"ARISE" is a journal to be published on a quarterly basis. Its aim is to serve as a vehicle for the expression of the Body Of Christ as it relates to present truth. The articles provided herein are mostly from brethren I've had close fellowship with over the past several years. "ARISE" also publishes pertinent articles of similar concern from those abroad consistent with our general purpose and calling.
We trust that any thoughts expressed from our natural thinking are smiled upon with a face of kindness as we can only walk in the portion of light given from above. So now receive the word with all readiness of mind and examine the scriptures every day to see if it is really as we say.
This first issue of "ARISE" features articles such as:
I. "Salvation - An Ark Or A Whale?", from an absolutely wonderful brother and friend here in Tampa, FL - Romeo Corsini. His article brings an interesting perspective on how to view God's method of deliverance in our lives.
II. "The True Church Of Christ" - examines how the true church continues to move forward in the realm of the invisible, forsaking the methods and practices found prevalent in much of christianity today.
III. "Signs And Sounds Of A New Era", is by a well-respected man
of God and teacher, L. Dane Tabor - Pastor of United Christian Temple in Uniontown,
PA. Brother Tabor provides valuable insight concerning the new age which is
dawning upon us and the attributes and qualities that
will be resident in those who shall minister God's love to creation.
IV. "Esau, Jacob & Israel", from a precious sister and very good friend, Jan Johnson - Three Rivers, MI. Jan does an excellant job using old testament type and shadow to show our transition from one nature to another. Jan and her husband Bob were former pastors of Christian Non - Denominational Church of Broadview (Chicago), IL.
V. "Christianity 101 - A Study On GRACE" provides a relatively simple lesson on this so misunderstood subject. Several practical examples for today are listed.
"ARISE" is free to all as God's way is "Freely you have received, freely give". The mailing address is listed on the front page for those interested in asking questions or in receiving this journal on a regular basis. Additional copies are available upon request.
In His Service,
Timothy David Carroll
Salvation - An Ark or A Whale?
Tidal waves, it turns out, are not a threat to large ships at sea. The ships are carried by the rise of the waves and ride out the storm. Again, it is not that the storm is weak, but that the ship is designed to weather it! We are much the same way except that we are designed to know it; yet, we, many times, drown in our own ignorance of so much that God has fashioned in us. We do not remember during times of crises that we are designed to withstand the onslaughts, mainly because our focus is on the trouble and not on the voice of the Lord.
Can it ever be that God is not in charge of anything in this world that occurs? Is it possible for God not to be aware of anything that we are involved in? He is all-knowing and all-loving. His perfect love is such that no matter the disobedience, he cares to set us aright, to help us become better; not kick us while we are down. This is a difficult concept for so many to grasp because it somehow translates in their minds as giving people the liberty to do as they please because, after all, (they reason), God is only interested in our progress. But the grace of God does not abound so that we can continue to sin. God forbid. That would only mean that the individual who thinks like that has need of much more work in his heart to become more and more like the Christ. God is not mocked. Who could possibly fool him? No. The grace of God abounds because the price of sin has been exacted already in Christ. Those who seek Him to become more and more like Him need only "wash their feet" to grow in Him. Yet, it does take strength of Spirit to believe that I can pull myself up from having fallen and continue to walk forward, head held high towards the Lord because I should know, all the while, that God was there, even in my miserable mess, knowing everything, even what was in my heart.
There are two things I have been learning from Noah and Jonah that relates to this. In the first case with Noah the ark was built to be entered into. But being in the ark wouldn't have served its purpose without the storm. And even the storm, that is, the rains, had to reach a certain level before the ark could serve its purpose. The storm had to last long enough for the water to rise enough for the ark to serve its purpose: to withstand anything! And then I discovered that there is a difference between the end of the storm and its departure. That the rain stopped did not immediately release Noah from the ark. There was time involved in the subsiding of the waters. The entire event required the trust and confidence from the occupants to know that their God was with them all along.
Sometimes we get in a hurry. We get impatient when the rains take too long to rise to their level of effect; we get impatient with the waters to subside to stand on land; in short, we many times ignore the fact that God is there with us the entire time. We need to learn to allow Him to be God even in our times of disobedience!
Jonah was running from God when a storm rose at sea and the sailors found out it was because Jonah was being disobedient so.....they humbly threw him overboard and Jonah was swallowed by a whale.
Did you ever stop to think that the reason the whale swallowed Jonah was to save him from drowning in the sea and to deliver him to the shore so that he could proceed with God's purpose for him? That would make the whale a good thing! Are you misinterpreting your whales to be evil things in your life? Jonah was there just long enough to remember His God.
Jonah 2:2 says "I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice". Psalm 139:8 reads "If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there".
How many times God has permitted certain things to come our way to save us during our disobedience, seeming to be great monsters but being the only things that could handle the storms. The whale might have seemed, at first, like punishment to Jonah, but it was SALVATION FROM GOD!
Noah was in a condition to hear the Lord tell him to build an ark and go into it. Jonah, on the other hand, was not. He hardly would have responded to: "Jonah, the first big whale you see, I want you to let it swallow you!" Notice that one does not learn anything about Noah despising or being resentful of the sinners he was leaving behind. My hunch is that he was silently humble about it knowing their fate. Jonah, rather, was just the opposite. None of this would have occured at all if Jonah had been more eager for Nineveh to repent and be forgiven, than for Nineveh to be punished.
And that is the revelation I see. Even for ourselves, we must learn to accept the gracious free forgivness God has provided for us and not live as though there were still a bloody price to pay for sin. God cannot be mocked. Hebrews 10:31 says "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God".
You cannot walk about unrepentant and think to be getting away with it. God knows exactly what to do to straighten you out. If you can hear his voice or if you won't hear his voice, it'll either be an ark or a whale. Take your pick. I guarantee you, if you won't get into the ark, a whale is on its way! It seems that God sends the storm ahead of his deliverance. The difference is that one man remains conditioned to hear the voice of God and obey it, which assures him his saftey; while the other man is more concerned of his own preconceived notions about how things ought to be and what ought to happen to others and totally overlooks the greatest, kindest thought of God's mind: "..........shall not I spare Nineveh........that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand.......?" (Jonah 4:11). What a thought! "Shall not I spare Ninevah?"
Matthew 10:15 says "Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgement, than for that city" (that city being the one to whom they are to be freely giving what they freely received.....namely, healing and deliverance!)
We are to be freely giving that which we are freely received without determining judgement. Imagine that. Jesus said that Sodom and Gomorrah would receive a more tolerable judgement than the city that rejects the message and the messenger. There are many that are rejecting the message and the messenger by virtue of the fact that they require the message to meet with their approval first because their hearts cannot suffer the "indignity" of forgiving those that have been worse than they! They like to think that they forgive, but not without punishing! Jonah 3:10 says "And God saw.....that they turned from their evil way: and God repented of the evil, that he had said he would do unto them; and he did it not".
Glory to His grace and mercy. May we always be prostrate before his kind feet and his perfect love that seeks only to finish that good work which he began in us.....to make us in the image of His Son JESUS.
......................to be continued - Romeo Corsini
"The True Church Of Christ"
Have you ever noticed a common thread among most "so-called" churches of today. It's rather easy to notice you know, just ask any person, believer or non-believer; just turn on "so-called" christian television and it becomes very apparent. They'll use every tactic in the book, but come one way or another they'll get it out of you for it's their lifeline, it's what holds them together, it's the treasure of their heart ------- it's MONEY!!!
Making Merchandise Of You
I recently attended a meeting at a large charismatic church in which the guest speaker had sought God to provide three hundred millionaires to his ministry. This man is a supposed giant in his circle, yet the Spirit made it very clear to me that he was making merchandise of God's people. For many there, his swelling words were intimidating as scripture upon scripture rolled off his tongue. After all, how can those who can only remember one verse or two from the Bible ever dare to challenge these men, to think they are not truely anointed men, Holy men of God. Yet John shows us in one of his letters how we can know these money seeking prophets; "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world". Peter said it this way, "through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you". I think Jesus showed us plainly what he thought of similiar kind when he himself made a scourge of small cords and drove out the moneychangers saying "......make not my Father's house an house of merchandise".
It is a very sad thing to see many of God's people today abused and taken advantage of by men (mankind) buying and selling that which is suppose to be freely given. This should not come as any surprise though, for John the Revelator wrote "And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark (character), or the name (nature) of the beast....". And indeed, many are selling up a storm! From books on how to get rich in the name of Jesus to millionaire rock-and-roll stars singing how Jesus supplies all their needs. As a harlot sells herself, so also the "so-called" church does the same. Jesus continues to be sold and serves as the greatest marketing gimmick the world has ever known to date.
To anyone even having alittle understanding of Jesus, they would immediately know that he did not conduct himself in this fashion, He whose footsteps we are commissioned to follow. Can anyone show me where Jesus had to ask and beg for money? In fact, it was Judas who carried the bag, (In whom I believe was a thief having the very love of money hid in his heart from the start). Correct me if you can, but didn't the psalmist say that the righteous needeth not beg for bread? Just turn-on "so-called" christian T.V and witness the blind-man holding out his cup in one hand begging for money while diamond rings crowd the other!!!
In fact, I personally see that even the offer of a "free this or that" with its self-addressed pledge envelopes for a "love donation" is a cunning trick of a self-motivated spirit, not a HOLY Spirit. Have you fallen into this little sly way unaware? Whether it be books, videos or tapes, the principle should always be the same, "freely you have received, freely give", and "make the gospel of Christ without charge"!
Visible or Invisible Church?
It is with examples like these that I often wonder about the church of God. Although many are lead to believe that all of our visible organizations are the churches of God, a scriptural examination lead by the inspiration of truth will reveal that God's true church is invisible, that his real body - the mystical church is in preparation and continues to stand seperate from the ways we see with the visible church of today. We cannot just accept things which are visible to always be true, especially these man-made systems as being God's church!!! We are to seek those things which are not obvious to the natural eye and ear, we look by the eye of the Spirit for the invisible to show us what is real. Paul tells us "We are not looking to the things seen, but to the things not seen; for the things seen are temporary, but the things not seen are age-during." (II Corth 4:18-YLT)
The Lord does use the visible or seen realm to teach us of the invisible or unseen realm for our physical senses could not grasp the invisible. Pauls letter to those in Rome confirms this by telling us that God has created things seen to understand invisible things. (Rms 1:20-KJV) It was common in the old covenant that a sign was required to get the people to believe and trust in God but shortly thereafter when the signs stopped, when there were no more external displays or observations, they took on other gods. (Ex 32:1-KJV)
We often look at the outward appearances to discern a situation rather than the person's intent and motive before forming an opinion. But we are told not to seek for signs for this is what an evil generation looks for; we are informed that the kingdom of God cometh not with observation; we are instructed not to judge after the sight of our eyes, neither to reprove after the hearing of our ears (Luke 11:29, 17:20; Isa 11:3 - KJV). Take for example a person that is bitter, angry, or depressed, or perhaps has a serious problem of some sort. Religion would want to stone them while they're caught in the very act of their circumstance or condition. Worse yet, they will tell the person if they don't accept Jesus (a term not found in the Bible), they'll roast in hell. I guess they probably haven't read that "love covers a multitude of sins" nor the verse "if any man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness...". Friend, wake-up, Jesus came to save or deliver the world from their condition, to reconcile them back to God, not to condemn them. Aren't we called to the same?
The fact of the matter is that all that a person really is, is simply the result of all that has touched them in their existance to date, or as the writer of Ecclesiastes states "that which hath been is now". So then I ask, how can we reprove so harshly or judge without knowing by the Spirit what is driving that person, why they behave this way or that. I know there have been countless of times in which I have judged wrong towards many, not discerning the inner pain of their person, condemning the outer vessel and its behavior instead of restoring the heart! I am just discovering how so important it is to judge after the Spirit, regardless how religion would teach us. How do you think the true church would judge a situation?
For some of our readers a few definitions may be helpful as we look further into the subject - The True Church Of Christ. The word "church" comes from the greek word "ekklesia", a common noun, compounded from the elements ek, meaning "out", and klesia, meaning "called". Joining these together, we get the meaning of this word "church" as "out-called" or CALLED OUT. So let the usage of this word "church" in the context of scripture determine its meaning. It is used approximately 115 times in the new testament, we'll look at a few here.
|Scriptural Reference||Personal Observations|
|Matt 16:18 I will build my church||Jesus, not man, builds his called-out ones.|
Tell it unto the church, but if he neglect to hear the church
|A church can hear, a building or physical structure cannot.|
|Acts 7:38 .....he, that was in the church in the wilderness||The children of Israel were called out of Egypt, a church seperated unto the Lord.|
|Acts 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made ....of the church unto God||These called-out ones or church prayed unto God for Peter, their brother.|
|Acts 13:1 Now there was in the church that was in Antioch certain prophets and teachers||People at Antioch met to minister to the Lord. Within this particular group, prophets and teachers were present.|
|Acts 14:27 And when they were come and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them||
Those called out, or church, came together and shared what the Lord had done.
|Acts 19:32 .....for the assembly was confused||This assembly was a mob of unbelivers, thus a church can mean any group gathering for a specific purpose.|
|Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto your
selves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God
|Paul was speaking to more mature ones in Ephesus in whom were required by the Holy Spirit to feed the rest. The verse shows several over- seers, not just a single person.|
|Eph 1:22-23 .....the head over all things to the church, which is his body||The body takes direction from He who is the head and are under His authority.|
|Eph 5:24 ....as the church is subject unto Christ||We are to submit to Him, not our own self-will.|
Several verses have been reviewed, all reflecting that the word church simply means called out for a particular purpose. In other words, there are those who assemble to watch dog-racing, those who assemble to form a Porche sportscar road rally and those who assemble to ride their "hogs into the sunset", once known as the "Hells Angels". These all reflect people called out or churches for a purpose other than assembling to serve God. So as we study scripture, the word church always refers to those called-out for a purpose in accordance to the context of the story. Of course, almost every time in the Bible (with the exception of a few), the word church refers to those called-out to serve our Lord.
As Ray Prinzing so aptly put it regarding the church "It refers to an invisible body, not the visible, institutional structures of religion, which most people call the church. In the testimony of Stephen, given at the cost of his life, he dared to touch the temple, and as such touched the heart of the Jewish system. Localized temples, forms, names, orders, times and seasons, all wrapped up with creeds and dogmas. The effect of Stephen's pronouncement was to repudiate the whole system which had at least served its purpose, and, at worst, had become an empty shell and a hindrance to the spiritual. Stephen saw something as the Spirit illuminated his inner being, which we also need clearly understand, that the church is "His Body", for it is personified in a people. Thus, we cannot "go to church", we ARE the church! The Church has often been called a "mystical body". The dictionary defines the word "mystical" as: having spiritual meaning, reality; being neither apparent to the senses nor obvious to the intelligence; symbolical, Then the dictionary adds "manifesting an individual's direct communion with God"... It matters not where we might be located geographically upon the earth, when we are joined to HIM which is the head, we are part of this circle "Church, the mystical body of Christ". - end
If Jesus is the head and the church His body, and scripture says "As He Is, so are we in this world", then we will only know and be known by others by an inner acknowledgement, by the Spirit, known even as He was recognized. It must be the same way as it was with our Head, common sense demands it! So how was he recognized by his disciples and how by man? Men said he was John the baptist or Elijah, etc. They could only see by the visible but Peter was given divine light from above to see the invisible and answered his master "Thou art the Christ"! So by the very revelation, unveiling or uncovering by our Father in heaven, we too are to recognize and be recognized. It's a whole new life forming in us!!
I do not point to any one group and say that they are the true church and all others are false. However, I do say that the visible church has been a failure up to this point in time. And you ask who are the invisible church? I simply reply, we know them by their fruits. And this does not mean, if your church has had such and such success with this program and that, reaching multitudes, that the fruit is right for picking. I would simply reply that the United Way must then be one of the greatest if that were the measuring rod. There are many of God's people within religious systems which will hear the voice of the Lamb and follow Him out for we must come out of these man-made towers of Babel as they try to reach the heavens by their many programs, seminaries and the like. They claim to be wise with their eloquent and smooth delivery, having a great ability to entertain and influence people with story and verse. They continue to grind at the mill, trying to produce better ways to promote God's kingdom, as if it really needed man's promotion. They continue to toil and spin, not knowing they sprout as a weed rather than a lily.
So I conclude, those that are becoming the true church of Christ, although
having physical bodies and being part of the visible realm, only know by the
Spirit Of God one another. We can only know and understand by divine revelation,
it's not by setting up institutions to teach this truth or that!!! And now divine
wisdom expressly says to all "Come out, come out of these man-made systems!
Seperate and be called-out of even these methods and ways of man!!! Even ye
Sons Of God, come out of this way of thinking and much doing. For I will say
unto you - depart from me ye workers of your own thoughts, your own instruction,
your own counsel. It matters not if the new wine is taught, the old wine sack
cannot contain it. Take heed this very day, I will not have my pearls cast before
swine FOR I AM BUILDING MY TRUE CHURCH!!!!!". Amen.
To be continued.......T.D.C
"Signs And Sounds Of A New Era"
The night has been long. The vanity, selfishness, and ignorance that have pervaded the years, darkening the minds of this earth's vast population, have produced their corresponding fruits of tradgedy and despair. Yet, all of these things have been neither accidental nor without purpose. There has never been a complete surrender to the adversary of truth. In every era there have been witnesses of God's grace and of the hope He has birthed in His creation. Our God has graciously sustained His creatures, ever bending the will of man to fulfill His wondrous design, that through the so-journ on this planet all shall realize the destiny purposed by the Creator when He said: "Let us make man in our image and after our likeness". (Gen 1:26) Because we are assured that He is both the aplha and the omega, the beginning and the end, as He avowed: "In the beginning God," we stand confident that the last shall be, In the end God! "After that comes the end when He (Christ) delivers over the kingdom to God and Father after rendering inoperative and abolishing every (other) rule and every authority andpower." (I Cor 15:24 Amp) At last, God shall be all that is in all!
More than one hundred twenty-five years have past since Andrew Jukes wrote these lines: "The night is far spent, the day is at hand. And as in early dawn the stars dim, because the day is coming, so now the lesser lights which have been guides in darker days are paling before the coming of the Sun of righteousness. And though those who go up to the hilltops and watch the east may see more of the light than those who are buried in the valleys or sleep with closed shutters, all who look out at the glowing firmament may see signs of coming day. Men must be fast asleep indeed, if they do not perceive that a new age is even now upon us."
Such conviction and revelation have been central in the hearts of chosen vessels since the day when Enoch declared by the unction of the Holy Ghost: "Behold, the Lord comes with His myriads of holy ones -- ten thousands of His saints." (Jude 14,15 Amp) He spoke of judgements which would convince all of their ungodly deeds and of their hard words which they had spoken against God. In the end of an age of wickedness and violence, Enoch declared the glorious victory of Almighty God. In the great deluge that would bring that era to a close, his view was "judgement unto victory".
Every time period has had its witnesses of God's purpose to restore all things. The Apostle Peter states: "And that He may send (to you) the Christ, the Messiah, who before was designated and appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive (and retain) until the time for the complete restoration of all that God spoke by the mouth of all His holy prophets for ages past -- from the most ancient time in the memory of man." (Acts 3:20,21 Amp)
Today, we hear with new understanding the words of Paul, "The night is far gone and the day is almost here. Let us then drop (fling away) the works and deeds of darkness and put on the (full) armor of light .....But clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and make no provision for (indulging) the flesh..." (Rms 13:12,14 Amp) As we contemplate a ministry that shall deliver all of creation from the bondage of corruption, we are made to pause and wonder, "How shall this be?" We are convinced that full restoration shall never be accomplished by the ingenuity of man, through religious organizations, or the evangelical efforts of men of renown no matter how gallant their efforts or honorable their motives. As the angel spoke to the young damsel of Nazareth, we also hear the word of the Lord: "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee." (Luke 1:35). The prophet Zechariah spoke in a similiar manner of Zerubbabel, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou O great mountain? Before Zerub- babel, thou shalt become aplain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying grace, grace unto it." (Zech 4:6)
Heavily weighs the responsibility upon those sons who are appointed to this day. Each must put off all that pertains to the Adamic nature and be renewed in the Spirit of the mind of Christ. Only through perfect union with Him who is the head shall these be equipped for the ministry now at hand. "For (even the whole) creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God's sons to be made known.....waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship. For creation was subjected to fraility -- to futility, condemned to frustration -- not because of some intentional fault on its part, but by the will of Him who so subjected it. (Yet) with the hope that nature (creation) itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and corruption (and gain an entrance) into the glorious freedom of God's children." (Rms 8:19-21, Amp) The love of Christ constrains us to know that Jesus the lamb of God died for all and it is He who hath reconciled us to himself and has given unto us the ministry of reconciliation. The same love constrains us to know that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputting their trepasses unto them. (II Cor 5:19,20) This awesome work of God's love shall be fulfilled only as we are overshadowed by His Spirit, filled with His grace and made partakers of His divine nature.
Thanks be to the Son of God who alone hath immortality, and who alone dwells in the light, whom no man hath seen, nor can see. (I Tim 6:16) He who dwells in the light is now making known the plan of the Father to bring many sons into glory, into completeness with Himself, for the purpose of setting the captives free, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, to remove the desolation from all generations, thus restoring His creation to the perfect symphony resounding with the harmony of His glorious presence. Creation shall be delivered from bondage!
Even as the first Apostles and those who followed with them, ministers through the centuries since have also desired to have knowledge of "times and seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power." (Acts 1:7) Not a few have spent years in study and research because of their desire to ascertain just when things spoken of by the prophets would transpire. Most all who searched for such understanding have spent much of their labor trying to identify events and conditions of the world, or of nations, or of the nation Israel as definite signs that a portion or portions of prophecy have been fulfilled, or that a certain era has arrived. Some of this has no doubt resulted in producing valid information. However, one of the clearest views of the times and seasons given us in the scriptures is that of the ministry of the sons of God for whose manifestation the whole creation yet groans and travails.
For many years, those who spoke of the ministry of the sons of God, of their manifestation, seemed to think that these sons were individual superstars of the church who speak to multitudes, either in great amphitheaters or cathedrals, or by means of radio or television. Most have thought of them as having great miracle-working powers and affecting the masses with signs and wonders. We dare not say that true sonship ministry will never participate in such wondrous work, however, most who have at this point participated in these endeavors do not understand that God's plan is to save all. Most, if not all of them, impute sin to all whom they attempt to lead to Christ. These statements are not for the purpose of casting aspersions toward any servant of God. The point is, the sons of God who shall set creation free will be partakers of the divine nature, the unconditional love of God. They will possess understanding of what it means to participate inthe priestly ministry of the Melchisedec order reconciling all unto God, not imputing their trepasses unto them. With this in mind, let us examine some of the qualities and attributes that must be resident in that body of sons who shall stand with the Lamb on Mt. Zion and manifest His nature to the world.
"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (II Pet 1;2-4) In the midst of a wicked and perverse generation, the elect are gathering together unto Him. As He is love, they are becoming love. As He is merciful, they are showing mercy. This firstfruits unto God and the Lamb are being changed into His image from glory to glory as they experience transformation from the earthly into the heavenly. The divine attributes of the Father are being infused into this people. They shall ultimately become His substance in the earth for the purpose of manifesting His nature and glory.
There are many views and representations of God shown to us in the Bible. The highest and most wondrous of these is that of the Most High God whose presence is between the two cheribims, hovering over the mercy seat. This is the secret place of the Most High, which is within the veil. The way into that which is within the veil (the revelation and ministry of our loving and merciful Father) has been opened for us by "the forerunner, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec .....this Melchisedec, without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life: but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually." (Heb 6:20; 7:1-3) The words, made like unto the Son of God, indicate to us that the priesthood order of Melchisedec is a company of sons who have been conformed to the image of Jesus the forerunner. He has first entered into that within the veil opening the way that others may run after Him. It was through death that Jesus was able to rend the veil and present His own precious blood on the mercy seat. Those who run after Him are willing to lose their lives for His sake. In so doing, they find life more abundantly.
"And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty four thousand, having His name and His Father's name written in their foreheads.....and they sang as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders, and no man could learn that song but the hundred forth four thousand, which are redeemed from the earth.....These are they which follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.....for they are without fault before the throne of God." (Rev 14: 1-5) This is an overcoming company who are a firstfruits redeemed from the earth. The fact that they have the Lamb's name and the Father's name written in their foreheads shows that they have become partakers of the divine nature. They know and sing a song that no man can learn. It is no doubt the same song they sang together when Father God laid the foundations of the earth; that is, when He began to unveil to them His plan to subject them to a human and earthly experience. At that time, "the MORNING STARS sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy." (Job 38:7) This song of the Lamb, known and sung only by these firstlings, is a song that no man can learn for it is not birthed through human and earthly experiences. Man cannot be taught it, for it comes out of the far distant past when these few were chosen to join in harmony with the Father and His precious Lamb as the master plan to subject His good, perfect, and heavenly creation to the fraility and futility of a human and earthly embodiment was made known to them. These chosen ones, elected of God for a purpose, see a God who is working all things after the counsel of His own will; a God who works in His creation both to will and to do of His good pleasure. These were chosen in Him before the foundation of the earth.
God has purposed to conform every man to the image of His Son. He has begun this great feat by forming an ecclesia who are perfectly joined to the headship, Jesus Christ. Until the day this body of sons function in singleness of mind, purpose, spirit and nature, Jesus will continue to sit at Father's right hand, but with confident expectation. It is gratifying to see certain attributes of this unity now in our midst. These is an acute awareness that this is a corporate ministry wherein all are interdependent. There are no "Lone Rangers" or "Super Stars" in this one corporate man.
We find an example of the reality of this mutual dependency as we observe the firstborn Son as He prayed in Gethsemane. At this point, He did not possess immortality forHe had "stripped Himself of this rightful dignity.....was born a humanbeing and became obedient unto death." (Phil 2:7-8 Amp) He was not only obedient to the death of the cross but He partook of the sum-total of the Adamic death, "that through death He might deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." (Heb 2:14,15) "Being found in fashionas a man" in Gethsemane, fully knowing the will of the Father and His own destiny, He was in agony, saying, "My soul is exceedingly sad -- overwhelmed with grief -- so that it almost kills me." (Mark 14:34 Amp) Not only was He grieved beyond measure, He was at the point of dying. His human body was near to expiring prematurely. His destiny was the cross and He was without the strength to fulfill it. He was not without the courage or the commitment, for His words were always "Not my will but thine be done." He needed strength, physical strength. "Now an angel (Messenger) from heaven was seen by Him strengthening Him. And coming to be in a struggle, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat became as if clots of blood descending on the earth." (Luke 22:43-44, Condordant Lit.) Jesus was strengthened by an angel. The only plausible identity of this angel is that He is none other than that corporate body of sons who join this lamb of God on Mt. Zion in a ministry of salvation that shall encompass the whole of creation. As one, this body of sons who would become identified with Him as the Lamb, came to Him inHis distress, said their amen to the death of the cross, giving to Him the strength to fulfill the mission.
Not one of this ecclesia shall be able to fulfill their mission alone. All who are hearing the sound of His calling (deep calling unto deep) are recognizing that in our frail human bodies we cannot overcome alone. These are standing together, strengthening one another, loving one another, and supporting one another in every trying time. The attribute of interdependency is a prime requisite among those of this first rank.
The signs and sounds of this new era, the time when the God of heaven shall
manifestly establish His kingdom in the earth through the ministry of his sons,
are now being seen and heard. These signs and sounds are not obvious to those
who are observing conditions in the world or the circumstances of life. neither
are they known by the church at large. But to those who are apprehended for
the manifestation of this day, it is evident that changes are taking place.....changes
in the inner man, changes that affect the thinking, actions, and perhaps more
important than all else, affect the reactions to circumstances, conditions,
and incidents. The signs and sounds that herald the dawning of a new day are
not external, they are those divine attributes that are becoming abundant in
the hearts of those MORNING STARS who are being fused together with Christ Jesus
our Lord into one great SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS who is rising with healing (deliverance)
in His rays.
"But unto you who revere and worshipfully fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings and His beams, and you shall go forth and gambol like calves released from the stall andleap for joy. And you shall tread down the lawless and wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts." (Mal 4:2-3 Amp) A glorious day is now breaking upon us, a day of righteousness and truth. In this day all things shall be subjected, brought into submission, to Christ who sits at the right hand of power and dominion.
"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots, the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him.....He (the Branch) shll not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears; but with righteousness shll he judge..... and righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins and faithfulness the girdle of his reins." (Isa 11:1-5) The rod out of the stem of jesse is Christ our Lord. The Branch that has grown out of His roots is that body of sons through whom His life and nature flows, producing the fruits of righteousness, peace, mercy, and truth. Verses six to nine of this chapter tell us that conflict is resolved, peace reigns, and the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord through the administration of the Branch whose spirit and nature are out of His roots. Thanks be to our God for the rays of light that are now appearing on the horizon. In that glowing firmament we see signs of the coming day.
.........L. Dane Tabor
"Esau, Jacob & Israel"
There is a transition process taking place within us, that I see certainly in the scriptures. I will demonstrate by the use of natural examples as shadows of an inner manifestation that takes place within us.
We read in Genesis 4:1 that Adam knew his wife Eve and she conceived and brought forth Cain and Abel. The word conceived in Hebrew is Yada and speaks of an intimate relationship between the man and the woman. The sexual bond meaning to KNOW or to experience. We could say that Adam experienced Eve and she became pregnant with his seed. It is the very same word used in Daniel 11:28 where they that know their God shall do exploits. God knows us, but He wants us to have a close personal union with Him so that we can experience Him and know Him.
It appears that twins were born through this one conception. I John 3:12 says that Cain was of the evil one, and Jesus called Abel righteous in Matthew 23:35. Cains name meant "striking fast", Abels meant "vanity". Cain's nature was of the earth as his occupation was a tiller of the ground. Abels nature was of a higher order that was subject to vanity (Rms 8). He was a shephard, he offered the precious life of a lamb to God and his offering was accepted. Cain's earthly offering was rejected. You may wonder how two Godly people could bring forth an evil child such as Cain. We know that Adam was good and he was the natural father of Cain, so the change had to be from something within the woman. It was the woman that had the conversation with the serpant. He planted his seed within her mind. The serpent delibertly went to the woman so that he also could produce after his kind. We see that he was successful when the children was born; two different natures. Cain was jealous, hateful and eventually murdered Abel.
That dual nature is clearly manifested within all carnal men. James 1:8 reads "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways". So to be double minded means to have two minds or to between two opinions, a person who doubts and wavors back and forth. James 4:8 says "Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts ye double minded". Is it possible as Christians to be double minded? Yes it is! That is why the Lord is washing us with His word and changing our minds, and then He is sealing us with the mind of Christ.
In Gen 25:21-28 we see two manner of people, two nations. One was cunning and the other was a plain person. Their struggle began in the womb and they were born as twins with totally different natures. We can see the progression that the serpent had made. Now even the one with the better nature was infected with sin. This was reflected in their names. Esau's name literally meant "felt rough", he was a hairy type of person. Jacobs name meant "heel catcher or supplanter". We saw Jacobs nature manifested as he was hanging on Esaus's heel when he was born. We could see his desire to be the first born as the struggle went on in the womb and he never gave up!
In the new testament we see that Paul established in I Corth 15:45-49 that the natural earthly man was to be born first. In reading the story of Esau and Jacob, we see that Jacob, true to his nature, deceived and supplanted Esau twice. In Gen 27:36 Esau said to his father, Jacob has supplanted two times. He took away my birthright and now he has stolen my blessing. It appears to me that Jacob has surpased his brother in the deceitfulness of his nature, even though he was of a higher order, the chosen one of God! Then we see the nature of Cain mainfested in Esau as he says that he hates Jacob so much that he is going to kill him as soon as his father dies.
Lets examine what it was that Jacob stold from Esau. The birthright is related to the order of the birth of the sons. The first born son was given the title to the family name and a double portion of his father's inheritance. In this case Esau foolishly gave in to Jacob and sold his birthright for something to eat. Despite Esau's foolishness and Jacob's wickedness, the agreement was binding. Later the scriptures say that a rule was made that the father could not alter the birthright or give it to another. But Esau lost it and that was final. The blessing was given by the father any way he saw fit, and Esau was his father's favorite son. Therefore, he reserved the greatest blessing for Esau. But his sight was gone and he could not see who he was blessing. When Jacob dressed in hairy garments and deceived his father, he stold something from his brother that he had no right having. Esau sold his birthright but Jacob stold his blessing. And thats how Jacob earned his name as supplanter.
The scriptures say that God loved Jacob, He loved his determination but disapproved of his conduct. We know this by the terrible price that Jacob had to pay for all his scheming: 1). He was banished from home never to see his mother again 2). He was tricked by his Uncle Laban repeatly 3). He lived in fear of Esau for years 4). His children also manifested deceitful natures. (Remember when the brothers deceived their father and said that Joseph was killed by a wild beast). God reproved Jacob by a spiritual law. That whatsoever a man soweth, so shall he reap. Jacob had at least fourteen years to think about it. Over the time his whole attitude changed.
Jacob called Esau lord and himself Esau's servant. He exalted Esau and humbled himself hoping to find grace in Esau's sight (Gen 32:3-5). Verses 6-21 says that Esau started out with four hundred men. I can imagine that he did that because he didn't trust Jacob. Esau was prepared for deception. When Jacob heard that, he was greatly afraid. Immediately, he sought God for help. After prayer he began to prepare approach presents in the form of small herds of various farm animals. He sent them in different groups with space between them, and told his servants to tell Esau that "he was following behind them and that there is a present for you from Jacob, he hopes that you will receive him". Reviewing verses 22-23, he sent his wives and children ahead. By sending his family, which was his most cherished possession, he was hoping to show Esau that he had repented and was sincere. He deliberately put all that he had into Esau's power.
Verses 24-31 shows that the wrestling match with the angel showed how much he had changed. If he had the old nature, the angel would have prevailed. But over the years he had been strengthened in righteousness and overcame his deceitful nature and therefore had the power to wrestle with the angel of God. They wrestled all night but the angel could not defeat him. Jacob clung to the angel and would not release him until finally the angel gave in because it was time for him to leave. But before he gave up he left his mark upon Jacob's leg which served two purposes. Jacob would never again walk according to his old ways and he had a visible remembrance of that night when he wrestled with God's messanger. Then the angel blessed Jacob by giving him a new name, one that fit his new nature. He said you will no longer be called Jacob (supplanter) but Israel (Prince with God). God was saying to him that he had fought like a prince and so he could endure to the end and overcome without cheating. He (Jacob) saw that anything he did as a carnal man only hurt him. He also understood that his own strength was futile and that he needed help from God. So we see that from Bethel where he had a revelation of God (after running for his life from Esau), to the time of his reconciliation with Esau, he had been totally transformed. He was a different man from the one who had cheated his brother through deceit.
I see these scriptures of Esau, Jacob, and Israel as a type of transition that all the chosen of God go through. This is further illustrated in II Thes 2:1-2. In these scriptures we definately see a dual nature. The man of sin; the son of perdition verses the Holy Spirit Of God. A struggle is taking place within the temple of God (know ye not that ye are the temple of God?). Let me explain. The Spirit and Soul make up the temple of God. The Spirit is our inner man and has always been Holy (Eph 3:16). The soul or mind is the place that the serpent planted his seed. This is where the adamic nature is, the man of sin, the one appointed to be destroyed.
At salvation, the adamic nature is nailed to the cross, we reckon it dead. We are new creations with the mind of Christ. This is where the struggle begins. Satan has been cast out of our heavenlies so now his influence comes from outside of us. We as new creations do not have a carnal mind, but we can be influenced or tempted by the world, flesh or the devil. If we are influenced by these things and we do those things that are not profitable to us, we are double-minded. These outside influences are for us to overcome. Col 3:1-4 tells us to keep our minds focused on things above and not on things on the earth. Be INFLUENCED by Gods Spirit within you. Read his word, sing his music, go to meet with his church and worship him. If you are not being influenced from within, than you may be influenced from outside. Understand we who love God have the mind of Christ as new creations of God, we do not have a carnal mind. But we can be influenced by FOCUSING outwardly. Satan has no place in our heavenlies any longer, he has been cast into the earth realm. So if your focus is in the world or on the flesh, you may be influenced in do something CARNAL. That does not mean you are carnal by nature.
The early church started out pure as it focused on Gods word and truth. Then the deceivers came along and polluted Gods word. The falling away came as described in I Tim 4:1-5. By falling away from the truth, by listening to seducing spirits and doctrines out of the soul of man rather than the Spirit of God. For almost 2000 years the man of sin has stood in Gods place preaching his doctrines and traditions. They killed the two witnesses and by doing so they were free to minister as God for a time. But they were as Jacob, religious but not righteous. This religious nature has supplanted God. There has been religion from the soul of man. But as it says in Joel that in the last days the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon all flesh, it started with Martin Luther's revelation that the just shall live by faith in God. Salvation is of God. God is restoring His truth. He is revealing the man of sin who has controlled the church. We have seen all the part truths revealed as man-made religions have divided and camped around portions of truth. We can see the day star arising. God has called out His Sons, out of the religious harlot and has gathered all the part truths and has given us a full gospel based on truth. We see Israel merging from this CHAOS.
I've seen myself go from glory to glory, from doctrine to doctrine, from faith to faith. I've seen myself as Esau, Jacob and thank God I am seeing that Christ has regained His throne as my attention is FOCUSED on Him. As Israel I have fought the good fight, like a prince with God. I have learned to overcome without any scheming, as righteousness in Christ!
It is my aim to approach these lessons, entitled Christianity 101, from the perspective of a practical or experiential viewpoint. Although it is to all of our advantage that we labour and understand the instruction of the Lord that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope, we equally desire to apply the very instruction to our lives, to walk out that which has been worked in our hearts. So let these lessons be a seed in your heart to eventually produce the very substance and reality in which it was intended.
My prayer is that whatsoever is shared is not the result of what has been learned but rather of what has been worked within and what has become part of me, for mere knowledge will only produce death. To get the most out of Christianity 101, actively participate by reviewing chapter and verse, always asking the Holy Spirit to open your mind to divine revelation. I am sure you'll be able to see much more than I am capable of sharing here. And now the lesson...
A Study On Grace
Old Testament Review:
The hebrew word "chen" is found approximately 70 times in the old testament, about 40 of them as grace, gracious, or the grace, while the remaining 30 times as favour or favoured. Proverbs 5:19 even translates the word "grace" as pleasant, while 17:8 shows it as a precious stone (lit. stone of grace). Strong's concordance defines chen as graciousness, kindness, favor, pleasant, or precious. In addition, another word chanan often translates as gracious or favour and brings the meaning to bend or to stoop in kindness to an inferior. Job used this very word as he sought his friends to stoop and find favor and kindness on him "Have pity on me, have pity on me O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me."
The first time we see the word grace used in the old testament is Genesis 6:8
"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord". In addition, many
others found grace in the sight of the Lord, including Abraham (Gen 18:3), Lot
(Gen 19:19), Laban - Jacob's father-in-law (Gen 30:27), Jacob (Gen 32:5), and
Moses (Ex 33:16) to name a few.
Moses asked an interesting question that we all may have asked at one time or another, I know I have, "For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight?" I've asked this way, "how do I know that I have received your favor?", Certainly my circumstances many times made it appear that His grace was far away! Do you ever feel this way? The very next verse from Moses provides us his own answer, "is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth". (Ex 33:16-17).
In consideration of the definition of grace from the old testament, it should not come as a surprise to any that it was God who had stooped down in kindness to an inferior, He had favour on Noah, Abraham, Jacob and Moses, not because they were better than the others, not because there was something worthy in them of His divine favour. They of old were no different than all of us who were born in sin and shapen in iniquity. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; there is none righteousness, no not one. It may come as a surprise, but God had favour on these men of old not because of who they were but because of who HE IS. Contrary to the thinking of many, the God of the old covenant was both a God of mercy and grace!
New Testament Review:
The greek word "charis" is used approximately 160 times in the new testament. Many times this word is translated in scripture as grace, favour, or thanks. It can also be found as pleasure, benefit, liberality and gift in the King Jimmy version of the bible. Strong's concordance defines the word charis as gracious, acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace and divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life. In addition, another word charizomai often translates as forgiven and freely given. One dictionary brings this same idea to light by stating that grace is unmerited favour. And so it is as the old and new testaments suggest.
However, there is a greater application in the principle of grace used in the new testament than simply stooping down to an inferior. Our understanding of grace goes beyond what Christendom has presented abroad. Let me borrow Mr. Strong's definition of influence upon the heart to look closer at the meaning of grace.
The beloved physician Luke tells us of Jesus "the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him". Now I ask the question, was God stooping to an inferior, having unmerited favour to one which was undeserving? Or was Jesus unblemished, without flaw, a perfect sacrifice. I submit that the influence (grace) of God was on the boy's life. God did not have unmerited favor upon His Holy Son, He who was born of an incorruptible seed.
Even Jesus used the very word grace in scripture as found in Luke 6:31-36 "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank (grace) have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank (grace) have ye? For sinners also do even the same...............But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again;......for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil". Interesting, Jesus tells us to extend grace to all for God himself is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. How many times have we thought that someone in our path of life, family or friend, has done us wrong? Do we ever stop and think that perhaps this very ordeal, this entire situation was in the Father's complete control. Can we ever believe that it was to work something both in and out, hard has it may sound. What about Joseph and his terrible misfortune, tossed into a pit by his own brothers. Yet this same man saw God in control of the events, saying to his brothers "So it was not you that sent me hither, but God". Even Job, although losing fortune and children, testified "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: blessed be the name of Lord. In all this Job sinned not nor charged God foolishly". This man did not miss the mark (definition of sin) by blaming the devil but simply saw the sovereign hand of God.
Are we capable of extending forgivness and kindness? Grace being the influence on the heart, enables you and I to extend good in those situations which would otherwise have been utterly impossible. And if we are unable, it simply means that more of his grace is needed in our heart to be worked out over time. It is not to say, well I lack the desire so God must want me to continue in sin. No, it is to say, well God wants me to totally depend on him and if it's more grace that I need, simply ask and wait on the Lord for its timely delivery!!! And perhaps to lessen our blow towards another, remember that they also lacked God's influence and ability to do otherwise or as Jesus stated "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do...Luke 23:34)
To quote a friend and wonderful teacher - Preston Eby, "Aristotle defines grace (charis) as "that which is freely bestowed with no expectation of return; an act which finds its only motive in the goodheartedness of the giver". Therefore, when Paul teaches that the elect are saved by grace (Eph 2:8-9), he fortifies the fact that our salvation is wholly "unmerited" by stating that it is not our doing ("not of yourselves"), nor is it "earned", for "it is the gift of God." Finally, lest his readers should still fail to get the point, he adds "Not of works, lest anyone should boast". The revelation of grace declares that when God chose to redeem His creation that he foresaw no condition in them which would provide any grounds for their being saved or made acceptable to Him. He knew full well that absolutely no one would trust in Christ of his own free will, unless the Holy Spirit quickened him first. How can dead men decide anything? This is in keeping with the teaching of Christ that no one can come to Him until the Father has first drawn that person to his son (Jn 6:44)" - end quote.
And again in another place Bro Eby writes ".....grace is not merely the kindness of God in doing something for us which we have not deserved, but it is the essence, the energy, the power and working wrought within as HE DOES for us, to us, in us, and through us! God's grace, divine grace, then, is DIVINE ENABLEMENT. - end quote.
It's interesting that most teachers would have us believe that man is to make diligent use of God's grace; that man is to accept God's free gift of grace; that man is to allow it to set him free!!! Man, man, man, the emphasis is on the great self-will of man. As if the ALMIGHTY GOD has changed from AL to IF-MAN-PERMITS Mighty. We are talking about God's divine influence here, yet man says, its only permitted if man gives the green light! The thought that God can only function if man permits is a childish notion and should be discarded from our very thoughts. Such have a very small God and their thinking is aligned with humanism. Did God ask Saul of Tarsus whether or not he wanted to be saved? Or did He not say to Ananias "He is a chosen vessel unto me to bear my name". Face it, if you've been touched by God somewhere in your life, He will finish that in which He started, He has His hook in you regardless how hard you try to swim away.
I believe that this is not simply a doctrinal debate but rather a basic, Christian entry level under- standing, which is misunderstood and not taught in very many places. To grasp that grace is God's influence upon our hearts, to know that no man can resist the will of God when He begins to tug at our heart is indeed a revelation to cherish. Man cannot "pull himself up by his own bootstraps" as a very close friend of mine would say. Nor can man claim and whip up enough faith or stand-on-the-promises made to others throughout the Bible. No, man cannot approach God by his own thinking and raising of consciousness, it must be by divine revelation else it will not happen!
Religion has this strange notion that grace is free to all, yet man has to
reach out and accept it.
If we could ask Paul, would he tell us that the divine influence of God was subject to Paul accepting it? No, for scripture clearly shows that no man shall boast in the receiving of His grace. God's influence (grace) clearly is the instrument used to bring me to my expected end and when the end is accomplished (in each dealing in my life) I no longer need grace for I have been changed. Even Saint Augustine argued the fact that without God's continual help, man is weak and crippled. Augustine was an "adversary to the opinion that God frequently awaits the good impulses of the natural will before coming to its assistance with supernatural grace to regenerate man and empower him".
So to conclude, the bible does not teach of "steps" for one to take to be justified. It is in grace that we are freely justified (Rms 3:24). More so, it is not of our works (Rms 11:6) but out of faith (Rms 5:1), His faith (Gal 2:20). So, we are to pray for His continual INFLUENCE (grace) upon us, we ask that He draw us and we'll run after Him, we cry for His laws to be written on our hearts to save us from ourselves. God is quite able to make you and I willing (Rms 9:19; Ps 110:3). Aren't you glad He is able to bring us to that place to both desire and perform his good pleasure (Phil 2:12).