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God's Man and Woman
1.The Creation 2. Man's Self-Will 3. Gods 4. Fire From Heaven 5. Pharisees
Taking Care of Business
6. Institutions 7. Influence 8. Responsibility
9. Rebelliousness 10. Loyalty 11. Stewardship
12. Faithfulness 13. Reconciliation 14. Preaching 15. TCB
This Kingdom is God's
16. Two Trees 17. Kingdom of God's 18.
Giving 19. Identity 20. Believe 21. Imaging
22. Gladness 23. Meditation 24. Morality
25. Message to the World 26. 3 Visions 27.
- God's Man and Woman -
Beginning God created the heaven - and the earth !
The earth was without form, and was void;
and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face (surface)
of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light, ... and "there was"
And God said, "let us make man in our image, after our likeness ...so God created man in
His own image, ...male and female created He them"
And God blessed them, and God said unto
them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over every living thing that
moves upon the face of the earth. And God saw ...that it was good."
- Genesis ch.1
"And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden;
and the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it"
- Genesis 2: 8,15
If we didn't go any further into this historical study of
God and man, we could unlock the powerful understanding of God's movement in this earth that we live in.
*Here, right from the outset, we are given the understanding of:
ownership ...as Creator
2. God's unlimited power ...and ability.
3. God's "Intent" for the human -to serve Him
4. God's character and attitude
5. How the "Spirit of God" -moves to create,
and control, ... with His "spoken Word"
The moving of the Spirit - the creation of human - the planting of the garden ...
the placement of the person.
"And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness.... so God created man in His own image, male
and female created He them"
- Genesis 1:26,27
The Divine Corporation
A corporation is an organized group, "structured" to carry out specific purposes and
Here in the first chapters of Genesis it's pretty widely accepted that the characters mentioned are
God, (Spirit of God), and Adam (Heb. "aw-dawm" -low man, common sort, flush and rosy)
is not just a name, - but is rather a title ... that also includes the female under the sub-title "woman"
(out of man)
Eve, (who was formed out of Adam), has a special name which means "life-giver", (to show,
or declare); and Adam named her this because she was the "mother of all living". (Gen. 3:20)
Just as the orderly concept of "Time" was set into "perpetual motion" in the heavenly lights, and
in the seasons; ... even so, the concept of Time was established in Eve through the perpetual miracle of "Birth".
(which means "to show, or declare")
So now, we have God (Spirit of God), and Human
(Adam and Eve), who are going to run, and manage, this huge divine corporation called "Earth".
Man, as resident "earth dweller" ...
the unbroken mirror of the Infinite Reason of God
of God's will and intent
-he will be "fruitful" and "multiply"
-he will subdue the earth, and manage it
-God has given to him the authority of a "Steward"
-the authority of "Chief Manager"
the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he is also flesh" (Gen. 6:3)
In the context of the above reference, the word "strive" is not used as in -to "wrestle",
or "contend with" -but rather is translated from the Heb. word "du'wn" which means
-to judge, as in a court of law.
the Garden of Eden
It seems that almost
immediately, once situated in the Garden as God's Stewards, the human "self-will" was challenged
from another source, ...and faithfulness "went out the window".
The appeal to the human will to
self achieve, and self serve, is the issue that God's judgment is focused upon
Is this "will" of
man a mistake, or a flaw, in creation? The answer is ... No.
said, "Let us create man in our own image", ... it was not Man's rosy flesh that was being referred to,
... but rather the infinite intent of God.
The "mirror" that reflects this Divine Image is "man's
This is the reflective foundation that makes it possible for the human to be a steward
of God; ... therefore "mirroring" the infinite Word and Work of God in the earth. (St. John 14:10)
*The required characteristic of a Steward is "faithfulness", ... which would imply no
self-will, but rather, "visionary faithfulness" - 1 Corinthians 4:1,2
The temptation in the Garden of Eden was designed to:
-question God's "Infinite Reason" and "Intent"
-exalt Self to Sufficiency
-stray from the law of Stewardship (to express, or "mirror",
the will and intent of God
-achieve a status of "self government"
and "self reason"
-appeal to earthly
and prominence (Genesis 3:1-6)
The appealing message of Genesis
3:6 almost sounds like the message that drives the culture of our time.
We live in a "me" enhanced
culture, and have come to accept this as truth - even in our "religious gatherings".
(*we need to remember our "calling" -as human beings.)
Kingdom of this
When Eve ate of the fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil her understanding was opened to
what we call "enlightenment". (the power to work government, civilization)
When Adam and Eve ate of
this "fruit" they birthed what we know of as a "kingdom of this World". ("World"
The "appeal", or vision, of this Worldly Kingdom has never changed. Its
focus is still on the "temporal things". (the things that deal more with "creation", than
with the Creator)
It is possible for Society (and all of its recommendations) to become more important to us ...
than the Kingdom of God.
If this is what drives
an individual, then he, or she, is following what we know of as the "spirit of the World". (1 Corinthians 2:12)
The story of the Garden of Eden is given to us to illustrate that even though God has created all things (including the
human), ... that man has agreed to be absent from and to rebel against God's "intent", and has continuously
sought after his own ambition, and his own kingdom in this world.
"And the Lord said,
My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he is also flesh"
- Genesis. 6:3
The question that arises now is, "Is civilization wrong"
No. Remember, the fruit belongs to God, and so does the enlightenment.
"rebellion" wrong? Yes. It is a sickness, called "sin", and it comes from "self-exaltation",
or the exaltation of a strange god.
The person carrying this bug usually in some way feels cheated, and it's
not long until folks around that person are being ministered to by the same spirit. And so, new "alternatives"
It is possible for a person to look religious, be friendly, and even "helpful",
...and still be pursuing the "intent" of the "Kingdom of this World".
Flood (Genesis chs.6-9)
The era of the "Great Flood" reveals to us the splitting off of human intent, and a great judgment
upon the sinful human.
Some people fell into total "worldly" imagination; ... while some, like Noah,
respected and served God.
The story of Noah, God's steward, faithfully mirroring the will of God, as he built
the Ark, and gathered the people, animals, and food, ... is an example of God's "obedient" man.
After the Flood, Noah stayed in the ark until God told him to leave, ... then he built an Altar,
and offered offerings unto the LORD.
But, even after the flood, the human would stray, and
the imagery of God in man would be clouded and disfigured.
Man would challenge God's Power and Wisdom, and
fall into an alienated state of loss, powerlessness, and "fear"; ... sinking even to the depths
of idolatry ... while looking for God in Beasts, and Statues, and religion.
was monotheistic, believing in one God.
Most religions agreed upon His characteristics, and still do ...even to
Because God was unseen, and transcendent, it seemed natural that every time there was an "earthly
manifestation" of God's presence, ....that man would set up an "image" that would
best express his idea of the "nature of God".
Soon the created thing
was held as sacred, and was worshiped instead of the Creator.
It seems that it has always been easier
to introduce a material form of a revealed truth to human beings because they can "see" it, and that makes it easier
for them to possess "it".
In every country, on every continent, a variety of these idolistic representatives
of deity are present with humans.
The "fear based" tendency of the human, as they live in insecurity,
motivates them to grasp onto a Spiritual visitation; and for fear of losing it, they mold it into an "earthly
form" which would best characterize, and express, their experience.
this is how a form of missionary work begins, resulting in a "form of religion" being constructed ... stating,
"this is God".
*The Creator has visited every nation ... in every generation; and the "expressions"
of the human as he endeavors to "characterize" these revelations can be seen everywhere.
each generation the character of God has been represented by idols, cult objects, and fetishes, but the idea of "trinity"
seems to always be present.
Each nation has had its chief god, ...and as many more as it thought was necessary
to reference the "Great Power".
Not only were "idols" used, but also various "forms
of nature", such as mountains, seas, rivers, insects, birds, animals, humans, and even heavenly
bodies in the stars.
In Egypt the supreme God was worshiped by
different names depending upon which religious center you were at.
The most common image of this god was the beetle
which is found everywhere in Egyptian history.
The supreme god was the head of a triad, or trinity. Ptah
and Sekhmet and Nefer Tem ... ie. father, mother, and son.
Amen-Re and Mut (mother goddess),
Kensu (moon god), Osiris (god of the dead), Isis (his wife), and their son Horus (sky god).
The idea of
a trinity forming a family relationship was an ancient concept with the Egyptians.
There were also lesser gods
like Hapi (Nile god), Hathor (goddess of love and beauty), Maat (goddess of right and order), and many more mentioned in the
Pyramid texts (more than 200), while in the Book of the Dead and other writings, about twelve hundred. (Since Pharaoh
was the descendant of the supreme god, he was also considered divine)
The deified "Bull of Memphis",
that the children of Israel worshiped as a golden calf (Exodus ch.32, and 1 Kings ch.12), was also one of these gods ... representing
During each generation the character of God has been represented by idols, cult objects, and fetishes,
...but the idea of "trinity" seems to always be present.
In Mesopotamia, which land
included the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians, there is a host of gods recorded.
Whenever a land
was conquered it was customary to take their gods, as well. Over seven hundred gods are listed in Babylonia.
But, in the midst of this pantheon, we still see the same characteristics.
They had the same creative power,
and were given credit for the creation of the universe, the earth, and man, as well as the lesser gods.
god of the heavens), is called Father, and King of the gods. His wife, Antu, was later superceded
by Ishtar (goddess of love), and their many children were the lesser gods of the underworld.
Enlil (god of the
earth), his wife Damkina, and their son Marduk, were worshiped as Babylon rose to supremacy. Marduk is mentioned
in the Bible (Jeremiah 50:2) as Merodach.
In the Bible (Jeremiah 51:7), Babylon is said to have been a "golden
cup" in the LORD'S hand, ...and in verse 6, reference is made to God's anger.
In verse 17,
God is angry at the "false images" that have been created, and dedicated to worship, and He calls man
dull and stupid.
Man's tendency has always been to try to "confine God" within the boundaries
of our earthly existence, and explain Him.
God's tendency seems to be to destroy these "works
of art", for ... God is "Boundless Glory".
In more modern times, ... the Romans, and the Greeks, still maintained their worship of idols,
North American history is full of images, gods, and idols, as is every other nation in the world.
Man's interpretation of "God's presence" has in most cases been dull and narrow minded.
In many cases when man has "memorialized" a visitation of God, the "memorial" not only
became empty, and misleading, ... but was used of Satan to work against a "present" visitation.
we read historical accounts of "God's presence" at work in the earth, most often it's the religious
sector that fought against it the most.
Whether it was God's anointed prophets, kings, apostles, or missionaries,
... most have been hindered, and even killed, by zealous religious people trying to protect an old has-been
God has used many forms to "speak to man" from, whether it was
wind, fire, water, an animal, an image, or a cloud, ... but He will not remain as any of these.
has always spoken to the human in every time, and in every nation, ... sometimes in ways that we don't understand;
and a variety of religions, god's, and images have resulted, ... with man clinging to a past experience, a picture, a
relic, or an idol.
Lesson to be learned: ... God will remain at Liberty!
term "god" is simply a title, which illustrates a concept.
The concept of a "god"
... is that "it", or "he/she", is the object of a form of
worship and dedication. In our time, the subtleties of "strange gods" becoming part of our
lives, ... is seen everywhere.
An "institution" can become a "god".
even one that we will not let go of)
A "career"... can become a "god".
can become a "god".
A "Leader"... can become a "god".
... can become a "god".
A "doctrine" ... can become a "god".
can become a "god".
A "Book" can become a "god".
can become a "god"
A "good name" can become a "god"
God" will not tolerate any of these substitutes, ... no matter how we try to justify them.
*Sadly to say,
some of us give more dedication, and attention to our "pet" than we do to God, and the only reason we include
religion at all, is for the "safety of self".
Creativity of the "Living God"
Unlike the gods that the human allows in his, or her, earthly
journey, ...the "living God" expresses "Creativity".
He not only expresses creativity
all around us, ... but the message of the New Testament is that He expresses this very Spirit in us, and through us.
The Holy Ghost is the "Breath" that created everything that we know.
Our word "enthusiasm"
has come to us from the ancient term "en theos", ... which means "God within".
a difference it makes when we realize that God's message to us through Christ ... is an "indwelling Presence"
of this same Spirit.
We can now let go of the searching, and religious striving, and worship God in "Spirit",
and in "truth", ... and look forward to His "creativity" leading us forward to fulfill His intent. (St.
John 4: 23,24)
"Jesus stood..., Saying, 'If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
that believeth on me, as the scripture has said, ...out of his "innermost" ... shall flow rivers of "living
(This spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive; for the
Holy Ghost was not yet given...because Jesus was not yet glorified)
- St. John 7:37-39
Separating the "Living God" from the many empty "abstracts".
The Intent of the "Living God"
Most of the imposter gods that human
beings come up with require a "ritual", and a particular "social conduct".
looks to that "type of god" (and religion) ...expecting either a curse, or a blessing, and he worships, and
practices his deeds, accordingly.
It's kind of like a form of "magic" ... where thousands
of people stumble through life hoping for the "best", and doing their best, ... but "never really knowing".
The "Living God" has always been a God of intent.
When He created the Earth, it was only a part of His "intent".
When He created the Human,
it was only a part of His "intent".
Everything that God does, ... is only a part of
the infinite greater "expression".
What can we do then to pleasingly practice a religion ...that would
satisfy this Mighty God ?
-Worship is not the answer
"ritual" is not the answer
-Much "Prayer" is not the
-Believing about "Him" is not the answer
When we serve the "Living God", it's not because of either blessing, or cursing, but we are
rather bowing before His Divine "Intent" (only). (present tense)
And so, relationship
(see: Ephesians 3:9-11, Hebrews 2:3-4, 4:9-12, St. John ch.3, and 1 Peter ch.1)
"Jesus stood saying, 'If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
that believeth on me, as the scripture has said,...out of his "innermost" shall flow rivers of "living water".
(This He spoke of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet
given...because Jesus was not yet glorified)
- St. John 7:37-39
was prophesying ? Note: Revelation 19:10, and St. John 14:10
Fire From Heaven
"Christian Believer". Now what ?
You may have heard the Gospel Message about "how
God sent His Son into the world to be the Savior of those who believe".
You may have believed this message,
and now you want to know what happens from here.
Be careful ...
How you see everything from here ... is going to effect your development
*Just a note
to help you understand this section.
When you are reading the Bible, ...and you see the term "Word",
... it is translated from three different sources.
a) written scripture, or document, law
b) "logos" a present tense "expression" of God (noun) - like an appearance
c) "reh'ma" a present tense "spoken" (verbal) utterance (prophetic)
"present tense" because we are dealing with a "timeless" realm.
of God "is"
...the "word" of God "is"
(Let's start at the beginning)
Reviewing "the Message"
To understand the Presence of the Spirit being "with you", ... rather than the idea of just
practicing a religion, is a necessity to the "real" Christian message.
I want you to
get a Bible (at this point), and read the first chapter of the Gospel of St. John (and high-lite the following);
"In the Beginning was the Word ... The Word was with God, and the Word
All things were made by Him ... in Him was life, and the life was the light of men, ... the
"true Light" which lights every man.
As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become
the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.
Which were "born", not
of the will of man, but of God.
The "Word" was made flesh, and dwelt
among us, ... full of grace and truth".
- St. John ch.1
This term "Word", in this reference, is
the English translation of the Greek word "logos", which means "message".
look at this "Logos-Message"
Jesus, as God's presence
"... the "Word" (logos,
message) became flesh ... and dwelt among us ... full of grace and truth"
apostle John is referring to Jesus)
Jesus was the living expression of God's Word (message)
... in this Earth
same "Logos" (Word, message) was the living wisdom and power by which God created the heavens
and the earth.
- this Jesus (expresses the "Spirit of God" in the flesh)
Now, once more ... open your Bible to Colossians
same explanation that the Apostle Paul referred to in his letter to the people in the city of Colos'se,
when he wrote about Christ.
"He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation;
for in Him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities,
or authorities, all things were created through Him and for Him.
He is before all things, and in Him
all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the first-born
from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent".
For "in Him" all the
fullness of God was pleased to dwell."
- Colossians 1:15-19
Jesus - as "God's Presence"
The Apostle John writes about a discussion that Jesus had with his questioning disciples. (St. John chapter14:8)
Philip asks, "Show us the Father, and that will suffice...? "
(In other words, show us God's Presence)
* Sometimes the presence of God is right in front
of us ...
The logos ... is present, and we don't acknowledge, nor do we understand, because our confidence is
not rooted in the Spiritual Jesus experience that is called the Promise of the Father.
Jesus answered Philip (vs.9-21)
"He that has seen me, ... has seen the Father
(message) that I am speaking, I am speaking ... as the Father speaks to me ...
works that I am doing, are actually Him doing them,
because what I am doing ... is
what He is directing me to do."
* It's the "Presence",
This is the unique message about how Jesus was actually God's dwelling place in
this earth ... as the Son of man.
If you can picture Jesus in the "religious centers" of the time,
... trying to reason with these people, and trying to explain the "intent of God" to them, ... you can now
appreciate that religious people can be far from God's plan even though they "practice" the Book.
the "Redemptive" Call
The whole "intention" of God's
Spirit in Jesus was to redeem the Human, and birth the Spiritual Church.
(And I ask you, "What other
kind of church is there", or "should there be" ?)
This same "Logos" was the living wisdom and power by which God created the heavens
and the earth.
(the Spirit of God in flesh)
The miracles of Jesus ... were
the passion of the redemptive plan of the Spirit of God.
This is the creative demonstration
of the logos. (Word, message)
When we understand that Jesus was an expression of the Spirit
of God's intent, it makes it much easier to understand that the same "intent", ...and "breath",
... is to be resident within His church ... Today !
We need to take down the "relic",
... which could be "church idols", "the Book", "Special Prayers", "Special
Religious Rites", etc.,
...and realize that this group of Believers (called the church),
is called, ... and birthed to be the expression of the Spirit of God ... in today's
- as "God's Presence"
We've always been taught to "believe" so that we
can go to Heaven, ...and escape Hell.
Although this is "true", ... there is much more to this
John the Baptist said, (about Jesus) ...
"I saw the Spirit descending
like a dove, and it abode upon Him.
The same is He which baptizes with the Holy Ghost."
- St. John 1:32,33
Jesus said to his followers ...
shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, and you shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, ...and you
shall be witnesses unto me ...unto the uttermost part of the earth."
- Acts 1:5,8
The Apostle Peter said to the questioning crowd of Jews ...
that which was spoken by the prophet Joel (Joel ch.2) ...
it shall come to pass in the last days,
says God, I will pour out of my Spirit ...and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams: and on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit;
and they shall prophesy ...
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the
Lord shall be saved.
Repent, and be baptized every one of you in
the name of Jesus Christ ...for the remission of sins, ...and you shall receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. For the
promise is unto you, ...to your children, ...to all that are afar off, ... even to as many as the Lord our God shall
- Acts ch.2
Believer - "God's Presence")
Look at the Apostle Paul's ministry ...
"When they heard this, (the Ephesians), they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied."
- Acts 19:5,6
He wrote to the Roman church ...
"For the Kingdom of
God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."
"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may
abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."
- Romans 15:13
He wrote to the church at Ephesus ...
not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption."
- Ephesians 4:30
The Apostle John ...said
"And hereby we know that He abides in us, ... by
the Spirit which He has given to us."
- 1 John 3:24
"He that has
an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
- Revelation 2:29
Jude (brother of James) said ...
"... remember the words of the apostles; ...how they told you that there should be mockers in the last time,
... these be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
Beloved, build yourselves
on your most holy faith, ... praying in the Holy Ghost"
- Jude 1:17 - 20
Were these people all talking about something
Why does their church not look like what we see ?
What do we have in our generation ?
Let's see how it compares:
(1) "American Christian Message"
compared to ...
(2) the "Logos- Message" of the early church
(1) "American Christian Gospel Message"
(mostly man centered)
-Stresses man's sin and condemnation to hell.
-Forgiveness by identifying with Jesus Christ dying
on the cross in the individual's place, for the individual. (not too sure what the resurrection is for, maybe
-Holy living in accordance with the "understandings", and belief structures, as taught
within a particular institution, or group. (These regulations most often vary as to what is acceptable, and what
is not, and most often cause division, and condemnation)
-Most often hoping and praying for a revival from the
Lord, and most often never having that revival.
(Not realizing - that to be a Christian is to possess
the "directing Presence of God")
-Entertained by projects, speakers, and "events".
-Speaking about end times, or old times, but not knowing what God is saying and doing, today.
the lie that conduct and consistency are a worthy substitute for the Logos message. (who said that consistency
is faithfulness to the Spirit of God ? )
"Having a form of godliness ... but denying the power
- 2 Timothy 3:5
(2) "the Logos-Message" of the early church
is present tense and
mostly God centered, and "Kingdom of God" centered.
It emphasizes God's
witness, and testimony, in the earth ... (present tense)
The same Power and Wisdom
that put Creation in place is conducting Spiritual activity, now".
Just as Jesus ministered, we can now let go of our condemned and lost confidence, and earthly ambition,
and gladly return our spirit and soul ... into the Father's hands.
Even as Jesus moved in the Spirit,
so now we can receive "the Promise of the Father", the indwelling "Presence
of God" that directs us, into a different Life. (Romans ch.8)
message (Word) is the presence of God. (always present tense, for that's how you have presence)
God does not necessarily work within the confines of time, but within the outflow of His wisdom.
The source of this outflow is the "directing presence" of the Spirit ... in
This leads us to the Reh'ma Message. Reh'ma is
a Greek term that has been translated in our English Bibles as "word". But, this "word" is
not the same as logos "word", in that this one is the uttering, pouring forth, "word".
It is the spirit of prophecy.
It too, emphasizes God's "speaking" and "doing" presence ... in the earth today !
It's the same Power and Wisdom that put Creation into being; ... now speaking
a Word into individual lives, and out from individual lives; ...choosing to be present with these
people to direct them, and use them in our generation.
Just as you have learned about the "Logos"
being the testimony to the presence of God in the earth; ... now, we introduce you to the Voice
within the Presence.
- the Voice that "Speaks the Intent of God" to people
- the Voice that brings about "change" in the life of the Believer
- the Voice that brings
"Spiritual faith" for Faithfulness
- the "vision" that teaches
- the "Spirit"
*This is the foundation for the outworking of
gifts of the Holy Spirit"
"Structural gifts of the Holy Spirit"
Learn more about the
"Rhe'ma" in the "Faithfulness Section" (Part 12)
Pharisees (separated ones)
The sect originated about 150 years prior to the birth of Jesus
They were a group that was going to bring Judaism into the modern era
When reading the gospels that record the
stories of Jesus, we see them as always showing up in conflict with Jesus. (who did not separate Himself, but gave Himself
to the Spirit and ministry of Salvation)
- observed the Mosaic
- practiced observance to national Judaism
- associated with the Scribes and educational system
- controlled the synagogues (places of religious teaching)
- controlled the schools
- and were generally revered by the masses
They believed in:
of the dead (Acts 23:6-8)
future rewards and punishments
4) took pride in how much they knew and wanted it to "rub off" on
(see their public "praying and giving" - St. Matthew ch.6)
some groups like the Saducees didn't believe in change, they tried to fit the law to the "new
environment" by practical interpretation
6) they practiced exorcism (St. Luke 11:19)
7) they practiced fasting twice a week, and tithing (St. Luke 18)
8) they believed they were righteous
in their daily living
9) they despised sinners (St. Luke 18:9)
they separated themselves, and made it known
11) they were zealously "missionary minded" (St. Matt.
* they were "making a statement", "letting their light shine", were
quite "aggressive", and "commonly accepted", and were people of "good intention":
... but not "God's intention"
These religious people had lots of problems with Jesus and John
the Baptist. (See: St. Matthew 11:19, St. Luke 7: 29 - 35)
They were trusting in how much they
knew, what they were doing, and who they knew, ... rather than what the "Spirit of God" was saying,
They didn't "know the Spirit of God", nor did they recognize Him ... anywhere,
at any time.
The Pharisees believed in dedicating themselves to the "Practice of God's Book", but
knew nothing of the presence of the Spirit in their hearts, and mouths.
It's obvious from the New Testament
message ... that this is not an acceptable dedication. (see: St. John ch. 3)
Why would we look at the Pharisees ?
The political Christianity practiced generally today is a clone of the
Pharisee sect that was so popular in the era of the Jesus Ministry.
The Pharisees had faith and dedication toward
the same God, and the same Old Testament writings, as the modern day fundamentalist.
Their practice, and attitude,
was similar to that of today's contemporary Christian.
Their "dedication" rites (declaring their testimony)
were similar in expectation.
Although we have the Jesus creed, ... I fear that we are missing the New Testament
message, and "experience".
Is this a serious issue? Yes. (see: St. John
ch. 3, St. Matthew 7:18-23)
Will we continue to put merit in our practice of religion, and not know
the New Testament "experience" in Christ?
Are we born of the Spirit?
we know the "voice" of the Holy Spirit?
(St. John 10:26-29)
"My sheep hear my voice,
and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them Eternal Life."
- St. John 10:27,28
Chasing Christians to "Practice"
only have sermons that are centered around "practice" ... are preaching social conduct;
... not anything that would lead to "spirituality". (In fact, this preaching works against Spirituality)
The Pharisees only understood and preached "social conduct" to the people, ... and could not bring them
to "eternal life", or to a "spiritual" relationship with God.
The polished practice that they
were seeking from their followers had no room for Christ, or the Spirit, or sinners.
They not only gave
the people a misguided hope, but worked against anything that would ruffle their system, including "God's
workings" through John the Baptist, Jesus, the Apostles, and the early Church. (St. Matthew ch.23)
It's a sad day when our preachers can only read out of a Book, ... and relate stories about "other"
people's relationship with God.
This is the contention that Jesus had with the religious leaders of
"the day", ... as He read (St. Luke 4:16-21) from the following scripture to them:
"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me ... to preach good tidings, to bind up the broken
hearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort, to give them beauty for ashes, the garment of praise, ... that they might be called the planting
of the Lord".
- Isaiah ch.61
- Taking Care of Business -
-none of its own
-none of its
-none of its own
you belong to one?"
An institution is a blind, lifeless, form, that has no direction of its own ... but rather is led and directed by individuals
from within and without.
Don't ever lose your ministry, or the "power to suggest".
Change is inevitable. It is brought on by the individual ... within these structures.
Some things that we should know about any Institution:
Belonging to one
- does not substitute for your relationship with the Almighty.
- does not give
you Eternal Life
- does not give you Spirituality
Belonging to an institution:
- the "fullness of desire", or the real true desire to get involved, should come
the Spirit of God.
-"enlightenment" will call you into fellowship,
and out of "fellowship" (see: 1,2,3 letters of John)
- "influence ... should
also be understood in both giving, and receiving. (see: 1 Peter ch.2)
"confusions" could offend, and hurt
Be careful. Stay away from some
And always remember, graciousness restores.
"Be at peace
little ones ... I am come that you might have Life".
- be more overbearing in its context
- be more formidable in its experience
- be more contemplative in your achievement
- be more dedicated in
- be more sufficient in your worry
- be more contemplative in your
And above all ...
- set forth God's intent for the "institution"
- know why you are there (if "you" should be)
- know who you
and remember ...
- choices are yours ... and God's.
- God's choices are "the best"
and are the "most" rewarding to all
- faith puts these "choices" into action
- these kinds of actions
- bearing much fruit "glorifies" God
- (St. John 15:8)
"I will sustain you. Wisdom is choice"
Should take it seriously.
It's a "stewardship"
To give ... and ... To receive
- it should
be understood in both areas
- it should be exercised
- it should be controlled
- it should be elaborated upon
- it definitely should be "talked about"
- it should be "yearned for" and "cultivated"
"Influence ... Is
the Greatest of Gifts"
Influence (not noise)
"Then the LORD answered
Job out of the whirlwind and said, who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?"
- Job 38:1,2
And then ...
"...the LORD said to Eliphaz, My wrath
is kindled against you ...and your two friends: for you have not spoken of Me ... the thing that is right.
Go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you,
...lest I deal with you after your foolishness, in that you have not spoken of Me, ... the thing which is right "
- Job 42:7,8
I have heard several interpretations as to why the Book of Job
is so important to us as a lesson, ... and some of the "interpretations" are the very ones that Job's three
friends would have given.
eg. - Character is "perfected" through suffering
- Satan has power to "test" and "demoralize"
The test of the Book of Job,
from beginning to end, is the test that takes place in the midst of either;
a) "wealth and Blessing"
b) "dire straights and opposition"
The "test" is the same,
...and the answer is found in the above stated scripture.
Who do we think we are that we think we can speak for
God in a "situation", ... either good, or bad, ... without His Spirit giving us insight
... apart from anything that we think we might see, or think we know ?
you want to understand the spiritual lessons of influence, then the Book of Job will introduce you to many of the
Influence is not always ... good influence; and God is not always pleased.
kinds of "influence"
Just because there is a general "group agreement", it doesn't
mean that something is right, or of God.
When it comes to Spiritual counsel, presumption is
What you see, ... may not be what God "sees".
friends waited seven days for him to run out of patience; and then, instead of waiting upon the Spirit themselves,
they discussed, and lectured, him with their fundamentalist belief. (passing it off as God's word)
"dedicated", and "concerned", and "patient", and "knowledgeable", ... but they
They were not ministering to Job as God's messengers, ... and they needed to repent.
Godly influence ... is controlled influence.
We must be careful not to run ahead of God.
In His vastness, He not only makes the rain to fall upon
the "tender bud" in the desolate wilderness, ... but He also holds the giant "solar system" in place.
The meaning of "influence"
(Heb. Ma'adanna'h, a'nad) - is a colorful mixture of the following; ..to bind, .. delicate,
.. cheerful, .. to lace fast, .. tie.
The only time the actual word "influence" is found in the
Bible, is in Job 38:31
"Can you bind the sweet influences of Ple'iade's, or loose the bands of
Ple'iade's, is a group of stars, but the name itself is a delight to describe what we
are talking about.
Ple'iade's (Heb. Ku'wmaz) gives the idea of "storing away"
a jewel, gold beads, or a tablet.
Now, ...can you imagine what God was asking Job?
can you stop the "sweet influences" of my heavenly jewel box ?"
I want you to
always associate the truth of influence with God's heavenly "jewel box", ... with God's
controlled Power to delicately bind and loose in the earth.
(Influence is like a string of jewels
- one gem after another)
When you read Job ch.38, and let God give you a grasp of Who He is,
...and then see the "Power of Influence" ... as taking from His heavenly Jewel Box to bind
and loose in the earth,
You will then begin to understand what Jesus was saying when He said
"And I will give unto you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever you shall
bind on the earth, shall be bound in Heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven."
- St. Matthew 16:19
In the English language, the term responsibility means simply, ...the ability to respond,
and it was taken from the idea of having the ability to answer in payment. (action)
The emphasis is on the "individual",
and that person's ability to actively respond in a suitable manner.
I believe that most people (if they
can) respond "humanly" to that system, belief, or person, that they believe has the ability to realize their
dream, and fulfill their need.
For example, a responsible Christian would most likely be one who lived a particular
lifestyle ... in accordance with the precepts of their belief, therefore hoping to bring the blessing of God upon
When one discusses this particular subject with others, a "variety of opinions" could very
well surface ... as to how this lifestyle would appear, and "what brings the blessing of God upon a
So, being the "intelligent student" that we are, we know that we must base our doctrine
upon the Scriptures to arrive at the authoritative answer.
So away we go. We're going to look up the
word "responsibility", and write down all the places that this subject is discussed.
The word responsibility is nowhere to be found in the versions of the Bible that we use, so now what?
There is a good reason why the word "responsibility" is not found in the Bible, and that's because
you are not asked to be responsible, ... but rather to be "open" and "obedient"
to the Holy Spirit.
got your attention now, haven't I ?
Let's dig a little deeper
The substance of this
word is "reaction", and centers around the individual that's doing the responding.
No special "spotlight" is placed upon any particular "Superior Being", or what that Being
Get the Picture?
The emphasis is on the "individual", and what
he, or she, chooses to respond to; ... and particularly how good they do this ... implies a track record,
... without any attention necessarily being given to a "Superior Being".
It's wide open. It's
focused upon individual achievement, and prideful action. It is "lower nature", and has its
roots in carnality, rather than in the Spirit.
(see Paul's comments to the Romans
*Responsibility ? It's what we call "a doctrine of man".
Is it a play on words? No. Not if you look into the character of it, and what it leads to in
regards to relationship with God.
It may be great in a society, but it does not
fit Spiritually. In fact, it leads away from Spirituality, and tends to undermine faith in the goodness
of God, and His wisdom.
If we pursue it far enough, it leads to condemnation, ... rather
(see also: Revelation chs.2,3)
"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, ...but is longsuffering toward us, ...not willing that
any should perish, ... but that all should come to repentance"
- 2 Peter ch.2; 3:9
"But they rebelled, and vexed His Holy Spirit ... He was turned to
be their enemy."
- Isaiah 63:10
To understand "rebelliousness",
...one should know that it is first a state of "mind", and not an act.
It is possible to be in a state
of "rebellion", and still be responsible, loyal, religious, and friendly.
The word "rebellious"
(Heb. Ma'ra'h) means "bitter", and carries with it an "active sense" - to change, provoke,
and disobey; ...and as it grows, ... it "acts".
It is no doubt a sickness that comes from self-exaltation,
or the exaltation of a "strange god", and the person carrying this bug usually, in some way, feels cheated.
The "temptations" that we fall into when not waiting upon the voice of the Holy Spirit may seem very
"normal", and acceptable to people around us, but the sickness of lack, and disappointment, begins to move
into our "reasoning", ...and our hearts begin to harden.
*Remember, you can always find someone who
will comfort you in your disappointment, and will help you to justify yourself, and will give you a "new"
religious home, and the empty promise of a bright future. But until you return to the respect for God alone, and His
intent in your life, ...the "rebelliousness" will continue to "hurt" you, and rob you.
with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad, and strengthened the hands of the wicked
that he should not return from his wicked way, ... by promising him life."
- Ezekiel 13:22
The deception of the rebellious heart does no favors for anyone "spiritually".
rebellious person looking for alternatives, ... it's not long until folks around "that person"
are being ministered to by the same spirit of bitterness. (Ezekiel chs.12,13,14)
letter to the Hebrew church, in the New Testament, told the believers to look diligently for such a person, lest
a root of "bitterness" would begin to spring up, and thereby trouble, and defile many. (Hebrews ch.12)
This does not mean that we become critical, but rather even more sensitive to the Holy Spirit, in order to minister
to such a one. (James ch.5, 1 John chs.1-5)
Remember, that you are not restoring such a person to "your"
customs, or ideas ... but rather to a refreshing in the Holy Spirit.
You are not restoring a "friendship",
... but rather are dealing with a "heart" that is giving up, and believing that it is easier, or more beneficial
not to hear, or obey, the "intent" of the Holy Spirit.
This is not a carnal ministry
of correction, but rather a spiritual ministry ... of faith building, and reconciliation.
God Bless you
as you "love", and move in the intent of the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 3:9)
"Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty
of the body and blood of the Lord."
- 1 Corinthians 11:27
The Communion Table (Table of Repentance)
It can be possible that there
are two states of mind present at the Communion Table, just as there were two states of mind present at the Crucifixion.
There has always been "the person" that is current, and accepted, in the "religion of the day",
... that is outwardly religious, and friendly, and may even be a "church worker", ... but inwardly he, or she,
is not open to the suggestion, and command of the Holy Spirit, and may not see it as necessary.
"works", (motivated by what, we're not sure), may very well be "hurting" people's growth, and
may be suggesting that there are "other options" to religion, other than that of the new testament.
They are the people who will "crucify" the intent, and presence, of God, ...and re-submit
the value of religious works, and human personality.
They are the lost, religious, killers of the new testament.
To approach the new testament "Table of Communion" with this state of mind, and heart, is to "crucify"
Christ all over again, ... a hostile move for sure.
"But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For if we
would judge ourselves, we should not be judged."
- 1 Corinthians 11: 28,31
It can be possible that there are two states of mind present at the Communion Table, ... just as there
were two states of mind present at the Crucifixion.
The New Testament believer that has a problem with someone
whom Christ died for, ...even though that person has come to the New Testament Communion Table in faith, needs to realize
that we come to this "table" in remembrance of what the New Testament is. (1 Corinthians 11:23-34, St. Luke
It is first of all a "bloody" table ... not a friendly table.
It is similar
to the Old Testament "Altar", where the sacrifice for sin took place; which means that "all is
Which means that if we are approaching this "table" in faith, ... we
too, should forgive.
If there is a broken, or wounded, relationship, it needs to approach this table in the "truth"
of it, ... and let the bitter dissension be left at "the cross" ...thereby having respect for the "Cup"
of the New Testament.
In the new testament we live in a "state of forgiveness" before the Throne
of God, because of His grace towards ... all who would believe.
"For as the body is one, and has many
members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: ... so also is Christ.
Now hath God set the members every one of them in the Body, as it has pleased Him."
Corinthians 12: 12,18
It is not by accident that the apostle Paul, when speaking of the Bread of the Communion Table, went right on
to talk about Spiritual gifts, and Spiritual ministries.
When we take the Bread, we are recognizing the broken
body of Christ, ... that is associated with his ministry.
The "Promise of the Father" (the
Holy Ghost), is also resident with the congregation of Believers.
Being with this variety of "broken
body members", is the Holy Spirit's "redemptive" business, ... and ministry.
the Body gathers together in faith we need to remember that our "attitude" is dead, and our faith is "alive"
unto the workings of the New Testament.
Each member of the Body needs to be expecting
Holy Spirit ministry to be upon their lives so that they can encourage, strengthen, and heal the rest of the members. (1 Corinthians
In the New Testament ...we live in a "state of forgiveness" ... before
the Throne of God, ... and a state of readiness to minister to the Body because of the redemptive presence
of the Holy Spirit.
In the English
language, the term loyalty means simply, ...true, or faithful, or constant allegiance to some
Derived from the French word "Leal", which came from the Latin word
"legalis" (legal), or "law", we get the picture:
"One who adheres
to a "law" is being "loyal".
"Should a Christian be "Loyal" ?
(the answer is simple: ... but maybe not, ... let's see)
The emphasis is on the "individual",
and that person's ability to perform in a suitable manner.
For example, a "loyal" Christian would most likely be one who lived a particular "lifestyle"
in accordance with the precepts of his, or her, belief, and would look to be rewarded for this "loyalty" ... both
here, and in the hereafter.
Now, I've done it, we've opened a "huge world of discussion" with
a "variety of opinions", I'm sure.
So, being the "intelligent students" that we
are, we know that we must base our doctrine upon the Scriptures ... to arrive at the authoritative answer.
away we go, ... we're going to look up the word "Loyalty", and write down all the places that this
subject is discussed.
The word "Loyalty" is nowhere to be found in the versions
of the Bible that we commonly use, ... so now what ?
Let's dig a little deeper
- the substance of this word is "law", and centers around
the individual that's doing the "law-abiding".
- no special "spotlight" is placed
upon any particular "Superior Being"
Get the Picture?
- The emphasis is on the
"individual", and what he, or she, ... chooses to be "loyal" to;
- and, particularly
how well they do this, implies a "track record", without any attention necessarily given to a
"Superior Being", or the "promise of the Father".
It is valuable in social
relationships; but, probably not as valuable as Spirituality in the same relationship. It lacks
the wisdom, and vitality of the Spirit.
- it's wide open
- it is focused upon individual
achievement, and prideful action. (take pride in your word ... see James 4:5-17)
- it is
"lower nature", and quite often "judgmental" of others,
and sometimes even of
Although I think Christians are just as intelligent, credible, and beautiful as anyone else in the world, I
believe that one must be careful, as to what he, or she, "promises to do". It is of
utmost importance to be "in tune" with the desires of the Holy Spirit, and to be available to "His
* Loyalty ? It's what we call "a doctrine of man".
it a play on words? No, not if one looks into the character of it, and what it leads to.
-God as Master
-Kingdom of God
"As every man has received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good Stewards of the manifold
grace of God.
If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.
man minister, let him do it with the ability that God gives:
That God in all things may be glorified
through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever, and ever"
-1 Peter 4:10,11
The scriptural concept of stewardship implies that one is the administrator
of a household; expressing, and doing, the Master's wishes in the areas of economy, tutoring, and protecting the
young family members, and managing the estates at hand.
*Stewardship always implies:
1) a Master
2) the interest, dreams, and
wishes of a Master
3) "actual" possessions of a Master
4) a subordinate, - son,
The "emphasis" always gives regard to:
1) the Superior,
and his rightful ownership
2) the wishes of the Master
3) the property, family, and authority of
Stewardship is all about pleasing a "living Master", and being his representative.
The title "Steward"
actually is derived from the Hebrew word "Bane", which is spelled Be'n, and gives the sense of Son,
grandson, steward. (later, allowing for slaves, which I think gives an interesting foreshadow of the
acceptance of anyone into God's family)
Other places imply "to hold"
- a name
- a family
* The truth about a Steward - is that authority, and enablement,
is derived from above, and not from ones self. It's impossible to be a steward on your own.
"I am the vine, and you are the branches, ... that bear fruit."
The fruit draws upon the "nutrients of the vine" that comes from the source, ... representing
the Spirit flow in the Church. (read St. John 15:1-8)
An original, and interesting, example
of "stewardship" in the Old Testament is the account of Adam and Eve, and Creation. (read Gen.
And then, one can read about the deception, alienation, and the loss of position and authority.
Then, we see the immediate establishment of "the New Testament Promise",
that the children of humanity would "bruise the head (authority) of the devil".
(also referred to in the historical prophets, St. John, and other apostolic writings)
This understanding of "Stewardship" ... now leaves Believers in the world to "occupy",
and opens up to them ..."Spiritual ministry tasks" which are necessary to the growth, and administration,
of His Spiritual Kingdom.
(Some interesting Scriptures illustrating stewardship are:
St. John chs.14,15,16,17, Titus 1:7, 1 Peter 4:10, 1 Corinthians 4:1,2)
* The most important thing a Steward is asked to provide is "faithfulness". It's not a
characteristic - it's an action !
-no room for fear
-is of the
-is intensity in motion
"He that has an ear ... let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches"
- Revelation ch.2,3
The scriptural concept of faithfulness implies that ... one is "full of faith", rather
than just being loyal, or consistent.
To have some form of "faith" in God, we must know
something about Him.
He is the Creator of Heaven and Earth, and all that is in the Earth.
Creation, He has consistently, and "actively" involved Himself with the human society.
He has given
to mankind His divine intent, and blessed promises.
He has brought forth blessing upon some people, and
He has also brought judgment upon some people.
He has demonstrated His almighty power in these Earthly activities.
He has spoken to "man", and His Word is true.
He commands "worship" and
"obedience" from people. (which is actually an act of "Faith" - Exodus ch.20)
is His own entity, totally self-sufficient, and totally true to His Word - in "blessing", or "judgment".
As we have seen God's Divine character as sound, mighty, and unwavering, ... we believe in Him.
now, we also see many humans as self-serving, and sinful; not being attentive to the Spirit. Therefore,
a division comes between God and people.
What is "The Gospel"
The Gospel is the message centering around the Father's work of redemption ... that rescues people from
the bondages of sin, and waywardness.
It's the work that builds, and secures,
the Kingdom of God ... through the Spirit.
It raises up Sons and Daughters of God, restoring, and commissioning,
people as God's stewards in the Earth.
*In this "New Testament" in Christ, Faith
becomes more than just a Belief. Faith is the action that accomplishes the "redemption goals"
of the Kingdom of God.
This "Faith" is Spiritually charged and directed.
term faithful, when used in the New Testament, is translated from the Greek word "Pistos" - meaning trustworthy,
sure, and true.
To get the full characteristic, you need to go back one more level -to the parent Greek
word "peitho", ... which is a verb meaning:
- to persuade ... true or false
- to assent to evidence or "authority"
- agree, obey, yield, trust,
- make friend
Notice the "intimacy" in this New Testament term.
"Faithfulness" is the point where you "give in" to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
- become a friend
- it's when God persuades you
- it's your alliance
with His wishes, with His best interests at heart
Faithfulness - launches the "Steward" into Kingdom
*When one understands the importance of the redemption centered in Christ, - and
the coming of the Spirit to "endue" every Believer with "Spiritual Ministry" to accomplish these
a New Testament understanding of "faithfulness" is born!
kind of "faith" comes from intimacy with the Holy Spirit; and your out-flowing ministry is your
This "spiritual faith" comes by beholding.
(Gk. - to mirror)
"But we ... beholding the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory
to glory ... by the Spirit of the Lord."
- 2 Corinthians 3:18
(read also: 2 Corinthians chs.1,2,3,4,5)
"We having the same Spirit of faith, ... we also believe, and therefore we
Knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise us up also by Jesus, and shall present
us with you." (here)
- 2 Corinthians 4:13-14
"But the fruit of the Spirit is ... Faith".
"If we live
in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."
- Galatians 5:22,25
When this idea of "fruit" is used in the Greek sense, ... it means
In other words, being visionary, and beholding during our "intimacy"
with the Holy Spirit, ... we pluck our faith, and "put it into action".
"Having the same Spirit of Faith ... we also believe, ... and therefore we speak."
This is the foundation of New Testament "faithfulness".
* When one understands the importance of the "redemptive intention" centered in Christ, ... and the
coming of the Holy Spirit to "endue" every believer with "Spiritual ministry" to accomplish these goals
a New Testament understanding of faithfulness is born !
Spiritual Faith comes, not only by "beholding", ... but also by "hearing the Word".
What is the Word ? What do we mean by that ?
You have heard some folk say that
they are a "preacher of the Word", or a "student of the Word".
If they really are,
... then they'll know what we're talking about, here.
There are three "kinds"
This is, in simple terms, the collection of what we consider as Holy writings.
The Book: the written word of the inspired prophets.
This Book is full of stories of how God created man,
blessed man, and judged man. It's full of laws that God spoke to man, and prophecies foretelling future events.
From this Book, we think that we learn how to live a pleasing life before God, and we hopefully do our best.
there is "logos" ...
we read the Bible, we discover that it was God's intent for His Word to be "birthed" in the earth,
in man, ... and to dwell in the human society with a redemptive mission.
of God is the Greek term "logos", which has been translated in our Bibles as the word. (St.
It's a New Testament Greek term that replaces the Old Testament Hebrew form "da'bar",
which is translated as word in the Old Testament.
*Logos - is the type of Word, when used
in the Bible, that has more to do with the expression and "work" of God. It is the "noun"
form for Word. (that which is, that which you see)
The third "kind" of
Word is "rhe'ma" ...
"Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word (rhe'ma)
- Romans 10:17
Spiritual faith comes by hearing the Word. (Romans 10:17) What do we mean
This New Testament Greek term is what the above scripture (Romans 10:17) was translated from as "Word".
In most cases where you find the term Word being used in relationship to ministry, and service,
it is translated from "rhe'ma".
eg. - "word is nigh thee...in thy mouth
we preach" (Rom.10:8)
"washing...by the word" (Eph.5:26)
"sword of the Spirit...word"
"word of His power" (Heb.1:3)
"worlds framed by ... word"
"word of the Lord endures ...
word which is preached" (1 Peter 1:25)
"have tasted the good word" (Heb.6:5)
Rhe'ma - is the action "verb", which has
its own parent "rhe'o", ... which gives the sense of pouring forth, or uttering.
In the Book of Acts we see the "pouring forth", and "uttering" of the "rhe'ma".
*This pouring forth rhe'ma Word is something that God's people are
to count on for their direction, and ministry, ... resulting in faithfulness.
Faithfulness is dependant upon no one else, but is rather the exercise of Spiritual Power that comes from
the Holy Spirit.
Jesus told a Parable to describe
"A certain Nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a
kingdom, and to return.
He called his ten servants, and delivered to them "ten
pounds" (money), and said occupy till I return.
When he returned, he called
for these servants, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
Then came the first
saying, Lord, your pound has gained ten pounds.
He said unto him, Good servant, because you have been
faithful in a very little ... have authority over ten cities".
The second came saying, Lord your
pound has gained five pounds.
And He said to him, Be thou also over five cities.
another came saying, Lord, here is your pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: for I feared you because you are
an austere man. You take up that which you have not laid down, and you reap that which you did not sow.
And the Lord said unto him, Out of your own mouth will I judge you, you wicked servant.
he said unto them that stood by, Take the pound from him, and give it to him that has ten pounds.
I say unto you, that everyone that has, to him shall be given: and from him that has not, ... even that which
he has shall be taken away from him"
- St. Luke 19:12-26
Lessons to be learned from the Parable:
- "supplied" the ten pounds to the servants, all that
was required of them ... was faithfulness
- he was an "austere" (stormy, severe)
- he was a "reaper"
- he had great intensity and "expected" much
- he wanted to know "how much" was gained
- he believed in "interaction" and
"trading" he was "industrious"
- he was a rewarder, but also a chastiser
- he was a "judge"
the Faithful Servants
- received great reward, and authority,
... in accordance with their "gain"
the Wicked Servant
was still the "Nobleman's servant"
- was "loyal" (did not squander)
was "reverential" (in awe of the Lord)
- was a "believer"
(in the Lord)
- was "responsible" (paid back the pound)
- was "careful" (wrapped and hid the pound)
- was "fearful"
(of the Lord's intensity)
- But ...he was not "Faithful"
* The wicked servant looked good. He was the Master's servant, and he still walked around looking
good. Everything was under control, and he was "loyal", and "responsible".
He had a little "extra time" on his hands because he wasn't performing, ... but he could "fill that"
with other good things. The intent of the Lord, (for him), ... well that was lost.
"Then He said unto the good servant, because you have been faithful in a very little, have authority over
For I say unto you, that every one that has to him shall be given: and from him that
has not, ... even that which he has, shall be taken away from him."
Luke 19:12-26, ch.16:10
Faithful in "that which is Least"
The redemptive ministry of Jesus once again introduced the presence of the Father to the people. (St.
In the Book of Acts we see the "pouring forth", and "uttering"
of the "rhe'ma" word to the disciples. (Acts ch.2)
This pouring forth
rhe'ma Word is something that "Believers" are to count on for their direction and ministry,
... which results in faithfulness.
Putting this practice of faithfulness into effect, in even the "smallest"
things of your daily life, will keep you in a place of intimacy with the Holy Spirit.
to be comfortable with the "voice of the Spirit" ... in small things will:
you in a state of repentance (reconsidering, and listening)
- will bring about renewing in your life
- will increase your faith
- will give you wisdom
- will give you the "direction" of God's
- will give you redemptive ministry that is real
* Faithfulness leaves no room
for "fear"; and fear leaves no room for faithfulness; ... but will rather bring in the substitute "human
efforts" of loyalty, carefulness, and responsibility, to try to please a God who they have only heard about
-the intent of God
"Who has reconciled
us to Himself by Jesus Christ ... and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation.
God, in Christ,
... reconciling the world unto Himself, ... has committed unto us the word of reconciliation."
- 2 Corinthians 5: 18,19
"All things are of God, who has reconciled us to
Himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; God was in Christ, reconciling
the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them;
And has committed unto us the
word of reconciliation.
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ..."
Corinthians 5: 18-20
Reconciliation (Gk. Katallage') - simply means to restore to "mutual"
favor, (make things right, remove the differences)
God, who has created all things, does not change for
the "self-serving" human.
The human, in his/her natural state cannot serve God acceptably,
nor does it appear that they desire to.
(It seems that there is always a "hidden agenda", that
would ultimately serve "self" - Romans 8:7,8)
God and Man
God, in His higher wisdom, and grace, made it possible for the human
to relate to Him properly ... through the inspiration of Spirit.
(St. John ch.15,16,
Romans 8:5, Colossians ch.1)
Reconciliation is a priestly ministry that has been passed to
the Church ... through the word of God's Spirit.
This ministry functions in the "world",
and in the "church", ... and is the "essence" of the redemptive work of God.
To enter into this work of "reconciliation", two truths are totally essential:
- the "complete" forgiveness of sin, so that there is no separation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- and the "complete" dependence upon the Spirit of God for the right "mind-set",
because the natural human mind doesn't understand, and falls short of God's eternal purposes.
(1 Corinthians ch.2, Romans ch.8)
We cannot enter into the reconciled life apart from these two truths. One must be born into
it, after the natural birth. (St. John ch.3)
To continue this "work of reconciliation"
in this world, these two truths become even more radically essential.
Our ways ... are not His ways; our
wisdom ... is not His wisdom. Our compassion, ... is not His compassion.
For us to try to
continue this ministry of reconciliation with our own insight ...does not bear real
"fruit". (St. John ch.15,16)
So the question arises,
participate in this ministry, ... or is it for others ?
The answer is:
If you carry His
Spirit, you will also have "His intent".
"You are a Royal
"priesthood" ... that you should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His
- 1 Peter 2:9
To understand God's
form of reconciliation ... one should know that it is always initiated by God.
Man never initiates
"reconciliation" with God, nor can he, ... it is the gift of God.
It is of Spiritual
origin, and unattainable by natural man.
It is a "spiritual awakening" by the Spirit of
Understanding this "truth" ... puts all the weight of this ministry upon the ambassadors of Christ,
... the Church, ... the Believers.
We need to stop talking about sinners, and backsliders, and move out
into this ministry of reconciliation.
The call is upon us, the individual.
It's a "Reasoning" ministry
It's a "Comforting" ministry
of the Holy Spirit is necessary, and ...
It is a "Repeat" ministry.
How many times is this priestly service called upon ?
Every time it's needed. Priestly service is a daily service in the Kingdom of God.
are a Spiritual priesthood, and it must remain that way. Don't be fooled by what you see around
you. You have the Spirit of God, and His wisdom.
-New Modern Day
"My preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but
in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but
in the Power of God."
- 1 Corinthians 2:4,5
(with a touch of grace and caring)
- it's always been
Be a "Builder" not a "Plunderer"
-Don't be overbearing
-Don't be cautious ...
what you think"
Be overbearing in mentioning the Assets and Works of the Church.
-Sensational- ize it !
-Glamour- ize it !
-Get the folks on their feet, with "encouragement"
Don't overemphasize "faultfinding of one another", ... but rather look to individuality, encouragement,
hearing, and ministering spiritually, as the Spirit of God gives you direction, in spite of what is happening around
An example is the apostle John sending letters to the seven Churches that are in Asia. (Revelation chs.2,3)
(Not the progressive world church, but specifically those in Asia, ... showing God's concern for "each
group", and the importance that He places upon "each group")
- he complimented them each "specifically"
(he understood them)
- introduced a specific corrective message
- encouraged the individual
to hear what the Spirit is saying to "the church"
- the promise to the individual,
interestingly enough, is different with each different church setting
*the Spirit of God cares about each individual,
and their ministry to the individual church that they are in.
preaching with a touch of grace and caring, ... because it's personal.
Jesus talked to "students of the Scripture", he used Scripture references.
When he spoke to the
"common folk", he introduced the Kingdom of God, and referenced everyday stories. (study the "ordinary
Peter spoke to the "crowd on the Day of Pentecost, he referred to the prophecies that they all knew, regarding
the Jewish people.
When Paul spoke to gatherings in cities that believed in "other gods", he spoke in
terms that they related to.
All of these situations have "one thing in common" the preacher met
the people at their selective point of faith, ... at their "door- way" of relationship with God.
At "the place where they exercised their faith".
*The Preacher is a servant to
the individual church, and city,
"he that hath an ear, let him hear what the
Spirit says to the "churches". (plural and individual)
*Preaching, is a nurturing, admonishing, job.
- to the Romans (ch.15:1-19)
- to Timothy (2 letters)
- to the "scattered Christians" (1 Peter 5:1-10)
When the specific group of writings was combined into the book that we know of
as the Bible, the most important topic of concern was to preserve the history, the prophecy, and the message, of God's
people, ... and to hand down a book that could be referred to, read, and understood, by the people of every generation.
At this point, some fell into the trap of looking to the book only, and left off the most important aspect of all, that
"Looking to the God of the book"
sad, for that's what the book is all about)
*It's almost ...like a form of "monument building",
and glorifying the monument, rather than ... the Presence of God.
Unshroud the Message
Although you should read and study the scriptures, and let the Lord speak to you from them, ... don't preach second
hand, or third hand messages, that may not be in the context of your situation.
Learn " when to stop
reading ". It's usually at the point when we start seeing, hearing, and realizing
Write things down ...that you hear and see in the Spirit, ... and be a faithful
The message should be:
someone, or church
-of the "Spirit of the Lord"
-familiar to the "Logos"
-belonging to "today"
-of eternal value
Old Testament Preaching
(the law and the Prophets)
Basically, two major forms of "preaching" are found in the Old Testament, ... that being
prophetic preaching, and scriptural preaching of laws, ritual, and lifestyle.
Sometimes the man of God carried a generalized message
for his people during his present era.
Other times he spoke specifically ... to a particular person regarding
a "particular situation".
Sometimes he spoke of futuristic events that would reveal God's
participation in "world events".
Most times, this type of preaching came from a lonely, separated
man, who was not part of a systematic, organized religion.
Scriptural preaching, was a different style, and was based upon the "written" word known as the Torah.
This word was written down as the prophet spoke.
Quite often this type of preaching was more like "reading
of the law" (eg. Duet. 11: , and 2 Chronicles 15:3, ch.17:7-9, and ch.35:3)
times, this type of preaching was conducted by the priests of the nation, who served the people under command of the king.
During the re-grouping of Israel, the priest Ezra, and his assistants, ... read from the Scriptures for the people.
*Both were ordained of God, ... and both were used to continue, and nurture, God's
relationship with His people.
New Testament Preaching
(the Gospels and the Epistles)
"The law and the prophets were until John (the
baptist): since that time "the Kingdom of God" is preached, and every man
presses into it."
- Jesus St. Luke 16:16
the 4 Gospels and Acts
The man of God that we know of as the Apostle John
used the word "martyrein" most often to describe his preaching, and writing.
The meaning of this
word is - "to bear witness judicially ... as an eye-witness"
Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles, are of this nature of preaching, and writing.
What we know about the epistles, is that they are a group of
letters, ... each being sent to a person, or a church group, to specifically address a problem, or a subject, and
are of a teaching nature to direct, and bring some commonality to the early church.
They were used, and
preached from, by the early preachers, along with the old testament; and were used somewhat like the law was used by
the old testament priests ...to "remind the people", and give a reference to the next generation of believers.
A good explanation of this is found in Paul's instruction to a young preacher named Timothy, and also to
(1 Timothy 4:13-14, 2 Tim. 2:2, ch.2:14-15, ch.3:14-16, ch.4:1-5, and Titus 1:9-14)
Other forms of preaching found in the New Testament accounts, when referring to John the Baptist, Jesus,
and others, are:
-"keryssein" (to herald, to proclaim),
(to publish good news),
- as well as over 25 other terms which basically express the same
The "message", and "intent" of the preacher,
is as important as understanding the era of the listener, and the method of delivery, ... so as
to best illustrate the spirit of the message".
Putting all complications aside, ... no one understands
this better than the Holy Spirit.
The message of the Old Testament generally centers around the promise, and blessing of God, to a family ... that
Some background of the "human race" is given ...
- accounts of
God as Creator, and ruler of heaven and earth
- man's tendency to worship creation more than the Creator
- God's nature in dealing with man
- accountability and eternal promise
- God's promise to Abraham and his family, and the world
- Abraham's family grows into a Nation called
- a Nation's struggles with human tendency, and God
- God's deliverance,
blessings, and instructions to Israel
- Prophecies concerning God's blessing to all people,
and the "coming forth" of a savior out of Israel
- The intent of the
"historical message", and writings, was to give the nation of Israel an understanding of where they came from, ...
and their promises from God.
- how to live, how to worship
- the intent of the "record
of the Prophets" was to illustrate, and give understanding to actual "present tense relationship"
between God and man in his own era, as well as the coming of future generations.
Helpful spiritual lessons
can be seen, and prophetic evidence can be found foretelling God's presence, and His workings, in the
New Testament era.
"It's all profitable", says Paul in 2 Timothy 3:16.
The message of the
New Testament generally centers around the "heralding" accounts pertaining to John the Baptist, and the "coming
forth" of the foretold Savior, as the four Gospels document the stories revolving around Jesus.
The New Testament shows ...
- the "Logos-Message"
- the open door to all nations
- the call of the early apostles
- the baptism of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:16-47)
- the birth of the New Testament church
- evidence linking the New Testament experience
to Old Testament Prophecy
- Instructional letters from the Apostles
- a "prophetic letter"
to the seven churches in Asia, revealing scenes from the existing Kingdom of God, and ... that which is to come.
The intent of the 4 Gospels, and other writings, was to give the early church, and following generations of believers
throughout the world, an understanding, ... so that they would be aware of what was available to the believer, and
what was expected of the believer.
This is the record of the early Apostles: and a simple
way to explain their intention ... is to understand what the title "Apostle" means.
the word "apostellin", which means "to send", ... it also carries the characteristic of
"being sent", or commissioned.
The Apostle's commission was to prepare ministry, structure
local groups of believers, and send the message into the world.
They were dispatched, ... and
now they were to equip, and dispatch, others, ... working with the Holy Spirit.
The "message", and "intent", of the preacher in our
era, leaves no room for our "carnal reasoning", and is in every way based upon our understanding of the "Logos-Message",
and our availability to the Holy Spirit.
A "hearing ear" is the first priority for the preacher (Rev.ch.2,3),
as well as ... a good understanding of the prophetic scriptures, and apostolic writings. (see also Paul's instruction
to Timothy. - 1 Timothy ch.4 and 2 Timothy ch.2)
It's not enough for the preacher to be
logical, include "quotations from great men", and from the Scriptures, ... or be witty.
Preacher is building a "Spiritual house", and his ministry needs to fit with the other Spiritual ministries
that are operating.
The message in our Modern Day
- still centers around the promise, and blessing
of God's Spirit
- still believes in God as Creator, and ruler of heaven and earth
- still sees man's tendency, and nature, to worship and "dedicate" to creation more
- still believes in individual and national accountability
- the intent of the modern message, is still to give all nations an understanding of where they came from, and
their promise from God; ... how to live, and how to worship.
The intent of the "prophets"
of our day is to illustrate, and give "understanding" to actual present tense relationship between
God and man ... in "our generation".
Care of Business"
- area of function
- area of planning
- area of vision
Perceiving - Understanding - and Doing
the Will of the Infinite
goal of the individual is not to be a preacher, a prophet, or a Saint, ... but rather to be a "wise steward"
in the Kingdom of God.
(1 Peter 4:10,11 and 1 Corinthians 4:1,2)
Our ambition is not to be like someone
we admire, but rather we should be found excelling in the function that God has given to us personally.
There are 3 elements that will affect your ability to perform in God's intended
purpose, and each of these will decide who you are ... as a steward.
Whenever you read the word "heart" in the Bible, you could substitute it for "identity"
(to get the point that I am making). The Spirit of God affects your identity. You can't
borrow that from someone else. You are important !
3 Words to Remember
These 3 words are the most powerful relationship
words that are found in scriptural writings, and they will decide your identity as you move through this time ... that we
"Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: when your fathers
tempted me, proved me, and saw my works.
I was grieved with that generation, and said, they do always
err in their heart; and they have not known My ways.
While it is said, Today, if you will
hear His voice, harden not your hearts."
- Hebrews chs.3,4
This word harden, when translated from the Greek, gives the idea of
tough, or hardened, set, or without "spiritual perception".
The sense of the above
scripture is ...not to be like those people that didn't know, or practice, God's ways.
They were not
open in their hearts. (identity)
They tested God, ... even while He was working.
"Today ... hear His voice ... and harden not your hearts"
* It is possible to hear God, pray and get answers (prove God), see miracles, ...and
still not be open, and flexible enough, to "do", and practice God's ways.
heed lest any of you depart from the living God.
Exhort one another daily, while it is called today,
lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."
- Hebrews 3:12,13
It seems as though the first step to becoming
hardened is to somehow raise the issue of "self".
In the Garden of Eden, the serpent addressed the
possibility of "self promotion" to Eve.
In the wilderness, the Israelites compared "their situation"
with the time when they were in Egypt.
This issue of becoming hardened is deceitful. It changes our
prayer life, and begins to mix itself up with unbelief.
We lose the vision, and intent, of God, ... and
soon, we are not very open to move, and develop, with the suggestion of the Holy Spirit.
There are always those
people who will come and pray with you ... about "your woes".
But the apostle tells the Church, in the
above Scripture, ... that your friend should be telling you to watch out, and "stay on top of it", today.
*Referring to the practice of specific thankfulness, praise, and letting the Spirit speak to you, will help keep you
refreshed - today.
Quite often, after we've taken the first few steps, the rest of the way opens
up, and understanding begins to come.
"... that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all "wisdom" and "spiritual
understanding", ... that you might "walk" worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being "fruitful",
... and increasing in the "knowledge of God"
... strengthened with all might, according
to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
Giving thanks unto the Father
...who has made us to be partakers in light, ...and has translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son."
- Colossians 1:9-13
the Spirit, and understanding the Spirit, ... are two different experiences.
Quite often, the Spirit of
God will speak to us, (and that's wonderful), ...but, if we would take the time to write the message down, and then
pause, and let the Holy Spirit "enlarge" the "thought", ...we would learn to walk in His ways, and
our character, and faith, would also be affected.
Sometimes we receive a truth, ... and then we take this insight
and apply it carnally, with our own strength and ability, when there may be other issues, or resources, associated.
"And with all thy getting ...get understanding"
- Proverbs 4:7
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths"
- Proverbs 3:5,6
As we have already said, hearing from God, and Spiritual understanding, are two different experiences.
when you consider the sense that hearken is used in Scripture, it brings out an important truth to the
growing Believer. (Nehemiah ch.9)
Hearken (Heb. sha'ma) means - to hear intelligently, give attention
to with obedience ... as when a "royal order" is given.
The idea that I want to bring out is that when
one hears the Spirit's intent, it is important to get a "fuller" understanding, ... and yet it is of
utmost importance to "do" what is intended by the Holy Spirit.
unto the voice of the LORD, is to give close attention to what is being said, ... and then to apply obedient action
Although, this word "Hearken" is mainly used in the Old Testament, and only nine times in the
New Testament, it brings out the sense of the New Testament replacement -to "Hear".
presence of the LORD is found in hearing the Spirit, ... but, the miraculous is found in the doing of His Intent.
"For you ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that.
Therefore, to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin"
- James 4:15,17
- This Kingdom is
- of "Fellowship" with God
the Tree of Life
- Logos Presence of God
Tree of Knowledge
Rhe'ma Presence of God
"This is the Greatest "Prophetic Picture" of the
"New Testament Church" and God's "Eternal Judgment"
Most often, when we think about the Garden of Eden, we picture Adam
and Eve, and all the trees and flowers, rivers and streams, and animals and birds. We are told that it was a beautiful
We almost think of it as the whole of the Earth, but it wasn't.
We are told that God created everything in heaven and earth, and then He planted a Garden.
The Garden was
a special place with "every tree that was pleasant to the sight", and "good for food".
was also a special place, because God planted two very special trees. The Tree of Life, and the Tree of Knowledge of
Good and Evil.
"And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it, and
to keep it.
And the LORD God commanded the man saying, of every tree of the Garden you may freely
eat; but of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof, you
shall surely die"
"And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make a help suitable for
And the LORD God made a woman, and He brought her unto the man."
- Genesis ch.2
There has always been a lot of opinion, and controversy, surrounding the
Genesis account of Creation in the Bible.
Most people believe that Moses was the writer, and that the purpose
of the writing was to give the Hebrew people a sense of their "origin", and "history".
believe that it's much more than that, as we see so much of the Presence of God woven throughout these accounts.
The more you read this "Book of Origins", the more you see prophetic patterns emerging, ...and the more you
see God's character being expressed, and established, in the Earth.
Because of the nature of our discussions,
I'm going to give you just one simple one that I believe is so vitally important to help you get an understanding of your
As I have said earlier, most times we move too quickly in our reading of the Bible, and we
miss some of the "far reaching" pictures and truths that the Holy Spirit would like to talk to us about in
order to direct and build our faith, ... and accomplish our purpose here in the Earth.
to "the Garden", and have a look at an interesting "Spiritual truth".
The best is
yet to come. As you see these Spiritual Truths jumping out of the Bible at you. And as you see their
importance, you will learn how to know the presence of the Spirit in your life.
Why would God plant a Garden?
I believe that it has always been God's intention to fellowship with men and women.
When God said,
"Let us make man in our own Image", I believe He "saw the future" and the Glory of His expression
in this Earth.
When God made a beautiful Garden, it was for pleasure.
There's no one that
can set up a Garden like God can.
It had everything that was beautiful. Even the atmosphere was right. You "could feel" beauty
in "the air".
Then God said, "It's not good that the man is alone",
going to make a helper for him -one that's suitable.
She must have been pretty, and she must have
known how to work.
And if that's not enough, Adam... "I want you to take control, and subdue all the animals, -and worry
Life is good. God has surely blessed us.
It's at this point,
that most of us stop ... in our religion.
Our prayers are centered around this -level of understanding;
"Give us this day
our daily bread"
"Lead us not into temptation"
us our transgressions"
"Help uncle Fabian, and aunt Pat"
You get the
point! The Garden is our fellowship utopia with God. And everything is centered around us in
this relationship, -except, of course, for a few "duties" that we perform for God.
If we left our "Garden Experience" at this level of physical beauty and pleasure, and believed in a God that
created us, and loves us, and wants to answer our prayers, and give us peace - that would be good.
believed that God expected us to do a few "chores" around the Garden - that would be even better.
we believed that folks have sinned, and that God sent people into this world to preach forgiveness that others might be able
to enjoy this Garden experience too - that would be Great!
If we believed that God expected us
to share the News, so that the lost could be found, and the hurt healed - that would be the Greatest !
You see, up to this level of understanding, our religion is mostly me centered, believing
in a God that wants to bless us ...and wants us to do good things for Him.
Our church services
are filled with good intention, a lot of hope for blessing, new friends and other people who will listen to us.
sing about God, and we "talk about God", and "we say prayers to God", ... and it's mostly still us
Our Garden is beautiful, but empty of the sense, and experience, of God's divine presence.
If it weren't for the "Two Trees",
the Garden of Eden would just be a nice Story.
Why would God put the "Two Trees" there?
The first thing that we learn about the "Two Trees is that they are "Special". (Genesis Ch.3)
They are not like the other trees, but they still are planted in the Earth in the midst of "the Garden."
One Tree possesses "eternal life" and one Tree possesses the "Knowledge of Good and Evil".
(the "enlightenment" - to judge "wisely", the type of knowledge that is the "working"
One Tree, man is commanded not to eat of, and the other Tree, well we just know that
the other Tree is God's other special Tree.
It's noticeable in the story that only one Tree
has the command to man, not to partake, ... that being the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The "Tree of Life" has no command regarding it, but we are told that God guards that Tree with "Che'rubim",
and a "flaming sword" which "turned every way", ... to keep "the way" of (to) the
"Tree of Life". (Genesis 3:24)
We could point out that wherever you read about Che'rubim in the Bible, - they are always protecting
the testimony to the presence of God.
the Flaming Sword (which turned
In other places in scripture;
- the Word of God is called
- Fire is the Judging Word
- "turning every way" (universal)
*Therefore - the "universal judging word
of God" was protecting the "way" to the Tree of Life.
- the "way" is the
Word of the Spirit (Proverbs 8:6-36, St. John 14:6,10)
The Tree of Life
compare the Gospel of St. John ch. 1:1-14 ... to the "Tree of Life", you will begin to see that we are
looking at the gospel of eternal life that is in the "logos message", and the Word
of the Spirit. (Revelation ch.19, St. John ch.1)
This "Tree of Life" has been planted in the Earth
since the beginning, and is being protected by the universal judging word (Rhe'ma), and the Che'rubim.
When we look at the "Tree of Life", we still behold these same truths today.
- The "Tree
of Life" is the testimony to God's eternal presence
- God saw fit to plant it in the Earth
- This "Tree" bears fruit
- This "eternal life" can now be "partaken"
- the "testimony" is guarded, and no man can take this "fruit" at will, or on
Unless one sees the
seriousness of this gospel, and understands that the only way to "Life" in His presence ... is to pass through "death
to one's own intentions, they will never know the "fruit" of this "Tree of Life".
can't sing your way in, pray your way in, or pay your way in.
Tree of the Knowledge
of Good and Evil
Just as the Tree of Life
deals with the eternal life of God's presence, and is the fruit for life in the Kingdom of God, even
so the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil", deals with the understanding, and intent,
of God's presence, ... and is the fruit for service.
When the term knowledge is seen in
the Bible, it is translated from several different Hebrew and Greek sources.
One common source gives the meaning of becoming conscious of or knowing something, ... while in this
case knowledge gives the meaning of cunning, and skillful. (Heb. da'ath)
a knowledge that is just aware of something, this knowledge has the ability to do something.
the Apostle Paul wrote to the Church people at Corinth, he said,
"... that in everything you are
enriched by Him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge ..."
- 1 Corinthians 1:5
When Paul uses this word "knowledge" (Gk. gnosis), it has the sense of intent, and the ability to speak.
Another similar reference to this "gnosis", is when Paul referred to the Spiritual gift, ...
the Word of Knowledge. (1 Corinthians ch.12)
The presence of the "Two Trees" in
the Garden of Eden was then a mystery, but to us in the New Testament era, ...we know why they where planted in
the Earth in the midst of the Garden. They are the "testimony".
There is a big world out there. In fact, there is a whole lot going on ... all over this Earth.
There are millions of people mingling, learning, doing business, and socializing.
The story of the "Two Trees" in the Garden of Eden shows God's intent of the birth
of the Kingdom of God in the Earth, right from the outset.
In the midst of this Garden, firmly planted,
and fruitful, were two divine testimonies of God's presence, and intent.
Do you understand the "importance of the "Two Trees" ?
Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?
(The Rh'ema, The Promise of the Father, The Holy
Adam and Eve tried to use it. Simon the Sorcerer tried to buy it. Satan has tried
to pervert, and change it.
Religions have overlooked it.
And what's even
worse, they have eaten of the fruit of the testimony, rather than hearing what the Spirit would
say to them; and so it has resulted in judgment, and condemnation, rather than words of life. (St. John
The two trees were planted together in the Garden. They foreshadow the earthly presence
of the Kingdom of God. They both belong to God, and together they fulfill an eternal purpose in this
After considering this prophetic picture of the "guarded" intent of God to bring into being His great redemptive
plan, and demonstrate His glory in the Earth, we should see the ministry, of the New Testament Church in a different
light. It should affect our fellowship.
With the Church today being God's "special Garden",
our vision needs to be elevated to the level where we see "one Body of Believer's".
see this Great Garden, we need to look for the two trees, the testimony presence of the eternal, ... standing
in our midst, bearing witness to the real gospel message.
Just as the testimony
to divine eternal life is planted in the midst, even so, the testimony to divine Spiritual ministry of higher ability
is also present. That's what makes this Garden special !
And as Adam, and Eve, wanted God's
power for their own purposes, even so we still have people even today who would like to have eternal life,
and Spiritual ability, but who will not give their lives in obedience to the Spirit of God.
So they eat of the fruit of the testimony, and practice all kinds of weird religion, and condemnation,
... and find their acceptance from it ... from their little group.
Be Careful !
unto the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.
Wherefore should they say among the people, "Where is their God" ?
the LORD will be jealous for His People"
- Joel 2:13-18
Kingdom of God
-now and forever
Law and the Prophets were until John. Since that time the Kingdom of God is preached, and every man presses into it."
- St. Luke 16:16
We are preaching about a Kingdom, not a Religion.
We are bringing
to birth, and equipping, stewards of a Spiritual household.
"Then said Paul, John verily baptized
with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, ... that they should believe on Him which should come after
him, that is on Christ Jesus.
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied.
And all the men were about twelve.
And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the
things concerning the Kingdom of God"
- Acts 19: 4-8
The Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God
is a New Testament term ... only seen in the Old Testament as a "future promise". (St. Luke 16: 16)
(1) - linked with Christ (who was to come out of the nation of Israel) as the "Logos", and
King. (St. Luke 1: 31-35, 18:33-37, St. John ch.1,2,3)
(2) - and to the coming of the Holy Spirit
"upon men and women", to birth them as sons and stewards. (Joel 2:28-32, Acts ch.2,3,4)
Sons, because they would be "birthed" (brought to display) by the Spirit of God (St. John 1:33-34,
Stewards, because they would "occupy" and "perform" the duties (ministries)
of a Steward, as directed and enabled by the Holy Spirit, in this earth.
The New Testament Church is not
the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is much larger, and includes "heavenly beings". (Daniel,
Revelation, St. Matthew 24:29-31)
The Kingdom of God is not a natural formed group, or organization,
but is rather a Spiritually birthed Kingdom. (St. Luke 18:31-35,17:20-37)
It is able to function in this
earth before the Great Day ... because of the promise of the Father, which is the Holy Spirit.
Church, which is the earthly manifestation of the Kingdom of God, carries out the earthly mission of God's infinite
reason, and intent, similar to the account at Creation.
We are preaching about a Kingdom, not
a Religion. We are bringing to birth, and equipping stewards, and ministries, of a Spiritual Household.
The Communion Supper
"...and he took the cup, and gave thanks,
and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: for I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the
vine, until the Kingdom of God shall come.
And He took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave
unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the "new testament" (covenant)
in my blood, which is shed for you.
appoint unto you a Kingdom, as my Father has appointed unto me; that you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom and sit
on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And he said unto them, when I sent you without purse,
and scrip, and shoes, did you lack?
They said, No, nothing.
Then he said unto them, *Now, he that has a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and
he that has no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."
Jesus - St.
Luke 22: 17-20,29,30,35,36
* It should be noted that the communion supper is representative of many
aspects of Christ's New Testament redemption, and Church Fellowship ministry, but for this study ... it is our citizen
table of the Kingdom of God, and the Church is the functioning entity.
The Holy Ghost
Jesus - speaking of things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
"And being assembled with
them ... he commanded them that they should not depart, but wait for the promise of the Father.
shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me unto the uttermost
parts of the earth."
- Acts 1:1-8
of giving ... is different in the Kingdom of God ... from that of the Old Testament.
It is not
a ritual, ... with "limits". It is rather a Spiritual ministry.
Receiving, Understanding, and Doing the Will of the Holy Spirit
The Rich Young Ruler
"And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good
Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
And Jesus said unto him, Why do you call me
good? There is none good but one, ...that is God.
You know the commandments, ... Do not
commit adultery, ... Do not kill, ... Do not steal, ... Do not bear false witness, ... Defraud not, ... Honor
your father and mother.
And he answered, ... Master, all these I have observed from my youth.
Then Jesus said to him, One thing you lack:
Go your way, ...sell whatever you have, and
give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven:
And come, ... and follow me.
he was sad at the saying, and went away grieved for he had great possessions.
And Jesus looked
around about, and said to his disciples, ...
hard it is for them that trust in riches ... to enter into the Kingdom of God.
And they were astonished,
saying, Who then can be saved?
And Jesus, looking at them said, With men it is impossible,
but not with God: for with God ... all things are possible."
- St. Mark 10:17-27
*It is possible to do everything right ...and still not have
"...You must be birthed of the Holy Spirit ..."
- St. John ch.3
The hard thing, and the most important thing, about the Gospel, ... is that it is not a "hobby religion",
but rather a born again, ongoing life, and existence in God's Kingdom.
It is the end of
self-rule, and the beginning of Spiritual life.
One may say, "Well, I'm not a very Spiritual
(My answer) - "that is just a nice way of saying, ... I choose not to be ... there are
other things in my life ... that I like more".
motivated giving challenges our heart, and encourages our faith.
has everything to do with promoting the "Kingdom of God", and the Spirit's intentions.
The intent of the heart gives way to the intentions, and directions of the Holy Spirit in a present, and real
This whole idea of Christianity began with God's intent, in and through Christ;
and now the challenge is to the world. (St. Matthew 1:18)
It's all about whose Kingdom one is
Adam and Eve had a challenge to their stewardship, ... and they forsook God's "interests"
to try to build their own.
The rich young ruler had the same challenge, and when he met Jesus, ... he left.
And now the challenge is ours.
When one enters into this relationship with the Holy Spirit, it's
not for the reason of what one can gain, but rather ...because "it is the right thing to do".
We were created for God's purposes. This is reality.
When one enters into this relationship with
the Holy Spirit, it is to fulfill God's purposes in the earth, both for us, ... and those around us.
of us were created with specific purposes written in our character; specific design, and specific ability to express
the presence of God, and the calling that is upon our lives.
The deception, and fear, present in
the struggling lives of those around us who are not listening to God would encourage us to a lifestyle that isn't really
"us", ... and it is possible to find the same "lost" and discouraging life that they have.
Holy Spirit brings our lives "alive", and to a state of purpose.
He knows who we are, and what
our "calling" is.
This discussion isn't about "second hand", opinionated,
What we are talking about is relationship with God, and the fulfilling of His purposes in each of our
This is the beginning of life, and purpose, and Spiritual presence.
"He that loses
his/her life for my sake shall find it"
- St. John 12:24,25
"Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
No man can serve
Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be
added unto you."
- St. Matthew 6:19-34
The great thing about getting matters straightened out with God ...
is that His presence is with you to support you in His endeavors.
He is not subject to our way
of thinking, but rather we are restored to His way of thinking ... which is much more vast than anything that we
could come up with.
He sees all, and knows all, and we must hear and obey.
life that God has for us is more purposeful, belongs to a much larger Kingdom, ... and has greater means and ability.
He is constantly telling us to trust Him, and hear what He is saying.
God isn't against "nice"
things, He created them, ... but we must continually keep it straight in our mind whose Kingdom we are building.
You'll have a hundred times as much (St. Mark 10:29,30), but it will be His. You'll give the glory to
Him, and be His Steward, as He directs, encourages, and councils you. He will support your life as
you function in His Kingdom. (St. Matt. 6:25-34)
The rich young ruler had things that were more important
to him in this earth.
He was religious, but was deceived into building his own kingdom, ...one that was temporal,
and would pass away.
He did not have eternal life. He was lost. He was sorry, and he was wrong. (St
"Every good tree brings forth good fruit - every
tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord,
shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven; but he/she that does the will of my Father which is in Heaven."
- St. Matthew 7:17-23
It's important to be a "doer" of the will of God, and
to be "fruitful" in the "workings" of the Holy Spirit.
It's not good
enough to be religious, or to do religious things in His name.
The Kingdom of God is a "Spiritually
birthed Kingdom". It is being built by the Holy Spirit, and is functioning in this earth through "Spiritual
When one is "born" into this Kingdom, the intent of the Holy Spirit, in His redemptive
ministry, ... becomes important.
This is not a religion, ... it's a "Spiritually run
Giving is prompted, controlled, and taught, by the Holy Spirit. Anything else is strange
"fruit" ... birthed by human effort.
To become active in the Kingdom of God is to become Spiritually
motivated. (1 Corinthians ch. 3, 1 Peter 4: 6-11, St. John ch.14,15 )
There is nothing that is ours
to "give", and there is nothing that is ours to "hold back". All things belong to God, and
we are His Stewards in this earth, functioning in His Kingdom.
*Believe me, you will find out as you go ...that
He will challenge you at certain times just to reveal to you which kingdom you are pursuing, ... and to teach and direct
you in your faith, and growth.
Other Related Scriptures to Study
2 Corinthians chs.8,9, 1 Corinthians ch.15,16,
Romans ch.12, and 1 Timothy 6:10
Although there are many
other great Scriptures referring to God's liberality, and blessing, to the "ministering giver", ... we
need to be cautious about handling this gift, and yet, always faithful, and ever growing.
We don't give ...so
that we can get.
(But sometimes we are so "turned in" on ourselves, and our "problems", that
it would probably break us free to "give out")
No matter what our ministry is, it should be under
the guidance, and discretion of the Holy Spirit.
God's Wisdom ... and timing ... are necessity.
Some other Scriptures to Study
Isaiah ch.58, 2
Chronicles 31:10, Psalms112:9, St. Luke ch.6, Proverbs 11:25, Proverbs 22:9, Malachi 3:10
- it's "Built" through action
should be "born of God"
- an "effective"
Just as Biblical history tells the story of a variety of human "lives"
... even so
- The Story of "Your Life" is being written "now"
"Identity", ... "life",
... "heart", ... all pretty closely related terms in Scripture.
Usually, when we speak of someone,
we refer to their perceived identity, ... or what their life is like, ... or what kind of a person they are.
Identity, is a built structure ... just like a house, and we all have a choice, (if we are conscious, and interactive),
as to how people perceive us.
On a larger scale, some people spend thousands of dollars on "public
relations" people to craft a certain "image".
Most of us just work on this image building
ourselves, and we are quite concerned as to how people "accept" us. Most of us have a particular "group
of people" that we want to impress.
This "drive" to build our identity is a healthy energy,
...and what we are going to discuss, ... is giving it back to God.
What makes people choose their identity
begins very early on in life; and what kind of identity is decided upon usually has a lot to do with "what we get"
out of having this identity.
In the lower nature of the human being the importance always lies with the
In the Kingdom of God our identity building centers around the importance of God,
and the expression of His intent, and character, in the earth.
God's Preparation, and Call
Most times, a lot of what has happened in
our lives is not too distant from God's purposes for us.
of the human shortcomings, God quite often chooses our preparation for His service long before we become aware of
When we think of the story of baby Moses being shipped down the river in a basket, ... adopted by the
daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt, ... educated in the Palace (to be a leader), separated from the Palace (to God's preparation
in the wilderness), and then "called" of God to deliver the Children of Israel out of Egypt and form the nation
of Israel, ... it's not hard to see that God's preparation is vast.
There was a lot of changing
of "identity" going on, but through it all ...God raised up His man, and used Him for His own intent. (Book of Exodus)
This is only one story, but there are countless others ... of God's preparation, call, and usefulness of an individual.
You might think that you don't have "much to offer".
"Whoever told you
"He that is faithful in that which is least, ...is faithful also in much"
- St. Luke 16:10
"Whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as
a little child ... shall not enter therein"
- St. Luke 18:17
Not Religion (St. John 3:1-10)
"Except a man be born
again, he/she cannot see (be aware of, consider, or perceive) the Kingdom of God.
Nicodemus asks, How can a man be born when he is old ?
Jesus answered, ... except a man be born of water
(natural) and of the Spirit (Holy Spirit), he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.
births "flesh" and "Spirit")
That which is born of the flesh is "flesh"; and
that which is born of the Spirit is "spirit". (Gk. pne'uma - breath)
... (two different
Marvel not that I said unto you, You must be born again."
beginning of "identity" change is brand new, ... just like birth, ... and has everything to do with the
Spirit of God.
Some people think that they can just join a "religion", and change their ways,
... and that would be good enough.
Most folks even take it a step further, and choose the religion that
they are the "most comfortable" with, or the one that they were raised in ...
*This is not what Jesus, or the Apostles, taught.
It's time for new identity in Christ: ... born of the Spirit ... into the Kingdom
Identifying with Christ
Just as there are earthly identifying factors such as family
name, club memberships, religion, business, etc., that determines who you are, ... there is a requirement to
"identify" with Christ for entrance into the Kingdom of God.
Who was Jesus Christ?
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish,
but have everlasting life.
For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that
the world through Him might be saved.
He (or, she) that believes on Him is not condemned: but he
that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son
And this is the condemnation: that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness
rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (independent of God's intent)
Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.
He that believes on the Son has everlasting
life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him."
- St. John 3:16-19,35,36
What's in a name?
of the identity of Jesus Christ, his notoriety, his endowment, ... God's expression of intent, God's
way of salvation, the promise of the Holy Spirit, ... is found in his "name".
(that's his "identity", ... who he is, and what he has to offer)
We Now "Identify" with Christ
When Jesus announced this new identity to his
disciples, in the Upper Room, ... he explained their relationship as a "union". (St. John ch.14,15)
First of all, a union with the Spirit of God (the same as he had): ... then, because
of the Holy Spirit, ...they would come to a knowledge of who he was, and they would become one with him in intent, and ability.
They would begin to understand that the expression of God's intent in Jesus ... would continue through them,
They would function in "his name" with the same Spirit, and
with the same redemptive call to humanity.
is a requirement to identify with Christ for entrance into the Kingdom of God, ... because of God's
intention to redeem the wayward human ... through Christ.
He came as the Word.
"The word became flesh, and dwelt amongst us".
St. John 1:14
Through Christ, and his believers, the Spirit of God is accomplishing a mission
...designed to function within the Kingdom of God, ...and in accordance with the Spirit's Word.
Water Baptism, is a ritual that has been practiced by Christian believers since the beginning. It is a believer's
way of publicly stating that they are "identifying" with Christ's work of redemption: (his death,
burial, and resurrection) and that they are going to pursue the interests of the Spirit. (Romans
(see also: Colossians ch.3, Ephesians ch.2, 2 Timothy ch.2, St. Luke 12:8, Romans
10:9, 1 John 4:13-15)
Your new "Identity"
(in the Kingdom)
"I say unto you, He (or, she) that believes on me, the works
that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another guide (comforter), that He may abide with you forever;
even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him:
But, you know Him, for He "dwells" with you, and shall be "in" you.
the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my
name, ... He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatever I have said to you."
- St. John ch.14 (in part)
Taking up the "mission" of Christ, ...under
the direction, and ability, of the Holy Spirit, is the new identity that the Believer takes on.
Spirit directs, and instructs; ...the Believer's identity appears to mature, and change.
(see: Romans 8:14-16,26-28, ch.12:2, 2 Corinthians 3:17,18)
fellowship of Believers, ... there are a variety of Spiritual gifts, and ministries, that work through each one ...
to "encourage" and build up the others.
These ministries are exercised through
love, and fellowship, and may further affect your "new identity". (1 Corinthians ch.12)
-let God be "your" God
-submission to Holy Spirit
"Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?"
We are preaching about a Kingdom, not a Religion, and we are "born" through Believing.
interesting references: St. Luke 8:10-12, 1Thessalonians 2:12-13, St. John ch.3)
In the Pacific Northwest, and parts of British Columbia, there
is rumored to be a large hairy ape-like man that lives in the wilderness mountains.
A few people swear they have
seen him: and others, ... well they think that it might be possible, ... but they've never seen him.
Does this belief affect their "life"? No. Not really. It's kind of a passive belief.
The air, they say, is full of
sounds, music, pictures, and conversations.
But, listen as we may, we can't hear a thing.
people have gone out and purchased a satellite dish, and connected it to their TV, and "Hello",
there really is a whole unseen world all around us that we live in, and walk around in, every day.
some people, because not everyone has accepted this offer to "go out and purchase" one these "dishes".
Do those that don't have a satellite dish believe? Oh Yes, for sure.
Does it affect their
life? Not really. Not unless they go out and purchase a "dish", and hook it up to their TV, and
turn it on.
It's a kind of possibility belief that's dependant upon action.:
kind of a harmless belief.
*We are not talking about a "careless trust" when referring to believing
The devils also believe in God. (James 2:19-20)
"Careless Trust" will lead to the sin of presumption. (2 Peter 2:10, Psalms 19:13)
Concept of God
When the concept of God's image is presented to our children
wrongly, How can they believe?
If we present God as a "Big, illusive, powerful Giant" that
lives in Heaven, ... we get "Sasquatch belief".
It's a kind of "harmless belief",
and it's usually accompanied by a lot of rituals, and rules, and things that we can relate to.
If we present
sacred pictures of what God and Heaven must look like, so that we can educate the mind: ... and then show sacred
religious relics so that we can be identified as "those people who are close to God"; or tell people what
they should look like so that God will bless them, we get "form belief" (idolatry), ... which
is a belief that robs people of their own Spirituality, and ministry, and sadly their stewardship.
If we present God as "the God of the Bible" who created man, blessed men, and cursed men, ... created
floods, and built Kingdoms; ... and now in modern times builds churches that have the Bible, we merely get
It's a "third party" belief. We know some people
have been blessed, but maybe it won't happen to us. It's a kind of a possibility belief.
*True Kingdom belief is one that desolates the self-will.
It is a belief that exists expectantly as
a reflective instrument, ... mirroring the Infinite Reason, Power, and Intent, of God.
The Holy Spirit is
the directing force of every Believer.
-area of introduction
-area of faith
It has been said that - "An
Institution is the lengthened shadow of one man".
- but, I say, ".... of one man's imagination".
imagination has come almost everything that we relate to, from invention, ... to World Kingdoms.
not a shameful thing to admit that one has imagination; and yet, in our society, we downplay the concept, and uphold
reason to be the only true desired quality to be sought after.
Imagination, without Reason, may be a
"lost cause" - but so also is Reason "without Imagination".
is the reflective part of our lives -where new concepts, good or bad, are introduced to us.
definitely effect and stimulate this part of our make-up, and proves true the old "adage" that you are
who you "hang around with".
It has always been good for Students to hang around with other students
in an atmosphere of learning, and conversation, to stimulate their own mind.
Business people ... with Business
Events, and companionship.
Religious people ... with Religious Fellowship, and Church Services.
An atmosphere of hope and confidence is good, ... and it seems to stimulate growth and expectation.
isn't just whimsical thought, or a fleeting dream.
*In all original Hebrew and Greek text the term imagination
has heart, and comes with the ability to picture, and the desire to plan.
In the Biblical account of the Temptation in the Garden of Eden we are told that an attempt was made upon
the "imagination" of the woman, Eve. (Genesis 3:1-6)
Prior to the Great Flood, we are told that
the "human" had almost totally missed the Concept, ... and lost his/her way.
wickedness was great in the earth, and every imagination of thought was only evil, continually.
This type of imagination, as interpreted, is firm, obstinate, and lustful.
These are examples of the "human" tendency to give way to thoughts and vision from other sources
other than God, and to act them out.
(other related scriptures: St. Luke 1:51, Romans 1:14-25, Acts 4:25, 2 Corinthians
10:5, Zechariah 8:17, Jeremiah 13: 9-10)
to the negative form of imagination is the Godly form, which we are leading up to, and which is the foundation of all Spirituality,
and Communion with God.
Prior to King David turning the throne of Israel over to his son Solomon, he gathered
the Nation together to dedicate a "Building Plan" for the new Temple.
This is his prayer ...
"I have seen with joy ... Your people, which are present here to offer willingly unto thee.
O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the "imagination" of the
thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee"
(See: 1 Chronicles
ch.29, also Colossians 3:1-10)
Protecting Your Imagination
As we have
earlier pointed out that imagination can be effected, it is important for us to realize that it is up to us to safe-guard
and nurture this "Image Base" that God has so wondrously given to us.
feeds us and is our "doorway" to who we become, it is vitally important to realize that our Spiritual growth
and individuality starts here.
Quite often, as you read about Jesus, he would retire to somewhere "alone"
so as not to have the barrage of other people's activities around Him.
Learning to be "alone",
and to unload all the activities, and ideas, from off of your individuality is priority.
It's an exercise
that opens the way for you to imagine, see, and hear, from the Spirit of God, that "Great Presence" that is
all around us ... and in us.
Most people go through life watching other people live.
- We watch T.V.
... about other people
- We read Books ... about other people
- We go to Church, and
listen to other people talk, and sing
*What a shame. We need to stop watching ... and start doing.
Start with your imagination.
Imagination is the beginning place for
- reflecting the image of God,
- practicing the stewardship that we are called to.
(See: 1 Peter 2:5, St. Luke 19:13-26)
It opens the door of relationship to God as:
1. Imagination Base
thoughts" from all outside sources ... good, and bad.
2. Intelligence Base
The introductory thought proceeds to the first form of perception,
which becomes alive, and which stimulates emotion.
This living baby goes through the educated
process called "reason", and then the thought is "named", and either adopted, or rejected in
the decision-making process.
Education (good, or bad) plays an important role in this area. Experience
is also filed in this region.
3. The Will Base
This newly formed "decision"
is passed to the region of the Will, ...which is effected by our physical make-up (genetic), as well as our
physical condition (tired, fresh, etc.)
Faith, or Fear, are the powers that drive and modify this
decision in the "ability" of the will.
4. Action Base
the will is strong, and fresh, the Action will be "implemented".
This is also the area
of faith, and the miraculous.
True Kingdom belief is one that desolates the humanistic area of Reason, along with the importance of
good or bad works.
True belief exists expectantly as a reflective instrument, mirroring the Infinite
Reason, Power, and Intent of God.
Humanistic endeavor, and philosophy, do not tend to make us Spiritual.
(No more than talking about the word "water" makes us wet)
Spirituality comes with the restoration of
the image of God to the human being, ... by God's own Spirit.
part is where preachers and Word come in to educate our intelligence, and create an atmosphere of hope,
and expectancy. (The apostles reasoned with people. Acts 17:2, 18:4, 18:19)
As our carnal
reason gives way to the reason of God, and dies out to self, we become open to new suggestion ... that moves
down through the channels, ... beginning at the imagination stage.
Actual new birth, or
"born again" experience happens in the Reason area, which drives "Decision", "Will", and "Action".
As we begin to receive of the "Infinite" from the open door of the "Imagination" region
... we begin to perceive, and reason Spiritual life, and ... pass it along.
call this "living in the Spirit", or "moving as the Holy Spirit gives us direction".
... is at the heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ"
What is Gladness?
The idea of Gladness in our lives is a desired
state of mind, and heart, and we often make mention of it using the words joy, happiness, etc.
idea of Gladness has in the same way been traded in the Scriptures with "Joy", and "Rejoicing",
as it has been translated into our language.
The Greek word "chara" reveals the special characteristics
of the thought as cheerfulness, "calm delight", ... gladness.
Somehow, when we discuss the
difference between God's Kingdom, and the worldly human kingdoms, we tell people that there is "Joy and Gladness"
in one Kingdom, and sadness in the other.
People in a state of worldliness don't want to believe there is
"happiness" in serving God, ... and people serving God, don't believe that there is "joy and happiness"
in the world.
The truth of the matter is, ...that there is "joy and gladness" in both, and there is
sadness in both.
What we want to learn from this discussion, is controlled, and sustained, Gladness, so
that we might enjoy, not only an enriched life, but a life that has out-giving power.
merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."
- Proverbs 17:22
Gladness is the transient, in-depth, thought-pattern that connects our hearts to our lips.
Gladness is the faith that moves mountains, and loves to express itself, ... and seek partnerships.
receive a message with gladness ... is to put it to expression, and affirm it with others.
to be alone. If there is no other person around, it will "shout out" to God. It is an expressive, powerful,
Interacting with People
This "joy", and "gladness"
is retained, and strengthened through fellowship, ...and may even through comments from others ... be enlarged, ...
and built upon.
It's almost like we have the "seed" of the good life, and we are believing to have
it developed by "outside" comment.
Joy and Gladness is Profitable
Gladness is the power that adds the edge to productivity.
It's the power that advertises.
It's the "Buzz".
This phenomenon is what draws, holds, and builds, relationships, ...
groups, and world-wide movements.
* But now it's important that we slow down, so that we can understand
the foundation this power.
What makes you glad ?
Most people get happy, or glad, when people
say "nice" things about them, ...or when something "good" happens to them.
as well, most people get "sad" when people say bad things about them, or when something bad happens to them.
If this is what determines your gladness, then you are in a vulnerable position, and probably this "magic
power" is not in your control at all, but rather in the control of those around you.
If you follow
this philosophy, it won't be long until you are uprooted as an individual, and your thirst for "happiness" will
lead you to any person or situation that will bring you relief.
This is when you become a victim
with a tremendous loss of individuality, and "power to effect".
The amount of attention that you give
to compliment, and praise, ... is usually the same amount of attention that you will give to criticism, and opposition.
How "happy" you get when you are accepted, is going to be about the same amount of sadness that you will feel
when you are rejected.
* Mark this page. It is vital to your growth as an individual,
... and just as importantly, your foundation for "gladness".
Shifting your "source"
When a person gives his or her life to God, a host of new values
become more important.
The most important decision that one makes is the decision to "live-out"
God's intent happily ... in the earth.
What is important to God ... becomes important to us.
When we begin to rejoice in His intent, and His expression, all around us (not people's) ... the reason
for our gladness changes. We become more excited about what He is doing all around us, in us, and through us.
*Remember, gladness is retained through fellowship. When we stop communicating with the Spirit
of God, and get "caught up" with the temporal things around us, ...our Spiritual joy leaves us. (the creation
becomes more important than the Creator)
It is possible for one to choose "good will" towards people
as a motivating force for their actions ... rather than the word of the Spirit.
If one chooses this philosophy
for living, he (or she) has once again effectively returned the source of joy back into the hands of people and events.
*Lesson to be learned.
One cannot choose "good will" towards people
above the intent of the Holy Spirit ... even if it does look religious. But rather we should
joy in the expression and intent of God.
Aligning our conversation, and action, to the
Spirit's intent, and expression, ... is actually what "faith" is all about.
We rejoice in the expression of God, (the Word -the Logos) ... and we "believe".
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the redemptive expression of God. (the logos)
The Kingdom of
God is the governing expression of God. (the Word -the Logos)
The workings of God,
as He moves throughout the earth in our Day, are expressions of God. (Word -Logos)
We rejoice in His testimonies,
... and His witness, because they are true and eternal.
It's the "Buzz". It's the "Happening"
!! It's the Word.
We believe in this, and we get excited. We get glad.
We talk about It, ... and we get others talking about "It".
It's a new "source" of joy. It belongs to God.
In the book of Acts, we can read about
the beginning of the "early church". (Acts 2:38-47)
Peter preached, and they gladly
received his word (Gk. logos), and were baptized. They continued in the apostles' doctrine,
and fellowship, and many wonders and signs were done, and they continued daily with one accord, ... and did eat, with
"gladness", and singleness of heart, ... praising God !
Just as we have seen how there is joy to be
found in the expression of the Spirit of God, and His bold logos Statement in the earth, even so, there
is a victorious "calm delight", a close communicated gladness, to be found in His intent, and personal word.
There is the "Buzz", ... the workings of God in the earth, but better than that,
... there is the quiet, directing, personal intent of the Holy Spirit.
It's the word
that abides within you. It's the Spiritual intent of God working within you, and out from you, ...
in fruitful ministry.
It's found in the writings of the apostles as the Greek word "Reh'ma",
...and is translated into the English Bible as Word.
*Two Kinds of Word
(Jesus speaking to His disciples)
"Now you are clean through the "word" which
I have spoken unto you. (logos, - God's earthly statement, and expression, His redeeming message,
and witness, and testimony)
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit
of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me.
I am the vine, and
you are the branches. He that abides in me, and I in Him, ...the same brings forth much fruit: for without me
you can do nothing.
If you abide in me, and my "words" (reh'ma, -
the Holy Spirit's uttering, directing, "intent") abide in you, you shall ask what
you will and it shall be done unto you. (Revelation 19:10, St John 14:10, Romans ch.8)
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."
- St. John 15:3-11
Throughout the world, in our modern
era, ...on T.V., ... in Books, and Magazines, ... in Churches, and Groups, ...the "Christian Message"
is being proclaimed. The "Buzz" is Happening, ... and the "Word" is getting out !! (The Logos
is being "expressed")
Crusades are "Happening" ! ... And converts are "Joining"
! (But, listen to Jesus' message)
* Jesus told a Story
"A Sower went out to sow the "Word"
(logos), ... and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside, and the devil came, and took the word out
of their hearts, lest they should believe, and be saved.
And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it
sprung up, it withered away, ... because it lacked moisture.
These are they, when they hear, receive
the word with joy. These have no root. They believe for a while, ... and in time of testing
And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
are they, which when they heard, go forward, and are choked with cares, and riches, and pleasures of this life, ...
and bring no fruit to perfection.
And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bore fruit
... a hundred fold.
These are they, which when they heard the word ... in an honest and good heart keep
it, and bring forth fruit ... with patience.
Take care how you hear. For whosoever has, to
him shall be given, and whosoever has not, from him shall be taken even that which he seems to have.
the word of God, ... and "Do" it !
And some fell upon a rock; and as soon
as it sprung up, it withered away ... because it lacked moisture.
These are they, when they hear, receive
the word with "Joy". These have no root. They believe (the "Buzz")
for awhile, ... and in time of testing ... fall away."
- St. Luke 8:4-21
We've all seen the "new Christian" that looks so happy,
and enthusiastic, ... and then for some reason, he (or she) loses his (or her) joy, ... and "falls away".
The "word", in this parable fell upon a rock, an unchanging heart. (with
no "root" in itself)
The person's joy was based in "the Buzz", ... "the
Their source of "Gladness" was in the hands of others, and in the situation.
This person had no private time with the Spirit, and certainly no relationship with the personal intent of the
But, the parable goes on ...
other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bore fruit ... a hundred fold.
These are they, which when they heard
the word, ... in an honest, and good heart, keep it (make it their own possession, ... all of it),
and bring forth fruit ... with patience."
It's strange how some people miss this, but the
message of Jesus is that the Holy Spirit will come and dwell with the Believer, ... and abide, and comfort,
Have we introduced the person to "The Happening", ... or to the
(see: St. John 14:16-18,26,27, Rom. 14:16-19)
In the Old Testament people were commanded to rejoice in God's ownership of all ...as they offered the first
portion of their crops to Him; and as well, ... they were to rejoice in His law, so that they might stay in faith, and
harmony, with Him.
and now ...
* The Gospel is the celebration
of the redemption of the human, and the functioning power of the Kingdom of God, ... all of which is sourced ...
in the Spirit.
-it's a gift
-it's a necessity
-it's an exercise
who write their thoughts down - will remember, expand, and express.
It's just good Stewardship
Meditation is just simply the practice of "processing" mentally.
Although the word is only used
twice in the New Testament, it is of utmost importance to keep in shape, and be open to the thoughts of the Holy
Jesus said, "don't meditate" your speeches, and worry, ... and "embellish",
because I will give you ability and wisdom". (St. Luke 21:14-15)
If we were to take this instruction alone, (without a listening mind), it could prove disastrous.
We are instructed as believers as to how our minds become familiar with the thoughts of the Spirit of God.
The Apostle Paul told the young preacher, Timothy, ... "to meditate".
Jesus said, "Don't meditate" (promeletao') -which is a classical Gk. term for "preparing
a speech" before hand.
But he also said to expect to hear, and draw upon the ability of the Spirit
If you are foreign to this part, and not functioning as a regenerated mind, and out of touch
with the Spirit of God, this would be a problem.
The Apostle Paul said to Timothy, "Meditate"
(meletaho'), the Gk. word which means -take care of, revolve in the mind, imagine.
upon these things and give yourself totally to them."
Well, we could refer
to Paul's whole letter (1 Timothy), or we can just read 1 Tim. 4:12-15.
Either way, we get the
Meditation takes exercise, and lots of carefulness, and it's always a learning experience.
see what condition your mind is in just close your eyes and see how long you can be attentive without your mind racing all
over the place.
To bring your mind under control is very important to being in "a place to receive".
- letting the Spirit of God comment on Scripture is important to "familiarity" and confidence.
- letting the Spirit of God comment on your concerns will also give you wisdom, and faith.
writing the comments down forces you to process and express these Spiritual thoughts in a stable, and careful, way with intelligence
- having a paper and pen with you is your first
step to "expectancy" (present tense)
- for "truth"
- for "input" on your concerns
processing. Do it with everything!
Every area of your life can be affected.
Practice stable, intelligent, expression of the Spirit.
Learn to be comfortable with the Voice.
Write thoughts down:
(1) -Because they are "important"
(2) -So that you can "meditate" on them
(3) -So that you can "enlarge the thought" and grow
(4) -So that you can learn to "express
(5) -So that you can "remember"
David (the Psalmist)
Of all that we know about David, and his conquests, Psalm 119 is
probably the most expressive about his meditations. David was a songwriter, and this is one of his many.
In his Psalms (songs accompanied with instruments) he refers to:
-God's written Law (torah)
-God's "directive" words to him (imra'w, dabar)
in his life, (and other acts)
-God's "personal teaching"
and "quickening" power
David did not have a large Bible to read, (that he mentions),
but he "allowed" the presence of God to accompany and change his life
Psalms to read: 1, 49, 63, 77, 143, 144)
David not only knew how to meditate, and encourage himself with right
thinking and faith, but he also knew how to recognize God's voice, and works.
"Cause me to
hear Thy loving-kindness in the morning; for in Thee do I trust.
Cause me to know the way wherein
I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto Thee."
- David Psalms 143:8
-Man's, or God's
What do citizens
of the Kingdom of God think?
We are preaching a Kingdom - not a Religion.
born through believing.
(St. Luke 8:10-12, 1Thess. 2:12-13,
St. John ch.3)
Morality - if it were a gun, we'd all be dead. Put it in the hands of most religious people, and
they will try to beat you to death with it.
Is "morality" of God?
The answer is - Yes!
The basic concept of "morality" is God's Love: and if people could see it as that instead of as law
and condemnation, ... things would be much different.
We find this understanding in the teachings of Jesus.
(St. Matthew ch.7, St. John 1:17)
The basic concept of God's Law is first of all,
and most importantly ...
- that He is Ruler, and we are "ruled"
- He is King, and we are His subjects
- He is God, and
we are His creation
- He is the Infinite Wisdom, Power, and Intent, and we are created to reflect His Image.
Secondly, the concept of "God's Law" is that it is a pure expression of His character,
and how he sees the human society as running smoothly.
- He loves the human individual and doesn't
want to see others killing him, stealing from him, hurting him, wrecking his home, and causing his children to cry.
- He desires that people be safe, warm, and happy, and grow up to flourish, and be all that they can be as His stewards
in the earth"
Everybody likes a moral person, even if they can't stand a judgmental person, and it's probably safer
for you to take the "high road", rather than to be a sneak, and a law breaker.
are better reasons why the Law of God was given to people in this Earth, and they reach back prior to Creation, and
demonstrate forward ... into eternity.
In the infinite wisdom of God, when he created man in His own image
to mirror His Divine expression in the earth, He knew that apart from "reflecting" the Divine, that
man had no power to "imitate" the Divine.
God's Law is a sword that divides, and separates,
the Kingdom of God from the Kingdom of this World.
Man is not created to act out God's character,
and intent, with his own human ambition, and moral strength; but rather is to reflect, and express, the Holy Spirit in this
earth as he is directed. He is a steward.
(see: Romans ch.8, James ch.1,
St. John chs.14-17)
God's Law is an earthly demonstration of what Divine righteousness
is all about.
Even though the human cannot perfectly keep Divine Law, and has time and again proven it,
the opportunity to demonstrate Divine grace, wisdom, and Superior love becomes available through the guidance of His Spirit.
*What an eternal memorial, ... and what Divine Wisdom !
Dangers of Morality
Morality - in its most basic sense, just means manners.
Depending upon where you are,
and who you are with, the interpretation of good manners differs.
The Apostle Paul referred to this when
"I am all things to all men"
have made myself servant to all"
"this I do for the Gospel's sake"
(see: 1 Corinthians chs.8,9, and ch.10:32-33, also Galatians chs.5,6. In these letters to the
Believers, Paul is separating the two kinds of morality)
There is one
kind of morality that hurts, excludes, and does not understand the building of the Kingdom of God.
morality, and self-promoting righteousness, is always more judgmental than loving, ... and is void of Spiritual direction,
wisdom, and patience.
When the human thinks he/she knows what the answer is, and resurrects the "human attempt"
to function in the Kingdom of God, ... most times they fall short.
This type of morality is a false
security, and quite often does more harm than good. It's not part of a Spiritual lifestyle.
(See also: St. Matthew ch.22,23, Romans ch.3,8, and St. John chs.3,14,15,16,17)
than living in a form of morality, citizens of the Kingdom of God believe to conduct their lives in "ingratiated"
Spiritual obedience, and are more concerned about faithfulness and accomplishment as Stewards,
... than about religious splendor.
(See Hebrews Ch. 10,11,12,13)
God's Spirit speaks man's conduct into existence as man obeys.
* Adam (Genesis chs.2,3)
was: "took", "placed", "commanded" ...
"took firstlings of the flock, and fat thereof, and ... "the
Lord had respect"
* Noah (Genesis)
"the same shall comfort us"
6:8 "found grace in the eyes of the Lord"
6:9 "Noah walked ... with God"
6:22 "Noah did all that God commanded him"
7:1 "for thee have I seen righteous before
8:20 "Noah built an altar unto the Lord
... took every clean beast, and fowl, and offered it"
8:21 "the Lord smelled a
9:1 "God blessed Noah"
(Read also Hebrews ch. 11)
* Abraham (Genesis)
"Lord said ... get out ... to a land ... I will show you"
12:2 "I will make of thee ..."
Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him"
13:14 "And the Lord said unto Abram"
13:18 "Then Abram removed ... came ... dwelt, ... built an altar unto the Lord"
* Ch.15-18 (read about the "relationship" between God and Abraham
- Read also Hebrews ch.11)
* Moses (Exodus)
"the LORD said unto Moses"
6:9 "Moses spoke so ... to the children
7:1 "and the LORD said unto Moses.."
7:6 "and Moses did as the LORD commanded"
"LORD said, stretch forth your hand toward"
9:23 "Moses stretched forth
24:3-5 "and Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD...and
Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early ... and built an altar, ... and offered offerings"
25:22 "I will meet with thee ... and will commune "
(Read also Heb.11:24-29)
* Joshua (Joshua)
"the LORD spoke unto Joshua"
1:10 "then Joshua commanded the officers"
LORD spoke unto Joshua ...take twelve men, ... and command them..."
4:4 "then Joshua called the twelve men"
"the LORD spoke ... Command the priests"
4:17 "Joshua commanded the priests"
"One on one" ... relationship: - God spoke
- the person did it.
Samuel 30:6 "encouraged himself in the LORD"
enquired of the LORD"
answered him - Pursue"
30:10 "... David pursued"
2:1 "David enquired of the LORD"
"and the LORD said, Go up"
2:2 "so David went up"
Psalms 119:45 "I
will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts (intent)
:46 speak of thy testimonies (events)
:47 delight...in thy commandments
:48 meditate in thy statutes (tasks)"
* Vs.49 "Remember "the word"
unto thy servant, upon which thou has caused me to hope" (personal)
* The person that reads Scripture as a "written guideline" to a morality
that one tries to "live out" - rather than as an introduction to a Spiritual relationship, has sadly
missed the whole point.
Knowing what the Spirit of God is saying to each of us
in our daily lives is of utmost importance. (Hebrews 12:25,28)
St. John 5:20 "for the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that He does"
5:30 "I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek
not my own will, but the will of the Father which has sent me"
St. Matthew 12:28 "If
I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God is come ..."
4:1 "led by the Spirit into the wilderness"
4:14 "returned in the power
of the Spirit into Galilee"
Acts 10:19 "while Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, ... three men seek thee"
10:44 "while Peter spoke ... the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word"
(See also 1 Peter 4:11)
* Paul (Acts)
13:2 "the Holy Ghost said ... separate me Saul (Paul) for the work
13:4 "... they, being sent forth, by the Holy Ghost
21:4 "who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem"
(See also, Paul's writing to the Romans ch.8)
* John - (1 John)
1: 5 "this is the message
...God is Light"
1: 7 "if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, we
have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin"
"he that does the will of God abides forever"
2:20 "you have an unction from
the Holy One, and you know all things"
2:27 "the anointing which you have received
of Him abides in you. The same anointing teaches you, and is truth"
1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that gives to
all men liberally"
1:8 "a double minded man is unstable in all his ways"
1:25 "whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues...not being a forgetful hearer,
but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed"
"Submit yourselves to God"
4:10 "Humble yourselves in the sight of the
Lord, and He shall lift you up"
4:15 "you ought to say, If the Lord will,
we shall live, and do this, ... or that"
4:17 "to him that knows to do good,
and does it not, ... to him it is sin"
Message to the World
-the Spirit of God
"Repent ...and be Converted, that your sin's may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall
come from the presence of the Lord."
- Acts 3:19
Repent (Gk. Me'tanoe'o)
- which means to think differently, or reconsider; also with the sense of "afterwards".
For a person to actually repent, there is a necessity for a message ...
- that the person
- one that the person is able to give thought to, or consider
of "afterwards" in the meaning of the word repent brings out the thought ...
- that although
our relationship with God is marred, and out of sorts with His intention, and purpose
- and that our state is
- we now have the opportunity to reconsider
reconsidering bringing forth an active decision ... that calls for one to "think differently".
Accompanying this call for repentance was always a lot of reasoning with the people ...
referring them to Creation of the human
- God's Prophetic messages from
- God's dealings with man throughout history
- God's Judgments, and Blessings
The message was factual and repentance was "necessity".
It's the difference between eternal life, and judgment, ... light, and darkness.
Acts 2:38, Acts 17:30, Acts 26:20, Acts 20:21, 2 Peter 3:9)
Conversion (Gk. e'pistre'pho - which means to return,
revert back to, superimpose, and to be strengthened from the base)
The idea that conversion is a Spiritual process has always been the message of the prophets, Jesus, and the
There is no school, or teacher, that can convert an individual into being Spiritual.
is brought about by our reaction to suggestion of the Spirit.
In a natural and earthly community (kingdom),
we are converted to a "social acceptance" of the community, by practical disciplines, and changes of lifestyle.
In a "Spiritual" community, we are converted through our active faithfulness to the
Spirit, and His "Divine Intent".
* ...Through "doing" we "become".
Jesus called this being "born again". (St. John ch.3, and ch.14,15,16,17)
Conversion is associated with spiritual ministry to others, and results from active faith, and love.
(St. Luke 22:32, James 5:19,20, James ch.2, Psalms19, 2 Corinthians ch.3)
Conversion comes with patience. (Hebrews ch.6, and ch.12:1, James ch.1)
Refreshing (Gk. Anapsu'xis) -
which means "recovery of breath", "revival".
In this case, the "breath"
that we recover is the "presence of the Lord". (St. John 14, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:1-4,14-21)
The times of refreshing, or revival, are introduced:
- experienced throughout "conversion"
- received through Christ as "the Promise of the Father"
- intended for "Kingdom of God" ministry
The distractions within our lives, that
hurt, control, and kill, are those things that God calls sin; and they are confronted, and ministered to, and "blotted
out", when the times of refreshing come from the Spirit.
These times of "refreshing",
are for the ministering believer, who is actively going through the conversion process.
presence of the Lord will not leave you, but "will abide with you forever". (present tense) (St.
* This is the Holy Ghost. (Read Acts 19:1-8)
Love & Power
-from the earth
"He that hath
an ear ... Let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches"
- Revelations Chs.2,3
In the world today, and especially in our Society of the Western World, toleration
and political correctness have been, without a doubt, put forward at the expense of "belief" and "conviction".
Just as this dark spirit seeks to rob the "Greatest Christian Society" of Belief and Character,
... it has also perverted even the character of tolerance.
Tolerance (L. tolera're) - simply means to
This concept, in itself, is fine and fits into most scriptural character, ... except that
it misses the attitude of the Kingdom of God.
The Spiritual characteristic of the Kingdom of
God is one of great initiative, "seeking out the redemption of mankind". The mission of this Spiritual
Kingdom is not toleration, but rather reconciliation to God.
The problem with this dark spiritual attack is that it is not logical, and only knows how to pervert, confuse,
and ... destroy.
* We need to "see it" ...for "what
The generalized Christian church in America, during the last thirty years of the last millennium,
has suffered a great wound across its chest. The name given to this wound is ... Tolerance.
This is an attempt to breach a generation.
The social Christian church (based only upon
philosophy) will become confused, illiterate, and weak, and probably fall. (2 Thessalonians ch.2.,
2 Timothy 4:1-5,) But, in our generation the Voice will arise. We must listen.
Not the voice of political correctness, ... but the voice of redemption. Not the voice of "toleration",
... but the voice of the Spirit.
"He that hath an ear ... let him hear what the Spirit say unto ... the churches".
- Revelation chs.2,3
Love and Power
I had a
dream last night.
I dreamt that a little boy got hit by a truck, ...and his little body was totally ripped apart.
He was ripped in two, ... with his face tore off.
I gathered him up, ...and held him in my arms, ...trying
to put him back together.
I loved him, ...he either was my little son, ... or, I loved him just like he was.
My heart cried out with "loss", ... but I stood my ground, and just tried to do the best that I
As I held him, ... trying to put him back together, ... especially trying to put his face back on
(so that he would look ok in the coffin), I waited expectantly for a doctor to arrive ... and help me.
As I continued to do my best to reorganize his body ... to look "together" again, ... I noticed that there
was now life in his torso.
I don't know if I could see movement, or actually "see" the life.
And, as I continued, ... his face began to slowly take shape again.
He now had both eyes, ...and the big
scar around the perimeter of his face was slowly disappearing.
was definitely happening ... !
Healing "life" was moving through
his body, ... doing complicated things that I couldn't. There was some kind of work going on.
now a doctor was arriving, ... and the situation was changing, from funeral arrangements, ... to hope for the little
Gladness filled my soul, ...and I was in awe of the Holy Spirit's complicated restoration
in this little boy, ... and how he was healing right in front of my eyes.
When I awoke, I thought about the dream, ... and asked the Lord to help me to understand ...
Then I remembered the big truck, ... and I could see it again.
On the side of the truck box, I could
now see the big letters, ... "ABANDONMENT".
I remembered the
little boys "face", ...and I couldn't help but think of his "identity"
This little boy
was utterly ripped apart, and destroyed.
But, as I held him in my
arms, ...in love, ... as if he was my own, ...and felt loss, ...and tried to put him back together, ...
the Holy Spirit began to give him "life", ...and "heal" him, ... and restore him.
happened after that, ... I don't know, but I leave it with you ... to ponder.
I know what it says to
me, ... and now I've shared it with you.
- Bill C.
I had a dream, or a vision, early in the morning. I could see the ground heaving up, ... like a big "fold"
was opening up.
As I waited, ...and watched the "fold" rise,
like part of a big tent, or shelter, ... I could see that there were other "folds" that would open up in time as
this huge "shelter", or "image", would continue to "rise".
I couldn't help but
think, ...that this "thing" was here all the time, and would not come from "afar", but rather would rise
out of the earth.
I also couldn't help but notice ... that it was already prepared, and ready to "unfold".
Gigantic. Yes. How big? I don't know.
God is so vast,
... and wise.
When we see a "move of God", or something unfolding that God is doing,
... we need to remember that this is only "one fold" rising, till the "next one" is called upon: ... and
not "pretend" to know what God is doing, ... or attempt to be the "hot shot" preacher that explains
* Remember, when God asked Job, ...
"Where you there, Job,
... when I laid the foundations of the earth? (I demand an answer)
By what way is the light parted, ...which scatters the east wind upon the earth ...who has divided a water course
for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder ...??
(Come on Job, ...I want
- Job ch.38
in the Lord always, ... and again I say, rejoice".
- Phil. 4:4
- Overview of the Bible
Chapter twenty-seven The Bible
Pgs 259 - 270
The New Testament
The First Five Books
(Gospels and History)
- one of the 12 apostles, ... his writing is especially adapted to show the Jews that Jesus was their Messiah. Stories
of Jesus' ministry.
St. Mark - emphasizes the supernatural power of Jesus, ... over nature, disease, and demons.
St. Luke - the most complete "biography" of Jesus.
- Jesus as the "Logos", ...deeper teachings of Jesus ... foundation for the "believers"
(of the Apostles) -origin, and growth of the early church ... emphasizing "Spiritual ministry"
The Next Fourteen Books
church building, and establishing)
Romans - to the church at Rome, explaining justification,
and "new birth"
1,2 Corinthians - to the church at Corinth, to keep the
church group's priorities straight. Communion, and Spiritual gifts, etc., are discussed.
- to the church in Galatia, about spiritual rebirth, warning against "religious practices".
Ephesians - to the church at Ephesus, emphasizing that redemption in Christ is "for all".
(not just Jews)
Philippians - to the church at Philipi, ... prayer, fellowship, and sacrifice.
Colossians - to the church at Colloss'e, ...the "Logos", the church "in
1,2 Thessalonians - to the church at Thessalonica, ... dealing with the second
coming of Christ, etc.
- instruction to the "young pastor".
Titus -instruction to a trusted friend
who was a pastor in a hard area.
- a private letter to ask him to receive, and forgive, a run-away "slave".
Hebrews - (writer uncertain) to the Christian Jews in general, ...stating the "better"
truth of the Gospel.
The Next Seven Books
James - the brother of Jesus to the Jewish converts, main theme
"faith" without works is dead.
- the Apostle Peter to the scattered believers ... priesthood of the Believer
1,2,3 John - John is noted for his prophetic ministry, and these letters encourage believers
to walk in "the Light", and have their fellowship in "the Light"
Jude - basically a copy of Peter's second letter
The Last Book
Revelation - written by the Apostle John. Visions of the Glorious King and Kingdom
The expression of God's Word. Appeal to the believer to "Hear what the Spirit
is saying to the churches".
Spending time reading the New Testament History
of the Jesus' ministry, early Church development, apostolic ministry, and Letters of instruction to the Believer, ...
is a must.
You need to get to know your way around in this great Household of Faith.
The Old Testament
The First Five Books
Genesis -is the Book of Origins - the Creation of earth, and the human, family records,
the flood, etc.
Exodus -is the beginning of the history
of Israel's deliverance, and journey to Canaan, under the leadership of Moses.
Leviticus -the Book of priestly laws relating to sacrifice, and worship, as well as moral conduct.
Numbers -the Book of the pilgrimage of Israel
-is a repetition of the laws shortly before Israel entered Canaan (their promised land)
The Next Twelve Books
Joshua - a record of the conquest of Canaan, under the leadership of Joshua.
Judges - a history of six bondages of Israel, and the various deliverances ...through fifteen
Ruth - a beautiful story of Ruth
... the ancestress of David and of Jesus.
1,2 Samuel - history
of the prophet Samuel, and the first Kings of Israel.
- history of the Kingdom of Israel, and the prophets Elijah, and Elisha.
- a record of the reigns of David, Solomon, and the other kings up until captivity.
-the return of the Jews from captivity, and the rebuilding of the Temple.
Nehemiah -the account of the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, ... re-establishment of
Esther - story of Queen Esther's
The Next Five Books
Job -the story of a wealthy man, and the lessons he
learned in his relationship with God.
Psalms - a collection of hymns, poems, and prayers,
Proverbs - a collection of "wisdom" thoughts,
Ecclesiastes - the vanity
of life without God.
Song of Solomon - a poem, or song, ... symbolizing the mutual
love of Christ and the Church.
The Next Five Books
Isaiah - the prophet of redemption, ... prophecies pertaining to Christ
(also quoted by Jesus)
Jeremiah -a prophet during
the backsliding, and restoration of the Jews.
Lamentations - prophecies, the afflictions
of the Jews.
Ezekiel - portraying the sad condition of the people of God, ... and the pathway
to future glory.
Daniel - story of Daniel, and
The Next Twelve Books
Hosea - the same time as Isaiah and Micah. Israel has strayed from God.
Joel - National repentance, and its Blessings.
Amos - Visions denouncing "selfishness" and "sin".
Obadiah -the doom of Edom, and final deliverance of Israel.
Jonah - the reluctant missionary.
- prophecies about the coming of a Messianic Kingdom.
Nahum - destruction of Nineveh, deliverance
Habakkuk - how can a Just God let a
wicked Nation oppress Israel ?
Zephaniah - filled
with threatenings, but ends with a vision of the future glory of Israel.
Haggai - same time as Zechariah. Prophecies about the "rebuilding" of the Temple.
Zechariah - aroused the people to rebuild the temple. 8 visions about the
triumph of God's Kingdom.
Malachi - Shows a picture of the period before the New Testament.
The Old Testament Books are filled with the history of God
relating to the Human in "real life".
Although "times" have changed, it is quite
obvious that the basic challenges haven't.
If you want to get in beside some of these characters
in the Old Testament as they hear God, and make decisions, you will find your own "heart" exercised.
Doing this, with the Holy Spirit making comments to you, and showing you around, as you write these practical lessons
down, ... is priceless to your illumination.
(Chapter Overviews In Part)
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