I thought that some of you might find some encouragement in this today. We all suffer from a multitude of temptations and many have not found the Way to overcome.
It’s been my experience that the majority of saints don’t believe this encouragement from our brother, Peter, who saw, heard, and touched our Lord:
…the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation…
In this short part of his sentence, Peter shares with us the way to overcome: by faith in our Lord. Not just faith in the Lord, who is far away in a place called heaven, overseeing our lives. But, faith in the Lord who indwells us. Faith in the Lord who is united with us at the very core of our being; who became the Life-giving Spirit to unite Himself with our spirit in eternal oneness.
Christ in us is our Hope of Glory; our Hope of just expressing Christ and nothing of ourselves.
Don’t be discouraged if immediately after reading this, you sin. The enemy will do everything that he can to keep you from walking by faith. Even in the midst of falling into temptation, you can turn to the Lord by faith, and say “I can’t rescue myself from temptation, but I know that You are my Rescuer”. You may fail a thousand times, but don’t lose faith in Christ as the Way. Christ is the unique Overcomer, and He will overcome within us.
Even if you need faith, you can turn to Him and receive Christ as your Faith. In Christ, we can enjoy His unsearchable riches, which He is dispensing into us by His superabundant Spirit. We just keep receiving Him into our souls by faith.
I am the Way, the Reality, and the Life
In the ark, built by Noah, there was only a single window. This window was on the roof. We receive light through windows. The window was on the roof of the ark, because our Light is from above. Christ is the Window, and we receive God’s shining through Him. Christ is even the very Effulgence of God that we receive.
Christ isn’t just the Light and the Window, but He is also the Window Screen. The windows that Ezekiel saw, in his vision of the temple, had lattices, or screens. Christ, our Window Screen, keeps all of the dirt and bugs out. Christ keeps the world and the evil spirits out of His House.
Windows aren’t just for light, but also for air. Christ has become our Air, as the Life-giving Spirit, so that we may breath all the negative things out and breath in God. As we look upon Christ, we receive Him as our Light and our Air.
Keep the eyes of your heart on Christ. When you look at something, it enters into you through your eyes and is translated into your mind. It’s the same in Christ. Keep your eyes on Christ and He enters into you. Day-by-day, we receive Him, as our Grace, by Faith. Faith is our spiritual sight. We walk by Faith, not by sight. Christ is even Faith, for us. When we receive Him, by Faith, He is the shining Light within us. As we are filled and saturated with Him, He overflows out of us as Love. This expression of God is His Glory, and we join in His Glory, which is just Christ.
Brothers and sisters, whenever you see a window, remember that that window is a shadow of Jesus Christ. Through Christ, we receive the Light of God and through Christ, all the dirty, evil things are kept out.
- Jesus Christ: the Word, the Life, and the Light (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
On the next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. But he became hungry and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance; and he saw the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air. A voice came to him, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!” But Peter said, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.” Again a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into the sky. – [Act 10:9-16 NASB]
And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean. – [Act 10:28 NASB]
If you are looking forward to the Christ, the Reality series, don’t worry, I am still writing it. I have the second post partially written and I think that you will enjoy it. But, the above Scripture is what’s on my heart tonight. I came across these verses as the saints read them together. I have read them before, but I never saw what I am sharing with you today.
Everyone knows what has been called “the great commission”, but who ever even mentions the above commandment, given to Peter? The matter of eating and drinking Christ has always been a difficult thing(even for the believers) ever since Jesus said it, so long ago. But, here, our Lord gives us an even more difficult commandment. When preaching Christ, does anyone have the thought of going out to kill and eat people?
This vision, and our Lord’s words, reveal a wonderful key to understanding the Scriptures. All of the unclean creatures represented the Gentiles. The Jews were not to eat the Gentiles.
So, what does eating mean? It is the deepest union that two beings can have. What you eat becomes part of you. Something dies and enters into you and its life becomes your life. In cultures where very fragrant food is eaten, we find that people even smell like the food that they eat. If all you eat is fish every day, you will have a fishy fragrance.
God became a Man and died, so that He could enter into us as our Food and Drink. Thus, filling and saturating us, with Himself. He died to become our Life and Life-supply.
On the other hand, in His words to Peter, we find that He kills us and eats us. We cannot eat Him until He has eaten us. When the Spirit comes, He brings the death and the effectiveness of the death of Jesus Christ into us. We are crucified in Christ and we become food to satisfy Him. He eats us and we enter into Him and become part of Him; we become part of His Body. But, He doesn’t eat us directly. He eats us through His Body. The Ekklesia, the enlargement of Christ, goes into every place, killing and eating those, whom God has called.
Dear saints, we must eat and drink Christ, who was killed to become our Food and Drink. When we are filled with Christ, we can go, kill and eat those whom God has chosen for Himself. He is hungry and thirsty, and we are a satisfying Feast for Him, just as He is a satisfying Feast for us. This is the Way of union with God.
Let’s face it. The Bible is often viewed as a disjointed array of stories, events, laws, propositions, truths, ethical statements, and moral lessons. But as we will demonstrate in this book, the sixty-six books of the Bible are woven together by a single storyline. One of the best ways to look at the twenty-seven books of the New Testament may be to see them as a commentary on the Old Testament. The entire Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are unified by a common narrative. And once our eyes are opened to see that narrative, everything in both Testaments gels into a coherent, understandable, and amazing story. And what is that story? Well, it’s not enough to call it “salvation history” as many people do. No. It’s the story of Jesus Christ. The end product of biblical Christianity is a person— not a book, not a building, not a set of principles or a system of ethics— but one person in two natures (divine/ human) with four ministries (prophet/ priest/ king/ sage) and four biographies (the Gospels). But those four biographies don’t tell the whole story. Every bit of Scripture is part of the same great story of that one person and that one story’s plotline of creation, revelation, redemption, and consummation.
Sweet, Leonard; Viola, Frank (2012-10-02). Jesus: A Theography . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Jesus: A Theography, by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola, is quite a book at 409 pages. A significant number of those pages consists of footnotes for each chapter. This immense “theography” of Jesus covers Christ, from eternity past to His second coming (and everything in between). It’s not only an objective study of Christ, but also very practical at times.
Honestly, Jesus: A Theography is a difficult book to review. I found some parts of the book very enjoyable, but other parts somewhat tedious. There are different perspectives taken throughout the book and I think that this ensures that every reader will find some enjoyment of Christ within its pages.
If you enjoy reading the Scriptures, there are references. If you enjoy types and symbols, these are considered. If you enjoy a historical view, historical aspects are presented. Plus, I think you will find much, much more. But, you can find all of these things in many books.
What makes Jesus: A Theography unique, is that it’s entirely focused on Christ. Not only Jesus of Nazareth, but the eternal Christ Jesus. Our Lord Jesus is so lovely, so vast, and so all-inclusive, there is no single book that can fully express Him. But, Jesus: A Theography gives us a wonderful view of Him, and it is rooted in the Scriptures.
I recommend this book to all saints, who desire to know our Lord more deeply.
Although, I received this book for free from Booksneeze, but I also purchased an electronic version, so that I could read the footnotes more easily, and so that I could share it.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with theFederal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I have decided to write a new series on Christ as the Reality of every good thing. I will present pictures of Christ from our everyday life. Since, all things were created by Him, through Him, and for Him, His imprint is everywhere. If something does not express Him in some way, it expresses His enemy, or lack of Christ. I have learned to see Christ in everything from others. I hope that by seeing some of these analogies and pictures, that you will be encouraged to see Christ wherever you go. Our Lord is infinitely vast and you may be surprised where you will find His shadow!
I am the Way, the Reality, and the Life
Christ is the real Onion, and His layers are infinite and unsearchable. Whenever you are no longer enjoying the freshness of one layer, there is always another layer of freshness available for your enjoyment.
That means He’s repugnant to Satan. Because He’s full of freshness and life and an aroma that we love. Let’s all eat Him as the real onion. – Marcus Leslie
The Lord is with your spirit. Grace is with you.
When the Lord Jesus became the Life-giving Spirit, and entered into our spirit, He became our Grace. The fullness of the Triune God is within this Man, Jesus and He ascended so that He could be the Life-giving Spirit to enter into us. The Life-giving Spirit is not just the Spirit of God, but also the Spirit of the Last Adam, the Spirit of the Perfect Man. Only by having the Spirit of the crucified and resurrected Man, could we enjoy the effectiveness of His death and resurrection. So the Lord Spirit, who is with our spirit, is the mingled Spirit of God and Man, for God has forever taken humanity into Himself, so that He may forever put Himself into humanity. This is Grace: God, in Christ, entering into us and saturating us with Himself, to be Everything for us.
Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Since the Lord is with our spirit, we must turn to our spirit, to grow in Grace. Every day and every moment, we turn to the Spirit and enjoy Christ as our Grace, as our Love, as our Life, as God’s provision for our every need. This is to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s not an outward knowledge of objective facts, but it’s the inward knowledge of the experiential Lord Jesus, who is the Reality.
Not only is He the Lord within us, He is also the Savior. Whenever we turn to the Spirit, He is saving us as our Grace. By turning to the Spirit, He is spreading to renew our mind, will, and emotions. He is growing and enlarging within us, so that we may magnify Him.
“In the beginning was the Word…In Him was Life, and that Life was the Light of men.”
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Word, the Life, and the Light. He is everything for us. Christ, as the Word, is God’s Way of transferring Himself. A word is a communicated thought. A word is something, from within us, that comes out. To listen to someone speak is to hear what is inside of them.
But, God’s Word is much higher than ours. In His Word is eternal Life, and His Word is eternal Life. God’s Word is like a seed. Inside this Seed is the Life. Without the Seed, there would be no way for God’s Life to be spread. Christ is the real Seed.
When this Seed of Life, or Word of Life, enters into us, it illuminates us. The Seed brings the Life into the darkness of the soil, and the divine eternal Life is transferred. The Seed and the Soil become One Plant. This Plant needs the Light every day to grow. The Light is its strength, the Light is its Life. Christ is the Light of Life.
So, we the dead soil, have become living Plants, in Christ. Christ has been transmitted to us as the Word, He has become the Life within us, and He is the Light that shines upon us every day. We just receive Him and we grow with His growth, to enlarge Him, to share Him, and to express His glory.
- In the Beginning, God (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
In the beginning, God…
God is our Source, our Beginning. In Christ, we can receive and experience God. This receiving and experiencing God is always the beginning of our spiritual Life. Ever day, God must be our Beginning. We can’t do anything of eternal value, unless we have received God in our experience. But, if we are always receiving God, everything that we do will have eternal value, whether great or mundane. We must take Him as the Beginning, in everything that we do. Whether, we are speaking, cleaning, shopping, sleeping, eating, watching television, or working…we just take God, in Christ, as the Beginning. We should learn that there is no beginning without God. If we do something without God, we have done nothing. We have not even begun doing something. But, if we turn to the Spirit of Jesus Christ, and take God as our Beginning, it won’t matter so much what we are doing and how we are doing it, because it will be God doing it.
I haven’t had much time nor desire to write posts for the blog. But, I sometimes write posts on Facebook and Google+, which I consider to be too short for a blog post. But, I have decided to create a new category of “Quick Posts”, which I think that may be of some encouragement to readers of this blog. Hopefully, this will increase the frequency of my posts for those who enjoy frequent blog posts. Here is the first Quick Post:
God’s desire is to have a divine House, a Bride City, in and among His People. But, the enemy has been building up counterfeit cities. We see the struggle between these cities typified throughout Scripture. They alternate back and forth. The building materials for God’s New Jerusalem we in the Garden of Paradise. Then Cain’s son built the city of Enoch. Then there was Noah’s ark, altar, and tent. Then the evil city and tower of Babel. Then Abraham had an altar and a tent, as He looked forward to the City, who’s Architect and Builder is God. At the same time opposed to the altar and tent of Abraham, there were Sodom and Gomorrah. Then Jacob received the revelation of God’s House in a dream and anointed a stone with oil, calling the place Bethel, the House of God. Then Pharoah, a type of Satan, enslaved God’s People to build his treasure cities. But, God called His People out to build His tabernacle, which would be enlarged to be His temple. Opposed to the temple of God, was Babylon, which was Babel. The Temple was rebuilt, after it was destroyed by Babylon. But, there was great opposition from the enemy, to frustrate the rebuilding of God’s temple and city. But, soon the real Tabernacle and Temple came. The types would be destroyed, but the Reality had come in Jesus Christ. He is the foundation stone, the corner stone, and the capstone of the eternal New Jerusalem. We are all part of this New Jerusalem and we are building it with the divine Materials, the triune God Himself. But, opposed to the New Jerusalem, the Bride City, is Babylon, the harlot. A religious and political city, designed and constructed by the enemy, as the full counterfeit to God’s desire.
God’s House is the House of Life, the divine eternal Life of God, in Christ. The counterfeit is the house of death. God’s House is of the Tree of Life, but the enemy’s counterfeit is of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. In God’s House, Christ is all and in all, but there is no Christ in the enemy’s city.
Don’t despair that God’s House appears so small and the enemy’s house appears so big. God’s House is Spirit. The New Jerusalem is hidden to the world, but it is the invisible Reality. The enemy’s house is big and shiny, to attract all the people in, but it’s not the Reality.
Christ is the Reality and we are in Him. The New Jerusalem is the full, perfect, and eternal union of God and Man, in Christ.
The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” They were even more astonished and said to Him, ” Then who can be saved?” Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” – [Mar 10:24-27 NASB]
This is part two of another blog post: Heaven is for Real? I recommend that you read that post before you read this one. I think that Scripture above has been quite troublesome to many of the Lord’s children. Indeed, some have used Jesus’ words to trouble us. Today, I want to lift the burden off of you and clear up some things in these verses. The first misconception is that the Kingdom of God is where we go when we die. No, Jesus was not talking about some place called “heaven”. Jesus is often misquoted as saying:
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter
the kingdom of Godheaven.
The Kingdom of God is where God reigns in Jesus Christ. The heavenly places are indeed part of God’s Kingdom, but Jesus is not referring to the heavenly places. We are the Ekklesia of God and the Kingdom of God is within us and among us! Likewise, as we are the Kingdom of God now, there is a coming Kingdom of God, which we may inherit. Does that mean that there are two Kingdoms of God? No, there is only one. The difference is that we do not yet experience the fullness of the Kingdom of God. But, our Father is bringing us to that fullness, by His Spirit, for His Son. Since, the Kingdom of God is now within us, what was Jesus saying? Jesus was saying that our physical wealth, prevents us from living by the Spirit. It is in our Spirit, that the Kingdom of God is now. That Kingdom is spreading to your soul, or mind, will, and emotions. Someday, we will enjoy the fullness of the Kingdom, when we shed off these bodies of death and we receive our new bodies like Jesus Christ.
So do we have to get rid of all our money? Do we have to sell everything that we own? We can, but Jesus is not giving a command that everyone do so. He is using this wealthy person as an example for us. In Luke 16, our Lord gives us a parable to show that we should be prudent in the use of the unrighteous wealth. He ends that parable by saying this:
“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? “And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” – [Luk 16:10-13 NASB]
Brothers and sisters, don’t be slaves to wealth. Don’t love money and things. If you have wealth, don’t waste it, but use it to help others, especially those around you.
Wealth can be a major hindrance to walking by the Spirit. Through wealth, all kinds of distractions and anxieties come. The more you accumulate, the more distractions and anxieties you will have. But, if you do have the wealth of the world, we have this confidence from our Lord Himself:
“With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. – [Hbr 12:1-2 NASB]
Each species has its kingdom. There is the human kingdom, the fish kingdom, the bird kingdom, the lizard kingdom, the monkey kingdom, and so on. Each kingdom is divided by its particular life. The human life is quite distinguishable from the fish life. This separates these kingdoms.
With this in mind, suppose you had a fish tank. Every time you came near to the fish tank, the fish swam away in fear. Your desire was to tell these fish the good news that you would provide for all of their needs. Unfortunately, you had no way to speak to them. You would have to enter into the fish kingdom, taking on the fish life.
If you became a human fish, taking the fish life on, you would be able to communicate with the fish. You could tell them about work, laughter, war, cars, planes, televisions, and all the human things. But, the fish, being able to hear you, couldn’t have any understanding. All of these things are human things, belonging to the human kingdom, and the fish just couldn’t comprehend them. The fish might repeat the things that you said religiously. They might shout them with all of their fish lungs. Their little brains might be filled up with knowledge of human things. Yet, they would not be able to understand these things.
The fish would have to take in the human life. You would have to put your life into them, so that they may remain fish, but being able to understand and enjoy the human life.
Do you see that this is the same as what God did?
Jesus, God in the flesh, preached the Good News of God to many humans. But, even those closest to Him, didn’t comprehend the things that He was saying. He was telling them all about God’s Kingdom, but they had no understanding. They could only understand the human kingdom and they interpreted what Jesus’ said, according to the human kingdom. They completely missed everything that He said.
But, praise God! Jesus lived a human life, died, resurrected, ascended, and became the Life-giving Spirit to enter into us. He dispensed God’s Life into us, so that we may enter into the Kingdom of God!
We may now understand the things of God. Things that God has kept secret from eternity are now open to us, in Christ.
Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. “There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘ Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ “For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? “I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” – [Luk 18:1-8 NASB]
In this parable, Jesus compares God to an unrighteous judge. This parable has troubled many saints, including myself, in the past. Why should God be compared to an unrighteous judge?
Surely, God is Righteousness and there is no righteousness apart from Him.
But, in this age, God appears unrighteous. Murderers, rapists, thieves, and multitudes of evil doers go unpunished. Many even claim that there is no God and continue to mock the Son of God, yet God gives no response. So many saints, fully justified and righteous in Christ, suffer and die at the hands of the evil one. We are even accused, day and night, by the evil one.
Truly, You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior! – [Isa 45:15 NASB]
God isn’t unrighteous, but He appears as if He is, because He is a God, who hides himself.
The point of Jesus’ parable is that we should always pray and not lose heart. So many saints have become disheartened and many more continue to do so. When someone we love dearly dies, we may blame God. When disaster falls upon us, we may blame God. We pray and we pray and we pray and He doesn’t answer. We have expectations of Him and He doesn’t meet those expectations.
God will eventually let your expectations of Him fail. He is always faithful, but not always in the way that we expect.
“The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. – [Luk 8:14 NASB]
The disheartened saints have fallen among thorns.
Dear saints, don’t give up! Don’t grow disheartened! Although, our enemy constantly attacks and tortures us in thousands of different ways, our hidden God is faithful!
When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also. – [Rev 6:9-11 NASB]
Pray without ceasing! Wake up loving our Lord and go to sleep loving our Lord. We don’t have to pray for so many things. Our prayer just needs to be enjoyment and rest in God, by the blood of Jesus Christ, through the Life-giving Spirit. If you do pray for things, pray for His Kingdom, His Ekklesia, His Body, His House, His Family, His Bride, His Righteousness… and He will provide what you need.
“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. – [Mat 6:31-33 NASB]
This post is link eleven in a chain blog initiated by Alan Knox on the topic of “one another.” You can find out how to join in the chain blog at the bottom of this post.
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed. – [Isa 28:16 NASB]
The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone. – [Psa 118:22 NASB]
Have you seen this Corner Stone, dear brothers and sisters? It is our Lord Jesus Christ! He is the costly, chief Corner Stone of the House of God. The Corner Stone is the most important stone in the House. It must be a perfect Stone. All other stones find their place based on this single Stone.
But, that’s not all this Corner Stone does.
The Corner Stone links two walls together. Once upon a time, in an old creation, there were Jews and Gentiles. The Jews were God’s people, but the Gentiles were far-off from God. One people was filled with the children of God, whereas, the other people was at best, filled up with dogs.
Then, Jesus Christ came and took the Jews and the Gentiles to the cross with and in Him, crucifying them both. Now, in the new creation, there cannot be Jew, nor Gentile. Instead, Christ is all and in all.
Christ is the Corner Stone linking the two walls of the Jews and the Gentiles together into One.
This costly, chief Corner Stone is the basis on which, we relate to one another. This Corner Stone unites us. The old creation is full of every division imaginable. But, there is no division in the new creation. In Christ, we are altogether together One.
In Christ, there are no denominations, races, cultures, religions, philosophies, or any other thing that separates us.
In Christ, we are One Body, One House. Only in Christ can we love one another. Only in Christ can we be kind and compassionate to one another. Only in Christ can we be devoted to one another. Only in Christ can we outdo one another in showing honor. Only in Christ can we encourage one another. Only in Christ can we spur one another on to acts of love and good works. Only in Christ can we submit to one another.
The old creation is summed up with slaying one another. All day, every day, the Adamic race is slaying one other, whether on the battlefield or in the workplace; whether physically or emotionally.
But, we are the new creation! We are united in Christ, our costly, chief Corner Stone! We are ministering Christ into one another! With the Triune God, we are building one another up, into the City of God!
Every time we meet with one another, let’s enjoy this Corner Stone. Please, don’t leave this blog and say, “Well, that is true, but that’s not realistic”. If we would just keep our eyes on the Corner Stone and not on our flesh, we would experience the Reality with one another.
O precious Lord Jesus, you are the Corner Stone holding us all together. We are united to the uttermost in You. Open our eyes to see that You are the Reality. Make us see that You are our Corner Stone. Make us see that You hold us all together and everything that separates us is altogether opposed to You. Enlighten the eyes of our hearts to see You in Your glorious fullness. Then we will love one another with Your Love, which You have poured into us, until we have overflowed.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. – [Eph 2:19-22 NASB]
This is a blog post in a Chain Blog started by Alan Knox. Read on to learn about the other links in the chain, and to find out how you can participate in this chain blog.
Links in the ‘One Another’ Chain Blog
- Chain Blog: One Another – Alan Knox
- Linking One Another – Swanny
- What Does It Mean to Love One Another? – Chuck McKnight
- The treasure of ‘One Another’ – Jim Puntney
- This is how the world shall recognise you… – Kathleen Ward
- Accepting one another in love – Chris Jefferies
- One Another: A meta-narrative for the church – Part One and Part Two by Greg Gamble
- Individualism and “One Another” – Pieter Pretorius
- All Alone with One Another – by Jeremy Myers
- When it’s OK for Christians to compete – Joshua Lawson
- Jesus Christ, the Corner Stone for One Another – Peter
- Be Superficial With One Another - Jon
- Who will write the 13th link post in the chain?
Chain Blog Rules
- If you would like to write the next blog post (link) in this chain, leave a comment stating that you would like to do so. If someone else has already requested to write the next link, then please wait for that blog post and leave a comment there requesting to write the following link.
- Feel free to leave comments here and discuss items in this blog post without taking part in the actual “chain.” Your comments and discussion are very important in this chain blog (both this post and the other link posts in the chain).
- When you write a link in this chain, please reply in the comments of the previous post to let everyone know that your link is ready. Also, please try to keep an updated list of links in the chain at the bottom of your post, and please include these rules at the bottom of your post.
- Where in the Heavenly Places are We Seated? (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
- Creation or Evolution? An Outdated Question, in Christ (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
Brother John Wilson, has written another wonderful blog post on an organic gathering of some young saints. It has a very fitting title, Gathering in the Garden. I think that you will enjoy it immensely. Pray that these little ones will be built together, with love, in Christ, as a place a place of rest for our Father.
Now for my blog post…
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, – [Eph 2:4-6 NASB]
Dear saints, you may not feel like it, but you are seated with Christ in the heavenly places. Since you have believed into Christ, you have been utterly and eternally united with Christ. When our Father looks at you He just sees Christ. In Christ, you have been resurrected, ascended, and seated in the heavenly places.
But, what does it mean that we are seated in the heavenly places?
Where in the heavenly places are we seated?
Paul makes it clear that we are seated with Christ and in Christ. So the real question is: Where is Christ seated?
…Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him. – [1Pe 3:21-22 NASB]
O yes, dear brothers and sisters! Let’s shout with joy that Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Do you see the implications of this? Since Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of God, we are seated at the right hand of God.
Everything that is true of our beloved Lord Jesus, is true of us. When you are seated, you are resting. We are resting, in Christ, at the right hand of God!
I hope that you are enjoying Christ and resting in Him, as that is your rightful place. This doesn’t have to be a distant objective reality. We have His Spirit, within us. Turn your mind to the Spirit within you. Love Him and enjoy Him. God is not only in you, but you are in Him. Take pleasure in being in Him. The simplest way I know of turning to the Spirit, is to focus on Him and say, “Lord Jesus, I love You!” But, do not take this as a rule or a method. It doesn’t even require words. Just let the love that God has poured into your heart, flow back to Him. Tell Him how lovable He is. He is the delight of the nations! He is the healing of the nations! O glorious and beautiful Lord Jesus, you are our delight and enjoyment. Make our hearts burn within us, for You. Shine Your Face on us. May we be Your enjoyment. May we be Your delight. O thirsty and hungry Lord, enjoy a feast of our enjoyment of Christ.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. – [Eph 1:18-23 NASB]
- The Lord’s Response to Satan’s Accusations Against Us (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
- Creation or Evolution? An Outdated Question, in Christ (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
- Heaven is for Real? (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. – [2Cr 5:17 NASB]
Creationists and atheists have long marked evolution as the line of battle. But, the issue is outdated. It has been outdated for about 2,000 years. I’m urging you, my beloved brothers and sisters, to forsake this battle. It is worthless.
Creation is old, aged, elderly, crippled…
It became old when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It continued to age, when Cain killed Abel. With the flood it aged even more. Then, with the final fall at the tower of Babel, creation became old to the uttermost.
God does not desire anything that is old. God desires what is new and what is fresh. He wrote that desire into our hearts as we constantly fight to keep our youth. Old things rot and die.
He has terminated the old creation on the cross. Then, 3 days later, the new creation came forth, in Christ.
Why are you still debating how the old creation was made? It is dead. It is obsolete. It is fully terminated in God’s eyes.
God is looking upon His new creation, with pleasure. It is the apple of His eye. It delights His heart.
As the old creation was in Adam, the new creation is in Christ. Christ is the new creation and if you are in Him, you are new too!
Don’t read this blog post, with a natural, unrenewed mind. I am not saying to stop caring about the environment, creatures, and people. We must shine Christ forth to the old creation. Our lives among the old creation must be to declare the glory of the new creation.
We are new! We are fresh! We will never grow old again! We have joined with eternity fellowship of the Godhead, in Christ!
Even if you are aged outwardly, you can be fresh and new through the Eternal Spirit, who is mingled with your spirit.
Give up outdated debates about the old creation, that only puff up the mind. Speak forth the New Man, Jesus Christ. Make Him known with your words and actions. Always be turned to Him in your Spirit, loving Him, delighting in Him, and resting in Him. Then, He will flow out of you like streams of living water, refreshing those, whom He has called.
- The Lord’s Response to Satan’s Accusations Against Us (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
All Scripture finds its organic center and unity in Jesus. – Leonard Sweet & Frank Viola, Jesus: A Theography
Do you know what happened before the foundation of the world? Go read Frank Viola‘s blog post, What Happened Before the Foundation of the World? at Beyond Evangelical, containing an excerpt from Leonard Sweet’s and Frank Viola’s new book Jesus: A Theography.
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel. He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” Again he said to him, “See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes.” Then I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments, while the angel of the LORD was standing by. And the angel of the LORD admonished Joshua, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My service, then you will also govern My house and also have charge of My courts, and I will grant you free access among these who are standing here. – [Zec 3:1-7 NASB]
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. – [Rev 12:10 NASB]
Dear saints, we all experience the constant accusations against us by the evil one. He accuses us day and night. What should we do, in light of his harassment? Should we run? Should we hide? Should we deny his accusations?
We feel ashamed because his accusations against us are true. By nature, we are dirty. We were born in sin. Indeed, when Adam and Eve joined in Satan’s rebellion, by eating from the Tree of Knoweldge of Good and Evil, we took the satanic nature into our flesh. Whenever we have tried to do good, our flesh has overpowered us. Thus, Satan has had ground to accuse us before the Lord. Has this been your experience? Have you lived in guilt under his accusations, whether in your mind or from the people around you?
We are standing there in filthy clothes before Christ, who is the Angel of the Lord. Satan is standing to our side, accusing us. Our embarrassment is multiplied as the multitude of angels watch.
Brothers and sisters, the answer is not to argue with Satan. The answer is not to hide ourselves. The answer is not to try to clean our filthy clothes.
Jesus Christ has the answer. He rebukes Satan and proclaims us as a brand, plucked from the fire. He takes away our filthy garments and He takes our iniquity away. We are cleaned to the uttermost, not just our robes, but our turban, as well. He doesn’t just give us ordinary clean robes, but festal robes. He turns our sorrow into joy; He turns our mourning into a celebration!
Jesus Christ is the answer. Joshua is us in this picture, but Joshua is also a picture of Christ. He was never dirty, but He put on flesh, as if He was. This picture of us as the High Priest is a foreshadowing of us as the Body of Christ. We are made clean because we are in Him, we are part of Him, we are utterly and intimately united with Him. We do not cleanse ourselves, but He cleanses us.
Just trust in our Lord Jesus. Let Him make you clean. He desires to wash your feet. He will rebuke Satan for His accusations. He will cast down Satan. You are now in Christ and your dirty robes have been buried in the tomb. Now, He will put robes of celebration on you!
- The Man on the Red Horse Among the Myrtle Trees (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
Do you look into the face of Christ, when you see your brothers and sisters, in Christ? If you don’t, you should check out Mark Champion‘s blog post, Letters :: Face. May all the saints see Christ, when we look at each other…just as our Father does.
Now for my blog post…
I saw at night, and behold, a man was riding on a red horse, and he was standing among the myrtle trees which were in the ravine, with red, sorrel and white horses behind him. Then I said, “My lord, what are these?” And the angel who was speaking with me said to me, “I will show you what these are.” And the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered and said, “These are those whom the LORD has sent to patrol the earth.” So they answered the angel of the LORD who was standing among the myrtle trees and said, “We have patrolled the earth, and behold, all the earth is peaceful and quiet.” Then the angel of the LORD said, “O LORD of hosts, how long will You have no compassion for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which You have been indignant these seventy years?” The LORD answered the angel who was speaking with me with gracious words, comforting words. – [Zec 1:8-13 NASB]
Beloved saints, I have comforting words for you today. This blog post is as much for myself, as it is for you. Do you recognize this Man on the red horse, who is standing among the myrtle trees? He is the Angel of the Lord; He is Jesus Christ.
The book of Zechariah was written to the Lord’s People, who had been exiled. God’s People were so very low, while the nations were prospering. So, here you see God’s People as myrtle trees in a ravine. Myrtle trees, when chopped down, will shoot back up. You have to pull a myrtle tree out by the roots, in order to kill it. God’s People had been exiled, chopped down, and were as low as they could go in the bottom of a ravine. So where is the comfort?
Jesus, on a red horse, is among the myrtle trees! He is on a horse, symbolizing his swiftness in coming to His People’s aid. The horse is red, symbolizing the blood He will shed. You can compare this to the rider of the red horse in Revelation, who symbolizes war. Both symbolize blood that is shed. But, in Zechariah, it is Jesus’ blood.
Then, you have another picture of the Lord’s People in the three horses. Notice, that these three horses are following Jesus. There are three different colors of horses: red, reddish-brown, and white. Each one shows the progression of the saints. Some are red, like Jesus’ horse. This is because we are covered with His blood. Next, there are the reddish-brown horses, which shows that there is some mixture. Even though we are covered with His blood, we are not so pure yet. We are often still earthly and natural. Finally, there are the white horses. It is the Lord’s desire that we all be white horses. These horses symbolize purity. They have been washed by the blood, and have put off the Adamic fallen nature.
These horses have been spread throughout the earth and have a report for the Lord. The earth is peaceful and quiet, while the Lord’s People suffer.
While the evil people of this world prosper, we are often suffering. But, the Lord has gracious and comforting words for us, beloved brothers and sisters. He is not slow to come to our aid. He is even among us. Don’t think that He is far away. Even if you do not sense Him, He is intimately united with you in your Spirit. He has compassion on you and will lift you up. Even if you feel utterly worthless, you are a treasure to Him. You may feel hurt, broken, depressed, and like you have nothing to offer the world. Yet, Jesus would not throw you away. He desires to be your Doctor, your Lover, your Father; He desires to lift you out of the ravine and refresh you.
“A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. “He will not be disheartened or crushed Until He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.” Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it And spirit to those who walk in it, “I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations, To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the dungeon And those who dwell in darkness from the prison. – [Isa 42:3-7 NASB]
- The Letter Kills, but the Spirit Gives Life (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
Dear saints, this blog is devoted to exploring God’s eternal desire, which is to sum up all things in Christ. Christ is so great and so vast that we will enjoy searching the depths of His riches for eternity. I say that so you know that this post is still about His eternal desire.
Today, I am suggesting a way for you to help Him attain that eternal desire. I encourage you to remember the poor, pray for them, and help them. Have compassion on the poor, who are not able to take care of themselves.
Check out the Sponsor a Child page at Compassion International. If you are moved to have compassion on one of the children, then please sponsor them. Turn to the Spirit within you and see whether the Lord would have you help these children and their families. Even if you don’t sponsor a child, by all means, pray for the children and those who want to help them.
But, saints, don’t just give money out of obligation. Seek for the Lord to fulfill His eternal desire, through the money you give or the letters you write. Pray that the Life of Christ would spread through your words and actions. Let every gift that you give, be for spreading His eternal Life to others. Let your gift be a Gift, from the Spirit.
No matter what we are doing saints, may we just be found in Christ; not in our selves.
- Blogging to Help Children in Poverty (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
This “new Canaan” is Jesus Christ, He is outside the “camp” of mans religion. The reports are to be mixed with faith, not in those making the reports, but in the One that is Faithful and True. – Jim Putney, The Treasure of New Canaan
Have you seen Jesus Christ as thew new Canaan, as our Promised Land? Whether you have already seen this or not, I think that you will enjoy Jim Putney‘s blog post: The Treasure of the New Canaan at Treasure in Jars of Clay. His words are encouraging and so is his quote from T. Austin-Sparks. Now for my blog post…
Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. – [2Cr 3:5-6 NASB]
Today, as I was getting into my car to leave a certain place, I saw a brother reading the Bible on the back of his truck. When I saw him, I was moved to fellowship with him. I went over to him and asked, “What are you reading?”. He replied, “The Bible”. So, I said, “Yeah, but what are you reading in the Bible?”. He answered, “I don’t talk to nobody when I am reading the Bible, so go ahead and get out of here”.
This brother was not only reading the dead letter, but he killed the fellowship that we could have had. We could have shared the Lord together. We could have read the Scriptures together, by the Spirit, to see Christ. But, all he had was the letter, so we didn’t enjoy any Life together. We were not able to partake of the Tree of Life together, because he was busy eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Many are reading the Scriptures in a religious way and the result is death. They are not only killing themselves, but they are killing others. Do not be like this brother, who rejected me for a book.
Don’t reject each other. Instead, love each other and shine your light on each other; let Christ within you be expressed through you.
You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. – [2Cr 3:2-3 NASB]
- Jesus Christ, Life and Light (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
- Faith Without Works is Dead, So We Have to Do More…Right? (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
- Us in Christ and Christ in Us (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
We need special equipment to scale the heights of Him and dive into the depths of Him. But guess what? You already have this special equipment. It’s called your spirit. And He lives inside of your spirit. – Milt Rodriguez, Christ in 3-D
For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come. – [Hbr 13:14 NASB]
I’m not writing this blog post as a review of the the book Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. Instead, this blog post is in response to people’s obsession with heaven, which the aforementioned book exposed. So many religions are about trying to get to heaven or someplace similar(with a different name). Heaven may be the goal of religion, but is God’s goal to get us to heaven?
Getting to heaven is not our goal, nor is it God’s desire for us.
If you are living to get to or to help others get to heaven when they die, you’re living opposed to God’s desire. While people are trying to reach heaven, God desires to live on earth.
God’s desire to live on earth is one of the main narratives of Scripture. In the Garden, you see that there is gold, bdellium, and onyx stone.1 Paul tells us to build with gold, silver, and precious stones.2 Likewise, the New Jerusalem is made of gold, pearl, and precious stones.3 The Garden was to be the construction yard and we are now building God’s City. Look throughout the Scriptures and you will see God’s desire everywhere. Abraham was looking for a City who Architect and Builder is God.4 There is the ark, the tabernacle, and the temple, Ezekiel’s vision of the temple and the rebuilding of the temple. Jesus tabernacled among us, He said that He was the Temple, and He said that we are a City on a Mountain. Paul said that we are the Temple and that we are building God’s House. Also, there are Bethel(House of God) and Bethany(House of Figs), which were both pictures of God’s House.
Is there a place called heaven? Yes, there are heavenly places and we are already seated there in Christ!5
Additionally, those of the Bride, who overcome in this age by blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, will be caught up to God and to His throne, for casting down Satan. This corporate Man Child is the first fruits of the Lord’s harvest. He is the New Man, a living testimony against the Deceiver, wearing the full armor of God for casting Satan down.6 Yet, this Man Child will not stay in heaven, but will come with the Lord Jesus, when He comes to rule the earth.7
I want to add that not everyone agrees that we go to heaven or hell, when we die. In my opinion, we go to a place for the dead, or Hades, with a positive side and a negative side. The positive is referred to as paradise8 in Scripture and Paul considered it as a place separate from heaven. He was taken away to the third heaven and he was taken away to paradise.9 But, it is not so important that you agree with that or not.
It is much more important that you see God’s desire to live on earth and that you are already seated in the heavenly places in Christ. When you read of the New Jerusalem, which is the culmination and fulfillment of God’s desire, you see that it is coming out of heaven to the new earth.10 Right now, we are building this City with God, by the Spirit. We are building this City in the heavenly places, so that it may fill the new earth. This City is the mingling of God and Man, a mutual Home for each other and in each other.
Do you see, brothers and sisters? God wants to live in and among us on earth. God is Spirit, but He desires a physical Body, through which, He may express Himself. That is why we have a spirit, so that we may be united with God; so that He may enter into us and form us into an expression of Himself.
It doesn’t matter so much if you agree with all of my interpretations of Scripture. I want you to see God’s desire to live and express Himself on earth, in and through us. If we are all seeking to leave earth for heaven, how will our Father have His desire on earth?
1 Genesis 2:12
2 1 Corinthians 3:12
3 Revelation 21:18-21
4 Hebrews 11:10
5 Ephesians 1:20; Ephesians 2:6
6 Ephesians 2:15; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 6:11; Revelation 12:5-9
7 Revelation 19:11-16
8 Luke 23:43
9 2 Corinthians 12:2-4
10 Revelation 21:2