“As a result of this, many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, ‘You do not want to go away also, do you?’
“Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of Eternal Life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God!’” (Emphasis added.)
Those that walked away from Yeshua were filled with something alien. And they refused to be emptied of it. Peter and those that stayed were allowing themselves to be completely emptied of that same thing. And so, progressively, the Lord was able to fill them until eventually, they overflowed, with the Fullness of God that is in His living Word. Take note of this pattern. It will be very important to disciples of the Last Days, for then, life on Earth will be characterized by violent, brutal Godlessness. Greed, strife, destruction, terror and widespread human misery will be ‘normal’ for that era. And so disciples will have to be grounded in Him, and totally dependent upon what only God’s living Word will be able to give them. Their minds and hearts will always need to draw whatever they may need from the Fullness that emanates from His Perfect Presence. If they’ve been emptied of all else, He will be free to impart to them the Heavenly Provision God has always had waiting for them in eternity. As long as they maintain their focus on Him, and draw from Him, they will be able to withstand anything; and they will persevere to the very end… and in the end… they will overcome, once and for all… in Him!
This is vitally important because the ‘Father of Lies’ can easily distract and confuse humans. He cleverly mixes his alluring lies into what is real and true. Thus he creates an unholy mixture – half-truths that twist, distort and pollute human minds. It’s easy for people to gather up a few individual facts that are true; but often, the way they are used, does not lead them into the living Reality that flows from God’s Eternal Truth. Instead, those half-truths lure Biblically illiterate people away from God’s ‘Narrow Path’ and onto God-less territory that the Serpent controls and dominates. Thus any living connection God has made possible between His Life-giving Word, and their cares, concerns, needs and circumstances, cannot be made. In theology, this lethal form of mixture is called ‘syncretism’, which can be defined like this:
The combining of different beliefs that accept and join the assertions and practices of various schools of thought. Syncretism merges two or more originally contradictory and conflicting traditions, especially in theology and religion. It manufactures and asserts an untrue underlying unity, which thus allows for a tolerant, inclusive attitude and approach to alien beliefs.
But now ponder how the Torah adamantly warns Israel, and the rest of the world, against such practices. Although syncretism is widely used by this fallen world’s Serpent-dominated system, God forbids it. This is what He commands His chosen people to do when it appears:
“(Even) If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God (as He revealed Himself to you through the Torah of Moses) with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall follow the Lord your God (according to the revelation He gave you through Moses) and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice (His living Word and Holy Spirit and you shall) serve Him, and cling to Him.
“But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams (that tries to draw you to an alien, Torah-less god) shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from The Way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you.” (Amplification and emphasis added. I encourage you to read the whole chapter.)
Eternal Truth is More than Just Facts
Here’s that ‘Narrow Path’ again that we’ve been discussing. And God gives this warning because all peoples, including Jews and Christians, are highly vulnerable to demonic deception and manipulation. The Sin-corruption within our fallen nature enables the dark powers to maintain a strong influence over our minds which makes us tend to veer off of God’s Path and into radical independence from His living and written Word. So, even when we manage to stumble across things that are factual, we can still be easily deceived when other, non-Biblical elements are added that come from public opinion and cultural fads and any alien voice that does not really believe or obey the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So even if we cling to facts that are true, we can still be far removed from God’s Eternal Truth. Disciples need much more than just a haphazard collection of factual things. They must always be deeply rooted into the Ground of God’s Eternal Truth! But… in its true essence… that ‘Ground’ is not a thing or a man-controlled circumstance. It needs no assistance or reinforcement from any other source because this Ground is not a thing… it is a living interactive Master/Disciple relationship with a Person… God’s Uncreated, Living Word, who became flesh and came into this world in the person of Messiah Yeshua!
Disciples have a God-given commission to embody and proclaim their risen Lord, on His terms. They are equipped to embody the living Word’s Love-Life and bear the Fruit of His Activity, by the Power of God’s Holy Spirit! The living Word contains the Fullness of the Father within Himself! And the written Word (all of it) gives us God’s authentic, accurate Self-Revelation. And Father gives His Spirit to the disciples so that He Himself can make His true living and written Word real and fruitfully active within them! So God needs no help from this fallen world. He can reveal and exalt and testify to His beloved Son, to Perfection. So it’s imperative that we avoid the traps that could cause us to slip into demonic deception. God’s written Word and indwelling Holy Spirit protect us from the demonic bait that contains distortions and half-truths. And this is why Word-obeying disciples must always be at odds with pop culture, popular opinion polls and the endless novelty fads that keep rising and falling in the decapitated world, like the waves of an ever-churning sea.
“Be careful to listen to all these words which I command you, so that it may be well with you and your sons after you forever, for you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.” (Emphasis added.)
1 Peter 1:24-25
“All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the Word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the Word which was preached to you.” (Emphasis added.)
Beloved, the turmoil, confusion and strife of the Last Days will make the need for authentic Biblical accuracy and precision vitally important. Ever-increasing contempt for, and rejection of, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, will be the vogue in those days. Many will reject the revelation of God’s living Word that the Scriptures contain. They will oppose, ridicule, hound and persecute those who dare to believe and obey God’s commandments and serve the resurrected Messiah of Israel. Waves of violent persecution against the faithful will arise and spread across the entire world! And that is why the Last Days disciples must be imbued with our Heavenly Father’s paradigm viewpoint concerning His Perfect Standards and what God, in His Righteous Final Judgment, will allow and accept, and what He will condemn and reject! We must be able to discern accurately and precisely the difference between what is True and False, and Light and Darkness, and Spirit and Flesh. God’s Standards require us, God’s intended image and likeness, to operate from the same absolute Purity and Integrity by which God operates! Nothing that contains unholy mixtures or corruption and defilement will pass His infinite, Perfect Final Scrutiny!
This is why we must be trained and prepared to forsake and overcome our own fallen flesh and its strong Sin-loving appetites and urges. The Sin residue in our fallen nature exerts a continuous pull away from our Master’s Righteous Narrow Path. Thus it must ‘die daily’ within us because it creates an unholy mixture within us, of what comes from God, and what comes from alien sources. This is why our training must equip us to cooperate with the cross; for that is the instrument that cleanses and empties us of what is unworthy of Him. The emptying process enables us to remain steadfast and perpetually faithful to our Lord, regardless of what the cost of being faithful to Him may be! We can’t keep our hearts and wills aligned with Him unless we obey His command: ‘pick up your cross and follow Me!’
The cross empties us continually of our self-life urges and allows God’s Holy Spirit to keep transmitting the living Word’s God-obeying Resurrection Life into what remains of us. This is how God can govern and direct the way we think, act, react and interact with all people, in every situation. If we continually allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with the Word’s abiding Love, Power and Provision, He will teach and train us to remain single-minded and faithfully consistent, regardless of any opposition we encounter. He will guide us through whatever the powers of Darkness may try to do to mislead and destroy us. We must not try to oppose the powers of Darkness in our own strength. We have no strength. Our strength is Almighty God Himself. We must learn to allow Him to live and work and obey His Law from within our regenerated spirits. This is more of what it means to follow the Narrow Path!
The Ultimate Test of Divine Authenticity
There is one crucial area of testing we will surely encounter: we will be forced to prove that the risen Lord actually lives and works within us by the way in which we will think, act, react and interact with our enemies. This will prove, like nothing else can, whether or not our Messiah’s Spirit-empowered, supernatural Forbearance and long-suffering, Redemptive Love, are free to prevail in our hearts. The way we respond to hostile and unlovable people must accurately embody and reveal God’s Self-less Love! This supernatural Love must be seen emanating from within us. That will be living proof that God’s indwelling Presence truly does abide and work within us. In that case, Almighty God Himself will be upholding His Truth and working out His Plan of Salvation from within our poor flesh! He equips His own to serve Him by allowing Him to display His own Truth and Righteousness, with His own Perfect Precision and Unfailing Faithfulness!
But if we allow unholy mixtures to pollute our hearts and minds, this pure Testimony to the Perfect Presence of our God is ruined! His supernatural, non-discriminating, redemptive, saving Love for all that He has created, must emanate brightly and unmistakably from within us! He is here to light up this poor dark, suffering, dying world, as only Almighty God Himself can do it. Our strife-torn generations desperately need to see His Heavenly Light and they must be able to see and experience the Reality of His saving redemptive Love as never before. And so the Word’s disciples are the chosen vessels from which the pure Presence, Light and Truth of God’s Love Nature are allowed and enabled to emanate with unsullied purity and clarity. God will judge us all in the end; but until then, disciples must embody His all-encompassing Love, reconciling Grace and endearing, heart-melting, reconciling Mercy.
God’s Light will have to shine with ever more Brilliance and Clarity through the Last Days disciples of God’s Word. That will enable an ever-increasing number of lost people to see and feel the difference between Darkness and Light, so they can be drawn to God’s beloved Son, and the True Salvation that only comes by, through, and from the true God of Israel:
2 Corinthians 4:7-11
“But we have this Treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing Greatness of the Power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the Life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the Life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh!” (Emphasis added.)
“You are the Light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives Light to all who are in the house. Let your Light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven!” (Emphasis added.)
Beloved, the Treasure that Paul and Matthew describe above, is the supernatural Heavenly Light that comes from the indwelling resurrected, Spirit-imparted Saving, Redeeming, Life-giving Presence of our Messiah! When He actually is free to abide within His disciples, as He truly is, what happens in and through them is completely supernatural and world transforming! When He is our Life, He transforms and elevates us far beyond what is merely natural and normal to fallen flesh. Through us, He highlights and reveals His spiritual Activity and injects Heavenly Ingredients from Eternity into our daily time and space circumstances and situations. And as God’s supernatural Love, Mercy, Compassion and Forbearance appear in Yeshua’s disciples, God is able to confound and surpass the natural human understanding and capability of the spiritually blinded people all around the disciples, for they are hopelessly enslaved to Self! God will testify to Himself, and reveal His ways, from within His true, self-forsaking servants! So this requires disciples who can stand their God-given Ground and remain focused upon God and what He is here to do. They must be trained to look through and beyond what the fallen flesh all around them will be saying or doing. They must remain focused on their risen indwelling Lord, and what He is there to do for them… in them… and through them. He is here to draw all men, even our enemies, to Himself… in Perfect Obedience to His Father’s commands… through the obedient, crucified flesh of His disciples.
Stephen was a perfect example of this. And just as the Lord lived and worked through him, so is He ready to equip the rest of us to continue to reveal and embody Him as Stephen did… to whoever or whatever will be around us:
“Now when they heard (Stephen say) this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into Heaven and saw the Glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’
“But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse. When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
Supernatural Responses, No Matter How Difficult the Challenge
Beloved, notice closely how Stephen was empowered to continue to react in such a supernatural selfless manner! As he was being mutilated by the stones, he still begged God to have mercy on his murderers! No fallen, Sin-corrupted, demon-infested flesh is capable of doing that! Stephen’s enemies were screaming and surrounding and threatening him with the utmost passionate rage, and violent, Serpent-embodying hatred! But Stephen remained above and beyond them, no matter what they did or said! And notice that Stephen and his fellow disciples, as well as those who opposed Stephen and put him to death, were all very religious Israelites! They all claimed to love and serve God! They all prayed and attended temple and synagogue services regularly. They all claimed to be observing the Torah and God’s commandments! But which of the two groups was reacting out of the normal desires and impulses that are common to the fallen, Sin-corrupted flesh with which all humans are born? And which among them was equipped to react in the heavenly, totally supernatural way in which Yeshua reacted, when the same enemies were murdering Him? Judge for yourself! Which of the two groups was driven by the powers of Darkness, and which was empowered by the awesome Spirit of the True, Living God?
The same kind of Israelites who had rejected and murdered Yeshua, although He claimed to be the Messiah of Israel and demonstrated in Scripture-fulfilling ways that He actually was the living Word of Almighty God made flesh, were now doing the same thing to His disciple, Stephen. But like His Master, Stephen did not react to his enemies in kind. His Master was present within Stephen, empowering him to maintain his focus on what Almighty God was revealing to that violent crowd through his Spirit-empowered obedience. Despite his dreadful, desperate personal circumstances, Stephen was empowered by the Holy Spirit to faithfully embody the Perfect, Self-less Love of his risen Lord, Messiah Yeshua, no matter what it cost him to do it. There is no competing god or gospel existing on this Earth, that can equal or duplicate this!
The Lord was revealing Himself to Stephen, even in the midst of all that! And through Stephen, He was also revealing Himself to the raging religious thugs who were screaming for Stephen’s death, and also to us who read what was written! If Stephen had been operating purely from his fallen soul and will and natural affections and religious determinations, he would have given in to the fear and rage his enemies were spewing. Then they would all have been on the same fallen flesh level. But somehow, Stephen was able to rise above that. The Spirit of God sustained and empowered and elevated his poor, suffering flesh and kept him at an altitude level that was far above and beyond that of the mob that surrounded him. Stephen operated from God’s level, not from the level that was natural to him and to the people around him. And the apostle Paul was no doubt recalling what he had seen Stephen doing at the moment of his death, when he wrote these words to his fellow disciples:
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God! When Christ, who is our Life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in Glory!” (Emphasis added.)
The testimony that Stephen gave to His risen, indwelling Lord, must have pierced, penetrated and devastated Saul of Tarsus, who was part of that murderous crowd, seeking his death. After he saw Stephen’s interaction with, and his testimony to, His risen Lord, I have no doubt that Saul was never the same. Truth had to have begun to brand his soul. He had to know that Stephen was different and special. He had to know that Stephen had something that he, a Pharisee of Pharisees, even with all of his natural personal brilliance and forcefulness, and his intense, traditional religious training and ritualistic striving, he had never been able to know or even approach what he saw coming from Stephen! And after Saul also came to know the risen Lord for himself, he too was able to see what Stephen saw and to know the depths of what Stephen obviously had known.
The hatred, fear and violence against God’s living Word, that drives the Serpent to keep trying to erase and eliminate Yeshua, was also in those men that were killing Stephen. Earlier, the Serpent drove them to kill Yeshua. And now the Father of Lies was driving them to kill this disciple, to stop him from testifying on behalf of His resurrected Lord! And to this day, that same Darkness covers the world and enslaves those who are decapitated from the Headship of God’s Word. And so modern day Last Days disciples will most certainly see this same Darkness, at its very worst. If you read and hear today’s news reports, you see the same struggle taking place even now. The Darkness emanating from decapitated humans is, at this time, approaching its apex, the uttermost reaches of its vain attempt to try to extinguish God’s Light. But despite the frantic efforts of Hell to extinguish Yeshua’s Light, nevertheless, He continues to shine forth… brighter and brighter… through His beloved disciples. The same conflict is being waged today, by the descendants of Yeshua’s murderers. And they do it for the very same Serpent-embodying, Anti-Word reasons. This is what God began to revealed to Israel through the Torah of Moses,.. and throughout Israel’s sad, bloody subsequent history… to the rest of the world. This is what the Word of God continually reveals in the Bible, and this is why Yeshua, God’s living Word made flesh, said these words to His disciples:
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who (like Stephen) has lost his life, for My sake, will find it.
“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me! He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward!” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
Almighty God’s awesome Self-less Love prompted Him to pour Himself out on His own altar, for our sake! Through His living Word made flesh, God submitted Himself to the death that all the rest of us have coming, in order to set us free from it. This is how much He loves and values even those who are His murderous enemies! And this awesome Love, that is so far beyond our natural self-adoring capabilities, is exactly what separates and distinguishes the true God from the cheap counterfeit gods that Sin-corrupted men fashion for themselves. If we serve and embody the Serpent, it is easy and natural for us to hate and fear and try to eliminate our enemies. But if the living Word of God lives in us, we must allow Him to love the unlovable people around us, as only the true, living God who is here to save mankind from the Serpent, is able to do it! Thus the True God is here to make us into the image and likeness of His living, redemptive Love and Life-imparting Word! But fallen, Death-inflicting demons and men reject their Creator and do all they can to erase and destroy and replace God’s Word! In His place, they construct false gods of their own. And, of course, those false gods are fashioned in the malevolent, hate-filled, murderous image and likeness of the demon-possessed people that imagine them and then bring them into a false prominence. And all of that is the manipulative work of the Serpent.
Be honest with yourself! Have the courage to respond to the True, Almighty God with integrity and humility, rather than continue to wallow in demonic deception and rebellion. If you do, then you will see and admit the vast difference between the two groups. You will easily discern between the murderous, demon-driven worldly religious and humanistic thugs of today, and the ‘Stephens’ that are Spirit-filled and empowered to remain in direct touch with their risen Lord. The difference will be blatantly obvious to those who dare to allow themselves to see and hear and speak the Truth… and nothing but the Truth.
The self-serving religious and secular enemies of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, persecute and do great harm to those who faithfully serve Him. But the spirit out of which they operate is not the Spirit of Life… it is rather, the demonic spirit of self-adoring hatred, the Serpent’s spirit of fear, insecurity, greed, strife and murderous spiteful rage. That is what causes the destruction and pain and suffering that afflict this suffering world. And it is the spirit that drags deceived men and women to the eternal Death they are going to be forced to endure, along with the Serpent and his other demonic slaves. The True Living God gives and forgives, and liberates and restores, because that is His Perfect Nature. But the false gods of Serpent-bitten men, use lies and half-truths as bait. Thus they enslave naive people and drive them to steal, destroy, ruin and devastate. Those that swallow the demonic bait, destroy what God has created, because they are enslaved by the Serpent’s lie-induced fear, shame and selfish, murderous rage against the Creator of all things.
The true God frees, saves and restores human beings… to transform them back into His image and likeness. He shares His own Love and Life Nature with them. But the Serpent destroys and deprives humans of their ability to know and live as one with God, to spite God! He forces humans to embody his anti-God rebellion and serve as his own hate-filled, murderous image and likeness. So beware:
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.” (Emphasis added.)
“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of whichI forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.” (Emphasis added.)
Our Self-Revealing God
Beloved, Messiah Yeshua is electrifyingly Present and Active within each of His true disciples! And through them, by His Father’s command, He reveals Himself to each human generation, despite the atrocities His enemies continue to commit to try to stop Him, and despite their hatred and destructive crimes and brutal terror tactics against His followers. And through His disciples, He continues to reach out to those deluded people who need Him so desperately. Disciples embody His risen Presence so that He can continue to forgive, liberate and cleanse us from Sin, and reconcile with us so that He can heal and restore those who will finally believe and come to Him. Those who believe and repent… He brings back to His Father. And the Father’s Spirit will transform them too, back to God’s image and likeness! And this is how union, peace, harmony and wellbeing will be fully restored to all humans that will hear, believe, obey, repent and allow the Light of the world to lead them out of their demon-inflicted Darkness.
This Selfless Love is the authentic benchmark, the disciple altitude level of New Covenant Fulfillment Life. It is for this purpose that God breathes His Spirit into us. The Spirit equips those who receive Him, to submit to Yeshua, the living Word of God, and embody Him in this world. As Yeshua’s Spirit lives in them, He empowers them to far surpass the altitude level of those who can only operate out of the fallen flesh that is natural to fallen, demon-possessed mankind. No matter how religious and self-righteous fallen decapitated men may strive to be by their own efforts, as long as they continue to reject or ignore Yeshua, and serve their false gods, they will remain stranded in their delusions. They will be self-serving and fear and shame-driven. They will fear created things, and try to please and impress other men, rather than pleasing and serving Almighty God. And thus, their fallen, Sin-contaminated, disfigured mortal flesh will remain caught in the coils of the Serpent! But Yeshua’s disciples are vastly different. They are able to operate at a supernatural level that always exposes the nakedness of their murderous enemies:
“…We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the Love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us!” (Emphasis added.)
The destructive, death-dealing fruit that the slaves of the Serpent bear, exposes and condemns them, for the spiritual frauds they truly are. In their blindness, deafness and self-adoring moral bankruptcy, they can never come close to duplicating or equaling the spirit and demeanor of Yeshua and His true disciples. God’s supernatural Love Power operates in those who are genuinely one with His living Word and Holy Spirit. And His Light, emanating from His people, easily exposes the frauds that can only perpetuate the Serpent’s dark, self-serving malevolence. The spiritual bankruptcy of false idols and their error-filled, man-controlled religions, keep them under, and liable to, God’s Judgment and Condemnation. Only when God’s living Word is allowed to fulfill the Torah’s supernatural commandments from within their flesh will they be able to have Almighty God’s approval and acceptance. But only true, Spirit-empowered disciples of God’s beloved risen Son, can achieve such fulfillment. God’s Word Himself observes His own commandments from within His disciples. And thus God recognizes His own beloved Son as He lives and operates from within them. So those disciples are the only people that are truly able to embody Almighty God’s Presence, and bear His Fruit to His Glory, and introduce it into the Earth on behalf of their human brothers and sisters!
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the Law (Torah) of the Lord, and in His Law (the written Word that reveals the living Word, as He works from within their flesh) he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.
“The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the Judgment, nor sinners in the Assembly of the Righteous. For the Lord knows the Way of the Righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
So, beloved, regardless of how well men and women may speak, regardless of what temporary worldly achievements they achieve or what they claim or promise or try to promote, the fact remains that there is only one way to tell what is Real from what is False, only one way to tell what truly comes from the living God, and what does not. How can we sift through what is demonic and separate it from what is truly divine? The critical Test is not what men teach or claim or intend. Nor is it how well they observed their prescribed religious rituals. Their admission into God’s Eternal Kingdom will not depend on how well they were able to debate, argue, control or destroy other people. And it will most certainly not depend on how much fear they were able to instill in the hearts of their enemies, or how much they destroyed, maimed, kidnapped, stole, raped and killed!
The True Test will rest upon how they will have to respond to Almighty God, when He asks them His awesome gut-wrenching questions concerning the way they reacted and responded to… the written AND living Word that He sent to them! When their time in this temporal dimension is over, and the moment of their Judgment is at hand, the truthful answers that God’s Reality will force them to give to questions like the following, is what will determine their eternal fate:
“How much of My living Word, My beloved Son, did you embrace and bow before? How much of Him was truly allowed to live and rule within you? How much of Him was in the way you saw things, and in what you thought, said and did, even to your enemies?
“Did Yeshua’s Love come out of you to bless the people that I sent Him to save through you? Did the urges and impulses that arose from you, reveal His Life working and producing His Fruit in you? Was it His Presence and Activity and Fruit that you embodied? Was My Word truly the Testimony you gave to the world during your days on Earth?
“…Or did you insist on embodying My enemy, the Serpent, that hates and works against Me and My Word, and My Chosen People?”
There will be no escape when the Lord of all Creation calls each of us to account! If God’s living, redeeming Word is not actually covering your spiritual nakedness, you will be fully exposed. This is what people of this poor, miserable, suffering fallen world must realize now, because when the time for repenting and receiving our Redeemer’s Salvation expires, it will be too late!
1 Corinthians 4:5
“Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.” (Emphasis added.)
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob requires His people to forgive those who hate, persecute and commit all kinds of brutal injustices against them! This doesn’t give this fallen world and its people license to deride, despise, mistreat and attack them with impunity. A most just punishment awaits those that harm God’s beloved! Nevertheless, God requires His Word’s disciples to embody His Selfless Love, so that His enemies can have a fair chance to see what the difference is, between what is in them, and what is in Yeshua’s disciples! God gives His enemies time to receive His Mercy, Compassion and Redemption, while His Son can still deliver them from the Serpent’s delusive lies and their terrible consequences.
The Holy Spirit empowers true disciples to embody the real, authentic Level of Divine Love that is natural only to Almighty God Himself! Only God can operate with such Perfect Self-less Righteousness! And when He and His Love are free to abide in and work upon and emanate from the blessed human beings who obey and proclaim His Word, it proves that the living God abides and works within them. This supernatural Love is what separates… those who truly represent and proclaim the living God… from the religious frauds and charlatans that represent and embody the Serpent.
1 John 3:23-24
“This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”
Only the true, living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has this perfect selfless Love- Nature that is required to fulfill God’s supernatural commandments! So God’s living Word and Holy Spirit must be free to regenerate our spirits. Then God can live and work from within us so that this Perfect Level of forgiving, redeeming, liberating Love can exist and operate in our name! Apart from God working in us, we cannot keep God’s Law or embody His Presence. And that is the Criterion or Altitude Level that clearly distinguishes what is divinely True, from what is satanically False.
Messiah Yeshua isn’t leading us into a realm of hyper-religiosity that will enable us to try to improve and enhance and validate ourselves. He commands us to DENY ourselves! Nor will He allow us to develop into cheap, counterfeit man-originated imitations of God! He is training and equipping us to follow Him into the death of all of the Serpent’s soulish, radically independent, Sin-corrupted, deceptions! He summons us to pick up our own personal crosses, so our natural human self-adoring, ego-centered selfishness can be emptied out of our innermost being. The cross strips away our personal human agendas and self-striving and natural ego pampering urges so that only what comes forth from our Messiah Himself can remain. Only the Atonement that God’s living Word made for us on His cross goes deep enough to undo all the terminal damage that the Serpent did to the human race! God must make room in us for the Life of His resurrected Word to be displayed from within us. That’s why the cross must empty us out! Then God is able to fill us with His Son’s Resurrection Life and the Glory of His Love Nature!
As our Representative Sacrificial Lamb, Yeshua met and satisfied God’s Perfect Standards in a way that none of us could even begin to approach! After His time of redemptive shame and abasement on Earth was finished, God filled Him with the Ultimate Reward for His Ultimate Obedience – Resurrection Life! This Life came to Him out from Eternity… from God. It came out of the Perfect Finished Work of God’s Eternal Living Creative Word, which existed in God since before the foundation of the created universe! Our Covenant Head went first. He earned this Reward for us through His Perfect Representative Humanity. And so He went first, to show us how our Sin-corrupted selfishness must decrease, so that God’s Word might increase within us and fulfill His Father’s vision and plan for us with His own ever-advancing Eternal Perfection. The Word abides eternally, at the right hand of His Father in Heaven… as our Perfect High Priest and Atoning Representative. And He is waiting for us to finish our personal Exodus in time and space, so that He can impart the Fullness of the Reward that is His, to us… forever! This is why Paul encourages all New Covenant disciples to join him in following Stephen’s example, which was actually the New Covenant revelation and exaltation of God’s living Word made flesh:
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died (in and with your Messiah) and your (personal Resurrection) Life is hidden with Christ in God (until the God-appointed time arrives for your Lord to be enthroned on Earth as King, just as He has already been enthroned in Heaven. Therefore…) When Christ, who is our Life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in Glory! (Amplification and emphasis added.)
The cross we’re commanded to pick up and carry, is our repentant admission of our Sin-caused, living death state of separation, from God. It eliminates the residue of Sin that still abides within us. This is similar to what a willingness to receive continual dialysis treatments does for people whose kidneys have failed! Such people are helpless and doomed without dialysis. And that is similar to why we need the cross! It subdues and empties out of us every lethal speck of radical independence from God and the Sin and Death that keeps oozing up from our fallen human nature. Our co-crucifixion with Yeshua keeps what is naturally contaminated (and normal to us) out of God’s way, so that He can be free to give us the Eternal Life of His Word instead. And when we learn to place 100% trust in our God, and zero reliance on ourselves, then the Sin corruption residue of our former radical independence from God is continuously emptied out of us and remains inactive and out of the picture. Then God is able, by the Power of the same Holy Spirit that empowered our Messiah’s Humanity, to continually work into us, what only God can be, and do.
Beloved this is vitally important! And I struggle to find the words that can sufficiently express it. There are two human races on Earth that are vastly different from each other. One race embodies the Serpent. The other race embodies the risen Lord, God’s living Word! So we must not try to mix the two. We must not put any faith, hope, trust, reliance and expectation on fallen human flesh, not even our own! We are not to hope in and anticipate positive, constructive results from anything we think we, or others like us, might be able to do in the present, or in the future! All of that would be just like the offering of Cain that God totally rejected. He will only accept what Abel gave to God… His living Word’s Perfect, Finished Work, that has already passed the infinite scrutiny of His Perfect Standards and Eternal Judgment, and has been fully approved and accepted!
The Perfection of God’s Provision for Fallen Humanity
Only one Human will ever pass this awesome Judgment – our Eternal Covenant Representative, our Head, Messiah Yeshua, the living Word of God made flesh! Because only He is Sin-less, only He satisfies God’s Perfect Standards perfectly, in our name. And that is all God wanted. And that is all He will accept. What comes from what God’s Word is, in His Perfectly Sin-less Humanity, and what He has already done in our name as our Covenant Representative, is what God’s Holy Spirit transmits into those who have emptied themselves of Self. Thus God is able to fill them with His own Fullness and Righteous Perfection!
“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things (that God Himself provides for you from His Word’s Perfect Finished Work) in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father…” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
God’s Perfect Selfless Love is the only Power and Force in existence that can satisfy the demands of His Perfect Standards of Judgment… to Perfection. Only God has this Nature. So, since He is the only one that is such Love, only He can do what, to us, is utterly impossible. And that is why our fallen flesh, and its products, must be crucified, even as we learn, as Stephen did, to look past the hatred, contempt and abuse of our enemies. Our Messiah, living in us by the Power of the Holy Spirit, is the one who makes all of this possible. He is the Love of God in Person. He is the Way by which we can be equipped and empowered to allow Him to fulfill in our name, the naturally impossible commandments of Almighty God. And that is exactly what our Messiah, who is our Head, does for us. He reacts and responds to our enemies. Thus God Himself is here to do what is impossible to us, from within us… if we will become His ‘Stephen Generation’ and allow it to happen:
“But I say to you who hear (obey Me), love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
Beloved, are not these words a perfect description of the way God is with the Sin-full human race? Can you see that Yeshua was describing the Love of God Himself? I ask you to ponder these commandments in light of the selfishness that you know naturally lurks within your own heart of hearts, and every other fallen human heart! Any offspring of the Serpent can love what is self-serving. But only the true, Almighty, Living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob can love and do good to even His enemies! This is how you can tell what comes from the True God, and what comes from the lying counterfeits placed before us by the death-imparting, vengeful religious spirit of the Serpent! Yeshua is here to expose the Darkness that is created by the Serpent and his lies. Yeshua is God’s living Word. He is the Light of the world that came to teach and demonstrate the following, to His disciples in the first century:
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful! Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return!” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
Did you get what our Master said? “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful!” Beloved, this is the clue, the clear revelation that God’s commandments are impossible for us to obey in our own strength and by our own fallen, Sin-corrupted devices! Which false god and false religion can even come close to equaling our Father? Any devil can love what pleases and gratifies him! Any demon-manipulated being can fear and hate and try to do harm to his enemies! Any Sin-filled offspring of the Serpent can spew hatred, contempt and vengeful malice against what he or she fears and judges to be not good enough! But which of us can love our enemies, the way Almighty God loves them? Who, but Almighty God Himself, is able to remain humble and loving in the presence of personal enemies? This Perfect Selfless Love is revealing God; and it exposes those who are cut off from Him. If this Love appears in human flesh, it is because God’s Word is free to live and work from within!
Only Yeshua, God’s living Word made flesh, can dispense such Love. His Presence (or His absence) is what separates the True from the False. God’s living Word separates the ‘Wheat’ from the ‘Chaff.’ He shows us what comes from Almighty God, and separates it from the self-adoring rottenness that oozes out of the Serpent. When Yeshua, Israel’s Messiah, commands His disciples to manifest and embody a level of Mercy that is equal to the level of Mercy of Almighty God Himself, He is exposing our demon-induced self-life and its products and separating that from the living Word of God and what only He can produce in us and for us!
Are not even disciples of Yeshua, mere men? Have we not all been mortally wounded by the Sin-Venom of the Serpent? Isn’t it true that Death is at work in all flesh continually, from the moment of conception? Is the chronic inability of the various factions of mankind to agree and get along with each other (including all of the so-called ‘world religions’, even Jews and Christians), due to the supreme God-like perfection that is in each of us? Or rather, is it due to the lethal effects of Sin that infest our fallen flesh and the fact that each one of us has been grotesquely disfigured and deceived by the Serpent? Yes, the Serpent has bitten us all! Thus we’ve been deceived into serving his selfish, self-adoring existence, and remaining intent on pursuing his radically independent self-exalting ways.
This is why the Serpent can so easily divide and conquer and destroy human beings! He can legally stir up the selfishness that is in us, because that selfishness is his property! It originated in him! So any selfishness in us that is not dealt with by Yeshua’s Cross, provides legal handle grips, by which the Serpent can continue to drive and manipulate us for his anti-God purposes! As long as we harbor within ourselves what belongs to him, the Serpent is able to use his own desires and tactics of greed, hatred, revenge, suspicion, strife, mistrust and endless Death-inflicting conflict, that he originated, to expedite humanity’s ultimate destruction! That Selfishness is what the Serpent infected us with, through the first Adam! But the wages of his Sin of radical independence, is Death! We don’t need supernatural ability to think and act and react out of that living death! That is the most natural thing in the world for us to do! And that is why we all need the cross to empty us of any residue of the Serpent’s property that still remains within us. We must be saved – from ourselves! So, learn this well: only false gods accept, condone and promote such base, selfish, malicious levels of activity. And only the one true living God has the power to operate at this divine level of Love, and only He has a just right to condemn whatever falls short of it!
The Serpent injected Death into the first two humans in Genesis by getting them to believe they could be ‘like God’! But beloved, how can a created, temporal race (that began as a pile of helpless dust) have within itself the ability to replace and equal its Uncreated, Eternal Creator? How could we equal or replace what only His Perfect Nature can do? Isn’t it true that even the elite ‘Perfect 10’s’ of this fallen world cannot escape the ravages of the common cold? Isn’t it true that none of us can truly and effectively overcome disease, strife and warfare, no matter how much we rely on human devices and created resources? No matter how hard humans strive to educate, improve, justify and gratify themselves, can they escape the Sin curses of disease, disintegration and Death? Can we control the violent weather that afflicts this tiny little planet that is hidden amid countless galaxies and solar systems? Can we pick mates, and insure that our unions will persevere and our families will be permanently content, happy and prosperous, according to our fond wishes, best intentions and plans? No! And do not suffering and frustration hound us, no matter how we try to control everything and everyone around us in order to escape them? Do our self-devised control tactics really work? Do they truly enable us to ‘manage’ ourselves wisely, intelligently, harmoniously and prosperously? No! What about our neighborhoods and cities and nations? And how are fallen controlling, vengeful men and women, religious or otherwise, able to maintain peaceful relations and prosperity-creating cooperation, among the continents and regions and nations of the world?
Even the so-called ‘world religions’ which claim to be the epitome of wisdom, grace, love, compassion and peace can’t get along with each other! In fact, they fight among themselves and murder their own! Their efforts to show the rest of the world how to live properly have proven, throughout history, to be a joke! The fallen flesh of man is filled with rage, hatred, contempt, discrimination, injustice, brutality, revenge and unspeakably cruel greedy selfishness! Despite all the laws we enact, we can’t even control ourselves! Despite our resolutions and good intentions and religious striving to attain the spiritual heights of God, the fact remains… we are a fallen, selfish, self-destructive, dying race. And no false god or false prophet or false religion or philosophy will ever be able to change these inescapable facts! Only the true living God, our True Source for all things, is able to do it. And He already has done it, through His living uncreated Word! Will we receive the Word God sent to us? Will we embrace and submit to Messiah Yeshua? That is the crucial question!
So, beloved, how are we living dead descendants of Adam (that helpless pile of mortal dust with which God began the human race), to understand and interpret what the written Word of God commands us to be and do in the Torah and other Biblical passages… about loving our neighbor… as ourselves?
“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.”
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law (Torah) and the Prophets (the Tanach).”
“But I say to you who hear (obey Me), love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
Are we capable of fulfilling these commands at the level that would satisfy God’s eternally perfect, changeless Standard? Of course not! So why do we keep ignoring the Serpent and what he did, and continues to do, to us all? How can anyone insist on denying that he exists? Can’t we see that he is the one that is setting us at each other’s throats, for our mutual destruction, and his malevolent entertainment? Shall we continue to allow the Father of Lies to blind us to the Greatness of God and His Goodness toward us? Shall we remain oblivious to the fact that our Creator has poured Himself out for us, through His living Word and Holy Spirit, so that He could deliver us from the Serpent, and from the Sin, and the living-death and mutual destruction that his lies have inflicted upon us all?
Who knows better than God, what our true wretched condition is? Who is more aware of our bankruptcy and Sin-corruption and wound inflicted disabilities than our own Designer, Creator and Redeemer? So, would He really be expecting living dead people to strive to meet His Perfect Standards of Righteousness to the best of their non-existent ability? Or is He rather showing us our impossible condition and situation and exposing the absurdity of the Serpent’s lie that makes us believe that we have it in ourselves to strive to be ‘like God?’
Can you see how our Heavenly Father keeps saying the same thing in a variety of ways throughout Scripture? Can dust be or have or do anything by and of itself? Can any branch take the place of its Vine? Can a created thing be or have or do anything, apart from its Creator? No, of course not! Dust is dead and helpless without the One who animates it and empowers it to do anything. The moment any branch is separated from its Vine, it dies! And that is what happened to us all, through Adam and Eve! Branches can only live and bear the Vine’s fruit as long as they abide in the Vine and continue to draw absolutely everything from the Vine. So much for our decapitated pompous pharaohs, emperors, kings, czars, presidents, governments and scientific and religious gurus! So much for all the armies and religious and political blocs and cultural and educational groupings that our so-called, assorted ‘superstar’ human beings keep trying to contrive! The histories of our generations demonstrate clearly that the best that fallen flesh can ever do, is to fail and die! The best of our best continue to rise… but they always also diminish and fall. How pathetically short of everyone’s hopes, dreams and fondest aspirations that is! Haven’t we learned this by now?
Abide in God’s Word and Receive All You Will Need
No, beloved… the True Vine… God’s living creative Word, is the one that must do everything, at all times, and in all things. In ourselves, we radically independent ‘branches’ are more than just helpless… we are dead! So… how can we possibly have it in ourselves to love and do good to those we personally find to be repulsive, unlovable, hateful, guilty and worthy of condemnation and punishment? How can we overlook the sins and obvious guilt and culpability of those who hate, undermine, attack and persecute us? And how could we ever overlook and forgive in our heart of hearts… what they have done, or are doing, to us? So what is the true underlying meaning of what God’s living Word continually emphasizes with His disciples? What was He really saying, when He first began to teach and train them in chapter 5 of Matthew’s Gospel?
“When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, HIS DISCIPLES came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach THEM, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
(This explanation from God’s living Word of the meaning of the commandments that He had previously given to Israel on Mt. Sinai, and revealed in the Torah, directly contradicts the ways and thrust of the fallen world’s self-glorifying, man-initiated priorities, goals and systems! The Lord is saying in effect: ‘Blessed are those who believe and obey Me as a result of what I revealed in Genesis and Exodus, about their helpless fallen flesh and their need to draw exclusively from My Perfect Finished Works of Creation and Redemption. They have only one God, and by that, they prove that they truly are My People Israel!’)
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
(‘Blessed are they who know what the lies of the Serpent and Sin and Death have done to My Father’s beloved human creation! They acknowledge their bankruptcy and neediness and come to Me for everything they and their households will ever need. They never assume they can be, have or do anything, apart from Me. They know that no matter what they do, even when they have to deal with their deadly enemies, I have already covered them and have provided whatever they will need to deal with every circumstance… even those that concern their enemies, according to My Perfect Standards! So they do not give in to natural feelings of vengeful rage or the greedy lustful urges of their passions or the violence-prone promptings of their Sin-corrupted flesh. They crucify those things that arise within them, and look to Me instead, to live and work from within them. I will wipe away all of their tears and supply all of the Perfect provision and remedy that My Father foresaw and has already provided for them, from the very beginning. Instead of pursuing their own self-centered aims, they allow Me to fulfill My Father’s Plan, even in the case of those who try to do them harm! And thus I can abide in them and in their midst, to bless them far beyond their wildest hopes, dreams or imaginations!)
“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.”
(The meek and gentle have the supernatural courage to rest in Me and in what I have provided for every past, present and future care, concern and need they will experience. So because they dare to trust Me and draw everything from Me, and have the discipline it takes to empty themselves of their former slavery to the self-serving urges of their fallen nature, I am here to fill them with the Fullness of Almighty God that I contain within Me.)
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
(They know they have no righteousness in themselves. So they do not try to be religious and trust and hope in their efforts to save themselves. They acknowledge their bankruptcy and look to Me to be their Righteousness at all times. They also know every other human they encounter is in the exact same state. So they learn to be understanding, forbearing, compassionate and considerate of all other people… for Almighty God’s sake… so His Creation can be restored fully, to all… to His eternal Glory!)
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
(The merciful know that My Father has already created and provided and given everything that every creature will ever need to fulfill the Plan and Purpose He gave them. They know that all creatures, even their personal rivals and enemies, are included in Father’s Plan. So they know that the best that can happen is that God be free, to work out what He has planned and destined for each one, even their personal enemies and rivals. So they do not impede the grace and love of God from reaching everything and everyone around them… not even their enemies. This is how much they love God, and trust in the awesome Perfection of His Perfect Finished Work!)
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
(They see God, and what He is here to do for us all, in all things, at all times. And, therefore, they expedite the fulfillment of God’s Redemptive Restoration Plan for all that He has created. They make no exceptions for themselves, nor do they exclude their enemies. They know that all created things and beings belong to God alone, and they wait upon Him to see to the disposition of all, as God desires. If He can have what He desires… all Creation will be blessed beyond belief. To serve God instead of self is the wisest, most rewarding thing any creature can do! God wants to bless us all. If He can do that, all of Creation will thrive to the maximum extent!)
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
(I am the Prince of Peace. I have done everything necessary to make all things right once again. So My disciples embrace and welcome Me into their innermost being. Thus I can enter this world through their obedient faith and apply the benefits of My redemptive finished work, from within them. They are My ‘points of entry’ and ‘bases of operation on Earth.’ I can obey My Father and do what He sent Me to do… to them… in them… and through them… to Father’s Eternal Glory, and the best and highest good of all Creation.)
“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
(Because of their patient, persevering Covenant loyalty and faithfulness to God… My true disciples endure the hatred and contempt of this fallen world and its systems. Thus they abide with Me as part of My True Israel… expediting the entry of the cascading rivers of God’s Grace and Redeeming, Renewing Love. And for God’s sake, they do not reflect back to this world and the people in it, anything that is alien and not from their Heavenly Father. So My Father can reveal Me to all… through their obedient supernaturally courageous and faithful Word-embodying service. I am truly blessing them… so they can become a blessing… and so that through them… I can bless whoever is around them.)
“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in Heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Emphasis added.)
(My true disciples are the True, New Covenant Remnant, of Israel. For the time being, they sow their seeds of faith with tears and suffering. And they persevere in obedience, even though the deceived victims of the powers of Darkness are being manipulated to afflict and assail and oppose their efforts. But My disciples are already Sons and Covenant friends of God and Citizens of His Eternal Kingdom. And they are His Emissaries and Vice Regents here on Earth. And they know this will only last for a short time. And when God completes His Plan and this temporary space and time dimension runs its course, My disciples will reap the inconceivably wonderful, Eternal Reward that My Father gives to Me and to His adopted sons. I will share My Inheritance with those who allow Me to save as many of their enemies as possible. The Fullness of what God wants Mankind to have will be bestowed upon, and through, these disciples. They serve to expedite the Fulfillment of what God promised to His own, from the very beginning.)
“… I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed!” (Emphasis added.)
“Heaven is My Throne and the earth (created universe) is My Footstool. Where then is a house you (children of Adam) could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,’ declares the Lord. But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at MY WORD!” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
Transition by the Power of the Holy Spirit
So God is in the process of transforming and restoring us, who were formerly radically independent of Him. He’s restoring us to His perfect image and likeness! But we can’t be His image and likeness, unless His Word first becomes our indwelling, transforming Life! Grape branches are not independent agents with lives and agendas of their own! They can do nothing of and for themselves. Their only function is to be living extensions and expressions of the life and fruit-producing activity of their vine! So is it with Disciples of God’s living Word that are truly crucified. For, because they allow themselves to be emptied of what comes from the Serpent, they can thus be filled with what God’s Word brings and imparts to them from His Heavenly Father. These disciples are commissioned to expedite the revelation and demonstration of the working out and Perfect Fulfillment of God’s Perfect Plan of Salvation and Restoration. But only God’s living creative Word is able to obey God and fulfill His Plans to Perfection! God’s creatures must repent of trying to imitate or take His place. They must make way for Him to take over and begin to live and work from within them! So they first submit themselves to the cross, and are thus fully emptied of self and the dreadful consequences of guilt and condemnation.
“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his (radically independent, self-serving) way and the unrighteous man his (God-contradicting) thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon, ‘for My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts! For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My Word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it!” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who (by His indwelling Word and Holy Spirit) is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure!” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
God’s Plan contains all past, present and future provision for all of His creatures… including our persecutors and deadly enemies! We are not to interact with anyone out of the natural impulses, desires and urges of our self-adoring fallen flesh. We must allow God to interact with all men by the Power of His Holy Spirit… so that God’s Word can be free to fulfill His Father’s plan on their behalf. Thus we must learn to draw continually from the Perfection and Fulfillment of what our indwelling Master is, as He abides in us to provide for every situation and event in our time and space. He will transmit into our situations what He has for us in His Treasury… that original Perfect Creation and all-encompassing Blessing that He bestowed on Adam, Eve and their offspring, from the beginning.
The Holy Spirit must dwell within us so that He can transmit all of that awesome Perfect Provision into us… step-by-step, and moment-by-moment. This is how we give our testimony to God’s Truth and Faithful Reality. His Spirit equips us to demonstrate and prove, with supernatural Power, that God is working in us and freely, lavishly putting all that we need, to deal with each situation, care, concern, person and need that we encounter. So the cross empties us of every disobedient urge and reaction that would naturally come out of our own radically independent, God-less fallen flesh. The cross empties our Sin-residue continually… as happens with kidney dialysis. Then God is free to supply us with His Heavenly, ‘Daily Bread’, and fill us to overflowing on an ongoing basis, with His unique, Eternal Supernatural Perfection:
“You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.”
“You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together (mix) two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together.” (Amplification added.)
So Israelites who heed God’s Word and rely on His All-Sufficient provision and protection, are not to indulge in syncretism. They are not to mix Spirit with Flesh, Light with Darkness, and Truth with Falsehood. No human is allowed to mix what is Uncreated with what is created. The way in which God’s people respond to people and situations and circumstances in their daily experiences must reveal and share what God Almighty has provided for His Creation, which abides in the Eternal Treasury of His Perfect Finished, Spirit-transmitted Work. His Righteousness, Perfection and Self-less Love must be free to come through into this temporal world, without any contamination.
This changeless consistency of God manifests His Eternal Perfection, at work in us. His Finished Works of Creation and Redemption are flawless. They contain His infinite Fullness. Nothing is lacking, nothing needs to be done to finish, add to, or correct, what our awesome God is, and what He has already done from the beginning. So, He requires Israel, and anyone who will be grafted into Israel’s New Covenant with God, to celebrate and demonstrate God’s Perfect, Sabbath Rest. That is what we are privileged to enjoy, with Him, and from Him.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“And He has said to me, ‘My Grace is sufficient for you, for Power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the POWER OF CHRIST may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak (in myself), then (because My risen Lord lives and works from within me, in my name,) I am strong!” (Amplification and emphasis added.)