Category Archives: Jesus Outside the Four Gospels

The Limiting of God

Train tracks

Train tracks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. – [Rev 22:12 NASB]

It’s been almost 2,000 years since Christ spoke these words in John’s vision. We have to wonder why it has been such a long period of time. I am sure that many no longer believe He is coming quickly.

Was Christ wrong? Never!

Is it because time is different for Him? Well, a 1,000 years for God is like a day. But, Christ was talking to Him beloved Bride. He knows how what time is like for us. He is our His Priest and He sympathizes with us.

Has Christ been slow to return? Has He taken His time? No.

Christ is very quick to return. He would not wait an extra second.

So what has happened? Why has it been 2,000 years?

God has limited Himself. The omnipotent, omnipresent God has limited Himself by humanity.

In the Old Testament, God limited Himself to the ark of testimony. This ark had to be carried by His Priests. In order for God to move, He had to be carried by His People.

Do you see that this is just a type of the reality that we have today? In order for Christ to move today, He must be carried by His People. Christ goes where we go.

So has Christ been slow to return? No, we have been slow. He would move in the flash of lightning, but we would take our time. We have not allowed Him to prepare us. Christ must return victoriously. He must have attained His eternal desire. Christ must have His testimony, a People filled up with Him. Christ must have His Bride City, the New Jerusalem.

Pray without ceasing, because your prayers lay the tracks for God’s move.

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What or Who is the Word of God?

Jesus in the Word

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – [Jhn 1:1 NASB]

I have been wondering what the Word of God is and means. I have been seeking the Lord’s enlightenment so that I may have some understanding of His Word. I think that I have received some understanding.

By the way, you might also enjoy a blog post about the Word of God by a great brother in Christ, Jamal Jivanjee at illiminate: Know When to Capitalize the letter ‘W’ – A 2012 New Year Resolution.

Christ is the unique Word of God.

Everything that God speaks is Christ. Christ is all our Father has to say. In the New Testament, whenever the Father spoke, He spoke of Christ.

But, Christ is not a dead word, but a living and active Word.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. – [Hbr 4:12-14 NASB]

Christ, our High Priest, is the Word that is able to divide the soul and the spirit.

Do you see what it means for Christ to be the Word? Probably not. Even with these verses it is not so clear. But, you will see. You will see at least a glimpse.

Both John and Paul had a clear view of this wonderful Word.

“For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. “It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ “Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ “But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it. – [Deu 30:11-14 NASB]

But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, ‘WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), or ‘WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”–that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, – [Rom 10:6-8 NASB]

Do you see what Paul did in these verses? Paul paraphrases Moses’ words in Deuteronomy and attributes those words to Christ. Christ is the Word that is near to us, in our mouths and in our hearts.

Christ is the Word of faith. Paul preached this Word of Faith, which is just Christ crucified.

but we preach Christ crucified… – [1Cr 1:23 NASB]

In the Greek language there are multiple words for the word, “word”. But, I don’t want to get into that. I want you to know that there are multiple types of “word”. For example, the written word and the spoken word.

The written Word and the spoken Word are just Christ. But, how could such a thing be possible?

We are the Body of Christ. We have Christ living within us as the life-giving Spirit. As we eat and drink Christ by the Spirit, we are being saturated with Christ. We just become one with Christ.

Someday the Lord will be the only One and His Name will be the only One, because we will be so united with Him that we will be “one flesh” with Him.

We see Paul as one who was just so united with Christ that even His opinion was God’s speaking of Christ.

Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. – [1Cr 7:25 NASB]

Stop reading the Scriptures for just knowledge, theology, doctrines, and other “its”. Start reading Scripture to know Christ and experience Him as the living Word of God.

” You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; – [Jhn 5:39 NASB]

Don’t just read the Scriptures to see Christ, for He is also the Word spoken by the brothers and sisters in Christ.

Man does not live by bread alone, but by eating and drinking Christ, the life-giving Word of God. Christ is so near you, dear Body of Christ. He is in your mouth and in your heart.

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The Mystery of Godliness

Mystery

By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory. – [1Ti 3:16 NASB]

Great is the mystery of godliness!

Do you see what is so great about it?

  • He was revealed in the flesh.
  • He was vindicated in the Spirit.
  • He was seen by angels.
  • He was proclaimed among the nations.
  • He was believed on in the world.
  • He was taken up in glory.

Godliness is a Person. Godliness is Christ. What a glorious Christ!

But, godliness is not just the individual Jesus Christ, but the corporate Christ. We can say that Jesus was revealed in the flesh, He was vindicated in the Spirit, He was seen by angels, and He was taken up in glory. But, we cannot say that He was proclaimed among the nations, nor was He believed on in the world.

Paul was not talking about Jesus of Nazareth. He was talking about the New Man, with Christ as the Head of His Body, the Church.

  • Christ was revealed in our flesh.
  • Christ was vindicated in our Spirit.
  • Christ was seen by angels in us.
  • Christ was proclaimed among the nations through us.
  • Christ was believed on in the world by us.
  • Christ was taken up in glory in us.

The mystery of godliness is Christ in us as the Spirit, saturating us, and conforming us into the image of Christ. A godly person is a person who is being conformed to the image Christ and expressing Him in all that he or she does. But, the fullness of godliness on shines in and through the New Man. May Christ be all and in all.

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The Stone That Became a Mountain

Mountains - Autumn in Denali

“You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. “Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. – [Dan 2:34-35 NASB]

Here we have Nebuchadnezzar’s dream about a stone, cut without human hands that would destroy all human authority. Do you know who this Stone is? Have you heard of such a Rock?

There is only One.

He is Jesus, our risen Christ, the Lord of all.

You may have seen Jesus Christ as the Stone, but have you seen that He is becoming a great Mountain and this great Mountain is filling the earth? This is the enlargement of Christ. A Stone becoming a Mountain is nothing more that the enlargement of that wonderful Stone.

But, how could such a thing happen?

Christ became a life-giving Spirit.

So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. – [1Cr 15:45 NASB]

We, the Body of Christ, are that Holy Mountain. We have the Spirit of the living Christ mingled with our spirit. This Spirit, who has indwelt us, is spreading out and saturating us so that we are being filled with Him and conformed to the image of Christ

We are the enlargement of the Stone, the enlargement of this glorious Christ. He is filling the whole earth through us. This is how God is fulfilling His eternal purpose.

There is no room for our natural selves. All that we are must die, so that we can be filled with Christ. Nothing of ourselves will ever please God. He only wants Christ and only Christ is pleasing to Him. Christ, in His resurrection Life, is the pleasant aroma ascending up to God.

Do you see what this is leading to?

And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one. – [Zec 14:9 NASB]

Jesus Christ, the Lord, will be the only One and His Name will be the only One. Only that which is of Christ will last. Everything else will be consumed by fire.

All things will be in Christ and Christ will be in all things.

May we be emptied by the daily experience of the cross, so that we may be filled with Christ. May we experience the unsearchable riches of Christ. May Christ be all and in all.

Being Washed By Christ

Showerhead

“You shall anoint the laver and its stand, and consecrate it. Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the doorway of the tent of meeting and wash them with water.” – [Exd 40:11-12 NASB]

Today, like most other days, I went to work.

I went out into the world and I got dirty.

Have you had this experience? I am sure that you have. I work outside, so I get dirty everyday.

I shower in the morning, before I go to work. Then, I need a shower when I get home, because I stink. I smell like the world that I have spent eight hours in.

You can’t be in this world without getting dirty. This is true physically, as well as spiritually.

We need to be washed by the Lord. We must take Christ as our Shower. I am not talking about being washed by His blood, although we do need that for our sins. Instead, I am talking about being washed by Christ as the Water to cleanse us of death, of uncleanness.

We live in a world of dust and death. I am certain that each of us touches something of death each day.

We need to turn to the Lord throughout the day to wash us and bring us back to the freshness of His Life.

We see that Christ wants to wash our feet by His Spirit, in the New Testament.

Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” – [Jhn 13:10 NASB]

Why was it so important for Jesus to wash the disciples’ feet? Our feet are the only part of us that must be in contact with the world. He wants to cleanse us of that dust that we pick up while in the world. We were made from dust, but God has made us into living stones. He is not satisfied with us as just living stones, He is forming us into precious stones, without dust and without blemish.

But, we are living stones that are being built together into as House for our Father. So, we must wash each others’ feet.

“If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. “For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. – [Jhn 13:14-15 NASB]

Christ wants to cleanse us through each other. When we gather together, we wash each others’ feet by the Spirit, renewing each other to spiritual freshness.

Praise God! Christ is the reality of our showers.

 

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Jesus Christ, the Ram of God

Ouessant ram

[13] Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. – [Gen 22:13 NASB]

You have probably heard of Christ as the Lamb of God, but in the Old Testament, we see that He is even the Ram of God. Don’t think that the Lamb and the Ram are very different. They are both sheep. But, they show us different aspects of our dear Lord.

The Ram has horns, symbolizing Christ’s fighting power.

[53] “Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? – [Mat 26:53 NASB]

So what prevented Him from using such power?

Thicket

We see that this Ram’s horns were caught in the thicket. This thicket symbolizes fallen humanity. Christ had so much fighting power. He had power over nature, demons, illnesses, and even death. But, He was caught by our fallen humanity.

In order to attain His eternal purpose, God needs a People who express His image and exercise His authority. Fallen humanity, poisoned with sin and death, could never achieve God’s eternal purpose. So Christ laid down His horns, in order to suffer and die for us, becoming the Lamb of God.

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The Seeds of God’s Eternal Purpose in 7 Days: Day 1

No Darkness

[3] Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. [4] God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. [5] God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. – [Gen 1:3-5 NASB]

This blog post is the second in a series of posts. If you haven’t read the first post, the link is at the bottom of this post.

As we saw in “Day 0”, the original creation was fallen and under judgment. Then, we saw that the Spirit was brooding over the problem of this fallen creation. This is a picture of the Spirit’s move on us. Thus, Day 1 is the beginning of the Spirit’s regenerating work.

The first thing that we can learn from Day 1 is: It is God’s desire for the Light to overcome the Darkness. The darkness was already present, but God said, “let there be light”. Then, we see that Light and Darkness must always be divided against each other.

This light is the first seed of God’s eternal purpose.

God is calling the Light to overcome the Darkness. God dwells in light, so the Darkness is something that is against Him. He is unwilling to destroy the Darkness as the Creator. Instead, He will use His created Light to overcome the Darkness. For a time, He is even using the Darkness to make the Light shine brighter.

Next, the light in this day is an objective light.

You may have noticed that the sun, the moon, and the stars have not yet been made. There was light, but it could not yet be seen. This Light is Christ. He has always been Light, but before He took on flesh no one had seen His Light. He was a great Light while He walked the earth. Since His ascension, we no longer see His Light, except by the eyes of faith.

[2] The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them. – [Isa 9:2 NASB]

So how could this objective light be experienced by us?

We were in darkness until the Spirit moved on us. The initial work of the Spirit in regenerating us is to shine the Light of Christ within us. This is the revealing of Christ in us. We do not see this Light, but we certainly feel its effect within us and we believe into Christ.

There was evening and there was morning…

Let me take this chance to point out that before the writer states what day it was, there is the use of the above phrase: “there was evening and there was morning”. This is extremely important! This is another seed of God’s eternal purpose. Every night we have a mini-death and every morning we have a mini-resurrection. Death must always come before resurrection. This is something that is both objective and subjective to us. Objectively, God has included us into the death and resurrection of Christ, because we have believed into Him. Subjectively, we are to experience our death and resurrection with Christ, everyday.

[7] for we walk by faith, not by sight– – [2Cr 5:7 NASB]

Christ is our Light. Let’s experience Him as our Light by faith.

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The Seeds of God’s Eternal Purpose in 7 Days: Day 0

No Darkness

This will be a series of blog posts on God’s eternal purpose in the seven days described in Genesis 1 and 2.

In this introductory post, we will look at Genesis 1:1-2. Before we actually get into the days, I want to present a view of these two verses that will preface what we will see happening in the seven days.

[1] In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. [2] The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. – [Gen 1:1-2 NASB]

The word “was”, in verse 2, can also mean “became” and I believe this to be the proper translation. There is sufficient evidence in Scripture to show that God did not create the universe in the way that we see it in verse 2. Let’s take a look at some of that evidence.

God did not create the earth as formless and void, nor did He create it in darkness and covered with water.

[18] For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), “I am the LORD, and there is none else. – [Isa 45:18 NASB]

“Waste place” in Isa 45:18 is the same Hebrew word used in Gen 1:2 for “formless”.

[11] But pelican and hedgehog will possess it, And owl and raven will dwell in it; And He will stretch over it the line of desolation And the plumb line of emptiness. – [Isa 34:11 NASB]

“Desolation” in Isa 34:11 is the same Hebrew word used in Gen 1:2 for “formless”. “Emptiness” is the same Hebrew word used in Gen 1:2 for “void”.

[23] I looked on the earth, and behold, it was formless and void; And to the heavens, and they had no light. – [Jer 4:23 NASB]

Jer 4:23 bears to most striking resemblance to Gen 1:2. The earth is both formless and void and the heavens are in darkness.

Isa 34:11 and Jer 4:23, in context, both describe the world under God’s judgment. Also, in Isa 45:18, we can see that God did not create the earth the way that we see it in Gen 1:2.

Further evidence that the world is under judgment in Gen 1:2 is that the earth is under water. This resembles the earth under the judgment of the great flood, during which, Noah and his family were saved in the ark. But, lets take a look at one more thing that is wrong with the picture in Gen 1:2.

God dwells in light, not darkness.

[15] which He will bring about at the proper time–He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, [16] who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen. – [1Ti 6:15-16 NASB]

Honestly, I’m not sure how I ever missed this. I just assumed God lived in darkness before the creation. But, according to Paul in 1 Ti 6, God dwells in unapproachable light. Indeed, in Revelation 22:5, it states that God will be our Light. Surely, if the consummation of God’s eternal purpose is that all things should dwell in His Light, He would not create a world in darkness.

So what happened?

The angels were present when God created the heavens and the earth.

[4] “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, [5] Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? [6] “On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, [7] When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy? – [Job 38:4-7 NASB]

It seems likely that, during this unknown period of time between Gen 1:1 and Gen 1:2, Lucifer rebelled and God passed judgment on the heavens and the earth because of his rebellion.

Creation happened in Gen 1:1, the creation is under judgment in Gen 1:2, and what we see in the following seven days is the regeneration of a fallen heavens and earth by the Spirit.

The Spirit was brooding.

Above, in Gen 1:1, it states that the Spirit was moving. This word “moving”, may also mean “brooding”. He was brooding over the problem of this creation under judgment. I think both meanings, “moving” and “brooding” are appropriate.

Don’t you know that the Spirit brooded and moved over you?

We were a fallen people under judgment, but the Spirit came to regenerate us and make us a New Creation! This is what we will see in the seven days.

These seven days are about God’s eternal purpose in and through Christ to attain His desire.

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The Bread and the Wine are Better Than the Manna and the Water

This image shows a red wine glass.

Image via Wikipedia

The manna from heaven and the water from the rock are both Old Testament shadows of Christ. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ reveals Himself to be edible, saying that the bread symbolized His body and the wine His blood.

So, why is there a change in the images of Christ from the OT to the NT?

The manna was provided by God straight from heaven. Likewise, the water came out of the rock that followed the Israelites in the wilderness. Both were God’s provision for the Israelites and shadows of Christ.

But, do you know how much better the bread and the wine are? Bread does not start out as bread, now does wine start out as wine. Bread and wine must go through a process to become what they are.

The manna started out as manna and the water started out as water. But, bread starts out as wheat and goes through a process to become bread. In the same way, wine starts out as grapes and goes through a process to become wine.

Do you know that Jesus had to go through a process? As God, He had to put on humanity, live a sinless human life, die on the cross, be resurrected, and ascend to the very throne of God, taking His humanity with Him. Now, the One who sits on the throne is both the Son of God and the Son of Man. Like the bread and the wine, which symbolize the way that we are to partake of Him, our God is a processed God.

Through this process, we are now able to partake of His divine nature. Also, by eating and drinking of Him by the Spirit, we are going through a process to be like Him.

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How to Imitate Christ

[1] Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. – [1Cr 11:1 NASB]

[1] Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; – [Eph 5:1 NASB]

There is a famous book called “The Imitation of Christ”. Many people have tried to imitate Christ and they have found it impossible. Sure, you might be able to do good for days, months, or even years, but eventually you will fail. Why is it impossible? He lived a perfect life. How can we possibly imitate someone who lived a perfect life?

The problem is that we view the life of Jesus of Nazareth through a religious lens. We try to imitate His actions, instead of learning how He did the things that He did. The life in Christ is altogether anti-religious. If you attempt to combine Christ with religion, your religion will be torn apart. There is no power in religious acts, but there is power in living by the indwelling Christ.

Paul said to imitate him as he imitated Christ. Then in Ephesians, he wrote to imitate God. If Paul was imitating Christ, then to imitate Paul would mean to imitate Christ. So, lets look at what it means to imitate Christ.

[19] 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. – [Jhn 5:19 NASB]

[30] “I and the Father are one.” – [Jhn 10:30 NASB]

Jesus of Nazareth lived by the life of the Father.

[20] “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. – [Gal 2:20 NASB]

In Galatians, we see that Paul really did live by the life of Christ.

[56] “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. [57] “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. – [Jhn 6:56-57 NASB]

What the Father was to Jesus, so the risen Christ has become to us. By eating and drinking Christ we are receiving His Life into our being and He is saturating us with Himself. This is what it means to imitate Christ: To live by Life of the God who indwells us.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ

[1] The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, – [Rev 1:1 NASB]

Today, I have a burden for you, my brothers and sisters in Christ. This burden is in regards to the book of Revelation. The problem is this: Many view Revelation as either divisive or unknowable. Neither of these is true. The problem comes from our perspectives of this book.

Divisive?

This book is by no means divisive. The division is because we are not reading the book through the lens of Christ. This book is the revelation of Jesus Christ! In it, He is being unveiled to the world and the spiritual powers. So is this book divisive? No. The problem lies in how we read the book. It is not merely end-times prophecy, but the method by which God will unveil His wonderful Son to the entire universe.

Unknowable?

This book is full of signs and symbols, but it is a book meant to be understandable. The reason that we don’t understand it is that we do not understand the rest of Scripture. None of the symbols in Revelation are new. This is not a new book, but a conclusion to the rest of them. You must read this book with God’s ultimate thought in mind, His eternal purpose. This book is how He is attaining His desire, that Christ might be all and in all.

In addition, do not forget that this book, like all of Scripture, is a spiritual book. You will learn very little by simply reading its letters. You must exercise your spirit, which is indwelt by the Spirit of God, in order to understand its writings. Read it over and over with prayer, asking God to reveal its meaning to you. Read the interpretations of others’ and discern which fit well with the rest of Scripture and the eternal purpose of God.

So, I hope this post will encourage any who read it, not to give up on the book of Revelation. We need to see and understand this revelation of Jesus Christ. With every day that passes, the coming of our Lord grows ever closer. Let us read this book, understanding the message that our Father has given us, and preparing ourselves for the return of our Bridegroom.

From Genesis 3 to Revelation 12: God’s Eternal Purpose

[14] The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; [15] And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” [16] To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.” [17] Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. [18] “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; [19] By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.” – [Gen 3:14-19 NASB]

[1] A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; [2] and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. [3] Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. [4] And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. [5] And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. [6] Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. [7] And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, [8] and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. [9] And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. [10] 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. [11] “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. [12] “For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.” [13] And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. – [Rev 12:1-13 NASB]


The Woman

This woman is the one foretold of in Genesis. The woman is the entire Church. She is the beautiful Bride of Christ, awaiting His return. The sun, moon, and stars symbolize the universality of this Woman.

 

The Man Child

The child that comes from the woman, is not only a male child, but a Man Child. This is the Seed of the woman from Genesis that is to bruise Satan. This is the beginning of the New Man. The believers who are more mature in Christ, than the others. They are more mature because they have received more of Christ. Christ has been thoroughly dispensed into them. You may say, “But I thought the Seed of the woman is Christ”. You would also be right, since Christ is the head of the New Man. This is God’s purpose: That we would be His expression. Note that a Woman does not conceive on Her own. The Life of the Bridegroom has been dispensed into the Woman, and She has given birth to this Man Child. He is part of the Woman, and has the Life of the Bridegroom.

 

The Great Red Dragon

Much time has passed since the garden and the Serpent has become a Great Red Dragon. How has this happened? In Genesis, it was said that the serpent would eat dust. Man is made of dust. Satan seeks to devour people. He has devoured many and has grown quite large and strong. This is also why the Dragon is red: From the blood of his victims.

 

The Rapture

The rapture of the Man Child is described as He is called up to heaven, directly to the throne of God. They will be taken by Christ, who has come secretly in a cloud. He has come like a thief in the night. A thief comes secretly and quietly. You will note that this rapture differs from that of the rest of the Woman, since they are to meet Christ in the air. Why won’t all of the believers be caught up together? Some are ripe and some aren’t. The ripe ones will be caught up so that they won’t be over ripe and the unripe ones must wait until they have ripened.

 

The War

What is the purpose of this rapture? It is not to escape The Great Tribulation. The angels are awaiting the authority of Christ, through this Man Child, to cast the Accuser out of heaven. Thus the Man Child is called up to the throne in order to exercise the dominion given in Genesis, and regained by Christ on the cross. God has chosen to use His People to pass judgment on Satan, and Michael and the angels will carry out that judgment. Remember that the angels are to be under our authority.

 

The Persecution of the Rest of the Woman’s Children

The rest of the believers who were not prepared for the Lord, must be ripened. They will incur the wrath of the Dragon, was has been cast down by the Man Child. Through this persecution they will be ripened and ready to meet Christ when He appears in glory on the cloud.

Is Jesus Christ the Strong Angel in Revelation 10?

1I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire; 2and he had in his hand a little book which was open. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land; 3and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices. 4When the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken and do not write them.” 5Then the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to heaven, 6and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, WHO CREATED HEAVEN AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE EARTH AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE SEA AND THE THINGS IN IT, that there will be delay no longer, 7but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets. (Revelation 10:1-7 NASB)

While listening to Witness Lee’s Life Study of Revelation, he mentioned that Christ would come secretly in a cloud before His coming in glory on a cloud. Rather than wait until Witness Lee got to the full explanation of these verses, I thought that I would take a look at this strong angel who comes in a cloud. While examining what Scripture says about this angel, I do have to admit it seems likes it is Christ.

Coming down out of heaven

We know that Christ will come down from heaven when He returns, since we know that He has ascended there for a time.

Clothed with a cloud

When I read this, the image that flashed into my mind, was that of God leading the Israelites through the wilderness. In Scripture, no one else is ever clothed in a cloud, but God.

The rainbow was upon his head

The rainbow was given by God as a covenant to all flesh on the earth, that there would never again be a flood to destroy the earth. The rainbow seems to indicate that the angel is here for judgment, but will not forget the covenant that was given. Interestingly, the rainbow is God’s bow, another indication that this angel is God.

13I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. (Genesis 9:13 NASB)

His face was like the sun

This reminds me of the shining of Moses’ face after he had been in the presence of God. Also, we know that in the New Jerusalem there will be no need for the sun, because God will be our light. Next, Christ is our Morning Star, but once the Morning Star has fully risen it is the Sun.

His feet like pillars of fire

As I move through the appearance of this angel it seems more and more like it is the One, who Ezekiel saw sitting on the throne.

26Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man. 27Then I noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire; and there was a radiance around Him. 28As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. (Ezekiel 1:26-28 NASB)

He had in his hand a little book which was open

This may be the book from Revelation 5 that could only be opened by the Lamb. At this point the Lamb has already opened all of the seals, and thus the book is open.

He cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars

How wonderful this is: The Lamb who opened the book is also a Lion!

5and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.” 6And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 7And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. (Revelation 5:5-7)

Swore by Him who lives forever and ever

Who has the authority to swear by God, but God Himself?

34“But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING. (Matthew 5:34-35 NASB)

There will be delay no longer…then the mystery of God is finished

The oath of the angel is about the mystery of God. This is a reference to the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose. The mystery of God is Christ (Colossians 2:2) and the mystery of God is also Christ in us (Colossians 1:26-27). God’s eternal purpose to have an expression of Himself in Christ, through His Body. Christ is all and in all.

After examining all of these symbols attributed to this angel, I have to agree with Witness Lee that it is, indeed, Jesus Christ. If the use of the term “angel”, is difficult for you to attribute to Christ, then it may be helpful for you to understand that the word angel means a messenger. It does not have to be an angelic being, as we know that Christ is much higher than all angelic beings. All of this fits well with the main point of Revelation: The revelation of Jesus Christ. 

His Heart Yearns For Jerusalem

Brides

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1 Because I love Zion, I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch. 2 The nations will see your righteousness. World leaders will be blinded by your glory. And you will be given a new name by the LORD’s own mouth. 3 The LORD will hold you in his hand for all to see– a splendid crown in the hand of God. 4 Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City” or “The Desolate Land.” Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight” and “The Bride of God,” for the LORD delights in you and will claim you as his bride. 5 Your children will commit themselves to you, O Jerusalem, just as a young man commits himself to his bride. Then God will rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride. 6 O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually. Take no rest, all you who pray to the LORD. 7 Give the LORD no rest until he completes his work, until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth. – Isa 62:1-7 NLT

 

In these verses, the Lord displays His overwhelming love for His People, the City of God. How His heart yearns for us! Christ even ever lives to intercede on our behalf. He is so zealous for our righteousness and salvation that He will not stop praying for us. You may wonder what Christ is up to at any given moment. Here you have your answer: He is interceding for us.

But what is the purpose of this? He is going to blind the world with our righteousness and glory. Our righteousness and glory will shine more brightly than the sun. How can this possibly be? It is because Christ Himself is our Righteousness and our Glory. He is the Light that shines in us. When He is our All, when His fullness is displayed in us, all will see that His Brilliance is beyond measure.

Next, we find out that were are to have a new name. The Lord Himself is to give us this name. Our new name will be “The City of God’s Delight” and “The Bride of God”. This has been God’s purpose from beginning. Throughout Scripture you see the Father building a home. There is the garden, the ark, and the temple. All of these are but shadows of true House of God. The New Jerusalem, the City of God’s Delight, is a Living City. It is built of living stones. Each of us is a living stone and, together, we are this magnificent City that God so delights in. But, we see that is not our only name. We are also called the Bride of God. The Son came for a Bride, someone who He could be One with. He did this by giving us His very Life, so that we can share in His divine nature. What a beautiful Woman this Bride is! We are that Bride and Christ is our Bridegroom. What great names the Lord has given us.

But what does this act of naming us signify? First, it shows that we are the property of the Lord. He has paid our price on the cross, and purchased us by His blood. We are utterly and totally His. Next, He exchanges our name for a new name. Our old self is gone and replaced by one of His own making. Through Christ, our inheritance of death in Adam, has been exchanged for our inheritance of eternal life in Christ. We are truly a new creation in Christ.

How greatly our Lord rejoices in His new creation! We are His great pleasure. He holds us safely in hand and shows us off for all to see. We are like a crown to Him. Since Christ lives in us and Has filled us, He wears us as a crown so that all of earth and all the heavenly places may see this new creation that is made in His full image.

In the last two verses mention, we see that the Lord desires for us to be watchmen over the Church. He desires His People to give Him no rest until His work is completed, which is that this New Jerusalem would be the pride of the earth. He desire that we would pray without ceasing. If you don’t know what to pray for, here you have it. Pray for the desire of the Lord’s heart to be fulfilled. Pray that His work in creating this glorious People, who are called by His Name, may be completed. When you grow tired, take heart, He is ever praying with us and through us.

Oh, how He loves us so!

For He Has Done Wonderful Things

Groom, Texas

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1 In that day you will sing: “I will praise you, O LORD! You were angry with me, but not any more. Now you comfort me. 2 See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The LORD GOD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.” 3 With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation! 4 In that wonderful day you will sing: “Thank the LORD! Praise his name! Tell the nations what he has done. Let them know how mighty he is! 5 Sing to the LORD, for he has done wonderful things. Make known his praise around the world. 6 Let all the people of Jerusalem shout his praise with joy! For great is the Holy One of Israel who lives among you.” – Isa 12:1-6 NLT

Here we are given a description of the age in which we now live, and what a glorious age it is! This is not the description of some future time, but this is the time in which we now live. Someone has come and made peace between God and us. God is no longer angry with us, but has become our Comforter, through our faith in Jesus Christ. Once, we were His enemies, but now we are His Family. What a change!

Who is this that Has saved us from His wrath? It is none other than God Himself. This Wonderful God has given Himself to us. He has become our All. What do we now have to fear? Nothing. Christ is our Strength. Christ is our Courage. Christ is our Song. Christ is our Victory. Christ is our Salvation. The list can go on and on. Everything we now have is a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ. We have exchanged our ashes for Beauty.

Oh, the riches of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Fountain of our salvation. Everyday, He nourishes us. He is the great Refresher. Has your love grown cold? Are you defeated? The Son beckons you, “Come and drink of Me, for I am the Life-Giving Fountain”. It is our joy to drink deeply of Him. His depths are endless!

From these things flows our thanks and praise to the Lord. We share with others the amazing things that He has done in us and through us. The great might of the Lord is in how He has exchanged our old selves for Christ, that we may no longer live, but He lives in us. Never has such a thing been imagined, except in the mind of God. He has done the most wonderful things imaginable. He has given us His very Life to live by.

The last verse is most amazing. We, the Church, are that great People of Jerusalem. We are the New Jerusalem that descends from Heaven at the end of Revelations. We are the glorious City of God. What is the glory of this City? It is none other than the Holy One, the Christ that lives among us by His Spirit. The Father has indeed found a place of rest in us. Look, how He dwells among us, not just in us, but among us. As we gather, each believer is to share his or her portion of Christ, that He may be displayed among us. No one person can show the fullness of our Lord, but all of us together show His fullness.

Is Christ Really Your Rock and Fortress?

3 You are my rock and my fortress. For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger. – Psa 31:3 NLT


I doubt there are many who believe in Christ who would say, “Christ is not my Rock” or “Christ is not my Fortress”. On the other hand, how few among us actually experience this? How few of us stand firm during the great storms of life? How few of us feel guarded by His walls when the enemy rages against us. So the question is this: Why don’t we experience Christ as our Rock and our Fortress?

The problem is that we don’t enter into the Fortress by faith. Inside, there is nothing for us to do. Inside of His walls, we can only rest. Instead of entering into this Great and Mighty Rock, we cling to it. We say, “God is my Rock and I will cling to Him with all of my might”. Do you see the problem, brothers and sisters? With this kind of thinking, Christ is only our Rock as long as we can hold onto Him. Unfortunately, we are unable to hold onto Him for long in the midst of the hurricane of life or during the onslaught of the enemy.

We certainly dwell within the objective Christ, and He will see us safely through. But, that is often not our subjective experience. You can only entire this Fortress, the greatest of all fortresses, by faith. Not by trusting in yourself, but by fully trusting in Him. Stop holding onto the Rock in your own strength and enter into the Rock. Entire now and you will find Rest.

The Passionate Commitment of the Lord

1 Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory. 2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. 3 You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder. 4 For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian. 5 The boots of the warrior and the uniforms bloodstained by war will all be burned. They will be fuel for the fire. 6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen! – Isa 9:1-7 NLT

Oh, how deep has the darkness been that has consumed the world since fall of humanity. We were without hope. But God gave us a promise through the prophet Isaiah. This promise was that He would send us someone to set us free. Indeed, He did send us someone to fulfill His promises. He sent us a son, His Son. How glorious is the Son of God! Our Lord Jesus Christ filled Galilee with His glory. He is the light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. His light has end our slavery to the powers of darkness. He shined Himself upon us, and all darkness inside us fled from His glory. He has taken our burden of sin off of our backs and upon Himself. We have no longer have any responsibility to appease the tyrant that was our flesh. This great tyrant has been overthrown and we have been given a Good King.

Who is this King? He is our Wonderful Counselor, for He always guides us in the best way to go. He shows us the narrow path. Indeed, He knows it intimately since He, Himself, is the Narrow Path. He is the Mighty God. He is all-powerful, eternal, the great I AM. Next, He is the Everlasting Father. Those who have seen the Son, have seen the Father. Earthly fathers pass away, but ours will always be there. He always was, is, and always will be. The last name listed is the Prince of Peace. He has brought peace by ending the old creation and creating a new one that displays the image of God in its fullness. There is no longer a division between man and God, but we are united to God through the Son and soon we will see our union with Him manifested in its fullness. This Kingdom of Peace will never end. The King of Peace has brought us into this Kingdom, so that He may display His glory through us now, and forever more.

Look at the last sentence of the quoted Scripture. What a great promise it is! “The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!” It will happen. The Lord has declared it and is passionate to see it done. We are the beginnings of this great work of God. We are among the firstborn of this new creation, a creation filled with Christ. If only we believed that Christ is our Good King. We are His People and He reigns in our hearts. He will guard us jealously. We may not see the completion of these things with our eyes yet, but we see them through the eyes of faith.

Our Lord’s Victory

The crown of King Christian IV of Denmark, cur...

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Today I have decided to start posting about Jesus outside of the four gospels. The Scriptures are full of Him and through them we gain a full picture of who our Lord is.

1 For the choir director: A psalm of David. How the king rejoices in your strength, O LORD! He shouts with joy because you give him victory. 2 For you have given him his heart’s desire; you have withheld nothing he requested. Interlude 3 You welcomed him back with success and prosperity. You placed a crown of finest gold on his head. 4 He asked you to preserve his life, and you granted his request. The days of his life stretch on forever. 5 Your victory brings him great honor, and you have clothed him with splendor and majesty. 6 You have endowed him with eternal blessings and given him the joy of your presence. 7 For the king trusts in the LORD. The unfailing love of the Most High will keep him from stumbling. 8 You will capture all your enemies. Your strong right hand will seize all who hate you. 9 You will throw them in a flaming furnace when you appear. The LORD will consume them in his anger; fire will devour them. 10 You will wipe their children from the face of the earth; they will never have descendants. 11 Although they plot against you, their evil schemes will never succeed. 12 For they will turn and run when they see your arrows aimed at them. 13 Rise up, O LORD, in all your power. With music and singing we celebrate your mighty acts. (Psa 21:1-13 NLT)

Here we discover more of the greatness of our Christ. We see that the Father withholds nothing from Him. How joyful He is in His victory over sin and death! He entered back into heaven as a conqueror. His victory has brought the Father great honor. He has become the Eternal King, clothed with splendor and majesty. His victory has earned Him life everlasting. He is even too great for Satan and the world that Satan controls. He already has the victory and soon the fire of His wrath will consume His enemies.

Let us praise our great King who has shared His victory with us. We have done nothing, yet He has given all that He has to us. In Christ, we are more than conquerors because we share in this great victory of His.


Is God’s House Safe From Earthquakes?

A cornerstone with bronze relief images

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Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says:
“Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem,
a firm and tested stone.
It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on.
Whoever believes need never be shaken. (Isa 28:16 NLT)

The Foundation Stone has come. He was tested in all the ways that we are tested, yet He was without sin. Christ is the precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. He has proven Himself strong and sturdy. The church that is being built together on Christ will not be shaken. It cannot fall. We, His Temple, can only be built together on Christ, the Lord’s Foundation Stone. Earthquakes will come to test your foundation. Many will fall because their foundation was built by man and not by God. Will you believe in the Foundation that God has sent, or will your trust in one of the many foundations that man has produced?

The Beauty of Jesus and His Bride

Jesus

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“To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah; a love song. My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe. You are the most handsome of the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever. Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one, in your splendor and majesty! In your majesty ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; let your right hand teach you awesome deeds! Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; the peoples fall under you. Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad; daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor; at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir. Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father’s house, and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him. The people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts, the richest of the people. All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold. In many-colored robes she is led to the king, with her virgin companions following behind her. With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king. In place of your fathers shall be your sons; you will make them princes in all the earth. I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.”
(Psa 45:1-17 ESV)

Oh, the wonders that are in this Psalm. It is a beautiful description of Jesus and His Church. Notice that this King is called Son of man and God Himself. He is anointed by God with oil, which symbolizes the Father anointing Jesus with the Spirit. His Queen is clothed in gold. Gold is only made by God. This shows that She is clothed by God. She wears many-colored robes, which I think shows the many races of people that are in Her. The Name of Jesus Christ will be remembered in all generations and the nations will praise Him forever and ever.

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