The Revelation that Brings Salvation

Bookmark/FavoritesFacebookTwitterGoogle GmailEmailYahoo MailLinkedInPrintShare

“Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.’” (Mat 16:16-17)

 

Journal,

When Jesus asked the apostles who people said that He was, they spoke of the Old Testament prophets. When He ask them who they thought He was, Simon Peter responded, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

What is happening here is a prophetic portrayal on how salvation would be found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Actually Peter did not arrive at this revelation on his own. Jesus said the Father had given Peter the revelation, and that upon this revelation He would build His church.

Thus Jesus said, “Upon this Rock [the revelation of His divine Sonship] I will build My church.” 

Actually there really is a play on words here. Peter’s original name is Simon. After Peter receives the revelation from the Father, the Lord calls him, ‘Little Stone.’ (The term for ‘Peter’ [Pétros] in Greek always means a stone and never a rock.)  But when the Lord said, ‘Upon this Rock I will build My church,’ he was not talking about Peter. The word He used for ‘Rock’ relates to a mass of rock or a cliff. It is never used for a stone.

The church would be built upon a revelation given from heaven that Jesus Christ is the true Son of God.

 

The Struggle Over the Son

Someone wrote me about their confusion of their being a Father and a Son in the godhead. Perhaps it is a mystery to be understood with the heart. However, the idea of God having a Son was not lost with the Hebrew people. It can be found in their ancient writings.

The Hebrew people were taught that in God was a mystery sometimes called, ‘the Son,’ and often time called ‘the Word’. They believed that God’s Son ‘the Word’ had made appearances in the earth throughout the generations of man.

You find these early beliefs not only in the Bible but also in the writings of Philo, in the Targums, and in a number of other extra-Biblical writings.

The Targums were the Hebrew Scriptures loosely translated into Aramaic. Aramaic was the common language of the Jews both before and after Christ. Hebrew was the temple language. It is from the Aramaic Targums that we hear what the people were being taught. Here are examples:

Genesis 1:1: “From the beginning with wisdom the Memra of the Lord created and perfected the heavens and the earth.”

The Neofiti Targum actually has it this way; “From the beginning with wisdom the son of the Lord created and perfected the heavens and the earth.”

The term ‘Memra’ is the Aramaic word that translates into Greek as ‘Logos.’ It means ‘Word.’

 

More from the Targums 

Keep in view that while the Greeks used the term ‘Logos‘, the Hebrews used the term ‘Memra‘. They meant the same thing. Memra was the Jewish way of relating to the unseen God, in saying that the Most High God did all His personal communication and revelation through the one called ‘the Memra.’

Here are a few more samples from the Targums. Every time you see the term Memra, simply think Logos, or the Word, or think, ‘Jesus’ Himself.

Gen1:27 – “And the Memra of the Lord [Word of God] created the man in his own likeness; in a likeness from before the Lord he created him; male and his partner he created them.”

Gen2:8 – “And the Lord God had planted a garden in Eden from the beginning and he placed there the first Adam.” (Recall how Paul spoke of the first and the last Adam.)

Gen3:8 – “And they heard the sound of the Memra of the Lord God walking within the garden in the breeze of the day…”

Gen12:7 – “And the Memra of the Lord was revealed to Abram and said to him: ‘To your sons I will give this land.’ …”

Gen15:6 – “And Abram believed in the name of the Memra of the Lord and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”

 

 A Clear Testimony from Philo 

Now let’s consider the writings of Philo. Philo took what the Hebrews believed and translated it into the primary lingua of the time, which was Greek. Philo was contemporary with the origins of Christianity. Anyone who reads Philo will hear the same language being used by John and Paul.

As Philo was presenting the Judaism of His day into Greek, notice very carefully some of the terms he used with regard to the Words of God. (Some are Targum terms.)

The Logos, the King, Shepherd, High Priest, Covenant, Rider on the Divine Chariot, Archangel, Firstborn Son, the Beginning, the Name, He who sees, the Form, the Glory, the Shekinah, and the Messenger of Great Counsel.

There are other terms, but this gives an idea of just how very Hebraic the New Testament really is. We find some of these terms used by the apostolic writers.

But there was a statement by Philo that has caused much consternation among rabbinic Judaism. Philo wrote,

“For nothing mortal can be made in the likeness of the Most High God and Father of the Universe but only in that of the second God, who is His Logos.”

Philo was not using the expression ‘second God’ with a view to many gods, but rather in the sense of God who can and has been seen, with God who cannot be seen.

There was the belief in a noted distinction between what was called Yahweh Most High, and the lesser Yahweh, or, the Memra. This distinction had to do with God coming forth from God, which brings us back to all the many terms used to describe God who has and can be seen.

Hear it from Jesus:

“You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” (Joh 14:28)

 

 

Testimony of Early Church Writers

You find much of these early Jewish concepts not only in the New Testament writings, but also in other writings of the early church believers. Here are sampling from the Ante-Nicene writings:

[Epistle to Diognetus a.d. 130] “…God Himself, who is almighty, the Creator of all things, and invisible, has sent from heaven, and placed among men, Him who is the truth, and the holy and incomprehensible Word…”

And,“As a king sends his son, who is also a king, so sent He Him; as God He sent Him; as to men He sent Him; as a Saviour He sent Him…”

[Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians 30-107 a.d.] “…there is one God, who has manifested Himself by Jesus Christ His Son, who is His eternal Word…”

[Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians] “…there is but one unbegotten Being, God, even the Father; and one only-begotten Son, God, the Word and man…”

[Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp] “Look for Christ, the Son of God; who was before time, yet appeared in time …”

I realize this may seem weighty but it helps us relate to much of what is written in the New Testament.

To believe and accept that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God is the crucial element of salvation. To believe in Him is to receive Him as your Lord and Savior.

 

The Hidden Mystery

Yes, the ancients knew there was a mystery in God that was hard to grasp. Paul often spoke of this mystery. It also gives us pause to listen to Jesus when He said,

“Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory I had with You before the world was.” (John 17:5)

And again,

“What if you should see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before.” (John 6:62)

The early Jewish believers took what was commonly taught in Judaism of the day, and brought Jesus into the picture. This allows us to see how much of the ancient theology of the Jews was on course with the truth of Jesus Christ.

There is no question that the early Jewish Christians saw Jesus as the answer to what had been long believed among them. This was the ancient faith realized. And this was the mystery Paul said that contained all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

And so the Christian faith in its simplicity and purity of devotion to Jesus Christ is the true religion of heaven. Does this not cause us to appreciate John 3:16, which says,

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

The bottom line is not how you wish to depict your beliefs of the godhead. Christians know there can only be one true God. We have been monotheistic from the beginning. The issue at hand is whether you have confessed and received Jesus Christ as the Son of God, your Lord and Savior.

 

Do You Have the Revelation

Peter made the confession when he said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’

How important is this revelation? Does God really have a Son? You must decide this for yourself. The religion of Islam has already decided. On the temple mount you will find these words written inside the golden dome; ‘God has no son.’ [Did you know that Islam can be identified with the antichrist religion?]

This is what the apostles wrote:

2Pe_1:17  “For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”—

 

1Jn_1:3  “What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.”

 

1Jn_2:22  “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.”

 

1Jn_2:24  “As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.”

 

1Jn_4:14  “We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.”

 

2Jn_1:3  “Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.”

 

2Jn_1:9  “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.”

While you think on these things, please take time for this song…

 

 

What do you believe?

Buddy

Can You Find Your Way Home

Bookmark/FavoritesFacebookTwitterGoogle GmailEmailYahoo MailLinkedInPrintShare

“For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” (2Co 4:6-7 nasb)

The Light of the World by John P.C..

 

Journal,

Sometimes I find it very worthwhile to reaffirm an earlier journal entry. This entry draws largely on an entry that I provided in March, 2011. It was titled, ‘Finding Your Way Home.’ (Year and a half ago.)

The apostle Paul said that all believers in Jesus Christ have a  ‘surpassing [divine] power’ in their hearts, and that we must learn to live by that power and not by our own soul’s self powers. Each apostle tell us the same thing,

John says,

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1Jn 4:4)

 

The apostle Peter adds,
 
“[We] who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1Pe 1:5)

 

Living in the Glow of Jesus

But before I go further I want to give a better perspective on why Paul called attention to the opening of Genesis, where God said, “Let there be Light.” Paul is saying that it is this Light that is now shining in the heart of every true believer. (2Co4:6)

Paul is doing is drawing on an ancient belief among God’s people. They believed that when God said,“Let there be Light,” this was the original Light that that creation was to live by. The ancients called this Light, ‘the Light of Life’. Jesus Christ by AshraFekry.

The Hebrew people had other names for the original Light. They said that ‘Light‘ is one of the names of Messiah, in that God Himself is called ‘the Light of the world.’

Even the term ‘sun‘ was sometimes used metaphorically to speak of God and His Messiah.

You hear a bit of this from the Prophet Malachi:

“But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.” (Mal 4:2)

 

God’s ancient people fondly held to Isaiah, where the Almighty speaks of His Messiah:

 

“I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, and I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon and those who dwell in darkness from the prison.” (Isa 42:6-7)

Now let’s take this on and talk about…

 

The Light that shines in the darkness

Jesus Christ by AshraFekry.

When Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world,” His words did not fall on unknowing ears. Many of the Jewish leaders knew exactly what Jesus was drawing from, and they did not like it.

While His words fell on those unbelieving ears that loved the darkness, they also fell on believing ears.

Those in Israel who believed in Jesus were being prepared to enter into God’s new creation. Jesus called His kingdom, ‘a kingdom not of this world.’

This new world would be the heavenly Israel of God, that is, God’s holy people, the church of the new covenant. (This is what the analogy of the Vine and the branches is about. The Vine represents God’s true heavenly Israel.)

It would be a world of pure grace. It would be a world of unqualified love. This new world life would have its beginning stages in this present life but would culminate in the life to come. This life would be a journey of life. We are on our way home.

 

The Powers of the Age to Come

This is why the apostolic writers said that true believers today are actually partakers of the powers of life that belong to the age to come. Paul said that we have this treasure in earthen vessels.

Listen to the apostle John:

“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. …

“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (Cf. John 1:5-14 NASB)

What does this have to do with ‘finding our way home? Good question. This brings us to…

 

The Redeemed Believer

Fixing Our Eyes on Jesus

When a person is born again a number of things happens. As the Light of Jesus enters into the believer’s heart, the Christian is given a new nature. But a problem remains. The believer becomes a spiritual being. Yet his or her personal life (soul) has to be redeveloped with spiritual values. And this is where the believer must learn to focus his attention on Jesus.

Here what often happens. When a new believer first enters the realm of salvation, there is a burst of spiritual life. There is joy! There is peace! There is wonderment! Grace flows like a river. Then somewhere along the way this feeling of joy may start to wane. Temptations begin to cloud the mind. The struggle of life becomes more difficult. A stumble. Another stumble, and then?

What is happening? Paul said that believers must learn to draw on that ‘surpassing power’ that is part of our inheritance in Christ. (Our spiritual DNA.) This is a learning experience. The believer who fails to keep his focus on Christ, is going to have many mistakes, misdeeds, and extra bits of misery in life.

 

The Greater is He, Principle

And this is why it is so important to understand this principle of Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.’ 

The principle of ‘greater is He’, doesn’t just disappear because we had a failure or even a hundred failures in our life. It is a truth that needs to become an active principle in each believer’s walk with the Lord.

The Old Testament writer said:

“But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.” (Pro 4:18)

The Light Shines on the Path of Life

This is also where we need to understand what the term ‘truth‘ means in the new covenant experience. In the Scriptures, the term ‘truth’ does not refer simply to a doctrine. The Greek term  is used in the new covenant for experiencing the realities of Christ. Paul said the letter kills where the Spirit gives life. No believer can live in victory by trying to live by the letter. Yet it is so easy for a Christian’s life to get bogged down in ‘letterism’.

Letterism says we need all the laws we can get to get saved and to stay saved! This is bad thinking. Paul said that every person born of God’s Spirit remains eternally under the life supervision of the Holy Spirit. This means that every failure we make will be attended to by the Spirit of God.

It is the Spirit of God who births us, seals us, tutors us, educates us, places us where we need to be, refreshes us, turns our trials, temptations, and failures into victories, helps us escape bad teachings, keeps the glory of Jesus before us and in us, and many such things. Our final presentation in heaven is a thing of the Spirit.

This is what truth is all about. Jesus explained this in His response to Thomas:

 

“Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?’

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’” (Joh 14:5-6)

 

 

The Redeemed person is a son or a daughter

Our relationship with the heavenly Father is not that of a servant. We are sons and daughters of the living God. Angels know and recognize the Holy Spirit’s seal upon every one of God’s children. The seal says, ‘Sealed for the day of redemption.’ (Eph4:30)

The Holy Spirit is to present us safely before the throne of God. This work of the Holy Spirit is so powerful, that He can and does take every situation of our life, and turn it into part of our reshaping in Christ. This is why the apostle said,

 

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8:28)


 

Paul also says,

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image (inward spiritual likeness) from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” 2Co3:18

 

The question is not, ‘How do we find our way home?’

Yes, the title of this blog could be challenging. That was simply to get your attention. No believer has to find his way home. You are on your way home. You are already guaranteed an entrance into heaven. Believe it or not, your name was recorded in the Lamb’s book before the foundation of the world.

So when God said, ‘Let there be Light,’ that statement reached across prophetic history and at the right moment, that Light entered into your heart. And inside you were given a shining heart.

Now, can you let your soul relax in the knowledge that Jesus is going to see you through? Can you let go of bitterness? Can you lay your past failures and mistakes where they belong? In the sea of forgetfulness.

Can you be quiet in His rest?

Can you take to heart what David said in this ascending Psalm? Listen:

O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me. O Israel [Christian], hope in the LORD from this time forth and forever.” (Psa 131:1-3)

 

Please take time for this song – It may be your answer for today and for forever…

In Christ always,
Buddy

The Wisdom From Above

Bookmark/FavoritesFacebookTwitterGoogle GmailEmailYahoo MailLinkedInPrintShare

“But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

“And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (Jas 3:14-18)

“Does not wisdom call, and understanding lift up her voice? … ‘To you, O men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of men. … Listen, for I will speak noble things; and the opening of my lips will reveal right things. For my mouth will utter truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.’” (Pro 8:1-7)


 

Journal Readers,

This is an entry that you would do well to follow all the Scriptures given. There is nothing more important to believers than to learn to draw on their heavenly life. This heavenly life is in the Scriptures as, the wisdom from above.’

I have a deep concern for many who call themselves Christian today and yet their entire life appears as a contradiction to that term. With some the attitude seems to be, I plan to be saved, I just don’t want God to interfere in my lifestyle.’ The problem is that their lifestyle is bringing ruin into their life.

It is never my point to question a person’s salvation in Christ. If someone tells me that they believe in Jesus Christ, I take that at face value. Nor do I wish to discourage anyone who is struggling over a life issue.

I know that God’s grace is greater than anything we may face in life. We all have our temptations and failures. Having a failure in life does not mean the person is not saved. However, there is an element in our salvation that needs to taken more to heart. It is found in the one word, ‘wisdom.’

Wisdom essentially means how to live. So, let’s talk about this wonderful mystery called ‘the wisdom from above.’ 

 

The Books of Wisdom

There are five books in the Old Testament that are called ‘Wisdom books.’ These books are Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon.

To God’s ancient people ‘wisdom’ was a mystery. Wisdom not only meant skillful living, but it meant directives from God. Very early on the sages saw a close connection between God’s wisdom and Light, God’s power and His Word, and with a special view to the coming Messiah.

We see this in David’s prophetic writings.

“For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.” (Psa 36:9 NASB)

In this next Scripture we see the hidden Christ as the fountain of life. We also see a reflection on this, when Jesus said,

I am the Light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12)

David knew that the true wisdom for life could only be found in the heart of God. This is why it is said that David was a man after God’s heart. Actually there were certain things hidden in God that could only be revealed after the cross. David also knew this. And Wisdom was one of the things that was hidden in God.

 

A Wisdom Hidden in God

God’s ancient people always connected wisdom with rightness of life. Righteousness to them was defined as ‘right-wise-ness’. Yet wisdom still remained such a mystery.

Listen to Job:

“But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man does not know its value, nor is it found in the land of the living. The deep says, ‘It is not in me’; and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’ Pure gold cannot be given in exchange for it, nor can silver be weighed as its price. It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx, or sapphire.

“Gold or glass cannot equal it, nor can it be exchanged for articles of fine gold. Coral and crystal are not to be mentioned; and the acquisition of wisdom is above that of pearls. The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, nor can it be valued in pure gold.

‘Where then does wisdom come from? And where is the place of understanding? Thus it is hidden from the eyes of all living and concealed from the birds of the sky. Abaddon and Death say, ‘With our ears we have heard a report of it.’ God understands its way, and He knows its place.” (Job 28:12-23 NASB)

Did you catch it? The wisdom of God is not an earthly wisdom. It is a wisdom that is hidden in God Himself. It is a heavenly wisdom.

Keep the term ‘hidden wisdom’ in view. This heavenly hidden wisdom is going to reappear in the new covenant writings.

 

Wisdom Found in Creation

The wisdom of God was also connected with creation.

“The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding He established the heavens.” (Pro 3:19 NASB)

To the ancients this wisdom from God also spoke of salvation and the coming Redeemer:

 “The LORD is exalted, for He dwells on high; He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness. And He will be the stability of your times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is his treasure.” (Isa 33:5-6 NASB)

Now see where Job speaks of the coming Redeemer:

“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; whom I myself shall behold, and whom my eyes will see and not another. My heart faints within me!” (Job 19:25-27 NASB)

It is important to keep in mind that Wisdom in the Bible always connects with the very life of God.
Which brings us to…

 

Jesus the ‘hidden wisdom’ of God

When Adam sinned against the Lord, he forfeited his life & his wisdom connection with God. Mankind would enter a world dominated by darkness & death.

The ancient sages taught that the original light of creation was to give wisdom for humanity to live by. When Adam rejected God’s command, the light of wisdom was hidden. They taught that this hidden wisdom would only come back with the Messiah.

This is where the New Testament writings open up. Most Hebrew people would have understood what John was writing, when he said:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Himwas life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (Joh 1:1-5 NASB)

To a Jewish reader all these statements about the ‘Word’, spoke to them of the Messiah.
The terms ‘light’ and ‘darkness’ are expressions that distinguish between those born of heaven and those who are yet in sinful darkness of this present world.
Pay close attention to the following Scriptures:

“At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise [worldly wise] and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.’” (Mat 11:25 NASB)

 

“… giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col 1:12-14 NASB)

 

“…rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.” (Act 26:17-18 NASB)

 

“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light.”(Eph 5:6-8 NASB)

 

“To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.” (Eph 3:8-10 NASB)

 

“Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1Co 2:6-8 NASB)

 

Now we have the need to…

 

Draw on our heavenly wisdom

Paul explains that maturity in Christ actually involves learning to live from the wisdom that comes from above. The moment a person is born again they become a citizen of heaven. This means that all our resources in life, all our directives in life, and all our wisdom and skill in life are to come from a heavenly source.

 

Take note of these Scriptures:
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Col 3:1-3 NASB)

 

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Mat 6:33 NASB)

 

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Php 3:20 NASB)

 

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Eph 5:15-17 NASB)

Now keep in mind how James describes our heavenly wisdom:

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (Jas 3:17-18 NASB)

 


Don’t live beneath your privileges.

Don’t let others do all their thinking for you. You will often hear me say this but it is worth repeating -
- Jesus did not come to give us a better religion. And while we should thank the Lord for our placement in the body of Christ, always keep in mind that Jesus came to give us a direct relationship with the heavenly Father. Jesus came to teach us how to live from our heavenly life. -
How do I learn to live in my heavenly life? You ask! Jesus said everyone who asks, receives.
James said some other things about our wisdom from above. If you want to live in God’s wisdom, then you must be a true believer.

 “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

 

“But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.

 

“For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (Jas 1:5-8)

 

So, now is the time to begin. Don’t be double-minded. Take the yoke of Christ to yourself. Do it as an act of faith.

Make a quality decision where you can say without condition, ‘Father, not my will but Yours be done.’

Out of this decision will come a step-by-step walk with the Lord. This is how we actually draw on His strength and on His wisdom for life.

Listen to this song. The Lord wants to speak to your heart.

 

 

In Christ always,
Buddy

The Kingdom of God’s Beloved Son

Bookmark/FavoritesFacebookTwitterGoogle GmailEmailYahoo MailLinkedInPrintShare

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly that this great nation was founded — not by religionists — but by Christians . . . on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Patrick Henry

 

“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian Nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

– John Jay, our first Supreme Court Justice

 

“The destiny of America is to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ to all men, everywhere.”

– John Adams, Second President of the United States

 

 “My views…are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection, and very different from the anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions.

“To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others.”

– On April 21, 1803, Thomas Jefferson wrote this to Dr. Benjamin Rush (also a signer of the Declaration of Independence)

 

Journal,

Have you ever wondered why the United States became such a great nation in the earth? America’s greatness links directly to our Christian heritage. Most every signer of the declaration of independence openly declared their faith in Jesus Christ. Fifty-two of the fifty-six signers were deeply committed Christians. Three others accepted the Bible as divine truth and that God was personally involved in both His creation and in the forming of this new nation.

The first act after signing the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress was to buy 20,000 Bibles for the people of this new nation. So, is there any question that America was founded on Christian principles? Certainly not.

Foremost in the minds of our founders was to create a nation without an established religious system, and yet would draw its strength from the Christian faith. They knew that a walk with the Lord was very personal, that the Bible was a book of redemption, and that in Christ alone could men find true freedom.

They also knew that man-made religion almost always degenerates into man-controlled institutions. This nation was formed by people who had escaped from tyrannical religious systems.

Thomas Jefferson said it well enough:

“To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others.”

This accords with what the apostle John said about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ:

“And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” (1Jn 5:11-12)

What is it about the Bible that drew the hearts of our founders? Let’s see if we can get on the same page.

 

The Bible and the Kingdom

Our founders knew that the Bible was not an ordinary book. The Bible came to us from heaven by the pens of godly inspired writers. They knew that only by accepting the sovereignty of God could this nation be truly blessed.

The Bible has to do with God’s kingdom rule. And it has to do with man’s redemption brought about by the blood of God’s Son. And the work of the cross is the underscore of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Lose this key and you lose the key of life.

Lets consider what the term sovereignty means. Hebrew term ‘malkuth‘ speaks of the outflow of power from a royal reign. God’s sovereignty addresses His absolute right to do all things according to His own will, and for His own purpose, and for His own pleasure.

Thus we have the term ‘kingdom of God’ or ‘kingdom of heaven’. These terms express the direct rule of God in a person’s life. To be born of God’s kingdom means that you come under the direct and personal rule of God.

Understanding what ‘kingdom of God’ means helps us to realize what Jesus was saying to the Pharisee Nicodemus. Listen:

“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?’ Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, “You must be born again.”‘” (Joh 3:3-7)

Moses gained some insight into God's sovereignty when he sought for the Lord to show him His glory. The Lord said to him,

“I will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” (Exodus 33:19)

When Paul reflects on this passage, he says,

“So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.” (Rom9:16)

 

The Children of the Great King

Out of this comes a second aspect about sovereignty. Not only is the almighty God sovereign over all of creation, over all nations, and over history itself, but He is also the heavenly Father of every person born of His Spirit. This means that in all God does He always has His children at the center of His doings. Paul intimates this when he said,

“For all things belong to you … and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.” (Cf. 1Co3:21-23)

Yes indeed, we are children of the Great King. Thus we hear John say,

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.” (1Jn3:1,2)

John was careful to point out that we don’t have all the answers. And while we do not yet know exactly what we will be, we do know that we will be like Jesus. After all He is the firstborn of many brothers. (Brothers is inclusive of sisters.)

Paul gives us the center piece of our purpose before God. He said,

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us.”(Rom8:28-31)

 

The Darker the Night

Everything that I’ve shared thus far is designed to bring us back to how this great nation was formed. As a nation it seems we have lost much of our moorings. It is easy to get discouraged. Without naming all that has caused a downward spiral, there is yet a greater truth to be had. We need to regain the spirit and resolve of our nation’s founders. And this greater truth accords with an old adage, which says, The darker the night, the brighter the light.’

The apostle Paul intimated that very thing when he said,

” … but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” (Rom 5:20)

It is in these discouraging times where God’s children can stand out the best. It only takes a little light to dispel darkness. The apostle said,

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appears as lights in the world. (Phil2:14,15)

It is time for God’s children shine brightly. Much of the world is in despair of heart. Our instructions have never changed. Let’s hear once again what the Lord has for us:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Mat 5:14-16)

Think about these things.

Do you remember the old gospel song, ‘Send the Light.’ One stanza says, ‘Send the light, the blessed gospel light. Let it shine from shore to shore.’ Let that song be our prayer. Listen to the gospel hymn.

 

 

In Christ always,

Buddy

 

 

Are we having fun yet…

Bookmark/FavoritesFacebookTwitterGoogle GmailEmailYahoo MailLinkedInPrintShare

“For the waywardness of the naive will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. But he who listens to me shall live securely and will be at ease from the dread of evil.”

(Pro 1:32-33 NASB)


Journal,

The soul of every sinner is the same. Yes, I’m talking about everyone, including we who have found Jesus Christ as our own Lord and Savior. We were sinners by nature and by birth.

We walked in the ways of the world. We lived in the ways of the world. Our life was flesh driven and self-centered. We sought pleasures to our own making. And we were locked in chains of darkness and did not even realize it.

This is why Paul said,

“Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” Eph2:3

The apostle is saying that it doesn’t matter if we were of a Jewish or a Gentile background. We all had the same kind of souls, the soul of sinners.

David understood this issue. He said,

“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” Psa51:5

David was speaking of his natural life.

Paul takes it further;

“Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” Rom7:25

Both David and Paul knew the answer. David looked ahead and saw the resurrection of Christ. This is why he said,

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; who shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?” Psa27:1

David had seen the beauty of the Lord. He saw Jesus of the cross. He saw Jesus of resurrected glory.


What of the Christian soul?

There is a certain wonder that takes place when a person is born of heaven. It is almost too wondrous for words. Peter said that it is joy, inexpressible, and full of glory.

When a person is born again a number of things happens. First the Christian is given a Christ like nature. The Christian becomes a spiritual being. Where there was darkness, there is now light. Where there was endless searching for fulfillment, the fulfillment has arrived. Jesus completes our life. That missing part is no longer missing. The search is over.

The Psalmist said it this way -

“The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.” Psalm16:5,6


Reshaped for life.

When a new believer first enters the realm of salvation, there is a burst of spiritual life. There is joy! There is peace! There is wonderment! Grace flows like a river. Then somewhere along the way something happens and this feeling of joy begins to wane. Some of the old sinful patterns try to reappear. What is happening!

It could be a number of things. Very often it is self-assertion. We are replacing the Spirit with the flesh.

Then there is the issue of truth. In the Scriptures, the term ‘truth’ does not refer simply to a doctrine. The Greek term  is used in the new covenant for our experiencing the realities of Christ. Sometimes a Christian gets bogged down in legalism and letterism. Paul said the letter kills whereas the Spirit gives life.

What did Paul mean? It would seem that we need all the laws we can get! Not really. Paul understood the new covenant as well as it can be understood. He knew that every person who is truly born again is under the life supervision of the Holy Spirit. If we try to live for the Lord in our own strength we will surely find ourselves weakening.

The apostle said that he had found the secret to living a full life of victory. Listen:

“I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Phil4:12,13)

The lesson is simple – It is the Spirit of God who births us, seals us, tutors us, educates us, places us where we need to be, refreshes us, turns our trials into victories, helps us escape bad teachings, keeps the glory of Jesus before us, and many such things. Our final presentation in heaven is a thing of the Spirit.

In the new covenant this all centers on sonship. Paul said,

“Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” Gal4:6

Our relationship with the Father is not that of a servant. We are sons and daughters of the  living God. Angels know the Divine seal upon God’s children. And so our inward life is being reshaped by the Spirit of God.


Living Out Our Life in Christ

Yes, the believer can very well find himself drifting back into old life styles. This does not mean that he isn’t saved. What it means is that ‘the’ lesson is yet to be learned. This lesson will be taught to the believer under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It often comes through necessary trials in the believer’s life. (Trials are not punishments from God. They are designed to give true purpose in our walk with Him.)

The point is that the life that Jesus came to give us is unlike anything the world has ever known. We are heavenly born people in earthly bodies. This is why we often struggle within ourselves. This is also why true believer’s carry in themselves a longing for their final transformation. And this is why we can only be happy when we are living a Spirit-filled life.

Paul speaks to this in saying,

“As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have born the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1Co15:48,49)

The second lesson to learn is that we actually carry in us the life and power of Jesus. We can draw on His life and on His power. We reaffirm our life on a daily basis by remembering our unique role on planet earth. We also affirm our life in Christ when we learn our need to gather as the people of God. It is in our gatherings we share a very unique promise of God’s presence.

And so the question remains, ‘Are we having fun yet?’ You can decide this for yourself. It really depends on whose camp you are in.

Here is a song that will bless you – ‘I Can’t Even Walk,’ by Jessy Dixon, David Phelps, and Guy Penrod.

Love you in Christ,

Buddy

Learn to live from heaven’s wisdom…

Bookmark/FavoritesFacebookTwitterGoogle GmailEmailYahoo MailLinkedInPrintShare

“Does not wisdom call … ‘To you, O men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of men. O naive ones, understand prudence; and, O fools, understand wisdom. Listen, for I will speak noble things; and the opening of my lips will reveal right things.

“For my mouth will utter truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing crooked or perverted in them. They are all straightforward to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.

“Take my instruction and not silver, and knowledge rather than choicest gold.

For wisdom is better than jewels; and all desirable things cannot compare with her.” (Pro 8:1-11 NASB)

x

Readers,

This is an entry where you would do well to follow all the Scriptures given. There is nothing more important to believers than to learn to draw on their heavenly life. This heavenly life is set forth in the Scriptures as ‘wisdom from above.’

There are five books in the Old Testament that are called ‘Wisdom books.’ These books are Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon.

To God’s ancient people ‘wisdom’ was a mystery. Wisdom not only meant skillful living, but it meant directives from God. Very early on the sages saw a close connection between God’s wisdom and Light, God’s power and His Word, and with a special view to the coming Messiah.

We see this in David’s prophetic writings.

“For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.” (Psa 36:9 NASB)

In this Scripture we see the hidden Christ as the fountain of life. We also see a reflection on this, when Jesus said,

I am the Light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12)

David knew that the true wisdom for life could only be found in the heart of God. This is why it is said that David was a man after God’s heart. Actually there were certain things hidden in God that could only be revealed after the cross. David also knew this. And Wisdom was one of the things that was hidden in God.

x

A Closer Look at Wisdom in the Old Testament

God’s ancient people always connected wisdom with rightness of life. Righteousness to them was defined as ‘right-wise-ness’. Yet wisdom still remained such a mystery.

Follow this reading from Job:

“But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man does not know its value, nor is it found in the land of the living. The deep says, ‘It is not in me’; and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’ Pure gold cannot be given in exchange for it, nor can silver be weighed as its price. It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx, or sapphire.

“Gold or glass cannot equal it, nor can it be exchanged for articles of fine gold. Coral and crystal are not to be mentioned; and the acquisition of wisdom is above that of pearls. The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, nor can it be valued in pure gold.

‘Where then does wisdom come from? And where is the place of understanding? Thus it is hidden from the eyes of all living and concealed from the birds of the sky. Abaddon and Death say, ‘With our ears we have heard a report of it.’ God understands its way, and He knows its place.” (Job 28:12-23 NASB)

Did you catch it? The wisdom of God is not an earthly wisdom. It is a wisdom that is hidden in God Himself. It is a heavenly wisdom.

Keep the term ‘hidden wisdom’ in view. This heavenly hidden wisdom is going to reappear in the new covenant writings.

The wisdom of God was also connected with creation.

“The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding He established the heavens.” (Pro 3:19 NASB)

To the ancients this wisdom from God also spoke of salvation and the coming Redeemer:

“The LORD is exalted, for He dwells on high; He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness. And He will be the stability of your times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is his treasure.” (Isa 33:5-6 NASB)

Now see where Job speaks of the coming Redeemer:

“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; whom I myself shall behold, and whom my eyes will see and not another. My heart faints within me!” (Job 19:25-27 NASB)

It is important to keep in mind that Wisdom in the Bible always connects with the very life of God.

Which brings us to the issue of…

x

Jesus the ‘hidden wisdom’ of God

When Adam sinned against the Lord, he forfeited his life & his wisdom connection with God. Mankind would enter a world dominated by darkness & death.

In the Targums, the sages taught that the original light of creation was to provide wisdom for mankind to live by. When Adam rejected God’s command, the light of wisdom was hidden. It would only come back with the Messiah.

This is where the New Testament writings open up. Most Hebrew people would have understood what John was writing, when he said:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (Joh 1:1-5 NASB)

To a Jewish reader all these statements about the ‘Word’, spoke to them of the Messiah.
x
x
New covenant believers are Children of Light.
x
The terms ‘light’ and ‘darkness’ are expressions that distinguish between those born of heaven and those who are yet in sinful darkness of this present world.
x
It would do you well to take note of the following Scriptures:

“At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise [worldly wise] and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.’” (Mat 11:25 NASB)

“… giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col 1:12-14 NASB)

“…rescuing you [Paul’s commission from the Lord] from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.” (Act 26:17-18 NASB)

“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light.” (Eph 5:6-8 NASB)

“To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.” (Eph 3:8-10 NASB)

“Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1Co 2:6-8 NASB)

God’s people are to learn to

Draw on our heavenly wisdom

James describes our heavenly wisdom this way:

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (Jas 3:17-18 NASB)

Paul explains that maturity in Christ actually involves learning to live from the wisdom that comes from above. The moment a person is born again they become a citizen of heaven. This means that all our resources in life, all our directives in life, and all our wisdom and skill in life are to come from a heavenly source.
x
Take note of these Scriptures:
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Col 3:1-3 NASB)

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Mat 6:33 NASB)

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Php 3:20 NASB)


“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Eph 5:15-17 NASB)
x
Don’t live beneath your privileges.
x
Many of God’s children are so caught up in a religious world that they let others do all their thinking for them. They are living far below what a walk with the Lord is all about. .
x
You will often hear me say this but it is worth repeating
- Jesus did not come to give us a better religion. He did not come to give us a religion at all. Jesus came to give us a direct relationship with the heavenly Father. Jesus came to teach us how to live from our heavenly life. -
How do I learn to live in my heavenly life? You do this by taking the yoke of Christ upon yourself. Do it as an act of faith. Make a quality decision where you can say without condition, ‘Father, not my will but Yours be done.’
x
Learn to walk step-in-step with the Lord. This is how we actually draw on His strength and on His wisdom for life.
x
Here is a song for your meditations – ‘You are the Light of the World.’
x

x
In Christ always,
x
Buddy

The Secret Place of God…

Bookmark/FavoritesFacebookTwitterGoogle GmailEmailYahoo MailLinkedInPrintShare

Journal, In Psalm 31, David expresses sorrow over the strife of life, when suddenly he breaks forth into praise that speaks of God’s love for His people. David says:

“How great is Your goodness, which You have stored for those who fear You, which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, before the sons of men! You hide them in the secret place of Your presence, from the conspiracies of man; You keep them in the shelter from the strife of tongues.” (Psalm 31:19,20 nasb.)

Bear in mind that David’s reference to the secret place is most likely a reference to the holiest of holiest. The literal Hebrew for “the secret place of Your presence”, is “the secret of Your face.” The idea is that God hides His people from the view of their enemies, that is, by bringing them to the very place that He Himself dwells.

andres-orpinas-walk-by-faith

This wonderful truth is fully brought out in the new covenant. Paul said that all believers are now hidden with God in Christ. But first let’s see how the tabernacle sets forth this truth of our redemption.

The only furnishing in the holiest of holies was the ark of the covenant where two covering angels spread their wings over the golden mercy seat. And over the mercy seat was a brilliant light. In the light was a form. The angels have their gazed fixed on the form over the mercy seat.

Peter explains this:

“It was revealed to them [the Old Testament prophets] that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you from heaven-things into which angels long to look.” (1Peter 1:12)

The angels gazing at the mercy seat were expressing wonderment at the atonement of Jesus Christ, that is, both in His incarnation, in the work of the cross, and in His ascension to the throne of God. The angels are longing to see into God’s gracious work of redemption through Christ. Paul tells us that the Lord is instructing angels concerning His wisdom by His presence and grace in the Church.

Does not the Bible say that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself? (2Co5:19)

Back to the form – In the Light over the mercy seat was a form that only Moses was allowed to see. The form was the preincarnate Jesus Christ. We see this by tying the Old Testament and the New Testament together.

When the Lord rebuked Miriam and Aaron over their presumptuous attitude towards Moses, He said to them,

“Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant, against Moses?” The Lord just made a distinction between Moses and other prophets saying, “He [Moses] beholds the form of God.” (Num12:8)

If God has no form, who then did Moses see? He saw the image of the invisible God. This is exactly who Jesus is. To the Jews, God’s Messiah was known as the form of God, the glory of God, the image of God, and at times even theShekinah of God.

Listen carefully. Paul said of Christ,

“Although He existed in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself…” (Phi2:6)

Any Jewish person reading Paul’s writings would immediately connect Jesus with the light over the mercy seat and the form that Moses beheld.

In the New Testament writings Jesus is called the “glory of the only begotten of the Father.” (John 1:14)

charles-barber-blessing

Then we need to recall the bright Light that blinded Paul on the road to Damascus. (Paul was then known as Saul.) What Paul heard was, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” He responded, “Who are You, Lord?” Keep in mind that both the Lord and Paul are speaking Hebrew. The term for Lord would be YHWH. (Yahweh). The Lord then identifies Himself as Jesus.

Now back to the tabernacle. John wrote, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The Greek word for ‘dwelt’ calls attention to the holiest of holiest in the tabernacle. The glory that rested over the mercy seat was now tabernacled in Jesus Christ. Jesus is now the holiest of holies. Paul specifically calls Jesus, “The Lord of glory” (1Co2:8)

It is on the Mount of Transfiguration that Jesus appears on the outside what He is on the inside. It says, “And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.” (Mat17:2)

But what of the question as to why David could speak of the holiest of holies as the hiding place for God’s people? David could see by the Spirit into the redemption of Christ, past the veil, and into God’s redemption plan that would stretch across eternity past and eternity future.

12a

The secret place of God would take in all His people from ancient time on. The tabernacle was a picture-perfect symbol of God’s eternal purpose for all His people.

The Old Testament saints somehow knew in their hearts that the Lord Himself was their ever present security in life. Moses said,

“Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” (Ps90:1,2)

Here Moses uses the same word that David used with regard to the ‘secret place’ of the tabernacle.

Again think about the two cherubim with their golden wings spread over the mercy seat. Listen again to David:

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, `My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” (Ps91:1,2)

David uses the same word again which references the secret place of God’s presence, that is, the mercy seat in the holiest of holies. God’s people dwell under the very presence and protection of angels.

Here is where we come to the great mystery of God’s love for His people. The Psalmist Asaph speaks of God’s people as His ‘treasured ones.’ He writes, “They make shrewd plans against Your people, and conspire together against Your treasured ones.” (Ps83:3)

These treasured ones are God’s people from the ages. The Hebrew for ‘treasured ones’ speaks of that which is covered by God, that which is hidden, or that which is kept secret. But it especially speaks of the secret of one’s heart. God’s treasured ones are the secret love of His heart.

19a

The Psalmist puts things together when he writes,

“One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple.

“For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock [the Rock is Christ]. And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.” (Psalm 27:4-6)

The Hebrew for ‘conceal’ is the same word for God’s ‘treasured’ ones. God’s people are His treasures in the earth and for all eternity. This allows us to have a better understanding of a kingdom parable concerning a treasure. Jesus said,

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field [world], which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matt13:44)

The treasure has to do with the kingdom of heaven. The story is the story of the cross. Jesus Christ gave His life for the hidden treasure. Jesus came to seek that which was lost. Now the treasure is hidden again, but this time it is hidden in Christ.

Paul said, “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Col3:3,4)

All we have read in David’s writings have their fulfillment in the finished work of the cross. Being hidden in Christ means that every believer is eternally secured from the power of darkness. We can never be separated from God’s love. Our life is placed in the Light of God’s very being. Peter said that our calling was into “His marvelous light.”

While this may seem difficult to grasp, what we need to realize is that our faith is to be based upon our position in Christ. Our position in Christ is secured. We have already been raised up and seated with Him in the heavenly places. Our concern is in living out our present life with the knowledge of our eternal placement. God gives us heavenly life as a foretaste of eternity. This is what believers are to learn to live by. Heavenly life is God’s oversight of our lives.

Did you know that God never takes His eyes off you? Listen to this conversation between David and the Lord:

[David] “You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.”

[Lord] “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” (Ps27:7,8)

29a

Did you know that there is continually joy in heaven over each person who turns to the Lord? The joy of heaven is the joy of the Lord Jesus Himself. The reason Jesus endured the cross was the joy that was set before Him. The joy set before Him was all those whom the Father would give Him for all eternity.

Jesus said,

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. … This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:37,39,40)

You have come to love God because He first loved you. Did you know that your joy in the Lord is a reflection of His joy over you? Did you know that the grace that flows in your life is not something that you earned? It is freely given to you in God’s Beloved.

There is only one question to need to answer. Are you right now trusting in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Faith in Jesus alone is proof positive that you belong to Him. And if you belong to Him, then you are most certainly one of His treasured ones.

This is what the great apostle said:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Eph2:8-10)

Well, it would not be right if I failed to share a song with you. How about, ‘No Other Name But Jesus’ by Gaither Vocal Band….

Think about it. Have you met the Great I AM?

Much love coming your way,

Buddy

Jesus, the wonder and mystery of the Bible…

Bookmark/FavoritesFacebookTwitterGoogle GmailEmailYahoo MailLinkedInPrintShare

Journal,

“OPEN MY EYES, THAT I MAY BEHOLD WONDERFUL THINGS FROM YOUR LAW.” (Psalm 119:18 NASB)
Keep in mind that the focus in these sessions centers on learning to walk with God. In our first session we talked about JESUS as the WORD of GOD. In this session we will pick up with that same thought. It is important to understand why the apostolic writer tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus. He explains by saying that JESUS is the author and the perfecter  of our faith. He12:2
Another way of saying ‘author and perfecter,’ is, ‘the beginning and the end.’ The expression, ‘fixing our eyes,’ in the Greek literally means to look away from everything that distracts. Fixing our eyes on JESUS is the premier principle of a walk of faith.
There is no question that CHRIST JESUS is the great wonder and mystery of the Bible. In one place His name is actually called, ‘Wonderful Counselor.’
In this study we want to take a deeper look into this intriguing mystery of GOD’S MESSIAH, or the Man that every believer can easily call, ‘Wonderful’.  Let’s pick up where we left off in our last session.
I – Jesus: The Word of God
1. When JESUS rebuked the winds and the sea and they became calm, the disciples were amazed. They said, “What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (Matt8:27)
What great lesson does ‘Jesus calming the sea’ teach us about Jesus, and/or about our walk with God?
2. All that JESUS did was in one way or another to fulfill prophecy. On calming the seas, it says in Psalm 107:28,29, “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distresses. He caused the storm to be still, so that the waves of the sea were hushed.”
Why is it so important to tie Jesus in with Old Testament prophecy?
3. The Bible is story of GOD’S MESSIAH. Consider these Scriptures taken from the book of Matthew: MATT. 1:21-23; 2:14,15; 2:22,23; 4:13-16; 8:16,17; 13:34,35; 21:2-5; 26:53,54,56.
II  - Jesus: The Form of God
1. That the MESSIAH would also be GOD was written beforehand. So we read, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, MIGHTY GOD, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace…” (Isa 9:6) – Eternal Father can literally be translated as ‘Father of eternity.’
2. How can JESUS be the Almighty GOD in the earth, while the highest heavens cannot contain GOD? The issue is that GOD does not exist in time and space. GOD is one Being, yet He manifests Himself in more than one way. This has always been a mystery to be understood with the heart and not the head. Cf. Zech12:10; Hosea 5:15; 6:1-3.
This is where Hebraic thought form is so important to Christians. Christianity is not a western religion. The Bible we use is a Hebrew document. The apostles were Hebrew men. The language of the Bible is Hebraic from start to finish.
3. The ancients taught a mystery in GOD that could only be expressed as GOD coming forth from GOD. This coming forth from GOD was called ‘The Word of GOD,’ ‘the Image of GOD’, ‘the Form of GOD’, ‘the Glory’,  ‘the Word of the LORD,’ ‘the Wisdom,’ ‘the Son,’ or, ‘the Light of GOD.’ Each of these expressions has a counterpart in the New Testament.
Consider just a few of them.
a. Form of GOD: New Testament – Phil2:6. Compare Numbers 12:6-8; Lev16:2
b. Glory of GOD: New Testament – 1Co2:6-8; John 1:14. Compare Eze11:22,23.
(The Jews have a tradition that says the Glory of God rested on the Mount of Olives and wept. Is there any counterpart to this in the New Testament.
c. Wisdom of GOD: New Testament – 1Co1:30; 2:7; Mt11:19; 13:43. Compare: Pro8:1-8
d. Son of GOd – Compare Psalm2:12; Pro30:2-4
So, was Christ pre-existent? Cf. Micah 5:2; John 17:1-5; Heb. 1:8-12; 11:24-27.
Did God’s people have experiences with Christ in the Old Testament? Genesis 32:24-29;  Judges 13:18.
III – Jesus: The Redeemer
1. Job said, “As for me, I know my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; whom I myself shall behold, and whom my eyes shall see and not another. My heart faints within me.” (Job 19:25-27)
Notice Job called his Redeemer, GOD. This is one of the clearest testimonies to the faith of GOD’S ancient people. Job must have had a revelation of who the Redeemer would really be. How did GOD redeem us?
2. The wonder of the incarnation. The blood that ran through JESUS’ veins was GOD’S blood. (Cf. Acts 20:28.) Notice how the book of Revelation closes with a picture of the heavenly throne. It says, “Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Notice there is only one throne.)
3. The ancient faith of GOD’S people rested on a promise made in the garden. One day a SON would be born to the human family. This SON would break Satan’s power. They believed that this SON would be divine. (Thus the afore testimony of Job.)
Paul said that had the rulers understood GOD’S wisdom, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1Co2:7,8) John said JESUS was the WORD of GOD manifest in human form. Both the Greeks and the Hebrews had a concept of GOD’S activity in the earth and in creation. Greeks used the term ‘LOGOS.’ The Hebrews used the term ‘MEMRA.’
4. Ancient  Jewish sages saw the MESSIAH in all the Scriptures. The ‘wind’ on the surface of the deep in creation was the SPIRIT of MESSIAH.
They also said that the ‘Light’ that was manifest at creation was the life of MESSIAH, that is, the wisdom men were to walk in. Because of sin this LIGHT became hidden. It was taught that the light would come back with MESSIAH. JESUS said, “I am the light of the world, he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
5. How does this light manifest for believers? Paul said, “For God who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels…” (2Co4:6,7)
When a person becomes a true believer, there is a work of the Spirit in opening that person’s spiritual eyes. Every true believer has the capacity to walk in the light of JESUS. The born-from-above believer is given ‘sight’ by which he or she sees beyond the boundaries of the natural. This is why Paul said, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2Co4:18)
6. When JESUS walked on the waters, we hear Him saying to the frightened disciples, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” (Matt14:25-26)
What was the purpose behind JESUS walking on the waters? This was again to reveal to His disciples who He really was. Job 9:8, says, “[God] alone stretches out the heavens and tramples down the waves of the sea.” It says that when He got in their boat, “And those who were in the boat worshipped Him, saying, ‘You are certainly God’s Son.” (Matt14:33)
So, what do you think about the man called ‘Wonderful’?

David said, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law.” (Psalm 119:18 NASB)

4a

'And Let all the angels of God worship Him.'

In another place, David said, “Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.” (Ps63:2)

Who was it that David saw? I believe David saw the Lord Jesus before He took on the form of man. David actually called the preincarnate Jesus, his Lord.

Sound strange? The religious leaders in Israel said that the Messiah would be the Son of David, that is, He would be of the lineage of David. But Jesus brought something to their attention that caught them off guard.

Listen:

[Jesus] “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?

[Religious leaders] “The son of David.”

[Jesus] “Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord’, saying, ‘The Lord [Yahweh] said to my Lord [Adoni], ‘Sit at My right hand, until I put Your enemies beneath Your feet ‘ If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?”

Did you catch it? David called the preincarnate Christ Jesus, his Lord. Adoni (or Adonay) literally means ‘my Lord.’ Adonay is a masculine noun that speaks exclusively of God. It is used when directing attention to the supreme authority and power of God.

On the day of Pentecost, which by the way was both the birthday of the new covenant church, and the coronation day of Jesus, that is,  the day He received His kingdom in its present form, Peter took note of Psalm 110:1, and said this was the Father speaking to the Son.

Yes indeed…

Jesus is the great wonder and mystery of the Bible…

In one place His name is actually called, ‘Wonderful Counselor.’

23a

"To Him who rides upon the highest heavens, which are from ancient times; behold, He speaks forth with His voice, a mighty voice." Ps68:33

Jesus rebuked the winds and the waves they became calm. The disciples said, “What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (Matt8:27)

What kind of man is Jesus indeed. Everything that Jesus did during His life on earth pretty much told us what kind of Man He was and is. Psalm 107:28,29, says, “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distresses. He caused the storm to be still, so that the waves of the sea were hushed.”

That the Messiah would also be God, was written beforehand by Moses and the prophets. Isaiah wrote, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace…” (Isa 9:6) (Eternal Father can also be translated as ‘Father of eternity.’)

So a question remains. How can Jesus be the Almighty God in the earth, when the highest heavens and all of eternity cannot contain God? And if Jesus is the Almighty God, why did He speak of the Father being in heaven?

This is where Hebraic thought form is so important to Christians.

Christianity is not a western religion.

The Bible we use is a Hebrew document. The apostles were Hebrew men. The language of the Bible is Hebraic from start to finish. And unless we have some concept of the Hebrew thought form of the Bible, we are going to come short of some of the most beautiful truths to be realized.

The ancients taught that there was a mystery in God that could only be expressed as God coming forth from God. This coming forth from God was called ‘The Word of God,’ ‘the Image of God’, ‘the Form of God’, ‘the Glory’,  ‘the Word of the Lord,’ ‘the Wisdom,’ ‘the Son,’ and, ‘the Light of God.’ Each of these expressions has a counterpart in the New Testament if we know where to find them.

Consider just a few (You may want to get your Bible for a look see):

  • Form of GOD: New Testament – Phil2:6. Compare Numbers 12:6-8; Lev16:2
  • Glory of GOD: New Testament – 1Co2:6-8; John 1:14. Compare Eze11:22,23.

(The ancients had a legend that said when the Glory of God left Solomon’s temple, it rested on the Mount of Olives and wept for three years. Based on Ezekiel 11:22,23. Is there any counterpart to this idea of God weeping in the New Testament. Think about it.)

  • Wisdom of GOD: New Testament – 1Co1:30; 2:7; Mt11:19; 13:43. Compare: Pro8:1-8
  • Son of GOd – Compare Psalm2:12; Pro30:2-4

So, was Christ pre-existent with the Father?

Micah 5:2 says, “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathat, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.”

28a

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son..." (Jn 3:16)

Then we have John 17:4,5: “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”

How about this statement that Jesus made to His disciples: “What then if you see the Son of Man ascended to where He was before?” (Jn6:62)

Did God’s people have experiences with Christ in the Old Testament?

Job said, “As for me, I know my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; whom I myself shall behold, and whom my eyes shall see and not another. My heart faints within me.” (Job 19:25-27)

Notice Job called his Redeemer, God. This is one of the clearest testimonies to the faith of God’s ancient people. Job must have had a revelation of who the Redeemer would really be.

The blood that ran through the veins of Jesus was God’s blood. Then notice how the book of Revelation closes with a picture of the heavenly throne. It says, “Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb.”

Notice there is only one throne, but it is called the throne of God and of the Lamb. Somehow God is the Lamb, and the Lamb is God. And yet in this one Scripture we see three aspects of the eternal God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the ‘water of life,’ which speaks of the presence of God Himself.

The ancient faith of God’s people rested on a promise made in the garden. One day a Son would be born to the human family. This Son would break Satan’s power. They believed that this Son would be divine. (Thus the afore testimony of Job.)

Paul said that had the rulers understood God’s wisdom, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. John said Jesus is the Word of God manifest in human form. Both the Greeks and the Hebrews had a concept of God’s activity in the earth and in creation. The Greeks used the term ‘Logos.’ The Hebrews used the term ‘Memra.’

The wind on the surface of the deep…

The Jewish sages saw the Messiah in all the Scriptures. The ‘wind’ on the surface of the deep in creation was the Spirit of Messiah. They also said that the ‘Light’ that was manifest at creation was the life of Messiah, but that this Light became hidden because of the sin of Adam. The Light would only be found again when Messiah came.

Any Hebrew person would have understood what Jesus meant, when He said, “I am the light of the world, he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

How does this light manifest for believers? Paul said, “For God who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels…” (2Co4:6,7)

Every true believer has the capacity to walk in the light of Jesus, by learning to fix his eyes on Jesus. This is why Paul said, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2Co4:18)

When Jesus walked on the waters, we hear Him saying to the frightened disciples, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” (Matt14:25-26)

What was the purpose behind Jesus walking on the waters?  Job 9:8, says, “[God] alone stretches out the heavens and tramples down the waves of the sea.”

When Jesus got into the boat, it says, “And those who were in the boat worshipped Him, saying, ‘You are certainly God’s Son.” (Matt14:33)

So, what do you think about this wonder and mystery of the Bible. While you are think about it, listen to this song:

Yes indeed, Jesus is a great Savior,

Buddy