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We Live By "Every Word That Proceeds Out Of The Mouth Of God.

M____ wrote: Hi Mike, I pray this letter finds you blessed and at rest In Him. I was thinking last night about the Parable of the Lost son (Prodigal) and the process of salvation as it relates to me (& all others). For years I related to the elder son more so than the Prodigal. I always felt like it was an appropriate and effective parable to encourage people who have lived the type of life described by the younger son that they can & should repent and be accepted by their Heavenly Father despite their outwardly overt sinful ways, but I was always surprised I did not hear more sermons/teachings on the self righteous, jealous attidute of the elder brother (in his mind "had no need of repentence" and was really like the 99) who looked good on the outside and appeared to be doing and living right but on the inside was full of sin and the same lusts and prideful attitude of his younger brother - he just did not yet act on it in the same way his younger brother did (Also, his attitude was just like the attitude of Jonah who also was self-righteous and did not want Ninevah (the rest of humanity) saved - and did not like the ways of his Father - same with Job in terms of his self-righteous attitude). So when I had an opportunity a few years ago I taught to my local church about what I was "seeing" in the elder brother and his attitude (I taught from what little light I had on the subject as I was still tangled and in full belief of the many Unscriptural Doctrines of the church). At the time, I could not say to my church that the Prodigal represented my lifestyle. BUT I was actually worse than the prodigal as I confessed that at times past I exemplied the attitude of the elder brother and we should be careful to watch our own attitude (not just our outward sins) and that to me it was easy to pick on the prodigal (overt outward sin) than it is to see the hidden inward sin of the elder (me) and see who we really are even though we are good at covering it up to others and even to ourselves. It was received well. NOW, I see that I am the prodigal in that I had asked my "Father to give me the portion of goods that falls to me" (Esau attitude) with my 'bless me now - give me my physical riches now (so I could be a good witness I rationalized) and all my physical blessings now' attitude while I "sop up" all the false doctrines and unpure milk of the word with the other "swine" that could not receive His Pearls (Meat) nor did we want to until I by His Spirit "came to myself" and "saw" (the eyes of my understanding beginning to be enlightened) that I was NOT spiritually well off and I was NOT worthy as I (although unintentionally) had squandered the Word (His True Riches) that was given to me. Even though I was ignorant to my own blindness, ignorant to my own deception and thought I had the right intentions, I still felt the shame of it and was very humbled by it all. Why do I share this summary? I think it is a relevent revelation to the process of salvation (your paper on the 7 steps on the site). Even though step 6 in the history of Israel they (we) are carried off to Babylon captivity where we are to come out of her my people (step 7 of the maturing/salvation process) Israel (we) may have been held captive in babylon during step 6 but Israel (we) were in babylon the whole time in the wilderness (tares and wheat grow toggether

until the harvest) after their initial cleansing (step 2 - passing through the red sea) (and even during the time spent in Egypt (pre "coming to the Lord") is just an earlier part of Babylon) they just did not realize that the whole time (our whole lives) they (we) were held captive in babylon (in bondage but did not know it) - even after our conversion (passing through Jordan and entering the promise land - step 4 & 5) and overcome the passions and pulls of the flesh (giants in the land) being seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus in spiritual Canaan. Many of the people in the called church because sin (overt outward sin like the prodigal) may no longer have dominion over us (actual change in lifestyle and behavior) we still don't see the depth of the inward sin (beast) and all the lies and un pure word of Babylon partly Because we think we have entered into the promise land and it is that doctrine that got us here YET, the real repentance has not even begun as we have not come out of spiritual babylon (we don't even know we are in it we think it is somebody else) let alone are held captive and in bondage to it. So, while there is an order step 1-7, we go may go through this process many times (7 times we must fail) before we realize that while the giants in the land may no longer have dominion over of us, we have not overcome the REAL Spiritual GIANTS in the land (principalities and powers in high places) - which are spiritual fornication and being unequally yoked to false doctrines and until we do, it may appear we are converted but by no means are we mature and fully converted (not sure if fully converted is a scriptural term, but the only way I can explain it perhaps mature is a strong enough word as it differs from a minor). Hope what I am saying is making sense and is accurate and edifying. The Parable of the Lost Son 11 Then He said: "A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.' So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. 17 "But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants."' 20 "And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.' 22 "But the father said to his servants, 'Bring[ b] out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring

on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry. 25 "Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.' 28 "But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, 'Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.' 31 "And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.'" Blessings, M____ Hi M____, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You are exactly right. It is very hard to relay to most, but when we say that Christ is, was, and will be, what we are saying is that the 'is' is, was and will be, the 'was' is, was and will be, and the 'will be' is, was and will be. Yes, every step in the progression to salvation is taken over and over. That is why it is called "the doctrine of baptisms. As we decrease, He increases. But the "dying daily" is something that must continue till there are no more days in which to die. As we mature in Christ we see that we are both the prodigal and the elder son, both the 99 and the one lost sheep, both the publican and the Pharisee, the woman caught in adultery and the selfrighteous men who drag her before Christ. We come to see that we must live by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God. We come to see that "all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" are all in us all. We finally see that all that Adam is, is within us all. I am greatly encouraged to see your growth in the things of the spirit. I pray that God will grant that you will just remain faithful through the tribulations that lie ahead. I have every confidence that He who has begun a good work in you will finish it. Mike