Category Archives: Jesus Outside the Four Gospels

Christ, the Reality: the Real Window

2011-10-08%2014.04.10

2011-10-08%2014.04.10 (Photo credit: mlinksva)

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.

The Great Commission and an Ignored Commandment

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.

Jesus Christ, the Corner Stone for One Another

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]

Corner Stone

Corner Stone (Photo credit: dfulmer)

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

  1. Chain Blog: One Another – Alan Knox
  2. Linking One Another – Swanny
  3. What Does It Mean to Love One Another? – Chuck McKnight
  4. The treasure of ‘One Another’ – Jim Puntney
  5. This is how the world shall recognise you… – Kathleen Ward
  6. Accepting one another in love – Chris Jefferies
  7. One Another: A meta-narrative for the church – Part One and Part Two by Greg Gamble
  8. Individualism and “One Another” – Pieter Pretorius
  9. All Alone with One Another – by Jeremy Myers
  10. When it’s OK for Christians to compete – Joshua Lawson
  11. Jesus Christ, the Corner Stone for One Another – Peter
  12. Be Superficial With One Another – Jon
  13. Who will write the 13th link post in the chain?

Chain Blog Rules

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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?

I think that God did something wonderful in each heart as they learned to share and hear Christ. – John WilsonGathering in the Garden

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]

Girl by PernilleH via Flickr

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]

Creation or Evolution? An Outdated Question, in Christ

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]

Stream

Stream (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn_BE_BACK_on_10th_OCT)

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

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]

Fireworks

Fireworks (Photo credit: bayasaa)

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.

Don’t run.

Don’t hide.

Don’t argue.

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!

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The Man on the Red Horse Among the Myrtle Trees

Seeing each other in Christ and looking to each other, we are asking if we can share. Share the most valuable space in time, the expression of Christ. – Mark Champion, Letters :: Face

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]

Janie's crepe myrtle tree across the alley

Janie’s crepe myrtle tree across the alley (Photo credit: EraPhernalia Vintage . . . (playin’ hook-y ;o))

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]

666: The Number of a Man

Today God lives inside us. In one sense, if you want to find God, you need to find the believers in Christ. – Each One Has, Where Does God Live Today?

I haven’t shared a video blog post yet, but here is a quick one, with an important message. It’s called Where Does God Live Today? and it’s at the blog Each One Has. Everyday, we need to remember that we are all the House of the living God.

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. – [Rev 13:18 NASB]

666

666 by 12th St David

There is much that can be said, or argued, about this beast, who is described in John’s letter. I do not care to guess who the beast is, but to show what he represents. The beast represents the culmination of fallen humanity. In Scripture, the number 6 represents man. The beast is not merely 6, but three 6’s. The beast is the fullness of the natural man.

In Revelation, you will find that everything has increased, both the satanic and the godly. The Serpent has become a Great Red Dragon. The Tower of Babel has become Babylon the Great. The Garden has become a City. The Tree of Life has grown along with the River of Life and branched out on both sides of it. Likewise, Man has become a Beast, much like Nebuchadnezzar became like a beast for 7 years.

This beast is the fullness of that old man, who was created on the 6th day. The line of Adam is altogether summed up in the beast.

We, who are in Christ, have died to the Adamic race. We have been born anew into the race of Christ. Although, we were born in Adam, through the cross and the resurrection, we have been reborn in Christ. We are no longer in Adam, we are just in Christ.

So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly. – [1Cr 15:45-49 NASB]

Brothers and sisters, do not worry so much who this beast is. His rise to power and subsequent judgment has been ordained by our Lord. The former race, which he represents, has already been judged on the cross. We are no longer just earthly, we are heavenly. We are the New Man, who is eternal in Christ.

Introducing Prince, a Shadow of Christ

“In the journey of salvation, we do not transform ourselves … we are transformed by the indwelling presence of God.” – Bernie Webb

Bernie Webb at Believing IN Christ Jesus through ALL things wrote a blog post that relates very well to my post, today. His post, CAUTION: MEN AT WORK or … GOD AT WORK, is a quick and encouraging read.

About a week and a half ago, our little bird, Prince, went to be with Father. You may find it strange, but Prince was more than a bird to us. He was our one and only beloved son. He was so very unique. He was always so filled with life and love.

Today, I want to share Christ with you, through this small, beautiful bird, so loved and cared for by God.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. – [Mat 10:29 NASB]

The Love of Christ

Through Prince, I gained a glimpse of Christ’s love for us. Whenever I was sad, Prince would climb off of his cage and come try to comfort me with kisses. You could see the concern in his eyes for me. He treated me like one of his own. He would  pull on my beard hairs, like they were unopened feathers. He would try to take care of me by cleaning my face and straightening up my hairs. This little bird took me as one of his own and tried to take care of me the best that he could. Christ has taken us as His own and is caring for us, who are in Him.

An Example of How We Should Be Towards God

This is the most wonderful thing about my beloved, Prince. I was his daddy and he always wanted to be with me. He wanted to go wherever I went. If he couldn’t see me, he would cry out. He would yell when I left the house, and he would yell for me when I got home. My house is full of memories of Prince, because he was with me wherever I went. There was little that he wanted, but to be with me and to have my attention. Whenever I talked, Prince would talk. Whenever I laughed, Prince would laugh. He always wanted to be like me, doing the things that I was doing; He was always mimicking me.

To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: – [1Cr 1:2 NASB]

Do you see that this little bird is a shadow of Christ? Prince was a son to me, like Jesus was a Son to the Father. Jesus always went where the Father went, did what the Father did, and said what the Father said. Jesus didn’t have to mimic the Father, because they were altogether One. But, Prince’s life was an example of that desire of the Son to be One with the Father.

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. – [Jhn 5:19-20 NASB]

In Christ, whether male or female, we are all sons of God through the Sonship of Jesus Christ. As Prince always wanted to abide with me, we should always desire to abide in Christ. We should just want to go where our Father is going and do what our Father is doing. This is Christ in us as the Son, desiring to do the will of the Father.

My Love for Prince an Example of the Father’s Love for Us

O, how my wife and I love our little Prince. There are many places that we have wanted to go. We have wanted to go on vacations, cruises, hotels, and other places, but we would not leave Prince. If Prince could not go and we would have to leave him for too long, we would not go. It wasn’t a loss to us, because we would rather be with Prince than go on the most fantastic vacation.

We are closer to our Father, than I could ever be with Prince. Prince could be with me, but he could never be in me. Likewise, I could never be in him.

Do you know that our Father is always with us and is even in us? Perhaps, you do know this, but do you realize that He wants to be with us and in us? He has put us into His Son and when He looks at us, He sees His beloved Son. He is not in us because He has to be, but because He has desired to have His eternal Life in us from eternity past.

We were created to be vessels containing God and expressing His immeasurable fullness. We were created to express God’s image and exercise His authority. We were created to be One with God, like a glove is one with a hand.

Life was a Lemon

Before getting into the my post, I want to share a great post from a brother in Christ, who I know personally. I can testify to you of seeing, hearing, and feeling Christ in this brother, so loved by God. His name is John Wilson and he blogs at JohnSWilson3. His most recent post “…SINCE WE ARE RECEIVING A KINGDOM THAT CANNOT BE SHAKEN…” is a great encouragement to all of us who are suffering.

When I was a teenager, I was trying to figure out what kind of music I liked. I looked through some of my step-dad’s CD’s to try out some of his music. I saw one that looked pretty cool called Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell by Meat Loaf.

I’m not writing this post to advocate Meat Loaf’s music, but to share something of Christ. The other day I remembered one of the songs that I had listened to on Meat Loaf’s album called “Life is a Lemon and I Want My Money Back“. Here are some of the lyrics:

It’s all or nothing, and nothing’s all I ever get
Everytime I turn it on, I burn it up and burn it out

It’s a never ending attack,
Everything’s a lie and that’s a fact
Life is a lemon and I want my money back

And we’re always slipping thru the cracks
Slippin’
Then the movie’s over, fade to black
Life is a lemon and I want my money back
Back, back, back, back!

In case you don’t understand the reference to life being a lemon, a lemon is a new product that has severe defects.

Do you feel that way about life? I imagine that some of you do think that life is a lemon and some of you think that it’s peachy.

Life is a lemon…the natural life that is.

We were all born with the sinful satanic life. From our first heartbeats, our fallen human life is defective. We are not born the way that we were suppose to be. We come into this world through pain and we often leave it in pain. For many, there is more pain in this life, than happiness.

I can understand why Meat Loaf was so dissatisfied. I find no lasting satisfaction in this world either. You may find satisfaction in a person, but then, they are gone. You may find satisfaction in an object, but then, it is gone. Every slightest grip on happiness seems to slip through the cracks. In a world without hope, what can be done?

When you have a lemon car, there is nothing you can do to change that car. It wouldn’t be worth it if you could afford the necessary changes. That’s why it’s a lemon; it leaves a sour taste in your mouth.

You can’t change a lemon, you can only exchange it. My grandmother had a car that was a lemon. The company didn’t offer to fix the car for her, it offered her a new car. We all need to exchange this lemon of a life for the Life that we were meant to have.

The eternal Life of God embodied in Jesus Christ is the Life that we were made for. Adam and Eve took a different life for us, a defective life, a lemon life. But, through His sacrifice on the cross, Jesus cleared the way to the Tree of Life, that we might eat from it.

Jesus Christ is the Tree of Life.

We were branches on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the Tree of Death. But, we have exchanged that lemon life for God’s Life. In Christ, we have died to that Tree of Death and we have been grafted onto the Tree of Life. We are here to abide in Him and to enjoy His Life; we are here to express Him. We grow with His growth and we bear fruit with His bearing fruit.

In Christ, we are now the enlargement of the Tree of Life.

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. – [Rev 22:1-2 NASB]

Encountering Christ in Colossians by Frank Viola

Today, Christ has lifted my sorrowful face. He has encouraged me. He has been my Peace. On top of that, through Frank Viola‘s podcast, I have enjoyed a fresh sighting of the vastness and fullness of our Lord Jesus Christ. Check out His recent podcasts:

Encountering Christ in Colossians: Part I

Encountering Christ in Colossians: Part II

Encountering Christ in Colossians: Part III

Encountering Christ in Colossians: Part IV

Encountering Christ in Colossians: Part V

Here is my favorite quote from the second part:

Christ’s inexhaustible fullness is humanity’s sufficiency.

May the eyes of our hearts be enlightened to truly see and enjoy the reality of this immeasurable Christ!

In Christ Alone

In an effort to promote other workers in Christ, I plan to promote another blogger’s post at the beginning of each of my posts. We may all minister in different ways, but there is only one ministry: Christ!

We can see Christ and His Body everywhere. We can see Christ in movies, on the highway, in geology, and as David Bolton has blogged…in a puzzle. Have you seen this “Puzzle of puzzles”? Check out Lessons From a Lenticular Puzzle (1) – “The Puzzle of Puzzles” at christcenteredchristianity.

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s cultivated field, God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. – Paul

English: differnts shapes of clay pots.

English: different shapes of clay pots. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Beloved saints, there is a massive Christian system that likes to keep us “safe” in pots, rather than God’s Cultivated Field. What do I mean by “pots”? There are many shapes and sizes of pots. Some of these pots are doctrines, some are philosophies, some are cultures, some are music styles, some are denominations, some are charismatic leaders, some are methods of gathering, and the list goes on and on.

There are countless pots in Christianity. Each of these pots is a foundation, other than Christ. Pots divide plants from each other. Pots limit the growth of plants.

God doesn’t want us in pots. All of the pots must be broken and tossed out. We must all be planted in God’s Cultivated Field, which is just Christ.

If only we would smash all of these pots and destroy all of these foundations to the uttermost. If only we would be planted in Christ alone! Then we would be free to grow deep roots into Him and what upward growth we would have, expressing Him. We would grow with the growth of God!

Do you have a disagreement about doctrine with another believer? Present your views and if he or she still does not agree with you, agree on Christ. It is quite possible that you are wrong. Unless, you are the only one who has always had perfect and complete beliefs. There are doctrines that we cannot accept, but I am not here to tell you what those are. That is a decision to be made by the Body.

English: Wheat field in Seine-et-Marne (Île-de...

We are united in Christ.

Are you in Christ? That is enough, you are my brothers and sisters. Let’s drop our preferences, so that we may enjoy Christ’s preferences. All of these pots come from our soul, which consists of our mind, will, and emotions. We cannot be governed by these things, but we must be governed by our Spirit. Our soul must be renewed by the Spirit.

Let’s always turn to Christ in our Spirit. Let’s enjoy Him together. Let’s love Him together. Let’s feast on Him, so that we are utterly filled up with Him and He pours out of us and onto each other. Let’s leave our selves at the cross and put on Christ, the Resurrection Life within us.

The Magnification of Christ

English: Vector magnifying glass

English: Vector magnifying glass (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. – Paul

Have you seen the surpassing greatness of our Lord Jesus Christ? Do you comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ? Have you enjoyed His unsearchable riches? Do you know Christ’s love, which surpasses knowledge?

How can such a One be magnified? How can He be made greater than He already is?

The problem does not lie in Christ, but in the world. Christ is always the same. His surpassing greatness does not change. But, to the world, Christ is so small. They have no comprehension of His vastness, His wealthiness, His superabundance. The Lord of all is like nothing to those who do not know Him.

But, He has called a holy people, a nation of saints, to be His Body, the fullness of Him expressed to the humanity and angels, alike. We are here to magnify Christ. When we live Christ, He is magnified to those who don’t know Him. They see Him as less than nothing, but in our lives, His surpassing greatness is made known to all.

Even in our suffering, or perhaps, especially in our suffering, He is magnified. As we enjoy His unsearchable riches in the valley of the shadow of death, His riches are made known to all who watch us. You may not think that anyone has seen Christ in you, but you don’t know what spiritual powers are watching you.

You need not try to magnify Christ. Just enjoy Him. He is in you as the life-giving Spirit! Call on His Name. Love Him. Sing to Him in your heart. Take Him as God’s provision for your every need by faith. Do you need faith? Christ is your Faith. O, He is far more than sufficient. He is exceedingly superabundant!

Take Him as your Life and Life-supply. He is our Food, our Drink, our Air, our Rest. He is everything for us. Rest in Him and enjoy Him all day, everyday and you will live Christ. Count your religion, philosophy, culture and self, as loss; that you might gain Christ. Put off these old things of death, which the world values; and put on Christ, the New Man. Whenever someone finds you, they will just find you in Christ and He will be magnified in you.

Enjoy Him as the Nectar of Life at Jamal Jivanjee’s blog, illuminate.

What’s Wrong With Being Naked?

Human body, upper part, front. Model:Mikael Hä...

Human body, upper part, front. Model:Mikael Häggström. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. – [Gen 3:7 NASB]

The shamefulness of our nakedness begins early on in Scripture and it continues throughout the entire Bible.

‘And you shall not go up by steps to My altar, so that your nakedness will not be exposed on it.’ – [Exd 20:26 NASB]

‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, – [Rev 3:17 NASB]

Our nakedness was not a problem before the fall. We were innocent. When we ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, that changed.

Do you understand what happened in the Garden of Eden? We ate from that Tree of Death and joined in Satan’s rebellion. Adam and Eve were empty vessels, designed to be filled with God’s eternal Life. Instead, we took the Satanic nature into our flesh and thus, our nakedness became something shameful.

And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” – [Gen 3:11-12 NASB]

The bodies, made for God’s glory, became bodies of humiliation. Our flesh became the expression of Satan; our flesh became the enlargement of Satan. This is quite clear in Paul’s writings where Sin in our flesh is personified.

For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? – [Rom 7:14-24 NASB]

What a burden these bodies of humiliation are to us!

For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. – [2Cr 5:2-4 NASB]

So what is God’s answer to our nakedness? From the very beginning, He clothed us. In the Garden of Eden, God killed an animal and clothed Adam and Eve with its skin. This animal was a type of Christ, who would die because of our nakedness so that He could clothe us!

The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. – [Gen 3:21 NASB]

‘He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. – [Rev 3:5 NASB]

I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. – [Rev 3:18 NASB]

and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. – [Eph 4:24 NASB]

that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. – [Eph 4:22-24 NASB]

Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— – [Col 3:9-10 NASB]

Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, And let Your godly ones sing for joy. – [Psa 132:9 NASB]

Clothed with white garments, the new self, righteousness, and I am sure you could find more. What are these things? All of these are Christ. We must be clothed with Christ. He is our White Garments, our New Self, and our Righteousness.

But what does it mean to be clothed with Christ?

To be clothed with Christ is to express Him outwardly. Instead of expressing our old sinful self(nakedness), we express Christ. Let the One who is within you, flow out and be expressed through you.

We were made to express Christ.

Someday, we will have bodies conformed to the body of His glory, but now we must be clothed with Christ, so that we express Him and our old self is not expressed. Someday, we will shed these bodies of humiliation and shame, so that we can put on bodies conformed to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, [that it may be] conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working whereby he is able even to subject all things unto himself. – [Phl 3:20-21 ASV]

Don’t glorify your body of humiliation. Don’t buy such expensive clothing for your body to wear. Don’t buy such an expensive car for your body to ride around in. Don’t buy such an expensive house for your body to live in. You may buy all kinds of excellent things, but your body still remains poor and dying.

But, you must not hate your body either. You must take care of your body, so that you may live long on the earth for the Lord.

We take care of our bodies, without glorifying them, until our bodies of glory are revealed. But, don’t you realize that your body of glory, will be according to the measure of Christ you experience in this age? Put on Christ, that in every situation you might be found in Him, and you will express Him even more brilliantly in the age to come. O Father, clothe us with Christ in glory and splendor for your eternal purpose!

You Are Who You Eat

Tree of Life

Tree of Life (Photo credit: Adamo Photography)

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” [Gen 1:26 NASB]

We were not created as “Mankind”, but we were created according to God’s kind. We were created in His image and according to His likeness. The only thing we lacked was His eternal Life. We were an empty vessel, designed to be filled with Him. Like a glove, we were to be filled with a the heavenly Hand.

So God created a way for us to take His eternal Life into us.

Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. [Gen 2:9 NASB]

He placed two trees before us: The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. By eating of the Tree of Life we could take His eternal Life into us. Through the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, we could take Satan’s sin into our flesh and partake in His rebellion.

One Tree was of Life and the other Tree was of Death.

We chose the wrong Tree. We rejected God’s eternal Life and joined in Satan’s rebellion. We took something of the poisonous Satanic nature into our flesh. But, God kept a Way for us to come back to the Tree of Life, someday. First, He sentenced our flesh to death. Secondly, He guarded the Tree of Life, so that we couldn’t eat it and  be sentenced to eternal death.

Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— [23] therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. [24] So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life. [Gen 3:22-24 NASB]

O, but the eternal Wisdom of our God, that in Christ Jesus, He opened the way to the Tree of Life again! When we believe into Christ, we join in His death and resurrection. We die in Him and we are resurrected in Him. We have died to self. Our satanic flesh was crucified on the cross and Christ, who is the Tree of Life, has entered into us. He is now our eternal Life and our Life supply!

But, you may say that you still have the flesh. Even though you may not yet feel it, it is true nonetheless. It may be an objective reality to you right now, but if you press on to gain Christ, it will become something experiential. You must press on by faith. Faith is the substantiation of unseen things. We walk by Faith, not by sight.

By pressing on by Faith in Christ, Christ will be magnified in us. Christ is our Faith and He will be enlarged in us. He is immeasurably vast, but in our experience He may seem so very small. We must eat of Him, by Faith, as the Tree of Life everyday, all day.

All of our natural lives, we have eaten of Satan as the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in our flesh. We have not known any other way to live. But, in Christ we have the Tree of Life within our spirit. We must learn to turn to this Spirit, that we may take this Life into our souls.

We are tripartite beings, consisting of body, soul, and spirit. You are a soul, in a body, and you have a spirit. Our bodies are poisoned, unredeemable. Our bodies are things of humiliation. But we must still take care of our bodies, so that we may live long on the earth for our Lord. The soul consists of the mind, will, and emotions. The spirit is where the Life-giving Spirit lives in us.

who shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, [that it may be] conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working whereby he is able even to subject all things unto himself. [Phl 3:21 ASV]

By turning to the Spirit, daily, He spreads and saturates our soul. He fills us with Christ. Our mind, will, and emotions are renewed by Him. We die to our natural soul-life, which is governed by the flesh and we live by the Spirit.

So, we are still living between those two trees. A Tree of Death in our flesh and a Tree of Life in our Spirit. Satan lives in our flesh and Christ lives in our Spirit. If you eat fish all day, everyday, you will smell like fish. If you eat of the Tree of Life everyday, you will have the sweet fragrance of Christ. By eating of Christ, as the Tree of Life, we are the enlargement of Christ; so that He may grow and flow throughout the earth.

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. – [Rev 22:1-2 NASB]

The Excellence of Knowing Christ Jesus

But what things were gains to me, these I have counted as loss on account of Christ. But moreover I also count all things to be loss on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, on account of whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as refuse that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness which is out of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is out of God and based on faith, to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, If perhaps I may attain to the out-resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained or am already perfected, but I pursue, if even I may lay hold of that for which I also have been laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not account of myself to have laid hold; but one thing I do: Forgetting the things which are behind and stretching forward to the things which are before, I pursue toward the goal for the prize to which God in Christ Jesus has called me upward. Let us therefore, as many as are full-grown, have this mind; and if in anything you are otherwise minded, this also God will reveal to you. Nevertheless whereunto we have attained, by the same rule let us walk. [Phil 3:7-16]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, do you know what the purpose of our salvation is? The purpose of our salvation is to gain Christ. Christ has gained us, that we might gain Him.

But, you must first gain the vision of the excellence of knowing Jesus Christ. In the past, we sought to gain many things. If you have seen the excellence of knowing Christ, you will consider all others things as lost.

Don’t think that “all things” are just physical possessions. These verses come directly after Paul profession of who he was, before He was in Christ; he was Saul:

Though I myself have something to be confident of in the flesh as well. If any other man thinks that he has confidence in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day; of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, persecuting the church; as to the righteousness which is in the law, become blameless. [Phil 3: 4-6]

We must count all things, except Christ, as loss. Give up your vain religion, philosophy, and culture. These things are good to the world, but they are not of Christ. We cannot bring these things into Christ. Give up these things that you might gain Christ!

If we are to gain Christ, we must always be found in Christ. In every situation, at every place, among every people, may we be found in Christ. Whether we are found by people, or angels and demons, we must be found only in Christ. It is our shame to be found in ourselves. Only Christ is pleasing to our Father and may everything that we do, be an expression of Christ in us.

Are you suffering? Are you prospering? Don’t be found in yourself. Let others find you in Christ, no matter what your circumstances are. Do you think that Paul was in prison, hanging his head in defeat? Would Cesar’s household have believed into Christ if Paul was murmuring and complaining about his poor circumstances? By no means! He was there, in prison, expressing the unsearchably rich Christ, through the superabundant and all-inclusive Spirit. Paul was not a super-believer, he was living the normal life in Christ.

But, it is not so easy to be found in Christ. Everyday, we must be conformed to His death. Whatever the expression of the cross is today, we must bear it. It often seems like too much to bear. Fortunately, we do not have to bear it by our own life. Indeed, we cannot bear the cross in ourselves. The only way to bear the cross is by the Resurrection Life of Christ. We have the One who is the Resurrection within us.

It is by being conformed to the death of Christ, everyday, by the power of His resurrection, that we will gain Christ. What will the outcome of gaining Christ be? What will this special Prize be? It is the out-resurrection from among the dead. You see, everyone will be resurrected. Some will be resurrected to judgement. Some will be resurrected to glory. The out-resurrection, as the Greek states it, is something special for those who have gained Christ. It is for those who have been filled and saturated with His resurrection Life, having  died to self. It is a special enjoyment of Christ in His coming 1,000 year reign.

O, brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter how much of Christ you have attained, do not think that you have already obtained or have been made perfect. We must always press on in Christ!

Our growth in Christ, must not become stale. Forget what is behind you. Don’t just forget your failures, but forget your successes. Clinging to these things will keep you from continuing on in Christ. Have you achieved something great in Christ? It is nothing now. You must press on. Not just for your sake, but for the entire Body of Christ.

We are not here to gain Christ, just for ourselves. We must gain Him for the Body. Gain Christ so that God may dispense His riches into others through you. Gain Christ for our Father!

Growing in Christ

Flowering tree privet

Flowering tree privet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[3] And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; [4] and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. [5] “Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. [6] “But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. [7] “Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. [8] “And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. – Mat 13:3-8 NASB

I named this blog post “Growing in Christ”, but I want you to understand that it could equally be called “Christ Growing in You”. The two names are synonymous.

Lately, I have been impressed with the importance of the inner Life. This inner Life is the inner experience of Christ. The parable of the sower stresses upon us the need of having a deep inner experience of Christ.

You will find a better and more practical explanation of what I will talk about by a great brother in Christ, Milt Rodriguez, at The Rebuilders. His blog post is called Root Before Fruit and I highly recommend it.

Let’s begin with the Seed. The Seed contains the Life. Everything is there in the Seed. Whether it is a flower, a bush, or a great tree, it is contained within that Seed. If you have the Seed, you have the everything!

The Seed planted within us is Christ. If you have Christ you have everything. But, how small He seems at first! He starts as a little Seed inside of us. But, if we would we allow Him to grow in us, to fill and saturate us, how He would be magnified within us and through us!

A glorious mystery is that the Plant that grows forth from the Seed and the soil is our expression of Christ. That Plant is Christ. That Plant is you. That Plant is the beautiful mingling of divinity and humanity. That Plant is the enlargement of the Plant, who died to spread its Seed.

[19] …holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. – Col 2:19 NASB

I am not talking about Christ in an objective way, but in a subjective way. I think you all know how great Christ is in a objective way, but we need to experience this Christ in a subjective way if we are going to continue on to maturity.

Back to our Lord’s parable, it is obvious that the different outcomes are due to the difference between the soils. There was no lack in the Seed. Three of the soils were lacking. The Seed must be planted in the innermost being of the soil. Then that Seed must be allowed to grow and spread in the inner being of the soil. From the inner growth of the Seed, its outward expression bursts forth.

We see this outward expression in two, maybe three of the cases. We definitely see some outward expression of the Seed in the shallow and good soil, maybe even in the thorny soil. But, I want to focus on the difference between the shallow soil and good soil. Without deep roots, the outward expression dies. It is by the inner growth of the roots that the outward expression grows. The shallow soil did not allow Christ to grow in its inner being. It tried to express Him outwardly before it had the deep inner experience of Him. With that kind of attitude, we will not experience Life, but death.

[6] Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, [7] having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. – Col 2:6-7 NASB

Brothers and sisters, do you see what I am getting at? Do you want to express the glory of this Seed? From the inner growth, comes the outer growth, and eventually brings forth flowers and fruit, which are the Plant’s glory!

[18] 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, [19] 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 [20] which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, [21] 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. [22] And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, [23] which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. – Eph 1:18-23 NASB

God’s Household Administration

The Nant Llancarfan flowing toward the River K...

The Nant Llancarfan flowing toward the River Kenson at Llancarfan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of you already know about God’s eternal purpose, to sum up all things in Christ. This is God’s desire and He will attain it.

But, do you know how God is attaining such a high desire?

He will attain His desire through His household administration. In Greek, the word for this is oikonomia. It is such a rich word, it is helpful to look at the various meanings of oikonomia.

  • (literally) household law
  • stewardship
  • administration
  • economy
  • dispensation

A household administration was necessary for wealthy families. Wealthy families needed a steward  so that the riches of the family could be dispensed as needed.

The riches of Christ are unsearchable. We are in the family of God, the unsearchably rich family.

To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, – [Eph 3:8 ESV]

God’s household administration is to dispense this unsearchably rich Christ into us, through the Spirit, as our Life and as our Everything. As Christ is filling and saturating us, He is overflowing out of us into each other. This economy is God’s Way of attaining His desire. We are being built up into the fullness of Christ, to be a dwelling place for God, expressing His image and exercising His authority.

We are stewards of this divine mystery. We are called to receive Christ and dispense Christ into others, by the administrating Spirit. This is discipleship. We have a well of Living Water within us that springs up, and streams of this Living Water flow out from us. Our streams form just one river, the River of Life, God’s flowing.

We should read Ephesians with this view. We should read the entire Bible with this view. We should live with this view. This is not just dead knowledge, but this is the living Christ, moving and growing on earth. He is the Vine Tree of Life that grows in and with the flow of the River of Life.

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. – [Rev 22:1-2 NASB]

What a mystery! We are the enlargement of the immeasurably abundant Christ!

Psalm 119: A Psalm of Christ

Have you ever read the Old Testament, in order to see Christ? All of the Scriptures are just about Christ. In Psalm 119, I have replaced some words with Christ. I replaced words such as, law, precepts, commandments, word, and ordinances. Christ is the Reality of these things. You can read more about that in Who or What is the Word of God? If you have never read Scripture in this way, I think you will find fresh Life through the Old Testament.

Aleph. How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in Christ.
How blessed are those who observe Christ, who seek Him with all their heart.
They also do no unrighteousness; they walk in His ways.
You have ordained Christ, that we should keep Him diligently.
Oh that my ways may be established to keep Christ!
Then I shall not be ashamed when I look upon Christ.
I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Christ.
I shall keep Christ; do not forsake me utterly!
Beth. How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Christ.
With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me wander from Christ.
Christ, I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.
Blessed are You, O LORD; teach me Christ.
With my lips I have told of Christ.
I have rejoiced in the way of Christ, as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on Christ and regard Your ways.
I shall delight in Christ; I shall not forget Christ.
Gimel. Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Christ.
Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Christ.
I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide Christ from me.
My soul is crushed with longing after Christ at all times.
You rebuke the arrogant, the cursed, who wander from Christ.
Take away reproach and contempt from me, for I observe Christ.
Even though princes sit and talk against me, Your servant meditates on Christ.
Christ also is my delight; He is my counselor.
Daleth. My soul cleaves to the dust; revive me according to Christ.
I have told of my ways, and You have answered me; teach me Christ.
Make me understand the way of Christ, so I will meditate on Your wonders.
My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Christ.
Remove the false way from me, and graciously grant me Christ.
I have chosen the faithful way; I have placed Christ before me.
I cling to Christ; O LORD, do not put me to shame!
I shall run the way of Christ, for You will enlarge my heart.
He. Teach me, O LORD, the way of Christ, and I shall observe it to the end.
Give me understanding, that I may observe Christ and keep Him with all my heart.
Make me walk in the path of Christ, for I delight in Him.
Incline my heart to Christ and not to dishonest gain.
Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in Your ways.
Establish Christ to Your servant, as that which produces reverence for You.
Turn away my reproach which I dread, for Christ is good.
Behold, I long for Christ; revive me through Your righteousness.
Vav. May Your lovingkindnesses also come to me, O LORD, Your salvation according to Christ;
So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me, for I trust in Christ.
And do not take the word of Christ utterly out of my mouth, for I wait for Christ.
So I will keep Christ continually, forever and ever.
And I will walk at liberty, for I seek Christ.
I will also speak of Christ before kings and shall not be ashamed.
I shall delight in Christ, Who I love.
And I shall lift up my hands to Christ, Who I love; and I will meditate on Christ.
Zayin. Remember the word to Your servant, in which You have made me hope.
This is my comfort in my affliction, that Christ has revived me.
The arrogant utterly deride me, yet I do not turn aside from Christ.
I have remembered Christ from of old, O LORD, and comfort myself.
Burning indignation has seized me because of the wicked, who forsake Christ.
Christ is my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.
O LORD, I remember Your name in the night, and keep Christ.
This has become mine, that I observe Christ.
Heth. The LORD is my portion; I have promised to keep Christ.
I sought Your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to Christ.
I considered my ways and turned my feet to Christ.
I hastened and did not delay to keep Christ.
The cords of the wicked have encircled me, but I have not forgotten Christ.
At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to You because of Christ.
I am a companion of all those who fear You, and of those who keep Christ.
The earth is full of Your lovingkindness, O LORD; teach me Christ.
Teth. You have dealt well with Your servant, O LORD, according to Christ.
Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Christ.
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Christ.
You are good and do good; teach me Christ.
The arrogant have forged a lie against me; with all my heart I will observe Christ.
Their heart is covered with fat, but I delight in Christ.
It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Christ.
Christ is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
Yodh. Your hands made me and fashioned me; give me understanding, that I may learn Christ.
May those who fear You see me and be glad, because I wait for Christ.
I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
O may Your lovingkindness comfort me, according to Christ to Your servant.
May Your compassion come to me that I may live, for Christ is my delight.
May the arrogant be ashamed, for they subvert me with a lie; but I shall meditate on Christ.
May those who fear You turn to me, even those who know Christ.
May my heart be blameless in Christ, so that I will not be ashamed.
Kaph. My soul languishes for Your salvation; I wait for Christ.
My eyes fail with longing for Christ, while I say, “When will You comfort me?”
Though I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget Christ.
How many are the days of Your servant? When will You execute judgment on those who persecute me?
The arrogant have dug pits for me, men who are not in accord with Christ.
Christ is faithful; they have persecuted me with a lie; help me!
They almost destroyed me on earth, but as for me, I did not forsake Christ.
Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, so that I may keep Christ.
Lamedh. Forever, O LORD, Christ is settled in heaven.
Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands.
They stand this day according to Christ, for all things are Your servants.
If Christ had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget Christ, for by Him You have revived me.
I am Yours, save me; for I have sought Christ.
The wicked wait for me to destroy me; I shall diligently consider Christ.
I have seen a limit to all perfection; Christ is exceedingly broad.
Mem. O how I love Christ! He is my meditation all the day.
Christ make me wiser than my enemies, for He is ever mine.
I have more insight than all my teachers, for Christ is my meditation.
I understand more than the aged, because I have observed Christ.
I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Christ.
I have not turned aside from Christ, for You Yourself have taught me.
How sweet is Christ to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
From Christ I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.
Nun. Christ is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
I have sworn and I will confirm it, that I will keep Your righteous Christ.
I am exceedingly afflicted; revive me, O LORD, according to Christ.
O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me Christ.
My life is continually in my hand, yet I do not forget Christ.
The wicked have laid a snare for me, yet I have not gone astray from Christ.
I have inherited Christ forever, for He is the joy of my heart.
I have inclined my heart to perform Christ forever, even to the end.
Samekh. I hate those who are double-minded, but I love Christ.
You are my hiding place and my shield; I wait for Christ.
Depart from me, evildoers, that I may observe the Christ of my God.
Sustain me according to Christ, that I may live; and do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
Uphold me that I may be safe, that I may have regard for Christ continually.
You have rejected all those who wander from Christ, for their deceitfulness is useless.
You have removed all the wicked of the earth like dross; therefore I love Christ.
My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments.
Ayin. I have done justice and righteousness; do not leave me to my oppressors.
Be surety for Your servant for good; do not let the arrogant oppress me.
My eyes fail with longing for Your salvation and for Your righteous Christ.
Deal with Your servant according to Your lovingkindness and teach me Christ.
I am Your servant; give me understanding, that I may know Christ.
It is time for the LORD to act, for they have broken Christ.
Therefore I love Christ above gold, yes, above fine gold.
Therefore I esteem right Christ concerning everything, I hate every false way.
Pe. Christ is wonderful; therefore my soul observes Him.
The unfolding of Christ gives light; He gives understanding to the simple.
I opened my mouth wide and panted, for I longed for Christ.
Turn to me and be gracious to me, after Your manner with those who love Your name.
Establish my footsteps in Christ, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.
Redeem me from the oppression of man, that I may keep Christ.
Make Your face shine upon Your servant, and teach me Christ.
My eyes shed streams of water, because they do not keep Christ.
Tsadhe. Righteous are You, O LORD, and upright are Your judgments.
You have commanded Christ in righteousness and exceeding faithfulness.
My zeal has consumed me, because my adversaries have forgotten Christ.
Christ is very pure, therefore Your servant loves Him.
I am small and despised, yet I do not forget Christ.
Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Christ is truth.
Trouble and anguish have come upon me, yet Christ is my delight.
Christ is righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live.
Qoph. I cried with all my heart; answer me, O LORD! I will observe Christ.
I cried to You; save me and I shall keep Christ.
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Christ.
My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Christ.
Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness; revive me, O LORD, according to Christ.
Those who follow after wickedness draw near; they are far from Christ.
You are near, O LORD, and Christ is truth.
Of old I have known from Christ that You have founded Him forever.
Resh. Look upon my affliction and rescue me, for I do not forget Christ.
Plead my cause and redeem me; revive me according to Christ.
Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek Christ.
Great are Your mercies, O LORD; revive me according to Christ.
Many are my persecutors and my adversaries, yet I do not turn aside from Christ.
I behold the treacherous and loathe them, because they do not keep Christ.
Consider how I love Christ; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness.
The sum of Christ is truth, and Your righteous Christ is everlasting.
Shin. Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of Christ.
I rejoice at Christ, as one who finds great spoil.
I hate and despise falsehood, but I love Christ.
Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous Christ.
Those who love Christ have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble.
I hope for Your salvation, O LORD, and do Christ.
My soul keeps Christ, and I love Him exceedingly.
I keep Christ, for all my ways are before You.
Tav. Let my cry come before You, O LORD; give me understanding according to Christ.
Let my supplication come before You; deliver me according to Christ.
Let my lips utter praise, for You teach me Christ.
Let my tongue sing of Christ, for Christ is righteousness.
Let Your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen Christ.
I long for Your salvation, O LORD, and Christ is my delight.
Let my soul live that it may praise You, and let Christ help me.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I do not forget Christ.

Spying Out Christ, Our Good Land

The Promised Land. View south west through the...

The Promised Land. View south west through the trees from SD51930209 near Promised Land Farm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.” So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size. – [Num 13:30-32 NASB]

Before entering the Promised Land, Israel sent 12 spies into it, in order to determine what it was like. 10 spies returned with an evil report saying that it was impossible for them to take it. 2 spies returned with a good report, having seen the same Good Land. These two said that they would surely take possession of it.

Can you see that this is just the situation that we are in today?

The Promised Land, is a type of Christ as God’s provision for our every need. It is a type of the all-inclusive Christ. It represents the fullness of Christ.

God has set Christ, in His fullness, before us. Our Father has commanded us to take possession of the fullness of Christ. All of the unsearchable riches of this vast and immeasurable Christ have been made available to us through the cross. There is nothing left to do, but take possession of Him.

But, we have many enemies that would keep us from the fullness of Christ. There is the flesh, the old man, the world, the demons. Great armies of giants are arrayed against us, protected by fortified cities.

Today, the evil report that so many are giving is that we cannot take possession of the fullness of Christ. They say that we cannot express Christ. He is too high and we are too low. The flesh cannot be overcome. The old man cannot be overcome. The world cannot be overcome. The demons cannot be overcome. We are just grasshoppers before these giants.

Indeed, we are like grasshoppers, in ourselves. But, we are in Christ! We have the Lord of Heaven’s Armies fighting for us. The battle is the Lord’s battle, not ours. He has even won the battle already. This is the good report: the flesh, the old man, the world, the demons, every enemy of God has been crucified with Christ.

The victory is already won.

Let’s follow our Lord across the Jordan, which represents our experience of dying to our old man. Then comes circumcision, which represents our experience of the crucifixion of our flesh. Crossing the Jordan and circumcision are just our experience of objective realities that have already been obtained through the cross. Your old man and your flesh are already crucified. Now live by the Spirit. Take Christ as our New Man.

Let’s take possession of this all-inclusive Christ, full of vast and unsearchable riches. Don’t leave a single inch. Our Father wants the full expression of His Son. Everything is ready for us to take possession of our Inheritance and the battle is the Lord’s.

We must take Christ by faith.

See, the Lord your God placed Christ before you; go in and possess Christ, who the Lord swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to them and their descendants after them. Do not fear or be dismayed.

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