Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Promise of Zoe Life - Authentic Christianity

The Scriptures use the Greek word “zoe” when referring to the unique form of life that Jesus gives to His followers. Spiros Zodhiates, in his Greek Word Study defines “zoe” as follows: “life; referring to the principle of life in the spirit and soul. Distinguished from bios, [the Greek word for] physical life…of which zoe is the nobler word, expressing all of the highest and best which Christ is and which He gives to the saints. The highest blessedness of the creature.”

In contrast to the “zoe” life that comes from above, the Greek word “psuche” is used to express the form of life that is developed by living for our personal desires. While these desires may be legitimate and God-given, permitting them to direct our steps produces a self-originated form of life—a life of sin. This choice to live by the flesh is what separated Adam from the eternal life.

We are told that the Son was sent into the world “in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin.” (Rom. 8:3) As a man, He had natural human desires. These desires, when permitted to control the choices of man become sin. But Jesus “condemned sin in the flesh” by choosing to always be led by the Spirit. He never permitted the desires of the flesh to direct His steps.

When Jesus spoke of laying down His “life” it is generally assumed that He was referring to laying down His “bios” {the Greek word representing physical life} at the cross. But He spoke of laying down His “psuche.” It implies that He chose not to live for Himself. He lived for the good of others as He was directed by His Father through the Spirit. He then promised to share His eternal “zoe” life with those who would lay down their “psuche” life for the same purpose.

John 5:26
As the Father has life {zoe} in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life {zoe} in Himself.

John 1:4
In Him was life {zoe}, and the life {zoe} was the light of men.

1 John 1:2
The life {zoe} was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life {aiόnios zoe} which was with the Father and was manifested to us.

Jesus revealed the eternal life in bodily form. Also referred to as the “light of life,” this divine life reveals the nature of holy love that God intended for His children to possess.

A. B. Simpson said, “The word ‘eternal’ here [1 John 1:2] does not merely convey the idea of existence that has neither beginning nor ending, but speaks of a higher sphere of life. It is life that belongs to a loftier plane than the things that are seen and temporal.”

The Greek word for eternal is “aiόnios.” It has the meaning of “constant, abiding and everlasting.” God intended for this everlasting life to consistently flow through our soul both in this world and throughout eternity. “Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a {consistent} spring of water welling up to eternal life {aiόnios zoe}.” (John 4:14)

It is by sharing with Christ in His “aiόnios zoe” that it becomes possible to display His “light of life” in this world.

John 8:12
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me {in the way of the cross} shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life {zoe}.”

Eph 4:17-18
17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life {zoe} of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.

The people of this world are separated from the zoe life because they walk “according to the course of this world” conducting themselves “in the lust of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” (Eph. 2:2-3) They choose to live by the desires that come from their own body and mind. This is the form of life that Jesus condemned. (Rom. 8:3-4)

We must take Christ’s way of the cross and live by the Spirit if we hope to share with Him in His “aiόnios zoe.” “Whoever loses his life {psuche} for My sake will find it {aiόnios zoe}.” (Matt. 16:25)

John 10:11, 17-18
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life {psuche} for the sheep… 17 Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life {psuche}… 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again…

1 John 3:16
By this we know love, because He laid down His life {psuche} for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives {psuche} for the brethren.

John 15:12-13
12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life {psuche} for his friends.

Man has an opportunity to live for himself. He can live by his own desires. The devil also tempted Jesus to acquire the great kingdoms of this world and to live for His own pleasure. But He chose to lay down this “psuche” form of life in order to live for the good of others.

The Son received “aiόnios zoe” from His Father because of the way He chose to live.

John 14:6
I am the way, the truth, and the life {zoe}. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

1 John 5:11
And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life {aiόnios zoe}, and this life {zoe} is in His Son.

1 John 2:25
And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life {aiόnios zoe}.

Those who truly follow Jesus in His way of laying down the “psuche” form of life will begin to share with Him in His “aiόnios zoe.”

The “aiόnios zoe” originates in the Father. We enter into this life through the Son. “God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” (1 John 4:9) “I will come to you… At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” (John 14:18, 20)

Christians must press beyond the wilderness testing period with its periodic wells of refreshment into the life of promise where there are rivers of “aiόnios zoe.” (John 7:38)

John 10:10 NIV
I have come that they may have life {zoe}, and have it to the full.

John 4:14
But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life {aiόnios zoe}.

John 6:35, 57-58
35 …I am the bread of life {zoe}. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst… 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live {in “aiόnios zoe”} because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live {in the same “zoe” life} because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down from haven… He who eats this bread will live forever.

John 6:66-69
66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” 68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life {aiόnios zoe}. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

These earnest disciples had heard Jesus speak about this promised “aiόnios zoe.” They wanted this life that would keep their soul from ever hungering and thirsting again.

The gospel of the kingdom of God is an offer of life from heaven. The rich young ruler, after hearing this message, asked Jesus how He might enter into this “aiόnios zoe.” Although he turned back, as did many of Christ’s disciples, the twelve continued to cling to Jesus because they knew He had the words that would lead them into the eternal life.

The true disciples of Jesus hear His voice and live by His Spirit. He therefore provides them with a constant supply of His eternal life.

John 10:27-28
27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me {by laying down their “psuche” life}. 28 And I give them eternal life {aiόnios zoe}…

John 10:15
As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life {psuche} for the sheep.

John 17:3
And this is eternal life {aiόnios zoe}, that they may know You {the life and nature of the Father}, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Jesus has given everyone access to the “glory” that has its source in the Father so we too may share with Him in His life of holy love, “that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”(John 17:22-23, 26)

Many Christians do not know this heavenly life that comes from above because they have not yet died to their “psuche” life so they may live through Jesus and feed on Him alone.

John 5:39-40
39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life {aiόnios zoe}; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life {zoe}.

The Pharisees attempted to live by God’s laws without meeting the conditions for receiving life from above. Living by law does not provide “aiόnios zoe.” “Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.” (Gal. 3:21)

The Scriptures point to Christ. He is the One who has come to enable us to fulfill all the righteous requirements of the law by perfecting our heart in His life of holy love. (Rom. 8:3-4)

Heb 7:15-16, 19
15 …there arises another priest 16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life {zoe}… 19 For the law made nothing perfect…

John 6:27
Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life {aiόnios zoe}, which the Son of Man will give you…

People labor for the food that perishes when they attempt to find their life from this world. We must choose to lay down this form of life before we can receive “zoe” life.

We are to sustain ourselves spiritually by feeding on Jesus. He is the Tree of Life. “To him who overcomes {the psuche} I will give to eat from the tree of life {zoe}….” (Rev. 2:7) “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.” (Rom. 6:5)

John 12:24-26
24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone {separated from the “zoe” life of God}. 25 He who loves his life {psuche} will lose it, and he who hates his life {psuche} in this world will keep it {the soul} for eternal life {aiόnios zoe}. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me {through the cross}; and where I am {in the heavenly realms in the aiόnios zoe}, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

Those who follow Jesus by serving God in the Spirit will share with Him in the fullness of His divine life. “By this we know love, because He laid down His life {psuche} for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives {psuche} for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16-17)

There is a need to press into this heavenly Kingdom-life of promise in this world.

Gal 6:8-9
8 For he who sows to his flesh {lives for his own pleasures} will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life {aiόnios zoe}. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap {the life of promise} if we do not lose heart.

Rom 5:10
For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life {zoe}.

Rom 5:17
For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life {zoe} through the One, Jesus Christ.

Matt 16:24-26
24 If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life {psuche} will lose it, but whoever loses his life {psuche} for My sake will find it {the “zoe” life of promise}. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Luke 14:26
If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life {psuche} also, he cannot be My disciple.

The extent to which we must stop trying to find our spiritual support from this world includes even laying the members of our family on the altar. God intends to be our only source of life—our all in all. The psuche form of life must die if we hope to be raised into the eternal life that comes directly from God.

Those who are living through the Lord’s life of divine love will find that it never fails. Human love, because it is sustained by temporal circumstances, fails whenever it is not treated well.

Luke 17:32-33
32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to save his life {psuche} will lose it, and whoever loses his life {psuche} will preserve it {save his soul for the “aiόnios zoe”}.

Matt 18:8
If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life {zoe} lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.

Matt 7:14
Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life {zoe}, and there are few who find it.

1 Tim 6:12
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life {aiόnios zoe}, to which you were also called…

1 John 5:11
And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life {aiόnios zoe}, and this life {zoe} is in His Son.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tenderness of Spirit - G.D. Watson

The very essence of the Gospel is a divinely imparted tenderness and sweetness of Spirit. Without this, even the strongest religious life is a misrepresentation of the true Christ-life. Unfortunately, even among intensely religious people, we seldom see this all-pervading spirit of tenderness. The Christ-life is not abiding in them.

Tenderness of spirit is preeminently divine. We are not speaking of the soft sensibility of a mere gentle make-up. Rather, it is a supernatural work of the Spirit that transforms the inner nature into a merciful type of gentle love. “Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)

Tenderness of spirit mellows the will, softens the judgments, melts the affections, refines the manners and molds the whole being after the image of Him who was infinitely meek and lowly in heart. While some people will go out of their way to occasionally put on a display of tenderness, it is generally short-lived. It is quickly lost when someone crosses their will. We are now referring to an inner nature that naturally expresses tender mercies in the most difficult of circumstances. It is emphatically supernatural and will flow out incessantly from the inner fountains of the soul once the inner being has become filled with God’s life of love. It is in this sense we can find Paul praying that Christians may “know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:19)

Deep tenderness of spirit is the very essence of the Christ-life. What gravity is to the planet, what perfume is to the rose, what rhythm is to poetry, what harmony is to music, all this and much more is what tenderness of spirit is to the Christ-life. It is possible to be very religious, and staunch, and persevering in all Christian duties, even to be sanctified and a brave preacher of holiness, and yet to be greatly lacking in tenderness of spirit, which is that all-subduing, all melting love that is the very essence of Heaven.

This merciful and loving tenderness is not the sap that flows up in the grape vine in early spring. On the contrary, it is the sweet and pure juice of the grape that has been crushed out under the mighty squeeze of the winepress. It is in connection with Job’s manifold and strange sufferings that he says, “God had made his heart soft.”

Madam Guyon says that while we are purified from sin by the blood of Jesus, the attributes and constitution of our nature must be utterly broken under the manifold cross of suffering to render us divine-like in our feelings and sympathies.

We often see Christians who are bright and clever and strong; in fact, a little too bright, and a little too strong. They do their best to leave the impression they are living holy and righteous lives. But we can also see the self-life in their strength. Their righteousness has therefore remained severe and critical. They have everything they need to become heavenly saints except the crushing weight of crucifixion to grind them into a supernatural tenderness.

The merciful and loving tenderness that comes from Christ will never put out a flickering wick in any soul. It instinctively avoids wounding the feelings of others by wrangling in an argumentative way. Having lost the desire to quarrel, it carries its point by ceasing to contend.

If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth…. From such withdraw yourself. (1 Tim. 6:3-5)

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. (Jam. 3:17)

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth… (2 Tim 2:24-25)

Tender love cannot be provoked into harsh judgments and it “thinks no evil.” It instinctively buries and forgets all bad things. Those who are tender in spirit see all things from God’s standpoint. Because they have come to a knowledge of God, they have a personal knowledge of how divine “love suffers long and is kind…does not seek its own, is not provoked…thinks no evil…bears all things.”

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Spirit of Crucifixion - G.D. Waton

The act of crucifixion is one thing, but the spirit in which the crucifixion is to be borne is another. We will have a better understanding of what it means to walk in a crucified life by examining Jesus’ character during His final few hours between the Last Supper and His death on the cross. It will be helpful to note some of the traits that stand out.

It is a silent spirit. It suffers quietly. A dog or a pig will howl and squeal at the least pain or fright, but the young lamb suffers in silence. This crucifixion spirit of Jesus can be snubbed, scolded, criticized, misunderstood, misrepresented, physically abused and hindered in a thousand ways without a groan, or a kick, or a trace of rudeness. Even though it wants to see truth, justice and mercy revealed, it does not become loud and boisterous about having its rights violated. While it speaks the truth when someone honestly seeks understanding, it does not try to defend itself when falsely accused by belligerent and unreceptive people.

It is sworn to eternal submissiveness. It has agreed to die to the ways of this world. It can have a thousand little treasures, pleasant hopes, and friendly ties snatched out of its hand without trying to hold on to them. It gently and sweetly lets everything go with a submissive spirit. It can obey God and be rushing at full speed on lines of service and duty, and then, at the touch of God’s providential air brake, it can be brought to a standstill without having its soul-rest disturbed. Even when it is required to take the path of suffering, it continues to rest peacefully in the will of its Sovereign God.

And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy {filled with Christ’s Spirit}… (Acts 20:22-24)

It is a free spirit. It is no longer affected by the opinions of others. The only thing that matters is that God’s will is accomplished. Having overcome the world, it is no longer restrained by what the world considers appropriate. It has lost complete interest in the pleasures and honors that come from man. Because it desires to receive the honor that comes from God, it easily gets by with the simple necessities of life. And regardless of how difficult the circumstances become, it always possesses a thankful and sweet disposition.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thess. 5:16-18)

It embraces suffering as its natural food. The rugged cross, which frightens so many Christians, is embraced, because it becomes the means for entering into an enlarged and sweeter life of love in the Holy Spirit. What other Christians shun as a hardship, it gladly accepts as an opportunity for deeper union with God in His heavenly life. It can be bruised and trampled on by outspoken religionists and continue to walk in a love that never fails. It naturally desires to have everyone forgiven, even those who have caused the greatest suffering. “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved.” (2 Cor 12:15)

It will not receive human honor into itself. The spirit of crucifixion finds its highest delight by sinking into God and being little. It loves to humble itself both before God and man. While it will speak the Word of God boldly, it also shuns debate and theological argument.

And the servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth {and see the light from Christ’s life}. (2 Tim. 2:24-25)

It is modest and retiring and loves to get out of God’s way and see Him work. It would rather see the ark capsize than to put forth its finger to meddle with God’s authority. It does not make others wear its sackcloth; but rather, it prefers to take on the suffering of others. Its one great desire is to reveal Christ and draw others into His heavenly life.

When the soul enters sanctification, it is just the beginning of this spirit of crucifixion which must be permitted to spread, and intensify, and brighten until it pervades the whole heart. If it is permitted to develop, it will become a flame of sacrificial love, which takes hold on all sorts of woes, and troubles, and mortifications, and pains, and poverty, and hardships, as a very hot fire takes hold on wet logs and makes out of them fresh fuel to reveal more of God’s holy love.

This spirit of crucifixion that was displayed by Jesus during His last few hours of walking on this earth, is the spirit that opens the gate to the life of heaven without touching it. This is the spirit that wears out the patience of persecutors, which softens the heart of stone, that wins its way through a thousand obstacles, and that makes the soul that possesses it, truly precious in God’s sight.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012


The goal of the true Christian faith is the fruit of the cross, it is the Heavenly LIFE that is available to us while we are yet in this world.  We must allow our "self life" to die before there can be a resurrection of the Lord's life with-in us.  It is that "pearl of great price" that we are willing to sell ALL to find, it is the Kingdom Of God and His rule in our hearts.  This book, written by J. Gregory Mantle (1853 - 1925), gives us a road map to those that are seeking this Life from above.   

Click here to read BEYOND HUMILIATION - The Way of the Cross

Sunday, July 08, 2012

"Let God" by G.D. Watson

The name of God occurs thirty-five times in the first thirty-five verses in Genesis. And the word “let” occurs fourteen times in the same verses. The first “let” is, “Let there be light,” and the last is, “Let them have dominion over all things.”

Each of these lets represent a part of the restoration process that establishes full salvation. We will therefore find that from the first dawn of divine light in the soul through the establishment of God’s kingdom where we share with Christ in the power of His throne, the secret of every step is to be so utterly yielded to the unfolding will of God as to “let” Him work in us, and by us, and for us.

We must learn over and over again to cease from all our planning, all our imaginings of ways and means, all our uneasiness of care, and just calmly, sweetly, patiently “let God” manage and work in us and for us as He has planned. Our one great work is to yield to the movings of the Holy Spirit and to expect in faith to have Him accomplish what He has purposed to do.

Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” (John 6:28-29)

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Rom. 8:14)

It is not unusual to see sanctified Christians striving in their own efforts to make sure that everything works out as they see fit. Those who strive in their own strength naturally become “worried and troubled about many things.” (Luke 10:41) It also prevents God from working through our life in a supernatural way. Even after entering the Kingdom-life where everyone rests from their own works, we must learn to “let God” do in us and for us what He has planned. These words “let God,” when they become a natural part of our life, become the glorious key that unlocks hundreds of doors in the vast palaces of divine life and providence.

If from the very depths of our hearts we yield a constant, loving “let” to God, then He, by the eternal Spirit, will fulfill through us and for us all these fourteen “lets” of His marvelous creation, from “Let there be light,” to “Let him have dominion over” all things. We are given the opportunity to share with Him in His dominion when we are living by His will and praying in harmony with His Spirit.

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15)

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

What Is America Founded On?

Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but My kingdom is not from here."
(Jhn 18:36)

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you".  (Luk 17:20-21)

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Rom 14:17)

Ok, see if you can bear with me a little bit today as I use the American Revolution to show the difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the World. There are so many examples that we can use in our society today, but since this is the 4th of July and it represents what many Christian Americans believe about their country, this could be an eye opener for anyone that would have a love of the truth, no matter what its cost to them might be. 

On this July 4th holiday I am reminded of when it first “hit me” several years ago, that America was founded on rebellion.  Wow!  What a revelation that was to me…it was shocking, but true.

In America, July 4th is a holiday called “Independence Day” it is a celebration of when America declared her independence and rebelled against England and her King.  At the end of the ensuing war, America became her own nation and I might add….her own God.  I am not suggesting whether or not God ordained this new nation to form, but rather, did He ordain His followers, His “Called Out Ones” to bring it about?  If I haven’t made you too mad, I hope you will be able to read what the Lord has shown me. 

This revelation came to me shortly after the Lord had been doing a deeper work in me and calling me out of the world and its ways.  He was showing me how the world lives for itself, but to live in the Kingdom of God; I would have to pick up my cross and follow Him.  I had to be willing to die to a self seeking, self pleasing way of life so I could be empowered by His Holy Spirit, to live only for the will of God. 

In learning about the Kingdom of God and its self sacrificing way of life, it allowed me to see how opposed it is to the ways of the world and how America's very foundation was not based on the principles of the Kingdom of God but rather than on the self seeking ways of the world.  You see, there are two Kingdoms in operation now, the Kingdom of the world and the Kingdom of God and they are contrary to each other.  These two kingdoms rule in the hearts of men.  It is impossible to live in a continuously victorious spiritual life while still trying to live in both of these kingdoms.  When we turn to the Lord and submit to His life, He will begin to bring us out of the Kingdom of the World and into His Kingdom.  It is a process and will be accomplished by many trials and tribulations that will crucify our old sin nature (self) so it can be replaced with His divine nature. These two natures, two lives, two kingdoms all speak of the same thing, it is described in scripture many different ways. 

Another word that could be used for Kingdom is “Rule”.
And another word for World is “man” or “self”.   

The Kingdom of this World = Ruled by Man or Self Rule  
The Kingdom Of God = Ruled by God

The Lord began to show me how these two kingdoms will respond differently to situations that arise in our lives and where we get our fulfillment from.  The world’s kingdom depends on exterior circumstances to be fulfilled and satisfied, it is always looking to improve its state or activities.  Inner peace and joy can either be disturb or increased by activities, people and things.  But the pleasure they receive from these exterior means will eventually dry up causing them to constantly seek for more.  Worldly ambition and “success” is considered a virtue in the Kingdom of this World.  The Kingdom of this World could also be described as the Kingdom of Self.      

But for those that matured and are now living fully in the Kingdom (rule) of God, life’s circumstances do not affect them so.  The source of their joy, peace and satisfaction comes from the rivers of Living waters that never run dry.  This is why Paul could say, “…I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”  (Phl 4:11-13)  All was the same for Paul…whether he had or he had not. 
This is the gospel of the Kingdom that was taught in the New Testament and why Christ came into the World, to save us from the old (world’s) self seeking way of life and give us His life in return.  It is the old nature we were born with, we inherited it through Adam and Eve and it must be crucified and put to death.  The old nature will naturally fight to save itself; just like Peter did when the Lord told him He must suffer and be killed.  But Jesus “turned, and said to Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”  Mat 16:23.   Peter was responding by the natural way of the world and its kingdom.  But as we are willing to let the Lord rule in our hearts, the process of death to self and its kingdom can begin.   The more death to self and our own Kingdom rule, the more of His life will reign in us. 

When we understand what the gospel of the Kingdom is and what was taught in the New Testament for us, we will understand that we are not to “fight” for our rights, but rather willingly lay them down.  Then we can see clearly that the followers of Christ will not kill anyone for their own freedom and could not be apart of the American Revolution.  Rather those that have died to self as Paul says in Gal 2:20, would lay down their life, even for an “enemy”. 

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us  Rom 5:6-8.

“He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”  1 John 2:6

Today I saw this quote about the American Revolution by John Adams and I share my thoughts about it below. 

Quote from “John Adams, letter to H. Niles, February 13, 1818

 “But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations...This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.”

Can you wonder what was meant by the "change in their religious sentiments" “in the minds and hearts”? Did they change to or away from the manner of life and mind set that Jesus, Paul and the other apostles had and lived?  How they responded to injustices is what exposes which kingdom they are of. The New Testament is full of instructions on how true followers of Christ will behave in the Kingdom of God...

In this part here:  “This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution” it is clear that they left the ways of the Kingdom of God for the ways of the world…

When Jesus and the apostles lived in the world there were horrific injustices and atrocities commented by the rulers of the world.  At no time did they teach or instruct their followers that they should shed blood and fight in the natural against these things but instructed them to submit.  From the “sermon on the mount” to John’s, James’ and Paul’s writing and exhortations, their “mind” set and ways of the Kingdom of God can be seen.  Paul even instructed slaves to be obedient to their masters.  He wasn’t condoning slavery or its “right” to exist, but he was teaching them how to live for God and not for themselves.

Did not this “mind set”, religious sentiments, duties and obligations have to be “changed” in order to go from understanding the injustices to actually fight and shed blood in order to be free from them?   Is this in accordance with the New Testament life the Lord has called His follower to live; is this truly walking in the Spirit?  The world fights like that…it makes sense to them, they are of the flesh, but God’s ways are not the ways of the world.  The word “rebellion” aught to make us stop and think…

The Lord leads and shows us things in His time, and there can be more “important things” that He may be teaching us and showing us.  But this could be one example of how the Lord can open our eyes to “see” how much of the world is in us.  It is in the things we have been taught all our lives, things we have “believed” in and thought was righteous but in reality have found out it had its source in the world and its ways…the same world that the Lord said we were not to be a part of.  The world is always trying to “save” itself, make it more comfortable, etc., while the Spirit of the Lord will lead us to die to our self and our wants and to live for God and not “man”.            


Sunday, July 01, 2012

Authentic Christianity by Ray C. Stedmanm

Another great book!  This is a short and easy one to read by Ray C. Stedmanm. He puts so simply and clearly the truths of the gospel. I think, if the Lord directs, it might be an eye opener to many people that might "think" they know the true gospel but have only been taught a watered down, powerless version of it.

So many Christians walk in an up and down type of Spiritual life not knowing why, always wanting to "do" the right things, but continue to stumble over the same kind of road blocks.  But the Lord has so much more for us.  This is why He came and died, to manifest HIS life in longer tossed to and fro, but to abide in His rivers of living waters where there is continuously righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost despite whatever temporal earthly circumstances we find ourselves in. 

I pray it is a blessing to any that will read it and eyes will be opened to walk in all that the Lord has for His people. 

Read Authentic Christianity here