The Responsibility Of Each Christian

Hi,again!

Even after Christians are initially called and receive the Holy Spirit, it will take some time to FULLY grasp the NEED for us to want God and Jesus to COMPLETELY CONTROL us (as far as is possible while we are in this human form), and not merely influence us in a religious sort of way. For some of us, this can take a long time. Our goal even is to bring EVERY thought into the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

God’s purpose for calling us is not just limited to having Christians be a ‘light’ in a dark world, but rather, the HIGHER purpose of having us being so COMPLETELY CONSUMED by His and Christ Jesus’ presence in us we are literally not our own anymore. Up to a point, Paul reached this stage as written in Galatians 2:20.

The problem is that some of us are satisfied with just the daily struggle of trying to be ‘good little girls and boys’ in a religious fashion; and too often, even this is motivated only by either (1) wanting to get ‘good stuff’ and blessings from our Father and Jesus (2) trying to merely ‘hang on’ until the Resurrection or (3) wanting to avoid Their wrath if we mess up. These attitudes can certainly lead to being “lukewarm” Christians and Revelation 3:16,17 clearly shows Their view on a “lukewarm” faith. A good article defining a lukewarm Christian is at http://chrismarlow.me/2008/06/are-you-a-lukewarm-christian/ .

Paul shows in 2 Timothy 1:6 that it is up to us to “stir up” or “rekindle” the “gift” that we have as Christians, if it becomes necessary. Other verses in the New Testament also clearly show that it is the individual Christian’s responsibility to develop an attitude in one’s heart to either “hunger and thirst after righteousness” (Matthew 5:6), become “lukewarm” in our faith (Revelation 3:16) or ultimately become like Demas who continued to “love this eon” (2 Timothy 4:10).

The Holy Spirit can urge as well as lead us but He will NEVER push, force or drag us.

All the best in Him,

Fred

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Why Will The Least In The Reign Of The Heavens Be Greater Than John The Baptist?

Greetings! Matthew 11:11 reads this way (Modern Young’s Literal Translation):

“there has not risen, among those born of women, a greater than John the Baptist, but he who is the least in the reign of the heavens is greater than he.”

That’s quite an endorsement for John by the very Creator of all humans, Himself! Remember, John “shall be full of the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb: (Luke 1:15….Young’s Literal Translation).

However, even though John had no one live a more superior  life as a human being as he had done, he was still HUMAN! And, being human, he was not yet PERFECT.  No matter how small they may have been, John was still capable of making human errors, which is the committing of sins….ONLY Jesus, as a human, was not capable of this.

Please reference the Post on “Our Glorious New Bodies” for a full explanation with the specific Scriptures confirming the following but, basically, it comes down to ONE (which is actually a combination of a number of  factors) reason why Matthew 11:11 is true:

Whereas NOW we (like John) have dying, decaying, fleshly bodies composed of elements of the soil that are DOMINATED by selfish, ‘soulish’ desires, ALL believers will THEN, in our resurrected and/or transfigured state of being, have new, immortal and incorruptible ‘celestial’ bodies filled and DOMINATED by the Holy Spirit ….THAT WILL BE JUST LIKE CHRIST JESUS, HIMSELF! (Philippians 3:21)

Galatians 5:17 (NAS) sums up the present condition of all humans in our present mortal bodies: “17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh ; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” After the resurrection, as indicated in the previous paragraph, there will be NO HUMAN FLESHLY desires to war against our Holy Spirit filled celestial bodies.

All believers have at the present received the “firstfruits of the Spirit”, or a down payment, so to speak (Romans 8:23); whereas, only Jesus received the Holy Spirit ‘without measure’ as a human (John 3:32-34). At the resurrection, all believers will receive the FULL MEASURE of the Holy Spirit as we take on the very GLORY of Christ Jesus, Himself (2 Thessalonians 2:14)….thus, rendering us incapable of sinning. This is the “crown of righteousness” referred to by Paul in 2 Timothy 4:8. (Please reference the Post “Crown Of Righteousness”)

The Scriptures clearly teach there will be different levels of authority or position granted to each believer based on “rewards” (1 Corinthians 3:8) after the resurrections (please reference the Post “Judgement Seat Of Christ vs Great White Throne Judgment”); HOWEVER, the believer with the “least” position or authority in the Kingdom will still be “greater” than John (was in his human, fleshly body) because of her or his glorified existence as set forth in the Post ” Our Glorious New Bodies” and what is in the above paragraph.

I am quite sure that not many will be above John in his glorious, resurrected existence!

Later, in Christ,

Fred

Living is Christ….And Dying Gain

Hi, there!  To say Christians who have died are fortunate and blessed above all other humans  because of our expectation in Christ has to be the most universal understatement of all time!!

Paul was so looking forward to his passing on from this life because to him (and to every true believer/Christian) it is “gain” as we access to the presence of Christ Jesus and God the Father when we die. (Philippians 1:21….Rotherham’s).

Again, in 2 Corinthians 5:8 Paul writes: “we have courage, and are well pleased rather to be away from the home of the body, and to be at home with the Lord.”

However, these statements need the clarification that follows.

As brought out in the Post “Death”, the dying of all humans is equivalent to a peaceful sleep. No one, not even believers such as Paul, ascends directly into heaven after dying (John 3:13). But rather, the Post brings out how the Scriptures constantly refer to death as a “sleep”, and it will seem like mere moments (as it is with any good sleep we get as humans) before we awake to be in our consciousness again. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 confirms that those who have “fallen ASLEEP” “shall rise first”!! (Rotherham’s….emphasis mine)

With this renewed consciousness, for the believer, it will seem almost like a mere instant between our demise and our subsequent awakening again to be found in our new, glorious and transfigured Christ-life celestial (heavenly)  bodies….meeting our Savior in the air! (Philippians 3:21, 1 Thessalonians 4:17….Rotherham’s)

Truly, all Christians can joyously look forward to death as a “gain”, as did Paul.

Take care, in Christ,

Fred

Why Not Be A Mystic

Hey, there! Here is an interesting article I came across at http://freebelievers.com/fbnblog-entry/why-not-be-a-mystic, and received permission from them to reprint it. You might want to also check out my Post: “Practicing The Presence Of God”. Here goes:

May 28, 2011

Why Not Be A Mystic?

Perhaps it was the several years of religious hell I went through, or the overload of information from every side telling me what to believe, how to live, and how to approach God. Perhaps it was the deep longing in my soul to touch the face of God and to simply know Him as real, but I decided to choose the path of the mystic.

First things first, I will say that the only authentic mystic is the Christian, as you cannot know God as He is in His deep mysteries without Christ. If we cannot accept Christ, His sacrifice in His incarnation, life, death, and resurrection, we cannot know God. I would caution anyone strongly against the mysticism of the rest of the world in the plethora of its religions.

Many acknowledge Jesus in a form, but most refuse to accept His deity and His work of salvation as done on the cross. Such people I say stay away from as they are no different than the Gnostics.

So what is a mystic? My humble attempt to define a mystic is one who directly through experience, thought, meditation, emotion and contemplation actively receives and hears from God. The mystic’s religion is not stuff of Sunday rituals and preaching, or the obligatory Bible reading and good works as is expected in Christianity. Rather his/her religion so consumes them in such a way that their whole life is spent saturated in it, living in and out of it. It is all encompassing to the point where there is little room for anything else.

A mystic, in my view, is not one who spends hours practicing ascetics and spiritual disciplines in monasteries, cloistered away from the world, although for a short season I recommend that the seeker would take part in these things. The reason is that it is impossible to know God without living in the rest of the world actively loving and engaging people where they live.

For me, it began in the darkest times of my life. St John of the Cross calls it the dark night of the soul. I have been through several as they guided my unwilling soul into a place of complete abandonment of all things in this world with a deep need and hunger to know my God.

That is what drives me. A hunger. It is a deep, relentless desire and longing to know the presence of my God, to be filled to the point of overflowing with Jesus and His spirit so that, in the end, He is all that I have. It is a realized poverty of the soul, or as Jesus put it, being poor in spirit and hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

I came to this point out of need. Nothing man had to offer in his church institutions satisfied me. If anything, they nearly destroyed me. I escaped only with my life and my sanity. Even still, my soul aches with a longing only Christ can satisfy when I occasionally force myself to sit through a church sermon for whatever reason.

It was the realization that I am loved, filled with His love, and the need to love others with a realization of the passion of God Himself for His church which launched me on this path. When I could no longer find those things in the traditional or mainstream Christian churches of our country, I had to leave and spend my time in the wilderness where God had to speak to me directly.

My time in the wilderness has created within me this hungering and thirsting for God. I remember one church I attended many years ago, a pastor once stated that the church of America is not hungry. It is bloated, overfed, and obese. This was true of me. I was overstuffed with the religious knowledge of various sects and denominations. I wasn’t hungry for God. I was filled. I was filled not with God though, but the junk food of the ramblings of religious men. It was when I left all of that and was starving for three years that I learned how to drink deeply and dine from the water and bread of life within me.

The problem with being a mystic is that most people don’t understand the one who chooses this path. But then again, perhaps God chooses me for this and I just hang on for dear life and my own sanity. The thing is, a mystic is so wrapped up in the Holy Spirit that no man can control them.

One of my favorite teachings of Jesus is “He who is born of the spirit is like the wind. No one knows from where it came or where it goes.”

The life of the mystic is the life chosen to follow hard and persistently after the Spirit. Consequentially, no one can control the mystic any more than they can control the Holy Spirit or the wind itself!

It is in this journey that I see no longer the need to follow teachings and lectures, rather, the need to become a physical embodiment of Jesus Himself. This cannot be taught adequately. This cannot be lectured or written about. Yes, I have heard many sermons and read quite a few riveting books about the subject, but it cannot be understood or fully realized in practical living until one embraces this for themselves.

The mystic acknowledges that it is no longer possible to tell where we end and Christ begins, as He is interwoven into the very fabric of who we are. One can no more separate me from Christ as one could separate the food I ate and processed from the cells it nourished and fused with to strengthen or even create new living tissue. If Christ is food, and we digest Him, He then becomes our very cellular makeup and spiritual DNA. We are inseparable.

It is here, my starving soul found the fountain that Christ spoke of which wells up from within unto eternal life. True mysticism is the ability to drink from Christ, the living water in such a way that we will never thirst again. We will never run dry. We will never be hungry again as He is always within us.

Most American Christians I meet are in a perpetual state of starvation. They go to church meetings every week, retreats for mountain top experiences, or whatever they can find to refill and refresh. It is always outside of them and they always worry about running dry. Many seem to think that they cannot function spiritually without the church meetings feeding them. I find many of them leave their “feeding” times for Sundays, and the rest of their week is there for them to do as they please, only to find themselves hungry once again.

I find it funny when people tell me that I needed to attend church meetings so I could be “fed.” I laugh inwardly and reply “I am fed, perpetually from the Bread of Life who is in me. I will never hunger again.” The bread learned educated church men offer will not satisfy forever. I often hear people tell me that they need to go to church for another dose of the Holy Spirit because they feel hungry. If only they knew.

If only we knew the deep riches of God’s Spirit and His treasure that lay dormant inside of us! If only we knew the mysteries that His Spirit constantly speaks to our souls, feeding us with life. If only we could tap into that and live fully and completely!

This search for that fulness and wholeness of life is the path of the mystic as it takes us ever deeper into the heart of God, drinking deeply, eating fully, and then turning around to feed our fellow man in such a way that it whets their appetite for more. Manna in the wilderness sustains, but one does hunger. If one is courageous, we leave the manna that feeds us temporarily, and brave the battles and the giants which threaten to keep us from the land flowing with milk and honey. The path of the mystic is an invitation to dine at the table with the Father forever, as sons, as family, as a part of the Bride of Christ, forever living in His love.

by David Backus

End of article. There are several points on which I disagree with the author, but overall, there is a lot of truth here, and I am grateful he has shared his experience with us.

See you later.

Fred

Christian Tidbits

Greetings….this Post will be an ongoing one where I will add information from time to time that you might find interesting, and maybe even helpful! It could also be titled “Did You Know?”:

1. Jesus was also an Apostle. Hebrews 3:1

2. It is unknown how many “wise men” there were when they brought gifts to Jesus; and, they actually came to Him in a “house”, not a manger scene. Matthew 2:11

3. According to Clarke’s Commentary, the names of the two robbers who were crucified with Jesus were Zoathon on the right and Chammatha on the left (http://bible.cc/mark/15-27.htm)

4. The Bible is not only the world’s best-selling book but it is also the most shoplifted! (Several sources, but one is http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=17733)

5. Believers are never told to celebrate the birth of Jesus….for one thing, it is unknown. (December 25 was a pagan holiday and has nothing to do with the real day Jesus was born on)

6. Believers are never told to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, although we are told to observe elements of  the “Last Supper”.

7. Talk about “funny money”: David purchased his first wife, Michal, from Saul with 200 foreskins of just killed Philistines! 1 Samuel 18:27

8. There are at least 64 types/kinds of “spirit” mentioned in the Bible, based on Strong’s Concordance using the King James Version:

“God, Christ,anguish,sword,worship,fear

mouth,grace,glory,antichrist,error,foul

righteousness,familiar(psychic),wisdom,jealousy

evil,sorrowful,sad,lying,good,understanding

troubled,hasty,humble,broken,man,vexation

beast,proud,judgment,burning,perverse

Holy,contrite,faint,excellent, whoredom,grace

unclean,dumb,deaf,power,infirmity

truth,divination,holiness,life,bondage,adoption

slumber,fervent,love,meekness,gifts

healing,faith,earnest,joy,peace,gentleness

longsuffering”

In addition to these, there are the  7 Spirits which stand before the throne in Revelation 1:4.

The various spirits govern us….not the physical elements.

9. The New Jerusalem will be about 1,500 miles long, about 1,500 miles wide and about 1,500 miles high. Revelation 21:16 ( a furlong is about an 1/8th of a mile)

10. It is interesting that the beginning of our present heavens and earth in Genesis 1:1-2 started with a complete covering of water. With the advent of the new heaven and new earth in Revelation 21:1, the sea and oceans will no longer exist. Sorry, surfer dude/dudette! And, no more tanning,  as there will be no sun….Revelation 21:23.

11. In 1526, William Tyndale published the first printed English New Testament. For his faithful efforts, the clergy and bishops of the Church of England were instrumental is having him endure a disgusting and cruel imprisonment, then being strangled at the stake and finally burned to ashes in 1536….fervently praying with his last words, “Lord, open the king of England’s eyes.”. (Paraphrased from Adlai Loudy’s GOD’S  EONIAN PURPOSE, Chapter 2)

12. James, the brother of Jesus, at some point became an apostle (Galatians 1:1).

13. Humans and animals have a soul….plants don’t (this is taken from the Post: “Lazarus and the Rich Man”):

“the soul is actually in the blood: “for the soul of all flesh, it is in the blood” (Lev.17:11….Strong’s Concordance has “nephesh” or “soul”; also, Darby’s Translation, Concordant Literal Old Testament and Bullinger’s Companion Bible have “soul”). Where there is no human blood….there is no human soul (or, life, consciousness, etc.).”

“This is why animals and humans can be said to have a “soul”….because they have blood flowing within them. Even though plants, vegetation and the like are “living organisms”, they are never said to have a “soul” because they have no blood….meaning, they have no consciousness nor any type of feelings. If you chop a tree down, rest assured it feels no pain!”.

14. Why is it difficult for any Christian to believe in the resurrections to come since God was the One Who originally created humans through Christ from the ‘dirt’ to begin with? And, Jesus even says in Matthew 3:9 that God is able to create “children to Abraham” from stone itself.

15. It is estimated that the number of living species on our planet ranges from 3 million to 100 million. Consider the fact that God through Christ Jesus had to create an INDIVIDUAL and UNIQUE ‘behavioral computer chip’ for each species!! They ALL function differently and obviously need their own distinct behavioral pattern programmed into their personal being in order to live and survive, based on the way each is created. Simply amazing!!

16. Old Testament believers are never said to have the Holy Spirit “within” them, but rather, “upon” them. Please reference the Post “The Holy Spirit Was Not WITHIN Old Testament Believers” for more information.

Until later,

Fred

 

Angels…..And Your Wing Size Is?

Greetings….actually, many seem to believe Christians will be fitted for wings after they pass those pearly gates. Not true…..whew!!!…..and, thankfully so.  Let’s see what the Scriptures say we will look like and the gear we will be packing, along with some interesting information about “angels”.

First off, 2 heavenly beings are definitely characterized as having wings…..Cherubim (Exodus 25:20) and Seraphim (Isaiah 6:2-3). To the best of my knowledge, they are never said to be “angels” or “messengers” and are the ONLY ones noted as having wings among the celestials.

Secondly, I know of no verses that indicate “angels” (“messengers”) have wings……they are described as “spirits” (Hebrews 1:14) who can take on various forms.

Thirdly, the only reference resurrected Christians are said to be like angels is in Matthew 22:30, and that, only in the sense that we will not marry, like them, in our glorified existence.

Finally, what exactly will we look like? It is clearly stated in 1 Corinthians 15:48-49 and Philippians 3:21 that we will be found in a celestial body after the resurrection in the same image as Christ Jesus, Himself!  What He looks like, regarding the composition of the body, we will appear as, also…… glorious, celestial beings, WITHOUT wings!!.

Please also reference the Post on “Our Glorious New Bodies”.

Hope to see you later.

Fred

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