Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Prepare Yourself……………………………………..
Chapter 2: Confessing Jesus as Christ…………………………..
Chapter 3: Christ, the Precious Stone or Stone of Stumbling….
Chapter 4: Love is Undivided…………………………………….
Chapter 5: Wisdom: God’s Highest Gift…………………………
Chapter 6: Faith is Victory……………………………………….
Chapter 7: Tithing and Charity…………………………………..
Chapter 8: What is the Meaning of Worship?…………………..
Chapter 9: The New Covenant of Marriage…………………….
Chapter 10: Jesus’ Sacrifice, Repentance and Confession………
Chapter 11: Supernatural Health and Gift of Healing…………..
Chapter 12: The Holy Ghost………………………………………
Chapter 13: The Royal Priesthood………………………………..
Chapter 14: The Mystery of True Love verses Fornication…….
Chapter 15: Abundant Life………………………………………
Chapter 16: Perfection……………………………………………
Chapter 17: Two Natures…………………………………………
Chapter 18: What Do You Desire?……………………………….
Chapter 19: Obedience to the Faith……………………………..
Chapter 20: The Secret Place and Secret Faith…………………
Chapter 21: Resurrection Life……………………………………
Chapter 22: Humility……………………………………………..
Chapter 23: Money and Wealth………………………………….
Chapter 24: The Apostle Paul…………………………………….
Chapter 25: Women……………………………………………….
Chapter 26: All Men………………………………………………
Chapter 27: Heaven………………………………………………..
Chapter 28: Praise…………………………………………………
Chapter 29: The Fear of the Lord…………..……………………..
Chapter 30: The Fire of God………………………………………
“And I fell at his feet to worship him, And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” - Revelation 19:10
I would just like to write some of my testimony of meeting God as a prelude to this book, because many may wonder how I came to know these revelations of the Gospel of Christ. To be honest, I don’t want to have to share my testimony with people over and over, so I figured I should put it in this book, because it is quite astounding what happened to me. I was a very quiet and shy kid growing up, and I always felt that was one of my weaknesses. I wasn’t popular, and I didn’t fit in much in society. I grew up in a non-denominational Christian home, with parents who believed in grace. I had never had a personal connection with Jesus Christ, but throughout my teens I was certain that He was the Messiah and Son of God, as the Bible says. I never had any proof of this; I just knew it and believed it in my heart. I did have a good childhood for the most part, and had many joyful times and I was almost always thankful for my life. In fact, a lot of the church-going in my life was some of the most boring things I did as a youth, and the people there were often strangers to me. When I was 20 years old, I thought something was wrong with me, and I searched self-help books to discover why I was so shy and meek, and I learned a few bits of wisdom from certain authors. The books described the toxic shame of this fallen humanity, and it seemed to describe the problems I was facing, and many of the books said Jesus Christ is the answer. For several months I was reading, and what I was doing, was learning to appreciate wisdom even before I knew the truth of God.
Eventually, on January 23, 2007, I was in my room and opened the Holy Bible for the first time, and as I read some of Jesus’ words from the book of Matthew, I could feel a stirring in my body, near my heart, and I came to the realization that God was real with certainty, because I could feel His presence in me for the first time, and His Word spoke to me very personally; it was a living and joyful discovery, and I believe I was being born again. I prayed that God would take over and help me live my life, because now I knew His power was real. I woke up the next morning earlier than normal, and I literally felt like a brand new person. It felt like my spirit had come alive, and I looked into the mirror, and I smiled as though I could see Jesus living in me. It felt kind of weird, being joyful for no reason, because it was a new experience to me. I felt better than I had ever felt before, and I threw most of the self-help books away, because I no longer had need of them. They did, in some ways, lead me to Jesus Christ though, and for that I am thankful. I don’t necessarily reject their work, but I had found a living book that needed my full attention. For the next week I was dancing like I had never danced before, to Michael Jackson music mostly, and I just felt Jesus Christ had brought me to life from the dead. I was going to Kirkwood college, and I really just felt like I had a confidence that wasn’t there before, and for no reason, I just knew that I found what I was looking for, and it was Jesus!
On Friday February 2nd, 2007, something amazing happened, and I will never forget it. I could sense the Spirit upon me all day. I even watched the Matrix movie, and I could hear in the spirit mysterious things. The scene where Neo is being trained by Morpheus and tells him that eventually the enemies will not be able to stop him (as God told Joshua in the Bible in Joshua 1:5), it felt like God was speaking to me, but I kind of ignored it and joyfully went about my day. Dad and I went to Tama, Iowa, to eat at the King Tower with the family, and I just felt an intense peace in my spirit and an intense joy throughout our small trip. On the way home, I knew God was calling me to serve Him, maybe even with music I thought. There was a full moon, and it was shining down on the path home. My spirit had a strong intuition that something big was going to happen. As I came home at about 10:30 PM, I sat on the couch, and my mom grabbed a book and started speaking from it and I was immediately slain by the Spirit’s words, and it was God speaking to me in a personal oracle. What I can remember is He told me that He knew I was afraid at this moment. He said to follow the way He has for me and my story will be as big as Noah. He told me that I’m a chosen vessel unto Him. He told me my needs would be met, and that it was my choice to follow or not. He told me I would soon see Him face to face as Moses did. I was exceedingly overwhelmed by this event, and I couldn’t listen anymore, and went into the kitchen and wept. He kept speaking but I was done listening, because I couldn’t bear this. I was very aware of what happened to biblical characters, that they were stoned to death, killed, murdered, imprisoned, and crucified. This was my burning bush event, and my road to Damascus, and it shocked me. My dad was also moved by the Spirit to open the Bible and read from Isaiah 40:31, “Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength, they will rise with wings as eagles, they will run and not be weary, they will walk and not faint”. The truth is, I do not remember everything the Father spoke to me that night, because many weeks later when I went to search for those words in the book by Frances J. Roberts, called Come Away My Beloved, I did not find the specific message given to me. I found some similar things throughout, but I searched many times cover to cover and never found the personal message given to me, which I had to assume it was a token of God’s miracle-working power done that night by His Spirit. I believe this was God’s way of showing me the power of Frances J. Roberts’ books of prophecy, and also any enemies that try to say I was “hearing voices”, this testimony clearly defeats that false notion. I heard an audible voice of prophecy spoken from my mother’s mouth, and that message cannot be found; it was just for me. My parents did not know how important this event was to me; it was hidden from them, just as Paul on the road to Damascus heard a voice, and no one else who was with him knew what was going on.
After I got my wits together, I was pretty excited that God had a plan for my life, and I had a very eager spirit to know what He had planned. I was shocked that after only a week of being born again, He was already claiming my life as His own. Little did I know, Satan would attack me for many weeks following, and I suffered tribulations in the spirit. I heard and saw miraculous things in the Spirit, I saw signs and wonders, and eventually I fell under some sort of damnation for a couple weeks. I even started thinking that first communication from God was a trick of the enemy. But on March 22nd, 2007, a message of prophecy was given at my church. I had not gone to church in a long time, but this prophecy was delivered to me at my house from a friend, and it talked about what was happening to me, and had things that only I knew, and the Father spoke kind words to me, and I was delivered from the evil thoughts that Satan had put in me to keep me in a state of damnation. So on March 22nd, 2007, after spending time suffering some horrible things, I was truly a free man again, and I felt like I had just came out of the whale’s belly. I had the joy of my salvation return to me, and I couldn’t wait to learn more of the Truth. The Scripture does say the Father scourges every son whom He receives in Hebrews 12:6 ( I was shown that by someone when I was being afflicted). On April 22nd, 2007, I was baptized at church, and during worship a man prophesied before the congregation by the Holy Spirit saying, “I did not create you merely to exist: I created you to live. A life of abundance, a life of enthusiasm, a life of vitality, a life of expectancy, a life of power. You are not like an animal without a purpose, you are created in My image. I created you like Me, to have life. The world is empty and filled with people without purpose, without a knowledge of Me, without My power, they deny I exist. I call you to live so others might live. Go into your world and seek My face, to gain the power you need by My Spirit, and to show forth the life that I have. This is your heritage, to live like Me. Go, Go…” It did not surprise me that the Lord spoke these words at the church service, because I had literally been through hell for His sake, and I needed something good to happen. So after those three personal communications from God, I began seeking His Face as He commanded, and I started with Romans and Galatians and learning about the importance of salvation by Grace and faith, and not be entangled by the legalism of the modern church groups. I was aware that many who are professed Christians have not yet heard a personal word from God in their life, and I was curious what type of work the Lord was going to do. So I was alone, but the Holy Spirit fed me as a babe the words of Life, and I grew over the years. I expected God to work and teach me all things, and I could always sense when He was increasing me because the Spirit would move and be upon me, and those experiences are often indescribable. I suffered on and off over the years; sometimes that is called growing pains, or being pruned, or chastened. The sons of God will be a disciplined assembly, not doing their own self-will, but surrendered to Christ and doing the Father’s will. Over the years, the Father has spoken to me through many ways, and often the Frances J. Roberts 5 books of prophecy, which in my mind, they are the most profound words I’ve read as a Christian other than the Scriptures. The Lord told me He would be revealing Himself to many people on a personal level, and doing a miraculous work to prepare people for His coming. “Beyond your wildest dreams” has been a phrase used many times in various prophetic books I’ve read, and I’ve thought that was a rather ambiguous statement, but it is supported by Scripture, and it shows how great things God has planned for His people who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9). The manifestation of the Spirit of God is beyond anything we can imagine, but God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are jealous for our love and praise, and He wants to be pursued as the first Love.
Journey into God’s Promises
Interpreting the Scriptures
The Problem and the Resolution
Mankind was created by God and for His pleasure, and was created to depend upon His grace every day and every moment. He offers us a place in His Bride through Jesus Christ, to be born again as His children, and to truly live for God as we were originally intended. There are countless promises in God’s Word, which can cause the Body of Christ to inherit blessings, wealth and a new life in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). However, so many of us who have come to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior know that there are many potential pitfalls on the path that leads to life and glory. As soon as a believer is drawn by the Holy Spirit, and becomes born again by believing in their heart and confessing Jesus as the Christ and Savior, they have also, spiritually speaking, left the sinful bondage of Egypt and are now on a new journey of life. As a newly liberated creature, we must travel across the wilderness of trials and spiritual growth, and looking for the Promised Land called Canaan, the glory of lands, which in biblical language, is figurative of heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:20). They have died with Christ, our Passover Lamb, unto sin, and are now risen again with Christ by the glory of the Father: this operation of death, burial and resurrection with Christ is called being baptized into Christ (see Romans 6). There is the joy of first knowing Jesus' great love, His glorious life indwelling us for the first time, His resurrection from the dead; all of these are free gifts of common salvation and grace, praise God! But there is another realization; a trek through the wilderness where we encounter indwelling sin and a need for spiritual conquest; the battleground for the soul and pursuit of His Promised Land. This is a path that through patient endurance, faith, prayer, and daily meditation and renewal by feeding on God’s Word, leads to a Promised Land of Life, Abundance, Wealth, Immortality and Glorious Freedom and full Joy in God’s Presence (see Psalm 16:11, Romans 2:7). Jesus said, “Labor not for the meat that perisheth, but for the meat that endureth unto everlasting life”(John 6:27).
For hundreds, even thousands of years, churches of this world have often been dull of hearing, and full of disputes and divisions, which as Paul warned the Corinthian Church, they are carnal and disobedient in the eyes of the Father, and thus disqualified for any land of promise (see 1 Corinthians 3:1). Many pastors are doing their job for hire and are by no means the faithful shepherds that God would have them be, such as He found with David, who loved the sheep of his pasture, even risking his life to kill a bear and a lion to save them (see 1 Samuel 17:34-37). O, how God loved David! He would desire all lowly men to be as David, and as it is written, they will be like David in the regeneration, even as God Himself (see Zechariah 12:8). But as for now the doctrines of men rule many of the places dedicated to worship and many hearts seem to pursue their own gain, taking the name of the Lord in vain, through their abundance of sins and merchandising.
I have wrestled with Scriptures at times in my life, trying to understand certain passages, but it is only by the grace of God and His Spirit who gives wisdom and revelation to all who but ask (see James 1:5). The Holy Bible can seem like a daunting journey for a new believer, though it is truly the inspired Word of God concerning man's salvation, it also has many deep and spiritual statements that need the Holy Ghost to give understanding to the mind and heart. There needs to be a waiting upon the Lord and sitting at His feet, learning the gentle ways of Jesus Christ, and letting the eyes of our understanding be opened by the Holy Ghost (Ephesians 1:18). Many, such as some churches and also the Jewish people, were brought to confusion in their misunderstanding the Scriptures, because as Jesus said unto them, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” (John 5:39-42 ). Jesus is stating that Scriptural truth (the written letter) is not enough of itself. The holy Scripture must be mixed with faith, obedience, prayer, spiritual understanding, and there must be holy love abounding in us, from God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The Jewish leaders, and many Christians throughout history, have had some knowledge of these things, which is good, but Paul often contrasted knowledge with love, saying, "the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge" (Ephesians 3:19). As Peter wrote concerning Paul's wisdom in 2 Peter 3:15, that many do not understand his writings, and they struggle, but as Paul wrote, “we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom which was before the world ordained for our glory.” (1 Corinthians 2:7). Among some of these people who stumble are denominations and religious sects of men, who set up their church dogmas and religious traditions over God's spiritual and life-giving doctrines of faith and grace, and their own misunderstanding is being upheld among their followers. They seek to serve God according to oldness of the letter of the law, but fail to understand the newness of the Spirit which gives life (see Romans 7:6). As the poet Frances J. Roberts prophesied, “The letter will convict of sin and prune away the old fallen nature, and the Spirit will bring forth within you a life that will never die” (Come Away My Beloved -“A More Glorious Way”). The glorious truth is that the Holy Spirit and the Grace of Christ are always working to bring new life from the dead to make us partakers of the divine nature and eternal glory that is in Christ, and as long as we seek Him, we will be rewarded in finding Him (see 2 Peter 1:4).
The reality is that God is very merciful, kind and loving, and He desires all men to repent, to receive Jesus Christ His Son by faith, and also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit as a Teacher and Revealer of all Truth (see John 16:13). He desires all His children to know Him face-to-face, and to be their dearest Friend and Savior. He desires to speak plainly to you concerning Himself and His Son, and His eternal purpose with His Bride. As a servant of Christ, the Lord has over the years commanded me to write anything He reveals to me and make plain this doctrine of Christ for those that have a hunger and thirst for Truth. Jesus and Paul did speak in many proverbs and mysteries, yet Jesus said near the end of His earthly life, “…I will soon show to you plainly of the Father" (John 16:25). This collection of writings will be my journal of meditations upon the Truth of God; the deep and glorious Gospel of Christ written in plain language. Meditation, prayer, and diligence in the Word are what each child of God must do continually to unravel the mystery of Christ by the spirit of revelation, and ultimately grow into the full stature of Christ on earth (Ephesians 1:17, Ephesians 4:13, 1 Timothy 4:15).
“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” - Luke 21:36
There are many things each child of God needs to know to be prepared to enter the Kingdom of God. So many of us when we were kids our parents taught us how to be saved, and so we thought we were saved (by whatever means we were taught) and so we went about our worldly cares and we were not taught the importance of knowing God now, and entering into heaven now, and receiving our inheritance in this present moment (as the Testator Jesus was crucified for this cause). We were only taught that we need to believe in Jesus so we can enter heaven when we die some day in the distant future, but the truth is we must be taught how to hear from God personally and have a personal relationship with Him. This “doctrine of security” is the common notion taught among Christians as I have witnessed in the past. This doctrine leaves out the importance and urgency of learning and growing fully in Christ and receiving a full reward, and it robs God of glory, and it robs men and women of their exceedingly great promise of full salvation. It gives some kids a false security that tells them everything will be okay, even though they are not brought up in the admonition of the Lord and the beauty and love of Jesus Christ. If they depart from the Lord to seek the glory of the world, surely they will know the folly of their ignorance. God does know those who are His, but He expects His gospel to be glorious and appealing, as the salt of the earth, to draw all people to Himself (Matthew 5:13, Isaiah 4:2, Haggai 2:7). Jesus commanded us, “seek first the kingdom of God” and with this commandment came the promise of all material and physical needs being met in this life (Matthew 6:33). So, as Christ’s Body, and God’s Temple, why exactly are we frantically taught to seek first our education, our health, our college degree, our career, and our spouse and every other method of self-preservation, which only expresses the desires of the ego and not Christ? Why do so few people have faith? These are sand pebbles in comparison to the precious Diamond of the manifold Wisdom of God and the Faith and Life of Jesus Christ. Has not God said He will give us all things, and that no good thing would be withheld? (Psalm 84:11, 1 Timothy 6:17). Going to church on Sunday is not sufficient; in fact, attending an average church of this world can be detrimental to true spiritual growth and vitality, as Frances J. Roberts prophesied, “You have no part nor place in the dead church. Come out, and be separate, and touch not the unclean. Touch not the dead body. (organized religion) You are unclean if you do and need days of cleaning”. (On the Highroad to Surrender - “Free Yourself of the Grave Clothes”)
To obtain the promises of God, one must walk by faith, keeping His words, and obeying His voice and following the call of the Holy Spirit as a doer of His will (Hebrews 6:12). It means to leave behind the pleasures of the self, and pursue the pleasure that comes from knowing Jesus Christ, the Husband and Bridegroom of His Bride, and the Church Body, in the Secret places of the Most High (Psalm 91). Nourished by heavenly manna (the Word of God), and drinking from the spiritual Rock (drinking the Spirit of God) that springs forth the river of life, bringing gladness and perpetual joy that doesn’t fail (see Isaiah 58:11, John 4:10). We must seek the Lord and live (Amos 5:4, 5:6); for there is no other path for men and women to walk to obtain true life and liberty. The straight and narrow path is still the only one that leads to victory (Matthew 7:13); all other paths lead no where and are filled with vanity. For the eternal God is the Source of all life and all power, and He must be pursued as the “exceedingly great Reward” (Genesis 15:1), and Jesus the Son is the only way to God the Father (John 14:6). As it is written, “He that hath the Son hath life, he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life” (1 John 5:17). The key to what Jesus said is that you must seek the health of your own soul by feasting upon His Word and receiving spiritual riches (Ephesians 1:3), and growing into full stature, and then the needs of the body will also be supplied one hundred fold in due time (Matthew 19:29). It’s an immutable promise of Jesus Christ to His disciples: abundant life, houses and lands, wives and children, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, united together as one Body of Christ, and one family of God. Also we will eventually have new and glorious bodies, quickened by the Spirit, clothed with white wedding garments, which represent God’s righteousness purchased by the Lamb’s blood (Revelation 7:14). The only requirement is to believe the message of Christ, take up the cross, and lose your own life for the sake of Christ and the gospel (see Matthew 19:29, Mark 10:28-29). The denial of self is necessary to make room for Christ’s eternal life in us, so that is why Jesus told His followers they must, “take up his cross daily” (Luke 9:23). God would have all men have their souls a watered Garden of life and to build a spiritual house that is eternal in the heavens (2 Corinthians 5:1, Jeremiah 31:12). Do not think growth will happen over night; it takes diligence, patient study and meditation as a fully dedicated disciple, as a Branch receiving Life from the Vine, and patiently bringing forth an abundance of fruit (see John 15). That is the high cost of being a disciple is dedication to the Word and abiding and receiving the Love of God; but the rewards are beyond human comprehension, and I will be covering some of them in this book. I would say, from experience, the cost is not too high if people lose trust in this fallen world and its false values, and can be given vision from the Spirit of things of true value. The Lord does not strip His people of earthly joys and ties, but He desires to be first place, and His glory can enhance our life, as Jesus promised, “I came to bring you life more abundant” (John 10:10). The disciples of the Lord must cast themselves before Jesus as the One who can bring clarity and purpose to their life, now and forever. It takes perseverance and knowing exactly what reward you are seeking for, as the scripture says in proverbs, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). For if God’s people lose track of the rewards and “the prize” of the high calling of God in Christ, they may be tempted to desert Him for something of far less value. Some of the rewards are indescribable due to the gift of the Holy Spirit, but some of the basic blessings will include an enduring experience of the Joy and Love of God, renewed youth, glorified bodies, marriage in the Lord, all spiritual blessings in Christ, wealth, wisdom, perfect health, the glory of God, the manifestation of the Spirit, mansions and resorts, and the people, places, and things God has for us, whether in heaven or on earth, or beyond. In other words, God gives us all things to enjoy (1 Corinthians 3:22,1 Timothy 6:17) and His blessings are exceedingly and abundantly above what we ask or think: that’s why they called it the gospel, because He offers a path of true perfection if we can receive it, but it takes time to quietly grow and comprehend such an eternal glory (Ephesians 3:20, Psalm 103).
We are used to the “flower” of this fallen world, which is here today and gone tomorrow, but it takes time to receive the revelation of heaven and eternal life, which glory is unfading and lasts forever! There are many who seek the Lord for selfish reasons, so they can appear pious and holy before others, or maybe they desire to belong to a higher rank of heaven, or become a great ruler. They have forgotten everything Jesus spoke of, such as, “he who is least among you all, the same shall be great” (Luke 9:48) and “he who humbles himself like this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4). There will no doubt be those who are great in heaven: a multitude of Kings and Priests, the Church of the Firstborn, many faithful warriors who have stood up to giants and subdued kingdoms, and the beauty of the living God will be upon us all (Psalm 90:17). But there is such a thing as not desiring to be great, and only these types of people can God truly use in any significant way, because they are humble, their desires are pure, and their souls are completely yielded to Christ. The bottom line is, seek to cleanse yourself with the washing of the water of the Word (Ephesians 5:26); seek to understand His Word with a new heart, and new spirit, through deep repentance and confession of sin (Ezekiel 11:19). Do as David, and search inwardly and let the light of the truth of God shine into your heart, mind and conscience, for God is able to renew you through His perfect Way (Ephesians 4:23). The Christ does indeed grow and form inside the believing soul (Galatians 4:13). Yes, the Christ is the supernatural Seed (called the Word of God) planted in our hearts (see Luke 8:11, 1 Peter 1:23). These are things every believer should understand, and that we need to live a life that allows the life of Christ to form inside of us fully, so that we can go forth and do the Father's glorious works, and, as Jesus said, we will do even “greater works” than were ever done in Israel (see John 14:12). It is a patient process, but fruit will come forth abundantly and the Father will be glorified. We must not allow the Word to be choked through preoccupation with worldly cares leading to malnourishment, but press forward in the loving service toward God. We must study and grow in the written Word until we see Him Face-to-Face. We must be as Mary, who sat at Jesus feet and learned His Word. Jesus commended her, saying “one thing is needful, and she hath chosen that good part, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42). Nothing should be able to separate us from our hunger and thirsting for God and His Truth, for He will satisfy every longing of our heart as we seek Him (John 6:35).
Confessing Jesus as the Christ
“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. -Matthew 16:16-18
The fore-most conviction of each true Christian or child of God, must be the foundational truth that Jesus is the Christ who was fore-told in the Old Testament. Peter was called “the rock” because he was the first person to make the unshakable confession of Jesus being the Christ, or Messiah, that was fore-told for many hundreds of years, even the coming Prophet spoken in the time of Moses (see Deuteronomy 18:15). His confession was based on a revelation to him from God, and not merely a lucky guess. If people guess or are brain-washed about Jesus being the Christ, then they are not born again in truth; it must be a confession based on revelation and even election from God’s Spirit. If people believe and confess Jesus as the Christ, and accept His claims in the Gospel as truth, then they are indeed born of God as it is written in 1 John 5:1. Once they are born of God, as it is written in Hebrews 10:32, they may be initially afflicted, chastened or trained as disciples (Hebrew 10:32-33, Hebrews 12:6), but the promise of God is sure for His children, that they will overcome the world by faith, and the devil will not be able to touch them (1 John 5:4, 5:18) . That is why Jesus said, “the gates of hell will not prevail against them”, because they are sealed by the Holy Spirit and are founded upon the rock the moment they believed in Christ and confessed the truth about Him (Ephesians 1:13), so long as they endure and abide in faith, they will be victorious.
Some people might not be sure if Jesus is truly the Messiah or whether His claims are the truth. Some people may not be convinced of the truth about Jesus and the Bible. It may be that they have not been shown a good witness of Jesus Christ, or it could also be they are hardened against Him, but either way, I will mention the persuasions of Him as Christ according to the Scriptures. To put it plainly, the entirety of the holy Scriptures testify of Jesus Christ, because as the Apostle John was shown, He Himself is the Word of God made flesh (John 1:1-5, v14). There are many prophecies in the Old Testament that fore-told the life of Jesus, even His dying for our sins, His burial, and resurrection (see Isaiah 53). It’s amazing if people search the prophets of the Old Testament, how many details of Jesus’ life are mentioned. Even in the book of Isaiah, which was written around 700 B.C., he foretold the region that Jesus lived, which was Galilee of the Gentiles, and that the people who lived there saw a great Light (Isaiah 9:1-2). Isaiah also mentioned that Jesus would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), and the prophet Micah stated that He’d be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), and that He is “from everlasting”. King David, who lived around 1000 B.C., wrote many of the Psalms, and also had much to say about Jesus, including that He’d be crucified, as it says, “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.” (Psalm 22:16) I obviously can’t list all of the prophecies of Jesus in this chapter, but that is why people who are curious about Jesus need to honestly study the Bible and search to know the history of the Bible, and the time-table for each book written. They can search the prophets of the Bible which show many prophecies concerning the Messiah, and to know with certainty that it is Jesus of Nazareth of the house of Judah. God highly exalts His Word and His Scriptures, and He preserves His Truth forever (Psalm 146:6), that is why it is good to have a sound translation that does not add or remove words from His Book. Here are some Scriptures on this topic:
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” - Isaiah 9:6
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” - Isaiah 53:5
“The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.” - Deuteronomy 18:15-16
“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” - Daniel 7:13-14
All of us have been born naturally in the flesh, but to understand my book, and the Holy Bible, or any spiritual writings, you need to be born again by the Spirit of God, as Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3). Being born of the Spirit is the most precious of all of God’s blessings, it is a joy that the world can never know! If you’ve been convinced by any of the preaching of Christ, and if you believe in your heart the truth of Jesus, then the Lord desires to know you personally, because He has a plan for each of us that embraces eternity. Pray a simple, child-like prayer, saying, “Dear Jesus, I believe you are the Christ and the Only Begotten Son of God that was sent unto Israel, and who died for my sins on the Cross, and that you were buried, and raised to life on the third day with an immortal body. I believe that only your sinless blood has power to cleanse my conscience from sin. Come into my heart, and live in me, and teach me your ways. I’m sinful and struggling, and I need a Savior to lift me up. I need the true God who will be with me and love me at all times and not forsake me, and be my dearest and compassionate Friend. Send your Holy Spirit to be with me always, in Jesus name, Amen.” If you sincerely pray that prayer in child-like faith, you should expect Him to respond to you and your needs in due time. Jesus told a certain church, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” ( Revelation 3:23). It’s important that after we are born again in truth, we must feed ourselves with spiritual food and drink, and the Lord will be in us, helping us learn and grow, but we must make a commitment to Him, because He wants nothing but our best and most abundant life, and that only happens by learning, growing, communing with God in our daily walk. It’s not a difficult way, it is blessed, and as Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).
Christ, the Precious Stone or the Stone of Stumbling?
“And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a trap and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.” -Isaiah 8:14
One thing people must understand about Jesus, is He was sent as the Lamb of God to die for our sin, but also He was a Stone of stumbling, wherein the Jews, and many Christians, were made to stumble at. It is kind of mysterious how the Savior of the world was revealed to Israel as a Light that no man could understand or comprehend (John 1:5). Even Jesus told His disciples, “I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19), in which He did not hide the fact that He was going to “catch” men as a sport, but also for their salvation. For those who have read the gospels of Jesus Christ, in Matthew 13:14, He stated that He was to fulfill the words spoken to Isaiah, saying, “Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.” (Isaiah 6:9-10) And when Isaiah asked how long this should be, God said, “until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land” (Isaiah 6:11-12). So there is something about the Word of God causing sinful men to stumble and fall, whether it be the written Word, or else Jesus as the Living Word made flesh (John 1:14), people have stumbled at Him. It is because God’s standard of holiness is too high for a fallen creature, which is why Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and rose again, and sent His Holy Spirit, so that the Christ-life could be formed inside us, and through patience, faith, diligence, growth, and revelation, we can be like Him in nature. As Paul stated in Romans 7, “the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin” (Romans 7:14). The exceeding holiness of God’s law does not mix well with man’s depravity, which is why people must be born again by the Spirit, and receive the new nature of Christ, who is the Foundation and Precious Cornerstone of God’s House, and they can build upon the foundation more of God’s living and spiritual truths. As Peter said, each child of God is a “living stone” of God’s Temple (1 Peter 2:5). I believe the stumbling has to do with the flesh life, the natural life, for in Christ those things, including the old world, are brought to crucifixion and death. Here are some Scriptures that show this truth:
“For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” - Philippians 3:3
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” - Galatians 6:14
“And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” - Galatians 5:24
“And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” - 1 Peter 2:8
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” - Romans 8:7
Jesus Christ, as the holy and sinless God incarnate, was made to be a stumbling stone for Israel. The sinful flesh of mankind, and their fallen and carnal mind, could not be subject to the law of God or the holiness of Him, so they stumbled and fell in unbelief. The good news is Christ died for sinful people to make peace with God (Romans 5:1), for those who hear and believe, there is healing and redemption for them, even eternal life. As Paul wrote in Romans 7, it does become a wrestling match when it comes to man’s overcoming the indwelling sinful nature, and it ultimately ends in Romans 8 when the flesh is brought to death, the Mind of Christ is received, evil is put away from us, and we learn to walk in the Spirit as sons and daughters (Romans 8:14,16). As Paul taught, “the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life” (2 Corinthians 3:6). So with this word, Paul is saying the letter of the law ministers death and condemnation, but the Spirit brings life, health and true understanding. Children of God do not live by the letter, but by the Spirit, for as it is written, “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” (Romans 7:6) Paul is saying the “letter of the law” was for the old life, the natural life, and in the flesh that is how the Jews lived under the Old Covenant. But as new creatures in Christ, we are free from stumbling over legality, religion, and the flesh life, and we now have spiritual life in our hearts. Paul stated, “we have the Mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). We must not forget to draw upon God’s Mind for wisdom and understanding, and not rely on our own mind. What a tremendous gift to have access to the Mind of the Creator! (I recommend reading “Mind of God” in the book Come Away My Beloved by Frances J. Roberts). So in the most simple speech, the letter of the law causes stumbling to occur, but the Spirit of the Lord brings liberty, grace, true life and understanding as we choose to press into His Kingdom (2 Corinthians 3:17).
Love is Undivided
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” - John 13:35
Love truly is the greatest Virtue according to the Scriptures (see 1 Corinthians 13), and as the word of God indicates, following the call of Love is the center and purpose of life; a purpose that is beyond human comprehension and embraces eternity (Ephesians 3:19). Love is the only word in Scripture that can fully describe God (1 John 4:16). We know it is not something that can be created by anyone, but it is a manifestation of God's own Personage, for it is written, “God is Love”. We know by the Scriptures that Love is the fulfilling of the Law, and that Love covers all sins, and that works of faith ought to be done through Love (see Galatians 5:6). We also know that Love comes from God and we see the Love of God in all of creation, for all creation testifies of its glorious Creator. Perfect Love is courageous and bold, and is not afraid in the day of judgment. (1 John 4:17) Man has spent their lives seeking the riches of earth, so that they can be secure on earth; even the Scripture states, “money answers everything” (Ecclesiastes 10:19). Money may indeed answer every thing, but Love truly answers every individual, and as Paul taught, “Love never fails” (see 1 Corinthians 13:8). The giving of money to the poor or to God’s true cause is also an evidence of Love, for Love knows how to be a lavish giver. Abiding in the Love of Christ is the place men and women ought to desire forever, and that may also require a crucifixion of selfish desires, lusts, greed, pride, unforgiveness, and resentment towards others, both friends and even enemies. Paul taught that we should not owe any man anything, except to love them (Romans 13:8).
I’ve meditated about the nature of Love, and one can know that Love is not something that can be divided, but Love seeks for two to be made into one, as Jesus said concerning married couples, “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:6). Love is not divided into parts; the heart is either full of God's Love, or it is full of self, self-will, self-concern, and self-preservation. Love is something that comes from God, and it may dwell in mankind, and through love people will always seek to be united to each other through that very love that God put in him. As the Body of Christ, we are one flesh with each other, as well as Christ (Ephesians 5:30). We are members of one Body, and God desires us to have the same care for each other, even as Christ has for His Body. One who loves without discrimination will love all equally, and not one above another, as Paul said, “that there be no schism in the body” (1 Corinthians 12:25). In other words, there is no favoritism in God’s love; His love is without duplicity, and needs each member of Christ’s Body to stir one another up to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24). The Body of Christ is God’s House and His Temple, and we become sanctified by abiding and continuing in God’s Truth (John 17:17).
God has created the good men and the evil men (Proverbs 16:4), the rich and the poor, the beautiful and the ugly, the wise man and the foolish man, the healthy and the sick, the colored flesh and the white flesh. He made all things in His wisdom and understanding, and He will soon make all things glorious and beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). God tests a man with such things, for He knows that the tendency of the mighty, the noble and the proud men of earth is to cleave unto the beautiful, the rich, and the mighty, and often despise everyone else, but with God it is not so. He has made the poor people rich in faith, and as Jesus said, "the last shall be first, and the first last" (Matthew 19:30, James 2:5). In other words, you can’t be first in His kingdom, except you identify with the last man. God does not respect persons so neither should we; we can only observe the fruit (the words and deeds) in each person’s life. God may have respect of the works of each person, as He preferred Abel’s works above Cain’s (see Genesis 4:4), but His love for humanity is unchanging, which is why He sacrificed His Only Begotten Son. Sacrifice is the most powerful example of Love, for Jesus said, “greater love has no man than this, that he should lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). The Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross was even more powerful, because Calvary was a death for His friends and enemies alike (Romans 5:6-8). As Paul taught, the “free gift” came upon all men that day, just as condemnation came upon all men when Adam sinned, so all men received the “free gift” of righteousness when Jesus died on the Cross (Romans 5:18). We were all enemies when Christ died for us, and that is the kind of love Jesus wants His Church to have, which is calvary love. Love that is not only for friends, but love, blessings and prayers to our enemies, and harboring no evil thoughts, surmising, or gossips in our heart (Matthew 5:44). If we struggle in this area, we must go to our prayer closet, pray and give them unto God, and eventually you will find them disappear in time. Here are some Scriptures from 1 John about love:
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” - 1 John 3:16
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” - 1 John 4:7
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” - 1 John 4:11
“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” - 1 John 4:17-18
“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” - 1 John 5:3
“But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.” - 1 John 2:5
So some of these Scriptures above are related to “love” mixed with “obedience”. It’s important to know that to love God is to obey His teachings, and that meekness and obedience is the nature of the love of Christ. Some people think that they love God or know Him, even though they don’t have any reverence for His commandments, His statutes, His words, which according to John, those people are liars (1 John 2:4, John 14:24). The purpose of the commandment of God, is to teach our conscience about what is acceptable, especially in the eyes of the grace of God. As Paul said, “the end of the commandment is love from the pure heart, from a good conscience, and from faith unfeigned” (1 Timothy 1:5). So it’s important that God’s people walk and meditate on the love and truth of God, and to make it our rule of life, because as it says, if we love one another we will fulfill the law, and enter into life (Romans 13:8). If we walk in perfect love, we will have courage and boldness in the day of judgment, as John stated, because there will be no cause of stumbling or judgment in us if we walk in love (1 John 4:17). I would say we must pray for more love in our hearts, and wait upon Him, and give to Him worship, and He will answer us with His infinite and perfect love. As Paul said, this is our great hope, “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5).
Wisdom: God’s Highest Gift
“She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.” - Proverbs 3:15
The reason for this chapter is because, according to the Bible, to know the value of wisdom is the highest priority and of chief importance to any Child of God who has a calling upon their life to serve Jesus Christ and to receive their eternal inheritance. The Scripture says, “Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore, get Wisdom” (see Proverbs 4:7). God wants His Body to know, and I’d like to elaborate as to why God’s Wisdom is truly the “principal thing” of life. A lot of people have not known the value of the Word of God, but it is evident in the Scriptures that the Apostle John identifies Jesus as “The Word” who was in the beginning with God and “was God” (see John 1:1). In this statement, God is identifying His Word as a living Person, even God Himself! King Solomon also wrote a lot about the importance of Wisdom, even personifying it as a female, who ordered and directed God as He created all things (see Proverbs 8:22). The purpose is to convince the Body of Christ of their desperate need of God’s Wisdom and knowledge, and to know that abundant life, success, and total happiness can be attained in no other way. Some people have forsaken this path of life in pursuit of worldly pleasure, or money, or a career, or seeking a wife, and they’ve thought that fulfillment and happiness can come to them in some other way than seeking God and abiding in His Living Truth. How foolish and unbelieving! Did not Jesus essentially say to His disciples, “The Gentiles seek all these things (earthly blessings such as food, clothing, money, entertainment, a spouse, a home, land), but you believers ought to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you (one hundred fold)”? (see Matthew 6:33, Matthew 19:29) They laugh at anyone who truly desires to discover the riches of the Kingdom as their highest priority, not knowing they are following the unbelieving ways of the world, which go no where and end in frustration of soul. A college degree may be good for a career, or an intellectual religion, but there is not one iota of life or peace for the soul found therein, because it’s not centered in the living pool of Christ’s life or the doing of the will of God. God’s will, which is the heart of eternal life, is to seek His Kingdom first, and not let any idols replace Him, also receiving all the spiritual blessings in Christ by faith and obedience (Ephesians 1:3). Finances come with waiting upon the Lord, preparing for the work of ministry, and finding our God-given assignment and talent; using our hands, mind and mouth to create useful things for others (Ephesians 4:28).
God’s Wisdom and understanding take full dedication, they take much time waiting, praying, and delighting in God’s presence, but they will bring life to the soul, and they will bring enrichment and joy as people confess and believe the truth of God. Solomon, the wealthiest man in history, discovered this in his life: “…the excellency of knowledge is that wisdom giveth life to them that have it” (Ecclesiastes 7:12). To work and labor merely for perishable things like money and pleasure is a life of ignorance and unbelief, which is okay for the world, but not the true believing Church of Christ who have the high calling of God upon their life. The true Church body is the Seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:29). Spoken of by God in the book of Genesis, He said this Seed would bless all nations, and we now know that this blessing is through the gift of God (the Holy Spirit) and the Lord Jesus Christ (Genesis 18:18). God’s people do not labor merely for perishable things like money, but they labor and receive honest wages and eternal rewards only for God’s glory (John 4:36), according to the skills He gives, and can be partakers of God’s joy if their ministry is approved (Matthew 25:21). The Joy of the Lord will be our strength and song, all day, as we learn to worship Him in spirit and truth! (Nehemiah 8:10, John 15:11) The reward is heavenly, and we do not need to wait till death to receive this inheritance, but when the Testator (the one who has the inheritance) died on the Cross, and left us as heirs in His will, to obtain His glory (Hebrews 9:16-17). What a person seeks after is an indication of what their focus in life is, or what their heart and mind value, so it’s important true Christians study the Bible and pray, and discover riches of true value, knowing that God will bring the unspeakable rewards according to the riches of His grace (Job 28 is an amazing chapter on Wisdom). As Jesus said, “you can’t serve two masters, God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). It’s only singleness of mind and heart, singleness of tongue and eye that pleases God, which means we need to think about living a life for His glory and having a good conscience before God (Matthew 6:22). Here are a few Scriptures that will help explain this:
“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.” - Proverbs 3:13-15
“Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.” - Proverbs 23:4
“Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” - John 6:27
“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” - Acts 26:18
“And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” - Hebrews 9:15
Faith is Victory
“He that is born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4)
This is one of my favorite Scriptures in the Bible, because it equates faith with the state of victory. Such things I’ve found to be true, especially when circumstances of life are calamitous, there must be the faith of Jesus Christ that is a stronger force operating in our hearts. Each child of God, the moment they are born again by believing in Christ, they now possess His faith in their heart. Faith is something that grows in the human heart, as Paul taught in the epistle of Romans, “the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith”. (Romans 1:17) The more faith we have in our heart, the more victory we have over the world, and the more joy we have in our salvation. The Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts will produce more faith, as we learn to yield and hear His Word being spoken and received, as Paul taught, “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Those who are His sheep are those who hear His Word. Jesus said, “My sheep know My voice and follow Me” (John 10:27) and He also said, “He that is of God heareth God’s words.” (John 8:47) It’s important to know that “hearing” is the fore-most commandment above all of God’s commandments, because without hearing, no one can receive the faith of the Gospel in their heart. Religious people have a desire for self-righteousness, law-keeping, and memorizing Scripture, but disciples of Jesus have a desire for true life and joy that comes only through faith in God’s Word. Those who hear are blessed, but those who are committed to prayer and obedience to their faith are even more blessed. It’s important to yoke the Word of God with a life of prayer, because without prayer and communion with God, there can be no illumination (to understand the Scriptures rightly). The Holy Spirit is given to each believer to guide them in the truth of God, but they must be committed to winning the race of life (John 16:13, 1 Corinthians 9:24). Faith and the Holy Spirit and a disciplined will, will bring joy and victory, as people accept that they are dead with Christ, and their life is hidden with Christ in God, and their day of glory could be just around the corner (Colossians 3:3-4).
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” - Hebrews 11:6
Our father Abraham was justified only by faith during his life. The works he did were only proof that his faith was legitimate and real. When Abraham offered Isaac as a burnt offering, his willingness to obey was not only proof that he believed God, but also that he knew His voice (see Genesis 22:3). Abraham is a fantastic story of true faith, but also a man who obeyed God’s voice and waited upon Him daily with expectancy. A good chapter to read concerning Abraham’s “justification by faith” is Romans chapter 4 and Galatians chapter 3. Paul taught concerning Abraham that he was an example of God’s plan of justification, which is by faith and grace, and not by works (Galatians 2:16). God’s plan is that the Gentiles will receive the promise of the Gospel by following the pattern that Abraham walked in. Because his blessing involved childbearing and marital love, he was given the sign of circumcision, which was a seal of the righteousness of faith that he walked in before he was given the promise (Romans 4:11). At the age of 100 years old, him and his wife Sarah conceived a son by the power of God’s enablement, which is a type of the resurrection of Christ. Their bodies were as good as dead, but thank Jehovah God, he caused them to bear children and become a happy family, and revived their bodies and their youthful vitality (Romans 4:19-20). All but one of Abraham’s children were born after the age of 100; God gave him more children by other choice women, and much wealth, and he saw the promise of God fulfilled in his life. Abraham pleased God with his faith, and God blessed Abraham with abundant life. Paul referred to this as the “blessing of Abraham” which will come upon the Gentiles by faith (Galatians 3:14).
It’s also important to note, that unbelief and doubt are wearisome to God; they do not defeat Him, but they do hold Him back from working miracles, as Jesus witnessed in His home town of Nazareth (Matthew 13:58). Some think they can please God in their life by their own works, but the word says it is only through faith that God is pleased, and it's not possible any other way (Hebrews 11:6). It's only through faith as a mustard seed that we can have any blessing we desire from the Father and see the mountain of problems moved into the sea (Mark 11:23). It’s only the believing who will receive the promises from the Word and see His glory (Mark 11:23). And doubt is so painful to God, that, as it is written, those who do not believe will not receive anything from the Lord (see James 1:6). Usually a doubter, in their pride, will spend their life pursuing vanity and earthly riches, and might be ashamed in the day of true riches, glory and revelation! Have faith in God! If we believe in Him, we must "earnestly contend for the faith" (Jude 1:3).
Tithing and Charity
“Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” - Proverbs 3:9-10
The Bible above all things is a book of charity. The bible doctrines on charity, tithes, and offerings are too rich not to share with as many believers as you can. Jesus told us how if we learn how to give, God will see to it that we receive blessings from above. If we give in secret, the Father will see and reward us openly (Matthew 6:4). That is one thing people must understand, is all good works and evil works have a just reward. That’s the reason a lot of people don’t give unto God, is because they don’t believe. The Lord challenges His people Israel to “test Him” with giving tithes and offerings. Giving largely to God in secret will yield a fruitful harvest of blessings, as Jesus said “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38). So Jesus is saying, the more a person gives, the more blessing will be bestowed upon them from God. As the word says, “open widely your hand to your brother” (Deuteronomy 15:8). The best Scripture that I know of is in Malachi, where God pronounces that the Jews were a cursed people, because they rob God in tithes and offerings, but He gave them an opportunity to receive an amazing blessing through tithing (see Malachi 3:9). The Jews, according to the Lord, were “cursed”, because they did not give their tithes. So in other words, it didn’t matter how much money or joy they had on their own account, they were still cursed in God’s eyes if they don’t have HIS blessing which is received through the tithe. So let us first look at the law of tithing.
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” - Malachi 3:10
Now I learned how true this doctrine of tithing is in recent times, but after I gave my first tithe the Holy Spirit spoke to me in my sleep, about how Abraham paid his tithe to Melchizedek the Priest, and received blessings from God just as Malachi prophesied. A person does not need to give their tithe to every good preacher, but definitely, if they desire God’s blessing, they must tithe to a spiritual ministry that is approved of God and responsible for feeding spiritual food and spiritual drink; otherwise they are robbing God. Many have blindly given their tithes to a local church out of an act of compulsion or good conscience, but many receive no blessing from heaven. God appointed Melchizedek, an immortal Priest of God, to receive Abraham’s tithe (Genesis 14:18-20). So we must conclude that the greater of a Priest that receives tithes, then there will be a more substantial blessing from God, especially if God appoints a spiritual leader in your life who brings God’s riches with him. The Apostle Paul preached a lot on giving, but he did not refer to the tithe, because the law of Moses was fulfilled and perhaps he did not want them being “under law” about it, but he still preached of the riches and blessings of those who give to the cause of God’s work. Let us look at what Paul taught the Philippians:
“Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.” - Philippians 4:15-17
So here the Apostle Paul was showing the Philippians how God would indeed bless them for their giving unto him, and then he said, “My God will supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (see Philippians 4:19). This promise of riches and abundance were given to the Philippian Church, because they had Charity in their hearts for God and the Apostles of Christ, and for the Church of Christ. Their love and consideration for other people is what attracted Paul’s favor upon them, and so that is like the law of life. A person shall reap what they sow, even when it comes to giving money (as Frances J. Roberts calls it, money is “spiritual currency” when given to God). Paul also taught the Corinthians that money can be like unto a seed, and he said:
“He that soweth sparingly, shall also reap sparingly, he that soweth bountifully, shall reap bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work…” - 2 Corinthians 9:7-8
So after looking at a few of these New Testament examples of giving, you can start to see the divine FAVOR that comes upon a giver of charity, as a spiritual law, it will not fail, that is why God says “test Me in this matter” (see Malachi 3:10). Test Him with true tithes or true offerings, and see if He doesn’t open His windows. A good test is giving big seed directly to the poor, or Christian charities, and to make sure it is an “approved” ministry. God will always give manifold more blessings and riches back than that was given, and this operation of giving and receiving is how God motivates people to give big and contribute to His wonderful Kingdom Economy (I recommend the message from Come Away My Beloved called “Kingdom Economy”). It’s best to pray about the purpose of the tithe, and ask God concerning the ministry He desires to use in your life. There are Ministers of Jesus Christ who are real and legitimate, and there are also fraudulent people who use Christianity to gain luxuries and excessive living. People who walk in the Spirit of God ought to be watchful and discerning that ministry funds are not being wasted, but given unto God for His purpose. There are also many Christian ministries that are legitimately used to help the poor and needy, and as the proverb says, “to give to the poor, is to lend unto the Lord” (Proverbs 19:17). Aside from the many well-known mainstream Christian charities, there is a good website that lists a multitude of many more good Christian ministries called Christian Charities USA with the option to give to several at once (www.ccusa.org). Many of these ministries do an amazing job to help feed and clothe the poor, help broken and hurting people, give Bibles to many people, and ultimately help preach the gospel to the lost. There is no doubt God will bless people with joy in giving to these people, so long as we do it quietly, and not for the praise of men as the hypocrites do. Jesus said that God’s reward is enough for us, so test Him and find out yourself!
What is the meaning of Worship?
“But 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. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” - John 4:23-24
This is a topic that I have always wished there was more teaching on, but I’ve learned that the truth is all very simple. I believe worship has a variety of manifestations, so long as the worshiper is seeking to glorify and extol the living God. True worship, in my mind, is any good thing that is given unto God from His children, whether it be thanksgiving, or praise, or love, or adoration, or time spent in devotion or ministry, or glory and honor, even our minds and hearts that are fixed on Jehovah God (the Father), Jesus Christ (the Son) and the Holy Ghost at all times. The opposite of true worship is called “idolatry” or “fornication”, and usually it is a polluting influence in our life. Any adoration, devotion or praise that is not actually given to God Himself, can be perceived, as scriptures say, as “things sacrificed unto idols” (1 Corinthians 8, Revelation 2:20). That is essentially what the Apostle Paul is preaching in Romans chapter 1:20-32. He is saying that worshipping God is the true way of life designed by God, and worshipping and serving the creature is called “the lie” which is a device of the devil. In another sense, it is what we center our lives around, what we give our thoughts to, and Who we give ultimate thanks to. Christians ought to be occupied with the Everlasting God and Father, and knowing His Word, praying always in the Secret Place, and seeking the rest and peace found only in Him by faith. Jesus said these words unto His Father, “And this is life eternal, that they might know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You sent” (John 17:3). So here you have two opposing forces, God and idols (also the devils who are behind idolatry). Anything that opposes God in our heart is an idol by default. Paul knew this well, and that is why he references immoral sex, uncleanness and covetousness as common idolatrous behaviors that a Christian can be tempted by under grace (Ephesians 5:3). Jesus knew this in reference to men’s attitude toward money and material wealth, He said, “you can’t serve two masters…God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).
The obvious virtue that is needed in regard to the temptation of idolatry (or excessive indulgence in earthly things) is temperance and moderation, also faith and knowledge, which if His people seek Him daily, the Holy Spirit will provide in due time. As Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 8, just knowing that there is one God, who is the Creator, and one Lord Jesus Christ, is enough to avoid the stumbling block of idolatry. If I eat and drink, and enjoy myself on earth among the Gentiles, and give thanks to the one God of grace, then it is not idolatry, it is me living my faith in accordance to my knowledge of God. As Paul taught, “whatever you eat that is not by faith, it is sin” (Romans 14:23). In other words, make sure your conscience agrees with the things you partake of, lest the soul be afflicted unnecessarily. If I choose to partake of something earthly, and enjoy the talents and the artistic work of other people, and give thanks to God and Jesus Christ as the Creator and Source of all good things, then I am in an act of wonder and worship toward God and not idolatry. There are some weaker Christians, who are called babes, who do not yet know this, so they may still feel like they are sinning or committing idolatry when their conscience speaks to them about the content or of their current level of the knowledge of good and evil. Paul even warns mature Christians not to cause weak ones to stumble through their liberty, or knowledge, or grace, but to lovingly consider the weaker brother (1 Corinthians 8:9). But as Paul taught, knowing that there is only one God and one Lord Jesus Christ, who made all food and drink on earth to be pure and acceptable, is sufficient knowledge to avoid the sin of idolatry (Romans 14:20), but Paul also says not to purposely offend people with our enjoyment or behavior. The question of true worship is answered in whether we keep God and Jesus Christ as our first Love, if He truly is the center of our lives, if we spend sufficient time in devotion, worship, and meditation, with a desire for Him and the vast wealth of the Kingdom. God is not deceived or mocked as to whether we truly fulfill the commandment of Matthew 6:33, which says “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you”. He knows if we are in the will of God or not, so if we aren’t we must pray to make our path straight. Paul also mentioned “uncleanness” as a thing that could cause trouble. I believe Paul is referring to uncleanness as a matter of the conscience, and that the person has been doing things that their conscience does not agree with, and thus their conscience has become “defiled”. One of my favorite scriptures is Titus 1:15, which says, “To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but even their mind and conscience are defiled”. Maintaining a pure heart and mind is a thing that requires devotion and growing in faith and stature, by receiving Christ’s words and drinking His blood of atonement, thus maintaining a holy life, as Jesus said was necessary to have life (John 6:53). The reward of such devotion is a soul and mind that is virtuous and able to enjoy abundant life and an enriching and often intoxicating love relationship with the Lord, as the Bride says, “Thy love is better than wine” (Song of Solomon 1:2).
The New Covenant of Marriage
“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” -Revelation 19:7
Marriage has always been one of the most complicated mysteries that we have been given as humans, but it is evident that the sexual union, or the marriage covenant, is the most powerful of all bonds, and there is a difference between the natural life and what we have now as born again children, which is the spiritual life. Some of the most seemingly strange or ambiguous writings of the Apostle Paul were concerning marriage, especially in 1 Corinthians chapter 7. He stated in the word of God, “let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband” (1 Corinthians 7:2), but he also taught the importance of living life in a similar fashion as though we are an unmarried person, even for every man, because the new marriage in Christ is not according to the oldness of the letter of the law, but according to the newness of the Spirit and grace of the new covenant (1 Corinthians 7:8, Romans 7:6). In essence, to “marry in the Lord” is a covenant of true love written by God in the Spirit, and not merely an earthly legal contract which you will find with those who are children of this world. Paul is saying, God will show every redeemed person their own mate, just as Adam and Eve were particularly suited for each other by God, but He expects them to live a life that keeps them spiritually and physically vital and free to serve the Lord. He doesn’t want us to have merely a carnal relationship, or a co-dependent relationship, which often dissipate with time; but a relationship in the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, which together produce the true flame of love (Song of Solomon 8:6).
This is a life that will always be the reality in heaven, in particular, doing God’s will and pleasure in sexual matters and not walking after the selfish desires of the flesh. That is why the sons and daughters of God cannot be satisfied or have their true romantic and sexual desires fulfilled apart from knowing God in truth, and being “counted worthy” of this new covenant and new world, just as Jesus said (Luke 20:34-36). Being counted worthy, means growing up in Christ, and meanwhile crucifying the lusts and passions of the carnal flesh and self-life, and allowing the Holy Spirit to bring us growth in the new divine life and revelation of Jesus Christ in our hearts and minds. As the Body of Christ grows in spiritual stature, the writings given by the Holy Spirit on marriage become more and more clear as to what Paul had been shown concerning marriage in the New Covenant. Jesus was blatantly clear in the gospel, that the children of this world marry and give into marriage, but once they are born of God they are now part of the new creation. He said they who are accounted worthy, which will be the sons and daughters of God, do not marry or are given into marriage as the world does, nor can they die anymore, but are as angels of God in heaven (see Luke 20:34-36, 2 Corinthians 6:18). And why do they not marry? Because they are not subject to death and mortality, or the letter of the law, once they have been fully saved by Christ. After being free-born by grace and by the Holy Spirit, they are risen with Jesus Christ forever, free to experience the newness of life and glory.
In this resurrection of Christ, we must not swear oaths, or take vows, or make promises, except to love God and seek His will in all things, because everything we do now is based on a new covenant and an endless life, and not merely a natural or mortal life. We reckon that we’ve died with Christ unto sin, have been buried, and are now risen with Jesus Christ by the glory of God the Father (see Romans 6, Colossians 2:12-13); this is why I believe Paul emphasized being an unmarried man or woman (loosed from the law of the husband by means of death, and risen and freed in the Spirit). He even said, “the unmarried man careth for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord: but he that is married careth for the things of the world, how he may please his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:32-33). If they love the Lord as their first love, their life will be sanctified, and they will be as an unmarried person, and as the Bible says, even if men do have wives, they ought to live as though they did not possess wives (1 Corinthians 7:29, 1 Corinthians 7:32, 34). The world and its lust is perishing, and the Lord makes all things new, even as the perfection of the Garden of Eden, through His fires of purification (Revelation 21:5). Earthly marriage covenants are temporal and natural, but as Paul taught, they are nullified at the time of death, either of the husband or the wife, even according to the Old Covenant. But Paul also said, if anyone desires to marry in the flesh, “they sinneth not”, so they must be free to live as they wish, but Paul warns them that they will “have trouble in the flesh” and he would spare them such trouble (1 Corinthians 7:28). I interpret Paul’s words as this: legal bondage can get people in trouble in this world, and in the flesh. But the true children of God are free from the law, and are in a New Covenant of grace; wherein concerning the law, our mother Sarah says, “cast out the bondwoman and her son; for the son of the bondwoman will not be heir with the son of the free woman” (Galatians 4:30, Genesis 21:10). In other words, those who live under the law, or seek justification for their lives by the law, will not inherit the Kingdom with those who live and are justified by grace and faith. (As Paul taught in Galatians 4:22, Abraham’s two wives represent the two covenants; Hagar is the law-covenant and Sarah is the grace-covenant) The Old Covenant is often pertaining to the flesh, whereas the New Covenant is pertaining to the new resurrected life in the Spirit, and our new life in Jesus Christ, who is risen from death forever. Notice the below Scripture, Paul is speaking not to women, but to Brethren of the Lord:
“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” - Romans 7:4
So here Paul is stating that men ought to recognize Christ as their personal Head and Savior, and to be subject unto His Lordship and Husbandry. Paul did in fact teach, that just as a man is the head of the woman, so is Christ the Head of every man (1 Corinthians 11:3). The Spirit of Christ is given for all as an indwelling personal Savior, and must be recognized as man’s Head. It is a great privilege to have the Spirit of Christ dwell in our hearts, for He is the Bridegroom and Savior, and the more we receive of His life, the better our reward will be. So therefore the New Covenant of Marriage is about redeemed humans, male and female, being joined together in the Spirit by the Lord, according to holy love, not for time only but also for eternity in the heavenly places, the heavenly city, and the mansions that the Lord has prepared for us. The children born unto them are holy and must be offered unto the Lord’s healing hands, and commended unto the grace and truth of Jesus Christ. As the Scripture says, fathers and mothers must admonish their children, and be diligent to teach them the words of life and grace (Ephesians 6:4, Deuteronomy 6:7). Paul describes this as a “great mystery” to the Ephesian Saints (Ephesians 5:32). He did so, I believe, because man in his carnal state and sinful condition, has a tendency for sin and lust, jealousy and carnal passions, whereas in the redeemed souls and bodies, there is no such thing as sin and death, but spiritual life and holiness wrought by the Spirit of God. Jesus abolished death; on the cross, in the tomb, and in the resurrection, and has brought life and immortality to light by the gospel (2 Timothy 1:10). We are free from death and the tomb, but as Frances J. Roberts prophesied, not everyone is free from the grave clothes of religion at this time, and it takes time to find deliverance from such binding things (On the Highroad of Surrender - “Free Yourself of the Grave Clothes).
In 1 Corinthians 7:28, Paul is warning the Church of the trouble married couples of this fallen world get into when they try to make marriage into a legal contract, as well as the option for a written divorce, when now in the new creation, marriage ought to be a holy and spiritual union in the Lord, free from the bondages that were in the old life according to the law. Due to the fact that men and women have a sinful nature, they often desire to vow to each other, to prevent infidelity and keep order in life, and have accountability to their children, which is a good idea for many who live in the natural life. This is no longer necessary for the new creatures born of God by Jesus Christ, for as we grow into His nature and likeness, it is natural to love and be faithful to a spouse and children, and we eventually don’t need the vows of the law to keep us faithful; our goal is to be faithful to Christ first, and to our brothers and family second. It is the nature of love to give people liberty to choose and have a free will to reciprocate true love. (In other words, I would prefer a wife who loves me without taking a vow) Vowing to the Lord is always acceptable, because it is Him that desires our highest praise, devotion and adoration, and He is the one Husband of His chosen Bride! But if people choose not to make a commitment to God, to grow up in Christ, or are unwilling to deny themselves and take up the Cross daily, then they can only marry in the natural after the law in the flesh. They won’t be able to endure the afflictions of Christ to partake of the new covenant marriage or the glory of God if they don’t lay aside every weight, and run the race with patience (Hebrews 12:1). His best path sometimes has trials, pain and solitude, but it is far more rewarding, as Paul said, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Paul suffered many things, but because of God’s love and joy was upon him, he considered them “light afflictions”. No matter what we go through in this life, it is a light and momentary affliction according to Paul. It is also interesting to note with this topic, that if anyone reads the stories of the Bible, there are few biblical characters who had an actual wedding ceremony. This doesn’t mean weddings are wrong, but many marriage unions in the Bible were sincere and were made in the meekness and simplicity of the Lord’s working. But the natural wedding ceremony has a spiritual significance, as we believers are espoused to the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will come at the midnight hour to have a wedding for His beloved Bride. But His life is Spiritual and Heavenly, and that is what makes it different from the natural wedding; the Lamb’s wife will be a heavenly being, says the Lord (Revelation 21:9-11). With the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: each of these great men of faith only received a wife if it was by the hand of God, which is the distinguishing mark of God’s faithful people, namely, the doing of the will of God. They received good and beautiful wives, because they waited for the Lord God, who works in mysterious ways, to choose their spouse; and as the Psalmist said, His way is always perfect! (Psalm 18:30) One of the Scriptures that shows the death of the old, and a new marriage in the Lord, is posted below:
“The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.” - 1 Corinthians 7:39-40
Religious people have a strong desire to be justified by the law, and not by faith or grace (see Galatians 5:1-4). They will exact their own righteousness from either their alleged faithfulness to their spouse, or the length of their marriage, or lack of divorce - all of these are expressions of self-righteousness. If anyone actually reads the Law of Moses, it permitted divorce under certain circumstances (see Deuteronomy 24:1). The reason I believe Jesus stated that they were adulterers if they divorce and remarry is because they often abused the heart of the Law of Moses and looked for ways to have another wife or husband and remain justified by putting away their previous spouse according to the law. In the eyes of the law, they still broke their vow, and according to Jesus, were also guilty of adultery. Jesus was not trying to make people follow a strict code of marriage, but rather, teach them that they were ALL guilty of sexual immorality in their hearts, even if they lusted after a woman. Jesus knew the law of sin was in their flesh, and He knew that justification is not by the works of the law, but by the faith and grace of Christ (Galatians 2:16). He did not want self-righteous Pharisees and Scribes actually believing they were righteous by the law, especially when Jesus was there to die for their sins, the sins of every person standing there and whoever was born on this earth with a mortal body.
Another thing Paul talked about was, between a husband and wife, there can be a time of separation to give focus to prayer and fasting. He did not want a husband and wife to defraud each other of marital affection, but to know our bodies, souls, and spirits are ONE unit with three avenues of expression, and must be kept in balance (Frances J. Roberts, Progress of Another Pilgrim - “All is Sacred” ). So it’s true, love and sexual affection is healthy to your spirit and soul, just as much to your body, but if the desires of the flesh ever take precedence, then there must be times of regeneration by prayer and fasting; it’s about keeping spiritual vitality and holiness, and thus maintaining fullness of joy. Fasting will bring more joy and pleasure to physical activity, because it will make people very sensitive to the spirit life, and thus bring quickening to the body and its senses also. It’s a similar principal as eating thanksgiving dinner, and feeling the need to exercise afterward. Here is the Scripture:
“Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” - 1 Corinthians 7:5
So here you can see, in this beautiful Scripture about marriage and love, Paul mentions Satan of all people. Satan being the tempter, is more-so talking about our conscience and the response we have to lacking any temperance or holiness. There must be holiness in a marriage, seeing that sexuality can very much-so be a holy thing when God is Present and there is true love at work in our hearts. Many have been tempted by Satan, and in this particular case, it is due to losing control of our vessel (our body and soul). That is one of the devices Satan uses, is the goodness of something like sex, to cause humans to lose control, and it basically becomes a thing called the “lust of the flesh”, and not the love, purity, or tenderness that is the nature of Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:4-5). That is why Jesus came, to give man a perfect control of himself, by accepting the cross, receiving holy love, and spiritual vitality, even through fasting, prayer, studying the Word, and walking in the Spirit. If people desire this “blessing of Abraham” (which include his wealth and old-age sexual vitality), they must learn to walk in the same steps as Abraham, and OBEY the Voice of the Lord every day (Romans 4:12). Obedience and meekness are a requirement for God’s blessings in marriage, and to learn the ways of Jesus, and to keep His commandments in our hearts, which always end with love, forgiveness, peace, confession of sins and faults, repentance; these things will all enhance a marriage, and make a love relationship more pure and enjoyable. I always see Jesus as a loving Husband, who pleads with His wife, and always desires to make peace and happiness, but a wife must also seek to be yielded to God and desire holy living in Him by faith. We need to be the same way as Jesus, and a son or daughter of God must seek to be joined to a God-ordained mate, especially if we desire joy and agreement in our marriage. But that is only after we have heard His call, otherwise, as Paul stated, God’s people should abide in their current marriage or their unmarried state until they hear the call of God with certainty (1 Corinthians 7:27).
The last thing I will say is if we don’t marry in the letter of the law, neither do we divorce after the law, which is what Paul taught also (1 Corinthians 7:11). The Old Covenant allowed people to divorce in the flesh. Those are the ordinances of the Old Testament, for those who lived in the world after the flesh. Paul’s writings are for those who are spiritual and live in the Spirit, by which we know, divorce would be nonsensical, because the flesh is crucified for those who belong to Christ (Galatians 5:24). Paul plainly said, if the wife desires to depart, let her depart, to remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband; for she is free from the law of the husband in her new life (1 Corinthians 7:11). The essence of this message is this: the thing that binds the husband and wife together ought to be true and holy love, and not merely the written law. The written law is for those who have no faith, as it is written, “the law is not of faith” (Galatians 3:12). At the center of the New Covenant is delighting and abiding in the law of God through our inner man (see Romans 7:22), and living by the grace of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Ghost. If our relationships in life are appointed of the Lord, they are meant to endure for eternity, and nothing can take away from God’s work (Ecclesiastes 3:14). As the Word says, the sinful flesh must die, and the heart and mind must be renewed by the knowledge of God, and through daily bearing the Cross, it opens the veil into the Holy of Holies, wherein the marriage of the Lamb is consummated (Hebrews 10:19-22). But in pertaining to the wisdom of the world, in 1 Corinthians 6, Paul even blamed the Church for using unbelieving lawyers to judge between themselves; he said it’d be better to be cheated and defrauded, than to give power to unbelievers over the Church of Christ. We must abide where the Lord has called us to be, which is a heavenly land.
Jesus’ Sacrifice, Repentance and Confession
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” - Revelation 12:11
Repentance may be an unpopular doctrine of Jesus Christ, because it requires being humbled and contrite pertaining to His Truth and our problem with sin. We must not forget, God in His infinite Wisdom uses foolishness to save mankind (see 1 Corinthians 1:21-25). He used the sacrifice of the body and soul of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, to redeem the fallen race of Adam and Eve who was dead in sin, mortality and unbelief. So we see in the New Testament, specifically in 1 Corinthians 11:25, concerning the Lord’s Supper, that when we eat and drink of the Passover Lamb, that is, Jesus Christ, we are eating and living in His Word, and also in a state of contrition for sin and gratitude for His grace. As God said through Moses, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word from the mouth of the LORD doth man live” (Deuteronomy 8:3). So in this passage, we clearly see that the human life that God made was meant to be sustained not only by physical food from the earth, but also spiritual food and drink from heaven, of whom Jesus Christ is the fullness thereof. Jesus said, “I am the Bread of God who came down from heaven, to give life unto the world” (John 6:33, John 6:51). So where does confession come into operation? The confession for Christians is due to the fact that sin is still an existing problem for humans, even genuine children of God who are born of the Spirit; they must deal with sin because they accept the laws of God (which is the knowledge of sin), whereas the Gentiles, in a sense, have no knowledge of sin, because they are lost in unbelief (Romans 5:13, 7:8). A lot of Christians feel very self-preserving and not wanting to confess their sins and faults, but God made this way of repentance the only true way of being perfected: this is the new covenant found only in the blood of Jesus (Matthew 26:28). The Apostle Paul warned the Church not to eat and drink the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner, which I have always interpreted as being unrepentant, or proud, when the body of Jesus was sacrificed for our sins, so the attitude we must have during bible communion should be contrition and inward reflection (1 Corinthians 11:28). Not that we would perfect ourselves only by repentance, but rather asking the Spirit to bring death to our sinful flesh, to perfect and heal our hearts by grace, and live only to God as being risen from the dead (Romans 6:13). We should never seek to justify ourselves if we truly have sin or fault in us, we must continually offer unto God a broken and contrite heart, and through daily eating His flesh and drinking His blood we are proclaiming His death until He comes. (That is, the meditation in His Word and His blood washing our sin that we confess) We can stand perfected by the Father through the grace of Jesus Christ, because we remember that the Passover Supper (The Lord’s Supper) is an offering for sin, and as we eat of this bread daily, we will live forever (John 6:50). God created us to be His sons and daughters, and to experience perfection, and it truly comes through this Priesthood of the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit. He gives us understanding in the doctrines of Christ, and understanding in the purpose of the Cross of Christ and the broken body; and at the heart of this work of God is His abounding Love for humanity. It is a mystery, and the Apostle Paul covered a lot of these topics throughout the New Testament, especially in the book of Hebrews. Let’s take a look at a few Scriptures:
“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” - Hebrews 10:10
“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” - Hebrews 10:14
“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” - Hebrews 9:14
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” - 1 John 1:9
And another verse that is in the Old Testament, which foretold the Cross of Jesus Christ, and that His blood would flow as a fountain for the remission of sin:
“In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” - Zechariah 13:1
So here are five Scriptures that talk about perfection. There are more than these, but I just wanted to whet the appetite for learning this truth. It’s true, that our conscience is perfected, even when we are first born of God, if we have truly been born of God, then we did have an experience when we felt like a brand new person, and we suffered afflictions, and Satan buffeted us at times, but the good news is, a child of God is always a child of God; they can never be lost or unborn. God does not cast away His children, even if they feel pain and suffering, His grace is greater (John 6:37, Romans 6:14). It’s important to search His Word for His promises, and LEAN upon His Word like a Staff, because, as it says, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19). God is good for His Word, but the only part of the Bible that works, is the part believed and acted upon. Faith is often the solution we need at any given moment of crisis, and as we study the Word of God, it’s good to believe His Word and pray about it; ask God for Wisdom and Revelation, and He will gladly give it (see James 1:5). It takes time, and patience, but that is what eternal life is often about, which is patience and faith until our works are done, and we enter heaven, and our works become God’s works. I would also like to add to the topic of “perfection”; perfection comes through knowing the full revelation of Truth, and such is revealed in the Holy Scriptures and Prophecies. As Jesus said, “you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32) and as the Lord also said in the prophet Hosea, “My people perish for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Growing in the knowledge of God is a means of deliverance for God’s people, as Solomon said also, “through knowledge shall the just be delivered” (Proverbs 11:9). So knowing and understanding the Truth, and learning to obey His voice, is very important, and it leads to more freedom in God’s Kingdom. As Paul taught Timothy, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 emphasis added)
Supernatural Health and the Gift of Healing
“And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee… For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?” - Matthew 9:2, 5
The God of the universe, is a God of supernatural health and vitality, but it is often our choice in this day of grace as to what kind of health we walk in. His promise in the Scriptures is to be healthy and whole in body, soul and spirit, and we must seek this blessing through faith and prayer. The key is knowing how to maintain good health in a Scripturally sound manner. For the children of the world (the natural man), sicknesses seem quite random and unfortunate, and some of them have no hope, but as the children of God, we know that there is an actual cause of such things in the spirit world, as the true proverb says, “…a curse does not come without a cause” (Proverbs 26:2). Jesus healed many people, and would sometimes refer to their sin as the cause of sickness. He even warned a man who was crippled for 37 years, after He completely healed him, to “sin no more, lest something worse come upon thee” (see John 5:14). Jesus knew Satan works sicknesses and death through his twisted legal system, and seeks whom he may devour with permission from God (as was the case with Job), who is the ultimate Judge of the heavenly court system. But I do know many religious people who are very prone to sickness, often because they don’t believe in grace or healing, because their conscience does not have knowledge of these things. It’s true, there are various degrees of sicknesses, and there are various degrees of sins, but Jesus promises to forgive all iniquities and heal ALL our diseases if we but surrender to His way, His forgiveness, and His healing power by faith (see Psalm 103:2-5). Frances J. Roberts, prophesied concerning this, essentially saying that many inward sins, such as resentments, unforgiveness, unrepentance, ill-will, hate, anger, blasphemy; if these evil emotions are allowed to live inside the heart and soul, then it may result in sickness and disease in the body (see book Come Away My Beloved - “Whatever You Sow”).
I’ve been very sick at times in my Christian walk, and I know there are certain sinful dispositions that make humans susceptible and vulnerable to sickness and disease, but I stopped getting sick as much when I learned the true cause of my sickness, which was my rebellious heart; in other words, my inner sins, such as hate, or unfair treatment or unrighteous thoughts toward other people; Jesus said the sins that come out of the heart and mouth are what defiles a man (Mark 7:15). These crimes are mental crimes, but are generated from the heart, which is why the Scriptures talk about the importance of keeping a pure heart and conscience, as the proverb says, “a sound heart is life to the flesh” (Proverbs 14:30), and “keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it issues life” (Proverbs 4:23). Except people confess their sins, repent, pray always, and drink the blood of Jesus in exchange, they will struggle with sicknesses, and ultimately, death. Paul taught this in 1 Corinthians 11:30-31 concerning the Lord’s Supper, he said, “many are weak and sickly among you and many sleep [are dead]. For if we should judge ourselves, we would not be judged”. He is saying, that if we judge ourselves, are convicted, and repent, we can be spared the sickness and death that is common to the world. It’s an ego problem when true Christians think they have no sin that is working sickness and death in them, but the good news is God has provided a sacrifice for us if we choose to have confession and communion. The Word says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9). The Spirit of God can protect and make us immune to sickness and disease, but there must be confession and removal of sin and evil (Ecclesiastes 11:10). There must be a spiritual work of building the fortitude of God and Christ in our hearts, because many people have offended the Holy Spirit and He has withdrawn Himself, as He indicated in the Word, “I will hide Myself, until they acknowledge their offense, and I will return unto them as they seek Me early” (Hosea 5:15 paraphrased). Only if we are in the will of God, and seeking a holy life and a clean conscience, will we have supernatural health, joy and a powerful ministry in God’s presence. If we stumble, and offend the Lord, we must confess the fault and God will restore the fellowship through the power of His grace, compassion and forgiveness. The Father and Jesus Christ are quite friendly, but confession is not for them, but for our own well being, so that our soul is fit to walk in God’s presence and joy. If God’s Presence is truly with us, we will AWLAYS be full of joy (see Psalm 16:11), and if we are not joyful, we need to diligently pray and repent, and turn our souls towards Jesus. One way to maintain a holy life is to feast upon the Word of God, which is called the Word of Life (Philippians 2:16), which are the words of Jesus Christ and His Apostles and Prophets in the Scriptures. Sin is a power that is reflected in our conscience, and must be battled against through confession, the cross, repentance, faith, prayer, growth in the word of God, the blood of Jesus which was shed for remission of sins; also God will send refiners’ fire to purge sins too (Malachi 3:2). All of these weapons can bring our soul into a healthy condition, and gain strength and vitality. The sin confessed will be forgiven, as Paul said, “sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). Jesus was so adamant about His own Christ-life dwelling inside of His people, that He dared to say these words:
“Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” - John 6:54
“As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.” - John 6:56-57
“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” - James 5:15-16
“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” - Proverbs 4:20-22
God’s Word has healing in it, as it says, “He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions” (Psalm 107:20). Supernatural health and immortality are absolute promises of God, but it takes eating the daily bread, and walking and growing in Christ and meditating and talking with God personally. Jehovah God, in the Law of Moses, has promised to remove ALL sickness from among Israel (Deuteronomy 7:15). He promised to defeat the enemies of Israel, that they would flee from them (Deuteronomy 28:7). But the promises of God are truthfully fulfilled in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for with Christ there is victory over sin, sickness and death itself, for these are the very problems that torture a fallen world. All of God’s inheritance and His promises of the Word are received freely through faith in Jesus Christ, and are yea and amen, through the victory that was won on the Cross (2 Corinthians 1:20). But we must labor to learn and know the truth, and study to show ourselves approved unto God, so we have correct spiritual understanding (2 Timothy 2:15). The Words of God are life-giving and powerful (Hebrews 4:12), and darkness is arrested by the Truth and Light of God, so it’s important that no one add or take away from His words (Proverbs 30:6). Yes, there are deeper truths concerning healing. God’s Word has life inside of it, and full of grace and truth (see John 1:4, v14). Healing can pass through a son or daughter of God, through their thoughts, words, or through their hands, activated by their faith, because the anointing of the Holy Spirit dwells within them. The Children of God should ultimately be known through their manifestation of the power of the Holy Ghost, and through their astounding wisdom, as Solomon said in the proverbs, “those who seek the LORD understand all things” (Proverbs 28:5).
The Holy Ghost
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” -Luke 11:13
The Holy Ghost is the great Gift of God, the Promise of the Father, the Comforter sent from Heaven on the day of Pentecost, and He ought to be our best Friend on earth at all times (John 14:16, 26). He is the 3rd Person of the Holy Trinity, and God’s Agent of holy action and power. No one knows us like the Holy Ghost knows us. He is the Person that Jesus Christ sent to replace His physical presence on earth, and to literally fill every space on earth, and to fill every believer with His power and anointing. The Holy Ghost is a mystery, and He may deal with His people in mysterious ways, He may prompt them to act a certain way, He may remind us of the ways of Christ, He may help us repent, He may help us pray and ask for the Will of God, or our desires and needs to be met (Romans 8:27). The most important thing a child of God can know is the Holy Spirit living in them, and around them, and the great power thereof. His oil inside of the believer is called “the anointing” and every born again believer in Christ has the anointing in them. The anointing can teach us all the truth of God, and give us fresh revelations and new truths according to His enabling.
“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” - 1 John 2:27
“But ye have an unction (anointing) from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” - 1 John 2:20
Each child of God, the day they are born again, will have the anointing of the Holy Ghost in their heart. But there is a further manifestation called the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, which is able to bring a great wave of power through our entire being. Brother Smith Wigglesworth had much to say during his life about the power of the baptism of the Spirit, and his books do testify of this miracle-working power of the Holy Ghost, and I would recommend having his books in your library. It’s important that during the restoration of the Church of Christ that the Church have this baptism of the Holy Ghost, but before they do receive the fullness, they must watch and pray daily in the Spirit, and seek the Lord in His Word. The main use of the Baptism of the Spirit is for the ministration of God’s power, His wonders, His miracles, His Wisdom - but the only people who attain to this level of ministry must be walking in obedience each day and studying in the Scriptures daily, to know the ways of the Lord.
One of the names of the Holy Ghost is the “Comforter”. I noticed during some of my more severe trials in life, the Holy Ghost would always have an interesting way of comforting me, whether through my parents, or nurses, or friends, or even circumstances that turned around in my favor. The joy is always stronger when the Spirit of the Lord is upon a person, or when God is working in their life; they will know a certain thrill of life that was foreign to them before. They will see miracle after miracle, and hear spiritual language, and witness wonders that God has just for them. The Lord never fails to astonish His people with His mighty works and His goodness and grace as long as they are believing and trusting Him. The Holy Ghost becomes a river of living water in our hearts, and as we endure unto the end of our faith and receive the fullness of God, we attain a perpetual fountain of everlasting life, joy and pleasure; like the days of heaven upon the earth (see Psalm 16:11, Psalm 46:4, Deuteronomy 11:21). The Holy Ghost manifestation is truly an indescribable gift; we have unspeakable joy for no reason other than experiencing God’s loving favor. In those moments that His Spirit is moving upon us we know we are blessed with the bounty of heaven, and we must always give Him thanks in all things and be reverent. The key is first growing into the stature of Christ Jesus by feeding upon His living Word as a daily practice and joy, the next step is walking by faith, prayer, and action, and endure any of the afflictions and attacks of the devil. The Holy Ghost will give His people power to stand and be victorious, for His presence inside a child of God is far greater than the devil (1 Corinthians 15:57, 1 John 4:4). God’s people must learn to bind Satan and arrest him (see Matthew 12:29, Matthew 18:18), and also walk in a holy manner that is above reproach. Sometimes it’s good to just commit unto the Lord our spiritual life, and let Him keep us and take care of us. If any have sinned, they need to confess to Him and forsake their sins, and God will show them mercy (Proverbs 28:13).
The Royal Priesthood
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” - 1 Peter 2:9-10
The Apostle Peter wrote about the body of Christ, or the Church of Christ, being a “Royal Priesthood”. There’s no doubt, this Priesthood is after the order of the Son of God, which is after the order of Melchizedek. The Old Testament Priesthood was called the Levitical Priesthood, but the New Testament Priesthood is named after Jesus Christ, and are the Elect people of God, which are His remnant of Grace (Romans 11:5). This Priesthood is called after the Melchizedek Priesthood, who is an immortal Priest of God who was sent to receive tithes from Abraham (Genesis 14:20, Psalm 110:4). Melchizedek’s Priesthood is a heavenly and eternal Priesthood, which is based on an endless life (Hebrews 7:16). This is not at all a fleshly priesthood like the Levitical priesthood, but this is a spiritual Priesthood, which Priests are chosen of the Holy Ghost to minister of the spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians the importance of learning and growing up in Christ, and to be “equipped for the work of ministry”:
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” - Ephesians 4:11-13
So in other words, God has work to do for His children and those who are true members of His Body. He has given much provision for His people to fulfill the work of their ministry, and to be a part of the Royal Priesthood. The children of the world must continue to occupy in their career and be faithful in the little things, until they receive the call of God upon their life to serve Jesus Christ. The body of Christ is individually chosen by God to be members of one Body, and to receive remission of sins, preparation and spiritual growth, and eventually the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Each member of Christ’s Body must join in dedication to the will of God for their life, as God has a plan for each life, and His plans are far greater than ours! It’s about finding the Father’s assignment for their life, the reason for which they were created and reborn, using the gifts that they’ve been given, and ministering of the spiritual blessings and the Word of Life. To abide in the Wisdom and Knowledge of God is very important for Christians, and learning to live by faith and always delighting in His Word with Praise and Thanksgiving. As Jesus told His disciples, “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all else will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). Frances J. Roberts prophesied and paraphrased concerning the words of Jesus to Peter, “except you love Me more than these, you will continue to fail” (John 21:15). I really believe true worshipers will keep Jehovah God always upon their mind, and the name Jesus upon their lips; they must give Christ the center of their lives and not let the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches choke out His life, His Words and His Power (Luke 8:14). The anointing of the Spirit of God is the believer’s inner Source of wisdom and power; they must abide in Christ always to keep the anointing and the fire of testimony alive in their life, so they can with patience bear fruit and witness in power and wisdom (see John 15). Seeking to write God’s Laws and Commandments upon our heart and mind must be a very high priority for the children of God, and the Royal Priesthood. Here are a few Scriptures that declare God’s reverence for His commandments. Remember His Words are anointed with the Holy Spirit, so they become life and peace for the child of God.
“He 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 21:14
“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 21:23
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” - Ecclesiastes 12:13
So in the epistle of 1 Peter, he mentions spiritual sacrifices that we are to offer, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:5). This Priesthood of Christ will be full of God’s truth and wisdom, but also with songs and melodies and various gifts of the Holy Spirit. There must be teaching the faithful Word of God, and also using our gifts to worship God in spirit and truth. 1 Corinthians 12 is a good place to refer to when it comes to the operations of the Spirit of God. There are tongues and interpretation, gifts of healing, the gift of faith, the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, the working of miracles, and the gift of prophecy. There really is no end or limit to the creative power of the Spirit of God, so long as people are believing in the gospel of Christ and keeping their eye single unto His glory. The Priesthood of Christ is not of this world, but it is of Heaven, and it’s important that to be prepared for Christ, people must look and meditate in the Word of God after hearing the call of the Holy Ghost upon their life. I would recommend an Authorized King James, or a Geneva Translation, or else pray unto God about the translation. I would strongly advise against using an NIV or Message Bible for many reasons, because there is much error and missing verses in those translations (I suggest researching this). Carnal Christians will dispute about translations, but people must accept the fact that God never ordered many of these new translations to be made, and many of them were made for financial gain and not for God’s glory. Stick with God’s provided Truth that He has preserved for thousands of years; it’s very important that the Royal Priesthood of Christ uses an accurate translation, otherwise it could be damaging to have a mistranslation or something that is watered down. The Body of Christ is a chosen generation, and a holy Priesthood, and it’s important that these people answer God’s call, and embrace the mystery of Jesus Christ everyday; it’s our eternal destiny to be married to Christ, and discover His endless joys as His chosen Bride.
The Mystery of True Love verses Fornication
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication” - 1 Thessalonians 4:3
True Love, as many say, is often spoken as though it were a fantasy spoken of in fairy tales, but in this chapter, I’d like to briefly mention the difference between the opposing forces of true love and fornication, or in a more spiritual language, true worship of God and the false worship of idols. Throughout the Holy Bible, God commands His people to be sanctified and holy, and in this wise separated from the unbelieving Gentiles. The Greek word for fornication is “porneia”, which is obviously the root word for pornographic (which mixes the word “fornication” with “graphics”). The word porneia, or fornication, has a literal meaning of illicit sexual contact, but a more spiritual meaning having to do with the false worship of idols, of which is often the biblical meaning spoken by the Apostle Paul and also in the Old Testament marriage between God and Israel His people. So with this very word, we can see the connection between sex and worship, just as Jesus indicated to the woman of Samaria in John chapter 4. Jesus tells her about the rapture of His love being as a spring of Living Water, which can be experienced during romance between two lovers, but also in the same context, He mentions worship, and said, “believe Me, the hour is coming when you will not worship the Father in this mountain or in Jerusalem” (see John 4:21). Is essence, Jesus was saying the true Temple of God is ordained to be the redeemed human body, and not merely a church building made with human hands (see 1 Corinthians 3:17, Acts 17:24). Jesus used metaphoric language to describe the satisfaction of marital love in His kingdom, between husband and wife, and by the power and love of the Spirit. He said unto her, “Go, call thy husband, and come here” (John 4:16). So, plainly understood, we know the blessing Jesus was offering her involved a male vessel (a husband), as well as a female vessel (a wife). The meaning of this encounter has been hidden from many people for generations, but it is very clear Jesus was pointing out her frustration and lack of love with 5 ex-husbands and 1 current boyfriend, and that she could not be fully satisfied in those carnal relationships. “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water” (John 4:10). So Jesus was saying to her that the waters of the Holy Spirit (which is the gift of God He referred to) is the only thing that can truly satisfy the longings of marital love and affection. Also it’s important to note that Samaritans were considered strangers by the Jews, and were often promiscuous, which is why they were cut off from the Jews. Proverbs 5 talks about drinking waters from your “own” well, and not for strangers with you, as it says, “Let [the living waters] be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee. Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravish always with her love” (Proverbs 5:17-19). Thus He, as the Bridegroom of heaven, offers her something new and never before experienced on a fallen world: Living Water. Christ’s marital blessing is for His own faithful Bride, and not for strangers or infidels, which is why it is written, “A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed” (Song of Solomon 4:12). He said this Water of Life will dwell inside our bodies, and come from our heart, and flow as a spring of everlasting life; it’s God’s manifest Presence flowing in us as a fountain of life. The Father, in the Old Testament, is called “the Fountain of Living Water” (Jeremiah 2:13). At the end of the book of Revelation (Revelation 22:17), the Water of Life is the most satisfying of all blessings, because it represents the holy love and pleasure of God dwelling in man. So, you might say that in the flesh, fornication has always been a “forbidden fruit” that the Gentiles seem to enjoy at times, but those who stay faithful to Christ till the end of their faith (1 Peter 1:8), will experience something far better. They will experience something that is Living and not dead and fleeting, which will provoke many people to emulation and conformity as God has always planned (see Deuteronomy 32:21, Romans 11:11). Jealousy on a human level is simply “desiring what another has”…what could be more desirable than true and holy love? I suggest reading the Song of Solomon in the Old Testament to see the spiritual nature of marital love, and that it represents Christ and His Bride living in eternal perfection.
“Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.” -1 Corinthians 6:13
“Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.” - 1 Corinthians 6:15
“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” - 1 Corinthians 6:18
Fornication is another word in the bible for “harlotry”, literally, “selling oneself”. There seems to be a few writings of fleshly fornication, and several of spiritual fornication throughout the New Testament Scripture. In these particular Scriptures, Paul is referring to the sanctity of the body of Christ and keeping the Church holding to Christ as their Head (their Husband), and choosing to not join themselves to the world and be defiled by their false doctrine and religious system. Especially in 1 Corinthians 6:18, Paul indicates that “fornication” is the only spiritual transgression, and that it is not done by men, but rather, it is spiritual corruption in our inner man. Jesus said a similar statement in His ministry, He said, “all sins of man are forgiven and their blasphemies, but the blasphemy of the Holy Ghost is not forgiven” (Mark 3:28-29). So it appears that these scriptures are related, because both of these Scriptures excuse the human life (or human nature), but condemn the inner man if he is guilty. Jesus gave His flesh and blood so that we could be holy and without spot through our abiding in Him (Colossians 1:22, 2 Peter 3:14), and He commands us to cleanse our inner man through prayer and devotion to His purging work (Matthew 23:36). It is a mystery, which is why Babylon is called, “MYSTERY…MOTHER OF HARLOTS…” (Revelations 17:5). The book of Revelation distinguishes the true worship of God from the falsehood of the devil and his angels. The word “fornication” appears 10 times in the book of Revelation, and in each case, it is referring to the pollution of idolatry and the false merchandising of religion. Solomon mentioned the “strange woman” often in the book of Proverbs. He said her path leads to hell, and she has “wounded many”, and I believe he is referring to the false religious system that opposes the true worship of God (see Proverbs 7:5-27). That type of worship is considered strange by God, and those who take that path could be damaged by the influence of those who sell their product.
If you read how Jesus referred to Jezebel and her fornication to the Church of Thyatira (Revelation 2:20), you’d have to be familiar with the story of Elijah and Jezebel (1 Kings 18:21), and how Elijah demanded that the people CHOOSE between the LORD God, or else the false god Baal (and not be divided between two opinions). It was fornication because many Israelites were deceived by Jezebel and her prophets of Baal, so God had Elijah execute judgment on them. In the most simple way, fornication in the book of Revelation is anything that is not subject to God’s and Jesus Christ’s Headship and Authority in total sanctification and honor. Christ would have His Church and His Bride be glorious and without spot, and free from this type of fornication, and presented unto Him as a chaste virgin (Ephesians 5:27, 2 Corinthians 11:2). To be a “chaste virgin” means His Church must keep themselves from idolatry and being weighed down with the cares of this life, and an excess indulgence in things pertaining to the earth, the self, and the belly (Luke 21:34, Philippians 3:19), and pursue a life that is greater and more satisfying. It’s also important to note that in 1 Corinthians 5, Paul commanded the Church not to keep company with brothers who are fornicators, but as he said, “not the fornicators of this world”, but those in the body of Christ. A man in the Church had his father’s wife, which he indicates to them that any of the unholy sexual activity that was contemptible under the law of Moses, is what he refers to as “old leaven” (see 1 Corinthians 5:7-8), and it should not be natural, permissible, or healthy, for our new life in Christ, and should be purged out. So in other words, there are types of sexual behaviors that are immoral, unnatural, and should be avoided in the Body of Christ. The general rule is knowing that only what God gives to us has His blessing, and He doesn’t give us a spouse to satisfy the lust of the flesh or the pride of life, but instead He gives us the True joy of knowing Him. The love of Christ can come to us and be experienced through a husband, or through a wife, inasmuch as we have received His life in us. That is why the Scripture commands us to fast and pray at times, to maintain focus on God and to gain power by studying His Word diligently, and walking in the Spirit.
Paul referred to Esau as a “fornicator” in the book of Hebrews, because he sold out his birth right to his younger brother Jacob for a bowl of soup (see Hebrews 12:16). Christians who fall away from Christ will represent this type of person as Esau, because as opposed to Jacob, they did not count the blessing of God as worth very much through their unbelief. As Esau, they preferred earthly joys and pleasures of this life; that is why the name Esau means “earthy” and represents the old man or first Adam, whereas Jacob was the “supplanter”, who represents the heavenly man, who is Christ. The old man is “supplanted” by the New man in the story of Jacob and Esau. Jacob represents the spiritual members of Christ’s Body, and Esau is the chaff that will be burned up, as it is written, “Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated” (Romans 9:13). One last thing to mention is how God is preparing a Bride who will be a “chaste virgin” to marry Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2), and we must keep ourselves pure if we will be found a virgin on the day of the wedding; otherwise, as it is written in the law, if we do not prepare ourselves, we could risk being cut off and need days of repentance and renewal (Romans 11:21-22). Many who profess to be Christians are like strangers in this age, and Jesus will tell many of them, “I never knew you”. Except His people be sanctified and doing the will of God, they can’t inherit the Kingdom (see Matthew 7:21).
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” - John 10:10
Before I write anything of “abundant life”, it’d be better to ask the question “what is life?”. You’d be surprised how little the world knows about life itself. Their definition of life is literally, “not dead” or in scientific terms they say, “creatures who metabolize are alive”. Religious people will say things like “Christ is life”, and they’d be right to say so! But that is a rather ambiguous answer. The only thing I know for sure about life, is days on earth can be repetitive and there could be a status quo and hum drum of life, but then the Lord decides to visit and the Spirit of God moves upon my soul, and at that moment I feel a thrill of supernatural joy that I never knew before. The Words of God create spiritual life and fortitude in our being, and I say to myself, “I FEEL ALIVE!” as His Spirit moves. So one might say, Life in the Spirit, or the Spirit of Life, is rather indescribable and uncontainable, and it is consummated by a fullness of joy and an enduring pleasure and satisfaction in God’s abiding Presence (see Psalm 16:11). But to remain in His glory, we must have His righteousness and be walking in it, which is what we must prepare for. The Scripture says concerning Jesus Christ, “in Him was Life, and this Life was the Light of men” (John 1:4). That still does not answer the question of “what is life?”. I would refer to John chapter 6, Jesus refers to Himself as the “Bread of Life”:
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” - John 6:51
“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” - John 6:53
“Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” - John 6:54
“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life.” - John 6:63
The above Scriptures are from John 6, and they explain how Jesus Christ is the living Word of God made flesh and blood, and through a metaphor, as we study and receive His Words, which are Spirit and Life, we are ingesting His life into our own soul. Yet again, none of these Scriptures say what life really is, but we do know that the only way to have life is by the faith of Jesus Christ, and abiding in His living Word and the Holy Spirit. And again, the Scripture says, “he that has the Son has life, and he that has not the Son of God has not life” (1 John 5:12). So the writings of God couldn’t be more clear, that to have life, and to maintain life, people must abide in the doctrine of Jesus Christ and be led by the Holy Spirit. The Apostle John wrote a lot about “life” and “eternal life”, and He simply said Jesus Himself is “the life” and He is eternal life, as he said, “For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us” (1 John 1:2).
King Solomon was David’s son whom God had highly exalted with wisdom and understanding, and he had a lot to say about the nature of God’s Wisdom and Life, and Solomon’s writings are found in the book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon. The words “tree of life” are only found in Genesis and Revelation, but also 4 times in the book of Proverbs. Solomon said, “Wisdom is a tree of life to those who lay hold on her, and happy is everyone who retaineth her” (Proverbs 3:18). He also said, “…The excellency of knowledge is Wisdom giveth life to those that have it” (Ecclesiastes 7:12). Solomon also wrote a lot about righteousness and how it leads people to health and life. As Christians, or children of God, we know that Jesus Christ Himself is our source of righteousness and wisdom, redemption and sanctification (1 Corinthians 1:30). So everything written by David or Solomon or the prophets, are yea and amen in Christ. The Bible often declares that our lives are framed by the Word of God, and our obedience and growth in it. The Word is the Seed of Eternal Life, and it is activated by our faith in Christ. Here are some Scriptures that support these claims:
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” - 1 Peter 1:23
“As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.” - Proverbs 11:19
“In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.” - Proverbs 12:28
“The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.” - Proverbs 11:6
“The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.” - Proverbs 11:8
In the above Scriptures, I wanted to prove that our new life in Christ is founded upon the Word of God and our faith in Him. But also, there are many Scriptures that talk of the blessedness of those who are righteous, and their deliverance from evil. That’s one thing that people must know, and I may write more later, is the divine protection that righteousness brings with it. Since this chapter is about “life”, I must say that righteousness, and whatever it entails, is a life-giving energy and clothing that comes from God and His Holy Spirit. That is why Paul taught that there is such a thing as the “righteousness of God by faith in Jesus Christ” (Romans 3:22). God wanted His people to know that it is possible to be counted righteous only by believing, and that the “just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). So once again, we see a new aspect of “life”, we see that to truly live, one must walk by faith and endure trials. Faith is our access to God’s Kingdom power, which as Paul taught, is “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 14:17). John the Baptist had this to say concerning Jesus, thus showing that faith is the gift of access to life: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36) The ultimate truth about living an abundant life, is constantly being led by the Spirit of God from faith to faith, strength to strength, glory to glory, being transformed into His same image through beholding His face and glory (2 Corinthians 3:18, Romans 8:14). That is the Prize that the Apostle Paul wrote about (Philippians 3:14), which is an ever-unfolding life of glory that leads straight into heaven. Movement and vitality, peace, quietness and rest of soul, are all part of God’s glory for the new creatures in Christ.
So in this chapter I’ve mentioned Jesus Christ being “the life”, I’ve mentioned righteousness yielding life, I’ve mentioned Wisdom being life, and I’ve mentioned how those who live in Christ must walk by faith. But lastly, I’d like to talk about Love being the Source of life and joy. If people learn to love God with all their hearts, souls and minds, and love their neighbor, as Jesus said “do this, and you shall live” (Luke 10:28). So as the Word says, to abide in love, is to live. To abide in love, is righteousness, life and health. To rid the soul and heart of sin, bitterness and offense, and instead be filled with Christ and the Holy Spirit, will cause life and peace to flourish. As the Apostle John stated, “We know we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death” (1 John 4:3). So what John the Beloved is saying, is that Love and Life are closely related words in God’s Kingdom, and hate and death are similar. John wrote a lot about the “Water of Life”, and this is no doubt a manifestation of God’s Love in the human life. John also stated, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16). So it’s important to abide in love and make it a focus and prayer every day, because it is the Source of many virtues, and God equates Himself with Love. As we “give Jesus a drink”…He will fill us full of His love beyond our comprehension! (see John 4:7, 10)
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” - Matthew 5:18
Perfection is often referred to in the Holy Bible, and in prophecies. Many people try to say that it’s not possible to be perfect, but that is completely not in accordance with the Scripture, and seems to be an excuse to not seek God and His Perfect and holy Life. To be perfect, there must be faith and growth in knowing the Holy Scriptures; there is no other way. Jesus said, “I am the Door of the sheep” (John 10:7), meaning, as the Word of God, He is our access into the sheepfold and ministry unto the Saints, and if we ignore His Word, we will be thieves and robbers (see John 10). The Holy Scriptures are an eternal revelation of God and Jesus Christ, given by the Holy Ghost to various holy men over many hundreds of years. As His Word is written upon our hearts, and minds, we are transformed, and perfected by the life of God, as Paul said, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). This perfecting work is a ministry of the Priesthood of Jesus Christ after Melchizedek, to make His people blameless and harmless sons of God (Philippians 2:15). It starts in our conscience being purged by the blood of Jesus and our being born again by the Spirit, and this is the High Priest work Jesus finished on the Cross. His blood was shed to purge our conscience, and thus bring in perfection and freedom from sin (Hebrews 9:14). On God’s side, He sees us as a holy people, but it is our job to finish the work of redemption through our dedication to God’s will, as Jesus said, “He that endures unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13) and also, “…receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:9). As Paul indicated, we are running a race to win a prize, and an incorruptible crown of glory (1 Corinthians 9:24, Hebrews 12:1).
Here are some Scriptures on perfection that would be good to think upon:
“For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.” - Hebrews 7:19
“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” - James 1:4
“For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” - James 3:2
“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:” - Colossians 1:28
“Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought” - 1 Corinthians 2:6
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” - Psalm 19:7
“Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.” - Psalm 37:37
“The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.” - Psalm 138:8
It’s important to understand that true perfection comes only through the New Covenant and Grace of God. Paul taught that the Law is weak through our mortal flesh, but the Son of God has given us grace that is stronger than sin (Romans 6:14, Romans 8:3), and a New Covenant that, if a disciple endures his faith and training, he will see perfection. As Jesus said, “The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.” (Luke 6:40). The epistles of the Apostle Paul give a great revelation on what it takes to find perfection and immortality, which before Christ, was not really accessible. The first thing people must know is justification is only by grace, and through faith, as it says in Romans 3:24. This is hard for some people to grasp; a lot of people think by “being a good person” they are meeting the standard of God, but that is not true. Some think by “keeping the law” they will be perfect with God, but once again, that is self-righteousness so long as it is our own effort and not God’s grace working. Only the Grace of Jesus Christ, ministering through the Cross and His blood of atonement, is perfection with God’s holiness found (Hebrews 7:19, 9:14). It’s important to know that if we walk in the Spirit, loving one another, and forgiving people, and following righteousness, faith and humility, that is as good as “keeping the law”, because love is the fulfillment of the law (Galatians 5:14). But as Frances J. Roberts dared to prophesy, “perfection does not come in a mortal body” (Progress of Another Pilgrim- “Patience and Perfection”). I’ve meditated on these things, and can say that when the Spirit of God comes in full baptism, and we are prepared as a Bride to reign, then true Perfection will come, and Jesus Christ will be SEEN, and His Church will then be glorified. But only those who are ready and have walked as disciples will partake of God’s glory (1 Corinthians 15:51, Revelation 19:7, John 14:19), as Paul taught, “if we suffer with Him, we shall reign with Him” (2 Timothy 2:12). But all of these glorious things will only come to a Church who is watching and praying daily in the Spirit, and receiving the Wisdom of God. Without Wisdom, the Bride cannot reign with Christ, but as Jesus said, “who is that wise and faithful servant, who his master will make ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?” (Matthew 24:45). The Lord will make rulers out of people who are filled with Wisdom and the power of the Holy Spirit, as the words of Wisdom say, “By Me, Kings reign and princes decree justice” (Proverbs 8:15).
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” - Romans 8:2
It’s important to know that the Holy Scriptures talk about two natures, which are plainly referred to by Paul as the “old man” and the “new man”. The “old man” is having to do with the sinful disposition of the fallen race of Adam and Eve, whereas the “New Man” is referring to the holy and sinless disposition of Jesus Christ, who is the Heavenly Man, the Second Man, and the Last Adam (see 1 Corinthians 15:45-49). So Jesus Christ is the Head of the New Creation, and as born again children, we must always refer to our position in the New Creation of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul is the one to look to for wisdom on this topic, because he was given a revelation from God, that teaches that Jesus took our old man to the cross, and our new man was born in the resurrection (see Romans 6). The purpose of the Cross was to mortify our sinful flesh and our sinful behaviors and lusts, and present the members of our body as instruments of righteousness and holiness unto God (Romans 6:13). It comes down to yielding and obeying the Truth; as humans, we either yield to sin and selfishness, or by the grace of Christ, we yield to God and His righteousness. The “old man” is a servant of sin, but Christ dwelling in our heart is the servant of righteousness; so it’s important to receive more and more of the Christ-life so that we are able to yield our vessel unto God and obey His way of righteousness and bear fruit unto God (Romans 6:22). Here is an interesting transaction between Jesus and the Jews:
“Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” - John 8:34-36
So in the above Scripture, Jesus is telling the unbelieving Jews that He is able to make them free from sin through the salvation He offers. The “servant” and the “Son” are corresponding to the “old man” and the “new man”. The old man is the servant of sin, and the New Man, Christ, is the servant of righteousness, and He was saying that even though the two natures may war in our vessel for a season, it is Christ, the Son, who will remain, and our self-life will die and be purged out by God if we surrender him. Sin is a problem on a fallen world and in a fallen body, and that is why Jesus Christ was sent from Heaven to the earth, to make peace between God and man, and to ultimately perfect the people who receive Him and obey His calling. Paul often commanded people to “put on the new man which is renewed in knowledge” and to “put off the old man and his deeds and lusts” (Ephesians 4:21-24, Colossians 3:9-10). We can do this by prayer, dedication, and diligent Bible study. God has prepared a wedding feast for His Bride, and she will be arrayed in her white garments, which as the word says, “white and fine linen garments represent the righteousness of the Saints” (Revelation 19:8). It may take some time to rid ourselves of the grave clothing of religion, but the Lord plans on giving His people the wedding garment.
As Paul taught,
“If you be risen with Christ, seek those things that are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on earth. For you are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life appears, so shall you also appear with Him in glory”- Colossians 3:1-5
In the above Scripture, Paul is calling believers to participate in their high calling in Christ, and to partake of the heavenly things and make them first priority. He even says we are RISEN with Christ, and we should walk by faith in knowing that we are justified by faith and the resurrection life of Christ. This is the Life and unity of the New Creation, that the Spirit of God will bring unity and not division to Christ’s Body. People who do not walk in the Spirit will always want to separate and be divided, but people who are in the Spirit will seek peace and unity, because they are humble. Paul taught the Corinthians, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) The new creature is made new at his born again experience, and they are now a child of God. When he is born again, his sins are forgiven him, and he is now “quickened” (made alive) in Jesus Christ, whereas before he was dead in sins (Colossians 2:13, Ephesians 2:5). This admission of Paul also says we have died with Christ, and our life is hidden with Him in God, but it is at this hidden place where we must prepare ourselves to meet the King of Kings, and behold Him in all His glory. He gives us time to prepare, and He promises when He appears, we will also be glorified in Him, praise God!
“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace…” -Ephesians 2:14-15
So Paul was teaching the Ephesian Saints, that the Jews and Gentiles were separated from each other in previous generations, but now in Christ, they are made to partake of one body of Christ, and one New Man. Instead of hatred, there is now peace with God for both Jew and Gentile, because of the blood of Jesus. The commandments of the Old Covenant are fulfilled; the hatred that the law produced, is destroyed by the love of Christ on Calvary. The new nature that Christ produces in the heart, is holy, kind and loving. The old nature is carnal, sensual, and full of iniquity. That is why Paul said the “Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus sets us free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2), because we are prone to obey the law that is infused in our mind, nature and conscience, whether it be God’s Spirit-Law, or something carnal or corrupt, as Jesus said, “Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit”. (Matthew 7:17) That is why, if God’s people desire holiness, they must abide and delight in the law of God after their inner man (writing the Scripture on their heart and mind by the ministry of the Spirit), and walk in the guidance and purging work of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:3). The Holy Spirit is the Gift that can answer every need of a child of God, if we but ASK, SEEK, and KNOCK (Matthew 7:7). If Christians commit and desire His righteousness, God will help them find it by His Holy Spirit power. (Matthew 5:6)
What Do You Desire?
Our Father in Heaven is a lavish Giver, a doting Father, and desires to give spiritual and physical blessings to His children sometimes more than we desire to ask Him for them. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, God always provides for His people according to their faith and their desire, and we often take for granted how much of His blessings we have. He promises unending joy and pleasure as a river of life, even forever (Psalm 16:11). He promises food, clothing and all the blessings of the Gentiles (Matthew 6:31-33). He promises to make us joint-heirs with His Son Jesus Christ, to receive all of the eternal inheritance as sons and daughters of God (Romans 8:17). He promises a land of Promise which includes a multitude of blessings, even goods, gold and silver (finances), houses and mansions, lands, wives and children, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers (Deuteronomy 28:11, Deuteronomy 8:7-20, Matthew 29:19, Mark 10:28-29). He promises to give all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:3). Without spiritual blessings and fortitude in the inner man, we cannot partake of the physical blessings in the outer life, which is why Jesus commands His people to seek His face as our first love, and learn the value of spiritual riches (Revelation 3:18). God has a desire to give abundant life to His people, but only as they grow in Christ and learn the laws of God and how to walk in them by faith and the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus affirms this when he says, “beware of covetousness, for life does not consist in the abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15). Jesus wasn’t condemning possessions, but simply stating we must re-adjust our attitude towards it to being lesser than the things of God. No one can receive the wealth of the kingdom without God’s Seal of Approval. They must become a disciple first; they must forsake all they have to win Christ (Luke 14:33, Philippians 3:8). Here are some Scriptures on how important it is to ask the Father:
“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” - Matthew 21:22
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” - Matthew 7:11
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” - John 15:7
“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” - James 1:6-7
“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” - 1 John 3:22
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” - Psalm 84:11
So it’s important to know that the nature of God Almighty, as our Heavenly Father, is to GIVE, but it’s also important to know He responds to faith in His children. If people do not believe, as the word stated, they won’t receive anything from the Lord (James 1:6). It takes time to develop faith, and remember, as Paul said, “faith cometh by hearing” (Romans 10:17). The more of God’s Word we hear and receive in our hearts, the more faith we will have in God. If people pray and don’t believe, it is a mockery, and they should stop doing that. The prayer of faith not only saves the sick, it also receives the divine answer to prayer. Jesus also told parables about not giving up on praying for certain things (Luke 18:1). Sometimes God will have people wait for prayers to be answered if they are not prepared to receive the blessing, or maybe His timing isn’t yet, but He will never fail to answer a true prayer. The Holy Spirit teaches His Church to pray according to God’s Will, and not something selfish or carnal; so it is good to ask the Holy Spirit for help in prayer, and in all things we do (Romans 8:26-27). We must constantly pray and worship in the Spirit, and not forget to ask the Father for joy and energy if we are lacking it, and also that we put on the Mind of Christ and draw upon His Mind for Wisdom. He has given us all things!
“Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” - Psalm 37:3-5
The above Scripture is one of my favorite in all the Bible. The Word teaches that it is God’s desire to give us our hearts desires, so long as we delight in Him. He has unique plans for every life that is born, and He has given gifts to each one to be used for His glory, but it’s good to pray for the will of God to be done, and not our own will. It’s important that each disciple follows a God-given dream, and not merely a personal ambition, because God will only bless the pathway that He offers, which is always the better and a more glorious path. It may require faith and perseverance, but it is a path that is strewn with blessings and riches, whereas if we ignore His call, we will be disappointed that we didn’t answer Him. Verse 5 says, “Commit thy way unto the LORD”. It’s important that we find a place to pray alone every day, and commit our life and works unto the Lord. As Peter wrote, “cast your burdens unto the Lord, for He careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7). If we keep our burdens, and our works, it is selfish; we must let go of all things, whether good or bad, to keep us free from anxiety. Anything we give unto God, will be safer with Him! It’s also important to be a diligent worker and not become slothful. The Lord’s nature is that of a worker, and He is the one who gives the strength and vitality to do work and find fulfillment in our career. Paul says not to associate with lazy people who are not productive (2 Thessalonians 3:14). As children of God, our main labor is in the Spirit, and we must find an expression for our love for God, and if it is truly a God-given dream, then God will see to it that it has a fulfillment! As it is written, “He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich” (Proverbs 10:4).
Obedience to the Faith
Obedience is the main thing that God requires from His people. It is the key to God’s blessings, as was written in Deuteronomy 28:1-14. Jesus said, “He that keeps My sayings will never see death” (John 8:51). So Jesus admitted that obedience to His word may produce immortality. Both Old and New Testaments talk a lot about “keeping the commandments of God”, which in other words, is called obedience. This seems like a complicated doctrine, because the New Testament says, essentially, “man is not justified by the law but by grace and faith” (Galatians 3:11, 5:4). So how can obedience to God’s laws, and justification by grace and faith be reconciled? What the Apostle Paul says is pretty clear in Romans, “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:4). So our righteousness and obedience is in walking in the Spirit, and not in the flesh. The desires of the flesh must always be brought to crucifixion if we desire to serve Jesus Christ and walk in the Holy Spirit, as Paul also said, “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:13-14). So it is important to walk in the Spirit, and as we walk we need to carry the Cross with patience, for it is written, “God will perfect that which concerneth me” (Psalm 138:8). We must be aware of the desires of the flesh, and if there are any problems, ask the Spirit to “put to death” the sinful flesh, or else ask Him for help and grace to remove the problem and He will deliver us in due time, as He promises (Psalm 34:17). Our obedience unto Christ and the Holy Spirit is very important, and hiding His commandments, His statutes, His words, in our heart and mind is imperative. It’s good to meditate in the law of God day and night (Psalm 1:2) out of pure joy and awe of God, for we must know how valuable His law is, as David prophesied, “The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.” (Psalm 119:72). The revelations of the Word of God are great riches unto mankind, but people have to be convinced that it is all-important, truthful, and God-breathed.
Here are some Scriptures about obedience, and the blessing that follows. God wants His people to value Wisdom and the Knowledge of God more than any other thing:
“O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!” - Deuteronomy 5:29
“He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.” -Proverbs 4:4
“Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.” - Proverbs 7:2
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” - Ecclesiastes 12:13
“He 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 14:21
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.” - John 15:10
“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments….And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.” - 1 John 2:3, 3:23
“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” - 1 John 5:3
The Apostle Paul wrote a lot about the two kinds of righteousness, “God’s righteousness by faith” and “man’s own righteousness”. The Spirit-led life verses the self-oriented life. The Grace of Christ verses self-righteous law-keeping. What does this have to do with obedience? Everything, because with God’s righteousness, it is an act of God’s grace and mercy working through the believing human vessel, rather than self-effort and self-righteousness that works in people who attempt to serve God in the flesh and in their own strength. It’s important to hear the call of the Spirit, and seek Him in the Spirit, and store up His wisdom in our heart. A lot of these commandments are related to love, because if a person truly loves God, they will obey Him, and the more of His Word is hidden in our hearts, the more natural obedience will become. If they love the Truth, they will obey the Truth and live their life in harmony with God’s Truth, inasmuch as they know it and walk in prayer. As Paul taught, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Philippians 3:9). So obedience in this regard must be toward the faith of Christ, as it says, “the just shall live by faith”. Some people prefer living by the law, but that does not require faith, and thus it has a limited expression, and often is referred to as “religion” or “legalism”. As the word says, “the law is not of faith” (Galatians 3:12). It’s important to yield and obey righteousness, and not the lusts of the flesh which are sinful, as Paul wrote in Romans 6:16-19. It starts with yielding our hearts, and bodies, and minds, unto the Lord Jesus Christ, that we can be perfected in Him, and also glorified (John 17:22-23). The only Person we must always obey is the Voice of the Holy Spirit; He will always have the answer and solution. Men, even preachers, will try to demand obedience from their people, but their authority is weak if they do not teach the Headship of Christ. A preacher’s only job is to teach people to abide in His Word, to walk in the Holy Spirit and keep Christ as the Head of the Church Body. A woman can only have one head (which is her own husband), and so man also has one Head, which is Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3). When it comes to “keeping God’s commandments”, the final thing people must know is that all of God’s law is fulfilled in the words, “love your neighbor as yourself” (Romans 13:8, Galatians 5:14). In our hearts, we must be loving, humble, forgiving, because it is the heart where good and evil come from, so we must daily abide in prayer and communion with God, if we desire to see changes in our character and progress in our heart and soul. As Solomon said, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
The Secret Place and Secret Faith
The almighty God and Father desires that His people find a secret place to pray, to fast, to meditate, to study Scripture; basically any place that you can be alone with God. Everything we do in secret is proof of the faith of Jesus Christ operating in our hearts and souls. The more time we give to our secret life of dedication, the stronger witness we will have, and the more protection God will give us through learning the art of commitment. It really must be a place to enjoy fellowship with God, and not so much an obligation, there must be a hunger and thirst to know God on an intimate level. This communion with God also helps us receive more grace, and the gift of righteousness, so we can reign in life by Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17). The Name of the Lord is a strong tower where the righteous can be safe, and so if we bless people in secret, or pray in secret, or give charity in secret, or fast in secret, the Father will reward us openly (see Matthew 6). If we do these things in secret, it is unto the Lord, and God will bless us greatly. As long as men or women desire their piety to be seen of men, or receive the praise of men, they have no reward with God. Also, as Psalm 91 says, there is a secret place of the Most High, where God can be a refuge in times of trouble (Psalm 91:1-5). If God becomes our Secret Place, and our faithful Helper in times of trouble, He promises no evil will befall us, and He will work all things for our good. This daily practice of prayer and dedication is the process God uses to grow His babes into full-grown Sons and Daughters of God through maturing in the grace and wisdom of God. The secret place is where the child of God receives His power and asking God to help rid his soul of evils or problems that hinder us; as we offer them to God the Father, He will help deliver us from all trouble (Psalm 34:19). One Bible example of a man of God who saw deliverance was the prophet Daniel. He prayed in secret every day, and loved God greatly, and the lion’s mouth was not able to hurt him. Notice, other prophets of God were killed and murdered for their testimony, but Daniel was not killed! He was above the rim; there was no prophet like unto him in the Old Testament, and his righteousness and commitment to God kept him from seeing terror upon his soul (Daniel 6:22). This promise is available to all the people of God, but not all people will decide to dedicate themselves to a life of prayer and meditation upon the Word, and thus, their ignorance and disobedience may cause them trouble. Here are some Scriptures that show the rewards of dedication and secret faith:
“Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” - Psalm 91:9-10
“There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.” - Proverbs 12:21
“My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.” - Daniel 6:22
“The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.” -Proverbs 11:6
“Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.” - Proverbs 11:4
One of the things people must remember, is our secret life of prayer, must manifest in outward fruit being borne, and holiness and light being seen in public. As Jesus said, “let your so light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Kindness and honest loving words and deeds are ways to let the light shine, also forgiveness from the heart, forbearance, meekness, and the fruits of the Spirit being grown in our life (Galatians 5:22). Basically, a godly character can be borne of dedication and prayer, through God’s careful working in our heart, and there are great rewards of attaining godliness. But if God’s people choose to forsake a solitary relationship, their light will dim, their candle will go out quick, and they will eventually be afflicted and eat the fruit of their doings (Jeremiah 17:10, Matthew 25:10-13). As Jesus said, the Branch must abide in the Vine if they desire fruit, otherwise they will be burned as a dead branch (see John 15). The oil must be kept in our lamp, if we desire to make it on time for the wedding (Matthew 25:1-12). In other words, we must keep the anointing of the Spirit, and the fire of God’s witness and testimony alive in our life, and that will only come through a secret life of prayer, fasting, daily meditation in God’s Word, and delighting in the Lord. Devotion to the Lord should not be a burden to us, it must become our first Love and greatest joy, otherwise we will never truly eat of the Tree of Life (Revelation 2:7). The Church of Jesus Christ will be a glorious Church Body, but it is each individual in the Body of Christ who must prepare themselves for the Wedding, through seeking first God’s Kingdom and putting away hypocrisy and sin, which can be compared to the “grave clothes of religion”. They must prepare to be exalted by God to the highest place on earth, as Jesus said, “you have been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things” (Matthew 25:21). So it’s good to be faithful in the little things, such as our work, our career, our relationships, knowing full well that God sees every detail of our lives, and nothing is hidden from Him, so that when He appears, He will exalt the faithful and obedient, to a place of glory and honor (Isaiah 2:2, Deuteronomy 26:19, Deuteronomy 28:1, Deuteronomy 28:13).
Resurrection Life is a mystery but I believe the meaning of it is quite beautiful. The bad part of it is nothing can be “resurrected” except it first die (1 Corinthians 15:36). Jesus referred to Himself as “The Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25). What a destiny Jesus had as the Only Begotten Son! He was literally born to die for our sins, and bring to pass “the resurrection of the dead”. So we ourselves must also die to corruption and sin which is revealed by the law, and be raised an immortal and incorruptible being by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:42). But the good news is every time we suffer, every time we fall, every time we are afflicted, the Resurrection and grace of God are powerful to deliver us from ANY type of death, even the pain of spiritual death is swallowed up by the Eternal Life of Jesus Christ! (1 Corinthians 15:54) A good Scripture that reminds me of resurrection life is, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again” (Proverbs 24:16). Another good one is, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” (Romans 6:14) Paul is saying, nothing we face is stronger than the grace of God. Grace will always win out, even if we are afflicted, face chastening, hellfire, or death itself! As James said, “For he shall have Judgment without mercy for those who show no mercy, but mercy rejoices over judgment” (James 2:13). That is one of the keys of resurrection life, is that it is judgment for our sin that brought Jesus unto the Cross, but it the covenant of God’s Mercy and Grace that brings us resurrection life. Because Christ lives in us, we shall prevail against the gates of hell, and as Paul taught, when Jesus rose from the dead, “he was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25). Our faith must be in the Risen Lord Jesus Christ, and our baptism experience is related to our dying with Him and rising by faith and grace working in our vessel. Here are some Scriptures that pertain to the death and life working in us:
“For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” -2 Corinthians 4:11
“That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” - Romans 5:21
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” - Romans 6:4
“For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” - Romans 5:21
”For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”-Romans 5:10
So, to put it simply, the Resurrection of the dead is Jesus Christ Himself, and as we feed upon His life through the eating of the Word and drinking of His Spirit, we will continually experience death and resurrection life, until we are fully redeemed in our body, soul and spirit. This is our hope, the redemption of the body and soul, which is the purchased possession of Christ on calvary (see Romans 8:23, Ephesians 1:14). That is why Paul said there must be the sufferings of Christ for His Church, if they desire to be glorified (Romans 8:17, Colossians 1:24). The suffering and discipline from the Holy Spirit will lead the Church into eternal glory and joy and all of His promises (2 Timothy 2:10), but we must be delivered fully from the corruption of the old life of sin. We must not only count the cost, but pay the price for His best, which price is our sincere devotion to Him above anything else. As Paul said, the afflictions are light and momentary, but they yield an eternal weight of glory and joy (Romans 8:18, 2 Corinthians 4:17). As Frances J. Roberts, in essence, stated these words of prophecy, “I have already delivered you from death, and I have delivered you from the tomb and now I would deliver you from the grave clothing of religion”. (On the Highroad to Surrender - Free Yourself of the Grave Clothes) And as you read that message of prophecy, you will learn that the grave clothes are the grave clothes of religion and legalism, which serve a purpose for a season, (when we were dead) but now have no purpose on a risen body and soul. We are free and at liberty by the grace of Jesus Christ, but as Paul said, let no man bring us into bondage of religion, worldly philosophy, and man’s fallen and unbelieving ways (Galatians 5:1, Colossians 2:8).
“And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” - Matthew 23:12
Jesus and the apostles always wrote about the importance of humility and meekness in His Church and Kingdom. I wasn’t going to write anything on this topic, because a lot of these things are well-known by Christians, but I believe there are a few keys that have not yet been discussed. There is a certain proverb written by Solomon that says, “Only by pride cometh contention, but with the well-advised is wisdom” (Proverbs 13:10). Little children often get along very well, and forgive each other quickly, because they do not have to deal with the pride that adults have. Pride is an exaltation of self, which is also called the ego, and it breeds other sins such as envy, hate, ill-will, malice, greed, lust, etc…basically the opposite of the Christ-life. Satan’s fall was due to his pride, and he was called a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). Cain was the first child born unto Adam and Eve, and he was also of Satan, and was a murderer, but it was his pride that caused him to be jealous and angry toward his brother Abel, and desire to kill him (Genesis 4:5). The Scriptures always command God’s people to seek meekness and lowliness of heart, and they will find true rest of soul (Matthew 11:20). Meekness and humility always consider the other person, and the abasement of self, whether it be listening to your children, your wife, your parents and brethren, your boss and co-workers, and being willing to renounce oneself and abase oneself for the sake of another, without losing the dignity of being an equal (Philippians 2:4). Meekness and humility is about God’s love and quietness working in the human life, and literally taking no thought for oneself. That is part of “bearing the cross”, is the denial, even the death, of self, and becoming a servant of Christ. Having an abundance of wisdom, knowledge and understanding can cause a person to be puffed up with pride for a season, but the Father will always bring His Church down to the level of humility and service, because those things are more beautiful and less destructive than pride. The Father sometimes disciplines and afflicts His people to bring them down to a place of humility; He does it for our profit, to be partakers of His holiness. (Hebrews 12:10). Here are some Scriptures on humility and meekness:
“The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.” - Proverbs 15:33
“Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.” - Proverbs 18:22
“By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.” - Proverbs 22:4
“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” - 1 Peter 5:5
“Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger.” - Zephaniah 2:3
“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love” - Ephesians 4:2
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering” - Colossians 3:12
“To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.” - Titus 3:2
Some people might wonder how to rid the soul of pride, or how to have a humble heart, or a humble mind. It has been a mystery at times; but the Scriptures say to, “humble thyself under the mighty hand of God, and He will exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6). I think a lot of people have a pride issue and they may not even be aware of its existence; it’s part of the fallen sinful nature. The answer though from the Bible, is getting quiet with the written Word of God and the Holy Spirit, and as we receive the life of Christ in our heart and mind, we are transformed into His image from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). This process of salvation and spiritual growth is really about conformity to the image of God through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. So pride can be dealt with by the new nature of Christ living in our hearts, as it says in Colossians 1:27, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” and at the same time, the riddance of self. There is nothing of pride in the life of Jesus Christ, but as He said, “I am meek and lowly of heart” (Matthew 11:29). Moses was called “the meekest man on earth” (Number 12:3) during his life, and God had great delight in him, even seeing Him face-to-face. So there is something about meekness that God delights in, and contrary to what most people think, wisdom is with the lowly; according to Solomon, Wisdom hates arrogance and pride (Proverbs 11:2, Proverbs 8:13).
One of the ways God deals with man’s pride is through affliction and chastening. He is able to bring people low and keep them humble through affliction, and in this way He opens their needy souls to Him and His grace (Psalm 119:71). Sometimes a person’s pride will lead them right into destruction, and only the Lord’s mercy will bring them out, and they will be better off in the end (Proverbs 16:18). The proverb even says, “The blueness of a wound cleansest away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly” (Proverbs 20:30). As the Lord lays his rod of chastening upon His children, they are delivered from evil and hell, and He does it out of love for them, to prevent something worse from happening if they were to go on in an evil path (Proverbs 23:14-15, Hebrews 12:6). Many Christians have never been chastened by God the Father, and that may mean they have not truly committed themselves unto Him as Lord. As the writer of Hebrews says, His chastening rod is profitable unto His people to be partakers of His holiness, and without chastening they are not legitimate children of God (Hebrews 12:8). Once we have been humbled, or have learned to stay humble as a child, our life and soul will be peaceful in the salvation of Christ, and our joy will be boundless as we learn obedience to His Spirit. The goal of a humble life is staying in peace and rest of soul, and this only comes by living in the Spirit, and relinquishing the selfish demands of the flesh and ego. As Frances J. Roberts prophesied, “Peace is the full expression of My will”. (Progress of Another Pilgrim - “True Peace and False”)
Money and Wealth
“Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.” - Psalm 112:1-3
Money is a topic that is often found throughout the entire book of Scripture. Solomon had a lot of wisdom on money, such as honest gain verses unjust gain, and how God blesses those who are patient and diligent in their work. In my Tithe and Offering chapter, I wrote about the supernatural blessings and miracles that fall upon a person who gives to the poor, or charities, or tithes to an effective spiritual leader. But in this chapter I’d like to write about the nature of money, and what Jesus referred to as the “deceitfulness of riches” which could potentially block the blessing of God in our life. Money is just a trading tool we use for material wealth, and as long as people work hard and have a blessed business, career, or ministry, they should be compensated with money. The “deceitfulness” of riches, has to do with the problem financial success may cause some people, and they may forget the spiritual life altogether, as Jesus said, it is possible to gain the whole world, and lose your soul (Matthew 16:26). It is also possible to gain the world, and all things, and not lose your soul, so long as they prepare to reign in life through waiting upon the Lord in patience (1 Corinthians 3:22, Psalm 37:9). Patience is always a key to success, and making the Word of God our daily joy. We are the Church and we must know that the Bible is a collection of writings that truly are God’s written Word. There are other books and writings that would help, but anything we read must line up with the Scriptures of truth that went before it. Solomon was very rich, and he said, “he who trusteth in their riches will fall” (Proverbs 11:28). As long as we trust in the Lord, He will promote and thrust forth His people into ministry when they are prepared to be used. Some people don’t know this; they believe Jesus was financially poor, and in truth, that is how He chose to live on earth. For a man who can walk on water, and sink Peter’s boat with an abundance of fish, and feed thousands of people with a few pieces of bread and fish, I doubt He was unable to prosper at producing wealth if he really wanted to. But He identified with the poverty of the common man. In the new heaven and new earth, everyone can live in mansions and riches (John 14:2, Psalm 112:3), but only if they stay humble, modest, and are doers of the will of God.
Through weakness, and lack of temperance, men often waste money or become greedy for more, which is the nature of covetousness. As Paul said, “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). Paul warns about covetousness being the root of all evil, but the Lord delights in modest and honest things, especially when it comes to clothing and jewelry. Everyone loves having money in an honest way; one can do a lot of good things with money, such as giving support to God’s Kingdom and ministries. There’s also a lot of evil done on earth through covetousness and worldly gain, and people often sell themselves out for money, and this is why Jesus referred to “mammon” (the idolatry of money) as being opposed to God, and used to do all manner of evil. But yes, money itself is neutral, and there is no end to the usage of money in God’s kingdom for promoting and publishing His Gospel. Look what Mel Gibson did; he felt a calling to make an amazing movie about Jesus Christ that ended up being very accurate and fearfully made to perfection and, for the most part, in accordance with Scripture. When people invest more money into a project, it will inevitably be a much better product! (On a side note, I believe Bible movies should be made with this mindset: 100% accurate to scripture, good acting, high production quality (well funded), passionately made, because God’s glory is at stake, and people need to fear the Lord and not make something unacceptable to Him. Same with music and any kind of Christian media.) Here are some Scripture verses about wealth:
“He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.” - Proverbs 22:28
“He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” - Proverbs 10:4
“The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.” - Proverbs 10:22
“The rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.” - Proverbs 10:15
“The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” - Proverbs 22:7
“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” - Romans 10:!2
“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;” -1 Timothy 6:17
“But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.” - Deuteronomy 8:18
“Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.” - Ecclesiastes 5:19
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells a parable about the “unjust steward” in regards to the keeping of his master’s finances. He was accused of wasting them, and decided to give a rebate to all of the debtors of his master, in hopes that the debtors would let them into their homes (see Luke 16). Jesus tells them something important about money, and that is that they need to be givers and not takers, and to learn to open our hands to those in need, and not be greedy. Jesus said, “he that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteousness mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?” (Luke 16:10-11) So in other words, if believers are faithful with their money, they will also be faithful in greater matters, such as dealing with people. The “true riches” that Jesus referred to, is talking about the souls of men and women that need the Gospel of Christ, which is the most valuable of all things God made. So in a sense, Jesus refers to “mammon” as “false riches”, and He tells the covetous Pharisees that “that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15). Jesus is saying that the fallen nature of man is to highly esteem visible things like money, fame, and beautiful women, and pretty much anything that is not God, which makes it a form of idol worship and not honest behavior. Their sense of values is false. It’s not like money, fame, and women are bad, but their idolatry of them is what makes it abomination in God’s sight. So the bottom line, is it’s not wrong to have material wealth, but to be content, to be givers to God-appointed ministries and Christian causes, including the cause of the poor and needy, and God will open the heavens and bless them beyond what they know, as it says in Malachi 3:10. If people do this, as the Scripture says, they will never lack (Proverbs 28:27). A lot of believing people won’t believe this doctrine, so therefore if they rob God then the curse will abide upon them. Even if they are a millionaire, their life will not be blessed if they don’t obey the Gospel, “So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:21). The blessing of God only abides upon men who are charitable, and who give in SECRET, and not for show to be seen of men (Matthew 6:4). If people give in secret, they will have a reward from God openly, but if they do it for man’s praise, then they have no reward from God. So keep this in mind when giving a big donation to charity and are tempted to brag about it and exalt the self. God sees everything, and He rewards good works in a big way, and His praise and approval should always be desired most.
The Apostle Paul
“But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.” - Acts 9:15-16
The Apostle Paul was a man chosen by God to bear the name of Christ to all nations concerning the Dispensation of Grace. Just as Moses was given the Law in the Old Covenant on Mount Sinai, so Paul was given the glorious message of the New Covenant and Grace of God found in the revelation of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:2, Galatians 1:12). A lot of things can be said about Paul, but I felt it was necessary to uphold Paul for the claims that he makes in his epistles. One of the most important things is when he says, “If any man think himself a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things I write unto you, are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37). A lot of people will dismiss or ignore the authority of Paul, because this is an apostate church era that is ripe for God’s judgment and spiritual restoration. You can’t ignore Paul and think God is pleased, because God sent him in His name to preach the mysteries of Christ. One of the things people must know about Paul is when he says, “we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world for our glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7). So it’s clear, a lot of things the Apostle Paul wrote, were mysteries and revelations that were hidden from most people’s understanding, as he said, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). There was really no minister or leader in the Church of Christ as strong as Paul in witnessing to the grace of Jesus Christ, and the doctrines that he wrote should be taken seriously in their totality, including things written about women, and marriage, and the order of the Church. If people do not understand those things, they must seek and labor in the Word until the Holy Ghost who dwells in the heart gives them the answer, and then they must learn to walk in obedience. The Holy Ghost is the Teacher and Revealer of Jesus Christ and His anointing dwelling in the heart should give us the wisdom and understanding we need concerning the Scriptures, as it is written, “you have an anointing of the Holy One, and you know all things” (1 John 2:20). Our waiting upon Him daily and our meditation (thinking upon His Truth), with a single eye, is the key to revelation (Psalm 1:2, Matthew 6:22). This operation of seeking, asking, knocking, is a key to understanding all of the Scriptures, including the weighty and lofty truths given to Paul. Here are some Scriptures that refer to the authority of the apostle Paul:
“Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool ) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.” - 2 Corinthians 11:23
“Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God” - Colossians 1:25
“And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.” - Acts 22:14-15
“But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” - Acts 26:16-18
People have to remember, concerning Paul, the things he wrote are not according to the letter of the law, but according the the newness of the Spirit (Romans 7:6). He taught us that the “letter killeth, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6). So the Apostle Paul was a minister of the mysteries and revelations of Jesus Christ, but those who study them must remember that they are spiritual in nature, and not carnal, and the light of Christ will shine in our hearts according to revelation that His Spirit gives. If people truly desire to know God, they must diligently study His Wisdom, and no one can have the full revelation of God without learning from the Apostle Paul, as well as the other Scriptures. As Paul commanded Timothy, so we must do, he said “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” (1 Timothy 4:13,15) So in other words, Paul was sent to cause the body of Christ to profit and be rich in the wisdom and revelation of God. Paul’s gospel and ministry is not just for the Church, or for the Jew, but for all men and all women, and the Gentiles are to be made powerful through the Gospel of Grace and the power of the Holy Ghost (Romans 15:16). This path of life in the Spirit will lead people to obtaining the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, and also living an increasingly joyful and abundant life, beyond our current comprehension (2 Thess. 2:14, John 10:10).
There are many commandments in the New Covenant Scriptures concerning women. The reason I want to write on this topic is to set order to a few proverbs written by Paul concerning the conduct of women, according to the true understanding and meaning of the Spirit, as Solomon said, “understanding is a wellspring of life” (Proverbs 16:22). Paul wrote a few mysteries about women, such as “the woman is the glory of the man”, just as “man is the image and glory of God” (1 Corinthians 11:7). So there is a difference between men and women in many big ways, so there are a few different commandments for them. Adam and Eve were one body, and Eve was the first amazing provision of God unto man, and the first perfect gift given from God. Eve was taken from Adam’s rib, and God fashioned her into Adam’s wife, to fulfill a need for Adam; more-so, Eve came from God’s hand, to complete the image of God. They together comprised the image of God, as it is written, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27)
Some people who are natural-minded might think that Paul was pretty harsh on women, but in reality, what Paul wrote is the spiritual truth, and his wisdom should be considered from God’s mouth. When Eve was beguiled and fell into transgression, her punishment was mainly in childbearing, that it would be sorrowful and painful, and her husband would “rule” over her (Genesis 3:16); these are the results of sin entering the world. But a woman, in her redemption in Christ, can grow to have salvation and joy in childbearing, if she walk in obedience to the Spirit and the will of God (1 Timothy 2:15, Psalm 113:9). Paul stated that a woman should “not teach or usurp authority from the man, but be in silence and subjection” (1 Timothy 2:11:14). I interpret this as being the order of the Holy Ghost on how a woman can grow into the full stature of Christ. This is the operation that God has chosen, particularly, between a husband and wife, as Paul also stated, “And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:35) So just as Christ is the head of every man (1 Corinthians 11:3), and men must be subject unto Christ in the Church, so women must be subject unto their head, namely, their own husband, as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:22-24). This is assuming she has a husband, or that the husband is a spiritual man, but if a woman repents and waits upon the Lord, in due time, she will have one. It’s important to know when Paul says “Church” he is not referring to a building made with human hands, but the living body of Christ, which is the true Temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19). The reason I believe Paul commanded women to be silent, is not only to maintain the order of the Spirit, but women have a tendency to be vain talkers in their fallen nature and self-life, and they are easily beguiled and vulnerable if they don’t learn obedience to God’s order of headship. This is not necessarily a problem or a bad thing. As a man, I would say I enjoy the silliness and quirkiness of certain women. But God is serious in His Temple about order, because people’s souls are at stake, and it’s important that God work through the correct channels that He ordains. A woman’s duty in Christ’s Body and Temple is not to speak, but to listen and grow in quietness, just as a flower is arrayed with beauty through quietly facing the Sun (Matthew 6:29). If a fully grown man of God speaks, he speaks as God’s oracle (see 1 Peter 4:11), which was never said concerning a woman. It’s also important to know God made Adam to be the head of the human family, whereas Eve, being Adam’s wife, is his glory, his helper, his delight, his true love, and his own flesh. In other words, her happiness is fulfilled in being loved and appreciated for her great worth to him, and this happens in totality through coming to know Jesus Christ as the Lord and Redeemer, as He says, “Thy Maker is thy Husband” (Isaiah 54:5). This is the challenge for all men, is to become as He is and bear His image, so they can be a loving husband and father. The Word also says women can prophesy, or use spiritual gifts, such as tongues and interpretation or anything the Lord desires to give by His Spirit (Joel 2:28, 1 Corinthians 11:5). Elder women can also be teachers of good things (such as Lois and Eunice were to Timothy), but they must be mature in Christ (Titus 2:3). The essence of what Paul said was to maintain the order of God and the understanding of headship, which Christ is the head of all men, and man is the head of woman. People have thought this is legalism because they understand it naturally, but it’s actually quite beautiful if people understand the spiritual significance and the obedient and lowly nature of Christ. Christ teaches submission to His people, both men and women, and does not elevate people into ministry by the world’s standards, but by His own Standard, which is far greater.
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” - 1 Peter 3:1-7
Above is a great Scripture from the Apostle Peter that paints a picture of the beauty of the wives in the Body of Christ, that even though they are weaker, they are to be honored by the husbands and greatly beloved. A lot of men know that modest dress, and a meek spirit, is truly the more beautiful way for women, but also being open to the revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ, and willing to seek His face and grow spiritually is important. The flowering of the Christ-life dwelling in human flesh is the reason for which God made us, which we have by growing into His full stature and manifesting the Spirit of God. Paul stated, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25). A husband who is saved, must seek to walk worthy of Christ and His Kingdom, and be a person abounding in love and faith and the good doctrine of grace, and thus, fulfill the commandments of God for husbands and fathers.
But to finish this chapter, there is a certain passage of the book of Revelation that speaks of women as a defiling influence for man, as it says, “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb” (Revelation 14:4). Most spiritual people that I’ve asked believe this is talking about idolatry, and that John is using women as a metaphor for the distracting cares of the world, and I agree with that. I believe a lovely woman is the highest desire of a man, and these “virgin men” are the sons of God who kept the faith in Christ to the end and did not get distracted from the winning the prize, and received the fullness of their salvation (1 Peter 1:8). Their virginity is spiritual, not literal, which means their heart and spirit are renewed by the Holy Ghost and they are as pure as the Lamb (Titus 3:5).
“Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” - Romans 5:18
The Scriptures of the Holy Bible continuously use the phrase “all men” in reference to many different topics, which should indicate that all men are quite similar. Most of us men have the same needs and desires, and all are made in the image of God, even though we are part of a fallen race that still needs redeeming. The Scriptures actually have a lot of good news for all men, such as salvation, love, forgiveness, peace, good will and God’s grace. A good Scripture from Paul is, “Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:27-28). God’s love, salvation and kindness are for every man that is born, whether they be good or evil, God will bring them to judgment and show His saving grace as well; the Father is kind to the good and evil people (see Luke 6:35). Many thought Saul of Tarsus was unredeemable, but that changed in one day when he met Jesus! (see Acts 9:4) God’s ways are not our ways, neither are His thoughts our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). Paul stated in the word, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4). Peter also stated, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). So in these Scriptures, God is letting people know His gospel is for all people, and He will bring all men unto repentance. It’s true, if people have done much evil, and not feared or believed in God, there can be horrific judgments befall them in the day of judgment. The Father has a day prepared to recompense all men according to their works, as it is written in Daniel and Revelation, but that is not until after the restitution period and the revelation of the Bride-City and the Bridegroom, who is the Son of Man, and through His people the Gospel will be preached with power throughout the entire world, even with the spirit of Elijah (Matthew 17:11, Malachi 3-4, Matthew 24:14, Psalm 19:4-6). Jesus will visit His Church at an unexpected hour as He said, and will wake people out of the sleep of death at the midnight hour (Matthew 24:44, Matthew 25). In the resurrection, Jesus said all people will come forth from their graves, and those who did good, unto eternal life, and those who did evil, unto damnation (John 5:29). So even though God promises to bless all men in the end, that doesn’t change His judgment on sin and evil works. There will be afflictions, death, mourning, tribulations, for those who did evil (Romans 2:9), but God’s grace is stronger during those times, and He is still doing good to all people as His word says (Psalm 145:9). As it is written, He is able to kill and judge, and He can also heal and make alive, and there is none who can escape out of His hand (Deuteronomy 32:29). Here are some Scriptures that refer to “all men”:
“But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.” - Matthew 11:32
“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” - Mark 13:13
“But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men” - John 2:24
“That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” - John 5:23
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” - John 13:35
“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” - Romans 12:18
“For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.” - 1 Corinthians 9:19
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,” - 2 Timothy 2:24
It is truly curious and astounding how many times the holy Scriptures use the phrase, “all men”. The general rule in the gospel of grace is to be kind to all men, to love friends and enemies, and to be at peace with all men. As the proverb says, “if a man’s ways please the Lord, He will cause even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7). So with that mindset, our only goal is to be pleasing to the Lord and to abide in Him; our greatest reward should be His approval and commendation, because His glory is what matters most. As Jesus said, concerning our whole duty, is “all things whatever you want men to do unto you, do unto them likewise, for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12). For if we love, show mercy unto men, forgive people, then God will forgive us (Mark 11:25). God’s judgment is enough for other people, for each will have to stand before the judgment seat and give an account for their life. No one needs to harbor evil thoughts against their brethren; those thoughts need to be given unto God and erased from our heart and let our mind be captive to Christ’s mind and affections. Rather, we should pray that God heal our brothers and sisters and bring them the fullness of joy, now and forever (James 5:16). As for our enemies, Jesus says to love them, pray for them, wish them well; God may grant them salvation, or He may destroy them in His wrath. We can’t know that ourselves, and I believe that is why Jesus commanded His disciples to love and pray for our enemies (see Luke 6:35). That doesn’t mean, “be friends with them”, because as Paul said, light has no fellowship with darkness, but from a distance we can wish them well that they come into the Light, repent, and be saved. Jesus was a “friend of sinners”, but He commands us to be separate from the world, to walk in the light, to be holy, and not keep company with unrighteous, unkind, and riotous people (2 Corinthians 6:14). Even so-called “Christian brethren” who are disobedient or rebellious, should not be our choice of fellowship (1 Corinthians 5:11-12). The sanctified Body of Christ is the Temple of God, the Church of Jesus Christ, and they must be a holy, separated and obedient people if they desire the glory life of their dreams. We must know who the sheep of Christ are; they are those who hear and follow Jesus, and love one another (John 10:17, Matthew 25:33). Even if they don’t know Jesus yet, they may still be sheep in His eyes, because His people are written from the foundation of the world (2 Timothy 2:19, Revelation 17:8, Romans 8:30). The world has many distractions that can seek to get us out of the victory path, but that is why we must know and believe in the gospel, and learn to grow into godliness, and not walk merely as men, but walk as He walks.
“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” - Isaiah 40:7-8
The life of the world and the people who live on it, is rather like the grass and the flower. Their glory springs up for a season, and fades away, and is soon forgotten. But God promises in His Gospel, to give His people “salvation with eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:10). The nature of the world and the natural man, as seen in the Garden of Eden, was that of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, which as we know, leads to a perishable life of mortality and vanity, frustration and sorrow (1 John 2:16-17, Genesis 3:6). But as we are born again of the Spirit, we have access to HEAVEN. Our natural life perishes, and we are now living in Christ in heavenly places and with all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3). The inheritance Christ offers is available now and not when we die a physical death; the veil has already been torn and we now have access to the Holy of Holies (Hebrews 10:19-22). We must only believe, and live by faith in Christ, and we will never die (John 11:26). As we put off the self-life, and put on the Lord Jesus Christ, we must be doers of the will of God, and refuse to follow the call of the world (Romans 8:27, 1 Peter 4:2). How do we know we have heard His call? I believe His call is distinct and unwavering, but He still gives us free will to use our time as we wish. He will blow the Trumpet of God, and many people will rise up who were dead, and live, but not everyone will come. If all people knew the truth, they’d follow, but the Lord won’t allow callous and hard-hearted people to follow Him (Come Away My Beloved -“As the Sound of a Trumpet”). Some people may need to be afflicted before they can hear His voice, as Jesus said, “those who are whole have no need of a Physician, but those who are sick” (Mark 2:17). There must be a transformation by grace and conversion before people hear His voice clearly. The high calling of God in Christ Jesus IS the prize of a Saint, and it leads them into a heavenly life in Jesus Christ with eternal glory (Philippians 3:14). Even in the Law of Moses, the Israelites were promised that if they hear and obey the law, they will multiply and prolong their days in the promised land, as “the days of heaven upon the earth” (Deuteronomy 11:21). But these blessings of “heavenly life” are only for those who are obedient and faithful in the things of God, such as His commandments, His statutes, His laws. It takes the sacrifice of time to know His Word, to learn to walk in the Spirit, and to patiently receive the love of God in quietness. Jesus promises that if we seek first the Kingdom, the Father will provide for our needs in abundance, so that eventually we won’t need to worry about finances; they will be provided according to the timing of God and our needs (see Matthew 6:33). If they choose to ignore the Scriptures, and pursue the pleasures of the world, they will miss out on God’s best. Here are some Scriptures on heaven:
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” - Revelation 21:4
“And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.” - Revelation 21:24
“In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” - Revelation 22:2
“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” - Revelation 22:14
I’d like to say that God has things beyond our wildest imagination to give to those who love Him and do His will. The manifestation of the Spirit of God will quicken, make alive, and transform us in the twinkling of an eye ( Romans 8:11, 1 Corinthians 15:52). As the prophet stated, “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him” (Isaiah 64:4). The Spirit of God will fall upon many waiting souls, and fill them with His fullness, as the Latter Rain, so shall the coming of the Lord be (Hosea 6:3). The prophet Joel talked about the outpouring of the Spirit, and that it would be an amazing event. The day of Pentecost was the former rain, but the Latter Rain will be far greater, and will make the Gentiles understand that there really is a God who lives forever and ever, and His power dwells among men. God will judge His people, and they will never be ashamed, as the prophet Joel stated, “I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh” (Joel 2:27-28). As it is written in Frances J. Roberts’ Come Away My Beloved, The Lord says, ”For I have truly great things in store for you. Yes, you have not power to conceive what I am about to do. For I will bring to pass a new thing. You will rejoice exceedingly. You have heard of the showers, but I say to you: I will send a mighty downpour” (“The Last Great Outpouring”). As He said, this Church age must come to a place of obedience, be rid of sectarian and denominationalism, and receive the baptism power of the Spirit of God, and everywhere the sons and daughters of God travel to, the Spirit will be poured out and ministering and healing people in Jesus name (see John 3:8). The Lord will do miracles, signs and wonders as His Word is proclaimed in a faithful and honest way, to reaffirm it to many people who live in darkness. Frances also said, as we learn to worship, God will give us rest of soul, and we will rise to a new place of fellowship, where we will truly sit and enjoy the “heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6, Come Away My Beloved- “An Instrument of Praise”). Praise the Lord for the great things He has for His Bride!
“Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.” - Psalm 50:23
The Ministry of Praise is a very important, and an often hidden ministry, and it is part of the holy Priesthood. The Scriptures talk much about the importance of praise, and it can be a very powerful ministry if it has been approved by God and has His creative musical anointing. As it says in the word, they will sing a “new song” unto God, a song of spiritual victory (Revelation 14:3, Psalm 40:3). This is part of the Priesthood of Christ, is offering spiritual sacrifices and praise unto the throne of God. It’s important that our praise songs have the Truth of God and the anointing of His Spirit in them, and that we seek to please God with our praises, and wait for His response. If people desire a Praise ministry, it’s important they don’t skip over learning His Truth, as Jesus said, “I am the Door” (John 10:7). If we desire to minister, we must pass through the Door the right way, and have the full message and revelation of Jesus Christ in our heart. Frances J. Roberts describes praise as “the Secret” (see book Come Away My Beloved “Dynamos of Praise” and “The Secret”), and even though it is the secret key to victory, it is very evident throughout the Scriptures that God inhabits the praises of His people and makes it an important vehicle for teaching His truth and witnessing of His power (Psalm 22:3). As long as we praise in spirit and truth, God’s name will be glorified, and the Father will be happy to hear the praises of His children. It’s important that God’s people have the anointing or baptism of the Spirit, and use the anointing for the purpose of glorifying God with our ministry. Whatever is not done through the anointing will be disappointing and carnal, so it’s important that God direct His people into ministering in the glory, in Spirit and Truth, so we must also seek to be filled with the Spirit always. Here are some interesting Scriptures about praise:
“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” - Ephesians 5:19
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” - Colossians 3:16
“And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.” -2 Samuel 6:14
“Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith.” -1 Chronicles 23:5
“The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.” - Jeremiah 33:11
King David was an important figure of true Praise and Worship. He was God’s choice of a King over Israel, and his Psalms are considered the Word of God. I recommend searching His writings in the Psalms to find many good Scriptures about Praise, and also reading his story in the books of 1st and 2nd Samuel. David not only sang melodies to the Lord, He danced half-naked, out of control, for God! (2 Samuel 6:14-16) One of David’s wives named Michal despised David in her heart when she saw David dancing before the Ark of the Covenant. She did not believe he was being professional, but see, the way he behaved pleased the Lord very much! The Lord is not a fan of religion or ritual, but His Spirit is a free-flowing stream of life and cannot be contained by fleshly ordinances. He stated in the Word, “Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp” (Psalm 149:3). There are no rules to worship, except offering unto God our love and adoration according to spirit and truth. Worship is perfected by growing and maturing in the things of God and Christ, but as Jesus said, “out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, God has perfected praise” (Matthew 21:16). So in this generation, people have to consider King David as a great example of devotion and praise unto God. There is really no end to the creative power of music and ways to glorify and minister unto God with song and dance, and as we grow in Christ, our work will be perfected by His grace. David would sometimes prophesy about singing according to his glory, as he said, “…with my glory I will sing praises to thee” (Psalm 30:12, Psalm 108:1). I’ve always thought the glory was the presence of God, and His virtue and His anointing, and will produce a great show of power, so much that people will fear God. Even when Paul and Silas were singing praises at midnight, the earth quaked and the jail was broken in pieces (Acts 16:25). God is a supernatural God, so we must seek a praise ministry that is glorious. God desires His music to be glorious and skillful, so it’s important people prepare for this ministry and not do it without His approval and anointing (Psalm 33:3). The “garment of praise” is considered the best possible garments by the Father, and there is no end to the creative power of the Holy Ghost working in us (Isaiah 61:3, Luke 15:22). Praise is a response of the saved people that they have a God, and that they are truly happy in Him. The dead people do not praise the Lord, but the LIVING know how to praise (Psalm 88:10). So it’s important that we live in Christ by faith and grace, and maintain our lamps of witness, which means abiding the Word of God and maintaining the oil of the Holy Spirit in us, which will produce the flame of God’s Witness in us. The Church of Christ must be baptized with the Holy Ghost and Fire, and be a praising and rejoicing Church assembly. As it is written of her, “Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?” (Song of Solomon 6:10)
Fear of the LORD
“The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.” - Proverbs 19:23
The fear of the Lord is a phrase written often in the Old Testament, and the most references are in the book of Proverbs. It’s important people have godly fear, and know that there is a God who sees all the things we do, and we must seek to walk with a clean conscience, a pure heart, a renewed mind, and not be found walking in ignorance of God’s omnipresence and omniscience; He sees what is in our heart, and the only way to win is to lose ourselves to Him and surrender our self-will (Matthew 10:39). The fear of the Lord will cause His people to gather together, to obey quicker, and to seek to please Him every day, because the love of God is too great for us not to desire His approval. The fear of the Lord ought to cause us to draw unto Him in repentance and seek to be a sanctified and holy vessel for His use. If we really believe in the reality of Eternal Life, then we must seek to find our purpose in Eternal Life, by laying down the cares of this world, trusting God, and finding Life in Him through solitary communion and thinking and meditating upon His Truth (the Holy Ghost teaches us all things in this way). If we really fear God, we will do the things that He commands without questioning, knowing that His will is the only thing of value in time or eternity, and all else is shifting and transitory and soon to pass away (1 John 2:17). The discipline of the Lord is for our profit, and through the years of dedication it will build a character like unto Jesus, the Perfect Man and heavenly Bridegroom. As Paul said to Timothy, it is a God-like and humble character that is of great price in this world and the next (1 Timothy 4:8). Here are some Scriptures of the fear of the Lord to remember:
“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” -Job 28:28
“The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.” - Proverbs 10:27
“In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.” -Proverbs 14:26
“The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.” -Proverbs 14:27
“By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.” - Proverbs 22:4
It is through constant abiding in love and obedience that will bring great results, as there is such a thing as “the full reward”. Anything short of the full reward will be a disappoint to us. As John the beloved says, “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward” (2 John 1:8). Frances J. Roberts has wrote that the full reward is the Presence of God, and the consolation He offers is the indescribable Love of God and that it takes perseverance in faith to attain such a holy place of fellowship. (On the Highroad to Surrender -“Perseverance, the Angel of Holy Love”) I’ve interpreted this as being the ability to abide in joy and faith towards God through our yielding to Him. If we struggle with sin or disobedience, we will lose our joy for a season, but as we repent and confess our sins, the Holy Spirit will come and comfort us and put us right back in His Presence. See, the word says, “in Your Presence is fullness of joy, and at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). If these are not happening, we must repent and turn back to God. The fear of the Lord is related to all of this, because there is nothing more fearful than separation from the presence of the Lord, and it is the fear of the Lord that will cause us to do the right thing, to renounce sin and self, and to accept Jesus’ forgiveness and mercy.
The Apostle Paul had this to say, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). Godly fear is a means of sanctifying the Church of Christ, and subjecting them to true authority, and Paul wanted them to be free of uncleanness and he knew the answer to their problem was “the fear of God”. Holiness is perfected by the fires of purification and the fear of the Lord, that is how the Refiner rids the heart of dross, as a Jewel being polished by fire, so is God’s work in this last hour. As it says in Malachi, “And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness” (Malachi 3:3). The fires of God’s holiness will reveal the true work of God, and will separate and burn up the works of the flesh. As Paul taught, “Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:13). So it is important that we sow and minister the Seed of the Word of God with this mindset and with the fear of the Lord; that our work will yield a harvest and could be a great reward and blessing if our work is faithful. Not only do we sow the Seed by faith, we must also pray for brothers and sisters that come to mind, and God will answer us with increase and fruit (1 Corinthians 3:7). The Scriptures say, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). We as the Church of Christ must abide in this work of the vineyard of the Lord, and to watch and pray always. Watching means to abide in the Word, to study diligently as first priority, watching at the gates of Wisdom will prepare us for Christ’s coming, for Wisdom says, “Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors” (Proverbs 8:34). The Holy Spirit is preparing a Bride for Jesus Christ, and She will be an “eternal excellency and a joy for many generations” (Isaiah 60:15).
The Fire of God
“For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.” - Deuteronomy 4:29
When we think of fire, we think of judgment and tribulation, and that is what fire represents in the Holy Bible. The fires of God’s holiness are what consume the sins out of our vessel, to purify and make us holy (Isaiah 4:4). Fire can also represent the zeal of the Lord, and the jealousy toward God’s name, as was seen with the prophet Elijah. God promises to send the spirit of Elijah in the land to restore it, according to the wisdom of God, because wisdom is how God orders His creation (see Matthew 17:11, Job 28:26-28). Elijah said, “I have been very jealous for the name of the Lord God of Hosts” (1 Kings 19:10). God needs many of His people to have the spirit of Elijah in this generation, who desire to seek first His Kingdom, and become mature Sons of God, and be counted worthy of His eternal glory. The power of God is not for a select few select saints, but for all of them, to be used as God moves upon them (1 Corinthians 12). The Church of the Lamb, will be the family of God, and they must be filled with the Holy Ghost, and be a zealous and glorious Church Body. That is the only way they will see the restoration happen, is through making others jealous for the things of God and Jesus Christ, as the Scripture says, “Have they [the Jews] stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy” (Romans 11:11). So among the Gentiles, there will be a greater witness of God’s power, and the spirit of Elijah, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and an establishment of the land of Zion. We are the New Creation, and the Jews and all earthly people must be brought to the Cross of Christ and repentance if they desire to wear the crown of life. In the New Creation, all things are renewed by the fire of God, and the chaff must be burned away, and what remains, such as gold, silver, and precious stones, will endure the fire, and will make them even more beautiful! (1 Corinthians 3:13) That is why the city of new Jerusalem mentions every kind of precious stone, with streets of gold, because they represent the excellency and glory of the Eternal City, but literally, they represent the redeemed people who are living in the city, more than the city itself. It will be an indescribable City of Love, Peace, Joy, Faith, and Truth and will contain the many revelations of the Word of God and His Wisdom, and we will know God face-to-face! (see Revelation 22)
“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” -2 Peter 3:7
“Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” - 2 Peter 3:12-14
“And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” - 2 King 2:11
“Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.” - Isaiah 5:24
So the Apostle Peter, in the above verse, is stating the that earthly works will soon be burned up, and the Son of Man will appear as a Thief in the night to take His precious Jewels. The Fire will always decide what is the true work of God and what is the tares of self, and the flesh, which are chaff. People who thought they were wise in this world, might be trampled under the feet in the day of judgment, as it is written, “And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 4:3). Many of the elite of the world will hide from the face of God and the wrath of the Lamb (Revelation 6:16). Those who were obedient, faithful and chosen by God will inherit the eternal Kingdom, which will never pass away, but always increase (Daniel 7:18). The key is the “election of the Lord”, because it’s not who man chooses, but whom God chooses, which is His true people according to the election of grace, and not works (see Romans 9:11). Paul also said, concerning election, “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Romans 9:16). We must not force anything or do anything in our own strength, but let God be our sufficiency for each task. If we get impatient, it’s tempting to want to take action, but God’s mercy must always be the ruler in our life of grace and truth. The fire of God and the day of the Lord is coming, and then people will know there’s a God who lives forever. The last thing I’d like to say in this volume of writing, is the Scriptures are a living truth, and a spiritual doctrine, and must be understood from that standpoint. The natural mind will often try to understand the things of God in a natural way, but as Jesus said, don’t worry or try to add too much of His Truth in one day; only God can cause us to grow in spiritual stature (Matthew 6:27). The best thing to do is read the Word daily and make it our joy and life, and if our pursuit is real and sincere, God will be found by us, as it says, “And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart” ( Jeremiah 29:13). God bless, and peace to you in Jesus Christ!