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

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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 self-
righteous 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