2 Corinthians 4:16
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
Are You Ready? Are You Ready? The bible makes it clear that mankind is influenced by one of two masters. There are those born of flesh who belong to satan and those born of Spirit who belong to Jesus Christ. Those led by the flesh are led by satan, which is the spirit of antichrist. There god is their belly, their own selfish desires and lusts with their glory being their shame, for all their works that give them pleasure, are works of unrighteousness for they suppress the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:12; Philippians 3:19; Romans 1:29; 2:8). These people have the wrath of God poured out on them already, for the works which Jesus did condemned them of their sin already. It will only be revealed at His second coming. We don't look down upon these people as we were born into this and once walked in these ways, but the Lord who is rich in mercy and grace has forgiven us of our sins and cleansed us of our unrighteousness, when we confessed our sins to Him (1 John 1:9; Ephesians 2:1-2). The Day of the Lord is coming, and it is close at hand! God is going to take those who are ready, those who's love for Him has not turned cold, those who have patiently endured the suffering of this life and always looked to Him for strength and continued in love towards everyone. If you've fallen away, the Lord promises that He will come and remove His lampstand (Revelation 2:5). The message is clear - let those with an ear hear.
1 Peter 3:10 NIV
Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.
The Ultimate Calling of Our Lives is to LOVE. The gospel message portrays an awe inspiriting Father who stops at nothing to get His wayward children to turn back. Some have gone as far as becoming His enemy and created other gods. But His love remains great, He overlooks all the hurtful things they've done in his plan of redemption, but they provoke Him to jealousy, igniting a burning fire of wrath within Him due to their shameless deeds (Isaiah 30:27; Jeremiah 7:20; Zephaniah 3:8). Not withstanding their unrighteousness, He withdrew His presence, allowing His children to pursue their own heart's desires of lust and sensual pleasures, thereby defile themselves (1 Thessalonians 4:5; Romans 1:24-26). In selfishness, they ravaged and exploited each another by using lies, false pretenses, deception, and manipulation to satisfy their own lusts (Romans 1:27-32). In defiance of His grace, many still refuse Him so His righteous judgment must avenge such wickedness and abuse so the Lord will repay them with His wrath (Isaiah 59:18; Romans 12:19). Despite this, the Lord is patient and remains steadfast in His love for His children. He is not slack in caring, but rather is rich in tender-loving mercy and kindness, with forbearance leading to repentance (Romans 2:4). He has shown mercy to the godly and the ungodly (Isaiah 26:10; Matthew 5:45) as He has taken their punishment upon Himself. He has chosen those He predestined (Romans 8:29-30;11:5; Ephesians 1:11; John 15:19; Acts 22:14), however He has called all to repentance and He awaits for He does not want any to perish (2 Peter 3:9; Luke 5:32; 24:47; Acts 5:31; 11:18; 20:21; Romans 2:4).
His works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Some Enter His Rest, While Others Don't. We can have hope in our salvation, for the Lord declared the beginning from the end; meaning He spoke from the ancient of days clear up until the end of time, with the profession that it will stand as He declared (Isaiah 46:10; Hebrews 4:3-4) for He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end (Revelation 22:13). And we know He rested from all His works on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2-3). This very rest was promised by God to those who believe (Hebrews 4:3; Exodus 33:14) and this rest still remains for some to enter (Hebrews 4:1, 4-6, 9-10). But frighteningly, He also declared, with an oath, others will never enter His rest (Psalm 95:11). Who are the ones to enter or not enter?
And they marveled, saying, 'What sort of man is this, that even the winds and sea obey Him?'
Obedience Brings Eternal Life. Even though Jesus was the Son of God, He always obeyed His Father; it was His sustenance, for we read, Jesus said to them, 'My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work' (John 4:34). Jesus only did the will of the Father and what He was taught by the Father (John 5:30; 8:28-29). This brings light to our understanding of the only command with the promise of a long life if you obey; and that is to honor our mother and father (Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20; Deuteronomy 12:28; 30:2, 20; Proverbs 30:17). This certainly points to Jesus and why it's repeated through scripture. The wages (payment or reward) of sin are death, and since Jesus never sinned, for He always obeyed, He had to be released back to life from death. Amazing! I bring this to my remembrance often; contemplating that Jesus never did anything of His own will. He never took that extra cookie when told. Extreme obedience, but it sure brought Him a long life; it gave Him eternal life, as the Son of Man. And Jesus is our great example of how we should live, for He said, 'For I have given you an example, that you should do just as I have done to you' (John 13:15).
Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.
Is There Something More to Life? A short lesson on life, leaves you seeking and hoping there is more to life then what meets the eye. The church is evidence of this, as people flood through the doors with the resounding questions, "Is there a God," and "What is the purpose of my life?" The hearts of man are empty and this world only offers dead works leading to more darkening of their understanding (Ephesians 4:18). And in weakness of spirit, one must admit the vast numbers of people asking these questions are outside the church, for this is the place where they've been hurt the most. Having asked these questions myself, and being transformed upon finding the answer, I've dedicated my entire life to delivering the good news to this broken world. Our great God only wants, You (to) love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37) and He will take care of everything else.
Man Made in Image of God, Not Born of dust, But Born Again in the Spirit, to be United with him In His Eternal Kingdom
The creation of man by Michelangelo
My children, I am suffering birth pains for you again until Christ is formed in you.
Man Made in the Image of God; Being Created in Time, Space and Matter; to be Transformed to Eternal Sonship with Him in His Kingdom. God created man in His image as male and female (Genesis 1:26). He made them of flesh from the earth with life as a living being from His own breath (Genesis 2:7). Man was distinct in creation, being given a mind and flesh differing from that of animals (1 Corinthians 15:39; Daniel 4:16). By his very design, God created us with intrinsic value. Even with this glory, it was weakened by the flesh (Matthew 26:41; Romans 8:3), as we borne the image of the man of dust (1 Corinthians 15:49). But in God's glorious contemplation of us, He ordained an even greater glory to come; when we should be born again of water and the Spirit (John 3:3, 5). Adam was only an imprint or image of the One to come (Romans 5:14b). And by decree, before the creation of the world, God predestined us to obtain the inheritance of the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:4, 11-12; Hebrews 6:17), so those of us with eyes opened to behold the glory, we will be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and put on the new man ... being created in righteousness and the sacredness of truth (Ephesians 4:23). We are being transformed into the same image (of God) from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18) so that, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven (1 Corinthians 15:49), in the fullness of time, when we finally put away all our weakened dust, to obtain new bodies and minds in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Revelation 21:1-4). As we are transformed to be adopted in sonship to God in His eternal Kingdom. God abounds in immeasurable wisdom, grace and love.
Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
Jesus is the Mediator of the New Covenant. Christ is the eternal high priest of the New Covenant (New Testament). And Jesus said, I did not come to abolish the Law of Moses or the Prophets, I have come to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17); while adding, These are the very scriptures that testify about Me (John 5:39b). Jesus is the logos, the word of God, which became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1, 14; 6:51). By the word, the breath of the LORD's mouth, all things were made for Him and through Him, everything in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, thrones or powers, rulers or authorities, and nothing that was made was made apart from Him (Psalm 33:6; John 1:2-5; Colossians 1:16). God made everything so that His glory would shine through people around the world, for to know His glory is to bring it forth (Numbers 14:21; Psalm 57:5; Habakkuk 2:14). An entire cosmic plan was established, throughout the ages, to bring this into being, which included the fall and rise of man through Adam and Jesus, respectfully (1 Corinthians 15:21; Romans 5:12-21).
GOD WILL BE GLORIFIED: FULFILLING THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT, THROUGH THE MOSAIC COVENANT BY SHOWING HIS DIVINE NATURE AND ETERNAL POWER
But the LORD of hosts will be exalted in judgment, and the holy God will show Himself holy in righteousness.
The Eternal Abraham Covenant. The Lord gave an unconditional covenant, the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:1-3; 15:1-17), to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is the overarching covenant with Him as their God and them as His blessed and holy people living in a promised land. This covenant is eternal and solely depends upon the Lord to fulfill it, as it will bring glory to His name (Psalm 66:2). Shouldn't He already be receiving honor and glory? Yes, For God's invisible attributes; namely because His eternal power and divine nature are already made visible, since the creation of the world, in the things He created (Romans 1:19-20). So people already knew God, but they chose to not give Him honor or thanks (Romans 1:21-23). Therefore, God gave them up to the impurities and lusts of their hearts, to do as they pleased (Romans 1:24-25), but now He is calling these people back to Himself. But only for the Jews? No, for it is written, This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:6 BSB). For the promises were spoken to Abraham and his to his seed. Scripture does not say 'and to seeds,' meaning many people, but 'and to your seed,' meaning one person, who is the Christ (Galatians 3:16 NIV). God will be known and honored, not only by the Jews, but all the gentiles, the peoples of the world, for It is written, 'I live,' says the Lord, 'that every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will confess to God (Romans 14:11 BLB) so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11 ESV).
Believers are set free, from the Law of Moses - See Paul's First Missionary Journey - The Apostolic Council of Jerusalem in 50 AD
The Apostolic Council of Jerusalem in 50 AD
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel. For are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The Gospel Message is Questioned. Along his path, Paul preached the good news of the freedom in Christ Jesus, that we are justified by faith not works of the law and gentiles are grafted into this salvation (Galatians 3:18, 22, 24; Romans 3:28; 5:1). In Antioch, a few false prophets quickly came to pervert the gospel message, by trying to lead people back into captivity under the law of Moses, by saying gentiles had to be circumcised. And the people feared for their salvation. Paul was astonished upon his return to see how quickly they deserted him by turning to another gospel (Galatians 1:6). He continues, not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:7). He explains twice for emphasis, that even if an angel from heaven preaches another gospel, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:8-9). Paul is concerned about this error in teaching for he knows, A little leaven leavens the whole lump (Galatians 5:9) so believing just the smallest lie or deviance from the truth can affect your entire understanding of God.
Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary.
The Law was Give to Bind Sin and Set the Captive Free. God wanted fellowship with man, and He made a promise to Abraham that it would happen, and all who believe will receive the promise. But before He could have fellowship, or even friendship, with mankind, He had to deal with our transgressions. His righteousness required Him to deal with our transgressions of His perfect and pure holiness. He accomplished this by giving us the law, which would first enslave us and then set us free (Galatians 3:22); but in doing so, it would make the whole world accountable to God (Romans 3:19). Through this process, instead of seeking our own hearts desires, which are desperately wicked (Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 8:7; Philippians 2:21), now we could draw near to God (Hebrews 7:19) for love of the law (Psalm 119:97) for it is perfect (Psalms 19:7a). The law was perfect, but it made nothing perfect, because of the weakness of the flesh (Hebrews 7:18-19).
What is the Abrahamic Covenant?
The Abrahamic Covenant is the promise of hope and salvation to which we hold, in the fulfillment of Jesus Christ. A covenants is an agreements, a word or a bond between two or more people; with either one or both parties having to abide by specific conditions. God's first covenant was with Adam, which ended poorly for mankind. Thereby requiring the need for more and everlasting covenants, which would be solely based on God's ability to perform, not our, as we fail. The Abrahamic covenant is our hope, because it is only based on God's ability. It's based on His holy name, which means that He will fulfill it, so as to bring no shame upon His own name, establishing the credibility of it, which gives Him glory.
And they have conquered Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
The Woman and the Red Dragon. John was granted access to see into the spiritual world, and he witnessed a Dragon, Satan, waiting and watching in the heavens for a woman, groaning in pain, as she was about to give birth to her Son, Jesus, for he wanted to devour him, but the Son was caught up into heaven, and the woman escaped into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God to hid from Satan, so he furiously went after her other children, the ones who keep the testimony of Jesus Christ. While the dragon stood in front of her waiting and watching for her to give birth, he caught 1/3 of the stars, in his tail, and flung them to earth (Revelation 12:1-6, 17). These stars are angels, who did not keep their original places of authority, instead they left their positions to follow Satan (Jude 1:6).
The righteous should choose his friends carefully,
For the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Spiritual Discernment. The bible teaches us to be spiritually discerning and always awake watching for the hour is near, and the enemy is busy trying to make us captives to his slavery again. We learn that the way of peace and rest, for our soul, is found on the path following Jesus. Thus says the LORD, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.' (Jeremiah 6:16). The devil portrays himself as light, but he only comes to deceive and lead us astray.
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
God is Watching. The bible is clear that God is actively involved in His creation, working to bring things to their desired end. His eyes are always looking over the earth for those who do good, and seek to honor Him and He is seeking to hear their cry for help. But for the unrighteous, He has prepared a place for them in the eternal lake of fire; His face is against them, and it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God. (Psalm 34:15-16; Hebrews 10:31). We must examine ourselves, in the same light, the Father uses to search our hearts; He is looking at our motives. Are they motives of unrighteousness, dead works? For our own gain or pleasure, and just looking good outwardly? Or are they motives to glorify His holy name, solely, good works? It would do us well, to truly look at our intentions and repent of any sinful, boastful, lustful or wayward actions on our part. All of our misrepresentations and false justifications with our breathy explanations of innocence in our vein attempts to hide our guilt; it's all filth and rubbish for He sees it all, He is watching. Always looking, and it will not stand before the holiness of His throne or the judgment seat of God. We can try to bury it and cover it up with explanations of how it wasn't that bad, for it's just a matter of misunderstanding, an improper choice of words, or an unaware glace of the eyes, but God can't be mocked, nor can His people who have been trained in righteousness.
Ephesians Spiritual Warfare: Defeating the enemy with the victory of faith and knowledge of god
In order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
Knowledge Really is Power. The more we learn God's holy word, the more His power will transform us into the image of His Son, Christ Jesus, and help us defeat the enemy of our souls. The power is to transform us, yes, we can help change the world, but that begins when we become the likeness of Christ Jesus. We must leave the old former ways to the newness of life in Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 6:4, 8:29; Ephesians 2:11-22; Hebrews 10:20). This will require we don't think too highly of ourselves using a sober judgment (Romans 12:3). As we learn in Ephesians and Corinthians, there is a spiritual battle taking place. If we try to hide or deny it, it doesn't go away. It only defeats us. Living in fear keeps us captive (2 Timothy 2:26), but we don't have to stay defeated because Christ won the victory (1 John 4:18, 5:4; Isaiah 43:1; Psalm 3:8, 18:2), which is why He is so glorious. Jesus already defeated the enemy and has given you the victory (1 Corinthians 15:57; Deuteronomy 20:4; Romans 8:31). Jesus told us all these things so we could have joy and peace (John 16:33). You can joyfully die to yourself and be raised to a new life in Christ, which requires the knowledge of God.
I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give Him to the LORD, for his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.
Having a Public Shameful Circumstance and Others Laugh and Taunt You. Elkanah lived in the hill country of Ephraim with his two wives; Peninnah who had children, and Hannah who had none. Peninnah wasted no time in provoking Hannah about her woes, for at that time, everyone know it was a curse of the Lord to close a womb for the Lord had said, "Be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:28, 16:10, 22:17, 26:3-4; Jeremiah 30:19). Elkanah faithfully went to the temple in Shiloh for the annual sacrificial offerings, year after year, to make his offering in the years when Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas were priests. He would make sacrifices for his wife and children, but for Hannah he would make a double portion because he loved her and the Lord had closed her womb. Her rival provoked her, year after year, until she wept bitterly and couldn't eat on their last journey to the temple of God; Elkanah attempted to console her, by asking if his love for her could mean more than 10 sons (1 Samuel 1:1-8) but it was of little value for she was crushed in spirit.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
The Armor of God. Entering God's rest is a joyful existence, for you're allowing the Spirit to guide you and you're watching Him destroy every lofty thing that rises up against Himself, as you cast all your cares upon Him. But can this be maintained or even achieved? Even my christian brother thinks I live in a fantasy land when I tell him to rise above the worries of this world. He tells me that I don't understand his situation, then he goes on to explain his woes. My heart sinks, because I know this joyful existence in the midst of the storms is true; I know it's even more real than the problems themselves. This joy is something deep down inside you where you know and accept that the Lord works through the struggles to teach and strengthen you in the faith. It's a welcoming of woes as they are the instruments of God, even an enemy attack, to refine you as pure as gold and lead you to the Kingdom of God.
I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities which you had not built, and you have lived in them; you are eating of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.
Do You Believe in the Forgiveness of Sins? The complete and utter wiping away without a trace of remembrance? The washing away of sins, after turning them blood red with a sacrificial sprinkling, so they are now as white as snow. The royal robing, of a once broken and defiled clay vessel, with priestly royal embroidered garments. Honored in sacred lines with gold and adorned with chrysolite, emerald, turquoise, sapphire and diamond just to name a few precious gems. The welcoming of your presence into a holy sanctuary of only the most righteous; a place of absolute perfection with manicured lawns, decadent vineyards and glimmering streams of living sanctifying water. This is your inherited estate and you are the royal priest there-within making daily offerings of thanksgiving with songs of praise to your most holy King. Do not be faint of heart or slack of entry; No, come now for the gates have been opened and the Almighty Vine-Dresser is hearkening unto you eagerly awaiting your return unto Him.
JESUS THE HIGH PRIEST FULFILLED THE LAW - GIVING YOU PEACE WITH GOD, WHICH IS YOUR FREEDOM TO LOVE WITHOUT LIMITS
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Matthew 5:17-20 ESV
The Fulfillment of the Law is Your Freedom. We live in the 'age of grace' where mankind is at peace with God, for Jesus' death was to redeem mankind from the wrath of God against ungodliness (John 3:16) and it's available for all who believe. Believing that God sent His Son to free you from fear of death, fear of the enemy and fear of God's wrath is extraordinarily liberating! Jesus' work on the cross taught us that we have a protective Father in heaven who loves us, cares for us, and is watching over us. He has a plan and purpose for our lives and He will bring it to completion. He is involved; He is sovereign; and He is working all things together for our good.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:11)
The Old Testament prophet Isaiah predicted, "He bore our grief," and "Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer." (Isaiah 53:4,10). God was pleased to kill His Son, an innocent man, why? This is especially difficult to understand when we know, "He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord God" (Proverbs 17:15). The short answer is because He loved mankind and wanted to give him eternal life (John 3:16), but with a deeper understanding we garner the knowledge of God's power and authority was given into the hands of Jesus and His offspring (Genesis 9:1-3).
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