Category Archives: Teaching

He Who Eats My Flesh and Drinks My Blood

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me and I in him. As the living Father has sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me , he also shall alive because of Me. [John 6:54-57]

I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. If one does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is dried up; and they gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. In this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and so you will become My disciples. [John 15:5-8]

Taste and see that the Lord is good; [Psalms 34:8]

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. [John 6:63]

But He answered and said, It is written, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.” [Matthew 4:4]

Dear saints, I want to emphasize how important eating and drinking is. If we don’t eat and drink, we will grow weak and die. If someone eats once a day, surely he won’t have enough strength. Such a person will be weak and sickly.

Many want to abide in the Lord and bear fruit for the Lord. But few care for eating and drinking the Lord. We need to be the ones who eat and drink Christ many times each day. If we are always eating a drinking Christ, we will live because of Him; we will abide in Him and He will abide in us; and we will bear much fruit.

In order to eat something, that thing must die to enter into us. Then that food is metabolized. Our body is filled and saturated by the food we eat. We even become what we eat, because our body becomes saturated with it’s nutrients. If you just eat fish every day, you will smell like fish. Everyone will know you eat fish, because you will have a fishy aroma.

So it is with Christ. But, how do we eat Christ? Eating Christ is related to the Spirit and to the Word. The Word is the Food itself and the Spirit is the Life. No one goes to the store and says, “I don’t want the vegetable, I just want the life in it”. The Word is for us to take in the Life.

Yet, there is the danger that the Word could just be dead letters to us. If we just take it in with our mind, then there’s no spiritual Food. The only way to eat spiritual Food is with our spirits. We must turn our mind, will, and emotions to the Spirit, who is mingled with our spirits, for the proper eating.

This was shown clearly in Jesus words to the Pharisees:

You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that testify concerning Me. Yet you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. [John 5:39-40]

We shouldn’t forget that Christ is the Life within the Word. Actually, Christ is both the Word and the Life. The Word is Christ spoken forth for the transmission of Christ as Life.

Don’t think that this Food is just the Scriptures. We must also speak forth Christ to one another. We must feed each other with our experience of Christ. Ministering Christ to one another is the shepherding way.

He said to him, Feed My lambs…He said to him, Shepherd My sheep…Jesus said to him, Feed My sheep. [John 21:15-17]

And He Himself gave some as apostles and some as prophets and some as evangelists and some as shepherds and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the Body of Christ, [Ephesians 4:11-12]

Notice here that Paul says, “some as apostles”, “some as prophets”, and “some as evangelists”. But, shepherds and teachers are linked together. There is a link between shepherding, feeding, and teaching. If we are to take the shepherding way, we must be ones who are able to feed the lambs and the sheep, by teaching the Word, both as Milk and as Meat, according to their need.

Our Lord is the Good Shepherd, who nourishes and cherishes us. Our shepherding, must be the expression of our Lord.

The matter of eating Christ is absolutely central to the Scriptures and vital to our organic Life in Christ. The Scriptures begin with eating and ends with eating and drinking. Christ is the Tree of Life for God’s growth and the River of Life for God’s flow.

It would be good if every time you ate and drank, you would remember Christ as your real Food and Drink

That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man, [Ephesians 3:16]

I hope you all will take this to heart, eating and drinking Christ, and nourishing and cherishing one another. Then you all will be strengthened into your inner Man.

1
God gave His Son to man to be
The tree of life so rich and free,
That every man may taste and see
That God is good for food.
Yes, God is good for food!
Yes, God is good for food!
We’ve tasted and we testify
That God is good for food!

2
We eat this feast and take God in,
And as we eat we live by Him,
For all the elements within
This feast are God Himself.
Yes, Jesus is our feast!
Yes, Jesus is our feast!
We eat this feast and live by Him,
For Jesus is our feast!

3
Christ Jesus is the food we eat;
He is our bread, He is our meat;
He is our life-supply complete;
We daily eat of Him.
We daily eat of Him,
We daily eat of Him.
He is our life-supply complete;
We daily eat of Him.

4
This feast is so enjoyable;
To men it’s so available,
For God said whosoever will
May come and freely eat.
Yes, come and freely eat;
Yes, come and freely eat.
For God said whosoever will
May come and freely eat.

https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/1145

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I Press on Toward the Goal for the Prize

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12 NASB

There are many aspects to and pictures of the Prize, the consummation of which is the New Jerusalem. But I want to focus on the Good Land.

Beginning with Abraham, God called out a People to take possession of the Good Land. The Good Land is a type of Christ as Everything for us. The Good Land is the All-Inclusive Christ.

Today, this Good Land is in our spirit.

Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. And as for your little ones, who you said would become a prey, and your children, who today have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in there. And to them I will give it, and they shall possess it. But as for you, turn, and journey into the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea.’ Deuteronomy 1:38-40 ESV

The first generation in the wilderness is a picture of the old man, who couldn’t overcome the flesh and experience all that Christ is for us. But second generation is a picture of the New Man. It’s the New Man, having no knowledge of good or evil, who can take possession of the Good Land.

Adam, the first Man, ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. But in Christ, the second Man, Adam has been terminated. All that is of Adam has died in the wilderness.

So the Israelites pass through the Jordan, a figure of our baptism, death, and resurrection in Christ. It’s the Ark, a type of Christ, that leads the Way. Then the Israelites are commanded to circumcise themselves.

We are the real Hebrews, which means river-crossers. We are the ones circumcised in our hearts.

“When the Lord your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, Deuteronomy 12:29 ESV

Not only were the Israelites to cut off their flesh in circumcision, but they were to cut off the people in the Good Land. All of the Canaanites are a type of the flesh and the kings are a type of the evil powers that govern our flesh.

Even though, objectively, we have been crucified with Christ, we must apply His finished work by the Spirit, who is the very effectiveness of His death and resurrection. This is the picture that we have of the circumcision and the cutting off of the people’s from the Good Land.

If we are to take full possession of the Good Land, we must have practical daily experience of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ by the Spirit.

In Joshua, we have some pictures to give us practical help in overcoming and taking Christ as Everything for us.

By Faith.

Jericho, with its high walls, is a great big picture of the flesh. The Israelites didn’t need to struggle against Jericho. They walked around it by Faith. They walked with the Ark, as a type of Christ. They blew the Ram’s Horn, a type of announcing the Gospel of Christ as the fighting power. See Overcoming Jericho.

Being right before the Lord.

After Jericho, the Israelites attacked Ai. They spied out Ai and saw that the enemies were few there, and didn’t even send all the people to fight. But, they didn’t contact God and they kept something from Jericho against God’s command. So, Israel was defeated because it wasn’t right with God.

We don’t need more introspection, but we do need to go before the Lord and allow Him to illuminate our being. We are His House and He desires to keep His House clean. Don’t take a flashlight(introspection) to look for dirt, but turn to the light switch(the Spirit) to shine. He will show you everywhere that you are not right before the Lord. Wait on Him. Don’t rush ahead. Stay in the shining of the Lord. This Life within us is the Light of men. We are men, so His Life is our Light to shine in us. Stay in the cleansing flow of His River of Life. We walk in this world it’s too easy to get dirty. Our feet are always in contact with the world. This is the reason that Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. He is the Spirit washing our dirty feet in an inward way today.

Not being deceived by the flesh.

Next is the picture of the Gibeonites. Unlike Ai, the Gibeonites did not come to fight against Israel, but came to deceive it. The Gibeonites pretended to be poor travelers from far away and convinced Israel to make a covenant with them.

In regards to your flesh, you may say that this aspect or that feature is not so bad. You consider it to be useful for the Lord. Perhaps you are naturally a great speaker. Once you used your speaking for yourself, now you will use it for the Lord. Whether your natural speaking is for yourself or for the Lord it doesn’t matter. What matters is the source. The source of your speaking is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Only if your strong speaking is crucified, can it be useful to the Lord in resurrection. Then God will be the Source of your speaking. Then whether you speak clearly or with stuttering, God’s Life will flow through your speaking because He is your Source.

If you embrace your natural strengths, you are just like Israel. You forget your Husband and go ahead to make a covenant with your flesh. We must always wait on our Husband. The River of Life flows from the Throne, the Lord’s Headship. Only when we are living practically under our Husband’s Headship, will we enjoy the Flow of His Life.

Not taking your own choice.

The Lord desired to give the Good Land to the tribes of Israel. But, two and a half tribes didn’t want to cross the Jordan. They wanted the land before the Jordan, because it was good for their livestock. God gave them their choice and because of their choice, they would be the first tribes attacked by invaders and they wouldn’t have the protection of the Jordan.

You must not take your own choice, dear children. You must wait on the Lord. You must drop your opinions. You must be One with God’s People. As long as there is no sin or idol, be One with God’s People. If the saints are loud, be loud with them. If the saints are quiet, be quiet with them. Drop the ordinances in your heart that cause enmity between you and the Body. Water baptism by immersion or sprinkling? In a pool or in a lake? Drop your opinion in such matters. Who cares if you are right? The Oneness of the Body is far more important. We must march as One together with the Lord.

Not giving up and settling for less than God’s desire.

If you go on reading the Scriptures, you will find that the Israelites never fully cut off their enemies. They became content with the little that they had gained and gave up the fighting. Thus, they suffered. They succumbed to idolatry, to sin, and to invasions by the enemy.

I do think that many of you are defeated and accept that defeat as “this is just the way it is”. You are just waiting for Jesus to return to make everything better. But that isn’t God’s Economy. There is a reason Jesus calls for Overcomers. There is a reason Jesus warns of unfaithful servants, of virgins without Oil. God’s Economy to fulfill His Eternal Purpose is to dispense Himself into us to be our Life and Life-supply, so that He saturates us and constitutes our entire being, starting with our spirit and working His way out to our mind, will, emotions, and someday to our resurrected Body. This is why we eat His flesh and drink His blood. You are what you eat. So keep eating God in Christ. It’s the eating that gives us Strength for working and for fighting.

You must not accept defeat. We fight by turning to the Lord and continually receiving Christ and all that He is for us by Faith. Are your tired? Christ is your Energy. Are you hungry? Christ is your great Feast. The same Power that resurrected and ascended a Man to be seated in the heavenlies at the right hand of God, is now in us. This same Power is flowing towards us who believe!

All of the difficulties, the trials, the drynesses, are for our growth. If we will persevere in pursuing the Lord and enjoying Him day-by-day we will grow. It’s through the dry times that the roots of the trees dig deeper searching for Water. Dig deeper into our Lord. He is perfecting us. Keep turning to Him, loving Him, enjoying Him, all the time, and you won’t be disappointed. You will have the growth in Life and when the Lord appears in glory, so will you. What has been wrought in you in secret, will be manifested outwardly in great glory.

Overcoming Jericho

I hope that you will learn more from this post, than just about Jericho. I hope that you will see how to read the Old Testament, not just as a dead historical book, but as a Map to see and experience Christ.

Jericho is a picture of the flesh, with its high walls, separating us from the Lord.

There are two aspects in the story of Jericho. There is the march outside and Rehab within.

We can’t emphasize enough that the battle is the Lord’s. But we do have a part in it. Let’s take a look at the Lord’s People in the battle.

Israel marched quietly around the city with the Ark. The Ark was God being carried by Man and this was a type of Christ. This march around the City, was for exalting Christ.

The march was an orderly and corporate one, meaning that we must walk together, but not in a chaotic or loose way. We are walking together as the Body with our eyes set on the Lord.

We may be the armed men, marching with our Lord, but the Lord doesn’t want anything of our natural strength. The march was a quiet one, because we must quiet ourselves. This is the quieting of our souls: our mind, will, and emotions. These must be quieted, so we can follow the Joshua within us: the Spirit.

The priests would blow the rams’ horns, as the armed men marched silently. Did you know that Jesus is the Ram of God? He came as the Lamb of God to be a sacrifice. He laid down His horns, because the horns represent the fighting power. But, in His resurrection and ascension, He has His horns again. The horns were blown, representing the proclamation of the Gospel. This Gospel is the fighting power of our Lord.

Don’t be deceived, dear ones, the Gospel is not just for the unbelievers, but for the believers as well. We need to proclaim the Gospel to ourselves and to each other, everyday. We need to keep hearing the Reality of Christ. We must Hear Him as the Word and received Him day-by-day, as our Food, our Life-supply. Otherwise, we will be distracted and overcome by the world.

Israel walked around 7 times, because 7 consists of 3 and 4. 3 is the number of the Triune God and 4 is the number of the creature, because it is 3 + something added. Remember, God worked for 6 days and Man’s first day was a day of Rest. Around this city of Jericho, God and Man walked in Oneness.

Can you see the picture yet?

We must quiet our natural selves and walk together with God in Oneness, exalting Christ and proclaiming all that He is and all that He has done.

But, there is more.

We can’t forget about Rahab. Rahab was a harlot who lived in Jericho. She was altogether one with Jericho. Don’t you know that we are all Rahabs? We were the ones fully in our flesh. We were the harlots, or unfaithful ones, giving ourselves to the world.

We know that God has condemned sin in the flesh and the fallen flesh must be fully consumed, as shown in the burnt offering. But, thanks to God, in Christ, we are not consumed. We have the blood!

Rahab recognized the beautiful feet of the messengers, and believed in the Lord. Just as the Israelites put the blood on the doorpost in Egypt, Rahab tied the scarlet thread in the window. Because of Rahab’s faith, she is counted in the genealogy of Jesus. May we all be ones who have a part in bringing forth Christ!

Dear saints, as Rahab, within the flesh, there is nothing we need(or can) do…but rely on Christ’s finish work. As the members of the New Man, no longer governed by the flesh, we do have a part as the coworkers of the Lord

He is bringing us into the experience of all that He has already done. He is making the objective work of Christ, subjective in us. Praise the Lord, we are in Christ!

The Anointed One Became the Anointing

So also it is written, “The first man , Adam, became a living soul .” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. [1 Corinthians 15:45 NASB]

The last Adam is not a reference to God, but to a Man.

Jesus Christ, or Jesus the Anointed, became the Life-giving Spirit in His ascension. In His ascension, He remains as both God and Man.
This isn’t to say that Jesus isn’t seated in the heavenlies. But this Christ is so wonderful that He is at the right hand of God and He is in us.

“Take also for yourself the finest of spices: of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, two hundred and fifty, and of fragrant cane two hundred and fifty, and of cassia five hundred, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and of olive oil a hin. You shall make of these a holy anointing oil, a perfume mixture, the work of a perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil. With it you shall anoint the tent of meeting and the ark of the testimony, and the table and all its utensils, and the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the laver and its stand. You shall also consecrate them, that they may be most holy; whatever touches them shall be holy. You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister as priests to Me. You shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘This shall be a holy anointing oil to Me throughout your generations. [Exodus 30:23-31 NASB]

The anointing oil isn’t just the Spirit of God that we see in Genesis 1, but it is God, who has gone through a process. In the oil, signifying the Spirit of God, there are spices added. The spices signify the death and resurrection of Jesus and the effectiveness of that death and resurrection. Jesus Christ offered Himself through the eternal Spirit. This Spirit is Christ in us.

This Spirit within us is both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Man. If you have believed into Christ Jesus, your spirit is One with Him.

Oh Lord how sweet You are as the Spirit within us. How all-inclusive you are for us. You are fully God and fully Man for us.

Even more, Jesus said that He and the Father are One. He said that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. Do you realize that that means that we are in the Father and the Father is in us? Although God is Father, Spirit, and Son, these Members are distinct, but never separate.

We are in God and God is in us!

Dear holy ones of God, you already have this Anointing. Have you experienced Him? Have you taken Him as your Anointing by Faith? He is sufficient for you.

Enjoying and experiencing Christ doesn’t require a special feeling. It’s taking Him as everything that you need. Are you unloving? Take Christ as your Love. Are you impatient? Take Christ as your Patience.

Let’s enjoy this Anointing together; He is our Oneness and He is our Life.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, Coming down upon the beard, Even Aaron’s beard, Coming down upon the edge of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon Coming down upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing-life forever. [Psalms 133:1-3 NASB]

Can a Rich Man Go to Heaven?

Dollars

Dollars (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)

The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” They were even more astonished and said to Him, ” Then who can be saved?” Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” – [Mar 10:24-27 NASB]

This is part two of another blog post: Heaven is for Real? I recommend that you read that post before you read this one. I think that Scripture above has been quite troublesome to many of the Lord’s children. Indeed, some have used Jesus’ words to trouble us. Today, I want to lift the burden off of you and clear up some things in these verses. The first misconception is that the Kingdom of God is where we go when we die. No, Jesus was not talking about some place called “heaven”. Jesus is often misquoted as saying:

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God heaven.

The Kingdom of God is where God reigns in Jesus Christ. The heavenly places are indeed part of God’s Kingdom, but Jesus is not referring to the heavenly places. We are the Ekklesia of God and the Kingdom of God is within us and among us! Likewise, as we are the Kingdom of God now, there is a coming Kingdom of God, which we may inherit. Does that mean that there are two Kingdoms of God? No, there is only one. The difference is that we do not yet experience the fullness of the Kingdom of God. But, our Father is bringing us to that fullness, by His Spirit, for His Son. Since, the Kingdom of God is now within us, what was Jesus saying? Jesus was saying that our physical wealth, prevents us from living by the Spirit. It is in our Spirit, that the Kingdom of God is now. That Kingdom is spreading to your soul, or mind, will, and emotions. Someday, we will enjoy the fullness of the Kingdom, when we shed off these bodies of death and we receive our new bodies like Jesus Christ.

So do we have to get rid of all our money? Do we have to sell everything that we own? We can, but Jesus is not giving a command that everyone do so. He is using this wealthy person as an example for us. In Luke 16, our Lord gives us a parable to show that we should be prudent in the use of the unrighteous wealth. He ends that parable by saying this:

“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? “And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” – [Luk 16:10-13 NASB]

Brothers and sisters, don’t be slaves to wealth. Don’t love money and things. If you have wealth, don’t waste it, but use it to help others, especially those around you.

Wealth can be a major hindrance to walking by the Spirit. Through wealth, all kinds of distractions and anxieties come. The more you accumulate, the more distractions and anxieties you will have. But, if you do have the wealth of the world, we have this confidence from our Lord Himself:

With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. – [Hbr 12:1-2 NASB]

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]

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]

Heaven is for Real?

We need special equipment to scale the heights of Him and dive into the depths of Him. But guess what? You already have this special equipment. It’s called your spirit. And He lives inside of your spirit. – Milt Rodriguez, Christ in 3-D

If you haven’t heard, Milt Rodriguez has released a new ebook called, Christ in 3-D. It is quick read and it might just give you a new three dimensional view of Christ! Now for my blog post…

For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come. – [Hbr 13:14 NASB]

I’m not writing this blog post as a review of the the book Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. Instead, this blog post is in response to  people’s obsession with heaven, which the aforementioned book exposed. So many religions are about trying to get to heaven or someplace similar(with a different name). Heaven may be the goal of religion, but is God’s goal to get us to heaven?

Heaven by adyyflickr

Getting to heaven is not our goal, nor is it God’s desire for us.

If you are living to get to or to help others get to heaven when they die, you’re living opposed to God’s desire. While people are trying to reach heaven, God desires to live on earth.

God’s desire to live on earth is one of the main narratives of Scripture. In the Garden, you see that there is gold, bdellium, and onyx stone.1 Paul tells us to build with gold, silver, and precious stones.2 Likewise, the New Jerusalem is made of gold, pearl, and precious stones.3 The Garden was to be the construction yard and we are now building God’s City. Look throughout the Scriptures and you will see God’s desire everywhere. Abraham was looking for a City who Architect and Builder is God.4 There is the ark, the tabernacle, and the temple, Ezekiel’s vision of the temple and the rebuilding of the temple. Jesus tabernacled among us, He said that He was the Temple, and He said that we are a City on a Mountain. Paul said that we are the Temple and that we are building God’s House. Also, there are Bethel(House of God) and Bethany(House of Figs), which were both pictures of God’s House.

Is there a place called heaven? Yes, there are heavenly places and we are already seated there in Christ!5

Additionally, those of the Bride, who overcome in this age by blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, will be caught up to God and to His throne, for casting down Satan. This corporate Man Child is the first fruits of the Lord’s harvest. He is the New Man, a living testimony against the Deceiver, wearing the full armor of God for casting Satan down.6 Yet, this Man Child will not stay in heaven, but will come with the Lord Jesus, when He comes to rule the earth.7

I want to add that not everyone agrees that we go to heaven or hell, when we die. In my opinion, we go to a place for the dead, or Hades, with a positive side and a negative side. The positive is referred to as paradise8 in Scripture and Paul considered it as a place separate from heaven. He was taken away to the third heaven and he was taken away to paradise.9 But, it is not so important that you agree with that or not.

It is much more important that you see God’s desire to live on earth and that you are already seated in the heavenly places in Christ. When you read of the New Jerusalem, which is the culmination and fulfillment of God’s desire, you see that it is coming out of heaven to the new earth.10 Right now, we are building this City with God, by the Spirit. We are building this City in the heavenly places, so that it may fill the new earth. This City is the mingling of God and Man, a mutual Home for each other and in each other.

Do you see, brothers and sisters? God wants to live in and among us on earth. God is Spirit, but He desires a physical Body, through which, He may express Himself. That is why we have a spirit, so that we may be united with God; so that He may enter into us and form us into an expression of Himself.

It doesn’t matter so much if you agree with all of my interpretations of Scripture. I want you to see God’s desire to live and express Himself on earth, in and through us. If we are all seeking to leave earth for heaven, how will our Father have His desire on earth?

Footnotes
1 Genesis 2:12
2 1 Corinthians 3:12
3 Revelation 21:18-21
4 Hebrews 11:10
5 Ephesians 1:20; Ephesians 2:6
6 Ephesians 2:15; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 6:11; Revelation 12:5-9
7 Revelation 19:11-16
8 Luke 23:43
9 2 Corinthians 12:2-4
10 Revelation 21:2

Faith Without Works is Dead, So We Have to Do More…Right?

And yet the best is yet to come. For as the saints assemble, each telling about their experience with the risen Lord, Christ himself appears in their midst! And together, as one body, they encounter Christ. – Joshua Lawson

Does your heart burn within you for the Lord Jesus? If it does, then you will enjoy Joshua Lawson‘s blog post, at In Search of the City, called The Fellowship of the Burning Heart. We all need to enjoy this fellowship with each other and our Lord. It’s His desire to give us such a hungry, burning heart and to satisfy us with Himself.

DSCN3909_1_72 - Plum Tree With Fruit on it.

DSCN3909_1_72 – Plum Tree With Fruit on it. (Photo credit: bterrycompton)

For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. – [Jam 2:26 NASB]

This verse from James’ letter is commonly used to spur saints on to do more works. Unfortunately, this lays a burden on saints and takes what James was saying out of context.

James’ exhortation to works is actually in the context of the gathering of the saints; in the context of the ekklesia.

The saints were treating each other in an evil way. Instead of showing each other love and mercy, in Christ, they were showing each other partiality and judgement.

Everyone has works. The question really is: What kind of works are you doing?

James was writing to saints that claimed to have faith in Christ, but treated each other in an evil, worldly, manner. Such a faith, resulting in evil works, is dead.

A living faith in Christ, results in works of love; in the fruit of the Spirit.

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. – [Gal 5:19-25 NASB]

Do you see that it is not about doing more works, but a change in works, because of the exchange of our natural life for the eternal Life, through faith in Christ?

Walk by the Spirit, dear brothers and sisters, and you will express Christ.

Us in Christ and Christ in Us

“Just as Copernicus came to see that the sun is the central component to the solar system, today we are seeing the absolute central importance of the Son, the Son of God, who became the Son of man.” —  Jim Putney

Have you seen the centrality of Jesus Christ, in all things? That is the topic of a wonderful blog post by Jim Putney at Treasures in Jars of Clay. Jim’s blog post is called Treasure of the Son and I think that you will truly see that the Son is our treasure, when you read it.

that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. – [Col 1:26-28 NASB]

“Us in Christ” and “Christ in us”, are two foundational phrases to the Life in Christ. Unfortunately, in modern Christianity these two aspects of our faith, have been relegated. They have been made far less important, than they actually are.

Us in Christ

If you have believed into Christ, you are in Him. By faith, we are included in His death and resurrection. It is likely that you already know that Jesus died for us and in our place, but do you know that we have died and resurrected in Christ?

Nowadays, it is rare thing for Christians to know this. It is not considered as something important.

I’m not saying something “revolutionary” or sharing some “higher knowledge”. Our sharing in Christ’s death and resurrection are absolutely basic to our Life in Him.

We have entered into a whole new world, in Christ. Our Father no longer sees us, but He sees Christ. Everything that is true of Christ is true of us, who have believed into Him. We share in His death, His resurrection, His perfection, His holiness, His righteousness, His wealth, His purity, His sonship, His eternal life, His everything! The list is eternal, as He is. Indeed, our Father has made Christ everything to us and for us.

If you want to read about being in Christ, in more depth, check out The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee.

Christ in Us

The other side of the same coin is “Christ in us”, our hope of glory. Not only are we in Christ, but He is in us. He is in us as the Spirit, energizing us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

When the Father sees us, He just sees Christ. This is something objective to us; but the Spirit in us, is bringing us experientially into that Reality. You see…the Father sees the Reality, that we are so intimately united with Christ, but we don’t see it yet. The Spirit is bringing us into that Reality of the new creation.

We don’t see the glory in its fullness yet, but the Spirit within us is the promise. We have the Seal of the King in our Spirit.

We are like plants, growing nice and green. The flower is our glory. The flower has been within us from when we were just seeds and seedlings, but it has not yet manifested. We look forward to that glory, that outward manifestation of Christ. Christ in us is the hope that we will fully manifest Him outwardly.

O, saints, “us in Christ” and “Christ in us” are the beginnings of the journey, through to the end of the journey, and on into all of eternity. We abide in Him and He abides in us. Everything flows from this! You can meditate on these things your entire lives, and never fully grasp them.

Take these things by faith. Whenever you feel unrighteous and fleshly, make an audible statement of faith by saying “I am in Christ” or “Christ is in me”.  Encourage each other with this Reality.

We are in Christ and Christ is in us; we are altogether One!

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]

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!

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.

Related articles

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.

We Bear Fruit by Abiding in Christ

English: Wine grapes. Español: Uvas de vino ro...

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. – [Jhn 15:5 NASB]

I’ve noticed that a lot of visitors arrive at my blog with searches pertaining to bearing fruit. Although, I have already written a blog post about bearing fruit “What Does it Mean For a Christian to Bear Fruit?”, I want to revisit this very important subject. Hopefully, I have experienced Christ to a greater extent, so that this post will flow with more of Him than the previous post.

In the above verse, we see that if we are to bear fruit, we must abide in Christ.

Yesterday, I read a good blog post on abiding in Christ by a dear brother in Christ. You can read Daniel Norlin’s blog post called “Abiding” at By His Feet. You should go read it. It has a great quote from Andrew Murray and its a quick read. Here is a quote from his post:

“…All the work is the Lord’s. All is done by the might of the Spirit (and we get to be vessels for Him and His power). Even remaining in Christ, remaining in Love.” – Daniel Norlin

Have you ever wondered what a tree must do to bear fruit? Does a tree have to find food? Does a tree have to go find water? Does it strive to reach the soil. What a silly idea! We are not even the tree. We are branches on the tree.

We are branches on the Vine Tree, the Tree of Life, the risen and living Christ.

In my previous post on bearing fruit, we saw that the fruit that we are to bear is the fruit of the Spirit.

So, now we see that we bear the fruit of the Spirit by abiding in Christ by the Spirit. We have the Spirit of Jesus Christ within us. We are deeply and intimately connected to our Life Source. Christ’s Life is in our Spirit and we just turn to our Spirit that the Life may spread and saturate us.

Let me get one thing out of our way that may cause us to stumble. Objectively, we are always abiding in Christ. But, I don’t think that is what Jesus was referring to. We may not always be abiding in Christ in our subjective experience.

If we are not living and walking by the Spirit, we are not abiding in Christ, and we cannot bear the fruit of the Spirit.

We must always be turned to our Spirit, seeking the will of our Father. There is no method. Even turning to the Spirit is nothing of ourselves, but it is Christ within us.

If we are to abide in Christ, we must rely on the Spirit every moment. Turn to the Lord in your Spirit and speak words of love to Him. Listen for His voice. Talk to Him about everything you do. Just sit quietly and enjoy Him. Share Him with your brothers and sisters in Christ. There are no rules to abiding in Christ and bearing fruit, but whatever the Spirit is prompting you right now.

Let God do all for you, in you, and through you.

“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]

The Spirit as the River of Life, is the flowing Life of God. Open yourself up to Him and drink in the Living Water. Christ as the Tree of Life is the growing Life of God. Open yourself up to Him and eat of Him. You will find that the River of Life and the Tree of Life are inseparable and you cannot experience one without the other, for they flow and grow together, spreading the eternal Life of God.

So by turning to our Spirit, the Life of God flows and grows in us and through us, saturating us and spreading to everyone that we contact. This Life, which is just Christ Himself, brings forth the fruit of the Spirit from within our innermost being.

but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. – [2Cr 3:16-18 NASB]

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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