Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Glory

One of my favorite passages of scripture is John 17 where Jesus is praying just before he went to the cross. It reveals so much about him and the Father. In verse 22 Jesus says he has given us the glory that the father had given him, and because of that, we can be one as they are one. His glory was the very image of the Father, i.e.…Jesus had said, “if you have seen me, you have seen the father”. John 1:14 says, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Jesus was a perfect picture (glory) of the father for us to see. It was the Father’s life in the son that was seen, it was the power to overcome.

As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:2-3)

Jesus said that life eternal was to KNOW God and Jesus Christ whom he sent. Jesus Christ was eternal life manifested for the world to see. These things cannot be understood in the fleshly realm, with our human reasoning, wisdom or understanding…they are only spiritually discerned. There has only been one man that was worthy to show us the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, any other “version” is a false "god". If you say you have eternal life, then you will know God because of his son . This eternal life it is the way God chose to reveal him self to us, it is the glory of the Father and the glory of the Son. “Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:16,18)

This is our hope, "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:" (Colossians 1:27)

Jesus said in John 17:22 that he gave us his glory (image), Romans 8:29 says we are to be conformed into his image, 1st John 2: 6 says we can walk as he walked. It is the mystery that Paul spoke of “Christ in us, the hope of Glory”. The same way Jesus had the Glory of the Father in him, we can have the Glory of the Son.

And with that 2nd Corinthians 3:18 makes so much more sense to us, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

As we grow in him, our very nature is being changed from Glory to Glory to reflect the image of Christ by the working of the Holy Spirit in us. 2 Peter 1:4 says we can be partakers of this divine nature. This is completely a work of the Holy Spirit in us. We can not change our nature, no matter how much we try; we will only make a mess of it. The only thing we can do is submit to him, pick up our cross and follow him. Considering ourselves to have been bought with a price, we are no longer our own, we have no “rights” apart from following the Lord. We now live for God and not man. (1 Peter 4:2) “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” The disciples had given up all to follow the Lord and he gave them power to become Sons of God.

The just shall live by faith! We have been crucified with Christ; we longer live our own life, the life we now live is Christ and we live it by the faith of the Son of God. (Gal 2:20) Without faith it is impossible to please God. We have faith that God will perfect us and bring us into the very image of Christ just as he said he would do. That is the only hope we have to please God, anything we try to do in our own strength is of the flesh and NO flesh will glory.

Have you ever tried to live as Jesus said to live? For instances, the beatitudes or for that matter the whole "sermon on the mount” is a pretty high water mark to try and live out day by day. We try to accomplish this to the best of our abilities and many times God will let us go along for quite some time until we have come to the end of ourselves and to the end of our strength. Then... when we are weak, he can be strong! Let us not receive the grace of God in vain. All the things Jesus said for us to do will be evident in us as his divine nature starts working in us, not through our own strength but through his. Let us not frustrate the grace of God by not allowing this work to be done in us. The beatitudes are the results of this new nature that Christ is forming in us.

When we begin to manifest the nature of Christ in us we will KNOW it was not done by our own efforts and “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:9) That is why the Lord will let us struggle along in our own efforts failing time and again until we become hopeless in our own strength. As long as we have some confidence in ourselves, we cannot surrender to the Lord, this is the “self righteousness” that God hates. And again, let us not frustrate the grace of God by then falling back on the false gospel that says, “Grace is there hide our sins, there is no way we can be perfect in this life, we have to wait until we get to heaven for that”. But 2 Timothy 3:17 says, “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

This is a process; we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Just as God led the Israelites into the promise land, they did not have to face all their enemies at one time, but little by little, battle by battle more of the enemy was defeated and more land was taken. God will not put more on us than we can handle. But as he brings up more that needs to be removed, we are to submit, obey and most of all BELIEVE that he is able to remove it from us. The just shall live by this faith!

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Learning To Be Taught of the Lord

Isaiah 42:16) And I will bring the blind by a way that they know not; in paths that they know not will I lead them; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things will I do, and I will not forsake them.

I believe Paul was an example for us today of what the remnant of God will go through. He was different than the other 12 apostles who had walked in the flesh with the Lord. He was a "Pharisee among Pharisees", very steeped in his religion. Paul said he “profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.” (Galatians 1:14)

But when it pleased God to call him, he separated himself from all and “conferred not with flesh and blood” but went into the wilderness for three years to be taught of the Lord.

You can imagine what is was like for Paul, to find out that everything he had been taught about God, every thing he knew was now in question. On the road to Damascus he was confronted by the Lord himself and had to face the fact that he had been persecuting God’s people. Paul was blinded by the bright light of the Lord, he was instructed to go to a man that he would have persecuted earlier to have him pray that the scales would be removed from his eyes and his sight restored. Can we imagine what that was like for Paul?

Like Paul, we too have been born into a time when the majority of our religious system is as far from the truth as the Jews were in Paul’s time. We are in a time of “blindness” Isaiah 42:16 speaks of. There has never been a time like we are in today. We have types and shadows from the past, like Paul as an example, but today we are in the fulfillment of these things. God is birthing forth his man-child and there is much travailing in the process.

Many of us have realized the apostasy of the traditional Christian churches today and have come out from among them as the Lord commanded us to do in 2 Corinthians 6:17. At times God will lead us to others that are outside the church, various teachers and ministries to help us along with our walk with him. But, we should not think it strange if God doesn’t allow us to stay with a particular teacher or ministry for very long. If we are part of the true remnant of God, we will be taught of Him. He will not allow us look to any one person for our “spiritual food”, he will have no one between him and us.

Paul spent three years a lone in the wilderness to be taught of the Lord. We have to have our own wilderness experience so that God can burn out all of the religious thinking we have. Just when we think it is all gone, God shows us more that needs to go. It is as if we have to lay down EVERY thing and let God rebuild the truth in us.

God will use different people from time to time with this process but he will not let us get comfortable with that. He knows the minute we start looking to man we open ourselves up to deception. When I hear of someone getting discouraged because God is separating them from a teacher or ministry that God previously used in their walk with the Lord, they need to know, it is for their good. Be encouraged, God is looking out for us.

We are not in the time of the apostles or the time of our grandparents or even parents, we have never been this way before. God is requiring more from this last generation than ever before. We are in the last of the last days.

(Isaiah 42:16) And I will bring the blind by a way that they know not; in paths that they know not will I lead them; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things will I do, and I will not forsake them.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Will Wait by Christ Our Life

I Will Wait
(Psalm 17:15; Job 14:14; Isaiah 40:31)

You are the living Word
You are glorious and righteous
I shall be satisfied
When I wake in Your likeness

I will wait for my change to come
Till I wake more like the Son
I’m satisfied to be like You Lord

You’re faithful, You are good
You abound in love and mercy
How awesome is Your name
You’re the Christ, the hope of glory

You never tire nor faint
You strengthen those who wait
Hoping in things unseen
I will trust in Your name

Monday, January 12, 2009

Letter to the Children of This World

Dear Friend,

I feel compelled to share some thoughts with you based on my own life’s experiences and based on eternal truth.

You see, I spent many years of my life in the "fast lane", {I’ll spare you the sordid details for now}, actually off and on from the time I was about 19 or 20 years old, up until I was 46 years old. I am now 52 years old.

The great lie imbedded in this world’s thought processes would lead us to believe that if we fill up our life with sensual pleasures, other experiences and perceived successes, family and other relationships, accumulation of riches and wealth, recognition from others, careers, and any other tangible or intangible offering of this world including solitude or simplicity of life, then we will surely find a deep and lasting sense of peace and fulfillment. But nothing could be further from the truth. No matter how complex or simple our experiences, how stimulating our relationships, how rewarding our family life, how much wealth we end up with whether ill gotten or by honest gain, how much we are honored and acclaimed, and no matter the simplicity or solitude of the life we have found or developed, whether through our own efforts or by shear “good fortune,” when we look inside ourselves in honest self-examination, we will still be empty and void and restless. If you could fast forward your life after having filled it will all the desires and cravings of your body and your mind, even to the extreme of gaining the whole world with all of its riches, all of its sensual experiences, and all of its honor and acclaim, I can promise you that you would still have an emptiness deep within your eternal soul that would not be fulfilled and would keep you restless and unsatisfied, and perpetually seeking for “more.”

For our own eternal welfare we must understand something very important that hardly anyone seems to know or will share with others about life. See, the human race was created by a loving God who wanted to have fellowship with the children He created. And that fellowship was to be a spiritual relationship in which God would share His very own nature of self-less love with His creation through the part of our being that is spirit, which in turn would keep our bodies {the physical part of us} and souls {our mind, our will and our emotions are part of our soul} under God’s dominion. And that nature of God's love contains a very special quality of life! So special in fact that it meets all the demands of our soul and spirit, as deep and mysterious as those needs are.

But the parents of the human race, Adam and Eve, choose to separate themselves from God's life of love through disobedience to their Creator. They were deceived by our spiritual enemy, Satan, who beguiled them, meaning he purposely tricked and misled them into choosing to be the god of their own life by telling them that it was a better way to live. But it was all a lie. And so by making the choice to partake of the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil," the "human opinion tree," man began to choose for himself individually what would be the best way for him to live. And the rest is history as they say. The evidence of how that choice was based on a lie is all around us. Look at all the suffering, corruption and all other injustices in the world, all hostility, envy, strife, greed, all unrest, frustration, boredom, worry, fear, anxiety, loneliness, and depression. It is all the consequence of believing that first lie that was introduced into the world by Satan who was representing himself as an agent of “enlightenment.” He is still working in this world and often operates through false teachers as an “angel of light,” mixing some truth with his lies. He wants us to believe that God does not really mean what He says to us in His written word, the Bible, and through the Holy Spirit’s operation in our conscience, and that it is okay to live by the lust {desires} of the flesh, the lust {desires} of the eyes, and by the self-elevating “pride of life,” as long as we don’t take them to extremes. And tragically, most people are still choosing to operate their lives under the influence and dominion of that lie.

And as a result of mankind making the choice to step out into self-will and begin directing his own life, a perfectly just and righteous God had to withdraw His spiritual life from the human race and mankind began to experience spiritual death. Everyone born into this world since the parents of the human race fell into a self-centered way of life is now born with an emptiness deep within their inner being. It is missing the presence of God. And almost all of the human race spends their days on this earth seeking for something to fill that emptiness, even though most of them don't even realize that is what they are doing. But there is NOTHING in this world that can satisfy that deep inner emptiness – NO RICHES, NO FAME, NO RELATIONSHIP WITH ANOTHER HUMAN BEING and NOTHING ELSE this world system has to offer its children.

There is only one way to be totally and eternally fulfilled. That is by coming back into a right relationship with God the Father through His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. And that begins by acknowledging that we are sinners {live by our own will fulfilling our own desires}, genuine repentance {turning from pleasing self to pleasing God} which is a change of heart and mind toward God and a turning away from our rebellion against God’s ways, and looking to Jesus Christ’s shed blood that He shed on the cross for forgiveness of our sins and for our rebellion against God’s plans for us, then consciously choosing to step out and follow Jesus Christ wherever that may lead or whatever that may mean to our “self” life, which then allows the Holy Spirit of God to begin the process of emptying us of our “self-willed,” “self-seeking,” and “self-sufficient” existence so He can ultimately fill us with the love of Christ, a self-denying love that pours itself out for the good of others with no concern for itself because it knows that its heavenly Father will keep it fulfilled with His spiritual life, no matter the circumstances of life we may find ourselves in. But we must yield to His way of life by giving our consent each step of the way because God will not force Himself on anyone. He wants a family of children who will follow Him voluntarily out of love for Him. A family that recognizes the beauty of His ways and commandments and who will follow in the steps of His son Jesus, who when He walked on this earth, demonstrated in a human body how God’s children are to live – a family of dependent {no longer independent and self-sufficient} and obedient children!

I am happy to report that this spiritual life is available to you and everyone else in this world who will follow God's plan. We now have the opportunity to enter back into the spiritual life that Adam and Eve turned away from in their deception. And I can tell you from experience that it is a place of abundant spiritual blessing, fruitfulness, peace, joy and fulfillment, even in the manifold trials and unpleasant circumstances inherent in this present world system.

I can also promise you from personal experience, and that after drinking heartily from this world's pleasures for most of my adult life, that in full surrender to God the Creator of all life, I have only traded trash for true treasure – the life of God in the soul of man – not as a theology or a theory or a wishful longing for, but as a PRESENT AND CONCIOUS REALITY! And it is a treasure that will last throughout eternity, with no end! I pray that you too will step out and follow my Lord – Jesus Christ!

God's love to me, and now in me, compels me to spend the rest of my life helping anyone in the human race who will listen to the truth, who feels the need of, and who sees the value of following God in His prescribed way of total abandonment, to find that glorious spiritual life. If you are interested in knowing God, which will demand a full surrender of your will to the will of God, I will be thrilled to share more truth with you! Also, I would like to invite you to visit the website to listen to the audio lessons as well as read some of the material there. And finally, if you ever wish to talk about your spiritual condition or have prayer together, please contact me. My e-mail address is



Monday, January 05, 2009

The World’s Value System - Steve Bray

The devil has fostered a value system on the world that must be recognized. He will have the advantage until the light from God’s Word has exposed the evil in his ways. Scripture has used such terms as “the spirit of the world” and “the spirit of error” to refer to this corrupt way of life. Yes, even if we have been a part of the Christian church and have sought to be followers of Jesus from earliest childhood, we have still “walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.” (Eph. 2:2) Most Christians do not even understand what it implies to follow the course of this world. They have remained deceived and are still under the sway of “the spirit of the world.”

Life in the eternal kingdom of God requires a complete change in how we think. The Son provided a little insight into just how offensive man’s ways are to God when He said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matt. 16:23) The difference between the ways of this world and the way of life in God’s kingdom is so great that Jesus could say without qualification, “What is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:15) And since it is detestable in God’s sight, we can begin to see how important it is to clearly identify “the things of men” and “the course of this world.”

A careful reading of the Bible will reveal the following facts: The “spirit of the world” teaches everyone to become independent and self-sufficient. It is an evil influence that turns people from a childlike dependence upon God to a self-seeking and self-exalting form of life. The people of this world reject the light of life as revealed through Christ’s self-denying and self-emptying way of life. They prefer to build up their own image and live for their own pleasures.

While fallen man may become religious and serve others as a part of this image building process, his main focus is to develop a personal kingdom where he becomes great. These are the ways that are highly valued by men and are detestable in God’s sight. It helps us to see how far we must go in renewing our mind before we can be lifted by the power of God into His eternal kingdom.

Those who live in the kingdom of God empty themselves of their own glory so they may live as mere vessels of God’s life and works. In His kingdom, He receives all the glory because He becomes the source of everything that takes place. Jesus provided an example of what this means. The Son of God left the place of prominence to become the lowest servant. Instead of living for His own pleasures, He willingly “suffered” for the good of others. And He assures us that He did not do anything “out from” Himself. (John 5:30; 8:28)

Can we begin to see what it will require if we intend to follow Him? And we must be mindful of the fact that we can only find His eternal Kingdom-life by following Him. (Matt. 16:24-25; John 8:12) Instead of living for our own pleasures and desires as worldly-minded people naturally do, it actually entails choosing to suffer for His kingdom while living in this world. We can become “joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” (Rom. 8:17)

Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone {separated forever from the eternal life}; but if it dies, it produces much grain… If anyone serves Me {in the kingdom of God} let him follow Me {through the cross}; and where I am {in the Kingdom-life}, there My servant will be also. (John 12:24-26)

The world teaches us to save ourselves and to live for ourselves as a means for finding “life.” When Peter was on this “save thyself” course, which reflects the fallen way of life that Satan fostered on the world, Jesus knew that he was under Satan’s influence. In contrast, the Spirit of Christ teaches us to deny ourselves and to lose our old self-originated form of life so we may find life from above. It is here that we must choose which of these two conflicting courses we are going to follow.

The world leads people to direct their own steps. The objective is to be free from servanthood so we may “pursue life” as we please. Individuals want the right to develop their “psuche” *{See “Zoe” & “Psuche”} life according to their own will. And while no man should bind another man, this so-called “right” to personal freedom has been promoted to such an extent that even Christians have been unwilling to become servants of the living God.

Paul spoke of being “bound” to the Spirit. It is a reference to losing all rights to his life. He gave up all rights to his own life, and stopped living for his own pleasures, so that God would be able to direct all his steps. This is what enabled him to find the Kingdom-life from heaven and consistently enjoy “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 14:17) Have you taken this same God-ordained course, or are you still following the spirit of the world?

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin {to self-will and self-seeking}, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God… And having been set free from sin {self-will} you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh {your unspiritual mind}. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness {everything is unclean that is not wholly devoted to God and His purposes}…now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness {to be used by God as He has planned}. (Rom. 6:13, 18-19)

While worldly-minded people will sometimes restrain their pursuit of pleasure in this world for a season, it is generally with the intent of accumulating their resources to prepare to have more happiness in the days ahead. Being afraid of what is ahead, they anxiously make plans to protect their future “psuche” life. They try to protect themselves from future hardships because they have learned how easy their spiritual life is lost in unpleasant circumstances.

The people of the world naturally live by their own strength and will. To them, only a fool would avoid planning his own future. Because they have never entered into a Spirit-directed way of life, where they trust God to work out all things for their good, they remain caught up in the self-sufficient and self-seeking ways of this world.

Jesus’ teachings are completely foreign to the worldly mind. He said to those who desired to follow Him, “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.” (Luke 12:22 KJV) He knew that those who continued to live for themselves would not be able to serve Him in His kingdom. “No one can serve two masters.” (Matt. 6:24) He went so far as to emphatically say, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth.” (Matt. 6:19) He said that only those who are of “the nations of the world” do such things. (Luke 12:30) Lacking faith in the one and only God who is able to fully care for His true children, the people of this world think they must live for themselves and store up treasures on earth to protect their future.

The true followers of Jesus live as dependent little children. They trust in God to take care of their needs as they live for His Kingdom and glory. To the children of faith, this is wise because it puts the omnipotent power of God to work in their life.

These two different ways of life present us with a very important question: Who is the wise man and who is the fool? Is the man of the world wise when he rejects Christ’s teachings in order to lay up treasures for himself on earth? Or, is the child of faith wise when He trusts in the God of infinite wisdom and power to care for His future needs while he pours out his life in the service of the Lord’s eternal kingdom? Jesus Himself provides the answer to our question with very clear words.

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man… But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man… (Matt. 7:24, 26)

God says that unless we are completely changed and become like dependent little children who trust in Him to direct our steps, which includes depending on Him to supply our needs according to His will, we will never see the kingdom of God. (Matt. 6:31-32; 18:3) In fact, He instructs us to give up our rights to both our lives and our resources in living for the good of others, so we may receive “the kingdom of God” as a gift. (Luke 12:32-34) He even goes so far as to instruct us to be willing to go through physical suffering for the sake of His eternal kingdom. (Phil. 1:29) Can we begin to see how our mind will need to be completely renewed before we will be prepared to enter into the way of life found in God’s eternal kingdom?

For those who are willing to be honest with God’s Word, it should become quite apparent how there will need to be a radical change in how we think if we are to pass through the desert testing period and enter into Christ’s heavenly life of promise—the constant, abiding and eternal “zoe” life *{See “Zoe” & “Psuche”}. Those who continue to live for themselves will find that it is impossible to truly respond to God’s Word. No one can serve two masters.

Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live…and go in and possess the land {the life of promise}... And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you…to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not… For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs… (Deut. 8:1-7)

In God’s kingdom the “least” and the “last” shall be the “greatest” and the “first.” Because everything is reversed, you will need to completely reverse your course in order to “come out” from “the spirit of the world.” “Therefore, ‘come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you {into the life of promise}.’ ” (2 Cor. 6:17)

Since our Lord’s ways are diametrically opposed to the ways of this world, you should begin to see why you will need to die to your own reputation and seek to be the lowest of servants if you are to follow Him. Have you taken this course, or are you still seeking to have your own reputation so you may have honor from men? Remember, God is the one who is testing your heart. And it was Jesus who said, “How can you believe {in the Christ who made Himself of no reputation and did not receive honor from men}, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?” (John 5:44)

Those who are willing to be the least and last will be lifted into the highest levels of spiritual life in the heavenly realms. What has been the result of your system of beliefs? Has God honored you with His life from heaven?

Of course, the devil will tell you that God did not really mean what He said. You will therefore need to be very careful to avoid being deceived. You must listen to the Spirit of truth. You cannot afford to be like God’s people of old who did not receive the promise because they did not respond in faith to His teachings. “And to whom did he swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?” (Heb. 3:18)

As you seek out this life of promise, and search out God’s ways, you will be helped considerably by remembering what Jesus said: “What is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” If the people of this world love to do something, and they commonly seek after it as a means to improve their spiritual life, then it is probably something that needs to be avoided at all cost. Their whole thought process is in conflict with the “zoe” life in God’s eternal kingdom.

But My people have changed their Glory for what does not profit. Be astonished, O heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid; Be very desolate,” says the Lord. “For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water {as they seek spiritual life from the temporal realm}.” (Jer. 2:11-13)

Anyone who honestly opens their heart to the truth will begin to see how all independence, self-sufficiency and self-seeking, which naturally lead to a self-exalting form of life, come from an evil spirit. This “spirit of error” has led fallen man to keep his eyes on earthly things. In contrast, the true children of God lose their “psuche” life and live for the Lord and His kingdom alone. This is how we know who are the children of God and the children of the devil. And we need to say again that no one can serve two masters.

For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him… (2 Cor. 5:14-15)

We know that we are of God {because we no longer live for ourselves}, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one {because they live for themselves and their own glory}. (1 John 5:19)

There is only one way to be saved from the spirit of the world and this fallen way of life. We must deny ourselves and follow Christ in His way of the cross. It implies dying to the “psuche” life. Whatever you do, do not try to justify living for your own purposes. Even if you have the whole world agreeing with you, the self-seeking way of life is still detestable in God’s sight. As James has said, “This wisdom {that leads to self-seeking} does not descend from above, but is earthy, sensual, demonic.” (Jam. 3:15) It always leads to the wrath of God. (Rom. 2:8)

They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God {and understands His way of life} hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:5-6 Emphasis added)

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God {so we may walk in His ways and find life from Him rather than vainly seeking life from the things of this world}, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. (1 Cor. 2:12)

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above… Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Col. 3:1-3)

This may be difficult to comprehend, but Jesus lived in the heavenly realms with His Father while He walked in this world. It was in this sense that He was “in the world” but not “of the world.” Yes, He is now in a place of much greater glory. But there is a way for man to walk in the heavenly realms with God while living in a mortal body. Jesus said, “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” (John 3:14) The Son was living with the Father in the heavenly realms by sharing with Him in the eternal “zoe” life while He walked in this world. And He expects us to live through Him in the same way. (1 John 4:9)

Every individual must choose today where he or she intends to live. Our place of life needs to be in the heavenly realms today if we plan to live throughout eternity in God’s kingdom.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love…raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly place in Christ Jesus. (Eph 2:4, 6)

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness {to reveal God’s heavenly kingdom-life}, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:4)