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Published by: Just God’s Word
Scripture quotations are derived from Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc. The versions that are used in this publication are: The New International Version The New King James Version The Living Bible The Amplified Bible.
Has God been asleep all these centuries and left us in the dark so that today we have nothing more to say about the Bible than did our fathers, even though God says "Blessed is the one who reads and understands"? Are we never to be able to come boldly before the throne of Grace and yet have the ability with science to work with the very fabric of life in the study of such things as genetic engineering? Will God let man see into the depths of space and see His mighty hand at work and yet leave His creation in the dark as to who He is and how He works? God has revealed Himself in the body of nature and speaks about the deeper mysteries and of heavens wisdom. He has brought before men knowledge of a greater kingdom and a victory to be won. But in these days of luxury and ease, most are happy with what they have and have no desire to seek for God; and the knowledge that God would give to them is left by the roadside and thrown to the wind in the face of logic, philosophy and mans science built upon a foundation of disbelief in Him. But for those who seek His face and desire to know His will, God gives His love and wisdom without measure. We are living in times when everything that can be shaken will be shaken. The whole fabric of mankind and all their affairs are heaving and rolling like an angry ocean in the midst of a storm; and no nation is or will be left out of this reality. No matter how advanced or primitive the society seems to be, trouble looms around every corner. The rising and falling of the global financial markets is just one of the many symptoms that speak of this reality. One problem after another has brought many to a point of seeing no way out and seeking to end their lives instead. Heart attacks and strokes have increased at an alarming rate and humanity sees no way out. But lest we think that everything in church is ok; religion is not by ANY MEANS exempt from the searching, disintegrating influences of the times either. Within the walls of religious bodies the world over is an atmosphere of uncertainty that has brought about a change of the myriad of once held ‘holy’ doctrines and liturgy of their sanctuaries and temples. Fundamental teachings have been re-routed and once held standards and doctrinal foundational pillars have all but disappeared. The church body that once relied upon God for wisdom and power has given sway to academia and its demand for principles based upon psychological hypothesis and scientific theories. But for those who are seeking for Truth and would like to go further to go beyond the complacency, hate and intolerance, to see with the vision of the early reformers and to take a Spiritual Journey into eternity to the very throne of God, to hear His voice and seek His Word, Gods door is forever open. This is where the Spiritual Journey into Eternity travels as it looks into the height, depth and width of Gods wisdom and knowledge. 3
We hope you enjoy this in-depth look into the many truths that have been kept from sight for so long. We pray that it drives you to look again at Gods Word with a heightened vision of His desire and will for His children. Read, contemplate and test what you see. Leave no stone unturned. And may Gods grace fill you as you take this Journey into Eternity.
The Journey Begins.............................................................................................................5 Come On Up........................................................................................................................8 Come Up And See The Godhead.......................................................................................11 Come Up And See My Plan...............................................................................................13 Come Up And Receive My Faith.......................................................................................17 Come Up And See Tomorrow...........................................................................................19 Come Up And See The Secrets of Heaven........................................................................22 Come Up And Become My Own.......................................................................................27 Come Up And See The Lamb And His Christ...................................................................33 Love...............................................................................................…................................36 The Beginning................................................................................…...............................37 The Highway of Holiness................................................................…..............................41 If You Love Me...............................................................................…..............................44 God Is Love........................................................................................…............................47 You Must Be Born Again....................................................................…..........................50 The Former And Latter Rain.................................................................….........................52 Priests And Kings..................................................................................…........................55 Dead But Now Alive..............................................................................…........................59 Court Is In Session...................................................................................…......................62 The Atonement..........................................................................................….....................70 The Mediation of Christ..............................................................................…...................73 The Priesthood of Christ, Melchizedek or Levi.................................................................77 The Judgment.............................................................................................…..........…......80 The Faith of God.............................................................................................…...............86 To Come By Faith............................................................................................…..............88 The Opening Door of Faith................................................................................…............90 The Essence of Faith..........................................................................................…............94 The Law of Faith.................................................................................................…...........97
The Journey Begins
ternity. The word evokes many different thoughts, especially in this present world that we live in. We have judged the word eternity through our own existence with the little time we have on this earth. Yet God speaks of His knowledge of time as "A day is as a thousand years to the lord. " Time, in the aspect of a day being equal to a thousand years has very little meaning to our understanding of it. We only see a beginning and an end. And this is the beginning level of understanding of what God is trying to tell us. God has commanded us to seek a Spiritual understanding of His Kingdom and who He is. He said to “Seek you first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matt: 6:33 In Matthew 5 Jesus explains the real or spiritual understanding and He shows the kind of character His people will have when they give themselves to Him and are able to see with a spiritual vision. Humble men are very fortunate!" he told them, "for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them. Those who mourn are fortunate! for they shall be comforted. The meek and lowly are fortunate! for the whole wide world belongs to them. "Happy are those who long to be just and good, for they shall be completely satisfied. Happy are the kind and merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. Happy are those whose hearts are pure, for they shall see God. Happy are those who strive for peace-- they shall be called the sons of God. Happy are those who are persecuted because they are good, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” "When you are reviled and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers-- wonderful! Be happy about it! Be very glad! for a tremendous reward awaits you up in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted too. You are the world's seasoning, to make it tolerable. If you lose your flavor, what will happen to the world? And you yourselves will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the world's light-- a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to see. Don't hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.” Matt 5:3-15 So many people seem to only see the surface value of the Bible even after studying it over and over again. For more than 500 years (from the birth of Martin Luther in 1486) we seem to be no closer to a more mature answer of many parts of scripture than the early reformers. Even the 95 theses that Luther nailed to the 6
church door in Wittenberg have not yet been answered. This has caused many to say that ‘the scriptures will only be understood in heaven when God gives us the answer,’ yet God commands us to study and understand.’ “Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”2 Tim 2:15 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. Matt 15:10... "Those with spiritual understanding will have a wide ministry of teaching in those days…”Dan 11:33 Why are so many of us today without an understanding of so much of the Bible? Could it be that many believe that the knowledge they already have is enough? Could it be that many are so busy defending what they have, that they have no time to listen to anything different that is presented to them? Or could it be that they have been told not to listen to anything that might differ from what they have been taught? The time in which we live with knowledge overload and the information super highway, it would be a ridiculous thing for a person to make a statement that there is nothing new to learn, that all that is to be learned has been learned. And in this time God has allowed man to probe into the depths of creation, to see the deeper things of His handiwork, and yet it is said that parts of the scriptures have been locked away, never to be understood until God reveals it in heaven. This just doesn’t fit the character of God when in His word He has asked us to study and understand. However, we have seen what this kind of thinking has done. Day after day, and week after week, and year after year, many are powerless against their enemy the devil, and victory is no more in sight than the nearest star. Many live their day-today lives with as many questions as they had the day or week before. Yet, in God's Word is the promise to give to us what we ask in His name. "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Luke 11:9-13 Q. Why then is there so little receptiveness and understanding of the Word of God? A. “...the reason you don't have what you want is that you don't 7
ask God for it. And even when you do ask you don't get it because your whole aim is wrong-- you want only what will give you pleasure.” James 4:2-3 There are those who would say that in fact they are asking God constantly for truth and direction in the study of His Word, so what they have must be the truth, right? The one thing they are overlooking is the heartfelt reason they are asking. Only God knows the heart, even the intent of the heart. In our heart lie the deepest secrets, hidden from humanity's vision, but not hidden from God. We may fool each other in our pompous prayers and seemingly deeply devoted intentions that we are religious and in contact with our heavenly Father, but God sees into the hidden depths of our hearts and knows our true intent. When we seek to please ourselves instead of seeking those things which are from God, we can do no good thing. Ego-centric pleasures come in many different forms. They can be anything that makes a person feel justified, even when it has to do with God. • Many use authority like a double edged sword, and that is their pleasure. • Others may brag of their connection with God, and that is their pleasure. • Some may just like to fit in and that is their pleasure. But few ever come to a point in their life when the ultimate pleasure they find is in doing only that which pleases God. This can and will only occur when the Word of God is set as a foundational pillar is one’s life. Much of what makes many feel pleased is based upon a false interpretation or misconception of God's Word. And in the end they find themselves in agreement with the world and its beliefs, because it fills in the gaps that God has seemingly left unanswered. “You are like an unfaithful wife who loves her husband's enemies. Don't you realize that making friends with God's enemies-- the evil pleasures of this world-- makes you an enemy of God? I say it again, that if your aim is to enjoy the evil pleasures of the unsaved world, you cannot also be a friend of God.” James 4:4 If we aspire to nothing higher than the evils of this world, then we will never be in a position to receive God’s Spirit and for Him to reveal His hidden mysteries. We must come to a point where we can see what God means when He says that to “obey is better than to sacrifice.” We need to look beyond what we have conceived in our own minds and to see God in a way that allows us to obey Him in an effort of love and not in ignorance of His Word. This is the goal that we must strive to reach and be zealous for. This is not a place where we can throw away EVERYTHING that we have ever learned, but rather a place to weed out the errors and then rebuild upon the Truth. If we do this without prejudice, bias or becoming emotionally distraught, we will see what God has done in our lives and how He has been leading us to a point where we can discern with clear vision, the mysteries that lie ahead.
Come On Up
Since you became alive again, so to speak, when Christ arose from the dead, now set your sights on the rich treasures and joys of heaven where he sits beside God in the place of honor and power. Let heaven fill your thoughts; don't spend your time worrying about things down here. You should have as little desire for this world as a dead person does. Your life is in heaven with Christ and God. Col 3:1-3 We are admonished to have our minds stayed on Christ, to be filled with heavenly thoughts. As two old sayings go: “you are what you eat,” and “by beholding, you become changed.” And in the words of an old hymn, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full into His wonderful face, and the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His Glory and Grace.” If a person begins to keep their eyes on God and feed on His Word, then they will begin to resemble the character of God. So we can see that in order to begin this journey, we must allow our minds to be caught up in heaven, to behold God. It is here we share in God's Wisdom and His Glory. Knowing this, we must realize that all things in heaven are eternal, and to exist there we must begin to sample, even utilize, God’s own eternal thinking. (We believe and claim that God does not lie, and that He will do as He has said that He would.) For God is not a man that he should lie, neither human that he should change his mind. When he gives his word, does he not perform it? Or does he promise and not fulfill it? Num 23:19 ...Then Moses said to Aaron, "This is what the LORD has said, 'I will show myself holy among those who are near me, and before all the people I will be glorified.'" … Lev 10:3
This Scripture is a true statement of what God has declared about His relationship to those who are near Him and here is where we begin this Spiritual Journey to walk with God. When we make claim that God has meant what He has said, then we can read His Word and believe exactly what it says. (We will stay within the context of how each word in scripture finds itself in agreement with itself.)
Entering His Kingdom
God has said that in order for mankind to enter His kingdom they must first receive a new life. 9
Jesus replied, "With all the earnestness I possess I tell you this: unless you are born again, you can never get into the Kingdom of God." John3:3 Many have stated their view and preconceived views of this scripture reading, but if we will just continue on we will see that Christ finishes the painting for us so that we can see the whole picture. Jesus replied, "What I am telling you so earnestly is this: unless one is born of Water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. men can only reproduce human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven; John 3:5,6 After his baptism, as soon as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God coming down in the form of a dove. Matt 3:16
Today, there are many different forms of this ‘renewal’ that takes place all over the world. From Russia to China to the USA, this baptism or being reborn is performed with having holy oil applied to the body, sprinkling water on the head, total immersion under water, speaking in unknown languages and many more. These different forms of receiving the Holy Spirit each leave out a part. One has water, but not the Spirit. One has Spirit, and leaves out the water, while others have neither or both but leave out the Truth that the Spirit brings. "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:12-13 So the question arises: ‘does that mean that you have to have water to become born again or to be anointed with oil or speak in tongues?’ The question is good, yet it lacks the deeper meaning that God was trying to unveil, for He baptizes with the Spirit and with Fire. ... he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Matt3:11 One can make sense of all of this when they read on; but the chaff he will burn with fire that cannot be put out. Matt 3:12 Fire is one of the best ways to cleanse a piece of ground and let it bring forth new and stronger life. So it is with water. Water will wash off the dirt of this world and leave behind a clean vessel for the Spirit to fill. So if one is reborn again of Water and Spirit, then they will have allowed God to burn away the chaff and leave behind a cleansed piece of ground for the Spirit to water and bring forth a new and stronger life. 10
The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isa 58:11 If the Spirit is allowed to do its work, then the secrets of God, the mysteries of God can be revealed to the one who seeks and they may live the life that God has asked them to (without the idea that there are just some things in His Word that may never be understood.) But we know about these things because God has sent his Spirit to tell us, and his Spirit searches out and shows us all of God's deepest secrets. I Cor 2:10 Being born again is the essential first step to our Spiritual Journey with Christ. However, Christ wants us to come closer to a deeper understanding of Him as well. Summary The spiritual journey is available to ALL who are willing to be born of God’s Spirit, God’s Water and His Fire, and who are willing to let Him show them the deeper secrets of His Word.
Come On Up And See The Godhead
To live with someone is to become intimately aware who he or she really is. You watch them act and react to life and its many twists and turns. And when a person comes to the place where they are now living in the presence of God, they will see Him in action in the everyday affairs of mankind, especially in their own life. Those who live with God begin to see the His character and to understand the things that once caused them to misunderstand God, instead of loving Him in the full knowledge of what Love is. They begin to see with heavenly vision God's view of life, death, salvation, wrath, and the many aspects about His character. And they begin to see His Word from Genesis to Revelation as to how God works with His ideal plan and with the crisis measures He used, both because of the hardness of men's hearts and or their unwillingness to follow Him. These crisis measures from a law that ends in death to a sacrificial system that required the death of an innocent animal, were never intended to be a showing of the character of God, but were used because mankind refused to listen to God’s voice and obey. And when God used His crisis measures, it was not done because He wanted it that way, but because mankind would not come to Him on a loving and understanding basis. And today, mankind is still unwilling to come to Him and understand His ways. So they continue to look for that elusive rest spoken of in Hebrews, but never seem to find it.
So I became sorely displeased with that generation and said, they are always going astray in their hearts; they did not learn my ways. As I swore in my anger, they shall not enter into my rest. Heb 4:9-11 But if, as many say, that there are always going to be things that we will never understand, then God's ways may never be known, and we may never be able to partake in that rest, like the nation of Israel. But the questions are: “Is what God says in His Word true?” and “Can we really understand the things of God as He has said we can?” and if so, “Just what are those things?”
The Beginning of Wisdom
Each person seems to have a view as to what we are to know and not know about God. Each interestingly enough, seems to fit the religion that it belongs to. But if each religion is correct and everything that they say we will never understand is really true, in the end, a vast majority of the Word of God will never be understood. Then that makes the Word of God a lie when it says that, 12
“ALL of Scripture is given for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. II Tim 3:16 Through an inability to understand certain portions of the scriptures, it makes the Bible speak a lie in stating such things. But we know that the whole of Scripture is given for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness and all of God's Word is Faithful and True. We are then the ones that make up rules about the Word of God and then teach it to others as though it were truth, not God. But if we will believe that what He has said is true, then we may not only be able to read but to understand because He will teach us His Word. But you have received the Holy Spirit and he lives within you, in your hearts, so that you don't need anyone to teach you what is right. For he teaches you all things, and he is the truth, and not a liar; and so, just as he has said, you must live in Christ never to depart from him. I John 2:27 The sad reality is that so many have allowed man to lead them in the ways of God and to help them determine what is right and good without going to God themselves for a mature point of view on His Word. This is the spiritual journey, to see with heavenly vision the deeper things of God, and to grow up (become mature) in His Word by allowing Him to teach us Himself.
Come Up And See My Plan
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son
so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. John 3:16,17 When we look at the plan of salvation for mankind, we can see that a loving and thoughtful God set into action a way for all to be saved. This plan was not born out of anger or frustration on the part of God; it was done because He loves us. We know how much God loves us because we have felt his love and because we believe him when he tells us that he loves us dearly. God is love, and anyone who lives in love is living with God and God is living in him. I John 4:6 The cause of Christ was not, as many have made it seem, to build up religious bodies and call themselves every imaginable name under heaven nor was it for man to set himself up as the authority of God on earth. The cause of Christ was to rid this world of the one who keeps it in a sinful state and thus He came to draw all men to Himself that all might be saved, and that all might be victorious over the flesh (selfish desires) and sin. The time of the judgment for the world has come and the time when Satan, the Prince of this world, shall be cast out. And when I am lifted up, I will draw every one to me. John 12:31,32 If we can get beyond the fleshy understanding of the life, death and resurrection of Christ and see with heavenly vision what God the Father and God the Son were doing, then we will have a totally new experience with Them. If we would do this, the arguments of the centuries, the deep discussions of theology, would find their answers in the single act of the ultimate form of Godly love. Those proclaiming God’s love in their life would pass beyond the human level of authority and see that the life, death and resurrection of Christ was for the throwing out of Satan and the lifting up of God. Mankind must see that all authority and all truth belong to God. But so often, for the sake of pride and the realization of how much money can be made, they will not move forward into His Kingdom. For the love of money is the root of all evil. . . I Tim 6:10 ...I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him. It is the 14
same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in heaven, far, far above any other king or ruler or dictator or leader. Yes, his honor is far more glorious than that of anyone else in this world or in the world to come. and God has put all things under his feet and made him the supreme head of the church which is his body, filled with himself, the Author and Giver of everything everywhere. Eph 1:19-23 If we will see it, God has a place for us to fill, and a job to do that goes far beyond where we have gone before. And he has made us kingdoms and priests to God and his father; to him be the glory and Dominion forever and ever. Amen Rev 1:6 And has made us to our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. Rev 5:10 This title and rank is given to a special group of people who believe. But this belief must make a difference in those who accept this position, for they now exist with God in heaven. And has raised us up together, and has made us to sit together in heavenly places in Jesus Christ. Eph 2:6 This existence of heavenly living has an effect on the one living there, just as one is a product of his or her environment. To live with God is to become One with Him. Therefore, if Christ is our High Priest, and He has made us priest and kings, then we will come to the point where our actions become just like the actions of our King and Priest because He has become One with His people. Yet it must be realized that many refuse this picture because they believe that this is a future condition yet to come. To state that this is a future event and not a present reality is to ignore the statement of 'being raised up with him' as being spoken of His resurrection. And also that this statement is written in the present tense, not future tense, and Christ is already risen from the dead. What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Rom 6:1-4 15
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. Col 2:9-12 When we can see that this is true, that we have been raised up into heaven with Christ, and that we are priests and kings, then what God says about those who worship him becomes understandably clear. But the time is coming and is now when genuine worshipers will worship the father in Spirit and in Truth; for the father is looking for such as his worshipers. God is Spirit and his worshipers must worship him in Spirit and in Truth. John 4:23,24 We want to get beyond the fleshly (surface) view of this text, and see it with Spirit filled vision, for God exists on a level of higher understanding, and in order to worship Him we must come to that place or our worship is in vain. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Matt 15:9 For the sake of keeping the status quo, mankind to often continues to worship God in the flesh and not in Spirit and Truth. They refuse anything other than what is already accepted as truth in their area of influence. The Spiritual Journey is one of victory and seeking the deeper things of God. If it is filled with complacency and tradition, then the journey will only go as far as those who believe they are leading it. The wheel stayed for centuries in its basic form of wood, all because of the lack of imagination and invention. Even in the introduction of the automobile the wheel changed very little. It was not until someone came up with a new idea, that the wheel changed at all. Many a person, like the wheel, have traveled in the same circle only to end up where they began. They have studied the scriptures from a physical ( fleshly\surface ) viewpoint and have, as of this day, yet to understand the deeper mysteries of God. And sadly, when a spiritual understanding comes, they throw it and its presenter out. ‘We have what God has given us, and we are what we are because God has made us, and nothing is going to change that’ are the words heard over and over again. But does this answer the questions? NO!!! Then Jesus called to the crowds and said, "Listen to what I say and try to understand: You aren't made unholy by eating 16
non kosher food! It is what you say and think that makes you unclean." Then the disciples came and told him, "You offended the Pharisees by that remark." Jesus replied, "Every plant not planted by my father shall be rooted up, so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and both will fall into a ditch." Matt 15:10-14 If only a surface value is put on the scriptures, then the deeper meanings of God's Word will never be understood. As with the Pharisees, many have put values on the Word of God that have lead people to only a surface relationship with God and the deeper thoughts of God are not allowed to permeate the mind. Heavenly thoughts are not natural to the carnal mind, but with constant effort to allow God in and to push Satan out (through the blood of Jesus Christ and His power and authority) then we will become heavenly minded, and that which was not natural now becomes natural. God is waiting to bestow upon us gifts beyond our wildest dreams. Gifts that allow us to be caught up with Him, where this world grows vaguely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.
Come Up And Receive My Faith
To live with God means to partake of His nature and what He offers us. To live by His Love means to understand how He lives, and how He runs His kingdom. And to live by His authority means to trust Him completely.
Note this: Wicked men trust themselves alone, and fail; but the righteous man trusts in Me (has faith in me) and lives! Hab 2:4 One of the most important parts of any relationship is trust. If that is not established at the beginning, then the relationship that is needed to form a lasting friendship never matures past the introductory stage. And if a person cannot put full trust in God and know Him as their friend and misunderstands His character of Love, then he or she cannot or will not ever have the ability to stand in His presence in full peace, with power and authority on their side. For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. II Tim 1:7 God loves us and desires that we all come to this relationship with Him and a higher plane of thinking where He can teach us His deeper mysteries. But to accomplish this we must first have faith that He is who He says He is, and that He will do what He says He will do, and that He has done what He says He has done. For we walk by faith, not by sight. II Cor 2:9 Many refuse this understanding of Scripture and are determined that heaven literally has gold streets and that angels have pink fluffy wings. With this view, they determine in their own minds just what is to be applied in a physical understanding and just what is to be applied in a spiritual sense. They view the Bible in a legal context through the teachings of those who believe that the Word of God is to be only read in a certain way. They separate the spiritual understanding of the scriptures from its physical connotation. Thus all that is seen is the “letter” of the law. But the “letter” of the law is only what is seen on the surface and thus many a statement is made that leads people to believe a misconception or a misinterpretation of the Word of God; and instead of living by faith, they live by what they can physically see. But the “deeper mysteries”, the “spiritual” secrets of God are those things that are seen with heavenly vision that goes beyond surface boundaries and human reasoning. Then the Pharisees approached him to test him. They asked. 18
" is it right to divorce one's wife for every given reason?" (Moses had given them that right) He replied, "Have you not read that from the beginning the creator made them male and female, and said, On this account a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What God then has joined, man must not separate." They said to him, "Why then did Moses command to give a divorce certificate and to dismiss her?" He answered them, "Due to your hardheartedness Moses permitted you to divorce your wives, but it was not that way from the beginning.” Matt 19:3-8 If a person continues to see the Word of God using surface understanding (even seeing what they believe are direct words from God), they will make the same mistakes as did the Pharisees of old. They will believe things about God and imagine that what they are seeing is the way of God; when in fact, all they are seeing is little portions of the total story that was never intended to be understood in that fashion. If the scriptures are read in this way, they will be misunderstood and misapplied when teaching them to others. When we study God’s Word from beginning to end, we will begin the walk of faith, where we come up to heavenly places and see with God’s vision the things He has desired for man to know from the foundations of the world.
Come Up And See Tomorrow
History has played a big role in religious circles. Many have used it to help them study the Bible. But it can produce a negative effect: instead of seeing deeper into the desire that God has for mankind, only surface values of war, strife and the day-to-day living are often seen. Such is the case when Bible students study prophecy. Instead of seeing history and what lies just ahead of them in a spirit filled perspective, they have often been taught:
1. 2. 3. 4. to view Jerusalem as a literal geographical area on this earth; that when they see swords and battle armor, they are to interpret it as human warfare; that it will happen at a literal place on earth; and that all of this understanding be wrought from an idea of prophecy having a meaning of future event(s) to come.
This scenario is played out over and over again despite scriptural references that there is a spiritual understanding of it and instead they are not taught to see the spiritual understanding of what they are reading. Ignorance of the fact that God has a higher level of thinking for his people has caused many to see everything in the scriptures on an earthly or fleshly level. Yet scripture speaks of a higher Jerusalem, a spiritual battle, a higher temple, and a greater building process going on than that of physical mansions for the saints, and the paving of literal streets of solid gold, or the fighting of physical battles. But Jerusalem that is above is free, which is the mother of us all. Gal 4:26 Therefore, you are no longer strangers and immigrants, but you are fellow citizens with the Saints and members of God's household; you are constructed on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, of which the cornerstone is Christ Jesus. The whole building, framed together in him, rises into a temple that rises together for a dwelling of God in the Spirit. Eph 2:19-22 Now before anyone becomes confused or annoyed thinking that we are saying that there are no physical meanings or any historical applications, other than in a spiritual understanding, may this be said in defense of a literal or physical application. God himself spoke of things that have happened both on this earth and in heaven. What we are saying is, that just as He made references to the physical, He spoke of a spiritual Kingdom and understanding of His Word. 20
While on this earth, Christ tried to take the eyes of the people off of themselves, and help them to look up and see a greater Temple and a God they did not know. He tried to help them to understand that through their ignorance and lack of spiritual vision, they had made earthly things holy that He never meant to be made holy. He tried to help them to come to a whole new understanding of His True Temple in heaven, not the one they felt so proud of here on this earth. Blind guides! Woe upon you! For your rule is that to swear by God's temple means nothing you can break that oath, but to swear by the gold in the temple is binding! Blind fools! Which is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifies the gold? And you say that to take an oath by the altar can be broken, but to swear by the gifts of the altar is binding! Blind! For which is greater, the gift on the altar or the altar its self that sanctifies the gift? When you swear by the altar you are swearing by it and everything on it, and when you swear by the temple you are swearing by it, and by God who lives in it. And when you swear by heaven you are swearing by the throne of God and by God himself. Matt 23:16-22 What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." 2 Cor 6:15-16 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Rev 3:12 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. Rev 21:22-23 By misinterpreting the scriptures, and taking out of context what God had spoken, and looking only at the surface value or the letter of the law, the Jewish nation and their leaders had complicated the scriptures so well that only someone who was learned in the schools of the prophets could explain them. The average person could never hope to understand them on a personal level. Today this same procedure has been duplicated. Those who do not seek to move up in God need to have the scriptures interpreted for them by those who are thought to be learned in the ways of the Word. Thus the understanding of scripture and the experience that goes with it is left to those who must become schooled in the understanding of Scripture in order to see the deeper secrets of God. Many walk in ignorance of the Word of God and blindly follow what their leaders command, yet God has spoken that we have no need that any man teach us. You have no need that any man teach you. I John 2:27 Many have given over the spiritual experience that God has wanted each person to have in seeking truth for themselves, and have given that glorious experience over to the learned men. Have we become as so many others before us,
as our forefathers, and have turned away from God by failing to become partakers in His divine nature and falling short of the place in God where our experience becomes His and His becomes ours? The experience of studying prophecy through earthly eyes while discounting any spiritual meaning causes many to misunderstand it (for only learned man can ever hope to understand such a complicated matter). Yet many believe that they have the truth and are going to tell others about it when in fact by their own admission they do not even understand the Word of God. So evangelistic seminars have been rushed to the rescue saying, “Now there is no need to know the deeper things of God, for we will supply a learned man to come and teach the people so they may feel comfortable in what they do not understand in the scriptures.” "I know you well—you are neither hot nor cold; I wish you were one or the other! But since you are merely lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, 'I am rich, with everything I want; I don't need a thing!' And you don't realize that spiritually you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. My advice to you is to buy pure gold from me, gold purified by fire--only then will you truly be rich. And to purchase from me white garments, clean and pure, so you won't be naked and ashamed; and to get medicine from me to heal your eyes and give you back your sight.” Rev 3:15-18 Ignorance of the Word of God has made it easy to disobey and ignore the very essence of God's Word. But this ignorance is not without its price. It has brought about the destruction of millions and millions of God's children. And today His Word is as true as it has ever been. “...my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.” Hosea 4:6 The plan of God has been for His people to be knowledgeable of the time in which they are living and to be a witness to the world about a God who never leaves or forgets His people. His plan has been for everyone to know Him and to love Him. But that is not the way it has been. The view of a God who writes in a language too difficult to understand, and then tells people to obey it, and changes His way of dealing with them from one generation to another, does not portray an all loving God. So today, many fear Him and obey Him out of a survival mode. And modern day religion’s view of God’s words to His people (prophecy) has taken on an aspect of a God of wrath who will visit this world in judgment and bring His rod of iron down upon the heads of those who have misused his name. From the Secret Rapture theory to the many studies in Daniel and Revelation, the fleshly or surface understanding of prophecy has caused many to never know if their salvation is sure or to know God as a trustworthy and faithful friend.
Come Up And See The Secrets Of Heaven
In the Spiritual Journey, the walk of a child of God draws them closer and closer to Christ and puts them in a place where they can see the Truth more clearly. This connection with God is a relationship built into what is called Faith. As the child of God continues to grow in Him they see the relationship that Daniel, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah had with God and why they were so close to Him and He could use them as He did. These men who lived thousands of years ago did not have to wait until Christ came to receive heavenly vision and to see the deeper meanings of God's Word. They saw with clear vision heavenly things that go beyond earthly sight. They spoke from a position that went beyond man’s understanding, and were led by God into His ‘Kingdom view’. Yet today, those who make claim to be children of God show that they see the Word of God as out of reach and not to be full understood until sometime in eternity. They have learned to misuse the Scriptures just to argue or to prove their point.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Cor 13:12 There is an old saying, “here a little and there a little, but what about the rest?” If a person understands in part but not in whole they will never be able to come to a spiritual conclusion on any matter. For if you only read a part, then that's all you will know only a part. But if God’s Word is read in its entirety then more information can be gathered and people can come to a more truthful conclusion of the matter. Sadly, much of scripture is understood only in part. Very little is presented in its entirety. Instead it is presented in a fashion of “here a little and there a little.” Because of this kind of presentation and study many have come to a conclusion that a text like I Cor 13:12 is meant to be read as some futuristic event that is still to take place. Yet, if each person will read all of God’s Word to the end, they will see that it is in fact about their relationship with Jesus Christ. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see 23
but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1 Cor 13:6-12 The thought here is about growing up in the Word, that when growing up in the study of God's Word each person will see how much they know now in comparison to when they first began to study. The spiritual walk with God is like the growth from childhood to adulthood. Each person continues to look forward as though they are still a child in the learning process, for they see that there is so much to know. Therefore there is no reason to believe that much of the Scripture cannot be understood until Christ comes. I Cor 13:6-12 is then understood like this: ‘But when grown up thinking comes, the childish thoughts will pass away. When I was a child and my thoughts were imperfect, I spoke like a child speaks, and I thought childish things, I therefore reasoned like a child does. But when I grew up and my thinking patterns became more mature or perfected, I no longer dealt in childish behaviors and thoughts. Now, as children trying to look in a mirror that seems out of reach, we see a poor reflection, but when we grow up, we will see face to face.’ If we will grow up and see beyond the surface values of what we have been taught, and see deeper into the Word of God, we will find the real meaning of His Word. This text, as many, points out that we need to grow up and get out of the baby stage where we have been stuck. And if we can see heaven in this kind of spiritual thought pattern, then we are bound to have a whole new experience in our walk with God and see His magnificent character of Love. And God uses many analogies to show us His kingdom, His character and what He desires us to be. In Ezekiel 47 He lays before us another analogy, this time it is speaking of the River of Life. Then he brought me back to the door of the Temple. I saw a stream flowing eastward from beneath the Temple and passing to the right of the altar, that is, on its south side. Then he brought me outside the wall through the north passageway and around to the eastern entrance, where I saw the stream flowing along on the south side [of the eastern passageway]. Measuring as he went, he took me 1,500 feet (457.2 meters) east along the stream and told me to go across. At that point the water was up to my ankles. He measured off another 1,500 feet (457.2 meters) and told me to cross again. This time the water was up to my knees. Fifteen hundred feet (457.2 meters) after that it was up to my waist. Another 1,500 feet (457.2 meters) and it had become a river so deep I wouldn't be able to get across unless I were to swim. It was too deep to cross on foot. He told me to keep in mind what I had seen, then led me back along the bank. And now, to my surprise, many trees were growing on both sides of the river! He told me: "This river flows east through the desert and the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea, where it will heal the salty 24
waters and make them fresh and pure. Everything touching the water of this river shall live. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will be healed. Wherever this water flows, everything will live. Fishermen will stand along the shores of the Dead Sea, fishing all the way from Engedi to Eneglaim. The shores will be filled with nets drying in the sun. Fish of every kind will fill the Dead Sea just as they do the Mediterranean! But the marshes and swamps will not be healed; they will still be salty. All kinds of fruit trees will grow along the riverbanks. The leaves will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit. There will be a new crop every month-- without fail! For they are watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for medicine." Ezek 47:1-12 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. Ps 46:4 This river is Life (God’s immutable character) and those who come in contact with it are changed and healed by it and find peace in it. This water is not made up of two parts oxygen and one part hydrogen, it is made up of the Love of God, and it flows from those who believe in Him. “For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water shall flow from the inmost being of anyone who believes in me." John 7:38 This river has its beginnings from the Author of us all. It finds its strength from God in heaven and flows out to those who will experience the power of God and will take the Spiritual Journey that leads to the throne room of the Lamb. And he pointed out to me a river of pure Water of Life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb. Rev 22:1 If we will reach beyond the surface reading of Scripture and try to see into the very throne room of God, we will be privileged to drink of the water from which we will never thirst of again. This water is the Spirit of God, and its life giving properties cause the sinner to be reborn again, to be refreshed and to bear fruit in every season. ...coursing down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew Trees of Life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month; the leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. Rev 22:2 25
Language has often proven to be a barrier in understanding truth throughout history. And as well as many have tried they have come short of seeing the spiritual meaning of scripture. With this kind of understanding they have taught the same misunderstanding to others and have built doctrinal beliefs around these misinterpretations. Today we see what divisions this has caused in religious circles and what kind of intolerance has been handed down from generation to generation. Those who are supposed to be acting like they have the Love of God in their hearts, are instead breeding misunderstandings that have caused them to hate each other and to fear the One who wants to give them the power to be victorious. They have a form of Godliness, but deny It’s power. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power: from such turn away. 2 Tim 3:5 Many have not realized what they have been doing in the name of God and how they have misunderstood His Word and misused His character. Yet many look at those who claim to be children of God and see the hatred and disharmony that these teachings have brought about and how anyone who does not believe what they claim as truth is unsaved; and they say to themselves: ‘if this is the way to truth, then I want nothing to do with it.’ Sadly they have a legitimate reason for not wanting anything to do with this kind of god and the sad part is that most will not recognize this fact and thus only continue to present a distorted view of God and His Word. The question then arises, “Will there ever be those who will exemplify the character of Christ”? Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men's advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God. But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely. They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper. Ps 1:1-3 Praise the Lord, there are those who come to that place of knowledge, but the numbers are not high. For the pomp and glory that only this world can give and for the desire to be comfortable in one's belief, most will not allow themselves to be put in a position of what they see as ‘rocking the boat.’ Many are called, but few are chosen. Matt 22:14 But for those who choose to work with God, it is said of them; “...blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and has made the Lord his hope and confidence. He is like a tree planted along a riverbank, with its roots reaching deep into the water-- a tree not bothered by the heat nor worried by long months of 26
drought. Its leaves stay green, and it goes right on producing all its luscious fruit. Jer 17:7-8 There are many advantages and benefits of taking the Spiritual Journey, such as the experiences that God has for His people to enjoy so they may see the beauty of His Kingdom. His plan is for them to knock at His door and to seek His Truth. "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Luke 11:910
Come Up And Become My Own
Many have asked the question as to whether anyone can ever become perfect or sinless? They see themselves as imperfect, and realize that they do not match up to God's requirements as they understand them. Then they add to this understanding, their idea that God’s requirements are as they have been told to read them and not to see why God gave them in the first place. Because of the lack of spiritual eyesight into God's Word, they come up with a version of the character of God they call grace. This doctrine is built upon the premise that God loves them so much He would never destroy those who claim His name; and He would especially not do this if they were doing what they consider to be the will of God. Because of the traditional teachings, this kind of message is taught as the absolute Word of God despite how this teaching makes scripture speak against itself. This has made many feel religious and believe that they are all right with God.
"Not all who sound religious are really godly people. They may refer to me as 'Lord,' but still won't get to heaven. For the decisive question is whether they obey my Father in heaven. Matt 7:21 Despite good works and many good intentions, God will say to many who thought they deserve to be in heaven; “Depart from me.” “At the Judgment many will tell me, 'Lord, Lord, we told others about you and used your name to cast out demons and did many other great miracles.' But I will reply, 'You have never been mine. Go away, for your deeds are evil.” Matt 7:22-23 “Yes” they say, “that is correct, but that can't apply to me, I believe in God. Are you trying to tell me you are better than me? You are trying to condemn me, aren't you?” And soon, the one who wants to help is demonized and is looked down upon by the one who feels he or she is a Believer; and by doing so are then achieving what they believe their Lord would do in the same situation. The struggle to see deeper into the Word of God has never been so great, yet the struggle for truth must go on. The question must be answered; ‘will the real child of God please stand up?’ The deeper Words of God call for a higher level of understanding of His character. But the position of the major portion of those who claim to be chil28
dren of the King is: they have seen in the Bible that they have an advocate with the Father and that He (Christ) lives to make intercession for them by continually bringing His blood before the Father and asking for the forgiveness of their sins. They then build their many doctrines on this, when in fact if the rest of the story was told, they would see that the scriptures unveil a most blessed picture of just what He did by being the sacrificial Lamb for mankind. He never needs the daily blood of animal sacrifices, as other priests did, to cover over first their own sins and then the sins of the people; for he finished all sacrifices, once and for all, when he sacrificed himself on the cross. Heb 7:27 Christ fulfilled (filled it up, bring to an end) the need for sacrifice. What we need to understand though is the meaning of sacrifice. It was for the annulling or washing away of sin. But due to the belief or excuse used by so many that states “I can't ever become perfect,” they continue to seek a god that will continually officiate as a Levitical priest, one who will accept the sin offering (confessionary prayer) and take it before the Father to ask Him to forgive them. The Scriptures tell us that Christ did that once and for all at the cross. The question of whether ‘will we be forgiven’ seems out of place in this understanding; where instead it should be the knowledge of God’s Love for us and the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ as being enough to answer the question as to whether God loves us. And it should reflect our knowledge of the cross and that it is not God's willingness or unwillingness to forgive us, rather it is we who need to claim the forgiveness and start acting like a forgiven people, and go and sin no more. The Bible tells us in Hebrews that Christ is not a Levitical priest (one who must take the sins of the people before God to have them forgiven) but rather a priest after the order of Melchizedek. It is to be seen here that this priesthood is the one that has it’s beginning and ending in the throne room of God (a place of FULL power and FULL authority.) All power and all authority belong to this priesthood which is not built on a foundation of continual sacrifices for sin and the continual shedding of blood. He never needs the daily blood of animal sacrifices, as other priests did, to cover over first their own sins and then the sins of the people; for he finished all sacrifices, once and for all, when he sacrificed himself on the cross. Heb 7:27 That blood, that precious blood, was shed on the cross for the annulling or forgiveness of sin. There is no more blood to be shed, no more forgiveness that could be offered than that which was given at the cross. Our High Priest gave all that He could give. His Priesthood is the highest of any kind mentioned in the scriptures. What we are saying is this: Christ, whose priesthood we 29
have just described, is our High Priest and is in heaven at the place of greatest honor next to God himself. He ministers in the temple in heaven, the true place of worship built by the Lord and not by human hands. Heb 8:1-2 If we can rise above the surface values (the flesh) and see with Spirit-filled eyes, we will not miss the deep implications of God’s Word. Not only is the Melchizedek priesthood the greatest of all, but there is also a greater temple in heaven in which the Melchizedek Priest officiates. Again, God is trying to raise our vision to heavenly standards, not to earthly demands. I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. Rev 21:22 The temple of God has been presented before the people with four walls and all the furniture that the earthly temple had in it. Yet, Scripture says this view was brought to an end at the cross through the sacrifice of the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world. It must be seen then with heavenly vision that Christ is a high priest only after the order of Melchizedek, not Levi. The Levitical priesthood was one of continual shedding of blood and the constant need for the forgiveness of sin. Under the priesthood of Levi, the people never came into the rest of God due to the hardness of their hearts. They never came to the point where God could successfully bring the Melchizedek priesthood back into its original place. They would not obey God and keep His commandments. Thus, instead of going beyond the walls and furniture and rituals of the temple service and obeying God, they envisioned that what God had done in telling Moses of how to build the temple, was the form of worship that God required. Today, a large majority of the world feels that sin will always be a part of their lives (just like Israel did) and they continue to worship in temples made by man and then add to this belief that the standards of God have changed and though God no longer requires the law to be obeyed as Israel had too that they still must worship in the Levitical style of tithes and offerings and the offering up of much prayer, and this causes them to need a daily ritual of asking God to forgive them of their sins. God is then seen in this view of salvation that requires the Word of God to play the role of a Levitical priest, bringing before the throne the continual blood offering for forgiveness. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: I Jn 2:4-5 ...Get some sense and quit your sinning. For to your shame I say it; some of you are not even Christians at all and have never really known God. 1 Cor 15:34 30
Some say: “I don't sin because I am reborn, for the new man inside of me is now right with God.” But their actions and reactions to life do not show an intimate relationship between themselves and God. For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Matt 16:27 This does not say that all you need are works to get to heaven, but that by your works you are known as to who you serve. Good works are how the outward man shows that his inward or new man has given all of who he is, and has given all of what he is to God and has come into the will of God. All has been brought into subjection to the commandments of God and the power of God streams out of the new creature/creation. With spiritual vision we see that God has said that His people are not known for their evil deeds but are known for their good deeds. This is the way the outward man shows that he has come into contact with the Highest Power of all. But there is great sadness that many only see the surface value or teaching that has presented the works issue in such a way as to cause many to reject any kind of work as being a bad thing. They have said that any outward showing of sinless living must be from the Devil for no man is perfect or sinless. Then they use the Bible to back up this teaching and it is done without realizing that they have just made the rest of Scripture a lie. Then a demon-possessed man—he was both blind and unable to talk—was brought to Jesus, and Jesus healed him so that he could both speak and see. The crowd was amazed. "Maybe Jesus is the Messiah!" they exclaimed. But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle they said, "He can cast out demons because he is Satan, king of devils." Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, "A divided kingdom ends in ruin. A city or home divided against itself cannot stand. And if Satan is casting out Satan, he is fighting himself and destroying his own kingdom. And if, as you claim, I am casting out demons by invoking the powers of Satan, then what power do your own people use when they cast them out? Let them answer your accusation! But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. One cannot rob Satan's kingdom without first binding Satan. Only then can his demons be cast out.” Matt 12:22-29 From this point, those that take the position of non-perfected living, will not hear or believe anything else on the subject no matter how much of the Bible is read which disagrees with their belief. The problem lies at the door of tradition. Many have made definitive statements about what they believe the Bible says and have formed a religious movement around it and have designed their rulebooks and dogma to back it up and because the majority agree on the 31
issue and it has been held up as truth for so long, it is both taught and accepted on its own merits. Does this prove that what has been accepted and taught is truth, or does it show that even if God himself showed up in veiled human form as He did before, that today they would also refuse to listen to Him? This is where tradition has taken us. We will not allow God to speak to us for the sake of holding up a misunderstood belief about Him? Will we continue to shut off any avenue that God has for us to see deeper into His Word, or will we seek and knock until the door is opened and see with heavenly vision all of the wonders that God has waiting for us? All of this and more is possible if we will take this Spiritual Journey. If we will get beyond tradition and preconceived opinions, we will be in a position that God can now do for us and to us all the things He has wanted to do for almost 6000 years. Many cannot imagine that God could use such filthy vessels as they see themselves to be, but God does not see them that way. For they are spiritually undefiled, pure as virgins, following the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been purchased from among the men on the earth as a consecrated offering to God and the Lamb. No falsehood can be charged against them; they are blameless. Rev 14:4-5 God has a people who will show His character to the world. The question is, “will it be you and me?” But you are not like that, for you have been chosen by God himself-- you are priests of the King, you are holy and pure, you are God's very own-- all this so that you may show to others how God called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Pet 2:9 What a beautiful promise God made to those who would be called His very own, to be priests and kingdoms living in this world but not being a part of it. A pure and holy people set apart to do His will and His alone. We are, (not yet to be), kings and priests. We have been brought up to heavenly places with God. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Eph 2:6-7 Another reason for right living is this: you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for the coming of the Lord is nearer now than when we first believed. Rom 13:11
Will we answer the call, or will we continue to stay right where we are and fight any attempt that comes our way to see the Word of God in any new light? Time is running out. As the old song says; The Lord is coming, are you ready The Lord is coming, are you ready If He came tonight, would your heart be right The Lord is coming, are you ready?
Come Up And See The Lamb And His Christ
For just then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there
were loud voices shouting down from heaven, "The Kingdom of this world now belongs to our Lord, and to his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever. Rev 11:15 The body of Christ, the church of Christ, the temple of Christ, the dwelling place of the most High. These are all ways God has referred to His people who live in Him and worship Him. These are they who have overcome as He has and sit with Him/in Him on His throne just as He sat in the Father on His throne. (And for those who are wide awake they quickly realize that all they are seeing is One throne and One God sitting there on it.) This is the body of Christ, those who live in Him and are His body which is Him. These are those who have overcome and become a part of Him. They have taken on His name just like an adopted child takes on the name of the one who adopted them. Therefore all that is seen when we look at the throne is one person who sits there, GOD! To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. Rev 3:21...I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal 2:20 This action of “sitting with the Father” is an authoritative remark, but that should not be a hard thing to understand when Christ has made us kings and priests. What seems hard for many to understand is how God could let sinners rule with Him in any seat of authority. What we fail to see is that God's view of those who are truly His, is not one of being inferior, but instead, being virgins, blameless, first fruits, sons of God, not sinners. What keeps us from obtaining this stature is that Satan steps in and deceives us and makes us feel unworthy. This great Dragon-- the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world-- was thrown down onto the earth with all his army. Rev 12:9 Any deception that would cause us to doubt God and His Word is not from God! What God says, He will do, and what He said He would do He has done. These are promises we can claim and prophecy we can count on. God cannot 34
nor would not lie! He has given us both his promise and his oath, two things we can completely count on, for it is impossible for God to tell a lie. Now all those who flee to him to save them can take new courage when they hear such assurances from God; now they can know without doubt that he will give them the salvation he has promised them. Heb 6:18 God is not deceived. He knows what He has done. It is only mankind that is so easily convinced (due, of course, to the lack of knowledge that could have been theirs) that God hates us or that God is just waiting to destroy us, or that God will one day get even with those who are evil. These deceptions of Satan, and many more have convinced people throughout time that it is a hopeless battle against his power, yet God has made us priests and kings and this position is one of power and authority over Satan. The seventy returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” Luke 10:17-19 This is not talking about real scorpions or real snakes. It is referring to demons and satanic powers. God has given power and authority to be overcomers, and to wield that authority over Satan and take back the territory (our dominion/our lives) that he has made claim to for so long. This is the reason why Christ can claim us as His. His own have claimed back their dominion (through co-rulership with God) in His name, as we must do when we pick up our cross and follow Him. Christ won the battle against evil when Satan made claim to this world and became the prince of the air. That is the reason God refers to Satan as the prince of this world and tells those who are willing to listen that they their fight is not against each other but against the spiritual forces in heavenly places.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Eph 6:12 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. John 14:29-31
We need to act the part that Christ has asked us to as priests and kings, to win the battle over sin and Satan and make claim to our domain as God's Kingdom. We must see this through Spirit-filled eyes or we will see only hopelessness in the struggle over sin and Satan and we will make claims that are not Scriptural. The world is watching. What is it seeing; a people with the power of heaven on their side or a people with just a feeling of power? God says each person will be able to say, “there is a child of God” when they see the works or character of the person. Emotions will not determine it, the religious organizations of today will not decide it, the world will not feel it, but all will see it with open eyes and will have to make a decision for or against Christ. No one will be left out. All will know the Lord God on that day. And no one then will need to speak to his friend or neighbor or brother, saying, 'You, too, should know the Lord,' because everyone, great and small, will know me already. Heb 8:11 The priesthood of God will be known as it was known before. No one on that day will have to seek for someone to tell about Christ. It will be all around them. The world and the true believer will be so different from each other that no one will have to guess as to which is which. The question is, ‘will you and I be the correct representation of Christ on this earth; will we see through Spiritfilled eyes the Truth about God?’ The whole Universe is waiting for our decision and time will tell who is truly seeking for more Truth. May it be said of us: “Well done My good and faithful servant, enter into My rest.” God’s love will be seen through His Anointed and no one will be ignorant of His cry for them to come into His kingdom and receive His gift of salvation.
[Abram] believed, (trusted in, relied on, remained steadfast to the Lord); and He counted it to him as righteousness [right standing with God.] Gen 15:6 From the beginning, God has poured upon humanity a Love that is never ending and ever abounding. This Love of His has caused Him to be hurt and at times to be ashamed that He ever created man. Yet, through all of this, His Love has never ceased or failed anyone, anywhere. Abraham knew this Love, when, despite his misinterpretation of God’s promise, God still loved him and did not count his stumbling against Him; but instead counted his desire to Him as “righteousness” (perfection). Man has tried to understand the Love of God in many ways, and in many different times of this world’s history, but has failed to find the Love that Abraham found in knowing God. They say that they have it, yet find a reason or ability to allow anger, hate, resentment, and a myriad of selfish motivations and emotions to be brought before the Lord God day after day. These supposedly ‘hidden’ sins are coddled and kept by many who claim to know the Lord. The world looks at these kinds of actions as hypocritical, and churches find it harder and harder to fill their pews. So programs are brought in that offer love through entertainment and or those programs that try to instill within the laity an idea of love that resembles that of their Lord. Yet, despite these attempts the people still lack The Love of an all forgiving, always giving God. Abraham knew this Love, that even though his life did not always go the way he expected and hoped, God never left him nor forgot him. When Abraham needed an answer, God gave it and when he talked with Him he knew he was talking to a friend. So what is the difference between Abraham and many who claim to be His children? What is it that they lack or need, to be able to talk with God as Abraham did? Let's look at these questions a little closer. Lets see what answers God has for us to see in his Word. Let's start at…..
One of the questions that have been brought up in many circles is, ‘what was God’s original plan with Israel and with whom did it start?’ To answer these questions we must look at the repeated attempts by God to have a people who would be His lights to the world and would help prepare for a great harvest of souls. These attempts have not brought the response that God was pursuing. Yet, in all of these attempts there has been a solid line that never wavered or changed one iota. That constant was known as The Promise. The Israelites believed that one day a Messiah would be born who would rule the world with a rod of iron and they would be the beneficiaries of the kingdom God had promised to father Abraham. They believed that through the covenant made with Abraham, they were the rightful heirs to the Kingdom of God and owners of the property called Jerusalem. This understanding led them to believe that they could do nothing to cause the anger of God to ever punish their nation in any way, or would cause them to be at odds with their God. They believed that the covenant could never be broken because they were Abraham’s descendants.
"Abraham is our father," they answered. John 8:39 Israel held to the belief that if God says He loves you then you must be O.K. or specially favored in His eyes. What they failed to realize is that God is not a respecter of persons or position and rank. He has spoken His Word of who He can use and who shows themselves to not be a part of His Kingdom. He made it very clear just who belongs to Him and who is a child of the devil. He then began to speak to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed. "He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, 'They will respect my son.' "But the tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. "What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have38
n't you read this scripture: "'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?" Mark 12:1-11 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44-45 Today, many believe that what they understand to be true is the truth and thus come to the same conclusion as their forefathers, that they are the remnant and therefore especially favored among men and heirs to the promise through father Abraham. (At this point, it may be a good time to look at this promise given to Abraham and see exactly what God said. ) Now [in Haran], the Lord said to Abram, go for yourself from your relatives and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you [with abundant increase of favors] and make your name famous and distinguished, and you shall be a blessing – dispensing good to others. Gen 12:1-2 This promise has been interpreted by most of the religious world as a promise to bring the nation of Israel (through Isaac) and the nation of Palestine (through Ishmael) into existence. But does God’s Word support that? That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in your seed [Christ] shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice. Gen 22:17-18 “...and you are heirs (sons) of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, 'Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.' When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you By Turning Each Of You From Your Wicked Ways.” Acts 3:25-26 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed (Christ). The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, 39
who is Christ... There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:16,28 God, in His great wisdom, spoke in His Word to His people throughout the ages. Yet many prefer to be only surface readers. But when we dig deeper into the Word of God we will see a greater picture unfold, a greater value that is attached to that which we once saw as just a story of the past. Here we can see it with spiritual eyesight—that God is calling Abraham’s seed, God’s only Son. This was not to be applied to Isaac or Ishmael, for they could not be sent for the remission of sins. God's love reached down through time and would find its final fulfillment in greater movements than just setting up human nations or kingdoms. “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day [My incarnation]; he saw it and was glad.” “You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!" "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I Am!" John 8:56-58 Now Abraham died long before Jesus Christ was born, therefore, was not present on that day, yet, he gloried in that day for he saw it with heavenly vision. He walked and talked with God as a friend and it was revealed to him as from one friend to another. And the love of God is brought down to us through His Promise which He gave to those before us. Through this Promise we claim victories over sin and Satan. And he raised us altogether with him and made us to sit down together – giving us a joint seating with him – in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus, the Messiah, the Anointed One. Eph 2:6 The Promise made to Abraham was one of the Spirit of adoption not the claim of being a blood relative. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Rom 8:15 In order to understand the Promise made to Abraham we must first cross the chasm of traditional teaching and see with Spirit [Christ] filled eyes what He wants to give to us and the journey He wants for us to take. There is a journey, a Spiritual Journey that goes beyond our first understanding of the promise through Abraham. The flesh has not allowed us to travel beyond the teachings of men yet we need to see the deeper meaning that the Lord, the I Am, Yashua, Jehovah revealed to those who would see the Promise that spoke 40
of an eternal Kingdom that went beyond mountain ranges and arguments over who owns what. It went way beyond anyone, anywhere, being able to claim themselves as the rightful heirs. Those who were to be called the children of Abraham were those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. This crosses all possible boundaries or religious beliefs that claim they are the heirs. Everyone who loves God is one of God's children and an heir to the throne. But if only this would mean that all would be saved.
"So the last will be first, and the first will be last....” "For many are invited, but few are chosen." Matt 20:16 & 22:14 But all receive the boundless care and love of a God who loves His creation. "There is a saying, 'Love your friends and hate your enemies.' But I say: Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way you will be acting as true sons of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust too. If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even scoundrels do that much. If you are friendly only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even the heathen do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matt 5:43 How many have taken these things to heart, or have known these things? How many have received the eternal blessings that have been laying in store for them? It is most likely to be said without worry of offense: But the Gateway to Life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it. Matt 7:14 The Father and the Son have throughout time tried to raise the view of humanity to a higher level where they would then see with Spiritual eyesight the deeper meanings of His Word. So many conflicts over a piece of ground or over a religious body would never have occurred if only it would have been realized that the Promise has always been a promise of an eternal, unshakable Kingdom, a Kingdom not of this world. Then he said to them, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not...Then Jesus answered, "I am not an earthly king. If I were, my followers would have fought when I was arrested by the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of the world." John 8:23 & 18:36 So let's go beyond the elementary understanding and pass into the next level of study. Let's find out where God is trying to lead us. Let’s walk down this way called the narrow road or highway of holiness.
The Highway of Holiness
And a main road will go through that once-deserted land; it
will be named "The Holy Highway." No evil-hearted men may walk upon it. God will walk there with you; even the most stupid cannot miss the way. Isa 35:8 At different times, many have sought wisdom from those they saw as wise in the Word, but now is the time for maturity in the Word. A relationship between man and God becomes pertinent to see the deeper meaning of what God has spoken through His Word, as with this highway called the Holy Way. This Holy Way is one road. An attempt has been made to make this road mean many roads and in church doctrine they have said there are many ways to God, yet Christ has said: "I am the Way—yes, and the Truth and the Life. No one can get to the Father except by means of me." John 14:6 "Heaven can be entered only through the narrow gate! The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide enough for all the multitudes who choose its easy way. But the Gateway to Life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it." Matt. 7:13-14 There is a wide path or many ways that lead to destruction, but only one way that leads to eternal life. This highway of holiness was a Promise given to Abraham that if he walked with God he and his posterity would be given the land that God had promised him, an eternal Kingdom. Abraham’s posterity (those who believe in God) were to be partakers in this eternal Kingdom. But it did not take long before his posterity lost sight of this eternal Kingdom and began looking for a piece of property. Many have not seen the deeper meaning of the Promise, that God was speaking of a heavenly Kingdom not some earthly real-estate. “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day. He knew I was coming and was glad." The Jewish leaders: "You aren't even fifty years old – sure, you've seen Abraham!" Jesus: "The absolute truth is that I was in existence before Abraham was ever born!" John 8:56-58 Abraham did not have to live to see Christ born, die and be raised up, he saw it all through the Melchizedek priesthood. He saw the love of God and His saving Power. He saw God's forgiveness and mercy and stood clean before his Lord. Abraham walked and talked with God and God unveiled to him what He has been trying to say to all of us; and those who walk this highway of holiness 42
stand clean and pure as Abraham before them because of their willingness to obey God and do His will. "...because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws." Gen 26:5 The Love of God is immeasurable and is given to ALL. And to those who will listen and obey, He gives the greatest of all gifts, Eternal Life! The highway of Promise (Holiness) is based upon a decision. Will we let go and let God have ALL of us, or will we refuse His ever constant bidding and have our own way? Despite what we may want to believe, God's love for us alone does not make us into what we do not want to become. Because we were created as free moral agents we must make the decision and step out in the faith that what He has said He will do in us and that He will give to us whatever we ask in His name. Will we ask for overcoming power and become over-comers, or will we deny that He has the power to change us into a new person? The Promise given to Abraham was about a Spiritual piece of property and a people that would have faith in God, a faith that He could help keep them out of sin and become their life. These people would be given the title priest and kings, a holy nation, virgins and first fruits. As priests and kings they would rule with Him and for Him over kingdoms not of this world. In other words: The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor. 10:4-5 These first fruits or virgins follow the Lamb whereever He goes and join the good fight of faith that goes beyond human boundaries and as priests and kings they look beyond the surface values that were once put on the Scriptures and see with heaven's vision the true Jerusalem and the great controversy between God’s eternal Word and Satan’s attempt at misconstruing that Word. And if we will let God come into our lives we will become first fruits and citizens of that eternal Kingdom, the Jerusalem that is above. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. Gal 4:26 ...Abraham did this because he was confidently waiting for God to bring him to that strong heavenly city whose designer and builder is God. Heb 11:10 Our Kingdom, by Promise, is not of this world; it is a kingdom whose architect and builder is God Himself. We are truly just passing through; and we 43
have a higher hope and a goal to achieve that reaches beyond the stars.
If You Love Me
The Promise of God is for ALL and for ALL time. But the Promise of God is dependant upon obedience to His will. This is the very essence of knowing God, that is:
IF YOU REALLY LOVE ME, YOU WILL KEEP (OBEY) MY COMMAND. John 14:15 One of the most misunderstood pieces of Scripture ever received from God to mankind was the letter that many have called the law of Moses, yet this one piece of Scripture has brought more hate, anger and a denial of its need than almost any other in Scripture. Jesus said; “...because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Gen 26:5 “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad." John 8:56 People, throughout time, have made excuses for not obeying God. Yet the commandments of God have a part to play in our desire to know God and show our love and obedience to Him. Abraham rejoiced to see God's day, yet so often many think it’s a burden to do that which Abraham did. Is it really a burden to love God and keep His love request to us, or have we misinterpreted what God said? This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, I Jn. 5:3 God’s laws were set up to show the Spiritual cleanliness that needs to take place in the body temple. His precepts (instructions) were to be a teaching or a how-to instruction booklet of how this love shines out in day-to-day living. His commandments were His desire for His people to see how far they had fallen away from Him and what needed to be removed from them to serve Him and to be a living witness of what the Love of God does in each individual life. But the love of God was never to be a law of command. However, many see God as a commanding person, who, if He is not obeyed, will bring down Hell Fire upon those who do not make Him happy. Many fear Him for this very reason and shy away from Him; and this reason is often given to provide a need for saints to intercede on man’s behalf as well (acting as mediators between God and man.) This interpretation of the character of God has been taught by many through the centuries causing the world to see a God with a split personality. On the one hand God is seen as the ultimate expression of love, on the other hand He is seen to be as angry as the Devil.
Abraham rejoiced to see God’s day, he did not tremble and shrink in fear, for he talked with God and knew Him as his friend, not as a slave fears his master or as one may fear an enemy. Moses was a friend of God and met with Him face to face. These men did not need a law to remind them of their faults and sins, for God lived in their hearts. This is what the promise to Abraham was all about. If we will get beyond the human understanding of what the promise to Abraham was, we will see that what really took place between God and Abraham was a relationship between friends. This relationship was to be fulfilled by a coming Messiah, and a people that would have the faith of Abraham and Moses and would know the voice of their Shepherd. Just like a fireman goes into a burning building to seek and save someone who may be lost or unable to find their way out, Christ went into the midst of an unholy fire, kindled by lies through deceit, to save/call out those who were in the valley of the shadow of death. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. Jn. 10:4 God's love extends throughout eternity. But if the promise was all fulfilled in Abraham and his immediate descendants, then where is the eternal nation called Abraham (Abramites)? There is no such nation, but there are a people called according to The Promise; these are a holy nation, first fruits, and virgins that are undefiled of women (untouched by spiritual adultery.) The love of God reigns through these people. Well then, has God failed to fulfill his promises to the Jews? No! [For these promises are only to those who are truly Jews.] And not everyone born into a Jewish family is truly a Jew! Just the fact that they come from Abraham doesn't make them truly Abraham's children. For the Scriptures say that the promises apply only to Abraham's son Isaac and Isaac's descendants, though Abraham had other children too. This means that not all of Abraham's children are children of God, but only those who believe the promise of salvation which he made to Abraham. Rom. 9:6-8 With all the referrals to Abraham and The Promise, one would think that all that is necessary to understand about The Promise (the why's and wherefores and how's and when's) would be an understanding that those of Abraham’s seed must reach Christ the same way, through the same Love, the same Faith, with the same Law, precepts and commandments as did father Abraham (if we are going to serve the same God that NEVER changes.) "I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Mal 3:6 There were emergency measures used by God to teach the Israelites in the
wilderness things like: cleanliness of mind and body, purity of worship and obedience in love instead of slavery as the way as they were used to; and He did this because they had been brought up without this teaching. But the problem that has occurred over time is that many perceive this way that God worked as some kind of dispensation or as the way God always works. Yet the whole rest of Scripture reveals God showing compassion beyond measure as He did before the Israelite experience, showing the friend relationship that He would rather have with His people. But if we have our eyes open we see how God has shown that He will work within mans disobedience and misunderstandings to accomplish His will even though He desires obedience in Love rather than by force of death. The Love of God in judgment and mercy are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. It is man himself who sees them as diametrically opposed to each other and misunderstands that they are witnessing the diverse ways God has had to work with His people because of their disobedience and ignorance. If God were truly as vengeful as many imagine, THEN WE HAVE DONE WORSE THAN THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE US AND ARE WORTHY OF HIS IMAGINED WRATH 10 TIMES OVER. But God's mercy and justice were established before the foundations of the world’ they have not changed; and on this desire of Godly Love the whole universe rises or falls. Father, I want them with me—these you've given me—so that they can see my glory. You gave me the glory because you loved me before the world began! John 17:24 God's Love, through His Son Jesus Christ, has been and always will be the same, it is man's love that is faulty and in need of repair. If we mean what we say about our love for God then we are going to want to do what makes our God happy and pleased. Either we will act like Able and give the Lord God an acceptable sacrifice, or we will be like Cain who brought before God what he determined was right and just. Just like Hophni and Phinehas who kindled an unholy fire before the Lord, many bring before God their version of obedience of falling down and getting up and offer it before Him as their sacrifice when it really is an abomination. No matter the choice that is made, to act in disobedience or to obey the voice of God, His love never changes. But I say: Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way you will be acting as true sons of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust too. If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even scoundrels do that much. If you are friendly only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even the heathen do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matt 5:44-48
God Is Love
I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your seed after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. Gen 17:7 This is God's changeless promise of which Paul remarks: Dear brothers, even in everyday life a promise made by one man to another, if it is written down and signed, cannot be changed. He cannot decide afterward to do something else instead. Now, God gave some promises to Abraham and his Child. And notice that it doesn't say the promises were to his children, as it would if all his sons—all the Jews—were being spoken of, but to his Child—and that, of course, means Christ. Gal 3:15,16 The Promise, as is spoken here, is referring to Christ not Isaac or Ishmael. It is not speaking of land or seas but to an event, the birth of the Messiah. We can read this in a whole new light if we will only see that God is not interested in wars over property that is thought to belong to any one person or tribe because of a misinterpretation of His Word. God's Promise was given in the gift of His only Son, sent to live, die and rise to a glorified life for mankind. His life, death and resurrection did not happen for a struggle over any earthly kingdom, but was set in the backdrop of an eternal Kingdom that was not of this world. Paul continues on, and speaks of the law. Here's what I am trying to say: God's promise to save through faith—and God wrote this promise down and signed it—could not be canceled or changed four hundred and thirty years later when God gave the Ten Commandments. If obeying those laws could save us, then it is obvious that this would be a different way of gaining God's favor than Abraham's way, for he simply accepted God's promise. Well then, why were the laws given? They were added after the promise was given, to show men how guilty they are of breaking God's laws. But this system of law was to last only until the coming of Christ, the Child to whom God's promise was made. (And there is this further difference. God gave his laws to angels to give to Moses, who then gave them to the people; but when God gave his promise to Abraham, he did it by himself alone, without angels or Moses as gobetweens.) Gal 3:17-20 48
God's Love was sent in a Promised Child, His only Son to this world to be the Lamb slain, the ultimate Sacrifice, and this sacrifice would be for all sin (Satan’s) power, past, present, and future. God's Son shines out with God's glory, and all that God's Son is and does marks him as God. He regulates the universe by the mighty power of his command. He is the one who died to cleanse us and clear our record of all sin, and then sat down in highest honor beside the great God of heaven. Heb 1:3 He never needs the daily blood of animal sacrifices, as other priests did, to cover over first their own sins and then the sins of the people; for he finished all sacrifices, once and for all, when he sacrificed himself on the cross. Heb 7:27 The greatest of all gifts, the greatest of any promise, was met in one Person, one Lord, one Savior, Jesus Christ. What better gift could be given? Sin had lost its power and those who had been its prisoners were set free. For everything Satan tried to do, God took it to the cross so that we might be free from the grip of sin. So if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free-- John 8:36 Freedom is a wonderful thing but many have been weighted down by finding themselves in a constant spiral of sinning and asking for forgiveness where they are found trapped under a law that points out their sins. They have tried and tried to keep that which was only to point mankind to the Law Giver, but instead of coming into the fullness of the will of God and obeying His commands they have found what they believe supports their stand in the scripture and have denied obedience to God’s voice while they demand constant obedience to that which by their own actions they show they will not or cannot keep it themselves. But if the law was only to show sin in its real light and reveal the Savior, then what law was in question when the lawyer asked Christ:
"Sir, which is the most important command in the laws of Moses?" Jesus replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar: Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets stem from these two laws and are fulfilled if you obey them. Keep only these and you will find that you are obeying all the others." Matt 22:36-40 God's Love is enveloped in His first principles, the Law of heaven to 49
which the Angels themselves Live in. If sin would lose its grip upon mankind then they would live by the same Law that the Angels and father Abraham kept (that Law that Lives in the heart, not on tables of stone.) In other words, love that is established under law is a love based on conditions (not being unconditional.) That form of love ends in fear. On the other hand, the Love of Christ is unconditional, all forgiving and encompassing all. This Love is in contrast to the belief that Christ, or the saints in heaven are mediating between man and God because God needs to be asked to forgive us. If that were true man would need a go-between, a Levitical type of priest to beg for forgiveness on behalf of the person or people and then the work of the Heavenly High Priest would never be finished as long as people were asking for forgiveness from God. But this doctrine does not agree with the Word of God. For God so loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave us [his only-begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perishbut have eternal (everlasting) life. For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge-to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on-the world; but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. He who believes on Him-who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him-is not judged (he who trusts in Him never comes up in the judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation; he incurs no damnation). But he who does not believe (not cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already; (he has already been convicted; has already received his sentence) because he has not believed on and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God, He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ's name. John 3:16-18 God does not sit in a judgment seat and pass out condemnation or acceptance. In His Love He allows mankind to condemn (judge) themselves by their own choice to turn away from Him. Oh, that we would see that our Lord loves us so much that He allows us through our own decisions to be saved or lost and still rains His Love upon the righteous and the unrighteous alike. And to add to that, He has promised to give whatever we request of Him. In other words, if we ask for Him to come into our life and give us His abundant Life then He will give it. And if we ask for Him to leave us alone and we let Him know that we do not want life then He will also give us what we ask for. Life or death, blessings or curses, the choice is ours to make.
You Must Be Born Again
When Christ met with Nicodemus, He used these words to explain to him that the old self (the way he used to be) must be set aside and a whole new man must appear in the place of the old one. This kind of thinking goes beyond tradition and into whole new lines of thought where old preconceived opinions and biases must be set aside to understand just what is being said. This is the situation that occurred between Elijah and Elisha (II Kings 2.) Elisha saw beyond the surface of what was going to happen to Elijah and would not honor Elijah's request for him to stay behind while he prepared to leave. Elisha wanted and desired to have that which God had given to Elijah and would not settle for anything less. Oh, that we would desire to have a portion of that Spirit of God as did many who have gone before us. What a wonderful relationship of power and might we would have with God. The sons of the prophets could not turn Elisha from his desire. And over and over again he showed his willingness to do what it would take to reach this goal. Elisha would not be content to stand in the traditional understanding of the events that many knew would take place. He loved his friend and loved his God so much that those who did not see into the depths of God’s Love and workings could not persuade him. Many have been taught to believe, read and understand in such a way that when God comes to them in His way, they cannot understand and thus fail to see just what God is trying to reveal to them. As with the sons of the prophets in the days of Elisha, they only see the fleshly or surface value of what is happening right before their eyes. The converse of this is shown in the maturity of the child of God, in the understanding of the His Word. So many times we often show our immaturity in our failure to go beyond our forefathers, our leaders or our friends understanding of God's Word. God said to Nicodemus; "You must be born again." On the surface it seemed that Jesus was asking an impossible thing, but Jesus knew that Nicodemus thought like his forefathers and He was going to have to explain to him just what He meant. He revealed to him a new way of thinking and took Nicodemus in his mind to a whole new level of understanding of the Word of God. Nicodemus was shown by Christ that despite all the outward acting of righteousness (right doing), the heart (mind) must be changed to receive eternal life. The physical or fleshly level of thinking in the Word of God is only the beginning of wisdom. The deeper things of the Word are the maturity of the walk of the child of God. We all crave the baptism of God, yet the baptism we need, as did Nicodemus is to come to an at-one-ment (atonement) with God where the mind of Christ has replaced our old way of thinking and the new man now exists. Sadly, this atonement is skimmed right over and many times ignored in our refusal to go beyond where those who have traveled before us have gone.
If we do not go beyond traditional thinking we will be destined to continue to act out the same immaturity in our understanding of such things as: the law, the prophets, the precepts, the nature of God, the cross, the virgin birth of Christ, faith, works, miracles, prophecies, acts of the Spirit and the limitless topics in the Word of God. We will, without understanding, continue to literally toss out portions of Scripture that we believe were only written for others and for other times. We will ignore the very Word of God that states: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Tim 3:16-17 The Word of God is True, a Rock, a sure Foundation that is held up by the Cornerstone. All of Scripture points to the One God who "Does nothing lest he tells his prophets first." This principle of God holds fast and true no matter the time or place. God's love never changes. He has told us what He has done and what He wants to do and what He will do if we will let Him into our hearts. He wants to pour out on His people the Rain of Heaven that they may be thoroughly washed (bathed), tempered, prepared and equipped for every good work.
The Former And Latter Rain
Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD
your God: for he has given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. Joel 2:23 God in His infinite love, promised to give to Israel the former and latter Rain, without which there could be no harvest. Many believe that this Rain would be poured out in great measure at the end of time. Some have believed that it is poured out little bits at a time and others have stated that all of Scripture (the former and latter rain) was met in Christ and that all heaven was given in this one great gift, Jesus Christ the Messiah. Then what the Rain consists of is fulfilled in God. The Word of God came veiled in human flesh, lived among men and made Itself known to us through The Son of God and overcome sin on man's level and gave Himself to everyone who would be born again, even to His death on the cross. All this was done out of His Love for His children and as a balm for the weary. And when He went to sit at the right hand of the Father He made a promise to those that believe on Him and would work within His Love and would walk and talk with Him and overcome this world as He did. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." Mark 16:17-18 He sat down at the right hand of His Father and assumed the role of power as an equal to the Father. Not lesser than or greater than, but an equal at the right hand of God. No one sits at the right hand of power unless they are recognized as one equal to the one in power. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, "'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." ' "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." Acts 2:32-36 53
In other words: We have a God who is acquainted with us in every possible way, who sent His Only Son to die for us and to rise again with power and glory and reigns in heaven as our Brother. Then he added, "Anyone who obeys my Father in heaven is my brother, sister, and mother!" Matt 12:50 Whatever is, whatever exists, is because of God and through Him everything has its being. There is no distinction of blood relation and family ties other than in those who believe and receive His rain. His Rain, former and latter exists in Him and through Him and is not bound by genealogies or traditional thinking. Before anything else existed, there was Christ, with God. He has always been alive and is himself God. He created everything there is—nothing exists that he didn't make. Eternal life is in him, and this life gives light to all mankind. John 1:1-4 Just believe it—that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or else believe it because of the mighty miracles you have seen me do. "In solemn truth I tell you, anyone believing in me shall do the same miracles I have done, and even greater ones, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask him for anything, using my name, and I will do it, for this will bring praise to the Father because of what I, the Son, will do for you. John 14:11-12 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf [for it will be unnecessary]. John 16:26 Since Christ returned to heaven and sat at his Father's side, the Rain of heaven, the former and latter, has been poured out on those who would receive it, but not in the great measure that He has been waiting to give it to those who would receive it and use it to overcome this world and help others to do the same. The Truth presented in heaven's power has the promised ability to unite the sinner with heaven and cause them to stand clean before the Lord. But if mankind continues to misunderstand God, then the love that it takes to be a friend to God and man will never be found. If the law (tables of stone) are seen through these eyes, then the beauty of it will not be seen and will be rejected as a leftover from history. Yet even this one simple thing we overlook, The Law Lived Among Us And Became One Of Us And Became Acquainted With Our Sorrows And our Grief! We throw out and disregard that which is God and came from God, Christ Our Savior! Would we be so quick to agree with those who find a reason to disregard or see parts of Scripture as being of no use for us today if what we were actually doing is disregarding God Himself and throwing Him out like common garbage 54
for the trash man to come and pick up? We cannot disregard the former Rain and be accounted worthy of receiving the latter Rain. For these two are One, both being in and through and a part of God. We build on Truth, be it young or old in its thoughts. But whatever it is (young or old) it must be continual in growth. The early view of the law was only that. An early view, a view that would bring lost mankind to accept the Law (Christ Jesus) that would live among us. And thus what the law (tables of stone) could not do for us, the Law (Christ Jesus) would do. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man. Rom 8:3 What a loving God we serve. One that knew what we needed and gave it in its fullness to us so that from beginning to end nothing would be found missing in His great plan. It is only in our inability to see with Spirit filled eyes that we continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. The fullness of the Love of God must do its work—but much has to be removed from our path so that we may walk in this Love and live It out fully in our lives. The former and latter Rain, the Love of God is awaiting our reception and will continue to fall all around us whether we accept it or not.
Priests And Kings
The positions which we hold in this life are often imagined to be as valuable as gold. Yet the one position that rates higher than any other is the one most overlooked. In many peoples eyes to hold a position of deacon, elder, eldress or head elder is thought to be a great thing and something to be sought after and to be a pastor or a leader is to sit in the seat of highest knowledge and Godly authority. Yet God sets before ALL the greatest of all opportunities, to be a worker for Him but in a position that is not puffed up or overflowing with pride and does not bring any recognition from others. But it is the greatest of all positions to be held and to be a part of: A Heavenly Priest And King.
...Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ who faithfully reveals all truth to us. He was the first to rise from death, to die no more. He is far greater than any king in all the earth. All praise to him who always loves us and who set us free from our sins by pouring out his lifeblood for us. He has gathered us into his Kingdom and made us priests of God his Father. Give to him everlasting glory! He rules forever! Amen! Rev 1:4-6 Christ's priesthood must be understood to see just what kind of priests we have been fashioned after. And as we look into His Word we see that Jesus was chosen as a priest by His Father, a Priest after the order of a heavenly Priest (Melchizedek.) Another thing to remember is that no one can be a high priest just because he wants to be. He has to be called by God for this work in the same way God chose Aaron. That is why Christ did not elect himself to the honor of being High Priest; no, he was chosen by God. God said to him, "My Son, today I have honored you." And another time God said to him, "You have been chosen to be a priest forever, with the same rank as Melchizedek." Heb 5:4-6 The view of Christ as a High Priest has over the centuries been represented through hierarchical church government and liturgical services, as one of a Jewish high priest or Levite. He has been and continues to be seen as a priest that needs to be a go-between (mediator) to help the Father see the fact that we need to be forgiven or have our prayers answered. This has been the reason for the need of having the saints and the virgin Mary (as some believe) to help in this process. 56
This view of having Christ acting the part of a Levitical (Jewish) high priest is and has been the part of accepting the past without participating in the present or going forward into the future. Scripture plainly states that Christ could not even be a priest of Levi because He was not of that tribe or lineage Heb 7:14; yet many keep Him in that role so as to please their need to sin and have a high priest to whom they can offer up their sins. But as far as sin is concerned, they have no need to wonder what position God takes on the issue. Our God is very plain about this thing called sin. Well then, shall we keep on sinning so that God can keep on showing us more and more kindness and forgiveness? Of course not! Should we keep on sinning when we don't have to? For sin's power over us was broken when we were baptized to become a part of Jesus Christ; through his death the power of your sinful nature was shattered.... Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Rom 6: 1-2, 12 Those who claim to be one of His chosen ones must deal with the sin issue and determine if what God says is true that if they were in fact baptized into Him that the power of sin over them was REALLY broken and shattered. If it was then sin must come to an end by those who claim that the Power of heaven is on their side. To fail to do this is to deny the Power of God to help the sinner overcome his or her problems. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. I Jn 5:5 If we cannot believe that what we ask in His name will be done then we choose to see Christ as playing a go-between role. However, to do this, we must first call the scripture a lie when it states; This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of him. I Jn 5:14-15 God, through His Love for mankind, has given us a promise that whatever we ask within His will, He will do it for us. This promise takes on a deeper meaning when we realize that He has made us to sit together with Him in heavenly places and reign (to have authority) with Him and through Him. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in sin, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together 57
in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Eph 2:4-7 God’s Love was shown in the selfless act of Christ dying on the cross for mankind, yet many turn it around and claim that He really didn't fulfill this complete act of love by stating that promises like this are yet to come. Tradition and doctrine must be set aside so that we may see that we can live by the same Power that Christ our Lord used while living a sinless life as one of us here on this earth. In the end we have no excuse for not overcoming sin (Satan.) God has given us His only Son and has given us His Power and has lifted us up to reign in His kingdom with Him as priests and kings! Praise His Wonderful Name! And to reach this goal each must have the Love of Christ in them for without Love (Christ) all is vain. The character of Christ is presented to us as a goal to reach and one that is obtainable. This character is based in and encompasses all that is Love. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Cor 13:4-8 This is the nature/character of Love (God) for God is Love. All things come from Love for all things came into existence by God (Love). Some say we will never be able to understand the character of God but it is here for the entire world to read and understand. Yet still, to come to a complete understanding of this Love the Spirit of God must be working in the life. God says that His people will be known by their fruits, (that is the fruits of the Spirit.) Today the one thing that so many need is still the same as it has always been, they need Love. So many people are seeking out methods and different ways of having or obtaining this Love so that they might be able to give it to others. As many ways as there are people to seek them from Freudian psychology to Christian Freudian counseling, they seek and seek and seek for that which has already been given to them in the Word of God. Some pass over this point lightly or miss it altogether, while some are just happy with what they have been told and don't really know if it is true or not. Yet God employs us to: Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15 58
If we do not strive to learn the Word then we will continue to convince ourselves that we can get into heaven without making any change or being any different than we are right now. But in God's Love He sets guidelines and gives directions to lead us to a particular state with Him. He calls this His rest and asks us all to come into it. Although God's promise still stands--his promise that all may enter his place of rest--we ought to tremble with fear because some of you may be on the verge of failing to get there after all. Heb 4:1 But we cannot come into any restful position with God as long as we see that we are not matching up to His character. Therefore we must be born again where all things become new and the new man has replaced the old man that once lived in us. This is the New Birth experience of being dead to sin and being raised up again with Christ. Your old evil desires were nailed to the cross with him; that part of you that loves to sin was crushed and fatally wounded, so that your sin-loving body is no longer under sin's control, no longer needs to be a slave to sin; Rom 6:6 We must die to this thing called sin so that we may participate in the new Life giving Way that leads to the very throne of God. If we will die to sin then we may rise with Him (as so to speak) from the grave and be alive in Him. PRAISE GOD! What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Rom 6:1-4
Dead But Now Alive
Your old sin-loving nature was buried with him by baptism
when he died; and when God the Father, with glorious power, brought him back to life again, you were given his wonderful new life to enjoy. Rom 6:4 How simple the Word of God is. It could not be said with much more simplicity. We can behave like God has asked us to and we can habitually live in the newness of Life. Yet we must be buried with Him first. The death of the old man must take place and the temple of God must be cleansed. Haven't you yet learned that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit God gave you, and that he lives within you? Your own body does not belong to you. For God has bought you with a great price. So use every part of your body to give glory back to God because he owns it. 1 Cor 6:19-20 This is very often overlooked or even made to fit one’s own belief system. Yet repeatedly God refers to His temple as our bodies. There are and have been literal temples where priests have officiated daily and yearly, but before there were buildings called temples, there was The Temple of God. "However, the Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says: "'Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Acts 7:48-49 God Himself makes it known that his dwelling place is in each of us, for we are His temple. This earth will pass away and a new heavens and a new earth will take its place, yet His temple (His home), His Love and His Truth, remain forever. Then I saw a new earth (with no oceans!) and a new sky, for the present earth and sky had disappeared. And I, John, saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven. It was a glorious sight, beautiful as a bride at her wedding. I heard a loud shout from the throne saying, "Look, the home of God is now among men, and he will live with them and they will be his people; yes, God himself will be among them. Rev 21:1-3 Israel, as many have, looked to their temple/church as being the house or temple of God and therefore could not understand (and took an offence to) 60
Christ stating that he would tear down the temple and rebuild it. But they did not understand that He was talking about His body just as so many do not understand to this day what the temple of God is and therefore only see the fleshly understanding of this and look to physical buildings and leadership for answers as did the Jewish nation before them. It seems as though we have not learned much from the past and continually make the same mistakes over and over again, never being able to come to a greater understanding of the Word than did Israel. Christ had spoken a prophecy about His death and resurrection and presented a picture of what His people, who believed in Him, would accomplish if they would allow Him into their lives. They would (just as He did) die to self and be raised up with Him as a new creation. And this action, if repeated over and over again, would create a holy nation, first fruits, virgins, a kingdom of people who would be in a position of being able to be translated rather than experiencing death that sin brings. They would ascend with Him to His throne never to depart again. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a mighty shout and with the soul-stirring cry of the archangel and the great trumpet-call of God. And the believers who are dead will be the first to rise to meet the Lord. Then we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever. 1Thes 4:16-17 This is a loving promise coming from a loving God. If we will let Him come into our lives (for He will not force Himself upon us) then He will do in us what is needed for us to become His first fruits. These qualifying features of His children go beyond religion and all of its rules and dogmas and goes beyond the physical view that so many have held of His kingdom and allows those who love Him to have a whole new experience with Him and finally become mature plants to bear seed/fruit. Just as Paul states: We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Heb 5:11-14 Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 1 Cor 14:20 And when we come into this state of mind we then become a witness to 61
others that it can be done (and fulfilling the dept that we owe) even in this world of sin and that we are His and He Loves us. (owe no man anything) Pay all your debts except the debt of love for others-- never finish paying that! For if you love them, you will be obeying all of God's laws, fulfilling all his requirements. Rom 13:8 Any attempt to perform this work outside of God's absolute will and teaching others that total obedience to God is impossible and that certain parts of His Word are not to be understood or are for a time far off, will in the end of all things reap what they have sown. "Not all who sound religious are really godly people. They may refer to me as 'Lord,' but still won't get to heaven. For the decisive question is whether they obey my Father in heaven. Matt 7:21 To stand clean before our Lord is not just a fantasy or a reality in some future time, but is a command of God for those who claim to be His this very day. For Today has always been the day of Salvation. He will not leave us or forget us and all things are done in His time and in His way and If we learn to lean on Him, knowing that He will never fail us or leave us no matter how dark the day may seem, we will come to love Him more and walk in His path of righteousness. And let us not forget that ALL things DO work together for our good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans. Rom 8:28 Oh, may we all come to know Him better, to see His Love as we have never seen it before and experience it as it fills us and surrounds us. May we see Him so clearly that we may live with Him and rule with Him as the priest and kingdoms He has designed us ALL to be. God May we see you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly
Court Is In Session
When sin began in heaven, God could have made the claim that He was right and Satan was wrong. He could have said to the rest of His creation, because I am right, and I sit in the seat of authority and power, I am going to destroy Lucifer. If you choose to rebel against me, then I will have no choice but to destroy you too. If God had done this, would it have answered the question of who was right? Would all of His creation have worshiped Him in love and understanding? The idea is that just claiming you are right and throwing your power of authority around does not make you right and does not win over the love of those around you. Then how would God settle this issue before the whole universe and how would He prove that He was right in His decision to give to His new creation dominion and authority just as He had given to Lucifer? Let’s see what the Bible says on this point.
What if some failed to believe? Their unbelief surely does not nullify God’s faithfulness, does it? Not at all. Rather shall it be: God must be true though every man is a liar, as it is written, “That You might be vindicated in Your sayings and might triumph when You are tried.” Rom.3:3,4 Another way to read this is: May You win Your case when You take it to court. We see in this text that God and His Word were on trial, not humanity, and if God was on trial then what evidence would He show to help prove His case and before whom? We are justified freely by His grace through the ransom that Christ Jesus provided; whom God put forward as a reconciling sacrifice (restoring a friendship) through faith in His blood. This was for the vindication of His righteousness in forgiving the sins that were previously committed under God’s forbearance... Rom. 3:24,25 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. Rom 8:19-21 God revealed through the life, death and resurrection of His Son the evidence to prove His righteousness. But how would the death of Jesus prove that God is not a liar, that His Word is True and His Way beyond reproach? In this question is the idea that in order for God to have a people that 63
would obey and worship without any fear as to what might happen to them if they stepped out of line then He must handle this problem of sin and still offer complete freedom of choice. Although God's Word says that the...“wages of sin is death” Rom. 6:23, ...yet, salvation is a free gift to all that sets men free from the wages of sin. The question therefore must be answered, could God bring an end to sin and still preserve freedom of choice? In Gen.3, Satan contradicted God when he told Eve that if she would listen to him she would not surely die if she would listen to him instead of what God told her. With soothing, deceiving words he proved that you do not die from disobeying any of God’s commands. The statement that she would not suffer death was overpowering to her and she believed by sight not by faith (trust.) Instead of seeing with spiritual eyes, she saw only the surface value that Satan put on death. God has shown the world that the Lamb of God would pay the penalty of sin (death) for all mankind and that if they would just believe on Him He would not count their sins to them as unrighteousness. If they would seek Him first, He would make them His own, His first fruits and virgins. These have the victory through Him over death and the grave. Only those who refuse to accept God's ever constant bidding, His free salvation, His Love, will suffer the penalty of sin, TOTAL SEPARATION FROM GOD FOR ALL ETERNITY (ETERNAL DEATH.) At the cross, Christ paid the cost of sin for mankind (though many make it seem that He died to calm the anger of His Father toward us.) But did His Father kill Him in His anger towards His Son? Just what is God’s wrath, and how did He treat sinners? For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:16,17 I have given them the glory you gave me—the glorious unity of being one, as we are—I in them and you in me, all being perfected into one-so that the world will know you sent me and will understand that you love them as much as you love me. John 17:22,23 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, and l am wonderfully pleased with Him.” Matt. 3:17 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our 64
Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Rom 5:8-11 Then just what is the wrath of God? But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, evil men who push away the truth from them. For the truth about God is known to them instinctively; God has put this knowledge in their hearts. Since earliest times men have seen the earth and sky and all God made, and have known of his existence and great eternal power. Yes, they knew about him all right, but they wouldn't admit it or worship him or even thank him for all his daily care. And after awhile they began to think up silly ideas of what God was like and what he wanted them to do. The result was that their foolish minds became dark and confused. Claiming themselves to be wise without God, they became utter fools instead. And then, instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they took wood and stone and made idols for themselves, carving them to look like mere birds and animals and snakes and puny men. So God let them go ahead into every sort of sex sin, and do whatever they wanted to—yes, vile and sinful things with each other's bodies. Rom. 1:18-25 God’s wrath is His love for mankind. Just as with Israel, instead of getting in the way and forcing His will on them He lets them have their own way and to reap what they had sown. He had promised to never leave them or forsake them, yet He allowed them the privilege of being made slaves and dying for what they believed in. Instead of being the nation of all nations they became just like those around them as they had chosen to be. Yet notice what God did for those He called, though it was not He who sinned: Who was delivered (given up) for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Rom. 4:25 At the cross, the Father turned away from His only Son, the One He most dearly loved, because of sins sinfulness. Yet Christ did not cry at the cross Father why are you killing Me, no He said “Father why have you turned away from Me?” Matt. 27:46 The Father gave Him up to bear the sins of the world. It is only tradition that teaches that Christ went to the cross to calm the anger of the Father against mankind. Christ died because He bore sin ALONE on the cross. Mankind will only suffer the penalty of sin, ETERNAL DEATH, just because they wanted 65
what they wanted, and not what God had to offer. They told Him to leave them alone, and so He did, but with pain and sorrow for: the Son of Man has come to save the lost. Matt. 18:11 Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?' Ezek 33:10-11 God honored Israel’s requests just as He always does for everyone and comes into our lives when we ask and leaves if we choose not to obey Him. Thus the only reason that the wicked are destroyed is that sin cannot exist in the Holy atmosphere of God’s presence. Either sin is driven out or God is driven out of the sinner’s life. It is a sad thing that so many today base their doctrines on the crisis measures that God used because of mans hard hearts as He did with Israel in the wilderness. Rather than seeing God through His plan of mans redemption many continue to read the Scriptures and only see what tradition has taught them about a god of wrath and justice. And because of this view they believe in grace over law that Christ’s death shows them that now the things they do that are sinful are forgiven and overlooked by God. Because God does not punish sinners instantly, people feel it is safe to do wrong. Ecc. 8:11 We need to look with clear sight at what God has actually said about His judgment system and what impact it does or will have on us if we will allow Him into our life. If the death of the sinner is inflicted by God because they sinned, then all humanity must die the same eternal death. Yet God requires only a repentant heart. This is why a child of God can stand in His presence and live. God's love fills the repentant sinner and now God and the person who was once disobedient and unknowledgeable of God’s Love and what He did for them, is being united in perfected harmony. The two become one as long as the new creature in Christ trusts (has faith) in God for all their needs. Therefore in order for God’s creation to live in freedom, they must learn to obey Him, not in fear of retribution as Israel did when they remembered what happened when their forefathers disobeyed God, but in Love and power and of a sound mind that comes from knowing God as a friend. One may ask the question why then is the Old Testament filled with so much death, and why does it appear that God did all the killing if He is such a loving being? This question has caused many today to drop the Old Testament and not even deal with it. They form an opinion of God that causes them to FEAR Him and His JUDGEMENT; and this has all come around because of 66
the Ten Commandment Law recorded in both Exodus and Deuteronomy that God had to give to a people that were always going astray. In this law system there was a requirement to obey, and if anyone disobeyed, the life of the disobedient one was required (or at least it seems as such). This system of Mosaic laws seems very strict in comparison to the all loving Christ of the New Testament. Yet if one will look closer at the 40 year experience of the Israelites, they will see that God did not in fact bring an end to every person’s life who disobeyed His laws and commandments. Upon inspection each will see that there was always ample time given for repentance of the deed done and to acknowledge their disobedience. In all of this, there are some questions that arise: Why then did God make these laws for Israel to keep? And do they apply to us today? Because of the lack of study or knowledge, two basic sides have been taken in this discussion. 1. The law was only for the Jews and thus has no meaning for us today.
This group has taken the stand that they will never be able to overcome their sins because Christ came to this world to show us that only a god could keep God’s laws (This is the very thing that Satan said in the garden of Eden: “God is a liar and knows that you really can’t do what He has asked of you.”). 2. The law must be kept, and anything less is disobedience to God, and the sinner will have to stand before God Almighty and give an answer as to why he or she did what they did. (Although at the same time this group believes that they have an “advocate”, Jesus Christ, who argues their case in heavens court for them, but only if they confess their sins.)
This group also believes that total overcoming of sin is not possible, but with a different twist to it. They believe that because they keep some of God's laws i.e. Saturday Sabbath, no swearing, no idol worship, tithe paying, etc. and believe that the Old Testament was written for modern man, that they are within the will of God and that He will look upon their attempts to keep His law and take them to His kingdom at His appearing. (An attempt has been made here to sum up each of the two major beliefs about the law. We know that there are many fine details to each opinion, but for the sake of space they have been shortened to their barest minimum without any significant loss to their understanding on the subject). In Galatians 3:19 Paul asks a question. “Why then, was the Law given?” He then gives the answer to this question. “It was added to show sins in their true light,…” Humanity had moved so far from the original plan of having God’s Law written on their hearts that God had to have a physical object present so that they could always see that which He wanted them to do. As a child that needs to be constantly reminded of what they are suppose to do, the Israelites needed constant reminding of what they promised over and over again that they would do. 67
So the law became a school master to them and they were lead by it to learn the lesson of obedience and what God expected from those who would call themselves children of God. This is a point that many miss in their understanding of the law and its intent, for without the beginning of wisdom there can be no growth. A baby kept in a locked room never learns, but if a parent applies a teaching method with both verbal and physical applications, the child learns the lessons of life that he or she will need to know to function well in this world. God had to apply this form of teaching to those who had become as little babies that needed to learn the first lessons of life. They had been kept as slaves and forgot about the God of their fathers. And many today are in that same situation again where they have forgotten about God and are acting as little children who have to be told over and over again what is right. You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others, but instead you have dropped back to the place where you need someone to teach you all over again the very first principles in God’s Word. You are like babies who can drink only milk, not old enough for solid food. And when a person is still living on milk it shows he isn’t very skilled in the word of righteousness, and doesn’t know much about the difference between right and wrong. He is still a baby! Heb 5:12,13 When God took the Israelites out of bondage (involuntary obedience) in Egypt, He placed them as babies in a position of bondage to Him through the law (voluntary obedience) and as a baby does not know how to handle or understand the concept of Freedom or Love, they also did not or could not understand this new idea. It has become a highly visible lesson today as we have had the opportunity to watch a similar lesson in progress in the country of Russia. Upon receiving their freedom for the first time in over a hundred or more years the people showed to the world what happens when one is kept in abject darkness in areas of life that are taken for granted by many who have not had to live in that same kind of situation. As time has progressed, the people begged for the old system of harsh communism to be brought back. Unstructured freedom for those who have never experienced it before can create an explosive situation. And as the Israelites cried out let’s go back to Egypt, so those who are given freedom for the first time often return to that which once caused them to suffer under unbearable leadership that even killed those who dared to raise their voice against it. So God gave Israel a law that would be an emergency method to teach them the very basics of life in this world and if they would do as He required of them they would grow up and see the larger picture and realize what God was doing and going to do for them. The sanctuary with its rituals and the Levitical priesthood would then become a building block to lead them to the heavenly Priesthood. But instead all they saw was a way to sin and yet be con68
sidered God’s remnant people and many today come to that same conclusion and add to it that this must be how God runs His government (though to the exclusion of the rest of Scripture) and use it to create of system of religious rulership. This system is one built on fear of possibly stepping out of God’s favor and suffering the wrath of God. Yet Scripture states most emphatically: “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” II Tim. 1:7 (this of course is the mature state of a child of God). We punish our children in love to teach them obedience knowing if we fail, outside forces (police, government, employers, etc.) will punish them for disobedience. This is called being under the law or being found guilty of breaking the law. This is not where God desires His people to be found. He wants them to come to a mature (rational, reasonable) state where they now obey out of Love and full knowledge of His Word. And so, dear brothers, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy--the kind he can accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you. Rom. 12:1-2 If the plan that leads to doom was glorious, much more glorious is the plan that makes men right with God. 2 Cor. 3:8-9 If the crisis measure where death was used as a form of punishment was good, then how much better is the kind of rulership that draws men to God through a mature state of mind! Yet we dare not miss a specific point here; and that is the reason so many fight God on this sin issue (why they sin.) They, as the Pharisees before, keep looking at the letter of the law instead of looking at the deeper meaning of God’s Law and by now we should have been at a new and higher understanding of It.
Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?" "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.’ "Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?" Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to di-
vorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery." Matt. 19:3-9
A surface reader never sees the real intent of the law, to bring the sinner back to God's original plan. But a Spirit filled reader realizes their sin and what it cost the Lord and comes to a mature position of obedience where God and man can work in total harmony with each other without the constant struggle of sin's hold that was once upon them. I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Gal. 2:20 It is a sad thing that many today base their doctrines on the idea of law and doctrine that lead them to an idea of rules as being the answer to their problems. Thus many read the scriptures and only see what they have been taught about a God of wrath and vengeful justice. And through this view they believe that Christ's death opened the way for a sinful righteousness to now exist within those who call themselves His children. Because God does not punish sinners instantly, people feel it is safe to do wrong. Ecc. 8:11 The doctrine of sinful righteousness is based upon the idea of a judgment that is yet to come where righteous and sinners will stand before God to be weighed in the balance of heaven and to be declared as saved or lost. So at this point we need to look with clear sight at what God has actually said about His judgment system and what impact it will have on us or has on us when we seek Him and find Him and become one with Him (which is referred to by some as the atonement.)
God's kingdom is built on the Foundation Stone. That Stone is Love. It is not an agape or melancholy or phlegmatic love, but it is what Love is, and God is Love. It is not a kingdom of law/s that end in death, but is a kingdom of Life. So the time came (the time appointed) for God to take His people out from under the law of death (being in bondage to it) and show through the Life of Christ the character or nature of His kingdom. He wanted them to be one with Him as one friend is to another and live in Love. I no longer call you slaves, for a master doesn’t confide in his slaves; now you are my friends, proven by the fact that I have told you everything the Father told Me. John 15:15 So Christ came, born under law (Mosaic) and made Himself subject to The Law (His Father) to redeem those under the law (Mosaic) by His continual connection to His Father (obeying His commands) and then took upon Himself the curse of law (death) and gave Himself as the sacrifice for sin on the cross. All this was done that those who are called according to His purpose could have VICTORY over sin and stand before His throne with boldness. Christ has ransomed us from the curse of the law in as much as He became a curse for us, for it is written, “Cursed is every one who hangs on a tree.” Gal. 3:13 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Heb 4:16 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Eph 2:4-8 Does this mean that there is no more that the law can do for anyone? NO, but God wants us as friends not as slaves that give homage and obedience out of fear rather than Love. He wants us to see righteousness (right doing) through Him (the perfect Law.) So when God says: If you love Me, keep my commandments... we then understand that it is about obeying Him not a law of stone. If you love me then your desire will be to obey Me. John 14:15
And only God can bring righteousness, not the law.. If pleasing Him could have been achieved by the law, there would have been no reason for the Law to come and make Himself subject to the Father to show us that we can do nothing (righteous living) unless the Father (not a law) lives in us and works through us. Thus only those that refuse to grow up in Christ are to be found (as Israel before them) living under the law. They see the law as a needful reminder of all the things that they need to do to appease (please) God or see it as a constant reminder of the things they can't do and thus they need an advocate with the Father. Yet it is said so clearly about Israel that though they were once estranged and of a hostile attitude, that Christ reconciled them to introduce them into His presence (did you catch that, HIS PRESENCE) as holy and blameless. You, too, who once were estranged and of a hostile attitude with your evil activities, He has now reconciled in His human body through His death, to introduce you into His presence holy and blameless and irreproachable... Col. 1:21,22 This is truly the grace of God, that even when Israel was not in harmony with His will He brought them into His presence by the blood of His Son. This should make everyone realize that there is not one thing we can ever hope to do to bring us into a more favorable position with God than was done by His own Son. No amount of prayers and begging for forgiveness and favor will ever do more than His life, death and resurrection have already done for mankind. Then when we realize just what He did for us, our obedience to Him becomes nothing more than a showing of our love for Him just as true friends would do for each other. For if as enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, surely much more shall we who have been reconciled be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Rom. 5:10,11 Does this mean that in the presence of God we will continue to sin, even in grace, that His grace may flow through us? How can we ever convince ourselves of that? How can we believe that when we become a new person in Christ we never really become a new person? Shall we continue to sin as we did before we met Christ but now under the premise of a false concept of confession and forgiveness? In the Old Testament sanctuary service when someone wished to confess a sin, he had to bring a lamb, a spotless and perfect lamb as a sin offering (or another reasonable sacrifice.) When the sacrifice was slain the priest took some of the blood and placed it on the horns of the alter in the first apartment. This record of sin remained in the holy place until the day of atonement when the sanctuary was cleansed of sin. Many have taken this example and seen it as the way that God runs His kingdom. They believe that there will come a day when God will open up the book of records and all men will be judged out of them. But if this is the picture that God wants us to see, then He nullifies His own Word. In
this doctrine none of us can ever hope to be forgiven or to be looked upon by God as holy UNTIL THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT. Many fail to see that God's version of holiness and the cleansing His temple, which moves them in a totally different direction than they have been willing to go. God revealed through parables and figures a bigger picture then of buildings or temples made of sticks and stones and shows us just how He sees His creation. Do you not know that YOU are God’s temple and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him; for the temple of God is holy, and YOU are such a temple. ICor. 3:16,1 7
But in order for God to dwell (live) in His temple (us) we must be as clean as the temple was to be kept by the Levitical priesthood, both in their daily work and the work of the day of atonement. That service was to point out to the people of God that Light (God) has nothing to do with darkness (sin, Satan). In that system, confession brought forgiveness through the PROMISE of the death of Jesus. It was not the slaying of an animal that saved the sinner. Legally that sin was held on record until the cross. For this reason He is the Mediator of a NEW COVENANT so that, with a death occurring for the atonement of the transgressions under the FIRST covenant, those who have been called may receive the eternal inheritance that was promised. Heb. 9:15 The sacrifice that was promised from the beginning answers all questions, but to the Greek (the blind who will not see) it answers nothing but what wants to be seen. Yet God with His Son, brought a fallen race up to their level and washed away their sins and made them to sit in heavenly places where they rule as priests and kings. And if all that is not enough: “...and blotted out the charges proved against you, the list of His commandments which you had not obeyed. He took this list of sins and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross. In this way God took away Satan’s power to accuse you of sin, and God openly displayed to the whole world Christ’s triumph at the cross where your sins were all taken away. Col. 2:14,15 One thing must be settled at this point: God, did all of this because He loves us not because He cannot tolerate us and just wants to get this thing over with. He sent His only Son to die for us so that we may inherit eternal life. As it has been said earlier in this study the Father Loves us. There is no reason then for Christ to plead our case or beg the Father to forgive us another time. Christ did that once and for all at the cross. No begging on our part or carrying the load of guilt that plagues so many of us will ever do what the cross has already accomplished.
Once we understand that to be true, then the judgment spoken of in God’s Word must have a deeper meaning to it, for the judgment brings everlasting peace to God's universe and cleanses the temple of God. If you and I are God's temple and God abides in us and the God of peace sanctifies us and makes us holy then judgment takes place in our life when we choose this day who we will serve. All is forgiven and forgotten and for those who have chosen God as their God and Priest, the cleansing of God’s temple takes place. Now the one who was once seen as being a sinner is in a position where Deity can work with them to bring about a heavenly perfection of character and all the power that was required to overcome EVERY TEMPTATION is given just as it was given to Israel. And when that is accomplished in us as it was with the Israel of God then He can come to a people who are holy still as He has done. He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still." Rev 22:11
The Mediation of Christ
Many have viewed the ministry of Christ in heaven as one that takes on the form of hierarchical church leadership (humans guiding other humans.) This is where there is a chain of command from president and committees to local leadership and its committees and finally down to the laity (laity = bottom of the spiritual ladder.) In this view the top leadership are looked upon as those who have been chosen by God Himself to be mediators or a go-between between God and man. This form or structure is based upon the Levitical priesthood which began at mount Sinai when God gave to Moses the directions to build a movable temple where the priests were to officiate in the wilderness. This view is continually taught to people though the Scriptures say that this system was only to last until Christ came with a better way.
This has an important lesson for us today. For under the old system, gifts and sacrifices were offered, but these failed to cleanse the hearts of the people who brought them. For the old system dealt only with certain rituals—what foods to eat and drink, rules for washing themselves, and rules about this and that. The people had to keep these rules to tide them over until Christ came with Gods new and better way. Heb. 9:9,10 What many have failed to realize about this system is that as long as one attempts to keep this system alive as if it had never been changed then he or she is not allowed entrance into the Most Holy Place (the presence of God/ heaven.) But only the high priest went into the inner room, and then only once a year, all alone, and always with blood which he sprinkled on the mercy seat as an offering to God to cover his own mistakes and sins, and the mistakes and sins of all the people. And the Holy Spirit uses all this to point out to us that under the old system THE COMMON PEOPLE COULD NOT GO INTO THE HOLY OF HOLIES AS LONG AS THE OUTER ROOM AND THE ENTIRE SYSTEM IT REPRESENTS WERE STILL IN USE. Heb. 9:7,8 Many who teach this idea even go to the extent of using pieces of the service of the sanctuary i.e. robes, miters on their heads, golden incense holders, etc. to make the people think that they are performing the correct duties of a good mediator or minister/priest; and through this teaching many hold the view that when leadership speaks it is as though God Himself were there speaking to them. Thus, when the majority of the leadership make a decision it is believed that it should be obeyed without question or any reluctance from those it is 75
presented to. But human mediation was only a crisis measure used by God for a people that would not listen to soft words and gentle authority; and sadly God’s Words were ignored time and time again, so He used a type of service and priesthood with laws and a show of power to get their attention. All the people saw the lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, and heard the thunder and the long, frightening trumpet blast; and they stood at a distance, shaking with fear. They said to Moses, “You tell us what God says and we will obey, but don’t let God speak directly to us, or it will kill us.” Ex. 20:18,19 Instead of coming into a friendly relationship with God, the Israelites continually saw God as a domineering force that would snuff out their lives at any minute. They never came to the place where they could come “boldly before the throne of grace” without needing a mediator. Many today repeat this mistake by seeking others to rule over them and to talk to God for them by choosing priests or leaders who presents themselves as mediators between God and man. And the people look at their hierarchical structured organizations and think that this pleases God even though this structure is the one that killed the prophets and finally took care of this man called Jesus. They see this form of governance and imagine it to represent holiness and order. PLEASE DO NOT CONFUSE HOLINESS AND ORDER, WITH CHAIN OF COMMAND. God does have order. Jesus said to him, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6 God's order is one of a Spirit filled life, not of a fleshly (carnal) or human contrived method. But Jesus the Son of God is our High Priest who has gone to heaven itself to help us; therefore let us never stop trusting Him. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, since He had the same temptations we do, though He never once gave way to them and sinned. So let us come boldly to the throne of God and stay there to receive His mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need. Heb. 1:14-1 6 This orderly system of God’s is not one to fear (as many fear their leaders) but is one in which to find peace in. For so long, mankind has seen God as a unmerciful and vengeful creature through the actions of men that treat each other that way. And very few, if any, have been able to go before His throne 76
without being afraid of Him. Yet God says, come and find Peace, Joy and Love. It is all too sad that so many have seen the Father as being needful of someone to appease Him. So the theological answer to this has been that when Jesus went to heaven He went there to stand before the Father for as long as time lasts and beg Him for mercy on behalf of mankind. This of course is in total ignorance of the fact that the Father LOVES US. But by listening to others present the Bible (as they interpret it) that they have convinced themselves and others that this is what Christ is in fact doing. Dear children, I write you these things so you may not sin, and if anyone does sin, we have a counsel for our defense in the Father’s presence, Jesus Christ the Righteous One. He is Himself an atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but for the whole world. I John 2:1,2 But Jesus being in the Fathers presence is the proof evidence (our defense) that all has been done to save humanity. But is the Father here accusing us of any wrong doing? Is this the picture of an angry God? Just who then is the accuser that would require evidence to be shown on man’s behalf? Then the angel showed me (in my vision) Joshua the High Priest standing before the Angel of the Lord; and Satan was there too, at the Angel’s right hand, accusing Joshua of many things And the Lord said to Satan, “I reject your accusations, Satan; yes I, the Lord, ... “ Zech. 3:1,2 Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “it has happened at last! God’s salvation and the power and the rule, and the authority of His Christ are finally here; for the Accuser of our brothers has been thrown down from heaven onto earth—he accused them day and night before our God. Rev. 12:10 The Accuser Satan was thrown out of heaven, it was not Christ who was thrown out! And God has nothing against those who hear His voice and obey His Word, but stands in our defense against the accuser (Satan) who lost the war against God. GOD LOVES US, and sent us His only Son so that we may live. Then you will present your petitions over My signature! And I won’t need to ask the Father to grant you these requests, for the Father Himself loves you dearly because you love Me and believe that I came from the Father. John 16:26,27 If Jesus and His Father are defending us against Satan, then how can they 77
do this successfully for sinners that are worthy of death? Because, as it has been taught, “the wages of sin is death.” Satan lays legal claim to us through our sin and tries to uphold that claim before God. But God has given mankind an ultimate gift, His Only Son. And through His Son came a promised gift, HIS WILL AND TESTAMENT. Now, if someone dies and leaves a will-a list of things to be given away to certain people when he dies, no one gets anything until it is proved that the person who wrote the will is dead. The will goes into effect only after the death of the person who wrote it. While he is still alive no one can use it to get any of those things he has promised them. That is why blood was sprinkled as proof of Christ’s death before even the first agreement could go into effect. Heb. 9:1 6-1 8 All those who believe were written into Christ's will and they may partake of its wealth. Christ’s death gave that will its power to work, and His resurrection gave power to the new man to come boldly to the throne of grace without the need of a go-between, between man and God. Then all who come to Him in Spirit and truth will become partakers of His divine will. This gift, will or testament, goes beyond anything you and I could ever do to earn our salvation in ANYWAY. For if Christ's life, death and resurrection are not enough for the Father to see that all has been done for mans redemption/salvation, then nothing a mere human can do will ever be enough. So the evidence is that Jesus has written us into His will and testament and sealed it with His death. This not only brought us power but also the forgiveness of our sins. He took upon Himself the sins of the world and looked at humanity from the cross and said: “Father forgive them.” If the prayer of a righteous man avails much then the Righteous One’s prayer was heard and was answered by His Father. The sad part of this picture is the fact that for anyone to be lost and to miss out on heaven, is that he or she must literally fail to claim the inheritance that is already theirs. And God’s will is incontestable and stands for all time. No one can change it or rearrange it to read any differently. Dear brothers, even in everyday life a promise made by one man to another, if it is written down and signed, cannot be changed. He cannot decide afterward to do something else instead. Gal 3:15 The will of God is complete and we are now partakers of that wonderful Gift, Jesus Christ
The Priesthood of Christ, Melchizedek or Levi
As we have seen, God has always had an original plan for mankind. And in the Levitical system it is no less understood. God tried to have Israel see His plan for salvation through rituals and a type of service that pointed to a time that God would redeem them and set them free from sin as Moses had led them to freedom from their servitude to Pharaoh, king of Egypt. And then when Christ came to this earth He brought them to the next step in the learning process of who He is and what He has always wanted for them to be free from sin, where the law is taken from stone and placed into the heart. And hopefully they would now want to do what is right because it is in their heart, not because it has to be written on a stone tablet to constantly remind them of what they should do if they love God and their neighbor as much they love themselves. But after all of this history now behind us, most can only see God through that Levitical system of worship and have ended up the same cold relationship that Israel had with their God. And thousands of years after the fact, Christ continues to try to bring mankind to a spiritual level where they see Him for what He is, their Lord and Savior; and the kind of Priest He really is, A MELCHIZEDEK PRIEST.
If the Jewish priests and their laws had been able to save us, why then did God need to send Christ as a priest with the rank of Melchizedek, instead of sending someone with the rank of Aaron. Heb. 7:11 And since every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices, Christ must make an offering too. The sacrifice that He offers is far better than those offered by the earthly priests. (But even so, if He were here on earth He wouldn’t even be permitted to be a priest, because down here the priests still follow THE OLD Jewish system of sacrifices.) Their work is connected with a mere earthly model of the real tabernacle as shown to him (Moses) on Mt Sinai. But Christ, as a Minister in heaven, has been rewarded with a far more important work than those who serve under the old laws, because the new agreement which He passes on to us from God contains far more wonderful promises. Heb. 8:3-6 The Levitical system was not the ideal for the salvation of man, it was a “mere earthly model” of the One in heaven. It was only meant as an illustration not as the true temple service of God. Christ came with a new and “better” priesthood and a higher understanding of that Temple, and thus a 79
change in the law of the Levitical system was required. For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. Heb. 7:12
There has been a consensus among many that this means that Christ did away with the Mosaic law. As Christ did not do away with the priesthood then He also did not do away with the law. The Bible says that He CHANGED the system, not abolished it. Christ came as a priest of God Most High and changed the priesthood of man back to the order of Melchizedek. This order (the Eternal Priesthood) was in existence even before the change had come, for it was the original Priesthood of God. This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means "King of righteousness"; then also, "King of Salem" means "King of peace." Heb 7:1-2 Christ came to restore the original Priesthood of God and put it back in it's rightful place, and when put into practice the Melchizedek Priesthood restored Peace and Righteousness to the universe of God. The original plan laid from the foundation of the world accomplished what it set out to show to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear. It brought about a kingdom, a people that would become one with this Priesthood and start acting like the priests and kings that God has designed them to be after the order of Melchizedek. These are they who are virgins, victors over sin and firstfruits of that Kingdom, the Temple in heaven and come into obedience to God’s laws, statutes and commandments as Abraham did. Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. Gen 26:5 Statute: chuqqah (khook-kaw'); feminine of OT:2706, and meaning substantially the same: - appointed, custom, manner, ordinance, site, statute. choq (khoke); an enactment; hence, an appointment (of time, space, quantity, labor or usage): - appointed, bound, commandment, convenient, custom, decree (-d), due, law, measure, necessary, ordinance (-nary), portion, set time, statute, task. chaqaq (khaw-kak'); a primitive root; properly, to hack, i.e. engrave (Judg 5:14, to be a scribe simply); by implication, to enact (laws being cut in stone or metal tablets in primitive times) or (gen.) prescribe: -appoint, decree, governor, grave, lawgiver, note, pourtray, print, set.
The law that Abraham kept, the statutes he lived by, the commands he obeyed were those written on the heart that spoke of a appointed time, of a Seed to come. That Seed was Jesus Christ and the time appointed was when He was to be born, crucified and resurrected. And the temple on earth that was laden with gold that spoke of God’s character and His desire for our characters to be refined like gold, was to point to the One who would fulfill His will spoken in the law and prophets (the old testament.) His desire from the beginning of time was to have His Law (the Light of the world) living in our hearts. It was started that way and will end that way in those who believe on Him. The only letter I need is you yourselves! By looking at the good change in your hearts, everyone can see that we have done a good work among you. They can see that you are a letter from Christ, written by us. It is not a letter written with pen and ink, but by the Spirit of the living God; not one carved on stone, but in human hearts. We dare to say these good things about ourselves only because of our great trust in God through Christ, that He will help us to be true to what we say, and not because we think we can do anything of lasting value by ourselves. Our only power and success comes from God. And He is the one who has helped us tell others about His new agreement to save them. We do not tell them that they must obey every law of God or die; but we tell them there is life for them from the Holy Spirit. The old way, trying to be saved by keeping the Ten Commandments, ends in death; in the new way, the Holy Spirit gives them life. Yet that old system of law that led to death began with such glory that people could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For as he gave them God’s law to obey, his brightness was already fading away. Shall we not expect far greater glory in these days when the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the plan that leads to doom was glorious, much more glorious is the plan that makes men right with God. II Cor. 3:2-9 Now, if the old laws which were brought to man with such glory and pomp and the Glory of God was with them and yet the breaking of these laws brought punishment by death, then how much greater is the new Way (His life, death and resurrection) that gives Life? There is no denial here of the old way, but to see its reason for existence to bring men back to the original Way of keeping the Law as Abraham did, IN HIS HEART. But this is the new agreement I will make with the people of Israel, says the Lord: I will write my laws in their minds so that they will know what I want them to do without my even telling them, and these laws will be in their hearts so that they will want to obey them, and I will be their God and they shall be my people. Heb. 8:10
So if the Levitical system of worship was ONLY to point to God and His plan of redemption, then the Melchizedek priestly ministry of Jesus is to restore us to the Way that Joseph and Abraham and others served the Living God, through a faith relationship that initiates God's eternal benefits. One of these benefits is the Promise (Jesus Christ) that brought Salvation (Jesus Christ) and gave it as a free gift through Love (God.) Many never realize that Promise because they have never traveled any further than the children of Israel at Mt Sinai. They think that the old way is better than God’s new agreement with man. They have never come to the place where God can live in them and that what they do is right because it is right rather than having to have a law on stone that reminds them over and over again what is right to do. This kind of obedience keeps one in fear of breaking any of the laws and bringing God’s disfavor (His judgment) upon their heads. Thus they continue to keep the Levitical priesthood alive although God came with His priesthood built on Life not death. This Melchizedek Priesthood was the original priesthood that was from the foundation of the world. There is no fear of God’s judgment in that knowledge, just a desire to be one in Him and be free at last.
In the study of the judgment of God and how He will handle sin and sinners, many use the books of Daniel and Revelation to show the wrath of God against sinners. They believe that in the cleansing of the sanctuary of God that He will wipe out sin and sinners from the earth. Many sit back in complacency in that thought and that this is an end time event tied up in the mark-of-thebeast.
And he said to me, “in two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Dan. 8:14 The interpretations of Daniel and Revelation have sought to prove that there is coming a day when God will bring a final judgment to this world and a great battle will ensue called ARMAGEDDON the day of judgment. This is all based upon a concept of the rebuilding of an earthly temple and God coming to rule in it though He has said just where His temple really is. He ministers in the temple in heaven, the TRUE PLACE OF WORSHIP built by the Lord and NOT by human hands. Heb 8:2 God also has more to say about His temple: “Do you not know that you are God’s temple…” I Cor. 3:16 In His Word God has told the story of how heaven and earth have both been defiled with the presence of sin and that He has been accused of being a liar and demanding that mankind must obey Him when He knows they can’t (this is what many people say.) But we know that Christ came to vindicate the name of His Father and He took upon Himself sin and all its trappings and became defiled for the world as its redeemer and rose again with full victory over even the result of sin, death. This was accomplished and the Way was made clear to the throne and the power of sin was cleansed away. It was through what His Son did that God cleared a path for everything to come to Him—all things in heaven and on earth—for Christ’s death on the cross has made peace with Himself for all by His blood. Col. 1:20 Jesus died that the Way would become known and His blood was shed to bring back PEACE to His sanctuary (you and I.) A battle was fought and God was the Victor.
Then there was war in heaven; Michael and the angels under His command fought the Dragon and his hosts of fallen angels. And the Dragon lost the battle and was forced from heaven. This great Dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down onto the earth with all his army. Rev. 12:7-9 The life, death and resurrection of the Son of God answered the accusation of Satan that God is a liar. He showed a Creators care, a Love that knows no bounds and that everything that was possible to give for humanity’s needs was accomplished. Yet the “accuser of the brethren” still scoffs at Christ's death, for mankind has not yet answered the accusations of Satan. ‘God's children cannot obey Him and their lives are proof of it. I can keep them sinning more than God can keep them from sinning. God’s Word is powerless, and so are His people.’ One day as the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, Satan, the Accuser, came with them. “Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan. And Satan replied, “From patrolling the earth.” Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth—a good man who loves God and will have nothing to do with evil. “Why shouldn’t he, when you pay him so well?” Satan scoffed. “You have always protected him and his home and his property from all harm. You have prospered everything he does—look how rich he is! No wonder he “worships” you! But just take away his wealth, and you’ll see him curse you to your face!” And the Lord replied to Satan, “You may do anything you like with his wealth, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan went away; ... Job 1:612 The question is, can God’s children today answer the accusations of Satan as well as Job did? Are they in such an obedient state that God could call upon any one of them to show that they can and will hold Him up as the answer to ALL of their needs, wants and desires? Satan as the accuser looks at humanity’s stumbling and knows that he has them right where he wants them. Many who should be filled with the power of heaven argue that sin is impossible to overcome and that Satan has more power to keep them in sin than God has power to keep them free from sin. And they have given up the struggle of good over evil and have consigned their troubles to genetic imperfections or to some mental defect of psychological proportions. Yet in all of this the purpose of God's judgment is not to decide who will be saved or lost, God already knows this (because He knows the very intent of the heart) His purpose is to demonstrate before the whole universe that His Word is true. Thus God can only place before the heavenly counsel only those persons He can defend against the accusations of Satan. Why then do we fight 84
so hard against overcoming sin? Do we really like it so much that we will defend that which Christ died to do away with? In the Scriptures God has promised to give us His robe of righteousness, but once covered with this, do we then continue to do that which once kept us from the relationship that we always wanted with Him? He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before the angels. Rev. 3:5 God says that there is a reason why we need this raiment (robe or garment.) “You say, ‘I am rich, with everything I want; I don’t need a thing.’ And you don’ t realize that spiritually you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. My advice to you is to buy Pure gold from Me, gold purified by fire—only then will you truly be rich. And to purchase from Me white garments, clean and pure, so you won’t be naked and ashamed; and to get medicine from Me to heal your eyes and give you back your sight. I continually discipline and rebuke everyone I love; so I must discipline you, unless you turn from your indifference and become enthusiastic about the things of God. Look! I have been standing at the door and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me. I will let every one who conquers sit beside Me on My throne, just as I conquered.” Rev. 3:17-21 When faced with the decision to listen to the voice of God, Israel was not asked to use grace to buy this righteousness or white raiment. They were told that it is purchased by overcoming as He has overcome; and that this work is only done by the indwelling of the Spirit of God, not by human effort. And they had His promises: “...I will never leave you or forget you.” Jos. 1:5 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13 “Now glory be to God who by His mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of-infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.” Eph. 3:20
There is no difference today, for as someone has said ‘There are reasons why you will not overcome. You will not pray, you will not strive against evil habits and unholy thoughts. Do you dare contend with the eternal?’ The bride of Christ has always had a preparation to make before her marriage to the Lamb. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be dressed in the finest of linens, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of His people. Rev. 19:7,8 The bride makes herself ready for the wedding, not the wedding before the preparation, just as no one goes to live in another country without making some kind of preparations first. If we are going to speak heaven’s language when we get there, then the learning process must take place now. God knows our hearts and He will not go against our will and do something for us that we show by our actions that we do not believe even needs to be done. A GOOD TREE CANNOT BEAR BAD FRUIT, NOR CAN A BAD TREE BEAR GOOD FRUIT. Every tree that fails to bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Similarly you will know My people by the deeds they do. Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord!” will enter into the kingdom of heaven. Many will say to Me on that Day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name and in Your name cast out demons and in Your name do many wonderful works?” Then I will frankly say to them, “I never knew you. Get away from me, you evil workers.” Matt. 7:17-23 To be connected to the Vine, Christ, you must bear the kind of fruit that speaks of your connection to the Vine. And the power that flows through the Vine to the branches causes the branches to bear good fruit (good works.) These works are only a natural occurrence because of the connection to the Vine, not because the branch forced out it's own fruit by itself. I Am the true Vine, and my Father is the Gardener. He cuts off every branch that doesn’t produce. And He prunes those branches that bear fruit for even larger crops. He has already tended you by pruning you back for greater strength and usefulness by means of the commands I gave you. Take care to live in me, and let Me live in you. For a branch cant produce fruit when severed from the vine. Nor can you be fruitful apart from Me. Yes, I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives In Me and I in him shall produce a large crop of fruit. For apart from Me you cant do a thing. John 15:1-5 86
Its all about being connected to God and to His Son for our source of strength. For without the right connection we will not produce the good fruit that is required of the one who is connected to the Source of Power. But this connection will also bring on a pruning process (although this is not the wrath of God as many have suggested) pruning only makes a good branch even stronger. We will love the pruning process for it fits us for living in the Kingdom; it is not something to be dreaded. This process prepares the people of God for the white raiment that He has for them to wear in the place of the rags that they have been referring to as clothing. Then the Angel said to the others standing there “Remove his filthy clothing.” And turning to Joshua He said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I AM giving you these fine new clothes.” Then I said, “Please, could he also have a clean turban on his head?” So they gave him one. Zech. 3:4,5 We cannot just put on this robe whenever we want. It only happens because we have been willing to be connected to the Vine for our strength. Men have felt that by their good works or keeping the law they deserve this clothing. Yet their very lives show that they in fact are not connected as they imagine themselves to be. In this connection to the Vine there is no fear or concern that comes from the thought of standing before God's judgment because of not always doing what God said is to be done by those who claim to be His children. Instead, the judgment is seen as a time of rejoicing, not a time of wondering if one is saved or lost. For the connection to the Vine and the fruit that is produced is the reality of each persons relationship to their heavenly Father and His stamp of approval on their life already. If they are connected to the Vine that work or judgment has already taken place in their life (just as it has for the one who does not believe.) He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. John 3:18 “...choose today who you will serve…” Josh. 24:15 Unlike what so many believe about the judgment, God does not relish in the destruction of the wicked, He wishes for ALL to come to Him; and He has done ALL He can do to provide EVERY possible thing for each to be what He has asked them to be. Now (as it is said) the ball is in our court. Will we come into this Love relationship with God where divinity (the Vine) and humanity (the branches) can combine to produce righteous works/acts (fruit) that show victory instead of defeat and become for the world a witness of the power of God? If that is going to happen (and it will for the one who is connected to the Vine) then we must rely on the knowledge that God is Love and Love does not 87
fail us. We know how much God loves us because we have felt His love and because we believe Him when He tells us that He loves us dearly. God is love, and anyone who lives In love is living with God and God is living in him. And as we live with Christ, our love grows more perfect and complete; so we will not be ashamed and embarrassed at the day of judgment, but can face Him with confidence and joy, because He loves us and we love Him too. I John 4:16-18 Since the beginning of time God has been preparing a people to be able to stand like Job to vindicate His character. And those who stand for God have the right understanding of His character as Job did. And they are declared perfect by God as Job was. Then I saw a Lamb standing on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, and with Him were 144,000 who had His Name written on their fore heads. (in their minds) And I heard a sound from heaven like the roaring of a great waterfall or the rolling of mighty thunder. It was the singing of a choir accompanied by harps. This tremendous choir144,000 strong-sang a wonderful new song in front of the throne of God and before the four Living Beings and the twenty-four Elders; and no one could sing this song except those 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. For they are SPIRITUALLY UNDEFILED, pure as virgins, following the Lamb wherever He goes. They have been purchased from among the men on the earth as a consecrated offering to God and the Lamb. No falsehood can be charged against them; they are blameless. Rev 14:1-5 When we see the ministry of Christ in heaven, in His role as a Melchizedek High Priest, and we see that ministry through His eyes, we begin to realize that His work is far greater than we ever imagined. We begin to see with heavenly vision that God has been working to cleanse the soul temple so He may have a house to live in, not a house of sticks and stones but a church made up of those who have asked Him into their life. These are those who have won the battle over sin and Satan and have claimed back their kingdom that God gave to them. This is His bride that has made herself ready for the wedding and the people that prepare the Way of justice and peace. This is that Kingdom, that Day that Father Abraham saw and rejoiced in it. This is the Kingdom of Faith. Then justice will rule through all the land, and of justice, peace. Quietness and confidence will reign forevermore. Isa. 32:16,17 88
The Faith Of God
Many ask the question what is faith? All types of answers are given to this question but usually fall far from the mark and leave the questioner still wondering exactly what the answer is. Why has this occurred if in fact the answer is in the Scriptures? Could it be that no one really knows the answer or that it is one of the mysteries of God that may never be understood until He comes? Yet God calls His children to receive or have His Faith. So it would be reasonable to believe that He does not ask of His people something that He knows they cannot achieve. Therefore we must be able to come to a full understanding so that we may not only receive it but also help others to have it as well. FAITH-confidence or trust in a person or thing. Confidence or trust in a person or thing is what is referred to as the BEGINNING stage of understanding of what it means to have faith. We all start at this point from birth. We learn to trust or have confidence in things around us as we test them and see that they are able to be counted on when we need them. This is a surface trust or a trust built upon our ability to physically see, hear, taste, smell or touch and thus give ourselves enough information about the person or thing so that we may build a foundation on which to make a judgment to trust or not. This kind of faith is limited, in that it can be tricked or mislead into believing something that is not true. Yet this is where faith begins, and as long as we are constantly moving along (learning daily from God about His character) then we have no fear of being tricked or mislead and we soon pass beyond this stage of learning. In this first stage of learning we often make promises and commitments based upon these surface values. These many times fall short of their intended mark and cause us pain and grief. Yet here is where we learn to commit ourselves to God. It may take promise after promise and commitment after commitment to finally get it right, but God is gracious and loving and understands our weaknesses, and He says: “...My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…” II Cor. 12:9 If we can allow it, God’s power is perfected in us, to cause perfection in us, that His power may be made known to those around us, that everyone may become a witness for Him. This is why Paul could write, “...I will all the more gladly boast of my weakness, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” I Cor. 12:9 89
Paul is not saying that everywhere he goes he tells everyone that he is weak, but when he learned to stop using his OWN strength and started allowing God to work through him he found out at his strongest times he was nothing but a weakling compared to Christ. He saw that if he continued to allow Christ to work through him that he became spiritually strong and a terror to those who were misusing God’s Word. This is a wonderful lesson for us to help us learn to trust God so that we may become strong in our weakness. This is the point of passing beyond the physical limits of our strength and walking into the spiritual realm where God’s power flows through all those who put their trust in Him. “for we walk by faith, not by sight” II Cor. 5: 7 FAITH-spiritual acceptance of truth or heavenly realities not certified by humanistic reasoning. One must finally pass beyond the physical realities of this life to be able to take part of the FAITH OF GOD in full measure. We cannot stay in the baby stage of learning. “Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.” Heb. 6:1 The sad part in all of this is that many teachings about faith and how to understand God fall far short of spiritual maturity. This maturity does not occur because we may feel good about what we believe or that we are biased or opinionated about what we may believe. It is far more than that. Maturity in the Word of God is where Freedom and Love drive the individual and where biases and opinions no longer keep God’s children from learning those deeper things and keep them from becoming divine partakers of His character and standing clean before their Lord.
To Come By Faith
Faith exists because God exists. Let’s say that again, FAITH EXISTS BECAUSE GOD EXISTS. This being the case, we must then acknowledge the fact that in order to understand what Faith is and to be able to assimilate it in a fully useful manner, we must then be associated with the author or owner of it. This association between God and man is no mere thing; for God has said that He wants our relationship with Him to be as a husband and wife, where two individuals become one. And this can only take place where God exists, HEAVEN! And as the Way was made clear to Israel, we can see what has been required of those who seek to be with their Lord and Savior.
“So let us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive His mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need.” Heb. 4:16 Yet when the rubber meets the road, when all is said and done, many fear God too much to even think of coming into His presence and have been taught to imagine a relationship with Him through a mediator to represent them before His throne. Yet many of these same people say they have the faith of God and walk with their Lord. Faith in what? A god that they fear? “...and you shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, with your whole mind, and with your whole strength.” Mark 12:30 Faith in God or Faith from God works in the realm of love not fear. “And we to whom Christ has given eternal life don’t need to worry about whether we have been circumcised or not, ...for all we need is faith working through love.” Gal. 5:6 Just as Israel had to learn that it was not circumcision (outward appearances) that caused them to have a relationship with their God but instead to have love in their hearts that can only come from God, we to must understand that fear is left to the immature. Coming boldly before the throne of grace (God) is to say that one now understands and has trust in God that He has done all He has promised, and that He will give whatever the petitioner asks in His name. “For everyone who asks, receives. Anyone who seeks, finds. If only you will knock, the door will open.“ Mal 7:7 And does the Lord God lie? 91
“...and the Everlasting of Israel does not lie or repent; for He is not a man to change His mind“ I Sam. 15:29 So many have sought the Faith of God. They have begged and pleaded for it, they have studied more to find it and yet it continues to elude them as though it were just out of reach. Some may say they have it and yet hate their brother or sister. Some say they have it but have no time for a relationship with God. Many say they have it AND YET ARE AFRAID TO COME BOLDLY BEFORE HIS THRONE. As it has been said, faith exists because God exists. Once this is realized then we can understand that to have the Faith of God is to partake of who and what He is! “Then I saw heaven opened and a white horse standing there; and the One sitting on the horse was named “Faithful and True” Rev. 19:11 Faith is what God is, it is one of His many names which is why He is called Faithful. This is not just a word to express something about God, but is one of the many names of God. It is who He is. And by Faith (through His name) we stand clean before His throne and: “He made no distinction between them and us, for He cleansed their lives through faith, just as He did ours.” Acts 15:9 Many have made faith as a separate act of God instead of it being Him. They have misunderstood His Word and have consigned the understanding to human reasoning that does not know God and therefore feels it needs to interpret His Word in order to make sense of it. But if God lives in us (as many say He does in them) then there is no more Faith that one can get (if He who is Faithful lives in them) for it is in them already. What we must see is that ‘We come by Faith, into the Faith, that we may gain the Faith of God.’
The Opening Door Of Faith
Let’s look at the process of the Faith of Christ. Some believe that this is where man steps forward and lets God know of his intent and then Christ steps in and does His part. Yet this is to say that man has the ability to come into the presence of God without His help. Yet even Christ did not make the boast of doing anything outside of heaven’s power.
“I can of Myself do nothing. John 5:30 Many have said and still say that everything that is, is because of God. God is the creator and there is no other. This statement is true but is only the beginning of the story. The rest is that even our ability to think and move and choose is because God gives us the strength to make a decision for right or wrong. 0 Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit or stand When far away you know my every thought. You chart the path ahead of me, and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment, you know where I am. You know what I am going to say before I even say it. You both precede and follow me, and place your hand of blessing on my head. Ps. 139:1-5 We are God’s creation. He is the rightful owner and has paid the ultimate price for us and bought us back from the one who would love to keep us in slavery to him, so that we could be called sons of God. You were bought for a price-purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His very own. I Cor. 6:l9 Even the desire to do right comes from God. It is a command of God to come into His Faith. There is nothing we can do of ourselves that He does not supply the ability or strength to be able to do it. God therefore must initiate a thought process in our minds that if acted upon by us will provide for us the information that we need to make a choice for or against Him. Satan works by the same rules, he must first initiate a thought, for he can do nothing against our wills. But God supplies an escape route for even the temptation to sin that Satan may bring our way.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. Jude 24
No temptation has overtaken you but that which is common to man: but God is faithful; He will not allow you to be tempted beyond your endurance; but will make a way for you to escape your temptation, so that you may be able to bear it. I Cor. 10:13 This is one of Satan’s real headaches. God has provided for His children an escape hatch to use against even the power of temptation. Thus, there is no excuse for falling. He then allows us the freedom of choice to decide to take either road. Yet, within that decision is the reality that God gives the power to make either choice. For in Him we live and move and have our being... Acts 17:28 He has set before us a decision to make. If we choose Him then He will give to us what we ask in His name. If you then, who have sinned and come short of my glory, know how to give good things to your children, then how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to them that ask Him? Matt. 7:11 The greatest gift anyone can receive is SALVATION! Without salvation there is no hope, for salvation means-SAVED. This act of being saved is to realize that heaven is now your eternal home and Faith is the foundation on which you stand. But most after being saved, continue to seek the Faith of God as if it were some elusive dream that might find its answer in some later time. Yet God has promised to give whatever we ask in His name. Just ask, and it will be given to you; look for it, and you will find what you are looking for; knock on My door, and I will open it that you may receive entrance: And every one that ask, receives; and every one that looks, finds; and to the one who knocks, it will be opened to them. Matt. 7:7,8 This is not a problem of time (somewhere in the future we will receive it) it is a problem of understanding that it can be ours if we will but ask for it now. Many seem to have acquired along the way a picture of God that has Him creating humans and then making them seek the things they will need to make them grow. Even a farmer knows if he plants he will have to do everything he can to assure a good crop. Which means the farmer will have to give exactly what is needed for each plant to be the best it can be. Our heavenly Father is more giving than any farmer or anyone could ever be, and yet we treat Him as though He has forgotten what we need to be able to become strong healthy sons and daughters. 94
And it is he who will supply all your needs from his riches in glory because of what Christ Jesus has done for us. Phil 4:19 ‘The cross is the greatest gift that man can ever receive.’ This phrase is repeated over and over again all over the world, yet somehow Christ seems to have forgotten to give us the whole gift, or did He? I say, whatever you will bind up and give to Me on this earth, I will keep it bound: and whatever you will cause to be loosed on this earth, I will keep it that way. And I say to you, that if any two, who believe on Me will come together and ask, it will be done for them because of My Father in heaven. For where any of My people are, who have come in My name, I am there. Mat 18:18-20 ASK AND HE WILL GIVE IT Christ has said that we have not, because we ask not. Yet we see here that believing must accompany the request. And we are in need of seeing a God who is continually giving, not one who is playing hide and seek with us. And He said to me, I am the Aleph and Tau (Alpha and Omega), the beginning of all things, and the ending. I will freely give living water from My fountain to anyone who is thirsty. Rev. 21:6 God does not promise us that we will have lots of money and worldly goods, but that if we will learn of Him and walk and talk with Him as a friend that we will soon see that what He has to give is that which He is; He is Faithful, He is Merciful, He is Just, He is Grace. He is the Counselor, He is Light, He is Life and so much more. These are the only things He can give. For as the saying goes, ‘you cannot give that which you do not have.’ God did not create money, cars, houses, planes or trains. These things were never a part of His Kingdom. He has never been interested in how wealthy we can become in worldly goods. These things are mans inventions and what man desires. But when we come to know God, worldly things begin to grow strangely dim in the light of His Glory and Grace. Thus, as so often occurs, we have not because we seek for a wrong reason. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:3 Our requests show to ourselves and to the world just what kind of a relationship we have with our heavenly Father and our knowledge of what God has promised to give to those who ask in His name.
To the overcomer, I will give nourishment from My tree of Life, which is in the paradise I have prepared for you. Rev. 2:7 To the overcomer, I will feed them of heavenly food, and give them a new name, that is only theirs, and it will be in stone, never to be removed, and that Stone is My righteousness. Rev. 2:17 God has given us a great Gift. But as the old saying goes ‘you’ve got the cart before the horse,’ for it has been taught that we have the ability to receive Salvation (which is already ours through the gift of Christ) without the reception of Faith. Which is to say Faith in Christ is not needed to receive Salvation, Faith comes later. But that is to deny that Christ is in our life or comes into our life when we receive Salvation. In other words faith and salvation are treated as separate issues or things. The word FAITH means to have trust in something, but that trust is not built on blindness, for we do not receive God’s grace by accepting Him on blind faith. Then being right in God’s eyes by faith, let us have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; Through Him we have been brought by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and are proud in the hope of the glory (grace) of God Rom. 5:1,2 Knowing this, we do not base what we believe on untested ground. Prove (test) ALL THINGS; hold tightly to that which is good. I Thes. 5:21 Faith, though it is both a promise and a gift is not accepted on blind trust. God expects us to try ALL THINGS, to test them, even to test Him to see if He is someone we can trust. Once tested we then have a foundation on which to receive Him into our lives.
The Essence Of Faith
If Faith were a substance that we could touch, smell, hear or see, then it would be a much easier thing to explain (at least by worldly/fleshly understanding.) But Faith stands outside the normal realm of the way so many judge or experience life. Therefore they come up with many differing views and ways of expressing themselves in trying to explain this thing called Faith. And because of this there are many differing theological views today on the subject.
For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faithdisclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith. Rom. 1:17 This appears to be a hard thing to understand, but if we will look at it again we will see what God is trying to tell us. Another way to say what has been spoken in this part of scripture is: ‘God is the author of our Faith, the sustainer of our Faith, the maintainer of our Faith and even the container of our Faith that arouses us to more Faith that we may become One in Him.’ One of the points that must be seen here is what is meant by Faith? Just what is it referring to and to whom might it be referring? The Scriptures say about Faith that it is everything, and that it encompasses everything. Now Faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of the things we hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality-faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses. Heb. 11:1 The nation of Israel lived by hope of a coming Savior that would wash away their sins and take them to the promised land. Awaiting and looking for the [fulfillment, the realization of our] blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus, the Messiah, the Anointed One. Tit 2:13 As Israel before us, our hope is God, our hope is in God, our hope has been set in the blood of Jesus Christ. There is no more of a blessed hope than the Lord Jesus Christ. Then if Faith is that which we hope by (live in Christ by) then Faith is what our hope is. It is having Faith (God in us) and having hope (God in us.) Paul, An apostle of Christ Jesus by appointment and com97
mand of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus, the Messiah, our Hope. I Tim. 1:1 God has said that He is the Alpha and Omega (All that is, and All that ever will be.) In this statement God has made it known that WHAT EXISTS IS BECAUSE OF HIM. When this is understood in its full context then it is no longer a question as to why He loves His creation so very much. What we see is not an accident. God in His infinite knowledge knew what we needed and He knew what man would do with what He gave him. He therefore gave us what He knew we needed to come to a place where we would love Him, not because He had to ask us but because He has given Himself to us in every possible way. Often times a picture is portrayed that God is playing hide and seek with us. We read; the one who seeks will find and the one who knocks will have the door opened to them, but is Christ hiding? No! He is already in us and is giving us what we need or we would cease to exist. But what He is trying to say is, only those who seek Him will find the knowledge that will set them free and that knowledge is Christ. “...and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free… If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:32&36 But the freedom He gives goes beyond walls and bars and is a growth process in learning Truth. It is going forward into Truth where many have never been before. Freedom is God and God is Truth. Christ is our Hope and our Faith. All things begin in Him and end in Him. This does not make Him the creator of sin but a creator is responsible for his creation. This means that He is responsible for what His creation has done and the cross was the price He was willing to pay. In all of this is the very essence of Faith, the knowledge that God has already given us what we need. It is we who keep looking for what has already been given to us as though it is something God has hidden and we need to find it. Yet like a farmer who was willing to sell all he had to buy a plot of land that he found out had a buried treasure in it, we too need to continually seek the Word of God like looking for a treasure. But that can only be done by having enough knowledge to read the map and to have Faith (God) to believe that the map is authentic. As God has said: Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. I John 4:1 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse (love God with all your heart, soul, mind and body) that there may be food in 98
My house (man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD OF GOD) and test Me now in this” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. Mal. 3:10 As a person who becomes deathly ill knows there is no greater gift one can receive than the gift of life. And as a child of God knows there is no greater gift to receive than eternal life. God wants to give to all eternal life but many will not receive it or desire it enough to dig into the Word of God to see with spiritual eyesight the deeper things of God. And as without constant nourishment the body becomes sick, so without food from heaven the soul starves and becomes weak and the fight of Faith becomes harder to win against sin and Satan until finally the war is finally lost. Give us this day, our daily bread. The mind continually needs nourishment from God’s table. It must constantly receive more from God or it will falter and fail. What God has given (spiritual nourishment) continually needs more nourishment (Truth, the daily Bread from heaven) to help it grow into a mature state. So the choice is set before us, to work for that bread that perishes, or to work for that Bread that gives eternal life. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval." John 6:27 Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." John 6:49-51
The Law of Faith
The law of Faith is much like a algebraic equation. It is an if-then type of statement. If you have God living in your life + you are growing in Christ = then you have the Faith of God and are constantly receiving more and more of the character of Christ in you. Another way of saying it is; TO LIVE BY FAITH IS TO HAVE CHRIST LIVING IN YOU AND TO HAVE CHRIST LIVING IN YOU IS TO LIVE IN HOPE.
Not in your own strength for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you-energizing and creating in you the power and desire-both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. Phil. 2:13 Faith takes us into an experience with Christ that separates us from traditional views which have only seen through the eyes of flesh what Christ has said to us and have not continued with the Truth gaining new insights and new revelations into the Word of God. Let’s go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ, the Messiah, advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belongs to spiritual maturity. Let us not again be laying the foundation of repentance and abandonment of dead works and of FAITH to God, with teachings about purifying, the laying on of hands, the resurrection from the dead, and eternal judgment and punishment. These are all matters of which you should have been fully aware long, long ago. Heb. 6:1,2 Most never go beyond their leaders and have never traveled any farther than those who have framed much of the thinking of today; and when that path is taken then there is no room for any new truth to be unearthed in the mine of God and brought to the surface for view. But we want to see what God has for us and to dig a little deeper in His Word. We want to go further and further into the maturity of the Spiritual walk with Christ and reveal the heavenly character to a world that no longer believes. This Spiritual view of Faith takes us into the very throne room of God. It puts us in the position of walking and talking with Christ as one friend to another. This is the place where God has asked His people to come so they may partake of the heavenly manna and drink from the fountain of life. And the knowledge of God will set the soul free from the prison houses that mankind has built. That knowledge of God keeps us from being destroyed by Satan’s deceptions. But the lack of that same knowledge allows one person to rule over the other and to destroy the desire of the soul which allows Satan to become their 100
master. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you, have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you... Hosea 4:6 The command to seek knowledge is not a license to seek from those who have rejected God and want nothing to do with what He stands for but is a command to seek Truth from the Author of Truth. The dark ages should be a wakeup call to all of us. The church of that day had such a strangle hold on those who were ignorant of God's Word that for over a thousand years and more it was able to kill and destroy anyone or anything and all in the name of God! As the saying goes; ‘Those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past, are bound to repeat them in the future’ are words that so many of us forget so easily. Will it be said of us that we were not willing to hear or to see and to learn from our past? I know your works and what you are doing; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth! For you say, I am rich, I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing” and do not realize and understand that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked Rev. 3:15-1 7 The Law of Faith is a principal that if relied upon keeps one from falling into the trap of tradition where the belief is that if its not broken then don't fix it. The Law of Faith will lead us to continue to search (try God) and to dig for more Truth. We are all broken vessels in need of repair and the Word of God is the ultimate healing agent. ‘Oh Lord, help us to see beyond the surface those things that You would have us learn. Take us and mold our minds to be able to understand those deeper things in your Word. Lord, may we learn from the past and continue to go further in the future. Take away those things that keep us from seeing and give to us medicine to heal our sight that our vision may become clear. Thank you Lord we praise your name.’
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