All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
August 22, 2012
HANDS FOR JESUS
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The word "Gospel" in modern English means "Good News." If we want to know the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we must search the Scriptures for the "Good News." Not all of the Bible is "Good News." Some of what the Bible says is "Bad News," for those who do not believe the Gospel. The Good News and the Bad News are both summed up in the Gospel that the Apostle Paul preached in 1 Corinthians 15. In verse 22 it says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." The Bad News is that, those who are not in Christ when they leave this life here on earth, they will die and go to hell for all eternity. The Good News is, those who are in Christ, when they leave this earth they will go to be with Jesus for all eternity.
The Gospel is not based upon what man did or did not do, it is based upon what God did for us, through His Son, Jesus Christ. That is what makes it "Good News." It is Good News, because God did it for us. God did for us what we could not do of ourselves. We could not save ourselves, therefore God saves us through His Son, Jesus Christ.
The Bad News is that there are many who will not receive the free gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus. The Good News is that as many as receive Him, He gives to them the power to become sons of God (John 1:11,12). To benefit from what Jesus has done for us, we must receive Him as LORD and Savior. To those who receive Him, He gives them eternal life. But, to those who do not receive Him, they do not have eternal life. For, eternal life is in Jesus Christ (John 1:4).
Jesus said in John 17:3, "And this is life eternal, that they might know (ginosko) thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." The Greek word "ginosko" comes from the Hebrew word "yada," and carries with it the meaning, "know by experience, by reproducing another in like form." When we know "the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent," Jesus Christ will reproduce Himself in our lives. In 1 Corinthians 15:49 it says, "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." The image of Jesus Christ will be reproduced in our lives. The world will know that we have been with Jesus (Acts. 4:13).
This eternal life, is the very life of God the Father that was in Jesus Christ, that will manifest in all who are born again of the Spirit (John 3:7), and of the Word (1 Peter 1:23). It is the very life of God the Father that was in Jesus, and is in all who are born again. It is God, living His life in you and you living your life in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is not a life like God has, it is the very life of God living in you!
Those who are not born again do not have this life of God dwelling in them. When they die, they go to hell. Not because God does not love them. Not because they did anything wrong, but because they did not receive the free gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus. In John 1:10-13 it says,
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Those who will receive Jesus Christ into their lives and believe on His name, they shall become "born again of the Spirit" and inherit eternal life in Christ Jesus. That is the Good News!
This is a personal relationship with the Father and the Son that will reproduce the very life of God in those who are "born again of the Spirit" (John 3:6). No one can become born again without "personally inviting Jesus to come into their lives" and then making Him LORD and Savior of their lives. God will not receive anyone who does not (of their own free) will receive Jesus Christ as LORD. God will never force anyone to receive Jesus. It must be a personal invitation, no one else can do it for us.
To understand "The Gospel," we need the complete Bible from Genesis through Revelation. We must search the complete Scriptures to find the truth of the Gospel. The Gospel did not start in Matthew. It started even before the foundation of the world. The beginning of the Gospel is mentioned in Revelation 13:8, where it says, "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
The gospel includes the blood of the Lamb, which takes away the sins of the world. Not just certain sins but all the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). It's the blood that cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7). Over and over throughout the Bible it mentions the blood of the everlasting covenant that takes away all our sins. That is the Good News.
That is only a part of the Good News. If that was all there was to it, we would only live on this earth with our sins washed away by the blood. What would happen then, when we die? Those who "are not" born again would still go to hell for all eternity.
Another part of the Good News is that we can receive Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior, and inherit eternal life. Everyone's sins are paid for by the blood of the Lamb. But, if they are not born again before they die, they will still spend eternity in hell. Therefore, Jesus said in John 3:7, "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." Forgiveness of sin is not enough, "We must be born again." The Good News is that we can become born again simply by receiving Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior (John 1:11-13).
If you are not a born again Christian, with a witness in your spirit (a knowing beyond all doubt), you can become born again by asking the LORD to receive you. In John 1:11,12, speaking of Jesus, it says,
He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
If you pray a prayer like the following (from your heart), Jesus will receive you and you will become born again.
"LORD, Jesus, I know that You are the Son of God. I know that You died on the cross for me. I know that God raised You from the dead.
Jesus, I ask You to come into my life. Live Your life in me! Let Your will be done in me! Let the will of God be done in my life as it was in Your life. I surrender my life to You, Jesus!
You lead me by Your Spirit and I will follow to the best of my ability. I will live for You all the days of my life, as You lead me by Your Spirit.
I receive You now, as my LORD, and SAVIOR for all eternity. I will be with You here on earth, and I will be with You in heaven, forever and ever. I will give You all the Glory. It is for You that I will live forever. Amen."
Another part of the Good News is that we can receive the Holy Spirit and power over all the works of the devil. We must receive the power offered to us, or we will not operate in power over the devil.
Looking in Luke 9:1 it tells us, "Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases." If Jesus did not give them the power, they would not have had the power. In Luke 10:1 it says, "After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come." As we study the Scriptures, we will find that Jesus gave these seventy the same power He gave the twelve. We see this in Luke 10:17, where it says, "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name." In Luke 10:19, Jesus said to the seventy, "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."
So we see that Jesus gave them power over all the works of the devil. But what many did not see is that the power that Jesus gave them is "authoritative power," that is, the power they had over all the powers of the devil is in the authority to use His name.
This same power Jesus gave to those seventy is also given to all who are in Christ today (Mark 16:15-18). "In His name," we have all the powers of heaven to back us up when we use His name. His name is above every name, and every knee must bow to His name (Phil. 2:9,10). This is Good News for Christians...
The baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues is a promise from God to all who are born again and desire the baptism in the Holy Spirit. God will not withhold the baptism in the Holy Spirit from any born again Christian who desires to receive. It is God's will that every Christian be baptized in the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues. Therefore, if you do not speak in tongues and you desire to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, just pray a prayer, similar to the following one, and you will receive the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
"Jesus, You said in Mark 16:17, that in Your name I can cast out devils.
Satan, in the name of Jesus, I cast you out of my mind. You have no authority over my mind. My mind is clear of all demonic oppression in Jesus' name.
Father, according to Your Word in Luke 11:13, You promised me the Holy Spirit if I ask. Father, I am now asking You to give me the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in Your heavenly language. I receive Him from You now, in Jesus' name."
Now, from this day forth, continue to pray in the Spirit every day.
UNDERSTANDING THE GOSPEL
Today, there are many Christians not benefitting from the Gospel because they do not understand the Gospel. There have been a number of teachings that are not according to the Gospel, and many believe those teachings and do not benefit from the True Gospel.
To understand the Gospel, we must receive information from the Holy Spirit; for the gospel must be revealed to us individually to understand it. In 1 Corinthians 2:12-14 it tells us,
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
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.
There are many teaching from their natural minds what they think the Bible says. These have not received true revelation of what the Holy Spirit teaches. They have "information" from the written Word but not "revelation," comparing spiritual things with spiritual. We must have the help of the Holy Spirit to understand the true gospel.
Without information in the written Word of God we cannot receive revelation. Yet without revelation by the Holy Spirit we cannot understand the true Word of God. We see evidence of this in the four gospels; whereby the Pharisees and the Sadducees came against Jesus by not understanding the Law. The Law was not for the purpose of justifying anyone (Acts 13:38,39). "The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith" (Gal. 3:24). Galatians 2:16 says, "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."
Therefore, we must have revelation to have understanding of the Gospel. This revelation comes by the Holy Spirit as He reveals the truth to us from the written Word (the Bible). To understand the gospel we must consider the complete Word of God from Genesis through Revelation. Different parts of the gospel are revealed in different places in the Bible. Yet, the complete gospel and the complete Bible always agrees from Genesis through Revelation.
First we need to see the plan of God for man from the complete Bible, that is from Genesis through Revelation. Then we need to see the Gospel in the plan of God. By understanding certain things from the Bible we can better understand the Gospel.
First we need to understand what happened before the creation of man. In John 1:1-3 it tells us,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Then in John 1:14 it tells us, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
In 1 John 1,2, it says,
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
(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;)
By these verses we can plainly see that Jesus is "the Word of God." In 1 John 5:7 it says, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." In this verse, Jesus is called "the Word." God and His Word are one. God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are One. They cannot be separated from each other, yet they are three persons, making one God. In the natural mind, people cannot understand this, but when the Holy Spirit gives us revelation, we know it is true.
Understanding God, we see in Genesis 1:1, it says, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." By this we know how the heavens and earth came into existence. Yet, the Scripture explains in more detail, that it was the Son of God, who we know as Jesus, that created all things as we see them today (the Father and the Holy Spirit working with Him and through Him). In Colossians 1:16,17 it tells us,
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Before Jesus came in the flesh of man, John 1:3 says, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." Then, after Jesus came in the flesh as man, John 1:10 tells us, "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not."
By this it is very plain that Jesus is given the credit for the creation of this world, and all things that exist. He is the Son of God and He is also the Word of God. He will always be Who He is according to Revelation 4:11, which says, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
To understand the Gospel and God's plan for man, we must go back before Genesis 1:2 and see what had already taken place in the heavens. It tells us in Ezekiel 28, that there was an angel (a cherub), who we know from Isaiah 14:12, was called Lucifer. Ezekiel 28:14 says, "Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire." Most Christians understand what is called "the holy mountain of God," is where the throne of God is in heaven. Verse 13 says, "Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created." The description in this verse is symbolic, comparing spiritual things to natural things. From this and other verses in the Bible we understand that Lucifer was the leader of multitudes of angels, leading praise and worship before the throne of God in the heavens.
Ezekiel 28:15 says of Lucifer, "Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee." Lucifer was created perfect in the day that he was created. By his own will, he decided not to do what God created him to do. Therefore, "iniquity was found in him." In heaven, before the throne of God, there can be no sin or iniquity, only holiness, for God is holy.
In Ezekiel 28:16 through 19 it explains that God gave Lucifer an opportunity to repent, but he did not repent. He was given warning of what would happen if he did not repent, but he did not repent. In Isaiah 14:12 it tells what happened to Lucifer after he did not repent. It says, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" The word "ground" also means the earth, which was created in the beginning (Gen. 1:1). From that time on, Lucifer, now called the Devil, and Satan continued to rebel against God, and against man, whom the LORD God created in Genesis Chapters One and Two. Isaiah 14:13-20 tells us of what Lucifer (now called the Devil, and Satan), continues to do until he is cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10).
As a result of what Lucifer did, besides causing multitudes of angels to follow him, God no longer had multitudes of heavenly hosts praising and worshiping before His throne.
This is where the plan of God for man had it's beginning. God's plan is to have multitudes of people praising and worshiping the Father and the Son before the throne of God in heaven for all eternity. We see evidence of this in Revelation 4:8-11 and in Revelation 5:8-14. The number of those praising and worshiping before the throne were "ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands" (Rev. 5:11). They were from every nation and ever kindred.
The Gospel tells us how God is accomplishing His plan for multitudes of Christians to spend eternity before the throne of God in heaven. Not only those we call Christians, but even those who died before Jesus came into this world (as the Son of Man), to take away the sin of the world (Matt. 1:21).
To understand God's plan for man, we must also understand God and eternity. God always existed from the beginning. It was God that created all things through His Son. For God, there is no time in eternity. The word "eternity" also means "forever, with no beginning and no ending." God is always "Now," and always operates in the Now.
Therefore, God has the ability to forget the past (our sins that have been confessed and washed away by the blood of the Lamb) (1 John 1:7-9). Once God forgets the past, He does not remember it any more (Heb. 8:12).
Being God is from eternity past with no ending, God knows the end from the beginning. The Son of God, Who is God with the Father and the Holy Spirit, is "the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending" (Rev. 1:8). God has "foreknowledge" of all that has and will happen throughout eternity. God knows everything there is to know about the earth, man, Satan, and all that He created. Therefore, God sees the end from the beginning in every situation anyone (including you and I) will ever face in life. There is nothing that God does not know, and there is nothing God cannot turn around for our good in our life. God is for us, not against us (Rom. 8:31).
To understand the gospel, we must understand God's foreknowledge and what God had already done "before Adam was created." One thing Christians should know is that God had already chosen them in Him before the world was created. It tells us in Ephesians 1:4,5,
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.
The word "world" used in Ephesians 1:4 in the Greek is "kosmos," meaning "the physical world and all it's inhabitants." Sometimes it includes the sun, the moon, and the stars. Before, there was a physical world (as we see it now), God had already chosen us in Him. His plan was to adopt us (that is, all who would receive Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior), as children by Jesus Christ, (or in Christ), "according to the good pleasure of his will."
By God's foreknowledge, His plan was finished from the foundation of the world. God knew you and I before we were born into this world. He knew us before the world was formed, "before the foundation of the world." God knew everything before this world was formed, before Genesis 1:2, before "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
God has declared the end from the beginning, and in doing so it says, "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). The word "world" again is "kosmos," the same as in Ephesians 1:4. Before the world that is now was created, "the Lamb was declared slain..."
Why was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world? The Lamb was slain to take away the sins of the world! God knew what the devil would do to man in the garden of Eden. God knew the end from the beginning. God had a plan, and Satan could not change God's plan. God's plan concerning sin was declared finished from the foundation of the world, and then it was completed on the Cross of Calvary. Jesus is the Lamb of God that took away the sin of the world (1 John 2:2).
Even before Jesus came into this world as "the Lamb of God," the LORD said in Isaiah 43:25, "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." Again in Isaiah 44:22 the LORD said, "I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee." How did He blot their sins out? By the blood of the Lamb that was slain on the Cross of Calvary.
Look also at what Jesus said to the man with the palsy in Luke 5:20, "Man, thy sins are forgiven thee." This man's sins were already forgiven and he did not know it. Yet, Jesus had not as yet gone to the Cross and paid the price with His blood. What God had declared from the foundation of the world was just as effective before the Cross as it is after the Cross. God is from eternity through eternity, and His Word is true all the time, forever. His Word was settled in heaven from the foundation of the world.
THE DECEIVER WAS DECEIVED
In Revelation 20:2,3 Satan is spoken of as the deceiver of the nations. In John 8:44, Jesus spoke of Satan as a murderer and a liar. Jesus said, "He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
All who are deceived are deceived by the lies of the devil. When Eve was deceived in the garden of Eden, she was deceived by the lies of the devil as he used the serpent to speak to Eve. From that time on, Satan has been using people to speak his lies and deceive many.
When man was first created and placed in the garden of Eden, Satan was already there, represented by the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Satan had the power of death, the angel of death is Satan's representative. We see this in Exodus 12:23 where it calls the angel of death "the destroyer." It says, "For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you." Then we see that death is an enemy in 1 Corinthians 15:26. In Hebrews 2:6-18, we see that Jesus took our death upon Himself that He might destroy the Devil who has the power of death. In Hebrews 9:26-28, it tells that it was appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgement. But, Jesus took upon Himself the punishment of death, that we could become one with Him in eternal life.
What Satan planned for our destruction was for our good, that we could become "sons and daughters of God in Christ Jesus" for all eternity. By Jesus' death and resurrection, He defeated Satan and now gives to those who believe eternal life in Him.
When the devil used the serpent to deceive Eve, and then used Eve to get Adam to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he did not know the plan of God from the foundation of the world. What Satan thought for our destruction was for our good (that is, for those who will believe God and receive Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior). For those who are in Christ, death has no power over them. When they are born again, the second death (eternal death) is defeated by the new birth. Only those whose name is not written in the Lamb's book of life will experience the second death (Rev. 20:14,15).
When Lucifer was created, he was perfect in the day that he was created (Ezek. 28:15). He had the best position anyone could have in all eternity (before the throne of God). Lucifer lost his position and was cast down to the earth (Isa. 14:12). In the future, he will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10). Satan, also called the devil, went from heaven to earth, and will end up in hell.
When God created mankind, man began in corruption (1 Cor. 15:42). The earth that man's body was made of was corrupt, that is, it was worthless, before the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the deep (Gen. 1:2). God did not say man was perfect in the day that he was created. It says, "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Gen. 1:31).
God had a better plan for man. In 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 it says,
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
God is "making man perfect" in Christ Jesus. Man is not perfect without Christ Jesus. Man starts from the bottom and is perfected by God to live before the throne of God, praising and worshiping the Father and the Son forever and ever. What Satan lost, man gained, all because of Jesus.
By the foreknowledge of God, Satan was defeated and man was glorified from the foundation of the world. God knew what Satan would do in the garden of Eden. God knew Eve would be deceived and Satan would use Adam to bring sin and death unto all mankind.
We were all in Adam when he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Acts 17:26 says, "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation." From the flesh and blood of Adam, we all had our beginning. We all came out of Adam. Even Eve was taken out of Adam. We were all in Adam the day he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Just as Levi was in Abraham when he paid tithes to Melchisedec, we were also in Adam (Heb. 7:9,20). Just as Jesus was in the loins of King David when Nathan prophesied, we were also in Adam (2 Sam. 7:12).
When Adam ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, sin and death entered the human race. Romans 5:12 tells us, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Adam did not die that day, but sin and death "passed upon him and all mankind that day." Sin and death remained in mankind until after Jesus defeated sin and death for us on the Cross of Calvary. Yet, His works were declared from the foundation of the world.
In 1 Corinthians 2:7,8 it says,
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
What Satan did when he crucified the LORD, was his defeat and our gain. Our victory over the devil is in Jesus Christ and what He did for us. Jesus became our righteousness, our sanctification, our justification, our redeemer, etc.
When Jesus arose again from the dead, He became the firstborn of many brethren. He is the Second Adam, the firstborn from the dead. Satan caused the first Adam to sin, and sin and death passed upon all mankind. Jesus defeated sin and death, and became the Second Adam, and set us free of sin and death and all the works of the devil. What Satan thought for bad was for our good. That we could be saved by grace through faith, and not of ourselves, it is a gift from God (Eph. 2:8,9).
Satan, because of his actions, inherited eternal death in hell. Because of what Jesus did, those who are in Christ, have inherited eternal life in Christ. Satan's end is down to hell. For those who are in Christ, their end is up in heaven before the throne of God.
THE LORD IS IN CONTROL
In Acts 2:36, Peter, quoting the Scriptures while speaking to the Jews about Jesus, who was crucified, said, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." In this verse it tells us that Jesus is both LORD and Christ. He became "Jesus" when He was born into this world as the Son of Man. He became Christ when He was anointed with the Holy Spirit, following His water baptism by John the Baptist. He was LORD from the beginning of this creation.
He was always LORD from the beginning. The word "LORD" in the Hebrew is "Y@hovah/JEHOVAH." The King James Version of the Bible translated the Hebrew word "Y@hovah" to LORD over six-thousand five-hundred times in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word for "God" in the Old Testament is "Elohyim," which is the plural form of God. "Eloah" is the singular from, sometimes shortened to "El." When the word "LORD" is used in front of the word "God," it is usually identifying one person of the three persons of the Godhead. Sometimes the word "LORD" is speaking of God the Father (such as in Psalm 110:1; Proverbs 8:22). Most of the time throughout the Old Testament the word "LORD" pertains to the Son of God who we know as JESUS.
This same JESUS (who the chief priests of the Jews had crucified), was always LORD of this creation. "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:3). When He formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life, He was called "the LORD God" (Gen. 2:7). When He spoke to Moses in Exodus 6:3 it says, "And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them." The word "I" identifies the one speaking as the LORD, Himself.
Jesus said in John 6:46, "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father." In John 5:37, Jesus said, "And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape." The apostle John wrote in John 1:18, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." There are many other Scripture verses throughout the Bible that prove it was Jesus, Himself, that was in control of all that happened in the Old Testament. He was always "LORD" over this creation. Colossians 1:16 says, "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him."
Jesus is "the Word of God" that came in the flesh of man to redeem us from the works of the devil. By the Word of God all things were created, and nothing was created without Him. He is the "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty" (Rev. 1:8). Jesus was here on this earth as LORD all throughout the Old Testament. He was here on earth for thirty-three and one-half years as "Jesus." He is reigning on earth today as "Christ," the head of His body, the church. He shall soon return as LORD of lords and King of kings, and reign for one-thousand years (Rev. 20:4).
The LORD is God, with the Father and the Holy Spirit. And "God is Love..." (1 John 4:8,16). God loves those who receive Him as God. The LORD, who was God in the Old Testament times always delivered and protected His people when they believed in Him and trusted Him. Look at the time when the three Hebrew children were cast into a fiery furnace in Daniel 3:15-18. It says,
Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
There was no doubt or unbelief in their answer to the king. O King, if you "do" throw us into the fiery furnace, "our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand..." But, O king, if you "do not" throw us into the fiery furnace, "we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up."
God is love, and loves, protects, and delivers those who walk by faith, without doubt and unbelief. Look what happened when King Nebuchadnezzar had them thrown into the furnace..
Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. (Dan. 3:24,25).
The LORD got right in the furnace with the three Hebrew children, "And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them" (Dan. 3:27).
The word "saved" in both the Old Testament and the New Testament means "delivered and protected." The LORD always delivered and protected those who believed His Word from the beginning of Genesis through the end of Revelation.
The LORD is over this creation, He always has been, and He always will be. He is God with the Father and the Holy Spirit (1 John 5:7). All things are under His control, and nothing happens without Him knowing what is happening. He always confirms the Word with signs following (Mark 16:20). If the Word is not confirmed with signs following, it is because people have missed it "the Word never fails." The LORD never fails to confirm His Word. He is God and He never changes (Mal. 10:6, Heb. 13:8).
Satan is the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4). He blinds the minds of those who do not believe the gospel. Being that Satan is a god, he has supernatural powers greater than that of man. But, his power is limited by the LORD. He can do nothing unless the LORD permits him. Many times the LORD permitted Satan to destroy, because the Word of God is truth. Those whose names are not written in the Lamb's book of life will end up in hell (Rev. 20:15). Not because God wanted it that way, but because God has given His Word and cannot change it. In Romans 6:16 it says, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" That is God's Word and He cannot change it.
Satan's powers are limited and he can do nothing unless the LORD permits him. In Job 1:12, Satan was permitted by the LORD to destroy Job's sons and daughters and much of what belonged to Job. But, Satan could not do it until the LORD permitted it. Again in Job 2:6,7, Satan was permitted to smite Job with sore boils, but he was not permitted to take Job's life. Satan could not smite Job until after the LORD permitted him to do it.
In Exodus 12:23 it says, "For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you." The death angel was permitted to destroy the first-born of all in Egypt (except those whose house had the blood on the door post). The LORD went with the death angel to make sure he did not destroy in the houses where the blood was applied. There are many recordings in the Scriptures where Satan was permitted to do certain things, but could not do anything unless the LORD permitted him.
Christians need to know the LORD as Creator and LORD over this creation. They need to "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding" (Prov. 3:5). When the LORD spoke to Abraham concerning the birth of Isaac, He said, "Is any thing too hard for the LORD?" (Gen. 18:14). The LORD is God over this creation and He will never go against His Word. Numbers 23:19 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?" The LORD will always confirm the Word with signs following (Mark 16:20).
Jesus was always LORD over this creation. Even when He came into this world as the Son of Man, born of a woman. He was still LORD over this creation and the devil and his demons knew it. In Mark 1:24, an unclean spirit cried out, saying, "Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God." In Matthew 8:29 it says the spirits "cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?" These spirits knew that Jesus was the Son of God, the LORD over this creation.
Even though Jesus did not operate as God while He was here in the flesh, yet the demons knew He was the Son of God and LORD over this creation. In Luke 10:17, it says, "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name." Those devils knew who Jesus was, and the power of His name.
Christians need to know Jesus as LORD and Christ, and the power of His name. They need to know Jesus as the Son of God, the creator of this creation. They need to know the gospel, concerning all that Jesus did for us.
When Christians understand and know Jesus as LORD over this creation and submit to Him according to His Word, Satan can have no power over them. Jesus will confirm the Word with signs following (Mark 16:20).
There is one "so called" gospel being preached today that seems always to be pointing at some person as being the cause of all our problems. It starts with pointing at Adam, saying he is the cause of all our problems. Because Adam sinned, the whole world is suffering from sin. If we follow the teachings of those who teach along this line, we will see that they are teaching a "sin gospel." Everything they teach is based upon sin in one form or other. Someone sinned, therefore someone is to blame for sin. The end result of this sin gospel points to what Satan did, not what Jesus did.
In teaching a "sin gospel," they start with what it says about Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Then they add a lot to what is said (that is not in the Scriptures), and blame Adam for the fall of man into sin. They call it "the fall of man." In this teaching, they add a lot to their teaching that is not in the Scriptures talking about Adam in the beginning. Because of the many teachings concerning "the fall of man," all over the world Christians are divided on many of the teachings that start from this basic teaching.
Is God for division within the body of Christ? It doesn't say that in the Scriptures. Is God the author of confusion within the body of Christ? It doesn't say that in the Scriptures. There must be something wrong with what is being taught if it causes divisions and confusion (James 3:16).
Not to say the teaching of "the fall of man" is totally wrong, but look what happens when people add things to the Word of God that is not there in the original Scriptures? If people add to the Word of God, things that were not there in the beginning, what will happen to the Word of God? Will it be the true pure Word of God, or some mixture of truth and error?
Nowhere does the Bible tell us we should add anything to the Word of God. Neither does it tell us to take anything away from the Word of God. The Word of God is TRUTH and we cannot add anything to it to make it more True, and neither can we take anything away from it and still have the whole TRUTH. Actually, the Bible tells us not to add anything to the Word of God or take anything away from the Word of God (Deu. 4:2, 12:32, Prov. 30:6, Rev. 22:18,19).
God and His Word are One. This is seen clearly in John 1:1, where it says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." In I John 5:7 it says, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." This tells us that the Word of God and the Father and the Holy Spirit are One, they cannot be separated from each other. One means one (not more than one and not less than one). Yet, we know there are three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and they are One. Being they are One, it is not possible for them to disagree at anytime, anywhere. If they were to disagree they would no longer be one in agreement.
Now we know that many Bibles today do not have 1 John 5:7 in them, but that does not mean God added it later, neither does it mean God took it out. The adding to the Word of God and the taking away from the Word of God is not a work of God, it is a work of men "influenced by the prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2). Christians ought to have a higher respect for the Word of God than to follow those who have a lesser respect for the Word of God.
Every time someone adds something to the Word of God they change what God said to make it say what they want it to say. At the same time, every time someone takes something away from the Word of God they change it so they can make it say what they want it to say. In either case, it is not a good idea to try to change the Word of God, for the Word of God will stand forever, whether we believe it or not. Yet, our eternal existence is based upon the Word of God, not the words of men. Our personal existence is based upon what we do about the Word of God? Will we believe the Word of God or will we believe a lie? If it is not the TRUTH, it is a LIE, there is no in-between. Black is black and white is white, they do not mix. Darkness is darkness and light is light, they do not mix. Darkness is the absence of light. In 1 John 1:5 it tells us, "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."
If we follow the teaching of "the fall of man," with all it's added teachings that are not in the Scriptures, we find a lot of division and confusion within the churches. In essence, the teaching of "the fall of man" becomes a "sin gospel," rather than a "righteousness gospel." Before we follow a sin gospel, we should look at a "righteousness gospel," and see which one more conforms to the Written Word of God from Genesis through Revelation. Which one is God trying to teach? A sin gospel, or a righteousness gospel?
The churches that teach "a sin gospel" always seem to have problems with people being under condemnation. They also experience many falling away, and losing interest in remaining as members of their churches. This even happens to the children of pastors who preach "a sin gospel." Yet, the Scripture says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Rom. 8:1). Evidently, condemnation only comes when Christians walk after the flesh. At the same time if there was no sin, there would be no condemnation. Thereby, sin and condemnation work together.
How much of a "sin gospel" is God teaching? In Romans 5:12,13, it says,
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Even though, sin was in the world, God is not imputing sin when there is no law. Does this look like the "sin gospel" is the most important gospel that God wants taught? It doesn't seen that way here. Look at what it says in Romans 5:18,19
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.
For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Which one is God emphasizing, the "sin" or the "righteousness?" Who is God raising up, "Adam" who sinned or "Jesus," who is our righteousness? From Genesis through Revelation, the Bible is pointing to Jesus, not Adam. From Genesis through Revelation, God is trying to teach "righteousness," not "sin." Righteousness is a work of God, sin is a work of the devil. Who is God raising up, the devil or Jesus?
Sin brings condemnation. But, who is condemning people because of sin, God, or the devil, or is it man himself? In John 3:17,18 it says,
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
This tells us that man condemns himself by "not believing" "in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
When we look at the gospel that Jesus preached, it is not "a sin gospel," it is "a righteousness gospel." When we look at the gospel Paul preached, it is not "a sin gospel," it is "a righteousness gospel." Why are so many Christians teaching a sin gospel, instead of a righteousness gospel. Is it because they do not understand the righteousness gospel. Is it because the only gospel they understand is a sin gospel?
Have you ever noticed that when Jesus went about teaching and preaching, he was not preaching a sin gospel, but rather a righteousness gospel? How many times did Jesus first tell those who came to Him, "you must confess your sins," then you can receive? Did Jesus preach sin, or did He preach "believe the gospel of the kingdom of God?" At the same time, did Jesus ignore the sin issue, or did He address it in a proper manner?
To the man with the palsy, Jesus said, "Man, thy sins are forgiven thee" (Luke 5:20). How could Jesus say this? Did the man have sin in his life? Yes, everyone has sin in their lives, from Adam on except Jesus. "...all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23).
Sin is an issue, but it is not the main issue. Righteousness overcomes sin. The righteousness of God is greater than sin. The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation, not unto condemnation (Rom. 1:16).
For the man with the palsy, "the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). The sin issue was settled in heaven before Adam was created. What Adam did is no different than what you and I did. He is not a greater sinner than we are. His sins are not greater than our sins. Sin is sin, and there is only one way out of sin and that is "believing in the righteousness of Jesus Christ," Who bore our sins for us on the Cross of Calvary. The Lamb was slain for our sins and transgressions. Right from the foundation of the world, our sins were already declared by God as "paid for by the blood of the Lamb."
Did Jesus go around talking about sin? Not really. Jesus went around talking about the kingdom of God which overcomes sin. To the woman taken in the act of adultery in John 8:11, Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." Did Jesus overlook the sin issue? No, but He gave the solution, "go sin no more." But, if you noticed, to those who were her accusers, Jesus said, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (John 8:7).
What about the man at the pool of Bethesda in John 5. It says, "When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?" (John 5:6). Jesus didn't say a word to the man about sin at that time. Did the man have sin in his life? In verse 14, it says, "Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee." "Sin no more," implies that there was sin involved in his condition, and the way to prevent the same condition from coming back even worse is "sin no more..."
What is the difference between a sin gospel and a righteousness gospel? Those who talk about sin and their mind is on sin, will end up with sin taking control of their lives. Those who talk about righteousness and their mind is on righteousness will end up walking in righteousness.
What our mind dwells upon gets into our heart. What comes out of our heart controls our lives. What is in our heart shows up in how we live (Matt. 12:35). What we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth can save us or condemn us (Rom. 10:8-10).
The gospel that should be preached, is "thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength..." (Mark 12:30). The more we love God, the less desire we will have for sin. The more fellowship we have with God the less desire we will have for sin. Sin is overcome by a work of God in our lives, according to the love of God within us.
Hebrews 9:14 tells us that the blood of Jesus Christ should purge, cleanse, or purify our hearts from sin. The desire of sin is removed by the working of the Holy Spirit within us as He teaches us and applies the Blood of Jesus Christ to all that we do. In 1 John 1:7 it says, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
Christians do not need to be reminded "not to sin," they need to be reminded to "love the LORD our God with all our heart...." The love of God will take away all desire for sin in the flesh. We cannot serve two masters, sin and righteousness at the same time. Romans 6:16 says, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"
Where do all these different teachings come from? It all started back in Genesis 3. When Adam and Eve were in the garden of Eden there was also the Tree of Life, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The Tree of Life would produce in man the very life of God. The very life of God would produce righteousness, peace, and joy. The Tree of life operates from the spirit of man, by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
The tree of knowledge of good and evil will produce two types of knowledge that operate from the soul, and mind of man. One type of knowledge is the knowledge of good. Religious spirits are spirits that put people into bondage to rules and regulations in some form or other. Always tending toward how to be good, and how to please God, or some other god. They include sacrifices, obligations, etc. that man must do to please God.
The knowledge of evil is a condemning spirit that always works through the mind of man condemning man for what he did that is not right in the sight of God. These two are a result of a lack of love for God.
The tree of knowledge of good and evil always produces death. There is no spiritual life in the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Whereas the Tree of Life produces eternal life (the very life of God in man).
For everything God does, Satan has a counterfeit operation. For life from God, Satan has death. It is interesting that the works of Satan are always twofold, or more than God. As an example, all throughout the time of the prophets of old, there were always many more false prophets than true prophets of God. At the time of Elijah, he prayed to the LORD concerning the people who were serving the LORD, thinking he was the only one left. Yet, the LORD said "Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him" (1 Kings 19:14,18). Remember when Elijah took the people up on mount Carmel, He was the only prophet of the LORD there, but there were nine hundred-fifty false prophets there.
The Tree of Life has only one fruit upon it, the very life of God. The tree of knowledge of good and evil has two types of fruit, good and evil; yet both fruit produce death. There are false religions in the world, religions who do not know the True and Living God, Jesus Christ. They worship false gods, and serve them from the flesh. There are many Christians today, who still worship false operations of the spirits of this world. They operate from their mind, not from their spirit. The Apostle Paul said in Romans 1:9, "For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit..." Christians cannot serve God with their mind, they must serve God with their spirit. Jesus said to the woman at the well in John 4:24, "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (NKJV).
Christians have a mind, will, and intellect; but it must be transformed by the Word of God (Rom. 12:2). Not so that we can serve God with our mind, but so that our mind does not get over into the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and cause us to live by our own righteousness. We cannot be saved by acts of our righteousness, but by faith in Jesus Christ and what He has done for us.
When man was in the garden of Eden he had a choice, the Tree of Life or the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve chose the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and by their decision all have received sin and death resident in them. Romans 5:12 tells us, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Notice, Adam did not die that day, but sin and death "passed upon all men" that day.
We were all in Adam the day that Adam ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, therefore, we all had sin and death resident in us when we were born of the flesh into this world.
This is where the two gospels had their beginning, right in the garden of Eden. Those who are teaching a sin gospel haven't seen the true gospel that Jesus taught, nor the gospel that others taught in the New Testament. There is a major error made among many Christian churches today in the way they address the issue of sin.
Right from the beginning, when Adam sinned in the garden of Eden, it was not the issue of what Adam did that condemned him, it was what he did not do that caused his defeat. God did not condemn Adam for what he did, He only informed Adam of the results caused by what he did.
Man's sins will not condemn him to hell. It's man's neglect of doing what God told him to do that will condemn man to hell. Adam's problem was not that he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam's problem was that he did not eat of the Tree of Life.
Look at what the LORD God said in Genesis 3:22, "Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever." Did you know that those who eat of the Tree of Life will live forever? Did you know that the issue concerning the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil was not that sin would condemn man to hell for all eternity.
Did you know that Adam's sins were already declared as "washed away by the Blood of the Lamb," before Adam was formed of the dust of the ground? Look at Revelation 13:8, where it says, "...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
The good news is that righteousness comes only by what Jesus did for us on Calvary, not what we did or did not do. Sin is not the issue when it comes to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The issue is not what Adam did wrong, it is what Adam did not do. Adam did not eat of the Tree of Life. Jesus is the Tree of Life. All eternal life for man is in Christ Jesus. He is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6). We must eat of His flesh and drink of His blood if we are to have eternal life. Jesus said in John 6:56,57,
He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
Is this the gospel that is preached in the churches today? Or are they preaching another gospel? O' how sad it is that there are so many Christians preaching another gospel, thinking they are doing God a favor. They think they are right by teaching a sin gospel, rather than a righteousness gospel.
Once Christians get off into teaching a sin gospel, they get off into "good works," rather than what God did for us in Christ Jesus. All their good works lead them into greater error, and they don't seem to find the peace that is promised them in the New Covenant.
Some who have been taught the sin gospel will ask, what then are we to do about sin? The answer is simply, repent and go sin no more. In 2 Corinthians 10:5 it says, "Casting down imaginations (reasoning), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." When every thought is brought into subjection to the anointing within you, sin will have no place in your life. In 1 John 1:7 it says, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." If we sin, go to 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Then also remember 1 John 2:1, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."
If we love the LORD our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, sin will have no place in our lives. We cannot serve God and sin at the same time, it's not possible.
Look at what it says in Romans 6:1-4,
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
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.
When we walk in the newness of life, sin will have no place in our lives. When we walk in the newness of life we eat of the tree of life, we eat of the body of Jesus Christ and drink of His blood (John 6:53,54).
It is not what Adam did by eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It is what Adam did not do by not eating of the Tree of Life. It is not what we did in our lives when we sinned, it is what we did not do that would have kept us from sinning.
The New Covenant starts in Genesis 2:9, when God placed in the garden of Eden the Tree of Life. That life is in Christ Jesus (John 1:4). The New Covenant is not based upon works of the flesh, but the work of God in our spirit. God works from our spirit, man works from his mind. What man does by works of his mind are not acceptable to God as righteousness. God is not pleased by what man does from his mind. God is pleased by faith in what He has done for man in Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 10:38 says, "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." Hebrews 11:6 says, "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." Faith was the requirement to please God right from the beginning.
Abel was declared righteous by his faith. Hebrews 11:4 says, "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh." It is not by works of the flesh, it is by faith.
The Law in the Old Testament was only a schoolmaster (Gal. 3:24-26). A schoolmaster is to teach us what is of God and what is not of God. Once we know that the Law could not justify anyone, we understand that only by the works of God in Christ Jesus can we be justified. In Acts 13:38,39 it says,
Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
The Law of Moses contains the knowledge of good and evil that God has. In Genesis 3:22 it tells us, "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil..." God always had the knowledge of good and evil. When we receive the knowledge of good and evil from God it is good. But when we eat of "the tree" of knowledge of good and evil from the devil, it is not good. The Law is good, but it is not the will of God that Christians should apply the Law of Moses to their lives to please God. Galatians 2:16 says, "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."
Look in Acts 15:28,29,
For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
When Christians get over into trying to please God by doing good deeds, and teaching "you must make yourself perfect before God," they get over into righteousness by works, rather than righteousness by faith.
God is not looking for those who are righteous in themselves, but for those who need the righteousness of God in their lives. When Christians think they can please God in the flesh, they are following another spirit. To please God, we must "live by faith." Not the kind of faith in what we can do, but faith in what God has already done for us in Christ Jesus. The faith that trusts in God and not in man. The faith that God is love and in God there is no unrighteousness. The faith that God is our source, not man, not what we can do, but what God has already done for us in Christ Jesus.
That is only the beginning of faith for those who love God. For if we truly love God, then we will no longer try to do things without God. For along with faith, we must also be led by the Spirit of God. If the Spirit of God is leading, then we will not do our own will of the flesh, but rather the will of God from our spirit.
We cannot do the will of God from our mind, for our mind is still corrupt. We are still in the process of renewing our mind on the Word of God, "that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Rom. 12:2). Now, God does not have three wills for man, so be careful when someone tells you that what you are doing is the acceptable will of God. God has one plan for mankind and one will for mankind, which is good, acceptable, and perfect. God's will is that, "man would live by faith, being led by His Holy Spirit."
There are many who still think they can fulfill the will of God by keeping all the commandments of the Old Testament. This will only cause them to become religious and tied down to many rules and regulations, which like the Pharisees could never make a man perfect. In 2 Corinthians 3:6 it tells us, "...not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."
Jesus came to bring life, not death. Jesus came that we might walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. The Law is for the flesh, those who walk after the flesh. The Spirit is for those who walk after the Spirit. The Law brings condemnation, the Spirit brings life, liberty, and freedom. Not freedom to do the will of the flesh, but freedom from of the works of the flesh.
The works of the flesh are still works of darkness. The Spirit brings light that we can walk in the light and not in darkness. In 1 John 1:5 it tells us, "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."
Those who teach that we can please God by our works of righteousness are still walking in the flesh. We need to go all the way back to Genesis 2:9 if we want to see the will of God for man. In Genesis 2:9 it tells us, "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."
It is very unfortunate that the English translations have placed a semi-colon following the words "good for food;" instead of a period. It would have been much easier for people to understand if they had started the next verse with "The tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." The first part of verse nine pertains to the flesh of man, the second part of verse nine pertains to the living soul. The first part of verse nine provided for the natural things for man on this earth. But the second part of verse nine pertains to the eternal existence of man. Eating of the Tree of Life will produce eternal life. Eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil will produce eternal damnation, or separation from God. The Tree of Life, has only one type of fruit on it, that is the very life of God. The tree of knowledge of good and evil has two types of fruit on it. Both of these types produce death, eternal damnation, separation from God for all eternity.
When Christians teach "from their minds," "what they say" the Holy Spirit is speaking of in Genesis 2:9, they get all kinds of ideas, and all kinds of imaginations. There are many who think that when Eve gave of the fruit of the tree to Adam, she gave him an apple, like a apple from an apple tree. And Adam ate an apple, like people eat fruit from fruit trees. If you have been deceived with this kind of teaching, you need to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to open your understanding and teach you the truth (Luke 24:45).
The Tree of Life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil were not physical trees. You cannot see them with your natural eyes. They were not in the middle of the garden. They were "in the midst of the garden," which is "in and among all the trees of the garden." They were not physical, they were spiritual trees. One representing the very life of God, called the Tree of Life. The other representing sin and death, whereby Satan could tempt mankind into becoming self-righteous or condemn others for being evil.
When Eve gave to Adam of the tree of knowledge of good and evil to eat thereof, she spoke "words." Adam harkened to "the words of his wife" thereby partaking also of the tree which the LORD God had told him not to eat thereof. Genesis 3:17 says, "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life."
After Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the LORD came to them in the garden. In Genesis 3:8 it says, "And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day..." The Tree of Life has a voice, the voice of the LORD. The fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil also has a voice, the voice of Satan. In Genesis 3:1, speaking of the serpent, it says, "...And he said unto the woman..." Satan used the serpent to speak to Eve. Satan can speak with an audible voice, but in most cases he uses someone else to do the speaking for him. Many of those Satan uses today are those who say they are in the ministry, or say "God told them...," but it wasn't the God we serve, it was the devil.
The voice of the LORD and the voice of Satan could be heard in the garden. The LORD was there in the garden that Adam and Eve could talk to Him, and eat of the Tree of Life. Satan was also in the garden, trying to get them to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
First the serpent spoke to Eve, deceived her and she did eat. Then Eve spoke to Adam and he did eat also. From the very first day that man was created, voices were heard in the garden. Man must make a decision as to which voice he will follow.
So many Christians today are saying, "God told me...."! Be careful of which voice they heard. Was it God or was it another voice? The voice of God will always agree with the written Word of God, and will always be witnessed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives a witness in the spirits of those who are born again of the Word and the Spirit (Rom. 8:16; 1 John 5:10).
When Christians try to please God by operating from their natural mind, they are eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God had planned from the beginning that we should be like His Son, Jesus Christ; and walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. Jesus did nothing, unless He first received it from His Father (John 4:34, 5:19,30, 6:38, 8:26,28, 7:16, 8:38, 12:49,50, 14:10).
Christians need to be careful of which gospel they are hearing today. Is it a gospel of the tree of knowledge of good? Is it a gospel of the tree of knowledge of evil? Or could it be another gospel? The Gospel we should be listening for is "the gospel of the kingdom of God," where God the Holy Spirit reigns in our lives. A gospel where we walk by faith and not by sight, where we are led by the Holy Spirit, not the mind, or the teachings of men.
When the LORD came to Adam and Eve in the garden, He did not come to condemn them, He came to save them from the works of the devil. First the LORD asked, "Where art thou?" (Gen. 3:9). Didn't the LORD know where Adam and Eve were? Certainly, He knew. He was trying to get their attention, that they might confess their sin, and return to the LORD God their creator. Then Adam answered, "I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself" (Gen. 3:10). The LORD, still trying to get Adam to confess his sin, asked, "Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?" Adam still did not confess his sin as sin, but tried to pass the blame unto Eve, saying, "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat" (Gen. 3:12).
The tree of the knowledge of good will always try to justify sin. Self-righteousness, based upon what another has done will not restore anyone to the favor or love of God. God is love, and not willing that any should perish, but Truth must be confessed. Christians cannot blame anyone else for their sins.
There is a big mistake made among many Christians, who blame Adam for their sins. Saying, Adam is our problem, he sold us out to the devil, he committed high treason, and Satan became the god of this world. That is a false statement, and anyone who is listening to the Holy Spirit and studying the Word of God will know that is not of God.
Yes, it is true. Adam sinned. As it says in Romans 5:12, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." This is true, but Christians should study the whole Bible, not go by one verse. We were all in Adam when he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, therefore sin and death passed upon all the descendants of Adam.
We can spend a lot of time blaming Adam for sin. But, why not look at the plan of God from God's point of view instead of man's. The Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). Adam's sin was already declared, "cleansed by the blood of the Lamb," before Adam was created.
Romans 11:32 says, "For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all." Unbelief is sin. God had concluded all mankind in sin that "He might save (by Grace through faith), those who come to Jesus." Galatians 3:22 says, "But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe." Adam could have been "saved by grace through faith" had he confessed his sin. But, because of the voice of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Adam did not confess his sin. In 1 John 1:9 it says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
We were all in Adam when he ate of the tree. We are all of the bloodline of Adam. Acts 17:26 tells us, the LORD God "hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth." Sin came through the blood-line all the way from Adam. Only Jesus, the Son of God, is not of the bloodline of Adam. Jesus is of the flesh-line of Eve, "born of the seed of the woman" (Gen. 3:15). Being born of the seed of the woman, Jesus was a man, with flesh and blood. He became the second Adam, or Man, that came into this world "without sin and death in Him." Adam was the first man in this world without sin and death. Adam was not "the son of God" as some teach. But he was created by the LORD God, and was without sin and death until he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Jesus came into this world, born of the Holy Spirit and woman. Being without sin and death, He became our righteousness. God "hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Cor. 5:21).
What Satan thought for evil, God used for our good. Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." For in Adam, all have sinned, that God could save by grace, those who come to Jesus and receive Him as LORD and Savior.
God is not condemning us for our past sins, nor for the sin that passed upon us from Adam on. God is not for death, He is for life, that we might have life in Christ Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 15:22 it tells us, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." The man of the flesh must die that the man of the Spirit can live forever. In the Spirit, there is no death, in the flesh there is no eternal life. We must go from the flesh to the Spirit, from life in Adam to life in Christ Jesus.
God's plan was always, that we would spend eternity with Him in heaven, praising and worshiping the Father and the Son before the throne of God. Satan had that position at one time, but he chose not to praise and worship God, therefore, he was cast down to the earth. Satan came from before the throne of God, down to the earth, and will eventually spend eternity in hell. We have an opportunity to go from sin and death unto eternal life, and spend eternity praising and worshiping the Father and the Son before the throne (Rev. 4:10,11, 5:12, etc.).
What Satan thought for evil in the garden of Eden, was for our good...for no man can be justified by his good works, or self-righteousness. Only by the righteousness of Jesus Christ can we be made righteousness. Only by the blood of the Lamb, can we be cleansed of all our sins.
It is sad that there are so many preaching a "sin gospel" rather than the true "righteousness gospel" that Jesus taught. Those who teach a sin gospel usually are the ones who get more involved in sin than many who never heard either gospel.
The "sin gospel" causes many Spirit-filled Christians to justify their sins and walk in unrighteousness, while walking after the flesh rather than after the Spirit (Rom. 8:1). They trust in the world and the world's system to supply all their needs, rather than in faith in God to supply all their needs. When they have a need, they turn to other Christians to supply their needs, rather than trusting in God as their only source for all their needs.
As they continue to preach their "sin gospel," they put others under condemnation when they are taken in a fault, rather than restoring them by bringing them back to the true gospel (Gal. 6:1-6). By this, many have departed from the faith and have gone following after other spirits (1 Tim. 4:1).
Jesus said in 12:32, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." If Christians would preach the true "righteousness gospel," and lift up Jesus, He will draw all men unto Him. The true gospel will set men free, whereas the "sin gospel" will put Christians under condemnation.
We must be careful as to which gospel we preach. For we will all give an account for the things we have taught in this life.
GOD IS NOT CONDEMNING MAN
Those who teach a sin gospel are always talking about sin in one form or another. They emphasize the need to make yourself perfect before God. Yes, we must purge ourselves from those things that are not pleasing to God (2 Tim. 2:19-22). But, if we will submit ourselves unto God and resist the devil he will flee from us (James 4:7). The right way to walk with God is to Love the LORD our God, submit ourselves unto the leading of the Holy Spirit, and resist the devil. Of our own ability, we cannot withstand the attacks of the enemy. But, with the whole armor of God, we can stand against the devil at all times (Eph. 6:12-18).
God is not condemning those who are His Children. God is for us, not against us (Rom. 8:31). He sent us His Word to live by. He sent us His Holy Spirit to Teach, Guide, Comfort, Lead, and Help us.
God is perfecting His children. We cannot make ourselves perfect. Hebrews 13:20,21 says,
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
God is perfecting us, by a work which He has begun in us, through Christ Jesus. In 1 Peter 5:10 it says, "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." God is going to perfect you, that is, "make you perfect!" Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." In Jude 1:24,25 it says,
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
God "is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy." Of ourselves, we are not able to present ourselves holy, unblameable before God. What we cannot do of ourselves God is doing for us in Christ Jesus by a work of the Spirit of God within us (Phil. 2:13). Philippians 1:6 says, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."
God is not condemning His children. Actually, it is the opposite. God is for us and the devil is the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10). As we look throughout the Bible we will see, God is for us, not against us (Rom. 8:31).
Look at when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden. The LORD did not condemn Adam and Eve. He even came to them in the cool of the evening, to talk with them after they sinned. After speaking to Adam, Eve, and the serpent, the LORD promised to come as "the seed of the woman" and destroy the works of the devil, that man could have eternal life "born again of the Spirit and the Word." That people could become "children of God" through the new birth, into the family of God.
Look what the LORD God said in Genesis 3:15, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Did the LORD keep His promise? He certainly did. He was born into this world of a virgin, became man, and took all our sins and iniquities, sickness and diseases upon Himself. Then He died and arose again from the dead on the third day. In 1 John 2:2 it says, "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." The sins of the whole world were laid upon Jesus, and He bore them for us.
God is not condemning people for their sins. God is setting us free of all sin and iniquity, by the blood of Jesus Christ. Through the blood of the everlasting covenant (Heb. 9:12, 15, 13:20).
Look at the time when Abraham did wrong, first in Genesis 12:13, Abraham, in fear of his life told Sarah to tell the Egyptians that she was his sister. He did this a second time in Genesis 20:2. In both cases, God did not condemn Abraham for lying. Then, also in Genesis 16, Abraham let Sarah talk him into having a child with her maid, Hagar. Sarah knew this was wrong, she admitted it in verse 5, saying, "My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom..." God never condemned Abraham for what he did, even though Christians have suffered much as a result of what Abraham did.
Many times the children of Israel did wrong in the sight of the LORD, yet He was always there to forgive when they came to Him. God is not condemning people for their wrong, He is always there to forgive when they come to Him. "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).
Yes, those who do not come to the LORD, when they fail, do pay a price for their sins. But it is not God that causes them to pay the price, it's themselves that bring about their own destruction. People condemn themselves by not coming to the LORD when they have done wrong.
In John 5:22 Jesus said, "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." In John 8:15, Jesus said, "Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man." Then in John 12:31 Jesus said, "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out." If you will notice what Jesus said, you will see that in the judgement of this world, it is Satan that is being judged, along with those who follow him. Therefore, God is not judging Christians. But people who will not receive Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior will be judged along with Satan.
People, no matter if they are Christians or not can do whatsoever they wish. The LORD will not stop them from doing whatsoever they want to. He didn't stop Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:6). He didn't stop Cain (Gen. 4:8), even though He spoke to Cain before Cain slew Abel, to try to warn him of the work of the wicked one. The LORD never stopped anyone from committing sin against Him. Whatsoever man desires to do, he can do.
But, be in mind of this, in John 12:47, Jesus said, "And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world." If we do not believe the words of Jesus, He will not judge us at this time. But, look what Jesus said in verse 48, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." On the last day, we will all be judged by the words that Jesus had spoken, and are recorded in the Bible.
It is important to understand, God is LOVE. And Love does not condemn. But, man condemns himself by not believing on the Son of God, who came, not to condemn but to save. King David said to Solomon in 1 Chronicles 28:9, "And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever."
God is love, and is doing everything He can to help us to gain and maintain our eternal life with Him forever. It is no longer up to God. It is up to us. Will we believe His Word, receive all that He has provided for us, and Love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength?
Christians can preach and teach a sin gospel if they want to; God will not stop them. Christians can also preach a righteousness gospel and God will not stop them; as a matter of fact, the Holy Spirit will help them if they preach a righteousness gospel. God has been teaching a righteousness gospel from the beginning of this creation, and is not going to stop. It is already settled in heaven, and will stand forever.
Yet, God can only save those who come to Him and receive Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior. The Tree of Life was in the garden for Adam and Eve to eat the fruit thereof. But, they did not take of the fruit and eat. Therefore, Genesis 3:22 says, "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever." Had Adam eaten of the Tree of Life, he would have lived forever. But, he had already taken of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, therefore, Genesis 3:23,24 tells us,
Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Notice, it says "to keep the way of the tree of life." "The way" means, "a course of life or mode of action." God had a plan for the tree of life, and at that time He was preserving the "the way of the tree of life," until Jesus came and paid the price.
The way of the Tree of Life includes that the Holy Spirit Lead, Guide, Comfort, Help, and Teach us. For spiritual things are not naturally understood. In 1 Corinthians 2:14 it says, "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."
All over the world there are people coming against the true gospel. These people do not understand spiritual things, for they are not naturally discerned. If we do not follow the plan of God from the beginning to the end, we could easily get over into eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If we eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, God will not stop us, but we could condemn ourselves. Not because God does not love us, but because we did not eat of the Tree of Life.
THE GOSPEL JESUS PREACHED
In the beginning of Jesus' ministry, He called to Himself twelve disciples, who were called apostles later. These men were not all Levites, of the tribe of Levi. They were of the Children of Israel, but unlearned men in the Scriptures. They learned from Jesus what the will of God was. The Pharisees and the Sadducees were the ones who should have known the Scriptures. And according to the Law of Moses many of them taught strictly from the Law. The Sabbath day was one of the main issues they used against Jesus.
When we understand the Law of Moses properly, it was a schoolmaster, to bring them to the knowledge of God. But it was not rules and regulations that should keep a person in bondage. The Law was good, in that, if a person lived according to it, they could prosper and be in good health (Joshua 1:8). But the Law could not take the place of a personal relationship with God. It helped them to have fellowship with God but they could not become born again by following the Law. They could not receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit by the Law.
When Jesus chose His disciples, He chose them based upon the will of the Father. Every one of Jesus disciples were given to Him by His Father (John 17:6,9). These disciples did what Jesus taught them to do. They cast out devils, cleansed the lepers, healed the sick, raised the dead, etc. They did not do these things according to the Law, they did them by grace through faith.
Jesus lived under the Old Covenant, but brought in the New Covenant. Much of Jesus' teaching was according to the New Covenant, sealed in His blood (Luke 22:20).
The New Covenant is different than the Old Covenant of the Law. Yet, the New Covenant was not a Covenant that did not exist until Jesus came and fulfilled the Old Covenant. The New Covenant came before the Law, and the Law could not change the New Covenant. Galatians 3:16,17 explains it this way,
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
The New Covenant that we have was already in effect at the time of Abraham. The Law could not change the New Covenant.
The New Covenant that was established with Abraham was based upon faith, not rules and regulations. The Law of Moses, which was rules and regulations could not change the Covenant of faith. The New Covenant is based upon "The just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:17, Gal. 3:11, Heb. 10:38).
Jesus taught His disciples to live by faith, not by the Law of Moses. Christians should understand this Covenant, for it is not something that God came up with after Jesus came into this world. It was established from the foundation of the world, even before Adam and Eve were created. God always honored faith as the means to obtain all that God has planned for man. Already in Genesis 4:3,4, we see that Abel brought an offering to the LORD, and it was accepted, because he offered it "by faith" (Heb. 11:4).
In Genesis 15:6, we see that Abraham "believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." Righteousness does not come by obeying the Law of Moses. It comes by faith, believing in what God has declared as done already from the foundation of the world. When we believe God, and what He has done for us in Christ Jesus, then it is counted unto to us as "righteousness."
The Law was only a schoolmaster until Jesus sealed the New Covenant with His blood (Luke 22:20). While Jesus hung on the Cross, knowing that all things were accomplished that the Scripture could be fulfilled, He cried out "it is finished" (John 19:20-30). Even though, "the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world," the Scriptures had to be fulfilled. Satan had to be judged, and defeated, by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Had the princes of this world (demonic spirits) known it, they would not have crucified the LORD of Glory (1 Cor. 2:8).
Christians must discern the Scriptures properly, rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2 Tim. 2:15). The price was paid from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). But the Scriptures had to be fulfilled, and the covenant sealed by the blood of the Lamb.
The Law of Moses was only a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might live by faith and not by our works of righteousness. If there was no law, there could be no understanding of the things that pertain to God and His righteousness. The Law of Moses teaches us the things of God and the things that are not of God.
Keeping the Law of Moses does not produce eternal life, but it keeps us from the powers of darkness, and helps us to walk in the Light of the Truth (1 John 1:6,7). If we live by the Law, we shall be judged by the Law (Rom. 2:12). But if we live by faith, we shall be justified by the faith of Jesus Christ.
Many of those who preach the Law are preaching a sin gospel, whereas those who preach faith are preaching a righteousness gospel. The Law cannot produce in us eternal life, but by faith we can receive eternal life and live forever with the LORD. It is not by our works of righteousness, but by what God has done for us in Christ Jesus.
When Jesus taught His disciples to follow Him, He taught them to "walk by faith and not by sight." Jesus never accused His disciples of sin. But He often rebuked them for a lack of faith. Sin was not the issue in the teachings of Jesus. Faith was the bases of Jesus' teachings. When the Pharisees accused Jesus of breaking the Law, Jesus rebuked them for not knowing the Love of God that came to set them free.
Jesus taught faith, in every way He could. He demonstrated His faith by the works which He did. Then He taught others to "walk by faith, and not by sight." By faith, Jesus rebuked the wind and calmed the sea. In Mark 4:39 it says, "And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm." Jesus, seeing a fig tree, having leaves and no fruit, rebuked it and it died. Mark 11:13,14 says,
And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.
And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.
It takes faith to speak to a tree and command it to die. Jesus taught His disciples faith by what He said and what He did. When they brought sick and lame people to Jesus, by faith, Jesus spoke words and they were healed.
Many times, Jesus commended certain people because of their faith. He told them, it was because of their faith that they were made whole. The woman, who had an issue of blood for twelve years, came with faith and touched Jesus' garment. Jesus said to her, "Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour" (Matt. 9:22). In Matthew 9:29, Jesus touched the eyes of two blind men and said unto them "According to your faith be it unto you." Then in verse 30 it tells us, "And their eyes were opened..." Mark 10 tells us of blind Bartimaeus. In verses 51,52 it tells us,
Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.
And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
In the beginning of Jesus' teachings, He "went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read" (Luke 4:16). Jesus read from Isaiah 61,
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 4:18,19).
Jesus did not come to condemn, He came "to preach the gospel," the good news. Jesus came to show us the love of God for all who will receive His Son and believe upon Him. God is Love, and Jesus came to show us the love of the Father. Jesus did not come to destroy the Law, He came to fulfill it for those who were under the Law. The Gentiles were never under the Law, only the Children of Israel were under the Law.
In Mark 1:14 it tells us, "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God." What is the gospel of the Kingdom of God? It is the good news, what man could not do, God did for us in Christ Jesus. It includes, not only what God had already done for us, but what God wants to do through us by the power of His Holy Spirit.. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13). It is not what we can do, it is what God wants to do in us and through us. The kingdom of God is the reign of God within us. God dwelling in man to do He good pleasure.
In preaching the gospel, Jesus told His disciples of the purpose for His coming. Matthew 16:21 says, "From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day." In Matthew 20:17-19 it says,
And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them,
Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death,
And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.
This was all prophesied before Jesus was born into this world.
Through His death and resurrection, He destroyed sin, death, and the devil who has the power of death. This, Jesus did, that we might have eternal life and have it abundantly. Jesus was our substitute. He bore our sins and death for us, that we could have eternal life. Jesus didn't come to condemn, He came to save.
This is all a part of the gospel that Jesus preached during His three and one half years of ministry. He came that we might have eternal life and have it abundantly. He came that we might drink of the water of life freely. In John 7:37-39 it says,
Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Although the works were finished from the foundation of the world, Jesus had to come that the Scriptures could be fulfilled.
Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom of God. Jesus fulfilled all Scripture that we might have eternal life in Him. He is the source of all life. Without Him, we would not exist. Without Him, we cannot have eternal life. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 6:14).
The gospel that Jesus preached is not a sin gospel. It is a gospel of the Good News of what God did for us in Christ Jesus. How Jesus took away the sin of the world, that we might have eternal life with the Father for all eternity.
Jesus did not come because of sin. Jesus came because the Father desired that people would inherit eternity with Him forever and ever. When sin came into the world, Jesus took responsibility for what Adam did and destroyed sin and death for us.
Unknown to many, Adam and Eve could have eaten of the Tree of Life before they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Had they eaten of the Tree of Life they would have had eternal life, regardless of sin or no sin. (There is not a Christian living today that does not have sin in their lives. Yet there are multitudes of Christians today that will spend eternity with God forever and ever). Sin did not stop God from fulfilling His purpose for creating man. When sin came into the world, Jesus defeated it, that we might not be lost but have eternal life in Him. Why are Christians preaching a sin gospel?
Now, let's look at the gospel that Paul preached. Remember already in 1 Corinthians 2:2 Paul wrote, "I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." So, what is the most important thing the world should know about the gospel? Paul preached the same gospel that Jesus preached. In 1 Corinthians 15:1 Paul wrote, "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand." From here on, Paul explains the gospel He preached.
By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1 Cor. 15:2-4).
This is the gospel that all Christians should know and understand. How that "Christ died for our sins...that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures."
As we continue in this fifteenth Chapter of 1 Corinthians, we see the arguments that arise. Yet, for us who believe the most important part is in, "Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept" (1 Cor. 15:20).
Now, let us see the gospel concerning sin in verses 21 and 22,
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Verse 22 is very important. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." Those who are not born again are not in Christ. They will die and spend eternity with the devil. But those who are in Christ shall be made alive.
Now let us compare this with 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, which says,
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
Adam did not have a spiritual body like those who are born again of the Spirit (John 3:5,6). Adam had not eaten of the Tree of Life. But all who are in Christ have a spiritual body, by which we are raised up with Christ to sit in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6). Galatians 3:22 tells us, "the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe."
We were all in Adam when sin entered into mankind. We all had sin and death resident in us. Adam was not spiritual, he was natural, of this earth. Jesus was spiritual, and came that we might have eternal life with Him in all eternity. Look at verses 45 through 49,
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
How can Spirit-filled Christians preach another gospel and say that Adam was spiritual. That Adam was "a spirit," with "a body" of flesh and "a soul" from God? Where does it say that in the Bible? How can they teach that "Adam was clothed with the glory of God." That God and Adam walked daily together in the garden of Eden, having perfect fellowship with each other.
Yes, Adam did hear the voice of the LORD God on the sixth day of creation, and again later in Genesis 3:8-23. On the sixth day, the LORD God spoke to Adam in Genesis 2:16,17. Adam named every living creature in Genesis 2:18-20. Adam prophesied concerning woman in Genesis 2:23-25. That is all recorded in the Bible. But, where are they getting their other information from that is not in the Bible? If it is in the Bible, where is it? If it is not in the Bible, why are Spirit-filled Christians teaching it? Where are they getting their information from? If it does not agree with Genesis 2:7, and 1 Corinthians 15:45-49 there is something wrong. If any teaching does not agree with the Scriptures from Genesis through Revelation, it cannot be from God.
But, let us see the rest of the gospel that Paul preached. The first of importance is verse 50, which says, "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." A person must first be born again of the Spirit before they can enter into the kingdom of God. Their body of flesh cannot inherit the kingdom of God. They must first have spiritual body to enter into the kingdom of God. After they are born again, the mystery of God is revealed to them as it is here in verses 51-57,
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The victory is not in ourselves, it is in our LORD Jesus Christ. It is not what we did or did not do. It is what God did for us in our LORD Jesus Christ. In Christ Jesus we are the righteousness of God. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Cor. 5:21).
Who is it that is preaching another gospel? To the Galatians, Paul wrote,
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Gal. 3:1-3).
The same gospel that Jesus preached is the same gospel that the apostle Paul preached. In Galatians 1:6-9 it says,
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
All of Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16). We must rightly divide the Word of truth, that we do not preach another gospel then the one the Jesus preached, or Paul preached, or any of the other writers of the New Testament. God does not speak very highly of those who preach another gospel.
Look at what the apostle John wrote in 1 John 1:6-9,
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
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.
We maintain our righteousness in Christ Jesus by following these verses in 1 John. Then in 1 John 2:1,2 it says,
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
It is what God has done for us in Christ Jesus, by His death and resurrection that the gospel us based upon. It is the blood of Jesus Christ that sets us free of sin and death. It is the blood of the everlasting covenant that God used to set us free. Look at 1 John 2:12, which says, "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake."
Now look at 1 John 2:13,14, what it says to those who are more mature.
I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.
I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
Now look at verses 25 through 27,
And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
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.
Don't let anyone seduce you into believing another gospel. The Holy Spirit, which abides in those who are baptized in the Spirit will teach you all things by the anointing within you. Don't let someone teach you another gospel. Abide in the Holy Spirit, and be taught by Him.
That doesn't mean we should not listen to those the LORD has called into the ministries of Apostle, Prophet, Teacher, Evangelist, or Pastor. They are given to us by the LORD,
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: (Eph. 4:12,13).
But, beware, there are many who say they are called, who say they are anointed to teach and preach the gospel. The anointing in you will help you to know those who are truly called of God and those who are false. Learn to listen to the witness in your spirit, and be led by the Holy Spirit, not your mind of the flesh.
Let us see more of the gospel from the Epistle of 1 John. In 1 John 3:1-3, which says,
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
We could continue on and on in the first Epistle of John, it all agrees with what Jesus taught and what the apostle Paul taught and all the other writers of the New Testament. Let us stay with the true gospel, the Good News that the Holy Spirit inspired to be written in the Bible. Let us not preach another gospel.
UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL THINGS
Christians need understanding of spiritual things. In the spirit realm there are "spirits," and there are "spiritual things." Spirits are beings, like angels, demons, etc. Spiritual things are what is used by spirits to operate.
Like in the natural world, physical beings are natural. They have a physical body and they operate in the natural world. To continue to live, natural beings must eat some sort of food, to sustain them, to replenish their natural bodies. They must exercise to build up their strength to do things. Yet, if you understand natural things, they are all made of the elements of the earth. Their source is the elements of the earth. Somewhere they must replenish these elements as they are used to sustain their life. It is simple, and easy to understand, once you understand natural things.
What about Christians? What must Christians do to maintain and sustain their lives? It helps if we understand both "spiritual" things and "natural" things. Therefore, let us first get some knowledge of "spiritual things."
God is Spirit! God is not "a Spirit," He is "Spirit." Many Bibles have translated John 4:24 incorrectly, and said "God is a Spirit." It is important to know what God said, and what some people have said God said; there is a big difference. Only that which God said is TRUTH! God is Spirit; meaning "God is omnipresent (in all places at all times), and God is omnipotent (having unlimited power and authority)." No other being is omnipresent and omnipotent. The devil and angels are not "spirit" (omnipresent and omnipotent). Angels and demons have spiritual bodies, that limit them to where they can be at any given time.
The devil is a created being, therefore he is "a spirit." He has a spiritual body and he has "spiritual powers greater than that of man." Therefore, he is also called "a god" in 2 Corinthians 4:4. He is not GOD, but he is "a god," "the god (theos) of this world." The Greek word "theos" means, "a deity; having powers greater than that of man." Deity means "the state of being a god; divine nature; godhood." The words "theos" and "deity" are usually associated with GOD, "the creator of all things, the supreme power and authority over all of creation." Yet, the Word of God tells us that the devil is also a god, "the god of this world" (theos, deity).
It is because the devil is "the god of this world" that Christians must understand "spiritual things." Christians cannot operate in the natural realm, the flesh, and do what God has chosen for them to do. It does not work, and it will never work. That is why, Christians are born again of the Spirit (John 3:6) and the Word (1 Peter 1:23). Christians are born again into "the Spirit of Christ." They were in the flesh, "in Adam," but being born again of the Spirit and the Word they are translated into "the Spirit of Christ"(Rom. 8:9). Being in Christ, Christians are a new creature. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it tells us, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
The word "Christ" in the Greek is "Christos" meaning "the Anointed One, or anointed." The Anointed One is "Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God." The name "Jesus" pertains to the Son of God, born into this world, in the flesh. Therefore, we could say the name Jesus pertains to "His humanity." The name "Christ" pertains to Jesus "the Anointed One." Therefore, we could say the name "Christ" pertains to His Deity.
We had living on this earth and in heaven, One person, "Jesus Christ," both humanity and Deity at the same time. Jesus, the Son of man has a physical body which He arose from the dead in. This same physical body is flesh and bones. In His body of flesh and bones He ate fish and honeycomb (Luke 24:42,43). In His body of flesh and bones He walked and talked with many people. In His body of flesh and bones He was taken up into heaven (Mark 16:19, Luke 24:50,51, Acts 1:9). Jesus is still the Son of God and the Son of man (the same person living at the same time). He did not stop being the Son of Man, and He still continues to be the Son of God. Jesus can appear in this world in a physical body at anytime He so desires. This is a spiritual truth that many cannot understand.
If Christians cannot understand this then they cannot understand "spiritual things." If Christians do not understand spiritual things, they will be defeated in this life here on earth. It is important to understand spiritual things, yet, 1 Corinthians 2:14 tells us, "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."
Christians need the help of the Holy Spirit to understand spiritual things. The reason so many Christians are defeated in their lives here on earth is that they do not understand spiritual things. They have not taken the time to receive "spiritual discernment" from the Holy Spirit. They operate according to their natural mind, the way people of the world operate from their natural minds. Until Christians learn the difference between the natural mind and the spirit of man, they will have difficulties in doing what the LORD wants them to do.
First, it is helpful to understand "man." What is man? If we believe what many Christians teach, we will never understand what God says about man. God's wisdom and knowledge is revealed in His Word. When men, using their natural understanding, try to understand spiritual things they get all kinds of ideas, which do not agree with the Word of God.
In the beginning, when the LORD God created man, Genesis 2:7 tells us, "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." The bodies of mankind were formed of the dust of the ground. Our bodies are of natural substance. Our bodies are physical, made of the elements of the earth. When the LORD God breathed "the breath of life," into the natural body of man, "man became a living soul."
Man is a three part being, "spirit, soul, and body" (1 Thes. 5:23). We must not get into error and believe those who teach from their natural minds. We must learn to believe GOD, what God said, not what man says. The spirit of man and the soul of man were both made up of "spiritual substance," whereas the body of man was made up of natural substance, the elements of the earth "dust of the ground."
GOD said, "man became a living soul." In 1 Corinthians 15:45, God repeats His Word by saying, "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul..." Many Christians want to believe what man says, and say "man is a spirit."
Let me insert some wisdom here: Never believe what man says, "only believe what God says." This is the most important thing any Christian can learn and do, "only believe what God says." But, we must be careful that what we believe God said, "it must be what God said, not what man says God said." There is a big difference between what God said and what man says God said.
What is a living soul? A living soul is that which has a life of it's own, it is created by the breath of the LORD God, and it will never cease to exist. It will live forever and ever. Life itself is a gift from God. When God gives someone a gift He never takes it back. The gifts and callings of God are without repentance (irrevocable) (Rom. 11:29). Man is a living soul, and the soul of man will continue to live throughout eternity, either with God (in heaven) or without God (in hell). Therefore, it is vitally important to understand spiritual things.
Man's "living soul," is made up of spiritual substance, therefore, it cannot be seen with the natural eye, felt with the natural feeling, (it is a separate identity, a part of the three parts of man, spirit, soul, and body). The soul of man, which is man himself cannot be seen with the natural eyes.
The spirit of man is also of spiritual substance, and cannot be seen with the natural eye, or felt with the natural feeling. The spirit of man is "in man." All throughout the Bible there is mention of the spirit of man being "in man." God speaks to man in "elementary language," but men try to impress others of their great knowledge, and use terms and definitions way beyond the normal learning of the average person. Even a child, with hardly any learning, knows that when something is "in" something, it is not the same as that which it is in.
As an example, when we have water in a bottle, "the water is in the bottle." The water is not the bottle and the bottle is not the water. When God says "there is a spirit in man" (Job 32:8), then man is not the spirit. It is so simple, that most highly educated men cannot understand it. "Spiritual things are not naturally understood" (1 Cor. 2:14).
Here is the GOOD NEWS! "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Cor. 15:22).
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly (1 Cor. 15:45-48).
Romans 8:9 tells us, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Therefore, being in Christ, makes us A NEW CREATURE! As it says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Cor. 5:17).
We must learn to believe GOD, not the teachings of men. When we believe GOD, Jesus said, "...all things are possible to him that believeth" (Mark 9:23).
GOD AS OUR FATHER
When we were born again of the Spirit and the Word we became "children of God," in Christ Jesus. As children of God, God is our true Father, and we are His true children.
What many do not understand is that, even though we are born again, that is born anew (born from above); we are still who we were from the beginning. That is, we are still the same living soul we were from Genesis 2:7, when the LORD God breathed into the nostrils of man and we became a living soul. At that time we were in Adam.
Being born again of the Word and the Spirit gives us a new birth in Christ Jesus. Upon our new birth we receive a new spirit which came down from heaven. This new spirit is in Christ, and the very life of God is in us. We are in Christ and Christ is in us. We are one spirit with the LORD. The Father dwells in us, the LORD dwells in us, the Holy Spirit dwells in us; therefore we are a New Creature in Christ Jesus.
This is all true, but we (of ourselves), are not a brand new being. We are still the same living soul that existed in Adam (Gen. 2:7). What actually happened was that our "living soul" was translated from the flesh of man to the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9). God's first creation of man was "natural man in Adam." God's second creation of man is "spiritual man in Christ" (1 Cor. 15:45,46). Being in Christ, God Word says we are "a new creature" (2 Cor. 5:17). What God says is true, even if we do not understand it in our natural mind. We were in Adam and now we are in Christ. But we are still that same living soul we were from the beginning.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Like some people, we can try to make the Scripture say something it does not say, or we can study the complete Scriptures from Genesis through Revelation and find out what it does say. It says "old things are passed away..." What old things is it talking about? At this time it is only speaking of those old things that have passed away. It did not say our living soul passed away. Then it says, "all things are become new..." What things became new? At this time, all that became new is our spirit (which is now in Christ). The time is coming when this mortal (physical body) will put on immortality and this corruption (in our living soul) will put on incorruption (1 Cor. 12:52-54). When that takes place then "All things will become new..." It doesn't say we became a new living soul. There is no place in the Bible that says man became a new living soul.
There is no place in the Bible where it says man is a spirit either. That is a false teaching. But, we did receive a new spirit which came down from heaven. That was prophesied already in Ezekiel 11 and 36. In Ezekiel 36:26 it says, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you..." This new spirit came into us when we were born again. Our old spirit passed away and we received a new spirit within us.
But look what it does say about Christians becoming children of God. It says in Ephesians 1:5, "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will." Adoption means "we were a living soul" before we were adopted. We did not belong to God before He adopted us "by Jesus Christ to himself." When God adopted us, we remained a living soul, but we gained a new Father. God became our Father through adoption. We became one of His children through adoption. It's that simple, yet false teachings throughout many in the body of Christ have confused many.
As an example, if a white father adopts a black child, the child is still a black child. The color of the child's skin did not change. Only, it has a new father who is a white person. When it was born it's father was a black person. Now that it has been adopted by a white man, it has a new father, a white father. Therefore, the black child has a new father, and the new father now has a new (adopted) child. It is so simple that these highly educated people in the ministry cannot figure it out.
Therefore, a person who was born into this world as a living soul, still remains a living soul. But when he is born again of the Spirit he is translated from the flesh to the Spirit. The person is still "a living soul," but his position has changed. Romans 8:9 says, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."
You are still you, but you have changed positions, you have changed fathers. God is now your Father and you are no longer in Adam, but you are in Christ.
You now have a new Father. You have a new Spirit, which came down from heaven (Ezek. 11:19, 36:26, John 17:16). God is now your Father, therefore, Jesus said in Matthew 23:9 "And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven."
God dwells in your new spirit, and you are one Spirit with the LORD (1 Cor. 6:17). The fullness of the Godhead dwells in you (Col. 2:9,10). God is in you and you are in God. In 1 John 1:5 it says, "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." In your spirit there is no "darkness at all." You are "perfect" in your spirit. God has made you perfect in your spirit, by His presence. But you still need to do something about your natural body and your mind. Therefore, Romans 12:1,2 tells us,
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We must renew our minds on the Word of God, that we can live like God lives, in the Spirit.
For Christians, who are born again into the family of God, we must learn how to live the way our new heavenly Father lives. We are members of His household, and we must adapt ourselves to live like He lives. We must grow up (in His family) into son's of God in Christ Jesus. God is waiting for His children to grow up and become mature. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Rom. 8:14).
Being that we are a new creature in Christ, we must learn how to live "in Christ!" When we were in the world, in Adam, we lived like the world lives. Now that we are in Christ, we need to live like Christ lives. The word "Christ" means "the Anointed One." We should live as "the Anointed One" lives.
First, let us find out how the Anointed One lives? In John 1:1 it says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." This is talking about Jesus, the Son of God, "the Anointed One." He was the Word in the beginning. He was with God. And He was God. So, how do you think He lives? By the Word of God, right? How could He live any other way? He is the Word, He is alive, He continues to be the Word. Therefore, it would be impossible to separate Himself from the Word of God.
If we study the life of Jesus throughout the Bible, we will find, He always was the Word of God. He always will be the Word of God. He lives by what He is and who He is, "the Word of God." In 1 Corinthians 15:49, it says, "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." Then in 1 John 4:17 it says, "... as he is, so are we in this world."
Now, let's back up a little into 1 John 3:1,2 and there it says,
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
God says, those who are His children are His sons. Even though it may not appear that way to us now. But, God has declared it so from the foundation of the world. "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love" (Eph. 1:4). Then in verse 5, it tells us, "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will." It pleased God to adopt us in Christ Jesus right from the foundation of the world.
Not only that, but it says in Colossians 2:9,10,
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
And ye are complete in him (in Christ), which is the head of all principality and power:
Christ is the head of all principality and power, and you are complete in Him. That also means, the Word of God (John 1:1) is the head of all principality and power, and you are complete in the Word of God. Colossians 3:3 says, "and your life is hid with Christ in God."
Did you know, the reason why Christians are still living a lowly "natural type of life" in this world? It is because they are struggling to get along, believing every wind of doctrine, and never coming to the Truth which is in Christ Jesus. In Christ Jesus, we are true children of God.
The devil, "the god of this world," has blinded the minds of many Christians, so that they try to live like the world lives and never get very far. They look to the worlds system, for all their needs, when God says in 1 Corinthians 6:17,18,
come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
When we live by the Word of God, then we will live as true sons and daughters of God, with God as our Father.
Now, we are children of God, sons and daughters of God the Father. God is our Father and we are His children. Let us learn how to live as children of God, in His Son, Christ Jesus!
THE WORD & THE SPIRIT
Jesus said to the devil in Matthew 4:4, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy 8:3. Deuteronomy 8:3 is also "prophetic." The natural man lives by bread (physical food). The spiritual man lives by the Word of God. The Word of God created the natural man in the beginning. The Word of God controls all natural things.
The "life of the flesh is in the blood" (Lev. 17:11). "The life of the spirit is in the Word of God." Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1). Jesus lives by the Word of God. The spiritual life of man is in Christ Jesus. John 1:4 says, "In him (Jesus) was life (zoe); and the life (zoe) was the light of men." Therefore, Christians do not "live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
The Word of God is also that which is written in the Bible (called the "logos" in the Greek) (John 1:1). The more we study the Word of God, we will see that "the Word of God" came before man, before the bread. The Word of God created the flesh (the natural man), in the beginning.
If Christians will get their attention off the things that were created and on the Creator, they will find a new and true way of living. A way that is above every other way. The way of eternal life in Christ Jesus.
Proverbs 16:25 says, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." The ways that seem right to man only lead to death. But the Word of God is always life, "eternal life..." In John 6:63, Jesus said, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." Jesus is actually speaking of the Holy Spirit that makes the Word come alive. Jesus' Words are made alive by the Holy Spirit, "they are spirit, and they are life."
Christians should speak the Word of God over every circumstance in their lives. The Word of God says, "...by whose stripes ye were healed" (1 Peter 2:24). "Were" is past tense. God is not going to heal us sometime in the future. He has declared in His Word that He has already healed us. When we speak His Word according to what He said, healing will manifest in our bodies. The healing is already done in the spirit realm. When we live by the Word of God healing manifests in the natural realm.
It does not make any difference what situation we are in, the Word of God is spirit and life to all who will believe it in their heart, while they speak it with their mouth. In Romans 10:8-10 it explains it, by saying,
But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved (delivered and protected).
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (deliverance and protection).
Romans 10:8-10 covers everything we have need of in this life here on earth. God will supply all our needs if we speak His Word over every circumstance we have in life here on earth. His Words are spirit, and they are life.
In the New Covenant, "the just shall live by faith." We put our total confidence in the written Word of God. We believe the Word of God in our heart. We speak the Word of God out of our mouth. We hold fast our confidence, until the Word of God manifests in the natural. Against hope, we believe in hope according to that which is written. When we are "fully persuaded that, what he had promised," He will perform it; the Word will manifest in the natural. Study Romans 4:17-21 and see how God honors faith when we are fully persuaded.
Jesus gave us the perfect example of living by the Word of God in Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13. Whatever the circumstance is, if in any way the devil is involved, we should speak the Word of God, even to quoting the Scriptures. In Matthew 4:4,7,10, Jesus quoted the Scriptures saying, "it is written," for each of the three recorded temptations of the devil. Each time the devil was defeated and changed the subject. After the devil could not get Jesus to do anything outside of the Word of God he left Him.
Christians should understand the authority they have in using the name of Jesus against the works of the devil. Luke 10:19 is written for our benefit. That we may know the authority we have in the name of Jesus. At that time the seventy were amazed that the demons were subject to them in "the name of Jesus." They did not realize that Jesus had given them that authority. Therefore, Jesus said, "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you" (NKJV).
This authority is given to every person who is "born again" into the family of God. Every Christian has authority "in Jesus' name" to trample on or subdue all "serpents and scorpions." This means anything that could harm us. When we use the name of Jesus over anything that would try to harm us, it's power is broken and it cannot harm us.
As an example, even a snake bite cannot harm us if we use the name of Jesus against the deadly bite of a snake. Even if we drink any deadly thing, it cannot harm us if we use the name of Jesus against it. (This only works when we believe in the power of the name of Jesus, and when it is used according to the Scriptures). It is not according to the Scriptures if someone uses the name of Jesus to tempt God. Therefore, we do not take up serpents to prove that if we get bitten the name of Jesus will protect us. That is tempting God. Jesus said, "It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God" (Matt. 4:7). Yet, as it happened to the apostle Paul on the isle of Melta, the vipers deadly bite did not cause Paul to die (Acts 28:1-6). Never tempt the LORD our God, but trust in the name of Jesus to deliver us when circumstances arise against us.
The important thing about the use of the name of Jesus is that it gives us authority "over all the power of the enemy." No matter what Satan (who is our enemy) tries, we have authority over whatsoever he does. There is nothing that Satan can do to a Christian who uses the name of Jesus against the works of the devil.
Sickness and disease are works of the devil. Therefore, Jesus said,
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover (Mark 16:17,18).
Notice this only applies to those who believe, not to those who do not believe. There are some Christians who do not believe, even though they are born again. The "god of this world" has blinded their minds, and they do not believe the words of Jesus.
But, for those Christians who do believe, the name of Jesus will work and Satan cannot stop the Word from working. At the same time, the name of Jesus only works against the powers of the devil. It does not work to control other people. You cannot use the name of Jesus to control the will of another person. You can only use the name of Jesus to destroy the works of the devil. If another person is being controlled by the works of the devil (demon possession or oppression, etc.), the name of Jesus will work to cast out the demon, or break the demons power over the person. Yet, the person has a free will and by their free will, they decide if they want to be free.
The name of Jesus works whenever we use it according to the Word of God. The name of Jesus works the best when we quote the Word of God along with using the name of Jesus.
In Matthew 4 and Luke 4 it was not necessary for Jesus to say to the devil, "in the name of Jesus." All Jesus had to say is "it is written." For Christians, believing in their heart and speaking with their mouth (using both "it is written," and "the name of Jesus," will work every time). Christians have authority to use the name of Jesus over all the works of the enemy, and nothing will hurt or harm them when they use that authority.
Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus is the Creator of all things. Jesus is the one Who has given us the authority to use His name. There is no demon or devil that can stand against the name of Jesus when it is used according to the instructions given to us by Jesus Himself.
THE FINAL END
As we search the Scriptures, especially the New Testament, we find certain verses which many do not understand and therefore, they pass them by, giving no thought to what it means. One of these is Matthew 7:21, which says, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." If we truly love the LORD our God, this verse should be very important to us.
Are we doing the will of the Father, or not? Some will say, "I know I'm doing the will of the Father because there is a great anointing on me for what I am doing." That is exactly the thing Jesus was talking about in the next verses,
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
No one can enter the kingdom of heaven because of the anointing. Each person must enter the kingdom of heaven by doing the will of the Father, which is the "good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Rom. 12:2). God does not have three wills, (1) good, (2) acceptable, (3) perfect. God only has one will and it applies to everyone without any respect of persons (God is not a respecter of persons).
The subject of Matthew 7:21 started already in verses 13 and 14, which says,
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Between verses 15 and 20 Jesus described those who Satan uses to prevent a person from entering "in at the strait gate, and narrow way."
It would take a book almost as large as the Bible itself, to identify all the ways Satan uses to try to prevent Christians from doing the will of the Father. But we must be aware of Satan's devices.
In Matthew 7:15 through 20 Jesus mentions those who claim to be called into the ministry, but are nothing but wolves in sheep's clothing. There are wolves that run alone, and there are wolves that run in packs. There are many who say they are called, and say God told them..., and say they are sent by God; but they are liars. The true anointing is not there. They say they are anointed and many who are not following the True Word of God, in the original Hebrew and Greek, are deceived by what they teach from English translations (man's ideas of what they think God said, or should have said). If we don't "study to show ourselves approved of God," we will easily be deceived by these false teachings (2 Tim. 2:15). We do not need the approval of man, but we do need the approval of God in our studies.
The teachings of men is not our problem. But if we follow the teachings of men, we will end up being deceived just as they are deceived. We must understand the Scriptures. We must have "revelation" from the "information" written in the Scriptures. Revelation of the Word of God only comes by a work of the Holy Spirit (He is our personal teacher). In 1 John 2:27 it says, "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." This does not eliminate the five-fold ministries, but it does help identify those who are truly called and anointed and those who are not.
Before we can understand Matthew 7:21, we must understand God's plan for man from the foundation of the world. God's total plan for man did not stop at being born again, and baptized in the Holy Spirit. That was only the beginning of God's plan for man. The end is eternal life in heaven, before the throne of God. But, there's a lot more between here and heaven that we should be aware of. In Matthew 24:11-13 Jesus said,
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
How many will "endure unto the end"? How many will continue in the love of God, "loving God the same way He first loved us"? God gave us everything that was precious in His heart when He gave us His only begotten Son. God only had one Son, who He called Jesus. How many Christians are willing to give everything precious to them, just to please God? How many Christians are willing to deny themselves, and lose their life, to obtain eternal life in heaven? Jesus said in John 12:25, "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." How many are willing to give everything they have pertaining to this world, including their life, just to obtain eternal life with Jesus forever and ever?
Be aware of this: In 2 Corinthians 4:4 it says, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." Did you know that the god of this world blinds the minds of Spirit-filled Christians, even those who are truly anointed and called to the five-fold ministries? Many have failed to fulfill their calling, being blinded by the god of this world.
Take an example from the Old Testament. Balaam became a true prophet of the LORD. He started out in false operations of the spirit, going to enchantments to hear from God (Num. 24:1). (Note: Numbers 22 through 24 are not necessarily in chronological order). Balaam was known by Balak as one who could put curses upon others and they would come to pass. That is why Balak called for Balaam.
Yet, the prophecies recorded in the Bible of Balaam were truly from the LORD. He became a true prophet. In Numbers 22:18 it says, "And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more." Balaam was already hearing from the LORD at this time. In Numbers 23:5 it says, "And the LORD put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak." In Numbers 23:8, Balaam said, "How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?" In Numbers 23:12, Balaam said, "Must I not take heed to speak that which the LORD hath put in my mouth?"
Balaam's downfall was not his prophecies, it was what he did in his personal life. Peter wrote, "Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness" (2 Peter 2:15). In Revelation 2:14, Jesus said, "But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication."
A person can be a true prophet, and all their prophecies can be true, yet, they can love the world and the things of this world more than they love the LORD. In doing so, they can lead many astray, following them rather than following Jesus.
Never follow a person, only follow Jesus, by the anointing of the Holy Spirit within you (1 John 2:27). It doesn't make any difference who the person is, the Bible only teaches us to follow one person and that is Jesus.
Christians need "revelation" from the written Word of God, that they may know the Truth, and not be deceived by the enemy. In 2 Corinthians 4:4 it tells us, "the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." If Christians don't study this verse in the Greek and find out what it says, they can easily be deceived.
The word "god,"speaking of Satan is the exact same word in the Greek as the word "God," speaking of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Satan has powers that man does not have and never did. Adam was not the "god" of this world. Satan did not get man's dominion when Adam sinned. Adam was not spiritual, before he sinned.
Satan is the "god," (theos-divine) of this age (aion, meaning, from Genesis 1:2 until he is bound for a thousand years (Rev. 20:2)). As the "god of this world," Satan blinds the minds of all those who do not believe the truth concerning "the glorious gospel of Christ." Man does not have the power to blind the minds of others, and God does not blind the minds of people. Only Satan has that power. Adam did not have that power and man never did have that power.
Christians have seen "some of the light" of "the glorious gospel of Christ," and in doing so they have become born again, and some have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. But, everyone is still blinded in part by the "god of this world." If they were not, it would not be necessary for "this corruptible to put on incorruption" (1 Cor. 15:53,54). When our minds are totally in agreement with God, "this corruptible shall have put on incorruption." When we are not in total agreement with God our minds are still partly corrupted by the god of this world.
Galatians 6:7,8 says,
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
The flesh is the natural man, the desires of the natural man (the outward man) (2 Cor. 4:16). In 1 John 2:15,16 it says,
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
If there is any part of this world the we love, or anything in this world that we love, our minds have been blinded by the god of this world. We cannot please God if we love the world or the things that are in the world.
The glorious gospel of Christ does not focus upon the world, or the things of this world. The glorious gospel of Christ focus' upon God's plan for us and mankind in general. That is, that we walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. That we desire the things that are above and not the things on this earth. Colossians 3:1,2 says,
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
The "god of this world blinds the minds" of everyone and anyone who is not willing to lay down their lives for the LORD, and seek those things which are above, not those things which are on the earth.
In Luke 6:46, Jesus said, "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" We must search the Scriptures and study to show ourselves approved unto God in order to do the things the LORD said we should do.
People are not our enemy, the devil is our enemy. And for the most part the devil deceives us by blinding our minds to the glorious gospel of Christ.
The New Covenant says, "The just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:17, Gal. 3:11, Heb. 10:38). The faith the Bible is talking about is "faith in God and what He has done for us in Christ Jesus." It is not speaking of faith in what we can do; or what we can convince others to do for our benefit. It is total faith in God, not in man. Whatsoever we have need of, we are to ask God for it, not people. If God wants to use people to supply what we have need of, it is up to God not to us. We must put our faith in God and in His Word, not in man and what man says God said.
If we love God, then we will do what God says to do, not what man says to do. We will be led by the Holy Spirit, not the flesh or the natural mind. We will sow to the Spirit, and reap of the Spirit eternal life. Jesus said, "he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved" (Matt. 24:13). We must know the will and plan of God for lives if we are to endure unto the end.
We are told in 2 Timothy 2:15, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Just reading the Scriptures is not studying them. There is a big difference between studying and reading. If we want to "rightly dividing the word of truth," we must study not just read.
To help those who do not study the Scriptures let me make a suggestion. When we read Romans 1:18, it says, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness." Those who just read this verse and the following verses seem to just pass them by, not realizing they are speaking of Spirit-filled Christians, upon whom the wrath of God is revealed against. This is serious business for Spirit-filled Christians, yet very few even understand that it applies to them.
If we want to "endure until the end," we should understand what the remaining part of this chapter is telling us. First, God is "against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness." The result of the wrath of God against those is that, unless they repent and turn from that which is not pleasing to God, He could "gave them over to a reprobate mind." Once that happens there could be a case of no return for that individual. That's bad, very bad for that individual.
So it is very important to study these verses of Romans 1, and understand what God is trying to tell everyone. Look closely at the reason why God would "gave them over to a reprobate mind"?
In Romans 1:21 it says, "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful..." This is important for all Christians, Always "glorify God, and always be thankful for what He has done for us in Christ Jesus." There are many people alive today who will not spend eternity in heaven. We should always be thankful to the LORD for what He has done for us. We should always be thankful for "the Gospel." We should make it a point to "glorify God and be thankful" everyday of our lives.
When we consider the amount of time in eternity and the amount of time we have here on earth, we should be very thankful for "the gospel of Jesus Christ." We should "glorify God" in everything we do, wherever we are. He is worthy to be glorified and thanked for all He has done and is doing in our lives.
Then in Romans 1:28 it says, "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind..." We should never get ourselves in a position where we do not "retain God" in our knowledge. Many Christians almost forget about God until Sunday morning. All week long they just keep doing what they do, not giving any thought about God. That is very bad. God should be on our mind every day all day long. We should never forget God in any area of our lives.
These areas in our lives is what causes many Christians to drift away from the wonderful fellowship they should be having with the Father and the Son (1 John 1:5.6). Fellowship with God daily, everyday, is very important to every Christian. A lack of fellowship with God can open the door for Satan to attack our minds and bodies.
One other thing that Romans 1:18-32 is pointing out, is that, if we continue to be thankful and glorify God in our daily lives, He will protect our minds against the works of the devil. God is always trying to protect our minds against "the god of this world" from blinding our minds to the glorious gospel of Christ. By our daily glorifying God and being thankful, it helps the Holy Spirit to keep us from the powers of Satan.
If Christians will "Glorify and thank God, and retain Him in their minds daily," God will protect us from the works of the devil. Satan will have no place in our lives. That's the way it should be everyday of our lives here on earth.
This is not the end, it's only the beginning for those who will deny themselves and pick up their cross and follow Jesus. In John 12:25, Jesus said, "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." Will you be one of those who will follow Jesus all the days of your life? You can, He made it all possible, "let him that is athirst come. that whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Rev. 22:17).
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