Mercy and Truth book  –  this link is a Word document.

 

MercyandTruth

Psalm 128:1, “Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.” Psalms 147:11, “The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.”

 

 

 

Christ’s humble servant, David Neal

 

God’s mercy is given for the intent that one will embrace and

walk in the Lord’s truth!

August, 2007

An Electronic Book

 

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Introduction

 

In the beginning, the Lord God told man that if he transgressed His commandment, the penalty would be: “thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17).” All of God’s commandments are truth and righteousness (Ps 119:151, 172). 1 John 2:4, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” The devil led man into a great lie, which was to seek his own will over the will of God (Gen 3:4-5). Man violated the Lord’s commandment (which is sin) and incurred the condemnation of death. 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.”

 

Man thus lost the “truth” and “life” of God and was corrupted with the devil’s lie (man kept not God’s commandment and the truth is not in him). In other words, man lost “the Way (Jn 14:6, Pv 14:8).” Man walked in darkness and became blinded to the truth (Ps 82:5, Is 6:10, 9:2, 29:18, 42:7, 18, 59:9, Mt 3:15, 4:16, Mk 4:12, Lk 1:79, Jn 12:40, Acts 26:18, 28:27, Eph 5:8). Romans 3:17, “And the way of peace have they not known.” Proverbs 16:25, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (also Prov 14:12, 21:2).” Proverbs 19:21, “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.” When man relies on self (your thoughts, reasonings, sentiments, ideas, etc., Prov 28:26), death will inevitably result. Man is “weak” through the flesh and this is where the devil makes his appeals (Mt 26:41, Mk 14:38, Rm 8:3). However, the flesh must be subdued (mortified) to walk in God’s truth (Gal 5:17). We shall live with him by the power of God (2 Cor 13:4).

 

The Lord had a plan from the very foundation of the earth to restore and reconcile man back to Himself – back to the truth (Eph 1:4, Heb 9:26, 1 Pt 1:20, Rev 13:8, 17:8). This was a mystery or secret known only to God, hid from ages and from generations (Pv 25:2, Mt 13:35, Rm 16:25, 1 Cor 2:7, Eph 3:9, Col 1:26, Rev 10:7). Man was separated from the “truth” and “life” of God through corruption. Isaiah 59:2, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Man had lost the light of life (Jn 1:4) – fellowship with God. Man had the sentence of death in himself (2 Cor 1:9) – for the wages of sin is death (Rm 6:23). Man was under God’s condemnation. What was the condemnation? Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (Jn 3:19). In other words, man freely chose to walk in the devil’s lie rather than God’s truth. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light (Jn 3:20). Evil is that which opposes the truth.

 

Since man was under God’s condemnation of death, the only way man could be restored to the truth would be through the Lord’s mercy. The great mystery of God established from the foundation of the world and hid from ages and from generations was that God would restore and reconcile man back to Himself through mercy and truth. Mercy would be provided for the intent that man would walk in God’s Word or truth – His commandments (Ex 34:7, Deut 7:9, Neh 1:5, Jer 7:23, Dan 9:4). Mercy and truth shall preserve man (i.e. Ps 61:7, 119:116). Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy (Hos 10:12). Psalms 86:5, “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” Consider how mercy is obtained: Isaiah 55:6-7, “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 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.” You seek God, turn from your “way” and then embrace God’s “way” or “truth” and ye shall receive “mercy.”

 

For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Gal 6:7, righteousness reaps life via God’s mercy). Proverbs 16:6, “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.” God would offer mercy to man such that man would again walk in His truth and be reconciled to have “peace” with God. Receiving the truth can only compel a man to depart from evil (that which opposes the truth), otherwise the truth has not been received. Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Man must come into agreement with God and walk with the Lord in truth and achieve peace. Psalms 85:10, “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”

 

When man: 1) forsakes the darkness; 2) receives mercy – forgiveness for past transgressions of God’s truth; 3) and walks in the truth; 4) then his heart and life conform to the will of God (righteousness) and thus 5) “peace” is achieved with God. Man is then restored as before the fall or corruption in the garden of Eden. Proverbs 12:28, “In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.” Righteousness is conformity of heart and life to the will of God. This is to walk in the Lord’s ways which are truth. Mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good (Prov 14:22). Proverbs 21:21, “He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.” For the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein (Hos 14:9).

 

The “way of righteousness” is where John the Baptist led as realized through “repentance.” Jesus said: “For John came unto you in the way of righteousness (Jn 21:32).” Repentance is a turning from the darkness (sin, iniquity, unrighteousness) and embracing God’s light (truth, righteousness, holiness). Sin is transgression of God’s will. Iniquity is continuing repetitively in a particular sin(s). To “work iniquity” is to live in particular sins as a lifestyle (to be overcome, yet never see it as such).

 

Who would bring God’s truth to man? Who would procure God’s mercy? Who would lead the way back to God through truth such that man could have life? How would man be taught, led and empowered to walk in “The Way?”

 

This book is going to be an amazing journey through God’s great mystery which has been fully revealed in these last times. This message is “guaranteed” to open the eyes of those who sincerely seek God and absolutely desire to know the truth. Pontius Pilate (the Roman Governor) asked Jesus: “What is truth (Jn 18:38)?” Do you dare to “know” what proud men (self seeking) cannot obtain (understand/know – see)? If so, then you must be meek and humble (self denying and teachable) – with the lowly is wisdom (Prov 11:2, also Ps 138:6, Prov 16:19). Jesus said: “learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” Psalms 25:9, “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way (also Is 57:15, 66:2).” By humility and fear of the Lord is life (Prov 22:4). You must put aside all evil, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your soul (Js 1:21).

 

The Spirit of grace is the Holy Ghost. Grace is the influence of the Holy Ghost in renewing the heart, turning from sin and leading the way. God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (Js 4:6). In other words, God resists those who seek self and walk in their own way, but gives the Holy Ghost to those who deny self and walk in the Lord’s way. Be clothed with humility: humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God (1 Pt 5:5-6). James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Denial of the flesh (humbleness) resists the devil whose appeals are to the flesh. The devil leads man in the “way of the flesh” which is contrary to the will of God (Rm 6:13, 2 Thess 2:10-12). James 4:10, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” The devil is king over the children of pride (self seeking through lusts and desires, Job 41:34).

 

Sadly, God’s plan remains a mystery for much of what calls itself Christianity. This religious world has embraced God’s mercy, but has largly rejected walking in the Lord’s truth. It is only through mercy and truth that iniquity is purged because then men freely depart from evil (Prov 16:6). You cannot receive mercy to continue in the darkness, which is the devil’s lie. 1 John 1:6, “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.” Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Mercy is forgiveness, not license. Mercy must lead one to truth.

 

Most men, including religious men, are walking quite comfortably in the devil’s lie as shall become apparent as this book unfolds (Prov 17:11). These religious men consider that they are immune to the consequences of walking in sin, which is death, through the vaccination of a “sinner’s prayer” or religious ritual (Prov 14:9, 17:15, 24:24, Is 5:23, Mt 7:15). Your righteousness must exceed this to enter into the kingdom of heaven (Mt 5:20). Beware!

 

The face of the Lord is against them that do evil and God will not acquit the wicked (1 Pt 3:12, Nah 1:3, by no means clear the guilty – Ex 34:7, Num 14:8). If your religious observance does not lead you to depart from that which opposes God, then it is of none effect – unprofitable (Heb 4:2). Evil men walk in the ways of darkness (Prov 2:12-13, 4:19). The fruit of the wicked tendeth to sin; he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death (Prov 10:16, 11:19). It is only by walking in the light or truth that God’s mercy is realized. Proverbs 14:16, “A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.” Many are so confident in their own religious way (consider the Pharisees and Sadducees or Saul before Paul).

 

Jesus, the Word of God who is God, came to the earth and was made in the likeness of men (Jn 1:1-3, Php 2:7). 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.” A vast religious community who had studied God’s Word endlessly did not even “know (2 Tim 3:7)” God in their midst (God with us, Mt 1:23) and completely missed God’s purposes for man. The same is true of the majority religious community today. The Jews were concerned about God’s judgment, but did not understand the Lord’s mercy. Today, there is a misunderstanding of mercy and a rejection of walking (living) God’s truth. The Lord’s Word is a living Word and must be walked (applied and lived) – not endlessly debated.

 

Since the truth must become your life, then everything about your life must “change” to align with the truth. This will inevitably lead the sincere believer to examine everything about their life – mannerisms, dress, conversation, conduct, attitude, hopes, lifestyle, ways of doing things, associations, things to be embraced and things to be forsaken, etc. Following Christ shall turn your whole life “upside down (Acts 17:6).” If this necessary “change” does not occur then there are no “fruits meet for repentance,” which leaves the sincerity of your commitment to Christ in doubt (2 Cor 13:5).

 

Modern theology (what you must say or do to be saved) mostly considers submission and obedience to God’s Word to be a work that is unacceptable to God and even undermines the Lord’s mercy (i.e. earning your salvation). God’s purposes have ALWAYS centered on man obeying His Word and thus walking in the Lord’s truth – the creation loving the Creator. The mercy is for the purpose of man freely and lovingly choosing to walk in the truth – to obey. Mercy was/is never for the intent to walk opposed to God and to disobey. Is truth to perish for the sake of mercy? Another way to say this would be: “is God to perish (be forsaken) that man may be justified (triumph)?” 1 Corinthians 13:6, “Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.” Many hear God’s Words, but do them not (Is 29:13, Ezek 33:31-33, Mt 15:8, 21:28-32, 23:3, Mk 7:6, Lk 6:46). To be as the world (darkness) is to be an enemy of God (James 4:4, 1 Jn 2:15-17). Jesus came that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father (Gal 1:4). This is a corrupted world that transgresses God’s will.

 

Transgression of God’s will (sin, iniquity, unrighteousness) is wickedness and leads a man to become more and more depraved and degenerate – and further away from God. Those who are wicked walk in hatred which is the opposite of love. Hatred sacrifices God and others for the benefit of self. This is the violation of God’s two great commandments (Mt 22:37-39, Mk 12:30-33, Lk 10:27). Hatred and a proud heart produce strife and envy which oppose the truth (Js 3:14, Prov 28:25). James 3:16, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”

 

Hatred inevitably leads to violence. Isaiah 59:7, “Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.” God judged the pre-flood world and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for such and these are our examples of God’s righteous judgment (Gen 6:5-7, 11-13, 7:21-23, 19:13, 24-25, Jude 1:7). Sin is a big issue! Now consider for just a moment all the wars that have resulted from the religiosity of man (in the name of God?). Consider the “Christian (?)” wars throughout the middle ages. Consider those who killed thinking they were doing God service (Jn 16:2). Religiosity mostly opposes God (paradox?) – Revelation 18:24, “And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.”

 

God has always differentiated His people as those who obey Him and walk in His ways – love (Ex 19:5-6, 2 Chr 7:14, Jer 11:4, 24:7, Hos 1:10, 2:23, Ezek 11:19-20, Zech 8:8, Col 1:13, Heb 8:10, 1 Pt 2:9). The Lord God says: “they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness (Zech 8:8).” The LORD their God shall save them, in that day (the day of the Lord – Christ’s second return), as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown (Zech 9:16). In other words, they are well-pleasing – they do His will always. Malachi 3:17-18, “And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

 

Those who serve God are the one’s who have come out of the darkness and into God’s light or truth. Let me be very clear here: the truest indicator that one loves God is that one freely departs from that which opposes God. If you try and shame one who seeks God earnestly, through religious terms/words like “works don’t save” or “legalism,” then you try to take away the righteousness of the righteous from him (Is 5:23, Prov 17:15, Mal 2:17) – rather than follow his example. In other words, you put down the righteous and justify the wicked (Ex 23:7, Prov 24:24, Is 5:20, 23). Through many religious men the “way of truth” is evil spoken of (2 Pt 2:22). Jesus said: Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing (feigned as serving Christ), but inwardly they are ravening wolves (they are actually serving the devil).” A false prophet will always have some version of the devil’s lie that you can sin against God and “ye shall not surely die (Gen 3:4).” Perhaps their message will be full of mercy, but lacking in truth (truth is that man must obey God). Let the reader beware! Remember this: to be destroyed, a man must be removed (of his own free will) from God the Creator (man’s only source of life) through transgression of God’s will.

 

The prophet Daniel, a man most beloved, noted: “O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments (Dan 9:4).” All of God’s “covenants” were/are solemn agreements that required man to walk in the Lord’s “truth.” The “mercy” was for those who walked in God’s truth and obeyed the Lord. Daniel noted that Israel had sinned, and had committed iniquity, and had done wickedly, and had rebelled against such and to them belonged “confusion of faces (Dan 9:5, 7, 8).” Solomon noted: “O LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and shewest mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts (2 Chr 6:14).” This equates to the first great commandment of Christ (Mt 22:37, Mk 12:30, Lk 10:27).

 

Modern religious men say that salvation is not based upon adherance to God’s truth (which they define as works) and to them belong “confusion of faces.” Lastly, Daniel noted the essence of true repentance: “that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth (Dan 9:13).” Samuel the prophet said: “Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart (1 Sam 12:24).” Therefore: “amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you (Jer 26:13).”

 

The righteous do no iniquity: they walk in His ways (Ps 119:3, Is 2:3). They say: Psalms 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalms 86:11, “Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.” Psalms 119:101, 105, “I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Let us walk in the light of the LORD (Is 2:5). I love thy commandments and thy Word is very pure (Ps 119:127, 140, 167, 1 Jn 3:24). 1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (also 2 Jn 1:6).” Psalms 119:160, “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.”

 

Mercy is unto truth. Psalms 103:17-18, “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.”

 

Let us consider wisdom: Job 33:27-30, “He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living. Job 34:32, “That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.”

 

What this is saying is that when one sincerely and genuinely loves the Lord, they will not do that which opposes God – they will freely depart from evil. God works with man (Grace) such that man will turn from his evil unto God’s truth. These will walk in the light of God’s truth (Ex 34:7, Deut 7:9, Neh 1:5, Dan 9:4). They receive God’s mercy with the intent and purpose to walk in the Lord’s Word or truth – with pureness of heart. Love of God can only lead one to depart from that which opposes God and thus walk in the Lord’s truth.

 

Doesn’t “life on this earth” teach us that anything worthwhile – of value and merit, only comes with much sacrifice, effort and giving of self? One shall not walk God’s path without such a cost (sacrifice, effort and giving of self). Even so, you shall “earn nothing.” It is only due to God’s mercy that there is even a path back to the Lord – man warrants nothing (Rm 9:16)! It is only through the teaching, leading and power of God’s Spirit that man can even successfully navigate, endure and complete God’s path (Php 4:13, Eph 3:16, 1 Pt 1:22, 5:10) – kept by the power of God through faith (your love, obedince and devotion) unto salvation (1 Pt 1:5, also Rm 4:5). The free gift (Holy Ghost) came upon all men unto justification of life (Rm 5:18). It is God that justifieth (Rm 8:33) – according to His working, which worketh in me mightily (Col 1:29). God only expects man to humble himself and obey (to follow). The Lord “changes” you along the way to conform to His expectations (Rm 8:1, 5). Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Cor 7:1).

 

Who would ever desire the persecutions, trials, testings, and difficulties that God sends your way along the narrow way? Yet it is the Holy Ghost AND such “fire” that produces the needed “change” in you (Mt 3:11, Lk 3:16). 1 Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” Does pure gold appear without having first burned away the impurities? The flesh does not easily release its impurities (Rm 8:7). For every one shall be salted with fire (Mk 9:49). Jesus related just before being crucified: Luke 12:49-50, “I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! (also Mk 10:38-39)” In the book of Revelation, those saints who were persecuted and killed by the beast stood on a sea of glass mingled with fire (Rev 15:2).

 

Many want to claim God’s mercy, yet offer no sacrifice or giving of self. Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Many refuse the narrow way where the fires cleanse and purify (Rm 8:13). They come as they are and expect to remain as they are. Jesus said: John 12:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” The corn must first be transformed and “grow/change” in order to bring forth fruit (Col 1:10). The corn dies to what it “was” in order to “become” fruitful. Another way of looking at this is that the worm becomes a butterfly. 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 hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin (1 Pt 4:1). We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22).

 

Chapter One, “God – The Truth”

 

The Lord God is the Creator of all things and the Establisher of truth (Is 42:5). God is the Giver and sustainer of all life (preserver of men, Job 7:20, 12:10) – for all things are created for the Lord’s pleasure and glory to show forth His praise (Is 43:7, 21, 45:18, 46:10, Rev 4:11, Col 1:16). The LORD is the true God, he is the living God (Jer 10:10). The Lord’s truth is also known as His Word, light, commandments and will and these words may be used interchangeably. God cannot be separated from His Word or truth because they are one. The Lord is great in power and mighty (Josh 4:24, Nah 1:3). God’s greatness is unsearchable and his ways past finding out (Deut 29:29, Job 5:9, Ps 145:3, Eccl 3:11, Rm 11:33, Eph 3:8) – there is no searching of His understanding (Is 40:28, Job 11:7, 37:23). God is perfect in knowledge (Job 37:16). The Lord’s presence fills the heaven and earth (Jer 23:24). The most high God is the possessor of heaven and earth (Gen 14:19, 22).

 

The Lord God is the truth, which is the reality of how things are – the Word which governs and holds up all creation – the power (Jn 1:1-3, Ps 33:4, Heb 1:3). Truth is certainty, fact, consonance of statement and verity. God says: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right (Is 45:19, also Is 45:8). My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure (Is 46:10). Deuteronomy 32:4, “He (God) is the Rock (dependable, sure, immovable), his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment (truth over falsehood, Pv 2:8): a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he (also Ps 92:15).” Proverbs 8:20, “I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment.” Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints (Rev 15:3). God has the means/ability to effect His will (Is 14:24, 27, 55:11, Jer 32:27, Joel 2:11, Rm 4:21).

 

The Lord never violates His own truth/Word and thus has no iniquity (2 Chr 19:7, Job 34:10) – neither can He be tempted with evil or do wickedly (Job 34:10, 12, Ps 5:4-6, 92:15, Heb 1:9, Js 1:13). The Lord art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity (Hab 1:13). Far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity (Job 34:10). There is no unrighteousness in God (Ps 92:15). Psalms 33:4, “For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth (also Ps 31:5, 111:7-8).”

 

The Lord’s Word is truth (Ps 119:142, Jn 17:17, James 1:17-18)! The Lord keepeth the truth forever (Ps 146:6, also Ps 100:5, Ps 111:8) and God’s Word stands (Is 39:8). Proverbs 12:17, “He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.” God can neither deceive nor be deceived; Who is the source of truth from whom all wisdom and knowledge originates. Psalms 145:17, “The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works (also Ps 92:15).” 1 John 1:5, “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light (truth), and in him is no darkness at all.” There is no falsehood whatsoever in the Lord – which is the act of lying (Titus 1:2, Heb 6:18) – God is not a man, that he should lie (Num 23:19). God is the keeper of the truth (Ps 146:6) and light dwelleth with God (Dan 2:22). No lie is of the truth (1 Jn 2:21). Lies are the opposite of the truth and compete with the truth for validity, place and authority.

 

God is the same yesterday and today and forevermore – always in truth (Heb 13:8, Ps 100:5, 102:27) – with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James 1:17). For I am the LORD, I change not (Mal 3:6). God is always the same and His years fail not (Heb 1:12, Job 36:26, Ps 102:12, 24, 26-27) – perfect, faithful and dependable! God lives forever as does the truth (Deut 32:40, Mk 13:31, Lk 21:33). Heaven and earth shall pass away, but God’s Word shall remain (Is 40:8, Mt 24:35, Mk 13:31, Lk 21:33). I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God (Is 44:6, 48:12). The Lord judges with His truth and faileth not (Ps 96:13, Zeph 3:5). If you are seeking to “know” the Lord, then you must come to the light (Jn 3:19-21, 8:12, 12:46, Eph 5:13).

 

The Lord God judges righteously – a God of judgment (Is 30:18). This means that God properly applies the truth and the truth will always prevail over falsehood (Rm 2:2). Judgment is to ascertain the truth and walk therein (Amos 5:15). Psalms 106:3, “Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.” In the case of God, He declares the truth and never deviates or diverges from it. Jeremiah 9:24, “But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.” The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness (this is where the creations life is to be found, Jer 4:2).

 

God delights to uphold His Word! – for all his ways are judgment (Deut 32:4). For God to be “perfect” He must dwell within the certainty of who He is and what He has declared to be; and must never violate that surety, fact, certainty or truth (2 Chr 19:7, Job 34:10). Isaiah 5:16, “But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.” The Lord is stedfast: Job 34:12, “Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.” There is coming a great day: Ecclesiastes 12:14, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Judgment begins in God’s own house (1 Pt 4:17) and then proceeds to the wicked. To those who love darkness, the word (truth) of the LORD is a reproach; they have no delight in it (Jer 6:10). The wicked (those who violate God’s truth – obey not the gospel, 1 Pt 4:17) storeth up wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God (Rm 2:5).

 

God’s truth is His very nature and this nature is one of mercy, longsuffering, and forgiveness (Deut 4:31, Rm 2:4, Gal 5:22-23, 2 Pt 3:9, 15). The Lord says of Himself: Exodus 34:6-7, “…The LORD, The LORD God, 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…” Mercy is for the humble. The guilty are the proud or self seeking.

 

The Lord is a merciful God. Psalms 86:5, “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee (also Num 14:8, Ps 86:15, 103:8, 130:7, Neh 9:17).” Psalms 145:8, “The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.” So, the Lord is ready to pardon and of great kindness, but even so, do not expect to receive mercy and forgiveness to walk opposed to God’s Word, which is God – the Lord shall not clear the guilty (Jn 1:1-4, Joel 2:3, Nah 1:3). Therefore, to be found in truth is to obtain mercy because God’s Word, which is God, is merciful. To be found outside of the truth is to not be found in mercy, but in the opposite and this is condemnation.

 

Chapter Two, “That Which Opposes God (the Truth) – The Lie”

 

God’s Word tells us matter-of-factly: Proverbs 21:30, “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.” That which opposes God’s Word or truth shall not prevail (Ps 1:5, 5:5, Eccl 3:14, Is 46:10).

 

The Lord God has a heavenly host of ministers known as angels (Ps 104:4, Is 6:1-3, Mt 4:11, 13:49, 16:27, 18:10, 22:30, 25:31, Mk 1:13, Lk 1:19, 4:10, 2 Thess 1:7, Heb 1:7, 12:22, Rev 5:11). These angels have a hierarchy and they perform the will of God (Ps 103:20-21 104:4, Dan 10:13, 12:1, Mt 4:6, 13:41, 24:31, Mk 13:27, Lk 1:26, 2:10, 22:43, Acts 10:22, 12:11, Heb 12:22, Jude 1:9, Rev 1:1, 12:7, 14:6, 22:16). Angels are created beings that submit to and obey God the Creator (Heb 1:6, 1 Pt 3:22). Fallen angels are created beings that have rebelled against the will of God (Jude 1:6, 2 Pt 2:4, Rev 12:7).

 

Lucifer is a created angelic being that once held a high position in the kingdom of God (Ezekiel 31:3, 5-8). He is now known as the devil, Satan, the dragon, the serpent, king of the children of pride, and the prince of the power of the air (Job 41:34, Rev 12:9, Eph 2:2). God’s Word reveals that he was once full of wisdom, perfect in beauty and was envied by all of God’s creation (Ezekiel 28:3-4, 12, 14, 31:8-9). The Lord said of him: Ezekiel 28:15, “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”

 

Lucifer was once “perfect” in his ways, meaning that he walked in God’s truth. To walk in God’s truth is to be submitted to and obedient to God the Creator. This is to “do” the will or declared truth of God. However, something “changed” – iniquity was found in him. Isaiah 47:10, “For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me.” The devil sinneth from the beginning, meaning from the creation of man (this is the context of “the beginning” – Gen 2:4, 1 Jn 3:8). “Thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub (Ezekiel 28:16). I have driven him out for his wickedness (Ezekiel 31:11). Ezekiel 28:17, 19, “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.”

 

Lucifer was a covering cherub and God’s Word reveals: Ezekiel 28:13-14, “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire (this speaks of position and place, Ezek 31:5, 7, 18).” AND Ezekiel 31:9, “I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him.” Lucifer was in authority to watch over God’s new creation of man in Eden. At the creation of man, Lucifer sinned – his heart was lifted up (1 Jn 3:8, probably due to jealousy, loss of place).

 

Lucifer turned his eyes from God and placed them upon himself – Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty. To be lifted up is to walk in pride which is to seek or exalt self. This is to have a high esteem of one’s self. Lucifer says, “I am of perfect beauty (Ezek 27:3).” There was not any like unto him in his beauty (Ezek 31:8). Lucifer didst trust in thine own beauty (Ezek 16:15). He no longer feared God and the foundation of Lucifer’s wisdom was destroyed. Lucifer was as one who pursues a course contrary to the dictates of wisdom (i.e. the fear of the Lord). Lucifer now sought his own will (way, path) – independent of God (Prov 1:29). This was a disregard of God’s will and authority. One cannot seek their own will and yet be totally submitted to God’s will at the same time (Mt 6:24, Lk 16:13).

 

In order to seek or exalt self, Lucifer had to disregard and disobey God. The only way to seek self and your desire is to exalt your will above the will of God. This was disobedience to the commands of God which is transgression to the will of the Lord – known as Rebellion. Rebellion is the renunciation of God’s authority! God’s authority is His truth which is His Word. The devil rebelled against the throne of God. The foremost commandment or truth for all of God’s creation is that they must love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength (Deut 6:5, Mt 22:37, Mk 12:30, Lk 10:37). Whosoever maketh himself a god speaketh against God (i.e. Jn 19:12).

 

Lucifer who was the light bearer (truth-bearer, an anointed cherub) now became filled with darkness and is opposite of God – the corrupter with “the lie.” He now vitiates or injures the qualities of the Lord’s truth (or nature) in order to impair its value, to render defective, and to attempt to destroy the truth. No lie is of the truth. A lie is the opposite of the truth. The devil or Satan is he that loveth and maketh a lie (Rev 22:15). Truth is the casualty (victim) of every lie! A liar is one who does not adhere to the truth! The devil is the king of all the proud (Job 41:34). There is no communion, unity, empathy, relationship or concord between light and darkness (2 Cor 6:14, Eph 5:11). The devil is an adversary to all that is of God and His eternal truth (1 Pt 5:8, Rev 12:10, Job chaps 1&2).

 

Consider Lucifer’s boasts: Isaiah 14:13-15, “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” These statements reveal Lucifer’s fallen (corrupted) nature – the nature of SELF (“I”). This is an evil heart that directly challenges God by saying: “I am, and there is none beside me” (“Me” comes foremost, Zeph 2:15, Is 47:8, 10). Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God (Ex 28:2, 6, also Ez 27:3). To set your heart as the heart of God is to declare and walk in your own way and in your own authority.

 

The rebellion seeks self and says to God, “depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways;” and propounds: “what is the Almighty, that we should serve Him” (Job 21:14-15, 22:17, 34:9, 35:3, Ps 10:4, 36:1, 50:16-17, 66:7, 73:11)?

 

The devil’s heart was “lifted up” in self (his beauty, his brightness) and this corrupted his wisdom. What is wisdom?  Psalms 111:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever (also Pv 9:10, 15:33).” Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding (Job 28:28, also Pv 16:6). He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD (Pv 14:2, Is 26:7). So, wisdom is to obey the Lord and walk in His truth and to depart from anything that opposes God’s truth (Ps 86:11). Psalms 19:9, “The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.”

 

Let us consider a principle truth in God’s kingdom. Luke 14:11, “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted (also Mt 23:12, Lk 18:14, 1 Pt 5:6).” When one humbles himself and serves the Lord, God shall exalt him to honor in due time (Prov 15:33, 18:12, 21:21, Jn 5:44, 12:26, Rm 2:7). Proverbs 22:4, “By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.” However, one must be careful not allow this “honor” to turn to pride or self seeking because then they incur the opposite which is to be abased – cast down (2 Cor 10:5). Before destruction the heart is haughty (Prov 18:12).

 

Satan was corrupted in that he placed “self” above God. In other words, the creation attempted to usurp the place of the Creator. He rejected the Word of the Lord; what wisdom is in him (Jer 8:9)? This act was rebellion against God who is truth. That which opposes the truth is a lie. The devil changed the truth of God into a lie, in that the creature should be worshipped and served more than the Creator (Rm 1:25). The devil is a liar and the father of it – for he abode not in the truth (Jn 8:44). Satan kept not God’s commandments and the truth is not in him (i.e. 1 Jn 2:4). The great lie is that the creation can seek its own will in its own authority – to determine good and evil for itself (Gen 3:4-5). This places the creation above God – to be as gods (Gen 3:5).

 

The devil abode not in the truth and left his first estate (Jn 8:44, Jude 1:6). An “estate” is a fixed condition or status; rank, condition of circumstances – an order in creation. Lucifer exalted (pride) himself above his created position in seeking his own will. In doing so, he left his habitation (state of dwelling, Jude 1:6). To no longer abide in the truth is to abide in “The Lie” which is opposite of the truth. Job 40:12, “Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.”

 

Now there is no wisdom against God (Prov 21:30). The wisdom of this world, which is the wisdom of corruption, is foolishness (1 Cor 3:19). Proverbs 18:2, “A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.” Self fulfillment is the chief desire of the corrupted nature. This is to walk in pride which is to be led by your own lusts and desires. Proverbs 8:13, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” Proverbs 15:33, “The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.” The fear of God is in humbleness which is the opposite of pride.

 

The humble deny self – casting self down in submission and obedience to the Word or truth of God. When Lucifer had walked in the fear of the Lord and was thus perfect, God had honored him with great beauty and brightness (Ezek 28:15). Those who are prideful “now” shall one day be greatly humbled and they who humble themselves “now” shall one day be exalted (Is 5:15, Mt 23:12, Lk 14:11, 18:14). 1 Peter 5:6, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”

 

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, he hath no heart for God’s truth (Prov 12:15, 17:16). The wise feareth God, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident (Pv 14:16).” God defines self seeking as: “doing what is right in your own eyes” (Deut 12:8, Jdg 17:6, 21:25, Ps 36:2, Prov 3:7, 12:15, 16:2, 21:2, 30:12, Is 5:21) AND “seeking the imaginations of your own heart (Gen 6:5, Deut 29:19, Prov 6:18, Jer 3:17, 9:14, 11:8, 13:10, 16:12, 18:12, 23:17, Rm 1:21). Imaginations are what the creation perceives to be right and proper, good, or evil. The devil’s law is “do what thou wilt.”

 

Those who oppose God shall not prosper (Is 46:10). Proverbs 19:16, “He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die.” The Lord tells Lucifer: “I will cast thee to the ground (Ezek 28:17),” “thou shalt be brought down to hell (Is 14:15, Ezek 31:16),” The mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped (Ps 63:11). “I will destroy thee, O covering cherub (Ezek 28:16),” and “thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more (Ezek 28:19).” God further says of him: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground (Ezek 14:12).” The fear of the Lord tendeth to life, but the devil no longer feared God – he walks in evil despising God’s truth (Prov 19:23, Prov 3:7, 8:13).

 

Satan’s lie shall not endure and his wickedness shall not stand (Ps 92:9). God shall preserve the truth – the truth is God. Proverbs 22:12, “The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.” The devil’s lie shall not stand and the truth shall ultimately prevail. Proverbs 19:5, “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape (also v. 9).” The lie shall be cast down along with all who are found in it. The truth shall be exalted along with all who are found in it. Obadiah 1:3-4, “The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.”

 

The Lord says to the devil and those who walk in his lie: “I AM against thee (Jer 50:31, 51:25, Ezek 5:8, 21:3, 26:3, 29:3, 10, Nah 3:5).” So, why hasn’t the devil been destroyed? All things in God’s timing. “I am against thee most proud, the day of thy visitation shall come (Jer 50:31-32). A set time has been established when the devil shall be cast into the lake of fire to be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Is 27:1, Rev 20:10). – a lying tongue is but for a moment (Prov 12:19). Hebrews 6:8, “But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.”

 

For now, the Lord God has intentionally allowed the devil’s rebellion to spread in order to determine the hearts of His creation (Is 26:7, Rev 2:10). God allows the presence of evil to “prove” the just/righteous (Jdg 2:22, 3:1, 4). Psalms 7:9, “Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins (also 1 Chr 28:9).” If Lucifer could be so corrupted, then God must root out all others. Judgment must begin at the house of God (1 Pt 4:17). God said: “I shake not the earth only, but also heaven (Heb 12:26).” We shall understand that God “tried” and “tested” His own Son by allowing the devil’s wilderness temptations.

 

God says of the devil: Exodus 9:16, “And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.” Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain (Heb 12:26-27). Those who cannot be shaken in their fear of God and adherence to His truth shall remain eternally in the kingdom of God. The LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed (1 Sam 2:3, Is 26:7, Dan 12:10). The lives of God’s creation will be weighed as in a balance with a righteous measure (Job 31:6, Lv 19:35, Jer 20:12). Psalms 21:8, “Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.” God shall also reveal to all of creation the folly of the devil (Ezek 31:14).

 

This might be best understood through what shall take place in the great tribulation. The Lord says that this is a time that shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth (Rev 3:10, Dan 11:35) – to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed (Dan 11:35). A great beast shall rise up: 2 Thessalonians 2:4, “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God (also Dan 11:36-37).” He shall blaspheme God and all that is God (Rev 13:5-6). The devil gives him his power, and his seat, and great authority (Rev 13:2). He shall require all the peoples of the earth to worship his image which is essentially the devil’s great lie  – its precepts (Rev 13:15-18).

 

The true saints or followers of Christ shall not worship his image. He will make war with the saints, and to overcome them (Rev 13:7, 20:4). Who does the dragon specifically make war with? Those which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev 12:17). Even so, the victory is for the saints. Revelation 15:2, “And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.” They overcame him because they refused to yield to him and the devil’s way due to their love for God and His eternal truth (1 Jn 5:4). They physically died, yet prevailed in their love of God. Those who had attained the victory said: “Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints (Rev 15:3).” Revelation 12:11, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Those who “overcome have the Word of God abiding in them (1 Jn 2:14).”

 

Consider: Revelation 12:11, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb (this is mercy), and by the word of their testimony (this is truth); and they loved not their lives unto the death. They overcame through mercy and truth. They placed the truth over self. Adam had placed self over the truth. Those who overcome receive God’s mercy to walk in the Lord’s truth which they treasure more than “self.” Just like Jesus, their Lord and Master, they offer up their lives for the sake of God’s will (truth – thy will be done).

 

Let us understand Christ’s Words on this matter. Revelation 2:7, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” Furthermore: 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 (also Rev 3:21).” What this is saying is that those who keep God’s truth overcome that which opposes God’s truth and these shall be restored as before the fall and corruption of man. They regain access to the tree of life which was lost (to be discussed). They enter into the kingdom of God.

 

Therefore: God says: “I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right (Is 45:19).” This is truth! The lie opposes the truth. A corrupt creation says: “I declare things that are right in my own eyes” and “I shall seek the imaginations of my own heart.” This is what opposes the truth! Who shall reign supreme – the Creator or the creation? More specifically, who shall reign supreme in your life – the Creator or you? The answer to this question as it pertains to you shall have irrevocable and eternal consequences. Job 4:17, “Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?” Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes (Is 5:21).

 

The Lord says: “whosoever loveth and maketh a lie (Rev 22:15)” shall not enter into the kingdom of God – they are without (Rev 21:27). Psalms 101:7, “He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.” The devil made the “lie” and those who loveth the “lie” follow him in his way (they love the darkness, Jn 3:19). The great condemnation is that they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way (Jdg 2:19). Shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty (Zeph 3:11).

 

The rebellious will be an everlasting reminder to God’s people. Isaiah 66:24, “And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh (read Mk 9:43-48).” This is the everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels (Mt 25:41). Isaiah 5:24, “Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.” These are in torment because they despised the Word or truth of God and preferred a great “lie.”

 

Those who love God and walk in His truth shall ultimately prevail. These shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth (Zeph 3:13). God’s intent is: “for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness (Is 26:9).” Only a few or remnant shall learn righteousness.

 

Chapter Three, “The Creation of Man”

 

The Lord God is the Creator of all things (Rev 10:6, 14:7). God speaks and the power of His Word makes it happen. John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Psalms 33:6, “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” Psalms 33:9, “For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” By the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water (2 Pt 3:5). Hebrews 11:3, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” God giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and God hath need of nothing (Acts 17:25). Job 12:10, “In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind (also Dan 5:23).” We all are the work of thy hand (Is 64:8).

 

By the Lord all things consist (Col 1:7). Acts 7:50, “Hath not my hand made all these things?” Jeremiah 10:12, “He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion (also Is 42:5).” The Lord gives “life” – seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things (Acts 17:25). God’s Word accomplishes His will. The Lord says: 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.” For He is strong that executeth his word (Joel 2:11). We shall consider this more fully later in this message as God’s Word becomes flesh.

 

The “power” behind the Word is the Spirit of God (Mic 3:8, Lk 4:14, 24:49, Acts 1:8, Rm 1:4, 15:19, 1 Cor 2:4).  Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created (Ps 104:30, Spirit of God moved – Gen 1:2). Notice that by God’s Word and God’s Spirit all things are made. God’s Word is truth (Ps 119:160, Jn 17:17, Eph 1:13, 6:17)! God’s Spirit is truth (Jn 15:26, 16:13, 1 Jn 5:6)! God is His Word and Spirit and IS truth (Deut 32:4, Ps 31:5, 86:15, Is 65:16, Zech 8:8).

 

God created man, out of the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Gen 2:7, 3:19, also Eccl 12:7, Zech 12:1). Job 33:4, “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life (also Num 16:22, 27:16, Is 42:5).” So, man is a spirit that dwells in a house of clay, whose foundation is in the dust (Job 4:19, 10:9). Job 10:11, “Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews.” The body without the spirit is dead (Js 2:26). When a man dies: Ecclesiastes 12:7, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it (also Job 34:15, Ps 104:29, Eccl 3:20).”

 

Man was created in the image of God. Genesis 1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him (Gen 5:1). Since God is truth, man was created to be a reflection of God’s nature or truth and to walk therein. God placed man upon the earth and gave man dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth (Gen 1:26, 28). Psalms 8:6, “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.” The term “under his feet” means in subjection to his authority (Heb 2:8, 1 Cor 15:25, 27, Eph 1:22). The Lord gave man position, place and authority. Even so, man was clearly under God’s authority.

 

God the Creator is the life of His creation. The Lord hath life in Himself (Jn 5:26). Revelation 1:8, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Deuteronomy 32:40, “For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever.” Proverbs 8:23, “I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.” God is the Giver and sustainer of all life – for all things are created for the Lord’s pleasure and glory to show forth His praise (Is 43:7, 21, 45:18, 46:10, Rev 4:11, Col 1:16) – for all live unto Him (Lk 20:38). God is the health of my countenance (the whole figure of a man, Ps 42:11).

 

The foundational truth is that man must submit to and obey God (cleave to the Lord) for He is the fountain of life (Ps 36:9). For he is thy life, and the length of thy days (Deut 30:20). Proverbs 9:11, “For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.” Furthermore, all of creation must be devoted to the Creator. Devotion is to place the will of God above your own will and this is a loyalty and faithfulness to God. Faith is love, submission, obedience, trust, honor and devotion toward God. To obey God is to adhere (hold fast, be unwavering) to His Word, truth or commandments. Man was created in God’s image and man must be a reflection of the Lord’s nature which is His Word or truth. Remember, it is God’s Word that brings all things into being.

 

Man was given a place of dwelling and a responsibility. Genesis 2:15-17, “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden 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.”

 

We can quickly conclude that man was given a free will – the ability to choose. God triest the reins and the heart (1 Chr 29:17, Jer 11:20, 20:12). The Lord God would determine man’s heart through his actions. A man’s actions, not words, is always the true indicator of His heart. God refers to this as your ways, doings, works and fruits (Jdg 2:19, Job 34:11, Eccl 3:17, 11:9, 12:14, 2 Kg 8:39, 2 Chr 6:23, 30, Ps 28:4, 62:12, Pv 24:12, 29, Is 59:18, Jer 17:10, 25:14, 32:19, Ez 7:3-4, 8-9, 27, 24:14, 36:17, 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). These works shall follow you and they describe the life that you lived (Rev 14:13, 22:12).

 

Many believe that a profession of Christ excludes them from such scrutiny, but consider what Jesus told the churches (Ti 1:16): “I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works (Rev 2:23).” Your actions produce works and these works reveal your heart.

 

The Lord abundantly provided for man’s needs and the fruit from the forbidden tree was not necessary for man’s nourishment. The tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil were there to determine man’s heart. Obedience brought life and disobedience brought death. To embrace the forbidden is to embrace death. This is the commandment that we had since “the beginning (the context is the creation of man, Gen 2:4).” 2 John 1:6, “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.”

 

God is life and the life given is sustained by obedience to the Lord’s Word or commandments. The Lord essentially tells man through His commandment regarding these two trees, what He later told the children of Israel: Deuteronomy 30:19, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” Disobedience to God’s truth can only bring about the opposite result which is misery and death. Obedience to the will of God ALWAYS results in life and disobedience to the will of God ALWAYS results in death. This is an eternal fact that is proven throughout God’s Word (the Bible) and the lives, situations and examples included therein.

 

The purest form of worship to God is to take His Word and live by it daily. God is honored and receives glory when man freely obeys Him from the heart. Man must fear the Lord and depart from that which opposes God (Job 28:28, Ps 34:14, 37:27, Pv 3:7, 16:6, 17, 1 Thess 5:22, 1 Pt 3:11). The Lord defines a perfect and an upright man as one who fears God and eschews evil (Job 1:8, 2:3) – these are wise. Those whose souls are “lifted up” are not upright (Hab 2:4).

 

Initially, newly created man was in compliance with the Lord’s will because God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good (Gen 1:31). In other words, there was nothing inherently wrong (flaws) with God’s creation of man. God fashioned man’s heart and now the Lord would consider all his works (Ps 33:15). Job 34:21, “For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings (also Ps 34:15).”

 

Chapter Four, “The Fall of Man”

 

God had set before man two trees. One of the trees was forbidden. The Lord essentially said: “Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death (Jer 21:8).” To eat of the forbidden fruit would be to incur God’s condemnation of “thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17).” The condemnation is God’s curse upon those who violate His truth. The Lord has said to man in various ways throughout time: Deuteronomy 11:26-28, “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God…”

 

Notice that each action has a consequence. Obedience is blessed and disobedience is cursed. Deuteronomy 30:15, “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil…” Good produces life and evil produces death. What God said to man in the garden of Eden still holds true until this very day (and beyond). Blessing/cursing, good/evil, truth/lie, acceptable/forbidden, life/death, obedience/disobedience are all representative of the two paths set before man in this life. Choose!

 

The devil (that old serpent, Rev 20:2) who is a spirit entered into a serpent in the garden of Eden (Gen 3:1). The devil told man that he could transgress the commandment of God and “ye shall not surely die (Gen 3:4 – A false witness that speaketh lies, Pv 6:19).” Satan perverted the words of the living God and is a teacher of lies – uttering from the heart words of falsehood (i.e. Is 59:13, Jer 23:36, Hab 2:18). The devil told man the opposite of God’s truth (Gen 2:17). In referring to the devil, Jesus later stated: “When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it (Jn 8:44).” In other words, the devil speaketh a lie unto man that he is the father of and led man in what he had done (Jn 8:44).” The devil kept not God’s commandments and the truth is not in him – only a great lie.

 

Satan tempted and enticed man to seek the lusts and desires of his flesh over the commandment of God. Man is weak through the flesh and this is where the devil always makes his appeal – to man’s lusts and desires (Mt 26:41, Mk 14:38, Rm 8:3). The devil ALWAYS appeals to man’s flesh (lust and desires) – this is the SNARE of the devil (2 Tim 2:26). The devil said: “your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” He was telling man that he could decide what is right and what is wrong for himself and thus be as a god. The devil was telling man that he had the right to decide whether or not he wanted to partake of that which is forbidden.

 

In order to do this man would have to disregard the Word and authority of the one true God. The devil taught man to trust in a lie (i.e. Jer 28:15, 29:31). Satan taught rebellion against the Lord (i.e. Jer 28:16, 29:32). The devil labors hard to convince man that God’s Word shall ultimately not be required of man (ye shall not surely die) – that things will just work out for man’s benefit in the end (Ps 36:1). Psalms 10:13, “Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God (neglect, reject)? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.” Even so, Satan must work within the boundaries of man’s free will – for God hath deemed it so (consider Job). The condemnation is that man “chooses” and is not “forced” to partake of evil.

 

Man chose to follow the devil’s word rather than God’s Word. The devil’s word seemed to benefit the flesh and God’s Word denied it. Thy first father hath sinned (Is 43:27). The forbidden fruit was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise (Gen 3:6). Man took his eyes off of God and placed them upon self just as Lucifer had done. The “way of escape” from temptation shall always be to keep your desire focused upon the truth of God (consider Jesus in the wilderness temptations). The devil created carnal desire in man and then appealed to it.  For to be carnally minded is death because the carnal mind is enmity against God (Rm 8:6-7). Romans 8:8, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Adam transgressed God’s commandment for a trivial piece of fruit – a small benefit to the flesh (we shall later consider what Esau did).

 

The devil says: Proverbs 9:17, “Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” – meaning, that which is forbidden is most desirable. The devil says “do what thou wilt.” This sentiment was expressed when the devil further told man: “ye shall be as gods (Gen 3:5).” To be as a god is to walk in your own way and in your own authority. This is to work things by the counsel of your own will as the one true God does (Eph 1:11). As previously mentioned: “do what is right in your own eyes” (Deut 12:8, Jdg 17:6, 21:25, Ps 36:2, Pv 3:7, 12:15, 16:2, 21:2, 30:12, Is 5:21). AND “seek the imaginations of your own heart (Gen 6:5, Deut 29:19, Pv 6:18, Jer 3:17, 9:14, 11:8, 13:10, 16:12, 18:12, 23:17, Rm 1:21).

 

Self fulfillment is the chief desire of the corrupt nature of fallen man. Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s heart deviseth his way.” Proverbs 19:21, “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel (or truth) of the LORD, that shall stand.” The devil was tempting man to deny the Word of God in order to walk in the desires of his flesh. Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (also Pv 16:25, 21:2).”

 

Man sought the desires of his flesh over the will of God. When man does not obey the voice of the Lord his God, then truth is perished – truth is not in him (Jer 7:28, 1 Jn 2:4). Death was chosen rather than life (Jer 8:3). Man ate the forbidden fruit, and thus ate the fruit of lies and followed his own way (i.e. Hos 10:13). Man followed his flesh through lusts and desires and this is the corrupt nature of man. To be corrupted is to oppose the truth. The truth purifies and the lie corrupts. The truth brings you to God and the lie separates you from God. Man sought the lie (self seeking) rather than God’s truth. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die (Rm 8:13).

 

Thy first father hath sinned (Is 43:27).  The sting of death is sin, which is transgression of the will of God (1 Cor 15:56). When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death (Js 1:15). For as in Adam all die, for by man came death (1 Cor 15:21-22). 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.” For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one (Rm 5:17). God’s Word stood and the devil’s word was proven a lie. The devil came with subtilty and robbed man of his place and life in God (i.e. Gen 27:35). The devil is a murderer, thief and a robber (Jn 10:1). Man has been robbed and spoiled (Is 42:22, 25). Man is now under God’s condemnation of “thou shalt surely die.” Proverbs 13:13, “Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed…” Proverbs 19:16, “He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die.”

 

The devil led man out of God’s truth and into his lie which opposed God’s truth. The devil led man out of the light and into darkness. Satan led man out of life and into death. The devil led man out of freedom and into his bondage. For of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage (2 Pt 2:19). The devil snares man through carnal lust and desire and takes captive at his will (1 Tim 2:26).

 

That which the devil corrupts becomes in servitude to him because to not be found in truth is to be found in a lie. Man kept not God’s commandments and the truth is not in him (1 Jn 2:4) – thus man entered into the devil’s lie. The devil heapeth and gathereth that which is not his (i.e. Hab 2:5-6). Man’s life, strength, freedom and protection were found through man’s obedience to God’s will which is dwelling within God’s truth. When man transgressed God’s truth he was corrupted and brought into the devil’s bondage. It is an eternal fact that obedience to the will of God results in life and disobedience to the will of God results in death (Deut 8:19-20, 9:7-8, 12-14, 18-20, 24-25, 11:16-17). This is stated or demonstrated throughout God’s Word and in the lives and situations of those men that have been given as our examples.

 

Man fully realized that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness (Rm 6:16)?  By following the devil into disobedience to the truth of God, man left the life that is only found in God and incurred the penalty of death – for the wages of sin is death (Rm 6:23). God’s wrath is against all who do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness (Rm 1:18, 2:8). Thus the devil hath the power of death (Heb 2:14). The devil is a spirit not subject to physical death and he separates man eternally from God through physical death – to die in your sins reaps eternal damnation. God is truth and in him is life. The devil is the opposite. He is the lie and in him is death. To obey God and walk in His truth or light is to partake of life. To obey the devil and walk in his lie or darkness is to partake of death.

 

The devil enticed man, who was created in the image of God, and corrupted him into the devil’s fallen image – allured to evil or darkness (infected with error, vitiate or deprave – change from good to bad; defiled, perverted, debased, rendered impure). The devil injured the substance, character, and qualities of man so as to impair his value – the good qualities were lost. Man ceased to be what he was created to be and no longer conformed to the image of God. The devil was a false witness against God that speaketh lies – he is deceit (Pv 6:19, 12:17, 14:5). Deceit comes from a heart that imagines evil (Pv 12:20). The Lord says: Proverbs 19:5, “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape (also Pv 19:9, 21:28, 26:10, Rev 20:10).”

 

The devil changed the truth of God into a lie, and taught man to worship and serve the creature more than the Creator (Rm 1:25). The vast majority of men are in rebellion to God by following the devil in his lie by seeking their lusts and desires to realize benefit in the flesh. The devil offers man the “things” his heart lusts after. Very few men are following God’s Spirit by denying the flesh and by submiting to and obeying God’s Word. The devil has convinced man that he can sin against God and “ye shall not surely die.” – that man will not be held accountable to God’s truth. There is an old saying that says you can sell lies, but you cannot give the truth away. Man goes to great lengths to obtain that which benefits the flesh, but puts forth no effort to deny the flesh. The devil gives you what you want – but there are chains attached. God says: Proverbs 23:23, “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.”

 

Satan considers the truth to be whatever satisfies self at any given moment – instability and confusion – relativism. Whereas the truth must be singular and unchanging (consistent); a lie can take a multitude of directions and be constantly changing – its all relative to the whims of the propagator. God says there is one way that man must travel. The devil will invent a thousand alternate ways and say they are all valid given your particular inclination (leaning, preference, liking, proclivity). The devil “confuses” the picture so that it becomes distorted and unclear. The “lie” denies reality and proposes false alternatives which ultimately are found invalid (much to the dismay of the adherents) and bring the followers into addictions and bondages. This is why there seems to be so much confusion in the world today. The waters have become very muddied (murky, not clear). God allows this because those that sincerely seek Him will find Him.

 

The devil’s lie shall not endure! Ecclesiastes 3:14, “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.” Humble repentant man shall be restored to God in truth. Truth shall prevail over falsehood.

 

So, man transgressed the will of God and sought his own way. This brought about God’s condemnation of death and so much untold misery and suffering in this world. 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.” Man’s iniquities separated him from God and man’s sins have hid the Lord’s face (Is 59:2). There is no communion (unity, empathy, relationship) between light and darkness (2 Cor 6:14). For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness (2 Cor 6:14)?”

 

Paul indirectly summed up man’s condition when he said:  Philippians 2:21, “For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. The things of Jesus are to absolutely do the will of God the Father.

 

Therefore there are two paths set before man. To obey God and walk in His ways is good and results in blessing and life – He is thy life (Deut 30:20). To seek self and do as the world (idolatries, etc.) is evil and results in curses and death. You can count on this! Your life’s actions shall reveal your choice. One is the way of the flesh as led by the devil through the precepts of his lie (seeking your lusts and desires) and that ends in destruction and eternal damnation. The other way is in the truth of God as led by the Lord’s Spirit and ends in eternal life. 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.”

 

Satan and his ways are desireable to the flesh, but God and His way is not desirable to the flesh. To follow God’s truth, the flesh must be humbled and thus denied. This is why there are “few” who find the narrow way. God’s path is set up to pull down the flesh and lift up the Lord’s truth. Man must “go against” his fallen nature to walk such a path. Man must be “born again” with a new nature. We could think of this as a road. Each step one takes in their intended and chosen direction is one step further away from the other direction. What is particularly noteworthy is that you freely “choose” your way or direction. This choice is not mental, but is rather manifested through your life’s actions. You cannot walk one way and yet still be found in the other way – they are at complete odds. Therefore, you choose your path and walk in its principles.

 

Repentence would be to recognize that you are going the wrong direction (error), forsake the direction you are heading in, turn around and then walk in the opposite direction. Rebellion is a turning from the right direction unto the wrong direction. Repentence leads to God and rebellion leads away from God. Repentance seeks God and rebellion forsakes the Lord. God says: “The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you (2 Chr 15:2, Ezra 8:22).” If we deny him, he also will deny us (2 Tim 2:12).

 

Please note: “The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him (Ezra 8:22).” Not adhering to God’s truth is forsaking God.

 

The fruit of the wicked is sin (Pv 10:16). When man seeks his own way through his flesh, his life’s actions result in a product or fruit. The root is pride, yet the fruit is all manner of bondages and addictions depending upon the preferences or proclivity of the individual. Let us consider a few of these rotten fruits: Galatians 5:19-21, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Romans 1:29-32, “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them (consider one’s enjoyment of television, movies and things related).”

 

Garden/Trees

 

Adam sought his flesh over the commandment of God in the GARDEN of Eden. Jesus sought the will of God over the flesh in the GARDEN of Gethsemane. Notice the opposites. Adam sought the will of his flesh by eating the fruit from the forbidden TREE. Jesus sought the will of God by denying His flesh and nailing His flesh to a TREE. Those who are corrupted live for the flesh and those who are clean die to the flesh. Followers of Christ, we must come to the opinion of Christ (as in the garden of Gethsemane) – God, I LAY DOWN MY LIFE FOR YOU – THY WILL BE DONE. Unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake (Ps 115:1).

 

Adam found benefit for the flesh in rejecting the commandment of God. Jesus realized complete denial of the flesh in obeying the will of God. You cannot perform what is good and acceptable to God and yet not suffer in the flesh. When Jesus struggled with the flesh in the Garden of Gethsemane, He concluded: “If this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done (Mt 26:42).” Christ then went on to suffer greatly in the flesh (buffeted, struck, spat upon, beaten, torn, crucified, etc.). Who would choose such a path??? The ones who sincerely desire the will of God more than life itself. Jesus offers you a cross and says, “come, follow Me (Mt 16:24, Mk 8:34, 10:21, Lk 9:23).” If you are a religious man that thinks this cross comes without suffering, then you only reveal a total ignorance of “the Way” that must be followed. Furthermore, having not followed, you will certainly be loved by this world resting comfortably therein (Jn 15:18, 17:14, 1 Jn 3:13).

 

Chapter Five, “God’s Plan”

 

Man sought his own will over the truth of God and was thoroughly corrupted (Is 59:7, 13, Job 17:14-16). Psalms 143:3, “For the enemy hath persecuted my soul (the devil); he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness.” Psalms 120:2, “Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.” Man was enticed by the devil’s lie and was placed into bondage dwelling in the darkness. Job 10:22, “A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness (also Job 12:25).” Man was separated from the light of life which is only found in God (Jn 1:4, 8:12). Isaiah 59:12, “For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them.” Man had cast God’s Word behind his back and conformed to that which opposed God (Neh 9:26, also i.e. Ez 23:35). Psalms 50:17, “Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee (also 2 Chr 36:16).” Man obeyed unrighteousness unto sin and death rather than God’s truth which is life (Rm 2:8, 6:13, 1 Jn 5:17).

 

There is none righteous, no, not one (Rm 3:10). Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth (Gen 8:21). Man at his best state is altogether vanity (Ps 39:5, 11, 94:11) – few of days and full of trouble (Job 14:1). Man’s heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it (Jer 17:9)? Job 22:5, “Is not thy wickedness great? and thine iniquities infinite?” Isaiah 64:6-7, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.” Romans 3:17-18, “And the way of peace have they not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Jeremiah 3:25, “We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.” But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you (Is 59:2).

 

Even so: Psalms 103:10, “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.” Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth (Job 11:6). The “goodness” of God leadeth thee to salvation (turns you back unto His truth, Rm 2:4). 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.”

 

The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness (Ps 18:28). 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 (also Ps 102:20).” Isaiah 49:9, “That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves.” Luke 1:71, “That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us (also Lk 1:74).” Psalms 41:11, “By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy (the devil) doth not triumph over me.” God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light (Ps 118:27). Psalms 119:130, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple (Ps 119:169).” Order my steps in thy word (Ps 119:133).

 

Salvation is the redemption of man from the corruption and bondage of sin and liability to eternal death. So, by very definition to be saved, one must come out of that which causes death, which is transgression of God’s will. In other words, man must walk in truth. Those in bondage are freed to no longer remain in bondage. Those in darkness must come out of the darkness.

 

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him. For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour (Ps 8:4-5, Heb 2:6-9)? Psalms 144:3, “LORD, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him!” Job 7:17, “What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?”

 

The Lord God had a plan from before the foundation of the earth to restore and reconcile humble and repentant man to Himself (Rev 17:8). This is the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory (1 Cor 2:7). The secret things belong unto the LORD our God (Deut 29:29, Is 40:21, 46:10). Acts 15:18, “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” Great things doeth He, which we cannot comprehend (Job 37:5). The Lord’s plan was a mystery hid in God (Eph 3:9). When Jesus came, He said: “I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world (Mt 13:35)” – the revelation of the mystery (Rm 16:25, Eph 3:9). Ephesians 1:9-10, “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him (also Eph 3:5).” Colossians 1:26, “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints.”

 

This mystery becomes very evident throughout God’s Word when one has eyes to see it (discussed in Chapter 9, “Having Eyes to See”). Ephesians 1:9, “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself (also Eph 3:3-4, 9).” Colossians 1:26, “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints (also Col 2:2).” Even so, “thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes (Mt 11:25, 13:11).” The prideful do not have eyes to see nor do they have hearts to partake of the mystery. Psalms 119:21, “Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.”

 

This plan was founded upon man returning to God’s truth through the Lord’s mercy. The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance (Rm 2:4). Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven (Mt 6:10). The hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory (1 Cor 2:7). Psalms 119:160, “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” The ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them (Hos 14:9). Psalms 33:4, “For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.” Psalms 111:8, “They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.” The Lord God intends to reconcile a portion of man back to Himself, but this must be done in keeping with the Lord’s righteous character (Ps 74:12). God Himself would save man by procuring mercy and then by leading man in His truth as a Shepherd leads His sheep (Jn 10:3-4, 10-11, 27-28, Heb 13:20). This is the way to peace with God (Rm 5:1). Psalms 23:3, “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” God Himself would bring “peace” between Himself and man (Rm 5:10). He first loved us (1 Jn 4:19).

 

God’s plan is to restore man as “before the fall in Eden” and this is to be done through mercy and truth. God “calls” man according to His purpose (only the humble shall hear, Rm 8:28, 30). This means that seeking your way through carnal lusts and desires must “die” in you. The devil’s lie (way of corruption and death, depths of Satan – Rev 2:24) must be “purged” from you. Solomon stated God’s purpose in saying: “That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments (1 Kg 8:58).

 

God tells man very matter-of-factly: “thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me (Hos 13:4). Salvation or LIFE shall only be found in the Lord God Almighty and His specified path (1 Jn 5:11-12)! You shall not make the devil your god nor his ways your guidance.

 

For the Lord thy God is a merciful God (Ex 4:31, Ps 116:5, Lk 6:36). Nehemiah 9:31, “Nevertheless for thy great mercies’ sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.” “I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever (Jer 3:12).” Micah 7:18, “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.” The remnant is that which remains after God tests and tries the hearts of men (1 Kg 8:39, Ps 7:9, 11:5, Pv 17:3, Jer 17:10, 1 Thess 2:4). Zechariah 13:9, “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”

 

God determines those who love Him and those who hate Him (Ps 21:8, Deut 5:10, Ps 33:15). Psalms 21:8, “Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.” The Lord establishes the just (Ps 7:9). 1 Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” Fire (suffering, tribulation) takes away the impurities. You are baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire (Mt 3:11, Lk 3:16).

 

The Lord says of Himself: “The LORD, The LORD God, 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; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation (Ex 34:6-7, also Num 14:18). His mercy endureth forever (1 Chr 16:34, 41, 2 Chr 5:13, 7:3, 20:21, Ezra 3:11, Ps 107:1, 118:1-4, 29, 136:1-26, Jer 33:11). Deuteronomy 5:10, “And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments – to a thousand generations (also Ex 20:6, Deut 4:31, 7:9, 1 Kg 8:23, Neh 1:5, 9:32, Dan 9:4, Lk 1:50).”

 

Let us further consider God’s nature: Psalms 86:5, “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” Psalms 86:15, “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth (also Ps 103:8, 145:8, Neh 9:17).”

 

Man was under God’s condemnation of “thou shalt surely die.” We had the sentence of death in ourselves (2 Cor 1:9). There was absolutely nothing that man could do to correct his situation. Isaiah 24:5, “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” Romans 3:12, “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one (also Ps 14:3).” The only hope for man was soley in God’s mercy – unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy (Ps 62:12). O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake (Ps 6:4). God’s mercy is for the sake of God’s truth. Psalms 115:1, “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.” Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy (Hos 10:12). Psalms 100:5, “For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalms 117:2, “For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.”

 

Man had freely disobeyed God’s will and now dwells in darkness. Man would now have to freely obey God’s will to dwell in the light. The situation would have to be reversed (known as repentance). Man had forsaken God the Creator and embraced (followed) that which opposed the Lord. Now man would have to forsake that which opposes God and embrace the Lord. The Lord God was making “the way” through His “truth” for man to once again have “life (Jn 14:6).” Psalms 119:9-10, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.” Quicken (make alive) thou me according to thy word; strengthen thou me according unto thy word; quicken me in thy righteousness (Ps 119:25, 28, 40, 50).

 

It only stands to reason that God’s mercy is for those who will turn back to the Lord’s truth – for those who love God and keep His commandments. God’s mercy shall never be for those who continue to transgress the Lord’s will – God shall by no means clear the guilty. If mercy were for the unrepentant, then the devil’s lie would triumph over God’s truth – it would prevail. If mercy was granted for those who sought self over the truth of God, then the creation would usurp the place of the Creator. In other words, truth would fail. Proverbs 8:36, “But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.” Isaiah 48:22, “There is no peace (reconciliation with God), saith the LORD, unto the wicked.” 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 Zech 1:6).”

 

The froward are those who refuse to yield or comply to that which is required – disobedient and peevish (Pv 11:20). These are perverse in that they turn from the truth and mutter and complain if forced to comply. This is the opposite of being “pure in heart (Mt 5:8).” In a “religious” context, these will embrace God’s mercy, but will resist (opposite of freely and lovingly offered) submission and obedience to God’s truth (mutter, complain, justify alternatives, downplay the need, etc.).

 

God must be approached in truth. Psalms 25:10, “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” Psalms 89:14, “Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.” The mercy is granted to walk in God’s truth.

 

The Lord says: Proverbs 8:20, “I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.” Psalms 94:15, “But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.” The Lord leads in what is “right” – for the Creator declares what is right (Is 45:19). God will NEVER lead in a way that does not conform to His truth (Pv 7:20). Proverbs 21:21, “He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.” Notice that God “leads” in righteousness and those who “follow” obtain the Lord’s mercy, honor and life (treasures). Psalms 23:6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” Therefore: Psalms 11:7, “For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright (also Ps 33:5).”

 

We shall understand in this message that love for God cannot be separated from obedience to God (who is truth). Jesus made this so clear when He said: John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Jesus further said: John 14:21, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” The foremost commandment for man is: Mark 12:30, “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 (Mt 22:37, Lk 10:27).” Devotion to God requires loss of “self” known as sacrifice. Present your bodies (self) a living sacrifice unto God, holy, acceptable unto God, this is your reasonable service (Rm 12:1). Recall: God said the mercy is for them that love me, and keep my commandments (Ex 20:6, Deut 5:10). Proverbs 8:17, “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me (also Zeph 2:3).”

 

A liar is one who does not adhere to the truth! If one says he loves Jesus, but does not keep His Words, then he does not adhere to the truth (Jn 14:15). Scripture states: 1 John 2:4, “He that saith, I know him (says one thing), and keepeth not his commandments (but does another thing), is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” AND 1 John 1:6, “If we say that we have fellowship with him (say one thing), and walk in darkness (but do another thing), we lie, and do not the truth.” So a liar is one who does not walk in the truth. The devil is the father of all lies. Those who follow the devil naturally lie and conform to his image. Consider God’s nature: “impossible for God to lie (Heb 6:18).” God establishes and keeps/upholds the truth. Psalms 33:4, “For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.”

 

The Lord said to Israel: 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.” The Lord then told Israel that they were to obey Him and keep His commandments and walk in His covenant or the Lord would bring curses upon them (bondage, disease, war, famine, pestilence, death, etc. – Lv 26:14-39). Similarly, God has shown us great mercy in sending Jesus to redeem us from the devil and darkness (bondage) so that we may serve the Lord and walk in His truth.

 

Jesus became a curse for us! Galatians 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us (condemnation, divine vengeance upon sin): for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” Let us never lose sight of this and not count the blood of His his covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, or do despite (defiance, offence) unto the Spirit of grace (Heb 10:29)? God’s deliverance of His people is ALWAYS that they may love, serve, obey, cleave to and walk in God’s truth or way.

 

So, we can understand: Psalms 33:18-19, “Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death…” Recall: the fear of the Lord is to keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and to walk in His ways (Deut 8:6, 10:12, Ps 111:10). Also recall: Job 28:28, “And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding (also Pv 3:7, 8:13).” Lastly recall: Proverbs 14:27, “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death (prolongeth days, Ps 36:9, Pv 10:27).” So, we can say: Psalms 25:14, “The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.”

 

God’s mercy is for those who “fear” the Lord. Psalms 103:11, “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.” Psalms 147:11, “The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.” Psalms 103:17-18, “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.” To such a one, the Lord’s mercy is vast – great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds (Ps 36:5, 57:10, 108:4).

 

God’s Word always reveals that the Lord keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments (i.e. Neh 1:5). This has not changed one bit through Jesus Christ. Hebrews 8:13, “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” What shall we say of this new covenant? Jesus 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.”

 

What does the Spirit do? Hebrews 8:10-12, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more (also Jer 31:33-34).” The mercy is for the express intent that one makes covenant to walk in God’s truth – from the heart.

 

God’s mystery of restoring and reconciling man to Himself centers upon mercy and truth. Proverbs 3:3, “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart.” Written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart (2 Cor 3:3). Man cannot return to God’s truth apart from the Lord’s mercy. Man cannot obtain mercy unless he walks in the truth. The two are intertwined and inseparable. You cannot claim mercy and reject the truth. You must sincerely consider if God’s Word has place in you (Jn 8:37).

 

Repentance is to the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness (2 Tim 2:25, Ti 1:1) – that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth (Dan 9:13). Man must be led in God’s light or truth and guided in judgment (Ps 25:5, 9, 43:3). Psalms 18:32, “It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.” Proverbs 16:6, “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.” God grants mercy to walk in His truth and thus man stops transgressing the Lord’s will and iniquity is purged. A man’s love for God will inevitably lead him to depart from that which opposes God. Thus the Lord guides our feet into the way of peace (reconciliation with God – Lk 1:79, Rm5:1).

 

We shall understand that seeking God and desiring His truth is man reaching out to God. The Lord’s mercy is God responding to man. “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts (Zech 1:3).” James 4:8, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” Psalms 145:18, “The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.” James 4:10, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” Joel 2:13, “And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.” When man humbly (self denying, contrite, broken, mournful) turns to God, the Lord’s response is ALWAYS favorable. Proverbs 12:28, “In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.”

 

Let us approach God’s expectations of man from another direction. The Lord states: Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” If you consider the merits of the proposition, you can easily understand that two individuals can only enter into a relationship of love when they are in agreement. In fact, the greater the agreement, the closer the relationship shall be. God is the Creator of man. Give fear to whom fear is due; and honor to whom honor is due (Rm 13:7, Ps 33:8, 96:9, Mal 1:6, Lk 12:5, Rev 14:7). Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name (1 Chr 16:29, Ps 29:2, 96:8, Is 42:12). Give reverence to God (Ps 89:7, Heb 12:28). In other words, man must “submit to” and come into agreement with God’s truth (light, way, purposes). The Creator does not submit to the creation. God does not submit to man’s way.

 

God is light and in Him is no darkness (1 Jn 1:5). If we walk in the light as He is in the light then we have fellowship (1 Jn 1:7). If we walk in darkness there is no fellowship. If we walk in darkness there is no agreement. If we walk in darkness there is no relationship. You must come to the light. Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you (Js 4:8). Seek God and ye shall find Him (Deut 4:29, 1 Chr 28:9, Pv 8:17, Is 55:6, Jer 29:13, Mt 7:7, Lk 11:9, Heb 11:6). Seek not after your own heart and your own eyes (Num 15:39).

 

It is only because of God’s will that you are in existence today! Your fragile life hangs in the balance and could end with the next breath or heartbeat. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away (Js 4:14, also 1 Pt 1:24-25, Job 8:9, 14:2, Ps 69:32, 78:39, 90:9-10, 103:15-16, 144:4, 1 Chr 29:15). Shouldn’t the Lord receive your fear, reverence, honor and worship? God is your life – doesn’t it behoove you to seek “peace” with God and walk in His way? If two are in agreement then they shall walk together and if they walk together they must be in agreement. Isaiah 40:7-8, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. Man “best” be found in that which endureth, which is the Word or truth of God (Mt 24:35, Mk 13:31, Lk 21:33).

 

God’s purposes continue on into eternity. Romans 9:28, “For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.” The Lord says: Isaiah 65:17, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind (also Rev 21:5).” 2 Peter 3:13, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” The Lord also says: Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away (also Mk 13:31, Lk 21:33, The lip of truth shall be established for ever, Pv 12:19).” So, all things shall be restored to God’s will and truth. Everything that opposes God’s purposes shall be eternally removed (the nice way to say it, Ps 9:17).

 

Redemption

 

God Himself redeems repentant man from the bondage of the devil – the darkness. Nahum 1:13, “For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.” 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.” God sends forth His Word to bring truth and procure mercy (Jn 1:1-4, 14). Isaiah 55:11-12, “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.” For ye shall go out with joy (from bondage, the darkness), and be led forth with peace (back to God): the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

 

Praise the Lord, for His Word cometh. Micah 7:8-9, “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.” Let us come to the light with a willing heart.

 

Chapter Six, “God Shall Send Forth His Truth”

 

Since the very foundation of the world (in the beginning – as relates to man’s creation), God was executing His plan or purpose for man. In retrospect, this was very evident in God’s dealings in the lives and circumstances of those men whom the Lord had “chosen” (Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, etc.). God established an holy nation through faithful Abraham (Gen 12:1-2, 26:5, Ex 19:6). The Lord made a covenant (solemn agreement) with Abraham that his descendants would be God’s people and walk in the Lord’s ways (Ps 105:8-11).

 

This nation of Israel was enslaved in great bondage under Pharaoh in the land of Egypt (Gen 15:13-14, Ex 1:11-14). Proud Pharaoh was very representative of the devil (Ez 29:3 = Rev 12:9) – he exalted himself against God; resisted the Lord’s purposes; and dealt deceitfully (Ex 5:1-2, 8:29, 16-17, 7:13-14, 10:3). Pharaoh disregards God’s Word so as to seek his own will in his own authority. He hardens his neck that he might not hear God’s Words (i.e. Jer 19:15). Pharaoh exalteth himself against God’s people just as the devil exalted himself against God’s creation of man in Eden (Ex 9:17, 15:9). Pharaoh put God’s people in bondage and refuses to let them go just as the devil has done to man (Ex 1:14, 2:23, 6:5, 7:16, 8:29, 9:7, 10:20, 27, 11:10, Deut 5:6, 6:12, 8:14, 13:5, 26:6, Josh 24:17, Heb 2:15, 2 Pt 2:19, etc.). When the children of Israel’s hearts turned to God, then Pharaoh increased their burdens and bondage (Ex 5:18). Pharaoh said of God’s people: “my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them (Ex 15:9).” He gladly sacrifices God’s people for his own benefit.

 

The land of Egypt was very representative of the world in that it serves other gods (Pharaoh being one of them) and resists God’s people and kills them. This land lieth in wickedness because it is governed by Pharaoh and his precepts or ways (1 Jn 5:19). Job 21:14, “Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.” Pharaoh opposes God and this is the way of the land and it’s peoples. Egypt’s citizens greatly oppose God’s people who are just sojourning in the land of Egypt (Ps 105:12, 23-25). Pharaoh and Egypt enslaved and afflicted Israel in bitter and hard bondage and they were forced to serve with rigour and heavy labor (Ex 1:13-14). They sacrifice God’s pilgrims for the purpose of benefiting “self” and this is hatred.

 

God saw the affliction of His people and raised up and sent a deliverer named Moses (a foreshadowing of Christ, Ex 2:24-25, 3:7-10, 6:13, 7:1-4). Moses was initially raised in the house of Pharaoh by Pharaoh’s daughter (Ex 2:5-10). However, when Moses came of age: By faith refused to have Pharaoh (or the devil) as a father and live in the pleasures of sin for a season (or during this temporal life), but chose to suffer with God’s people (Heb 11:24-25). Notice that Moses chose to suffer for God. All men must make such a choice in their lives – to choose whom they will serve (Josh 24:15).

 

In sending Moses unto Pharaoh, the Lord required man’s participation (willingness, free will in the matter), but it was the Lord’s leading and God’s power that would deliver His people from Egypt’s bondage (Ps 18:32). Moses was only required to obey God and the Lord used him in performing His purposes through His great power (Ex 13:14, Ps 105:26-27). Moses fully acknowledged his inability in saying: “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt (Ex 3:11, also Ex 4:1, 10)?” God told Moses: “Certainly I will be with thee (Ex 3:12).” Exodus 4:12, 15, “Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say (also Ex 4:15-16, 6:29). Exodus 3:20, “And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go (also Ex 6:1, 7:4-5).”

 

So, God led Moses and gave him the words to speak and the power to execute the Lord’s words. Psalms 103:7, “He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.” The Lord told Moses: “See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh (Ex 7:1).” Moses obeyed! Exodus 40:16, “Thus did Moses: according to all that the LORD commanded him, so did he (also Ex 7:6, Num 17:11, 29:40, 31:31).”

 

God’s message to Pharaoh was: “let my people go, that they may serve me (Ex 8:1, 20, 9:1, 13).” Pharaoh obstinately refused and then God judged Egypt until he humbled himself and fully complied with God’s Word. “The Lord redeemed Israel and brought them out from under the bondage of Pharaoh and Egypt by God’s mighty hand (Ex 3:19-20, 6:1, 13:16).” God brought Israel unto Himself such that they would be His people and serve the Lord and walk in His ways (Ex 6:6-7). God honored His covenant with Abraham in every respect (Gen 17:7-9, 19, 18:18-19). Moses brought deliverance to the captives through God’s mighty power.

 

Through Moses, the Lord said: Exodus 6:6-7, “Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” AND Exodus 19:5-6, “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…” Pharaoh’s Egypt was referred to as 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). The people had to freely choose to follow Moses out of Egypt in order to be the Lord’s people. Those who stayed in Egypt continued to serve Pharaoh – plain and simple. At Mount Horeb (Sinai) the people made a solemn agreement to obey and walk in God’s ways to be the Lord’s people.

 

This was all a foreshadowing of greater things to come. Through Jesus, the Lord redeems man from the devil and the world. Psalms 143:3, “For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead.” Jesus redeems those who freely choose to follow Jesus out of the world and into the kingdom of God. The Lord “restores” that which the devil took away (Ps 69:4). The Lord says: “I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved (Rm 9:25). Jesus calls man out of the darkness and into the light. 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 (Ps 102:20).” 1 Peter 2:9, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light (also Col 1:13).”

 

Jesus is the author of eternal salvation for those who obey Him (Heb 5:9). We must obey His covenant (solemn agreement, gospel, testimony). A testimony is a witness of some fact – God’s truth with power. Jesus brought evidence/proof, demonstration, and example of God’s truth. Hebrews 10:28-29, “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” (Note: John the Baptist bore witness of the truth, Jn 5:33; Jesus bare witness to the truth, Jn 8:26, 18:37; God the Father bare witness to the truth, Jn 5:37, 8:18; the Holy Ghost bare witness to the truth, Rm 9:1, 1 Jn 5:6-7).

 

God raised up Pharaoh so that the Lord might shew His power in him, and that God’s name might be declared throughout all the earth (Rm 9:16, Ex 7:5). In the very same sense, God’s name and righteous truth shall prevail over Lucifer’s rebellion and be declared throughout all of creation. All of creation shall understand the devil’s great folly and the misery that has resulted from it. Pharaoh’s heart was hardened in pride (obstinate, stubborn, unyielding) and so is the devil’s (Ex 7:13-14, 22, 8:15, 19, 32, 9:7, 12, 34-35, 10:1, 20, 27, 11:10, 14:8). Romans 9:18, “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth (also Ex 33:19, Rm 9:15-17).”

 

The journey to God (mount Sinai) was through a waste howling wilderness that denied the desires of man’s flesh (Ex 5:1, 13:18, 14:11, 15:22, Deut 32:10). There was no fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks onions, garlick, flesh pots, and bread to the full (Num 11:5, Ex 16:3). Even so, God’s direction and path was by intent: Deuteronomy 8:3, “And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” God led man by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night and provided for all of man’s essential needs (Ex 13:21-22, 15:23-25, 16:12-15, 17:6, Num 9:18-23, 14:14, Deut 8:3, 15-16, Ps 78:14). Man is counseled: Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (the necessary things – food and clothes).” We must be led by God’s Spirit (Rm 8:14).

 

God redeemed Israel from the bondage of Pharaoh and Egypt through Moses and this was a foreshadowing of God redeeming man from the bondage of the devil and this corrupt world through Jesus Christ. This was a indication of God’s greater plan to seek and save that which was lost, meaning fallen man (Mt 18:11, Lk 19:10, strongly consider Ez 34:16-24). God would send forth His Word to take on flesh as a man and redeem His people from the devil and this evil or corrupt world (Jn 1:1-2, 14, Is 55:11). Redemption would be accomplished through mercy and truth – all within the free will choice of man. Psalms 57:3, “He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up (the devil). Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.” Psalms 130:7-8, “Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.”

 

God led the children of Israel to mount Sinai. The Lord then descended upon the mount to speak His law such that they would fear Him (Ex 19:9, chapter 20, Deut 4:10-13). 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.”

 

God then began to speak His Ten Commandments. Moses said: 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.”

 

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!”

 

Notice that God told Moses He would raise up a prophet from among the brethren like Moses. This was the first major glimpse into God’s ultimate hidden plan or mystery for reconciling man back to Himself. Recall that Moses was sent to Pharaoh and Egypt to deliver God’s people from their bondage so that the children of Israel could serve the Lord (Ps 136:11-12). In doing so, God, through Moses, destroyed Pharaoh and the land of Egypt (Ex 10:7, 14:26-30, 15:4-8, 19). What transpired with Moses was on a smaller scale than what God intended to do with this prophet that would be raised up from among the brethren that would be like Moses. Moses was the foreshadowing of a much greater prophet (Num 12:7, Heb 3:2-6). Like Moses, God would give this prophet the words to say and would be the “power” behind the words. Like Moses, God would certainly be with this prophet (Jn 8:28-29, 16:32). What is being said here is that this prophet would speak with great authority and His words would carry great weight or importance (Mt 7:29, Mk 1:22, 27, Lk 4:36, Jn 5:27 = Jn 12:48).

 

Jesus was this one who would come and speak God’s Words (truth). God in these last days spoken unto us by His Son (Heb 1:2). The Lord prophesied: “I will give one that bringeth good tidings (Is 41:27). He shall bring forth judgment unto truth (Is 42:3). Acts 3:26, “Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” Recall: God redeems spiritual Israel (children of Abraham by faith) from all his iniquities (Ps 130:8). 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 in saying: Acts 7:37, “This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.” God the Father said audibly from a cloud: Luke 9:35, “And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.” Jesus said: “learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (Mt 11:29).”

 

Moses gave God’s law (given from God the Father) and Jesus brought God’s truth (given from God the Father). In Moses man must live by the letter of the law. In Christ man must live by the spirit and intent of the law as led, taught and empowered by the Holy Ghost. John 1:17, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” In Moses one must live by the law. In Christ, one must live by grace (the Holy Ghost working in you) and truth.

 

Light Shall Shine in Darkness

 

Recall that man was brought under the devil’s bondage and entered into the darkness and lost sight of God’s light or truth. Man transgressed God’s commandment and the truth is not in him (1 Jn 2:4). He that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth (Jn 12:35). Isaiah 59:9, “Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.” In the darkness man cannot see and becomes blind to the truth of God. God was about to come to man as a man and bring His Word or truth and lead man by example.

 

As discussed, man’s fallen nature was thoroughly corrupt: Isaiah 59:8-9, “The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.” Man walks contrary to God and has no peace with the Lord. The Lord says to those who shall humble themselves: 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.” The Word is coming in flesh to bring the light of God’s truth (Jn 1:14). God corrects all things for the humble and repentant – for those who seek Him and desire His ways.

 

God shall send forth His Word (prophet raised up from among the brethren) to show “the way” in “the truth (speaks only God’s Words)” to have “life (Jn 14:6).” Isaiah 60:1-2, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” Psalms 112:4, “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious (filled with the Holy Ghost), and full of compassion (merciful), and righteous (walks in truth).” Isaiah 9:2, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined (also Mt 4:16).” Psalms 18:28, “For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.”

 

The Word of God, known as Jesus, was coming (the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth, 1 Jn 2:8): 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 1:9, “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” The “light” comes forth with purpose and that is to lead man in truth to “reconciliation” with God (peace).

 

When Jesus was born into the world it was said: Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” When Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, it was stated: Luke 19:38, “Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.” Jesus brings peace with God through mercy and truth.

 

God’s Word goeth forth out of His mouth to accomplish that which the Lord pleases (Is 55:11). 2 Corinthians 4:6, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God (His truth) in the face of Jesus Christ (the prophet raised from among the brethren to speak God’s Words).” 1 John 5:20, “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life (also Rm 15:8).” John 17:2-3, “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent (also 2 Tim 1:10).”

 

Christ said: John 12:46, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” AND “he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (Jn 8:12). So, everyone that desires God’s truth will not remain in the darkness of the devil’s lie.

 

Jesus leads man out of the darkness into God’s “light” or “truth.” 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 (God’s mercy), and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me (also Jn 3:19-21, Col 1:12).” If you are a religious man, then you must sincerely examine yourself to determine if this is what is being worked in your life (2 Cor 13:5, are you significantly changing?). Those who genuinely “follow” Jesus are told: Ephesians 5:8, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light (also 1 Thess 5:5).”

 

Truth

 

We can now conclude some very important things: 1) Man lost the truth of God – he that keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him (1 Jn 2:4). 2) Man lost life – to transgress God’s truth is to incur the condemnation of “thou shalt surely die (Gen 3:4).” 3) Man entered into the devil’s lie and bondage.

 

God’s plan was to bring repentant man back to the truth. Jesus brought God’s truth to man and said: “To this end was I born, and 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.” Christ further stated: “He that is of God heareth God’s words (Jn 8:47).”

 

So what is the truth? The truth is that man must obey and walk in God’s commandments (word, will, purpose, truth, light, righteousness, faith, love, etc.). 1 John 2:5-6, “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” Jesus is the embodiment of the truth – God’s Word made flesh. Jesus said: “If ye love me, keep my commandments (Jn 14:15).” So, when we keep God’s commandments and walk as Jesus walked, then the love of God is perfected in you. Luke 6:40, “The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.”

 

Man’s violation of God’s commandment brought ignorance to the truth, bondage, misery and death. It is only through coming to Christ, who is the truth (light), that things can be restored (Pv 19:16). Jesus said: John 5:40, “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” Christ further said: “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 (Jn 8:31-32, 36).” The truth frees you from the devil’s lie! The truth frees you from the condemnation of death! The truth restores and reconciles you to have “peace” with God! The path to God goes through Jesus Christ. The Lord said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (Jn 14:6).” Jesus leads the complete opposite of where the devil leads. The devil is: the error (corruption), the lie, and the death: no man cometh to the Father by him.

 

He that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him (1 Jn 3:24). God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him (1 Jn 4:16). Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth (1 Jn 3:18). Love is demonstrated through action in truth. This is why God trieth the hearts of men. Matthew 15:8, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me (also Mk 7:6).” They hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not (Ez 33:31-32). 1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” Love = obedience to the truth (commandments, Word, light, will of God).

 

So, if you say you love Jesus and even do some “religious” things (i.e. go to church), yet your day to day life opposes God’s truth (what you do, walking in darkness), then what does that say about you? Many consider their “religiosity” to be proper deeds toward God, yet ignor the greater life they live outside their religiosity (a separation of the two). Your entire life must reflect a walk in God’s truth in everything that you do. What you sow (plant in your life – choices), you shall reap (actions produce a fruit or product). They that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same (Job 4:8). You shall eat the fruit thereof (Is 37:30). Proverbs 1:31, “Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices (also Is 3:10).” Doth not all behold the fruit that comes forth on a tree? Let us sincerely serve the Lord – “that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified (Is 61:3).”

 

He (Jesus) that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness (the devil) deceit (Pv 12:17). Proverbs 14:5, “A faithful witness (Jesus) will not lie: but a false witness (the devil) will utter lies (also Heb 3:1-2).” Proverbs 14:25, “A true witness (Jesus) delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness (the devil) speaketh lies.” The devil is he that deceiveth the whole world (Pv 12:20, Rev 12:9). Laying hold on the truth “destroys” deceit which is the lie. Jesus came to “destroy” the works of the devil (1 Jn 3:8). The truth sets you free (Jn 8:31-32, 36). Proverbs 12:19, “The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.”

 

Who is Jesus?

 

As previously stated: John 1:1-4, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” God’s Word is His truth – thy word is truth (Jn 17:17, also i.e. 1 Kg 17:24). Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name (Ps 138:2). Jesus is “the word of truth,” the gospel of man’s salvation (Eph 1:13). Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you (1 Pt 1:19). Christ said of Himself: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (Jn 14:6).”

 

When God purposes to do a work, He sends forth His Word and His Spirit, which is the power behind the Word. Psalms 33:4, “For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.” By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness (2 Cor 6:7). The Lord saith: “from the beginning (in the beginning was the Word); from the time that it was (all things were made by Him), there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me (Is 48:16, also Jn 17:5).”

 

It was prophesied by God concerning Christ: Isaiah 45:23, “I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness (it was sent), and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” God’s Word is made flesh. Philippians 2:10-11, “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 Rm 14:11).”

 

Jesus was emphatic that God the Father sent Him (Jn 16:28). Christ declared: “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 (Jn 7:28-29). The Word came down from heaven and is above all (Jn 3:13, 31). Isaiah 62:11, “Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.”

 

Now the Word is a Spirit and to become a man He must take on flesh (Jn 4:24). Hebrews 10:5-7, “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.” The law under Moses required offerings and sacrifices as a temporary atonement for sin. God’s ultimate purpose required that sin be completely atoned for, but man was incapable of providing what was required (discussed in Chapter Seven, “God Shall Send Forth His Mercy”).

 

So, God prepared a body for the Word of God, who is God, to occupy. The Word is sent forth to do God’s will. Recall: God created man, in the likeness of God made he him (Gen 5:1). Now the situation reverses itself; the Lord God comes in the likeness of man to be raised up from among the brethren. Philippians 2:7, “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” Romans 8:3, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.”

 

Let us digress for a moment and understand the law. It was stated earlier that the law was given by Moses (from God). The law was in place to restrain the corrupt nature of man until Jesus would come with God’s truth and baptize man in the Holy Spirit such that he could walk in God’s truth. Galatians 3:19, “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.” The promise was the Holy Spirit to lead man in the faith of Abraham. It was later stated of Jesus: 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.”

 

The law was weak through the flesh (Rm 8:3). Man needed the Lord’s Spirit to lead, teach, and empower him to walk in the Lord’s truth. However, man was separated from God through his sins and iniquities (Is 59:2). Mercy had not yet been put into place, so the Spirit could not be given (Jn 7:37-39). The only men that had been given God’s Spirit were His prophets who came specifically representing God speaking the Lord’s Words. There was no mercy under the law. Hebrews 10:28, “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses.”

 

The law compeled man to serve God, but faith serves God from the heart. Sheep follow, but goats must be driven. Galatians 3:11-12, “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.” God must be served through a heart of love, submission, obedience, trust and devotion. The Holy Spirit writes God’s law in our hearts and minds and leads us through our faith (Heb 8:10, 10:16-18). These are written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart (2 Cor 3:3).” The law was written in stone, but faith as led by the Spirit must manifest through the heart. Abraham walked in God’s ways through the heart before the law was ever given. Romans 4:13, “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”

 

So, Galatians 3:21-26, 29, “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (also Rm 7:7).” The Spirit is life because of righteousness (Rm 8:10). We serve not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life (2 Cor 3:6). Therefore: Romans 8:2-3, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

 

So, Romans 7:8, “But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.” Romans 4:15, “Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.” In Jesus, the law is replaced with something superior – a love for God to walk in His truth with a pure heart. Recall: faith is your love, submission, obedience, honor, trust and devotion toward God. Man is strengthened to walk in truth with God’s own Spirit. Galatians 5:5, “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” Galatians 5:18, “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” No man shall be justified by the law (Rm 9:32, Gal 2:16, 3:11-12, 20, 28, 31). These having not the law, are a law unto themselves (Rm 2:14). They do what is “right” from the very heart.

 

Faith is man reaching out to God; Grace is God responding to man’s faith. God will help those who are fighting against the strong current of this fallen world (sends the Comforter). However, there is no help for those who compromise with and justify the darkness. 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.” To walk after the Spirit is to be pardoned (remission of sins) from God’s condemnation of “thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17).”

 

We now understand that Moses (who was a foreshadowing of Christ) redeemed God’s people from Pharaoh and Egypt. Moses gave the law and the people were to walk in the law. This was all a foreshadowing until the seed (Jesus) should come. Jesus (who is Christ) redeems repentant man (God’s people) from the devil and the world. God made a covenant (solemn) agreement with the children of Israel sealed by the blood of animals. Moses brought the law and the people were expected to walk in the law. Christ brought grace (which is the Holy Ghost) and truth (Jn 1:17); and the people are to walk in grace (the Holy Ghost) and truth. This is Christ’s covenant/testament (solemn agreement) sealed in His own blood (Acts 20:28, Heb 9:12, 17-18, 13:12, Rev 1:5). Hebrews 9:15, “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”

 

Christ procures God’s “mercy” under the new testament (discussed in Chapter Seven, “God Shall Send Forth His Mercy”). – that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Heb 4:16). Psalms 143:10, “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.”

 

Moses brought deliverance to the captives (Israel in bondage to Egypt). Jesus preached deliverance to the captives (through God’s truth). Moses led Israel out of Egyptian bondage. Jesus brings out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house (Is 42:7).  That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves (Is 49:9, also Ps 102:20). Jesus tells man: “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 (Jn 8:31-32).” Remember: God’s Word does not return void, but accomplishes the will of God (Is 55:11). John 8:36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Man only gains freedom by repenting and walking in God’s truth with a sincere heart (Is 38:3). Joshua 24:14, “Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth.”

 

In Jesus, man is led in righteousness through love for God (pure in heart, Ps 23:3, Pv 8:20). In Moses Ten Commandments were given that were written in stone. In Jesus the Ten Commandments were reduced to Two Commandments that are written in men’s hearts.

 

So, God sent forth His Word (who is God) to accomplish His purposes for man. God prepared a body of the seed (lineage) of Abraham through David (Jn 7:42, Gal 3:16, Heb 2:16, 2 Tim 2:8). Thus the gospel of Matthew begins in stating: Matthew 1:1, “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” The Word took on Him the seed of Abraham and was made of the seed of David according to the flesh (Heb 2:16, Acts, 2:30, Rm 1:3). 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.” Notice that Jesus was full of the Holy Ghost (grace) and truth. The embodiment of the Word of God shall perfectly walk and lead man in God’s expectations.Truth sprang out of the earth (Ps 85:11). “Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit (1 Tim 3:16).” Man, who is flesh, must also be justified in the Spirit.

 

The Lord had told David concerning his future seed (descendant, son): 1 Chronicles 22:10, “He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.” 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?” Jesus was begotten or produced by God the Father. Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness (Rm 1:4). Recall: God sends forth His Word with power (The Holy Ghost) to perform His will/works.

 

God Himself was coming to reconcile man back to Himself through mercy and truth.  This was the time of man’s visitation (Lk 19:44). 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.” To beget is to make us His sons (Jn 1:12, Rm 8:14-16, 19, 21, Gal 3:26, 4:5-7, Eph 5:1, 8, Php 2:15, 1 Thess 5:5, Heb 2:10, 1 Jn 3:1-2) – there shall they be called the children of the living God (Rm 9:26). 2 Corinthians 6:18, “And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

 

God is not the God of the dead, but of the living (Mk 12:27). Those who transgress God’s will shall merit death and these are not God’s children. The children of the devil doeth not righteousness (1 Jn 3:10). The tares (weeds) are the children of the wicked one (Mt 13:38). Those who live by the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; are by nature the children of wrath (Eph 2:3). The desires of the flesh are: the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life and the deceitfulness of riches (Mt 13:22, Mk 4:19, 1 Jn 2:16). Matthew 13:41, “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity.”

 

The Birth of Christ

 

Let us more specifically consider how the Word was made flesh. Galatians 4:4-7, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Moses (as a foreshadowing/prefigure) redeemed a people to God from Egypt. Jesus redeems a people to God from the world/darkness.

 

A woman (Eve) transgressed God’s will in Eden and a woman (Mary) shall “bring forth” God’s purposes through the birth of Christ (Gen 3:6, 2 Cor 11:3). 1 Timothy 2:14-15, “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding woman shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” In other words, the woman (the weaker vessel, 1 Pt 3:7) was instrumental in the fall of man which brought death (being deceived and eating the forbidden fruit). In the same way, the woman shall be instrumental in the restoration of man in bringing life (being obedient in birthing Christ) – being heirs together of the grace of life (1 Pt 3:7). Thy seed shall bruise the serpent’s head (Gen 3:14-15, 1 Jn 3:8). Disobedience by following “the lie” brought death. Obedience in following “the truth” shall bring life.

 

A humble virgin woman named Mary found favor with God (Lk 1:27-30). An angel was dispatched to visit Mary. She was told: Luke 1:31-33, “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 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.” 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 (the Word became flesh and dwelt among us).”

 

So, the Word or truth of God was embodied in the flesh to lead man in “the way.” This is He that bringeth good tidings (Nah 1:15). Luke 1:32-33, “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.” Luke 1:68-72,74-75,  “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people (as Moses with Egypt), And hath raised up (from among the brethren) an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (took on the seed of David). As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began (God’s mystery or hidden plan): That we should be saved from our enemies (the devil – i.e. Pharaoh), and from the hand of all that hate us (the world – i.e. Egypt); To perform the mercy (forgiveness – remission of sins – pardon from the condemnation) promised to our fathers (God’s faithfulness to Abraham)…That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies (the devil) might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life (walk in God’s truth).” Those redeemed must leave Egypt and its ways to serve God.

 

God prepared a body for the Word of God to occupy. Mary was told: “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 (Lk 1:35).” Matthew 1:21, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins (A true witness delivereth souls, Pv 14:25).” Mary was then found with child of the Holy Ghost (Mt 1:18) – that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost (Mt 1:20). Therefore, Jesus was literally born of the Holy Ghost. Declared to be the Son of God with power (the Holy Ghost residing within), according to the Spirit of holiness (Rm 1:4).

 

We can now understand how the Word of God (known as Jesus) became the Son of God. Again, God required man’s (meaning male or female) participation (willingness, free will in the matter), but it was God’s power that made things happen. Mary was only required to obey, then God did the miraculous. Mary sacrificed of self to abide in God’s will. She said: “be it unto me according to thy word (Lk 1:38).” One cannot possibly serve God without a sacrifice of self. It was said of Mary: “Blessed art thou among women.” In other words Mary found favor with God and obtained honor through submission and obedience to the will of God. Eve obtain rebuke and dishonor (I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, Gen 3:16) due to her disobedience to the “understood” commandment of God.

 

So, Jesus was the Word of God (the Word is God and God is a Spirit, Jn 1:1, 4:24) and the Spirit of God (Holy Ghost) residing in one flesh – a body, as a man. Jesus was known as the Son of God and was known as the son of man – the reconciler of the two (Heb 2:18). Ephesians 2:14-17, “For he is our peace, who hath made both one (man and God), and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.”

 

God’s plan (mystery) was to reconcile all things through Christ – the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords (Rev 19:16): Ephesians 1:10-11, “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” Philippians 2:10, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.” Ephesians 1:21-22, “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet…” Thou hast magnified thy Word (Jesus is the Word) above all thy name (Ps 138:2).

 

Jesus made peace between man and God. Those who follow Jesus must also be peacemakers. Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Man must first (foremost) make “peace” with God by “turning to” and “embracing” the Lord’s truth and thus walking therein. Man must also make peace with his fellow man (charity, 1 Cor 13:4-7, 13, Js 3:14-16). In other words, man must walk in the two great commandments. The wisdom from above is peaceable, full of mercy, and good fruits (Js 3:17). James 3:18, “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”

 

We shall understand in this message that Jesus lived a perfect life of obedience to the will of the Father as led by the Holy Ghost that dwelt within him (in the body of flesh). Jesus came to “lead” man in the “exact” same way. Jesus, the Son of God, was the firstborn of many brethren, the sons of God (Rm 8:29). Brethren have the same Father (Our Father which art in heaven, Mt 6:9, Lk 11:2). The religious men told Jesus that they were the children of Abraham and believed Moses, yet didn’t obey either (Mt 3:9, Lk 3:8, Jn 5:45-46, 7:19, 8:39, 56, 9:29). Consider how Christ defined His family: Mark 3:35, “For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.” The “religious” man must understand that doing the will of God goes beyond a mental acceptance of some facts about Jesus (and perhaps a religious ritual or two) such that a man no longer “works iniquity” in his life (Mt 7:21-23).

 

Jesus was a distinct Spirit (the Word) and the Holy Ghost residing in one body of flesh. Recall: God told Moses that He would certainly be with him. In like manner God is always with Jesus – through His Spirit (Jn 8:29, 16:32). Colossians 2:9, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily (also Col 1:19).” Jesus said: “the Father is in me, and I in him (Jn 10:38, 14:10-11, 17:21).”

 

Through the leading of the Holy Ghost, Jesus absolutely accomplished the Father’s will and overcame the world (Jn 16:33). Jesus gives as many as will receive Him the “power” to become sons of God (Jn 1:12) – meaning to be “born again” of God in like manner (Jn 1:13, 3:3, 5-6). This is eternally critical to understand. The “born again” man is a distinct spirit (you) and the Holy Ghost residing in one body of flesh (just as Christ). The Spirit of God dwells in you (Rm 8:9). Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Verily means of a certainty – you can count on it. God has made known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col 1:27).

 

Jesus then provided additional detail: “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 (Jn 3:5-6). There is a clear distinction of being born of the flesh and being born of the Spirit. The two seek distinctly different things: Romans 8:5, “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.” Recall: Only those who walk after the Spirit do not face God’s condemnation (thou shalt surely die, Gen 2:17) and are not under the law (Rm 8:1, Gal 5:18).

 

Those who mind the things of the flesh seek their own lusts and desires – they do what is right in their own eyes. This only leads you further into the darkness. Those who seek the things of the Spirit hunger and thirst for righteousness and walk in God’s truth with a pure heart (Mt 5:6, 8). These say: Psalms 119:47, “And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.” My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God (Ps 42:2)

 

To be “born of water” refers to the baptism of repentance. Repentance is to “turn from” and “forsake” the darkness (turn from your iniquities, Acts 3:26) and fully embrace God’s truth. This is to turn from darkness to light; from the lie to the truth; from death to life; from bondage to freedom; from self fulfillment to God’s will; from pride to humbleness, etc. We give up that which we rebelled against God to obtain (self seeking) so as to come back into God’s light or truth. That we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth (Dan 9:13). Repentance is where man must come into agreement with God to walk in the Lord’s truth – to walk in the light as He is in the light (Amos 3:3, 1 Jn 1:7). The essence of repentance is when a man hears God’s words and turns from his evil way, and from the evil of his doings (Jer 23:22). Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Php 3:13).

 

How does God specifically define repentance? 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 (also Ps 86:5, 103:8, 106:1, 116:5, 117:2).” God says: “humble yourself, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from your wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive your sins (Deut 4:29, 2 Kgs 17:13, 2 Chr 7:14, Jer 18:11, 25:4-5, 26:3, 13, 36:3, Ez 18:30-32, 33:19, Jon 3:5-10).

 

Notice that man must deny self and forsake his way in order to obtain God’s way and walk in the Lord’s truth (2 Kgs 17:13, Zech 1:3-4). One way is forsaken to obtain the other – there is no way around this fact. You must cast off the works of darkness to be found in the Lord’s way (Rm 13:12). Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die (Ez 18:30-31)?

 

The Lord further states: “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment (Is 1:16-17).” Notice that you must forsake evil (put away) and embrace the truth (learn to do well). Jesus said: “John 15:3, “Now ye are clean (washed) through the word which I have spoken unto you.” Christ is the Word and truth of God. Joel 2:13, “And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.”

 

God says regarding false teachers/prophets: Jeremiah 23:22, “But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.” The message from a true man of God shall always be one of repentance.” Turn from the darkness (lie) unto God’s light (truth). The false prophet speaks evil of the way of truth, meaning that they downplay obedience to the truth – walking therein (2 Pt 2:1-2).

 

You must repent and be converted (Acts 3:19). Repentance must produce “change” or you have not sincerely repented. John said: Matthew 3:8, “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.” Paul said: “repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance (Acts 26:20).” In other words, the sincerity and genuineness of your repentance shall be demonstrated through your actions. The light shall shine upon thy ways (Job 22:28). Your fruits are what your life produces (Mt 7:20). Sincere repentance leads a man to eternal life. The early church termed this “repentance unto life (Acts 11:18).”

 

Repentance is the opposite of the way in which the devil led man. This is restoration of man to be as before the fall in Eden (reformation). It can be said of the repentant: 1 Peter 2:25, “For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” The gospel is the good news that allows man to turn from the darkness and the power of the devil to receive and walk in God’s truth and thus have life. In doing so, man will then receive mercy and forgiveness – sow to yourselves in righteousness and reap mercy (Hos 10:12). Repentance has been God’s message to man since the fall in Eden and this is what all the prophets sent of God spoke about. When one fully turns unto God, they receive remission, which is pardon or forgiveness of sins – the release of the punishment due a crime. THIS IS GOOD NEWS indeed!

 

Rebellion (transgression of God’s will) leads to death. Righteousness (conformity to God’s will) tendeth to life (Pv 11:19). Proverbs 12:28, “In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.” Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord (Rm 5:21).

 

John the Baptist prepared the way for Christ through the preaching of repentance. John turned the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just (Lk 1:17). Men realized and confessed their sins and thus took their eyes off of self and placed them fully upon God (Mk 1:5). Jesus said: “John came unto you in the way of righteousness (Mt 21:32).” Repentance is the way of righteousness – the way of God in truth (Mt 22:16). This is the only way to acknowledge truth (2 Tim 2:25, also 1 Tim 2:4, Heb 10:26). Jesus came preaching repentance (Mt 4:17, 9:13, Mk 1:14-15, 2:17, Lk 5:32, 13:3, 5, 15:7). Peter preached repentance (Acts 2:38, 3:19, 5:31, 8:22, 2 Pt 3:9). Paul preached repentance (Acts 17:30, 20:21, 26:20, 2 Cor 7:9, 2 Tim 2:25). Every disciple of Christ is to preach repentance (Lk 24:47, Acts 6:12, 11:18).

 

Repentance is the good news, but the prideful or self seeking shall never see it that way. Why? Because repentance turns from your way unto God’s way – a loss of self. The prideful desire to increase self, not decrease self. However, John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

 

John was emphatic on one point in saying: Matthew 3:11, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance (born of water): but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost (and of the Spirit), and with fire.”

 

To be born of the Spirit is to receive the Holy Ghost – to be as Christ. Jesus was taught, led by, empowered and communicated with God the Father through the Holy Ghost – and was raised from the dead by the Spirit of power (Eph 1:19-20, also Rm 6:4, 8:11, 1 Cor 6:14, 2 Cor 4:14, Eph 2:6, 1 Pt 1:21). The same is true of those “born” of God (Acts 1:2) – they have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16). 1 Corinthians 2:12-13, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

 

Jesus said: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink (Jn 6:37-38).” “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (Jn 4:14).” Thirst for what? The answer is “righteousness (Mt 5:6). The Holy Ghost is the living water which teaches truth and leads in righteousness (Ps 5:8, 15:2, 23:3, 33:5, 85:13, 94:15, 96:13, 98:2, Jn 6:36-38, Rm 8:10, etc.). The fruit of the Spirit is righteousness and truth (Eph 5:9). Proverbs 8:20, “I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment.” Psalms 85:13, “Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.” According to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost (Ti 3:5). Righteousness is fulfilled in those who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Rm 8:4). That they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified (Is 61:3).

 

Having fully “turned to” God and embraced His truth and having received the Holy Ghost you become a new creature – a new man. Recall: “to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace (Eph 2:15)” 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.” In Christ, it only matters that you become a “new creature” because if you have not the Spirit, you are none of His (Gal 6:15, Rm 8:9). Ephesians 4:24, “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” AND Colossians 3:10, “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge (understanding the truth) after the image of him that created him.”

 

What we are talking about is a complete “change” of heart and basic motivations. You walk in newness of life and liveth unto God (Rm 6:4, 10). Jesus said: Mark 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” Every pursuit of the flesh (lusts and desires) results in bondage, addiction and corrupt fruit. Those “born again” no longer walk by the desires of the flesh, but according to the leading of the Spirit in the truth of God. To wholly seek God (heart, soul, mind and strength) results in freedom and good fruit (fruit of the Spirit, Gal 5:22-23, Eph 5:9). So, if you walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh (Gal 5:16). Galatians 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

 

So, we are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Jesus was the embodiment of truth, righteousness, mercy, meekness, and holiness. This is what “born again” man must become. The Holy Ghost teaches and leads man in this regard. Recall: God’s Word is truth (Ps 119:160, Jn 17:17, Eph 1:13, 6:17)! God’s Spirit is truth (Jn 15:26, 16:13, 1 Jn 5:6)! John 14:26, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (Jn 15:26).”

 

We become like Jesus because we are brethren. 1 John 4:13, “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.” Romans 8:16, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Jesus tells those “born” into His kingdom: John 14:17, “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.” 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” 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?” As 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). This is the exceeding grace of God in you, the unspeakable gift (2 Cor 9:14-15). You become filled with the fulness of God (Eph 3:19).

 

Peter referred to being “born again” like this: Acts 2:38, “…Repent (turn to God’s truth), and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (receive God’s mercy), and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (God’s grace). When man turns to God’s truth, he receives mercy and the power to walk in God’s truth.

 

The Word Comes with Purpose

 

Jesus made His focus and purpose clear in saying: John 6:38, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” Christ further stated: “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work (Jn 4:34).” John 16:28, “I came forth from the Father (my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth, Is 55:11), and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father (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, Is 55:11).” Recall: the Lord says: “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure (Is 46:10).” Therefore, “Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God (Ps 40:7, Heb 10:7).”

 

God raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities (Acts 3:26). Jesus came bearing witness of the truth (through Word and example). The fundamental truth of God is that all of creation must love and obey the Creator. Christ turns us back to God from that which opposes God. He came and preached peace to you which were afar off (Eph 2:17). Return to the Lord – turn ye, turn ye. Come unto Christ that ye might have life (Jn 5:24, 40). Ephesians 2:18, “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”

 

God said of Moses: “My servant Moses is faithful in all mine house (Num 12:7).” Hebrews 3:2-7, “…Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice.” Recall: God once spake from a cloud and said: “This is my beloved Son: hear him (Mt 17:5, Mk 9:7, Lk 9:35).” – and they that hear shall live (Jn 5:25). We shall understand why in the next section of this message.

 

Christ came as a minister of the truth of God that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost (Rm 15:8, 13). 1 John 5:20, “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life (also 2 Cor 4:6).”

 

Jesus went about repairing the damage that the devil had done. Acts 10:38, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Jesus began His earthly work by declaring His intentions in a synagogue (religious gathering): Luke 4:18-19, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor (in spirit, Mt 5:3); he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted (mournful, Mt 5:4), 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.” The prophecy in Isaiah adds: “the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek (Is 61:1, also Is 41:27, Mk 5:5).” The poor are the humble and self denying who will receive and walk in God’s Word. The blind are those who walk in darkness and see a great light. The brokenhearted are those who mourn.

 

Immediately after Jesus made this proclamation to assault the kingdom of darkness, the devil came against Him with a fury. The devil used religious men for his purposes. 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.” Like Pharaoh in Egypt, the devil does not release God’s people so easily. Exodus 9:17, “As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go?”

 

The devil exaltest himself over man in Eden, meaning the devil sought his will over God’s will and was willing to sacrifice man for his benefit (perfect hatred). Man then exaltest himself against God in that he was willing to sacrifice God’s command and truth in order to seek his own way (hatred toward God, enmity). The Lord says: “for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted (Lk 18:14).” Therefore, the path back to God shall only be walked in humbleness.

 

When John the Baptist sent disciples unto Jesus to make sure He was the Christ, Jesus said to them: “Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me (Lk 7:22-23).” Christ’s actions speak louder than mere words, the Lord was walking in God’s mercy and truth. Luke 9:26, “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.”

 

Blessed is He that is not offended by God’s truth. To be “offended” would be to not “apply it” and “walk therein,” which is: “to not see it worthy to be fully taken to heart.” To be offended would be to not hear, to not receive, and to not do Christ’s Words. Jesus said: Luke 6:47, “Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: a man who built his house on an immovable rock (Lk 6:48).

 

Jesus, the Word, was full of grace which is the Holy Spirit. John 3:33-4, “He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.” Jesus was SENT. Christ’s Words were GOD’S MESSAGE TO MAN. This TRUTH is what shall DELIVER and set man FREE. What we are talking about is “the Word” with “power (2 Cor 6:7).” The gospel comes to you not in word only, but also in power (1 Thess 1:5). The Holy Ghost was the power behind Christ’s Words. God upholds all things by the word of his power (Heb 1:3). The Lord’s Words came with authority and results.

 

For instance, Jesus said to one sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee (shewing mercy, Mk 2:5). The religious men standing about reasoned in their hearts that Jesus spoke blasphemy: “who can forgive sins but God only (Mk 2:6-7)?” So Jesus replied: Mark 2:10-12, “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.” The “power” bore witness to the truth of the Words (Jn 10:25). In other words, the Holy Ghost (or power of God) bore witness as to who Jesus was – His authority. 1 John 5:8, “And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” Note: 1) the water is turning to God’s truth; 2) the blood is God’s response of mercy; and 3) the Spirit (grace) is the power to walk God’s truth.

 

Consider another instance: Jesus rebuked in a loud voice the spirit of an unclean devil out of a man (Lk 4:33-35). 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.” Luke 4:32, “And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.” The Lord healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils when the power of the Lord was present to heal them (Mk 1:34, Lk 5:17). Jesus spoke God’s truth and demonstrated God’s mercy. Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God by miracles and wonders and signs (Acts 2:22). Those who “follow” Jesus (firstborn of many brethren) have been instructed and equipped to do the same (Mt 28:19-20, 1 Corinthians Chapter 12).

 

For instance: Mark 6:7, 12-13, “And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; And they went out, and preached that men should repent (to preach the kingdom of God). And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them (also Mt 10:1, 7-8, Lk 9:1-2, 6). Recall: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God (Jn 1:12).” The power is the Holy Ghost which John the Baptist was so emphatic that Jesus would baptize with (Lk 24:49). Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Luke 10:1, “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.” These were instructed: “heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you (Lk 10:9).” Note: Jesus said: “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Mt 4:17).

 

Notice that they first taught repentance (turning to God’s truth) and of the kingdom of God (living God’s truth) and then demonstrated the Word and God’s mercy by healing and delivering the people. In all the healings and deliverances, Jesus was leading the people to seek God. To take their eyes off of self and place them fully upon God. You must receive the kingdom of God as a little child or you shall not enter in (Mk 10:15). This means that you must be humble and obedient and looking to God for all things as a child to its parents. Those that “look to” or “trust in” worldly things (other than God) shall not enter into the kingdom of God (Mk 10:23-25). That which is impossible for man is possible with God (Mt 19:26, Mk 10:27, Lk 1:37, 18:27). The Lord makes it so by giving us of His Spirit.

 

Finally, Jesus instructs every “believer” to: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature (Mk 16:15).” “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover (Mk 16:17-18).” We go forth, preaching every where, the Lord working with us, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen (Mk 16:20). John 14:12, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

 

In Egypt, God did many miracles that the people would fear and believe the Lord (Ex 4:1-9, 14:31, Num 14:11). Even so: Numbers 14:11, “And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?” Jesus later said: John 10:37-38, “If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.” Even so: John 10:25, “Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.” John 12:37, “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him.” God’s miracles are great signs for the humble (Jn 2:23, 4:39-41, 7:31, 8:28-30, 10:41-42, 11:45), but as for the proud: John 12:40, “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them (discussed in Chapter 9, “Having Eyes to See”).”

 

He Shall Speak All that I Command Him

 

God told Moses that He would raise up a prophet from among the brethren like unto Moses. This Prophet would thus speak God’s Words and do miraculous things by the power of God. Like Moses, this prophet does “nothing of himself,” but always those things that please God (Jn 8:28-29). The Lord God specifically noted that: “I will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him (Deut 18:18).” Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord (Mk 11:9). Isaiah 52:7, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” The gospel that Jesus, the Word of God, was bringing is that good news and hope for man. John 6:45, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of 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 (He that sent me is true, Jn 7:28).” John the Baptist bore witness in saying: “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God (Jn 3:34).”

 

Jesus said: John 8:26, “I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.” Christ came as the literal embodiment of God’s mercy and truth. John 8:28-29, “Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man (Jesus procuring God’s mercy), then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things (brought God’s Word or truth). And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.”

 

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 people asked Jesus: “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 (Jn 6:28-29).”

 

Jesus brought the truth (God’s Words to man). Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me (Jn 6:45). Recall: He that receiveth not the truth (God’s Words) shall be destroyed from among the brethren. “For if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins (Jn 8:24).” To “believe not” is to not receive and live the Father’s Words which Jesus brought – because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not (Jn 8:45). He that is of God heareth God’s words (Jn 8:47). If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death (Jn 8:51).

 

The children of Israel were told: he that hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him (Num 15:31). Remember what Peter said: “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 (Acts 3:23).” So, he who will not hear Christ’s Words shall one day be destroyed – his iniquity shall be upon him. God’s mercy is not for those who despise is Word – who is God (Jn 1:1-2). God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work (Eccl 3:17).

 

Jesus told some men who would not hear Him: Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins (Jn 8:19, 21). John 8:24, 26, 28, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.”

 

Israel was instructed to put a ribband of blue on their garments as a reminder (Num 15:38). Numbers 15:39-41, “And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.”

 

Similarly, Christ’s disciples are brought out of the darkness (world, devil’s lie) into God’s light (truth, kingdom of God). Jesus tells us: John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” AND John 15:14, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” AND If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death (Jn 8:51-52, 55). AND blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it (Lk 11:28, also Pv 8:32). We are also told: 1 Peter 1:15-16, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (way you live your life); Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” AND 1 John 3:3, “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” How is one purified? Ye purify your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love (1 Pt 1:22).

 

Bread of Life

 

Jesus said: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Mt 4:4, Lk 4:4).” Christ later said of Himself: John 6:48, “I am that bread of life.” Jesus is the very embodiment of  “every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” – the living bread (Jn 6:51). The Lord later sends to man (after He is glorified) the “living water,” which is the Spirit of truth – to dwell within man (Jn 7:38-39). Jesus is the Word that came down from heaven and was made flesh (Jn 1:1-4, 6:32-34, 50). The Lord is that prophet which would be raised from among the brethren to speak God’s Word – He has the words of eternal life (Jn 6:68).

 

Christ then said: “he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” Jesus is the “living bread” and the Spirit is the “living water.” Jesus and the Spirit are “righteousness.” Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Therefore: whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die (Jn 11:26, also Jn 6:40, 51) – a man may eat thereof, and not die (Jn 6:50, 58). Those who live in God’s Word or truth and are taught/led by the Spirit shall never die (Pv 8:32)!!! The Word and the Spirit are truth and they are in perfect agreement and unity (Jn 1:14, 14:17, 15:26, 16:13, 17:17, 2 Cor 6:7, Eph 1:13, 5:9, 2 Thess 2:13, Js 1:18, 1 Pt 1:22, 1 Jn 5:6). The Word and the Spirit are one – Word of His grace (Acts 20:32). John 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

 

Jesus then said: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you (Jn 6:53).”  To “eat the flesh” is to partake of every Word of God. What about drinking the blood? The blood is God’s “mercy.” This is the atoning sacrifice whereby Jesus offered up Himself for man’s sins and suffered man’s condemnation of “thou shalt surely die.” Man must eat of God’s mercy and truth. Christ said: “this do in remembrance of Me (symbolic meal – Lk 22:15-20). John 6:56-57, “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” Religious man has many unauthorized observances (Christmas, Easter, etc.), but this one is required of the Lord – this “do.”

 

Therefore, the Lord’s supper consist of the “bread” and the “wine.” The “bread” represents Christ’s body or flesh (the Word was made flesh, Jn 1:14) and the “wine” represents Christ’s blood (God’s mercy and forgiveness – covering for sin). So, the Lord’s supper is a remembrance of God’s mercy and truth – how man is saved. Also consider how Jesus is described in relation to the second coming: Revelation 19:13, “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” The blood = mercy and “the Word of God” = truth. Jesus is God’s mercy and truth. Jesus is man’s life (1 Jn 5:11-12)!!!

 

Jesus is the living bread (i.e. manna) that man must live by (every Word of God). However, man mostly rejects God’s bread for that which the flesh desires (i.e. fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlick of Egypt, Num 11:5). Froward and rebellious man says: Numbers 11:6, “But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna (the bread from heaven), before our eyes.”

 

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). Thy law is the truth (Ps 119:142). 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).”

 

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.” Only humble eyes can see God’s truth! Isaiah 42:18, “Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see (also Is 43:8).” The Lord shall be thine everlasting light (Is 60:19).

 

The self denying or humble will seek the Lord. Zephaniah 2:3, “Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.” In other words, follow Christ! Malachi 4:1, “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.”

 

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.” Every one that is of the truth heareth Christ’s voice (Jn 18:37). The sheep hear his voice for they know his voice (Jn 10:3-4). 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). God’s mercy is for those who “do” the will of the father (Mt 7:21, Mk 3:35, Lk 8:15, 11:28, 1 Jn 2:17, Rev 22:14, etc.).

 

The Lord said: John 7:17, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” You shall never “know” or “relate” to God until you actually begin to walk (live by) in His truth. It was stated earlier: Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Jesus brought the Word of God to man such that man would “receive” it and walk therein. The Lord leads and always says, “come, follow Me.”

 

The Lord further said: “John 8:28, “…When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” Jesus died for man to have “mercy” such that man would return to God’s “truth.”

 

Fundamental Wisdom

 

When the flesh is full, then God is quickly forgotten. When all is seemingly well, men turn their eyes and hearts from God and place them upon self. Hosea 13:6, “According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.” Needs, persecution, problems, etc. are actually the Lord’s way of taking man’s attention off of self so that man will seek God and come to the knowledge of the truth and what is eternally important. This is God’s mercy, but shall never be viewed that way by the prideful. Great need drives man to his knees to seek God. – “in their affliction they will seek me early (Hos 5:15).”

 

The Lord has forbidden His followers from taking up the sword (from killing, violence and strife). – Put up thy sword into the sheath (Mt 26:52, Jn 18:11). We are to love out neighbors (Jn 13:34-35, 15:12, 17, 1 Jn 4:11). We are to walk through life meekly and humbly. Matthew 5:38-45, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

 

The Lord’s followers are instructed: Luke 6:36, “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” Jesus led in this matter: Isaiah 53:7, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth (Acts 8:32). Romans 12:17, “Recompense to no man evil for evil…”

 

God often refers to His people as sheep (Ps 74:1, 95:7, 100:3, Jer 23:1, Ez 34:6, 12, Jn 10:14, 16, etc.). Sheep are defenseless and completely depend upon the Shepherd for protection. Such is the case with the follower of Christ. When the wolf comes, the sheep never fight the wolf; they run away or are saved by the shepherd or are killed by the wolf. THE SHEEP NEVER DO THE WOLF PHYSICAL HARM (no hatred, no warfare, no killing). Romans 8:36, “As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” We go forth as sheep in the midst of wolves, yet must be harmless as doves (Mt 10:16, the Holy Ghost came as a dove). We rely on God completely (Heb 10:30)! Psalms 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

 

Suffering in the Flesh to Walk in Truth

 

The Lord did not come to earth exalted as God, but rather as a meek, humble and suffering servant. Hebrews 5:8, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” Jesus spent much time “bearing the injuries (meekness)” that man heaped upon Him – “he humbled himself (Php 2:8).” The religious leaders sought to kill Jesus from the onset (Ps 2:1-3, Mk 11:18, 12:12, 14:1, Lk 4:29, 19:47, 22:2, Jn 7:1, 30, 10:39). John 7:1, “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.” Men sought to trick Him in His Words and deeds in order to accuse Him (Mt 12:10, Mk 3:2, 12:13, 14:1, Lk 11:54, Jn 8:6). Religious man said that Jesus was not of God and was a sinner (Jn 9:16, 24). Religious man said that He had a devil (Mt 10:25, Mk 3:22, Lk 11:15, 18-19, 12:24, Jn 7:20, 8:48-49, 52). They said He was mad/crazy (Jn 10:20). They said He was ignorant about God (Jn 7:15). They brought false witnesses to accuse Him (Mk 14:56, Ex 23:1). Recall: the devil was a false witness against the truth of God to man.

 

Religious man even said that Jesus, who was the very embodiment and personification of the Word of God (the way, the truth, the life), was perverting the people (Lk 23:2, 14). To pervert is turn from the truth – to corrupt. They called Jesus “a deceiver (Mt 27:63). Please understand the magnitude of the folly (an absurb act which is highly sinful and contrary to God) of religious man: They said that the Spirit within Christ (the Holy Spirit) was a devil. They said that Jesus was leading man away from the truth of God into corruption – as the devil had done. This was tremendous blasphemy against God.

 

Lastly, religious man utterly rejected the Word made flesh and killed Him upon a cross. To be hanged upon a tree is to be accursed of God (Deut 21:22-23). Galatians 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” Moses redeemed God’s people from Egypt and gave them the law (no mercy under the law, Heb 10:28). Jesus redeemd repentant and obedient man from the world/darkness and brought mercy and truth (Ps 57:3). John 1:17, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace (the Holy Ghost) and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

 

Jesus was rejected by religious man and the world and all those who “truly” follow Jesus shall also be rejected by religious man and the world (Jn 15:20). Jesus said: Matthew 10:25, “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?” John 15:18, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” Mark 13:9, “But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.”

 

The Lord prayed to the Father: John 17:14-19, “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. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” 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 (also Mk 13:13).”

 

Notice that the distinguishing factor is God’s Word or truth. The world rebels against God’s Word because the world seeks its own will or way. The world seeks its lusts and desires and rejects those who do not likewise. Jesus said: “the world hates Me because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil (Jn 7:7).” The whole world lieth in wickedness (1 Jn 5:19) – a house of bondage. This whole world has been coorupted with the devil’s lie and its thoughts, values, ideals, sentiments, ways, knowledge, systems, desires, and hopes are all opposed to God’s truth.

 

Those who do not walk as the world shine a light of conviction on it that its works are evil. 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Even so: Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God (Holy Spirit leading man through his faith in God’s truth) 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. We must live godly now! Recall: “the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness (Ti 1:1).” Also recall what Jesus said: John 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” To “know” is to live godly. Recall: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine (Jn 17:7).”

 

The religious Jews at the time of Christ rejected the baptism of repentance that John the Baptist preached (Mk 11:30-31). Luke 7:30, “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.” These religious Jews rejected the message of repentance, mercy and reconciliation that Jesus brought. Modern religious man does the same with his doctrines, rituals and theologies. These men labor hard to separate submission and obedience to God from receiving or possessing salvation. They even say the repentance is a work and that works do not save (Eph 5:6-8). They are truly ignorant of God’s Word and do not have eyes to see (discussed in Chapter 9, “Having Eyes to See”). The author has even heard tell that some religious men consider the kingdom of God and salvation to be two separate things.

 

These are: 2 Timothy 3:7, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Why? Because they do not walk the truth. To “know” is to “do.” They reject daily submission and obedience to God in all things. This denies the lusts and desires of the flesh. Knowledge of the truth leads to godliness which is to fear God and depart from evil. In other words, to love God and to stop being led about by the lusts and desires of the flesh. Remember: Galatians 5:24, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” To crucify is to “put to death.” Romans 8:13, “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”

 

The world is opposite of God in every respect. Unrighteous men gladly suffer the effects of not walking in the Lord’s truth so as to realize the lusts and desires of their flesh. What we are talking about is that wicked men suffer the bondages, addictions, miseries, etc. (ultimately death) that the devil’s lie produces so as to continue to walk in their own way. For instance, alcohol, drugs, adultery, gambling, pornagraphy etc. will destroy their lives and homes (families), yet they will continue therein. Men may get extremely sick from consuming alcohol (headaches, vomiting) or taking drugs (bad trip, overdose, sickness), but they will continue to do these things. Men may lose huge amounts of money gambling, but they will continue to gamble. A man will absolutely obey a cigarette – if he wakes up in the night and no cigarette can be found, then he will go out into the night in search of one. When you walk as the world, then you partake of its burdens (loss of self control, divorce, addictions, perversions, obsessions, possessions, sickness). John 3:19, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” They love evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness (Ps 52:3). To come to the light requires a complete forsaking of the things of darkness.

 

Let us consider one last example of loving the darkness. Many a religious man who profess love for Jesus will routinely watch television programming that “without doubt” opposes God’s Word (just about everything shown on TV) and thus they take pleasure in unrighteousness – being entertained by the very sins that nailed Jesus to the cross. Here is great wisdom: Proverbs 4:23, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Love develops with the things you cherish.

 

Now let us consider this thoughtfully. The world is opposed to God’s truth and in rebellion to it. Is it any wonder that the world’s entertainment would glorify sin? The question is: how do you fit into all this (participation)? God’s Word states: 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12, “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

 

First we shall consider the “deceivableness of unrighteousness.” Deceivableness is one (Satan) who knowingly utters falsehood with the purpose to deceive; one (the devil) who declares to another as a fact what he knows to be not true, and with an intention to deceive or mislead him. Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil (Pv 12:20). So, deceivableness is to lead away from the truth. Unrighteousness is the violation of God’s truth (commandments, will, purposes, covenant). This is not having heart and life in conformity to the will of God. So, the “deceivableness of unrighteousness” is one (Satan) who knowingly utters falsehood (maliciously – deliberate intention to injure) with the intent to deceive one (man) to habitually (regularly) violate God’s will. This is what the devil does – “the workings of Satan” (2 Thess 2:9). The lie states that you can walk in your own way or will in your own authority. This exalts self above the truth of God.

 

Those who walk in such a way (by the flesh) receive not the love of the truth – they are blinded by self. This is to walk in darkness. They reject the truth because it denies self (your way). These cannot be saved and are damned because they believe not (embrace, walk in) the truth (Mk 16:16, 2 Thess 2:12). Salvation is through sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth (2 Thess 2:13). God sends them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. This lie is what the devil said in Eden, that you can disobey God and “ye shall not surely die (Gen 3:4).” This lie says you can seek your own will in your own authority as a god (Gen 3:5). This lie says, “do what thou wilt.” The devil labors hard to convince you that God’s truth shall ultimately not be required of you – that you can violate it and not die. Most men downplay true obedience to God because they’ve bought into the lie – they are under the delusion (discussed in Chapter 9, “Having Eyes to See”).

 

So, what shall we say about television: Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” Do we talk about God’s Word or do we “follow” God’s Word? Deuteronomy 7:26, “Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.”

 

The great condemnation is that many willingly place themselves in front of known evil and partake of it – no one forces them to do this. Adam was not forced to eat the forbidden fruit in Eden – he chose to do it. Man is not forced to sit in front of the wicked offerings of the world’s television – he chooses to partake of them. The choice has always been within you. Those who actually walk in God’s truth (apply it and live it) shall come to His light. Jesus said: John 5:40, “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” To come to Jesus is to leave that which opposes Jesus. So, many profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate (Ti 1:16).

 

A delusion is a misleading of the mind. Your opinions and sentiments exalt themselves above the truth of God. Most say “I believe—,” or “I think—,” while totally disregarding what God’s Word truly and clearly says. This stubbornness or idolatry refuses to yield to the truth of God. Deuteronomy 10:16, “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked (froward).” Those who partake of evil develop an agreement and relationship with evil. You ultimately defend and justify the one you love. Many will love and justify a known wickedness such as television, when they should be justifying and defending God’s truth. The darkness of the evil (i.e. television) has blinded them to the truth and the “delusion” has convinced them that they are correct. Evil clouds the mind and makes it difficult to think clearly. Even so, the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God (1 Cor 3:19). Those led of the flesh only walk deeper into the darkness (error) and further away from God’s light (truth).

 

Man is corrupted in mind (way of thinking). The carnal mind is enmity against God and is not subject to the truth of the Lord (Rm 8:7). God tells us: Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Even so, man always considers his way noble (exalted, above all, sublime). Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

 

Man is so convinced in the merits of his own reasonings that the ways of God are foolishness to him. 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 (also 1 Cor 1:18, 25, 3:19).” Thus man follows the flesh unto destruction. Proverbs 19:3, “The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.” The “delusion” is that you are just simply “right” – end of story. This is why man must die to his ways and yield to God. This is also why those who walk in pride (their noble thoughts and ways) cannot come to a place of repentance.

 

Consider the greatest prophet that ever lived and who prepared the way for Christ with a message of repentance. Luke 7:29-30, “And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.” Why did they reject baptism? Because they were convinced they were right and were elevated in their own way – self righteousness. Man must be led of God’s Holy Ghost rather than his own flesh (reasonings, ideas, opinions, thoughts, sentiments, etc.). Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” If you continue to walk in the flesh, even religiously, you do it to your own demise.

 

Jesus chastens one of the churches in saying: “I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God (Rev 3:1-2).” They considered themselves to be alive and serving God (were deluded), but the Lord saw it otherwise. 1 Corinthians 10:12, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” Seek God diligently every day. Be humble, exercise repentance, do well and live forevermore. Job 34:11, “For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways.”

 

Suffering for Righteousness Sake

 

We have discussed the fact that a “follower” of Christ must “come out of the world” and shall thus be “hated by the world.” One characteristic of a truly “born again” man is the willingness to suffer for righteousness sake. The prideful only seek to gain and cannot come to this place, but the humble shall suffer loss (longsuffering, forbear injuries, Eph 4:2, Col 3:13). 1 Peter 3:17, “For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” Matthew 5:10, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

 

We are told: “for thy sake we are killed all the day long (Rm 8:36).” Philippians 1:29  For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” – these shall not be ashamed (Rm 9:33, 10:11). Jesus suffered for us, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind (1 Pt 1:4). Ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings (1 Pt 4:13).

 

Let us try to put these understandings into an example most can relate to. Followers of Christ are to be lights of God’s truth for others to see. Matthew 5:14, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” This means that in the work place environment, you do not join in with all the talk concerning worldly things such as television, movies, NASCAR, football games, gossip, joke telling, looking at the ladies, etc. You do not build relationships with others based upon worldly things. That which you find agreement with becomes the love of your heart. We received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God (1 Cor 2:12). We are not called to be an ambassador for the world – the world has enough advocates already. We are to be the salt of the earth, not the image of the earth (Mt 5:13). We are to represent the kingdom of God. You do not participate in social things where drinking, smoking, flirting, worldliness, gaming, entertaining, etc. are involved.

 

In doing this, men shall separate you from your company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, revile you and persecute you for the Son of man’s sake (Mt 5:11, Lk 6:22). You may even lose your job. Isn’t Christ worthy of such suffering on your part?  Didn’t Jesus suffer for you? Relationships are reciprocal. How “noble” to suffer for the Lord’s sake. Our focus must not be on this world. Nothing leaves a greater impression than one who freely suffers for Jesus. As with the children of Israel, we are strangers in the land and shall be evil entreated (Deut 26:6, Acts 7:19). You will most likely find that the prideful (ambitious, loud, self centered, worldly) are repulsed by you and the humble are attacted to you.

 

Jesus tells us: Blessed are ye: Luke 6:23, “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.” – be exceeding glad (Mt 5:12). Do we take God at His Word? 1 Peter 4:13, “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” Being a partaker makes you relate with and love your Master all the more – the fellowship of sufferings (Php 3:10).

 

Let us take things down another level (very specific). In the author’s workplace there is an individual who chose to display several magazine covers/photos of a well known actress on the wall by his desk. In these photos the lady is dressed provocatively in suggestive poses. These photos seem to generate a lot of conversation between him and folks who come to visit him. One day there was quite a discussion about the photos of this movie star (actress/model). The coworker told his visitors that she is hot! And a babe! And that he is in love with her (infatuation). The others agreed and voiced similar sentiments. During the course of the conversation, a man asked who she had married and the answer was given. This fact completely eluded them in their conversation, but immediately spoke to the author’s heart.

 

After the visitors left, the author said to his coworker: “you know, that man made a good point.” He asked what was meant. The author responded: “you have photos of a married woman hanging on your wall.” To which he replied: “so what?” The author further stated: “she is someone else’s wife.” He then replied: “well, she chose to make herself a movie star and this gives me the right.” There was no reason to proceed with the conversation because what was said was not at being received.

 

The point is that man was being enticed to violate two of God’s Ten Commandments and this was also a direct violation of Christ’s Words in clarifying intent. Let us consider this: Exodus 20:17, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” This man was coveting another man’s wife, yet the ways of the world lead one to believe this is acceptable. Additionally: Exodus 20:14, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Jesus added clarification to this commandment in stating: Matthew 5:27-28, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” The Lord then strongly warns us: Matthew 5:29, “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” Television (and media in general) promote lust and desire and lead men to violate God’s Word.

 

The author will point out that his coworker does profess belief in Jesus Christ, yet the author’s comments were as foolishness to him. The next day this man brought in a new and more seductive photo of this same movie star. 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.”

 

Herein is the problem: The ways of the world lead a man opposite from the ways of God. The world’s television programming, movies, magazines, music, etc. routinely lead a man to lust after his neighbor’s wife (or husband, whatever the case may be). Why would a married woman want to make herself as a harlot to draw the attention of other men? Why would a married woman desire that men across an entire nation to lust in their hearts after her? Why would a loving husband allow such a thing?

 

The world deems these things acceptable and entertaining. Movie stars, singers, models, etc. want the attention and praise of others – this is PRIDE! The more sensual and provacative, the more the attention. The merchant men of the world market them this way and have become rich (Rev 18:3). When you willfully partake of such things then you are being led away from God and you violate His truth. My officemate was perfectly in tune with the world’s thinking and direction. Popular culture conforms one to it’s image and this is the image of Satan which is to do what is right in your own eyes and seek the imaginations of your own heart. This is to be guided by the lusts and desires of the flesh. This is the world’s ideals that a “follower” of Christ must not love or walk in.

 

Consider one last example. The author’s son related to him that there is a video game titled, “Grand Theft Auto.” This video game teaches one to take joy and entertainment in stealing that which belongs to another. This is the “forbidden fruit” that the devil tempts man with. Again, this is a violation of two of God’s Ten Commandments. The first violation involves coveting your neighbors car (Ex 20:17). The other is: Exodus 20:15, “Thou shalt not steal.” This further violates Jesus’ second great commandment of “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (Lv 19:18, Mt 19:19, 22:39, Mk 12:31, 33, Lk 10:27, Rm 13:9, Rm 13:10, Gal 5:14, Js 2:8).” This same understanding applies to the games involving warfare, killing, occult, sensuality and gambling.

 

This issue of taking pleasure in unrighteousness is so very serious. The problem is that most people think of God’s Word as suggestions and that somehow what they are doing is not “real.” They just do not think it shall be required of them nor do they think they shall be accountable to it (the devil’s joy). To seek that which opposes God and yet think it is trivial is to elevate your opinions and sentiments above the Word of God. The foolish make a mock of sin (Pv 14:9). The world’s entertainment, meaning television, movies, video games, sports, music, magazines, newspapers, etc., are opposed to the Word of God and leads man contrary to it – it makes a mock of sin (all make believe fun). Such media glorifies sin and creates lusts for things (Lk 12:15). Most take pleasure in the very sins that nailed Christ to the cross, but see no wrong or hypocrisy. Those who fill their hearts with all that opposes God simply become one with it. For as a man thinketh in his heart so he is (Pv 23:7).

 

Wilderness Temptations

 

Just before Jesus began His earthly purpose: “He being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil (Lk 4:1-2). We are told over and over that God trieth or judgeth the hearts of men and specifically the righteous (1 Chr 28:9, Ps 7:9, 11, 11:5, Pv 17:3, Jer 20:12, 1 Thess 2:4). Jesus was God, yet man; and was tempted in all points as man, yet without sin (Heb 4:15). We are further told that judgment must begin at the house of God (1 Pt 4:17). Therefore, let not any man think he shall stand before God and tell the Lord he doesn’t understand man’s circumstances or the temptations that man must endure. The righteous God has pre-empted and destroyed every argument that rebellious man shall conjure up to justify his wickedness.

 

And in those days Jesus did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God (Lk 4:2-4, also Mt 4:4). Adam, the first man, was tempted of the devil with food in the flesh. Adam chose to seek the desire of His flesh over the Word of God. Jesus, the last Adam or second man (1 Cor 15:45, 47), was also tempted of the devil with food (in the flesh) including the addition of “great hunger.”

 

Jesus correctly chose the Word of God over fleshly desire or need (i.e. bread). Recall that when the children of Israel were redeemed from Egypt, God led them through the wilderness, humbled them, and suffered them to hunger, and taught them: “that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live (Deut 8:3).” Jesus “undid” what Adam had done. Jesus “learned” God’s lesson concerning being led of God’s Spirit rather than the flesh. Isaiah 11:2-3, “And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD…” Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Lo, I come to do thy will, O God (Ps 40:7-8, Heb 10:7).

 

Those who “follow” Jesus must learn the same. The Lord said: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me (Lk 9:23, also Mt 16:24, Mk 8:34, 10:21).” To “deny self” is to walk humbly and thus yield and obey God in all things. To “take up his cross” is clearly a reference to dying (mortifying) to the lusts and desires of the flesh. The cross spelled death to the flesh – no coming back (just as with water baptism). As mentioned: Galatians 5:24, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” 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.” Just as Christ, man must now say: “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God (Ps 40:7-8, Heb 10:7). The “fear of God” places the Lord foremost in all things.

 

It is important to note that the devil tempted Jesus through his flesh. The Lord tells us: James 1:12, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” Jesus “chose” to abide in God’s truth rather than being led in the devil’s lie. Christ would later state: “the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me (Jn 14:30).” Luke 4:5-8, “And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

 

Why did the devil have power over the kingdoms? Wasn’t man given dominion over all the earth? The reason is that man submitted to, obeyed and followed the devil into his darkness. The devil stole man’s possessions – his life, his place, his authority. Man abdicated (handed over) his authority to the devil by honoring him in the place of God (in advance of God’s truth).

 

Notice Jesus’ response to the devil’s offer of great “things?” It is God alone who shall be worshipped and served. It is God’s every Word that shall be observed and lived by. Jesus did the “opposite” of what Adam had done. Christ did what Adam should have done. Jesus is leading man, by example, in what is acceptable to God (the great shepherd leads the sheep – He goeth before and the sheep follow, Jn 10:3-4, Heb 13:20). The devil ALWAYS comes offering “things.” The god of this world is all about “things,” pleasures, wants and desires – forbidden fruit – do what thou wilt – seek self. This is how the devil gains place in you. Man must learn that God shall not be approached through the flesh. The flesh must be humbled, denied, cast down – crucified.

 

The devil continues: Luke 4:9-12, “And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Such an act would have drawn considerable attention to Jesus. True worship (as lived daily) is direct to God alone and not self.

 

Jesus came with the Father’s Words and not His own. Jesus worked the Father’s works and not His own. Recall: Jesus said, “I can of mine own self do nothing (Jn 5:19, 30)” and “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me (Jn 5:30, 6:38).” Jesus further stated: “I seek not mine own glory (Jn 8:50).” Man does not make God his servant. Man is not to “not tempt the Lord thy God” to do man’s will, but man is to absolutely do God’s will. God (the Creator) does not serve man (the creation), but man shall serve God.

 

The only ones that Jesus identified His “identity” to were the humble. The “proud” religious leaders were very frustrated that Jesus would not reveal Himself. John 10:24, “Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.” They say to Him: “By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority (Mt 21:23, Mk 11:28, Mk 13:34, Lk 20:2)?” Luke 22:67, “Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe.” Christ’s objective was to draw humble men unto God – men that would walk the Lord’s truth. 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.”

 

Jesus said of the disciples that He specifically called to “follow” Him: “I have given them thy word (Jn 17:14).” John 17:6, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.”

 

Through the Lord’s Words and works (miracles) men marvelled, were amazed (God hath visited his people) and they glorified God (Mt 9:8, 15:31, Mk 12:2, Lk 5:26, 7:16, 13:13, 17:15, 23:47). Jesus put man’s focus back upon God. Jesus said: “Father, glorify thy name (Jn 12:28, 14:13, 17:4, 21:19).” Christ humbled Himself to the death of the cross to glorify God and do His will (Php 2:8). In doing so, the Father was glorified and the Father then glorified Jesus for all eternity (Jn 13:31-32, 16:14, 17:1-5). The humble shall be exalted. All power is given unto Jesus in heaven and in earth (Mt 28:18, Jn 17:2).

 

Be Ye Perfect

 

The children of Israel were told: Deuteronomy 18:13, “Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.” This meant they were to be as their God. The Lord said: “For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy (Lv 11:44-45, 20:7, 26, Num 15:40).”

 

Nothing has changed for those who follow Christ. Jesus explained what it means to be perfect in saying: John 13:13, “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.” Luke 6:40, “The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.” Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure (1 Jn 3:3). How is one purified? Ye purify your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love (1 Pt 1:22). To be perfect is to conform to Christ’s well pleasing image (Rm 8:29, Col 3:10). We are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor 3:18). Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” 1 Peter 1:15, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (lifestyle).” We are servants to God and have our fruit unto holiness (Rm 6:22). Ephesians 4:13, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”

 

Jesus further stated: Matthew 5:48, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” AND Luke 6:36, “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” In other words, walk as your God and be a reflection of His nature or truth. We must thus walk in mercy and truth to be as our Lord. Those “born” of God are “merciful” just as their Lord (Mt 5:7) – for they have obtained mercy (1 Pt 2:10, Rm 11:20). Colossians 3:13, “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Christ’s spilt blood gives them forgiveness of sins so that they may be pardoned from condemnation in order to walk in the truth of God (Rm 8:1). This is done through through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Pt 1:2). In other words, by mercy and being taught and led in truth by the Holy Ghost.

 

The “born again” man conforms to the image of his Lord. Colossians 3:10, “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” Furthermore: Ephesians 4:24, “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” The new man walks in the nature of his Lord. Those who follow Christ walk in God’s truth or nature and those who follow the devil walk in the darkness of fleshly lusts and desires. Romans 6:16, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” In other words, you follow after perfection whether walking in light or whether walking in darkness. You either conform to the image of Jesus or you conform to the image of the devil. You are perfected in righteousness or you are perfected in evil. Ephesians 5:1, “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children.” Children resemble their father. Those who walk after their lusts resemble the devil and are known as the children of disobedience (Eph 5:6).

 

Those who walk after the truth are born of God (Jn 1:13). 1 John 2:29, “If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.” The disciple or follower is as his Master. Jesus is the firstborn of many brethren (Rm 8:29). Brethren resemble one another – they have the same Father (1 Jn 3:11). 1 John 3:10, “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God…” Jesus walked the example of God’s expectations and said: “Come, follow Me.” Jesus gave His Spirit to dwell in you to teach and lead in “the Way.” For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him (2 Chr 16:9).

 

Christ’s disciples are counseled: “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness (1 Tim 6:11).” Righteousness is conformity of heart and life to the will of God. Godliness is to be “God-like.” This is the same as being “perfect.” The doctrine of Christ is according to godliness (1 Tim 6:3). Thus the truth is after godliness (Ti 1:1). Faith is the fear of God and this leads a man to depart from evil. The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way (Pv 11:5).

 

The Measure of Judgment

 

God has given all judgment to the Son. Jesus is the Son of God and Jesus is the son of man – the perfect judge. John 5:22, 27, “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son. And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” He shall bring forth judgment unto truth (Is 42:3).

 

Man must find agreement in Christ’s words to have life. 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.” 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 (also Ps 98:9).” The Word of God who is God shall judge man by the Lord’s truth. Romans 2:2, “But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth…”

 

Jesus specifically came speaking God the Father’s Words. God told man: Deuteronomy 18:19, “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.” All men’s lives shall be judged against Christ’s Words – God shall require it. Man has infinite ways to justify his actions, but Christ’s Words shall prevail.

 

The devil labors hard with the rudiments or principles of the world to convince man that God’s truth shall not be required of him (Col 2:8, 20) – that you can sin against God and “ye shall not surely die (Gen 3:4).” Psalms 10:13, “Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.” TAKE HEED! BE NOT DECEIVED! Man has infinite ways to justify his actions, but Christ’s Words shall prevail. Jesus said: Mark 13:31, “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away (also Mt 24:35, Lk 21:33).” If you desire eternal life, then you best be found living in that which is eternal – God’s Word or truth. Every one of us shall give account of himself to God (Rm 14:12).

 

Chapter Seven, “God Shall Send Forth His Mercy”

 

Man was hopelessly bound in the devil’s darkness under God’s condemnation of “thou shalt surely die. With God all things shall be possible (Mt 19:26, Mk 9:23, 10:27, 14:36, Lk 18:27). The Lord is a merciful God! Daniel 9:9, “To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.” God had a plan to restore and reconcile His creation of man back to Himself. Man did not warrant or deserve this, God is merciful! Micah 7:18-19, “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Recall: 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.” Psalms 57:10, “For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds (also Ps 116:5).” Psalms 100:5, “For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations (also Ps 103:17-18, 117:2).” We have discussed God’s truth, let us consider God’s mercy.

 

Consider the following account from scripture: “they feared not the LORD: therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which slew them (2 Kg 17:25-26).” They know not the manner of the God of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land (2 Kg 17:26).” The solution was to teach the people the “ways of God” – how they should fear the LORD (2 Kg 17:28-29). The Lord shall ye fear, and Him shall ye worship, and His commandments shall ye observe to do for evermore (2 Kg 17:37). 2 Kings 17:39, “But the LORD your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.”

 

The “fear of the Lord” is to walk in His ways and depart from that which opposes Him. This is life! To “not fear the Lord” is to do what is right in your own eyes and serve that which opposes God. This is death! 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer is on his way (Jer 4:7). Those who do not obey God are defenseless against the enemy who would swallow them up. Man’s only hope is to turn fully back to God. Those who “fear God” and walk in His ways (truth) shall be delivered from this devil of a lion who would swallow them up and slay them for all eternity. God is merciful and delivers with great power (to be discussed – Holy Ghost) those who turn to Him and find refuge under His wings (Ps 57:1, Mal 4:2, Mt 23:37, Lk 13:34).

 

The Lord God sent His Word in the flesh known as Jesus, who was filled with God’s grace (Holy Spirit) and truth (Jn 1:14). Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil who would swallow us up. 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.” The devil’s works were leading man to transgress the will of God. This was done by appealing to man’s flesh (lusts and desire) to partake of that which was forbidden. The works of Satan is “the great lie” that he is the author of that tells man he can seek his own will/way in his own authority and be as a god and thus disregard the one true God. The devil brings man to the opinion that he can “do what thou wilt” and “ye shall not surely die (Gen 3:4)” – that God’s Word shall not be required of you and that things will just all work out in the end for your benefit. Eat, drink and be merry (Lk 12:19-20).

 

Repentance is when a man turns from His way and embraces God’s way or truth. This is humbleness. This “fear of God” inevitably and unequivocally leads a man to depart from that which opposes God. Pride is when a man turns from God and embraces his own way. One cannot be more haughty and “lifted up” than to exalt His own way above the truth of God. Your opinions, sentiments and stubbornness in seeking and justifying your own way must be destroyed in you. The devil’s lie is “do what thou wilt” – as a god. Recall: Jesus, who is God’s Word and man’s example, said: “I seek not mine own will (Jn 5:30).” Christ pleased not Himself (Rm 15:3). Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Jesus came to destroy “pride” or the devil’s works in you. God’s truth destroys “pride” by opening man’s eyes to seek “peace” and “life” with His Creator rather than walking in great error that shall only result in death (Job 28:28, Ps 34:14, 37:27, Pv 3:7, 16:7). Proverbs 16:25, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (also Pv 14:12).”

 

Remember: Jesus came: 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 (mercy), and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me (Jesus).” In other words, to turn man unto God’s truth such that man can receive God’s mercy. Death comes by sin (Rm 5:12). So, mercy is only granted when one turns from the darkness to embrace God’s truth or light. Jesus gives recovery of sight to the blind (Lk 4:18, Is 42:7). 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.”

 

Remember: Proverbs 16:6, “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.” If you do not actively depart from evil in your life, then you have no fear of God – plain and simple. God’s mercy is for those who embrace God’s truth – who “fear God.” Jesus came to man saying: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel (Mk 1:15).” This means to turn fully unto God from that which opposes God. Psalms 61:7, “He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him.”

 

The lie is destroyed through truth. He teachest the way of God in truth (Mt 22:16). Those who love the truth come to the light. Jesus said: “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice (Jn 18:37) and cometh to Me (Jn 6:45).” Jesus is the Word and light of God. 1 John 3:5, “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” Jesus doesn’t “pretend” to take away our sins, but purges iniquity through mercy and truth (Pv 16:6). Those who hate the truth love the darkness and their sin remains (Jn 3:19-20, 1 Jn 1:6).

 

Jesus came as the firstborn or firstbegotten of God – meaning that many sons shall follow in His path (Rm 8:29, Heb 1:6), for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren, behold I and the children which God hath given Me (Heb 2:11, 13). Jesus is the forerunner (Heb 6:20)! The Lord takes away our past sins through mercy and stops additional sins through truth (men depart from evil, Rm 3:25). Recall: Jesus tells those who “work iniquity (they practise it, Mic 2:1)” to depart and that He never knew them (Mt 7:23). Also recall: 1 John 1:6, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” To “work iniquity” is to turn aside unto your own crooked ways (Ps 125:5). To “work iniquity” is to not “do” truth (violation of the truth) and thus walk in darkness. To “work iniquity” is to continue in certain sins (addictions, bondages) and thus not overcome them through Christ’s power (the Holy Ghost in you). To reject the truth is to reject mercy. Matthew 7:23, “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

 

We must honestly consider: “did Jesus ever justify disobedience to the will of God?” If we believe that Jesus came to do the will of God, then the answer must be “NO!” Had Jesus justified disobedience to God just one time then He would have aligned with the devil and his great lie. Did Jesus teach the way to God in truth or did he justify the devil’s path of disobedience? Isn’t it very odd that modern religious man does justify disobedience to the will of God through Pauline (based upon the writings of Paul) derived theologies such as “works do not save” or legalism? – Once saved always saved? Is liberty unto sin (Gal 5:1, 13, 1 Pt 2:16, 2 Pt 2:19)?

 

Religious man tells us through so many reasonings that you can disobeyed the will of God (if you have accepted Christ) and “ye shall not surely die (Gen 3:4).” This is a slight twist on what the serpent told man in Eden – amazing, isn’t it? The devil is the master deceiver and tempter (Mt 4:3)! Some go so far as to say that “repentance” is a work and thus does not contribute to salvation. In other words, they say obedience to walk in God’s truth is a work and thus does not contribute to salvation. So, religious man is all bound up in his own theologies to the point that he cannot state that sin will still cause death for one who has professed Christ. This begs the question: “then why must one even acknowledge God to be saved? Is that not also a work? The devil’s reasonings lead one down the path that God is there to please and serve man (an unconditional love God). This places the creation above the Creator which is the basis of the devil’s lie.

 

Is Christ a minister of sin? Well…what did Paul write? 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.” Did Jesus come to lead man to God or away from God? The answer to this question should lead you in the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor 11:3) – be not deceived.

 

Moses destroyed the works of Pharaoh. Jesus destroys the works of the devil. Pharaoh desired to keep God’s people bound in Egypt. The devil desires to keep God’s people bound in the darkness of this world. Pharaoh had many gods in Egypt and the Lord judged them all (Ex 12:12). Psalms 82:1, “God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.” Religious man also has many idols and gods which are false notions of the one true God. Many cling to a God of mercy, yet clearly reject a God of truth. What is the point of mercy if truth is swept aside? What is the point of forgiveness if the transgression is continued? Many desire a god who serves them, yet reject a God that must be served. Many embrace a Jesus who forgives them, yet reject the same Jesus who said, deny self, take up your cross, and follow Me. Oh, it was just fine when Jesus was walking the walk, but no so good when Christ says, “come, follow Me (Col 2:6, 1 Pt 2:21, 1 Jn 2:6).”

 

Jesus says to all: Luke 14:27, “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” Matthew 10:38, “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” AND Luke 14:33, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” God’s requirements of man are simple: EVERYTHING – heart, mind, soul and strength. Nothing can be placed “before” or “in advance” of God. Matthew 10:37, “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.” Luke 14:26, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” These words send chills down the backs of “proud” religious men who are not willing. Following Jesus will destroy the devil’s works or “pride” in you.

 

An example

 

The author has been told by religious man, on more than one occasion, that man is incapable of walking without sin (thus pleasing God) and that man has sinned in the past and will sin in the present and the future. This teaching is called the “total depravity of man.” These men are servants to sin and have not been set free (Rm 6:17-23). Jesus said: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin (Jn 8:34). Let us consider this matter more fully.

 

Suppose there is a man who has killed and is on death row awaiting execution. Further suppose the governor comes to this man with a full pardon from his crime and a stay of execution. Will this man be so bold as to tell the governor that he is going to murder again in the present and in the future? Very unlikely. Why? Because the guilty man knows that the governor is responsible for upholding justice and the law. The guilty man further knows that the pardon would be based upon complete reformation – forsaking his crimes. The governor will not free a murderer if he knows that he will murder again. The governor will uphold the law and protect future victims of the one who insists on walking in darkness.

 

What if the guilty man tells the governor that he cannot help but to continue to murder and that he is incapable of stopping? Does any rationale person believe that a man cannot live a life upon this earth without killing another man? If the guilty man truly could not stop killing, then what good does a pardon from the governor do him anyway? If a man cannot stop his transgression, then what good does a pardon do? The answer is absolutely no good. What this man desires is a license to continue to violate the law.

 

Every reasonable citizen will respect and honor the governor in this matter. So, where is the honor and respect for God – the Creator and life giver of all? Is the governor more righteous than God? Job 4:17, “Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?” If a man asks forgiveness of sins, yet continues to sin, then what is the forgiveness for? If the request is sincere, then shouldn’t one forsake the violation? If a man intends to continue to transgress the will of God, then why does a man seek forgiveness? No my friend, these only seek license to sin, not sincere forgiveness. Forgiveness can only be based upon reformation, otherwise it has no meaning. To be forgiven, you must acknowledge and be contrite over the wrong and then forsake any future violations. A future violation can only be dealt with by a future repentance followed by an additional pardon.

 

Most modern day religious men are merely a shell that is less than skin deep. Jesus told the religious men of His time: 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.” These are a façade or outward show with no real substance. Their belief in God does not effect the way they live their daily lives. What is meant by this? It means that most religious men profess belief in God, but live their daily lives very much the same as those who do not. They believe in God, but they do not “fear” God nor do they depart from evil or iniquity. Many profess Christ, but serve at their convenience. Most are too busy forging their own religious paths than to “follow” Christ! Romans 10:3, “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” Often, you must die to your religion to find Christ (consider Paul).

 

The children of Israel were told: Deuteronomy 7:9-13, “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 (those who cast His Word aside), he will repay him to his face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them. Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers: And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee.” Thou shalt be blessed above all people (Deut 7:14).

 

Clearly, God’s mercy and blessing was for Israel to walk in God’s Word. This is a foreshadowing! Christ offers mercy for the intent of restoration and reconciliation (Ps 23:3).  Jesus never abolished obedience to the truth. Those who sincerely “follow” Jesus are led in righteousness – in truth! Modern religious man often portrays God as an unconditional love God when clearly the Lord has conditions. If God is an “unconditional” love God, and everyone that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment (Mal 2:17, Rm 3:6)?

 

A Walk of Mercy and Truth

 

The Jewish religious leaders tried to trick Jesus in order to accuse Him with regards to mercy and the broken law. John 8:3-4, “And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?” They considered that they had Jesus in a no-win situation. If Jesus gave mercy, then they would accuse Him of not keeping the law. If Jesus said to stone her, then they would make Christ’s doctrine of mercy and truth of none effect. John 8:7, “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Jesus simply revealed to them every man’s need for God’s mercy. As for the woman: “Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more (Jn 8:11).” Notice that Christ’s mercy and forgiveness was based upon “reformation,” which is “to sin no more,” which is to stop transgressing God’s will – to walk in God’s truth.

 

Jesus then said: “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (Jn 8:12).” Those who follow Jesus must walk in truth. The evidence of this is that they no longer walk in darkness. Walk in the light as He is in the light (Eph 5:8, 1 Jn 1:7). He that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth (Jn 12:35).”

 

Mercy rejoiceth against judgment (Js 2:13). Why? Because God’s purposes are not to destroy men’s lives, but to save them (Lk 9:56, Jn 6:40, 2 Pt 3:9). The Lord’s purposes are to turn man back to obey His truth (reformation). 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 (Ez 33:11). The religious Jews who brought the adulterous woman to Jesus were more concerned with judgment – the death of the wicked. Christ’s concerns were to seek and save that which was lost – for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world (Jn 12:47). Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Judgment shall come, but now is a time for mercy. The “proud” religious men lost sight of their own need for mercy. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy (Js 2:13).

 

God’s purposes are that the mercy must result in an obedience to the truth – a purging of iniquity. Mercy must rejoice, not be grieved. Christ offered mercy to the adulterous woman, but told her to sin no more – to obey the truth. God does not justify wickedness, neither does the Lord require man to do something that man is incapable of doing – sin no more. One day, many shall claim God’s mercy when they had no desire for God’s truth. Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

 

So, Jesus went about preaching God’s truth and demonstrating God’s mercy for the intent to turn men back to God. The religious leaders had little regard for mercy. Luke 13:11-13, “And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.” The ruler of the synagogue was upset because Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath. Christ pointed out that they had no problem taking care of their animals on the Sabbath day – judge righteous judgment (Jn 7:24). Luke 13:16, “And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?”

 

Notice that the woman was bound by Satan. Recall why Jesus came: to preach deliverance to the captives, to set at liberty them that are bruised and for the opening of the prison to them that are bound (Lk 4:18, Is 61:1). Christ came such that men would love God and their neighbors – the two great commandments. Jesus came to destroy the devil’s works, including his religious works. The devil discredited God in Eden by saying to man that “ye shall not surely die (Gen 3:4).” The devil continues to discredit God through “religious” doctrines with essentially the same message – beware!

 

Blindness

 

The Lord told Moses: “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion (Rm 9:15).” God has clearly reserved His mercy for the meek and humble of this world. Psalms 34:18, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit (also Ps 51:17).” Isaiah 57:15, “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isaiah 66:2, “For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”

 

God’s mercy is for those who “fear” Him. Luke 1:50-52, “And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.” God shall only be approached in a broken and lowly way – no man shall boast in the Lord’s presence (Eph 2:9).

 

Let us consider a very real event in Christ’s walk that is intentionally filled with symbolism (double meaning): 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 Nazareth, 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 unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”

 

Bartimaeus was a beggar or one that had been “humbled” through life’s circumstances. He sat in darkness, but suddenly saw a great light (Is 9:2, Mt 4:16). The eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness (Is 29:18, also Mic 7:8). Jesus came to To give light to them that sit in darkness (Lk 1:79). Bartimaeus clearly recognized that his hope was in Jesus Christ. In other words, Bartimaeus sought God – he cried out to the Lord. Man tells one to “hold his peace,” yet Bartimaeus cried all the more. Bartimaeus was persistent and God heard His cry (over all the multitude of voices). Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you (Js 4:8). Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart (Jer 29:13). Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD (Zech 1:3). Psalms 119:58, “I intreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word (also Ps 119:2, 2 Chr 15:12).”

 

Jesus called for Bartimaeus and he forsook his old life (cast away his garment) in coming to the Lord. We must cast off the works of darkness (i.e. beggar’s apparel) to obtain the armour of light (Rm 13:12). By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness (the full armour is truth, righteousness, faith, peace, salvation, Eph 6:14-16). Bartimaeus never wanted to be the same man again- blind and a beggar. This casting away was very symbolic of repentance. Bartimaeus came to Jesus as he was, but did not expect to remain as he was. We come to Jesus with our blindness, but must not expect to retain our darkness – it must be cast away. John 12:46, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” Bartimaeus asked Jesus for sight (God’s truth, light in darkness). 2 Samuel 22:29, “For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness (also Ps 18:28, 119:105).”

 

The Lord gave Batimaeus sight and he “followed” Jesus in “the way.” Recall: Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life (Jn 14:6).” Receiving sight represents being “enlightened to God’s truth. Jesus is “the way” to God and Bartinaeus followed. Psalms 119:145, “I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD: I will keep thy statutes.” Lastly, Bartimaeus received new “life” in Christ. Jesus restored His sight: Christ brought him out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake his bands in sunder (Ps 107:14). Jesus saith: “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (Jn 8:12).”

 

Bartimaeus’ life was completely transformed. 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.” Does anyone suppose that Bartimaeus wanted to return to his darkness? Neither shall anyone who truly has seen the light of God’s truth. What about the multitudes that told humble Bartimaeus to hold his peace? 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.”

 

On another occasion, Jesus healed a humble blind man (Jn 9:1-7). The religious leaders demanded to know how this man could now see (Jn 9:13-16). When they determined that Jesus had healed him, they said Jesus was not of God and was a sinner because He healed on the Sabbath. Christ would later say: John 15:23, “He that hateth me hateth my Father also.” The blind man said: “one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see (Jn 9:25).” This blind man having seen the true light, then offered these “proud” religious men some wise counsel: John 9:31-33, “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.” These “proud” religious men were greatly offended that this once blind man (whom they despised) should attempt to teach them and they cast him out of their synagogue (religious organization, Jn 9:34).

 

The humble can clearly see what the proud shall always be blind to. John 9:41, “Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.” 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 (1 Cor 1:26-28).

 

Redeemed By Christ’s Blood

 

It was been extensively noted in this message that God’s redemption of Israel from Pharaoh and Egypt was a microcosm (epitome of something greater) of the Lord’s greater mystery or hidden plan to redeem man from the devil and fallen/corrupt world. God sent Jesus to bring the truth to man, but the Lord also sent Christ to bring mercy for man. Through “mercy and truth,” repentant man would be redeemed back to God.

 

In Egypt, God’s people were “passed over” for judgment by the shed blood of an unblemished male lamb – their lives were spared from God’s condemnation of death upon the land (Ex 12:5, 12-13). Furthermore, this final judgment would redeem Israel from the bondage of Pharaoh and Egypt (Ex 12:29-36). Afterward, Pharaoh and the Egyptians complied with “all” of God’s demands in sending Israel out of Egypt (Ex 12:31-33). God shall always prevail! – without compromise!

 

The Lord prepared another male lamb “without blemish” whose blood would redeem repentant man from bondage and a sentence of death upon the world. This “one time” sacrifice would redeem repentant man from the devil and the world (Heb 9:12). John the Baptist bore witness of Jesus in saying: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29, 36).” Christ’s sacrifice would obtain God’s ultimate mercy and forgiveness for humble men who would turn to God, embrace His truth and walk therein – to obey God and give Him due glory (Ps 57:5).

 

Jesus first came and spoke and walked God’s truth. The Lord demonstrated God’s mercy. Jesus concluded His earthly life by sealing His new covenant of mercy and truth with His own blood (Heb 9:16). Colossians 2:14, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” This allowed God to provide mercy and forgiveness for man’s past transgressions such that man could be reconciled back to God through truth (Rm 3:25).

 

Man’s transgression against the will of God was so grievous that it could not simply be overlooked or swept aside. The Lord does not just look the other way – for that would make God a liar and His Word void – null, of none effect (Heb 6:18). The truth (Word) must stand (immutable – cannot be changed, Heb 6:17) or it becomes a lie. God cannot change His Word, because then it would not be forever settled in heaven (as the Lord has declared, Ps 119:89) nor would it be unchanging (immutable, Heb 6:17-18) and this in itself would be a violation of His stated Word (Ps 119:160, Is 40:8, 1 Pt 1:25). If God allowed creation to transgress His Word and still live, then not only would it make His Word void and of none effect, but it would establish Satan’s word. Recall: the devil said that man (or creation) could disobey the Word of God and “ye shall not surely die (Gen 3:4).” If God dismissed man’s transgression, then the devil’s lie would be established and thus exalted above the truth.

 

God required reparation, which is amends or satisfaction for injuries and restoration of man to the former good state. Reparation allowed for God’s mercy because God’s truth prevails. Man was incapable of performing this and God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ was sent to die for us that man should not perish (Jn 3:16, Rm 5:8). 1 John 4:9-10, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (or act of appeasing wrath) for our sins.” Notice that God sacrificed of Himself for man’s undeserved benefit and this is love. Also notice that man’s redemption was not without cost (a price, forfeiture, loss) to God.

 

Furthermore, God’s mercy would have to be obtained through truth. An atonement would have to be made, which would allow man to return to God’s truth or light – that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth (Dan 9:13). Recall: repentance is to the acknowledging of the truth (2 Tim 2:25). Man MUST walk in God’s truth. The “mercy” is to accomplish the Lord’s purpose. God says: “they shall be my people (the redeemed of the Lord, Is 62:12), and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness (Zech 8:8).”

 

The Lord is merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth (Ex 34:6) – but will condemn the guilty – visits iniquity; no transgressor shall escape justice. God will not acquit nor justify the wicked (those who are unrepentant, Nah 1:3, Ex 23:7, Is 5:23). God would mercifully offer forgiveness and reconciliation to man in such a way as would maintain the Lord’s righteous and blameless character – according to the good pleasure of his will (Eph 1:5, 9) –  in keeping with God’s purpose for creating man (Rev 4:11).

 

Jesus concluded His earthly work as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour – a Lamb as it had been slain (Eph 5:2, Is 53:10, Rev 5:6). Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin (Is 53:10). In order to restore man, there had to be an atonement or propitiation. Atonement is reconciliation after enmity whereby reparation (amends, satisfaction for injury) is made by giving an equivalent for a wrong committed. Propitiation is the atonement or atoning sacrifice offered to God to assuage his wrath and render him propitious to sinners (disposed to be gracious or merciful; ready to forgive sins, Is 53:11) and allows the obligation of God to punish the crime to be canceled – results in satisfaction.

 

Since by one man sin and death came upon all men, then it would be equally valid if by one man obedience and life came upon all men. Just as all men have followed Adam in sin and have partaken of death, all men must follow Christ in obedience to partake of life.

 

Adam was the image of God (Gen 1:26-27, 1 Cor 11:7), but transgressed the will of God in Eden by seeking self and thereby brought death into the world and separation from God (Rm 5:12). Disobedience to God always results in death because you remove yourself from the only source of life (Rm 6:23). God’s Word was born as a man (Jesus) with no advantage over us (Mt 1:23, Jn 1:14, Rm 1:3, Php 2:8, Heb 2:16-17, 2 Tim 2:8). As with Adam, Jesus was born with God as Father (Adam, which was the son of God, Lk 3:38) and was the express image of God (Heb 1:3, 2 Cor 4:4, Col 1:15). Hebrews 2:14, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” – it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God (Heb 2:17). Jesus came to undo what Adam had done. Death came by disobedience to God; life would only come by complete obedience to God.

 

Jesus came to “do” the will of God (perfect obedience), which is what man (Adam) was expected to do from the beginning (Jn 5:30, 6:38, 8:29, 14:31, 15:10, Heb 10:7, 9). Jesus said: “I do always the things that please Him (Jn 8:29).” God the Father acknowledged this was true in saying from heaven: “This is my beloved Son (my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved), in whom I am well pleased (Mt 3:17, 12:18, 17:5, Mk 1:11, Lk 3:22, 2 Pt 1:17).” Recall: My Word shall accomplish that which I please (Is 55:11). God the Father also stated of Jesus: “mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth (Is 42:1).”

 

Jesus did not follow in the steps of Adam and thus did not seek “self (the flesh).” Christ pleased not himself (Rm 15:3)! Adam “pleased” self in eating the forbidden fruit (his meat). Jesus “denied” self in seeking to do the will of God – “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work (Jn 4:34).” Meat means food in general – that which is eaten. Remember that Jesus was tempted with food or bread by the devil and responded that man shall live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Mt 4:4, Lk 4:4). Bread also refers to food in general and is known as the staff of life (that which upholds or sustains, i.e. Ps 105:16, Ez 4:16, 5:16, 14:13). So, Jesus came and lived by every Word of God and thus did not seek self fulfillment.

 

Like Adam, Jesus was tempted to seek His flesh (through lust and desire). We discussed how Jesus responded to the devil’s wilderness temptations with His intent to live by God’s Word and to only serve God (Mt 4:1-11, Lk 4:1-13). Christ was born into the consequences of Adam’s transgression and remained untainted (pure, clean, uncorrupted) by it due to His complete obedience to God. Jesus did not transgress the Word of God (law), not even one single time – perfect obedience and thus no sin (Jn 8:46, 2 Cor 5:21, Heb 4:15, 1 Pt 2:22). Thus Christ overcame the world (Jn 16:33, Rev 3:21). Jesus did not “follow” the devil in his lie, but walked in God’s truth.

 

Jesus was the ONLY one qualified to offer atonement (offering an equivalent for the wrong committed) for man. To provide the atonement and propitiate (appease God’s wrath against sinful and rebellious man), Jesus would have to sacrifice His perfect life (Heb 1:3, 9:28) by assuming Adam’s transgression (the sin of all men) and paying the penalty of transgression, which is death (the condemnation – “thou shalt surely die”).

 

The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me (Rm 15:3). Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way (seeking self); and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Isaiah 9:4-5, “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 (restored to God).” Isaiah 53:11, “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.”

 

Adam had sacrificed his perfect life to seek self (pride) and thus disobeyed the will of God and brought death. Jesus sacrificed His perfect life to deny self (meek) and obey God’s will and thus brought life. 1 Corinthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” AND 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.” Those who follow in the steps of Adam partake of sin and shall die. Those who follow in the steps of Christ partake of righteousness and shall live. Remember, Christ is the firstborn of many brethren (Rm 8:29). These walk as Jesus did (conforming to His image, Rm 8:29) in obeying the will of God and not seeking the will of the flesh. In doing so, they are “made” righteous and “made” alive. Righteousness which is conformity of heart and life to the will of God is man’s life.

 

Man has similar choices to make. A man can sacrifice self and his desires in this life and seek God’s will or a man can sacrifice God and his way and seek self will. Jesus said it like this: 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.”

 

God’s people, the children of Israel, came down to Egypt to sojourn. Pharaoh and Egypt stole them and placed them in bitter bondage and killed their children (Ex 1:11-22). Israel was forced to serve Pharaoh (taskmaster) under threat of destruction – he overcame them. God delivered Israel from Egypt to do them good – to bring them to a Promised Land that flowed with milk and honey – to bless them. God desired Israel to freely serve Him, which is certainly the honor due the Creator.

 

Similarly, the devil came with subtility and stole God’s people (man). He robbed man of his place (dominion over the earth) and life in God (i.e. Gen 27:35). Isaiah 42:22, “But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.” The devil is a murderer (him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, Heb 2:14), thief and a robber (Jn 10:1).

 

Jesus stated: John 10:10, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Christ says: “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine (Is 43:1). Jesus leads man out of bondage to freely serve God. Jesus only wants “good” and “life” for man – an eternal inheritance (Acts 26:18, Rm 8:17, Eph 1:11, Col 1:2, 3:24, Heb 9:15). The Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them (Lk 9:56). We overcome Pharaoh/devil by walking with our God (in His refuge). You cannot overcome Pharaoh/devil by dwelling in has midst (walking in darkness).

 

Religious man (Jews) sacrificed Jesus for the benefit of self and this is hatred (Jn 11:48, Acts 2:23, 3:14-15). Psalms 109:5, “And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.” – They hated me without a cause (Jn 15:25). Christ willingly laid down His life and died for the benefit of man and this is love (Jn 10:15, 1 Jn 3:16). Jesus freely gave Himself for the life of the world and for the will of God (Mt 26:39, 42, Jn 6:51). The Lord walked the two great commandments.

 

It was prophesied of Jesus: Psalms 69:4, “They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.” Jesus came to give Himself for the benefit of man – the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me (Ps 69:9). Man had no reason to hate Him. Psalms 69:20, “Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.” Christ restored man’s fellowship with God and brought about “peace.” Blessed are the peacemakers (Mt 5:9).

 

Christ’s perfect life on earth merited eternal life. Jesus did not transgress God’s will at anytime and was not subject to the condemnation of death. Jesus made amends for man’s transgressions and brought about reparation (satisfaction, recompense, Is 53:11) before God by giving an equivalent for the wrong man committed. Jesus exchanged His perfect life for the sin of the world, taking upon Himself man’s transgressions, and suffering the penalty of death (Heb 2:9, Is 53:12). He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was He stricken (Is 9:8).” Colossians 1:20, “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven (also Acts 3:21).” Ephesians 2:13-14, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off (in darkness) are made nigh (brought into the light) by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace (with God), who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall (the sins that separate) of partition between us.”

 

The “blood of His cross” was payment for man’s sins (thou shalt surely die, Gen 2:17). The life is in the blood and Jesus gave His life for man (Lev 17:11, 1 Jn 3:16)! He hath poured out his soul unto death (Is 9:12). Repentant man is Christ’s purchased possession (Eph 1:14) – ye are bought with a price (1 Cor 6:20, 7:23). Christ fully committed Himself to the Father: Psalms 31:5, “Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.” Man must completely commit himself to God – heart, soul, mind and strength. Jesus is the firstborn and leads those who shall follow (Jn 10:4, Rm 8:29). Man’s cross is a dying to the will of the flesh and a following of Christ in the truth of God, which may or may not be sealed in one’s own blood (some are martyred).

 

Christ secured God’s mercy for man with His own blood (obtained eternal redemption, Heb 9:12, Rev 5:9-10). – He had by Himself (should taste death for every man, Heb 2:9) purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high (Heb 1:3). 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.” Jesus “paid in full” the penalty or condemnation for those who walk after Him (by the Spirit – as He walked). Nothing changes for those who walk after the flesh – religious or not (no mercy to transgress), they are still under the condemnation of death. Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help (Comforter, Holy Ghost, Spirit of truth) in time of need.”

 

Jesus was a peacemaker and broke down the middle wall of partition that separates God and man (Eph 2:13-14). Romans 5:10, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Man must now seek peace with God by forsaking the darkness (the devil’s lie) and coming to the light (truth). Man must come into agreement with God and walk with Him (Amos 3:3). The humble man shall be as His Lord in all things. Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Those who return to God in truth with all due love, honor and respect toward God have the Lord as Father again (as opposed to the devil – Jn 8:44). To these, Jesus gives power (Holy Ghost) to become the sons of God (Jn 1:12). Romans 8:14, 16, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”

 

Now God’s mercy is desired by most men in this world. However, God’s truth is not desired. Mercy is based upon truth and cannot be separated. To receive God’s mercy, man must renounce and forsake his rebellion to God and obediently walk in the Lord’s truth. Jesus says to multitudes: Luke 6:46, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” The Lord further says: Matthew 15:8, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” It was said of the children of Israel: Psalms 78:36-37, “Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.” Shall you receive correction (Jer 7:28)? Or is truth perished in you (Jer 7:28)? Is death to be chosen rather than life (Jer 8:3)?

 

The Veil

 

In the tabernacle/temple, the holiest place of all was separated by a veil (Heb 9:3). God dwelt within the holiest (between the two cherubims) above the mercy seat. Hebrews 9:6-8, “Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: 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.”

 

Man was separated from God’s presence and fellowship through sin. Isaiah 59:2, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” The High Priest (appointed of God) went into God’s presence once a year with blood for the sins of the people. Even so: Hebrews 10:4, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” Those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually can never make the comers thereunto perfect (Heb 10:1).

 

An acceptable sacrifice had to be offered such that man could obtain God’s mercy and thus be reconciled to God. Hebrews 9:11-12, “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Hebrews 9:24-26, “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

 

Christ’s sacrifice was offered once for all and need not be repeated yearly. Hebrews 10:18, “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” Hebrews 10:10-14, “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

 

So let us fully understand an important event that occurred immediately after Christ’s death. Matthew 27:50-51, “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.” Jesus procured God’s “mercy” for man such that the veil which separated God and man was removed allowing man access to God through Jesus. Ephesians 2:18, “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” THIS IS SO SIGNIFICANT! Through Jesus, having been filled with the Holy Ghost, man now has fellowship with God. This is reconciliation through God’s mercy.

 

Man can now be made perfect. God gives man mercy in order to walk in His light/truth and to be as your Master. Luke 6:40, “The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.” Let us go on unto perfection (Heb 6:1). Jesus says: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me (Lk 9:23).” – that He might be the firstborn among many brethren (Rm 8:29).

 

Chapter Eight, “God Sent Forth His Spirit”

 

When Israel came out of Egypt, they were led of God (in a pillar of cloud or fire, Ex 13:21-22, Num 9:15-23). Exodus 15:13, “Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.” Jesus brought God’s truth with the expectation that repentant man would receive the truth and walk therein. God does not just leave man hanging to figure all of this out. The Lord leads forth and guides His people in “the way” and “the truth” with strength (the Holy Ghost). God sends forth His Spirit. The Lord “comforts” His people. Isaiah 48:16-17, “Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me. Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.”

 

In the last chapter, we discussed God’s great provision for mercy which allowed man to return to God and walk in truth (restoration) – that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth (Dan 9:13). The Spirit is God’s provision (means) whereby man is taught, led and empowered to actually walk in the truth (Lk 24:49, Jn 14:26, 15:26, Acts 1:8, not by our own power or holiness – Acts 3:12). This walk of faith is the “narrow way (Mt 7:13-14).” This is the path of “righteousness.” Psalms 23:3, “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” This is the way of the “upright (Pv 10:29, 16:17).” Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way (Pv 13:6, also Ps 94:15, 97:11, Pv 26:7). This is “the way of life (Acts 2:28).” Reformation is to abandon that which is evil or corrupt, and return to a good state; to be amended or corrected. The Holy Ghost is given to reform the humble and repentant.

 

This path that leads to God is set up in such a way, that the prideful cannot walk it (they have not the Spirit). Isaiah 26:7, “The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just.” The LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed (1 Sam 2:3). God filters out (sifts) all those whose hearts are not perfect toward Him. 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).” On this path, men are tried and made “pure” as by fire (trials, tribulations, persecutions, difficulties, etc.). Jesus baptizes with the Holy Ghost and with fire (Mt 3:11, Lk 3:16). The fire burns away the impurities. The fire also turns away the self seeking. No one who is insincere will walk a path that comes against the desires of the flesh.

 

Jesus told His disciples: John 16:7, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” For the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified (Jn 7:39). John the Baptist had been do emphatic that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Ghost. Yet Jesus had not baptized anyone with the Holy Ghost. Recall: man was separated from God through his sins and iniquities (Is 59:2). Mercy had not yet been put into place, so the Spirit had not be given by the Father (Jn 7:37-39).

 

After Jesus had been crucified and risen from the dead, He petitioned the Father for the “promise,” which is the Comforter or Holy Ghost. 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 (also Acts 1:8).” I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh (Acts 2:17). By the righteousness of one the “free gift” came upon all men unto justification of life (Rm 5:18). Justification is leading one to conform to God’s truth which is the image of Christ (Rm 8:13-14, 2 Cor 3:18, Gal 5:18, 1 Pt 3:18). The free gift is unto justification (Rm 5:16). When he ascended up on high, he gave gifts unto men (Eph 4:8). The great mystery: Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col 1:27). Paul said it like this: 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.”

 

According to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost (Ti 3:5). Regeneration is “new birth” or to be born of God. John 1:13, “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” In natural birth, God breathes a spirit into the body of man and he becomes a living soul. To be “born again,” the Lord breathes is Holy Ghost into the body of man and he becomes a new creature (Gen 2:7, also Job 33:4, Eccl 12:7, 2 Cor 5:17). John 3:6, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Consider an encounter between Jesus and His disciples shortly after Christ’s resurrection: John 20:22, “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” Thus: Romans 8:16, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” John 14:17, “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.”

 

Recall: Jesus was a Spirit (the Word of God) residing in a body (vessel of clay) with the Holy Ghost. Born Again man is a spirit (you) residing in a body (vessel of clay) with the Holy Ghost. Jesus was led of the Spirit and man must be led of the Spirit (Rm 8:14). Jesus was put to death in the flesh (crucified) and quickened (made alive) by the Spirit. Man must be put to death in the flesh (crucified – Rm 6:6, Gal 2:20, 5:24, 6:14, Col 3:3) and quickened (made alive) by the Spirit (Rm 8:13, Eph 2:1, 5, Col 2:13). Christ took up a cross and man must take up a cross (Mt 10:38, 16:24, Mk 8:34, 10:21, Lk 9:23, 14:27).

 

After His death and resurrection, Jesus said: Acts 1:5, “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” Notice the underlined and boldened words: “ye shall be holy.” This is what the Holy Ghost comes to do. Recall: 1 Peter 1:15-16, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” The Holy Ghost comes with great purpose: John 16:13, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” By the Spirit’s direction we are led on to perfection – just men made perfect (Heb 12:23). “As he is, so are we in this world (1 Jn 4:17).”

 

It was mentioned earlier, that when God purposes a work, He sends forth His Word and Spirit (Is 55:11, Ps 104:30). The Spirit is the power behind the Word (power from on High, Lk 24:49); the working of His mighty power – in you (Mic 3:8, Eph 1:19, 3:20). You are strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man (Eph 3:16). Your faith must stand in the “power” of God (1 Cor 2:5). God gives strength and power unto his people (Ps 68:35). The gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rm 1:16). Philippians 2:13, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” All things are according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will (Eph 1:11). 1 Thessalonians 3:13, “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints (also Col 1:22).” – that we should be holy and without blame before him in love (Eph 1:4). Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might (Eph 6:10).

 

The Holy Ghost dwells within you to make you perfect (to be as your Master, conform to Christ’s image), and to stablish (your heart), strengthen, and settle you in every good word and work which is wellpleasing in His sight (2 Thess 2:17, 3:3, Js 5:8, Heb 13:21, 1 Pt 5:10). To “stablish” is to make the specified condition permanent (i.e. in holiness – be ye holy as I AM holy). So, followers of Christ are to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Cor 7:1). Remember: by fear of the Lord men depart from evil or that which opposes the Lord (Job 28:28, Pv 3:7, 16:6) – they walk holy (Eph 5:3-4). To cleanse is to purify or remove that which is displeasing.

 

It was just stated: the gospel is the “power” of God unto salvation (Rm 1:16). Another way to say this is: “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit (grace and power) and belief of the truth (2 Thess 2:13).” OR Ephesians 1:13, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” OR “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (1 Pt 1:5).” For by grace (Holy Ghost’s indwelling) are ye saved through faith (Eph 2:8). So, the Holy Ghost (Spirit of truth that leads and teaches in the truth; God’s grace) + man’s faith (man’s love for God and desire to walk in the truth) = man being taught and led in God’s truth = salvation. Remember: Jesus came filled with grace and truth; and gives “power” to become the sons of God (Jn 1:12, 14). It’s not your works (ability, justification through deed, self righteousness, etc.), but you are the workmanship of God (Eph 2:9-10). God’s workmanship is that which is effected or produced in you by God through the Spirit.

 

So it can be stated: Romans 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” The Holy Ghost teaches the application of God’s truth to your life which is righteousness. The Spirit “quickens” or makes alive those who were dead in trespass and sins (Eph 2:1). The Spirit of truth is the word of God, which effectually worketh (of His power, Eph 3:7) in you that believe (1 Thess 2:13). The Spirit of truth leads in righteousness (never that which opposes the truth). Walking in righteousness brings “peace” with God – you no longer set yourself against God by transgressing His truth – that is, committing trespass and sin. The Spirit quickened us together with Christ (Eph 2:5).

 

Let us consider being quickened. King David said: “quicken thou me in thy way; quicken me in thy righteousness; thy word hath quickened me; quicken me according to thy judgment; quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth (Ps 119:37, 40, 50, 88, 93, 107, 149, 154, 156, 159).” God’s Spirit makes man “alive” in the truth of God.

 

This brings about a great joy in one’s life (Rm 15:13, Acts 13:52, 1 Thess 1:6). The Spirit brings joy even in the midst of sufferings (1 Thess 1:6, 1 Pt 4:13). The fruit of the Spirit (that which the Spirit produces in your life) is: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance, which is self control (Gal 5:22-23). Those who walk in the flesh are controlled and led by self (opposite of self control). The flesh does not want to suffer, forbear injuries, be denied, be controlled (submit), or make sacrifice. The Spirit leads opposite the ways of the flesh.

 

God has provided everything that man needs to walk the path of Christ. 2 Peter 1:3, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” Virtue is conformity of life to divine truth – this is righteousness. We are called to walk in the Lord’s truth – to be sanctified or set apart. Godliness is careful obedience of God’s commands or Word based upon love for God. The Lord is after the “pure in heart (Mt 5:8). This is also known as a “perfect heart (1 Kg 8:61, 11:4, 15:14, 2 Kg 20:3, 1 Chr 28:9, 19:9, Ps 101:2, Is 38:3).” For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him (2 Chr 16:9). A perfect heart is one who freely desires to please His God and does so through his actions.

 

Man cannot be saved apart from the Spirit’s workings and thus if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His (Rm 8:9). The Spirit seals you as being God’s and is the earnest of an inheritance (2 Cor 1:22, Eph 1:13-14, 4:30). Earnest is that which comes before that which is to come (i.e. pledge, an assurance of God’s future presence and favor). Jesus said: “whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost (blasphemy), it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. (Mt 12:31-32, Lk 12:10).” God’s Spirit shall not dwell in such a man. Furthermore: Ephesians 4:30, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” AND 1 Thessalonians 5:19, “Quench not the Spirit.”

 

How does one grieve the Holy Spirit? The Spirit guides and teaches man God’s truth – those things that Jesus had said. To grieve the Spirit is to resist (withstand, act against) the truth (2 Tim 3:8). Those who through their opinions, ideas, sentiments, obstinacy, actions, frowardness and stubbornness will not walk in the truth, resist the Holy Ghost’s teaching and leading. The “froward” are those not willing to yield or comply with what is required – disobedient, murmuring, complaining, and peevish. Those who lusts after the things of the flesh resist the Holy Ghost. Therefore, those who hold onto the things of the flesh and allow it to control their actions, resist the truth and thus the Spirit of truth.

 

Consider this in another way. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” The Holy Ghost is to sit in the seat of your heart in the temple of your body. When that which opposes God sits in the seat of God in your heart (center of your affections), then the temple is defiled. This could be idols or spiritual adultery (things loved, “placed in advance of” or “ahead of” God in your heart).

 

Preservation

 

God’s Word reveals: Hosea 12:13, “And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt (the prophet was Moses), and by a prophet was he preserved (the prophet was Moses).” In a similar sense: by greater than a prophet (Jesus, the Son) the Lord brought repentant man out of the darkness, and by greater than a prophet (Jesus, the Son) they are preserved (through Christ’s Spirit). Hebrews 1:1, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.”

 

So, it can be said: Hebrews 3:1-19, “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works 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. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”

 

Turning Aside from “The Way”

 

After God had redeemed Israel out of Egypt with a mighty hand, there were many who wanted to return back to Egypt because of the “denial of their flesh.” They turned from God’s light unto darkness again – their eyes were set on “self” and not God. There were others who became as the world around them and took up their false gods and evil ways. This is the “opposite” of repentance and is known as rebellion (Deut 32:2, 16-18). This is to forsake God’s truth and embrace the devil’s lie as man had done in Eden.

 

Moses told the children of Israel: Deuteronomy 31:27, 29, “For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck (seeking self, placing your will above God’s, exalting your own way): behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death? For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves (remember, corruption is disobedience to God’s commandments or truth), and turn aside from the way (to forsake God’s truth) which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days (disobedience brings curses and death); because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.

 

Even though all were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate of God’s manna (bread/food from heaven); with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness (1 Cor 10:2, 5). Why? They lusted after evil things, were idolators, committed fornication, tempted Christ (spiritual rock that followed, 1 Cor 10:8), disobeyed God’s direction, and they murmured against God (1 Cor 10:5-12). They were froward! Proverbs 3:32, “For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.” AND Proverbs 11:20, “They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.” Psalms 101:4, “A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.”

 

Jesus said: “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God (Lk 9:62).” Christ further said: Hebrews 10:38, “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him (also Rm 1:17).” They draw back unto perdition (Heb 10:39). Perdition is utter loss and entire destruction. Job 24:13, “They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof.” The Lord tells us: Luke 17:32, “Remember Lot’s wife.” God had delivered her from wicked Sodom, yet she looked back with regret for having left (longing, desire, loss). Paul said: Galatians 2:18, “For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.”

 

This is very serious. Hebrews 10:26, 29, “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” The Spirit only leads in truth and righteousness; to draw back is to resist, hinder, and oppose the Spirit. Similarly: 2 Peter 2:20-22, “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.”

 

Those of the children of Israel who were idolaters, fornicators, disobedient and peevish did not enter into the Promised Land. In the same way, those who are double-minded toward God’s truth shall not enter into the kingdom of God.

 

Many modern religious men tell us through their reasonings (theologies – not understanding the intent of mercy) that once one “professes” Jesus, he is always saved and cannot lose that salvation. Having “professed” Christ, they say that nothing that one does can remove him from the love of God. This is a lie of the devil who is quite comfortable in many religious organizations (fully consider Mt 7:21-23). Remember: the devil says you can sin against God and “ye shall not surely die (Gen 2:17).” The devil labors hard to convince you that ye shall not be held fully accountable to God’s Word. This is to hold the truth in unrighteousness – that is, to “know” the truth and still walk contrary to it (Rm 1:18). This is to obey not the truth, but to obey unrighteousness (Rm 2:8). You will obey one or the other – there are only two paths. Those who “profess Christ,” yet walk in darkness are just deluded/deceived that they even have place in Jesus.

 

Does not man still have a free will? Are not one’s actions the truest indicators of one’s heart? Mark 7: 21, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man (also Mt 15:19).” Jesus said that those who “profess” God and do such things are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness (Mt 23:27). They outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (Mt 23:28). They “make believe” that what is not – is, and they work iniquity (Mt 7:23, also Ps 37:1-2). Guard your heart as to what enters therein (consider television and mass media). Proverbs 4:23, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he (Pv 23:7).

 

Please understand! If you walk in darkness, you do not the truth (1 Jn 1:6). You are actually opposed to the truth – you resist the truth (2 Tim 3:8). 1 John 2:4-5, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.” God’s Word cannot be any clearer than this, yet the prideful do not have eyes to see nor ears to hear (discussed in Chapter 9, “Having Eyes to See”).

 

Can one continually walk in pride (darkness) and then just continually ask forgiveness? God is very merciful and forgiving, but know this: Galatians 6:7-8, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” God taketh the wise in their own craftiness (1 Cor 3:19). Proverbs 24:12, “If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?” Jesus judges (I know thy works, Rev 2:2, 9, 13, 19, 3:1, 8, 15) the very thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb 4:12) – the reins of the heart (the very seat of your affections and passions, Ps 26:2, Rev 2:23).

 

Remember, the only way you can develop true love for Jesus is to walk in His light. You and Christ must come into agreement and walk together (Amos 3:3). Your heart shall give up its secret things – your loves. Mark 4:22, “For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad (also Lk 8:17).” Perhaps you have no idea to the degree the Lord “knows” your very heart?

 

Stephen noted: Acts 7:51, “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.”

 

Circumcision

 

God gave Abraham the token of circumcision. Genesis 17:10-11, “This is my covenant (solemn agreement based upon reverence for God), which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.” Circumcision was a removing of the flesh. This removing of the flesh would distinguish God’s people from all others. Genesis 17:14, “And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.”

 

Circumcision was symbolic and had a much deeper meaning that was later revealed. This  hidden meaning referred to the removing of the flesh from the heart. The things of the flesh – it’s lusts and desires must be removed such that a man’s heart is fully toward God. The Lord said: Deuteronomy 10:16, “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.” To be stiffnecked is to place your will and fleshly desire “in advance of” or “ahead of” God. This is stubbornness and pride which must be removed to “know” and walk with the Lord. Circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit (Rm 2:29).

 

Israel continually trespassed against God. The Lord told them that if their uncircumcised hearts would be humbled, then He would remember His covenant with them (Lv 26:41-42).  The Lord said: “return unto the LORD thy God, and obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul (Deut 30:2). 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.”

 

God said: Jeremiah 31:33, “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel (those of the faith of Abraham, Gal 3:7, 9); After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” This is clearly referring to God sending the Holy Ghost after Christ was glorified (Jn 7:38-39).

 

Consider the “promise” from the book of Hebrews: Hebrews 8:10-13, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me (walk in truth), from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more (walk in mercy). In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old (also Heb 10:16-20).” Ezekiel 36:26-28, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them…and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God (also Jer 24:7, 31:33-34, 32:39-40, Ez 11:19-20).”

 

The Holy Ghost is the one that writes God’s laws in your heart and mind. These are written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart (2 Cor 3:3). Galatians 3:14, “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” The Ten Commandments were written in stone and man served under threat of penalty (it was not without fault, Heb 8:7). The two great commandments are written by the Holy Ghost in the heart and men serve through love for God. Having the Spirit makes us the people of God. Romans 8:9, “But ye are not in the flesh (uncircumcised heart), but in the Spirit (circumcised heart), if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” If you do not have Christ’s Spirit dwelling in you then you are not one of God’s people – plain and simple.

 

Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” is a clear reference to God’s mercy. The purpose of the “mercy” and “remission” of sins is so that repentant man will walk in God’s laws that are contained in His heart and mind. Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live (Pv 4:4). Proverbs 3:3, “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart.” Jesus through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, spilling His blood, so that you serve the living God (Heb 9:14).

 

In Moses, the law was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise (the Holy Ghost, Acts 2:33) was made (Gal 3:19). Jesus leads man back to the faith of Abraham and baptizes in the Holy Ghost so that man, through faith, can walk in God’s truth. John 1:17, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Abraham served God lovingly and freely from the heart. God said of him: Genesis 18:19, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” It is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith (Gal 3:11-12).

 

What is meant by “the law is not of faith?” You can serve the law through compulsion and threat of penalty and yet have no real love toward God or desire to walk in His ways. Faith reaches out to God in love and obedience from the heart. Through faith, one hungers and thirsts for righteousness (Mt 5:6).

 

The mark of the truly repentant and “born again” man is that he now chooses to freely serve God from the heart – a great “change” of direction. Serving God through free will love rather than compulsion (forced obedience) is known as being “pure in heart” – you have correct motives. Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” This is “well pleasing” unto God. Consider how Jesus was pure in heart in His thoughts and actions toward God. Lucifer’s heart was “lifted up” due to his own brightness and beauty and his mind was hardened in pride (Ez 28:2, 17, 31:10). However, man’s heart must be “lifted up” in the ways of the Lord, meaning that man desires to walk in God’s truth rather than his own desire (2 Chr 17:6).

 

Why shall they not teach every man his neighbour? 1 John 2:27, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you (the Holy Ghost), and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth (the Spirit of truth), and is no lie (does not justify sin whatsoever), and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”

 

There is a new covenant (Heb 8:13) – a new and living way (Heb 10:20). Jesus is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises (Heb 8:6). By His own blood Jesus entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Heb 9:12, also Acts 20:28, Eph 1:12, Col 1:14, Heb 13:12, Rev 1:5).

 

The devil had placed man into bondage by leading man to disobey God’s truth. The eternal truth is that disobedience (transgression) to God’s will brings separation from God and death. God could not violate His own truth, but offered an equivalent or atonement for the offence at great cost to Himself such that repentant man would turn to the truth and walk therein. Man was in bondage though his own free will choice. As discussed, the Word of God took on flesh (Jesus) and lived a perfect life of obedience to God the Father. Jesus then offered up His perfect life in exchange for man’s sins and suffered man’s condemnation of “thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17).”

 

Jesus redeemed man from the devil’s bondage by paying an equivalent and thus satisfying the broken commandment and just wrath of God – Jesus offered an atonement once and for all for man (satisfaction or reparation made by giving an equivalent for an injury). Jesus’ payment was with His own blood. Ephesians 1:7, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace (also Col 1:14).” This atonement allows man to fully return to God. Man must now choose of his own free will to leave the darkness and walk in God’s light (truth). Man chose to walk in darkness; man must choose to walk in the light – the reverse.

 

Receive the Spirit

 

Jesus said: “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 (Jn 3:5).” The people received God’s Word and were baptized (Acts 8:14). Consider this: Phillip went down to Samaria and preached the gospel (Acts 8:5). When Peter and John heard they also went down to Samaria (Acts 8:14). 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 (also see Acts 19:5-6).”

 

The people were first born of water and then of the Holy Ghost. This is not necessarily a “strict” formula (i.e. Acts 10:44-48), but one thing is for sure: the truly repentant and obedient to the Lord shall receive the Holy Ghost – he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him (Acts 10:35). For instance, Peter was sent by the Lord to preach the “words of life” unto the Gentiles. Acts 10:44-47, “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?”

 

In the case of the Gentiles, they first received the Holy Ghost and then received water baptism. The “uncircumcised (Acts 11:3)” Gentiles had already been “circumcised” in heart (God knoweth the hearts, Acts 15:8)! God knows how to give good gifts to those who ask Him (Lk 11:13). God gave them the like “gift (Acts 11:17).” God also granted to the Gentiles “repentance unto life (Acts 11:18).”

 

The Holy Ghost is given to those who obey God, otherwise there is no point. Acts 5:32, “And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” We might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith to them that believe (Gal 3:14, 22). Galatians 3:26, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” AND Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” So, we must conclude that our love, submission, obedience, trust, honor and devotion toward God (known as faith) submitted to the Spirit’s leading and teaching makes us the children of God. Galatians 5:5, “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” The Lord works His purposes in us and we, like sheep, just obey and follow. Jesus is the firstbegotten or firstborn of God of many “sons of God” or brethren who shall follow (Rm 8:29, Heb 1:6) – for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren (Heb 2:11).

 

The Holy Ghost works God’s purposes: John 16:8, “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” To “reprove” is to convince of fault. You must obey the Spirit’s teaching and direction – otherwise He is grieved. God does not tarry with the proud in heart. John 16:9-11, “Of sin, because they believe not on me (rejected the truth); Of righteousness, because I go to my Father (Christ was God with us, the Spirit is God in us), and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged (the truth has exposed/destroted the devil’s lie).” Colossians 1:27, “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

 

The Spirit leads you in a very real way in your daily life if you submit and obey the Spirit’s direction. The Lord says: John 12:25, “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” To love your life is referring to seeking your lusts and desires such as the desire for possessions, fleshly entertainments, popularity, love of money, sensual pleasures, filthy communication, idolatries, etc. To hate your life in this world is referring to fighting the lusts of the flesh in order to live within God’s truth. Romans 8:13, “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Colossians 3:5-6, “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.”

 

Jesus further says: Matthew 10:39, “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it (also Mt 16:25, Mk 8:35, Lk 9:24, 17:33).” In other words, he that sacrifices his life in this world shall find life eternal in Jesus who is “the Word” of God. For whoso findeth me findeth life (Pv 8:35). To live for self is to die. To die to self is to live. Proverbs 21:21, “He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.”

 

This is a battle that rages within the believer and the desires of the flesh must be overcome. Galatians 5:17, “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Galatians 5:16, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:24-25, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

 

Notice that those who walk in Christ’s light or truth have died to the lusts of the flesh. 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.” 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.” Romans 6:12, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” You must abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul that ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (1 Pt 2:11, 2 Pt 1:4).

 

Be as Your Master

 

Jesus said: John 5:36, “But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.” AND John 10:25, “Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.” Consider Christ’s works: Acts 10:38, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”

 

This book has maintained that Christ’s true disciples “follow” Him in all things. They are partakers of the heavenly calling (Heb 3:1). Jesus said: John 14:12, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” Why did Jesus first have to go to the Father? Recall: “having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this (Acts 2:33).” 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.”

 

As with Jesus, those who follow are given the Holy Ghost to bear witness that they are of God. The miracles are for God’s purposes and glory and not for man’s. Romans 8:16, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Now there are diversities of spiritual gifts, but all are given by the same Spirit (1 Cor 12:1, 4). The same God which worketh all in all and the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal (1 Cor 12:6-20). 1 Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”

 

Religious man fractures, disunifies and denominationalizes. The truth is that Jesus Christ and not religious man is head of the body (Ekklesia – see Chapter 10). Colossians 1:18, “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence (also Eph 1:22, 5:23).” The Lord adds to the church daily such as should be saved (not religious man, Acts 2:47). You are “born again” of God and not religious man. John 1:13, “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Ephesians 4:4-6, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

 

An Essential Understanding

 

This message has revealed that Moses was a type of Christ – a foreshadowing (forerunner) of the true Christ. Moses brought God’s law to the people (from mount Sinai written on tablets of stone). The people made a covenant (solemn agreement) to live by the law and this was sealed by the blood of animals. Romans 10:5, “For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.”

 

In the fulness of time, Jesus the true Christ came and brought mercy, grace (the Holy Ghost) and truth to the people. John 1:17, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Under Moses, the people were expected to live by the law. Under Jesus Christ, the people are expected to live by mercy and truth and have been given the Holy Ghost to teach, lead and empower. To “follow” Christ, you enter into a covenant with Him that was sealed by the Lord’s very blood. It was prophesied of Jesus: “Isaiah 42:6, “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.” Galatians 3:11, “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.” Faith is you love, submission, obedience, trust, honor and devotion toward God – from the heart. The law compelled one to serve under threat of penalty and you cannot be truly justified in it.

 

Jesus came to establish a better covenant. Hebrews 8:6, “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” Hebrews 8:7, “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second (no man is justified by the law in the sight of God).” Hebrews 10:9, “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.” Hebrews 8:13, “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” Therefore: Galatians 4:4-7, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Once again: Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

 

The law compelled and was unacceptable. Mercy and truth (through grace) can ONLY be accomplished through free will love from the heart. Under the law, the flesh of the foreskin was removed through physical circumcision. You were a child of Abraham by birth – physical lineage (descendancy). As discussed, under mercy and grace, the flesh of the heart is removed through spiritual circumcision. You become a child of Abraham by serving God through faith. Galatians 3:7-9, Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” – they inherit the promises and are the “house of Israel.”

 

Consider Issac’s sons Esau and Jacob (Israel). Esau was the firstborn and had the right to the promises of Abraham. Esau did not see the value and sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup (red pottage, Gen 25:29-34). He sought SELF over the precious things of God and rejected the Lord over a trivial benefit to the flesh (as Adam had done in Eden). Hebrews 12:16, “Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.” Jacob did see the value and greatly desired the birthright. Jacob sought God and inherited the blessings!!!

 

The covenant under Christ gives mercy so that you will walk in God’s truth. God’s grace (Holy Spirit) makes this possible. Hebrews 8:10-12, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people (which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy, 1 Pt 2:10): And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more (also Jer 31:33-34).” To “know” God from the heart (His eternal truth) gains favor or mercy (Jer 24:7).

 

As discussed, the Holy Ghost writes God’s laws in your hearts and minds anjd dwells within the sincere believer. The epistle of Christ is written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart (2 Cor 3:3).

 

Acts 13:39, “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Romans 3:20, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight…” Romans 3:24, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:28, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law (also Gal 2:16).” AND Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God (reconciliation) through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Galatians 3:11, “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.”

 

So, man submits in faith to the teaching and leading of the Holy Ghost and thus lives in such a manner. Now consider Jesus, the EXAMPLE (pattern): 1 Timothy 3:16, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”  Man must follow the EXAMPLE (pattern): Titus 3:7, “That being justified by his grace (the Holy Ghost), we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 1 Corinthians 6:11, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

 

It is essential that we understand what grace is: Titus 2:11-14, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us (the Holy Ghost teaches – Jn 14:26, 16:13) 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.” Remember: Jesus does no “know” those who “work iniquity” and tells them to depart from Him (Mt 7:23, Lk 13:27). Jesus does “know” he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven (Mt 7:21).

 

Chapter Nine, “Having Eyes to See”

 

Acts 13:41, “Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.”

 

The gospel of John records the following words of Christ: John 12:40, “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them (also Is 6:10).” For some time the author did not really understand the meaning of this verse and as such it pertained to him – he was blind. Why would God intentionally blind eyes and harden hearts? Proverbs 20:12, “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.” Certainly this verse is not compatible with most of modern day Christiandom and its theologies. Years later, after a close walk with the Lord and many sacrifices along the way, the Lord opened the author’s eyes to see and understand with his heart. This chapter shall consider this fully. Shall you the listener have eyes to see and a heart to understand?

 

This verse is a clear reference to idolatry. It is said of idols: Psalms 115:5-8, “They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them (also Ps 135:15-18).” Notice that those who erect or fabricate idols and those that trust in idols are just like the idols in that they have eyes, but they see not. We could easily add: they have a heart, but understand not. Furthermore, the Lord says: Isaiah 44:9, “They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed (also Is 44:18).”

 

What are idols? Idols are anything that come between you and God and thus keep you from giving your full heart and devotion to God. Idolatry is anything that is placed “above,” “ahead of,” or “in advance of” God in your life. Idols are things in your life that you glorify rather than God. Idols can be an endless multitude of things such as objects (possessions, collections, and things adored), infatuations (loves, passions and obsessions such as people, pets, activities, and entertainments), and covetousness (Col 3:5, things – founded in lusts and desires). Stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry (1 Sam 15:23). Why? Because stubbornness transgresses God’s will by placing your will “ahead of” or “in advance” of God’s will. In other words the creation usurps the place and authority of the Creator.

 

God says to these: Isaiah 46:12-13, “Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted (stubborn minded), that are far from righteousness: I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.” You must be saved from the corruption of the devil’s lie (not be found therein).

 

When the creation refuses to walk in the will or truth of the Creator it is known as rebellion (i.e. Ez 20:7-8). Thus the Lord says: Ezekiel 12:2, “Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.” The Lord further says of such: “a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day. For they are impudent children and stiffhearted (Ez 2:3-4, also Ez 20:21).” These have a stubbornness and choose to walk in their own way and are thus prideful. Ezekiel 20:19, “I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them.”

 

Vanity is the desire for one’s own ways and attractiveness or accomplishments and is considered a form of self-idolatry found in the image of Satan – it is untruth, false and a lie. Vanity has been characterized as the food of fools. Vanity is found in selfishness and is a facet of pride and is a fruitless desire that produces no good. Vanity is emptiness and worthlessness and is any thing or act that is vain, futile, idle, worthless and ultimately unsatisfying – as viewed from the perspective of God’s truth. Vanity is seeking money, possessions, clothing, entertainments and personal welfare such as health and beauty (1 Tim 1:6). We are to seek first/foremost the kingdom of God and His righteousness (conformity to God’s will, Mt 6:33). The prideful are lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; serving divers lusts and pleasures (2 Tim 3:4, Ti 3:3). These things manifest as idols in one’s life which are placed before God. This is the way of the world.

 

Jesus gave a double warning regarding this self seeking nature of the flesh. Luke 12:15, “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” Another facet of pride is “greed.” Proverbs 27:20, “Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.” Greed is the desire for possession or pursuit of money, wealth, food or other possessions.  Wealth is well-being or welfare such as money, real estate, personal property and health. Greed is usually accompanied by a lack of temperance or self control (although not acknowledged by those given over to it). Lust is the desire or craving for self gratification. Ecclesiastes 5:10, “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.” The Greek word for “lust” translates into English as “to covet.” Remember, you cannot serve God and mammon (material wealth or worldly gain, Mt 6:24). To be self seeking is to serve mammon.

 

Lucifer, the devil, embraced “vanity” – Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty. Recall that vanity is a desire for one’s own attractiveness. A table with a mirror is called a “vanity” because it is used to admire one’s self – or to beautify one’s self. The doctrine of the devil is based upon self – what makes you feel good. The devil sinned in that he took his eyes off of God and placed them on SELF – his heart was lifted up because of his own beauty and his heart was lifted up in his height (Ez 28:17, 31:10). Those who follow him conform to his image and develop a love for the one they walk with. He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity and he that soweth vanity shall reap iniquity (Pv 22:8). They trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity (Is 59:4).

 

The counsel of the Lord shall stand (Pv 19:21)!!! This desire for one’s self or self-idolatry shall not stand before God and the penalty is death. 2 Thessalonians 1:9, “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.”

 

Jesus offers us a cross. A “cross” is the “implement” for putting the flesh to death. Luke 9:23, “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.” To be Christ’s disciple you must “die to self” and put your eyes upon God. To “follow” another requires a yielding of your way. We are talking about meekness which submits to divine will. The ONLY way that you will ever “know” Jesus is to take up your cross and follow Him daily. This is where love develops. Ultimately you will confess and defend your true love, whether righteousness or unrighteousness (Mt 10:32, Lk 12:8). Will you take a cross rather than the dainties of this world?

 

In the garden of Eden, Adam made agreement with the devil and walked in his way. Isaiah 28:15, “Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves.” To which the Lord responds: Isaiah 28:18, “And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.”

 

It was stated earlier that Paul indirectly summed up man’s fallen condition in saying: Philippians 2:21, “For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” To seek your own is to place your desires “ahead of” or in “advance of” God. To seek your will MUST result in a lessening of your seeking God’s will (if there is even such a desire). To become “wise” in your own ways is to become “foolish” to the ways of God. Proverbs 3:7, “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” Be not wise in your own conceits (Rm 12:16). Conceits are that which is conceived, imagined, or formed in the mind; ideas; thoughts; opinions; sentiments.

 

All idolatry is found in the seeking of self, known as pride. Self fulfillment is the chief desire of the fallen or corrupted nature of man. This is the seeking of the flesh over the will or truth of God. The Lord created man to be a reflection of His nature, which is the Lord’s Word or truth. Man had entered the darkness of the devil’s lie and was thus made blind to God’s truth. Those in darkness cannot see. These know not the light (Job 24:26). The darkness is found in seeking the flesh (its lusts and desires) over the will of God (Job 24:13). Thus, when you seek your own lusts and desires, you are made blind to the truth of God. To walk in pride is to walk in the darkness which is to be blind to the truth.

 

The prideful cannot submit to and receive God’s truth because they are much to busy seeking their own way. The proud are led by the flesh and not by God’s Spirit (Rm 8:1, 14). The devil always leads man in the flesh through lusts and desires. This is how the god of this world “blinds” the minds of men such that they be not “converted” and “healed (2 Cor 4:4).” God allows this through man’s free will choices. The flesh is what keeps man from seeing God’s truth. Thus God hath blinded their eyes – this is the mechanism. Man is blinded and under the power of Satan through his own lusts (Js 1 :14-15). Man seeks his own will. Man sets up his own gods (idols). Man is led of his own lusts.

 

God trieth the hearts of men and permits the devil to tempt and entice, but not to force (Ps 7:9, Jer 17:10, 1 Thess 2:4, I Pt 1:7). Now, consider why Jesus came: 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.” Psalms 118:27, “God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light…” To have your eyes set on self is to not see God.

 

Therefore: those who do not retain God in their knowledge, the Lord gives them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient (Rm 1:28). Retaining God in your knowledge means knowing, understanding, fearing the Lord, who is truth, and thus walking in the truth. A reprobate mind is one that is abandoned in sin and lost to virtue and grace. Vitue is voluntary obedience to the truth.

 

This also applies to religious men in the following sense: 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.” In other words, their profession of God does not affect the way they live their daily lives. The religious world is filled with such individuals who have been blinded to the truth by the lusts of the flesh. If you are religious, yet walk as the world, then how has your religion benefited you or God??? This is a “not perfect, just forgiven” mentality, meaning “not walking as the Lord, just claiming His mercy.” Another way to express this might be: embracing the “neither do I condemn thee (mercy),” but absolutely rejecting the “go and sin no more (walking in truth).”

 

Those who mind earthly things become enemies to the cross of Christ (Php 3:18-19). – the cross crucifies earthly things. Romans 6:6-7, “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. For he that is dead is freed from sin.”

 

Are You So Sure of Your Own Way?

 

God will confirm our own idols back to us if we love not the truth. Ezekiel 14:3-5, “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them? Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols (also Ez 20:31).”

 

Do you see the magnitude of these verses? When we approach God with idols in our hearts (favorite doctrines, beliefs, notions, traditions, justifications, self-centered wants) or for any reason other than to know the truth (even if it disagrees with our entire understanding, doctrines and traditions) and to live within that truth, then God just confirms our own error back to us according to the multitude of our idols (2 Thess 2:11). God Himself responds to those self seeking prophets (Ez 14:9). God validates what we want to hear because we reject His truth (Ez 14:9-10). Our own error becomes a huge stumblingblock (of iniquity, Ez 14:7) that we now suppose God endorses. This becomes the strong delusion that is believed and accepted as truth. We have no real use for the truth, only validation of our opinions.

 

King Ahab (Israel) asked king Jehoshaphat (Judah) to go with him to battle to Ramothgilead (1 Kg 22:1-4). Ahab trusted in his false prophets – they told him what he wanted to hear (1 Kg 22:6). 1 Kings 22:7, “And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him?” 1 Kings 22:8, “And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.”

 

So how did God respond to Ahab (who was idolatrous and evil before the Lord)? 1 Kings 22:20-22, “And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.” Ahab trusted in his own way which became his stumblingblock of iniquity  – he died in battle (1 Kg 22:34-37).

 

God says of these: Psalms 50:17, “Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.” Where are those who seek SELF being led? Psalms 125:5, “As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the LORD shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity…”

 

How are Blind Eyes Opened?

 

One is blinded by seeking self, so one receives sight by doing the opposite, which is to fully seek God. The Lord says: Jeremiah 29:13, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart (also Ps 105:3).” Deuteronomy 4:29, “But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” The Lord says: Proverbs 8:17, “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” Jesus said: Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you (also Lk 11:9).” Paul said: Acts 17:27, “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us.”

 

To seek God is to come to the light. Recall: God is light (1 Jn 1:5). Also recall: the Word is God and thy Word is truth (Jn 1:1-4, 17:17). To have eyes and see not is to be in the darkness. Coming to the light gains sight. Psalms 36:9, “For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.” In other words, life is found in God’s light which is His truth. 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.” Life is found in Jesus and He is the path of life (Pv 5:5)! John 1:4, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” Furthermore: 1 John 5:11-12, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not 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.” 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.” So, here is something very importand to understand. If we forsake the darkness and come to God’s light and walk therein, we are granted God’s mercy – forgiveness of past transgressions of God’s will (Rm 3:25).

 

Christ brought God’s truth, but how does man receive the truth? Jesus 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.” We learn from Jesus and the Lord was meek. To be meek is the opposite of being proud. The meek are self denying – they put God’s will before their own. Jesus further said of Himself:  John 6:38, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me (also Ps 40:7-8).” This is being meek and lowly in heart. The meek sacrifice self for God’s benefit foremost and then their neighbors – this is love and is also the two great commandments. The meek come to Christ’s light. Psalms 112:4, “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.”

 

The proud have hardened hearts and cannot be taught – they do not submit to and obey God’s Word or truth – seeing he hath no heart to it (Pv 17:16). Psalms 10:4, “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” The proud receive the Lord’s rebuke (Ps 119:21).

 

The meek can be taught because they cast self aside or die to self. Proverbs 10:8, “The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.” The humble shall hear thereof, and be glad (Ps 34:2). Psalms 145:18, “The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.” Psalms 25:9, “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way (also Ps 25:4, 8, 14, 27:11, 143:10).” Lead me in the truth and teach me (Ps 25:5, 86:11, 15). Psalms 86:11, “Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.” God shall save the humble person (Job 22:29, Ps 34:18, 69:32). Proverbs 10:17, “He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.” Psalms 138:6, “Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.”

 

The devil tempted Jesus in the flesh with food as he had done with Adam: Luke 4:4, “And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God (also Mt 4:4).” The proud desire the “bread,” just as Adam sought self and partook of the forbidden fruit. The meek desire “every Word of God,” just as Jesus denied self and sought God in the wilderness temptation. 1 Corinthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 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.” It is said of Adam: 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.” One is “made” righteous by receiving and walking in God’s truth and thus their heart and life conform to God’s will.

 

Man is to desire “every Word of God” foremost and thus hunger and thirst after righteousness (Mt 5:6). Matthew 6:31, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?” Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” 1 Timothy 6:8, “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” The proud are opposite and seek the “bread” first and then maybe have some religious acknowledgment of God.

 

Man must first seek God and then the Lord will provide the bread, but often in leanness of flesh (Is 10:16). Psalms 106:14-15, “But they lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” 1 Corinthians 1:29, “That no flesh should glory in his presence.” The flesh is at enmity with God and lusteth against the Spirit (Rm 8:7, Gal 5:17). Jesus said: 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.” Bread is temporal, but God’s Word or truth is eternal. Jesus also said: Mark 13:31, “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away (also Mt 24:35, Lk 16:17, 21:33).”

 

When the flesh is made fat, one is blind to the things of God. So in keeping with the opening verse to this message: Isaiah 6:9-10, “…Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.” The heart is “fat,” meaning set on the things of the flesh – the bread; thus it is blind to God’s truth. Recall: this is to “have eyes and not see” just like an idol (you become as your idol) because you place things in your heart that “come before” or “in advance” of God – you seek first the “bread” and not “God’s Word.” Furthermore, all idolatry results from seeking your will over God’s will. Those who walk in the flesh are blind lest they be “converted” and “healed.” To be converted means have a complete change of heart and to do the opposite – this is repentance. To be healed is to be restored to the former state as before corruption. To be “healed” is to be reconciled back to God as before enmity. We are told of Jesus: Psalms 23:3, “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake (also Ps 31:3).”

 

It was prophesied of and fulfilled in Jesus: 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 (also Ps 107:14).” Notice the “good tidings” are for the meek which can be taught. Jesus frees the captives from their idolatry, addictions and bondages. The gospel of Luke adds: “recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised (Lk 4:18).” Recall: those in darkness cannot see and must come to the light. To forsake the darkness and come to the light is “repentance,” which is to be “converted.” Those who continue in darkness cannot be “converted” or “healed,” they remain as is. 1 John 1:6, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.”

 

To be Converted

 

To “be converted” is a clear reference to being “born again” – new birth in Christ. One is converted through sincere repentance. This encompasses: seeking God; having a contrite heart; brokenness; pure motives; the forsaking of evil; trembling at God’s Word, and embracing and walking in God’s truth (Is 66:5). This is a “complete” change of direction, which turns one’s life right side up. Repentance is to turn to God from idols to serve the living and true God (1 Thess 1:9).  Repentance is to the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness (Ti 1:1, 2 Tim 2:25). Godliness is to live your life in accordance to God’s will.

 

To be converted requires one to die to the lusts and desires of the flesh – to no longer be led and motivated by SELF. This is foolishness with the proud of heart and thus quite impossible for them to do. The proud become blinded to the truth because the seek the opposite of the truth foremost in their lives. The truth eludes them due to their own self centered (focused) heart.

 

The surest sign of true conversion is CHANGE. You become the opposite of what you once were. Change is difficult for the flesh and this is why the flesh must die – it opposes God’s truth. The flesh wants IT’s WAY, not GOD’S WAY.

 

Tearing Down the Idols

 

The Spirit is opposed to any idolatry in leads in righteousness. 2 Corinthians 6:16, “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Again, idols are anything man puts “in advance” or “ahead of” God. 1 Chronicles 16:26, “For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.” These are gods of money, careers, collections, entertainments, activities, infatuations, opinions & sentiments (Ps 94:11), etc.

 

The idols in one’s life are freely constructed through years of love, devotion, service and sacrifice and their “holds” become very “strong” – thus “strong holds.” All such idols are erected and served by “choice.” Idols are empowered through one’s devotion to them. Idols only have power over those who erect, admire, serve or desire them. The only way an idol loses its power (its hold) is through free will destruction or pulling down of the idol. Godly men are instructed to overcome all things that come between them and God (the lusts of the flesh and things of the world). In other words, you must freely forsake and depart from evil to walk in God’s truth. The destruction of this idol frees this man from the bondage of the flesh which is the addiction and loss of self control regarding possessions. The destruction of the idol sets you free.

 

This was in every sense a battle of “good verses evil” or “light verses darkness”– a spiritual struggle to determine who will prevail. The Holy Spirit is God girding you with strength unto the battle (Ps 18:39). For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds (2 Cor 10:4). Man must overcome. 1 John 5:2-4, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” Recall: the greatest commandment is thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind (Lk 10:27). So, to have total devotion to God is to keep the greatest commandment, which is to overcome this world. The keeping of this great commandment demonstrates faith which is your love, submission, obedience, trust, honor, and devotion toward God.

 

God’s truth opens our eyes such that we freely depart from those things that oppose God’s truth and then the devil’s works are destroyed in us. The strongholds are overcome and torn down and thus the addictions lose their power over us. We can now boldly proclaim: John 8:36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” This is a daily walk through life’s situations and circumstances. Truth is grasped or rejected through daily choices that you freely make. What you embrace and what you reject paints a picture of your life, which the Lord beholds.

 

The Spirit of grace is the Holy Ghost. God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (Js 4:6, 1 Pt 5:5-6). In other words, God resists those who seek self and walk in their own way, but gives the Holy Ghost to those who deny self and walk in the Lord’s way. James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” The devil leads man in the way of the flesh which is contrary to the will of God. James 4:10, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”

 

Give God His due: 1 Chronicles 16:25, “For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods.” Psalms 57:5, “Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.” Recall: fear of the Lord will lead a man to depart from that which opposes God and thus the Lord shall be above all. 1 Chronicles 16:29, “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.” The offering you must bring is the sacrifice of self and your idols – the pulling down of your “strong holds.” If there is a willing heart, then God shall provide the way.

 

Gideon was required to pull down his gods – his idols, before he could serve the living God. Judges 6:25-28, “And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father’s household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built.” Gideon sacrificed his idol and replaced it with an altar to God and this was his offering to the Lord. The idol was cast down and God was exalted. Gideon went on to do miraculous things for the Lord’s purposes.

 

As mentioned at the start of this message, these things that man places “before” God are thieves and robbers in that they blind man such that he cannot be “converted” or “healed” and thus have eternal salvation (Jn 10:8). When God is put foremost and these strongholds are torn down, then man can be “converted” and “healed.” Recall: Jesus came to preach deliverance (proclaim liberty) to the captives (Is 61:1, Lk 4:18). In Christ’s parable of the seeds: Luke 8:12, “Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.” In other words, lest they should be “converted” and “healed.”

 

Jesus provided four essential things for man’s restoration and reconciliation to God (Ps 28:8). 1) Jesus brought God’s Word or truth to man as a man; 2) Jesus is God’s example for man to follow; 3) Jesus provided mercy by exchanging His perfect and righteous life for man’s transgressions (Heb 9:28, 1 Jn 2:2) and then suffered man’s condemnation of “thou shalt surely die” and died in the place of man (providing redemption of the transgressions, Heb 9:15); and 4) Jesus procured the promise of the Father which is the Holy Ghost and shed forth (Acts 2:33, Ps 68:18). Recall: Jesus is “the Word” that was sent by the Father (Is 55:11, Jn 5:30, 7:28, 8:29, 42, 12:45, 49, 17:23). Isaiah 53:5, “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 (1 Pt 2:24).” Jesus was sent with God’s Word or truth. Jesus died to procure God’s mercy. By mercy and truth man is “healed,” which is to be restored and reconciled with God, thus obtaining “peace.”

 

Unto You it is Given to “Know” or “See”

 

At the beginning of this message it was stated that to seek the flesh through lusts and desire and to place things “before” God results in blindness – eyes have they, but they see not (Ps 115:5). This results is hardness of heart which makes God’s Word foolish to man that he comprehends it not. 2 Corinthians 4:4, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” The devil blinds man by appealing to man to seek his flesh and thus to continue to walk in darkness.

 

Jesus said to His disciples: Mark 4:11-12, “…Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 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.” Why was it given to Christ’s disciples to know, yet not to others? – to “see” the Lord’s light? The reason is because when Jesus “called” these men sacrificed all to follow. In other words, they humbled themselves and thus denied self in order to walk in the truth. Matthew 4:18-22, “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.” Matthew 9:9, “And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.”

 

These men left careers and families to walk with Jesus. These men obeyed Christ’s call and became part of His family. Jesus is the firstborn of many brethren (Rm 8:29). Brethren are brothers – they have the same Father. Jesus is “The Son of God;” those who follow become “sons of God.” Jesus said: Matthew 12:50, “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Recall: Romans 8:14, 16, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty (2 Cor 6:18).”  1 Thessalonians 5:5, “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” Ye are the children of light because you walk in the light or Word of God.

 

A parable is a way of expressing a truth or principle in such a way that only certain ones shall understand it. Proverbs 28:5, “Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.” Jesus said: Matthew 13:13, “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” Those who truly seek God and His righteousness shall be given eyes to see. Recall: recovering of sight to the blind  – To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light (Lk 4:18, Acts 26:18).

 

When asked when the kingdom of God should come, Jesus said: Luke 17:21, “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” The ability to seek God, to desire the truth, to come to the light is within each man. 1 Timothy 2:4, “God will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” God has given man a free will just as Adam had a free will to choose between the two specified trees in Eden. Man chooses to obey or to disobey God. Man chooses to be righteous or unrighteous; to erect idols or to pull them down. Man chooses a broad well traveled way or a narrow few traveled way (Mt 7:13-14). Paul said: “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Php 2:12).” God will deliver the sincere and repentant from the “power” of darkness into the kingdom of Christ (Col 1:13).

 

Peter was praised for recognizing that Jesus was the Christ and prophet that would be raised from among the people to speak God’s truth (Mt 16:16-17, Acts 3:22-23). Just after this, Peter was rebuked: Matthew 16:21-23, “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”

 

God and His will must be placed above all human relationships. Jesus said: Matthew 10:37, “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 Luke 14:26, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Anything that comes “before” or in advance of God blinds one to the truth of God. Adam disobeyed the commandment in the garden of Eden because Eve his wife gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat (Gen 3:6). Solomon’s wives turned his heart away after their gods and he set up many idols (1 Kgs 11:1-11). 1 Kings 11:6, “And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.” King Asa did good in that he removed his mother from being queen because she had made an idol in a grove (1 Kg 15:12-13, 2 Chr 15:16). Asa also put away the abominable idols out of all the land and entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God with all his heart and soul (2 Chr 15:8, 12, 15). Asa’s heart was perfect all his days (2 Chr 15:17).

 

King Hezekiah also made a covenant with the Lord and sought God with all his heart (2 Kgs 18:3, 5, 2 Chr 29:10, 31:21). Hezekiah told the people: “Now be ye not stiffnecked or stubborn, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him. (2 Chr 30:8-9).” Many of the people humbled themselves and then cast down the idols that were in the land (2 Kgs 18:4-6, 2 Chr 30:11, 14). They went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all (2 Chr 31:1). The Lord was so pleased with Hezekiah that He increased his life by fifteen years (2 Kgs 20:1-6, 2 Chr 31:30, 32:26).

 

Chapter Ten, “A King and His Kingdom”

 

The Lord God came to Egypt to take a kingdom unto Himself. Moses was sent to bring froth this people. Deuteronomy 4:32-34, “For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it? Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes (also Ex 4:1-9, 29-31, Deut 6:21-22, 1 Chr 16:24)?” Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee: thou heardest his words and He brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power out of Egypt (Deut 4:36-37, 1 Chr 16:12).

 

Israel would be God’s peculiar people “if” they would obey the Lord’s voice indeed, and keep His covenant (Ex 19:5, Deut 4:2-5, 8-9, 13-14, 29-30, 5:10, 6:4-9, 7:10, 1 Chr 16:15-17, etc.). Deuteronomy 7:6, “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth (also Deut 29:13).” Deuteronomy 13:4, “Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him (also Deut 13:18).” Ultimately most of the people did not obediently cleave to God after all the signs and wonders He had done among them and the great deliverance He had wrought (Num 14:11).

 

So, we can conclude that God sent Moses with His Word and many miracles that the people might believe. God’s purpose was to take a people for Himself out of the wickedness of Egypt. The Lord redeemed them out of bondage with His strong hand. This people would be God’s nation to walk in His truth. Of this people, only a remnant would actually walk in His truth. This was a foreshadow of greater things…

 

Similarly, God sent Jesus (Word of God who is God which took on flesh and came to the earth as a man) to take out of the world a people for his name (Acts 15:14, 19). God spoke directly to the people as a man. Jesus came doing great signs and wonders. Jesus came and spoke God’s Words that He might instruct, lead and sanctify (set apart) repentant man in the truth (Jn 17:17, Ps 25:9, Is 2:3, 48:17). Acts 15:17, “That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.” Even so, the majority of man is prideful. Jesus said: John 4:48, “…Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” Yet ultimately: John 12:37, “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him.” A remnant (scrap) that are humble shall believe and these are the ones the Lord desires – He shall fetch thee (Rm 9:27).

 

Jesus, through mercy, leads a humble and repentant people out of the darkness of this fallen world into the light of God’s truth. I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved (Rm 9:25). These are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people established in truth (1 Pt 2:9, 2 Pt 1:12). Romans 9:26, “And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.” Jesus made a new covenant and sealed it in His own blood (Jer 31:31-34, 32:39-40, Heb 8:13, 9:12, 12:24, 13:12, Rev 1:5).

 

Jesus testified of the world that the works thereof are evil (Jn 7:7). Similarly, all the nations of this world are unrighteous. The world rebels against God’s Word because it has made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement (Is 28:15). When Christ came to this earth, He did not come to reform the kingdoms of this world, but rather to establish the kingdom of God. Jesus: Galatians 1:4, “Gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” Man must come out from among them (the world) and make a covenant with Christ and with truth be in agreement (2 Cor 6:17, Rev 18:4).

 

The Lord says of His followers: John 17:14-17, “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. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth (also Jn 15:19).” Whose “word” one follows is what is at issue. The devil’s word is a temporal lie. God’s Word is the eternal truth. Who are you in agreement with? Your life on this earth must align with your answer to have merit. Rebellious man followed the devil’s word into the darkness. Repentant man shall follow Christ’s Word into the light.

 

The Lord’s citizens are governed by God’s truth. They do not walk in the course of this world: Ephesians 2:2-3, “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: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath…” Christ’s followers must overcome the world. Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

 

Christ shall one day return and make war upon the “proud (wicked)” as He gathers His people and ushers in His literal kingdom on this earth. Revelation 19:11, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.”

 

So, we can conclude that God sent Jesus with His Word and many miracles that the people might believe; and to demonstrate His great mercy. God’s purpose was to take a people for Himself out of the wickedness of the world (Jn 7:7, 1 Jn 5:19). The Lord redeems them out of bondage with His mercy, truth and great power (Holy Ghost). This people shall walk in God’s mercy and truth and will make up the citizenry of the kingdom of God. These shall return unto God and obey His voice with all of their hearts and with all of their souls (i.e. Deut 30:2, also Deut 4:29, 6:5, 10:12, 11:13, 13:3, 26:16, 30:10, Mt 22:37, Mk 12:30, 33, Lk 10:27).

 

Jesus, the Word of God who is God is not only the Lord from heaven, but also the legitimate heir to the throne of David. David being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne (Acts 2:30). Christ is the great and rightful King who comes to establish His kingdom. For God is the King of all the earth (Ps 47:7). 1 Corinthians 15:47, “The first man (Adam) is of the earth, earthy: the second man (Jesus) is the Lord from heaven.” Jesus is God, yet man. As God, Christ is Creator and Lord (Jn 1:3-4, Eph 3:9, Col 1:16). As man, Jesus is King and Lord. Christ has all authority and executes it in mercy and truth.

 

The King sets the example for His kingdom. Psalms 25:10, “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” Proverbs 20:28, “Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.” Christ brought God’s truth and mercy and walked them perfectly through example. He will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths (Is 2:3). Psalms 25:9, “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.” I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go (Is 48:17). Psalms 89:14, “Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.” The Lord’s mercy gives us access to learn and walk in His truth. The Lord’s mercy allows corrupted man to be restored and reconciled back to God.

 

Mercy rejoiceth against judgment (Js 2:13). Psalms 85:10, “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Mercy and truth meeting together refers to God’s forgiveness of man’s past sins through Christ’s sacrifice such that man will embrace and walk in the Lord’s truth. Righteousness and peace having kissed refers to man lovingly conforming his heart and life to the will of God and thus bringing about “peace” with God. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but desires man to stop transgressing His will and walk in His truth (Ez 18:32, 33:11). If mercy can restore and reconcile, then it is superior to the punishment of “thou shalt surely die. However, both parties must first come to agreement and then walk together (Amos 3:3).

 

This just, meek and lowly King (righteous and self denying) freely laid His life down for those who would humble themselves and follow Him (having salvation) into His eternal kingdom (Zech 9:9, Mt 11:29, 21:5, Lk 1:33, Jn 12:15). In the light of the king’s countenance is life (Pv 16:15, also Jn 1:4, 1 Jn 5:11-12)” Thus, Jesus established His throne in righteousness (Pv 16:12). 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 (also Ps 33:5, 45:4).”

 

A king is there to ensure judgment and justice (i.e. 1 Kg 10:9). The Lord Jesus has been given all judgment and shall execute justice based upon God’s truth or Word (Jn 5:22, 12:48). 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 (also Ps 98:9).”

 

The LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king (Jer 10:10). Hebrews 1:8, “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom (also Ps 45:6-7, 50:6).” Jesus is fully God, yet through His birth as a man (seed of David), the Lord is also fully King. Thus, Christ is KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Rev 19:16, also Deut 10:17, Rev 17:4). Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name (Ps 138:2).

 

King Jesus came to this earth to seek that which was lost and offer citizenship in His kingdom to all who would repent and return to God. A citizen of the kingdom of God is he that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart (Ps 15:2). The citizens of Christ’s kingdom are called, and chosen, and faithful (Rev 17:4). – they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness (Zech 8:8).

 

Jesus was made of the seed of David according to the flesh (Rm 1:3). Christ was also made of the Holy Ghost (Mt 1:18, Lk 1:35). God said of Him: “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? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son (Ps 2:6-7, Heb 1:5).” Isaiah 42:1, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment (truth) to the Gentiles (also Is 42:21).” 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 (Christ’s blood sealed this covenant), 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.”

 

Christ was the Son of God AND the son of man – the reconciler of the two. Jesus was fully God, yet man – a perfect Prophet, Priest and King. God is all in all (1 Cor 15:28). In the fulness of time God shall gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him (Eph 1:10). Jesus made Himself as a servant as having nothing, and yet possessing all things (2 Cor 8:9, 6:10). Romans 11:36, “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” Colossians 1:17, “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist (also Jn 1:4, Heb 2:10).” Jesus came as King to gather all who are “worthy” out of man to populate His eternal kingdom. 1 Thessalonians 2:12, “That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory (also Jn 8:31, Eph 4:1, Col 1:10, 23, 1 Jn 2:24, Rev 3:4).” Psalms 24:10, “Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.”

 

Prophecies

 

King David was told: “I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons (looking ahead to Jesus); and I will establish his kingdom (the kingdom of God). He shall build me an house (based upon truth and righteousness), 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 (obtained eternal mercy), 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 (1 Chr 17:11-14, also Ps 89:13, Is 16:5).” Furthermore: Acts 2:30, “Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him (David), that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne.” Psalms 132:11, “The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.”

 

God had told Solomon: 1 Kings 9:4-5, “And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments: Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.” Solomon failed to do this. Solomon’s wives turned his heart away after their gods and he set up many temples of idols (1 Kgs 11:1-11). 1 Kings 11:6, “And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.”

 

Jesus would be this King: Psalms 132:11, “The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.” Isaiah 9:7, “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.” 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?” 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.” Like David, Jesus walked before God in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart (1 Kg 3:6, 15:5).

 

As a side note: God rent the kingdom of Israel into Judah and Israel due to the idolatry and less then full heart of Solomon (1 Kg 11:6-11). Jeroboam was given the kingdom of Israel. The Lord said to him: 1 Kings 11:38, “And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.” This shows God’s continual desire for man – that man walk in His eternal truth. Jeroboam also cast God’s Word behind his back and did evil (set up golden calves to worship) which every king of Israel thereafter followed in – and made them sin a great sin (1 Kg 12:28-33, 13:33-34, 15:29-30, 2 Kg 13:6, 11, 15:18, 24, 28, 17:21-23).

 

Jesus comes as the rightful King and inheritor of God’s promises. Jeremiah 23:5-6, “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (also Jer 33:15-16).”

 

It has been noted over and over that Christ shall reign in mercy and truth (the title of this book). 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.” – And in Thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness (Ps 45:4). Through Christ, man is offered mercy for his past iniquities such that he may now walk in God’s truth – a pardon to do that which is right. Psalm 2:7, “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.” Luke 1:32-33, “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 Lam 5:19).”

 

Again – Jesus is the Son of God, yet the son of man (David). The Lord is God of gods, Lord of Lords, and King of kings (Deut 10:17, Ps 5:2, 136:2-3, Dan 2:47, 1 Tim 6:15, Rev 17:14, 19:16). Psalms 95:3, “For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.” Isaiah 43:15, “I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.” Psalms 47:2, 7, “For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.” Hebrews 1:8, “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom (also Ps 45:6).” Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity (Heb 1:9). Remember: Jesus shall tell those who “work iniquity” to “depart” and that He “never knew them (Jn 7:23, Lk 13:27, Ps 37:1-2).” God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness (Ps 47:8). I will be exalted in the earth (Ps 46:10).

 

Jesus, the Word of God who is God (yet the son of man) assumes the throne of David. 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.” Isaiah 22:22-23, “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.” Christ holds all keys: Revelation 1:18, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”

 

Declared a King

 

Psalms 103:19, “The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.” Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek (Mt 21:5).

 

Just before Christ was put to death, He was brought before the Roman governor and accused of perverting the people (Lk 23:2). As discussed, to pervert is to lead away from the truth and to corrupt. Jesus brought God’s truth so as to lead man to God (1 Pt 3:18). He was being accused of the opposite, which is to corrupt the truth so as to lead man away from God.

 

The Jews accused Jesus of making Himself a king and thus setting Himself against Caesar. They said, “whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar (Jn 19:12).” John 18:33  Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? John 18:37, “Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and 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.”

 

Jesus IS He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David and the faithful and true witness (Rev 3:7, 14). John 1:18, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” At Christ’s execution, the Roman governor also posted an official acknowledgement that Jesus was a king. John 19:19, “And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.” John 19:20, “This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.” These three languages constituted the majority speech of the world at that time. So we must understand that Jesus is a king that brought God’s truth and those who receive the truth shall be brethren in His kingdom.

 

Consider that: Proverbs 14:25, “A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.” Jesus bore witness of the truth!!! Christ is the faithful and true witness (Rev 3:14, also 2 Cor 4:6)! Jesus redeems man from the darkness (delivers souls) and brings man back to God in truth! Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love (Ti 2:14, Eph 1:4).

 

The devil is the deceitful witness and spoke a great lie which led man away from God. Satan is the deceiver of the whole world (Rev 12:9). God told man that if he disobeyed His commandment that “thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17).” The devil deceived man by telling him a lie – that he could disobey God and “ye shall not surely die (Gen 3:4).” The devil lied by telling man the opposite. The devil stole man to walk after him in iniquity, and to corrupt unto himself a rebellious people. These cast aside God and others to benefit “self,” known as walking in pride and hatred.

 

Jesus is the King of saints – just and true are thy ways; true and righteous are thy judgments (Rev 15:3, 16:7). 1 John 5:20, “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” Every one that is of the truth heareth Christ’s voice (hath received his testimony) and sets to his seal that God is true (Jn 3:33). John 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

 

The devil is a king over all the children of pride (Job 41:34). His kingdom is darkness and its foundation is a great lie. The children of pride are those who are led by the lusts and desires of their flesh. They do what is right in their own eyes and the imaginations of their own hearts. This kingdom is based upon hatred and shall not stand. Jesus is the King of Kings and He is Lord over all the humble and meek – he shall save the humble person (Job 22:29). This king sets the example for His people. Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you (enter into My service), and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 21:5, “Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass (also Zech 9:9).”

 

Christ’s kingdom is light and its foundation is eternal, enduring, forever settled truth! Jesus is “the Word of God” and is truth (Jn 1:1-2, 17:17). Revelation 19:13, “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” 1 John 2:5, “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.” The Lord’s kingdom is based upon love. 1 John 4:7, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” Remember: “He hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true” AND “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God (Jn 17:3, 1 Jn 5:20).” In the light of the king’s countenance is life (Pv 16:15).

 

A king is to learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them (Deut 17:18-19). Jesus did this perfectly. Christ said: “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled (Mt 5:18).” Jesus leads man, by Word and example, in God’s eternal truth. Jesus is the good and benevolent (kind, caring, compassionate, giving, disposition to do good, love of mankind, charitable) King. Who would not want to serve such a magnificant Lord? The answer is those who love the darkness – the children of pride – those who will not yield their own stubborn way, including the religious stubborn way (Jn 3:19).

 

What more could God have done for man? 1) He sent is very Son to bring man truth and to walk the truth in perfect example; 2) He gave His very Son to assume man’s guilt and then die in the place of man, suffering man’s just condemnation; 3) He sent His Holy Ghost to dwell within repentant man to teach, lead and strengthen in the truth; 4) God offers mercy, reconciliation and eternal life to repentant man who must walk in truth. This was not done so that man could repeat some hollow religious sinner’s prayer and then go about his business. No! This was offered IF man would turn from that which opposes God (the devil’s lie) and embrace God’s truth and walk therein – FULL REPENTANCE. If you consider this legalistic, then you simply do not “KNOW” God! Christ came that you might “KNOW” God and this is where eternal life is found.

 

Those who cling to delusions of “works do not save (as defined by religious man)” and “legalism” are deceived in their own way (which cannot be justified by God’s Word). These are they that say (in a religious way) unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him (also Job 24:13)?” To “serve” is to “obey.” These are puffed up (hearts lifted up) in their own religious way. They have not humbled themselves before the Lord. Job 21:22, “Shall any teach God knowledge? seeing he judgeth those that are high.”

 

Please understand that man did not deserve or merit God’s offer of restitution. Man is completely unworthy. Works do not save, but obedience to God’s truth and following His Spirit does save. Forced servitude does not save, but submission and obedience from the heart does save. What does God require of man? To “partake” of His provision – to “follow” Christ’s tread path. To “follow” is to be in step with the leader (1 Pt 2:21).

 

King Jesus shall uphold justice and judgment (Gen 18:19, 2 Sam 8:15, 1 Kg 10:9, 1 Chr 18:14, 2 Chr 9:8, Job 8:3, 36:17, 37:23, etc.). Psalms 89:14, “Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.” Psalms 18:27, “For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.” Proverbs 29:14, “The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever.” The “poor in spirit” which are the meek and humble have suffered greatly at the hands of the proud and haughty (Ps 103:6). Isaiah 11:4, “But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.”

 

Christ is coming back in great wrath toward the prideful and self seeking. Isaiah 2:12, “For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low.” Isaiah 13:11, “And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” Jeremiah 10:10, “But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.”

 

The King’s Throne – Seat of Authority

 

In Israel God’s presence was first in a tabernacle (tent) and then later in a temple. God dwelleth not in temples made with hands, but now dwells within the believer (His creation). 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?” Jesus said: Luke 17:21, “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” When Christ walked upon the earth He was “God with us (Mt 1:23).” Jesus, having been glorified, sent the Holy Ghost and is now “God in us (1 Jn 4:12).” We are in Him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ (1 Jn 5:20).

 

Men build all manner of religious structures and great cathedrals, but God is not in them. God is within those who sincerely serve Him walking in His truth. Wherever these genuine believers are gathered (makes no difference), God is present. Jesus said: Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established (Mt 18:6).

 

The English word “church” denotes a house or building consecrated to the worship of God. In keeping with this meaning, the primary focus of religious man is to build huge buildings and facilities. However, the Greek word “Ekklesia” from which the English word “church” was derived has an entirely different meaning. Ekklesia means “called out ones” or in some cases an assembly of “called out ones.” When William Tyndale translated the first Bible into English, he used the word “congregation.” Religious men were furious and insisted on the word “church.”

 

So what is the Ekklesia or “called out ones” called out of? 1 Peter 2:9, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” God called Israel out of Egypt to serve Him. Jesus calls us out of the world into His kingdom; out of the darkness into His light; and out of the devil’s lie into God’s truth – from the power of Satan unto God (Acts 26:18).

 

Christ’s kingdom is not of this world (Jn 18:36).” Jesus is not of this world (Jn 8:23).” Christ calls/chooses us “out” of the world to be His own (Jn 15:19). They are not of the world even as I am not of the world (Jn 17:6, 14) – I have chosen them out of the world (Jn 15:19). We shall discuss in a moment that to be a son of God or citizen of the kingdom of God, you must be “born of God (Jn 1:12-12)” and adopted (chosen, Rm 8:14-15).” Bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name (Is 43:6-7). Colossians 1:13, “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.”

 

The Ekklesia is and was and is to come. Jesus is the head of the Ekklesia and states: Revelation 1:8, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

 

Repentance leads to “new birth,” which leads to a new outlook. The kingdoms of this world and the kingdom of God adhere to different principles and are contrary the one to the other. They each have a master. To be in God’s kingdom, you must leave or forsake the world and its principles (the lie) so as to walk in God’s principles (the truth). 2 Corinthians 6:17, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” To walk in the darkness of the world, then you have not the light (truth) nor do you walk in God’s ways.

 

The Lord “draws” a people unto Himself. These are are called, and chosen, and faithful (Rev 17:14). The Lord told Moses: “thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.” Jesus says of those who are His: John 10:3, “To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.” Recall: two can only walk together if they are in agreement. This is where the intimacy develops – when we walk together in God’s truth.

 

This people, born again as citizens in the kingdom of God, have been given mercy by the King to serve Him and walk in His truth. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God (1 Jn 3:1). The King is enthroned and has authority over their very hearts. This people does not serve the King in religious buildings with all manner of rituals, but with the way they live their daily lives. The purest form of worship is to take God’s truth and walk in it daily. These no longer walk according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2). In other words, these no longer walk as in Egypt nor serve Pharaoh. 1 Corinthians 1:9, “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord (also 1 Jn 1:3, 7).” Fellowship is interacting with your Lord, Master and King everyday and in every situation and circumstance. You walk together in agreement having yielded all to the King.

 

God told the children of Israel after they left Egypt: Leviticus 18:3-4, “After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God.” This was a foreshadowing of what God would do in Christ.

 

Jesus tells His followers: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate (2 Cor 6:17).” 1 Peter 2:11, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” Strangers and pilgrims are only sojouners (one who temporarily dwells in a place) in the land. How does one “come out of the world?” You stop walking in the principles of the world and begin walking in the truth of God. Jesus came to man as a man and brought God’s Word. The world walks in the ways of the flesh and these are contrary to the way of God.

 

Those who walk in darkness or the principles of the kingdoms of this world despise (hate) God’s Word because it destroys the desires of the flesh – the lusts and desires that men crave. The citizens of the kingdom of God can no longer be of this world (Ps 103:9, Jn 5:19). Since this kingdom is not of this world, it does not walk in the principles of this world. There can be no love of money (1 Tim 6:10). 1 Timothy 6:9, “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.” There can be no love of darkness (Jn 3:19). There can be no love of the world – the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 Jn 2:15-17) – cares, riches and pleasures of this life (Lk 8:14). We must keep ourselves unspotted from the world and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Js 1:27, Gal 5:1). Christ, the Word, has made us free (Jn 8:31-36, Gal 5:1).

 

Let us be blunt about this: you must no longer partake of the world’s ideals, values, entertainments, politics, warfare, etc, The world’s entertainments clearly oppose the truth of God. We are talking about television, movies, music, video games, magazines, books, etc. These things are filled with ideals and wicked behavior that transgress the will of God. Your motivations must no longer be as the world such as the desire for money, possessions and fleshly pleasures. For of whom (or what) a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage (2 Pt 2:19). Remember, the devil offers “things” and overcomes through the weakness of his flesh. The desires of the flesh lead one into bondage. You must “overcome” the world. Jesus said: “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (Jn 16:33).” Jesus went before and now His sheep must follow after.

 

The television, movies, books, magazines and toys are filled with witchcraft and evil. The most popular children’s book series in the land concerns glamorizing witchcraft. God’s Word says: Deuteronomy 18:10-12, “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD…” Even those who “profess” Christ exalt their opinions and sentiments of such things over the Word of God. Pride (self seeking) comes in secular and religious packages. Luke 11:35, “Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.” God says to teach your children His ways, not the ways of the devil (i.e. witchcraft in popular children’s books such as Harry Potter series, Deut 4:9-10, 6:4-9, 11:18-21). Consider this verse: Psalms 34:11, “Come, ye children (adults and children), hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.”

 

The focus of your life is no longer on the things that oppose God’s will. The Lord’s citizens no longer walk in pride (self seeking). You must seek first (foremost) the kingdom of God and His righteousness and then necessary things (food, clothing) shall be added unto you (Mt 6:33). Remember, the kingdom of God is within you (Lk 17:21). The television, possessions, accumulation of money and fleshly pleasures do not lead you to love the Lord nor do they draw you closer to Him. Quite the opposite, they lead you to despise the ways of the Lord – to murmur, complain and tempt the Lord. Lamentations 3:40, “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.”

 

Those who walk in darkness or the principles of the kingdoms of this world despise (hate) God’s Word because it destroys the desires of the flesh – the lusts and desires that men crave. 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.”

 

Pharaoh and Egypt had God’s people in their bondage. God wants His people to serve Him (Ex 10:3), but Pharaoh wants God’s people to serve him. This of course mirrors the fact that the devil wants God’s people to serve and worship him. One cannot serve both Pharaoh and God. Jesus said: Matthew 6:24, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (also Lk 16:13).” Mammon is riches, wealth and worldly gain – greedy pursuit. When considering two contradictory things, to choose one is to despise the other. So, you cannot serve both God and mammon. One must be sacrificed to obtain the other – the two are opposite and utterly contrary.

 

When the children of Israel wanted to go out and serve God in the wilderness, Pharaoh told them: “they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God.” Therefore Pharaoh increased their burdens to take their minds and heart off of God. The devil does much the same through appealing to the lusts and desires of the flesh – to seek mammon – then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved (Lk 8:12). 2 Corinthians 4:4, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” The devil blinds by keeping you in the darkness in appealing to your lusts.

 

God began to come against Pharaoh on behalf of the children of Israel: Exodus 8:25, “And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land.” In other words, serve your God in the midst of Egypt – under Pharaoh’s control and watchful eye. The devil also appeals to “religious” man to live as the world and serve God also. Fit in with popular culture or Christianized popular culture and have a form of godliness. 2 Timothy 3:5, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” The “power” is the Holy Ghost leading one to walk in the truth of God. Multitudes of religious men live such a hypocritical lukewarm life.

 

What is a “form of godliness?” Jesus said: Matthew 23:27-28, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres (ornate grave), 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.” These are a façade or outward show with no real substance. Their belief in God does not effect the way they live their daily lives. What is meant by this? It means that most religious men profess belief in God, but live their daily lives very much the same as those who do not. They believe in God, but they do not “fear” God nor do they depart from evil or iniquity. Many profess Christ, but serve at their convenience.

 

To be a hypocrite would be to call Jesus Lord, but not do what Jesus said. Christ says to such: Luke 6:46, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” To be a hypocrite would be to say that you believe in (accept) God’s Word and then walk in opinions, sentiments, ideas and stubborness that clearly violate God’s Word. 2 Timothy 2:19, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” Oh, its so easy to profess Jesus until the Lord’s will comes into conflict with “self.”

 

Religious men often hold the truth, yet their lives and hearts are not in conformity with the truth or will of God. Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” In other words, they are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness (Rm 2:8). To hold the truth, yet somehow believe it is acceptable to do less than obey the truth is a great evil. We are told: Romans 6:13, “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.” AND Romans 6:16, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”

 

If the devil can convince you that you are serving God, when in fact you are not, then he has prevailed over you. Often you must die to your religion to find the Lord – consider Paul. Paul considered that he was serving God when in fact he was working against the Lord – “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me (Acts 9:4, 22:7, 26:14)?” Jesus had to shine the bright light of truth upon him before he could see the truth through his religious stupor (Acts 9:3, 22:6, 26:13).

 

God told Israel not to do wickedly as the nations before them did. The Lord said: the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants (Lv 18:25). The land was defiled with their abominations. Israel was warned: Leviticus 18:28, “That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.” Furthermore, those who walk in the ways of the land shall be cut off from among the people (Lv 18:28). Jesus warns many of His followers: Revelation 3:15-16, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” The Lord is referring to those who “profess Jesus,” but walk as the world in darkness seeking its own way rather than Gods.

 

These are those who say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched (far from God), and miserable (in bondage), and poor (lacking in truth), and blind (deceived), and naked (sinful, work iniquity), yet think all is well (Rev 3:17). To be rich in this world is to be poor in God’s truth. Recall: Jesus said: Luke 4:18, “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.” Jesus tells them: Revelation 3:18, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire (faith made strong through persecution and suffering), that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment (purity, righteousness), that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see (understand God’s truth).”

 

Religious Kingdoms

 

Cathedral is a term usually applied by Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran religious sects. The word is derived from the Latin noun “cathedra” meaning “seat” or “chair” and refers to the presence of the Bishop’s or (archbishops) chair or throne. This is a place of worship with a man sitting on a throne and clearly in authority. In other words, the whole idea of a Cathedral and the religion it represents centers around the authority of man. A man is clearly the authority in this religious system seated on his throne within his grand castle.

 

Jesus is the King whose throne or seat must be over your heart – the one whom you obey and serve in all things. Christ is not concerned about buildings at all. Never once in God’s Word did Jesus or the Apostles ever direct the Lord’s followers to bulid buildings. Curious that this is the focus of the religious world that claims to serve Christ and adhere to His Word. The Lord’s focus is where it has always been and that is on man’s heart which translates into man’s actions.

 

The word “Nicolaitans” comes from the two words: nikao and laos. Nikao means “to conquer,” to have “the ascendancy in all relations” and laos means “the people at large.” So the Nicolaitans are men who lord over the people at large. Jesus said in the book of Revelation that He hated the deeds and doctrines of the Nicolaitans (Rev 2:6, 15). Why would Jesus hate such things? First of all, the Lord said: “for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren (Mt 23:8).” Christ further stated with regards to leadership: Matthew 23:11-12, “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” A true leader follows Christ’s example and serves others in true love, meaning that he sacrifices himself for the benefit of others.

 

Understanding the Kingdom

 

Israel was a kingdom filled with the literal descendents of Abraham. When they left Egypt there was also a mixed multitude (Ex 12:38). There were some that had a real heart to serve God (i.e. Moses, Joshua, Caleb), but most did not. As discussed, God was not well pleased with most of them due to their idolatry, fornication, lusts for evil things, murmuring and tempting of God (1 Cor 10:1-14). God’s purpose was that they would freely worship Him and walk in His truth, yet they continually resisted the Lord. Moses said of them: 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?”

 

Israel continued to sin against God and do evil and follow after idolatry. God sent them prophets, but they would not hear. The Lord said: Jeremiah 11:7, “For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice.” Jeremiah 44:4, “Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate.” – but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear to receive instruction (Jer 7:25-26, 25:3-4, 26:5, 29:19, 32:33, 35:15). 2 Chronicles 36:16, “But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.”

 

Israel and Judah (the divided kingdom) were stiffnecked and hard hearted. 2 Kings 17:13-17, “Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God. And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them. And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.”

 

The Lord said of Judah (Jerusalem): I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down (2 Kg 21:13). Judah’s iniquities culminated with the evils that Mannasseh did (2 Kg 21:2-9). 2 Kings 21:15-16, “Because they have done that which was evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even unto this day. Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.”

 

Consider this carefully: God said of Israel: Ezekiel 16:15, “But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was.” God had lifted Israel up and then they trusted in their own self and sought those things that opposed God. This is what Lucifer had done!!! Trusting in your own beauty is pride – this is vanity!!! Jude 1:5, “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.”

 

God told Ezekiel the prophet: Ezekiel 5:1-4, “And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber’s razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair. Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part, and smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them. Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts. Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel.”

 

The issue was that Israel would not walk in God’s truth. They rebelled against the Lord and sinned till there was to remedy and God sent judgment. Only a remnant of a remnant came through. Ezekiel 5:6-9, “And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you; Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations. And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations.” This was a foreshadowing of greater things.

 

The kingdom of God is composed of individuals who are called, chosen and faithful (Rev 17:14, also 1 Pt 2:9). God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification (set apart) of the Spirit and belief of the truth (2 Thess 2:13). These are just men made perfect (Heb 12:23). Recall: a perfect man is one who is like his Master – in His image (Rm 8:29, 2 Cor 3:18, Col 3:10). You are born into the kingdom of God as sons. John 1:13, “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” 1 Peter 1:23, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” – But the word of the Lord endureth for ever (1 Pt 1:25). Its all about the “truth” – your in or your out.

 

The Lord 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, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Tim 1:9-10). Man had chose to disobey God and was thoroughly corrupted and did not merit salvation. God through mercy and truth saves man for His purposes which are founded in man returning to the Lord’s truth (the gospel). This is God’s hidden mystery.

 

Unlike the nation of Israel, God populates His kingdom with those who are tried and proven (as determined through your life on this earth). Matthew 22:14, “For many are called, but few are chosen (also Mt 20:16).” Psalms 66:10, “For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.” Psalms 21:8, “Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.” God is determining those who truly love Him – heart, soul, mind and strength (Ps 26:2, 139:23-24, 1 Pt 1:7, 17). 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.” We are not talking about a short little repeated sinner’s prayer here. To strive is to put forth great effort with all due diligence. Paul said it like this: 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.”

 

Few find the narrow way. 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.” God is truly after those who demonstrate their love, submission, obedience, trust, honor and devotion toward Him through their actions.

 

Jesus said: Luke 17:21, “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” The kingdom begins now within you as you walk God’s truth daily. John 4:24, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” God’s mercy is such that you will walk in the Lord’s truth. If you do not walk in truth then you have no part (lot, life or inheritance)  in Christ.

 

We are talking about salvation for only a small part of all the men who have lived upon this earth. Proverbs 24:12, “If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?”

 

Citizenship through Birth

 

In the kingdoms of this world one becomes a citizen through birth or by naturalization. Naturalization is a sort of adoption whereby one gives loyalty and agrees to walk-in or obey the rules or principles of the country in which they desire citizenship. There are those born in the land and the stranger that sojourneth among them (Num 15:29-30). Free will obedience from the heart is what is desired rather than compulsion under threat of penalty. Adoption is where one is “chosen” by another to be his child.

 

Citizenship in the kingdom of God is a combination of the two known as being “born again.” You are “chosen” by God and literally “born again” of God. To receive citizenship in the kingdom of God you must be born again. Jesus said: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (Jn 3:3).” Christ further elaborated in saying: “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 (Jn 3:5-6). As discussed, “Born of water” is repentance whereby one forsakes the devil’s lie and embraces God’s truth. “Born of the Spirit” is receiving the Holy Ghost which is the Spirit of truth to lead, teach and empower one to walk in God’s truth.

 

Jesus through mercy (His spilt blood, Eph 1:7, 1 Pt 1:2, Rev 1:5) and truth brings peace between God and man by offering man a way to serve the living God (Heb 9:14, Acts 10:36, Eph 2:14-16). Jesus establishes the “way” through the “truth” to have “life (Jn 14:6).” He makes known the ways of life (Acts 2:28, 5:20). Those who respond to the Lord’s offer are called “peacemakers” and are the children of God (Mt 5:9). One makes “peace” with God through free-will obedience from the heart to walk in the Lord’s truth. Jesus preaches “peace” and those who were afar off, through sin and transgression, are made nigh by the blood of Christ (Eph 2:13, 17).

 

The truth that Jesus brought is the principles of God’s kingdom that man must submit to and obey to receive citizenship. In following after the truth one is no more a stranger and foreigner, but is a fellowcitizen with the saints, and of the household of God (Eph 2:19). Ephesians 2:22, “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Your present actions, not words, shall be the Lord’s determination whether or not you will walk in His Word. The LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed (1 Sam 2:3). Jesus made it very clear that His family (brethren, sisters, mother) were those that “do” the will of God. This excludes merely saying a prayer or making a profession.

 

The Lord refers to His people as both born of God and as having received the Spirit of adoption (the children of the promise are counted for the seed, Rm 9:8) – these are sons and children (Mt 5:9, Lk 20:36, Jn 1:12, Rm 8:14-15, Rev 21:7, etc.). Ephesians 1:5, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” Romans 9:26, “And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.” God says: 2 Corinthians 6:18, “And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” Notice the same distinction between Jesus and His followers.

 

In adoption, a parent chooses a child and then makes a commitment. How does God choose? The LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart (1 Sam 16:7) – for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men (2 Chr 6:30, Acts 1:24). Proverbs 8:17, “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” Exodus 20:6, “And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments (also Deut 5:10).” The Lord has promised a crown of life to them that love him (Js 1:12).”

 

Inherit the Land

 

The children of Israel were strangers sojourning in a land that was not theirs for four hundred years (Gen 15:13-14, Ps 105:11-13). Acts 7:6, “And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years.” The Lord said unto Abraham: Genesis 17:8, “And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” 1 Chronicles 16:18, “Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance.” The Lord did as He had said: God brought the children of Israel forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance (Deut 4:20, 5:6, 6:12, 21, 7:8). The Lord said he would drive out all the nations from before them, and that they shall possess greater nations and mightier than themselves and that every place whereon the soles of their feet shall tread shall be theirs (Deut 11:23-24).

 

The peoples of the Promised Land were exceedingly wicked before the Lord (Deut 7:5, 25-26, 12:2-4). God said: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire (i.e. abortion) to their gods (Deut 12:31). The LORD God cut off the nations from before Israel, whither they went to possess them, and they succeedest them, and dwellest in their land (Deut 12:29). Deuteronomy 9:3, “Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee.” God made it very clear to Israel: “for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee (Deut 9:4-5, 29:17, 31:3, 6, 8). Lastly the Lord said: “thou shalt consume all the people which the LORD thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them (Deut 7:2, 16). Note: God’s mercy is not for those who continue in wickedness.

 

To summarize: The children of Israel were strangers sojourning in a wicked land (Ps 105:11-13). God delivered them from Pharaoh and Egypt and brought them through the wilderness unto Himself. The Lord gave Israel His commandments and they were to be an holy people unto the LORD thy God; a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth (Deut 4:5-7, 5:6-22, 7:6). The thing that set them apart (sanctification, Jn 17:17) was that they were to walk in God’s ways and not in the wicked ways of the land (Deut 5:32-33, 6:1-9, 21, 25, etc.). Leviticus 18:3, “After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.” The Lord utterly destroyed the wicked peoples before them and gave Israel the land in which they were strangers and which was “promised” to their fathers (Deut 6:19-23, 7:1). These things are foreshadows of that which is to come…

 

Similarly, and on a greater level, God has “promised” His people an inheritance. God’s people are strangers, pilgrims and sojourners, in this wicked fallen world (1 Pt 2:11) – but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God (Eph 2:19, Heb 12:23). Through “mercy and truth” the Lord has “called” His people out of the darkness to walk in His truth in the kingdom of His dear Son (Col 1:13). God has “promised” his people that they shall inherit the earth. 2 Peter 3:13, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” Psalms 37:9, “For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.” Psalms 37:22, “For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.” Proverbs 10:30, “The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.” The Lord shall consume all of the wicked (100%) out of the earth – without mercy.

 

The humble are promised an eternal inheritance and possession. Psalms 37:11, “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” The wickedness of the wicked shall come to an end; but the righteous God shall establish the just (Ps 7:9). Psalms 9:17, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, does not seek after God (Ps 10:4). Psalm 36:1, “The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.” Job 40:12, “Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.”

 

The humble shall be exalted to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off and greatly cast down (Ps 37:34, also Ps 75:10). Psalms 147:6, “The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.” Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more (Ps 104:35).

 

Jesus is coming back to manifest His kingdom and literally establish His throne on the earth. Proverbs 25:5, “Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.” In the new earth dwelleth righteousness (2 Pt 3:13). Proverbs 20:8, “A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes.” – His eyes were as a flame of fire (Rev 1:14, 2:18, 19:12). Psalms 34:16, “The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth (also Ps 37:9).” The God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms (of the earth), and it shall stand for ever (Dan 2:44).” He shall execute judgment and justice in the earth (Jer 23:5).

 

The Lord’s eternal kingdom cannot be fully established until all transgressions of God’s will is abolished and victory is thus gained over death. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28, “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”

 

There is an order of submission and obedience. Consider the order on earth: 1 Corinthians 11:3, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” Woe to them that transgess God’s order. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (1 Sam 15:23)– to exalt yourself above your authority (i.e. women’s lib/rights).

 

Christ’s Second Coming

 

Jesus first came offering great mercy for those who would walk in God’s truth. He came to seek and save that which was lost (Lk 19:10). Ezekiel 34:11, “For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.” Jesus came to call sinners to repentance – I will have mercy (Mt 9:13, Mk 2:17, Lk 5:32). Be assured, those who are Christ’s shall hear His voice and will repent and be saved. They will hear His Word and be drawn to His light to embrace it and live within it. This is the period of time that men is now in, but it is quickly coming to a close.

 

Jesus is coming back the second time in great judgment to remove the wicked from the earth and fully manifest His kingdom (Ps 34:16, 104:35). 1 Samuel 2:10, “The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king (Jesus, the King and Judge), and exalt the horn (kingdom, strength, power) of his anointed.” Psalms 9:7-8, “But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness (also Deut 32:36, Ps 33:5, 50:4, 72:2, 4, 96:10, 98:9, Is 2:4, 3:13, 11:4, Mic 4:3).” Proverbs 10:30, “The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.” The king by judgment establisheth the land (Pv 29:4). Psalms 11:7, “For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.” – the upright love thee (Song of Solomon, 1:4).

 

Jesus said: John 5:22, “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son (also Ps 135:14).” The great King shall judge the people by His Word – righteousness and truth shall prevail (Ps 50:4). The king’s strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness (Ps 99:4). Christ tells us matter-of-factly: “I Know Thy Works.” Take heed Oh man – 1 Samuel 2:3, “Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed (also Is 26:7).” – no thought can be withholden from thee (Job 42:2). A man’s life will be weighed as in a balance with a righteous measure (Job 31:6, Lv 19:35). Psalms 21:8, “Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.”

 

The time has come: Psalms 9:7-8, “But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness (also Deut 32:36, Ps 33:5, 50:4, 72:2, 4, 96:10, 98:9, Is 2:4, 3:13, 11:4, Mic 4:3).” Psalms 9:16, “The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.” Psalms 1:5-6, “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. Psalms 9:17, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” Psalms 11:5, “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth (also Ps 139:23-24, Eccl 3:17).” Psalms 11:7, “For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.” – the upright love thee (Song of Solomon, 1:4).

 

There is no peace or rest for the wicked (Is 48:22, 57:21, Heb 3:11, Rev 14:11). Psalms 9:16, “The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.” Psalms 1:5-6, “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. Psalms 9:17, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” Psalms 11:5, “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth (also Ps 139:23-24, Eccl 3:17).” Matthew 13:41-42, “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” The wicked are those who followed the desires of their flesh in their own way and walked in their own idolatry. Isaiah 66:5, “Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.”

 

The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day (2 Thess 1:7-10, also Ps 37:11, 29, 34).” Psalms 145:20, “The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy (also Ps 147:6, Pv 2:22, 10:30).” To those the Lord loves He says: Psalms 50:5, “Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice (the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, Ps 51:17).” Mark 13:27, “And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.”

 

Oh what a day! Isaiah 2:17-21, “And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth (also Job 40:12). Isaiah 17:7-8, “At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images.” Psalms 76:9, “God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth.”

 

Jesus first came in MERCY and TRUTH! Revelation 19:13, “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” The blood is “mercy” and the Word is “truth.” Jesus returns in great wrath and judgment to remove those who rejected His mercy and truth (Ps 24:8). Isaiah 26:21, “For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain (also Is 34:1-6).” Revelation 19:16, “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (also 1 Tim 6:15, Ps 47:2, 7-8).” Revelation 1:7, “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it (Joel 2:11)? Nahum 1:6, “Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.” Men shall say to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb (Rev 6:16, also Hos 10:8, Lk 23:30).

 

God shall make all things right. Hebrews 10:30-31, “For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (also Pv 24:29, Is 35:4).” Take heed Oh man.

 

Most of the world shall wail exceedingly. Isaiah 13:6-7, 9, 13, “Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt. Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.”

 

The Harlot

 

In scripture a harlot (spiritual) is one who professes love for God, yet seeks after that which opposes God, namely idolatry (adultery and fornication) and rebellion. We are told of a great harlot (religion) who rides a beast (secular governments). Revelation 17:3, “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.”

 

What do we know of this woman? 1) The great whore sitteth upon many waters (Rev 17:1). Revelation 17:15, “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” This religious system has been in authority over all the people of the earth. 2) Revelation 17:2, “With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” To be drunk is to not be in one’s right mind – to not have clarity of thought – confusion. Secular governments and the peoples of the world have been under her influence and have done that which opposes God. Fornication is forsaking the true God and worshipping idols.

 

We also know: 3) Revelation 17:4, “And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.” She is literally clothed with the desires of the flesh – the dainties of this world. Abominations are noteworthy evil practices and idolatries. 4) Revelation 17:6, “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” She opposes God’s true saints, yet is very seducing.

 

Christ’s disciples or followers are called, and chosen, and faithful (Rev 17:14). Matthew 22:14, “For many are called, but few are chosen (also Mt 20:16).” Remember, God tries and tests man to determine who truly love Him. 1 Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” Christ’s disciple are clothed in white which is purity (the opposite of the defilements of the world, Rev 3:5). The Lord’s followers are the victims of the harlot because they refuse to be like her and follow her.

 

The situation is this: Most of the peoples of the world are under the spell of the great whore that rides on the back of the secular governments of the world. The people are intoxicated and seduced by the harlot. There are a few “chosen” ones that follow the Lord and are thus persecuted and killed by the harlot. These will not yield to the world’s system and are hated by it.

 

Consider your place in all of this????

 

When does Christ Return?

 

God hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained (Acts 17:31, Heb 1:2). When is this apointed day (the day of the Lord) when Jesus Christ returns to the earth to establish His literal kingdom? The answer is after the three sevens (seals, trumpets and vials) in the book of Revelation. Seven is the number of completion. Thrice seven is ultimate completion – it is done. The day and the hour no man knows. Jesus said: Mark 13:32, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”

 

Let us specifically consider the seventh trumpet. Just before this trumpet is blown an angel proclaims: “there should be time no longer (Rev 10:6).” Revelation 10:7, “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” God’s great mystery from the foundation of the earth has concluded. The Lord’s house has now been filled with humble and repentant men (Lk 14:23) – the end has come. God has finished the short work upon the earth, and has cut it short in righteousness (Rm 9:28). Revelation 11:15, “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”

 

Consider the last vial: Revelation 16:17, “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.”

 

Consider the seals. After the sixth seal is broken and just prior to the seventh: Revelation 6:12-17, “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood (read Mt 24:29-31 and Is 13:10-13 to understand the significance); And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

 

The last seal is then broken: Revelation 8:1, “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” Why was there silence? Because Jesus and His army has left heaven to return to the earth. Matthew 24:29-31, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

 

Notice that after the sign of the sun and moon Jesus comes (see preceeding paragraph). Isaiah 13:10-11, “For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” Isaiah 26:21, “For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” Isaiah 66:15-18, “For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many. They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD. For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory (also Rev 16:12-16, 19:17-21).”

 

Notice the “elect” are gathered after the sound of a trumpet. 1 Corinthians 15:52, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” The last trumpet is the seventh trumpet – “it is done;” Christ rules over the earth.

 

Christ cometh: Revelation 19:11-16, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood (mercy): and his name is called The Word of God (truth). And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

 

The Blessed

 

We are told: 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.” Blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it (Lk 11:28). Matthew 5:4-10, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

 

Humble, repentant and obedient man shall be fully restored as before the fall. Man regains access to the tree of life – as in Eden. Man gains access into the kingdom of God. God shall dwell among men (Rev 7:15). Psalms 48:1-2, “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.” Revelation 21:3-7, “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. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”

 

Chapter Eleven, “Only the Humble”

 

In God’s Word, we are continually confronted with “sets of opposites,” which reveal the way of death and the way of life. These opposing ideals reveal either walking in the will of God verses transgressing the will of God. Examples of these opposites, although not totally inclusive, are as follows:

 

Life or death                                                               Narrow way or broad way

Light or darkness                                                        Humble/meek or proud

Wise or foolish                                                            Clean or filthy and soiled

Sheep or goats                                                             Unleavened or hypocrisy and pride

Wheat or tares and chaff                                            Love or hatred

Good or evil                                                                Kingdom of God or the world

Spirit or flesh                                                              White or black

Righteousness or evil and wickedness                        Sight or blindness

Truth or the lie                                                Faith or unbelief

Blessing or cursing                                                      Born again or natural birth

Pure in heart or forward and double minded             Heaven or hell

Christ or antichrist                                                      Repentance or rebellion

 

All men shall be judged according to their doings, ways, deeds or works upon this earth (Job 34:11, Eccl 3:17, 11:9, 12:14, 2 Kg 8:39, 2 Chr 6:23, 30, Ps 28:4, 62:12, Pv 24:12, 29, Is 59:18, Jer 17:10, 25:14, 32:19, Ez 7:3-4, 8-9, 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). Jeremiah 16:17, “For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes.” Psalms 33:13-15, “The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.” Psalms 53:2, “God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.” Psalms 11:4, “The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.” The LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed (1 Sam 2:3). Proverbs 5:21, “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings (also Jer 23:24).” Jeremiah 17:10, “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”

 

Many believe that a profession of Christ excludes them from such scrutiny, but consider what Jesus told the churches: “I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works (Rev 2:23).” Christ overwhelming message to these churches was to repent and overcome. Paul told an audience of believers: Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves (2 Cor 13:5). David, beloved of God, said: Psalms 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (also Ps 26:2).” The humble desire correction so as to walk in the truth. The prideful only justify their transgressions of the truth, but do not forsake them.

 

The Lord God intends to reap an acceptable harvest of faithful men from this short work of creation upon this earth (Rm 9:28, Rev 14:15). James 5:7, “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” These faithful and chosen men shall be with the Lord partaking of His life for all eternity (Rev 17:14, 1 Pt 2:9). Without faith it is “impossible” to please God (Heb 11:6). Faith is your free-will love, submission, obedience, honor, trust and devotion toward God. Faith is the same thing as the “fear of the Lord.” By the fear of the LORD men depart from evil (Pv 16:6, also Job 28:28, Pv 3:7). In other words, a man’s love toward God will lead him to forsake all the things that oppose God’s will. The Lord says: Galatians 6:8, “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” What you sow in your life is what your life shall produce. Words are fickle and can conceal what actions truly shall reveal. Psalms 97:10, “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil…”

 

So, from the list of opposites, a faithful man would choose life by humbly and obediently walking in God’s light, righteousness or love on the narrow way which leads to the kingdom of God (Mt 7:13-14, Jn 3:20-21, 14:15, 1 Pt 1:15-16, 1 Jn 1:5, 7). In doing so, the man who fears God would not love the darkness and walk foolishly in pride which results in evil, wickedness and reaps the wages of death (Jn 3:19, Rm 6:23, 1 Jn 1:5-6). For each set of opposites, to choose one is to reject the other. For instance, to choose truth then you must reject and forsake the lie. To choose to walk in the light then you must leave the darkness. To see in the Spirit, you must be made blind to the flesh.

 

There is coming a great separation and what your life has produced, meaning your doings, ways, deeds or works shall determine your place for all eternity. Matthew 13:41-42, “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” 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.” Matthew 13:49-50, “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

 

Examples

 

Ahab was King of Israel and was exceedingly wicked before the Lord. 1 Kings 16:30-33, “And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.”

 

The Lord send Elijah with a message to Ahab. 1 Kings 21:20-29, “And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD. Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, And will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin. And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat. But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house (also consider Rehoboam – 2 Chr 12:5-12).”

 

There are two items of note here. The first is that those who disregard God and thus walk in evil and wickedness shall fully realize the Lord’s condemnation of “thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17).” The Lord says: Proverbs 8:36, “But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.” Conversely, those who obey the Lord God and walk in His ways shall find life. God says: Proverbs 8:35, “For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.” Furthermore: You must love the LORD thy God, and obey his voice, and cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days (Deut 30:20). The second item of note was that Ahab’s humbleness before God gained favor and postponed the Lord’s judgment. The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy (Js 5:11). Judgment would still occur later because actions have meaning and for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Gal 6:7). He that hath sown to the wind shall reap a whirlwind (Hos 8:7).

 

Shortly after Ahab’s death, God’s judgment came upon his son Ahaziah. 2 Kings 1:1-4, “Then Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab. And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease. But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? Now therefore thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. And Elijah departed.”

 

Ahaziah did not seek the counsel of God, but rather that which opposed God. This is very reminiscent of Adam following the counsel of the devil rather than obeying the commandment of God. The devil, through pride or self seeking, rose up and corrupted God’s creation of man (Jn 8:44, 1 Jn 3:8).

 

As discussed, “pride: is to seek or exalt self. Pride is manifested by seeking the lusts and desires of the flesh. God refers to this as “doing what is right in your own eyes (Deut 12:8, Jdg 17:6, 21:25, Ps 36:2, Pv 3:7, 12:15, 16:2, 21:2, 30:12, Is 5:21)” and “seeking the imaginations of your own heart (Gen 6:5, Deut 29:19, Pv 6:18, Jer 3:17, 9:14, 11:8, 13:10, 16:12, 18:12, 23:17, Rm 1:21).”  Romans 8:8, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” In other words, if you are walking in “pride” seeking your lusts and desires, doing what is right in your own eyes and seeking the imaginations of your own heart, then you cannot possibly please God. This is to live a life whereby you are led about by the desires of your flesh rather than the will of God. Romans 8:12-13, “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (or put to death) the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Pride is sin! Proverbs 21:4, “An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.” Self fulfillment is the chief desire of those who walk in pride, which is the corrupt nature of man. It is through the Spirit that we die to the works and deeds of the flesh and this shall be discussed later.

 

Conversely, or on the contrary, to be humble is to diminish self or die to self, which is the opposite of “pride.” This is how God must be approached and this is why the Lord took note of Ahab and postponed judgment. Psalms 138:6, “Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly…” Jesus beckoned man to put humbleness into practice by stating: Luke 9:23-24, “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.” To “deny self” and “take up the cross” is to mortify or “put to death” the lusts and desires of the flesh. To “save your life” is to seek your way, whereas to “lose your life” is to die to self and walk in God’s way. Thus it can be stated: “live for self and die; die to self and live.” Also realize that the cross is very painful to the flesh, but nevertheless it accomplishes God’s purposes. It is only when the flesh dies that we can behold God’s glory.

 

Jesus also revealed humbleness in the “blessed” statements from the Sermon on the Mount when He blessed the “poor in spirit,” “mournful,” and “meek (Mt 5:3-5).” Such humbleness forms the basis or foundation for “repentance” and this shall be discussed later. Jesus further stated: 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.” We must learn from Christ’s example, for no man shall enter into the kingdom of heaven in any other way. Proverbs 16:19, “Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” You must step very softly – for God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness (Ps 46:10, 47:8). Peace be still, the Lord is in His Holy hill (Ps 99:9, also Ps 46:10).

 

The Lord’s kingdom operates in self denial – placing God foremost and others above self – known as the two great commandments. The two great commandments state: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself (Lk 10:27, also Mt 22:37-39, Mk 12:29-31).”

 

So, Ahaziah sought his own way rather than seeking God. Elijah represented God in this matter and pronounced judgment (which had been prophesied to Ahab) of “thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17, 2 Kgs 1:4)” upon Ahab’s son, Ahaziah. Those who disregard God and seek their own way, have but one fate, and that is death. The wages of sin (or unrighteousness) is death (Rm 6:23). Sin is always unto death (Rm 6:16, 7:5, Js 1:14-15).

 

Ahaziah’s messengers turned back after hearing the judgment of God. 2 Kings 1:6-8, “And they said unto him, There came a man up to meet us, and said unto us, Go, turn again unto the king that sent you, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that thou sendest to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? therefore thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. And he said unto them, What manner of man was he which came up to meet you, and told you these words? And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.”

 

Seeking the way of the flesh always leads one to that which opposes God, the false god Baalzebub in this case. The devil always makes his appeals to the lusts and desires of man’s flesh. Seeking God requires humbleness and a sacrifice of your way. If you set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul (Deut 4:29, 1 Chr 22:19). Proverbs 28:5, “Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.” Judgment is to discern between good and evil and to choose the good.

 

Ahaziah was troubled, but rather than humble himself before God, he pridefully sends a force to bring Elijah to himself. 2 Kings 1:9-15, “Then the king sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down. And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly. And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight. Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight. And the angel of the LORD said unto Elijah, Go down with him: be not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him unto the king.”

 

Notice that the first two captains approached Elijah, who represented God, in pride. They came before God forcefully demanding their way and consequently were both destroyed. Proverbs 16:5, “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD.” We must understand: “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (Js 4:6).” We must come before God clothed with humility (1 Pt 5:5). Notice that the third captain came before Elijah, who represented God, humbly – he fell on his knees, poor in spirit as a beggar in great need. This man’s life was spared and God granted his request. Elijah then went to Ahaziah and pronounced the same judgment upon him and he died shortly thereafter (2 Kgs 1:16-17).

 

Another Example

 

Nebuchadnezzar was a king of kings: for the God of heaven gave him a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory (Jer 27:6-7, 28:14, Dan 2:37). And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven did God give into his hand, and made him ruler over them all (Dan 2:37-38). However, God greatly humbled king Nebuchadnezzar on at least two occasions due to his pride.

 

In the first instance, King Nebuchadnezzar set up a golden image and required the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces to bow down to it (Dan 3:1-7). However, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego served the true God and refused to bow down to the golden image (Dan 3:8-12). Nebuchadnezzar exalted himself in his pride and through fury and rage demanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego worship his god or he would throw them into a fiery furnace (Dan 3:13-18). When they still refused, he was livid and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated (Dan 3:19). The Lord God preserved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego within the furnace (joining them in the furnace) such that not even the smell of smoke was detected upon them (Dan 3:20-27). The king was greatly humbled before all of his kingdom’s officials. Daniel 3:28, “Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.”

 

Nebuchadnezzar was abased and God was exalted before all. This shall always be the outcome when one exalts himself before God. The truly humble can only be lifted up, but the prideful have far in which to fall. This is why Jesus said: Luke 14:8-11, “When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

 

In the next instance, God warned Nebuchadnezzar of his pride in a dream and sent Daniel to interpet the dream. The dream revealed that due to pride Nebuchadnezzar’s heart would be changed from man’s and a beast’s heart would be given unto him for seven years (Dan 4:16). Daniel 4:25, “That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” Daniel then said: Daniel 4:27, “Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.”

 

One year later, as the king walked in his palace: Daniel 4:30, “The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? The Lord says: “him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer (Ps 101:5).” It was then that the Lord sent madness upon him (Dan 4:31-33).” Daniel 4:34-35, 37, “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.”

 

Additional examples

 

Rehoboam the son of Solomon became king of Judah. 2 Chronicles 12:1-4, “And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him. And it came to pass, that in the fifth year of king Rehoboam Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the LORD, With twelve hundred chariots, and threescore thousand horsemen: and the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt; the Lubims, the Sukkiims, and the Ethiopians. And he took the fenced cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem. God can be your Lord and Protector or He can be your enemy.

 

Rehoboam and his princes considered the pride of their hearts and repented before God, choosing wisely. 2 Chronicles 12:6-7, “Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The LORD is righteous. And when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak.” It is only through a humble heart that God can be approached and His favor obtained.

 

Hezekiah wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered (2 Chr 31:20-21). The Lord God gave Hezekiah king of Judah a miraculous deliverance from Sennacherib king of Assyria (2 Chr 32:21). Afterward, he was magnified in the sight of all nations and Hezekiah rose up in pride (2 Chr 32:23). 2 Chronicles 32:25-26, “But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem. Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.” It was only Hezekiah’s humbleness before God that delivered him from the Lord’s wrath.

 

Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah did much evil and abominations before the Lord (2 Chr 33:12-13, 23). God spoke to Manasseh and to his people of this evil, but they would not listen (2 Chr 33:10). 2 Chronicles 33:11-13, “Wherefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God.” When a man is humbled, he can see his need for God so much clearer than when he is blinded by pride. We are told of Manasseh’s son Amon: “he humbled not himself before the LORD, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but Amon trespassed more and more (2 Chr 33:23).” Amon was slain by his own servants (2 Chr 33:25).

 

King Josiah of Judah sought the Lord with all his heart (2 Chr 34:2). When the book of the Law was read to Josiah and he had heard the words of the law, he rent his clothes and said: “for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book. (2 Chr 34:18-19, 21).” The Lord answered Josiah in saying: 2 Chronicles 34:27-28, “Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD. Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of the same. So they brought the king word again.” Josiah was contrite and trembled at God’s Word and the Lord responded to him favorably (Is 66:2).

 

Zedekiah was the last king of Judah before they were taken in captivity to Babylon. 2 Chronicles 36:12-14, “And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD. And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel. Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.

 

What became of Zedekiah? King Nebuchadnezzar’s armies took Jerusalem: 2 Kings 25:7, “And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.” Pride always leads to blindness, bondage and death.

 

The Prideful Son

 

Let us consider another example of approaching God with a humble and repentant heart. Jesus told a parable which many have termed the Prodigal Son. A more appropriate title would be the Prideful Son. In this parable a man (representative of God) had a son (representative of self seeking man). The son asked his father for his share of the inheritance. Rather than stay and serve the father, the son went off to a far land to seek his own way and there wasted his substance with riotous living (Lk 15:11-13). He was going to embrace the world and partake of its pleasures. This son was not concerned with the will of the Father, but rather seeking his own way as guided by his own lusts and desires. He went far away to seek his lusts because darkness cannot abide in the presence of light.

 

The father said that his son was lost and dead (Lk 15:24). This son was dead while he yet lived. Even so, the father allowed the son his free-will in the matter. God must be served with a pure heart. The Lord does not force man to serve Him. Man has a free will in this world – and God shall determine where that will shall take you. Those who shall be eternally separated from God shall only realize their own desire – the fruit of their own doings and choices.

 

Having wasted all, this son was greatly humbled and destitute (Lk 15:14-16). It is only through humbleness that a man can begin to clearly see what is true and righteous. The seeking of self is ultimately unfulfilling and will lead to despair. This son went from being prideful to being humbled through his circumstances. The Lord says: “in their affliction they will seek me early (Hos 5:15).” The ONLY way you will ever see your need for God and His truth is to be in a state of humbleness and brokenness. Few seek God when all is seemingly well. God’s mercy humbles you through life’s circumstances.

 

It was then that the son came to himself and carefully planned his repentance and return to his father (Lk 15:17-19). He said: “I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants (Lk 15:18-19).” Repentance starts with a step toward God through the acknowledgement of wrongs and taking responsibility for those wrongs. This son change directions and went back to the father. Returning to the father’s way meant that he would have to forsake his way.

 

The son then took action: Luke 15:20-24, “And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.”

 

God desires movement on our part! James 4:8, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” AND “if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you (2 Chr 15:2, also 2 Chr 24:20).” Proverbs 8:17, “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” You must turn and walk toward God!

 

Notice the great love of God! When the son was still a far ways off the Father ran to the son with love and compassion. Let us consider the nature of God: Psalms 86:5, “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee (Ex 34:6-7, Ps 86:15, 103:8, 130:7, 145:18).” The son could hardly state his repentance for the Father’s rejoicing. The father said that the son was “dead,” but is now “alive” through repentance. The son was “lost,” but is now “found” through repentance. He has seen his error and has returned. Christ said: Luke 19:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Jesus has come to seek you, will you be found? Will you stubbornly and rebelliously refuse to leave the swine sty (the darkness of the devil’s lie)? Will you refuse to be humbled?

 

Jesus – The Example

 

Christ is man’s example in all things. Hebrews 5:7-9, “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” Obedience to God makes one perfect.

 

Jesus placed God’s will above His own will no matter what was required. When facing the cross, Jesus said: Luke 22:42, “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done (also Mt 26:42) – not what I will, but what thou wilt (Mk 14:36).” Philippians 2:8, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

 

Pride is the great hindrance in reaching God because it places your way before or “in advance of” God’s way. The proud do not yield to God’s way because they are too busy seeking their own way. The proud do not submit to God, due to a higher commitment to self. The proud disregard God or cast His Word behind their backs (Ps 28:5, 1 Kgs 14:9, Is 5:12, Ez 23:35, Heb 8:9). Psalms 50:17, “Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.” The Lord says to them: Proverbs 1:24-31, “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.”

 

Those who walk in pride are often referred to as “foolish” in God’s Word. This is because they reject wisdom which is the “fear of the Lord (Job 28:28, Ps 111:10, Pv 9:10, 15:33, Is 11:2, 33:6).” Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” For the wise: “wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure (Is 33:6).” Proverbs 18:2, “A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.” For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous (Ps 10:3). The wise can be taught: Proverbs 9:9, “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” Proverbs 24:5, “A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.” Proverbs 10:14, “Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.” Lastly consider: Proverbs 17:10, “A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.”

 

The “fear of the Lord” fosters submission, repentance and obedience toward God and by which men depart from evil. Truth is after godliness (Ti 1:1). Those who are humble and fear God take heed to the Lord’s instruction – they can be taught! Therefore: Psalms 25:9, “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.” The plea of the humble is: Psalms 27:11, “Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path.” Psalms 143:10, “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” Psalms 147:6, “The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.” This would be the same as saying: the Lord lifteth up the humble: he caseth the proud down to the ground. Isaiah 29:19, “The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.” Psalms 22:26, “The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.” Psalms 37:11, “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” Psalms 149:4, “For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.”

 

Let us further understand: Psalms 34:18, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Isaiah 57:15, “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isaiah 66:2, “For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” Being humble and contrite is the basis of repentance. Therefore: Psalms 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

 

Finally, let us consider that the humble are very self critiquing. Psalms 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalms 26:2, “Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.” 2 Samuel 22:29, “For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness (also Ps 18:28).” The Lord searcheth the hearts of men (1 Chr 28:9, Ps 44:21, Jer 17:10, Rm 8:27, 1 Cor 2:10, Rev 2:23). Proverbs 20:27, “The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.” Lamentations 3:40, “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD (this is repentance).” So: 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

 

Chapter Twelve, “Conclusion”

 

The message of this book and of God’s written Word (Bible) is that: God is a merciful God, but you must “sin no more.” To “sin no more” is to stop transgressing God’s will and thus walk in God’s truth. There is no justification to sin in the Lord’s Word. Proverbs 8:20  The Lord leads in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment (Pv 8:20). Therefore, no true man of God can tell you that it is acceptable or understandable to transgress the truth of God. The most applicable response to one caught up in life’s difficulties is what Jesus expressed to the adulterous woman – “neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more (Jn 8:11). This points one to God’s mercy and points one to God’s truth. Realize that mercy shall forsake you “if” you forsake God’s truth. The “neither do I condemn thee” or mercy MUST lead man to the truth or understanding, which is to “go and sin no more;” to depart from evil. Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy (Hos 10:12). God says: “I love them that love me (Pv 8:17).

 

The Lord said of Israel: Isaiah 48:1, “Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness.” Israel “identified” with God, but did not walk in God’s truth or righteousness. They were “religious,” but their actions were unacceptable in God’s eyes.

 

Additionally, consider this: Jeremiah 7:1-3, “The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Stand in the gate of the LORD’S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place (also Jer 26:1-7, 13).” Israel had a form of worship to God, but their ways and doings were unacceptable. God said they did evil: Jeremiah 7:10, “And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?” In other words, our “profession” of God makes us not accountable to the evil we do.

 

Israel identified with God, but did evil. They did not consider themselves to be worthy of death even though their actions warranted it. Jeremiah 26:8, “Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die.” All the people did think Jeremiah was worthy of death for speaking God’s Words. This is a serious disconnect!

 

We must understand that many “identify” with God today and have a form of worship – they assemble in religious buildings with all manner of ceremony. However, like Israel, their worship is often not in truth, nor in righteousness because their daily lives do not reflect God’s truth and righteousness. The religious world has embraced God’s mercy…but what about walking in the truth? As discussed in this book, it is the truth that brings about the world’s hatred of you. Compromising the truth brings the desired relief from persecution. Compromise is the the detour to the broad way and certain/assured blindness.

 

With God nothing shall be impossible (Lk 1:37). The Lord says to whosoever shall hear: Jeremiah 29:13, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul (Deut 4:29). Psalms 86:15, “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth (Ps 103:8).” 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 (Ez 33:11). Psalms 69:32, “The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God.”

 

May all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ (Eph 3:9). Turn fully unto Jesus Christ (according unto His eternal purpose, Eph 3:11) and be restored and reconciled unto God. Forsake the darkness (devil’s lie), receive God’s mercy and walk in the light (God’s truth). Ephesians 5:8, 10, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light. Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” Mercy and truth shall bring you back to God. Ephesians 5:14, “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” 1 Corinthians 15:34, “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.”

 

Man’s freedom and life are only found in obedience to the Word or truth of God. The sad thing is that man’s religious doctrines and theologies have almost completely eliminated this understanding and have left the religious masses of people in the darkness. The false prophets always speak evil of the way of truth, which is to downplay obedience to the truth (2 Pt 2:1-2). Mystery Babylon (man’s religion through time and cultures) has made the inhabitants (peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues) of the earth drunk (without clear understanding) with the wine of her fornication (Rev 17:2, 15). The only solution for such drunkenness is “repentance,” which is unto the acknowledging of the truth – to sober up and see clearly – to have light in darkness.

 

God told man that he must obey the Lord’s commandment or “thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17).” The devil told man that he did not have to obey God and “ye shall not surely die (Gen 3:4).” The devil led man out of God’s truth and into his bondage or darkness – into his great lie. Now please pay attention to this: religious man through his theologies essentially states that you can sin against God (if you have accepted Christ) and “ye shall not surely die.” The devil and religious man are quite often in agreement, This should be a great shock to most.

 

When Jesus walked among men, He was very merciful and compassionate to the humble and lost. However, Jesus did have many harsh and condemning things to say to the prideful religious men. Christ said such things as: John 5:42, “But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you (if ye love Me, keep My commandments).” AND Matthew 5:20, “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness (conformity of heart and life to the will of God) shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” AND Matthew 23:33, “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” AND 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.” AND Matthew 23:15, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte (convert), and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”

 

So, we can draw a conclusion here: 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.” The Holy Ghost or God’s grace must work a work in you that manifest in your actions for you to be found in God. Titus 2:11-14, “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.”

 

Man’s works do not save (religiosity, rituals, traditions, etc.). Christ’s works do save (spoke God’s truth; led by example; died to procure God’s mercy; and sent the Holy Ghost). Jesus brought mercy and truth and you must be found in them. God’s mercy must prompt you to walk in the Lord’s truth which produces good works. The works are of God – working His purposes in you. Like Moses, you are to just obey!

 

To “redeem from all iniquity” is the same as leading you from “darkness to light.” To “purify” is the Holy Ghost teaching and leading you to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. 1 John 3:3, “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love (1 Pt 1:22). 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 must humble “self” and fully turn to God and embrace the truth of His Word (poor in spirit, mournful, meek, Mt 5:3-5). This is not a one time act or shallow profession, but a lifetime of complete commitment – heart, soul, mind, and strength – seeking first and foremost the kingdom of God and His righteousness. This is to hunger and thirst after righteousness (Mt 5:6) – to be merciful and forgiving (Mt 5:7) – to be pure in heart (Mt 5:8). You must make peace with God and come into agreement with His truth and walk therein daily (Amos 3:3, Mt 5:9). You must be willing to suffer for Christ’s name’s sake (Mt 5:10-11). In other words, you must be Holy as God is holy. You conform to Christ’s image and become “perfected” in His truth – just men made perfect. You must be born of water and of the Spirit. You must take up your cross and follow as led by the Holy Ghost. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Php 2:12).

 

God’s truth destroys the lusts and desires of the flesh. Who will buy the truth? – you cannot give it away. The devil’s lie says that you can seek your own way and “ye shall not surely die (Gen 3:4).” Multitudes shall gladly buy such a lie. The paradox is that even though you cannot give the truth away to the “many,” the precious “few” who find it will give everything they have to obtain it (Mt 7:13-14). Jesus said it like this: Matthew 13:44-46, “The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”

 

What is this treasure? Colossians 2:3, “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Proverbs 2:6, “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:2, “So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding.” Psalms 111:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” Job 28:28, “And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” So, fearing the Lord, obeying His Word and departing from evil is true wisdom and understanding. Proverbs 14:16, “A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.” Proverbs 3:13, “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.” Proverbs 19:8, “He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.” Therefore: Proverbs 23:23, “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.”

 

Consider Jesus, the example: Isaiah 11:2, “And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD (also Is 7:15).” Isaiah 11:3, “And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD…” Acts 10:38, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” 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 King must have wisdom and understanding to build His kingdom (2 Chr 2:12).

 

Jesus came and freely provided the truth to man as a man and then walked a perfect example saying, “come, follow Me.” Jesus died and freely provided mercy – His mercy endureth forever (1 Chr 16:41). The paradox is that to freely receive this mercy and truth and walk in it will cost you everything that you have. Colossians 3:3, “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Recall: that to “follow” you must come with cross in hand (Mt 16:24, Mk 8:34, Mk 10:21, Lk 9:23). Jesus said: Matthew 10:38, “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” Luke 14:27, “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” 1 Corinthians 6:20, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Gal 2:20). Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own (1 Cor 6:19). So, count the cost in following lest having been called ye be not chosen (Lk 14:28, Mt 20:16, 22:14, 2 Thess 1:11).

 

Followers of Christ are told: 1 Thessalonians 2:12, “That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.” Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul (1 Pt 2:11). 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8, “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 3:8, “For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.” The Lord keepest covenant (solemn agreement) and shewest mercy to those who walk before Him with all their hearts (2 Chr 6:14). Deuteronomy 5:10, “And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments (Ex 20:6).” 1 John 3:24, “And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.” The Lord is plenteous in mercy and truth and this is the kingdom of God (Ps 86:15). Even so, the Lord will not clear the guilty (Ex 34:7) – that is remove the condemnation (pardon) of “thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17).”

 

God has given His mercy and truth and those who love the Lord shall walk therein. Psalms 95:7, “For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice (also Ps 100:3, Heb 3:7).” Psalms 128:1, “Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.” Fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth (Josh 24:14).

 

I confidently declare to all who read to this message (those who hear), and “fear God” (and are thus humble) will depart from all evil and walk in God’s truth. You shall freely destroy the idols in your life and demonstrate the truth of this message.

 

David – the Lord’s Servant

 

 

 

 

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

 

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