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“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16).

 

What are good works? Do good works have anything to do with one’s soul salvation? Is Acts 2:38 all there is to salvation, or, is there more that is required of the body of Christ? There is a deception as to Acts 2:38 being salvation alone with no works that need to be done in order to come unto perfection.  He that overcomes to the end, the same shall be saved; for it is not the believer that starts the race, but the believer that endures to the end that shall be saved. Jesus will judge all by our works and every idle word shall come into judgment; for by our words shall we be justified and by our words we shall be condemned. It is a strait gate and narrow way that leads to righteousness and few there be that find “it”; “it” being interpreted to be Acts 2:38 rather than obeying the Lord in all things of faith and good works to the end, keeping the things of faith in order to be presented blameless at the appearing of the Lord; both spirit, soul, and body.

 

When Jesus was asked of the rich young ruler the things that were necessary for salvation, the young man called him Good Master.  Jesus replied that there was none good, but one, that is, God. (Matthew 19:16,17).  Jesus told him that to enter into life, he would need to keep the commandments. The young man thought the commandments were of the law of Moses rather than the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, the law of liberty by which we will all be judged. But Jesus meant to keep the commandments of God as the kingdom of heaven bylaws, the constitution of the government of God rather than the laws in the constitution of the governments of man.  As disciples of the Lord, we glorify God by mankind seeing our good works and are told by the Apostle Paul to be careful to maintain good works so that we are not unfruitful. For any tree that does not bring forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.

 

There is a vast difference in knowing to do good, and doing good; in the former, the believer may have the knowledge of faith in the things of truth and not act accordingly, while in the latter the believer actually does the works according to  the knowledge of the truth.  When a believer does according to the knowledge of truth, it is being single-minded; single-minded being a believer that does according to his knowledge of truth, doing the will of God. However, a double minded man is unstable in all his ways and shall receive nothing from God, not salvation or any other thing from God. The believer that is double minded has no knowledge of good or truth that comes from good simply because he or she does not carry out in action or conversation what he or she knows to be truth as taught by faith in understanding and knowledge.  It is only when a believer does according to the knowledge of truth that he or she is single-minded, and the eye is single being full of light. But if one’s eye is darkness and not light, how great is that darkness.  For he that knows to do good and does it not, to him it is sin; for sin is not doing according to the law of liberty written upon one’s heart by the Holy Ghost which gives the believer the unction of knowledge according to truth by grace.  Sin shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven, but only he that does the will of God. “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17).  Do you see Acts 2:38 here as “once saved, always saved”, or does the Lord require good works in order to be accepted before Him, one’s faith being made perfect by good works?

 

It is this good that is vitally missing from the present day so called “Christianity” that believes that faith without works is salvation; that is, that faith saves alone without works; the works being good works as the fruit of the believer.  There is a difference in works of man and good works that glorify God. For salvation is by faith though grace, and not of works lest any man should boast; but faith without works is dead being alone.  Works of man can never be added to faith in order to perfect faith. It is only by good works that faith is perfected and accepted before God. This is the reason that Jesus judges each church in the Revelation stating, “I know thy works” to each and every one of us that hears, let us hear what the Spirit is saying as truth flowing to the church.

 

Jesus is looking for good works, perfect works that must be repented of in order to have the light of God shining in us unto perfection. These good works are proof as the substance of faith in the things of good and truth giving the body of Christ understanding by the things of faith; for when the Lord comes in Holy Ghost presence manifesting the kingdom by works, will he find faith in the earth?  It is God Himself that will restore the faith that was once delivered unto the saints in the body of Christ as the church comes into a perfect mature man, being conformed into the image of Jesus being restored by God Himself in the things of good and truth. For when there is an influx of truth, the truth must be acted upon in faith in accompanying works in order for faith to be made perfect. These works that are done according to faith in the knowledge of the truth is called “good” which shows forth the light of life. The spirit of prophecy is the spirit of the Word in the believer that manifests the love of God in works that are called “good” out of a pure heart toward the Lord Jesus, for the pure in heart shall see God.  

There are many things of faith, for faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. These things are plural as truth goes deep to the bedrock and foundation of creation being God alone who created all things by himself alone. All things are of God, by God, and for God’s good pleasure, for God is Good. For man to do good works, he must be led of the Spirit of God into life giving truths as waters that cover the seas through the love of the truth by doing works that are guided by man’s knowledge in his spirit rather than his flesh. These knowledges of good and truth originate from the unction of the Holy Ghost rather than his own fleshly desires; for he that knows and belongs to the Lord has crucified the flesh with the affections and the lusts, placing his affections now on the heavenly things of faith rather than on the things of the world which blind believers to present truth proceeding from the throne of Jesus.  

 

Therefore, any knowledges of good and truth that are not accompanied by good works, both to the household of faith as well as to all mankind, are made to be in servitude to man rather than God; thus giving glory to man rather than glory to God; thus the pulpits of the present day are flooded by messages of truth brought into service of man giving the glory to man rather than giving glory to God.  For the principle that rules or governs the whole person through the mind spoken by the tongue revealing the true heart and spirit of the person yields all things of faith subservient to that particular principle. For example, when the rule of human intellect governs in principle rather than the rule of affections through love of the Word, then the goods and truths of the Word are employed to advance the glory of man rather than the glory of God.  Believers become enamored with intellectual exercises in the knowledge of good and truth rather than the love of God flowing through the affections of the spirit with a net yield of nicely stated sermonettes without any witness of the Holy Ghost. The end result is dead religion with no life in the letter of the Word, the Spirit of God being quenched to serve human intellect giving glory to man rather than giving the glory due to God. When truth is held in unrighteousness, the glory is to man rather than to God; truths of good being in servitude to man rather than God.

 

Governments of man can only serve man, be it denominations of man or independents with their own flavors, nullifying the offices of the apostle and prophet in the ministry of Jesus. Can you name an apostle right now that has set up the elders in the church to govern the local assembly rather than a pastor that was appointed by a church board; the Holy Ghost leading in all things rather than man? Can you name a prophet that has confirmed the leading of the Holy Ghost in any congregation? The government of the kingdom of God serves only God. God will not share his glory with anyone, for God is God alone, and He alone is Good; revealing His name Jesus for all to see as the light of the world in and through the body of Christ for his name’s sake. While Jesus was in the world, He was the light of the world. Now that he has glorified his humanity, being in the light which no man can approach unto, the light of his glory has now been given to his body, the church which must show forth the light of life unto all mankind as a witness to all nations, bringing in the manifestation of the sons of God in the restoration of all things back to good as God had created it. 

 

Knowledge in itself puffs up and causes strife among the brethren, one boasting of this truth and another of that. It is only when Good is sought by works of love that the kingdom of God is manifested in light to a lost and dying world. One preacher or believer contending for his revelation of this, and another contending for his revelation of that particular thing only sets truth in servitude to man, comparing one preacher against another preacher, comparing ourselves with ourselves, bringing glory to man and his government rather than promoting the kingdom of God. It is only by works of good that truth then flows from the throne of God to the body of Christ as the church; charity abounding one toward another and the faith growing exceedingly. By not being careful to maintain good works simply stagnates the body of Christ in the truths of God’s Word; the path of long gone generations’ revelation being walked by present day church people not realizing that the path of the righteous is as a light that shines more and more unto the perfect day; thus denoting dead letter rather than the spirit of prophecy.

 

The remnant of the church as the seed of the woman or manchild caught up to God and to his throne will have knowledges of good and truth by receiving the present truths of faith coupled with keeping the commandments of God; for he that loves God keeps his commandments, doing the will of God. This is the only believer that will hear the Lord’s statement “His lord said unto him, The remnant that has the testimony of Jesus refers to the believer’s faith which gives the understanding in knowledges of good and truth in light as Jesus is in the light. The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus, giving a living witness in life to the world of Jesus Christ in present truth. Love, however, is in keeping the commandments of God according to the understanding by faith in the knowledges of good and truth in the influx of the Word to the body of Christ as the church, for he that loves God keeps his commandments in doing the will of God according to faith. If we do these things, we will not hear the dreadful words from the Lord Jesus telling us “depart from me, ye that work iniquity”, but will hear “Well done”. For the Lord will say; “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. “ (Matthew 25:23).  “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40). Notice the emphasis is on doing, not on the hearing of faith, but on doing the Word in knowledges of good and truth in which faith is made perfect in love by works; the body of Christ having done these things to the edifying of the body of Christ in love. The Lord will not say we are good and faithful unless we are good and faithful.  

 

“And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” (Matthew 3:10).  The axe is in the hand of the slayer to render judgment upon those who do not bring forth good works from good principles acquired from faith in the understanding of good and truth. Again, the principle in this present day church is for the most part intellectual knowledge that governs the body rather than the principle of affections from love from the heart or spirit ruling in the body leaving the church void of good works.  This is what is meant by the church leaving its first love; the only remedy being repentance and doing the first works over. The works referred to by the Lord Jesus to his body is the good that must accompany faith in order to do the will of God. Jesus states that if there is not a turn to good works, then the candlestick will be removed out of its place leaving only darkness.

 

Notice how many times the Lord Jesus uses good in His sermon on the Mount defining what is necessary as the keeping of the Law of the Spirit of Life, the law of liberty, in being granted access into the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of God is the kingdom referring to anyone that has the Holy Ghost, whereas the kingdom of heaven is the next glory of the church in glorification. Not everyone that says to Jesus, Lord, Lord will be able to enter in; but only those that do the will of the Father; that is, only those that have done good will be able to enter into the kingdom of heaven. These believers were called by the name of the Lord Jesus, calling him Lord Jehovah, God Almighty, having the revelation of Jesus as the Father, and yet were not able to enter into the kingdom of heaven. The reason that these believers were not able to enter into the kingdom of heaven was because they did not do the will of the Father. What is the will of the Father? It is the will of God for your life, that you particularly were called to do and no one else but you. No one can fulfill your call in ministry except you; for you are a member in particular.

 

As God shows you his will in knowledges of good and truth, then you as a believer must perform the doing of God’s will in order to be accepted of God. I am called to preach the Word. If I do not fulfill my call, then there is a dispensation of the Gospel of peace that is committed unto me, and woe be unto me if I preach not the Gospel. What has God called you to do? All have a particular calling in the body of Christ in varying ministrations of the Holy Ghost, but all members are called to the effectual working in the measure of every part, to make increase of the body of Christ as the church of itself in love.

 

It is a good man that out of the heart brings forth the good things of the Lord in the Word. Jesus as the Son of man is the one that sows the good seed which are the children of the kingdom, not those that are baptized only in the name of Jesus, but those who do bring forth good works unto salvation as an “overcomer”.  “And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5:29).  That there is a perfect will of God that must be proved by believers is alluded to by Paul to the church at Rome; “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2). Evil is overcome with the good works of the believers.  “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21).  The church as the body of Christ is to be established in the Word and work of God, not just Acts 2:38. “Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.” (2 Thessalonians 2:17). 

 

It is necessary for the body of Christ to provoke each member unto love and good works, for the blessing to each believer is subject to the good works done to each and every member of the church.” (Hebrews 10:24). The church is perfected in every good work to do his will, for it is impossible to do the will of God without good works that perfect our faith. “Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:21).  Wisdom and knowledge by faith is shown by good works with a meek spirit.  “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.” (James 3:13).  It is only believers that do good in works who are of God, proving that faith without works is not enough for salvation, but works are necessary for salvation in God. “Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.” (3 John 1:11).

 

The Gospel is Good News; to obey the Gospel is to do good. It is not through one verse of the Bible which is salvation, but doing the will of God in all the Word according to knowledges of good and truth, showing forth good works glorifying God.

 

Dennis A. Beard

 

 

 

    

 

 

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