Category: The Will of God

What’s In It For Me?

Have you noticed that many today preach a gospel of “what’s in it for me”? Preacher after preacher rave on and on about the authority of the believer and all you can do with it. The underlying theme of their sermons seem to be not what God has done, but on what we can do. Rather than present Jesus as the Savior of mankind, they present Him as a guru who gives you tools to do anything, and get anything, that you might want. They appeal to the ‘self’ of each individual, that part of us that wants what it wants when it wants it. This kind of preaching uplifts the ‘self,’ stroking its ego and feeding its inherent feeling of importance.

The preaching of the cross, however, does the direct opposite. It exposes the sinfulness of the ‘self’ with its ego and its feeling of importance. The cross screams that the self is so sinful, it must be crucified. Thus the statement of Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me,” Galatians 2:20a. From this we know there is no good in man, for no one is good except God alone, (see Mark 10:18 and Luke 18:19). For this reason our sinful ‘self’ had to be crucified with Christ before we could enter the heavenlies with Him. And, having been raised up in the heavenlies with Him, we are now new creatures; that is, it is no longer we who live (it is no longer our ‘self’ who lives), but Christ who lives in us. 

So it is that Jesus said we must take up our cross and deny ourself and follow Him, for there is no self in the kingdom of God, only the body of Christ.

Beware of those who uplift the self.

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I believe that people who talk about who we are in Christ Jesus are walking down the wrong road, because I have been taught by Jesus Himself that I am nothing in Him and that He is everything in me.

I am aware that we are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and people chosen by God as a possession for Himself, that we might declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. I am also aware that we are workers together with God, and sons and daughters of the most High. However, I also know that I was conceived in iniquity and that I was a creature destined to wrath, and I was saved from wrath and from my sins by the sacrifice of Jesus.

And not only was I saved from wrath and from my sins, I was also saved from myself by the sacrifice of Jesus. I now deny myself (consider myself to be nothing) daily and walk by the only good that has ever been within me, the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ. So, as I said,  I am nothing in Him and He is everything in me.  

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I believe Christians who dwell on authority and on who they are in Jesus would do well to follow the example of Jesus and refuse to regard equality with God a thing to be grasped. I believe they should consider themselves to be nothing, and empty themselves, and become bond-servants of the Lord. I believe they would do themselves a favor if they concentrated on learning obedience through the things which they suffer.

Rev. Jon Banks

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© 2019 Jon Banks All Rights Reserved

Thoughts, Notions and Clichés

People who use their natural minds to discern spiritual things flood the airwaves and pulpits and fill the pews of our churches. You will know them by their fruit. They tell us we need to know who we are in Christ. They entice us to take our so-called rightful place in Christ and command everything from the weather to the devil. They say we must never tell God how big our problems are, and that we should rather tell our problems how big our God is. In short, they twist the good news of the gospel of Christ and turn it into a ritual of mind games. 

When our only son’s body was being ravaged for approximately fifteen months by Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, I never told the devil how big my God is. I never cared what he thought or knew. On the contrary, I told God how big my problem was. Even after the Lord revealed that He would heal my son, doubt would creep in from time to time when I was least expecting it, and, when it did, I would go straight to the Lord and confess my doubt. I didn’t blame the devil and rebuke him. I was the one with the doubt, so I went straight to the hills from whence cometh my help and asked for mercy, and each time the One who loves me forgave and comforted me. 

The ridiculous cliché, ‘Don’t tell God how big your mountain is, tell your mountain how big your God is,’ is just that, a ridiculous cliché. Oh, it’s a cute little play on words, but it is also a hindrance to a Christian. It is a ploy of Satan to entice us into mind games with him, thereby preventing us from seeking the Lord and trusting in Him.

I am not insinuating that everyone who uses this cliché is of the devil. I am saying the cliché itself has its origin in the evil one. It was designed by Satan himself to draw people away from God. And somewhere along the line Satan found some preacher with a tendency to appeal to the emotions of the natural man, and planted this cliché in that preacher’s mind, and he began using it. And now, today, many more who walk in their natural minds have picked it up and are spreading it around as if it were gospel. But they are wrong, it is not gospel, it is the opposite of the gospel. It is anti-christ. It is a tool of the devil.

The devil’s thoughts and notions appeal to the pride of the flesh. Consider this: Nearly everything that spews from the mouths of those who use the devil’s thoughts, notions, and clichés is meant to uplift their hearers to a place equal with God. And their hearers inevitably walk away reviling angelic majesties, completely ignoring the fact that Michael the archangel did not dare pronounce a railing judgment against the devil. Like unreasoning animals they revile things which they do not understand, all the while thinking they are doing the work of God. They have turned off the narrow path and are headed down a wide road that leads to destruction. One cannot lift himself up to God’s level and escape destruction. 

Still these people march on, thinking themselves to be equal with God, rebuking and reviling, as if they have unlimited authority. You may be thinking, “I hear people rebuking Satan in the name of Jesus all the time. Are they wrong?” In reply, I ask you, “Have you ever seen it work? Does Satan turn tail and run when they do this? What about those who bind Satan in Jesus name? Has that ever worked?” Absolutely not! To this day he continues to prowl about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Does this mean there is no power in the name of Jesus? God forbid! It means those who do this are clouds without rain. They are those who are tossed about by every wind of doctrine that comes along, reviling where they have no knowledge or understanding.

This is very serious. The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. It is already the hour for us to awaken from sleep. We must lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. We must lay aside the thoughts, notions, and clichés that insinuate we are equal in any way with God. Even the thought that we have the authority of Christ began when someone leaned on his own understanding, and, coerced by Satan, subverted Scriptures and added words that didn’t exist. We were never meant to walk in authority, we were meant to walk by faith in humble obedience to our Lord; and our faith is not in ourselves, or in what we may have, but in Christ who has conquered and overcome the world.

People who entertain the thoughts, notions, and clichés of Satan live their lives wearing blinders in an effort to keep reality at bay. Rather than admit their efforts don’t work, they continue blindly from one failure to another because they think their blind loyalty to their dogmas is actually faith. But rather than exercising faith, they are actually just following the crowd. Most mega-churches and most non-denominational churches are filled with people who are looking for shortcuts to spiritual things and they go where they will hear what they want to hear. Thus they flock to preachers who tell them such things as, “You have all authority in heaven and on earth, and you can heal all sicknesses and diseases at will, and you can speak into being whatever you want in your life; you can declare and decree whatever you want.” 

I submit to you now in the sight of God that all this is straight from hell, and any and all who continue down this road, whether preaching it or believing it, are working together with Satan. Thanks be to God His elect hear His voice and will not follow a stranger. 

True faith is not a mind over matter tool, it is the substance of what is hoped for, it is the evidence of what is not seen. It has nothing to do with mind over matter, and nothing to do with claiming a promise. Faith is found in Jesus and rests in the integrity of God; if you believe in God’s integrity, why would you even consider claiming a promise? Why would you rebuke or bind the devil? Is he stronger than God? If so, then we are just beating the air; if not, then why bother with him? Instead of binding and rebuking the devil and instead of claiming a promise, why not just believe the Lord. That is what He asks of us. All this other stuff is not of the Spirit, but of the flesh, and perpetrated by Satan. 

Please weigh these things on the scales of the Word of God.

Rev. Jon Banks

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© 2019 Jon Banks All Rights Reserved

Why I Say the Things I Say

In the past several decades movements have swept through the church, each certain they had uncovered truths and doctrines that had been missing for centuries. Movements such as the Pentecostal Movement, the Full Gospel Movement, and the Word of Faith Movement have been three of the largest and most influential. Thinking they had the answers to all questions, Christians hungry to be fed flocked to them. However, all three of these movements fell short of giving people anything substantial, and instead, appealed more to the emotions and selfishness of those who wanted shortcuts to all things spiritual.

I was informed in a vision that part of my ministry requires destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God. Therefore, many of my letters and posts deal with these speculations and lofty things, such as those found in the Word of Faith Movement. 

I mean no harm to anyone, nor do I want to embarrass anyone. My sole purpose is to help Christians lay aside every encumbrance and trust the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is a hard task since there have been so many false doctrines accepted as truth by so many people. 

For instance, the belief the baptism of the Holy Spirit is evidenced by speaking in tongues. This teaching didn’t work out because the Holy Spirit didn’t go along with it. He didn’t give utterance to everyone. So people were told they themselves had to begin uttering syllables and jargons, and the result of their utterances, even though the Holy Spirit had nothing to do with it, would be proof they had received the Holy Spirit. (Even Kathrine Kuhlman, who spoke in tongues, disagreed with this doctrine. She went so far as to say no-one could teach you how to speak in tongues; it was a gift the Holy Spirit delivered without the need to help Him by uttering sounds).

Then came the Full Gospel movement claiming every Christian has a gift of the Spirit and should be using that gift daily. This sparked a generation of super-spiritual (and superficial) Christians who walked around in white loafers and a dove pin on their lapels signifying they had the Holy Spirit, and a load of His gifts.

This ushered in the Word of Faith movement which reignited the teaching that every Christian has the authority of Christ and can use it to change everything from their circumstances to their finances. It sought, and still seeks to this day, to convince the masses that Christians are like both God and Jesus in power and authority, even to the extreme of having the ability to create things with their words as did God. It has done nothing but create multi-millionaire pastors whose followers and supporters beat the air to this day, trying to hit a target that doesn’t exist.  

Please consider this:

  1. All three of these movements were self-induced and self-serving; all three circumvented the will of God and the Holy Spirit and replaced them with their own desires. In all three cases they used their own understanding and their own faculties to make what they wanted come to pass (what they ended up with was just a boost to their egos).
  2. All three shunned the Person of Jesus and the power of His resurrection. They instead relied on their ability to utter syllables and jargons and on their minds’ ability to conjure up feelings of importance, as well as its ability to make them think they are equal to the Son of God.

There are many more speculations and lofty things raised up against the knowledge of God. There are some that have never entered the minds of most Christians. I mentioned the movements above because most Christians are aware of them. 

Please understand that I am not sitting in judgment of my brothers and sisters in the Lord. I am working together with God and crying out, “It is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.” When I was in my thirties my spirit was caught up to a place where Jesus told me I had been born before my time and the knowledge I had received would be usable, but that I must wait until God had completed a work in His people. He then held His hand out to me and said, “You are the Apostle of the Restoration.” In August of 2017 the Lord said, “It is time.” The times of restoration of all things are now at hand. The Restoration is the beginning of the end. That is why I say the things I say. We must bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ while there is still time.

Also, I did not choose Jesus, He chose me. Even on the night I was born again I refused to walk to the altar, not out of stubbornness, but because I was so aware of my sinfulness and my unworthiness of Him. Someone took hold of my arm and escorted me to the altar. That someone was Jesus. He then walked around and knelt in front of me. I never said a prayer or spoke a word. However, after kneeling in front of Him for what seemed like an eternity, I walked back to my seat a brand new person in a brand new place, the kingdom of the living God.

An evangelist, Rev. Robert Morgan, once told me, “Jesus is going to lead you down a path you wouldn’t choose for yourself.” I didn’t ask for this ministry. It was not my will, it was the will of God. I had nothing to do with Jesus ordaining me with His own hands, nor with my spirit being caught up to stand with Him and three other apostles while a fourth walked by in front of us. I really hope you understand I’m not sitting in judgment of anyone. I am just doing what the Lord called me to do. He loves His people and wants each one of us to know Him and lean on Him. He wants to lead us in His perfect will. He wants us to awaken from sleep and walk in the light of day. 

God gave Jesus all authority in heaven and on earth, and after doing so, He gave us Jesus. God wants us to dwell in Jesus, abide in Him, believe in Him, not be Him. We were never meant to be supernatural heroes, we were meant to be humble and obedient children of God. And because of this I am doing my very best to tear down every speculation and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God; even the things that originate from the minds of people who choose to interpret the Bible in ways that satisfy their own desires. Because of this they walk in darkness, while, at the same time, calling it light, having been deceived by the powers and forces of that darkness, because they chose to satisfy their own desires. 

Again, I didn’t ask for this ministry. Jesus was present at both my natural and spiritual birth. I was predestined and appointed in accordance with the will of God to be an ambassador for Christ; to be set apart to Him, and to speak for Him. I would never hurt, nor condemn, one of His own. But as long as there are speculations and lofty things raised up against the knowledge of God, I will not hesitate to expose them to the light. I will do so by the light of His Word, in order that every thought might be taken captive to the obedience of Christ.

In the most holy name of the One who separated me from my mother’s womb, and revealed Himself to me,

Jon David Banks

God’s most unworthy servant

© 2019 Jon Banks All Rights Reserved

Living a Lie and Calling it Faith

Dear friends, yesterday I posted a letter, “Whatever Happened…?” A couple people thought I was complaining and finding fault with the church. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

#1 — The faults of the church are evident. No one has to look for them — they stand out like spines or quills on a porcupine.

#2 — Not many people realize it but the devil is being preached in many churches, and those who preach him claim they are doing it in the name of Jesus.

Number two is why I say the things I say. I am an ambassador for Christ and He is not pleased with what He is seeing. People are being led astray by false teachers and preachers every day.

The devil’s mission has been to turn souls away from God since the beginning. He does this by enticing people to sin. I’m aware of two ways he does this. He appeals to our flesh, trying to entice us to give in to our old natures in any and every way he finds us vulnerable. If he cannot accomplish this, he uses the same tactics he used on Jesus in the wilderness. He brings Scriptures to our minds and suggests that we take it upon ourselves to make those Scriptures come true. He tells us the promises of God pertain to us and that we need to make them work. From this one point he has convinced many Christians they have the authority of Christ. He has convinced others that they can speak things into being; and still others that they can declare and decree things into being.  

He was successful in turning Eve away from God, but he failed with Jesus. Jesus, being the Son of God, did not fall prey to the temptation to put God to the test by claiming the promise that God would give His angels charge over Him, and bear Him up, lest He strike His foot against a stone. Jesus, instead, humbled Himself and became obedient to God.

If the devil cannot get us to turn from God by indulging in our sinful natures, he will try to entice us to lift ourselves to a place where we are equal to God, as he did Eve. Thus the spreading of the rumor that we have the authority of Christ, and the rumor that we can declare and decree, or just speak things into existence. 

Before I posted the letter yesterday, I posted a request for any one with the authority of Christ to come to the panhandle of Texas and heal a Christian lady of cancer. I also offered to pay all their expenses. Quite a few of my FB friends have said they have the authority of Christ, but none of them responded. 

I did this for one reason, it was an attempt to get each one who claims to have all this authority to have a little sit down with their conscience. I knew that if they did this they would have to consider whether they really believed they have Christ’s authority, or not. And whether they believed they have His authority or not, they would have to admit they are belittling His holy name; for if they have His authority and refuse to use it, or if they don’t really believe they have that authority and yet claim to have it, they are dishonest and need to repent and stop dragging the Lord’s name through the mud.

I am very serious about this. Jesus’ name is being misrepresented daily, and I find it offensive. He is my Savior, my Shepherd, He knows me and He loves me. He ordained me to preach His gospel, and He did so by the laying on of His own hands. It is my responsibility to destroy speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. And so I endeavor to fulfill the Lord’s will, and I do so for the sake of the church.

No, I am not finding fault and judging the church, I have forsaken all that is in the world for the sake of the church. And if I can provoke anyone to have a sit down with their conscience, and face reality (which is Jesus) and forsake their dishonesty of holding on to teachings they don’t really believe (if they really believed today’s world would have been turned upside down by now), then I will receive a reward when it’s all over. And I would gladly forego the reward if it would but help the church.  

One gentleman took it upon himself to sit in judgment of my letter and accused me of being critical and judgmental, and a murmurer and a complainer. He then proceeded to “set things straight for me,” as he put it. He justified his right to do this by saying he was “under the umbrella of the ministry of Rev. Loran Helm.” 

I believe this man was dragging Rev. Helm’s name through the mud for he misrepresented him by not only judging me for things he didn’t understand, but also condemning me for those same things. Fortunately, when Jesus told me of my call He told me there were two others in the U.S. with that same call, and that Loran Helm was one of them. I never met Bro. Helm but I knew he was a true servant of God because of what Jesus told me. Had Jesus not told me about him I may well have come away from the reprimand of the gentleman with the belief that Loran Helm was a man who also sat in judgment of people, for the gentleman inserted himself as an authority to sit in judgment of me by virtue of his being under the umbrella of Rev. Helm’s ministry. 

So, as this man misrepresented Rev. Helm, many today are misrepresenting Jesus, and that is what my letter was about. It was not a fault-finding mission; it was a call to wake from sleep that Christ might give you light. It was a plea to face reality (which is Jesus) and offer your conscience to God and allow Him to reveal any flaws it might contain. God desires truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden parts He makes us to know wisdom.

Therefore if one believes he has the authority of Christ, he has it; and if he has it, he can use it. However, it is more than evident that those who claim to have it don’t use it because they cannot make it work; hence, living a lie and calling it faith. My friends, God is not mocked. It is time we awake and confess our dishonesty.

It is time to stop using the Word of God as a book of facts we can use as proof that we are right about things. It is time we submit ourselves to the Word of God and allow it to divide our souls and spirits, and to judge the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. It is time to grow up.

 

© 2019 Jon Banks All Rights Reserved

Whatever Happened…?

I have visited several churches in the recent past and most pastors seemed to dwell on their pet beliefs. Some pastors focused on the belief that Christians have the authority of Christ and spent most of their time explaining how to use that so-called authority. In one of the churches the pastor exercised his so-called authority and released the Holy Spirit into the sanctuary (or so he claimed). Another church’s pastor repeatedly concerned himself with appealing to the emotions of his congregation trying to entice them to evangelize the town in which they lived. Another pastor begins with Scriptures and ends with cute little cliches` that have nothing to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ, etc.

I sometimes feel like a stranger in a foreign land when I enter a church. It hurts me deeply to hear some of the sermons being preached today. The devil has his foot in the door of so many churches, to the extent that Jesus has been relegated to just another means by which man can feed his ego. 

Whatever happened to revering the holiness and the sacredness of God? Why is there so little respect for Him? What kind of person does it take to stand and say, “I declare this and I decree that,” and what kind of mindset would one who was conceived in iniquity have to have to claim that he, or she, has all authority in heaven and on earth? What kind of preacher would dare preach that Christians should do these things? Oh, yes, they all say these things are biblical, but they are dead wrong. 

These people interpret the Bible with their own selfish and egotistical reasoning, and find ways to satisfy their fleshly desires. They have become pawns of Satan, sent to accomplish what he accomplished with Eve in the garden, but failed to accomplish with Jesus in the wilderness, that of getting people to exalt themselves up to the level of God. The devil’s message of raising oneself up to the level of God resonates from so many pulpits that it is almost unbearable.

Whatever happened to denying your self and taking up your cross and following Jesus? What happened to obeying the Lord and walking humbly before Him? What happened to resisting the devil? When did it become the norm to rail accusations against the devil and take authority over him? When did Christians become so daring and self-willed that they no longer tremble when they revile angelic majesties, when even angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord? What has happened to common sense and common decency and sound doctrine? 

And when, pray tell, was the Holy Spirit, who convicts men of sin before a holy God, replaced with luring people to church with promises of finances, healings, and authority to change their circumstances.

Whatever happened to Jesus Christ, and Him crucified?   

 

© 2019 Jon Banks All Rights Reserved

What in the World has the Church Become?

What in the world has the church become? People who attend church regularly rush down the streets and highways exceeding one speed limit after another. And they do this knowing full well they are breaking the ordinance of God to obey the laws that exist. They deliberately ignore Romans 13:1-7 that begins with, “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God….” 

What about those who entertain the lust of the flesh or the desire for riches? What about those who sit in judgment of others and the backbiters who spread rumor after rumor slandering their brothers and sisters in Christ? And, what about those super-Christians who are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, claiming this, claiming that, declaring this, declaring that, supposing themselves to have the authority of the Son of God? With their haughty and arrogant attitudes they too show no hint whatsoever of a disciplined Christian life. Believing they have the same authority as the Lord, they feel they need not submit to Him, but are free to use their authority anytime and in any way they wish.

Dear friends, there are countless other such sinful and lawless practices we have all either been guilty of or have seen others committing. With this in mind, would you agree that it certainly appears that many of us are following the Man of Lawlessness, rather than the Son of God; the Man of Sin, rather than the Son of Righteousness? Please ask yourselves these questions: Where will we be standing in the end? Will we be in the camp of the righteous or the camp of the lawless? Will Jesus say, “Well done,” or “I never knew you?”  

I Samuel 15:22, 23, says, “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry….” For this very reason God rejected Saul from being king. What does that say for those of us who rebel against the speed limits and cheat on our income taxes, and those who lift themselves up to places of authority pretending to be something they are not? 

In the end will we be counted among the sons of God, or will we be counted as hypocrites and sons of lawlessness? Will Jesus welcome us with open arms, or will He say to us, “Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness?” Matthew 7:23. It all depends on whether we deny ourselves and submit to God and learn obedience through the things which we suffer, or if we feed our egos and do whatever we want when we want. The road that leads to life is very narrow and only a few will find it. The road that leads to death is very wide and many will follow its paths. It is a road that is strewn with fleshly pleasures and countless ego boosters. It is a road on which you don’t have to obey any speed limits. It is a road on which you can cheat on your income taxes and sit in judgment of your fellow man. You need not concern yourself with what is right or wrong; you need only do what you feel like doing. You need not become a bond-slave to Christ Jesus and walk in obedience to Him and to God. On this road you can do whatever you want when you want.

I believe it is time to wake up from our slumber, Romans 13:11. It is time to strengthen what remains and is about to die, for our deeds have been found to be unfinished in the sight of God, Revelation 3:2. And it is time to remember what we have received and heard, and to hold it fast, and repent. For if we do not wake up Jesus will come like a thief, and we will not know at what time He will come, Revelation 3:3. 

There are so many who have been carried away by false doctrines and false assumptions of the day. Please test yourselves to be certain you are not one of them. Guard yourselves to be certain you are walking down the narrow road that leads to life.  

 

© 2019 Jon Banks All Rights Reserved

I will not betray Him

When I was a young Christian, an evangelist, Rev. Robert Morgan, told me Jesus was going to lead me down a path I wouldn’t choose for myself. And so He has. I speak the truth, yet I am regarded as false; I speak from love and I am rewarded with contempt. Someone once spray painted my car with obscenities; I have seen some who dislike me urinating on my wife’s garden after dark; blatant lies have been told about me. I have been accused many times of things I haven’t done. At least one preacher has warned his flock about me, accusing me of saying things I didn’t say. This gentleman, of the Christ Fellowship circle, intentionally lied in order to turn others away from me.

But through all this I remain faithful to the Lord Jesus and offer myself, a living sacrifice, that the truth of His gospel may abound, and that false doctrines and speculations and every lofty thing might be destroyed.

I don’t have the luxury of telling people what they want to hear; I have been commissioned by the Lord to speak the truth. I wasn’t allowed to follow this man and that man, or this doctrine and that doctrine; I was led to follow Jesus. And this I have done, and for this I am regarded by many as an outcast, unfit to be accepted.

Am I feeling sorry for myself, or hoping for pity from others? Absolutely not; I consider it an honor to follow the path the Lord has prepared for me. It is a great honor to be treated as Jesus and the prophets were treated. And, as it was with them, most of my ill-treatment has come from the religious of the day.       

Still, knowing the times of the restoration of all things is at hand, I press forward, endeavoring to snatch from the fire those who have been deceived to lift themselves up to God’s level, those who claim to be equal to Christ in their authority, those who hold fast to doctrines of men, and even those who have unjustly mistreated me. 

I am a servant of the Son of God, separated by Him, ordained by Him, and commissioned by Him. I will not betray Him. I will continue speaking the truth, regardless of what might befall me. 

Rev. Jon Banks

P.S. Please weigh everything I say on the scales of the Word of God.

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© 2019 Jon Banks All Rights Reserved

The knowledge I have received

In the early 1970’s Jesus appeared at a prayer meeting and placed His hands on my shoulders and said, “I ordain you to preach My gospel.” He started up the staircase where I was sitting, and I leaned back and touched the hem of His garment. He stopped, looked back, and smiled at me, then ascended to the top of the staircase and disappeared. A man at that meeting did not know what was happening, but he was aware that something wonderful had happened.

Several years later I was in another prayer meeting in a different state and my spirit was caught up to a place far above the earth where I found myself standing between Jesus and Peter, James, and John. Paul was also there; he walked from our right to our left a few feet in front of us and disappeared from sight. Jesus told me that I had been born before my time and the knowledge I had received would be usable, but I must wait until God had completed a work in His people. He told me several other things and I returned to my body, which ached tremendously for weeks after this experience.

The knowledge I had received was the revelation of Himself. Looking back I can honestly say that I cannot remember one thing concerning the kingdom of God and the mystery of God that I have learned from man. Everything I know has come directly from heaven. This may sound pompous, but it is the absolute truth. I still remember that as a young Christian listening to my pastor, I often felt he and I were reading different Bibles. This has been my experience with preacher after preacher. For most of my younger years I gave others the benefit of the doubt and doubted myself. I believe this was due to my having PTSD, which I have struggled with for years.

Then one day the Lord gave me a vision in which I saw His mystery unfolding and unfolding and unfolding. It soon surpassed my understanding and I could no longer comprehend what I was seeing. Still, it continued unfolding. From that day on the Lord began instilling confidence within me, confidence that He had been leading me the whole time. It took several years for me to overcome the tendency to doubt myself and to accept that He was leading me. Now I have no doubt the knowledge I received was just that, knowledge I had received, not learned, knowledge received by way of revelation; it was the revelation of Jesus Christ. 

Some people get frustrated with me when I won’t give their opinions any thought. I try to explain to them that I know what I know, and therefore their opinions on this subject and that subject are nothing more than their opinions, and have nothing to do with the truth. They think I’m just a stubborn old goat. The truth is the Holy Spirit won’t allow me to entertain the opinions of man. Some think I’m someone who thinks he knows everything, or that I think my opinions are more truthful than the opinions of others, but nothing could be further from the truth. I’m acutely aware that I know very little, and therefore I strive to form no opinions.

The knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ is a part of me, and to even pretend that I might be considering something other than this knowledge is out of the question; I would be betraying the One who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I will not do that. 

The Lord set me apart from my mother’s womb (He was seen by the nurse on duty in both the delivery room, and the room assigned to my mother and me after my birth). And, when the time came, Jesus took me by the arm, led me to an altar, and knelt in front of me (He held my arm and walked me down the aisle and knelt in front of me; I was born again without uttering a word). There He became unto me a life-giving Spirit, breathing the Holy Spirit into me. He then began training me up in the way I should go and revealing Himself to me.

I read no books other than the Bible. I study no man, no denomination, no theories, no opinions (not even my own). I listen only to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The knowledge I have received (not learned) —- the knowledge Jesus spoke of —- is knowledge that has come not from man, nor through man, but directly from a revelation of Jesus Christ.

These experiences are very sacred to me

and I share them with the Lord’s permission,

Rev. Jon Banks

P.S. Please weigh everything I say on the scales of the Word of God.

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The shaking

‘And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.” And this expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain,’ Hebrews 12:26,27.

‘And His voice shook the earth then’ is referring to when the Lord God descended upon Mount Sinai in fire with smoke like the smoke of a furnace and the mountain quaked and there was thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud and a very loud trumpet sound, all making the people tremble. This was the first shaking. 

The second shaking involves the shaking of the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land, as well as the nations, and all created things, (see Haggai 2:6,7). Revelation 20:11 also refers to this second shaking, “And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.” The only thing that will not be shaken is the kingdom of God, Hebrews 12:28. All created things will be removed by this shaking, vs.27, and that which cannot be shaken, the kingdom of God, will remain.

The truth of this coming shaking should be a catalyst for us to exercise diligence in seeking God and His kingdom, while at the same time realizing that all created things will one day be gone, their only worth being a temporary means to deal with our fleshly bodies while we occupy the earth; for when the perishable puts on the imperishable, the perishable (created things) will no longer be needed. 

If we procrastinate seeking God and His kingdom, we may find that the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things eventually choke the word we have received, and that it becomes unfruitful, (see Mark 4 ;18,19). “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin,” Hebrews 3: 13. “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts,” Hebrews 3:15.

“Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire,” Hebrews 12: 28,29.

Rev. Jon Banks

P.S. Please weigh everything I say on the scales of the Word of God.

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Clouds Without Rain

A few days ago I heard a self-proclaimed preacher say Isaiah 43:19a is a scripture promising a miracle coming in 2019 for everyone who will sow a seed by sending him $43.19 before the end of this year. One hundred or more people are supposed to send him $119.00, and nine people are supposed to send him $1019.00 (the more dire your circumstances, the more money you should send). He said the Holy Spirit was speaking to these people through his mouth, after which he insinuated that to not send him this money would be an act of disobedience to God. He then took it upon himself to declare and decree these miracles to come in 2019 (as if he were some kind of god). I also heard two other men, both claiming they are apostles, saying nearly the same things on two other programs. 

Yes, I watched a little so-called Christian TV. It’s the first time I’ve watched it in well over a year, and I’m sorry I did. It left me once again feeling that there just might be a special place in Hell for these phony peddlers of God’s Word who speak lies and take advantage of naive people. 

These pompous, arrogant self-proclaimed preachers seem to believe their own lies, and have thousands upon thousands of followers who also believe their lies. As Paul wrote, “But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived,” 2 Timothy 3:13.

May the Lord keep His chosen remnant safe from these thieves who use the Word of God for personal gain, and leave people grasping for straws, and trying to make things happen by speaking words, and by their supposed authority the arrogant have told them they have. They teach both the naive and greedy that they don’t have to pray and ask God for things, they can just declare and decree what they want, and God will make it happen. And, if you can’t make it happen yourself, you can send them money and they will declare and decree it for you.

These thieves are not confined to TV, they are in pulpits all across the Christian world. You will know them by their fruits. “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit,” Matthew 7:18. Verses 22-23 tell us that even though they cast out demons and perform miracles, they do not belong to Jesus because they practice lawlessness.

“Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness,” 1 John 3:4. It is evident these people practice lawlessness; for rather than submitting to God and becoming bond-servants to Him and His Son, they instead make themselves to be as gods and declare and decree as if God was their servant. They have formulas for how to do this and how to do that, and they’ll send you pamphlets with instructions to do what they do for a so-called ‘donation’. 

Dear ones, those who preach and teach these things are not of God, they are clouds without rain, clouds that float around as if they are spiritual guides for the masses, but their end will be their removal from the Kingdom when Jesus sends forth His angels, Matthew 13:41. Be on guard. 

Many people spend their lives chasing preachers and reading books, looking for answers and formulas for their problems when, in fact, there are no answers or formulas. There is only Jesus. Consider a true servant of God:  A true servant of God knows that all things are from God and through God and to God. A true servant knows that God is the creator and would never even suggest that Christians can create things with their words. A true servant of God would never lift himself up to the level of God, or tell anyone else to do so. A true servant of God would never preach about how to work miracles, or how to receive healing. A true servant of God preaches Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. Rather than giving instructions and formulas on how to do this and that, a true servant guides the flock to the feet of the Good Shepherd in whom we live and move and have our being. 

Dear friends, “For as many as may be the promises of God, in Him [Jesus] they are yes…” 2 Corinthians 1:20a. The key words in this verse are ‘in Him’. The promises of God are yes ‘in Him’. Fulfillment of each and every promise of God is found, not in formulas, or books, but ‘in Him’. Submit to Him, abide in Him, and you will find yourself saying, “Amen,” to the glory of God.  

Rev. Jon Banks

P.S. Please weigh everything I say on the scales of the Word of God before you discard them. May the Lord bless you.

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Preaching Satan and Calling Him Jesus

I was nearly brought to tears recently when I heard someone preach that in the beginning God spoke words to create things, “Let there be light,” etc, and then referred to Ephesians 5:1 that begins with, “Be imitators of God…”, and taking it out of context, said we are supposed to imitate God and speak things into existence. He also took the first part of Proverbs 18:21 out of context, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” and used it to prove his point. He was not speaking metaphorically, he was speaking physically. He was telling people who had gathered to worship and learn from God that they should raise themselves up to God’s level and be like God. I’m so grateful the Lord’s sheep will not follow a stranger, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers, John 10:5.

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You don’t have to join a satanic cult to follow Satan, you can simply follow the doctrines of most TV evangelists and many nondenominational preachers and be smack-dab in the middle of the will of Satan, and call him Jesus while you’re there. They preach the very things Satan spoke to Eve — you don’t have to listen to God, you can call your own shots, and to Jesus, you can take authority and make the promises come true. The devil’s end game for both Eve and Jesus was to have them bypass God and exalt themselves to His level. This is the same thing the word of faith movement and many nondenominational churches preach today. They are literally preaching Satan and calling him Jesus. 

If you disagree, try to stop your mind from running for a few minutes and listen to the Holy Spirit. 

Rev. Jon Banks

P.S. Please weigh everything I say on the scales of the Word of God before you discard them.

Some more thoughts:

In Colossians 2:2-3 Paul speaks of all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, and a true knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; wealth and treasures worth more than all the earthly wealth and treasures combined; worth so much that anyone who gets a glimpse into its beauty will sell everything he owns just to partake of that beauty.

Oh, yes, dear friends, this is the prosperity gospel that I preach. This is true prosperity. This is biblical prosperity. This is prosperity that is worth losing one’s life for. This prosperity is found in the kingdom of the living God. This is true wealth, true riches, true treasures, and it is freely given to the meek and lowly by the One who loves us beyond comprehension. This is Christianity.

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When you pray — consider this — who is there to challenge? Who will deny our quest? Already we are more than conquerors: We are heirs of our Father; our Father is God; God is love; love never fails; — our triumph is sure as the dawn.

He comes to us like the showers, like the spring rain watering the earth — refreshing, renewing, providing — rewarding our faith in His love. His coming is with power in ways unencumbered by thought — ways that only angels (and perhaps small children) recognize.

Deeply touched by the vulnerability of our human frailties, He shields each trusting footstep from snares that lie in wait — leading, guiding, protecting — providing ways of escape. Surely we may always pray and not lose heart. Surely we are children of a most wonderful and magnificent Father!

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Little things, like staying within the speed limit and observing all traffic laws, cleaning up after ourselves in public restrooms, and even opening doors for our wives, help us to learn obedience to God. If we do these things and other things like them out of respect for our heavenly Father, because His Word tells us to be respectful of others and to obey the authorities which exist, we will find ourselves coming closer and closer to an intimate walk with Him. He will begin teaching us the secrets of walking by the Spirit.

You see, one cannot walk by the Spirit and disregard the speed limit. It’s impossible; the Holy Spirit won’t allow it (with the exception of maybe emergencies). One cannot walk by the Spirit and be disrespectful of, or to, people; the Holy Spirit will not allow that either. So the more we press forward and maintain an obedient attitude in little things, even seemingly insignificant things, the closer we will find ourselves to the Lord; for we are obeying His Holy Spirit. And the more we obey His Holy Spirit, the more He will entrust to us. Self will ultimately find itself diminishing, and the image of the Son of God will begin shining forth.

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If a Christian sits in judgment of someone, and that someone senses the judgment, the one being judged could possibly be devastated to the point of self-condemnation and thereby lose his, or her, salvation. As Christians, we have more influence on others than we are aware of and we must be careful to let our love for others keep our tendency to judge at bay. We must never put a hindrance between any one and the love of God.

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When you’re trusting God for something, don’t stand on the Word, or claim the promise, simply endeavor to trust Him within your heart. When doubts arise apologize to Him and ask for help to overcome your doubts; He will move heaven and earth to help you.

Standing on the Word and claiming a promise are not in the Bible; trusting the Lord is. Circumstances sometimes hinder, or cloud, trust (faith) and the Lord understands this; He will most assuredly help us when we are honest with Him.

Never speak to your problems or your circumstances; instead, depend on the Lord to lead you through your problems and circumstances; persevere and learn the lessons contained in your journey. The Lord is truly our Shepherd, and we shall not want.

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Men of God and Ear Ticklers

A true man of God reveres the word of God and approaches it honestly, treating it with the utmost respect. He knows the word of God is sacred and refuses to form his own opinions; what he doesn’t know, or understand, he leaves in the hands of God, trusting the Holy Spirit to reveal what He wants to reveal, when He wants to reveal it. He simply trusts in God and speaks of things the Lord has shown him and leaves questions to be answered when God wills. A true man of God faces reality, that is, he faces Jesus at all times, knowing that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him; he would never go outside of Jesus to find an answer to any question concerning God or His church. A true man of God is just that, a true man of God.

in contrast

Many preachers today use clever clichés, and/or add to, or take away from, verses of Scripture to make them mean something that people want to hear, rather than what they actually say. They seem to prefer popularity with people, rather than the perfect will of God. This has left the church with the task of separating one preacher’s viewpoint over another’s viewpoint; and this has subsequently left many Christians choosing one preacher over another. All this has unfortunately produced misguided souls following men and doctrines, rather than following Jesus.

These things were foretold by Paul in 2 Timothy 4:3-4, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.” We are most assuredly in those days now. 

conclusion

The time has come for us to awaken from sleep and walk in soberness of mind, redeeming the time. We must weigh all we hear on the scales of God’s Holy Word, being careful to lay aside any preconceptions we might have. We must approach the Word with humility of mind and soul, and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal its truths to us. This is the will of God.

Rev. Jon Banks

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Will there be faith?

Jesus  asked the question, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” This may have sounded strange the day it was asked; however, today it sounds like a reasonable and logical question. Consider what has happened to the church through the years:  For a long time the Catholics sold what amounted to atonement for souls they swore were stuck in purgatory. Breaking from this terrible wrong, the Protestant Reformation was born. From there came denomination after denomination, each with different beliefs and different interpretations of the Bible. 

In the 1880’s D. S. Warner and others misinterpreted Isaiah 52:11 and, believing it to be speaking of the many denominations, they tried to remedy the diversity by preaching, “Come out from among them and be ye separate”, saying the church was comprised of all true believers, and free of creeds, believing only the Bible. From this the Church of God, Andersen, IN came into being, with only one requirement to be a member, that of being born again. They claimed to believe and adhere to the entire Bible, however, I know of at least one Church of God minister that was defrocked because he spoke in tongues. There are most likely many others. So, the Church of God also ultimately became just another denomination. And now, here we are, with people still breaking out claiming to be non-denominational, only to be found as nothing more than another denomination. Merriam-Webster says a denomination is ‘a religious organization whose congregations are united in their adherence to its beliefs and practices’. 

But, are different denominations really so bad for those who truly follow Jesus? One who walks by the Spirit walks by the Spirit everywhere he goes, whether it’s to a grocery store, or to a church. To walk by the Spirit is to walk by the Spirit, period. I believe Christians are Christians regardless of which church they attend. I go to a Methodist church and I disagree with some of their beliefs and practices, but that doesn’t prevent me from worshipping God there. I am a Christian wherever I go and in whatever church I attend. I am not a Methodist; I am a Christian who attends a Methodist church.

There are many who are Methodist first, and secondly Christians, or Baptist first, and secondly Christians, etc. etc. etc. In other words, they are united in their adherence to their church’s beliefs and practices. But all who find their life-blood in the Vine of God are always Christians first. It matters not where they go to church, or whether they are members, or not; nor does it matter what others believe; they are simply followers of Jesus, — nothing more, nothing less. They cannot be coerced into believing something the Lord hasn’t revealed to them, nor can they be hindered by someone who believes something they know to be untrue. 

Jeremiah 29:7 says, ‘…seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare,’. 

Finding a church whose beliefs we can completely agree with is most likely impossible. It is most likely impossible because so few have been yielded to the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to lead them into all truth. There has always been an abundance of scholars, and those who consider themselves to be scholars, who interpret Scriptures with their own understanding; thus all the different doctrines and denominations. But, in spite of all this, whichever church we choose, we should seek the welfare of that church, regardless of whether or not we believe everything its organization believes.

Seeking a church’s welfare does not mean we promote its doctrines; it simply means we   do our best to make it a better place. We do this by loving all people with the unconditional love of God that flows in, and through, our hearts. We make it a better place by our actions and reactions that stem from our obedience to the Holy Spirit. In short, we make our church a better place by sharing the fragrant aroma of the Son of God with all whom we come in contact. And, in so doing, its welfare becomes our welfare.

So, will there be faith on the earth when Jesus returns? I believe so. God has always kept for Himself a remnant who have stayed the course. I believe He will also have a remnant when the end comes. And each person in that remnant will, without exception, be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, — nothing more, nothing less, — regardless of where they went to church.

(At the end of the age angels will separate the tares from the wheat. We are to allow them to grow together until then.)

Rev. Jon Banks 

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Some thoughts:

Too often Christians become overly concerned with a certain belief, or something that’s dear to them, and concentrate on promoting, or defending, what they think is right. And, in so doing, they find themselves walking in a realm of thoughts and words pertaining to their passion. They get caught up in working to become proficient in their knowledge of what they feel passionate about. 

They believe in Jesus, they use His name, but they no longer walk before Him as a little child. They have left their first love. They didn’t mean to, it just happened because they got caught up using the Scriptures to prove their points, rather than allowing the Scriptures to lead them to the feet of Jesus.

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The Lord, our kind Shepherd, guides us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. He does this because He will not share His glory with another, nor will He allow His name to be profaned, Isaiah 48:11. This is a wonderful, wonderful truth.

By His doing we are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, (I Corinthians 1:30). He will fulfill His Word and accomplish His will for His own name’s sake. All we need do is believe and obey Him; He will do the rest.

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“Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having an abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,” Philippians 4:11-13.

Paul said he had learned the secret of being filled and going hungry; the secret of both having an abundance and of suffering need. Whether he was being filled and had an abundance, or if he was hungry and was in need, he was content; for he had learned that he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him. There was nothing he couldn’t bear, for he was a child of the King.

What does that say about those who continually seek and pray for prosperity? It appears they just can’t learn the secret — that a child of God can do all things through Christ who strengthens him.

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Dear friends, every once in a while take a moment to listen to the trees and the flowers and the birds; listen closely, for we all worship the same God.

__________________

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