you focus on your weaknesses and you tell yourself (or you allow someone else to tell you) that God is not 100% pleased with you, that God is angry or disappointed with you, or that you are not already completely forgiven, then you are choosing to live under law instead of under grace!

You absolutely CANNOT listen to the accuser’s voice and hear God clearly.  You absolutely CANNOT focus on yourself, on your shortcomings, and see Jesus clearly.  You absolutely CANNOT be covered in condemnation and guilt and at the same time be covered in the gracious blood of Christ!  You must fully accept the LORD’s grace and mercy, His love and forgiveness, His Amazing Promise to you, and totally reject the devil’s lies, in order to experience the full effect of God’s Amazing Grace in your life.  You must completely believe that ALL of God’s wrath and punishment due you was poured out on Jesus, and that He took on ALL of your guilt and shame so you don’t have to take on ANY OF IT!  HalleluYAH!  You must NOT be reminded of your shortcomings if you are to believe this.  Instead, you must be reminded continually of the truth that He loves you just as you are if you are to believe this.  And when you do come to believe that He loves you fully just as you are, you will then find that you have tremendous Power to overcome your sins and addictions, to surrender and be set free.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:1-2

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

John 8:10-11

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Philippians 4:8 (NLT)

Don’t underestimate the power of the words you hear, even words spoken to you from your own lips.  Words have tremendous power – words can heal and words can kill.  God spoke the entire universe into existence!  When you repeat the Amazing Promise over and over that God loves you forever, God will be doing the speaking through His Spirit.  Faith comes by hearing the Word, the Promise, of God.  God’s Word of Promise to you starts in your mouth but will eventually end up in your heart if you hear it enough and truly believe it – if you are reminded of His love long enough for it to totally transform your heart.  And it’s not until His Promise of love, the Holy Spirit, is deep within your heart that you will be willing and able to obey everything that He has commanded you, starting with loving Him with all of your being and loving others as yourself.  Don’t underestimate the power of God’s Word – His Promise – to you.

No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:3

Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

Deuteronomy 30:11-14

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.”

John 15:9

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Jude 1:21 (NKJV)

            Look at what Matthew Henry had to say about Deuteronomy 30 and Romans 10 and about confessing the promises of the Messiah with our mouth: “The law is not too high for thee. It is not only known afar off; it is not confined to men of learning. It is written in thy books, made plain, so that he who runs may read it. It is in thy mouth, in the tongue commonly used by thee, in which thou mayest hear it read, and talk of it among thy children. It is delivered so that it is level to the understanding of the meanest. This is especially true of the Gospel of Christ, to which the apostle applies it. But the word is nigh us, and Christ in that word; so that if we believe with the heart, that the promises of the Messiah are fulfilled in our Lord Jesus, and confess them with our mouth, we then have Christ with us.”  Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Concise) Deuteronomy 30:11-14, Bible Study Tools Online (N.p., 1706).

The Amazing Promise

The following may seem too incredible for you to believe.  Just realize that our Creator is infinitely incredible Himself and far beyond our human comprehension.  And so it shouldn’t be too surprising that His plan for restoring our relationship with Him, the relationship that was broken by our sins, is just that – incredible!  This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

What you will find below is the very foundation of the Gospel.  I believe that what I’m about to tell you has been hidden for a very long time and consequently has been overlooked by many.  As a matter of fact, I’ve never heard what I’m about to tell you preached or taught by anyone, and I’ve heard a lot of preaching for 48 years – from pulpits, books, tapes, pamphlets, the internet, devotionals, and by word of mouth.  This is truly an incredible mystery from God!  And I want you to know that what follows radically changed my life!  And I know that it has the power to radically change yours too!

The LORD confides in those who fear him (those who hope in the LORD alone, Psalm 33:18, Psalm 147:11, Psalm 119:74); he makes his covenant known to them.  Psalm 25:14

God has given us an amazing promise that He guarantees with the honor of His Name.  That’s why He has always protected the integrity of His Name.

Do not profane my holy name. I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the LORD, who makes you holy.  Leviticus 22:32a

His name of LORD, YHWH, Yahweh, is the Name of His Amazing Promise to us, His Everlasting Covenant with us, that: “He is good; His love endures forever.”  Who is He?  He is “Good.”  He is “Good” to us!

2 Chronicles chapters 5-7

Approximately 100 times in the Old Testament His name of Yahweh is associated with “His love endures forever,” His “faithful love,” and His “unfailing love.”  If He’s told us once, He’s told us a hundred times what His name means.  And so how have we all, the scholarly and the uneducated, missed the full meaning of Yahweh’s name for so long?

Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulnessPsalm 115:1

But you, O Sovereign LORD, deal well with me for your name’s sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me. Psalm 109:21

When we confess “Jesus is LORD” – when we repeat out loud and hear over and over His Promise that He loves us unconditionally and forever, we will come to place all of our trust, our faith, in His Promise to love us forever, in His Word, in Jesus, in Grace alone, to save us.

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  Romans 10:9

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word (promise) of Christ. Romans 10:17

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever…
Psalm 136

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
(“word” in this verse is NOT Hebrew “dabar”/law but is “imrah”/promise)

I have treasured your promise in my heart so that I may not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Grace is God’s unconditional love for us.  Truth is those things which will last forever because nothing false will ever be found in them.  Jesus came full of Grace and Truth; Jesus came full of, fulfilled the promise of, “His love endures forever!”  Jesus is LORD!

The Word (Promise) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

“‘The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah… This is the Name by which it (He) will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.’”  Jeremiah 33:14, 16b

The Bible says that the LORD’s Name and the Gospel both have the power to save…that’s because they are one and the same!  All people, no matter when they have lived with respect to when Christ died, were and are saved only by faith in God’s Grace, in Jesus alone, beginning with Adam.  This is how: when they believed in THE Promise of Yahweh (singular Promise, John 14:6), that Yahweh’s heart is always good toward them, that He loves them unconditionally and forever, they were placing their faith in God’s Grace – in Jesus alone!

When the people of the Old Testament prayed to Yahweh to send His salvation (“yeshua” in Hebrew), they were asking for God to send Jesus (Yeshua) – by name!  They were calling on the name of the LORD, the name of the Amazing Promise!

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”  Acts 4:12

And how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  2 Timothy 3:15
(The apostle Paul was referring to the Old Testament!)

May your unfailing love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise  Psalm 119:41

If you will stop trying to be good, good enough to be loved, and give up on everything you’re using to try to get love, that you’re doing in order to be loved, and humble yourself, and say this Amazing Promise, “I love you forever, [your name]” out loud, with your own mouth, and hear it over and over for several weeks, accepting it as God speaking directly to you, His love will move from your head to deep within your heart and you will be totally transformed by His amazing love, by His grace.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.  Psalm 107:1
Let the people the Lord defended repeat these words. Psalm 107:2

You can’t do anything to deserve God’s love – you can’t work for it, and you can’t earn it.  You can’t even gain it.  That’s because YOU ALREADY HAVE IT!  God has ALWAYS loved you and He always will!!!  HE ALREADY LOVES YOU JUST AS YOU ARE!  There’s nothing you have done or can do, for that matter, to please Him enough to enter into a relationship with Him.  If there were, then salvation wouldn’t be by Grace.  And the Bible is very clear that salvation comes only by trusting in God’s unmerited favor for you, in God’s Grace, in Jesus!

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

 You must trust His Amazing Love for you and then receive His Spirit, His Seal – you must be born again…His love, Jesus, must be born in you – in order for you to be, and to know you are, saved.  When this happens to you, you will receive an amazing ability to say “NO” to sin, to resist temptation, like never before.

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.John 3:3

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word (promise) of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.  Ephesians 1:13-14

For the Grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age Titus 2:11-12

Once your heart is filled with the LORD’s Amazing Promise, His grace, start actively looking for any ungodly things (idols) in your life that you’re using to give your heart the love it needs and desires that only the LORD can give you.  And then, the next time you are tempted in any of those ways, stop, and surrender it to the LORD in prayer telling Him then and there that you’re tired of anything coming between the two of you and that you need His help, His Power, to avoid that temptation.  And when you do this enough, to completion, allowing His Spirit to conquer all of your other gods, you will experience being filled with His Spirit, His Holy Fire, to the point where you won’t be able to keep from telling your family, your friends, and everyone about His amazing love and how they can receive it/Him as well.

Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. Jonah 2:8

But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.  I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.  Jeremiah 20:9

Do NOT put your faith in your love for the LORD.  Many good intentioned believers do that and it’s a trap.  Put your faith only in the LORD: “He is good; His love endures forever.”  I know from personal experience that saying the following words is speaking this Amazing Promise: “I love you forever, [your name].”  Say this over and over until you completely believe it.  And then simply respond back to the LORD from your heart each time.  If your heart is right, if it’s broken and truly wants Him more than anything else, when you do this you will soon fall in love with Jesus, or you will fall much more in love with Jesus.  This is so powerful!  This is the Gospel!

I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.  Acts 20:21

God wants everyone to hear this life giving message that He has been trying to tell you – that His love for you endures forever!  What I’ve found in my own life is that this incredible promise has to be clearly heard over and over before you’ll place your faith, all of your hope and trust, in it.  Unfortunately, the Gospel of Grace is very often mixed with some portion of works – things we’re told we must do to be acceptable to God.  These are lies!  Mixing in even a little works into the gospel of grace, “trying” to be good (enough), ruins the entire gift.  Perverting the gospel makes it impossible for people to choose the real Jesus; to choose Grace.  Their only recourse is to choose to live under law instead of under grace.  No matter how good a person is, they are still lost if they are not fully trusting in God’s Grace to save them.  It’s so easy for people to wind up thinking that they’re trusting only in God’s Gift of salvation while, unknown to them, they are partially trusting in what they’re doing for salvation.  In addition, mixing grace with the Law rids the Law of its ability to bring people to the end of themselves so they can see their desperate need for Jesus.  This is why the apostle Paul placed a double curse on anyone who perverts the Gospel of Grace.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! Galatians 1:6-9

Salvation is always accompanied by the Holy Spirit, the Lord’s Seal on His people.  Therefore, when a perverted gospel is preached, even if fully believed, it doesn’t have God’s power to save and it won’t result in people being filled with the Holy Spirit.  A perverted gospel, even if fully believed, cannot save anyone and will actually prevent those who believe it, even entire churches, from receiving the Holy Spirit.  So, the reason why churches are not exploding with the Holy Spirit, in many being saved, is because the one and only gospel is being perverted.  Only ONE gospel is the power of God to save people – and no others are!

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.  Romans 1:16

See to it that no one misses the grace of God Hebrews 12:15

Many people are familiar with what Jesus has done for us – with the Gospel Story of how God fulfilled His Amazing Promise to us by sending His Son Jesus to die for us.  But many others have not heard THE STORY of ALL stories before.  So, I would love to share it with you now.  Here it is very briefly:

Jesus, God’s only Son, was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born of the virgin Mary.  He is the only one who has ever lived a sinless life, which is what God’s Law given to Moses requires.  As a result, His blood was the only sacrifice that could pay the price for all of our sins.  He was crucified by being nailed to a Roman cross and shed His precious blood.  After three days He rose from the grave by conquering death, was seen by many witnesses, and ascended into Heaven where He sits at God’s mighty right hand.   And one day He’s returning to judge the world and to take His Bride, those who have His Seal of the Holy Spirit, and complete the wedding ceremony with Her.  She will be with Him forever to enjoy His Covenant of Love; it will truly be Holy Matrimony.  His Holy Spirit blesses us who are His in countless ways and intercedes for us when we pray to our Heavenly Father.

If you fully accept God’s Love, His Salvation, His Grace, His Amazing Promise to YOU – Jesus – then it’s right and fitting for you to do those things the virgin Jewish bride did once she accepted the groom, his promise of love, and all of his promises that he had written down in the marriage contract, the ketubah, that he gave her.  During the first half of the two part wedding ceremony, the shiddukhin, the couple shared a glass of wine (The LORD’s Supper, Communion) to seal the marriage contract (The New Covenant).   By putting her lips to the glass and drinking the red wine (Jesus’ blood) she was saying to him “I do” – “I accept your promise to love me forever.  I accept all of you and I give you all of me.”  Then the groom returned (Ascension) to his father’s house (Heaven) to build onto it a home for her.  While the groom was away, the bride would repeat the promises contained in her cherished ketubah (Bible) over and over and fall in love with the groom in his absence.  She would also submit to immersion (Baptism) in water (God’s Love, which is the Holy Spirit) during the mikvah ritual leaving her old life under the rule of her father (Satan) behind (Repentance) and starting her new life under the leadership of the groom (Jesus).  (Begin surrendering every unclean thing – every sin – by the power of the Holy Spirit, Begin the Sanctification process.)  Until the groom came to get her (The Day of the LORD, Judgement Day) to complete the marriage ceremony, the huppah, she was to remain faithful and always prepared for his unexpected return.  Note that the bride did none of these things to “earn” the groom’s love.  His love was freely given to her (Grace), but the bride-price cost him dearly (Crucifixion and Separation from His Father) and showed her just how much he truly loved her (Infinitely).  For Her to say that He didn’t pay it all, that She must earn some of the price Herself, is a huge disgrace to Him and in effect says She doesn’t want all of Him – it’s to turn down His offer of unconditional Love.

Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.  I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.  Isaiah 55:3

One final point:  God uses singing as a means for us to repeat His Promise of love and for us to never forget it.  I’m sure you know how it is to hear a song and then not be able to stop thinking about it.  It keeps playing over and over in your head.  And if while singing you hear the LORD’s Promise of Love over and over, singing will prepare your heart to be filled with His Spirit of love.  Daily singing of God’s love for me by singing along with contemporary Christian songs on the radio was a key factor in preparing my heart to receive His Love, to receive Jesus.

The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.”  Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God. 2 Chronicles 5:13-14

(Note that the priests were unable to perform “works” of service.  That’s because salvation is by Grace alone!)

This song by Matt Redman, Lord Let Your Glory Fall, describes how the LORD filled the temple Solomon built, as recorded in 2 Chronicles chapters 5-7.  The temple is a detailed illustration of salvation!  And what happened at the dedication of the temple is a clear description of how to be filled with God’s Grace and with the Holy Spirit’s Fire from above.  The details of the two manifestations of God’s glory that occurred at the dedication of the temple totally agree with how I experienced the Holy Spirit in my own life.  This song’s amazing, Holy Spirit inspired lyrics completely capture what I’ve been trying to tell you.  So wherever this song is heard, the unperverted Gospel of Grace is truly proclaimed to all because Jesus is LORD; Jesus is the complete fulfillment of Yahweh’s Amazing Promise to love us forever.  Instead of a building built by human hands, your heart is the temple in which the LORD longs to live.

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?  1 Corinthians 3:16

Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love.  Psalm 48:9

There you have it – the very foundation of the Gospel of our LORD Jesus Christ!

Now you have a choice to make.  You can agree, disagree, blow this off, or start right now putting these words “I love you forever, [your name]” into practice.  What if I’m right?  What if repeating these words will radically change your life just as they did mine?  And I know they will!  You have absolutely nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain by repeating the LORD’s Amazing Promise to yourself over and over!  If it initially feels a little uncomfortable to say these words out loud, then you will know that they’re working on your heart!  You will know that there is so much more room for His grace in your heart!  So, will you have the faith of a mustard seed and do this one little (HUGE) thing over the next several weeks?  I pray that you will be humble enough to say “Yes,” to say “I do,” and to start repeating it now!  After several weeks of hearing this Amazing Promise, and nothing else, you will be astonished to find that you now have an unprecedented Power to say “No” to temptation like never before!  And when you do, start using that Power, the Power of His Grace, to give up all of your idols and to surrender all of yourself to Him.   Keep surrendering, by His Power, by His Grace that you will now have within you, until you have nothing left that’s not of Him to surrender.  And then climb up on the alter yourself and He will send His Holy Fire on your sacrifice and ignite your heart and life for Him.  When I fully surrendered to Him, by His Power, is when the LORD covered me with His Love from head to toe; and at the same time He gave me a tongue on fire to tell others of His love.  How this happened to me is explained in the book I’m writing.

This clear, unperverted Gospel of Grace of our LORD Jesus Christ has the power to catch the whole world on fire with the Holy Spirit!  But if we don’t share it with those we love, they may never clearly hear God telling them how much He really loves them or hear it enough to be radically changed by it.  Besides repeating the LORD’s Amazing Promise yourself, all I ask is that you click the email button below and send this Amazing Promise to twelve or more people whom you know.  It doesn’t matter if they are believers or not!  Or better yet, click the “Share on Facebook” icon below and share it with ALL of your Facebook friends!  Otherwise, this powerful message of God’s love, The Good News, The News of Him who is Good, will just stop right here instead of spreading exponentially.  I’m asking you to partner with me in spreading the unperverted Gospel of Grace by simply clicking the email button below and sending this incredible message to at least twelve people.  Why not send it to all of your family and friends?  And then say a prayer that they will accept the unperverted Gospel of Grace.  For the greatest impact, use your own email account and facebook account and send a link to this page to all of your friends and acquaintances.  Let’s spread the only Word that has the Power to save – the unperverted Word!

If God’s Grace, Jesus, has come alive in your heart as a result of repeating God’s Promise of unending love for you (The Good News!) and if you have received the Holy Spirit’s anointing by using the power of God’s Grace to surrender every unholy thing within you to Him, please leave a comment here and describe how it happened to you as an encouragement to everyone!  Also, I welcome all of your feedback and comments on this message from the LORD!

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the LORD Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:3

*****************************

All twelve chapters of the book are on Authonomy.com.  Fourteen “chapters” have been uploaded, counting the preface and closing remarks.
Amazing Promise – How Sweet The Sound – Carl’s book on Authonomy.com

Carl Garrett on facebook

carlgarrettamazingpromise@gmail.com

I’m also available to speak or to preach.  I may be contacted at 903-920-3416.
Carl