Category Archives: Witness

Bear Good Fruit

Matthew 7:15-20

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them

Genetic engineering these days is fascinating. I remember quite a few years ago visiting the Land O’ Lakes Answer Farm in Duncombe, Iowa. I was there to write an article for an Ag Issue our local shopper did every year. When I asked them what they did there, I was amazed. The have a weed plot across the street from the main facility. On this weed plot were several different types of weeds that corn can come up against as it develops. They test various chemicals to see what will work best against that weed to kill it’s growth.

Another thing that fascinated me back in the early 1980’s when I visited with them was how they worked with the corn to make it resistant against pests. Those of you who don’t know farming don’t realize how many different pests there can be out there. These pests attached themselves to the seedling or the stalk and can eat through it and destroy it. There is a constant search for the most resistant seeds.

Genetic engineering in plants has come a long way since then. I’m sure the same strategies are also used in apples and oranges and other crops. They are used for livestock as well. Anything to get a better yield. But no matter how much genetic engineering they do, a corn plant will always yield corn, and apple tree will always produce apples and a cow will always give birth to a cow. You will know them by their fruit!

In the creation account found in Genesis, one of the things that is said about the vegetation is that it has it’s seed inside itself (Gen 1:11). All living things are this way. The seed inside is what is seen as the fruit outside. That seed is what is reproduced by the plant or animal. God put the seed inside so that when anything comes forth from that particular plant or animal, you would know what kind of animal it is from what is produced. It’s a principal we all take for granted and easily overlook.

Jesus says to be careful we do not fall for the deception of false prophets. There are many who are preaching a false gospel in the world today. I know I have a Catholic friend reading who believes the Protestant church is a false doctrine. I would say the same of the Catholic Church. We disagree wholeheartedly and have had lengthy conversation about the subject. I will not get into that argument today. I preach Christ and Him crucified. That is the central message of the Gospel that we must stick to. It is when we veer off the track that we can easily get into false doctrine.
For example, those who say that we are saved by grace, and once we are saved we can go our merry way and not follow Christ are preaching false doctrine. Christ tells us we must follow His commands to get to heaven (this is part of the next lesson). The woman taken in adultery had her sins forgiven, but Jesus also told her to go and sin no more (John 8:11). We cannot accept Christ and ask Him for forgiveness only to pick up those sins again. Once He cleanses us, we must stay cleansed. Philippians 2:12 tells us we must “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.” God helps us along the way but we have an obligation to Him to walk in the Light as He is in the Light (1 John 1:7). There is nowhere that the Bible says this is optional.

There are others who say if you are not baptized by immersion your will not go to heaven. They say that your salvation is not complete until that baptism takes place. This is false doctrine. If that is true, than they are also saying that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was not enough to save you. I’m here to tell you that His sacrifice is enough. He gave His life so you could be saved. He did not say you had to be baptized as well.

There are many other preachers out there who bear the testimony of false prophets. Anyone who says you do not have to follow Christ’s teaching is a false prophet. Anyone who says the Bible is antiquated and we have to take it with a grain of salt is a false prophet. I hear there is a new movie coming out named “Corpus Christi” in which Christ and His disciples are pictured as homosexuals. False prophets for sure. The New Apostolic Reformation is one to really be careful of and stay away from. There are many false teaching in this church that closely mimic truth.

Jesus said we shall know false teachers by their fruit. The problem we have today is that many false doctrines so closely mimic the truth, a lot of the fruit looks real good to eat of. The NAR is a great example. Many of these churches are thriving and growing even though they teach so many things contrary to scripture. Their fruit looks good. Many churches that have been walking in the truth for years are falling for the deception. These are perilous times. Jesus said in the last days even many of the elect will be deceived (Matt 24:24). So how do we know?

You shall know them by their fruits. If what they are saying glorifies God and the Word of God, that is good fruit. If they are preaching Christ crucified as the way to heaven, that is good fruit. If they are preaching the resurrection as a way to eternal life, that is good fruit. If the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) is evidence in their lives that is good fruit. If they adhere to the tenants of scripture and don’t make up their own gospel, that is good fruit.

Those who are bearing false witness and putting forth bad fruit will eventually meet with judgment. Christ says they will be hewn down and cast into the fire. I believe that he means what He says. Anyone who says there is no hell, and God will not send anyone to hell is a false prophet. Christ is pretty clear here and in many other places where he spoke of the torments of hell. When we deny there is a hell, that is false teaching because it does not line up with what Christ taught.

Anyone who says you can be a part of the kingdom of heaven without being born again is a false prophet. Jesus was very emphatic. He said “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” (John 3:3). That sounds pretty straightforward to me! How can we believe anything else? Anything else goes against what Jesus said and is false teaching. The fruit we must look for is if it lines up with what Jesus said. He said He is the way. The Baptist church is not the way. The Mormon church is not the way. The Catholic church is not the way. Your church is not the way, nor is your denomination. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the father except by Him (John 14:6). That is what He said and that is truth. Anything that says different is false teaching and we must beware.

The last part of this post is just as important. Make sure your fruit is good fruit. Make sure you are teaching and preaching the things that Christ did and that His Word still does today. Make sure you are doing good works, saying things that minister grace and thinking on those things that are good. Make sure you are walking in the Holy Spirit every day, seeking His guidance. The previous two and a half chapters tell us what good fruit is. Be fruitful!

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The Narrow Gate

Matthew 7:13-14

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

It saddens me to see what is going on in the church as a whole these days, and I think it saddens God as well. When the church was established, a standard was set by our Lord Jesus Christ that we live above the world, yet in the world. That we should turn our backs from the worlds ways and follow Him, even if it means turning away from our family and friends (Luke 9:23, Matthew 10:38). We are to come out from among them and be separate (2 Corinthians 6:17). We are to put away the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life because they are not of God (1 John 2:16).

Let’s start with one of the most glaring of the attacks against the church in our times: the LBGTQ (hope I didn’t miss a letter) community. Churches are folding left and right to this group of people. This community is bent on having to be accepted as they are, no questions asked, in every capacity the church has to offer. Ordained, youth leaders, deacons, marriage counselors – every area. They are determined to make same sex marriage be OK and demand it be performed by anyone they might decide to ask. They are determined to make Christians go against their moral foundation to serve them, even if they can get the service easily somewhere else. It is eroding the very fabric of our society.

The bible is clear on what the narrow gate is here. The narrow gate is traditional marriage between a man and a woman. The narrow gate is cleaving to one another for a lifetime. The narrow gate is to love one another through good times and bad, sickness and health, richer or poorer, until death do we part. The narrow gate leads to life.

The wide gate is just give up because we don’t love each other anymore. The wide gate is marry anyone you like, no matter what sex they are. The wide gate is fool around and swing with as many as you want. The wide gate is the world and it leads to destruction. It destroys lives of the parents, lives of the children and the fabric of our society. More and more you see kids with two sets of parents. More and more you see children to apart by a world that has no sound foundation. The church has as many divorces as the world outside. Why? This should not be so – not by a long shot. The wide gate is everywhere. The wide gate leads to destruction

Then there is the acceptance of these individuals in the LBGTQ community. Many denominations have decided they are due every right and privilege that anyone else has. The Methodist church is riddled with this philosophy, and their churches are falling left and right. Lawsuits are brought against churches, schools and businesses who don’t fall to their demands, and the3y are being won. Our legal system has even said they are OK.

The narrow gate is that God created make and female (Gen 1:27). There are no more than two sexes, and the difference can be seen anatomically. God did that so there would be no doubt which was which. The narrow gate leads to life.

The wide gate is be whoever you want to be and we will make sure this world will give you all it’s benefits. The wide gate is to not let parents talk to their children about being male and female as they were born, but to let them go the way they want to and just grin and bear. The wide gate is to turn aside and do nothing, say nothing and hear nothing as we slowly drift from the standard that our society has believed for it’s entire existence. The wide gate leads to destruction.

Then there is the question of creationism vs evolution. Evolution was theorized in in 1859 in Charles Darwin’s Book “The Origin of the Species.” The scientific community latched onto this idea because it could explain God out of the picture – they loved it. Evolution says that man evolved over millions years from protozoa in the ocean. He was the first to speculate the age of the earth was that long. In the 1927 the Big Bang Theory stated that the universe came out of one big simultaneous event, something Augustine said back in the 4th century. Augustine said it was God. Now the scientific community had to take one more stab at God. Taking Genesis out of the picture by saying it is a false account also takes God out of the picture of being in charge. Creation says the earth is 13.7 million years old

The narrow gate says God created the Heaven’s and the Earth (Gen 1:1) out of nothing, in essence a Big Bag. The narrow gate says the earth is 6,000 years old as the Bible says. The narrow gate says man was created individual, as were the animals and the plants. The narrow gate says that God did it all in six days. The narrow gate says we have dominion over all the earth. The narrow gate says the Light came before the Sun and the Moon. The Light is Jesus and He was here from the beginning. The narrow gate leads to life.

The wide gate says we are just descended from apes. The wide gate says we are no better than the plants and animals, and that we should make sure they are protected above all else. The wide gate says we are not valuable. The wide gate says that man is capable of destroying what God created. The wide gate says that Genesis just cannot be taken as truth, we must believe man’s wisdom and not God’s The wide gate deems man’s wisdom to be higher than God’s in all things. The wide gate leads to destruction.

The last I will mention is morality. What is moral? What is just? What is right and what is wrong? Answers to these questions are challenged everyday by man. They are challenged everyday by a society that moves farther and farther away from any standard of living. They are deteriorating at a rapid rate around the world.

The narrow gate says that God has a standard. That standard is the Ten Commandments. Then there is the Golden Rule on top of that. If we could love by these two rules, all other rules would be unnecessary. The narrow gate says God’s ways are moral and right. The narrow gate says God executes judgment. The narrow gate leads to life.

The wide gate says that anything goes. The wide gate says that we do not have to be oral by any standard that already exists. We can make the standard as we go, The wide gate says whatever you think is right and Ok is right for you. The wide gate has no foundation in any kind of truth. The narrow gate leads to destruction

These are just a few things we have to consider. There are many more. What it boils down to is whether we believe the Word of God or not. Today, man is exalting his wisdom above Gods wisdom. In our schools our children are taught man’s wisdom, not God’s. It is sad and it is so wrong. As we trust more and more in man’s wisdom in our schools and our churches, more and more people will head to the wide gate.

Which gate are you headed toward? Are you walking in the wisdom of this world You are headed to the wide gate. Are you accepting this worlds idea of moral behavior? You are walking toward the wide gate. Are you discounting the truths of the Bible for what man says happened all those years ago? You are walking toward the wide gate.
Are you trusting in the Lord and His Word for the wisdom you walk in? You are walking toward the narrow gate. Are you walking in the morality God set forth in His word? You are walking toward the narrow gate. Are you a believer in the Genesis account and all the truths delivered there? You are walking toward the narrow gate.

And, last but most important. Are you a born again, Spirit filled, bible reading, praying and worshiping Christian, walking in the word and doing everything you can to obey it’s precepts? Have you accepted the atoning blood of Christ as your sacrifice for sin? Have you asked God to forgive your sins and have you repented and left them behind you? Are you a witness to His mercy and grace with all you come in contact with? Are you eagerly awaiting His return, knowing He could come any moment? You are walking toward the narrow gate!

The wide gate leads to destruction. The narrow gate leads to life.

New Web Site coming online

I would like your help, my friends.  I am developing a new web site that will be a hub for all the various things God has me doing these days, and there are a lot.  This site link to the following online tools that I have been using:

This blog – Bible teachings will continue (Currently the Sermon on the Mount)

“The Psalmist” (God inspired poetry)

“The A.S.K.Principle” web site – https://theaskprinciple.com – my new book web site where the book can be purchased from me

My YouTube channel – Containing many VERY rough clips of choruses and songs I have written plus my cancer testimony video.  I am also hoping to do some teaching on this channel as well.

My Facebook page – also called the Psalmist – this is  basically a mirror site to The Psalmist on WordPress.

This new site is petegardner.net

This site will carry reblogs from my current online presence plus much original content you will not see anywhere else from me.  God is moving me further into this writing world.  This is not intended to be another WordPress site that you will follow.  This is more a pure web site. You will be able to comment and like things posted here. My hope is you will visit, leave comments as you do, and give me feedback as the site is developing.  We have some things in place and a lot more to do.  Please stop by!

Thank you.  You have no idea how much I appreciate all of you!

Pete

Walk With Him

Wil you walk with Jesus today?  Will you allow Him to guide your steps?  These two questions should be in our minds all the time.  I have a tendancy to put me first and do the things I want to do.  It is built into my human nature.  As each day begins I have choices to make.  They are the same everyday.  What will I wear?  Does my face look presentable?  What will I have for breakfast?  What will my atittude be?  Hundreds of choices to make, and I make them rapidly and often with barely a thought. Then I am on my way in our pursuit of a good day.  I hope for the best results from decisions I have made and will make.  These days, I am working from home.   I must allow time for every task that I have to do.  There is breakfastm exercise, blogs, map work, housework, reading, correspondence, groceries…the list goes on and on.  All decisions I must make.

In the middle of all these decisions, I need to oout God!  Yes, even the groceries.  I wan to buy healthyy things so I need His guidance.  I want to be frugal, so I need His guidance.  I want an opportuity to witness in the store, so I need His Holy Spirit and His wisdom.  I want to help someone, so I need His discernment.  I want to walk worthy, so I need His guidance.  There is nothing I do that does not need Him there, walking alongside, helping me.

In order to have His presence with me all the time, I must keep my mind on Him.  Prayer and praise are key to my existence and fellowship withe Jesus.  Meditating on His word is my inspiration.  I can allways know He is there. because His word tells me He is (Deut 31:6).  I can aways know He willl guide my path, because His word tells me so (Prov 3:6).  I can always know hHe will light the way, because His word is a lamp (Psalm 119:105).  Wherever I go, He is there (Psalm 139:7-12).

So I will determine each day to walk with Him.  To talk with Him.  To tell Him I am His own.  I know He will be there for me.  And when I do this I can walk in victory no matter what storm may come or what obstacle comes before me.

How about you?

Cancer Recovery Update

It has been a couple months since I updated you all on my progress.  As I said in the last update, I am now in remission – there is no sign of any Myeloma cells in my body and the doctor said if I was thoroughly examined, the doctor would not know I ever had Myeloma.  God has wiped out the enemy and made me new!  What an awesome God we serve!

I am still undergoing maintenance chemo therapy, and will be until October of 2018.  As  a result, my immune system is still shot and I have to wear a mask whenever I am outside or in public places.  I also still have neuropathy in both my feet and the outside parts of my hands.  I have no pain with the neuropathy, (Praise the Lord – most people do!) Just a numbness in the affected areas.  Of course, I am believing God for a complete healing in that area as well, while the doctors say most likely not.

Through this entire bout with cancer (diagnosed in March of 2016) I have been saying the same thing – “God has been merciful to me”.  I see His mercy everywhere I turn.  From getting the diagnosis before my health went bad or I had any pain, to God restoring my arm to full use (I lost use of my right arm and no one could explain why), to an amazing wife who has been the best caregiver in the world. Mercy has been hovering over me every day.

Why did God allow this in my life?  To draw me closer to Himself, and it worked tremendously!  Through the poems I have written (over 1,000) and my studies through Philippians, Ephesians, the Psalms and now James it has been an amazing journey.  I was lackadaisical in my faith and devotional time before this.  Now I am doing a daily bible study with a friend and I am studying James and other scriptures every day.  I have gotten involved in this wonderful community on WordPress and am learning from all of your posts.  So many of you have become good friends.  It is incredible what God has done in my life because I have had the time to reflect more on Him.

I am thankful for this time He has given me – even though it involved allowing cancer into my life.  I am thankful for all of you who encourage me and uplift me with your comments and your posts.  I am thankful that I hear the voice of God within me more clearly than I ever have in my life.  He has been so good, and so merciful to me.

If you are going through a hard time, perhaps it’s even cancer, know that God wants you to turn to Him through this difficulty and draw you closer.  Closer than you’ve ever been to Him.  Listen for His voice, and He will speak to you and tell you how much He loves you.  Follow Him and He will lead you out of the valley you are in.  He is right there with you, even if you can’t see Him, feel Him or hear Him.  Sometimes God works the most when He is quiet.  Be patient and allow God to perfect you during this time.   He knows the plans He has for you, and He never fails! He is always doing everything for you good, even if you can’t see that.  Trust Him.  Don’t depend on your own understating.  See Him in all things. He will lead you on the right path.

Be blessed

 

 

 

Upcoming Event!

On Wednesday, November 8th at 1:00 pm Central Time I will be on a local Christian radio station sharing my testimony about the cancer battle I have been going through. The interview was already tapped at my home, and I’m sure you would enjoy it if you can join us. I believe the whole interview will fit into an hour time slot, even though the actual interview is only about 25 minutes, in 4 parts.

You can hear the broadcast where you are by going to https://kinshipradio.org and clicking on the “Listen Live Icon”.   I hope many will be able to listen in!  If you have friends or loved ones who are battling cancer, invite them to listen as well!

Broken Blessing

We are headed up to see my daughter and her family in Fargo, ND this morning.  They moved up there in August and we figured we wanted to get up there before the snow flies.  It’s about a 6 hour drive, and I am not driving out of town yet, so my wife shoulders the burden of the entire drive – both ways.    We will return Sunday so it is a short trip.  Then we are heading down to our granddaughters volleyball game on Monday – a three hour drive one way.  WE return from there that night.  My wife will be exhausted!  But it’s worth it to see the grand kids!

Of course, with all that driving we wanted to make sure our car was in good shape, so we had our mechanic take a look at it.  The dealer we work with is a good friend who takes our car to his dealership an hour away and leaves us with a loaner while it is being fixed.   We had been having some problems with occasionally starting hard and being a little sluggish, and he found that the spark plugs needed replaced.  Everything else checked  out good.

Our friend was getting ready to bring it home when he noticed a little puddle under the car.  It was antifreeze, and looked like it was coming from the water pump.  He said they would check it out and let me know, and he would bring us an almost new car of similar size and style to drive this weekend.  This is a repair we can little afford right now.

When I shared this with my wife, we both teared up a little in thanks to God, and just gave Him praise.  You might say “Why would you praise Him!  You might have a  broken water pump!”.  I say while that is true, it is broken now and not halfway on our trip.  It is in the hands of people I absolutely trust to do the right thing, not some mechanic I have never met.  This is God’s mercy at work in a very big way, and I give Him praise.

One of the signature verses in my life is Proverbs 3:6 “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct thy paths”.  It is such a blessing that God watches over us 24/7/365.  He knows our plans, and He knows the plans He has for us.  He wants to bring blessing into our lives, and the discovery of that water pump problem before our trip is a huge blessing.  We serve an awesome God!