FIRST-TRUMP#top..........Sound the alarm in Zion..... ...........................

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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

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IN THE BEGINNING

(THE WORD MADE FLESH)

13I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. (Rev 22:)


1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Gen 1:)


We don't generally think about it, but the Bible is full of beginnings. Of course all the characters of the Bible, just as we all, have a beginning and an end, but so does episodes of the purposes of God:

5And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. (Rev 21:)

1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; (Rev 21:)

8I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:.... I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: (Heb 8:)

Besides these new beginnings we have the beginning that occurred after the flood. Then again a new beginning with Abraham, then with the nation of Israel, then again when the Jews returned from Babylon, and again when the Jews were returned after the dispersion of nearly 2,000 years. And if this wasn't enough, we have the new beginning that Jesus began, that being the Church, where you and I were admitted into the plan of God.

2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. (Gen 1:)

We, the people of the world, are born into darkness. We are without understanding as to the ways of God and His purpose for us and His creation. We are born of dust, of the nature of Adam, without form and void, void of understanding and a desire to be obedient to God, our creator.

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Gen 1:)

Water is indicative of the Holy Spirit. Those of us who take on form, the form as established by Jesus, become part of the water of the Word. John, on the Island of Patmos heard the voice of many waters, that is, the body of Christ in His fulness.

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. (John 1:)

Adam was the beginning of a physical being, an earthly vessel within which God would plant Himself in order to create a Temple in which He can dwell and fulfill His original purpose. In the beginning was God (the Word was God"). The Word and God are the same being, not separate entities.

3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:)

All things were made by Him. We now have one person, which is God, which is the Word. The Word, another name for God, created all things.

4In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (John 1:)

In Him, God (the Word) is life. Without life there is death. God told Adam that on the day he sinned he would die. Without God, who is life, we are dead.

The source of life is also the source of light. Light brings understanding. If we are in darkness, we are without light, which is life. And without light, which is God, we are dead.

5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:)

To comprehend means to "seize, possess, take eagerly." Those in darkness may hear the Word, and they may experience the Word to some degree. But those in the light, those who "comprehend" the Word have a thirst, an overwhelming craving for more. They're not satisfied with just enough to quench their thirst, they want to swim in the water of understanding, to have the water overflow them as well as be in them.

9That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (John 1:)

God, the Word, is the true light. And the Light, God was in the world.

10He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (John 1:)

God was in the world that He created, amongst His own people, and He was rejected. When we reject the Word, we reject God, the creator of the world. Jesus said:

44Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. 45And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. (John 13:)

What is Jesus saying here? If we don't accept Jesus, it's not Jesus we're rejecting but it's the One who sent Him we're rejecting. Who sent Jesus into the world? Didn't He come on His own? Or could it be God, also called the Word, who sent Him?

14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:)

The Word, which is God, was made flesh. We've seen that the Word, God, dwelt among us. In what form did He dwell with us? Here we read that God dwelt among His people in the form of the Only Begotten of the Father. This we know is Jesus. And Jesus confirmed this in His statement where He said those who see Him, who hear Him, who accept Him, aren't listening to, seeing, or accepting Him, but the Father.

21Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. (John 20:)

Jesus said when we see Him,, when we hear Him, it's not Him we see or hear, it's the Father, the Word. Jesus then said as the Father sent Him, He's sending us. Does that mean when people see or hear us, they're to see the Father, the Word, rather than see us the person who's lips are moving?

14Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: 15For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. (Luke 21:)

19But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. (Mat 10:)

Isn't what Jesus is saying to His disciples exactly what He has said of Himself? And didn't He say when He speaks it's the Father, the Word who is speaking?

Notice how in Luke's account of the same incident that Jesus is saying it's He who will give the disciples the words. If it's Jesus, and at the same time the Father, the Word, who is speaking through lips of clay, then who is doing the speaking when we speak? (John 14:10)

30I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. (John 5:)

When we hear the words Jesus speaks we're hearing God. Jesus is God speaking to, and doing for His creation through Jesus, the "Word made flesh." When we see Jesus, when we hear Jesus, we are seeing and hearing God and not Jesus.

10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (John 14:)

12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (John 14:)

Whatever Jesus did, the true believer will also be able to do. Does this sound incredible? It does to me, but I'm not about to argue with Jesus.

When Jesus sent His disciples out, they did the works He did. But they did their works in the name of Jesus, they hadn't received the Holy Spirit whereby they could accomplish the works of the Father through the Father (the Word) directly. At Pentecost all that changed (a new beginning), and we read where the Apostles, and others such as Stephen did mighty works as well, this time through the presence of the Holy Spirit, the source of Jesus' works.

46I am come a light into the world, (John 12:)

Earlier we saw that God is the light. Here we read that Jesus is the light. And further in this study we'll see that we, the Christian are to be a light as well.

The oil that flows through the candlestick that represents the Church is indicative of the Holy Spirit. I don't think I need provide evidence of this since it's a concept commonly taught. Where the Holy Spirit is, is where God the Father is. If the Holy Spirit, the source of light, is present, there will be light. If the light is missing, it's absence is evidence that the Holy Spirit is missing, and the person who claims to be attached to the Vine is in fact either a dead branch of not attached in the first place.

48He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 49For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak. (John 12:)

10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (John 14:)

In the 14th to the 16th chapters of John, Jesus went to great lengths to describe what we as believers are to do, and through what means we're to accomplish the task set before us. A Christian is not to consider him or herself an elite person special in God's eyes any more than Jesus considered Himself above others. We're to be an extension of God here on earth to our fellow humans, to do for others what Jesus has done for us and the world in general.

19Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. 20Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. (John 13:)

We're ambassadors for Jesus. And Jesus was an ambassador for the Father. This then makes us ambassadors for the Father as well, with Jesus being our example, our instructor, and our intermediary.

Many people, especially theologians, make a great deal out of the times Jesus said "I am he," as if to say these words meant He was saying He is the "I AM" of the Old Testament. Whether Jesus is, or was the "I AM," or if He wasn't, I can't say. But I don't believe such phrases as this one presented here can be used for evidence.

Another side track is about to be taken as I investigate the use of "I am" in the Bible.

There are many times Jesus uses the phrase I am, and several of those times it does indeed appear that He is claiming to be the I AM. Many other times this very same phrase is used with a statement following it that would keep it from being a statement of identity.

58Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. (John 8:)

The implication in this statement is quite unmistakable. However, we must return to the study at hand. Jesus said he does and says nothing but what the Father is speaking through Him. This being the case, is it the Father, the Word, the Holy Spirit who was the I AM? Or was it Jesus the man?

9Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. (John 9:)

Here we have a blind man Jesus healed using the very same wording Jesus used when He said "I am he." Is the blind man claiming to be God? I don't think so.

There's plenty of evidence to support the concept that Jesus is the I AM without using spurious passages that only weaken the theory. I have a problem with those who try to squeeze into their doctrine something that does not lend sound support to what is being expressed. By doing so the path to truth is compromised and caused to be not even sought after. Two prime examples of this very thing is the Lucifer doctrine, and again where Jesus said the Kingdom of God is within you. The first incident is of little importance; but the second, the hiding of the Kingdom of Heaven, is a vital error.

12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:)

People like to refer to themselves as King's Kids, as something generic without saying anything of substance, or committing themselves to fulfilling any special requirements. But when we call ourselves sons of God, we feel exalted and we assume more is demand of us. If Jesus was a Son of God, then we, as believers, must strive to be as Jesus was and is, to live up to the example He provided those who are sons of God, at least to the best of our ability.

All through the Scriptures I see the phrase sons of God, and overcomer, and take up your cross and follow me, and obey the commandments. Yet I see or hear of these rarely in Christian writing, and even less in sermons. I wonder why this important concept, this vital information is bypassed.

More on this later in this study.

8Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, (Eph 3:)

Jesus is the beginning of the creation of God. Does this mean Jesus was part of the creation of the earth without form and void? Or is Jesus the beginning of the creation as we see it today in the Church? If Jesus is the spokesman for God, the Word, then it might be Jesus is speaking for God the Father as being the One who created all things through Jesus Christ the man, the seed from which the Church is to grow.

Paul tells us many times that his job is to reveal a mystery that has been hidden in ages past. Although he is giving us the key to the mysteries, that does not mean we understand what he's telling us. It's through the Holy Spirit we have understanding into the mysteries. Our problem is that everyone thinks they have the Holy Spirit, yet by our having hundreds of differing views of the mysteries, it's obvious that someone is not all they assume themself to be.

12Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and HATH TRANSLATED US INTO THE KINGDOM [Take note of the past and ongoing tense of this statement] of his dear Son: (Col 1:)

I'm going to interrupt Paul and comment on something he's said in this introductory statement. We've been delivered from darkness, but not everyone wants to live in the light. To live in the light requires we cleanse ourself of all that the darkness hides. I for one still have dark spots I'm working on, spots that keep my garment from being without spot or wrinkle. This tells me the Holy Spirit isn't doing His job of cleansing me as He should (as I'm told by the churches), or I'm failing to keep my garment clean after the initial washing I've been given. I assume it's the latter of the two. And since it's my doing that causes my problem, not God's weakness, I'm the one who has to be accomplishing the undoing and return to my original state.

Now to continue with what Paul is telling us:

14In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: (Col 1:)

We have two important issues here. First we see that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. God is invisible. He can't be seen. Also we read that God is Spirit. And we read that God is everywhere at one time. He is here, in you, in me, and in China at the same time. This is a concept that's beyond our comprehension. We may have theologians trying to put words to this reality, and we may have scientists who either try to explain, or more often explain away this unbelievable image, but we can't deny that it is a Biblical fact.

Jesus is the first born of every creature. We know this doesn't include cows and pigs. It's humans, a new kind of Spiritual being He is the firstborn of. And if Jesus is the firstborn of a creature that is in the image of God, then doesn't it follow that those born after Him, of His seed, are also to be in the image of God?

We have a problem with this passage because we read where 4,000 years prior to the birth of Jesus Adam was created in the image of God. And if Adam was in the image of God, then so are we when we're born. How can this be?

1Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon....6And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. (Dan 3:)

14And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. (Rev 13:)

We have two almost identical pictures painted for us, both in the Old Testament and in the New. The first image was not given the ability to talk, but if Nebuchadnezzar had been able to make his image talk, you can be sure he would have.

The image of the beast was first constructed without any special abilities that we know of. Later the image was caused to speak. Even though the image wasn't in its complete form as yet, it was still an image. When we see a movie of a person, that image on the screen can both move and talk, but it is not alive. Images come in various stages of completion. Adam was the beginning of the first stage of God's creation, the physical image without life, and without the ability to speak -- for God.

When Adam sinned, he died. His life, whatever life force he might have had that caused him to be different than the dead objects that moved around in the Garden such as the horse was removed from him. All those who followed him, who were born in his state of death, were stillborn. We have no life at birth. We're just another "beast of the field," but a beast in an incomplete image of the invisible God.

Adam was without life, without Spirit. God was Spirit and life without a body. Jesus was the first completed correction of this situation. We read where Jesus is not alone in His purpose, that there will be others, the latter part of the harvest after the firstfruits. These will be in the image of Jesus, who is in the image of God. They will be the "overcomers who have overcome as Jesus overcame," not those who merely took a bath and signed a card.

16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, (1Cor 1:)

We again return to the question, by whom was everything created?

We have another problem given to us when we try to reason with our finite mind. We read that whoever is being referred to, he created everything invisible. God is invisible. Did God create Himself? If this speaks of Jesus, the Son, then did Jesus create the Father?

Of course this is a ridiculous question. But I'm not one to let things pass I don't understand, or that disagree with or contradict the point I'm investigating, without bringing them up for questioning. I don't know the answer to this question, nor do I believe it important that I know the answer. I merely present the question as one other issue that is left unquestioned by the churches in general.

Whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

All things are created by Him and for Him. All, according to my dictionary means All, everything, nothing omitted. This then would include the devil and his angels. And we see that all these things, even principalities and powers, were created for Him. In another place we read where everything was created for His pleasure (Rev 4:11). It's hard for us to understand why God would create evil ("trouble) and something as wicked as the devil. But just because it's beyond our comprehension is no cause for us to ignore the fact that He did, and that He has a purpose in everything He does. It's our job to fit in with His plans, not to explain or justify God and His methods.

18And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell. (Col 1:)

There's no doubt who is being referred to here. Jesus is the One who is doing all these things. However, we still have the question unanswered as to what form Jesus was in before He began His mission here on earth. But then again, I don't think it matters. It especially doesn't matter if we dwell on such unanswerable questions as these and ignore the commandments we've been given. Adam looked into areas he should have avoided, and so did the nation of Israel. Every time we try to see what's beyond what we've been given, and ignore what we have been given, we bring trouble on our heads

14And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; (Rev 3:)

23But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. (John 4:)

God is Spirit. The Holy Spirit is Spirit. The Word is Spirit. Jesus is in us, and we're to be in Him as well as be in the Father. How can such a situation exist? Should we pretend like Jesus didn't say these things, or consider them merely poetic words that sound interesting, but have no real meaning? That's the way I see them treated. In my 73 years can't recall a sermon on this unless it was to read over it as quickly as possible in order to prevent anyone from asking questions as to its meaning.

It seems to me that if the Bible spends three or more important chapters on a subject, it's supposed to be considered, not ignored. Read these chapters and see what you come up with, then read the rest of the Bible, especially Revelation, and see if it doesn't make a lot more sense to you.

God seeks those who will worship Him in Spirit and in truth. At Pentecost we see people worshiping in the Spirit. John was in the Spirit when Jesus spoke to him. Paul said:

17Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (2Cor 3:)

44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (1Cor 15:)

9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Rom 8:)

2In my Father's house are many mansions ["Dwelling places"], ... I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:)

12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (John 14:)

5And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. (John 17:)

What is Jesus? Where is Jesus? Where and what is the Father? Where and what was Jesus before the world was? What are we? What are we to be?

Why haven't these questions been asked of us before? Why have we instead been given answers to questions unasked, and answers that don't make any sense?

24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:)

63It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:)

The words Jesus spoke were Spirit and life. The Word was made flesh, and the Word is life. Jesus came to give us life. He is the one who sowed the Word of life.

2The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God:

Right off we see that Nicodemus didn't know Jesus any more than did his constitutes. He identified Jesus as a teacher from Heaven, not the awaited Messiah. Jesus had to set him straight on the basics before He could teach him anything else. There's a lot said in this chapter that I've covered elsewhere, so I'll try to bypass them and stick to the subject at hand.

For no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Again we have two important issues here. First we have Jesus explaining the rebirth process. The second thing we need to be aware of is that unless a person is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus brought the Kingdom with Him, the Kingdom was standing right in front of Nicodemus, but all old Nick could see was a "teacher sent by God."

4Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

If someone was to say this to me I'd think they were playing word games with me. I'd probably pick up my marbles and go home. But thankfully for our own education Jesus ignored the smart-Alec attitude of Nicodemus and told him what He meant by being born again:

5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:)

The second birth consists of Spirit. I've covered this issue many times in previous studies so I'll spare you here. Being born of water is the simplest and least important part of the rebirth process, it still leaves us as clean mortals, flesh and blood that can't enter the Kingdom of Heaven. It takes the Spiritual baptism to move us into the realm (the Kingdom of God) where Jesus and the Holy Spirit can cause us to grow into what we're intended to be.

3And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; (Mat 13:)

23But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Mat 13:)

There were a lot of seeds cast, but most fell on unreceptive soil. Some of them, like the seed that fell on the rocks, did well for a time, they were very active and excited Christians. But over time that enthusiasm faded and they turned back to their old ways. Those that fell on good, receptive soil can be identified by their fruit. If a branch, the result of sowing seeds, doesn't continue to produce good fruit (not just produce fruit in the beginning and die off), it is removed from the field. This is true in the natural as much as it is in the Spiritual.

Some will produce a lot, some a little. What's the difference, and what happens to those who produce less than thirty fold? Is there a benefit for producing a hundred fold over producing the minimum of thirty fold? Do you wonder about such things as this in the same way I do?

10And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. 11Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. (Mat 13:)

The seed is the Word. Jesus gives us examples of people who receive the Word, who is the Holy Spirit, who is God the Father. Jesus is both the Word, in as much as He is part of the Father through His Spirit, as we're to be. Might this mean that we're to be the sower of the Word as well as the seed that sacrifices itself for our fellow man and for the purposes of God?

27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29My Father, which gave them me [See John 17:6], is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. (John 10:)

I would say if there was one series of verses I've heard more than John 3:16, it is this one. How people love to cling to that which seems to tell them they need do nothing and God will protect their right to disobey Him. Adam and the nation of Israel should have had this passage of Scripture. Then they would have never had to fear being chastised the way they were. Also, keep in mind that Judas was one of those "given" to Jesus.

Notice the indicators that a person is securely in the hand of God. In previous verses the evidence of salvation was pictured as branches that produced fruit. Here the evidence is hearing the voice of the Shepherd, and following Him. In other passages we read that those offered security obey the commandments, sacrifice everything, offer their life as a sacrifice, and preach the Word (spread the Word to the world). Why is it I see and dwell on the demands, while so many others see only the liberty offered the faithful, and apply that liberty to the unfaithful? Is it my glasses that are dirty? Or are there people who are supposedly in the know wearing blinders?

30I and my Father are one. (John 10:)

There is one God. Jesus said He and the Father are one. One and one makes two. However one times one still equal one:

15If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth;....

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. If we don't have the Spirit, or if we're not in the truth, then our prayers and our worship is as nothing. That's the way I read this, how about you?

Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not [God is invisible], neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:)

20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (John 14:)

It's those who keep the commandments who will be receiving the promises offered in the Bible. I continually hear where there are no commandments to keep. I suppose if that were true it would be easy to keep commandments that don't exist. But for some reason I keep seeing passages like this and read them as telling me there's something I need to do. And as the churches say, I, like most people, am unable to do them. But my lack of ability to fulfill what I'm told to do doesn't give me a peace of mind that nothing is going to come from my lack of obedience when my time before the Throne comes to pass.

10Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. 15All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you. (John 16:)

26But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. (John 15:)

The Comforter is the source of truth. We all claim to want truth, we claim to have truth. It's because we think we already have truth that we're not given truth by the source of truth. This was the problem with the religious leaders of Jesus' day. They were sure they were right and anyone who disagreed with them is wrong. This is human nature. I do it, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this faulty way of thinking.

The Comforter will bear witness to us. Jesus was speaking to those who would become His Apostles ("sent out ones"). We don't fit this criteria because we weren't with Jesus from the beginning. We didn't follow Him through His trials. But elsewhere we're brought into this scenario by the statement that those who hear the Word through the Apostles and follow the Lord through our own tribulations will reap the same rewards as are promised the twelve (John 17:20-22; 1Peter 4:13-14; Heb 2:10-11; 1Cor 1:7; 2Tim 2:12).

I for one am finding it very difficult to bear witness to the Churches. Those who have become frustrated with the churches are more inclined to listen to what I have to say. But the ones who should be the most open to hearing what a person finds in the Word, are closed to anything beyond their own church doctrine. Perhaps this is one reason there is to be a call to "come out of her my people" before judgment befalls the Babylonian church. It takes being outside to see what is being told to those inside.

While I'm on the subject I'd like to interject a personal observation. There are some people I talk to or that has read what I've written who seem to be very interested (and in agreement) with my viewpoint. But the very small taste I give them seems to satisfy them. I find no thirst for more, no hunger for a better understanding of the Word. This is not to say I have understanding they can't receive elsewhere, or that my observations are correct. But I for one, when I read something (or hear something said) that perks my interest, and I feel what a person is saying is valid and of importance, I look for all that person has to offer. I've downloaded almost all of certain people's web site for just this reason. I'm wondering why I'm not finding other people with this driving thirst for the Word.

4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, [As it was in Jesus] who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be...

Again I'm going to interrupt Paul to interject a comment. We tend to believe, and to teach, that those who have performed the ritual of initiation into the Church are filled with the Spirit, and therefore they are led by the Spirit. Just one look at many of those who profess such a belief is all it takes to see that this is just not so. We again return to fruit. If a tree bears no fruit, it is not a fruit-bearing tree regardless of where it's located or what it's called.

Paul extends what Jesus began in that he speaks to those who are actively pursuing righteousness, who are surrendering everything and taking up the cross. They are not speaking to the world who doesn't care, or to the Christian who are Christian in name only. The New Testament is a book of instructions. Instructions are not given to people outside the place they are needed. Nor are instructions provided to those who have no intention of following them. We instruct those who are actively involved in whatever endeavor is being undertaken. The decision we must make is if we are a person to whom the Bible is written, therefore a part of the promises, or one who the Bible is condemning and given warnings to.

We use Paul's writings to justify the concept that there are no more laws, that grace equals moral abandon. In the verses above we see where the "righteousness," that is the purpose of the law is still in effect. The rituals are done away with, but the demand that we fulfill the purpose of the law still exists. Those who break the law are still subject to the consequences of the law, in spite of their believing otherwise. If the law (that has been taken from stone and placed on the heart) is not realized, if a person is unable to read what has been supposedly written on their heart, then it just may be that the law is missing in their life, and they are not in reality a part of the body of Christ.

8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness....

If our body is actively sinning, if it isn't dead, then it is not a part of the body of Christ. We are still in our sins. Is Paul unaware of the doctrine that states those who are baptized are "under the blood" and therefore can sin all they want and not have to pay the penalty for their disobedience? I don't think this is the case since it's Paul who introduces the concept of grace. It might interest someone that out of all the many times the word grace is used in the New Testament, Jesus only used the word once, and that was to tell Paul that His grace is sufficient when Paul asked to have the "thorn in the flesh" removed.

11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Rom 8:)

This promise is given to those in whom the Spirit of God dwells. And if the Spirit of God indwells a person, that person can't help but be making an effort to produce Spiritual fruit and become like Jesus since that's the job of the Holy Spirit.

19What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (1Cor 6:)

16Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (1Cor 3:)

How much clearer does it have to be that it's those who seek to be like Christ, and to have Him work through us that the promises are offered?

42So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven....

We're either of the earth, or we're a part of Heaven. If we're living a life as part of the world, then we're a part of the world, and the world is earth. If we're what's called a "carnal Christian," we're a part of the world and condemned with the world, in spite of the comfort our church may offer us, the carnal Christian.

When the Bible speaks of the earth, it is referring to those who live an Adamic life, that of seeking carnal knowledge and pleasures. When the Bible refers to Heaven, it means those who live their life, and place their treasure in Heaven and are feeding the Spiritual side of their nature rather than the carnal, selfish part.

There is the earth, earthy, our Adamic nature. This is all mankind had up until the introduction of the Spiritual Kingdom Jesus brought to earth. The New Testament introduces the Heavenly realm, the Kingdom of the Spirit of God. A carnal Christian is a Christian by name and association only. They are still part of the world, and this worldly realm will pass away. Those who live after the Spirit, who strive to become like Christ (as directed by the Holy Spirit), are Christians, and therefore part of the Spiritual Kingdom Jesus and the Father belong to.

48As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (1Cor 15:)

17Now the Lord is that Spirit: ...

Another interruption. The Lord is Spirit. God is Spirit. The Holy Spirit is Spirit. And we're to be Spiritual beings and live after the Spirit. Is there a pattern forming here? If so, and if God lives in Heaven, and Jesus was taken into Heaven, yet both Jesus and the Father are in the born-again Christian -- then where is Heaven?

And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty....

Liberty ("Freedom, either licentious or legitimate") under the generic title of "Grace" ("Divine influence on the heart, demonstrated by one's lifestyle" paraphrased) is preached extensively in most of the Protestant churches, allowing for the committing of sin without reprisal for those who have been baptized. Peter said:

17These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. 18For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 19While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. (2Peter 2:)

15For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 17Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. (1Peter 2:)

And James adds:

12So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. 13For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth ["Boasts, exults over"] against judgment. (James 2:)

And concerning grace, Paul has this to say:

13For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Gal 5:)

And Jude adds:

3Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness ["Filthy, wanton, license to sin"], (Jude 1:)

If we're led by the Holy Spirit, if the law is written on our heart and our aim is to love others as ourself and to please God, then liberty is given to us. If our desire is to serve ourself, to satisfy the cravings of our carnal nature, then we're not being led by the Spirit of God and we by necessity remain under the law.

Liberty, thereby grace, is given to those who will not abuse the grace they receive. Otherwise grace is not grace, but license to do whatever we want to do. We don't give grace (freedom) to a child that wants to run into the street. We give grace to those who look to us for guidance.

18But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2Cor 3:)

7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Gal 6:)

26For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:)

22For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1Cor 15:)

45And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. (1Cor 15:)

1Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2By which also ye are saved, IF ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, UNLESS YE HAVE BELIEVED IN VAIN. (1Cor 15:)

48As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

51Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1Cor 15:)

18But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2Cor 3:)

2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (1John 3:)



The Bible is a book of new beginnings, and were there's a new beginning there must by necessity be an ending. Jesus, the embodiment of God the Father, had a beginning in which He planted a seed affording us who are made of earth the opportunity to become a part of Heaven. In order to become a part of Heaven we must abandon this shell, this carnal nature of ours and take on the nature of God. As was Jesus, and the Apostles after Pentecost, we must become a new creature completely led by the Spirit in order to be a part of the Spirit. Halfway measures are the equivalent of no measure taken at all.

When we're born again we are converted into a new realm, a new citizenship is given to us. We change our outlook toward ourself, our neighbors, and the world in general. Instead of having our eyes turned inward and look to our own pleasure, we begin to look outwards with the intent of changing the world rather than participating in it. The words of Jesus are understood by the converted mind whereas in our carnal condition they made no sense and we tried to alter them to suit our own selfish desires.

As Christians we are a new creation. Our old life has come to an end, and a fresh new mind and heart is given to us.




11Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: (Rev 1:11)

17And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, (Rev 1:)

8And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; (Rev 2:)

6And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. (Rev 21:)

13I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. (Rev 22:)


[Author's note: If it seems I'm attempting to diminish the importance of Jesus, or cause Him to appear as less than divine, then either I've not expressed myself well, or my words have been misconstrued. In this same vein, if it appears as if I'm trying to exalt man, the Christian to divinity, to place humans on a level with Jesus, again I've failed to get my point across.

As stated earlier, It is not my belief that the propose of God is to have man live as Him, as gods, but rather, as seen in the life of Jesus, God wants to live amongst His creation through man, those who have emptied themselves of carnality and are being taught and led by the Spirit of God.]

Afterthought: When we read of the life of Jesus, we see a life we can not understand or attain to. We think of how Jesus came to earth through a birth very dissimilar to our own. We are able to somewhat understand that what the Bible tells us of our future, can be accomplished through God, through the works of Jesus; beyond this it's pure mystery and speculation.

We, as humans, are not inclined to begin a venture we're unable to complete. In the realm of the Spiritual we can only see a physical aspect, that of baptism, we are able to accomplish on our own. Beyond this our ability to perform or understand is out of our hands. Because of this we focus our attention on the beginning and deny the existence of the end or the journey as far as our participation is concerned. There are some who try to look beyond this barrier and incorporate their own works into the finished product. This we see is not possible other than through the workings of the Holy Spirit.

In order to establish a picture we are able to accept and understand we return to the beginning of our Christian existence, the cross, and we nail all our hopes and expectation there. We say "oh well, there's nothing we can do, so Jesus must have done it all. We can rest in the assurance that we're all we should be, and if God wants more of us, He'll do it in spite of my own weakness and rebellion."

Since this is what we believe, what feels right to our carnal nature, we look no farther for the truth. What we believe, is what we teach. In this way our lack of understanding becomes widespread, therefore furthering a false belief.

Are we saved by the cross, and the cross only? Perhaps, but the question should be asked "Is there more than the cross? And if there is more, what is that 'more,' and what must I do to attain to the full purposes of God?"

Jesus is beyond our understanding. He is God, He is unlike us, so therefore He is something different than we are. In order to keep from having to live up to the standards Jesus preached and exhibited in His life, we set Him on the shelf as something to bow down to and worship, but not to strive to be like. Jesus brought to us a seed by which we can, and we must attain to His example. Salvation is merely the open door to what God desires of those who He will perform His purposes through. We must take Jesus off the shelf and diligently seek to incorporate Him into our lives, to "follow Him," and to listen for His voice. Failure to do this will keep us from the promises we place our eternal trust in.


 

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