Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go.Isaiah 48:17(NASB)
I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. (Revelation 21:22,23 NLT)
Is it not very clear that from God's standpoint, in God's mind, everything is intended to be related to heaven and governed from heaven? Heavenly fullness is His objective with His people: to make them a heavenly people and to fill with His heavenly fullness. And right at the end we see the New Jerusalem - not the old one, but the New Jerusalem - coming down from God out of heaven, in great heavenly fullness. It is something immense, is that Jerusalem - twelve thousand furlongs in every direction (Rev. 21:16). There is great fullness here. All the nations are going to derive their resource from it. The fruit of the Tree of Life, the waters of its River of Life, are for all the nations. Its light is for all the nations. "The nations shall walk amidst the light thereof" (Rev. 21:24). This is heavenly fullness, the thing to which the Lord has been working all the time.
He is working now in you and me. I sometimes think that we are two persons, one here and one in heaven. Naturally we are here, but there is something of ourselves "going up" all the time, when the Lord is getting in us something more of heaven. It is being stored up there. Is not that perhaps what the Lord meant, when He referred to Himself as "the Son of man, who is in heaven" (John 3:13), even while He is on earth? There is an aspect of us that is growing in heaven. Do not think of heaven as some remote planet. We are growing in that heavenly thought of things. Something of us is "going up." Do you say your situation is too difficult to bring heaven in? Well, there are difficult situations. Daniel's was a difficult situation - his three companions were in a difficult situation; but they brought heaven in. A grand phrase in the book of Daniel is - "the heavens do rule" (Dan. 4:26). And they proved it. Headquarters is in heaven: not in Babylon, not in Rome, not in Jerusalem or anywhere else, but in heaven. The Lord help us to live up to and out of heaven.
Is anything too hard for the Lord? § Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. § Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. § [Cast] all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. Then Hezekiah prayed to the Lord.
It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. § The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
I love the Lord, because He has heard My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.
You shall … make a laver of bronze … You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in water from it. When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, … they shall wash with water, lest they die. So they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die. § Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you. § If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
In my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. § There shall by no means enter it anything that defiles. § You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness. § I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Pet. 1:8).
Although both faith and joy are included in the fruit of the Spirit,' joy can only flourish upon the foundation of faith. When faith is present and active, favorable circumstances are not necessary for joy; trials and tribulations cannot daunt it.
"There are some Christians who seem to be afraid of enjoying all the rays of the Son of Righteousness. They are afraid of being too happy. Perhaps some of us have not really considered that joy' is itself a part of that fruit by which the Father is glorified. There is nothing to be gained by despondency. Doubts are not marks of humility; unbelief is really evidence of pride. And there is no cloud that so effectively shuts out the glad sunshine of our gracious Father's face as the thick cloud of unbelief." -E.H.
"Although as to His circumstances the Lord Jesus was the Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief, yet He had a joy always before His eyes. But we never find Him rejoicing in anything but the will of His Father. I delight to do Thy will' was His true testimony. So may we rejoice in the Lord' though all is dark around, with the joy of faith that sees the unseen and looks beyond the present and temporal to the eternal." -G.G.
"The Old Testament believer had joy for God's gifts to him. God's power made things here contribute to him. But the Christian's joy is in heaven and springs from what the Father is to him there. He demands nothing from this world, but in the life of the Lord Jesus he contributes to it, of the grace that nourishes and comforts him outside it." -J.B.S.
"Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound; they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance. In thy Name shall they rejoice all the day" (Ps. 89:15, 16).
“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” 1Corinthians 2:4
If in preaching the Gospel you substitute your clear knowledge of the way of salvation for confidence in the power of the Gospel, you hinder people getting to Reality. You have to see that while you proclaim your knowledge of the way of salvation, you yourself are rooted and grounded in faith in God. Never rely on the clearness of your exposition, but as you give your exposition see that you are relying on the Holy Spirit. Rely on the certainty of God's redemptive power, and He will create His own life in souls.
When once you are rooted in Reality, nothing can shake you. If your faith is in experiences, any thing that happens is likely to upset that faith; but nothing can ever upset God or the almighty Reality of Redemption; base your faith on that, and you are as eternally secure as God. When once you get into personal contact with Jesus Christ, you will never be moved again. This is the meaning of sanctification. God puts His disapproval on human experience when we begin to adhere to the conception that sanctification is merely an experience, and forget that sanctification itself has to be sanctified (see John 17:19). I have deliberately to give my sanctified life to God for His service, so that He can use me as His hands and His feet.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15
Yesterday was a special day. My daughter visited me. My son ‘popped in’ on Skype! and I overheard a conversation that blessed my soul – a chat brimming with truth. My precious twins talked for the best part of an hour on God’s unfailing love .. and that nothing we say or do or think can ever alter God’s depth of love for us.
What blessed me was that their conversation was all about God’s boundless Love. It showed a clear understanding of the need to rightly-divide the Word of God – it demonstrated an uncomplicated understanding of dispensations. For without dispensational understanding – all other areas of scripture get skewed, but with dispensational understanding – a clarity in Scripture is quickly unleashed.
e.g. without an understanding of dispensations:- Salvation of the spirit and the soul becomes intermingled leading to confusion. God’s dealings with Israel and His working with the Church become muddled. Law and grace is inevitably distorted, without dispensational understanding. Eschatology or the study of end-times – can become muddied and misused.
Indeed, all areas of bible study can become clouded without a grasp of dispensations. Initial salvation; ongoing maturity and glorification becomes cloudy. Soteriology – the Holy Spirit’s work in different groups of people is distorted. Pneumatology – unless rightly-divided, the scripture can be accused of distortions. Bibliology – God’s work in the church is mixed up with His plan for Israel. Ecclesiology – our position in Christ, and spiritual inheritance is confused. Christology and basic Theology can all be skewed. Typology can be misconceived…. – the Trinity is misunderstood and erroneous doctrines multiplied.
We all need a correct dispensational understanding – to rightly-divide the Word. We need to recognise God’s ways of dealing with different groups of people:- If not….. confusion reigns in the area of eternal security and spiritual warfare is distorted. Uncertainties arise about Christ’sread more
Jesus gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.
And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve [me] unto His heavenly kingdom: to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Every unbeliever is under law; the curse of the law and the power of Satan. Every unbeliever is controlled by their sin nature and is at enmity with God. Every unbeliever has a choice – to accept or reject God’s free gift of deliverance, and all who reject salvation by grace through faith in Christ, are condemned. That is a fact of life.. and that is a fact of sin and death – and it’s non-negotiable in time and affects our eternity.
But every believer is delivered from law; from its curse and from the power of Satan. Every believer is delivered from their sin nature and placed eternal union with Christ. Every believer made the right choice – to accept God’s free gift of deliverance.. for only those that trust Christ for salvation, by grace through faith, are saved. This is a fact of life.. a fact of abundant life – the fact of eternal life – and it is a non-negotiable fact, for it is signed in the blood of Christ.
God is righteous and demands an unattainable standard of righteous perfection. God is just and demands a penalty payment for all who fall short of His standard, but by His grace, God created a perfect plan to satisfy His righteous justice: Jesus Christ reached God’s standard of perfection – for us. The Lord Jesus Christ paid the penalty price in full – for us – so that we could be made the righteousness of God – in Him.
We are delivered from the penalty curse of the law – but what is that? It is the punishment meted out to those who do not reach God’s holy standard, but all areread more