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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!

We are Designed to Be a Divine Glove

A PVC-Glove

[26] 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]

A glove is made in the image of a hand, and according to its likeness. We were designed to be a Glove for God. God wants to get into us and fill us with Himself. The glove is the expression of the hand and we are to be the expression of God. The Glove is the Corporate Man and the Hand is the Triune God.

If we would be filled with God, for His full expression, His authority would be exercised.

Immediately, after God’s decision to make man in Their image, They state that men are to rule.

God’s authority always comes from His expression. If we are not expressing God, we cannot have His authority. Likewise, we must first be like a Glove, filled with God as our Hand. Then, He can exercise His authority through us.

What do you have to do to be a part of the Glove? Nothing. You were made to be a part of this Glove. You just need to cooperate with the Spirit, who dwells in your spirit, if you are in Christ. Let Him spread, renewing your mind with Himself, until Christ returns. Then, we will have new bodies and the consummation of God’s eternal desire.

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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.

That Christ Might Be All and In All

Mountains of Creation

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At our organic meeting on Sunday, a brother in Christ asked a question that I would like to attempt to answer. The question was this, “If all babies go to heaven, then why should we try to stop abortion”. I know this is a hot button subject with many, so if you would like to comment, I would appreciate respectful and gentle answers. My first thought, concerning the question, is that I am not sure that all babies go to heaven. I have heard some Scripture quoted that alludes to this idea, but there seems to be no definite answer on the subject. I do know that God is good and just. Therefore, I trust Him and His judgment on this subject. But, that is not where I want to go with this post.

The real issue is an idea that Christian leaders have propagated for a long time. This idea is that our faith is about getting people into heaven. This falls far short of the goal, which is that Christ would be all and in all. Jesus Christ endured the cross, suffered death, and was resurrected for the joy of honoring His Father by having His glorious image displayed in all of creation. We are the firstborn of a new creation that is consumed by a Person, Jesus Christ. When the day of the Lord comes, that great day of disaster and shame for the people and powers of this world, the old creation will be judged and destroyed. In its place will be a creation that utterly and fully radiates the image of God. When we start from the position of God’s eternal purpose in Christ, we can see that abortion does not help to display the image of Christ.

In conclusion, if all babies do go to heaven, supporting the abortion of babies so that they would go to heaven is building the kingdom with one hand, while tearing it down with the other. We are not to sin that grace may abound. In the same way, we do not support the murder of the innocent, so that there will be more people the kingdom of God. May Christ be all and in all.

We Should Not Shrink From Suffering

Brother Lawrence

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That he expected after the pleasant days God had given him, he should have his turn of pain and suffering; but that he was not uneasy about it, knowing very well, that as he could do nothing for himself, God would not fail to give him the strength to bear it.” – Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

My brothers and sisters in Christ, we should not shrink back from pains and sufferings in this life. We should embrace them as great graces from God, which He is using to sanctify us. If only we could understand, in the hour of difficulty, the blessings God is pouring on us.

When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.
(Act 14:21-22 ESV)

There is no reason to search for pain. God will give what is needed. If it is necessary for your growth, then it will come. If your difficulties become too great, know that God will give you strength to bear them. Often, He will use other Christians to strengthen you.

If we are in a situation where our pain will alleviate the pain of someone else, we should wholeheartedly embrace it. There are people who will not suffer a little discomfort for the life of another person. All of us have chosen ourselves over others at some point in our lives. This is not the way of Christ. This is not the way of love. If we wish to save our lives, we must lose them. We must die to self, that Christ may live through us.

If our Father reserved the greatest sufferings for His beloved Son, we should expect that, as heirs with Christ, we should suffer something as well.

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

Photograph of a large fig tree taken at Centen...

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And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
(Mar 11:13-14 ESV)

As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”
(Mar 11:20-21 ESV)

The fig tree was pretending to be something it was not. It looked nice and pretty, but the fruit wasn’t there. Jesus wants us to bear fruit. Note that Jesus wouldn’t have cursed the tree had it been leafless, and without fruit. Be what you are, don’t pretend to be something that you aren’t. Either you follow Jesus wholeheartedly, or you reject Him. The fate of those who outwardly follow Him, but bear no fruit, will be cursed like the fig tree.

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
(Rev 3:14-16 ESV)

The Old and the New Creation Through Christ

Jesus

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All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
(Joh 1:3 ESV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
(2Co 5:17 ESV)

In the first creation, God made all things through Christ. In the same way, God has made the new creation through Christ. The work of the new creation was done on the cross, the death, and the resurrection of our Lord. Out of the death of Christ, we were created anew and in His resurrection we were given eternal life. Christ is resurrection and eternal life. And He has been given to us and we have been given to Him.

The old creation has already passed away in the eyes of our Father. We still see it around us, but to God, it is already gone. In the new creation, Christ will fill all things. He has started by filling us with Himself. When the old creation is utterly destroyed, and the new universe is made, Christ will fill all. His image will be seen in all. He will fill all things through His Body, which He has filled in this present age. Everything is Christ’s and we are in Christ and have inherited all things through Him.

Fire in the Charcoal

Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929)

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“Take a piece of charcoal, and however much you may wash it its blackness will not disappear, but let the fire enter into it and its dark colour vanishes. So also when the sinner receives the Holy Spirit (who is from the Father and Myself, for the Father and I are one), which is the baptism of fire, all the blackness of sin is driven away, and he is made a light to the world (Matt. iii. 11, 14). As the fire in the charcoal, so I abide in My children and they in Me, and through them I make Myself manifest to the world.” – Sadhu Sundar Singh, At the Master’s Feet

Christianity is Christ

Jesus

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The gospel is Jesus. Jesus is the good news. There is nothing that can be added to Him. He lives in us and through us. We have died with Him, and we share in His divine life. We do not follow a list of rules, because He has written His law in our hearts. We can’t help but love Him, because He is constantly pouring His love out on us. Everyday our love for Him increases. We can see Him in everything. But, most of all, we see Him in each other. He fills us with so much love, we must share it with each other. None of us can fully show the image of Jesus, but together we show Him to each other, and the world. We are in Jesus, and Jesus is in us. Jesus is life itself, everything else is death. He is our joy, our hope, and our love.

God’s Ways Aren’t Our Ways

We should not expect God to work the in same way that He has in times past. Sometimes we think God is going to rescue us in our circumstances the same way as He has before. From reading the record of God’s acts in the Bible, it seems that He does not often use the same ways to save His people. This can also be seen in the myriad of ways that men and women come to salvation in Christ. We should drop our expectations of how God will or should act, and have a simple trust that He will act in the best way, according to His infinite wisdom.

True Christians Walk in the Light

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
(1Jn 1:6-7 ESV)

This is second part of True Christians vs. False Christians. True Christians walk in the light, not in the darkness. If you claim to have fellowship with God, while you walk in darkness, John says you are a liar. So what does it mean to walk in the darkness?

Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
(1Jn 2:9-11 ESV)

If you hate a brother or sister in Christ, you walk in darkness. Notice, that there is no gray area given between loving and hating your fellow saints. Take a good look at your heart. Do you help other saints in need? Do you care enough for your brothers and sisters even to pray for them?

Let’s reflect on this in light of the words of Jesus:

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
(Mat 25:34-46 ESV)

If you have failed to love your fellow saints in the past, can you see how your love for them has grown since then? If, over time, you are not walking more and more in the light, you don’t have fellowship with God. Let’s ask God to pour out His love in abundance on us, so that His light will consume us.

The Refiner’s Fire

“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD.
(Mal 3:1-3 ESV)

These verses will find ultimate fulfillment upon the return of our Lord, but the refining has already started. Jesus has come and the Spirit has made us His Temple. He is like a refiner’s fire in us, so that we may be pure and blameless when Jesus returns for His Bride. Our flesh cannot withstand Him, for He burns away every iniquity inside of us. We shouldn’t fight God’s refining. Though it may seem painful at times, it will bear beautiful fruit. We ought to lay all that we hold dear before Him, as our offering to the One who deserves much more than any of us can give Him. Stop trying to purify yourself, and surrender everything to God. He is the only Refiner.

True Christians vs. False Christians

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
(Rev 3:15-16 ESV)

For a long time, my heart has felt heavy for false Christians. It is my opinion, that the majority of false Christians legitimately believe that they are saved from the wrath to come. What a sad fate it is for a person to believe that he or she is saved, when there is no true salvation for him or her. I would rather a person fully embrace the life of Christ or admit that he or she hates God, than to sit on the fence. In spite of all the claims, there are only two choices in this life: follow Jesus or follow Satan. In the coming days, I plan to take a look at what the letters written by John, say about true Christians and false Christians. The purpose of this study is not so that you can judge the salvation of others, but so that you may judge your own salvation correctly. We must be diligent in making our calling and election sure.

Crucifying Christ Again

For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things–things that belong to salvation.
(Heb 6:4-9 ESV)

I always thought that it was impossible for a Christian to lose their salvation. This is what every teacher that I heard taught. Rarely, have I come across a Christian who thought someone could lose their salvation. I still agree that you can’t lose your salvation. But, when I read Hebrews 6, I realized you can forsake your salvation. I really wanted to see this verse from a different angle. I wanted God to tell me that I was reading it wrong. I have heard teachers attempt to explain this passage away as false Christians. But, that seems like trying to conform Scripture to our own views to me. No matter what we want, Hebrews 6 seems to speak plainly. Look at the phrases that are used to describe these people:

  • those who have once been enlightened
  • have tasted the heavenly gift
  • have shared in the Holy Spirit
  • tasted the goodness of the word of God
  • tasted powers of the age to come

Now comes the part that people don’t want to hear…

  • then have fallen away

Then to make things worst…

  • It is impossible…to restore them again to repentance

Obviously, these people had already been truly repentant if they can’t be repentant again. Then, the writer of Hebrews makes a good point…

  • since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

Who can try to crucify Christ again, but those who have shared in His crucifixion? He was already crucified for them once. Then, they turned back to embrace the world, thus holding our beloved Lord up to contempt.

I believe that nothing can take our salvation. I believe nothing can separate us from the love of God. But, we can willingly turn away from God. The verse here says that they can’t be restored to repentance. So if you are truly repentant of your sin, then God will welcome you back as the father welcomed back the prodigal son. But, there seems to be a point where you can go too far.

Let’s not get to the point where we need to worry about such things. Instead, let’s walk closely with God and pray that He draws us ever closer to His heart.

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