Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Just a Thought "62"

When you are living with Israel’s program in your mind, do you know what you are going to be fixated on? The fix, and you are going to be hoping that someone is praying for you for “the fix.” It is not about the fix, it is about your future hope.

If you get the fix, what are you hoping for? God cease dealing with “the outer man” in connection with God’s program with Israel and prophecy concerning their promised earthly kingdom, and then began dealing with “the inner man” in connection with his program concerning the saints of his heavenly calling.

But, what is our hope? Is it the fix of these old bodies? Or, is it the new body, the body that will be fashioned like unto Christ’s glorious body. Is our deliverance the repair and the escape of the problems of the old, or is it the hope of the new?
When we get our new bodies, we will be delivered from the suffering circumstances that adversely affect this old body in which we must dwell. Your patient endurance through suffering is a way of demonstrating your hope, and when your hope is put on display in the midst of your suffering, that brings glory to God.

The grace and strength God gives a person to endure that suffering, is the strength of God he wants others to see in that person’s life. That is when God’s strength is perfected in your life. While we seek deliverance FROM suffering, God seeks devotion THROUGH suffering.

Prayer was never given to change God’s perspective of your greater preference. Prayer was given to change your perspective of God’s greater purpose. God’s greater purpose was not to strengthen our faith by altering our circumstances. God’s greater purpose is to allow us to demonstrate our faith as we remain strong in spite of our circumstances.

The beginning of Israel’s last days of her program, they were being equipped for the upcoming time of tribulation right on their horizon. God used the physical senses in every respect, in connection with his sign nation at Israel’s high holy feast day called Pentecost. 

So this was not a secret, it was exactly what the Bible had foretold would take place, when it came to the sign nation. God gave his sign nation things to SEE and to HEAR and to SPEAK, the physical senses were used by God, so that Israel might WITNESS their deliverance.

The secret had not been revealed yet, in Act chapter 6? God offers the religious leadership of the sign nation a special sign, a sign designed to PROVE to them that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed who he had been proclaimed to be, Israel’s promised earthly messiah.

The nation Israel was given every visual opportunity to change their thinking about the identity of their messiah and their ability to perform up to the standard of God’s righteousness, when it came to the law contract. God proved how obstinate the hearts of Israel’s political/religious leadership were, in spite of all the visual evidences God placed before them.

We are told by most of religiondom today, that Pentecost was the beginning of the Body of Christ, not so, because in Acts chapter 6, the issue was still Israel’s religious leadership? The Body of Christ did not begin on Israel’s High Holy Feast Day of Pentecost.

We are the saints of a brand new program, we have a new apostle through whom we have been given God’s completed instruction. While Israel walked by sight, we walk NOT by sight, but by faith. The focus today is no longer on the outward, but on the inward.

A visual evidence given and a visual evidence rejected! Well, this is the case with Israel’s religious leadership, people were getting healed, people were coming to belief and many people were added to that earthly kingdom in that day, but God was looking for the leadership, the representatives of that nation to make their confession.

It was a national promise and it is a national rejection as far as God is concerned. Acts 3:2 - Acts 4:18, here was a visual sign they could not refute, a visual manifestation opportunity God was giving Israel’s religious leaders, to solicit from that religious leadership a change of thinking. 

Jesus Christ was no military giant in their eyes, much less a military genius, and that is what they were looking for. Israel’s leadership did not want a suffering servant as a messiah, they wanted a conquering hero as their messiah.

The issue with God in his plan and program with Israel and their promised land was an issue concerning their need of, and acknowledgment of the source of their righteousness. Israel would need a righteousness that God could recognize.

They had a righteousness that they could recognize as far as they were seeing things, but they did not have a righteousness that God could recognize. A God recognized righteousness would be an absolute necessity for that nation, if they were to acquire and remain in the land promised to their fathers.

The prayer of faith, leaves no doubt about the power of prayer in Israel’s program, they walked by sight, God allowed their prayer life to work in connection with sight as that earthly kingdom was on their doorstep. When it came to the earthly program, God’s glory was magnified through seeing, and the prayer of faith was the catalyst. Is God utilizing the prayer of faith during this present dispensation of grace, that we might see our deliverance? No. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Just a Thought "61"

To be dead IN sin, is to be identified with the first Adam, Adam in rebellion. To be dead TO sin, all believers have been given a new dead to sin status, a dead to sin identity with the second Adam, Jesus Christ, given to us at the very point of our belief of Paul’s good news.

Why continue to consider your relationship with God to be based on your former identity? Why not consider your relationship with God to be based solely on your new identity and that alone being joined to God’s son.

God gave you a brand new identity. God can no longer view you according to your former identity. God views you the only way he can view you since you believed the good news of your salvation. What security we have IN our union with the Savior.

You are the Body of Christ! Why not come to the understanding that God now relates to you the only way he can relate to you, and that is according to your new identity in his son. God cannot relate to you, he will not relate to you according to your former identity in Adam, Adam in rebellion.

This is the reason for Romans Chapter 6, understanding identity is key. So, what does it mean to die in your sins? It means to die with your identity in Adam, Adam in rebellion; to die with that identification intact. Reconciliation and Sanctification, two different judicial transactions.

God is no longer imputing the sins of the world unto the world, because he imputed those sins to his son. Now, a person needs to be placed into God’s son, so that they can have God’s son’s righteousness attributed freely to their account.

If Satan’s desire is to be just like the most high God, and in that attempt Satan used false prophets to deceive people in time past, and he is using ministers of righteousness to deceive people during this age of grace, and since we know that he will be using a false Christ to deceive people in the age to follow this age of grace, why should we have difficulty understanding Satan’s counterfeiting efforts when it comes to the work of God’s energizing power from on high in this dispensation? 

What will cause God to bring a halt to this present dispensation, and return Israel as his channel of blessing to the earth? A continual downward slide concerning human behavior, things will have progressed to a heightened or elevated state just prior to God pulling the plug on this present day program. 

We have not been given a pass where tribulation is concerned. It certainly can get much worse than it is today for believers. It is just an Age of Grace tribulation and the Time of Jacob’s tribulation are entirely two different things. Persecution and suffering troubling circumstances in a wide variety of ways will very likely increase as this Age of Grace winds onward towards its culmination.

Satan will be overtly manifesting himself as the power behind the miraculous during the tribulation period. Right now, he is covertly manifesting himself as the power source behind the miracles. Satan distracts from the truth through the miraculous. Satan’s miracles will never stand on Paul’s message, because they want to distract from this message. Satan is an angel of light, a messenger of goodness of righteousness, law righteousness. He is sitting on your shoulder and trying to convince you that you do not have to sin.

Why so much confusion over Romans 8:1? Most of it has to with ignoring the context of the prior two chapters where Paul has been dealing with the issue of the believer’s identity in Christ. But, since the word “walk” and the word “flesh” were added to this opening sentence, and the idea of condemnation is added to the mix.

Where do most people’s minds immediately take them? The conduct of the Christian, people think Paul has left his context here and he is moving into the area of practice. Not so! The remainder of this chapter has to do with identity, not practice.

The more that we believe in the reality of our identity and focus on that identity, the more God is free to affect our practice, and he will by producing his fruit in our lives. The flesh is incapable of producing fruit acceptable to God. Believers who try to produce that fruit themselves through whatever religious system, through whatever legal practice of do’s and don’ts will only find themselves fruitless in their efforts.

Believer’s who strive to perfect their practice in an attempt to achieve or maintain a particular status with God is what Paul tells us he tried to do back in Romans chapter 7, how did that work for our apostle? The more Paul tried to make his flesh perform, the less his flesh was willing to conform.

The flesh cannot be perfected, it cannot be changed, and it cannot be Christianized, so render it dead. The more we focus on perfecting the flesh, the more we will end up minding the things of the flesh, and Paul wants us to put the flesh behind us.

Thank God, that in his perspective we are not in the flesh, but we are safe and secure in Christ. Whose righteousness? Christ’s righteousness freely attributed to the account of the one who takes God at his Word concerning what Christ accomplished for our sins.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Just a Thought "60"

Here is the wrong motivation, your love for the Lord to serve others above self. If you are using your “love for the Lord” over and above your “love for sin” as the motivation to obey, you have not appropriately crucified the flesh in your mind.

It was not Paul’s love for the Lord, that motivated him to conduct himself in certain manner, avoid certain behavior, adopt other practices. It was not Paul’s desire to perfect his flesh that gave Paul cause to sin less and to love people more.

It was Christ’s love for Paul demonstrated through his accomplishment on Paul’s behalf that constrained our apostle. When we tie our performance to our righteousness in Heaven, rather than attributing our righteousness in Heaven to our new identity IN Christ, we are missing what Paul wants us to see in Romans Chapter 6.

If you suppose that your flesh is capable of performing to the measure of the righteousness belonging to God himself, that would be described as “walking after the flesh,” you are only fooling yourself.

A quest for righteousness before God through performance is the wrong motivation for doing the things that Paul calls on every believer to do and for abstaining from the particular behavior Paul would have us avoid. Whose love was it that restrained our apostle? Was it his love for Christ, or was it Christ’s love for Paul? 2 Corinthians 5:14

If you remove the motivation to live Godly, people are just going to go out and live any old way they please. People have such a hard time when their motivation is based on the false assumption that God gave to Israel a law contract in order to provide for them the motivation necessary for them to live righteously.

God designed the law to make sin show its hand, to make sin abound, so that they could look at that picture of the law and look at themselves and say, “These pictures do not match up,” so that they could see that their sin was exceedingly sinful. 

But even with the proper motivation, even with grace as our motivating agent, the flesh is never capable of performing to the standard necessary for righteousness, when righteousness before God is linked to people’s performance.

People must rid themselves of the tendency to think that God is dealing with people as he has dealt in time past, when the law program was the order of the day. Paul wants us to understand and understand fully that motivation to do righteousness is the exact opposite of what our natural minds suppose it to be.

God did not design the law to enable Israel to live righteously unto him or to give them the motivation to do it. Take away the law Paul and you have taken away the motivation people need to do good and to avoid evil, that is the way the natural mind works.

That is really the heart and soul of the argument Paul faced when he preached: you are not under the law, but under grace! Romans 6:14

Salvation, justification unto eternal life is a gift of God, how could we enhance or add to that gift by our righteous works? Justification unto eternal life is entirely a work of God for the believer, not a work of the believer for God. No effort of our flesh could accomplish it. No effort of the saint can add to it!

This is itself is the motivation for a believer to bring the body into subjection to what God had done freely for the ungodly as we place our faith in what Christ accomplished for our sin debt, when he died for those sins. 1 Corinthians 9:27, is Paul talking about Christianizing the flesh and making it better flesh, capable of doing more things? 

Paul was motivated in that sense to bring the body into subjection, to keep those desires of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, to keep it at bay and not let that reign supreme, when it came to his activities and his actions. 

Paul had all the motivation that Paul needed to bring his body into subjection to whatever degree possible for Paul, not allowing it to reign supreme, when it came to his actions. But, had Paul arrived when it came to the sacrifice of himself for the sake of those to whom he had been sent? That was Paul’s prayer, that was his great desire.

Paul prayed that he might be made conformable unto Christ’s death. Christ sacrificed himself for the sake of his Father’s enemies, Paul wanted to be made conformable to Christ’s selflessness. But, Paul had not arrived at Christ’s selflessness, Philippians 3:12.

You see, even with the proper motivation, the flesh is incapable of removing self from our service. Paul was not able to divorce self from his service, when it came to what he did on behalf of others. We have been motivated to serve, but thank God that our destiny, our blessings are not dependent on our serving. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Just a Thought "59"

Judgment and Chastisement, there are two traditional answers in the hallways of religion to why Christians should not think they should continue in sin; spankings from God and judgments from God. Paul gives two entirely different reasons, instead of chastisement and judgment, Paul holds up two entirely different issues, identity and slavery.

Paul would have us ask ourselves, Who am I? Paul told us how we were at the point of our belief, we became fully identified with our Savior, in union with him, so that we actually became a part of him. In a very real sense: Two becoming one flesh from the standpoint of God.

Being fully identified with Jesus Christ means that we died when Christ died. Unbelievers are under no obligation to serve righteousness, because the unsaved world is simply serving the master they are under. Human righteousness comes from self interest motivation, it is self glorifying and while it may be of earthly benefit, that will not cut it when it comes to meeting the demands of God’s perfect justice.

Paul is just bringing this to our attention, and he is not taking us to judgment and chastisement, he is taking us to identity and obligation. We serve God to no greater degree than we serve those to whom he’s joined, and they are joined to Christ equally.

My service to God, is no greater than my service to you. Your service to God, is no greater than your service to the one in Christ’s Body that you like the least. Choices to make? You can not lose your salvation, but you can certainly reap a boatload of harm to yourself and others around you, and we are doing it everyday. 

What went wrong that caused people who had dedicated their lives to the Lord, to then feel the necessity to re-dedicate themselves all over again? Well meaning pastors of more than one denominational persuasion attempt to seek decisions by those in their congregations.

People are invited to come and accept Christ as Savior, come and get saved is the idea, but after the initial invitation for salvation, there was always a second invitation after the final person came forward, this was the invitation for those who had already been saved to come and to re-dedicate their lives to the Lord.

The problem people face is that they are generally working under a faulty premise to begin with. Saving faith will ALWAYS walk the walk. The idea being: If you are truly saved, you will stop sinning and you will begin living for the Lord that you love!

The fact that in our flesh dwells no good thing, it is impossible for the flesh to produce the measure of righteousness that belongs to God. If we are truly honest with ourselves, how many of us can say that we love God more than we love sin?

To say that you no longer love sin is saying something else. That would be the same as saying that for you there is no such thing as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Take away the desire to sin, the temptation, the urging, the yearning to do that which is not appropriate and that temptation itself, the urging would not exist if the sin nature was gone.

To remove temptation is to remove the sin nature, temptation comes as a result of the lusts associated with our sin nature, but “tempted” can also be used in the sense of a trying, or a testing totally apart from an issue of sin.

How is it that Christ is the one who is performing that which is good through us, rather than our flesh performing that which is good for Christ? The Idea in Romans 5:5, is God’s love for us. God’s love FOR you is shed abroad in your heart and mind through the realization that God’s love accomplished some fantastic things on our behalf.

Apart from an understanding of the love of God, the love he has for us, the love of Christ and what that love accomplished for us while we were yet sinners, our only motivation to serve others would be self-interest related.

There are a lot of good people out there doing a lot of good things for the sole purpose of being able to feel good about themselves in having done those things. God’s energizing power from on high can produce in you that which God needs from you.

The identity that you have in Christ and the Word of God can do the work of God in your life. It was not Paul’s use of grace age rules proposed within the halls of the religion of Paul’s day and it was not Paul’s love for Christ that motivated Paul to sin less, it was Christ’s selfless love for Paul.

It was the new identity Christ accomplished for Paul that made such a great impact upon Paul. It is not striving to become a better someone, it is recognizing the someone God has already made us to be. When we come to fully understand and appreciate that new identity we have in the second Adam (Jesus Christ), the striving can end. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Just a Thought "58"

God knows the motivation that resides in the human heart that underlies all the works that we call good. God knows whether there is a hidden motivation even to ourselves, hidden by our pride nature to look good before others; to appear knowledgeable before others; to somehow elevate self in relation to others; to gain the praise of others.

God knows the motivations of the human heart. Any kind of works at all, even if they appear to be good works in your mind, that are done for the purpose attaining salvation or for the purpose of maintaining salvation, even for the purpose of proving one’s salvation, is a slap in the face of God, who had to provide the gift of salvation, because people’s righteousness would be totally incapable of meriting it.

Our good works must be done solely out of appreciation for what God has already accomplished. It is the love of God shed abroad in our hearts. It is the changed thinking that comes as God transforms us by his word. Satan’s ministers of righteousness use the word reform, instead of the word transform, they would appeal to people to reform, God does not make that appeal.

God transforms our thinking by his word, it is only when we come to properly understand God from his perspective concerning ourselves, both before we came to understand Paul’s good news and then what we are and who we are after we have believed Paul’s good news and have been joined to his son.

Then we can be capable if viewing others and relating to others accordingly who are also members of Christ’s body and of his flesh and of his bones. So transformed thinking relates to transform relating as Christ thinking becomes our thinking, that is where we see the love of God. Romans 5:5

The casting of lots was crucial to the atonement in Israel’s program, one of the goats would be the scapegoat and the other goat was to be slain. How would the high priest know which goat was to be slain? God himself would make that determination.

The casting of lots during Israel’s program was not a coin flip or drawing straws, it was God’s prescribed manner of making his will known to people, when it came to important decisions that had to be made in time past.

One of the stones would shine when God was making a selection, so that the High Priest could determine the choice that God had made. This would eliminate such things in that decision making process as politics, nepotism, favoritism, emotion would be out of the way. God would make the decision, the final course of action was being left up to God.

How does God lead today? Could it be that God is having us walk by faith, and NOT by sight, because God knew that Satan will be performing the miraculous in the last days of the age of grace.

Why do you suppose God would refuse to give us neat little things to look at today to determine his presence, his power, his predisposition, his purpose, and his plan? Could it be that God is NOT giving people all these emotion tweaking experiences, because he knows that Satan will come with all manner of lying signs and wonders.

God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness during this age of grace, and he wants us to base our beliefs on doctrine rather than emotion. It is the word of God that does the work of God in the life of the believer during this age of grace.

When we hide that word of God rightly divided in our hearts, we are able to apply the understanding we have gained from that Word to the troubling circumstances when they arrive. In every situation you face, whether it be a troubling situation or not, there is truth from the word of God that can be applied to the situation.

There are people laboring under the false notion that there is capacity in their flesh to be right before God, that is precisely what Israel was doing. Walking after the flesh is not talking about committing sins, but with placing one’s confidence in the capacity of their flesh to provide righteousness through performance.

Those who are IN Jesus Christ, are those who place no confidence in their flesh, but understand that in their flesh dwelleth no good thing. To believe that what you are doing and what you are restraining yourself from doing is the way you are earning your righteous standing with God, you have got to put a lot of confidence in your flesh to do that, religion is doing that.

To be dead to sin, sin has no more effect on you; it can not affect, it can not change your relationship with God, because you are in Christ. Christ was your substitute in a very real sense, God made Christ to be sin for you. Christ took the judgment of the world upon himself, so you are dead to that issue of sin.

In fact, the world is dead to that issue of sin, it is an issue of perfection right now. When you believe what Christ accomplished for you where your sins are concerned, you are as just as you will ever be in the eyes of God at that point, as perfect as you will ever be!

The idea of walking after the flesh is a valid Biblical concept that speaks not to a person’s behavior, but to a person’s belief - not to a person’s manners, but to their mindset. Reckoning yourselves to be dead to sin, does not mean to reckon that you are never going to sin again.

Reckon that you are dead where the sin issue is concerned, reckon yourselves to be alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Savior. Reckoning is simply counting something to be true in your mind. Reckon it to be so, believe it. Salvation is not doing, it is counting what God believes to be true for you and about you, as true for you and about you.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Just a Thought "57"

So God has a plan, and he is going to fulfill that plan with Israel, their promises are literal. God has a great plan and a great purpose in mind for Israel in time future, after his program for the restoration of his rightful headship in the heavenly realm comes to completion.

So, why all the different gospel designations in the Bible, why not just one title? Each of these gospels has its own set of issues, its own purpose and its own place when it comes to the surrounding good news messages. Each speaks of its own unique circumstances as far as the information that God wanted to impart to people is concerned.

Not every good news message is the same good news message that God wanted people to hear. One good news message may add to, or enhance another message sitting around it. Then again, an additional good news message my alter completely what God’s doing, which we see in Scripture.

The kingdom of heaven is NOT referring to a kingdom IN heaven, it is not a kingdom located in heaven. It is referring to a kingdom to be set up here on this planet with the son of God ruling and reigning as King. As the kingdom of heaven was being proclaimed, the nation Israel as a whole knew nothing at all about the identity of the king who would be reigning in that kingdom.

The gospel of the kingdom was simply the good news that God’s rightful reign upon the earth was at hand. The gospel of God was an enhancement to, an addition to the gospel of the kingdom. The gospel of God pertained to Jesus from Nazareth, as to his identity of the rightful king over that earthly kingdom. 

God is not through with his earthly nation or his earthly program. God’s program concerning the restoration of his rightful headship in the earthly realm in time past, as it pertains to his restoration of that realm in time future, centered in a nation, the nation Israel, and a kingdom promised to that nation, and a king who would rule in that kingdom. 

It is a very simple thing, simple enough for a little child to understand it: Jesus Christ died for your sins! That is a whole lot better to say to a child, rather than “Ask him into your heart” or “Pray that he will save you” or “Repeat this prayer” or “Come down front.” All those things have been added by religion.

Remember, we were given our righteous standing as a free gift, It is a grace gift given by God, and we receive it the instant we place our faith in Christ having resolved God’s  justice for our sins, when he died for those sins.

This gift decree of righteousness comes totally apart from any and all human promise, any or all human performance or any or all human production, no human merit of people whatsoever for this free gift. God will never consider people’s works as a payment for God’s justifying declaration.

To say “your works” have anything at all to do with God’s gift declaration of righteousness is to slap the giver in the face. The only way a person can be counted righteous, (justified) when unrighteousness is the reality given the sin nature we have inherited from Adam, is for that person to be joined to God’s son.

The only thing God is asking you to believe to be placed into his son, is to take God at his word, concerning what his son did where your sins are concerned. If you are asking God to forgive you for your sins, what are you saying you believe about what Jesus Christ accomplished where those sins are concerned?

When Israel’s New Covenant comes in to play, they will be caused to know him, because salvation for the Israelite meant an entrance into the promised earthly Kingdom. What a glorious day that will be for the earth and for the earth’s inhabitants, when Jesus Christ is ruling and reigning as King over the earthly realm.

The apostle Paul was striving to know Christ and know him intimately, not as simply a prophet, not as Israel’s messiah, not as simply another great teacher, but to know him in the power of his resurrection and in the fellowship of his suffering. Paul wanted Christ’s life to be manifest in his own life.

Religion is fill with lots of people who would rather beg God to fix their suffering circumstances, rather than to thank God for his enabling grace that is sufficient for every suffering saint, that energizing power from on high. Most of Paul’s pain and suffering came from making the right decisions.

Knowing Christ would mean exchanging human viewpoint for divine viewpoint, Human viewpoint is always self interest orientated. You must take part in the ingestion and absorption of God’s word, transformation, God’s responsibility, the ingestion and absorption of divine viewpoint, the believer’s responsibility.

Relinquishing human viewpoint for divine viewpoint comes as we take in and meditate and focus on knowing Christ according to divine viewpoint. Do not confuse standing with state. Your standing comes from all God accomplished for you, that you could become identified with all that is Christ’s. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Just a Thought "56"

As God sprinkles the Israelites and cleanses them from all their unholiness and they become the nation he intended them to be, he will make them to be. They had no power to become that on their own.

So, the first sanctification, or setting apart as holy we need to be familiar with as we study God’s Word is Israel’s future national sanctification. That will keep us from falling into all sorts of false doctrine when it comes to when they are gathered, and whether we have become spiritual Israel, and whether it is up to us how to usher in the kingdom through our good behavior, as many think.

Israel will be under great persecution during an upcoming time known as the time of Jacob’s trouble, as the anti-Christ will be proclaiming his right to be the monarch of the earth. So, do not think for a second that Satan does not know that God’s plan is to have a Millennial Reign, a government right here on the earth with Jesus Christ at the helm over the earth.

Ezekiel 36:26-28, when will this national sanctification come to fruition? When Israel is willing to accept Jesus Christ as their messiah and admit they swore falsely when they entered into a covenant with God vowing they could merit a righteous standing before him through their performance.

Do not look at 1948 and say, “Well, prophecy is being fulfilled before our eyes.” That is not prophecy. Matthew 24:21, for then shall be great tribulation, this is speaking of the final 3 and half years of that 7 year time period after we are out of here. This is the time period during which Israel will be seeking him early, as God stated through Hosea 5:15.

When it came to Israel’s promised earthly kingdom and the forgiveness of sins by the earthly King of that promised earthly kingdom, what was absolutely essential to that forgiveness being granted?

Well it was always the issue of faith. It’s always been the issue of faith down through out history. Faith of course, without faith, the Israelites would not be forgiven and without forgiveness there would not be any healing.

No forgiveness would mean no part in the promised earthly kingdom. The Gentiles were to come through Israel’s rise that they also might have forgiveness of sins by the same King, Israel never rose to that priesthood position. 

What would faith do in that program when faith was called upon to do a work to prove itself? So, it is the same issue over and again in that earthly kingdom program, John’s baptism with water was for the purpose of Israel making their confession, being identified with the confession that Israel was called upon to make back in Leviticus 26:40. The same confession that Daniel made in Daniel 9:4. 

Baptism was essential if it was possible to make your confession at that time for failure under the Law Contract. Forgiveness by the King of Kings who had the authority to grant that forgiveness or by those who had been granted such authority by the King of Kings for that matter, was contingence upon the express of faith required in that program for that forgiveness to be granted, which was John’s baptism of repentance for the reemission of sins.

It was not an option testimony in the days of Jesus Christ, it was a requirement for the remission of sins. It was the way people could be identified with the faith associated with the confession of Leviticus 26:40.

Do not be too discouraged as you watch the times unfold and the worries come, they just bring us ever closer to what we would call “our blessed hope.” Satan, in his attempt to be like God, also, wants a world wide governmental system, but without Christ.

The one world government architects of our day are steering us ever closer and at an ever more rapid pace toward that time, when the entire world will need an answer man. Rest assured, an answer man will arrive on the scene once God has called his ambassadors of the age of grace home.

But, as the world will learn when the answer man comes along, he will not really have the answers at all, he will be the false fixer. The only fix planet earth will ever have, will only come from the return of the rightful Monarch of this planet, Jesus Christ.

The kingdom of heaven is not referring to a kingdom IN heaven, it is not a kingdom located in heaven, it is referring to a kingdom to be set up here on this planet with the son of God ruling and reigning as King. Israel had not been made aware of what God had in mind, concerning his rulership in the heavenly realm.

God kept those truths hidden until he later revealed them to the apostle Paul for us. Israel, on the other hand, expected an earthly kingdom. They were promised a piece of real estate on this planet as an everlasting possession and they expected an earthly king to come and rule and reign in that earthly kingdom.

Of course, there would be one step remaining before Israel’s kingdom could be realized. Israel would have to accept the king that God had in mind to reign in that kingdom. Should Israel reject God’s anointed King, God could certainly place that kingdom on hold, which the Bible tells us is precisely what God did.

But, God could not do away with that kingdom altogether, because he had already promised it to the nation Israel. Israel’s identity crisis and it was not her identity that she had a crisis over, it was the identity of Jesus. God knew they would accept their king in a future time, that is what the tribulation period is all about; bringing them to their knees, and bringing those who will believe, to believe. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Just a Thought "55"

I do not know if you grasp the full scope of what predestination means? God did not predetermine to cause some individuals to belief unto eternal life, he predetermined to conform everyone who believes to his son. 

God in his infinite wisdom pre-decreed that every believer would be joined to his son, fully identified with his son. God also pre-decided that you the believer would be blessed with all the blessings and privileges of an adopted son.

God also decided in advance that you the believer are to be to the praise of the glory of his grace. These are not something that could happen, something that should happen, something might happen, this is something that will indeed happen and it is guaranteed, God predetermined it, his mind is set.

God wants us to rejoice in these things. You see he wants us to praise him for all these things and he certainly wants us to thank him for all these things, because he’s pre-determined these outcomes for you, for every believer, he wants us to rest in these things.

Reconciliation has to do with God’s justice being satisfied for sins, and that means all of them and that means for all the world, reconciliation is a sin issue. Justification is something entirely different, it has to do with a judicial decree of the very righteousness of God himself freely attributed to the believer’s account.

Who took you sin debt? Jesus Christ! Who paid it? Jesus Christ! How much of it did he pay? All of it before you were ever born! Reconciliation had to do with sin debt. Justification has to do with righteousness.

Circumcision, or the setting aside of the flesh was simply the sign, according to the apostle Paul, that God gave to Abraham to point out that Abraham had placed his faith in God and in God alone, and not in himself. 

Abraham was given the picture of the setting aside of his own flesh, in that Abraham had already placed his dependence entirely upon God. God counted Abraham to be righteous for doing so. God counted Abraham to be righteous solely on the basis of Abraham’s belief in what God told him, God would do.

Abraham learned that it would not be his own fleshly production that would accomplish God’s purpose for him. It is significant when we think about Abraham’s faith, that God wanted Abraham to place no confidence in his flesh.

What Paul wants us to see here in Romans chapter 4, is that God justified Abraham (declared Abraham to be righteous) solely on the basis of Abraham’s belief. Paul wants to make it crystal clear that Abraham was not justified according to a ritual, a ceremonial observance, even the ritual of circumcision that Abraham was given to perform.

Abraham was not considered righteous in accordance with any law-keeping system whatsoever, because God declared Abraham to be righteous approximately 25 years before he was circumcised and at least 400 years before the Law of Moses was ever instituted.

In other words, throughout the ages, God has declared to be righteous those who believed the message he was giving them at the time. When a person believed the good news that God was dispensing, God credited that person’s account with righteousness.

God transferred the sin debt of the entire world, to his son’s account. Yours were all future when that transfer took place, so God had to know about every one of those sins, and God collected the payment for those sins from his son, rather than collect that debt from a world of sinners. That means Christ satisfied God’s justice for your sins, rather than God exacting from you, what was rightfully yours to pay. 

The law had authority over us before we found out that we had our discharge papers. It was tormenting us. It still torments many people as they think that God is relating to them on that basis. It was hounding us and goading us, and it was threatening us, and now we are discharged from the law.

We have been set free. Christ issued the discharge papers and Paul delivered those papers. We can look back at the law now and we can say: You can not touch me anymore! Your condemnation will have no effect on me whatsoever! I know the parameters. I no longer fear the repercussions of your rulership. I know the condemnation you bring because of the emotions you stir up in the weakness of my flesh.

The law was our Marine Sergeant, always working on a programmed conscience that we better be law-keepers, and we have got the 10 commandments in our mind. Why, because it is significantly tied to how God will relate to us in our minds.

We are good for God because we want God to bless us, and are we not taught that if we slide back into a life of sin, we have lost our fellowship with God. Certainly if you lose your fellowship, you lose your blessings.

Well, our blessings are not based on our performance in any way, shape, or form. Our blessings are based on Christ’s performance, because we are members of his flesh. How many blessings do we have according to the apostle Paul? All blessings in Heaven, the place of our citizenship.

All things are lawful unto me now. I am going to stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith I have been made free, and I will not be entangled again with your yoke of bondage. God did away with the law-husband relationship through the death of his son. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Just a Thought "54"

Is it a difficult choice? Curtain #1 - Satan is backstage arranging all the health, wealth, and prosperity that you could possibly stand during the time of your earthly existence, here today, gone tomorrow, then face the second death.

Or Curtain #2 - To be glorified together with the son of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, seated together in Heaven. God already has it all set up, but you will not see it lest you choose it.

If all that God has in store for his son is sitting behind Curtain #2 for you, which Curtain would you choose? Paul reasoned it out, and Paul chose to WAIT for Curtain #2 - his glorified body - health, wealth, and prosperity for a limited time held up beside eternal glorification.

Paul was eagerly awaiting God’s purpose for Paul, the glory that Paul knew would be revealed in him at the manifestation of the sons of God, when the sons of God receive their glorified bodies. A glorified body is God’s purpose for his suffering saints, a glorified body like unto Christ’s glorified body, that is God’s purpose for you down the road. Romans 8:18

So, suffering circumstances are working something in our life, while we are undergoing what we are undergoing and thinking it is the worse thing that can happen to us in our life, and we do not know the answer, and we do not know which way to turn, Paul says that it is working for us. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

We either have a relationship with the law or a relationship with Jesus Christ, but it is impossible to have a relationship with both at the same time. Christ freed us from an obligation to the law, when he satisfied all the law’s demands on our behalf.

In fact, Christ freed the entire human race from the law, he fulfilled the requirement of the justice that the law required for every law breaker of those under its jurisdiction, and that would be everyone in the human race. Christ became the ransom for all, so he satisfied the justice of God concerning that law contract for everyone.

It is law principle that actually stirs up the sinful emotions. The law principle itself incites the sinful nature that is within the human race. Most people suppose that if you want to eliminate sin, simply put forth a little more law.

Well, it is the other way around according to the apostle Paul, it is the law that stirs up the passions of the sin nature. The law actually ignites the passions of the sin nature.

The law is a good thing, the problem lies not with a holy and just law, the problem lies in the fact that while the law is good, the flesh is weak. This is why God had to devise a way to view us not in our flesh, but in his son.

Saved - what kind of salvation? Not saved in the sense of justified unto eternal life with our Savior, that is not what Paul’s talking about in Romans chapter 8, but saved in the sense of all the suffering circumstances that have been the thrust of this chapter all along; we are delivered from the suffering circumstances of this life.

We will be delivered from this by the preacher on TV! We will be delivered from these suffering situations by planting our seed faith! We will be delivered from these if our life becomes a song and we become saved! No! We are not going to be delivered from any of these by any of those things. 

What is the manner of our deliverance, are we delivered from our suffering circumstances based upon the number of people praying for that deliverance? Are we delivered from those suffering circumstances by the persistence and protracted manner in which those prayers are being offered?

Are we being delivered from the suffering circumstances to which we have been subjected such that God will allow us to “see our deliverance” and tell those around us that we have just witnessed a “God-thing?” Is our deliverance the repair and the escape of the problems of the old or is it the hope of the new?

Which is it? Well, Paul answered it for us in verse 23 - even we ourselves groan within ourselves, WAITING for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of OUR BODY. - We are waiting for our new bodies, the body God has in store for each of us, the body that will be fashioned like unto Christ’s glorious body.

When we get our new bodies, we will be delivered from the suffering circumstances that adversely affect this old body in which we must dwell until we die or the gathering of the body of Christ occurs, whichever is first. It is not the deliverance of the old, it is the hope of the new today.

But, what is our hope again? Is it the fix of these old bodies? Or, is it the new body we get, with that life Jesus got, John 5:26. The first Adam got the human race cut off from that life the tree of life produced, but the second Adam got us access to that life, in new bodies. How cool is that.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Just a Thought "53"

We should be very grateful that we are saved by the faith of Jesus Christ, his faith accomplished our salvation. But there are those who believe that if a person has sufficient faith, that God will remove those untoward circumstances in response to the prayer of faith.

But, as these people insist, in order to have God take those circumstances away, a person must first have the faith that God CAN and WILL take them away. These are the people that talk about casting our devil spirits and binding Satan.

Of course, insufficient faith means no healing, thus the answer to prayer for those of insufficient faith would be NO, end of story. Show your faith - God will show you his miracle. Faith that God CAN and WILL heal is an absolutely essential component if that healing, that resolution is to take place in your life. And of course, these people often seek out “faith healers” in that God obviously works through these people of such great faith.

There are those who believe there to be a power resident IN the prayer itself, thus the term “the power of prayer”, such that in certain situations God will deliver certain people from certain suffering situations that for reasons know only to God, and he allows other believers, as well as non-believers to endure.

Yet, our patient endurance through suffering is a way of demonstrating our hope, and when our hope is put on display in the midst of our suffering, that brings glory to God. The grace and strength God gives a person to endure that suffering, is the strength of God, he wants others to see in that person’s life. That is when God’s strength is perfected in our life, while we seek deliverance from suffering, God seeks devotion through suffering.

Has something changed? Why, of course it did. So why are people going back to the law program or a time when that law program was in effect and trying to eat from that table?

God’s program with the nation Israel was placed on the shelf, only after the 1-year time period given Israel in the parable of the fig tree Jesus Christ relayed to his disciples in Luke chapter 13, Israel’s indictment came with the stoning of Stephen. Paul’s conversion came in Acts chapter 9, and thus began God’s new program and an age of superabounding grace.

Dispensing the message of that new program would not begin until Paul received the revelations necessary to do the dispensing. So, the dispensing of the message did not come when Paul was converted, but we know for a fact, that Paul was judicially joined to Christ at the point of his belief. 

Israel’s program had not been placed on hold at Pentecost, Israel was still the focus of God’s dealings at Pentecost. Of course, the majority of fundamental denominationalists believe that God’s new program began at Pentecost, but God’s program with Israel was not set aside until the conversion of Paul. 

The expression “The Body of Christ” is an expression denoting the point when God began to judicially join believers his son. The Body of Christ is not about program, but about judicial joining. 

The hope for both programs is the same, and that hope is a resurrection from among the dead unto eternal life. Of course, the residential destinations promised the believers of the two programs are entirely different. The earthly calling and the heavenly calling refer to the program to which believers have been called in their destinations. 

We find the amazing and comforting truth that God’s love for those who are joined to his son, is the same unalterable and unending love God has for his son. That is how closely connected we are to Christ, nothing will ever be able to diminish God’s loving attitude towards those who are joined to his son.

One of the most horrible, most cruel forms of punishment was a method employed by the Romans, it was worse than crucifixion. One of the ways of putting people to death was to take a corpse, someone who had already been executed and to strap that corpse onto the body of a live person.

What an adherent presence that would have been as that corpse began to rot. Well, Paul paints that very picture when he illustrates the ever present problem that his sinful nature presented to him. Paul could not escape his sinful nature, no matter how fervently he tried.

We can rejoice and we can give all the glory and the praise to the God and Father of our Savior Jesus Christ for the fact that even though that sinful nature is strapped onto our fleshly backs like a rotting corpse, God does not see us in our flesh from his judicial perspective.

God does not relate to us on the basis of our performance in the flesh, but on the basis of our new identification in his son. God gave the law to showcase that sinful nature inside people, which was the only thing the law was capable of doing when it came to Israel or those who had never been placed under that law to begin with. God gave the law that sin might abound, not abate or cease or lessen.