Jesus said: "Seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand." Many say Jesus is your only way to get to heaven. Yet, this is not what Jesus taught. My mind is open to God and His truth, so I listen when God speaks. Hearing Him, I understand. My eyes are open to God so when I read the Bible, I perceive God and He speaks to me through His Word. What about you? Are your mind, ears and eyes open to God's message? Or, do these words of Jesus in Matthew apply to you? Apostle Edward
Bible Verse: Matthew 13:13
Table of Contents
The Message 1
Spiritual Communications 3
Go Directly To God 4
Enter The Holiest 5
Reticular Activating System 6-9
The Bereans Tested Paul 10-11
Received The Love of Truth? 12
Matthew 13:10-19 13-14
Parable Of The Sower 15
Four Word Receivers 16
The Truth Of Scripture 17-20
Don't Forget Our Free Will 21
John 14:6 Exegesis 22-23
Four Salvation Truths 24
More Salvation Truths 25-28
What did Jesus Say 29-31
Apostle's Prayer 32
Salvation Prayer 33
The Apostle Edward 34-35
Two Heart Gateways 36
In "The Messenger", I taught that Jesus often spoke using spiritual metaphors.
"It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe."
Did people gasp for air when Jesus said they had to eat his flesh and drink his blood? Jesus went on to clarify that he was only talking in spiritual terms. Jesus used "spirit words" and a spiritual metaphor. Keep this in mind as you seek to understand the Bible. Jesus also said:
"In that day you will ask me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name He will give you."John 16:23-24
Go Directly To God
Speaking with God used to be a restricted affair. Only the High Priest was allowed. However, Christ changed all of that and taught us to "go direct" to our Father [God] with our prayers and petitions. Jesus also said we would no longer have any need to ask of him for anything. The New Living Translation (NLT) is as follows:
Jesus said: "At the time [when I leave], you won't need to ask me for anything. The truth is, you can go directly to the Father and ask Him, and He will grant your request because you use my name."
John 16:23-24 NLT
Jesus destroyed religious restrictions when it comes to communicating with God. Jesus also gave us the ability to go into God's Holy of Holies if we have given our hearts to God.
Enter The Holiest
"Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way …" Hebrews 9:19-20
Those who have accepted the sacrifice of God's only human begotten Son Jesus, and who have received the teachings of Jesus, have returned back to God Almighty. They now communicate directly with God and they ask of God in Jesus' name to honor Jesus. God's people can now enter into His Holy of Holies to fellowship with God at any time they desire day or night.
To understand "The Message", you must have surrendered your heart to God as I discussed in "The Invitation" and in "The Messenger." Having done that, your mind, ears and eyes are now fully open to God.
Reticular Activating System
Only when your mind is fully open, can you understand that Christ destroyed all religious systems. Given this fact, you are free to go directly to God without having to go through a religious organization that seeks to control or limit your access to God. I would add that since Christ's death, the organized religious Church has reestablished itself with various orthodox doctrines for the explicit purpose of controlling God's people. Caution …
Your church should be a place to learn God's Word. It should also be a place of fellowship, support and above all a place of worship and prayer. You may find that a home church as described in the New Testament is the best. In a home church, everyone provides inputs and thoughts and together discern God's Word. Interactive, spiritually dynamic, small group Bible study replaces one-way sermons.
IF you belong to a big church, you should participate in a small Bible study group to make sure you grow in God's Word. Then, there is our "Reticular Activating System."
IF you have not had your mind opened as I have described, it may be because it is either partially or fully shut down by your Reticular Activating System or RAS. God provided us with an information gatekeeper in our minds to help us manage our information intake.
The RAS is located in our brain stem and is used to either accept or reject ideas and input. Ideas and inputs are automatically accepted or ignored as affirming or conflicting with a prior held belief. The RAS operates on the level of the subconscious, but we consciously control it. If we have an idea or belief that we hold as absolutely solid, then the RAS automatically rejects anything that conflicts with that belief. Conversely, it allows in anything affirming it.
Ideas come from many different sources into our brains. Some of them become like seeds in the garden called our belief system. Belief seeds planted into our minds grow stronger when they gain a root structure containing references that support the belief. A strongly held belief has deep reference roots that may include people or even a pastor or a church you have come to respect over many years.
Belief roots can include a family history of supporting one religion over another. The root structure can also become strong as the result of repeated mental programming.
Once ingrained into our minds, such strong beliefs are managed subconsciously by our RAS. It is because our brains have a limited amount of mental real estate we are willing to devote to different issues. The RAS, as a gatekeeper, reinforces what we believe is true and rejects what we believe are lies. Yet, each one of us decides what we believe.
As an adult, many will have to challenge the beliefs passed down from our parents and prior generations. I myself have asked the question: "How did I come to believe this or that was true?" If you are still with me and I haven't lost you, these words from God may have a poignant meaning.
God said He visits "the iniquity [sins] of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation." Exodus 34:7
Parents, families, friends, schools, churches and various fellowship groups will pass down beliefs that are corrupt. God holds each one of us accountable to discern truth. However, if you never challenge your beliefs, how do you know they are true?
As a Christian, you must test your teachers and discern whether what you are being taught lines up with the Word of God. This is how you will come to know what truth is.
The Bereans Tested Paul
[Bereans] "were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so." Acts 17:11
The people of Berea opened their minds to the Apostle Paul's teachings. However, they THEN searched Scriptures daily to verify that what Paul taught them was God's truth.
This is your test of a teacher of God's Word. That they teach Scripture in context and that you can verify the teachings with your own eyes. When Bereans searched Scripture, it was the Old Testament. References in the New Testament to Scripture all refer to the Old Testament. You cannot understand the New Testament if you do not understand the Old Testament. At all times you must stay within the contextual meaning of Scripture.
Are you starting to get a picture? "Seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand!" Could it be that the people Jesus tried to teach were so programmed by an existing religious culture that their minds just automatically rejected any attempt by Jesus to impart God's Word? Yes, that could have been one explanation.
TODAY, we face a similar situation. For two thousand years, the Orthodox Church has programmed people with doctrines that are not supported by the Word of God.
Some Christians now have a difficult time trying to understand very simple Scripture. Why? Their minds have shut down dialog. Only when you love the truth are you able to reopen or examine an ingrained belief of the mind. Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2:10 …
"Because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved."
Have You Received The Love Of The Truth?
If you have truly given your whole heart to God, either by finding Him directly or by finding God through His begotten human Son Jesus --- THEN you will have received the love of the truth. Without being a lover of the truth, you will have no eternal life.
You know you are a lover of the truth by exhibiting one attribute of your faith. What is that attribute? It's a love for God's Word.
You love God's Word more than anything else in life. More than your parents, spouse, children, friends, pastor and church. You love God's Word more than anything and anyone. And, if you find anyone's teachings in opposition to God's Word, you bring that Scripture to that person's attention. Matthew 13:10-19
And the disciples came and said to [Jesus], "Why do you speak to [these people] in parables?" [Jesus] answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you [disciples] to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him [or her].
Therefore I speak to [these people] in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that [God] should heal them.'
"But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” Matthew 13:10-19
Is your mind, ears and eyes now open?
It is important for your understanding of God’s Word that your mind, ears and eyes are fully open to God. I want you to understand God and be fruitful.
Parable of the Sower
“Therefore hear parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received [God’s Word] by the wayside.” Matthew 13:20
“But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.” Matthew 13:20-21
“Now he who received the seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” Matthew 13:22
“But he [or she] who received the seed on good ground is he [or she] who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” Matthew 13:23
Four Word Receivers
1. Those who do not understand will have the Word taken [or reasoned] away.
2. Those who suffer trouble because of the Word will stumble [and stop listening].
3. Those concerned about the cares of this world and riches will become unfruitful and will have the Word rendered useless.
4. Those who understand the Word will become fruitful servants of God.
Which category do you fall into as you hear God’s Word? Will someone take the Word away from you? Will you stop listening? Will the Word become useless to you? Or, will you understand and become fruitful?
The Truth Of Scripture
Before the above teaching, Jesus had said in Matthew 11:15 and Matthew 13:9 …
"He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
I tell you the same thing, right now! I am about to share some teachings of Jesus that may conflict with what you strongly believe is truth. These may be strongly held beliefs in your mind reinforced by years and maybe decades of Church orthodox programming. Can you accept the simple truth of God's Word? Let's start with Jesus' statement about returning to his God and our God.
Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.' "
The unambiguous and clear meaning of John 20:17 is that Jesus states that he has a God he is returning to. Jesus identifies his God as the Father. Jesus states clearly that his God is also our God and also our Father.
Do you acknowledge Jesus had a God?
If not, stop here. This small tract seeking to impart Scriptural truth to you is meaningless if you refuse to accept the simple language of Scripture. If you cannot acknowledge mentally that Jesus had a God from his very own teachings, it means that you have strong orthodox or other beliefs programmed into your mind. It means that your RAS may be automatically rejecting any information that contradicts those beliefs. It also means that you are not saved, because you reject this simple truth of Scripture. Compare different bibles and you will find the same language. Before going on, you will need to surrender your whole heart to God and His Word.
John 20:17 is a simple Scripture, but I have found that many orthodox Christians are unable to digest it as truth. Ergo, God's Word leaves them with a blank stare in their eyes and they shut down mentally rejecting all further communication attempts. For me, it is like presenting the "Tithe Law" stated in Deuteronomy 14:22-29 to a Christian who is programmed to tithe: same mental rejection.
Let's try one more verse before going into some Scriptures on salvation including some things Jesus had to say about salvation.
"Therefore, in all things [Jesus] had to be MADE like his brethren [other humans], that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For that he himself has suffered, being tempted, he [Jesus] is able to aid those who are tempted." Hebrews 2:17-18
Hebrews 2:17-18 raises these questions.
1. Do you believe Jesus was made like us?
2. Do you believe he is God's High Priest?
3. Do you believe he was human like us?
4. Do you believe he suffered like us?
In "The Invitation" and "The Messenger" you were presented with similar Scripture teachings, which contradicted orthodoxy.
The idea that somehow Jesus was both man and God is facetious on its face. Even worse though are the clear teachings from God's Word that speak directly against such a lie. If you haven't read the above two tracts yet, you can find them online at my blog. http:// www.edwardtheapostle.org/blog/index.html
The web site contains the "Book of Edward" four-volume book set free to read online. I spent five years with God's Spirit writing it.
Don't Forget Free Will
I won't lose any sleep over people rejecting God's Word. I understand that not everyone is supposed to receive God's Word. Not everyone is headed to Heaven. Listen, we are NOT called to forcibly change people.
Which brings me to this final thought before actually moving into some Scriptures about salvation: "The Message" from God. Many believe that you must mentally beat people into accepting Jesus or that they will be lost to Hell. However, all God asks is to simply present His Word and let the people choose. To respect the free will God gave all people.
"He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still."
John 14:6 Exegesis
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
The Church has long held John 14:6 as proof there is no eternal life or salvation unless you accept Jesus as savior. However, if this were true, there would be no Bible verses contradicting such a doctrine.
The explanation for this verse is simpler. Jesus spoke and did what God told him to say and do. Jesus said that if you believed in him, you really believed in the God who sent him. "The way, the truth, and the life" refer to God's Word. It is God's Word that leads you home to Heaven. The phrase "no one comes to the Father except through me" literally reflects the fact that heaven's judgment line forms to the right of Jesus.
Since Christ will judge souls for God and he sits at God's right hand, and the judgment line forms to the right of Christ – It means that every soul will literally go through or by Christ before they get to the Father.
Judgment line starts at "X" to the left of Christ as you face the throne of God!
John 14:6, is that easy to understand. While this exegesis may be unsettling to some, it does not require you check your brain in at the front door of the church and ignore many Scripture verses that oppose the Orthodox interpretation of the verse. Let me point out a few of them. A detailed discussion of this subject is found in the Book of Edward.
Four Salvation Truths
1. Yahweh [God Almighty] said: "Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no Savior." Isaiah 43:10-11
2. Jesus said: "For as the Father [God] has life [salvation] in Himself, so He [God] has granted the Son [Jesus] to have life in himself." John 5:26
3. "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb [Christ who sits at the right hand of God]." Revelation 7:10
4. "Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God, which lives and abides forever." 1 Peter 1:23
These four Scriptures and others refute the idea there is no salvation outside of Jesus.
More Salvation Truths
1. King David said salvation belongs to Yahweh. Psalm 3:8
2. Apostle John said salvation belongs to Yahweh. Revelation 7:10
3. Jesus said salvation belongs to Yahweh in John 5:26
4. Yahweh said that whoever praises Him has salvation. Psalm 50:23
5. Yahweh said that whoever orders his conduct aright has salvation. Psalm 50:23
6. Jesus said that whoever believes in Yahweh has salvation. John 5:24
7. Yahweh said that whoever calls on Him has salvation. Joel 2:32
8. Paul said we believe with our hearts unto righteousness [salvation]. Rom. 10:10
9. Hebrews teaches that whoever obeys Jesus' teachings has salvation. Heb 5:9
10. Paul said that whoever is awake to righteousness has salvation. 1 Cor. 15:34
11. Paul said whoever does not sin has salvation. Romans 4:8
12. Paul said whoever is set free from sin has salvation. Romans 6:22
13. John said that whoever believes in Jesus and believes what Jesus taught has salvation. John 3:16, 3:36
14. Yahweh said whoever is faithful to Him has salvation. Ezekiel 18:9
15. Yahweh said whoever turns away from wickedness has salvation. Ezekiel 18:21
16. Yahweh said whoever gets a new heart has salvation. Ezekiel 18:31
17. Yahweh said righteous people, will see His salvation. Ezekiel 14:14
18. Jesus said benefactors of an apostle's forgiveness have salvation. John 20:23
19. Jesus said those who obey the Ten Commandments of God have salvation. Matthew 19:17
20. Jesus said a minimum righteousness level means salvation. Matthew 5:20
21. Solomon said righteous people would see salvation. Wisdom 5:2
22. Jesus said righteous people would see salvation. Matthew 13:43
Yahweh is the God that Jesus served!
Given the above teachings from the Bible regarding salvation, Jesus is not the only way to heaven. It is obvious God had much more in His mind when it comes to granting salvation, even if it is granted through Jesus.
Jesus rejects some Christians who claim him as their Lord. Therefore, even Jesus says there is more to salvation than just claiming him as savior. It's obedience to God's Word!
Jesus said: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he or she who does the will of my Father in heaven." Matthew 7:21
So, we can see that "calling on the name of Jesus" is not a guarantee of salvation. One of the reasons for the confusion in Christianity is a misinterpretation of Apostle Paul.
For "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13
The word Lord in this verse, when properly translated refers to Yahweh or God. And, Paul is actually citing Scripture from Joel. Paul is not stating that you can call on the name of Jesus and you "shall be saved."
"And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord, shall be saved." Joel 2:32
Jesus confirms that those who believe in Yahweh or "the God who sent him" have passed from death into life in John 5:24. It is these people who "shall be saved." This is consistent with the last day pickup plan of God disclosed in "The Messenger" tract.
"He [or she] who practices righteousness is righteous, just as [Jesus] is righteous."
[1 John 3:7] Real faith leads us into a love affair with the God Jesus served. We then strive to obey God's Word and to emulate Jesus. This doesn't make us perfect, but it means we do practice God's righteousness.
What Did Jesus Say?
"From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.' " Matthew 4:17
Jesus said: "I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."
The Gospel of Jesus was not to mouth him as savior. The Gospel of Jesus was "repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." And what about those who received John's water baptism for repentance and the remission of their sins. Are they saved? Eternal life?
Jesus clearly states that those who received John's water baptism will enter the kingdom.
"I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but tax collectors and harlots believed him and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe [John]." Matthew 21:31-32
Is this a problem for the doctrinal church? It should be. Here we have the situation where Jesus wasn't even involved. However, even though the people did not receive Jesus, they repented to God and received John's water baptism for the remission of their sins.
Jesus said: "Unless you repent you will all likewise perish." Luke 13:3
Repentance will get you home to Heaven!
Many preach that righteous people do not exist, but this is ignorance of God's Word.
"And [Zacharias and Elizabeth] were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless." Luke 1:6
There is more to share with you, but room does not permit it here. Go to my website and sign up for my newsletter, read my blog and the Book of Edward. God will greatly bless you. Peter sums up "The Message" that God wanted you to hear. Open your heart.
Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." Acts 2:38-39
Study the Scriptures cited in this booklet very carefully. While in the Spirit, God gave these Scriptures to me for your benefit.
Please open up your heart to God's Word and let Jesus Christ, our Teacher, become the example you follow all the way back to your own heavenly home.
Do this and you will not only love Jesus and the sacrifice he made for our sins, you will also fall in love with God. You can call Him heavenly Father in all of your prayers.
Heavenly Father and God of my brother Jesus Christ, who is our Teacher, hear my prayer. Bless every soul that reads this booklet and will open up their heart to Your Son Jesus and also to Your Spirit. And, to all who pray the salvation prayer on the next page, grant them repentance.
Father God, I accept this special invitation of Yours to an eternal life in heaven.
I confess with my mouth that You raised Jesus Christ from the dead and that he is the first of many humans to be resurrected to be with You, as Your sons and daughters.
I believe in my heart unto righteousness and I will do my best to live a righteous life in Your eyes. I will follow the example of Jesus and be faithful unto my own death.
Father, I thank you that You and Your Son will become one with me to help me overcome this earthly life. I know that this will make us of one mind and that Your Spirit will dwell within me to guide my path back home. Teach me Your ways Lord.
The Apostle Edward
Please accept God's Invitation to an eternal life. This may be the only time you will be presented with God's Word.
These are only the basics, but they will get you started on a life with God and His Son Jesus Christ.
You must understand that Jesus Christ is God's human begotten Son; he is not God. It is as simple as believing what Jesus taught us and accepting Scripture over manmade church doctrine. If your church doesn't preach the Word, find another church that does. You can read more about this topic and others at http://www.bookofedward.org.
Notations in small caps such as Lord, He, Him, His, You, and Father refer to God.
All Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version (NKJV) unless otherwise noted. © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved
Scripture Key: If you keep the relationship between God and His begotten human Son straight, you will understand your Bible and God's invitation to an eternal life will be for real. It's a key to understanding His Word.
Contact Information: Apostle Edward may be contacted using an online feedback form or by mail. Prayers & donations welcomed.
Rev. Edward G. Palmer
Apostle Ministry, Inc.
18140 Zane Street NW #410
Elk River, Minnesota 55330
Copyright 2008, Edward G. Palmer, All Rights Reserved. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce this booklet for non-profit use without restriction as long as the content is left unchanged. [4JLP-62-030808]
Two Heart Gateways