I was Blind, Now I See, David Neal

The above link is to a PDF file.

 

 

 

 

Blind-see

 

Mark 10:46 -52, “And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And  when he heard that it was Jesus of Na zareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a  great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be  called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. And  he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered and said unto him, What  wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said un   to him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way;  thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received  his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”

 

                                                                Christ’s humble servant, David Neal

 

     So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and  immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

                                                                            July, 2006

 

Isaiah 42:6-7, “I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;      To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the

 

prison house.”

 

 

                                               An Electronic Book

 

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Introduction

The author found himself becoming very discouraged in trying to share the truth of God with others. It just seems that there are very few people that want to hear or read the Word of God as was spoken with power (the gospel) and walked in example by Jesus Christ. The author had been very dedicated and spent many many hours writing down the precious things of God, but just who has ears to hear or eyes to see? So many hearts are waxed gross and their ears are dull of hearing. Many say they see, yet are fully blind (Mt 13:15, Jn 9:39).

Even those closest to the author tired of hearing the beloved truth of the Lord. He has been called mad/crazy by some, and others, including some friends and family members, have separated from his company. The author was absolutely certain of the truth of the message, but just began to be weary (worn down) due to all the rejection.

The author considered the fact that he could not just stop speaking and writing God’s truth and simply keep to himself the cherished things that the Lord was teaching and revealing. This would be to hide your light (truth) and put it under a bushel (Mt 5:15). This would be to lay up the truth in a napkin or hide the truth in the earth (Lk 19:20-23, Mt 25:25-28). This is to be as salt that has lost his savour (Mt 5:13).

However, we are to give light unto all that are in the house (Mt 5:15). Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” A candle (light) must be set upon a candlestick so that all may see (Mk 4:21). There is a great responsibility and obligation (a commandment) to speak and demonstrate the Lord’s gospel (Mk 16:15, Mt 24:14) – not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake (Php 1:29, 2 Thess 1:5, 2 Tim 2:12).

The Lord spoke to the author’s heart and revealed something precious that brought about the needed encouragment – a reminder (a help to remember something important). The Lord said that man rejected Him when He spoke the Father’s Word, so how much more will you be rejected when you speak My Words (Jn 15:18)? Luke 21:17, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.” This was so incredibly encouraging to me, but why? Because it revealed to me something desired more than anything this world has to offer – it revealed that I was walking in the steps of my Lord (1 Pt 2:21, 4:1).

The author was not being offered a solution to end all of the rejection or necessarily a remedy to remove the hurt. The author was being offered a cross and a narrow path to continue to walk in (Mt 7:13-14, 16:24, Mk 8:34, 10:21, Lk 9:23, Jn 14:6) – just as Christ had walked. This was more beneficial and prized (valuable). This was a treasure and a pearl of great price (Mt 13:44-46, 19:21). Luke 6:40, “The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.” AND Matthew 10:24-25, “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

After all, Jesus learned obedience by the things which He suffered – and so shall His followers (Heb 5:8-9). Hebrews 5:8, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” How much more for those who follow?

Consider what Jesus told His disciples: Luke 9:22-24, “Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” Notice that Jesus said He would suffer many things and be rejected (for what He said and did) and then be killed. Jesus then immediately follows this statement with “if any man will come after or follow Me…” Christ offers us a cross and the same narrow way that He walked. Jesus’ only life in this world was to do the Father’s will and so it must be with those who follow Him. Jesus is telling us where we are headed if we follow Him.

The Lord plainly tells us: Luke 6:22-23, “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” So: 1 Peter 5:9, “Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” Your not alone in your tribulations – Jesus endured suffering and so do all His followers.

Now there are many religious people in this world and most claim to be following Christ. The truth of the claim is revealed when your life actually lines up (aligns) with the example that Jesus walked (Jn 15:20). This is how we must judge ourselves (2 Cor 13:5).

Jesus said we would be judged by His Words (which He walked flawlessly); so Christ’s Words are our standard to live by (Jn 12:48). The religious world claims to practice or adhere to God’s Word, but mostly ignors or explains away the hard things – those things that come against the will of the flesh – those things that require sacrifice. These often compromise away the meat of the message that was spoken of God in the person of Jesus Christ (the Word of God made flesh).

Examples might be: being hated by others (not popular, Mt 5:10-12, Lk 6:22); losing your life for Christ’s sake and the gospel’s (Mt 10:39, 16:25, Mk 8:35, Lk 9:24); bearing your cross (dying to self, Lk 14:27); forsaking all that you have (Lk 14:33); not loving the world or seeking fleshly lusts, desires or possessions (or walking in the course of this world, 1 Jn 2:15-17); placing Jesus before father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and your own life (Lk 14:26); bearing the injuries of others (forgiveness, Mt 6:15, Mk 11:26); and loving your enemies (Mt 5:43-45). These things are often explained away by religious man thus making Christ’s Words of none effect (effect – to promote needed change).

There are many hard truths in the Bible and it is certain that a true follower (disciple) of Jesus will experience everything that Christ experienced. 1 John 2:6, “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” AND Colossians 2:6, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” Jesus is the firstborn of many brethren (Rm 8:29). Brethren are brothers whereby one resembles the other in nature and experience. Jesus forged a path that His disciples must follow along – for He is the Shepherd and they are His sheep (Jn 10:27). He goeth before them (Jn 10:4). Galatians 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

One of the things a follower of Christ quickly learns is that man has consistently rejected God and His Word from the very beginning. When Jesus came (the Word of God made flesh) speaking God’s Words, He was soundly rejected by those who claimed to serve God – meaning religious man. Jesus said of His followers: John 17:14, “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” If Jesus is hated by the world then His disciples must also be hated by the world – thus you know that you are following Christ.

Why are they hated? They are hated because of God’s Word or truth. The world is in rebellion against this truth. The world walks opposite of the truth. Christ sanctifies (sets apart) His followers in God’s truth. John 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth (also Jn 17:19).” So: Luke 10:16, “He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.” God’s Word is the real issue here!

Therefore: If you walk as Jesus walked and speak His Words, then the world will hate and reject you just as it did Jesus. John 13:16, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” AND John 15:20, “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” What we are being told is that by and large rejection is an expected condition of speaking the truth of God’s Word. Christ’s disciples perfectly follow Him in all things including being persecuted, rejected, hated and despised. Only the humble (self denying) will receive God’s truth.

Conversely, if your message is being well received by a large audience (such as authoring  a very popular book), then you have cause for concern (1 Jn 4:5). The world loves its own (Jn 15:19)! Jesus spoke to and was rejected by a very religious people who thought they knew and served God. This was quite a disconnect in that God (the Word) became flesh and spoke God’s Word or truth to His own people only to be rejected by them. Christ’s message (which was the Father’s Word) was rejected by religious man.

John 1:10-11, “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”

Do not be surprised that the exact same condition exists today in so many of those who claim to know and serve Jesus Christ. In other words, many claim to follow Jesus, but they do not know Him. These same one’s who claim to follow Jesus (with mental acknowledgement) will actually reject walking the path that Jesus walked. God’s truth quickly separates the light from the darkness (2 Cor 6:14-18). Many “identify” with

God’s Word, but who “practices” God’s Word? Jesus said: Matthew 7:20, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

God’s Word is so divisive! The Word of God quickly separates the real from the false. The majority of man, including much of what calls itself Christian, has rejected the Word of God. How so? They have not “received” God’s Word in that they will not apply it to their lives and actually walk therein. Most of the religious world has a “free gift” and “cheap grace” doctrinal theology that essentially believes that Jesus did everything and nothing is required of man (that through Christ sin may abound???). They bandy about (pass about freely and carelessly, exchange in argumentative manner) the ill-advised

(unwise, misguided, foolhardy) phrase: “works do not save.”

This outlook has nullified the Word of God and made it of none effect. It is so much easier to accept (as in some mental acknowledgment) or tolerate the words of another (Jesus) when you do not believe that you must actually walk them (live them) or be held accountable to them. However, we must OBEY the truth (Rm 2:8, 2 Thess 2:8, Gal 5:7)! Nothing is so easy as to deny that which is not agreeable to your own desire. Oh it was just fine when Jesus walked the narrow way; however, Jesus always said, Come, follow

Me.” Jesus is telling you dear reader to “follow.” Psalms 85:13, “Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.” Let us understand what “works” means.

Modern Christian thinking is that if you “accept” Jesus (as in some repeated sinner’s prayer) that you will somehow be exempt from having to walk and live the things Jesus said – confusion? – its all so surreal. They distort (do not understand) and are ignorant of the verses: Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” The underlined words are what modern popular Christianity stresses (emphasizes).

Understanding “grace” and “faith” is the key! God’s grace is the Holy Spirit of grace working in you to accomplish the Lord’s purposes (Acts 4:31-33, Php 1:25, 2:13, Heb 10:29). The Holy Spirit is the gift! Grace = gift = Holy Ghost! Peter said it well: Acts 2:38, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost

(also Acts 10:45).” Paul said: 2 Corinthians 9:14-15, “And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” The grace in you or unspeakable gift is the Holy Ghost which dwells within you (1 Cor 2:10-12, 3:16, 6:19, Eph 4:7, 1 Tim 1:14, Heb 6:4, Js 1:17, 1 Pt 4:10, 1 Jn 4:13).

Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well: John 4:10, “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” The Gift is the “living water” which is the Holy Ghost. Jesus would later state: John 7:38-39, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” Jesus also said: Luke 11:13, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

It was prophesied of Jesus: Psalms 68:18, “Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them (also Eph 4:8).” The gift was the Holy Ghost that would dwell in men. Acts 2:33, “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.”

Further consider Perter’s acknowledgment that the Holy Ghost is the “gift” of God: Acts

8:18-20, “And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.” Peter also said concerning the gentile believers: Acts 11:15, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God

(also Acts 15:8-9)?” The Holy Ghost is God’s gift of grace working in you through your faith!

Faith is your free-will (not coerced, must be sincere and genuine) submission, obedience, love, trust and devotion toward God. When such faith is coupled with the Holy Ghost’s working in you, then God’s will is accomplished (Acts 5:32, Rm 4:16, 5:1-2, 5, Php 1:6, 2:12-13, 15). This results in a “change” of condition! The “living water” that Christ gives is shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (Jn 4:14). The Holy

Spirit is the “water of life (Rev 22:17).”

Rather than denying God to seek self, you will now deny self to seek God. Such

“change” will turn your life upside down – a complete change of direction! You shall be renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him (Col 3:10). Hebrews 2:4, “God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” Romans 12:6, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith.” Notice that gifts = Holy Spirit = grace.

Iniquity, which is the transgression of God’s will, is destroyed because those who fear God depart from that which opposes God. If God’s Word is not mixed (joined, united or blended) with such faith it does not profit the hearer (Heb 4:2). True faith as led by the Spirit is what saves you and Christ’s death made it possible. He that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man without a foundation (Lk 6:49).

Christ’s life and death provided four essential things: 1) God’s truth; 2) an example to follow; 3) forgiveness of past sins; and 4) the ability and means to follow – namely, the Holy Ghost. You must “conform” to the will of God which is found in Christ (Rm 8:29, 12:2). Colossians 2:10, “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” Jesus is well pleasing to God! Following Christ by faith through the leading of His Spirit makes you well pleasing to God! This cannot be achieved soley through your own works – no one will be able to boast of such.

Peter said: “through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ God hath begotten us in His mercy (1 Pt 1:2-3).” The sprinkling of

Christ’s blood is forgiveness of past sin (transgressions against God’s will, Rm 3:25, 1 Jn 2:2). Being “set apart” by the Spirit unto obedience is the Holy Ghost leading you through your faith. God forgives past sin for a purpose – to transform you (born again, 1 Pt 1:23) into what you were originally intended to be (before corruption, 1 Pt 1:14-16) – to make you perfect – in His image (Mt 5:48, Lk 6:40, Rm 12:2, 2 Cor 13:11, 2 Tim 3:17, Heb 13:21, 1 Pt 5:10, Rev 3:2). This image is found in Christ – look unto Him and follow. Peter goes on to say: “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (1 Pt 1:5). We shall understand that the power of God is the Holy Spirit – this is the last thing Jesus revealed before His ascention (Acts 1:8). AND “ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit (1 Pt 1:22).”

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines “grace” as divine influence or the influence of the Spirit in renewing the heart and restraining from sin. We are “quickened (made alive)” by the Spirit: Ephesians 2:5, “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;).” The Spirit of God + man’s faith = path of righteousness. The Lord leads in the way of righteousness (Pv 8:20, 12:28, Ps 23:3, Rm 8:14). This means that the Holy Spirit will NEVER lead you to remain in sin/bondage. Psalms 85:13, “Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.”

Jesus’ death provided the means of reconciliation with God. Reconciliation with God is based upon a free-will desire to serve God – to seek Him with all of your heart. This desire must be demonstrated in your life. You must have virtue whereby you voluntarily seek God and walk in His truth. Faith is never coerced/forced, but must come forth freely from a willing heart. Therefore, only the humble (self denying) can possibly come to this position. You can “say” all you want, but God observes them that “do.”

Its not your works that save you, but rather your obedience to the Spirit’s leading and teaching – the Holy Spirit working to transform you into the image of Christ. Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” You are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (1 Cor 3:18). Jesus is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Eph 3:20). First you receive the Holy Spirit and then your heart is purified by faith as you obey His Word (Acts 15:8-9, Eph 5:26). – the work of faith with power (2 Thess 1:11). In other words, we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand (Rm 5:2, also Gal 5:5). This is so elementary (baby food – milk, not meat, 1 Cor 3:2), yet so completely misunderstood by a religious world.

Man will “never” do what is right toward God of his own accord. Man’s fallen nature is to seek self with aspects of good and evil in his life (knowing good and evil). Man favors his flesh in all things. Therefore, God does not “call” us according to our good works – what we have done. 2 Timothy 1:9, “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” Only God’s grace works good in man. When God calls, you are totally undeserving and without merit.

Obedience is not your “own” work toward “earning” salvation, but rather submitting to the will of another, who is God. Obedience is a free-will sacrifice of self offered to God (the opposite of what man did in Eden). Your obedience to God’s will produces God’s works and not your own works. To “obey” God’s will and thereby produce God’s works actually requires that you “die” to (forsake) your own will and thus forfeit your own works. So, its not your works of righteousness, but rather God’s through His Spirit. Don’t be lost in religious confusion that contradicts the bulk of God’s Word by having you think that nothing is required of you.

Consider God’s intent: Hebrews 10:15-17, “Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” How are they put there? 2 Corinthians 3:3, “Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.”

This speaks of the Holy Ghost and His leading and teaching. For what intent? Titus 2:1114, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. ALSO consider: Galatians 1:4, “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” So: God’s grace (Holy Spirit) in you bringeth salvation – the Spirit “brings about” salvation in you by teaching you to forsake those things that oppose God.

Once you understand “faith” and “grace,” then the follow-on verse to the above Ephesians verses makes sense (usually omitted by religious man): Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” The result of your faith yielding to the Holy Ghost is good works known as the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23, Eph 5:9, Rm 6:22, 7:4, Col 1:6). Faith must yield good works (Js 2:17-26, 3:17). May Jesus stablish you in every good word and work (2 Thess 2:16-17).” Therefore: Colossians 1:10-11, “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.”

Christ’s sacrifice was so that “we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor

5:21).” We are “made” righteous through obedience to the Holy Ghost. So: 1 Peter 1:5, “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (The “power of God” = the Holy Ghost) + your faith = salvation.

Why did John the Baptist place such an emphasis that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Ghost (Mt 3:11, Mk 1:8, Lk 3:16, Jn 1:33, Acts 1:5)? Why did Jesus say it was expedient that He go away such that the Holy Ghost would come (Jn 7:39, 14:26, 16:7, 20:22)? Why did Christ insist that His disciples tarry at Jerusalem until they received power from on high (Lk 24:49, Acts 1:4, 8, 2:2-4)?

The reason is so clear! The Holy Ghost is the grace of God (Acts 14:26). The Holy Ghost is the promise of God. The Holy Ghost is the gift of God (Rm 5:15-21). The Holy Ghost is the power of God (Jn 1:12, Lk 24:49, Acts 1:8, 2 Thess 1:11, 1 Pt 1:15). The Holy Ghost = God’s grace = God’s promise = God’s gift = power of God = living water unto life. Faith without works (Holy Spirit’s teaching/leading) is dead (Js 2:17, 20, 26)! Faith must produce God’s purposes to have merit. Faith must “change” you – transform.

Please understand: “the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life (Rm 5:18).” And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us (1 Jn

1:24, also Ti 3:5). We are told two important things: 1) 1 John 2:3, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” AND 2) 1 John 4:13, “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.” Therefore, to be led of the Spirit to obey (through your faith) Christ’s commandments is to “know” and have “life” in Jesus.

The Holy Spirit came upon man at Pentecost because Jesus, the baptizer of the Holy Spirit, received this promise from the Father and shed it forth (Acts 2:1-4, 33). By the obedience of one (Jesus) shall many be made righteous (Rm 5:19). We are “made” righteous by the workings of the Holy Spirit through our faith (submission, obedience). John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” The “power to become” is the Holy Spirit working to transform you to God’s expectations. Therefore: Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” So, “that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God (Hos 1:10).”

Understand that grace is not simply unmerited favor in the sense that God just looks the other way (a concept completely contrary to God’s Word) or does not hold you accountable for the evil that you continue to do (walking in darkness). God does not look the other way and this is why Jesus had to suffer man’s condemnation of “thou shall surely die.” Grace is actually the Holy Spirit working in you to transform you into the image of Christ. Once you comprehend this, then scripture makes sense and verses no longer conflict with one another.

Those who are sojourning in this world and seeking God quickly come to the knowledge that there are two different “Christs” preached and proclaimed. 1) One group (the majority) preach a Jesus who justifies you in your sin (Gal 1:6-7). They essentially say in so many confused religious reasonings that Jesus is a covering for man’s continued sin because man is incapable of stopping – a “not perfect just forgiven” mentality. This is to hold the truth in unrighteousness (Rm 1:18). 2) The other group (a minority) preach a Jesus who delivers you from your sin. They say that Jesus came to free you from the bondage of sin that you may be reconciled to God and freely serve Him – by My Spirit saith the Lord. If the fruit of your doings has not changed with regards to Christ, then what has Jesus availed you? If you are still burdened by sin, then how are you free?

These groups may sound similar at times, but are eternally different. You must choose very wisely based upon sincerely seeking God and placing His Word (truth) in your heart. Christ’s first Words concerning the time in which we live were: “Take heed that no man deceive you (Mt 24:4).” Jesus came to lead in mercy, truth and righteousness (by My Spirit) and this is the key to understanding. Who shall ultimately prevail? 1) Man through the justification of his transgressions against the will of God OR 2) God through the purging of all transgressions against His will? Is sin justified or erradicated (overcome)? What prevails – the lie or the truth?

Can one be found “wicked (sinful, transgressing of God’s will)” in Christ Jesus? If one kills in the name of Jesus (as in war), does that make him innocent (Mt 5:43-45)? If a thief steals (or is adulterous, lying, hating, etc.) in the name of Jesus is he no longer guilty? Hebrews 10:26, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins (also Ez 3:19-20, 18:26, 33:12-13, 18).” You must again sincerely repent and forsake such evils to be found in Christ. Continued sin nullifies any “forgiveness” given. You cannot be forgiven to continue to violate the thing you were forgiven – that would void the meaning of the word and the action.

The issue is that many have made “peace” with sin rather than “overcoming” sin. For most, the battle is over – they say you can’t live a “perfect” life acceptable to God and that Christ’s blood is a covering for your continued sinfulness. In other words, they are in agreement with the devil that you can sin against God and “ye shall not surely die,” Yet Jesus said: Matthew 5:48, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” The Lord also says: 1 Peter 1:15-16, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (lifestyle); Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 John 5:4, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” Does God require us to do something that cannot be done? This reasoning will not stand because God has given us His Spirit.

I say this to those who have made peace with sin: 1 Corinthians 15:34, “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity (2 Tim 2:19).

The Holy Ghost is the grace of God that leads one in truth unto righteousness. However, religious man attributes the grace of God as a covering for unrighteousness which is only found in the devil’s lie. They essentially say, through so many religious words and doctrines, that grace is God not acknowledging or holding you accountable for continued transgressions – because you cannot stop sinning. Can you see how this is utterly contrary to the Holy Spirit’s work and a denial thereof. The only thing they are justifying is sin and they make Christ the Lord of sin – He who brings license?

What does the Lord expect? “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God (Rev 2:7).” This verse EQUALS = Revelation 22:14, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Those who overcome do the Lord’s commandments and have life! — its all so simple!

Now consider: Revelation 2:26, “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.” AND Revelation 3:5, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” So, is overcoming no more than repeating a prayer that is not even of your own making (i.e. a sinner’s prayer)? Is overcoming “saying” and not “doing?” Your eternal destiny is based upon correct understanding. If you do not “overcome,” then you will not be found in the Lamb’s book of life!

Lets get right to the cruxed of the matter: Revelation 3:21, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my

Father in his throne.” This brings us back to “following” Jesus and walking as He walked (Col 2:6, 1 Jn 2:6, 1 Pt 2:21). This reveals that we must conform to His image (Rm 8:29, 2 Cor 3:18, Col 3:10). There is a narrow way that must be trod with cross in hand and no true disciple of Christ will travel it any other way (Mt 10:38, 16:24, Mk 8:34, 10:21, Lk 9:23, 14:27).

Oh, there is still a battle raging (with eternal consequences) irregardless if you are in it or have again been taken “captive” by the enemy. 2 Timothy 2:26, “And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” There are those who are “free” and those who are “bound.” Jesus came to “free;” are you still bound? The “bound” are in Satan’s prison house!

God’s Word never contradicts itself when it is properly understood and applied. How does one separate grace from the Spirit of God working in you? God never, under any circumstances, accepts transgression of His will (disobedience to His commandments). God does not oppose His own truth! God does not justify the wicked and will by no means clear the guilty (Ex 23:7, 34:7, Deut 25:1, Pv 17:15, Is 5:23). The Lord does not overlook evil.

If you believe that Jesus came to justify or provide a covering for sinful behavior, then you have completely “missed” God’s purposes. Satan is the author of the lie that proposes you can transgress the will of God and “ye shall not surely die (Gen 3:4).” This proposition completely opposed God’s Word of “thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17).” Pick your side! Are you walking in Satan’s lie?

Many religious men (Mt 7:15) would have you believe that Jesus came to justify you in your sin and disobedience to God’s Word. Galatians 2:17, “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.” Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee (Ps 94:20, also 2 Cor 6:14-16)? A false prophet’s message always has the implication that you can disobey God (through Christ) and “ye shall not surely die (Gen 3:4).” This is the devil’s lie! They will say that you can never measure up to God’s expectations and that you must live vicariously through Christ. To be vicarious is essentially to share-in or undergo another’s experience through “imagined participation.” This reasoning utterly negates everything the Holy Spirit is sent to do and absolutely opposes God’s purposes. False prophets resist the truth of God and twist it to their own benefit (2 Tim 3:8).

For those who say they love Jesus, but walk in darkness; know this: God always says: “I will not justify the wicked (Ex 23:7, Pv 17:15).” Jesus in no way came to justify the wicked (Jn 3:19)! 1 John 1:6, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” Jesus is not a covering for continued wickedness (sin, iniquity, transgression of God’s will). Those who continue in darkness only prove the insincerity of any commitment they may have made to Christ (Pv 14:16, 16:17).

So, is it possible to be correct with a theology of “works do not save” and that what you do does not contribute to salvation? Paul said of such: Titus 1:16, “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” How can you say you are saved by God irregardless of your actions toward God? Did this theology (once saved always saved way of thinking) work for Adam? Didn’t such opposition to God’s will bring sin, death and so much misery into the world?

Jesus said: Luke 13:24, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” – to be accounted worthy to obtain (Lk 20:35, 21:36). Peter said: “be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless (2 Pt 3:14).” Paul said: 1 Corinthians 9:24, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” John said: 1 John 3:3, “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” AND 1 John 5:18, “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” To strive, be diligent, run that you may obtain, purify yourself, sinneth not, and keepeth himself all speak of effort that results from your faith (submission, obedience and devotion to God).

There are some things that are monumentally important to understand. First of all, we are held accountable to Christ’s Words: John 12:48, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” The judgment of God is according to truth (Rm 2:2). Psalms 96:13, “Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.” Secondly, the application of God’s Word to your life shall determine if you “received” Jesus’ Words. In other words if Jesus said “stop” and you “go,” then obviously you did not “receive” what He said as proved by your actions. Christ said: Matthew 16:27, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” AND John 5:29, “And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

You will be judged by your works and deeds: Romans 2:6-9, “Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile.” Every man’s work will be revealed according to his ways (Job 34:11, Eccl 3:17, 11:9,

12:14, 2 Kg 8:39, Ps 62:12, Pv 24:12, 29, Is 59:18, Jer 17:10, 25:14, 32:19, Ez 7:3-4, 89, 27, Oba 1:15, Zech 1:6, Mt 12:36-37, 16:27, Jn 5:29, Rm 2:6, 16, 14:12, 1 Cor 3:13, 4:5, 2 Cor 5:10, Col 3:24-25, 2 Tim 4:1, 1 Pt 1:17, 4:5, Jude 1:15, Rev 2:23, 20:12-13, 22:12). So, works and deeds really do matter.

Therefore, how does God judge? “Without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work (1 Pt 1:17).” Job 34:19, “How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all are the work of his hands.” A simple profession (mental acknowledgment) of Christ without a walk of faith will fall short – even so, Christ judges the very intent of the heart.

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The following writing came about as the Lord began to show the author just how God (and His truth) has been rejected by man from the beginning. Psalms 109:5, “And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.” The world loves it’s own, but has rejected God. John 15:19, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” That verse reveals how standing on the side of the Lord and speaking His Word will set you up for rejection by the world.

If you love the world (it’s ways, path, culture, etc.), then the world will love you. It is only when you come against the world that you are rejected. When you walk in step with Jesus, you walk out of step with the world (vice versa). Jesus said concerning the world: “but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil (Jn 7:7, Gal 1:4).” To speak God’s Word or truth is to come against the world and testify that its works are evil. Is it any wonder that you would be continually rejected? Natural man loves the darkness/world rather than the light/truth (Jn 3:19-21). If the majority of mankind loves the world and you speak against the world, then where does that leave you while being in the world?

Let me tell you dear reader, it is very hard to stand against this world. No one can do it in their own power for a sustained period of time. You must be walking in God’s truth and be empowered by the Holy Spirit. If you are walking in God’s truth and you desire to do His will, then God will make a way – but you have to really want it. It is so easy to go along with the flow of this world; there is no persecution in compromise – neither is there a witness for God.

The free flow of this world is as a mighty river flowing over a cliff and down into a great abyss. Shouldn’t you fight against such a current with all your might? Is going against the current (gravity) ever easy? You are either traveling with/in the current or you are fighting against the current. The Lord saves/rescues those who are fighting against the current. The Lord helps you in your struggles to reach Him, but never in your concession to the world’s flow.

The following writing will reveal man’s initial rejection of God and then will specifically move on to how man has rejected the Word of God made flesh called Jesus the Son of the Highest who was sent from God (Lk 1:31-32). Man is blinded by the flesh and remains that way when he will not “receive” and “walk in” the Word of God.  Jesus came that the blind might see and those who see might be made blind (Jn 9:39).

The Lord has been longsuffering toward the world and His Word does not return void and accomplishes that which He pleases, and it prospers in the thing whereto He sends it (Is 55:11, also Is 45:23). The Lord says concerning His purposes: “I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it (Is 46:11).” The Lord desires the “few” who have ears to hear (Jn 6:40). Jesus often said: “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear (Mt 11:15, 13:9, 43, Mk 4:9, 23, 7:16, 8:18, Lk 8:8, 14:35).” Shall we hear?

Jesus once profoundly touched a blind man’s life; this man later said: “one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” The only blind men that were healed were those who sought (cried out) God for sight (Mt 9:27-29, 20:30-34, 21:14, Mk 10:46-52)! Shall we see? Shall we cry out to the Lord for sight? God desires the “few” who will hear and apply His Word and see to walk His path…

Whom hath God called? Isaiah 43:7-8, “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.” For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty (Is 44:3, Mt 5:6). The water is the Holy Ghost (Jn 4:7-15, 7:38-39).

If you have eyes to see and ears to hear – if you hunger and thirst for righteousness, then God can work in you.

 

Chapter 1, Disobedience to God Brings Death

In the beginning God created man in His own image and placed man in a beautiful garden (Gen 1:26-27, 2:7-8, 15). God gave man His Word: Genesis 2:16-17, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” In other words, if man disobeyed God’s Word and ate from the forbidden tree, he would surely die.

The devil entered the garden through a serpent (Gen 3:1). The serpent told man that he could disobey God and eat from the forbidden tree and that “ye shall not surely die (Gen 3:4).” The devil’s word was utterly contrary (completely opposite) to God’s Word. The devil changed the truth of God into a lie (Rm 1:25).

Man obeyed the devil’s word and rejected God’s Word (Gen 3:6-13). Man chose that which was opposed to God! Man did not obey the truth, but obeyed unrighteousness (Rm 2:6-9). To reject the truth is to obey a lie – for no lie is of the truth (1 Jn 2:21). God’s Word required a denial of self-will in order to obey God’s will. The devil’s word embraced self-will and thus denied God’s will (Word/commandment). The devil’s word benefited the flesh and offered that which was forbidden.  

Man elevated (exalted) his flesh over God’s Word in seeking its lust and desire. Man rejected God in favor of self. To disobey God and walk in your own will/way is to rebel against your Creator. This exaltation of self is known as “pride.” Pride always goes before destruction and this is the broad way in which the devil leads (Pv 16:18). Man chose to be as a god and decide good and evil for himself rather than submit to and obey the one true God (Gen 3:5). Romans 3:16-18, “Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

The devil overcame man through his craftiness and man lost his standing with God. “For of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage (2 Pt 2:19). Oh, who shall redeem us from such bondage and death??? Sadly, we shall discover that most do not necesserily want to be redeemed when they discover that they must relinquish selfwill (to be as a god).

Death

One thing is clear throughout God’s Word and that is that disobedience to the will of God brings forth death. God is the giver of life and there is no life apart from Him (Gen 2:7). Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

God told man that the day he disobeyed His will (commandment) that “thou shalt surely die.” This condemnation is an expected and eternal conclusion for those who do not reverence their Creator (Ps 119:4). The truth of this statement still stands and always shall.

God is your life! If you remove yourself from God, then you remove yourself from your life – plain and simple. The creation does not have life within itself – it is not self sustaining. God created you! Shouldn’t you love and be devoted to the One who gave you life? Shouldn’t you reverence and obey Him?

Satan is a created being who deceived man in saying: “ye shall not surely die.” The devil has no life to give and can only offer death, through bondage in his lie and rebellion. This rebellion shall not stand and its only purpose in temporaily continuing is to shake that which can be shaken so as to remove the chaff. God prevails in every way – He retains that which has been tried and tested and is pure.

Sin (transgression of God’s will) produces death. Once again: Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” The wages of sin are death (Rm 6:23). Since sin brings about death, then life can only be obtained by the cessation of sin.

Disobedience Makes Void God’s Promises

God gave the children of Israel the “promise” of a land flowing with milk and honey (Gen 24:7, 26:3, Ex 3:8, 13:5, Lev 20:24, Deut 11:9). Those who disobeyed God did not enter in and made void the promise with respect to themselves (1 Cor 10:1-12). Because of disobedience to the will of God (breach of covenant) a whole generation (20 years and upward) were forced to wander in the bleak desert till they dropped dead. Numbers

14:27-35, “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me?

I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.

Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.

Once in the “Promised Land” God told the children of Israel that if they did not obey

Him that He would cut them off out of the land which He had given them (1 Kgs 9:6-7, 2 Kgs 17:6-23). King Saul was removed from being King for disobeying God (1 Sam 15:28). King Solomon had the kingdom rent from him for disobeying God. Disobedience to God results in forfeiture of God’s promises (1 Kgs 11:11, 33-36). Examples are plentiful throughout the Word of God.

Exceedingly great promises are given in Christ Jesus for those who love Him. Jesus defined love as follows: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Those who do not obey Christ cannot expect to have inheritance in the kingdom of God. Their disobedience forfeits God’s promises to them. What is the foremost commandment? Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love is obedience. This is an eternal fact and the wise shall take heed.

Chapter 2, Obedience to God Brings Life

Man has been disobedient and rebellious toward his Creator. Man has violated God’s will and is under the condemnation of death. The Lord God has no further obligation toward man and can certainly carry out the sentence of death at His discretion (Rm 5:16). However, God is a merciful God – longsuffering toward man, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Pt 3:9, Ps 103:10). Psalms 85:4-7, “Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.”

God’s mercy and forgiveness can only be obtained through God’s determined way which is always found in His truth. We shall only understand God’s path of salvation when we understand: Psalms 85:10, “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Can there be mercy outside of God’s truth? Can there be peace with God apart from righteousness?

For it is said of God (and Christ’s throne): Psalms 89:14, “Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.” AND Isaiah 16:5, “And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.” Psalms 100:5, “For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations (also Ps 108:4, 115:1, 117:2).”

We shall understand in this book just how important it is to be found in God’s truth so as to partake of His mercy. Righteousness or “fear of the Lord” tendeth to life (Pv 11:19 & 19:23, also Pv 12:3, 28, 13:6, 15:9, 21:21, 1 Pt 2:24, 1 Jn 2:29, 3:7). Deuteronomy 30:20, “That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days…”

The Lord says: Hosea 6:6, “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God (truth) more than burnt offerings.”

Therefore, let us understand: Romans 5:19, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Who is this “obedient” man who brings life to the repentant…? Who is this obedient man who brings “truth” and makes “righteous,” through “mercy,” so as to establish “peace” between God and man?

A Few Examples

Noah was told to build an ark. Noah’s obedience to God’s direction saved himself and his entire family during the great worldwide flood (Gen 6:13-22). Genesis 6:22, “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” What a wonderful statement! 1 Peter 3:20, “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water (also Heb 11:7, 2 Pt 2:5).”

Hezekiah was on his death bed and the king of Assyria was about to destroy Judah: 2 Kings 20:1-3, “In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live. Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying, I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.” The Lord said to Hezekiah: 2 Kings 20:6, “And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.” God is our life and the sustaining thereof. Proverbs 9:11, “For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.”

The Lord God told Solomon: 1 Kings 3:14, “And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.” Obedience to God always brings life!

The Coming of Christ

The first mention of the coming of Christ or the Messiah is given in the following account: The Lord God JEHOVAH through His mighty hand delivered His people from the bondage of Pharaoh in Egypt and brought them out unto Himself into the wilderness (Ex 6:3, 7:16, 13:3, 14, 16, 14:13-14, 18, 30, 15:2, 6-7, 13). Israel encamped at Mount Sinai/Horeb where Moses had first met God at the burning bush (Ex 3:1-12, 19:1-2).

God said: Exodus 19:4-6, “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation…” The people responded: “All that the LORD hath spoken we will do (Ex 19:8).”

The Lord God was going to speak so that the people would hear His voice. Exodus 19:9, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.”

The people were made ready and assembled to hear God speak (Ex 19:9-15). Exodus

19:16-20, “And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.”

Furthermore: Deuteronomy 4:10-13, “Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children. And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone (also Deut 4:3639, 5:4-6).” Deuteronomy 4:33, “Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?”

God then began to speak His Ten Commandments. Deuteronomy 5:4, “The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire, (I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to shew you the word of the LORD: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying, I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.” AND Exodus 20:1, “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” Among the Ten

Commandments, the Lord specifically said: Exodus 20:3, 23, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.” Later, the people again said: “All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient (Ex 24:7).”

The people greatly feared God (Deut 5:24-27): Exodus 20:19, “And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die

(also Deut 5:23-28).” Deuteronomy 18:17-19, “And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” The Lord further said of them: Deuteronomy 5:29, “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!”

The whole purpose of God speaking directly to the people was so that they would “fear” God and keep His commandments and walk in His ways (Deut 4:10, 5:29, 6:2, 10:12-13, 20). God’s Word requires a submission and obedience from man.

This people rejected hearing directly from God! Very soon after God had spoken His commandments, they also rejected God’s Word (and violated their own word) in that they built a god of gold (Ex 32:1-8). While Moses was meeting with God, they made a molten calf of gold and worshipped it, and sacrificed thereunto: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt (Ex 32:4, 8, 23, Deut 9:12-14, 16-17).

Once again, man did not obey the truth, but did obey unrighteousness (Rm 2:6-9). Therefore it was said: Acts 7:39-40, “To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt. Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.”

God had delivered them from Egypt and the house of bondage, but when it came right down to obeying God, who really wanted to be delivered? Similarly, Jesus delivers man from the world, but when it comes right down to obeying Christ, just who wants to be delivered from the world (Gal 1:4)? Who really wants to die to self-will and the lusts and desires of their flesh (Jn 3:19)? Who really wants to make God the foremost desire in their life? Many say they love God, but obey the flesh (just as thy first father, Adam – Is 43:27). Jesus said that “if ye love Me, keep my commandments (obey Me, Jn 14:15).”

The Lord said: “I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people;” and had it not been for Moses He would have destroyed them and blotted their name out from under heaven (Deut 9:13-14). God also said: “a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith (Deut 32:20, also Ps 78:7-8, 22).” These were the people that had seen all of God’s miracles and wonders. These were not heathens, but rather the Lord’s people whom God had delivered by His mighty power and stretched out arm from the most powerful nation on the face of the earth (Ex 19:5, Deut 4:20, 9:29, 14:2).

Moses would later say of them: Deuteronomy 9:24, “Ye have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you.” AND Deuteronomy 31:27, “For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death?” – “I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you (Deut 30:29).”

Even though God had done so many miracles before them they were full of unbelief and disobedience (Deut 4:34-35, 11:1-7, 26:8, 1 Cor 10:1-12, Ps 106:21-22). Psalms 78:32, “For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works.” Psalms 78:1012, “They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them. Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.”

So, God said of them: Hebrews 3:9-12, “When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God (also Ps 95:9-11).”

The Lord counseled them: Deuteronomy 10:16, “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.” In other words, stop being obstinate and stubborn (obdurate) in your own way and yield to God. A circumcised heart for what purpose? Deuteronomy 30:6, “And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.”

At mount Sinai/Horeb, the people did not want to hear directly from God. The Lord said: Deuteronomy 5:29, “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!” The Lord said He would one day raise up a prophet from among them and would put His Word in His mouth. This prophet would come speaking only that which God commanded Him to speak. This is very relevant to Christ as will be discussed below. Furthermore, the words spoken would be required of man – man would be held accountable to obey.

Jesus was this one who would come and speak God’s Words (truth). Truth sprang out of the earth (Ps 85:11). It was prophesied of Christ: Psalms 57:3, “He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.” Jesus is the one who brought God’s mercy and truth. Psalms 85:10, “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace (reconciliation with God – restored that which He took not away, Ps 69:4) have kissed each other.”

It was further prophesied: Psalms 40:10, “I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.” Peter acknowledged that Jesus was the one in saying: Acts 3:22-23, “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” The faithful martyr Stephen also acknowledged that Jesus was this prophesied one (Acts 7:3739). God in these last days spoken unto us by His Son (Heb 1:2).

God the Father said of Jesus: Matthew 12:18-20, “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.” Psalms 85:11, 13, “Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.” Jesus leads those who will “receive” God’s truth back to “peace” with God.

When Jesus later came He was very emphatic that He only spoke the Father’s Words. Jesus said: John 12:49-50, “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” AND John 7:16, “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.” John the Baptist bore witness in saying: “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God (Jn 3:34).”

The Lord said: “for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice (Jn 18:37).” The Word of God brought God’s Word or truth to man as a man. Those who receive this truth are of God. John 3:21, “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”

The Word was made flesh to teach man the Word or truth of God, both by Word and example (in the form of a servant, Php 2:7-8, Ps 119:160). All of God’s commandments are truth (Ps 119:151). Jesus said: “I speak those things I have heard of him (God the Father, Jn 8:26).” Christ also said: “I must work the works of Him that sent Me (Jn 9:4).” John 6:45, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God.”

Jesus came and taught God’s Words (which were taught to Him of the Father, Jn 8:28-

29) and those who desire the truth and seek God must come to Him. “Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” Jesus further said: Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

Jesus brought God’s truth to man to complete God’s path for reconciliation: James 1:18, “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” The Lord “brings us into being (born again)” as sons of God with the Word of truth and gives us the Spirit of truth (Jn 1:12-13, 17:17, Rm 8:14, Gal 4:6, Php 2:15, 1 Jn 3:1-2). God’s mercy is for those who desire (hunger and thirst for) His truth – those who live by God’s Word (Deut 8:3, Mt 4:4, Lk 4:4).

It is very important to understand that Jesus proceeded forth (was sent) from God bringing “mercy” and “truth.” Jesus revealed this when He said: John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” AND “the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them (Lk 9:56, 19:10).” “He that is of God heareth God’s words (Jn 8:47).”

Jesus came the first time in great mercy bearing an offer of forgiveness. When Jesus shall be sent from God the second time it will be in great wrath and judgment (Is 13:9-11, 13, 34:1-6, Zeph 1:15, 2:2-3, Rev 6:16-17). Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger (Nah 1:6)?

For those who receive Christ’s Word: “the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe (1 Thess 2:13).” The Word or truth of God and the Spirit of truth work in you to achieve God’s purposes (Jn 14:17, 15:26, 16:13, 2 Jn 1:2). – “to stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God (1 Thess 3:13).” Psalms 33:4, “For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.” 1 Peter 1:25, “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” AND Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”

When Jesus was with Peter, James and John (the pillars of His future church) at the mount of transfiguration (Mk 9:1-6), the following significant event occurred: Mark 9:7, “And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him (also Lk 9:34-35).” This brings us back to when God appeared in a cloud at Mount Horeb and the people feared to hear God. God again appears in a cloud and now directs us to listen to the one He has raised up from among the brethren to speak His Words (Deut 18:17-18). Jesus was sent of God to speak God’s Word or truth. John 3:34, “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.” The Father’s message to these men was “hear Him.” Jesus said on several occasions: “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear (Mk 4:9, 23, 7:16). Lets repeat: “He that is of God heareth God’s words (Jn 8:47).”

The Words spoken by Christ (given by the Father) will be required of man. Jesus said: John 12:48, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” The judgment of God is according to truth (Rm 2:1). Furthermore, Jesus said: Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away (also Mk 13:31).” So, if Christ’s Word shall never pass away and all of creation will be held accountable to these

Words, doesn’t it behoove us to take them very seriously? Jesus said: Luke 10:24, “For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” Jesus gives sight and hearing to know God’s will, which is the Lord’s truth.

Through Moses, God gave Israel the following commandment: Deuteronomy 6:4-5, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might (also Deut 10:1213).” Jesus reiterated this commandment: Mark 12:29-30, “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” These commandments speak of self sacrifice for the benefit of others and encompass love and mercy.

Just prior to being crucified, Jesus told the Father: “I have given them thy word (Jn 17:14).” You can be absolutely assured that man will be judged according to this standard/Word/truth! Consider the denial of self (your lusts and desires) that must be done to accomplish this commandment. You must “seek first (foremost)” the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Mt 6:33, Lk 12:31).

 d

To summarize, God sent His Word as prophesied (Jn 5:37). The Word was made flesh, as a man, to speak God’s Word or truth to man (Jn 1:14). Jesus specifically came to speak God the Father’s Word or truth unto man. Christ was anointed to preach the gospel

(Lk 4:18). The Lord was totally devoted to do God’s will: John 5:30, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” AND “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work (Jn 4:34).” AND John 6:38, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” AND “the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father (Jn 6:57).” Jesus said: “whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me (Mk 9:37).” God will hold man accountable to obey and live His truth – count on it! Anyone who says otherwise is a false prophet/teacher (2 Cor 11:13-15, Php 3:2, 18-19, Col 2:8).

Jesus not only “perfectly” matched the description of this coming prophet who would bring the Word of God, but is also man’s “example” of God’s expectations for man. Man is to be completely devoted to God as Jesus the Son was to God the Father. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Deut

8:3, Mt 4:4, Lk 4:4).” Jesus is “the Word” that proceeded forth and was sent from God

(Jn 1:1-3). Man’s life is found in Christ (1 Jn 5:11-12). Man shall live by Christ’s Words and shall be held accountable for such.

Christ said: John 6:33, “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” The “bread of God” equates to the “Word of God.” The Word came down from heaven and was made flesh, and dwelt among us (Jn 1:14). Jesus said: “John 6:48  I am that bread of life.” Man lives by the Word of God which is Jesus whom God sent. This is that prophet which was foretold to Moses. Jesus brings God’s truth and man shall live by that truth.

Consider this prophesy concerning Christ: Isaiah 42:16, “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them (also Heb 13:5).”

Sent from God

Jesus was very emphatic that He was “SENT” from God (Jn 3:16-17, 4:34, 5:24, 30, 36, 38, 6:29, 38-40, 44, 51, 57, 7:16, 18, 33, 8:16, 18, 29, 9:4, 36, 12:44-45, 49, 13:16, 20,

15:21, 16:5, 28, 17:21, 23, 25). John 7:28-29, “Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not. But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.” AND “For I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me (Jn 8:42).”

God sent His Word to accomplish His purposes and prosper in that which He pleases (Is

55:11). God’s Word shall return victorious. John 16:28, “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.” Those who “hear” and “live” this Word shall be found in this victory. If you do not believe, Jesus said: “ye shall die in your sins (Jn 8:24).”

           d        The Gospel is the Power of God unto Salvation

Now here is something very important to understand. The “gospel” is the Word of God with power, and the “power” is the Holy Spirit (Rm 15:13) – the inseparable combination of the two – for His Word was with power (Lk 4:32). Jesus was anointed to preach (David had also been anointed of God, 2 Sam 23:1-2 & 1 Sam 16:13). The anointing or power is the Holy Ghost (Jn 1:12, Lk 24:49, Acts 1:8, Rm 1:16). Romans 1:4, “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Jesus’ disciples also receive the anointing which teaches them all things (1 Jn 2:27). Unto us which are saved it is the power of God (1 Cor 1:18).

2 Corinthians 6:7, “By the word of truth, by the power of God…” It was noted above that Christ spoke the Words of God and the Spirit was not given by measure unto Him (Jn 3:34). This reveals the indivisible blend of Word and power.

God’s Word goes forth with power because it always accomplishes that which He pleases, and it always prospers in the thing whereto He sents it. God has the ability to

“enact” His Word and this is just what He does. There is tremendous and unbelievable power behind the Word or truth of God. Pharaoh found this out when he resisted and opposed God’s Word. All creation will know this power at the great Judgment.

Jesus spoke God’s Word and this was followed by demonstration of power (signs and wonders, miracles). It was said of Jesus: Luke 4:36, “And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out (other examples: Mt 8:16, 24-27).” The people also said: “Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works (Mt 13:54)?” Words are just that without the power! – the demonstration. Without the power, God’s truth is just so many words to the unbeliever or religious Pharisee (and modern variation of).

The demonstration of power verified the Words Jesus spoke. Matthew 9:2-8, “And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.” Christ’s Words were undeniable due to the works He did!

The Apostle Paul said: Ephesians 3:7, “Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.” AND Romans 15:19, “Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” As previously discussed: God’s grace = Holy Spirit = power = God’s gift. Hebrews 2:4, “God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”

So now we understand another dimension to God’s provision. The Holy Ghost is God’s gift to man. The Holy Ghost further gives additional gifts to man to be used for God’s purposes. God’s Word is power and the Holy Ghost equips those who speak this Word with power – bearing them witness.

Paul also wrote: 1 Thessalonians 1:5, “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” AND 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, “And my speech and 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.” AND 1 Corinthians 4:20, “For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” AND Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…” The Word and the power cannot be separated in Christ’s gospel!

What about those who do separate the Word and power through unbelief? 2 Timothy 3:5, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

Truth

When a man does not receive God’s truth (meaning to walk therein), then the truth has failed with respect to that man – it profits nothing. A man that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD his God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off (Jer 7:28). God’s purposes cannot be accomplished in such a one.

God’s purposes are that man come to the knowledge of the truth. It goes without saying that if one sincerely seeks the truth that one will walk therein. God gives repentance to the acknowledging of the truth (2 Tim 2:25). Scripture reveals that the acknowledging of the truth is after godliness (Ti 1:1). To be godly is to be as your God – to walk in His truth! So, to be perfect is to walk godly. God gives His Spirit of truth to lead and teach us (Jn 16:13) – Psalms 18:32, “It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.”

What is Man’s Work?

Jesus was speaking to a crowd: John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” Jesus was telling them that they must receive and apply the truth of God that He brought. John 6:30-31, “They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” Christ gives a brilliant reply by saying: John 6:48, “I am that bread of life.”

What Jesus was relating to them is that: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Mt 4:4, also Deut 8:3).” Jesus is the Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God and took on flesh and dwelt among us (Jn 1:114). God said: Isaiah 55:11, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” The Word accomplishes God’s will by separating those men who will receive it from those who will not. Jesus is the truth that man must live by.

Prepare Me a House

The Lord told David (through Nathan the prophet): 1 Chronicles 17:11-14, “And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee: But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.” Jesus fulfilled this prophecy exactly.

Many will consider that God was referring to Solomon (similar was said of Soloman – 1 Chr 22:9-10). Although some aspects seem to apply to Soloman, it is alluding to Christ.

However, Solomon’s wives turned his heart unto other gods and he built temples to these gods which became a stumbling stone to Judah (1 Kg 11:1-10). 1 Kings 11:6, 9-10, “And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.” Because of this the Lord God split the kingdom of Israel

(Solomon’s throne) and only left one tribe to Judah – and that only for David’s sake (1 Kg 11:12-13, 32-36). Finally, the temple that Solomon built was later destroyed.

Let us consider how Jesus Christ fulfills this prophecy:

1)      “I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons” – Jesus came forth from the seed of David: John 7:42, “Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” AND Romans 1:3-4, “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead (thus God did not take away His mercy from Him, see below).”

2)      “I will establish his kingdom” – Jesus talked extensively about the kingdom of God.

Christ spake: Mark 1:15, “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” The gospel was the truth of God that Christ brought and shall be required of man. God’s Word is with power and establishes His purposes (Is 55:11) – sifting the good and the bad (discussed below). God the Father has appointed Jesus the Son an eternal kingdom (Lk 19:12, 22:29, Jn

18:36). Isaiah 22:22, “And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house (also Rev 3:7).”

3)      “I will be his father, and he shall be my son” – God the Father said of Jesus: Hebrews 1:5, “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have

I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” AND Acts 13:33, “God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee (also Ps 2:7, Heb 5:5).” God the Father said of Jesus: Matthew 3:17, “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (also Mt 12:18, 17:5, Mk 1:11, Lk 3:22, 2 Pt 1:17).” Furthermore it was prophesied: Psalms 89:26-27, “He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.”

4)      “He shall build me an house” – Isaiah 45:13, “I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts.”

John the Baptist prophesied of Jesus: Luke 3:17, “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable (also Mt 3:12).” We discussed how Jesus was raised up from among the brethren to speak God’s Word or truth to man (Word of God made flesh, Jn 1:1-14). The Word that Jesus brought separates the good from the bad. Only those of a humble and contrite heart will receive God’s Word and apply it to their lives. Concerning these John said: Luke 3:16, “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire (also Mt 3:11, Mk 1:8, Jn 1:33).”

Jesus builds an house for God to dwell in by baptizing with the Holy Ghost those who receive God’s truth and are obedient to it (Jn 14:21, 23, Acts 5:32). Christ said: John

14:15-17, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” Furthermore: John 14:20, 23, “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” It is very important to note that this house is built without hands (1 Kg 8:27, 2 Chr 2:6, 6:18, Job 10:8-9, 31:15, 33:4, Ps 119:73, Is 45:12, Mk 14:58, Acts 17:24, Eph 2:11, Col 2:11, Heb 9:11).

Christ builds a church (Ekklesia – called out ones) which are called out of the world unto God (Rm 1:6, 8:28, 30, 9:24, 26, 1 Cor 1:9, 24, 26, 7:17, Gal 1:6, Eph 4:4, Col 3:15, 1 Thess 2:12, 2 Thess 2:14, 2 Tim 1:9, 1 Pt 1:15, 2:9, 3:9, 2 Pt 1:3, Jude 1:1). John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” AND John 6:44-45, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.  It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” Jesus baptizes each member of His body with the Holy Ghost and dwells within them (Acts 2:33, Rm 8:9). One is “sealed” unto God by the Spirit (2 Cor 1:22, Eph 1:13, 4:30).

5)     “I will stablish his throne for ever” – God has given Christ an eternal throne and everlasting kingdom (Mt 16:28, 25:31, Col 1:13, 1 Thess 2:12, 2 Tim 4:1, 2 Pt 1:11): Luke 1:32-33, “Luke 1:32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end

(also Acts 2:30).” AND Philippians 2:9-11, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (also Acts 5:31).”

Jesus was exalted to sit at the right hand of the Father (Mt 22:44, 26:64, Mk 12:36, 14:62, 16:19, Lk 20:42, Acts 2:33-34, 5:31, 7:55-56, Rm 8:34, Eph 1:20, Col 3:1, Heb 1:3, 13, 8:1, 10:12, 12:2). Luke 22:69, “Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.” AND 1 Peter 3:22, “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.”

6)     “I will not take my mercy away from him” – God the Father did not take His mercy from Jesus the Son when He took our sins and suffered our condemnation. It was prophesied of Jesus: Isaiah 54:7-10, “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.”

7)     “I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore” –  Jesus said of His body: 1 Peter 2:5, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (also Eph 2:21-22).” Jesus is the chief corner stone of this spiritual house (Mt 21:42, Mk 12:10, Lk 20:17, Acts 4:11, Eph 2:20, 1 Pt 2:6-7).

When Christ’s kingdom is fully realized on a new earth, the Lord says: Revelation 21:1-3, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God (also Rev 7:15).” AND Revelation 21:23, “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”

The Lord Jesus perfectly fulfills the prophecy in that He was born of the seed of David and was called the Son of God (begotten of the Father, Jn 1:13, 18, 3:16, 18, Acts 13:33, Heb 1:5, 5:5, 11:17, 1 Jn 4:9, that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God, Lk 1:32, 35). Jesus absolutely obeyed the Father’s will and spoke God’s Word or truth to man. This truth separates the righteous from the wicked.

Those who genuinely/sincerely receive God’s Word and walk in His ways are baptized in the Holy Ghost. This is such an important point! Jesus builds a sure house with a firm foundation and God dwells within each member (Mt 7:24-27, Lk 6:47-49). Ephesians 2:20-22, “ And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” The Father raised Jesus from the dead (who bear the sin of the world) in great and eternal mercy. Proverbs 16:6, “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil (also Ps 119:11, 105).”

Oh such a house the Lord Jesus has built: Isaiah 9:6-7, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”

Additional Prophecies of the Coming of Christ

God had a plan whereby He would dwell among men bringing His eternal truth. It was prophesied: Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” This was later confirmed when an angel told Joseph (concerning Mary his espoused): Matthew 1:23, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

In the course of God’s timing, the Word was made flesh. John 1:10-11, “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” The Lord came to His own people, yet was rejected by them. Thus the prophecy concerning His suffering (death on the cross): Psalms 22:68, 16, “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.”

It was also prophesied of the coming of Christ: Psalms 2:1-3, “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” This prophecy clearly reveals the rebellious and corrupt nature of man. Man does not desire to be under God’s authority, but rather seeks self-will and to be as gods as per the tenets of the devil’s lie (Gen 3:4-5).

How does God respond? Psalms 2:6-9, “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel (also Rev 12:5, 19:15).” Jesus

(the Son) later tells His followers: Revelation 2:26-27, “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.”

The Lord God knew in advance that His Word would be rejected of man. Even so, God’s purposes were fulfilled in the midst of it. Isaiah 53:3-6, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

God made a way for “repentant” man to be forgiven of his past sins. Jesus lived a perfect life of obedience to the will of God. He then offered up His life in place of our sins (2 Cor 5:21) and suffered our condemnation of “thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17).” – Who gave himself a ransom for all (1 Tim 2:6). Christ’s sacrifice assuaged God’s wrath by providing atonement for remission of sins (Rm 5:11).

Therefore, it can be said of Jesus: Isaiah 53:10-12, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

Jesus hung on a tree (meaning accursed of God, crucified, Deut 21:22-23, Acts 5:30, Gal

3:13) as an offering for man’s transgressions against God. 1 Peter 2:24, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” God prophesied of Christ: Isaiah 54:7-8, “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.”

The Word (Jesus) that was sent (proceedeth forth) from God did not return void, but accomplished that which God pleased, and prospered in the thing whereto He was sent (Is 55:11). Jesus finished the work! John 17:4, “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” Jesus brought God’s Word to those who have ears to hear! Jesus walked in God’s truth as a perfect example for man to follow. Jesus atoned for man’s past transgressions of God’s will. Jesus procured the promise of the Holy Spirit and has shed forth such that man is empowered to walk the narrow way (Acts 2:33, Mt 7:13-14, Jn 14:26, 15:26). All of this was done such that through faith a man can be saved or have eternal life. Therefore, John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Chapter 3, He That Hath Ears to Hear

When Jesus spoke God’s truth to the people He spake many things to them in parables

(Mt 13:3, Mk 4:1). Matthew 13:34-35, “All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

A parable is a simple story dealing with a very real circumstance (situation, fact, event) in which the principal subject is described by another subject resembling it in its properties and circumstances. The principal subject is thus kept out of view, and one is left to ponder the intentions (meaning, objective, purpose) of the speaker. A parable will often say something the flesh does not want to hear (receive) in such a way as to defuse (neutralize, disarm) personal objection (people tuning out their attention or focusing on their objection), or prejudice and hold the attention of the hearer and convey the message (which is pondered in their hearts for an extended period).

So: Mark 4:33-34, “And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.”

Christ spoke parables because man could not bear to hear the truth of what God was revealing (Is 44:18). This is why Jesus said: Matthew 13:13-15, “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” The gospel of Mark says: “Mark 4:12, “That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.”

In other words, if the people could “receive” the truth that Christ brought, then they could be “born again” or converted and be reconciled with God (Rm 5:10). For those who truly walk in the light (truth), the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin (1 Jn 1:7). However, if Jesus had spoken many of God’s truths openly then rebellious man probably would not have suffered Him as long as they did.

The gospel of John adds: “He hath blindedtheir eyes,andhardened their heart that they should see with their eyes nor understand with their heart and be converted (Jn 12:40).” The hardness of the people’s hearts (obstinate, stiffnecked, unyielding, stubborn, obdurate, inflexible) only enraged them when they heard God’s truth and further blinded their eyes. This seems to always be the effect on those walking in pride (self exaltation, self-will).

Man’s heart is hardened and he becomes blind when he seeks his own way. Your way is those stubborn (immovable) ideas that you place above the truth and will not release. This is a refusal to let go of your ways and submit to God and embrace and walk in the Lord’s ways. Hardness of heart is to seek your inclinations and not God’s truth. This is “to be as a god” and “deciding good and evil for yourself” rather than submit and obey the one true God (Gen 3:5). This hard heart must be circumcised (stubbornness cut away) that thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul (Deut 30:6, 10, Rm 2:29).

John the Baptist prepared the way for Christ by preaching repentance (Is 40:3, Mal 3:1, Mt 3:2-3, 11:10, Mk 1:2-4, 15, Lk 1:76, 3:3-4, 8, 7:27). To repent is to acknowledge your transgressions before God, forsake your evil, and fully turn to God. One must be humble and meek to repent. This is self denial that focuses upon God. Only the meek can be taught of God and only the meek will walk in the Lord’s ways (Mt 5:5). Psalms 25:9, “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.” Jesus was meek and His disciples will learn from Him and follow in his example (Mt 11:29, 21:5). Jesus was anointed  to preach good tidings unto the meek (Is 61:1) otherwise known as the poor in heart/spirit (Mt 5:3, Lk 4:18, Is 29:19).

So, we must with meekness receive the Word or truth that Christ brought. James 1:21-22, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” This Word is found in the two great commandments and these must guide your life’s actions (Mt 22:37-40, Mk 12:2931, Lk 10:27, Js 2:8).

The Lord’s truth would be revealed to or understood by those who are humble and genuinely and sincerely seek to know it. The gospel tends to be “esoteric” which means it is understood only by a particular and often small group – he that hath ears to hear. John 9:39, “And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.” This is why Jesus always said after most parables: Mark 4:23, “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” This is a monumental statement of tremendous and eternal importance. Jesus is the prophet raised up from among the brethren who spoke only that which God commanded Him. What Jesus spoke will be required of man. Acts 3:23, “And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” Do you have ears to hear? Most people do not!

Jesus revealed the meaning of the parables to His disciples (i.e. Mt 13:36-37, Mk 4:34). Christ told them: Matthew 13:16, “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” Christ’s disciples were chosen due to their humbleness and hearts toward God – they could bear to receive the Words spoken. They were given additional explanation from Jesus as to the meaning of the parables. Even so, Jesus also told them: John 16:12, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” Christ further said: John 16:25, “These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.”

Chapter 4, The Word Made Flesh

The birth of Christ was in this fashion: John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Jesus came full of the Holy Spirit (grace) and truth! How so? The Word became flesh when the Holy Ghost overshadowed Mary (Rm 1:3, Is 7:14). Matthew 1:18, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” – for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost (Mt 1:20). Luke 1:35, “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

In other words, Jesus was “born of the Spirit.” Those who “follow” Christ (disciples, brethren) must also be born of the Spirit. We follow Jesus in all things. John 3:5-6, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” To be born of water is the baptism of repentance. This prepares the heart to be baptized of the Holy Ghost, which John the Baptist had stressed that Jesus would do.

Jesus was literally born of the Holy Spirit. Christ’s disciples must be literally “born again” of the Holy Spirit (Jn 3:3). To be born of the flesh is to be born in corruption and in bondage to the devil’s lie. To be “born again” of water and the Spirit is to be redeemed from the bondage of Satan (just as God redeemed the children of Israel from Pharaoh).

All things become new – your nature, and whole life’s motivation & purpose focus upon doing the will of God. Acts 26:18, “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” Suddenly you can “see” (refer to “He that hath Ears to Hear” above).

The darkness is the way of wickedness (your way, the will of the flesh) which is opposite of the light (God’s truth). Proverbs 4:19, “The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.” Darkness is blindness to the truth of God. The power of Satan is his appeals (allurements, enticements, beguiling) to the lusts of the flesh – thus leading in darkness. The power of God is the Holy Ghost working in you (grace) and leading in God’s truth. God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all (1 Jn 1:5). God calls us out of the darkness and into His marvellous light (1 Pt 2:9). So you must stop being led of the devil through the desire of the flesh and start being led of the Spirit by submitting to the truth of God (1 Pt 2:11, 4:2). Galatians 5:16, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”

Redeemed in Christ (1 Pt 1:18-19)? Just as God delivered the children of Israel from the bondage and corruption of Egypt (Ex 15:13), Jesus delivers repentant man from the corruption that is in the world and from the bondage of the devil (Gal 1:4, Heb 2:15). Romans 8:21, “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Corruption is through the lusts and desires of the flesh. In Eden, man sought the desires of his flesh rather than obey the commandment of God. To be “redeemed” means that you no longer walk in or serve the darkness. You no longer walk in the lusts and desires of the flesh. The children of Israel were redeemed out of Egypt and served under bondage no more. To be redeemed by Christ means that you no longer walk in the course of this world (the darkness, 2 Pt 1:4, Lev 26:13) – you have a new Master and Lord (Jn 13:13).

The Holy Spirit leads us to be “sons” or “children” of God (Rm 8:14-15, discussed more below). In other words, the Spirit leads us out of the corruption that is found in the flesh into God’s will or righteousness. 2 Peter 1:4, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Final and complete deliverance shall be realized/obtained upon Jesus’ return. Romans 8:15, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” We are delivered from Satan’s bondage into adoption as children of God. We were partakers of the devil’s corruption through bondage, but now (having been redeemed) we become partakers of God’s nature as sons.

Notice that “forgiveness of sin” is predicated upon “turning from darkness to light.” You cannot be forgiven to continue to walk in darkness. Do you forgive a thief to keep stealing or a murderer to continue to murder? The intent of forgiveness is that the violation will stop or be forsaken. There must be a very real “change” of actions in you.

This is an exchange of kingdoms: Colossians 1:13, “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” You now yield to the will of God in all things! Jesus is the King in the kingdom of God. You no longer defend the flesh and its lusts and desires (the devil’s lie). You must no longer walk in the course of this fallen and corrupt world or follow the prince of this world (Gal 1:4). Ephesians 2:2, “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience (also Gal 1:4).” You no longer say things like: “works do not save” or “everyone sins” or “you can’t out sin God.” You now desire God’s will and do not justify the will of the flesh.

The flesh (self) must die in every respect. It must be crucified with Christ Jesus (Gal

2:20). Romans 6:6, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” AND 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Suddenly these verses have new and great meaning. Matthew 16:24, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Otherwise, you cannot be Christ’s disciple (Mt 10:38, Lk 14:27).

Those who are “born again” are no longer led by the lusts and desires of the flesh. 1 Peter 4:2, “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” AND Romans 13:14, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” AND Galatians 5:24, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” So: the “born again” walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit (Rm 8:4-5). You no longer do the things you once did and are washed, sanctified and justified in Christ Jesus and by the Spirit of God (1 Cor 6:9-11, Gal 5:19-21, Eph 5:3-8, 11).

To no longer walk in the course of this world or in the lusts and desires of the flesh is the evidence of the Holy Ghost’s work in you. The world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world (Gal 6:14). Religious man often tells us that our righteousness is imparted to us by virtue of Christ’s righteousness and it is nothing we do. This is a partial truth with serious connotations.

Why did Jesus die? Galatians 1:4, “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father (also Eph

5:25-27).” To continue to walk as the world is to not be delivered from it (consider carefully: Gal 6:8). To “not change” is to “be the same.” 1 John 1:6-7, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Jesus brought the “truth” and we must “receive” and walk it – Ephesians 5:10, “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” The Lord’s truth must be demonstrated in you – as it was in Christ Jesus.

You are now led of the Spirit. Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Suddenly, you understand the true meaning of the following verse: Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Mark 8:35  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it (also Mt 10:39, 16:25, Lk 9:24, 17:33, Jn 12:25). So, Galatians 5:16, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh (also Gal 5:25).”

Those born of the flesh cannot receive such truth: 1 Corinthians 2:14, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Those who defend the flesh defend the one who leads in the lusts and desires of the flesh – the devil. Jesus said in a conversation with such men (Jn 8:31-47): John 8:44, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” Jesus further said to them: John 8:47, “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.”

The Word was made flesh to bring life (the Word of life, 1 Jn 1:1). Jesus came as a light to show us the way in this dark and fallen world (Is 9:2, 59:9). Matthew 4:16, “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” AND Luke 1:79, “To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” John 1:4, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” This light is God’s truth (the Word made flesh). To be in God’s truth is to partake of the Lord’s life. John 8:12, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Therefore, Jesus boldly proclaimed: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (Jn 14:6).”

We must come to the light! John 3:21, “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” John 12:35, “Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.” Ephesians 5:8, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.” AND 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

           d       Bondage

We discussed earlier in this paragraph how the children of Israel were redeemed from Egypt – the house of bondage (Ex 13:3, 14, 20:2, Deut 5:6, 6:12, 8:14, 13:5, 10, Josh 24:17, Jdg 6:8). God took them out of Egypt and freed them to serve Him and never return to Egypt again or serve them (Deut 4:20). Leviticus 26:13, “I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.” Once you are redeemed, you never walk under the old way (bondage) again. This can easily be equated to being “born again” in Christ. The old life is dead (forsaken) and the new life is embraced and walked in. Jesus delivers us to walk in His light and serve the darkness no more. The redeemed shall walk in the way of holiness (Is 35:8-9, Lk 1:75, Rm 6:19, 22, 2 Cor 7:1, Eph 4:24, 1 Thess 3:13, 4:7, Heb 12:14).

Many want to serve God, yet remain in Egypt. In other words, many want to live as this world and yet serve God also. They essentially serve God on one day (perhaps Sunday) and live for self and the world the rest of the week. God calls us out of self and the world unto Himself – you cannot have dual masters (Mt 6:24, Lk 16:13). God desires your full heart, soul, mind and strength. God desires that you seek Him first/foremost. God told the Israelites to tell their sons: Deuteronomy 6:21, “Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh’s bondmen in Egypt; and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.” In Christ: We were the devil’s bondmen in the world; and Jesus brought us out of the world with a mighty hand (Jn 8:31-36, Rm 8:21, Gal 4:3-5, 5:1, Heb 2:15, 1 Jn 3:8).

We are given a description of Satan in the book of Isaiah (Is 14:12-17) in which it is said:

“he opened not the house of his prisoners (Is 14:17, also Is 42:22).” Even so, the Spirit of the Lord was upon Christ to preach deliverance to the captives (Lk 4:18, also Is 45:13).” Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.”

The deliverance is found in the truth that Jesus spoke. ALSO Isaiah 42:7, “To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.” Those that hear and apply this true will no longer be in bondage. Jesus destroys the works of the devil which are found in sin (transgression of God’s will)! 1 John 3:8, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”

It was further prophesied of Christ: “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth (Is 49:6).” Isaiah 49:9-10, “That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them (similar to Ps 23:2-3).”

Return to bondage? When the children of Israel were led out into the wilderness (desert) they were denied the comforts of the flesh. Their flesh suffered in its desires on the way/journey to the Promised Land. This was intended for the purpose of learning trust and obedience toward God, (foreshadowing of sacrifice in this world and life’s journey to obtain the world to come). They began to look back to Egypt (Ex 14:12, Num 14:3-4, Acts 7:39, Heb 10:38) – after all, the bondages now didn’t seem so bad – there was some benefit to the flesh. The children of Israel built a god of their own making to return to Egypt, the land of their bondage (Ex 32:4, 8, Deut 9:16, Ps 106:19, Neh 9:18, Acts 7:41). They worshipped the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made.

The golden calf that Israel made was a god controlled by man. This was a rejection of the true God who is sovereign over man. That which man makes/builds, man controls.

However, we must realize that which God creates is in God’s control. Israel had cried to

God for deliverence, but having been delivered had no appreciation for the Lord’s way – and sought their own way. Israel had no sense of direction (blind), but were sure they knew where they were going (stubborn, obstinate, unyielding, hard headed, unbelieving, disobedient).

We must consider that many religious men today serve a god of their own making, carefully constructed through theology, doctrine and tradition – precepts of men (Is 29:13). This is a god that allows them to remain in their bondage (sin) walking in the course of this world (Egypt). In an honest evaluation and comparison with God’s Word, their religious system reflects the image of the world much more than the image of the Jesus described in the Bible. They most likely call this god Jesus (2 Cor 11:4). We are to be “born again” to embrace God’s nature. God will not be re-created (through religious maneuvering) to conform to man’s nature. The stubborn ways and blindness is the deception they walk in. Unfortunately in many cases, the blind are leading the blind (to be discussed in Chapter 7).

The “real” Jesus delivers from the bondage of sin and will not allow one to remain there. John 8:31-36, “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

No my friends, God didn’t redeemed the children of Israel so that they could continue to serve Pharaoh and Egypt in bondage. Jesus doesn’t redeem you so that you can continue to serve Satan and the world in bondage. In both cases, the freedom was to serve God. How do you honor God with your redemption?

This writing has made clear that the Word became flesh to speak God’s Word or truth to man – as a man. Those who continue in the Words or truth that Jesus spoke are His true disciples. To “continue in” takes one beyond just hearing the Word (consider the parable of the seeds). To “continue in” leads one to apply and walk in the Word or truth – brings them to Christ’s marvellous light.

Chapter 5, Jesus Begins His Ministry

Christ was literally born of the Spirit (made Flesh). However, Jesus was walking an example for man to follow so He was baptized of water and the Spirit – even though He was filled with the Spirit and had no need of repentance. Matthew 3:13-17, “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness (in other words, to set the example). Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

God revealed to Moses concerning Himself (in a song, Deut 31:19): Deuteronomy 32:34, “Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Jesus who is God and the Rock perfectly walked that description as a man on the earth (Word made flesh). Jesus came bearing the truth and was without iniquity (Jn 8:46, 1 Pt 2:22).

The Father, Son and Holy Ghost were all present at the Lord’s baptism. The same must be true for Christ’s disciples – for they follow Him in all things. This is why Jesus said: Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” A man can only be “born again” of God (Jn 1:13).

Baptism of repentance (water) and baptism of the Holy Ghost are two separate events. John the Baptist made it clear that he baptized with water unto repentance, but that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire (Mt 3:11, Mk 1:8, Lk 3:16, Jn 1:26-27). In other words, those baptized of John did not receive the Holy Ghost for He was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified (Jn 7:39). Jesus’ disciples also baptized men with water unto repentance (as Jesus looked on), but those that were baptized did not receive the Holy Ghost because the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified (Jn 4:1-2, 7:39). Jesus said you must be born of 1) water and of 2) the Spirit (Jn 3:5) – two events. Christ’s disciples were baptized with the Holy Ghost at Pentecost after Jesus had been glorified (Acts 2:1-4, 33, 38-39).

In the book of Acts, some were baptized with water before they were baptized with the Holy Ghost and some were baptized with the Holy Ghost before they were baptized with water. For example: 1) Acts 8:15-17, “Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” AND 2) Acts 19:4-6, “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 spake with tongues, and prophesied.”

Consider that events occurred in reverse order when the gospel (God’s Word) was given to the Gentiles. Acts 10:44-48, “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.”

Even though baptism in water and baptism of the Spirit are two separate events, God is not limited and both could occur simultaneously depending on circumstances. The point is that most people assume that if they have been baptized in water that they have also been baptized in the Holy Ghost and this is usually not the case.

The clearest indication that one has been baptized in the Holy Ghost is speaking in tongues. This may be a hotly disputed, contested and abused issue in the religious world, but Jesus said: Mark 16:17, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues.” Speaking with new tongues always followed being baptized with the Holy Ghost as detailed in the book of Acts. It is also very important to realize that the Holy Ghost first fell upon the Jews at Pentecost followed by speaking in tongues and the Holy Ghost first fell upon the Gentiles at Cornelius’ house followed by speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4 and Acts 10:44).

In explaining that God had given His truth to the Gentiles, Peter told the Jews: Acts

11:15-18, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” The only evidence that the Holy Ghost had fell upon the Gentiles was the speaking in tongues. How did the Holy Ghost fall on the the Jews at the beginning? Acts 2:4, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Speaking in tongues is one of those things that men become hard hearted about and refuse to yield to God on. After all, this is a humbling thing and it denies the flesh its reasoning and control. Some call it gibberish (nonsense), but this position is found in pride. When one prays in tongues, it completely bypasses human understanding (and interference) and this is the point. 1 Corinthians 14:2, “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.” AND 1 Corinthians 14:14, “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.”

Speaking in tongues is your spirit praying as the Holy Spirit (who dwells within you with your spirit, discussed below) gives utterance (Acts 2:4, 1 Cor 14:14). The understanding of the flesh is not required nor desired.

Not having the baptism of the Holy Spirit places you with an impossible handicap in serving God – if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His (Rm 8:9). This does not mean that you can’t be “religious” and do many “religious things” just like the Pharisees did. However, like the Pharisees, you will not “know” God or be walking in His ways. “Ye say, that He is your God: Yet ye have not known Him (Jn 8:54-55).” To reject the Holy Spirit is to reject God’s grace or free gift and this is certainly “not knowing” God. The Holy Spirit teaches God’s ways and leads in them (Jn 14:26, Rm 8:14, 1 Cor 2:13).

Further understanding concerning baptism:

Water baptism represents death and resurrection. We must die to the old life in the flesh and embrace new life in Christ. Romans 6:3-5, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.”

When a man is born, God gives him life and there is a spirit in man (Job 32:8). Genesis 2:7, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Job 33:4, “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” God gives and the Lord takes away (Job 34:14, Ps 104:29, Eccl 8:8, 12:7). The vessel of clay is the container that the spirit dwells within (Gen 3:19, Job 10:9, 13:12, 103:15, Eccl 3:20, 12:7, Is 29:16, 64:8). Job 10:11, “Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews.”

When a man is “born again,” God gives him the Holy Spirit to dwell with his spirit in the vessel of clay  – for your body and spirit are God’s (body, Jn 1:12-13, 3:3, 5, 7, 1 Cor 2:10-16, 6:20). This is the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is our Comforter

(Jn 14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7). Romans 8:9, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you…” God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people (2 Cor 6:16, also Rm 8:11). Therefore: 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” AND 1 Corinthians 6:19, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” You are no longer your own because your spirit now has a Comforter (Holy Spirit) dwelling with it.

The spirit of man knoweth the things of man. The Spirit of God knoweth the things of God (1 Cor 2:11). God’s Spirit dwells in you to reveal and lead in the things of God (1 Cor 2:12-13) – through your faith. In this way, you have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16).

Christ was the temple of the Holy Ghost. John 2:19, 21, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. But he spake of the temple of his body.” His body was the temple of the Holy Ghost and three days after His death He was raised by the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 8:11, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you (also 2 Cor

4:14).” AND 1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”

The Holy Spirit is our access to Christ and the Father (1 Cor 2:10-16). Ephesians 3:17,

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith… (also Gal 3:14)” Ephesians 2:18, “For through him (Jesus) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” So: 1 John 4:13, “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his

Spirit.” AND Romans 8:16, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Can you see how the Holy Spirit and your spirit (if you be His) are together? The Holy Spirit provides comfort to your spirit bearing witness that you are God’s.

All of this is for a purpose. We are “born again” to live unto God (heart, soul, mind and strength, Rm 12:2). Romans 6:10, “For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.” The old way of life in seeking the lusts and desires of the flesh is dead. Romans 6:12-13, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Yield to the Spirit!

Here is something amazing: The children of Israel worshipped God in a temple made with hands. God dwelt in the holy of holies and only the high priest once a year went in (Heb 9:3-7). The holy place was separated from the holy of holies by a veil. Hebrews 9:8, “The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.” When Christ died that veil was rent from top to bottom (completely) signifying that through Jesus man has direct access to the Father (Mt 27:51, Mk 15:38, Lk 23:45, Eph 2:18). As described above, the Lord dwells within those who love and obey Him – for they are now His temple (Jn 14:15-17, 21, 23).

These are precious things, but who has ears to hear and eyes to see?

Christ Preaches in a Synagogue

After having been tempted of the devil in the wilderness, Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee. Shortly thereafter, Jesus came to a synagogue in Nazareth and stood up for to read (Lk 4:16-17). He read a prophecy concerning Himself from the book of Isaiah (Is 61:1-2).Luke 4:18-19, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Jesus told the audience: “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (Lk 4:21). Our “sight” is recovered when we begin to hear and see what Jesus said.

Christ next answered what He knew was in their hearts with a short rebuttal which was not well received. Luke 4:28-29, “And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.” This event seemed to set the tone for man’s future response to God’s Words as spoken through Jesus the Son.

Jesus came forth boldly speaking God’s Word and demonstrating it in great power for all to see. The Lord’s followers or disciples will do just as He did: Acts 4:29-31, “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”

After being filled with the Holy Ghost at Pentecost, Peter quickly got everyone’s attention when he healed a lame man at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful (Acts 3:1-11). Of course this deed of love and compassion also quickly brought about persecution from religious man (Acts chap 4).

The Son of Man Speaks to Man

Jesus came speaking only the Father’s Words, doing the Father’s will and doing the

Father’s works (Jn 4:34, 5:17, 19-20, 36, 6:38, 7:16-18, 8:26, 28-29, 9:4, 12:49-50, 14:10, 24, 31, 15:15). Christ showed only love and compassion toward His fellow man and He fed, taught, sacrificed for, healed, raised the dead, calmed storms and delivered from demons (Mt 4:23-24, 8:16, 9:31-33, 11:4-6, 14:14, 35-36, 15:30-38, 16-21, 19:2, 21:14, 32-33, Mk 1:34, 3:10-11, 4:37-41, Lk 6:17-19, etc.). Even so, He was despised by religious man (Is 53:3, Mt 9:34, 12:10, 14, 45-46, 21:15, 22:15, 26:4, Mk 3:2, 6, 14:1, Lk 11:53-54, 20:19-20, 22:4, Jn 5:16, 7:1, 20, 25, 8:6, 48, 59, 9:16, 24, 20, 25, 30, 44-49, 10:20, 31, 39, 10:20, 11:8, 47-48, 50, 53-54, 57, 12:19, 15:24). John 8:42, “Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.”

Christ walked the two great commandments in that He loved the Father with all His heart, soul, mind and strength. Jesus loved His neighbors and sacrificed for their benefit. Jesus showed man how to relate to the Father – as a loving faithful Son who is devoted to and honors the Father’s will. Christ showed us to love each other by always desiring the welfare of others. Jesus revealed “perfect” love by laying down His life (all that He had to give) for man’s benefit and God’s will.

Some followed Jesus just to see the great wonders that He did. John 6:2, “And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.” Some had other reasons: John 6:26-27, “Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” Men were following for fleshly reasons and not for God’s truth which brings eternal life.

Jesus spoke some hard truth and it immediately brought a separation. John 6:60, “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” Jesus told them: John 6:63, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” The flesh is opposed to God’s truth. God’s Word comes against the flesh! The flesh nature in you must die (be crucified with Christ) if you are to follow in the Lord’s narrow way. John

6:65-66, “And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” Only those whose heart’s have been humble and no longer walk in pride (self) can come unto Christ.

Rejection

Jesus grew up in the region of Galilee. Matthew 13:54-57, “And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.” This is so true, those most familiar with you tend to give you the least amount of respect – who are you that you should be able to tell us anything? The author has experienced this in following His Lord. The result was: Matthew 13:58, “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Those with unbelief toward God always come out the losers.

The people said: John 7:27, “Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is.” They further said that out of Galilee ariseth no prophet (Jn 7:52). Do we see God when He is in our midst or do we just explain things away? God raises up whom he will to confound the wise (1 Cor 1:27). The author has heard some of the most profound things of wisdom from men who had been humbled through imprisonment or having lived homeless on the streets. Do you recognize truth when it comes from a source that you do not expect or from one you have little respect for? Do you say: “out of my family, friends or from the stranger down the street ariseth no prophet?”

A man in jail taught the author (who was suppose to be the one doing the teaching) something that profoundly changed the author’s life. He said that the television had been the single worst influence in his life and had destroyed him. Oh, such wisdom for those who only have ears to hear! Another man humbled through great need once told the author that its not in talking about what Christ did, but rather doing what Jesus did. He said he saw that in me as I was lending some help, and this I would not trade for great riches. We must have discernment to recognize “truth.”

The prideful give no thought to those they consider beneath them. 1 Corinthians 1:26-28, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are.” God’s way is not man’s way.

Christ’s own brothers did not believe Him. John 7:5, “For neither did his brethren believe in him.” These were the children of Joseph and Mary who were named  James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas (Mt 13:55). When one is “born again,” they are born into a new heavenly family. Jesus said: Mark 3:33-35, “And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.” This is your eternal family – those who completely submit to God and walk in His ways.

Let us re-consider something very important once again:

God’s prophecy: Deuteronomy 18:18-19, “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.”

Christ’s Words: John 12:48-50, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.”

Jesus was completely focused upon completing the Father’s work. Mark 3:20-21, “And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.” To say “beside Himself” would equate to being unbalanced or losing control. John 4:34, “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” If you follow Christ with such devotion, friends and family will say the same of you. They will say – “Lets not be extreme” or “you must keep things in balance.” Yet, with the same passion, they will serve the things they love (hobbies, entertainments, collections, sports teams, etc.).

The Miracles

Recall that the children of Israel saw the mighty miracles of God in Egypt and the wilderness yet were full of unbelief and did not obey God or walk in His ways (Acts

7:39). Jesus also came speaking God’s Word and doing mighty miracles. He healed, opened blind eyes, delivered from devils, raised the dead, calmed the sea, and fed multitudes with only minor provisions. John 12:37-38, “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

Romans 3:3-4, “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of

God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” Being found in God’s truth, ye shall withstand the judgment.

Man continues to reject God and refuses to walk in His truth. What more could God do in reaching out to man? The Lord has said: “All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people (Rm 10:21).” To gainsay is to oppose or act against. The Lord God reaches out in love and man continually resists because to walk with God man must concede (give up, forfeit) his own way (1 Jn 4:10). It is the Creator’s right to be sovereign over His creation. It is the Potter’s right to have power over the clay (Is 44:9, 64:8, Jer 18:6, Rm 9:21, Rev 2:27). Woe to the rebellious ones!

So, just how are the Lord’s purposes being accomplished? Jesus came for the lost sheep to lead them back to God. Luke 19:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” AND “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Mt 9:13). God desires to grant mercy to the repentant. There is a percentage of man, however small, that will humble themselves and receive God’s truth and walk therein. The Lord delights in mercy and rejoices when a lost sheep is found (Lk 15:4-6). Jesus said: John 10:27-28, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

Jesus said it over and over: “he that hath an ear let him hear” and “I say to those who hear.” Are you one that will hear? The evidence of having heard is to follow! The evidence of having “received” is to obey!

Chapter 6, To Separate or Sift

God’s Word has it’s effect in separating the good from the bad. John the Baptist said of Jesus: Matthew 3:12, “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire

(also Lk 3:17).” Jesus spoke the truth and it had a sifting effect: John 7:12, “And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people.” John 7:43, “So there was a division among the people because of him.” Some presumed one thing: John 7:20, “The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?” Others were not so sure: John 7:31, “And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?”

Jesus sent forth His disciples into the surrounding area with His Word and power (Mt

10:1). Matthew 10:7-8, “And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” A follower of Christ shall be as his master in all things – particularly speaking God’s Word with power (miracles). Christ gives His followers authority to speak for Him: Luke 10:16, “He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.” AND Matthew 10:40, “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.”

Jesus further instructed them: Matthew 10:14-15, “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.” Why is this important? Because God specifically stipulated that those who would not hear the Words that He put in the mouth of the prophet would be destroyed from among the people (Acts 3:22-23) – these Words would be required of them (Deut 18:18-19). Jesus further said the Words that He spoke would judge man in the last day (Jn 12:48). Christ said: Matthew 12:30, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” To “reject” Christ’s Words is to oppose Jesus, and the message He brought which is God’s truth. This is to set yourself against God.

When the disciples went forth speaking God’s Words with miracles, then man would either “receive” or “reject” the message – an eternal sifting. Do not suppose or presume that you are due multiple and endless opportunities to respond to God in an acceptable way (not words, but demonstrated faith walked daily). This day may be your last – as a snare come upon you.

Christ rebukes those cities which have rejected God’s Word. Matthew 11:20-24, “Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee (also consider Mt 12:38-42).” Shall Jesus also say woe unto you? The prideful disregard God’s Word and the humble receive it (Mt 11:25, 28-30).

The Lord’s Word will intentionally produce divisions and Jesus made this very clear. Matthew 10:34-36, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” There will be division because those who seek to walk in God’s Word will walk opposite from those who walk in the course of this world. There will be great contention over God’s Word.

Even so, we must choose our side wisely: Matthew 10:37-39, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” For the disciple of Christ, the real family are those who do the will of God (Mt 12:47-50, Mk 3:32-35).

Violating God’s Will

By reading God’s Word we can be assured that God’s anger is directed toward those who ignor or disregard His Word and treat His commandments as trivial (unimportant, insignificant) or irrelevant (Ps 7:11). The Lord’s wrath will be against those who do not acknowledge His authority and submit to it – they do not retain God in their knowledge or thoughts (Job 24:13, Ps 10:4, Rm 1:28).

This rebellious attitude was expressed by Pharaoh when he said: “Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice (Ex 5:2)?” and “I know not the LORD (Ex 5:2).” Many think, “It profiteth a man nothing that he should delight himself with God (Job 21:15, 34:9).” Job 21:14, “Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways (also Job 22:17).” The wicked, through the pride of his countenance (self exaltation), will not seek after God (Ps 10:4). Psalms 36:1, “The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes (also Rm 3:18).”

For those who are truly repentant and fully acknowledge and forsake their evil, God is very merciful (Ps 86:5). You must call upon God in truth (Ps 145:18). No one is worthy for all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Rm 3:23). Romans 3:10, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” The Lord’s pleasure is found in those who fully acknowledge their sin and completely turn from it back unto the Lord. There is rejoicing in heaven over such (Lk 15:7, 10). Psalms 147:11, “The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.”

The Lord says: Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” AND Isaiah 55:7, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” The Lord always says: Ezekiel 33:11, “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”

Turning from your way (forsaking it) to God’s way is repentance. God is longsuffering not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Pt 3:9). This is the goodness of God – His forearance and longsuffering that leadeth thee to repentance (Rm 2:4). 1 Corinthians 8:3, “But if any man love God, the same is known of him.” To love God is to deny or sacrifice self for His benefit.

Consider God’s nature: The LORD God is merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty (Ex 34:6-7, also Deut 4:31, Ps 116:5, Jonah 4:2, Lk 6:36, Heb 8:12). God is plenteous in mercy for the contrite of heart (Ps 103:8). Psalms 86:15, “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” ANDPsalms 86:5, “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.”

God’s mercy is based upon acknowledging and walking in His truth (forsaking and eschewing evil, Ps 57:10, 85:10, 89:14, 100:5, 103:11, 108:4, Ti 1:1, 2 Tim 2:25). Psalms 25:10, “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” AND Proverbs 16:6, “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.” The Lord is greatly upset when: “there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land (Hos 4:1).” AND Malachi 2:17, “Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?”

The Lord responds accordingly: Psalms 18:25-26, “With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward (also Rm 9:18).” The upright man is virtuous or pure in heart (genuine, real sincere, right motives) meaning he voluntarily obeys the truth. To be froward is to refuse to do what is right or expected or to turn from the truth.

God is not mocked, for what a man sows he shall reap (Gal 6:7). Deuteronomy 7:9-10,

“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. Hatred would be to sacrifice (disregard) God for the benefit of self. In other words, to place “self” before (ahead of) God is to hate the Lord. To hate God is to make Him of lesser importance in your life.

Misleading the People?

Not only were Jesus’ Words not received and rejected by the people, but He was accused of perverting the nation before the the power and authority of the Roman governor (Lk 20:20, 23:1-2). To pervert is to turn from the truth, propriety, or from its proper purpose; to distort from its true use or end; as, to pervert reason by misdirecting it; to pervert the laws by misinterpreting and misapplying them. The religious leaders said: “He deceiveth the people (Jn 7:12, 47).

The Son of God who spoke only the Father’s Words was accused of turning men from the truth or lying. In other words, religious man accused God of doing what the devil had done at the beginning. The governor did not agree. Luke 23:14-15, “Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.”

Jesus showed nothing but love, first toward God the Father and then toward His fellow man. In other words, Jesus perfectly walked the two great commandments. Matthew 22:40, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets (also Mt 7:12). Also these two great commandments are more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices (Mk 12:33). John 15:25, “But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.”

Chapter 7, Blind Leading the Blind

We discussed how blindness to the truth results from hardness of heart (hearts as an adamant stone). This is a refusal to forsake your own way and is manifested as obstinacy, stubbornness and obduracy. This is to cling to and exalt your way above God’s way. This is to be froward, which is a refusal to do what is right or required. This is also to walk in pride. Romans 2:5-6, “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds.” The judgment is all based upon

God’s Word – did you yield to it or stubbornly and contentiously resist it (Rm 2:9-10)? Romans 2:11, “For there is no respect of persons with God.”

When King Saul was disobedient to the Lord in the matter of the Amalekites, Samuel told Saul: 1 Samuel 15:23, “…stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”

Stubbornness is iniquity because it places your will/way above God’s. To reject God’s Word or truth is to also be rejected of God – action begats reaction (1 Sam 15:26). Afterward, the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul (1 Sam 16:14). Let him hear that hath ears to hear.

The religious leaders accused Jesus of transgressing the tradition of the elders (of man) concerning the washing of hands (Mt 15:1-2). Christ pointed out how the religious leaders violated God’s commandment through their traditions by not honoring their father and mother. Through their religious maneuvering they had made God’s commandment of none effect (Mt 15:3-6). Jesus said: Matthew 15:7-9, “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

Many were concerned by what had transpired. Matthew 15:12-14, “Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch (also Lk 6:39).” Was this harsh? No, the religious leaders were inflexible and stubborn and refused to yield to God’s truth. They sought the way of man through doctrines and traditions and nullified God’s Word or truth. They were leading in disobedience to God which is the way of death.

These men were blind and walked in pride. Jesus said of such: John 5:40, “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” Why? Because of their hardness of heart and frowardness (obstinacy, obduracy). Coming to Christ requires humbleness which denies the flesh its place or control. Coming to Christ requires one to admit fault and change direction in their life. The religious leaders thought they could see, but were truly blind

(Jn 9:39-41). Jesus was specifically sent from God to reveal God’s Word with power. Walking in your way or the ways of the world blinds you to the truth Jesus brought.

We must equally and seriously consider that there are many blind leaders in modern Christianity. These are no more willing to yield their religious ways than were the Pharisees of old. These walk in the doctrines and traditions of man. They speak great things with their mouth and lips, but their hearts are far from God, but near to self.

Pride and Hypocrisy

Jesus brought many things to light concerning the behaviors of religious men. Religious men are those who seek God their way through their doctrines, traditions and religious protocol (modus operandi, practice, theology), yet are unyielding to God’s way (stubborn, obstinate, stiff necked). Matthew 23:4-7, “For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.” They walk in pride (self exaltation)!

Blind guides (Mt 23:4)! Matthew 23:13, “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” Through their great institutions with their doctrines, traditions and theologies (of man) they misdirect. Matthew 23:15, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” Their theology tells us “the doctrines we are to believe” and “the duties we are to practice.” Blind – without perception or understanding. They know not what they do, but are steadfast in their course (Pv 4:19, Lk 23:34).

Oh such a form of godliness they possess – they say: “you must come to us and our institutions to find God.” Matthew 23:27-28, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”

Jesus said: Matthew 23:33, “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” What did the serpent do (Rev 20:2)? The serpent led man away from God into the path of disobedience and rebellion (Gen 3:1-6). The serpent led man into the path of darkness which is blindness to God’s truth. Blind leaders of the blind, you are leading opposite of God to eternal damnation. The blind walk in darkness and know no where they go, yet they are positively sure they are almost there. Pray for eyesalve, that thou mayest see – ye blind men that have need of nothing (Rev 3:17-18).

Rebellious Man Condemns God to Death

Christ said: Matthew 23:34, “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city.” In other words, God send many men to speak His truth and all were soundly rejected and treated harshly.

Religious man had been anticipating the coming of Elijah (Elias) and the coming of the Messiah. It was prophesied: Malachi 4:5, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.” When John the Baptist (in the spirit of Elias, Mt 11:13-14) and Jesus Christ came, neither one met religious man’s expectations and both were also soundly rejected.

Jesus revealed something to His disciples that was very condemning of religious man.

Matthew 17:10-13, “And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that

Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.” Is this not a serious disconnect between religious man and God? Do you not realize that much the same still exists in the religious world today (in whatever form)?

Jesus was despised of the religious leaders – rejected of men, a man of sorrows (Is 53:3). He came to His own, the people of God, with a message from God (the gospel) and His own received Him not (Jn 1:11). Jeremiah 8:9, “The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?” What wisdom do you have you great blind theologians? Do you walk blind to the world yet in the light of the Holy Spirit of truth (2 Jn 1:2)?

Christ spoke and walked God’s Word, yet man condemned Him to death. Even so, God’s purposes are being fulfilled even to this day. There is a great and eternal separation occuring – a sifting. The Lord is determining who will “receive” and “walk” in His Word. In other words, God is determining just who really loves Him. Faith in combination with the workings of the Holy Ghost will produce what God desires and shall yield a harvest unto the Lord. The fruit will be evident and cannot come forth any other way.

Great Hope

Those who receive Christ have great hope. John 3:33, “He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.” AND John 1:12-13, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

John 3:21, “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” AND 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Those who do truth come to the light and walk in the light and have forgiveness in Christ’s shed blood. Those who walk in truth will not walk or abide in darkness – have the light of life. (Jn 8:12, 12:35, 46).

The Journey

A journey that last for eternity begins with a first step. You must take that first step toward God and never look back (Lk 9:62, Heb 10:38). God is light! Those walking opposite of God are walking away from His light and into ever greater darkness. This darkness further blinds their eyes to God’s truth (Ps 18:28, Is 9:2, 42:16, Mt 4:16, Lk 1:79, Jn 1:5, 12:35, Acts 26:18, 2 Cor 4:4). John 8:12, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” AND John 12:46, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” AND Ephesians 5:8, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.” Each step toward God is one more into the light and one more step out of the darkness. 1 John 1:5, “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” Each step toward God is that much more clarity in understanding God’s truth. To walk toward God is to see God ever clearer. To walk toward God is to walk in Christ’s path. Jesus is “the Way” and “the Truth (Jn 14:6).”

Each step toward the Lord increases your understanding. Each step draws you nearer to

God. With each step it becomes all the more evident to you that: “I was blind, but now I see.” Each step increases your love toward God and relationship with Him. Each step increases your faith and thereby your strength.

Walking toward God is walking in mercy, truth and righteousness. There is no place for justifying unforgiveness, sin/iniquity and unrighteousness. The closer you draw to God the more evident it becomes that there is no place for any opposition to God’s will. You realize that the flesh has no place and is a great hindrance to doing God’s will.

May your eyes begin to open that you may see these things! May your ears become unstopped that you may hear.

Conclusion

Man is a most rebellious creation! Man has been rebelling against God and rejecting His Word since the beginning – from generation to generation. The Lord God knows this.

God intends to harvest a faithful obedient remnant from throughout the ages – called of God (Joel 2:31-32, Mt 13:36-43, Rev 14:15). Jesus acknowledged this in saying: Luke

13:23-24, “Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” AND Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” A remnant shall be saved (Rm 9:27-28, 11:5). Matthew 22:14, “For many are called, but few are chosen (also Mt 20:16).”

What more could God do for man? Must the Creator bow to the will of His creation? Jesus Christ (the Word of God made flesh) came as a man speaking and demonstrating God’s Word. Jesus gave everything for man’s benefit – complete sacrifice – complete love. God says to the disobedient and rebellious: “I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded (Pv 1:24). God’s is slow to anger, but His wrath is certainly kindled and shall come forth in great fury (Rev 6:17, 19:15).

In the religious world, most men are led about by the doctrines of men rather than the Holy Ghost. Jesus said we are to be led and taught of the Holy Spirit (Spirit of truth, Comforter, Jn 14:26, 15:26, Rm 8:14). Complete theologies (what we must believe and practice) have been developed through what men like Martin Luther, John Calvin or perhaps some Catholic father taught.

Even so, there is much error in these teachings and in these men’s examples. The Holy Ghost does not have such handicaps and is certainly without error. 1 John 2:27, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” The Holy Ghost teaches and leads each generation in God’s truth if they will receive it! The religious, quite frankly, have their doctrines, theologies and traditions and do not desire the Holy Ghost’s teaching – it usually conflicts with theirs.

The GREAT condemnation is that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (Jn 3:19). Jesus “personally” brought

“light” or God’s “truth” unto man. Men prefer the darkness! – seeking their own way through the lusts and desires of the flesh – led about by constant temptations. James 1:14, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” Who leads in such temptations? The devil deceives through the flesh (2 Cor 2:11)! 2 Thessalonians 2:10, “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” Men refuse God’s truth that the “Word made flesh” brought unto man. They do not love the truth because they love darkness which is the devil’s lie. They believe the devil’s lie, yet reject God’s truth (2 Thess 2:11). The truth will be required of man by God and you must be found in it to have life.

Those led of the flesh walk an opposite direction from God. 2 Thessalonians 2:12, “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” To love the darkness is to have “pleasure” in unrighteousness.

Our righteousness before God is only found in our faith (love, submission, obedience, trust and devotion toward God) as guided in truth by the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ. This is the path back to God! This is the only escape from the condemnation of death. Those who walk this path shall fully realize complete reconciliation and restoration in that death is swallowed up in victory (1 Cor 15:54). They shall be raised from the dead just as Jesus was – Christ went before and they follow after (as sheep). 1 Corinthians

15:55-57, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Those who have made peace with sin and “religiously” or otherwise justify it shall have no right to life. Death shall claim them as its own. Proverbs 5:22, “His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.” The wages of sin is death and death shall rightfully claim its own (Rm 6:23).

The Bible speaks of a time when all things shall be restored upon the earth. Isaiah 11:9,

“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” AND Habakkuk 2:14, “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Those who have “received” Christ’s Words and endeavor to walk in them as led by the Holy Ghost, look forward to such a time of “peace.” Those who have “rejected” Christ’s Words as evidenced by living in a way opposed to the truth (walking in darkness – religiously or not) will have no place.

Let us be found walking in the truth that Jesus brought so that we may partake of the mercy that He obtained with His own blood. Proverbs 3:3-4, “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.”

The Lord says “come” to “whosoever will,” but how many receive His Word and walk therein (Rev 22:17)? Who has ears to hear? Who hath eyes to see?

The author has written six books and periodically writes other articles, tracts and books as the Lord puts them on his heart. These are offered free of charge and may be obtained by writing: 209 Cedar Pond Dr., Madison, Al. 35757

 

 

 

 

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