God speaks through His word. His word is Christ.
His word inspired the written word which inspires the living word to be written on our hearts. We then become part of the word which is the light and life of men.
Matthew 6:9-10 ESV
Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
God made an everlasting covenant with Israel which pertains to the promised land here on earth.
God made an everlasting covenant with the Church which pertains to the promised inheritance of God in heaven.
Both will end up in the same place. Jesus will return to earth and take His place on the throne of David. The New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ, will descend from heaven with Jesus. Heaven is where Jesus is and that is where the Bride will be.
Heaven and earth will be united. The kingdom of God will have fully come to earth as we have prayed the prayer He taught us.
1 Corinthians 15:42-44 ESV
So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
A natural body is sown with its life in the blood.
When raised into the life of God, the transformed body will have its life in the living water that comes from above.
We are the flesh and bone of Christ and one with the Son and Father. We are the body of Christ. He who has the Son also has the Father.
May the word dwell richly within you, take root, and bear fruit pleasing to the Lord.
Matthew 24:27 ESV
For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Heaven and earth will become one and we shall be revealed. We will meet Him in the air and light up the sky from the east to the west.
2 Peter 3:10-13 ESV
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
The heavens will be burned up and the cosmos will be shaken and its elements loosened. The fire of the Lord will expose the earth and the works done on it. The earth is not so much destroyed as it is refined. The dross and impurities which have increased over time will be extracted and a new earth will emerge. The eyes of the Lord will judge all things and all things will be set right.
A new heaven and a new earth will come together in righteousness, even as the inhabitants of the kingdom of heaven are united with their new and resurrected bodies. The earth will be "resurrected" to the fullness and beauty originally intended as the eternal dwelling place of the children of God.
The fire has been lit and it burns even now in the children of light, the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:13-14
each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.
2 Corinthians 4:18 ESV
as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
We can view the transient, for we are creatures of the moment, as the grass that springs up and fades away. We are in a world that is passing because our world will pass with us.
The life of God is eternal and this is what He offers to us. It is faith in God that takes us there, to the unseen, but real.
This can be hard to see, except by faith.
Philippians 1:21 ESV
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
There is one name by whom salvation comes.
It is Yeshua, or Jesus, which means "Jehovah is Salvation".
We baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which means the one name by which man is saved.
We raised into life by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is the name by whom man is saved, by whom we live.
There is one God and to live is Christ.
Hebrews 7:1-3 ESV
For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.
Melchizedek resembled the Son of God, but in type only. He had no genealogy recorded, before or after his life, which is what is meant by having "neither beginning of days nor end of life.
On the other hand, Jesus proclaims He is the beginning and end. Oddly, Melchizedek who had a beginning and end, for he was a man, is described otherwise. Jesus, who is eternal and has no beginning or end, tells us He is the beginning and end.
Jesus came from God the Father. There is no earthly genealogy in the usual sense. He is the first fruits of the children of light and it is in His light that the children are perfected with eternal life. This is the end God saw and willed from the beginning of man. This began when God said, "Let there be light" at the beginning of creation. This will end when we transform from our mortal existence into the union of an eternal body and spirit, similar to Christ.
This is the beginning and end of the light coming into the world. This is what Scripture is about, of God and man.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-5 ESV
But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.
The separation of light and darkness in mankind began the first day of creation. We can see here what was meant in those first verses of Genesis. The light and darkness of the first day refer to the spiritual state of man. At the end of creation, on the sixth day, man is created in the image of God.
This is happening now as we begin to put on Christ. We are clothed in His body of righteousness and made holy before God as we follow Him in the wilderness of the world. Our sanctification takes place during this journey as He molds and shapes us with the refining fire of the Holy Spirit. He leads by day and by night.
We might look at the wilderness journey of the Israelites as ancient history and it is, but it is something more. It is as fresh as today as that journey is repeated with the body of Christ. We have been called out of the world (Egypt) and are following Christ to the promised land. Our promised land is not on the earth as it is for the Israelites because God is our portion and inheritance.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 ESV
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;
What is the will of God for your life? There are many ideas and opinions on the matter, but when we look to Scripture we might find what really matters.
God's main concern and will for man is our sanctification, to come out of the world and to enter the holiness of God.
The Greek word translated as "lust" means a longing for something, especially if forbidden. This was the reason for the fall in the Garden of Eden, the desire for the forbidden fruit.
There is one who overcame the world, which is the world of our flesh. Jesus wrapped Himself in our flesh and brought it into heaven. We who enter the body of Christ follow after Him with the goal of overcoming our flesh and crossing the finish line as more than conquerors.
This is the will of God.
Matthew 12:33-34 ESV
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
This passage may remind us of the two trees in the midst of the garden. Now the garden is shown to be in the heart. The fruit we pick is chosen within and reveals the nature of the resulting tree, which is you and me.
Evil has its origin in us. Our fruit is something that grows on the inside and we are given the freedom to choose which fruit we will bear. Our fruit will become evident and by it we will be judged.
Jesus calls the Jewish leaders a brood of vipers because they look and act like their father who deceived Eve in the garden.
Genesis 2:16-17 ESV
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Adam did eat the forbidden fruit and he did surely die.
When God put Himself on the tree of the cross, he was putting that fruit back on the tree it came from. Now we have the same choice that was given to Adam.
We can eat the bread of life and surely live or continue with the forbidden fruit and surely die.
John 4:23-24 ESV
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
It is when we are in the presence of the Lord that we find our Sabbath rest as much as possible in our present form. Our Sabbath then becomes less a function of the day of the week than it is a function of the heart. We move beyond the law written on stone to the law written on our hearts. This is where true worship happens. This is the kind of worshippers God seeks. This is man created in the image of Christ.
Ephesians 2:10 ESV
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Works is not a bad word, or undesirable as seen in this and other verses. They mean nothing as a means of salvation, of determining self worth. They do have meaning and weight in the kingdom life.
God predestined good works for those in Jesus. This was the plan all along. Jesus was given a body to perform the good work of His sacrifice for our sins. This done, He was given another body which is the Church, the body of Christ. That body is quickened by the same Spirit and formed for the good works made possible by the life of Christ. Christ is the foundation of the world and the firm foundation upon which we stand.
Good works are the outcome of the good life within. This is the fruit of the Spirit and the evidence of His presence.
Scripture tells us what these are.
Isaiah 35:8 ESV
And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.
The Way of Holiness is the Son of Man, that is Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth, and the life.
Trust in the way and let Him take you there.
2 Corinthians 9:10-11 ESV
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
God has given His word that we may have life. He has given the bread of life so that we may live.
The harvest of our righteousness will bloom into thanksgiving to God. In every way we will be blessed and in all things we are to be thankful.
Psalms 23:4 ESV
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
We all walk through the valley of the shadow of death. The word for death also means darkness. This is where we were before we receive the light of God. We then become as stars in darkness of night as we continue our journey in the world that is dark without the hope of the Lord.
We do not walk alone.
1 Peter 1:22-25 ESV
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
The light enters the world of darkness through the word of God. It is the seed of the imperishable.
The seed of life will produce different plants, each with its own glory. The seed of life will produce different people, each with its own glory. The seed of the word will enable man to enter the glory.
All flesh is as grass until the seed of the word takes root in the earth of man. Then we become part of the tree of life, "trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind." (Gen 1:12). If we have the word of God, we enter into life forever, if indeed the word is in you.
Each living thing created by God is endowed with its own glory. Man alone is given the privilege to bear the fruit of the Spirit. I use the term man as biblically defined as inclusive of male and female. In bearing the fruit of the Spirit, we manifest the image of God.
John 14:1 ESV
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.
To believe in Jesus is to believe in God. To believe in God is to believe in Jesus. There is but one name, or person, by whom we are saved.
It is Jesus, the salvation of God.
God troubles the waters of mankind as He descends into the hearts of man. The world is agitated and troubled by the wind of the Holy Spirit as He passes over the deep. The light He brings does not mix well with the darkness of the waters, and begins to change the heart rather than mixing with what's within a man.
As the light of God enters the heart of the believer through the Spirit, the grace and peace He brings will settle into a heart renewed in the life of God. This will allow such a person to face trouble with an untroubled heart.
2 Corinthians 6:14 ESV
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
He threw Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden because of their disobedience. God was not tolerant of sin, for what fellowship has light with darkness? The two were separated from the beginning. But He did not give up on man.
He provides a way back to Him. There is always room for a second chance. He desires that no one be lost and rejoices with the return of every soul. He is intolerant of sin, yet forgiving of the sinner. He does not give up on the foolish. Who knows, they may come to their senses. It's happened many times before. Hate may win a skirmish or battle, but love will conquer all.
1 John 5:10-13 ESV
Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
When we believe in the Son, we are given and sealed with the Holy Spirit. Through the Spirit we have been raised from death into the life of God.
The Spirit is one with Christ, and though Jesus rose bodily into heaven, His Spirit remains. We have inherited the incarnation of the body of Christ, and will one day receive our inheritance of heaven. The seed of God has multiplied over the face of the earth and will until the time comes for the revealing of the sons of God.
We have the testimony within us. Listen to the word.
"Whoever has the Son has life."
Having the Son is not based on how you feel, but what you know. We know this to be true.
Mark 1:12-13 ESV
The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.
The believer enters the wilderness only after receiving the Holy Spirit, as did Jesus when He rose from the baptism water.
We grow in spirit and maturity in Christ until the day we leave this body of flesh. Our time in the wilderness is our time on earth.
The wilderness of our journey becomes our world of the flesh. This is the world we must conquer and overcome. We become more than conquerors because we become sons and daughters of the living God.
Psalms 73:25-26 ESV
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Our treasure in heaven is nothing less than God Himself. He is our portion and inheritance.
We will have everything our heart desires.
Jeremiah 29:12-13 ESV
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
The revelation of God requires action and intention on our part. We may encounter God during certain mountain top experiences, but we are formed into the image of Christ by our walk with Him in the valley of our wilderness journey.
He comes to us when we seek Him. He hears us when we call. When we seek him with our heart, it is there we will find Him.
Psalms 2:8-9 ESV
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.”
Who will wield the rod of iron? Jesus and His Bride.
The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.
2 Corinthians 4:18 ESV
as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
How can we look look at something unseen? In which direction should we turn our heads so the unseen might come into view?
How can we say that what seems real is not, but what we cannot see is real and eternal?
How can we perceive a thing in the abstract and then attach the substance of a reality that is more real than the things we are able to experience through our senses?
Spirit to spirit. Spirit words. Only in the presence of the unseen Holy Spirit of God can the reality of the other be known. Only in His presence can the unseen be seen. Otherwise, it will only appear as foolishness.
He has given His Spirit for the assurance and conviction of this otherwise incredible assertion. We know because we know.
Luke 14:27 ESV
Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Following Jesus is an ongoing decision and effort. Bearing our cross means bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said His burden is light, and so it is. To return to darkness would be a heavy load indeed.
Bearing our cross as we follow Jesus is a labor of love.
Psalms 1:6 ESV
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
Jesus is the way, and the only way of the righteousness of God. Any other way taken is self righteousness.
There is but one way to conquer the world. If not taken, that world will perish. The world to be conquered is the world of the person, that of self.
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:
Ephesians 4:20-24 ESV
But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
What does it mean to be made in the image of God? It is the image of true righteousness and holiness. When does this happen? When we put on Christ.
The creation of mankind in the image of God is in progress today.
The day of God's rest when He finishes His work of creation lies ahead. We are a work in progress that will be done in the fullness of time. It is then the sons and daughters of God will be revealed.
2 Corinthians 6:1 ESV
Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
Receiving the mercy and grace of God without bearing the fruit of the Spirit is taking the Lord's name in vain. Calling yourself a child of the light and yet remaining in the darkness is taking the Lord's name in vain.
Not allowing the word to take root in the soil of your earth is taking the Lord's name in vain.
Don't wither on the vine of life. You will be fated to live without life, then fade away.
Hebrews 11:3 ESV
By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
The invisible exists before our universe was created. God is eternally self existent before the word of our creation was spoken. The present of God came before the past and future of a time based world that we know.
We are witnesses to this world. The light of God has entered that we might find our way to the invisible, to the Creator of all we see so we might witness what we cannot see on our own. We need telescopes to see beyond the limits of the naked eye. We need His word to see beyond the the limits of the natural, to become witnesses of the world to come.