Go Sell All That Thou Hast

Posted on November 4, 2019

Home Blog Posts Go Sell All That Thou Hast

Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /home2/tcbcorgn/public_html/wp-content/themes/church/post-format/content.php on line 20

Go Sell All That Thou Hast

by Pastor Afolabi Oladele

John the Apostle, who recorded the greatest of the good works of Jesus, turned out to also be the apostle who wrote the Book of Revelation. There were two specific phrases that Jesus constantly repeated in His message to the seven churches in Asia; they are “I know thy works” and “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

Which works was Jesus referring to when He said to the churches, “I know thy works”? At the time those messages were given concerning those seven churches in Asia Minor, that were intended to represent the characteristics of the church ages to come. The phrase “I know thy works” is mentioned in every one of the messages that Jesus was giving – from the Ephesian Church right to the Laodicean Church Age. So I had to ask the “Lord, which works are You talking about?”

John the Apostle, to whom the revelation of Jesus Christ was given, had much to say concerning works, both in the gospel of Saint John, as well as in the book of Revelation. In those two books, you will understand the definition of good works in the manner that the holy scripts wants them to be understood, and how we can fit into the Father’s purpose. The statements of the Lord Jesus revealed to us the purpose of good works.

And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. Mark 2:8-11

Why good works in the Scriptures? Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts. Luke 7:2-25

Here again we see Jesus doing something that people just couldn’t figure out.

If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of Me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of Me is true. Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given Me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father hath sent Me. John 5:31-36

What then is the purpose of good works? The most critical thing we need to understand concerning good works, why Jesus did the things He did is that it is to bear witness of Jesus Christ.

Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent. John 6:28-29

Every piece of good work that does not point people to Christ is a mere waste of effort. Good works, a major part of Jesus’ Ministry was ordained to inspire faith in Christ.

In John 6, about three thousand people who had been with Jesus Christ were hungry, and He took the loaves and fishes of a young man to feed them. The people saw the Creator in action, saying to them that He has the power to give them everything they needed. When Jesus met a man who was blind from birth, He took clay, spat on it, molded it and put it on the eyes of the man and told him to go and wash. What He was doing was to point the people to Himself, their Creator who can give them whatever they needed. Every piece of good works that we do should point people to Jesus and if they don’t point people to Jesus, then we don’t understand what we are doing.

The pattern of good works is in the Scriptures. When Jesus came, He said, “I am sent to the lost sheep of the Israel.” Israel is always used to type the church, and Jesus began His good works in Israel. The very first place to begin good works is in the Body of Christ. The Church has the responsibility first to see to those who are within, before going out. I am not saying you should not give to beggars on the street, but your good works as a child of God must begin in the Body of Christ.

When the woman with the alabaster box of ointment poured it on Jesus, Judas was angry and said that the ointment could have been sold and the money given to the poor, but Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you.” Until Jesus comes, we cannot solve the problems of all the poor in this world. We need to see that the first place to start good works is within the Body of Christ and I don’t mean the four walls of the church.

Good works were ordained by God to inspire faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and as you give to people, as you do good works, you must also be on your knees that the Holy Spirit will reach unto their souls to save them. Even as you take care of their bodies you must never forget to pray for their souls.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

For every man or woman that says he or she belongs to Christ; good works must necessarily come out of your life because they are fruits unto God. Works will never take the place of faith in Jesus Christ for your salvation. Good works will save no man, but good works must come out of the life of every man that is saved, and this has nothing to do with whether you have a lot of money or not. Jesus did good works to the extent that John the Apostle said there would not be enough books in the whole world to contain all the good works of Christ (John 21:25). We need to humble ourselves, and follow the Lord’s step in doing good works.

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Matthew 5:13-14

The good works you are doing, are they pointing to you or to God? When Jesus was speaking about salt that has lost its taste, He had in mind the angels who left their first estate and came down to men. They left their specific place of duty that God had given to them and when they gave themselves to seeking to develop progeny through men they cut themselves down and were fit for hell. They fell from a place of value to be under men. Salt that has lost its taste is good for nothing but to be trodden underfoot.

The requirements of God from anyone that is saved concerning good works takes on a greater weight when we understand that there is an expectation of God from us. And if we are not meeting that expectation we would be cast away and trodden under foot.

Each time Jesus said “I Know thy works” an understanding comes, that good works that Jesus recognises is a commitment even at the expense of your life, to preserve the originality of the revealed truth. You have a commitment to defend, to stand for, to uphold the truth of God as revealed, in other words, the totality of that truth i.e. what you saw in Jesus being an epitome of good works. So you are not only a custodian, an embodiment or a source of good works, but you are also doing good works, even if it costs you your life, you recognise that there is a commitment to do that. Each time Jesus said “I know thy works,” those who were standing were standing to defend the originality of the truth.

Take the case of Martin the soldier, who was the messenger to the Church in Thyatira. In the depths of winter, as he entered one of the gates of that city, he saw a poor man who was shivering in the cold and he took the cloak that was upon him, tore it into two and gave one to cover the poor man who was at the gate. When he got home that night, a vision came from the presence of the Lord to him saying “you did not know the poor man you clothed with the half cloak was Me.”

These were men who would stake their lives to uphold the originality of the word of truth that has been revealed. So each time you are looking at good works, you not only understand that good works are intended to inspire faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but it also places upon you a burden to defend every iota of the truth of God as has been revealed. And each time you do things that are contrary, you should begin to question yourself if you are truly an ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Revelation 2:9

These people were going through such persecution, being thrown to lions and being killed for the faith. Everything that they had was being ripped away from them, so much that people would say “these ones have nothing anymore,” but Jesus said they were rich.

And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting. Luke 18:18-30

How do you know a rich man? There is an image that is associated to rich people, which shows in the house they live in, the clothes they wear etc. What was the problem of the rich young ruler? The problem with the rich young ruler was that he could not imagine himself taking off the image he had as a rich man, and taking on the image of a poor man. Is that not the problem of Christendom today? Christians are unwilling to give up everything that detracts from the image the world has set. Every gold that you have to give up, every cent that you have to give to the poor, is taking something away from the image with which the world has accepted you. The story of the rich young ruler is like telling a man who rides a Prado to sell it and ride with you on an Okada. The rich young man’s problem was the issue of self identity (I’m already known). But what Jesus was asking of him was to throw away that identity and take on the new identity that Jesus had to offer him.

Whose identity do you want? The world has so pumped us, that there is a type of image that you have to cut wherever you are going. We should not care what anybody says of us, what’s important is the image that Jesus puts on us. The image that was associated to that rich young man was what made him forfeit heaven. It wasn’t to everybody in that time that Jesus said to “go, sell all that you have and give to the poor”  but Jesus knew this man’s heart. Jesus knew his problem.

On the day that the Master says that you should give up what you have and give to the poor, how will you react? Pray that on that day your heart will not go in any other direction but would remain on the Lord, because Jesus is the prize. Jesus Christ is the prize, heaven is the prize. I pray that I may gain Him, that I may win Him.

My sons and daughters Jesus is the prize. Money, posessions and an education are tools, but they are not the end. Jesus Christ is The Prize. There is an image, a class in heaven, that God is saying is superior to what we see on this earth and what you are trying to tie your image to. But the whole truth in this matter is that God was just looking for an opportunity to bless that rich, young man in Luke 18. He that holds onto what he doesn’t have is a fool. What do you have that you have? What if the Master calls your number? I pray the Lord will give you understanding so that you can begin to reshape your life and begin to look at what is important to your life. And what is important to your life is what is important to God.

How far are you willing to go in losing our world-approved identity for Christ identity? He that said, “look at the lilies of the field, they are beautifully clothed,” do you think He would let you go around naked? The birds that fly don’t know how to labour – they can’t plant or harvest – but whenever they eat they are satisfied. God says you are more important than the birds to Him. Who is willing to give it all up and accept the identity of the Lord Jesus Christ? It’s not about what you think you have, it’s about obedience to say “Lord, You own everything. Whatever you give to God He can give you so much more in return.

I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Revelation 2:19

From this text, you will see that love stands between service, faith and works. There has to be a motivation and Paul understood this. In 1 Corinthians 13:3 he said, And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Good works must be motivated by love. If your good works are not motivated by love, it won’t profit you anything. Every service that is not motivated by love has some other connotation to it.

Self-love and love for material things is the problem of identity. Will you trade the identity of this world away and get the identity of the Lord Jesus Christ?

When required to, we must be willing to give up the material things that identify or set us apart in this world, for the purpose of preserving the truth and the revelation of the word of God.

Who is willing to pour of himself for the kingdom of God, as you set off your own goals and give to the poor that the poor also may know that they have a Kinsman Redeemer?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *