"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 are mostly from those of us fellowshipping in the Tampa, Florida area. "ARISE" also publishes pertinent articles of similar concern from those abroad consistent with our general purpose and calling. 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 thirteenth issue of "ARISE" features:
I. "Christological Restoration" is an excellent article provided by a dear friend, Dr. Jack Jacobsen. This paper provides answers to questions as, Will evil triumph finally over the victory of Christ? Brother Jack and his wife Marjorie has taken residence in New Port Richey, FL.
II. "A Love Affair To Remember" is a timely article for many as it reminds the saints to remember their first love. This teaching is provided by the author of the ARISE publication.
III. "A Gathering Of One" comes from a close friend, Brother Romeo Corsini. His article provides insight to the purpose of gathering together as believers of Christ. He and his wife Christine reside in Brandon (Tampa), FL.
IV. "Sustained By His Voice" is provided by a good friend and excellent teacher, Brother Frank Sextro. His thoughts displays maturity and experience as it provides sound instruction regarding our need to hear the voice of God. He and his wife Bonnie live in Brandon (Tampa), FL.
V. "Our Return To Our Father's House" comes to us from Brother Victor P. Allen of Sooke, British Columbia, Canada. I had the wonderful privilege of meeting Victor a few years ago and have stayed in correspondence since that time. He has provided this article for our reading. It is a synopsis of the truths contained in his book, titled the same.
VI. "From Creation To The Consummation" is made available from Dr. Jack Jacobsen. This is the first of sixteen parts collected from his dissertation for a degree presented to the Minnesota Graduate School of Theology in November of 1993. The document of sixteen chapters provides a method of conceptualizing biblical dispensations from creation to the consummation.
VII. "The Lord's Day" is a poem provided for our edification by an excellent teacher and wonderful man, Brother L. Dane Tabor. He is pastor of United Christian Temple in Uniontown, PA. Brother Dane and his wife Rita are highly regarded by all who have meet them.
We are happy to start our fourth year of providing the ARISE journal to our readers. It is with our "Utmost To The Highest" that we labour to teach the gospel of "good news" and continue to share what the Father has given to us. We pray your spirit, soul and body be found blameless in the presence of the Christ. We appreciate your letters of encouragement as we build one another in perfect love.
It is with anticipation of joy that my wife and I wait for the arrival of our little girl, Nicole Anna. My wife is only two months from giving birth of our first child. The grace of the Lord is upon us.
In His Service
Timothy D. and Melissa Carroll
"A R I S E" is free to all as God's way is "Freely you have
received, freely give". We trust God to lay it upon the hearts of those
He chooses to provide the means for printing and sending out this journal. The
mailing address is listed on the front cover for those interested in receiving
the journal on a regular basis. Additional copies are available upon request.
Notification of change of address is appreciated.
From the beginning of the Christian Church, men have applied themselves to the study of the Scriptures, seeking answers from God's Word concerning God's ultimate Will for His creation. Questions in the early Church surfaced as to what is the purpose of judgment? What does Christ's victory over evil mean to mankind? Is there a point in the future of mankind when God's mercy ends?
Dr. John Sutherland Bonnell in his book, HEAVEN AND HELL, Abingdon press, states, "Not a word in the New Testament justifies this ghastly concept which revolts human sensitivity", i.e., the idea that God will eternally punish people in a hell of fire. This idea of eternal punishment for sinners is a pre-Christian origin according to Dr. Bonnell.
Dr. Bonnell in his research believes that eternal punishment came from Jewish apocalyptic writings. The concept in these Jewish writings were composed when the Hebrew people were under grievous persecution. Their religious writers foretold the delight of the victims of persecutions when in the hour of their vindication they will witness the sufferings of their enemies.
From a human standpoint, these sentiments can be understood; but they had no place in the very early beginnings of the Christian Church. Eternal punishment is not mentioned in the three great historic Creeds of the Church; The Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian. There is also no documentation that the Church Councils at Nice in 325 A.D: at Constantinople in 381 A.D.; at Ephesus in 431 A.D. or at Chalcedon in 451 A.D. ever embraced the doctrine of "eternal punishment".
It was in the year, 553 A.D. at Constantinople, that the Doctrine of Restoration was condemned for the first time. Stephen E. Jones in his excellent book, CREATION'S JUBILEE, states that it took three centuries to "stamp" out the Restoration teaching. General Councils of A.D. 649, 680, 787, and 869 reaffirmed the condemnation of Origen's teaching of Christ's Triumph. And not only Origen, but many other church fathers in the early years of the church believed in the message of Restoration.
This erratic departure from the true Jewish concept of salvation which came from few sources in the Jewish apocalyptic writings and eventually influenced men such as Augustine was not so in the beginning. According to Dr. John Fischer, who heads up the Menorah Ministries of Palm Harbor, Florida, stated on television during the Christian Holy Week, that salvation in the Jewish community embraces the personal salvation, the wholeness of body, soul, spirit, the inclusiveness in this salvation of the family, the community, the nation of Israel and eventually the salvation of the world. The Messianic Hope has been for Israel to be the head of the nations with this message of salvation for the world. Jesus came as God's gift to accomplish this. But the leaders in Jesus' time rejected this Messiah because He came not in carnal power and authority, but with Spiritual authority.
To give credence to what Dr. John Fischer states was God's purpose of Israel, i.e., to be the eventual source of salvation for the whole world, is seen in the story of Jonah. Dr. Bernhard W. Anderson, Professor of the Old Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary writes in his book, "Understanding the Old Testament" that the story of Jonah is a Prophetic Universalism, reminiscent even of Second Isaiah. Dr. Anderson summarizes the story by telling how Jonah had been commissioned by Yahweh to go to Nineveh, the Assyrian capital, and preach that the city would be destroyed if it did not repent. This was a distasteful task because the Assyrians had oppressed Israel cruelly and were a detested people (see the prophet Nahum on the feelings of Israel toward the Assyrians). For Jonah to go to Nineveh was more than he could take, He fled in the opposite direction to escape the Call of the Lord. Also, Jonah would face the wrath of his peers if he went into the camp of the enemy with the Word of the Lord. Jonah had his prejudice to overcome, the hatred of his fellow Israelites in his obedience, his seemingly reluctance that his message would be accepted. But the Lord was showing that Israel could be that instrument to carry out the mission of bringing the word of salvation to the Gentile world; even an enemy of Israel.
In the New Testament, Peter went through a terrible ordeal when the Lord commanded him to go to the house of Cornelius, a Gentile, and bring the message of salvation to him and his house. God had to give Peter a vision of the "unclean things" made clean and ready to hear the Word of the Lord.
Paul comes along and is the Missionary to the Gentiles and evangelizes much of Asia with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Resistance to Paul's missionary ministry culminates with the Council meeting in Jerusalem as stated in the fifteenth chapter of the book of Acts. The outcome is that the newly converted gentiles are to be received and accepted as fellow believers in the "Ekklesia" formed by the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
That early church formed by "saved" Israelites and "saved" Gentiles united with the middle wall of partition removed, preached about a Jesus Who had RISEN from the dead. They preached a Victorious Jesus and Paul in I Corinthians, chapter 15, speaks of that Christ reigning until He has everything under His Feet with the result that Jesus will give back a reconciled humanity back to the FATHER.
Two books on the history of the Christian Church state that two teachings in the beginning of the fifth century were discarded. These teachings were the Restoration of All Things as elucidated by Origen and the theory of the Millennial Reign of Christ. These history books were written by Lars Qualben, Professor of History at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, and George Fisher who was Professor of History at Yale University New Haven, Connecticut. Fisher says also that Augustine, a church Father of the fifth century, withstood the doctrine of Restoration.
Ironically, while Augustine withstood the teaching of Restoration, he introduced the doctrine of purgatory. This is a quote from Fisher's book, "The introduction of the doctrine of purgatory was due to the influence of Augustine who suggested that imperfect Christians may be purified in the intermediate state, by purgatorial fire, from their remaining sin. His conjecture was converted into a fixed belief." Augustine believed that perfected saints and martyrs would go at once to Heaven. Thus supplication for departed Christians had been common since the second century according to historian Fisher.
The departure from the "Faith once delivered unto the saints" was seen from the sixth century to the sixteenth century. In time, the message of salvation was lost with the "work righteousness" along with the indulgences purchased for the forgiveness of sins. Since this accepted belief was that, "outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation", combined with a perverted view of Biblical salvation, there was no hope for ANYONE not in the Church and not involved with synergism, i.e., "work righteousness", one would be ETERNALLY damned. Saintly Thomas Aquinas declared, "In order that nothing be wanting to the happiness of the blessed in Heaven, a perfect view is granted of the tortures of the damned." Jonathan Edwards wrote, "The sight of hell's torments will exalt the happiness of the saints forever; it will give them a more lively relish."
I appreciate what William Inge, formerly Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, wrote, "When we remember the character of God the Father as revealed to mankind in and by Christ, the blasphemy of regarding Him as an implacable and ferocious torturer seems almost incredible and must remain a heavy reproach against European Christianity." Yet, this is the same man who believes that human sin will meet a just punishment in the world to come.
With the Reformation, the Lord of the Universe began to bring Truth back to His church. Reformers such as Wycliffe, Hus, Luther, Calvin, Wesley and others "uncovered" treasures which had been hidden. Salvation by faith in Jesus Christ alone, healing, sanctification, baptism of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the revelation of the character of God in the message of restoration. One prophet of the Lord said to me over twenty years ago, "There will be another move of God; when the Lord will show to our world Who He really is, the GOD OF LOVE". It may be that this next revival will manifest to our world the character of love embodied in our Heavenly Father. That love will cause mankind everywhere to be converted unto Him and to manifest that love to each other in true love. This love will cause us to cry out for purity; for His righteousness, for His love. And then shall every knee bow in 'admiration', every tongue will confess Him as Lord in 'praise' to the GLORY OF GOD.
................ Dr. Jack E. Jacobsen
A Love Affair To Remember
A wonderful thing happened to me only a couple of weeks ago. My wife knew that I had a string of long, late evenings at work over the month, so she took the initiative to slow me down one particular night. She called me at work and suggested that when I arrive home, a nice dinner would be waiting for me (as it usually is) followed by a time of relaxation. The plans were to cuddle-up and watch an old classical romantic movie that she had rented for the evening. Although I had several projects which needed my attention, I agreed that "a break" from the normal course of activities was a great idea.
The film, titled 'An Affair to Remember', featured a debonair playboy and a beautiful club singer who had met and fallen in love. Although, in my opinion, the movie seemed a little tasteless and somewhat risqué in the beginning, especially for a production made in 1957, it turned out to be a delightful story. Nickie (role-played by Cary Grant) and Terry (role-played by Deborah Kerr) met traveling first class aboard a transatlantic luxury liner courtesy of two other people. She was a tycoon's mistress and he was engaged to an heiress. Their sudden, but undeniable attraction lead them to make a vow that they'll break off their current relationships, get jobs and meet in six months at the top of the Empire State building in New York City to be later married. But a tragic accident kept Terry from their rendezvous and the future took an emotional and uncertain turn. Unbeknown to Nickie, his lady friend was kept from the appointment, leaving him crushed and in despair. Overtime, his bitterness, pain and hurt had mostly worn off and he was able to resume a normal life. The end of the story was ever so moving, so much in fact that my wife and I replayed it several times. She openly wept while I laughed to disguise my tears. Although I had seen a modern version of the film, the ending still managed to speak to my heart. I immediately responded in my spirit as my thoughts turned to the Lord to consider His love towards us. In fact, I said to my wife, "just think how much greater the intensity and emotion is God's love, especially when we come to the fullness of His presence". And so, it is with such thoughts regarding His love that I now share my thoughts with you.
As Christians, we are to find ourselves walking in the Lord, in the depths of Christ, in spiritual realms unknown by most men. We are to find ourselves desiring and gathering with those who love the Lord both experientially and with a passion. I say this, since this is what separates a true believer from a pious believer or those having accumulated doctrines and head knowledge about the Lord Jesus Christ. As believers of Christ, we should find ourselves remembering our first love. A love that causes us to run to Him every time we hear His voice, a love that causes us to rest in His bosom. Indeed, such an adoration is truly an affair we ought to remember!
The words "....because thou hast left thy first love" are found in the book of Revelation, a letter that has had more interpretation than you can "shake a stick" so to speak. Suffice it to say, this book is not a detailed account of futuristic monsters and "flying machines" to substantiate man's eschatology or doctrine of last events. Rather, it is a record of the revelation or "uncovering" of Jesus Christ. It is an account of the unveiling of the man Jesus Christ who resides within the heart of man. Furthermore, it is a description or allegorical pilgrimage of the believer's soul; it's journey of transformation to maturity and full union with the Spirit of God.
Likewise, this book of spiritual drama can only be understood by the very Spirit who inspired and gave the words to its writer, the disciple John. It was John who had penned our text verse, "thy first love". This devoted servant was perhaps one of the deepest inward apostles of Jesus Christ. He did not rest until he was filled with the love of his Master. It is interesting to find sections of the Church favoring the teaching of different apostles. The Protestants seem to prefer Paul, while the Catholics seem to regard the name of Peter. However, it is the teaching of John most cherished by the mystics. Of course, it is wise to prize the teachings of all three of these great men.
This man's character left a rich imprint for those of us desiring the deeper Christian life. Interestingly, we find John's presence at several key events recorded in holy script. He was one of the three disciples found with Jesus at the resurrection of Jairus' daughter; one of the three with Jesus at the Mount of Transfiguration; and one of the three with Jesus at Gethsemane. He was the disciple with Mary at the foot of the cross at Calvary. He was one of two who had rushed to the tomb, outrunning the other, to see whether the body of Jesus lay there. I think he must have been a man of considerable thought given his vast number of first-hand experiences with the Lord Jesus Christ. I do not suggest that others are inferior to John simply due to his being present in person, nor is it to imply that these lessons were only for him. But by reading and accepting the words of this disciple, we can come to experience and partake in spirit the reality of what he had witnessed in person.
Prior to his words, "thy first love" found in chapter two - verse four, John had received the bid to write all that he had seen. In chapter one, John assures us of God's love for mankind, "To Him who loves us". That pledge of love was made by the giving of Himself, "and washed us from our sins in his own blood" (Rev 1:5).
Then John's words, "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him......" (Rev. 1:7). What exactly did he mean by this statement? A careful examination of some key words in this sentence should make it clear. The word 'behold' suggests an immediate alertness or strict attention to the words which were to follow. Then John wrote, "he cometh". The word 'cometh' is a present tense word describing that 'he' is in the act of entering or appearing. In other words - behold, look, watch....the Lord's coming to you is a present happening, He now comes! This suggests an action to immediately behold Christ in a present tense reality. John continued with the statement, "with clouds; and every eye shall see him". That is to say, He comes to you and I in hiding, in secret, in that sacred realm of quietness. It is similar to how the sun hides itself behind the clouds. Likewise, He hides Himself from the crowds. His visitation is both discreet and personal. He comes in that sacred realm of discretion so that every understanding heart that hath an eye to see will embrace Him. (Often God works quietly and in secret, concealed to the world and religion. The idea of Jesus born in a manger, invisible to the world, without the sensational and spectacular bears witness to this idea).
Then John received a vision of the glorified Christ within the church. This
One IN THE MIDST of the seven candlesticks or seven churches is described in
its entirety by using symbols. However, for our purposes, we shall only make
mention of the eyes. His eyes were described as a flame of fire. To me, this
demonstrates a warmth of love, a passionate flame deep within the soul of the
church as well as within the soul of an individual. The eyes are as gatekeepers,
they protect what enters in and can display what is often found in the heart.
Have you ever noticed a person's pain through their eyes? How about their anger?
Tears are always a sure indication, aren't they? How about a persons joy, or
laughter, or love? Most certain, a person's eyes can tell you a lot about their
present state of being.
John continues by writing to the seven churches. Each one holds a special place in the economy of God and the experiences of each are quite applicable to the soul and it's journey to perfection in the realm of divine Spirit. It is also worth noting that the directive 'He that hath an ear, let him hear' precedes the promise for the first three churches: Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamos; and it follows the promise for the remaining four churches: Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. To me this suggests the emphasis of having the ability to hear first during our early spiritual development rather than getting caught up in the promises which are to follow. Later as our soul matures and continues its journey in the realm of spirit, we come to learn that the 'hearing' is a prerequisite to obtain any promise.
"Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God " (Rev. 2:1-7).
The church of Ephesus was as religious as Rome was political. This church was visited by the apostle Paul on at least two occasions. He seemed to have given more time here than any other church. It was here in this city that he had reasoned with the Jews in the synagogue and continued to dispute the things concerning the kingdom of God. It was here in this city where they worshipped the Asian goddess of fertility named Diana. It was here in this city where they used sorcery over evil spirits. It is also, here where they had burned their curious art books after seeing miracles by the hands of Paul.
The church of Ephesus was weakened in her first love, "....thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent.....". Their 'first love' is a figure of speech to Israel's espousals in times past. Hear the words of both Hosea and Ezekiel, "When Israel was a child, then I loved him......" (Hos. 11:1), and "Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my shirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine." (Ezk. 16:8).
Likewise, the prophet Jeremiah continues to share our theme with the words, "Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness...." (Jer 2:1-2). To remember means to recount, be mindful or think upon. Just imagine, the very Lord Himself to think upon, recount or makes to be remembered the love of His espousal.
John's words, "thou hast left thy first love" are applicable to every Christian that was, is, and is to come. When we are first drawn by the Lord, we run after Him. We give Him our all. We find that excitement that is often found in a newly acquired relationship. Our love is obvious to all. It shows and we glow with it! Then something happens. We lose our focus, our appreciation. We seem to forget or remember what it was that attracted us in the first place. We fail to be firm and committed. Our emotions begin to rule and our attention begins to fail. Yet, He is so ever faithful, always there, never waivering.
Has the Spirit ever whispered to you, "thou hast left thy first love"? Perhaps you are in this position today. I admit, I have found myself in this place more times than I would like. The Greek word translated, 'hast left' is used well over a hundred times in the New Testament and means: to forsake, lay aside, leave, let alone, put or send away, forgive, or yield up. Isn't it hard to imagine that we, at times, might have forsaken Him? Isn't it difficult to comprehend that we have left Him? Have put Him aside? Sent Him away? Left Him alone?
John's words, "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent" tells us to rehearse, be mindful, or exercise our memory of the former position from whence we had fallen. It is similar to the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah when the Lord Himself were to make remembrance of His love. And when we have exercised our memory towards such a state or condition of love, we are to repent. We are to change our minds and turn from our present condition to that former position of His love!
John continues by making reference to the Nicolaitanes which speaks of conquest or triumph. Both their conquering natures and doctrines (Rev. 2:15) were hated by the Lord. Then, for those who have been prepared to hear by the Spirit, He writes, "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God ". This tree of life is given to the believer for food and strength. This tree of life is none other than Jesus Himself. He takes the individual and gives him the necessary nourishment that is required. In a sense, you could say that the One in the midst becomes the very life of an individual.
We stated earlier that John did not rest till he was filled with the love of his Master. Likewise, we should not rest until we also are filled with His love. In doing so, we ought to recount the love that caused us to run to Him once we had heard His voice. We ought to be mindful of the very love that caused us to rest in His bosom. We ought to REMEMBER OUR FIRST LOVE for truly it is..... A LOVE AFFAIR TO REMEMBER!!!!
A Gathering Of One
When we meet, it is a gathering of oneness. Are we aware that our purpose is to prove our oneness? Do we agree? We can't walk together except we be agreed (Amos 3:3). So, what do we agree upon? We agree on the same spirit, not the same presumptions, not the same facts. I am not interested in learning anymore. I want to be experienced. We can liken it to having all the education in the world and not being able to get a job because you don't have a skill.
What is wisdom if it isn't having learned through experience. What is learning to us, the children of the most High? Learning to us is revelation. Otherwise it is called opinion. What is your opinion worth? I say this because it is true. We who are spiritual and who walk spiritually live by revelation. Yet we cannot discard those called by God to be leaders by saying that we only live by revelation, therefore have no need for anyone else. There are many who need to rely on the wisdom of those more established in their walk in God.
Look to what Paul said in 1 Cor 7:25 and 40. "Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful...but she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the spirit of God." And this is Paul's wise opinion based on his experience with the spirit of God.
Scripture does tell us that we need not that any man teach us because the spirit of God will guide us to all truth. It also tells us that there is wisdom in the multitude of counselors (Prov 11:14). There you have it. Wisdom is the key. I could go by the knowledge I have that the Bible says I don't need to rely on anyone but the spirit of God. But my experience teaches me that there are many times I need the good counsel of my friend, my elder, both in the Lord. I have seen it happen where well-meaning individuals become loners and can't hear anyone, though someone would come to them from the Lord. Experience teaches us wisdom, which is another word for spiritual discernment.
How can we gather together with the purpose of proving our oneness if we cannot receive from one another? We cannot receive from one another when what is being offered is opinion and not truth. How often does one have truth to share? Only as often as he has had revelation from the spirit of God. Or.... as often as he has humbly listened to others called by the Lord to minister wisdom. There is another key.
I find that in this age of lawsuits, in this country especially, of so-called plagiarism, where people accuse people of not being original but repeating what others "have come up with", the word of the Lord is often reduced to 'preferred customers'. (Why, I've heard of ministers who have become so big that they would not go to certain places without guarantees of money totals and attendances, explaining that God would not be a waster.) But I say to you that if I do share any word and it is the truth by revelation, whether I received it or heard it from another, then your wisdom, your discernment, should hear the voice of God and give thanks. You should not praise me or anyone who is sharing. What we have received we have received freely. If I cannot pass on to you a truth from God, even a song unto God, without permission from man, I dare say that it is not from God no matter how good it sounds. Our ears need to be re-trained sometimes from the deception that if it sounds good, it's good enough. Discernment alone should tell us that if I have to pay to receive, it's not from the Lord on High.
As we gather together, we do so for a purpose. If you are not there because you are led by the Lord or because you are seeking more of Him, then why are you there? I say, better there than many other places. I also would say that you should let your reason of being there in that you want to hear the truth of the Father. Let your reason to gather be that you want to be trained to hear the voice of the Lord, not to learn a new doctrine or by-law or dogma.
Let no one come to water down your resolve to be instruments of the Lord by making of you audiences for their glory. An audience is strictly a group that is there to hear. Untrained and untaught or trained but taught incorrectly, they will hear the speaker and not the Lord. Your ears are holy things designed for the voice of God. They are not garbage containers. If our mouths should not utter both sweet and bitter, then why should our ears be receptors of good and garbage? (Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? James 3:11) Of course, that means we are to be discerners of the spirit. That is why I began by declaring that we agree on the spirit and nothing else. The spirit does not change. As we walk about our towns and work places we should be able to recognize our own kind through sight or sound by the discernment we possess.
And why shouldn't it be this way? After all, our God is Spirit. Peter said in Acts 5:32, "And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the holy ghost whom God hath given to them that obey him."
That is another reason why you won't have to advertise your places of worship. You won't have to plaster the town with signs reading, "Come to our church. We're not boring. Come worship with us because we're hip and cool. We are the "up and coming" church. We're what's new in church-going. Official sponsors of the 59th Olympics!" It frustrates me to no end how the churches think they have to be clever in advertising to draw attention to themselves when in fact it is the Lord who draws His people to Himself. It is He who adds to the church daily, not by might, not by power (all advertisements), but by His spirit (discern and be discerned.) "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added daily such as should be saved." Acts 2:47.
Your ears are your spirit. Your eyes are your spirit. Your minds are your spirit. Do you see what I see? As a man thinketh so is he. That is to say, as a man allows himself to be influenced so will he be. Therefore, we have a serious responsibility to know just what does influence us and to avoid what is not good for us. We also have a conscience that will help us when we can't figure what is right and what is wrong. I agree with what I read in a Watchman Nee book that our conscience is the spirit of God talking. How many of us know our conscience enough to recognize it when it speaks? How many of us truly know how holy the conscience is, holy enough to be reverenced and obeyed? WE HAVE A DUTY TO THE SPIRIT OF GOD TO PROTECT OURSELVES FROM THAT WHICH WE HAVE DISCERNED TO BE NOT OF GOD. When people come together as a unity to worship God and to wait upon Him for instruction, direction and inspiration; they must act for the sake of the one body. It should not be every man for himself. That is why it is important to know that we agree on the same thing and that same thing is the Spirit of God. Otherwise we would be differing on the small petty things that do not involve growth in the Spirit of God.
We agree on the Spirit of God. That is what makes us one. Any time I say the Spirit I mean Christ, and Christ said that the Spirit would come and abide in us. There are many ways to describe what the Spirit of God means but I found one that says it well.
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Phil 4:7-8.
When we meet, therefore, let us be one by remembering the beauty of Christ. Let us remember the fruit of His Spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; Gal 5:22-23). And let us always know that apart from one another we cannot worship God as one. "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." Romans 12:5. "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling." Ephesians 4:4.
Sustained By His Voice
As we worship the Lord and enter into the Spirit, it's sweet to touch the presence of God and worship Him. That is why the scriptures talk about entering His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. When we find ourselves in the world doing our own thing, working, or whatever it may be, we are exhorted to worship Him and walk in the Spirit. At times we get carried away with our trials and our tribulations and the thoughts of the day and tend to lose sight of God. So when we gather together, it is nice to worship Him, touch Him, listen to His voice, and let Him speak to us. If you can come to a meeting and touch God, that is enough. Most people go into a meeting and never learn how to "enter in" to the Holiest of Holies, they never learn how to "enter in" to hear God for themselves. They go into a meeting to listen to a minister or they open up their Bible to read and get a "word". But how many of us are actually touching the hem of His Garment or listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying, what the Father is saying, thereby walking away blessed by what He has said to us. That's the secret; that is what we all have to learn. We have to learn how to enter into that Holy Place. We have to learn how to shut that door of the world, shut that door of carnality and listen to what the Father is saying to us for this day.
Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God and that's that "rhema" word, that's that spoken word, that's that whisper when He speaks to us and that is what causes us to live. That is what sustains us. It is not the bread nor the water that we eat and drink. This natural body is doing okay, but I want my spiritual body, I want my spiritual man to get strong and to be strengthened in Him. That is why it says that we need to put on the whole armour of God; we need to be strengthened with His strength. Hebrews, chapter three says "exhort one another daily while it is still called today." This should be every day. As long as we are in a day, we can exhort one another. We have that responsibility. Everywhere we go, we are to be exhorting, edifying, encouraging, and lifting up one another. It is our job to do these things. Anybody can discourage somebody. Anybody can bring someone down. It is not hard to do. It is our nature, it is our adamic nature that will tear somebody down; but it takes the character and the nature of God to lift somebody up. It takes the love of God, it takes His Spirit to encourage somebody. When you find yourself encouraging people and lifting people up and wanting to do it, you are being led by the Lord. You are being used of God. While it is still called today, encourage one another.
If we could get a hold of God's mind, so that we knew all the time exactly how He feels about us, just think how strong we would be. Have you ever felt discouraged and down-and-out? It is usually because you don't know how God feels about you at that time. So you discourage yourself, you condemn yourself, you lay the whip to your back. When we get into the Spirit and we hear God whisper to us, He is encouraging us. How many times do we need to know what He is saying and what He says about us. God came to Abraham and spoke to him. His name was Abram and God changed his name to Abraham, father of many nations. He began to tell Abraham that he was going to have seed and that his seed would be like the stars of the sky and like the sands of the sea, and that he would produce even though Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old. The first thing that Abraham wanted to do was say, "Lord, here is Ishmael. Can't you use him? " It was a lot easier for Abraham to believe that God could use Ishmael instead of Isaac since Abraham and Sarah were beyond the age to reproduce. But is there anything too hard for God? Abraham laughed and Sarah laughed because, to them, it was an impossibility. But God is in the business of doing the impossible. God has spoken to everyone of us; God has challenged every single one of us and has said that we have a mighty work to do. Just as it may have seemed impossible for Abraham, being 100 years old, to have a child, He speaks to us and sometimes it seems impossible. We have to be like faithful Abraham, whose faith was accounted for righteousness. We have to be like him everyday. Everytime there is an obstacle put in front of us, we need to have faith in God, we need to believe that He is going to bring us through that thing. And Abraham heard God. Even after he had Isaac, God spoke to him and said, "Take your son and go to the mountain and offer him up to Me." And of course Abraham did. He took his son on a three day journey up to the mountain and was going to offer him up to the Lord; but of course the angel of the Lord stopped him and said, "Stop, God was trying you in this situation." How many times does God do that kind of thing with us throughout the day?
Ephesians 1: 4-5. "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will." He has chosen us in Himself before the foundation of the world. Before the foundation of the world ever existed, He put his calling upon us. He that began a good work in you is faithful to finish it even unto the end. He started that thing in us and He is going to finish it. Look at Hebrews 1:1-2... "God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds."
The word for "worlds" in this passage means "ages" in the original Greek,, which indicates by whom he also made or framed the ages. So, at the beginning of time, like an architect, He took and planned day one until the end, absolutely all planned, predestined, all figured out from the foundation of the world. He planned on you being here, planned your ministry, knew exactly what you were going to do, and anointed you to do it. It's unbelievable how these things occur, but God sent His Spirit upon us. He has a plan for us. Amen! Nothing happens by chance. Read Colossians 1:16... "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth. Visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities or powers; all things were created by him and for him." He controls everything, everything is in His hands. When tribulation and trial occurs, it is the enemy who is working on us, tormenting us, and tempting us, yet God allows him to do that so that we would be strong, so that we could overcome, so that we could rely upon the Lord and get strength to overcome in these situations. "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world" (Acts 15:18). From the beginning of the world until now He knows all of them. Hallelujah!
I was thinking of Jeremiah and how God spoke to Jeremiah and said, "I knew you before you were in your mother's womb and I ordained you and anointed you to be a prophet unto the nations" (Jeremiah 1:5). He ordained and anointed him before he was ever born. Think about Paul... do you think Paul could have really denied God and run away from God and maybe not have served God? I do not think he had a chance. He was on that road to Damascus; he had been persecuting the church and God spoke to him in a vision, saying, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me." Paul said, "Lord who are You that I might serve You?" There are many people that God has spoken to and began to reveal Himself to in times past. Yet God is doing the same thing today with us as He did back then with them. He is revealing Himself and He is making Himself known. We know throughout scriptures that it says that unless the Father draws you, you could not come. It takes Him to draw you before you can come under this salvation. It takes Him to anoint the Word so that you can have understanding. If you have understanding of the Word it is because He gave it to you. Nothing comes by chance, nothing comes by "Wow! I figured this thing out. I've been working a long time on it but I finally figured this scripture out." No, it's God who revealed it to you. Sometimes when you first start out, you may have one understanding of a scripture only to learn later that it means something else. I know that I have gone from so many different things thinking, "This is it! I am settled, I am not in confusion anymore." And the next thing you know God reveals something else. It is a progressive thing. God is continually showing us new things and I dare to say in five years, I'll look back and say that there are a lot of things that I believe now that I did not believe before... because God is changing us, always God is bringing us into new understanding and new revelations. We are never sitting still, we are always progressing and learning and getting more and more in God. Hallelujah!
"But as many as received him to them he gave the power to become sons of God, even to those who believe in his name." (John 1:12). That is what God is doing with us. He is causing us to be sons of God. He is causing us to be oracles of God. He is causing us to come to the place where we can hear His voice, where we can be led by His Spirit and can do that which He has for us to do. If we do not know how to be led of the Spirit, if we do not know how to tap into what He is saying to us, then we are not walking by the Spirit, we are not sustained by His voice. That is what God is teaching us. He is teaching us to listen to His word. There is a scripture in Romans where Paul wrote, "I desire to come unto you that I might impart unto you some spiritual gift that you might be established." Have you ever thought about that? When Paul came, he desired to impart unto them a spiritual gift that they might be established. Paul was an apostle and when Paul came to these people, he could see through the eyes of the Lord what the different people needed in God. He could also see that an individual was called to be a prophet or had a ministry in teaching or was evangelistic or had a musical ministry. Many times, we get so caught up with what we can do in the flesh and our "old man", that we fail to realize that God has a ministry for us, God has a calling for us, God has given us abilities that we need to express. In the body of Christ, there are people out there who have discernment, who can look at you and say... "You have a ministry in singing." Paul wanted to impart unto them a spiritual gift so that they might be established. We are going to be established once we realize what God wants us to do and we start flowing in that realm. Paul said to Timothy that the prophecies that were prophesied over him were those of encouragement so that when he was going through a time of trouble he could recall that God had spoken to him and encourage him. Have you ever had somebody lay hands on you and prophecy to you and tell you something that you were going to do and it happened? Wasn't it edifying? Wasn't it encouraging? I know there is a lot that goes on that might not be God, but when it is God.... it's wonderful. There have been many times in my life where people have prophesied to me and given me a "word". There have been many times where God has spoken to me and told me things that I did not see happen right away. Maybe three... four... five... ten years later when I completely forgot all about it and was going through something else, then God whispers to me about what I had forgotten. Then it became a confirmation of what God had spoken to me back then, a "word" to sustain me, although I had not understood it at that time.
But so many times we go along and we forget it and then God brings it back to our remembrance and it is encouragement, it is edification, it is strength mainly because it is His Word. God wants us to know who we are. Who are you? So many times we relate to ourselves as "I'm Frank Sextro, I work here, I do this, I go here, I go there." But who are you in God? What are you doing in God? How does he want to use you? Throughout the day we need to see ourselves as how God see us. We do not need to see ourselves as the flesh because it causes discouragement. But we need to see ourselves in Him doing what He wants us to do. If you can see yourself in God and you can get edified in the Lord, He will always encourage you and He will always lift you up. Throughout the day, stop and think, "Who am I? Who am I?" We are joint heirs with Christ. Everything that Jesus did and was and all that He is now, we partake of. We are partakers; we are joint heirs with Christ; we share in all of that and we can obtain to all of that. There is nothing that is impossible to us. There is nothing that we can't accomplish in God if He is leading us in that direction. Amen! Praise God!
Know who you are, know your authority, know your abilities in God and tap into them and allow God to come forth. Amen! We can do it through Him! He spoke to Abraham and He prodded him along. He spoke to Moses and Moses said, "No, no, no, not me, use Aaron," and God said, "I am going to use you." How many times do we see a mighty man of God in the scriptures that did not really want to do what God wanted them to do? Look at Jonah. Jonah did not want to go and preach to Nineveh, but God made a way and God caused him to do it. Even the people got a mighty revelation that something was wrong with this man and he was not obeying God. He went down to the bottom of the ship and went to sleep and yet all the other people on the boat were praying to their gods and asking for help and wondering what was going on. They came to the conclusion that he was the problem because he was running away from God. Isn't that amazing? Even when you are running from God, He is going to expose you to other people? God is going to have His way and that is why even when it looks bad, even when it looks discouraging, and even when it looks as though God is not using you... He is using you.
There is a calling upon your life. He has chosen you. He has established you.
1 Peter 1:2 reads "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father."
The word 'elect' means selected, favorite and chosen. He has chosen us. He has
chosen you. He has caused us to be His priesthood. He chose you and established
you before the foundation of the world. A chosen generation... verse 2:9 "but
ye are a chosen generation".....He chose us. Hallelujah! We are chosen.
We have been set aside for Him . We have been sanctified. We have His hand resting
upon us and we can walk out there in boldness. We can go about the day realizing
that God is using us. But you have to believe it. If you feel discouraged, then
ask Him to encourage you. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His
courts with praise and worship God until you get encouraged. That is what Jude
was talking about. Building up yourselves in the most holy faith. Praying in
the Holy Ghost. Praise God!
Our Return To Our Father's House
We are about to embark on a journey. An expedition that we help us better understand our reunion with God our Father whose grace is limitless and whose heart is yearning for our safe return. To enlighten our pathway back to our true home, we will look at what is called a 'prefix', in particular, the one called 'RE'.
WE WERE THERE BEFORE! It cannot be overstated. The truth is so beautiful and so simple that many stumble over it. We know that our Father hides His Glorious Riches and Truths of the Kingdom from the ever so wise in the ways of the world. Paul's words confirm this very fact. "For from Him everything comes, through Him everything exists, and in Him everything ends". This cannot be made more clear. To end in Him is to RE-TURN UNTO OR INTO HIM. In other words, "For out of Him we came, by Him we live, And Back into Him we RE-TURN". All of these precious words contain the very heart of God our Father.
REMEMBER this, whenever you see the prefix 'RE' in front of a word, it means you have been there before. ALL of the 'RE' words contain the Greatest message of GOD'S Love that has ever been printed and yet this has been one of the greatest mysteries of God. He has hidden it from other ages, and only revealed it to a few, but in this day and this hour, many are being called to RE-TURN TO FATHER'S HOUSE. Many are hearing the Love call in the deep of their spirit and are responding, answering, YES LORD.
I am sure you understand that in order to RE-TURN to any given place, we must have been there before. It is the same with us towards God. His word is being written in our heart "RE-TURN unto Me for I have RE-DEEMED thee". The word RE-DEEMED is already an accomplished fact. The Father is on record as saying I have RE-DEEMED THEE. This part of the process is already completed, because of THE CHRIST at Calvary. Jesus said on the cross "It is finished". We know that our God has a process and HE starts with a small inner circle , and this started with the twelve, and now it is expanding to include a whole corporate company. So my friends, when God comes to us, come to us He will, but every man in his own order. He calls to our deep by saying "RE-TURN!"....this means we have been there before.
In the word TURN, you have an operation from GOD'S side alone. Psalms 30:11 "You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness". Lamentations 5:21 "TURN us to Yourself, O Lord, and we shall be TURNED and RE-STORED: RE-NEW our days as of old". Here we have three of our Re's and notice the prayer of the speaker! YOU Turn us O Lord, You RE-STORE us, You RE-NEW us. Without the First Great Cause of ALL causes, there just is no turning, for without Him coming to us there is just no turn about, for has He not said, without Me you can do nothing!
Let us look at this word RE-DEEM. In its broadest sense, it means to buy back, by paying a ransom. Some use RE-DEEM and RE-DEMPTION synonymously but it should not be interchanged, for the one means to buy back, while the other speaks of a loosing or a better word is A JUBILEE. Now these two are can be used interchangeably for this is also the meaning of JUBILEE, A loosing.
The word RE-DEEM is connected with the word RANSOM. THE CHRIST was the One who paid the RANSOM price for us, and I will add that it was for ALL, AND I very emphatically say unto you that our God would not have sent The Christ as The Ransom Price if the All would not be included. "Who gave Himself a RANSOM for ALL people" (I Tim 2:6).
In looking at the word RE-SURRECTION, we find that it has three stages involved in it. We are dealing with Spiritual Realities here, and not a body being put in a six foot hole. The trouble is that, many have not understood that The RE-SURRECTION is just that, three stages. They are first Spirit, our be-ing Born from above. Second, it is our soul which must face its processes, finally to be joined to the Spirit. Our soul by the way has three parts for The LORD to deal with. No small task, I will tell you. It is the Intellect, the Will and the Emotions. The last part of this operation, is of course, The TRANSFIGURATION, which will bring us fully Birthed into His presence. ALL of these beautiful operations of GOD, in what we call the PRE-FIX of 'RE', are for the purpose of bringing us into more of His Life. And my brethren, they each work hand in glove, speaking in perfect unity with nothing out of place. Before moving on, know this, there are also three RE-SURRECTIONS. The CHRIST, along with His body make up that great Firstfruit company of the Barley Harvest.
The Scriptures are full of words dealing with GOD'S RE-STORATION of ALL. I will say again, that even while here, to be RE-STORED, we must have been there before! How is it that this knowledge is given only to those who are being awakened at this point in our GOD'S time table, yet ALL will hear their trumpet call them in their own order, or array.
We have looked at RE-DEEM or RE-DEEMED which means to buy back, we have looked at RE-DEMPTION which means to be loosened. We have looked at RE-SURRECTION in its three fold meaning, both in us personally and the three fold of GOD'S orders which are to come forth. We have looked at RE-TURN that in order to do so we would have needed to be there before.
We will now look at the idea of RE-GENERATION (and what a beautiful word The Father has for us here). It lets us know without any if or but that this is a work of The Holy Spirit within us. No flesh shall ever at any time glory in any part of this operation which is HIS, and HIS ALONE. There is a RE-GENERATION that is taking place now in the firstfruits and this is not of man's doing, it is the work of The Holy Spirit Who is that Divine Dynamo Energizing within us to will and to do of GOD'S GOOD PLEASURE. No man can take this honor to bring us into Life, unto himself. If any man could, then we would have corruption.
Titus 2:5 states "He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by (the) cleansing (bath) of the new birth (RE-GENERATION) and RE-NEWING of The Holy Spirit". This operation of RE-GENERATION spoken of here is, of course, being worked out in God's firstfruits. Since our God has a Firstfruit company, it stands to reason that in the Ages to come that other companies will be brought forth, into Life.
Matt. 19:28 "In the RE-GENERATION when The Son of man shall sit in the throne of His Glory. Acts 3:21 "Whom the heavens must receive (Christ) until the times of RE-STITUTION of ALL things, which GOD hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began". My margin Companion BIBLE says this, - RE-ESTABLISHMENT from a state of ruin.
RE-STITUTION and RE-STORATION go as they say "hand in glove" and the message is LOUD AND CLEAR.......we have been there before! With The Holy Spirit within us doing The Energizing, this brings us into another aspect or principle of GOD'S Grace and that is, to be RE-NEWED. RE-NEW and RE-NEWED are kin to each other. Please RE-MEMBER, that we cannot be RE-NEWED unless at one time, we were NEW. This means that at one time we existed with Him in Pure Spirit form. Know this, any RE-MEMBERING has nothing to do with the mind of Adam, but it ALL has to do with The Mind of Christ be-ing reformed within us. YES! ALL creation will sooner or later come into this reality, but every man in his own order. Cor. 15:22-23 "For as in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ shall ALL be made Alive. But every man in his own order; Christ the Firstfruits; ( This includes the whole Corporate Christ ) afterward they that are Christ's at His coming. ( This you see is a second order, and they come in, because of the Corporate Christ ministry ). ( We must include verse 24 here ). Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to GOD, even The Father; when He shall have put down ALL rule and ALL authority and power. This is where the balance of ALL the RESIDUE of men come in. In fact, Acts 15:14-17 complements this by saying, ".....God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up; That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things".
It is the work of the Holy Spirit within us, and Him Alone, (with no effort from the flesh) that will bring us, and then ALL creation, through His RE-GENERATION and RE-STORATION, in each of us, into Him, spotless and flawless before His Throne. Jude 24 - "Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present (you) unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His Glory in Triumphant joy and exultation (with unspeakable, ecstatic delight)".
The RE-NEWED Mind and the RE-MEMBERING go as we would say again "hand in glove". It is ALL a part of the whole, that Father has been using to Draw or as the Greek would say DRAG us unto Himself. You can check this amazing truth for yourself from the words of The LORD, spoken thus, "If I be lifted up from the earth, will DRAW ( DRAG ) ALL men unto Me". (see Strongs Concordance - Greek #1670). As you can see, there are none that are excluded, for ALL will face this process in one way or another. At this time and in this hour, God has a people who are willing. We could well ask, willing for what ? Hear this! Is your ALL laid on the Altar of sacrifice? Does The Spirit control your heart? This is the road into Peace and Rest and this realm of REST speaks of the Seventh Day.
The Firstfruit company have to be first partakers of this fruit of The Kingdom Age, and the others will have to wait their turn after the thousand years, but Brethren, RE-JOICE in The Lord knowing this, that THE ALL will come. LOOK at what we have here, RE-JOICE. It is NOW! How can we have a RE, unless back in our beginning we had fullness of Joy, here we have another thing The LORD is RE-STORING, He is restoring FULLNESS of Joy. "Thou wilt shew me The Path of Life: In Thy Presence IS FULLNESS OF JOY; At Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore" (Psalms 16:11). We are told in The Word, that The Joy of The LORD is our strength. Notice it says, THE JOY! It says THE LORD! Whose joy is it? IT is His joy as He Lives His Life through us. "For GOD is The One Who is constantly putting forth His Energy in you, both in the form of your being desirous of and of your doing His Good Pleasure" (Phil. 2:13 WUEST). "For it is GOD Himself Whose Power creates within you the Desire to do His Gracious will and also brings about the accomplishment of the Desire" (WEYMOUTH translation). These two verses just had to be shared with you to show just how much our Father GOD is TOTALLY SOVEREIGN over His creation, and He is not depended on any Adamite to fulfill one iota.
Back to the idea of RE-MEMBERING. As our dear Brother Prinzing would say, it is a RE-MEMBERING then its a not forgetting. WOW! All things we knew, before we were lowered to this vanity and futility. Romans 8:20-21 reads, "For the creature was made subject to vanity not willingly, but by reason of Him Who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of GOD". I do not know about you brethren, but I see this as a RE-TURN. You could also say, it was pre-ordained that we would RE-TURN. Romans 11:36 Goodspeed translation reads "For from Him everything comes, through Him everything exists, and in Him everything ends! Glory to Him forever! Amen".
My dear Brethren, this cannot be made more clear, that to end in Him is to RE-TURN UNTO OR INTO HIM. RE-CONCILIATION, RE-STORATION, RE-STITUTION: These three RE'S are the main ones found in the scriptures, and ALL others are in harmony with them. RE-STITUTION by the way is having something RE-STORED that had been RE-MOVED from us. What was removed? That which was removed was ALL consciousness or who we were in Him, before the Ages were brought forth, back in the councils of ELOHIM, for we were there, this is where we came from, and this is OUR RE-TURN TO FATHER'S HOUSE. Mark this as an ABSOLUTE, for Father our will get us there, and we shall stand before Him, faultless and blameless. Take a look at concentrated juice. What was removed? Why water of course, so when you RE-PLACE the water - -presto! -- You have RESTORED juice back in its original state. Likewise, God in His Wisdom knows just how long to hold back His Spirit from us. When Father puts back that which He RE-MOVED (SPIRIT) we are on our way back Home, our true Home, which is FATHER'S HOUSE.
Another facet of Truth on our RE-TURN to Father's House is Quicken. The Hebrew word CHAYAH means to RE-VIVE, to make Alive, and RE-STORE to Life, be whole, It is related to the idea of vigorous or lively. Romans 8:11 in the Concordant Translation reads "Now if The Spirit of Him Who rouses Jesus from among the dead is making its home in you, He Who rouses Christ Jesus from among the dead will also be vivifying your mortal bodies because of His Spirit making its home in you".
This my Brethren, is RE-GENERATION pure and simple, and each of us will face these operations of The Spirit sooner or later, and that is a fact, based on the Word of God. Scriptures speak of the first Adam being made a living soul, and the last ADAM a QUICKENING Spirit. Well, we are closing here for we have used our space. GRACE be to you.
..................Victor P Allen
From Creation to the Consummation - Part I
Biblical history begins with a majestic and simple statement in regard to the greatness of God when we read these words, "In the beginning God created the heaven and earth". Such a sentence conveys to the Hebrew mind that God is the Source of all that exists since the terms, "heaven and earth" encompasses the thought of the entire universe in the Hebrew language. Bible references for this period are Genesis chapters 1 and 2 plus Psalms 8, 33, and 104. The Bible also states that God created the worlds by His Word, who is His Son (see also St. John 1:3, Ephesians 3:9, Colossians 1:16, and Hebrews 1:2).
The meaning of the term, Genesis, means origin. As Genesis begins by explaining the origin of all of God's creating powers, so the Book of Revelation ends with a statement of God's triumph over all forces of sin and evil. Many Biblical scholars use Usher's chronology, which states that creation began about 4004 B.C. and the author of this book was Moses. These scholars hold to a literal six days of twenty-four hours each as God progressively brings forth the light, the firmament, the land and vegetation, the sun, moon, stars, the sea animals and birds, and ending with land animals and man. All of this is in harmony with present biological and zoological knowledge and supports what scientists state. Also true science will support the fact of Creation as stated in the Word of God.
Chapter 1, verse 2 to chapter 2, verse 3 of Genesis takes into detail the account of the "seven days" when God did His beautiful Handiwork of creation. The first day is given in Gen. 1:2-5. Light is included in the "heavens and the earth" which was created in the beginning. One theory is that the earth's surface must have been in darkness because the cooling earthcrust must have sent up dense layers of mists and gasses that could completely shut out the sun's light. And it was until that fourth day that the sun became visible.
The second day, Gen. 1:6-8, would include the firmament which could mean the atmosphere or layer of air between the water-covered earth with the clouds above. This could make possible the firmament by the cooling of earth's waters to make the clouds.
The third day, Gen. 1:9-13, was when land and vegetation came into being. As the crust of the earth became cooler and thicker and became more immovable, the surface of the earth began to buckle up and form the islands and continents. There was no rain yet as mist appeared which watered the earth. There was a tropical climate everywhere and the vegetation must have grown in gigantic proportions.
On the fourth day, Gen. 1:14-19, the sun, moon and stars appear. Some fundamental scholars believe that they were created in the "beginning" but now became visible. On the first day, their light could have penetrated the earth's mist while they were visible. But now, with the cooling of the earth and the lessened density of the clouds, they became visible on the earth.
The fifth day, Gen. 1:20-25, was for the creation of the sea animals and the birds. And on the sixth day, Gen 1:24-31, God made the land animals and man. God made man in His own Image and gave man dominion over the earth and all of the creatures. God was satisfied and said that it was "very good".
Pierre Lecomte DuNouy, the French scientist, in his book, Human Destiny, states that evolution of man from the animal kingdom is not plausible because there is no interchange between phylum's of the animal world. Each phylum or division in the animal world does not evolve into the higher phylum, but remains in its owns phylum. DuNouy admits to an evolution in the phylum itself, i.e., breeding within the phylum can produce different results. DuNouy states that a second reason why the Darwin evolution theory is not acceptable is that whenever there is an evolving from one specie to another, the former specie would disappear and the end product would remain only as mute testimony to the authenticity of the theory. Since all things remain as God made them, science in its most true form upholds the Genesis account. Thirdly, DuNouy says that one of the greatest successes of modern science was to link the fundamental Carnot-Clausius law (also called the second law of thermodynamics) with the calculus of probabilities. This means that with evolution, the basic belief is that ultimately, all ends in perfection. Carnot-Clausius law states that in time things become more disorganized and disintegrate. While science teaches that man in himself can reach utter perfection, Scripture teaches otherwise. The end of the present evil age will self destruct, the earth shall wear out, Isaiah 51:6, and only with God's intervention will there be a new order, out of the present chaos.
The seventh day, Gen. 2:1-3, is the day God rested. The Hebrew language shade of meaning of the word, "rested", can indicate more of how God ceased and relaxed from His work of creation. This day is the basis of the Old Testament Sabbath, Exodus 20:11. Since there is no mention of the word, "evening" on this seventh day, this could be a type and shadow of the period of time when God will allow man and earth to rest for a period of the thousand year reign of Christ for the Glory of God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Astronomers have come up with measurements and estimates which stagger the imagination of the average laymen. They state the following facts: Number one, the sun is the center of our universe around which revolves other planets with the earth. The distance is so great around this solar system that it takes our earth a whole year to make the journey traveling at the rate of 72,000 miles per hour. Number two, our sun and solar system is only one member of that vast Galaxy called the Milky Way, which according to the estimates of these scientists contains more than 30,000,000,000 suns, many of them immensely larger than our earth. Our sun is about 1,500,000 times larger than our earth. Number three, is the fact that the Milky Way Galaxy in diameter is 200,000 light years, a light year being the distance that light travels in a year at the rate of 186,000 miles per second. Number four, is that there are perhaps 1,000,000 galaxies as the Milky Way, some of them millions of light-years apart. Number five, is that the whole Milky Way is revolving in harmony with the remote external galaxies at the rate of 360,000 miles per hour and they are all in different directions. It is no wonder that the hymn writer wrote, "O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made, I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed".
Some scholars have divided Genesis chapter 1, verse 1 from verse 2 with a timeless interval. In some books, this is called the "Gap" Hypothesis. According to this view the creation mentioned in chapter 1 and verse 1 referred to an original creation, which was the habitation of Lucifer and the Angels. Scofields's Bible makes mention of this and states that after Lucifer fell, a third of the Angels followed him and became his messengers or demons. The Biblical reference for this fall is taken from Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. This Gap theory then begins with Genesis 1:2 as when God re-created the voidless and fallen earth to make it habitable for Adam and Eve.
The expression "the earth was without form and void" is rendered as "the earth became without form and void" by those scholars who see here a cataclysmic judgment. Since there is no time reference between the creation of Genesis 1:1 and the recreation of six days; these scholars account then for the geological ages by placing them within the "gap" between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. There are some adherents of this view who believe even in a pre-Adamic race which populated the earth before the judgment of Genesis 1:2.
Besides the "Gap" theory, there are also other theories; one of them is the Concordance Theory which is the equate the six days of Creation with as many geological ages. Although attempts are made to indicate the parallelism between the days of creation in Genesis with Geology, most scholars consider them forced. Geological ages are not capable of rigid division, and the creation of the stars on the fourth day is hard to place in such a system.
Another theory is The Days of Dramatic Vision Theory, which suggests that either Moses or Adam received from God a series of revelations concerning the creative activity. The "days" are not considered chronological, but in order of revelation. While this may remove problems indicated in the viewpoints, it must be admitted that this view is devoid of any scriptural evidence. While it is true that man did not witness any of the creative events, man would have to receive knowledge through revelation. This theory differs from the others in its abandonment of the chronological significance for the "six days". Thus, the purpose of the creation is clear; God brought the world into being and all things were made by Him. The crown of His creation was man; made in His Image and endowed with the capacity of fellowship with His Maker.
Dr. Henry M. Morris, noted scientist, in his book entitled, The Trouble Waters of Evolution, does not hold to either the Gap Theory or the Concordance Theory. To him, the Gap Theory makes God the direct author of evil and would border on evolutionary teachings. With the Concordance Theory, one must accept that the geological ages involves passive acceptance of the whole evolutionary package. Morris states that the Hebrew word, "yom", with its plural form, "yamin", is used over 700 times in the Old Testament with a clear reference to a literal 24-hour day.
The conservative-fundamental classic position is as what Morris states, a creation in a literal 24-hour day with the entire process taking place in six days. The problems with geological data can be traced to the account of the great Flood as portrayed in Genesis chapters 6 to 9. This is the position of the majority of Biblical seminaries and colleges which are fundamental and conservative.
Another interesting fact is that the account of the creation as given in chapter 2:4 and continuing to chapter 4:26 is called by some as the Second Account. This account starts with a reference to the desolate condition of the earth, which seems to correlate to the early part of the third day as given in the first account. The second account gives some details omitted from the first account; proceeds then with the fall of man. It is really supplemental and not contradictory. This account carried the story down to the sixth generation of Cain's descendants and closes while Adam is still alive. Everything happened in Adam's lifetime, and since it is dubious that they had writing in Adam's lifetime, it may be that Adam told these things in the family circle and was passed on until writing was invented and then could be written down.
Scholars have debated the two accounts of Creation, believing that they are contradictory. However, one Evangelical theologian stated that the two accounts merely report Creation from two points of view. Chapter one of Genesis looks at Creation, beginning with the less complex forms of life and ending with the creation of man. Chapter two begins with man and ends with the less complicated forms of life and creation. Thus, they report the same from two vantage points of the accounts.
Thus, the main events of Creation could be arranged in the following manner: 1). the original creation, 2). chaos on the earth, 3). God's six days of work and the Sabbath, 4). man is given dominion over the earth, 5). marriage is instituted as God gives man a wife, and 6). man is on probation.
The location of the Garden of Eden where man was placed after his creation by God is mentioned in Genesis 2:10-14. This Garden was on the rivers of Euphrates and Tigris at the junction of the area known as Pishon and Gihon. The rivers of Tigris and Euphrates come from the Caucasus mountains region of southwest Asia, flow southeastward and empty into the Persian Gulf. While Pishon and Gihon have not been identified, they may have been rivers also and may have flowed between the Tigris and Euphrates, forming an area near the Persian Gulf and north of the town of Ur, from whence came Abraham. Ethnologists generally consider this region to have been the original home of all the present races of mankind. It was the region from when came the ox, goat, sheep, horse, pig, dog, and other domestic animals. Here seems to have originated the apple, peach, pear, plum, cherry, quince, mulberry, gooseberry, vine, olive, fig, date, almond, wheat, barley, oats, peas, bean, flax, spinach, radish, onion, and most of our fruits and vegetables. This is the cradle of the human race.
The creation of woman, the companion for Adam, is told is Genesis 1:27 with the embellishment of this event portrayed in Genesis 2:18-25. Here the manner of woman's creation is fully told. Here the divine ordinance of marriage is given, the sanctity of marriage is upheld and the thought of "one flesh" is revealed. Scriptures says that marriage is the earthly counterpart of the relation between Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:25-32; Rev. 19:7; 21:2,9). The Church is called the Bride of Christ. Adam's bride came from his side while he was asleep; a picture of the Church, the Bride of Christ, being made of blood and the water which came from Christ's side while He "slept" on the Cross (St. John 19:34, and 1 John 5:6,8).
In Genesis 2:25, the Scripture says that Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed. Scholars have considered that thought that man in his state of perfection was enswathed in the ethereal light of God. Such a light, which Jesus had when He was transfigured (Mark 9:3). That light which covered them vanished with the entrance of sin, and one day the redeemed will be covered with that same glory. (See Revelation 3:4 and 21:23). The glory that was their outer covering became the inner glory when they were reconciled to God again. And so one day when redeemed man comes into his fullness and his redemptive body, that which has been the inner glory by his saving relationship with Jesus Christ, will be his outer covering. As one scholar put it, "the outer became the inner, but one day the inner will become the outer". The meaning being that one day the inner glory of God will be our glorious covering when Christ shall return to reveal Himself to this sinful world and all His saints will then be revealed in that same glory in union with Him. Paul says in Colossians 1:27, "Christ in you, the hope of glory". Someday that inward glory shall be revealed. That glory will be our covering again. As a badge of man's sinful nature and as a mute testimony to primeval truth, man alone wears clothing.
The Edenic Covenant, which God established with man is given in Genesis 1:28-30 and 2:15-17. In this covenant, God reveals Himself as Jehovah-Elohim, which is His personal Name. Thus, God begins a process of the revelation of Himself. Scripture says that God planted the Garden (Gen 2:8). In this Garden, there was the Tree of Life, which, in effect, may have been the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ and from Him, they may have eaten that fruit of eternal life while they were in the Garden. It is interesting that Jesus refers to Himself in the Gospel of John as the Bread of Life and as the Water of Life. God placed also the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen. 2: 9, 17). This tree would make them wise and to know good and evil. The transference of the control of their lives shifted from their true friend, God, to another master, Satan. God had told them that they could do anything they wished, except to eat of that tree of knowledge. It was their test of obedience to a good and faithful Creator, Almighty God. As long as they refrained, God was their Master. And they could live in perfect harmony and joy in that Garden, which God had made for them and the animals.
During this time of creation and innocence, God watered the ground with a mist which came out of the ground (Gen 2: 5, 6). Rehwinkle, in his book, The Flood, states that when God made the earth for man, a ring of Heavy dew surrounded the earth, which was a blessing, because it filtered the rays of the sun and kept the bacteria from being active. Thus, God did not let rain fall upon the earth prior to the flood, but the dew of the land watered the earth. Man never saw rain until the Flood. Rehwinkle says that the earth was in a perfect position on its axis and remained in that perfect position until the flood when the earth shifted and is now tilted with the flood water frozen in the North and South Poles. Thus is the reason why mankind lived for so many years prior to the flood because his environment was perfect and his body was kept in good health with a low bacteria count. There was little opportunity to damage himself and his environment.
To conclude, let us recognize that the account of creation was carried in the annuals of Enuma Elish, a Babylonian writing. Finegan, in his book, Light from the Ancient Past, says, "the Babylonian creation story is mythological and polytheistic, while the accounts in Genesis are elevated and strictly monotheistic". Thus, the footprints of God's creation is reported in non-Spiritual sources.
To be continued.................Dr. Jack E. Jacobsen
THE LORD'S DAY
My power is revealed to bless all mankind,
And my love so true will transform each mind.
So lift up your voice, give praise to my name,
Stand forth in my strength, my glories proclaim.
This is my day and all men shall know
That death is destroyed, my life doth now flow.
Come sing now my song of my grace blessing all,
Be joined to this throng who have answered my call.
Man's eye hath not seen, nor hath his ear heard,
What I have prepared, as declared in my word.
But my Spirit has made clear, my plan is now plain,
All the world is mine, give glory to my name.
So ARISE in my life, shake the dust from your feet;
It's time to depart from this world's broad street.
For my glory now shines, declaring the way.
All the earth is mine, and this is MY DAY!
...... L. Dane Tabor