Chapter Four, The Way, the Truth, and the Life
His ways are everlasting (Hab 3:6)…
What are God’s purposes concerning man? The Lord purposes to restore man back to his uncorrupted state. All rebellion or transgressing of God’s will must end. In order for this to occur, man must understand the truth and how he has violated God’s will. Man must repent by humbling himself, acknowledging his wrong, sincerely crying out for God’s forgiveness and mercy, forsaking his wrong, and fully turning back to God (i.e. 2 Chr 7:14). In doing so, man must love, surrender to, obey, trust in and be devoted to God. Man must embrace God’s will and walk in His ways. Man must be found in God’s truth and thus be in the Lord’s image.
God is working to accomplish His will. 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.” In finishing this work, there will be those who are reconciled to God and those who are separated or cast away from God. The deciding factor will be faith which is manifested as one’s works and deeds – how they lived with regard or disregard to God – they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (Jn 5:29). God is the focus of all creation and all will be judged based upon their respect or disrespect of God and His will/purposes/truth/Word.
Jesus came to the lost to lead them back to God. 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.” Matthew 18:11, “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” The Lord leads “those who will hear” by God’s truth and in His example of walking in that truth. John 10:4, “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.” No one will be able to say that God does not understand. God became flesh and led by example and there is no greater testimony. Psalms 25:8-9, “Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.” Jesus came in flesh as a man and taught and led (Ps 32:8, 85:13, Is 42:16, 48:17, 49:10). Proverbs 8:20-21, “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.”
Christ said: John 17:19, “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” To sanctify is to cleanse, purify and make holy – to set apart. This is to make holy by taking one’s affections off of the world and exalting them to a supreme love of God – heart, soul, mind and strength. Jesus set the example and His disciples must follow therein. Receiving and applying God’s truth sanctifies (Jn 17:17).
Jesus said: John 12:26, “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour (also Mk 8:34).” Jesus went back to the Father and His sheep shall follow Him there – for He is not of this world (Jn 8:23). Jesus said to His followers: 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.” So Jesus is not of this world and His followers are not of this world. John 17:16, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
Why are Christ’s disciples not of this world? Because we have been called, drawn and chosen by the Father who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son (Col 1:13, also Jn 6:44, 65, Acts 2:39, 47). We are no longer citizens of the kingdoms of this world, but are “born again” as citizens in the kingdom of God. Jesus is the King eternally sitting in the seat of David. Those who are servants to Christ are loyal to Him alone and are only sojourners and pilgrims in the kingdoms of this world.
Jesus overcame all things and so will His disciples. 1 John 5:4, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” To be born of God is to be filled and led of His Spirit. What does a disciple of Jesus overcome? They must overcome the world and the lusts and desires of the flesh. 1 John 2:15-17, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” The devil leads in the way of the flesh (its lusts and desires) and this is in opposition to the will of God. You must overcome this darkness through Christ’s light.
Christ said: Revelation 2:26-27, “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. You must keep (apply and live) Jesus’ Words – this will become very evident as we proceed further into this chapter. Those who overcome as Jesus overcame will share in Christ’s rewards. Jesus rules with a rod of iron and so do His followers (Rev 12:5, 19:15).
Consider this: Revelation 3:21, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Notice that Jesus went before and His sheep follow after. Jesus died to self, walked meekly and obeyed the Father in all things. The Father exalted Jesus to sit at the right hand of His throne. Jesus councils us: John 15:10, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love (also Jn 14:31).” Christ’s disciple’s follow Him by denying self taking up their cross, walking meekly and keeping His commandments (Mt 16:24, Mk 8:34, Lk 9:24). In doing so, they overcome and are exalted by Jesus to sit with Him in His throne. Therefore: Revelation 21:7, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”
The Spirit leads us to overcome this world and become sons of God (Rm 8:14). We follow in Christ’s steps (1 Pt 2:21). Jesus said: John 16:28, “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.” Jesus does not return void, for many will follow and God shall accomplish that which He pleases and shall prosper in His purpose (Is 55:11). Jesus is truly the Way.
Jesus is the Word of God. Scriptures state: “Thy Word is truth (Jn 17:17)! Christ revealed of Himself: 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.” Jesus is the Word, which was made flesh, which is the very embodiment or personification of God’s truth. God the Father said: “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 (Heb 1:5).” Notice the relationship and consider how an obedient and faithful son relates to his father.
King David said: Psalms 43:3, “O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.” This is exactly what God did! Jesus, “the light of men” and Word of God was made flesh and was full of grace and truth (Jn 1:4, 14). Jesus came to lead in the “Truth” and the “Way.” Christ teachest the way of God in truth (Mk 12:14).
The Word became flesh, which is Jesus the Son, for the purpose of speaking God’s Word or truth to man. 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.” Jesus proceeded forth and came from God and was sent unto man (to dwell among us) to speak God’s Word which is eternal truth (Jn 8:42).
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 (also Jn 14:10).” Christ further stated: “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me (Jn 7:16).” John 8:28, “Then said Jesus unto them, 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.”
What is the truth of God? The truth of God is contained in the two great commandments. Mark 12:29-31, “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Jesus bolstered the second commandment by specifically declaring: John 13:34, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another (also Jn 15:12, 17, 1 Jn 3:11, 23).” Notice that Jesus appeals to man to “hear” what He is about to say! This will be better understood below in “The Prophecy concerning Christ.”
The only way to walk in these two commandments is to “die to self.” You must die to your lusts and desires and place God foremost in everything that you do. You must place others ahead of self. This requires humbleness and meekness. Here is a hard truth for man: “Live for self and die; die to self and live (Mt 10:39, 16:25, Mk 8:35, Lk 9:24, 17:33, Jn 12:25).” Love is the sacrifice of self for the benefit of another – God first and then your neighbor. These lose their life for now (what they want) for Christ’s sake, but find their life later (eternal life in God).
Those who walk in self seek their own foremost. Hatred is the opposite of love. Hatred is the sacrifice of another for the benefit of self. To seek your will is to disregard God’s will. Those who walk in self disregard God foremost and then their neighbors. These find their life (selfish lusts) for now, but lose it later (eternal damnation). These positions of love and hatred are utterly opposite of each other.
Scripture states: Proverbs 16:6, “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil (also Ps 34:14, 37:27).” Jesus came to obtain mercy or pardon for the condemnation of “thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17)” that man is under. By His own blood, Jesus provided for the remission of sins that are past (Rm 3:25, Col 1:14). Remission is forgiveness or pardon; the giving up of the punishment due a crime. Jesus loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood (Rev 1:5). Jesus also spoke and walked God’s Word, thus showing us “the Way” to God. When man receives God’s Word, applies it to his life, and walks in it, in combination with the remission of sins, then the transgressing of God’s will (iniquity) is purged. This is God’s purposes for man.
Those who genuinely receive God’s Word and take it to heart will “fear” God and produce acceptable fruit in their lives (Mk 4:20). They will surrender to God’s will and love Him, obey Him, trust and serve Him. Those who walk in God’s Word or truth will not do that which opposes God. To walk in evil (darkness) would violate God’s Word or truth. So, those who truly “fear” God will depart from all such evil. 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.” The engrafted (to introduce something foreign for the purpose of propagation) Word of God which is received with meekness will save the soul (Js 1:21). Jesus came and spoke God’s Word for the purpose of transforming you.
Therefore, it can be stated: Psalms 25:10, “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” To walk in truth is to keep God’s Word. Keeping God’s Word procures mercy and thus purges iniquity.
So, Jesus says: John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” The Father sent the Word unto man. Those who hear and take to heart what Jesus the Word said shall have a pardon from the condemnation – they will be granted life. God’s Word shall have had its effect and shall have accomplished God’s purposes by stopping man from transgressing His will (Word, truth, commandments). Thus God’s Word does not return void (Jesus went back to the Father in victory).
God appeared to the children of Israel at Horeb to speak His commandments (Ex chaps 19 & 20). The people greatly feared God: 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.” 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.
Jesus was this one who would come and speak God’s Words (truth). Peter acknowledged that Jesus was the one in saying: Acts 3:22-23, “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” The faithful martyr Stephen also acknowledged that Jesus was this prophesied one (Acts 7:37-39). God in these last days spoken unto us by His Son (Heb 1:2).
God the Father said of Jesus: Matthew 12:18-20, “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.”
Christ was made flesh to teach man the Word or truth of God, both by Word and example. Jesus said: “I speak those things I have heard of him (God the Father, Jn 8:26).” Christ also said: “I must work the works of Him that sent Me (Jn 9:4).” John 6:45, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” 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 must come to Him. 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.”
When Jesus was with Peter, James and John (the pillars of His future church) at the mount of transfiguration (Mk 9:1-6), the following significant event occurred: Mark 9:7, “And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him (also Lk 9:34-35).” This brings us back to when God appeared in a cloud at Mount Horeb and the people feared to hear God. God now appears in a cloud and directs us to listen to the one He has raised up from among the brethren to speak His Words (Deut 18:17-18). Jesus was sent of God to speak God’s Word or truth. John 3:34, “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.” The Father’s message to these men was “hear Him.” Jesus said on several occasions: “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear (Mk 4:9, 23, 7:16). He that is of God heareth God’s words (Jn 8:47).
The Words spoken by Christ (given by the Father) will be required of man. Furthermore, Jesus said: Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away (also Mk 13:31).” Jesus said man would be judged by these Words (Jn 12:48). So, if Christ’s Word shall never pass away and all of creation will be held accountable to these Words, doesn’t it behoove us to take them very seriously? Can anything possibly be more important than the Lord’s Word? Jesus said: Luke 10:24, “For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”
The most significant thing that we must understand is that Jesus was sent by God to speak God’s Words to man. These spoken Words will be required of man. Peter concluded his statement that Jesus came to bring God’s Words by saying: 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.” The purpose of God’s Words or truth is to turn man from his iniquities (transgressions of God’s will). This is the effect that must be realized in you. Your earthly life will be measured by God’s Words and if you conformed to them and thus turned from your iniquities.
Jesus’ death on the cross absolutely did not give man carte blanche (complete freedom) to continue to sin and dwell in iniquity. There is no forgiveness and mercy to continue to sin. It makes absolutely no sense to ask forgiveness for something that you have no intention of forsaking. If you continue in darkness and sin, then Christ’s Words have not taken root in you – they have been rejected. The only clear and concise evidence of Christ’s Words finding place in you is when you freely “turn” from your iniquities. Jesus Words or truth must set you free from sin, otherwise they are void in you (Jn 8:32, 36). God loves righteousness and hates iniquity (Heb 1:9).
Christ has given us God’s Words and walked them by example. Hebrews 12:18-21, “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:).” This was the dreadful sight whereby men feared to hear God’s Words directly from God.
Through Christ’s Words and the Holy Spirit whom He has given us, we are made perfect. Hebrews 12:22-23, “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.” These “just men” are made perfect by hearing, receiving and applying God’s Word to their lives. They do this through the power, leading and teaching of the Holy Spirit. These are led to become the sons of God (Rm 8:14).
Consider the effect of God’s Word: Hebrews 12:27-29, “And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” Those who abide not in God’s Word shall be shaken out of His creation – eternally removed.
One additional point and an interesting and sad note is that when God spoke directly to His people in His glory and power (at Horeb) they were afraid and did not want to hear Him. When God later became flesh and spoke to His people as a man, they did not want to hear or receive Him either. John 1:11, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not (also Lk 17:25, 18:32-33, Jn 7:5, 8:37, 45, 47, 10:38, 12:37).” Jesus said: “the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed (Mk 8:31, 9:31, Lk 9:22).” The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner (Mk 12:10). God has reached out to man in many ways. Man has by and large consistently rejected God and His Words (commandments, truth). Man will be without excuse at the Judgment. Jesus told some: John 5:38, “And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.” The work of God is that ye believe on him whom he hath sent (Jn 6:29).
The Lord told David (through Nathan the prophet): 1 Chronicles 17:11-14, “And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee: But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.” Jesus fulfilled this prophecy exactly.
Many will consider that God was referring to Solomon. However, Solomon’s wives turned his heart unto other gods and he built temples to these gods which became a stumbling stone to Judah (1 Kg 11:1-10). 1 Kings 11:6, 9-10, “And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.” Because of this the Lord God split the kingdom of Israel and only left one tribe to Judah – and that only for David’s sake (1 Kg 11:12-13, 32-36). Finally, the temple that Solomon built was later destroyed.
Let us consider how Jesus Christ fulfills this prophecy:
1) “I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons” – Jesus came forth from the seed of David: John 7:42, “Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” AND Romans 1:3-4, “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead (thus God did not take away His mercy from Him, see below).”
2) “I will establish his kingdom” – Jesus talked extensively about the kingdom of God. Christ spake: Mark 1:15, “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” The gospel was the truth of God that Christ brought and shall be required of man. God’s Word is with power and establishes His purposes (Is 55:11) – sifting the good and the bad (discussed below). God the Father has appointed Jesus the Son an eternal kingdom (Lk 19:12, 22:29, Jn 18:36).
3) “I will be his father, and he shall be my son” – God the Father said of Jesus: Hebrews 1:5, “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” AND Acts 13:33, “God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee (also Ps 2:7, Heb 5:5).” God the Father said of Jesus: Matthew 3:17, “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (also Mt 12:18, 17:5, Mk 1:11, Lk 3:22, 2 Pt 1:17).”
4) “He shall build me an house” – John the Baptist prophesied of Jesus: Luke 3:17, “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable (also Mt 3:12).” We discussed how Jesus was raised up from among the brethren to speak God’s Word or truth to man (Word of God made flesh, Jn 1:1-14). The Word that Jesus brought separates the good from the bad. Only those of a humble and contrite heart will receive God’s Word and apply it to their lives. Concerning these John said: Luke 3:16, “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire (also Mt 3:11, Mk 1:8, Jn 1:33).”
Jesus builds an house for God to dwell in by baptizing with the Holy Ghost those who receive God’s truth and are obedient to it (Jn 14:21, 23, Acts 5:32). Christ said: John 14:15-17, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” Furthermore: John 14:20, 23, “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
Christ builds a church (Ekklesia – called out ones) which are called out of the world unto God (Rm 1:6, 8:28, 30, 9:24, 26, 1 Cor 1:9, 24, 26, 7:17, Gal 1:6, Eph 4:4, Col 3:15, 1 Thess 2:12, 2 Thess 2:14, 2 Tim 1:9, 1 Pt 1:15, 2:9, 3:9, 2 Pt 1:3, Jude 1:1). John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” AND John 6:44-45, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” Jesus baptizes each member of His body with the Holy Ghost and dwells within them (Acts 2:33, Rm 8:9). One is “sealed” unto God by the Spirit (2 Cor 1:22, Eph 1:13, 4:30).
5) “I will stablish his throne for ever” – God has given Christ an eternal throne and everlasting kingdom (Mt 16:28, 25:31, Col 1:13, 1 Thess 2:12, 2 Tim 4:1, 2 Pt 1:11): Luke 1:33, “And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” AND Philippians 2:9-11, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (also Acts 5:31).”
Jesus was exalted to sit at the right hand of the Father (Mt 22:44, 26:64, Mk 12:36, 14:62, 16:19, Lk 20:42, Acts 2:33-34, 5:31, 7:55-56, Rm 8:34, Eph 1:20, Col 3:1, Heb 1:3, 13, 8:1, 10:12, 12:2). Luke 22:69, “Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.” AND 1 Peter 3:22, “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.”
6) “I will not take my mercy away from him” – God the Father did not take His mercy from Jesus the Son when He took our sins and suffered our condemnation. It was prophesied of Jesus: Isaiah 54:7-10, “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.”
7) “I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore” – Jesus said of His body: 1 Peter 2:5, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (also Eph 2:21-22).” Jesus is the chief corner stone of this spiritual house (Mt 21:42, Mk 12:10, Lk 20:17, Acts 4:11, Eph 2:20, 1 Pt 2:6-7).
When Christ’s kingdom is fully realized on a new earth, the Lord says: Revelation 21:1-3, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God (also Rev 7:15).” AND Revelation 21:23, “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”
The Lord Jesus perfectly fulfills the prophecy in that He was born of the seed of David and was called the Son of God (begotten of the Father, Jn 1:13, 18, 3:16, 18, Acts 13:33, Heb 1:5, 5:5, 11:17, 1 Jn 4:9, that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God, Lk 1:32, 35). Jesus absolutely obeyed the Father’s will and spoke God’s Word or truth to man. This truth separates the righteous from the wicked.
Those who genuinely/sincerely receive God’s Word and walk in His ways are baptized in the Holy Ghost. This is such an important point! Jesus builds a sure house with a firm foundation and God dwells within each member (Mt 7:24-27, Lk 6:47-49). Ephesians 2:20-22, “ And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” The Father raised Jesus from the dead (who bear the sin of the world) in great and eternal mercy. Proverbs 16:6, “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.”
Let us understand in a little more depth how “by mercy and truth iniquity is purged.” The Lord stated very clearly in the Old Testament and the New Testament to His people: 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 Deut 8:3, Mt 4:4).” To live by every Word of God is to live in God’s truth. Jesus also stated: John 6:27, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” The meat which perisheth is that which the flesh desires. We must reject the desires of the flesh and live by God’s Words or truth. Recall that Jesus set the earthly example when He revealed: “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work (Jn 4:34).”
The question was asked, what are the works of God? John 6:29, “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” In other words, you must believe the message or words of truth that Jesus was speaking. You must live by these Words. The Lord stated: John 6:48, “I am that bread of life.” Christ’s Words (which are from the Father) are what you must believe on and live by to have life. John 6:33, “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” The life is found in obedience to God’s Words. To obey God’s Words is to stop transgressing God’s will and thus iniquity is purged. John 6:47, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” This is further understood as: “liveth and believeth in Me shall never die (Jn 11:26).”
In continuing His purposeful teaching, Jesus said: John 6:51, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” Jesus gave His body (flesh) as a sacrifice to atone for man’s sins for the remission of sin. Jesus gave Himself so that man could have forgiveness of past transgressions of God’s will and receive pardon from the condemnation that man may have life. John 6:53, “Then Jesus said unto them, 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.
Why must we do this? The reason is because Jesus’ flesh is the bread of God which is the Word of God that we must live by (Jn 6:35, 47-48, 50). John 6:51, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” Jesus’ blood is the atonement or forgiveness of past sins (Rm 3:25, Jn 1:29, 36). Jesus loves us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood (Rev 1:5). The “life” is in the blood (Gen 9:4,Lv 17:11, 14, Deut 12:23). Therefore: John 6:54, “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” Jesus sealed His Word (gospel, covenant) with His very blood (Heb 9:14-28, Rev 5:9).
There is provision for past, present and future action here. The blood gives forgiveness of sins that are past (the transgression of God’s will). The flesh is God’s Word or truth that we must live by in the present and future. The combination of the two accomplishes God’s purposes. John 6:54, “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Jesus said: John 6:57, “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” Jesus stated to the devil in the wilderness temptations that He would not live by the desires of the flesh, but by God’s every Word (Mt 4:4, Lk 4:4). Jesus said His meat (sustenance) was to do the will of the Father (Jn 4:34). Jesus said He always does those things which please the Father (Jn 8:29). Remember, God said that His Word shall accomplish that which I please (Is 55:11). Jesus lived by the Father and accomplished what pleased the Father – His works. Jesus set the example and revealed “the Way” to God.
Christ says that as He has done, we must now do. We must live by Christ’s every Word (which were from the Father). Your life is only found by living in Christ’s Words. The flesh seeks its own will and this is always contrary (in opposition) to God’s will. 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.”
We can now unequivocally state: that by mercy and truth iniquity is purged (Pv 16:6). Mercy is found in Christ’s shed blood. Truth is found in Christ’s Word. We are forgiven of our past sins (mercy, pardon) to walk in God’s Word or truth and thus there is no more iniquity which is the transgression of God’s will. 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.”
Jesus says of those who do not believe on Him (and His Word): “ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins (Jn 8:24).” These continue to walk in iniquity and thus continually transgress God’s will. John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” These have no mercy or pardon from God and are still under the original condemnation of “thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17).” Mercy cannot be granted where truth is not upheld and abided by. Mercy is only for those who see their error and turn from such.
God shall send forth his mercy and his truth (Ps 57:3). Christ came forth as the very embodiment of God’s truth. Jesus also came forth as God’s provision for mercy. Jesus is plenteous in mercy and truth and these go before Him (Ps 86:15, 89:14). To walk in God’s truth (as Jesus walked) is to obtain God’s mercy (Christ’s atonement for forgiveness of sin). Psalms 57:10-11, “For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth (also Ps 108:4).” In Christ: Psalms 85:10, “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Jesus obtained mercy for man and made peace between God and man through truth. Those who walk in truth have mercy and thus peace with God.
The Lord told some religious men: John 8:31-36, “…If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
Free from what? Sin. Free for what purpose? Romans 6:22, “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” AND Galatians 1:4, “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” No one will serve God while walking in darkness (1 Jn 1:6). The motions of sin work to bring forth death (Rm 7:5). Sin brought death into the world. Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin…” Sin reigns unto death (Rm 5:21). The wages of sin is death (Rm 6:23). The sting of death is sin (1 Cor 15:56). All unrighteousness is sin (1 Jn 5:17).
Life is only found in obeying God’s will. Sin is the wrong path and results in the second death. Therefore: 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?” Jesus came to set you free from being a servant to sin. This is why the New Testament states over and over that “life” is found in Jesus!!!
We just discussed how by mercy and truth iniquity is purged. God’s truth makes you free from sin and thus Jesus stated: John 8:36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Our restoration (regain the former uncorrupted state, renewed, re-created, born again, reconciliation with God), our justification (remission of sin, absolution from guilt and punishment), our redemption (purchased back unto God, deliverance from sin and its penalty) is only to be found in Christ’s Word (truth) and sacrifice (atonement). We receive mercy for the purpose of living in His Word. Jesus gives us His Spirit to teach us and lead us in His truth – to “know” and “apply” that truthto our lives. Freedom from sin and iniquity is only found in Jesus’ Word and His example. You must walk as He walked and be conformed to Christ’s image (Col 2:6, 1 Jn 2:6). He is “the Way,” He is “the Truth,” and thus He is “the Life.” Jesus is the only way back to the Father (Jn 14:6, Acts 4:12).
The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of truth (Jn 15:26, 16:13, Eph 1:13). 2 John 1:2, “For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.” The Spirit dwells within the sincere follower and the Spirit is truth. 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.” Jesus said: 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.” The Spirit leads in truth which is righteousness (purity of heart and conformity of life to God’s will). The Holy Ghost leads in the truth that Jesus spoke – there is unity between Spirit and Word. Do you see how Jesus has made provision through His sacrifice (Acts 2:33) for you to live in God’s truth and be set free from sin?
Therefore: We have salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth (2 Thess 2:13). Ye have purified your souls (iniquity is purged) in obeying the truth through the Spirit (1 Pt 1:22). Jesus spoke the truth. We must believe and obey the truth spoken as led by the Holy Ghost. Now perhaps you can fully see how: Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” God realizes His purposes for man in those who conform to His truth. There is no more violation of God’s will and these are His children.
The religious men that Jesus was talking to did not understand their need for deliverance or freedom from sin (how true even today). They said that Abraham was their father and they were his seed (Jn 8:32-37). They considered that their righteousness was from lineage. Jesus said His Word (that of the Father) had no place in them (Jn 8:37) – they would not receive it. John 8:38, “I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.” Christ told them He was sent from the Father with this Word (Jn 8:42-43).
Jesus then proceeded to define who these religious men’s father was. John 8:44, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” This may seem a bit harsh until we completely understand what Jesus was saying.
God is life! Obedience to God (His Word or truth) procures life and life eternal. Disobedience to God produces death and death eternal (the second death, Pv 11:19, 12:28). That which opposes God produces death. Iniquity (unrighteousness which is violation of God’s will) separates one from God who is the source of all life (1 Jn 5:17).
God gave man a commandment in the Garden of Eden and the Lord tested man with regards to the commandment. Man was not to eat the fruit of a certain forbidden tree. The penalty for disobedience would be: “thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17).” The Lord trieth the heart’s of men to establish the just (Job 23:10, Ps 7:9, 11:4-5, 17:3, 26:2, Jer 17:10, 20:12, 1 Thess 2:4). Actions (not profession) determine the just (Hos 14:9).
The devil (Satan, Rev 20:2) is a fallen created being (Ez 28:15) and is the tempter, deceiver and accuser of man (Mk 4:3, Jn 8:44, 1 Thess 3:5, Rev 12:10, 12:19). He entered into a serpent and tempted the woman (the weaker vessel, 1 Pt 3:7) to violate God’s commandment. Genesis 3:1-3, “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” Notice that the woman clearly understood God’s commandment and the penalty for violating the commandment.
The devil lied and said that you can disobey God (transgress His commandment) and you will not die – that is suffer the penalty or condemnation which God had declared (Gen 3:4). The devil then offered an incentive to break the commandment: Genesis 3:5, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” To be a god would be to walk in your own will or way, which is to be your own authority. To be a god would be to seek self-will over God’s will. To be a god would be to decide good or evil for yourself. The great temptation was to disregard God in favor of “self.” – to elevate the flesh! This is not to say that you wouldn’t want God to be on standby (on call) in case you need Him to give you things or get you out of bad situations that may come along in your life.
Satan’s lie and deception produced results: Genesis 3:6, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Man (the woman and her husband) sought the lusts and desires of the flesh rather than the will of God. Man exalted “self” over God (Ps 53:1). The devil’s deception appealed to the flesh and corrupted man to transgress the will of God (1 Tim 2:14). James 1:14-15, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” The devil always appeals to the lusts of man (his flesh) in order to bring forth sin! He promised life, but he delivers death.
Where was the allegiance, loyalty and devotion of man? Man actually “followed” the devil in his disobedience and rebellion against God. Man obeyed Satan and disobeyed God. We are told: to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey – in this case, of sin unto death (Rm 6:16). The devil stole that which is God’s by corrupting man with his lie (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. The devil is a thief which cometh for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy (Jn 10:10). Therefore: the devil is a murderer because he intentionally corrupted man and brought death into the world.
The devil taught man to disregard (transgress) God’s will and to seek his own will through the lusts and desires of the flesh – he taught rebellion against the LORD (Jer 28:16, 29:32). The devil taught man to walk in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts (Is 65:2) and to walk after their own devices and the imagination of their own hearts (Gen 6:5, Deut 29:19, Pv 6:18, Jer 3:17, 7:24, 9:14, 11:8, 13:10, 16:12, 18:12, 23:17, Lk 1:51, Rm 1:21) and do what is right in their own eyes (Num 15:39, 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).
The devil is the leader and father of those who seek the lusts and desires of the flesh and thus transgress the will of God. This is the lie that the devil is the father of. The devil does not dwell in truth. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own. In other words, the devil taught man to do what he did – to no longer dwell in God’s truth (Is 14:12-19, Ez 28:2, 6, 12-19). He now vitiates or injures the qualities of the Lord’s truth (or nature) and creation in order to impair its value, to render defective, and to attempt to destroy the truth. To disobey God is to oppose God and set yourself as an enemy of God. Those who continue in the devil’s lie will perish because of the deceivableness of unrighteousness that is in them – they don’t believe God’s truth (2 Thess 2:10-12). The devil attempts to destroy the truth of God and this will be discussed below in “The Seeds.”
The one who holds to “the lie” becomes a deceiver to those who seek the truth. The devil operates (maneuvers, functions) outside the truth (opposite). A liar is one who leads astry, misleads, is false, and makes believe what is not true (Pv 12:22). Thus, Satan is the great deceiver (Rev 12:9). To espouse (advocate, champion) “the lie” as the truth is to deceive one concerning reality.
Where does the devil lead? The devil leads in unrighteousness which is disobedience to the will of God. Since God is life, the devil leads away from God or from life into death. A lie is the opposite of the truth. Death is the opposite of life. Disobedience is the opposite of obedience. Satan leads completely and utterly opposite of God! Those who follow the devil choose death rather than life (Jer 8:3, Is 28:15). 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, neither he that loveth not his brother.”
God said, “thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17)” and the devil said, “ye shall not surely die (Gen 3:5).” These are opposite declarations. In other words, the truth of God says that if you transgress God’s commandments you will surely die and the devil’s lie says that you can transgress the will of God and you will not die. The devil changed the truth of God into a lie (Rm 1:25, also Jn 8:44). Lies always compete with the truth for reality (realism, actuality, certainty, veracity, 1 Jn 2:21). Only one proposition can hold true because a lie is the exact opposite of the truth. The Lord says: 2 Thessalonians 2:12, “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” To reject God’s truth and find pleasure in transgressing His will (commandments) is to be damned or suffer the full effect of God’s original condemnation.
Satan told man “ye shall not surely die,” but the devil is a created being and does not have life within himself. The devil is no god and did not have the power or ability to carry out his boast/word – to put it into effect. Therefore: Death came into the world and reigned due to man’s transgression (Rm 5:14). 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 (also Gal 3:22).” This is all encompassing: 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 Rm 3:23, 1 Jn 1:8).” For by one man’s offence death reigned by one (Rm 5:17, 1 Cor 15:21). For as in Adam all die (1 Cor 15:22). Sin hath reigned unto death (Rm 5:21). For the wages of sin is death (Rm 6:23). So, if all have sinned, then all must die (Heb 9:27).
Every man has sinned against God and is under God’s condemnation of “thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17).” For judgment was by one (by the offence of one judgment came upon all men) unto condemnation (Rm 5:16, 18). The sentence of death is in every man (2 Cor 1:9). Man is no god and man’s dependance upon the one true God for life only proves it. The devil is no god and the certainty that his proposition (that you can sin against God and not die) was a great lie only proves it. The Lord God rules and reigns and the truth of His declaration validates and verifies (confirms, substantiates, proves) His Word. Truly the whole world is in His hand (the very breath of man – his next heartbeat, Job 12:10). Psalms 104:29, “Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.”
Jesus was telling these religious men that the truth of God would set them free from the devil’s lie. To be a servant of God, they must stop serving sin. One can never be reconciled back to God and the life that is in the Lord as long as they continue to transgress and violate God’s will. Christ brought God’s truth. The Word of God must abide in you (1 Jn 2:14). John 15:7, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you (also Jn 16:23).”
These religious men did not receive God’s Word. John 5:38, “And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.” They thought they had everything figured out and that all was well. They were walking in the devil’s deception – his lie. They did not want to abide in the truth that Jesus brought. They rejected Jesus and His Words. Jesus told them: John 8:47-48, “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?” Christ further stated: John 15:23, “He that hateth me hateth my Father also.”
Jesus said: “If a man love me, he will keep my words (Jn 14:23).” John 14:24, “He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.” Those who follow Jesus will no longer abide in the darkness which is the devil’s great lie. 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 1:6, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” The truth is found in walking in God’s will and not in the lusts and desires of the flesh. 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.”
Those who follow Jesus will no longer be guided or led by the lusts of their flesh. Romans 13:14, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” AND Galatians 5:24, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (also Gal 2:20).” To “crucify” the lusts of the flesh is to put them to death. There must be a complete “change” in your life. 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.” God’s purposes are found in the truth that Jesus spoke: 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 thatis in me.” First you must forsake the lusts and desires of the flesh (the power Satan has over you); fully turn to God; and then receive forgiveness.
The old way of life must be forsaken. Ephesians 2:3, “Among whom also we all had our conversation (lifestyle) 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, even as others.” Those who are led of their flesh rather than of God’s Spirit are destined for the Lord’s wrath. So: Ephesians 4:22-24, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Do you see the transformation that must take place? We must not fashion ourselves according to the former lusts of ignorance (1 Pt 1:14). 1 Peter 1:15-16, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (lifestyle); Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
To be in Christ Jesus is to be filled with and following after the Spirit, which is to be denying the lusts and desires of the flesh (Jn 8:12, 44, Rm 6:12, 13:14, Gal 5:24, Ep 2:3, 4:22, 5:8, Ti 2:12, 1 Pt 2:11, 4:2). 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.” There is a pardon from God’s original condemnation of “thou shalt surely die” for those who are in Christ Jesus and walking by His Spirit in His example. This is the way to God and eternal life. Galatians 5:16, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Can you see the Spirit’s role in conforming you into the image of Christ?
To be a “son of God” or a “child of God” you must honor and obey the Word of your Father. You must love your Father with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. John 12:36, “While ye have light (God’s truth), believe in the light (God’s truth), that ye may be the children of light…” Jesus said that those who “believe not” are not His sheep (Jn 10:25-26). Those who do not believe God hath made Him a liar (1 Jn 5:10). They are of their father the devil. Those who transgresseth or abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God (2 Jn 1:9).
The Lord’s Word shall prevail. Psalms 138:2, “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name (also Is 42:21).” Luke 21:33, “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away (also Mt 24:35, Mk 13:31).”
It is so important that we Hear God’s Word and properly apply it to our lives! Jesus told a parable of the seeds to reveal that those who hear the Word will fall into one of four categories. After telling the parable Jesus said, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear (Mk 4:9, Lk 8:8).” In explaining the parable Christ said: Mark 4:14, “The sower soweth the word.” Luke 8:11, “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.” Jesus is the one who sows God’s Word in the hearts of men.
1) Category #1 – Mark 4:15, “And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.” Notice how Satan is opposed to God’s Word. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil by speaking God’s truth (1 Jn 3:8). The devil attempts to destroy God’s Word out of those who hear it. He does this lest they should believe and be saved (Lk 8:12). Christ’s Word goes in one ear and out the other because they have no heart for it. Those in this category produce no fruit!
The children keep the word of their father (Jn 8:39). Those whose father is the devil cannot hear Christs’s Word because the devil takes it from them as they walk in his ways (Jn 8:43-44).
2) Category #2 – Mark 4:16-17, “And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.” We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God and many will be offended by it (Acts 14:22). The gospel of Luke adds: “in time of temptation fall away (Lk 8:13).” Our faithfulness toward God will be tested and only the sincere and devoted will prevail. This category produces no fruit!
3) Category #3 – Mark 4:18-19, “And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” The cares and pleasures of this life work contrary to the will of God (1 Jn 2:15-17, Lk 8:14). This is the quickest way to become unfruitful. The devil constantly appeals to you to seek the lusts and desires of the flesh – riches, possessions and pleasures.
Sometimes your full attention becomes focused upon the necessary things in this life. The Lord counsels us: Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (also Lk 12:31).” We are told of two sisters, Mary and Martha (Lk 10:38-42). Jesus came to their house and Mary was intently listening to all that Jesus taught. Martha was cumbered about much serving of the guests. Martha asked Jesus to tell Mary to help her. Luke 10:41-42, “And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” This category produces no fruit!
4) Category #4 – Mark 4:20, “And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” The gospel of Luke says: Luke 8:15, “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” This category produces fruit in varying degrees. Better to produce abundant fruit; those who produce more will gain more: For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. (Mt 13:12, 25:29). AND Luke 19:24-26, “And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.”
How does a man produce fruit? Jesus said it could only be done by abiding in Him (Jn 15:4-5, 16). John 15:8, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”
Of course with more understanding comes greater responsibility: Luke 12:48, “…For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”
Jesus is the Creator and He is the life of His creation. John 1:4, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” The Lord came to the earth in flesh to reveal God’s truth (light) to man. God was manifest in the flesh and justified in the Spirit (1 Tim 3:16). Man is justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor 6:11). Man’s eternal life will only be found in Jesus and the Words He spoke. 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.” Therefore: 1 John 1:2, “For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.”
Those that are truly Christ’s hear the truth that He is saying and they respond with action. John 10:27-28, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” Notice that Christ’s disciples first hear and then they respond by following. Life is only found in Jesus and those who follow find that life.
Jesus is the true God and eternal life (1 Jn 5:20). 1 John 5:11-13, “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. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
What does it mean to believe on the name of Jesus? It means to “die to self” and lose your life in this world. Mark 8:35, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it (also Mt 10:39, 16:25, Lk 9:24).” It means to be hated of the world. Luke 21:17, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake (also Mt 5:10-11, 10:22, 24:9, Mk 13:13, Lk 6:22, 21:12, 17, 15:20-21, Acts 9:16).” It means to forsake all to gain Christ. Matthew 19:29, “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life (Lk 18:29).” It means to follow in paths of righteousness. Psalms 23:3, “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
Come to Jesus oh religious man. “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life (Jn 5:39-40).”
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.”
We have discussed how all judgment has been given to Jesus by the Father (Mt 12:18, Jn 5:22-30). We have also discussed how Jesus has been given great authority. He is the prince of the kings of the earth (Rev 1:5). Jesus is KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS and his name is called The Word of God (Rev 19:13, 16). Christ’s name is so great that: Isaiah 45:23, “I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear (also Rm 14:11).” Once again: Jesus the Word proceeded forth (gone out) from the Father to the earth to speak God’s righteous Word to man. In righteousness doth Jesus judge (Ps 7:8, 9:8, 50:6, 72:2, 96:13, 98:9, 119:160, Is 11:3-4, 33:22, 51:5, Jn 5:30, 8:16, Acts 17:31, Rm 2:5, Rev 16:7, 19:11-16).
A king sitteth in the throne to do judgment and justice and establish the land (1 Kgs 10:9, 2 Chr 9:8, Ps 89:14, 97:2, Pv 20:8, 29:4, Is 16:5, 32:1, 42:1, Jer 23:5). 2 Samuel 23:3, “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” AND Psalms 103:19, “The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.” Proverbs 20:28, “Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.” He hath prepared his throne for judgment (Ps 9:7). To judge is to uphold the truth. Therefore, He shall bring forth judgment unto truth (Is 42:3). As previously stated, God’s Word is the truth. So, Jesus the Word, the very embodiment of God’s truth will discern who is found in the truth (1 Chr 28:9, Ps 44:21, Is 66:18, Jer 17:10, Mt 16:27, Jn 5:29, 12:48, Rm 2:3, 14:12, 1 Cor 4:5, Col 3:25, 2 Tim 4:1, Heb 4:12-13, 9:27, 1 Pt 4:5, Rev 1:16, 2:23, 11:18, 19:11-16). Jesus said: John 12:48, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not mywords, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” We have also discussed how Jesus has the ability to give eternal life.
Jesus spoke God’s Words to man. Jesus walked God’s Words by example for all men to follow. The Lord’s Words have been recorded for all men to read. Jesus said we must in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience (Lk 8:15). To receive the Word is to take the Word to heart and live it. As discussed, the Lord made this abundantly clear by stating “that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God (also Deut 8:3, Mt 4:4, Lk 4:4).”
Christ faithfully and obediently spoke the Father’s every Word. This Word will be the standard of judgment and you must be found abiding therein (Jn 15:4, 7, 10, 1 Jn 2:24, 28). Ecclesiastes 12:14, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him (Heb 4:13). Every work will be judged by Christ’s Words, which is God’s truth. Jesus further stated that the work of God is to believe on Him whom the Father hath sent (Jn 6:29).”
Our works must be found in the work of God which is to believe and live God’s Words – To believe “the Word (Jesus).” Therefore the Lord stated: John 8:51, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.” Romans 14:12, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 2:6-10, “Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.”
So, we must take heed to be found in Christ’s Words or truth which is His gospel (the Father’s doctrine). 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, “…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.”
He sent forth judgment unto victory (Mt 12:20). Christ’s righteous judgment shall render to God the Father what He desires. Jesus shall offer up a kingdom filled with individuals that abide in God’s Word and no longer transgress His will. These are faithful men who love, honor, obey, glorify, surrender to, trust in and are devoted to God the Father through Jesus the Son as led by the Holy Ghost. These are conformed to Christ’s image and are thus the image of God (Rm 8:29, 1 Cor 15:49, 2 Cor 3:18, Col 3:10).
Additionally, Christ’s disciples follow Him in all things. Jesus delegates some judgment to His followers. 1 Corinthians 6:2-3, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”
Just before Jesus went to the cross, He prayed to the Father and stated: John 17:4, “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” AND 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.” Recall that the Father draws men unto Christ (Jn 6:44, 65, 17:2, 6, Acts 2:39, 47). Continuing with His prayer, Jesus says: John 17:8, “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” Jesus then asked the Father: John 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
The work Jesus was given of the Father (God’s purpose) is stated in this prayer of Christ. Jesus came to this earth in the flesh to speak God the Father’s Word or truth unto man. Those whom God draws unto Jesus will receive these Words or this truth (and will spread this truth to others). The result is that they “have kept thy Word.” Jesus thus sets God’s purposes in motion: John 17:18, “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world (also Jn 20:21).” This perpetual spreading of truth repeats itself through believers (followers, disciples) until Christ’s return (Acts 1:8).
It was stated at the beginning of this chapter that the Word became flesh to bring God’s truth to man. The Word made flesh was full of grace and truth (Jn 1:14). Consider what Jesus told Pilate just before being crucified: 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.”
So, God the Father sent forth His Word which became flesh and dwelt among men, known as Jesus the Son. Jesus spoke God the Father’s Word unto man to accomplish what God pleases. God’s purposes is for man to hear, receive, take to heart, apply and live this spoken Word. Those men whom God drew unto Christ did receive God’s Word and kept it and walked in it so that it prospered in the thing whereto it was sent. Jesus finished the work and did not return unto God the Father void. Therefore it can be fully stated: 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.”
Most think that Jesus primary purpose in coming to the earth was to atone for man’s sins by dying on the cross. This writing in no way lessens the significance and importance of Christ’s death. Reconciliation between man and God could could not have taken place otherwise. However, we must realize that forgiveness of man’s past sins alone does not accomplish God’s purposes. We are forgiven to do what?
Yes, man must be forgiven of past transgressions to be pardoned from the condemnation of death (Gen 2:17). This puts you at the start of a narrow way that must be walked in faith, as by the Spirit (Mt 7:13-14, 1 Pt 1:9). God’s purposes are that you know His truth and abide therein. In other words, the future transgression of God’s will must be completely eliminated or eradicated. The works of the devil, his lie, must be completely destroyed out of God’s creation (1 Jn 3:8).
God’s purposes are that the effect of His truth will transform us into Christ’s well pleasing image. 2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Jesus walked a perfect example of applying God’s truth and it is God’s purposes that man follow in that example.
We must not miss one of the main purposes of Christ’s coming to this earth. Jesus spoke God’s truth and than applied it perfectly. Jesus taught and showed man how to do the will of God. Having finished that work, the Lord then went to the cross to secure God’s mercy and forgiveness for repentant man. Having completed the work on the cross, Jesus then went to heaven and procured and shed forth the promise of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:33). Now everything is complete! Sincere and repentant man has everything needed to berestored and reconciled with God. So, you must now take up your cross and start following.
Turn unto God: 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.” Deuteronomy 30:20, “That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them (that you might inherit God’s promises given unto Jesus the Great King).”
Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink (Jn 7:37).